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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/27/07)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Arlington Park’s defending trainer champion and current leader Wayne Catalano saddled two winners Thursday to move into a tie for fourth among Arlington’s all-time leading conditioners.
Including Thursday’s double, Catalano has saddled 591 Arlington wins during his training career to tie him with the late, legendary Arlington-based conditioner Joe Bollero.
Catalano and Bollero both had careers as jockeys before turning to training. Bollero rode Luxembourg to victory in the first race ever run at Arlington in 1927, while Catalano was runner-up nationally in number of wins to eventual Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen in 1977.
In addition to his leading trainer honors the last two seasons, Catalano, who celebrated his 51st birthday earlier this week, has won the local title four of the last five years.
Catalano, a native of New Orleans, saddled Frank Calabrese’s Bohemian Rain to win Thursday’s opener with E. T. Baird aboard, and came back to the winner’s circle in the sixth with Calabrese’s Jaygar Dancer, with Baird up once again for a riding double.
Edward Evans’ Mini Sermon, a one-length winner of Belmont’s $65,000 Marking Time Stakes in her last start June 22, is expected to be a tepid choice in the wagering in Arlington Park’s $47,400 Sweetest Chant Stakes Saturday.
The mile and a sixteenth test for 3-year-old fillies serves as the supporting stakes for Saturday’s 75th anniversary edition of the Grade II Washington Park Handicap.
Mini Sermon, a daughter of Pulpit out of a Storm Cat mare, is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be ridden by Rene Douglas in the Sweetest Chant. The Virginia homebred has won her last three starts.
Named to oppose Mini Sermon Saturday is G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and William Farish’s Aspiring, Larry Sterling Jr. up; Team Valor Stable LLC’s Early Vintage, Mark Guidry; Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.’s Arundel, Jesse Campbell; Circle C. Group Stables’ Green Door, Eddie Razo; David Jacobs’ Marquee Delivery, James Graham; Glen Hill Farm’s Trainee, Jamie Theriot; and Bruce Lunsford’s Bel Air Beauty, Corey Lanerie.
Arlington Park racing official Patrick Mackey and Arlington Horsemen’s Services Center concierge Shannon Pfister announced their engagement earlier this week.
Mackey, currently serving as a placing/patrol judge, is the son of longtime racing official Mike Mackey and grandson of the late Oscar Mackey, who served as a steward, starter and trainer during his own extensive racing career.
Mackey, 30, born in Flint, Michigan, but raised in Cleveland, and Pfister, 27, a native of Chicagoland, officially became engaged last Saturday night during Arlington Heights’ Irish Fest celebration.
Longtime Arlington Park jockey Randy Meier moved to within 10 of the 4,000-career win milestone by piloting Louie Roussel III’s Forest Hero to a front-running score in Thursday’s second race for trainer Lara Van Deren.
The Meier/Van Deren team has been successful in two thirds of their starts as an Arlington Park tandem this season.
“If I can just get Lara to run 10 more here at Arlington we’ll be all right,” said Meier when asked about the possibility of reaching the milestone at the current session.
Veteran trainer Frank Kirby, twice leading trainer at Arlington Park with a 30-year gap between titles, saddled two winners Thursday, while jockey Jesse Lantz moved to the cusp of Arlington’s top 10 jockeys with a Thursday riding double.
Kirby and Lantz combined their talents to win Thursday’s seventh race with Hondo Ranch Inc.’s Sand Arroyo.
Kirby, whose most recent Arlington championship came three seasons ago, also won Thursday’s third race with David Banks’ Gray Star, ridden by Chris Emigh.
Lantz also posed in the winner’s circle Thursday astride John Hillebrand Jr.’s Fashionable Nature, trained by Hugh Robertson.
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