09/11/2013 3:13PM

Arlington Park notes: Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland likely next for Solitary Ranger

Four-Footed Fotos
Solitary Ranger, winning the Arlington-Washington Futurity, is headed to Keeneland for either the Breeders' Futurity on Polytrack or the Bourbon on turf.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – From the sound of his name, you might imagine Solitary Ranger left the Arlington backstretch to roam the Great Plains in a dark, weather-beaten long coat. Nope – his departure Wednesday was on a horse van bound for Keeneland, where Solitary Ranger will make his next start after winning for the first time in the Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity last weekend.

Exactly which Keeneland race Solitary Ranger will contest hasn’t been entirely decided, but trainer Wayne Catalano said the colt’s connections are leaning toward the obvious one, the Grade 1, $450,000 Breeders’ Futurity on Oct. 5.

“He can either run on the Polytrack or the grass, but most likely it’ll be the Poly,” Catalano said.

Keeneland’s grass option for Solitary Ranger would be the Grade 3, $150,000 Bourbon Stakes on Oct. 6. Solitary Ranger’s three starts – the first two on Keeneland’s main track this past spring – have come on an all-weather surface, but as a son of little-known sire U S Ranger the colt is bred for turf. Catalano, however, said he’s not sure yet what sort of surface Solitary Ranger prefers and that dirt racing also will be considered this fall.

Solitary Ranger ran into a pair of Wesley Ward-trained monsters in his two April races, particularly in his second out, when he finished behind No Nay Never, who since has won important stakes in England and France. Solitary Ranger – who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 73 in the Futurity – hadn’t started in more than four months when he won Saturday and was racing almost a half-mile farther than in his first two races.

“He came out of it real good. He’s going to improve, I think,” Catalano said.

Meanwhile, Catalano said no plans have yet been laid for Hogy, who won on Sunday won his third stakes of the year in the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile. Hogy also could start at Keeneland, and the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at 6 1/2 furlongs would seem to strongly fit his talents, but Catalano said he had yet to seriously confer with Scott Becker, Hogy’s former trainer and the adviser to owner William Stiritz.

Alcibiades likely for She’s Offlee Good

She’s Offlee Good, winner of the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie on Saturday’s card, also is likely to make her next start at Keeneland, with the Grade 1, $400,000 Alcibiades Stakes on Oct. 4 her probable target, trainer Richie Scherer said. She’s Offlee Good also will be considered for the $150,000 Mazarine Stakes on Oct. 5 at Woodbine.

“The owners definitely are leaning toward the Alcibiades, but we’ll see what the nominations look like,” Scherer said.

She’s Offlee Good had won a maiden race in her debut before rallying wide to capture the Lassie by two lengths. She ran a faster one-mile Polytrack time than did Solitary Ranger and earned a Beyer of 75.

She’s Offlee Good rated comfortably en route to her victory, and Scherer is confident a stretch to two turns in the Alcibiades will prove within her scope. If the race at Keeneland is indeed chosen, She’s Offlee Good would work the last weekend of the Arlington meet and then ship to Kentucky to train for a few days over the Keeneland surface.

Pucker Up attracts eight fillies

Eight 3-year-old fillies were entered Wednesday for Saturday’s Grade 3, $175,000 Pucker Up, a 1 1/8-mile grass race. The entrants include Every Way, Frivolous, I O Ireland, I’m Already Sexy, My Option, Miss Scout, Phonybooksnrecords, and Remember Then, whom trainer Jonathan Sheppard cross-entered in a Saturday race at Delaware Park. I’m Already Sexy figures to be favored after sharply winning a division of the Hatoof Stakes here last month.