09/09/2017 6:18PM

Barry Lee edges clear in Arlington-Washington Futurity

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Four-Footed Fotos
Barry Lee held off Captivating Moon by three-quarters of a length to win Saturday's Arlington-Washington Futurity.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Barry Lee got hooked and cooked Aug. 13 at Saratoga, wilting to a distant eighth in the Saratoga Special after contesting a scorching pace. But it was a more relaxed – and more successful – version of the horse that showed up Saturday at Arlington. Stalking the pacesetters under Horacio Karamanos, Barry Lee made the lead at the top of the stretch and held off Captivating Moon by three-quarters of a length to win the $75,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity.

“I just wanted him to be wherever he was comfortable,” said trainer Horacio de Paz. “I didn’t want him up there on the lead this time. We wanted to teach him something. That’s why we brought him here.”

Barry Lee shipped to Arlington midweek from de Paz’s base at Sagamore Farm in Maryland. The colt had trained there on a Tapeta Footings surface, but was making his first actual start on a synthetic track Saturday. He handled the Polytrack here at Arlington with no issue, and in addition to running a more relaxed race than he had either at Saratoga or in a winning debut July 14 at Laurel Park, Barry Lee overcame considerable ground loss while racing four paths off the fence all the way around the far turn.

Take Charge Dude somewhat surprisingly outran Kate’s Golden Dude for the early lead and set splits of 23.45 and 47.63. Barry Lee and Karamanos stayed in the clear while wide, moving up gently past the half-mile pole, then with more of a purpose between the three-eighths and the five-sixteenths. Barry Lee made the lead before the eighth pole, dropping down to the inside, and had just enough to hold clear a late surge from Captivating Moon, who got second by 1 1/4 lengths over late-running Ghaaleb’s Winner.

Barry Lee was timed in a modest 1:25.27 for seven furlongs on Polytrack and paid $5.60 as the favorite.

By Violence and out of the Muqtarib mare Light of a Star, Barry Lee was purchased at auction by Sagamore Farm for $380,000. De Paz said options were open for the colt’s next start, and that plans would be set after Barry Lee shipped back to his home base.

As for Captivating Moon, his future almost certainly lies in turf routes, and it was in a two-turn turf race that he impressively won his only start before Saturday. Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. said Captivating Moon disliked Polytrack from the start of Saturday’s race.

“He didn’t handle this [surface] at all, and it was remarkable he ran second,” Valdivia said. “This is a serious horse.”