|Contact: Graham Ross
Saturday, September 30, 2000
GUIDRY GRATEFUL, CATALANO CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC AS EACH WIN JOCKEY, TRAINER TITLES DURING ARLINGTON'S SEASON OF 2000
As dominant as jockey Mark Guidry has always been in Illinois, it seems somewhat of a surprise that this summer's title is only his second at Arlington International, and comes eight years after his first.
"I can't complain," Guidry said. "I've had some tremendous years here, and finished second a bunch of times to some really good riders. I'm just grateful that Arlington is open again, because it gives you more opportunities."
Guidry, who rode in the Kentucky Derby for the first time this spring, also rode in the Arlington Million for the first time this summer, and finished a good third aboard Steven J. Gula's Mula Gula.
"I believe if this place (Arlington International) was not open, I wouldn't have been able to ride for those caliber people, and now it looks like we might have a couple of horses in the Breeders' Cup (Mula Gula and She's a Devil Due). God has blessed me with so many things in this life. I'm just grateful to be a part of it."
Among Guidry's other career milestones in 2000 was the 4,000th win of his career on July 1, and among the possible feats he might yet accomplish is to become the first rider to sweep riding titles at the three Chicago ovals in the same year. By preceding his Arlington title with a riding championship at Sportsman's Park in the spring, only the Hawthorne 2000 fall seasonal honors remain.
"I'd love to do it," Guidry admitted of the unprecedented Northern Illinois sweep. "It would be a big honor to accomplish that, but it will be a lot of hard work."
In 1992, Guidry almost accomplished the feat but broke his collarbone in the initial days of the Hawthorne season.
"Dennis Cooper has really done a remarkable job for me," Guidry concluded. "I believe he's always the best agent to have. He never gives up. He found me all those three-to-five shots to ride and my hat's off to him. He's a big part of the team. Ability only goes so far without the stock underneath you. I don't care who you are."
THE "CAT MAN" COMETH
When conditioner Wayne Catalano took an early lead in the Arlington International trainer standings this summer, he downplayed his chances of eventually winning the title.
"This meet is a marathon," Catalano said, after finally securing the 2000 Arlington training championship earlier this week. "To be on the lead every step of the way and then last until the end is pretty hard to do.
"Earlier in the summer, I wasn't furnished with enough horses, but I have to thank Mr. (Frank) Calabrese and his stable agent Steve Leving for keeping us in the ballgame. My thanks just go out to Mr. Calabrese for buying and claiming enough horses for me to put me over the top."
Did Catalano feel that his first training championship at Arlington would help him gain recognition on the national scene?
"It has to be a feather in your cap," Catalano said. "Especially coming off of last year's record of being leading percentage trainer on the Chicago circuit. Also, being put in the Hawthorne Hall of Fame last year helped me in building up to a good start at Arlington International this season."
TOMORROW - WATCH AND WAGER ON 'THE ARC' AT TRACKSIDE
Thoroughbred racing fans who follow the sport on an international level are reminded that Sunday morning Arlington International will serve as the hub for the North American telecast of the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe from France.
Wagering on "The Arc" as well as two other Group 1 races from Longchamp will be accepted at Trackside.
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