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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/22/09)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


While riding with the advantageous apprentice allowance last summer, Swedish jockey Inez Karlsson became the first female jockey in history to win four races on a single program at Arlington Park. One month later – she did it again.

However, on Thursday’s 12th racing day of the 2009 Arlington season – while riding as a full-fledged journeyman jockey – Karlsson raised that bar by riding five winners on a single program. By reaching the winner’s circle after exactly half the afternoon’s races at the Chicago oval, she also became the first rider of either gender to enjoy a five-win day at the current session.

“Oh, man, they all ran super,” said Karlsson when congratulated at the end of the day. “I’m especially glad for Mr. (trainer Frank) Kirby because he’s such a good guy and he puts me on so many good horses. Everything just went my way today. Holes opened up when I needed them to open up – and a couple of times I won with just the right head bobs on the wire.”

Actually, one of those head bobs resulted in a dead-heat for the win with a horse ridden by James Graham in Thursday’s fifth race. Coincidentally, that Irish-born rider celebrated a six-win day in May of 2007 and a five-win day in May of 2006.

Two of Karlsson’s victories Thursday came astride horses conditioned by Kirby – Arlington’s leading trainer in 1974 and again 30 years later in 2004.

“Thanks, I needed that,” said Kirby when congratulated on his Thursday training double.

Karlsson’s Thursday win quintet leapfrogged her from eighth into a tie for fourth in the jockeys’ standings through Thursday, while Kirby’s two wins moved him up from a tie for 25th in the trainer’s standings into a tie for 11th.

Defending jockey champion Rene Douglas, with 15 wins through Thursday’s races, enjoyed a one-win advantage over jockey Junior Alvarado, while one win farther back in the third spot is journeyman E. T. Baird, who had a riding double Thursday.

Trainer Christine Janks, who has saddled 10 winners at the current session to lead the trainers’ standings, enjoyed a one-win advantage over trainer Hugh Robertson through Thursday’s races, with last year’s leading trainer Wayne Catalano and fellow conditioner Larry Rivelli tied for third one win farther back.

Owner Frank Calabrese saw his black and white silks posed in the winner’s circle twice Thursday, allowing the defending owner champion to supplant William Stiritz atop this season’s leading owner standings at the end of the afternoon.


The advantage of a $20,755 carryover pool entering Thursday’s Late Pick 4 at Arlington was dramatically demonstrated when those who correctly picked the winners of the last four races of the afternoon on the same ticket were rewarded with a $3,678 payoff based on a $1 wager.

Without that attractive carryover chum, the same correct ticket would have returned $2,735 – or almost $1,000 less profit – for those who correctly picked the four winners.


On Sunday, the day after four six-figure stakes highlight the American 1000 Guineas Festival at Arlington Park, the upcoming 2009 Prairie State Festival June 20 enjoys a sneak preview at the Northwest suburban oval.

A field of six fillies and mares registered in the Illinois program has been named to contest Sunday’s $50,000 Your Ladyship Stakes which could serve as a preview for the $100,000 Isaac Murphy Handicap on Prairie State Festival Day.

Also, a field of nine Illinois-registered 3-year-olds and up is slated for Sunday’s $50,000 Zen Stakes, which could serve as a significant preview of the $100,000 White Oak Handicap on June 20.

Arlington’s Prairie State Festival – a series of six $100,000 stakes races in support of the Illinois program – will celebrate its 10th anniversary edition on the third Saturday in June.

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