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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/14/09)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Jesse rides again! Veteran Arlington reinsman Jesse Campbell, raised locally nearby Lake Zurich, has been quietly advancing up the ladder in the local jockey standings in recent days, but after scoring a riding triple on Thursday’s nine-race program, he’s not exactly flying under the radar any more.

Campbell, the only jockey to record multiple wins during the Thursday Arlington racing day, began his “hat trick” in the fourth with Mi Pat Farms’ Count on It for trainer Jim McMullen, came back to the winner’s circle after the eighth with the Michael Dini-owned and trained Bullet From Abroad, and then captured the second half of the late daily double on Power Ten Farm’s Engine Room for leading trainer Wayne Catalano.

The all-Campbell late daily double paid $144.80 and continued to build momentum for Campbell, whose current summer began somewhat slowly.

A year ago at this time, in the later days of Arlington’s 2008 racing season, Campbell appeared well on his way to a runner-up finish in the local rider standings, but after being sidelined by a torn rotator cuff in late September, Campbell lost enough riding time to lose the second spot by the narrowest of margins.

Nevertheless, even after finishing in third position, Campbell, 31, topped off his best Arlington season, more than a decade after he began his riding career at his hometown oval following his Lake Zurich High School graduation ceremonies celebrated in Arlington’s winner’s circle.

“I knew I would start off a little slower this year, because a lot of the outfits I rode for last summer didn’t come back,” said Campbell during training hours Friday morning. “Todd Pletcher didn’t come back this summer, and neither did Ronny Werner. Those kinds of outfits build up your business. So this summer has been a bit of a disappointment, but I’m healthy and thankful for that, and Wayne (perennial leading trainer Catalano) has been giving me a lot of opportunities lately. He is always ‘live,’ so things are getting better lately.

“Also, I’m back there in a corner of the jockeys’ room with Quincy Hamilton and Brandon Meier,” said Campbell, “and we manage to have a lot of laughs back there.”

(On Brandon Meier’s 21st birthday last month, paddock television cameras caught Campbell and Hamilton dunking Meier in a water barrel.)

“I think I could have handled Quincy,” said Meier later with a smile on his face when asked to recall the incident, “but when Jesse came along, I was a little bit outmanned.”

Campbell tells the story a little differently.

“Quincy started it,” said Campbell innocently. “I was just walking along behind Quincy and I decided to help out. Like I said, we always have a lot of fun.”


The 8th annual “Riding For A Cure” program – an Arlington horsemen-oriented trail ride fundraiser on behalf of cancer research – will be held this Tuesday at the Lamplight Equestrian Center, located 35 miles west of Chicago in Wayne, Illinois.

Riding For A Cure is committed to raising money for cancer research in the quest to find a cure for cancer, and its goal is to bring the equestrian community together to celebrate, contribute to the cause and remember all those that have been affected by cancer.

Since its inception in 2001, Riding For A Cure has selected the American Cancer Society and The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation as the recipients of over $431,000 from Riding For A Cure’s fundraising efforts.

“We all have a horse in this race…Let’s win it together” is the slogan for Tuesday’s 20-mile trail ride which will get under way at approximately 1 pm immediately after a blessing. There will be a brief water stop for horses and riders midway along the trail ride which will conclude at approximately 4:30 pm, with a cookout, open bar and entertainment to follow.

Christine Gabriel, who served as Arlington’s television personality from 1995 to 2005, is the founder of Riding For A Cure and has served as its driving force since its beginning. She also recently became a cancer survivor for the fourth time.


Jer-Mar Stable’s Win Willy, who captured Oaklawn’s Grade II Rebel Stakes last winter and finished third in the Grade II Arkansas Derby, continues on the comeback trail following a hairline fracture suffered in that last April 11 start. The son of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos breezed five-eighths over Arlington’s Polytrack in 1:01.60 Tuesday.

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