first_imgArlen’s Prospect,  Ready Look Like  A 2-Year-Olds With Big Futures; Fort Larned’s Sister Wins AllowanceWiener-Dog Qualifying HighlightsHENDERSON, Ky. (Aug. 20, 2016) — A pair of 2-year-olds worth following were on display Saturday at Ellis Park, with strong favorite Arlen’s Prospect taking the fifth race by 3 1/4 lengths over Quality Emperor and 16-1 first-time starter Oso Ready winning the seventh by 1 1/2 lengths over Wild Shot.Also on the card, the 3-year-old filly Walkabout, out of the same mare as 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, won the $39,000 first-level allowance feature by 3 1/4 lengths over Misty Journey under a confident ride from Brian Hernandez Jr. Trainer Ian Wilkes swept the late double, also taking the nightcap with 8-1 Panoe (ridden by Wilkes’ son-in-law Chris Landeros) for the stable’s 10th triumph (out of 33) at the meet, second behind only Steve Asmussen’s 12 (56 starts).And, of course, there were the Wiener Dog qualifying races. The details:Making the late jockey change from Jesus Castanon, who did not ride Saturday at Ellis, to Didiel Osorio proved a harbinger for a horse named Oso Ready. That son of More Than Ready was making his debut for owner Ed Orr and trainer Glenn Brookfield, but he had a string of excellent works at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, where Brookfield has his five-horse stable.With Osorio gearing down late, Oso Ready cruised the 5 1/2 lengths in 1:03.98. He paid $34.20 as the second-longest shot in the field of eight.Oso Ready is a son of the terrific stallion More Than Ready, whom Brookfield galloped as an exercise rider for Todd Pletcher. “I liked his dad, and I like him,” he said. “He’s an ornery little turd, but he’s all right.”Brookfield calls Oso Ready “Junior.” And, in fact, Junior was a handful in the paddock, with observers saying he tried to flip and Brookfield saying, “Well, he was rearing up. He wasn’t trying to flip or anything. He’s just ornery. I tell you what, ‘Junior’ will face up to you in the stall. He’s tough.”But he was a pro once on the racetrack, breaking like a shot and keeping his forward position.“I mean, he can run,” Osorio said. “… He ran huge. I never asked him anything. I showed him my stick to the left a little bit, and that’s it. You don’t have to do much when you ride horses like that.”Arlen’s Prospect, a son of Into Mischief, had the misfortunate of running into Lookin At Lee in his career debut July 22 at Churchill Downs, finishing second. Lookin At Lee went on to win the $75,000 Ellis Park Juvenile in his next start. Arlen’s Prospect, with Channing Hill aboard, ran back in another maiden race, leading all the way for a dominant score over first-time starter Quality Emperor and Joe Rocco Jr. (who also rode Wild Shot). Arlen’s Prospect covered 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.52 and paid $4.80 as the favorite in the field of ten 2-year-olds.“He is nice. He ran great the first time, the lack of a run beat him — and he got beat by a nice horse,” said winning trainer Brendan Walsh, who is stabled at Churchill Downs’ Trackside training center. “So he jumped up today.”Channing Hill picked up the mount, with Corey Lanerie riding at Saratoga.“To this day, I haven’t really won that many 2-year-old races,” Hill said. “I’ve won six races at the meet here, and two of them have been really good 2-year-olds. I was just in the right spot at the right time, with Robby (Albarado) on ‘days’ (completing a three-day suspension), and Corey out of town. Like we were saying the other day, how good this jock colony is, they do travel a lot within this meet. You just get lucky to get on nice horses like that.“And Brendan had this horse in tip-top shape. I mean, completely professional. If you want to see how to get a 2-year-old to win second-time out, that was the one. This guy jumped out, he was so quick leaving there and then he was just all business from there. This is a nice little horse. He’s got a lot of upside. Brendan did a terrific job. It’s easy when they’re nice and professional. You’ve just got to hang on. It’s a super-easy job then.”Walkabout needed four starts to win a maiden race, but Wilkes and his staff never get in a hurry. After she won by 4 1/2 lengths at Churchill Downs under Hernandez, Wilkes did take a shot in the Grade 2 Indiana Oaks, with Walkabout finishing fifth but losing a tussle for third. While dropping back into an allowance race, one that offered a $25,000 claiming option, Walkabout still was facing older fillies and mares for the first time.After stalking the pace in third, Walkabout split horses in the stretch and methodically ran down pacesetting Misty Journey in the field of six. She covered the mile in a solid 1:35.43, the last eighth-mile in a strong 12.06 seconds with no urging.“Pretty impressive,” said Bob Tucker, who oversees Wilkes’ division at the Skylight training center in Oldham County and saddles the Ellis horses. “She’s going to be a pretty nice little filly.”In addition to Fort Larned, Arlucea also is the dam of the Grade 1-placed Izarra and stakes-placed Moonport. Arlucea’s mom is the Hall of Fame mare Bayakoa. The entire family has been campaigned by owner Whitham Thoroughbreds. Wilkes trained and Hernandez rode Fort Larned.For the third consecutive racing day, jockey Jon Court won two races, taking the second on 13-1 Gaelic Breeze in a pick-up mount for trainer Thomas Trione and the fourth on 7-1 Heavenly Shine for trainer Benjie Larue.Jockey Declan Cannon teamed with trainer Chris Hartman to take the first on Clever Now ($3.40) and the sixth on First Heritage ($6.40).Wiener-Dog Qualifying HeatsIn stark contrast to the first qualifying heat for next Saturday’s Wiener Dog Championship, the 3-year-old leggy long-haired blonde wiener-dog named Mini Corndog With Ketchup set a course record, sprinting about 50 yards in 6.91 seconds. And she needed every bit of that to hold off the hard-charging Molly in a photo. Both dogs advance, as did the top two in the slowly-run, chaotic first heat. There will be two more qualifying heats Sunday.“They had open practice Thursday and she came out here and in three practice races she came in first,” said Mini Corndog With Ketchup’s co-owner Brad Huebner of Newburgh.Said his wife, Bethany Huebner: “She just plays Frisbee and runs around the house all time.”Added Brad: “She’s crazy fast, and we knew she was fast. So we had to get her in the wiener-dog races…. A lot of the wiener-dogs seem to have shorter legs. Like the short-hairs seem to be built a little different, with shorter legs and it seems they don’t run as fast.”“There were a lot of fast dogs out there today,” said Anna Goins of Jasper, Ind., who owns Molly with husband Stephen. While Molly had never raced at Ellis, she had run before at the Jasper Strassenfest’s Dachshund Dash. “And she’s won it, but it’s a much shorter track.”Safe to say that Ellis Park starter Scott Jordan didn’t oversee the start the first heat, as the entire field broke to the right, milling around, with half going off the course, before a couple got the idea they were to run more or less straight the 50 yards to the finish. Finishing first in 33.63 seconds was No. 6, Daphne, a chestnut Dachshund who was the biggest dog in the race at 14 pounds. Finishing second was No. 4, the chocolate Andy.“During the practice Thursday, some of them were able to finish,” said winning owner Matthew Short of Madisonville, in his first wiener-dog competition. “With Daphne, we learned today that she’s actually going to be a good competitor and there will be other races to come. She finished in two of the practices runs; the other three she was a little confused.“We’re proud of her. It’s a lot of fun. I’m glad we got to do it, that she got to do it.”In fairness to the first-heat dogs, the starting gate was positioned much closer to the outside rail. For the second heat, it was moved into the middle of the track.There will be another melon giveaway at Ellis Park Sunday, with fans able to leave with a fresh melon. Patrons have the option of donating money to the Kentucky and Indiana Humane Societies.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

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