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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/6/08)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


With 10 racing days remaining in Arlington’s 2008 season, apprentice jockey Inez Karlsson continues to gain ground on fellow rider Brandon Meier for this session’s leading “bug” rider honors.

Entering Saturday’s races, Meier, 20, born in nearby Elk Grove Village, is fifth in Arlington’s overall jockey standings with 54 wins, while Karlsson, 23, born in Göteborg, Sweden, is in the seventh spot with 50 trips to the winner’s circle.

Karlsson, who had a previous career as a boxer before riding in her first race a year ago, celebrated a riding double Friday, winning the second race of the afternoon aboard Elias Lubbat’s Rustic Wagon for trainer Paul Darjean, and then coming back to capture the ninth on Hugh Robertson and Homewrecker Racing’s Celluloid Hero for conditioner Robertson.

Ironically, Friday’s ninth event was also the race honoring Karlsson as August’s jockey of the month, and Ricki Rashinski of Homewrecker Racing – already on hand in the winner’s circle following her horse’s score – helped present Karlsson with her jockey of the month award.

Karlsson was Arlington’s overall leading jockey for August with 22 wins, while fellow apprentice Meier was the second leading rider with 19 during the month.


Arlington’s leading trainer Wayne Catalano, with 58 wins this summer in defense of his training title of last season, was also August’s trainer of the month with 19 wins.

The 52-year-old native of New Orleans, Louisiana, will capture his fourth straight Arlington trainer title this season, and his seventh during the last nine years.

Chicago native Calabrese, assured of yet another leading owner title this season, has become Arlington’s perennial leading owner, winning more races than any other Arlington owner each summer since the new millennium. In August, Calabrese’s silks posed in the winner’s circle 18 times – three times more than his nearest pursuer during the month.


Defending Arlington jockey champion Rene Douglas will successfully defend his leading Arlington Park jockey title of last season, with the veteran jockey Jesse Campbell currently well placed to gain his initial runner-up honors locally.

Currently credited with 99 winners through Friday’s races, Douglas is listed to ride six mounts on Saturday’s program in an attempt to gain 100 wins for the sixth time in his Arlington career.

Douglas, 41, born in Panama City, Panama, is the only rider in Arlington Park history to win four straight riding titles at Chicago’s northwest suburban oval. In Saturday’s attempt to crack the 100-win mark, Douglas begins his quest in the second race with Mike Shustek’s I Come From Behind.

The Panamanian returns in Saturday’s sixth on Bob Gary Racing’s Fading Light, in the $50,000 Honor Glide as the seventh on Jim Ford’s Robscarvic, in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie as the eighth aboard Jake J. Pletcher’s Phola, in the Grade III Pucker Up as the ninth on Zayat Stables’ Mushka, and in the afternoon’s finale on Jer-Mar Stables’ Happy Start.


Joining champion Rene Douglas as an active former Arlington champion on Saturday’s banner program at Chicago’s premier oval is Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires, Arlington’s all-time leading rider, who won local titles in 1966, 1969, 1975, 1979, 1983, and 1984.

Also slated to ride Saturday is Garrett Gomez, who won an Arlington title in 1997 and was the nation’s Eclipse Award-winning jockey of last year, Robby Albarado, local leading rider in 1996, and Chris Emigh, Arlington’s leading rider in 2006.

North America’s all-time leading rider Russell Baze also hangs his tack at Arlington Saturday, but has never won a title in the Midwest.


Featured on Sunday’s Family Day at Arlington Park is the “Rope Warrior Show” starring Guinness World Record Holder Dave Fisher and his “Ropenastics” show.

Also on Sunday, Junior Jockey Club members will meet in the paddock to learn everything that happens before horses head out to the track for the parade to the post.

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