09/08/2010 2:53PM

Sherriff Cogburn skipping Arlington-Washington Futurity


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Eight horses were entered Wednesday in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity, but it’s the absence of one particular horse that’s most noteworthy.

Sherriff Cogburn, the leading 2-year-old in the Midwest, would have been a strong favorite in the Futurity, but he was not entered by trainer Don Von Hemel, and from the way Von Hemel talked Wednesday, Sherriff Cogburn isn’t likely to start again during his 2-year-old season.

Sherriff Cogburn won his career debut over five furlongs on Polytrack here July 1 by seven lengths, and the horse he beat, Caleb’s Posse, returned to win a maiden race and will be among the favorites in the Futurity. On Aug. 6, Sherriff Cogburn scored by more than nine lengths going two turns on dirt in the Prairie Juvenile Mile, and the next week, Von Hemel said the Vindication 2-year-old owned by Toby Keith’s Dream Walkin’ Farms was being pointed to the Arlington-Washington Futurity. Sherriff Cogburn worked a half-mile in a bullet 47 seconds on Aug. 22 and drilled five furlongs in 1:02 here Sept. 2. Von Hemel insists Sherriff Cogburn has no specific physical problem preventing him from making Saturday’s race.

“I decided not to run him,” Von Hemel said. “He’s okay. I just figured he needed some time. I didn’t want to tax him too much and I wanted to have a good 3-year-old next year. I doubt he’ll run again this year. I think it’s about time we stopped on him and got an early start on next year.”

Had Sherriff Cogburn entered, the Futurity might have gone with a field of six or so, but with news that the favorite was out, eight 2-year-olds were entered in the one-mile Polytrack race. They are Impersonator, Major Gain, and Ghetto Cat, all trained by Wayne Catalano; Weekend Wildcat, Blue Caboose, Rough Sailing, Caleb’s Posse, and Wheemaway. Wheemaway, Big Blue Caboose, and Major Gain are maidens.

Catalano has pair for Lassie

In addition to the three males in the Futurity, the Catalano barn has two fillies for Saturday’s Arlington-Washington Lassie, with sharp debut winner Honey Chile and 2-for-2 Jordy Y among the 13 fillies entered in the one-turn Polytrack mile.

Trainer Mike Stidham also entered two in the race, Crepe Myrtle and Summer Savory, and trainer Jim DiVito deemed three fillies worthy of a starting spot, entering One Star, Tellme All About It, and Third Chance. The others in the Lassie are Image of Grace, Song of the City, Edie, Wonderlandbynight, Miss Inclined, and Larue Lovelake. Wonderlandbynight, who captured the Ontario Debutante at Woodbine last month, is the field’s only stakes winner.

Bias would suit Forestry Type

Speed horses fared pretty well in Polytrack races at Arlington last week, and if that trend holds, Forestry Type has a chance to lead all the way in the featured eighth race Friday.

Forestry Type, 10-1 on the morning line, was one of seven horses entered in a 7 1/2-furlong, third-level allowance race also open to $62,500 claimers, of which there are three. Forestry Type set a suicidal pace and faded badly in his most recent start, the Grade 3 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows, but he held on surprisingly well after carving out sizzling splits in his lone prior Polytrack start, a two-turn, entry-level allowance race here May 14. Forestry Type has been posting steady drills for trainer Dale Bennett and should be alone on the front end Friday.

King A.J., winner of two straight at Canterbury Park and second to the fast Mambo Galliano here earlier in the meet, is well drawn on the outside and figures to be favored.