Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/14/10)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
JOCKEY QUINCY HAMILTON READY TO CALL CHICAGO HOME
Jockey Quincy Hamilton was born in Jasper, Texas, 26 years ago, but as the son of a Quarter Horse rider, he got used to moving around at an early age.
“I attended 13 different schools when I was growing up,” Hamilton said Friday morning, speaking on the Arlington Park apron during training hours. “Eleven of them were in Texas, but we lived in other places, too.”
Understandably, that nomadic existence didn’t stop when Hamilton started his own riding career. He returned to Chicago this season for his second straight Arlington season after riding in Hot Springs, Arkansas, this winter. Extended time as a resident in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is also in his recent past as well as numerous other racing venues in the Southwest.
During Arlington’s 2010 season, however, Hamilton is thinking of making a more permanent home in the Windy City.
“I really loved riding at Arlington when I came here last year,” Hamilton said, “and I’m very happy to be back here again, because this season I’d like to ride for a lot more people with Dennis Cooper handling my business. I’ll still ride a lot of horses for Don and Donnie Von Hemel like I did last year, but I also expect to be riding a lot for Moises Yanez (runner-up in Arlington’s trainer standings last season.)”
This Saturday, Hamilton will ride Del Sol Farm and Hernandez Racing Club’s Voy Por Uno Mas for Yanez in the fifth running of Arlington’s $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes. “I like this horse’s chances in this race,” said Hamilton of Voy Por Uno Mas, who will be trying to win the Illinois Owners for the second straight season. “He’s been working well and it seems like he’s coming back fine.”
Hamilton posted a riding double Thursday, capturing the sixth race aboard Larry Sommer’s All in Slew for trainer Roy Houghton and returning to the winner’s circle after the ninth astride Donna and Michael Dupuy’s What Do You Mean, with Mrs. Dupuy as the conditioner. That two-win afternoon left Hamilton in a tie for third with Tanner Riggs in the local standings through Thursday, one win behind current runner-up Michael Baze and two wins off the pace of defending Arlington jockey champion Junior Alvarado.
With the current status of the local colony extremely competitive, and with no one cast in the favorite’s role for the 2010 Arlington jockey championship, Hamilton was asked if that prospect was on the horizon.
“That would be great if it happens,” said Hamilton. “I want to keep the momentum going that we have right now. Arlington is a great opportunity for me. I’d love to be leading rider here, but if that doesn’t happen, I would like to finish in the top three. When I left here last season, my plans were wide open, but when Dennis Cooper and I touched base this winter, he invited me up here. We expect success. If I do well here, I’d like to buy a home in Chicago and ride at Arlington on a regular basis in the summers.
“In the wintertime, I’d like to continue to build my business all over the country,” Hamilton concluded. “I’d love to try the New York circuit in the winter, as well Florida, Louisiana and Kentucky.”
ARLINGTON MILLION FANS MIGHT ‘JUST AS WELL’ WATCH DIXIE STAKES
Fans of the Arlington Million, which will be run for the 28th time on August 21 this summer, are reminded that Saturday in Baltimore, Maryland, in addition to the Preakness Stakes, the 108th renewal of the Grade II Dixie Stakes will be contested.
The Dixie, for 3-year-olds and up at nine furlongs over Pimlico’s grass course, annually serves as a stepping stone on the road to the Arlington Million, and projected as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the historic turf test is Jonathan Sheppard’s Just as Well.
That 7-year-old son of A. P. Indy out of a Nureyev mare finished second in last year’s Arlington Million, beaten a length and a quarter by Castleton Lyons’ Gio Ponti, but four weeks earlier was clearly best in the Grade III Arlington Handicap as the designed final local prep for the Million. The Kentucky-bred concluded his 2009 campaign in the Group I Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse.
The last horse to capture the Dixie Handicap and go on to win the Arlington Million was Masayuki Nishiyama’s Paradise Creek in 1994.
Also of note for Arlington Million fans concerning Saturday’s Dixie Handicap is the fact that Arlington-based jockey Inez Karlsson will be riding Robert Courtney’s Rahystrada, who is 6-1 in the Dixie morning line. That Rahy gelding won last fall’s Grade III River City Handicap over the Louisville lawn on closing day of Churchill’s fall session.
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