09/06/2012 4:32PM

Arlington Park: Gomez coming in to ride Pataky Kid in the Arlington-Washington Futurity

Four-Footed Fotos
Muppet Man, with Jeffrey Sanchez riding, wins the Meadowlake.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Granted, there’s not much going on in Southern California this weekend, but it still seems noteworthy that SoCal-based jockey Garrett Gomez is named to ride Pataky Kid in the Arlington-Washington Futurity on Saturday.

Pataky Kid has only a maiden win to his credit, but the strong kick he exhibited in that Aug. 9 Arlington race marked him as one of the more promising juveniles in the Midwest, and Pataky Kid has come back from that performance with three fast Arlington workouts.

“I think he’s showing a little more maturity in the mornings, moving forward,” said Tom Proctor, who trains Pataky Kid for Swifty Farms.

Pataky Kid is one of eight horses in the Futurity, and the Futurity is one of two Grade  3, $150,000 one-turn Polytrack miles for 2-year-olds here Saturday. It goes as race 7 and is immediately followed by the Arlington-Washington Lassie, which drew a field of 14 two-year-old fillies.

Pataky Kid, by Rockport Harbor, lacks early speed and has a long, ground-eating stride. His maiden win came at seven furlongs, and even the Futurity’s one-mile trip probably isn’t what Pataky Kid truly wants.

“He looks like a two-turn horse,” Proctor said.

In his second-start victory, Pataky Kid rallied past a sharp subsequent next-out winner named Tulira Castle. The Futurity came up too soon for Tulira Castle to run, but trainer Jim DiVito will send out morning-line favorite Muppet Man, who has started his career with a pair of open-lengths wins. Muppet Man beat maidens by almost four lengths on July 1 and won the seven-furlong Meadowlake Stakes here Aug. 4 by almost five. But Muppet Man, who has showed speed in both starts, fared poorly at the post-position draw, landing the rail.

“That’s not the choice I’d make, but it is what it is,” DiVito said. “It might change the jockey’s plan a little. I expect him to be right there early on.”

Muppet Man, ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez, also has gotten in three workouts since his most recent race, and DiVito said the Corinthian colt “has been training really well.”

Tom Amoss trained Shared Property to a 2011 Futurity win and this year has another plausible contender in Mylute. Mylute won an Arlington sprint maiden Aug. 14 after a closing third in his Churchill Downs debut and a narrow loss in the $75,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile.

“Mylute is a big horse and has always shown talent,” Amoss said. “He’s had his issues at the starting gate, though, and we saw those in his last race. I’d like to think that distance isn’t going to be a limitation.”

Ultimo Trago and Stormin Monarcho were no match for Muppet Man in the Meadowlake. Glenco Kid finished decently to win an off-the-turf one-mile maiden in his most recent race. Urban Renewal, a pace factor, could finish only second in an Ohio-bred stakes last out. Scissortail G, a filly, has ability but has yet to win even a maiden race.

Lassie an even field

It’s not just the fact there are 14 fillies in the Lassie that makes handicapping the race a challenge. It’s the fact that so many appear lumped in the same general talent range.

The race includes three two-time winners, but recent maiden graduate Flying Rapunzel merits strong consideration. Trained by Wayne Catalano, who has won the Lassie two of the last five years, Flying Rapunzel rallied for second in her 5 1/2-furlong debut before winning a seven-furlong race by almost four lengths on July 29. Flying Rapunzel, by Tale of the Cat, has since logged four workouts, the most recent a half-mile in 48 seconds that was the fastest of 41 works at the distance on Sept. 2.

“She did that last work easy,” said Catalano.

Flying Rapunzel has post 12, a pretty good spot in a one-turn mile for a filly who can attend the pace.

“Going a flat mile, if you got speed, you can do whatever you want from out there,” Catalano said. “It looks like she should fit.”

Gold Edge, a winner of her first two starts, beat another Catalano-trained horse, All Her Class, by three-quarters of a length in the Lisa M Stakes here Aug. 4. Subsequently, All Her Class could finish only second in a turf maiden race, and Gold Edge, who is prone to outbursts of bad behavior, should be scrutinized in the paddock and post parade.

Sweet Redemption won the $150,000 Ontario Debutante in her debut, but had only five rivals in that race and is bred like a sprinter. Drawn on the far outside is Pappascat, who looks like a potential player for ace 2-year-old trainer Garry Simms. Pappascat, a daughter of Scat Daddy, was heavily bet before winning her career debut, an Ellis Park turf sprint, by more than seven lengths.