Chicago Barn to Wire


Arlington Park Barn Notes

Contact: Graham Ross (847) 385-7500 ext. 7319

In today's notes:


Jockey Robby Albarado, who launched his riding career on major circuits by winning the 1996 jockey championship at Arlington, returned with a four-win Friday performance at Chicago's premier oval while getting into the heart of his fragmented local season.

It was the third instance of a four-bagger being recorded at Arlington Park this summer. Jockey Chris Emigh accomplished the feat on America's Birthday, July 4, and jockey Rene Douglas equaled that performance on Bastille Day, France's Independence Day, on July 14.

Ironically, Albarado's four-win afternoon came on July 27, one day after Cuba's National Revolution Day, currently serving as Cuba's national holiday to celebrate the 48th anniversary of Fidel Castro's failed raid on an Army barracks near Santiago.

However, the splash Albarado made Friday after switching his tack here from the spring meet at Churchill Downs creates a whole new slant on the competition for leading rider in 2001.

"Our goal is to be leading rider by the time we leave here for the Keeneland fall meeting," said local native Lenny Pike, Albarado's agent and a graduate of Niles West in Skokie.

To further confuse the leading rider picture, last year's champion Mark Guidry, who was tied for the local lead earlier this week before switching his tack to Saratoga, returns Saturday to ride five mounts.

Still another fly in the ointment of Arlington leading rider honors in 2001 is the uncertain future status of current leading rider Rene Douglas, who crossed under the wire first three times Friday but was only credited with one win after being disqualified twice. Whether Douglas stays or goes to Keeneland for the fall meeting is a decision that has not been made.

In the meantime, Chicago rider Randy Meier, who has never won an Arlington title, keeps winning races here after recently passing the 3,500 career win mark. Meier was leading rider at Sportsman's Park this spring and is currently third in the local standings.

Including Friday, Albarado has had three multiple-win days here this season. He recorded his first double during a day trip before officially switching his tack here, and his second last Sunday, his second day at Arlington after taking a brief vacation following the Churchill meet.

Albarado's Friday four-bagger began in the second race with Double R Stable's Ella's Flyer; continued immediately after with a score aboard Panic Stable LLC's Four Times A Charm in the third; became three in a row astride Sam Strehler's Fastaway in the fourth; and concluded in the ninth when Columbine Stable's Raypour was placed first following a disqualification.


Rene Douglas, currently the leading rider at Arlington with 38 wins through Friday, crossed under the wire first three times Friday, initially with Hondo Ranch, Inc.'s Among Friends in the fifth. However, the horse was subsequently disqualified.

In the ninth race Douglas finished first astride Victoria Racing Stable, Inc.'s Saint Damien, but was placed second again for interference and placed behind Albarado's adjudged winner Raypour.

Finally, Douglas won the finale of the late afternoon program with Greco Racing's Sneek a Flight and was allowed to pose in the winner's circle.


Jockey Mary Jo Brennan, who has been sidelined since shattering her wrist last December at Hawthorne while working a horse, has been galloping horses in preparation for an October return to active competition.

While working as a receptionist in the Arlington Park press box during the afternoons, Brennan has been galloping primarily for trainer Elliott Walden.

Among the Walden trainees she has been galloping is C & C Stables' Ballado's Devil, who has become something of a pet for her but is "something of a devil," according to Brennan.

Ballado's Devil is entered in Saturday's seventh race.

"However, I just realized that I also rode his mother," Brennan said. "In fact, I broke her maiden going wire-to-wire at a big price.

"She was nothing like him," Brennan said of Ballado's Devil's dam, a daughter of Polish Navy named Seashore Miss. "She was a little bay, a delicate filly, and he is a big robust chestnut."

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