05/19/2010 11:00PM

Two can rebound in Arlington Classic


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Call Shot finished 11th in his most recent start, and Family Foundation was most recently eighth, but either could have a much greater impact on the $100,000 Arlington Classic, one of two turf stakes on the Saturday card here.

The Classic, which plays a close-second fiddle to the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas on Saturday, is the first leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple, once again a loosely linked series of 3-year-old turf stakes after a $500,000 bonus offered in 2009 for a Triple sweep was dropped. The 1 1/16-mile race drew 10 entrants so closely matched that the morning-line favorite, Alfarabi, is listed at 4-1.

Call Shot's 11th-place finish April 17 in the Lexington Stakes on Keeneland Polytrack was miserable and, to trainer Wayne Catalano, inexplicable.

"I don't know what happened," Catalano said. "We went over him with a fine-toothed comb and couldn't find anything."

Call Shot did race in blinkers for the first time in the Lexington; he'll wear a hood again Saturday, but the blinker cups will be cut back to afford Call Shot a greater range of vision, Catalano said.

Dig a little deeper into Call Shot's form and find a promising third-place finish in the $100,000 Dania Beach on Jan. 16 at Gulfstream Park, Call Shot's lone turf try. Call Shot moved rapidly and perhaps prematurely into a hot pace that day and ran well, losing by one length.

Family Foundation won two turf races here last summer at 2, and though winless in four starts since, Family Foundation has not run poorly. At Keeneland last October he was third to talented Interactif; at Calder in November he was second to Bim Bam, who finished in front of Call Shot; at Tampa in April, Family Foundation was buried behind horses, winding up a close fourth; and last out at Churchill, facing older horses, Family Foundation bumped at the top of the stretch and, while eighth, was beaten only four lengths.

Workin for Hops also should be well supported, having finished a troubled fifth while facing tougher foes in the Grade 2 American Turf on April 30 at Churchill. Workin for Hops, an open-lengths, two-turn turf stakes winner over the winter at Fair Grounds, stumbled at the start of the American Turf and, after failing to take up his customary position near the lead, ran evenly to finish fifth. It's possible, too, that Workin for Hops will turn out to be better suited for slightly shorter races, trainer Mike Stidham said.

"I think it remains to be seen if he wants to go this far," he said.