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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/6/10)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

JOCKEY INEZ KARLSSON: ARLINGTON’S LEADING LADY THURSDAY

For the first time in the history of Arlington Park, a female jockey leads the local oval’s rider standings.

Following a riding double last Sunday, jockey Inez Karlsson forged to the front of the Arlington leader board entering Thursday’s races after making five trips to the winner’s circle during the first week of the 2010 season at Chicago’s premier Thoroughbred racing facility.

It’s been an amazing climb for Karlsson during her relatively brief career which began at Arlington in 2007. The Swedish-born athlete, who turned 27 on Easter Sunday last month, took down leading apprentice honors during the 2008 Arlington meeting while finishing fifth in the overall standings.

Later that fall, she was leading rider at Hawthorne for its fall session, repeated that championship at the Southside course in the spring of 2010, became Arlington’s all-time leading female rider in June last summer and moved up a spot to fourth in 2009’s final standings.

“Last season here it took me 45 mounts before I won my first race,” Karlsson said Thursday morning in the jockeys’ room. “This season I broke my maiden on the first day so things are starting off well for me.

“I think a lot of people have a shot to be leading rider this year, because no one guy has all the business,” Karlsson said. “For instance, last year I rode mostly for Frank Kirby, but now I ride for anyone. My business looks very positive, but I still have a long ways to go to be the best I can be. I set different goals to spur me on every year. Now, I’m telling myself I have to get stronger, and I have to ride smarter. Last week I got beat three heads, so the way I think, I could have had eight winners. I’ve got to improve on that. I’m very hard on myself, and sometimes when I lose I can accept the fact that it was due to circumstances beyond my control and that I was just unlucky, but sometimes I think that if I’d done something different at some point in a race I could have won that race.

“I went to Tampa to ride last winter,” Karlsson said. “It was a nice to get away at the end Hawthorne for a little vacation, but I did win 20 races down there at Tampa.

“Also, I rode one horse at Gulfstream last winter in the Sunshine Millions, but the horse didn’t do any good,” Karlsson said. “I usually haven’t had much success when I’ve gone out of town to ride a race, but I did go out of town to ride a horse at Keeneland this spring, and when I won that race against all of those top riders there it made me feel very good.

“Where would I like to be in my career five or 10 years from now?” Karlsson asked rhetorically. “That’s hard to say. I can’t really answer that right now because as you get older things are always changing. I’m 27 right now, and being female – I might want to settle down fairly soon and take time to have a family. Being a female athlete, if I’m pregnant, I have to interrupt my career to have a baby, and if I do that, would I want to come back to ride again – and would I be as good as when I stopped? Or would I even want to come back – or would I want to stay home and take care of the baby and try to have other children? Male jockeys don’t have that problem to consider – they just keep riding, but for a female it’s a different situation.

“These are all things I have to consider in the next five years or so,” Karlsson concluded, “so I’ll just have to think about all those kinds of things as my life moves along.”

MUSIC AND MOTHERS TAKE CENTER STAGE AT ARLINGTON THIS WEEKEND

Mother’s Day at Arlington has always attracted one of the biggest crowds of the season, and this Sunday will be no exception, with Family Day activities featured in the Park Area to include pony rides, a petting zoo and the opportunity for the kids to make themed Mother’s Day crafts.

Also, in another Arlington tradition, the first 7,500 ladies through the gates on Sunday will be presented with a rose.

However, this Saturday Arlington will offer another attraction for the first time in its history when the race course celebrates the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Day at the Races.

Arlington guests may enjoy performances by the CSO, the Civic Orchestra (training orchestra of the CSO) and the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

- END -

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