10/10/2011 3:39PM

Keeneland: Atlantic Bull gives turf a try in allowance


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Trainer Juan Arias believes Atlantic Bull has the pedigree to successfully stretch out on the Keeneland turf Wednesday, but he laughs when relating a cautionary tale.

“I’m bred to be a millionaire, but I’m poor,” he said.

Arias, a 46-year-old ex-jockey from Panama, has been enjoying his frequent forays outside of his adopted home state of Florida over the last year or so to run his ever-improving stable of horses, led by Decisive Moment, in Louisiana, West Virginia, Indiana, and Kentucky. Arias is here at Keeneland with five horses, including Atlantic Bull, one of the main contenders in the nominal Wednesday feature, a $52,000 first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles.

Atlantic Bull, with Garrett Gomez to ride, comes off two sharp sprint efforts at Calder, including a runner-up finish in a Sept. 5 stakes in which the gray colt earned a field-high 94 Beyer Speed Figure.

“I hate to try two new things at one time,” said Arias, who exercises his own horses. “But the way he feels to me, he’s not going to have any problems. He can be any kind of horse.”

Atlantic Bull, by Stormy Atlantic, easily won his August debut at Calder before finishing second in the Eillo Stakes to Indiano, an outstanding 3-year-old sprinter.

“There was nothing else there at Calder for him,” said Arias. “He’s bred for turf and two turns, and we’ve been wanting to try that. This is a perfect race to stretch him out.”

Arias is no relation to the Juan Arias who came from Venezuela to win the 1971 Kentucky Deby with Canonero II. Along with Decisive Moment, who ran 14th in the Derby in May and will run next in the Fayette Stakes on closing day (Oct. 29), and Personal Interest, who ran ninth in the Breeders’ Futurity here last weekend, Arias also is at Keeneland with two maidens.

Several of Atlantic Bull’s opponents on Wednesday have similarly encouraging credentials, including Wall Dance, who also brings lofty Beyers into his first try at both a route and over grass, and Tahoe Lake, whose experience in turf routes makes his latest race over the Saratoga slop easy to excuse. Fourteen are entered, but only as many as 12 can start.

The Wednesday feature is the lone allowance of the day. First post is 1:15 p.m. Eastern.