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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/4/08)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires – six-time riding champion at Arlington Park – celebrated a riding triple Saturday to move into tie for first in the 2008 Arlington jockey standings.
Saturday’s “hat trick” was the first riding triple for Arlington’s all-time leading reinsman since the Northwest suburban oval reopened for racing in 2000 after a two-year hiatus. Fires, 61, born in Rivervale, Arkansas, but a long-time resident of Palatine, won his last local title in 1984.
Tied with Fires atop the local leader board entering Sunday’s race day was Chris Emigh, Arlington’s 2006 jockey champion. That 37-year-old native of Portsmouth, Virginia, also had a winning-ride troika Saturday after winning one race on Friday’s opening day program.
Fires’ Saturday triple, accomplished entirely for last season’s owner-trainer champions Frank Calabrese and Wayne Catalano, began with a win astride Our Cat in the opener, continued with a tally aboard Lighten Up in the fourth, and concluded with a victory on Red Chill in the sixth race of the afternoon.
Emigh’s winning threesome began with Diamond Racing Inc. and Volunteer Racing Inc.’s Princess Marquetry in the fourth for trainer Leo Gabriel Jr., continued in the eighth with S. D. Brilie Ltd. Partnership’s Lil Minnlet for conditioner Christine Janks, and concluded in Saturday’s finale aboard Shim Racing LLC’s Four to Go for trainer Steve Hobby.
Veteran Arlington conditioner Liane Davis is an undefeated two-for-two at the 2008 Arlington meeting after saddling Steve Lewis’s Sheshoris to win Friday’s second race with jockey Inez Karlsson astride on Friday, and coming back to win Saturday’s s fifth race with Steven H. Lewis and Scott Goldsher’s Great Uncle Scott with Jesse Campbell aboard.
In addition to her training duties, Davis served as Arlington TV’s paddock hostess for the the past three seasons, but elected to decline her television duties this season to concentrate on her training career.
“We’re off to a great start this season,” said Davis Saturday after keeping her undefeated status alive. “I miss being involved in the television department, but I felt it was time for me to focus on the horses I have under my care. Obviously, I’m very pleased so far with the way we’ve begun the meeting.”
Entering Sunday’s races, Davis was tied for second in the trainer standings with Hugh Robertson behind leading trainer Wayne Catalano.
Brazilian-bred Einstein, winner of Churchill’s Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day, may be a contestant in this summer’s Grade I Arlington Million, centerpiece event of the Chicago racing season.
“We’ll just see how he comes out of (the Woodford Reserve),” said Helen Pitts, trainer of Einstein. “It’s a long year. I guess the Arlington Million would be an ultimate goal.”
J. David Banks and Hondo Ranch Inc.’s Lord Carmen, two-length winner of Saturday’s $100,000 James B. Tafel Illinois Owners Stakes, came out of the race in good order and was doing well Sunday morning during training hours, according to trainer Frank Kirby.
“He came out fine,” said Kirby. “He loved that soft turf (Saturday). This horse likes the grass here and he likes a distance of ground. Right off the top of my head, I would think we might shoot for something along the lines of the ($50,000) Rossi Gold (1 3/16-miles on the grass June 7) for his next start.”
Jim Tafel LLC’s Coragil Cat, who captured Saturday’s $53,000 Timeless Native Stakes at Arlington by two and a quarter lengths, may now be pointed for Arlington’s Grade III Hanshin Cup on May 24.
The Hanshin, first graded race of the local season, is contested at one mile over the Arlington Polytrack, as was the Timeless Native.
“He got in a little trouble early yesterday, but he still came on with a ton of run late,” said trainer Greg Geier Sunday. “This horse started to put it all together at Fair Grounds this winter. He came back good yesterday, so I think we’ll nominate to the Hanshin and see what happens.”
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