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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/15/09)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Jockey Tanner Riggs, a native of South Dakota currently hanging his tack at Arlington for the second straight summer, enjoyed a breakout afternoon Sunday by winning four races on the program – allowing him to leapfrog two notches in the local standings.
“Unbelievable!” said Riggs, who closed out his winning Sunday quartet with a 2 1/2-length tally aboard Terry Bruner’s Storm Boot Larry for trainer Kerry Zavash. Despite Riggs’ three wins earlier in the day, Storm Boot Larry returned a $31.40 win price.
Riggs, who turned 20-years-old last February, initially visited the winner’s circle Sunday aboard Bluestem Farm’s Show Me the Gold for trainer Don Von Hemel in the third race, returned astride Sharon Morgan’s Zavill in the sixth for conditioner John Wainwright, and came right back in the seventh aboard James Thares’ Prairie Academy for Joel Berndt before concluding his four-bagger in the finale.
“This is my all-time best day in Chicago,” said Riggs immediately after Sunday’s last race. “I rode four winners on a single program a couple of times when I was still riding in Nebraska, but I’ve never done it here. I’m always happy to win a race, and I thought a couple of my horses had big chances Sunday, but I didn’t expect anything like this.”
Veteran Arlington-based reinsman E. T. Baird, who rode five winners last Saturday at the local oval, has 1,997 wins in his career going into Wednesday’s racing day, and is slated for four mounts during the midweek program.
The native Chicagoan, 42, son of the late longtime Illinois-based jockey Bobby Baird, has never won a riding championship at Arlington but is currently leading the Arlington standings with 51 wins this season – seven more than his nearest pursuer as of Wednesday morning.
Chicago Cubs ace Ted Lilly was at Arlington Park last week but was unable to be in attendance Saturday when his close friend – Arlington trainer Jim McMullen – saddled Yankee Injunuity to win the $200,000 Arlington Sprint.
“Ted came out to the races last Thursday,” said McMullen, “but could not come out to watch (McMullen’s) Yankee Injunity win for me Saturday – he had something else to do.”
What Lilly had to do Saturday was win the 100th game of his career when the Cubs defeated the arch-rival St. Louis Cardinals, currently leading the division.
While all that was going on, Yankee Injunuity qualified for the upcoming Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita in November by winning the local 5 1/2-furlong turf stakes.
“My girlfriend Ginger and Cory Miller – the Cubs bullpen catcher – grew up together,” said McMullen Sunday, one day after saddling Yankee Injunuity for his biggest victory this summer at Arlington. “Also, Ted’s wife Tasha is an equine veterinarian.
“Yankee Injunuity came out of his race great,” said McMullen. “I don’t know what’s his next race is yet. We’ll have to look around and see what’s out there.”
Conditioner Jere R. Smith Jr., who trained horses for several years at Arlington Park prior to accepting a job as a private trainer in Saudi Arabia, returned to the United States last year but will be saddling his first Arlington starter since his lengthy Saudi Arabia sojourn.
Smith will saddle Singing Rose in Thursday’s sixth race as the lukewarm 3-1 morning line choice, with Fernando Jara in the irons.
Jara, 21, born in Panama, burst into national prominence by winning the 2006 Belmont Stakes aboard Shadwell Stable’s Jazil and continued that success by winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Shadwell’s Invasor later that fall at Churchill Downs. In March of 2007, he guided Invasor to victory in the Grade I Dubai World Cup but remained in Dubai until this summer at Arlington.
Jer-Mar Stables’s Win Willy, upset winner of last winter’s Grade II Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn, completed his first breeze at Arlington July 9 in :38.40 since suffering a hairline fracture while finishing fourth in the Grade II Arkansas Derby April 11.
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