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Contact: David Zenner
MEET RECORDS SET BY CALABRESE, CATALANO AT ARLINGTON PARK DURING 2007 SEASON
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 16, 2007) – The 94-day meeting at Arlington Park, the first held over the track’s state-of-the-art $11 million Polytrack surface, ended Sunday, Sept. 16 with meet records being established by leading owner Frank C. Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano, who trains Calabrese’s stock.
The white and black diamond silks of Calabrese were displayed in the winner’s circle on 74 occasions, bettering his own mark of 66 victories set in 2002. Calabrese has been leading owner in races won at Arlington Park every year since sharing the title with Lothenbach Stables in the year 2000. Calabrese has also been leading owner in purses earned in 2001, 2002 (excluding Breeders’ Cup Day), 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007, and was leading owner in purses won among non-Arlington Million winners in 2000 and 2004.
Catalano, who saddled all 74 of Calabrese’s winners this year to better his own mark of 69 victories established in 2005, a year in which Catalano had a handful of horses for other owners. Catalano picked up his third straight training crown and his sixth in the last eight seasons. He has also been leading trainer in purses earned in 2002 (excluding Breeders’ Cup Day), 2003, 2005 and 2007. Finishing in a tie for second in the standings with 35 wins apiece were three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, who was campaigning a division at Arlington for the first time in 2007, and Arlington mainstay Chris Block.
For Calabrese and Catalano, who deal primarily in claiming horses, 2007 proved to be a big year for the team in stakes competition, capturing the Grade II Washington Park Handicap with Lewis Michael, the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes with Dreaming of Anna and the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie with Dreaming of Liz. The last two mentioned occurred barely 30 minutes apart on Sept. 8.
Jockey Rene Douglas, riding full time at Arlington Park for the first time since 2004, picked up his fifth riding title with 129 victories, 37 more than runner-up and defending champion Chris Emigh. Douglas became the first jockey to garner four consecutive Arlington crowns (2001-04). He was leading money earning jockey in each of the years he won the riding title. His 2007 season included five stakes victories topped by Monceaux Stable’s Royal Highness’s score in the Grade I Beverly D. Stakes to give Douglas his first victory in any of Arlington’s International Festival of Racing main events.
Kingfield Farms’ Jambalaya, ridden by 1996 Arlington Park champion Robby Albarado, took the Grade I Arlington Million on Saturday, Aug. 11, to make Catherine Day Phillips the first female trainer to saddle an Arlington Million winner.
Triple B Farms’ Shamdinan, ridden by Julien Leparoux, won the Grade I Secretariat Stakes in his North American debut. Leparoux won the Beverly D. last year with Martin Schwartz’ Gorella and now needs only a Million tally to complete his personal International Festival of Racing trifecta.
Other on-track highlights include trainer Christine Janks winning the 1,500th race in her career when Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm & David Campbell’s Mighty Rule scored the milestone victory on Sept. 1; jockey James Graham winning six races on a single card on May 24; Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires, still going strong at age 60, booting home 80-1 longshot Spotsgone to win the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup on May 26 and repeating with that horse at odds of 16-1 in the $150,000 Sea o’Erin Mile on Arlington Million Day; Team Block’s Fort Prado capturing the $84,150 Black Tie Affair Handicap for the third consecutive year on July 7; and jockey Randy Meier scoring the 4,000th win of his career on closing day, Sunday, Sept. 16.
In addition to the track’s major race days – the International Festival of Racing on Aug. 11, Million Preview Day on July 21 and the Prairie State Festival of July 7 – Arlington Park presented two new “event” days, coupling three graded stakes for the distaff set as Ladies Day on Sept. 8, and utilizing the entire 150-plus ft. width of the turf course as Turf Showcase Day on Labor Day with eight of the day’s nine races run over the turf, which was split into two separate courses with the help of an additional portable rail on loan from Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – completed its 94-day meeting on Sunday, Sept. 16. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates nine off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry and The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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