09/20/2013 3:32PM

Hastings notes: Arabella’s Muse pointing to Fantasy on closing day


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The 2013 Hastings meet is coming to a close in just over three weeks and the closing-day card on Canadian Thanksgiving, Oct. 14, should be a good one with four stakes races on the menu. The main course will be the Grade 3, $100,000 Premiers for 3-year-olds and up going 1 3/8 miles, and Title Contender is expected to take on a strong field of older horses. Title Contender won the Grade 3 Ohio Derby and is coming off a convincing win in the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby. Complementing the Premiers is the Grade 3 Ballerina for fillies and mares.

Appetizers include the $75,000 Ascot Graduation for 2-year-olds and the $75,000 Fantasy for 2-year-old fillies. In both races, most of the horses will be stretching out to a middle distance for the first time.

The Fantasy will be a good test for Arabella’s Muse. She will face Ole’s Miss, who has been pointing to the race since she scored an impressive win in the Boulevard Casino July 14. Arabella’s Muse has been nothing less than spectacular in her first two races, though.

Trainer Toni Cloutier had her primed for her debut and she was sensational, winning a 6 1/2-furlong $30,000 maiden optional-claiming race by 13 1/4 lengths while seemingly never getting out of a gallop. She came back going the same distance in the $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity. She broke a bit flat-footed, but after being hustled to the lead by jockey Frank Fuentes she never looked threatened while drawing off to win by 5 1/2 lengths. She posted a quick final time of 1:16.07, which was almost two seconds faster than Andallthatitmeans ran in the next race while winning the Jack Diamond Futurity for 2-year-olds males in 1:17.97.

She has the breeding to handle the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Fantasy. She is the first foal out of the multiple route stakes winner Excited Miss. Arabella’s Muse is by Finality, who won the Grade 2 Jamaica going 1 1/8 miles on turf and lost by a nose going 1 1/4 miles in the Grade 3 Lexington, also on turf. Finality also has sired a B.C. Derby winner, Majesticality, who won the Grade 3 race in 2010.

Cloutier thinks Arabella’s Muse has the mindset to carry her speed a middle distance.

“She is obviously talented and what I really like about her is that she is very smart,” Cloutier said. “She is also nice and relaxed when she gallops, so I expect Frank will be able to harness her speed when she stretches out. She was on the bit in the Futurity, she didn’t break that well, and Frank had to use her speed so she didn’t get trapped on the rail.”

Fuentes is very impressed with Arabella’s Muse and is looking forward to riding her in the Fantasy.

“I’ve never been on a 2-year-old with this much talent,” he said. “She does things so easily and she’s only going to get better with experience. She’s very powerful. It seems like she has a 3-year-old’s body with a 2-year-old mind.”

Cloutier doesn’t plan to do too much with her leading up to the Fantasy.

“She’s just a baby, so we aren’t going to work her every seven days like we might an older horse,” she said. “I was going to give her more time off after the Futurity, but she started tearing down the barn, so I put her back in training sooner than I really wanted. She is just a happy horse right now, and all we’re trying to do with her is keep her that way.”

Remembertobreathe to debut Sunday

Trainer Sylvea Gregory thinks she has a nice 2-year-old colt in Remembertobreathe, who is making his debut in a $30,000 maiden optional-claiming race in the fourth race Sunday. He might be worth taking a stab at if he goes off anywhere near his morning-line odds of 10-1.

Gregory and her husband, David, bought Remembertobreathe for $40,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. spring 2-year-olds in training sale in April.

“We never actually saw him in person, but we watched him work using our computer and we were very impressed with how he galloped out,” said Gregory. “I didn’t want to go over $25,000 for him, but I just couldn’t help myself.”

Remembertobreathe looked good working five furlongs in 1:00.20 with stakes-placed Lady Henrietta last Saturday. Lady Henrietta figures to be favored in an allowance race for 3-year-old fillies in the seventh race Sunday.

“I would have liked to have gotten another work into him, but the race came up and he should be ready to go,” said Gregory.

He could be a handful if he runs to his pedigree. He is a full brother to D’nied Permission, who won the $125,000 Florida Stallion Affirmed Stakes at Calder as a 2-year-old last year. A half-sister, Tiger Belle, won the $200,000 Calder Oaks in 2005.