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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/29/07)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

LEWIS MICHAEL ‘BEAUTIFUL’ ON MORNING AFTER

Frank Calabrese’s Lewis Michael, who drew off impressively in Saturday’s Grade II Washington Park Handicap to tally by four and three-quarter lengths, was in fine fettle Sunday morning, according to trainer Wayne Catalano.

“Everything is beautiful this morning,” said Catalano, easily on his way to his third straight leading trainer title at Arlington Park. “That race yesterday was his best race ever – comparable to nothing.

“The Peter Pan (second by a neck to Sunriver May 20, 2005) was a good race,” added Catalano, “and that last race before yesterday (July 15 at Arlington) when he ran a hundred and six miles – that was a good race, too. He’s run a lot of good races, but nothing like yesterday.”

Before calling an audible to run in Saturday’s Washington Park, there was some thought that Lewis Michael might run in the upcoming Sea o’ Erin Mile on Arlington Million Day, but that has now been categorically ruled out.

“No shot,” said Catalano, when asked about the International Festival of Racing’s newly-scheduled supporting stakes. “We won’t even nominate (to the Sea o’ Erin).

“Right now, there’s nothing to talk about,” said Catalano when asked about what might be next for Lewis Michael. “We’re (Lewis Michael’s team) going to give him a little breather after those two races in two weeks, start from scratch, and draw up a whole new game plan.”

Lewis Michael’s Washington Park tally was the second of the day for the team of owner Calabrese, jockey E. T. Baird and Catalano. Earlier in the afternoon Cowboy Code won the fourth race of the day for those same connections. Cowboy Code’s win moved Catalano into sole possession of fourth place among Arlington Park’s all-time leading trainers.

“I’m honored,” said Catalano, when informed of that statistic. “I think it’s a great accomplishment. There have been some pretty nice trainers come through this place over the years.”

Through Saturday, Catalano has saddled 593 winners at Arlington Park, including 44 during the current session. That allowed a 19-win advantage over the barn of Todd Pletcher, currently second in the 2007 trainer standings through Saturday.

Richard Hazelton remains easily on top as Arlington’s all-time leading trainer with 1,162 wins at the local oval. The late Jere Smith Sr. is second, credited with 783 wins, while Harvey Vanier holds down the third spot with 719.

THERIOT, ‘E. T.’ TRIPLE AT ARLINGTON PARK SATURDAY

Veteran Louisiana-based reinsman Jamie Theriot, relatively new to Arlington Park this summer, made his presence felt locally with a riding triple Saturday.

Also scoring a three-bagger was Illinois-based jockey E. T. Baird, currently a clear third in Arlington’s jockey standings.

Theriot took Saturday’s opening event astride 2 Blondes Inc.’s Princess Lynn for trainer Tommy Tomillo, came back to the winner’s circle in the eighth aboard Arlene and William O’Neill’s Squashed for conditioner Tom Proctor, and book-ended the 10-race program with a victory on Vegso Racing Stable and Fred Chouinard’s Red Pride, again for Proctor.

Baird, in the midst of his career-best season at Arlington Park, fired aboard Kyoma Stable’s Cuban Missile in the third race for trainer Grant Hofmans, came right back to the winner’s circle in the fourth on Frank Calabrese’s Cowboy Code for trainer Wayne Catalano, and teamed up with that same leading owner-trainer tandem to win the Grade II Washington Park Handicap aboard Lewis Michael.

Baird was credited with 51 wins this summer at Arlington through Saturday – less than two-thirds of the way through 2007’s local session. That figure equals his win-mark in 1994, his personal best Arlington meeting until Saturday. He rode 27 winners during the entire 2006 meeting at Arlington.

As the son of the late, legendary Illinois jockey R. L. Baird, the younger Baird, a 40-year-old Chicago native, was nine wins behind defending jockey champion Chris Emigh for second position in the 2007 standings through Saturday.

Panama-born Rene Douglas, the only jockey in Arlington Park history to win four straight local titles, accomplished from 2001-2004, is far in front once again this year, with 84 victories to his credit through Saturday.

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