07/09/2013 4:35PM

Arlington Park notes: Finnegans Wake will pass on Arlington Handicap

Barbara D. Livingston
Finnegans Wake is headed to the Man o' War at Belmont Park.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Donegal Racing announced Monday night on Twitter that Finnegans Wake, an anticipated starter in the Arlington Handicap on Saturday, was being redirected to the Man o' War at Belmont Park.

Donegal and trainer Dale Romans, however, still have a horse for the Arlington Handicap in Dullahan, who is set to make his first start since finishing 11th in the Dubai World Cup. The other horse Romans sent to Dubai this winter, Little Mike, made his first start since the long trip last weekend, fading to fourth after setting the pace in the United Nations Stakes.

The Arlington Handicap is not expected to draw a large field, but the group appears to be a solid one, headed by two-time Arlington Handicap winner Rahystrada. Also expected to be entered are Keep Up, Najjaar, Coalport, Derby Kitten, Mister Marti Gras, and perhaps Temeraine.

Saturday's 1 1/2-mile Stars and Stripes is shaping up as the softest of Saturday's four turf stakes, with only a handful of runners, topped by Dark Cove, expected to be entered. Looking much stronger is the American Derby, which could draw about 10 entrants, including the first three across the finish line in the Arlington Classic: General Election, Admiral Kitten, and Dorsett.

Xbalanque could wire

There are two open second-level allowance races with $40,000 claiming options on Thursday's nine-race card, though race 2, at one mile on Polytrack, looks stronger than race 3, a turf sprint for fillies and mares.
Of particular note in race 2 is Xbalanque, a mere $2,200 sales purchase in 2010 who has shown strong form this meeting. Trained by Monique Cameron, Xbalanque appeared to benefit from a Polytrack speed bias when he won a first-level allowance race by seven lengths June 1, but he was back 20 days later with a strong stalking second in a second-level sprint allowance. Xbalanque has the rail and is the likely leader in a one-turn mile Thursday, and if last week's prevailing main-track trend -- favoring horses racing on or near the lead -- holds, Xbalanque can lead all the way.

** The 6-year-old England-based Dandino, second in a pair of Group 2 races this year, is being pointed to the $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes on the Aug. 17 Million card, his connections announced this week. Dandino's trainer, Marco Botti, won last year's inaugural running of the American St. Leger with Jakkalberry.