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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/1/07)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
It’s official! Veteran Chicago-born and based jockey E. T. Baird is having the best season of his Arlington Park career – a personal “out-of-this-world” summer session. That’s with still more than a third of the way to go before Arlington concludes its 2007 94-day meeting Sept. 16.
After having tied his 1994 season’s personal best 51-win mark with a riding triple Saturday, Baird broke new ground by riding two more winners Sunday, taking the second half of the Daily Double with Frank Calabrese’s Righteous Cat for trainer Wayne Catalano and coming back to the winner’s circle in the seventh with First Movement, owned and trained by Larry Rivelli.
“I’m definitely happy about it,” said Baird when asked about his banner summer. “The way I figure it, all I have to do is to go out and do what I’m supposed to and everything will take care of itself. I just hope I can keep it going.
“Obviously, being in with Frank’s (perennial leading owner Calabrese’s) stable has helped me a lot this summer, and I appreciate Wayne (Calabrese’s trainer Catalano) having confidence in me to keep me on those horses.”
Highlighting the Arlington Park wins by the Baird-Catalano-Calabrese troika, of course, was Lewis Michael’s impressive victory in the Grade II Washington Park Handicap last Saturday.
Entering Wednesday’s program, Baird’s 53 wins from 192 mounts had him seven shy of Chris Emigh, Arlington’s defending jockey champion who is currently second in the standings while 24 wins behind leading rider Rene Douglas.
Arlington Park has launched the official Web site for the 2007 Arlington Million and International Festival of Racing, effective this week by clicking www.arlingtonpark.com/races.
The site will offer unparalleled coverage of the silver anniversary edition of the Arlington Million, the 18th running of the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes and the 30th renewal of the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes – the three Grade I races that comprise Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing on Saturday, Aug. 11.
The special International Festival of Racing section features profiles on each of the horses expected to race in the Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat – including starter and pedigree analysis, lifetime past performances and recent result charts for each horse courtesy of Brisnet.com.
Once post positions are drawn for the three races on Wednesday, Aug. 8, video stakes previews for each of the three races will be provided as well as video starter analysis and selected race replays of the horses in Arlington Million XXV.
In addition, several leading local and national handicappers will provide selections and suggested plays for Arlington’s $250,000 guaranteed pool for the Festival Pick 3 and the $200,000 guaranteed pool for the late Pick 4 on that afternoon.
Jockey Jesus Lopez Castanon arrived well after the halfway mark of Arlington Park’s 2007 season, but has made the most of limited opportunities.
Castenon scored a riding double Sunday, winning the fourth race on Montesano Racing LLC’s Alaskan Rose for trainer Dale Bennett and taking the finale on G-Bone Racing’s Gentle Lana for conditioner Jim Gulick.
Castenon’s two other victories at the meeting also came as the result of a riding double on a single race-day.
Arlington Park will be releasing 500 silver balloons this week – with one general admission ticket attached to each balloon.
People who collect the tickets can bring them to Arlington Park on Arlington Million Day, Saturday, Aug. 11, for one free admission.
Gates will open at 10 a.m. on Arlington Million Day, with post time for the first race of the day set at 11:45 a.m.
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