06/19/2013 3:26PM

Arlington Park: Hughes the Daddy may be right one in wide-open allowance sprint


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The highest-class fare on an appealing nine-race late-afternoon Friday card at Arlington is race 3, a multiple-conditions, high-end turf allowance with an $80,000 claiming option. But the highest-class fare is not always the tastiest, and race 3 might be viewed as an appetizer course to race 4, a second-level Polytrack sprint allowance also open to $40,000 claimers.

That second-level allowance drew only seven entrants, but none can easily be eliminated, and four horses exit a winning performance. The most promising of that quartet might be Hughes the Daddy, a 3-year-old son of Henny Hughes with two wins and a third-place finish in a three-start career.

Hughes the Daddy, trained by Danny Miller for Knollwood Stables, impressively won his career debut last Sept. 22 at Arlington, but didn’t race again until May 11, when he pressed the hot pace of sharp Illinois-bred sprinter Work All Week before fading to third.

“He really needed that race,” Miller said. “You’d have to have been dead fit to run with Work All Week, and he wasn’t there yet.”

On May 27, Hughes the Daddy made his turf debut, setting the pace and holding on to win a five-furlong sprint by a neck. The race’s runner-up, Razman, returned with a good-looking turf-sprint victory last weekend at Arlington.

Hughes the Daddy has shown speed in all his starts, and he is one of several front-running types in Friday’s race, but Miller insists that even with a sizzling half-mile work in 46 seconds since his last start, Hughes the Daddy and jockey Kent Desormeaux don’t have to end up on the lead.

“He’s tactical and can go either way,” Miller said. “He’s toward the outside. I’m not worried about the other speed.”

Miller’s confidence aside, the race stands a decent chance of falling apart late, and if that happens, Razzo Succo could capitalize. He beat lesser starter-allowance and claiming foes June 5, but did so convincingly while showing a strong late kick and an apparent fondness for Polytrack. Winning Touch, the morning-line favorite, also has the right style for the race shape, but his return from a long layoff under the $40,000 claiming option should rouse bettors’ skepticism.

Race 3, the higher-level two-turn turf race, belongs on paper to Moment of Majesty. At her best last year, Moment of Majesty finished second by less than two lengths to Marketing Mix in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine, and any improvement upon a rallying third-place Churchill turf-allowance finish in her May 5 seasonal debut sends Moment of Majesty to the winner’s circle.