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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/6/06)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Trainer Bob Holthus’s precocious pair of 2-year-olds, Frank Fletcher Racing Operations Inc.’s colt Officer Rocket and Iron Horse Racing LLC’s filly Lenaro, have each completed maintenance breezes in advance of their upcoming Arlington graded stakes engagements this Sunday.
Officer Rocket breezed five furlongs in 1:02 at Churchill Downs last Friday in advance of Sunday’s Grade III Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Futurity. The British-bred juvenile won the $41,750 Spectacular Bid Stakes by 13 lengths Aug. 20 in the final local prep for Arlington’s Futurity. Previously the colt had broken his maiden locally by five and a half lengths on July 30.
Lenaro breezed three-eighths in 36:80 on Tuesday at the Twin Spires oval in preparation for the Grade III Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Lassie, also on Sept. 10. The daughter of Buddha missed by three-quarters of a length as the runner-up in Arlington’s $42,125 Top Flight Stakes Aug. 20 – scheduled as a tune-up for the Lassie.
Although the Futurity and the Lassie are the last two of three remaining graded stakes of Arlington’s 2006 season, there will be live racing on Monday and Tuesday at Chicago’s Northwest oval next week. The Sept. 12 program serves as Arlington’s closing day this summer.
Veteran Illinois horseman Tom Tomillo bested his personal seasonal-win mark by saddling his 30th winner of the 2006 Arlington session on Labor Day Monday.
Tomillo took down the victory with Donato Racing Stables LLC’s Red River Aggie in the third race on Labor Day, and also moved into sole position of second place in Arlington’s 2006 trainer standings going into Wednesday’s program.
“We’ve been waiting three weeks for this,” said Tomillo shortly after his Monday score. “I was beginning to wonder if it was going to happen.”
Defending trainer champion Wayne Catalano has already successfully retained this season’s championship, but Tomillo and former two-time Arlington leading trainer Frank Kirby remain locked in battle for the runner-up spot.
Coincidentally, Tomillo, who saddled his first winner at Arlington in 1971, and Kirby, who won his first Arlington title in 1974 and his second 30 years later, are also only four wins apart in total victories at Arlington Park, with Kirby currently in the 14th spot while Tomillo is ranked 15th on Arlington’s all-time winners list.
Tomillo has won numerous championships at other Chicago ovals, but has never won a title – or finished second or third – during his 35-year-career at Arlington Park.
Veteran Illinois reinsman Chris Emigh, who has never won a jockey championship at Arlington Park although he has captured multiple titles at other Chicago tracks, rode Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm and the Estate of William Lydon’s Pretty Jenny to victory in Labor Day’s featured $41,875 Safely Kept Stakes. With that tally, Emigh increased his lead to eight wins in this season’s riders’ race going into Wednesday’s program.
This season’s current runner-up rider Francisco Torres, another veteran rider who has never won an Arlington title although he was raised in Chicago, had out-of-town riding assignments on Monday.
Jockey Victor Espinoza, the veteran West Coast-based jockey who won his first Grade I Arlington Million this summer aboard Ralph and Aury Todd’s The Tin Man, added to his 2006 accomplishments by setting a Del Mar record with seven victories on Monday.
Highlighting Espinoza’s Labor Day afternoon at the Southern California oval was his score aboard Zayat Stables LLC’s Point Ashley in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante.
Jockey Eddie Castro won nine races on a single program at Calder in 2005 to establish the nationwide record.
Four riders, including Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, have won with eight mounts on a single program. Day won his eight at Arlington on Sept. 13, 1989.
Europe’s champion jockey Kieren Fallon, who rode Mrs. John Magnier’s Powerscourt to victory in the 2005 Arlington Million but was denied a license to ride in this summer’s renewal, has decided not to apply to ride at in the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.
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