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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/25/09)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


June was busting out all over and so was jockey Inez Karlsson when she became Arlington’s all-time leading female jockey in the latter days of that month, but in mid-September her Arlington summer got even better.

That’s when the 26-year-old Swedish native passed the 60-win mark at the current meeting, breaching her final total of Arlington’s 2008 session.

“One of my goals at the beginning of this season was to ride more winners than I did last summer and also to finish higher in the standings,” Karlsson said Thursday. “I’ve already ridden 64 winners so I’ve got that part done, and last summer I finished fifth in the standings. This summer I’m in fourth right now and it looks like I’ll be able to hold onto that spot.”

It should be noted that last summer Karlsson rode at Arlington with the benefit of the apprentice allowance but returned in 2009 without that advantage. More often than not an apprentice jockey’s business suffers in the early days after the loss of the weight allowance.

“This whole year has been going my way,” said Karlsson. “Everything is really working out for me. I broke out of the ‘bug’ as well as I did because I’ve learned so much this year. I’m a much better rider than I was last year. I’m more comfortable with myself and my job.

“I’ve learned to roll with the punches,” Karlsson said. “I don’t beat myself up as much as I used to. I realize now I’m going to have my good days and my bad days and to take them both in stride. Penny (Karlsson’s agent Ffitch-Hayes) and I are working very well together, and that’s also been a big help.

“I rode a few races at Gulfstream last winter, and I learned a lot from that,” Karlsson said. “That’s the best group of riders in the country and being around the best has made me a lot better. They are all quick to help you learn and they are all good people as well. I still have a long way to go, but as long as I keep learning I should do all right.”

Karlsson plans to ride at Hawthorne this fall and then return to Gulfstream Park for its entire 2010 season during the winter.

“When I rode there briefly last winter, I made some contacts with some very good trainers,” Karlsson concluded. “For instance, Ian Wilkes helped me a lot and if I get the chance to ride horses for guys like that, it should really help my business when I get back down there.”


Team Block, consisting of owners David, Patricia and Ryan Block, celebrated a Thoroughbred ownership triple Thursday at Arlington Park, visiting the winner’s circle after the fourth race with Kindred Heart, coming right back there after the fifth with C C Cerada, and once after the ninth with Dashel.

Trainer Chris Block (David and Patricia’s son and Ryan’s brother) saddled all three horses to score a training “hat trick” of his own while using three different riders.

Jockey Tanner Riggs, riding his second winner straight winner of the afternoon, was aboard Kindred Heart after winning the third race with A. J. Owners’ A. J.’s Love for conditioner Frank Kirby. Jesus Castanon was astride C C Cerada and leading rider Junior Alvarado guided Dashel.

In the closest Arlington jockey’s race in recent memory, Alvarado enters Friday’s third-to-last racing day this season three wins in front of runner-up James Graham, who rode the Rick Slomkowski-owned and trained Oak Forest to take Thursday’s opener and came back to the winner’s circle aboard CresRan’s Manito, trained by Steve Hobby, after the eighth race.


Nancy Mazzoni’s She Be Wild, who dominated the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie here on Sept. 5 with a 5 3/4-length tally, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.20 Thursday morning at Arlington.

“She finished up real good and that’s what we wanted,” said conditioner Wayne Catalano, who will win his fifth straight local training title when the Arlington Park season concludes Sunday.

“We’re looking to take her to Keeneland after this for that race (Grade I Darley Alcibiades Stakes) down there on Oct. 9,” said Catalano. “That’s the plan right now, anyway.”

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