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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/18/09)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Marie Baird, widow of the late Chicago-based jockey Bobby Baird, was at Arlington Park Friday to watch her son E. T. (Eddie) accomplish the 2,000-career victory milestone aboard John Karakourtis’ Bond Street, and recapped her emotions later in the afternoon.
“It was just like when Eddie had the ‘bug’ and won the (1986) riding title at Hawthorne while still an apprentice,” said Mrs. Baird. “You want it for your son.
“It brought back a lot of memories – like when Bobby was still riding,” added the mother of Arlington’s current leading rider. “You keep telling yourself not to get excited, but you do anyway. I wasn’t here (Thursday). If he had done it then I would have missed it.
“When I talked to him this morning,” said Mrs. Baird, “he told me: ‘You had better be at the track – I think I’m going to get there today.’ He didn’t know (E. T.’s agent Michelle Barsotti and I) already had a plan to be out here for this. I’m just glad I made it out, because I don’t think I’ll be here for win number 4,000.
“I remember when Eddie was a little boy and Bobby was riding,” Marie said. “He always wanted to grow up to be a jockey just like his Dad. Bobby and I would be out in the living room and we’d hear Eddie in the bedroom where there was a mirror at the foot of the bed. He’d be practicing switching sticks and we’d hear him from where we were. He tore up a lot of bedspreads – and they were puffy kind with a lot of stitches that were hard to replace.”
Following his Friday milestone, Baird said, “It feels good. I grew up here and started my career in Chicago. It’s a great place to get a milestone and I wouldn’t want to do it anyplace else.”
Arlington’s current leading rider has never won a title at Arlington Park, but is in front by nine victories at the halfway point of the Northwest Chicago oval’s summer session which concludes Sept. 27. The 42-year old reinsman enjoyed a five-win afternoon on Million Preview Day July 11 that included three stakes victories.
At the official halfway mark of Arlington Park’s 2009 meeting July 17, veteran Chicago-born jockey E. T. Baird led the local rider standings with 54 wins – nine more than his nearest pursuers.
Moving into a tie with Junior Alvarado for the runner-up spot Friday was the Irish-born James Graham who enjoyed a riding double aboard Miles Childers and L. T. B. Inc.’s Silver Doll in the third race and Lido Boni, Robert Fattore, Leo Matteucci and Cristel Racing Stable Inc.’s Suave Dottie M. in the sixth event.
Lake Zurich native Jesse Campbell scored the only other riding double Friday, winning the fourth race on the Estate of William Logue’s Littlebutlively and coming back to the winner’s circle after the ninth aboard Michael Dini and Don Bara’s Maneke. That two-win afternoon moved Campbell into sole possession of the fifth spot in the standings.
Conditioner Hugh Robertson, who saddled John Karakourtis’s Bond Street to give jockey E. T. Baird his 2,000th career victory in Friday’s second race, led Arlington’s trainer standings by three wins at the halfway point of the 2009 summer session with 21 victories.
Close behind in the second spot Friday was trainer Dale Bennett with 18 trips to the winner’s circle, while one win behind him tied for third was Moises Yanez and Mike Stidham.
Arlington Park’s record-setting $557,151 Pick-6 pool on Friday yielded 34 winning tickets – worth $11,036.80 apiece – to those who correctly picked six straight winners on the same ticket on Friday’s fifth through 10th race.
The $557,151 pool established a record for the wager at Arlington Park on a non-Breeders’ Cup Day.
There’s a new goat in town at the mini-city that makes up Arlington Park’s backstretch community and her name is Billie Jean.
Named out of respect for the late entertainer Michael Jackson after arriving at Arlington on the day of his funeral, Billie Jean resides at the barn of trainer Dee Poulos in lieu of the late Oscar the Goat who died last month following a brief illness.
“We could never replace Oscar,” said Poulos, “but Billie Jean has already bonded with a very nervous filly we have named Carolsbeentaukin, and she’s settled right down since Billie Jean got here. (Arlington starter) Blue Knott and his wife Nancy brought her to us.”
Carolsbeentaukin, owned by Lakota Stable, breezed five-eighths Saturday in 1:00.60.
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