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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/21/07)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Two-time Arlington Park jockey champion Mark Guidry, who moved his tack to Chicago this week shortly after the close of Churchill’s spring meeting, scored a riding double Friday to register in the local win column for the first time this season.
The longtime veteran of the Chicago circuit has announced his pending retirement plans from his jockey career in November and will enter Steward’s School in Louisville shortly thereafter.
Arlington’s leading rider in 1992 and again in 2000 will have his engagements handled by his oldest son, agent Marcus Guidry, during his swansong summer at Arlington Park, but the younger Guidry indicated during Saturday’s “Breakfast at Arlington” program that his father would love to return to Arlington to sit in the stewards’ stand sometime in the future.
The elder Guidry, who will celebrate his 48th birthday in early August, won Friday’s fifth race aboard Robert Neumeyer’s Conner’s Brittany for trainer Jimmy DiVito and returned to the winner’s circle in the ninth astride Mary Abbott Hess and Cherrywood Racing Stables II’s Mary Abbott for conditioner Michele Boyce.
With a riding double on Friday, newly-arrived jockey Kerwin John has joined an elite group of five Arlington riders with a 40 percent in-the-money ratio during the current session.
The other four Arlington jockeys with that percentage or higher this summer are the current top three jockeys – Rene Douglas, Chris Emigh and E. T. Baird respectively, as well as Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires, Arlington’s all-time leading rider.
Although, the longtime Southern California-based John arrived as a relative unknown to most Midwestern horsemen, he is quickly getting increased recognition for his obvious talent.
John won Friday’s second race aboard Sam and Joan Pieper’s Quiet Queen for trainer David Kassen, and came back in the sixth to tally for trainer Larry Rivelli with Dare To Dream Stable LLC’s Nereus.
John is a native of St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands, also the birthplace of basketball star Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, defending champions in the NBA.
Jockey E. T. Baird, enjoying a banner Arlington Park summer, scored his eighth riding double of the current session Friday – more two-baggers at the meet than any other jockey except leading rider Rene Douglas.
Baird won Friday’s opener on Frank Calabrese’s Paw Prints and Friday’s third astride R True Lady, owned by Susan Fallon and Rafael Genevieve and trained by David Kassen.
Baird’s best season to date at Arlington Park came in 1994 when he won 51 races. With just a little less than half of the 2007 season to go, Baird has already won 44 times through the 51st day of a 94-day meeting.
Veteran Arlington Park Eddie Perez moved into seventh in the current Arlington standings after scoring a riding double Friday.
Perez won Friday’s eighth with Charles Sigrist and Moises Yanez’ Rey Del Sol and came back in the finale aboard Chris Block’s Y Seven to advance into the seventh spot with 24 wins.
Conditioner Dave Kassen scored a back-to-back wins for a training double Friday, saddling Sam and Joan Pieper’s Quiet Queen to win the second half of the Daily Double and then coming right back to the winner’s circle in the third with Susan Fallon and Rafael Genevieve’s R True Lady.
Following a long, successful career as a jockey, Kassen now has posted 220 wins at Arlington Park as a trainer.
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