09/09/2008 11:00PM

Futurity draws 14 entrants


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - It was a diverse group of 2-year-olds entered Wednesday for the Arlington-Washington Futurity here on Saturday - but with 14 names in the entry box, how could that not have been the case?

Short fields? Declining foal crops? Forget all that, at least for this one race. Barring scratches, Arlington's starting gate will be loaded full of juveniles in the Futurity, a Grade 3 with a $200,000 purse to be contested at a one-turn Polytrack mile.

Who knows for sure which horse will be favored? Capt. Candyman Can's blowout debut win at Saratoga surely will earn him support, but Advice crushed maidens in his lone start while racing over the Futurity distance here at Arlington, and he, too, should take betting action.

Terrain won the Mountaineer Juvenile on Aug. 2 and earned a high Beyer Speed Figure, 90, in so doing; he also debuted for a $50,000 maiden-claiming tag at Churchill the race before.

And let us not forget the Futurity's Illinois-bred contingent, which is four-strong and includes actual win contenders. Willie to To seems totally overmatched, but the other three Illinois-breds - Giant Oak, Jose Adan, and My Dominick James - have a chance.

Giant Oak is Illinois-bred in name only, as a son of the $125,000 sire Giant's Causeway and the grade-stakes-winning mare Crafty Oak. Trained by Chris Block for the Virginia Tarra Trust, Giant Oak debuted in a two-turn grass race on Aug. 17, and won by two lengths. Large-framed with classic lines, Giant Oak thundered through the final furlong of his grass debut like a horse with a bright future.

Undefeated after three starts, My Dominick James has the Futurity's highest Beyer Figure, a 93 from his 4 1/2-furlong debut win here in June. He also is one of only two open stakes winners in the race, having taken the Prairie Gold Juvenile in his second start, before winning an Illinois-bred stakes last month at Fairmount Park. My Dominick James, named after trainer and co-owner Larry Rivelli's son, has done nothing wrong so far, and he runs professionally. Whether he can do so beyond a sprint distance is the question.

Jose Adan races for trainer Wayne Catalano, but unlike almost all of Catalano's trainees, he is not owned by Frank Calabrese. Catalano and his wife, Renee, bred Jose Adan, and he campaigns for the Catalano Racing Stable. A son of Crypto Star, whom Catalano also trained, Jose Adan earned just a 49 Beyer beating Illinois-breds in his career debut, a number that meshes poorly with the 75 Jose Adan earned for running down loose-on-the-lead Malibu Maverick - also entered in the Futurity - in an open entry-level allowance race Aug. 13 at Arlington.

The others in the race are Investor, His Greatness, Zion, Ready Racer, Schleprock, and My Man Moran.

Lewis Michael's next not till BC

On Saturday, Lewis Michael had his first workout since winning the Pat O'Brien Handicap month at Del Mar, going an easy half-mile in 49.60 seconds over Arlington's Polytrack.

"He's doing super, unbelievably good," said Catalano, his trainer.

Lewis Michael earned an automatic berth in the BC Sprint with his O'Brien win, but his connections probably would prefer to start in the Dirt Mile, which will be run on Santa Anita's new Pro-Ride synthetic surface. Catalano also said the Lewis Michael camp was "probably not going to run him anywhere" before Lewis Michael returns to California for the Breeders' Cup.

"Running fresh, I'm good with that," Catalano said. "We'll be sitting on tilt whatever we do."

Dreaming of Anna, Lewis Michael's champion 4-year-old sister, breezed five furlongs on Polytrack in 1:00.40 on Wednesday. Her connections are considering a start in the First Lady Stakes next month at Keeneland.

Campbell has torn rotator cuff

Injured jockey Jesse Campbell confirmed late Tuesday that he has a tear in his rotator cuff, and is unsure how much time he will miss because of the injury. Campbell went down on Saturday when Gangbuster, his mount in an overnight turf stakes, clipped heels and fell.

Campbell had just undergone physical therapy Tuesday afternoon, and said he was experiencing significant pain because of the shoulder injury. Doctors told him the tear was unlikely to require surgery, but Campbell said he has no idea what shape his recovery period will take.

"It could be two weeks, three weeks, I don't know," said Campbell. "I'd love to make it back before the end of Arlington, but at this point I have no idea."