08/14/2008 11:00PM

Stakes next for improving Rock Gold


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Rock Gold is turning into gold for his connections, and after winning his third straight race in the Thursday feature at Arlington Park, Rock Gold may be headed into stakes competition.

About 17 months ago, Rock Gold won his second career start, a maiden special weight race at Fair Grounds. About a year ago here at Arlington, he won a nonwinners-of-two claimer. Then, a 10-race losing streak, but Rock Gold has put that far behind him. After finally clearing his entry-level allowance condition at Churchill in June, Rock Gold won a second-level allowance here in July, and on Thursday scored by a widening three lengths in a third-level turf-sprint allowance race.

"Each race is getting better and better," said trainer Walter Bindner.

By El Prado and out of a mare by Gulch, Rock Gold is bred for route racing, and Bindner started the horse's racing career going two turns on turf, but though Rock Gold won quickly, he failed to develop.

"He showed no improvement at all going long, but it took me a year to be convinced he was a sprinter," Bindner said. "The more we run him short, the better he seems to get."

Bindner also said Rock Gold "had a lot of feet problems" last year that he has now outgrown.

Rock Gold handles turf and Polytrack, but finding a fourth-level allowance still won't be likely, and Bindner said he would be on the lookout for an overnight handicap late in the Arlington meet. Failing that, Rock Gold could try some kind of stakes race in Kentucky - sprinting, of course.

Dynaman continues with strong form

The Arlington-based grass horse Dynaman also is riding a three-race winning streak and has burned right through his allowance conditions here over the summer.

Going into his race here May 31, Dynaman had a career record of one win from 13 starts and was inches away from still being a maiden, but he won an entry-level allowance race that day, won a second-level allowance July 3, and cleared his third allowance condition late on the Arlington Million card here Aug. 9.

"When we first got him, he was pretty sour," said Danny Miller, who trains and co-owns Dynaman. "But he's gotten to be a much more personable horse."

Dynaman still enjoys kicking the heck out of his stall and he tore apart a jolly ball the other week, but these are things one can live with when a horse is winning.

Miller, who's in the midst of a strong Arlington season, goes to the January sale at Keeneland each year, and it was there he picked up Dynaman last winter. The horse showed little in two dirt races at Hawthorne this spring, but he has come steadily forward since moving back to turf. Miller said he hopes to run Dynaman back here next month and might point the horse to the Carey Memorial at Hawthorne this fall.

Jose Adan impresses in allowance

Leading trainer Wayne Catalano had three more winners Thursday, including Jose Adan, a promising Illinois-bred 2-year-old Catalano owns with his wife. Jose Adan had earned only a 49 Beyer Speed Figure winning his career debut in a statebred-restricted maiden race, but he beat open entry-level allowance horses in Thursday's first race and did so with his second straight flashy stretch run. Behind favored Malibu Maverick by several lengths at the stretch call, Jose Adan rallied furiously and won by a half-length - and this time his Beyer came back 75.

Catalano said he'd nominate Jose Adan to the Arlington-Washington Futurity here next month.

"We'll be ready for it, if we want to run," he said.

Even the Score off to fast start

First-crop sire Even the Score has gotten three winners so far, and two of them have come in the last week at Arlington. Four Gifts won the fifth race here Saturday in his career debut for trainer Steve Asmussen, and in Thursday's third race, Scoring Chick led from start to finish, winning her debut for trainer Liane Davis.