09/04/2013 2:38PM

Arlington Park notes: She’s Offlee Good boosts new stable


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – This first summer of racing for Holmark Stables has been a good one, and the same can be said for the stable’s trainer, Richie Scherer, who is having one of his best Arlington Park meetings. Saturday, Scherer will saddle She’s Offlee Good for Holmark in the Arlington-Washington Lassie, and the way this season has gone for both trainer and owners, don’t be surprised if the filly proves to be a factor.

She’s Offlee Good is one of the first two horses campaigned by Holmark, whose key cogs are Paul Holmes and Kevin Marko, and whose members also include Bernard Bonnem, Tim Clement, and Jack Needham.

“These guys have been coming to the track a long time – have a box at Arlington, and all that – and this year they finally decided to pull the trigger and get more involved,” Scherer said.

She’s Offlee Good, an Offlee Wild filly who fetched $32,000 at a Florida 2-year-old auction earlier this year, won her career debut in promising fashion here Aug. 1. Holmark’s other Arlington runner this summer is Al’s Uncle, who came into the meet a maiden and has won three straight races here for Scherer.

“Things have worked out really well for them,” Scherer said.

Scherer, who has been racing regularly at Arlington since 1993, has a chance to win more races this meet than he has during any previous Arlington season. Through Sept. 2, Scherer had gone 11-9-6 from 66 Arlington runners, putting him within range of his career-best 13-win meeting here in 2000.

Better still, Scherer, 50, appears to have come through kidney-cancer treatment earlier in the summer with no lingering problems. Scherer had outpatient surgery in June and was back to work with little delay.

“I didn’t have to go through all the things that a lot of other people go through, with chemo and radiation,” Scherer said. “It was a big deal, but at the same time, it wasn’t that big a deal.”

She’s Offlee Good was one of 11 2-year-old fillies entered in the $100,000 Lassie, a one-turn Polytrack mile that lost its graded-stakes status this year. She drew post 5 and will be ridden for the first time by Eddie Castro, while Kent Desormeaux, aboard for She’s Offlee Good’s debut run, rides the impressive Aug. 24 maiden winner Tamazula. The others in the Lassie field, from inside out, are Gumdrop, Battlefield Angel, Bellarada, Richies Sweetheart, Istanford, Look Who’s Here, Maria Maria, Divergent View, and Sweetsoutherdame.

Futurity attracts nine

Also drawn Wednesday was the Grade 3, $100,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity, another one-turn main-track mile, this one attracting nine entrants, the most intriguing of which is Captain’s Affair.

Captain’s Affair, a Team Valor-owned colt, was bred in Ireland and made his first two starts there, winning a maiden race on debut in May and on Aug. 9 finishing fifth in the El Gran Senor Stakes. With the Southern California circuit between the Del Mar and Santa Anita meets this weekend, jockey Mike Smith, a rare Arlington participant, has a call on Captain’s Affair.

The other Futurity entrants, from inside out, are Cee ’n O, Lotsa Mischief, High Roll, Solitary Ranger, Mighty Brown, Whyruawesome, Gone Mountain, and Joedini.

** The race for leading rider here looks like it will be a photo finish between jockeys James Graham and Emmanuel Esquivel. Graham, who took the 2011 Arlington title by one winner over Jozbin Santana, led Esquivel, an apprentice, 63-62 going into Thursday’s card.