|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Trainer Wayne Catalano, who had a career year at Arlington last summer with his first training championship at Chicago's premier oval, saddled the winner of Friday's seventh race to move into a tie for the lead in the standings once again through the first eight days of the meeting.
Quixote's Prince, who was never far back, challenged for command inside the furlong marker during the second Friday twilight racing program of the young season, and drew off late to tally by a length and three quarters at the wire.
The 4-year-old colt, owned by last season's leading Arlington owner Frank C. Calabrese was ridden by Mark Guidry, last year's champion jockey at the local oval.
Incredibly, Catalano's five winners have come from just eight starters for a whopping 62.50 win percentage.
"The best thing I could say is that the horses are running well," Catalano said. "I guess the fact that so many of them won is like hitting the Lotto."
Asked about the chances of successful defense of his training championship, Catalano said, "We don't have enough bullets (horses) right now. We're just trying to do our job and win races. This meeting at Arlington is a marathon. It's much too early to think about anything like that.
"Of course, further along in the season," Catalano said, "if we're in a position to compete for the title, we could always try and reload the barrel."
Northern California trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, invading Arlington after dominating the standings at Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields for many years, celebrated his 52nd birthday Monday (a dark day) with two winners Wednesday. Like Catalano, Hollendorfer has five wins for the meeting.
Hollendorfer saddled a double Wednesday by winning the opener with Peter Abruzzo & George Todaro's The Lord's Tune and the third with Abruzzo's Brodrick.
After riding two winners during Friday's twilight program, Mark Guidry, Arlington's leading rider last summer, has once again assumed command in the initial days of the 2001 season with 10 trips to the winner's circle.
Guidry visited the winner's circle with Gary Tussey & Tom Dorris's Westgate Dancer in the fifth race and returned in the seventh with Quixote's Prince for Catalano.
Guidry, who was also Arlington's leading rider in 1992, had his own career year last year with the 2000 Arlington championship, his first Kentucky Derby mount, and his third Breeders' Cup mount.
The Lafayette, Louisiana native is in a position to exceed those achievements in 2001, with his second Kentucky Derby mount, a win in Turfway's Grade II Spiral Stakes and a win in this year's Grade II Arkansas Derby, all accomplished with Balto Star.
Playing the role of President Abraham Lincoln once again this year during Arlington second annual Prairie State Festival is actor Michael Krebs, who has turned the role into a full-time occupation.
Like President Lincoln, Krebs stands 6'4" without his boots. Krebs currently works for the Chicago Historical Society, more specifically in the Voices from History Program.
"I've been doing this as a full-time role since 1994," said Krebs on the morning of Prairie State Festival Day. "We're actually very busy right now with the Chicago Historical Society because of a new Lincoln-era document currently on exhibit downtown."
Veteran Arlington reinsman Earlie Fires, who will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame at Saratoga later this summer, was the victim of unlucky post position draws last night at Lone Star Park's NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship.
Fires was held to one point when his mount Otro Mambo, owned by Bennie B. McKnight and trained by James H. Stidham, was scratched from the seventh race on the program.
Fires has won six riding titles at Arlington, recording championships in 1966, 1969, 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1984.
On the worktab Saturday morning, multiple stakes winner Chindi, owned by Cresran LLC, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 3/5. Irish-bred Hymn, runner-up in last year's Grade II American Derby, got the same distance in 1:00 flat. Hymn was also the dead-heat winner of the Grade III Hawthorne Derby
Other trainers off to a good start during the young season at Arlington Park are Tommy Tomillo, Mickey Goldfine, and Frankie Brothers with three wins apiece. Brothers, who saddled Claiborne Farm's Trip to win the Grade III Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap, has his three winners from six starters.
Close behind Mark Guidry in the jockey standings through Friday were Zoe Cadman and Randy Meier, who are tied for second with seven wins apiece.
Governor George C. Ryan of Illinois will present the trophy to the winner following today's 6th race, the $75,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap. Mrs. Lura Lynn Ryan, Illinois' First Lady, will present the trophy for today's 4th race, the $75,000 Purple Violet Stakes.
Carlos Sada, Consul General of Mexico, will present the trophy for today's 8th race, the $75,000 Cardinal Handicap.
Pam McDonough, Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Community Affairs, will present the trophy following today's 5th race, the $75,000 Springfield Stakes.
John Bauman, president of ITBOF will present the trophy of today's 9th race, the $75,000 Isaac Murphy Handicap.
Marc J. Gordon, president & CEO of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, will present the trophy for today's $75,000 White Oak Handicap, along with Cathy Ritter, deputy director of the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, (IL DCCA).
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