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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/1/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Jockey Tim Thornton has come a long way since he broke his maiden aboard the 12th mount of his career on June 13, 2003.

On that day seven years ago the native of Lake Charles, Louisiana – 16-years-old at the time – scored aboard David Campbell’s 30-1 longshot Saturday Sin for trainer Christine Janks.

However, now at the ripe old age of 23, Thornton has three riding championships to his credit, winning his first title at Hawthorne in the fall of 2007 and coming back to win a second at that Southside oval in the spring of 2008. One year later, he won his third Hawthorne title in the spring of 2009.

At Arlington, he has been consistently among the top 10 riders at the end of the local season, and started off the current session with a flourish before enduring a few slow weeks. That all ended Saturday when he recorded his first hat trick of 2010 at Arlington.

He won Saturday’s opener aboard Richard Ravin’s Richiegirlgotclass for trainer Larry Rivelli, came back to the winner’s circle after the fifth on Frank Mancari and Anthony Macino’s Hurta for conditioner Mike Reavis and concluded his troika aboard Rob Young, owned and trained by Terry Young.

“I’ve got no complaints at all about this season,” said Thornton following his three-win afternoon. “I started off really fast, and then things slowed down for awhile but now they’re starting to pick up again. The guys I ride for like Larry (Rivelli) and Mike (Reavis) – things slowed down for them but they’re starting to pick it up again, too.

“This is a game of ups and downs, anyway,” concluded Thornton. “The most important thing is staying healthy in this business. Thankfully, I’ve been fortunate in that regard all summer long.”

After finishing ninth in last year’s local standings, Thornton is currently a solid seventh this summer, and is on a pace to enjoy his best season ever in terms of number of wins.

Interesting, it was Thornton’s father Mark, who guided Arlington’s 2006 jockey champion Chris Emigh in the initial phases of his career. Although the senior Thornton trained as well as exercised horses – and eventually became a blacksmith – he was never a jockey.


Juddmonte Farms’ Proviso, an original nomination to this summer’s 20th renewal of the Grade I Beverly D. as the Arlington Million’s sister race on Aug. 21, earned a hard-fought head tally in Saratoga’s Grade I Diana Stakes Saturday for her third consecutive Grade I score.

The 5-year-old British-bred mare had previously won the eight-furlong Grade I Just a Game Stakes in New York on Belmont Stakes Day June 5 and Santa Anita’s Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap before that March 6.

The $750,000 Beverly D., which annually attracts some of the world’s best grass-favoring fillies and mares, is contested at a mile and three-sixteenths over Arlington’s world famous turf course.

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, conditioner of Proviso, remained phlegmatic and noncommittal in his post-race comments.

“Whether we want to go beyond (nine furlongs), I don’t know,” said Mott. “She’s run at a mile and a quarter before and been effective, but we’ll have to sit down and decide whether we’ll want to take the next step. At this moment, I don’t think we have decided where we’ll go. We’ve won three Grade Is this year so I suppose the heat is off. Hopefully, the rest is just fun and gravy.”

Mott won last year’s Beverly D. with Dr. John Chandler’s Dynaforce, and saddled Gary Tanaka’s Snow Polina to win the 2000 edition.

Juddmonte Farms’ previously won the Beverly D. with Heat Haze, another British-bred who captured the 2003 edition under the tutelage of the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel.


A total of more than 500 people – certainly the largest crowd ever assembled at Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s (ITHA) annual picnic – celebrated a beautiful afternoon along the banks of the Fox River last Monday.

“We gave out foam can huggers urging everyone in attendance to contact their legislators to urge them to support the upcoming slots bill,” said ITHA president Mike Campbell. “Passage of the bill is essential to keep Thoroughbred racing alive in the State of Illinois.

- END -

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