Updated on 09/15/2011 2:06PM

Boost for home team in Futurity


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Shippers continue to drop out of Saturday's Arlington-Washington Futurity, compromising the quality of the prospective field but bringing hope to the connections of locally based horses.

At one point, Thunderello, a blowout maiden winner at Saratoga, appeared to be headed to the Grade 2 Futurity, where he would have been favored, but he bowed out with an injury, and Wednesday brought news that another Saratoga maiden winner, Test of Time, would not start here.

"He worked the other day, and he worked all right, but he came out of it with a minor lung infection," said Kentucky-based John Ward, Test of Time's trainer. "We'll give it some time to clear up."

Test of Time's defection leaves Major Storm and Publication as the only probable out-of-town starters in the one-mile Futurity, though the Churchill-based Second Tuesday is considered possible for the race. Major Storm won a maiden race at Saratoga in his last start, but that win came on turf, and the Wayne Lukas-trained colt is 0 for 3 on dirt. The Bay Meadows-based Publication, a winner in his only start, will ship here later this week for trainer Terry Knight.

Trainer Eoin Harty nominated six Godolphin colts to the Futurity, but only the locally based Dubai Squire will start. After struggling in his first two starts, Dubai Squire won a one-mile maiden race here Aug. 23, and followed that up with a convincing 7 1/2-length allowance win Sept. 9. "He's getting better all the time now," said Davey Duggan, Harty's Arlington assistant.

Lunar Bounty and Tinker also will be well supported in the Futurity, and both worked Wednesday at Arlington. Tinker went a half-mile in 49.40 seconds, while Lunar Bounty breezed an easy three furlongs after schooling in the starting gate.

"He did it really well," trainer Ronny Werner said of Lunar Bounty, second in the Spectacular Bid here three weeks ago. "I really do think [stretching out to] a mile is going to help him."

Making only his second career start, Tinker finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Lunar Bounty in the Spectacular Bid, and bled in that race. He makes his first start with Lasix in the Futurity.

Double Zero Seven won the Spectacular Bid, continuing his surprising rise from maiden-claimer to stakes winner. Once a $25,000 claimer, the colt has won four straight races for trainer Angel Montano. He makes his first route start Saturday.

Thoroughly professional Summer Mis

No 2-year-old maiden winner of either sex has been more visually impressive than Summer Mis, who won her maiden here Sept. 20, beating Illinois-breds by 14 lengths. Summer Mis contested a fast pace but drew away from in the stretch under little urging from jockey Randy Meier. Her time of 1:10.20 was by far the fastest six furlongs of the day.

Summer Mis is an Illinois-bred with a Kentucky pedigree. By Summer Squall out of Julie Mis, a Miswaki mare, the filly is a homebred owned by Richard Otto. "She's the product of years of breeding," said trainer Anthony Mitchell. "Mr. Otto bred her dam, and this is her first foal."

Mitchell's wife, Sherri, broke Summer Mis last winter in Aiken, S.C., and Mitchell said his wife told him early on that the filly was special. Summer Mis moved quickly through her early lessons and trained well at Arlington this summer, and when Mitchell saddled her for her debut Aug. 1, he thought he had a winner. But Summer Mis, Mitchell said, got spooked in the starting gate and resented having dirt kicked in her face as she raced behind horses. She finished an even fifth that day.

"The problem with this filly is she always out-broke everything in the morning, and when she worked, she'd out-work everything," said Mitchell, a native of England who came up in this country under trainer Tom Skiffington. "I did a lot of work with her after her race, stuck her in the gate several times, breezed her in company to get dirt in her face."

Those lessons paid off, as Summer Mis, a robust-looking filly with a laid-back attitude, was thoroughly professional in her win. For this year, at least, Mitchell has set his sights on an Illinois-bred stakes race at Hawthorne, and for now, he merely wants to run Summer Mis in a two-turn race. But since a 2-year-old filly allowance at Arlington has been a tough race to fill, Mitchell is considering other options, including a one-mile turf race at Keeneland and a dirt allowance at Woodbine.

Idarado due for win

Idarado has been closing in on a second-level allowance win here all meet, and he may be the horse to beat in Arlington's turf feature, the eighth of nine races on Friday. Despite having lost his last four turf starts by only a combined seven lengths, Idarado still may offer betting value Friday since this heat is densely packed with logical contenders.

Trained by Chris Block and owned by Team Block, Idarado was second, part of a blanket finish, when he last started on Sept. 6., and it's quite possible that the field he faced that day was superior to the one he meets this time. Mark Guidry has a call.

*Friday's 3 p.m. first post begins the final twilight program of this meet. Starting Wednesday, post time for the remainder of this meet will be at 12:30, the lone exception coming on Breeders' Cup Day.