06/30/2011 3:54PM

Arlington's first 2-year-old allowance matches debut winners


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – There are no six-figure auction horses in the 10th race at Arlington on Saturday, the first 2-year-old allowance race of the meet, just a couple of precocious horses who look like they can run a little.

Hogy, an Offlee Wild gelding trained by Joel Berndt, won his debut by 7 3/4 lengths in a maiden special weight June 11. Eight days later, Pryce’s Posse, a son of Posse, showed blazing speed to clear seven rivals from an outside post, leading all the way en route to a four-length score in another Arlington maiden special.

A buyer could have picked up both juveniles for less than $30,000 at the sales. Hogy, owned by Alice Mettler, fetched $17,000 at Keeneland’s 2010 January horses-of-all-ages sale. Price’s Posse has been through the ring three times, going for just $1,000 at the same sale as Hogy, bringing a final bid of $11,200 as a yearling, and failing to meet a reserve of $9,700 at a 2-year-old sale in Texas in the spring.

Pryce’s Posse is listed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite Saturday, but Hogy is slightly preferred. Inside speed reigned supreme for much of the program on which Pryce’s Posse made his debut, and he basically ran his rivals off their feet with his early burst. A bit more was required of Hogy. Third early in his race, he bid into a fast pace on the turn to seize command, then drew clear with a big stretch run, a performance that hinted at a horse with more than raw speed. Hogy’s sire, Offlee Wild, has proved capable of getting a good synthetic-surface runner, and there is old pedigree power in Hogy’s lineage: His fourth dam is Too Bald, who foaled Exceller, Capote, and Baldski.

There are four others in the race, all coming off wins, but none anywhere near as impressive as the top two betting choices.

Six days cut from Fairmount meet

The Illinois Racing Board this week granted Fairmount Park in downstate Illinois permission to vacate the last six racing days – programs spanning three weeks – of their 2011 meet. Fairmount’s closing day will be Sept. 9 rather than Sept. 30.

Fairmount had asked to vacate 11 end-of-the-meet programs, but the racing board would agree only to the smaller number. Fairmount asked for a 75-day 2011 meet while hoping for the passage of legislation that would allow slot machines at Illinois racetracks.