Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Rusty Arnold

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Rusty Arnold is on the board. The Kentucky-based trainer won his first race of the meet when Borracho captured a tough allowance Sunday. (Originally published in July 25 issue of The Saratoga Special)

A mainstay in New York for decades, Arnold concentrates on a quality string for consistent clients, making his annual foray to Saratoga again this summer. He has sent out 19 winners for $1.8 million this year, including a Grade 1 stakes score with Concrete Rose.

“We’re blessed right now,” Arnold said of his string, then took a walk down the shedrow.

Concrete Rose: A $61,000 purchase at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2018 2-year-old in training sale, she is the star of the barn fresh off a Grade 1 score in the Belmont Oaks Invitational. The 3-year-old filly looks directly from her stall, two over from the tack room (the first is empty), to Arnold’s customary spot at his picnic table, next to a cat, under a tree. “She runs in the Saratoga Oaks. She worked (Friday) morning. You’re always hopeful, she showed a lot of talent and she progressed from 2 to 3 unbelievably. Am I shocked? No, but you’re always cautiously optimistic that they’re going to do that.”

Morticia: Co-bred by Arnold and G. Watts Humphrey, the daughter of Twirling Candy graduated from the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky 2015 Fall Yearling Sale, she has bankrolled a cool $695,369. Sunday, she picked up a dead-heat third after a Belt-Parkway-at-rush-hour voyage in the Caress, Arnold leaned on the wooden rail in front of her stall and held his head in his hands. “Oooooh. She was mad. It was brutal. She drank one sip of water. She was pissed, people don’t believe that, she was madder than we were. We’ll go to the Smart And Fancy, probably.”

Awestruck: Daughter of Tapit owns four wins from 21 starts and has earned black type in three stakes. “She’s on the fringe of being a nice filly, she was second, beaten less than a length to Mia Mischief. We’ll run in the Shine Again (July 31) which gets rid of all the best horses.”

First Wave: Three-year-old daughter of New Wave, second in the 2011 P.G. Johnson, could have a big future after runner-up finishes in her first two starts. “War Front filly, who I love. She got unlucky first time, came off the turf and finished second, she got beat about a half-length. She ran here opening weekend, she’ll run back later in the meet. I’ve got high hopes for her. She wants to stretch out.”

Skeptic: Scratched from the Shuvee Sunday, the daughter of Tiznow has earned four wins, including the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks, from 12 starts. “I went in the Shuvee, taking a look, I was waiting to see if there were a bunch of scratches, it wasn’t the right spot. She’s going to run in the Summer Colony, it’s restricted, it fits her. She’s got a couple of bad races, not in a row. She started out the year with two really good races, she was third in an allowance race, came back and won easy. I ran her in the Fleur de Lis, it was a disaster, we don’t know why. It was really hot, it was at night, she was on the lead turning for home and fell apart, she came back and trained like her old self, we’re going to throw it out, put a line through it. She’s trained good up here.”

Power Of Magic: An unraced granddaughter of Test winner Victory Ride, the 2-year-old filly stands in the back of her stall and eats hay from a rubber hay manger in the left corner. She’s stunning. “Honor Code 2-year-old out of Magical Ride, we love her. She’s about three weeks from running. She’s a homebred of Watts. How pretty is she? My first-time starters always need one, that was probably a tipoff to how good Concrete Rose was, she won first time out.”

East Moon: On her way to the track for a routine gallop this morning, the Humphrey homebred daughter of Speightstown and One Caroline (oh, where have you gone?) broke her maiden last year and has picked up two seconds this year. “She was just second in an a other than at Churchill. She runs on the 31st.”

Leinster: A two-time Fasig-Tipton graduate, Amy Dunne’s son of Majestic Warrior is 2-for-15, but oh what a two they are, by open lengths, which leads him to the Troy Aug. 3. “We finally just figured out what he wanted to do. Wayne (Lukas) had him last year and got very unlucky, he put him in sprinting on the grass twice, both rained off. They didn’t want to send him to Oaklawn because there’s no grass, I ended up getting him in Florida. Put him in, came off, didn’t get to run, ran him on the dirt, he was second. I took him to Keeneland, didn’t get in the maiden, we were aggravated, we put him in an a-other-than, he won that by 3. I got to Churchill, the way the races came up, the non-winners-of-two was too quick, I ran him in a two-other-than, he won by 2 1/4. He’s 2-for-2 sprinting on the grass. Oh, he’s a nice horse. He is running in the Troy.”

Borracho: The winner. Arnold opted for an allowance instead of the Amsterdam for Preston Madden’s 3-year-old. The son of Uncle Mo obliged with a dominant win Sunday. “He got beat a length in the Woody Stephens. I wanted the seven eighths and I wanted a week longer to get ready in the Allen Jerkens. We liked him from day one, it took him a while to mature. We tried him two turns, he didn’t want to do it. If you look at his sprints, they’re all good races. He’s a nice, beautiful horse, beautiful eye, beautiful head. Would have he fit in the Amsterdam? Probably, but now we have five weeks for the race we want and I got a win here. That helps, especially when Morticia got beat.”

Bear: The lead pony. “Ex racehorse. His name was Devil Train. It’s Bear now. He was an average racehorse, he had a great attitude and we liked him, he got a tendon, we turned him out for a year and made a pony out of him. He’s great.”

2017 out of Compelling: Owned by Michael Baum, the 2-year-old daughter of Tapit and Irish-bred Compelling has tipped her hand. “This is one of our best 2-year-old fillies. She doesn’t have a name. She’s lovely. She’s gorgeous. She came up here and got a girth rub, just got it healed up, she walked for a week.”

Macabre: The littler big sister. Half-sister to turf sprinter, Morticia, the daughter of Hard Spun is 0-for-7 with three thirds. “Three-year-old maiden, she’ll run here mid-August, a mile on the grass. She’s nothing like Morticia, she’s twice her size and nothing alike. She doesn’t look like her, doesn’t act like her.”

Gear Jockey: Arnold had yet to update the nameplate (black magic marker on white tape) from the mare’s name, Switching Gears, to newly registered name, Gear Jockey. “Lovely colt of Calumet’s, I think he’s the only 2-year-old colt I brought, he’s a Twirling Candy. He worked out of the gate Saturday. There’s a race in the new book on the 10th, that’s where he’s running.”

Derby Champagne: “My old claimer. He ran the other day for a quarter, was second, beaten about a length. He’s been a nice old horse for us, you have to run him where he’s competitive. He’s athletic, he’s made about $200,000.”

And one in Kentucky:

Totally Boss: Four-time winner for Jim and Susan Hill stayed at Keeneland to point for Ellis Park. “He’s really a nice horse, he got good last year sprinting on the turf, then he won his first two this year and got a beat a nose to Om who finished second in the Jaipur. He’s going to run at Ellis, they have a win and you’re in for the Kentucky Downs race, which is a half a million dollars.”