07/30/2009 12:00AM

Stream Cat hindered by weight in Rossi Gold


Saturday's Rossi Gold Stakes at Arlington Park might be considered an appetizer for what it is to come at this track in a week when the Arlington Million is contested, along with the Secretariat and Beverly D.

But what an attractive first course the Rossi Gold has turned out to be. The Rossi Gold Stakes, a $50,000 turf race at 1 3/16 miles on the grass, drew a closely matched field of nine.

The competitiveness of the race is reflected in the Beyer Speed Figures of the entrants. The top three last-race Beyer Figure runners - Demarcation, My Happiness, and Telling - come off figures of 95, 95, and 94, respectively.

They are by no means the only three entrants with a chance.

The 2-1 morning-line favorite, in fact, is Stream Cat, a multiple graded stakes winner who won the Arlington Handicap in 2008 over this course. A 6-year-old gelded son of Black Minnaloushe owned by Fab Oak Stable and trained by Marie Biancone, he ran ninth in this year's renewal of the Arlington Handicap - hence his presence in the Rossi Gold and not the Million, a race in which he ran sixth last year.

Working against Stream Cat are the allowance conditions of the Rossi Gold, which result in his carrying high weight of 124 pounds This unfavorable weight assignment results in him spotting the opposition from four to six pounds apiece.

James Graham rides Stream Cat, who adds blinkers for the Rossi Gold.

Demarcation, coming off a pair of third-place finishes at Churchill Downs in money allowances, has the class to challenge - having proven his quality with a dead-heat victory in the Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill last fall.

He has never finished off the board in four starts on the Arlington grass course.

What he hasn't done is race as far at 1 3/16 miles. All of his starts have come at 1 1/8 miles or less.

My Happiness, Telling, and Public Speaker - who finished in front of Stream Cat in the 1 1/4-mile Arlington Handicap July 11 when fourth, fifth and seventh, respectively - will be cutting back a sixteenth-mile in distance.