Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/6/10)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
TEAM TALONS SNATCHES JULY’S ARLINGTON OWNER OF THE MONTH TITLE
Four wins, two seconds, and two third-place finishes last month from 10 starts for a 90 percent in-the-money ratio! Those statistics opened enough eyes to earn Talons Racing Owner of the Month honors for July at Arlington.
But who is Talons Racing? Where did they fly in from to burst on the Arlington scene this summer – and how did they hook up with Arlington’s perennial leading trainer Wayne Catalano?
“We formed Talons Racing about three years ago,” said Al London, speaking over the phone from New Jersey Thursday afternoon. “Officially, the group consists of three people – Arlene London, who is also my wife; Stanley Meierfield, who used to race horses in partnership with her; and Norton Waltuch, who also has raced horses under his own name for a long time.
“Actually, all of us are in our ‘60s now and all of us are sort of retired, but all of us have raced horses for about the last 25 years,” said London. “We all used to race our horses in New Jersey during the summer. Norton’s trainer used to be Sonny Hine, but when Sonny died several years ago Norton not only lost his trainer but also his best friend.
“Also, racing in New Jersey was changing its structure this year, and about that same time our trainer Alan Seewald died suddenly last April and we had to look for a new direction. My wife and I live in Florida during the winter, and we were put in contact with Wayne Catalano.
“My wife also races a horse here named Mam Bird under the name of Arlene’s Sun Star Stable,” London said. “He is three-for-three at Arlington this summer and is also trained by Wayne. If we could include him along with the other Talon horses, our statistics would be even better.
“We are all still living on the east coast,” concluded London, “but always watch our horses running at Arlington on TV.”
SEVENTH BAZE TRIPLE THURSDAY KEEPS LEADING RIDER RACE BUZZING
Jockey Michael Baze, hanging his tack at Arlington for the first time this summer after numerous years on the Southern California circuit, scored his seventh riding triple of his first local season on Thursday to keep the race for Arlington’s 2010 jockey championship up for grabs.
With Thursday’s hat trick in the books, Baze enters Friday’s racing program eight wins behind Junior Alvarado, Arlington’s defending jockey champion.
Baze won Thursday’s fourth aboard John Adger, Oakcrest Farm, Three Kings Stable and Hilary Pridham’s Crepe Myrtle for trainer Mike Stidham, returned to the winner’s circle after the sixth on Anthony Mitola, Mike Ryan and Niall Brennan’s Timely Pursuit for conditioner Michael Tomlinson, and concluded his troika in the seventh aboard Darrell and Evelyn Yates’ Ghetto Cat for leading trainer Wayne Catalano.
GRAHAM NAMED ARLINGTON’S JULY JOCKEY OF THE MONTH
Irish-born jockey James Graham, runner-up in Arlington’s rider standings last season, was named Arlington’s Jockey of the Month for July.
The 31-year-old native of Finglas, Dublin, accepted 127 mounts during the month and visited the winner’s circle 20 times while earning $370,000 in purse money and hitting the board with 39 percent of his mounts.
Graham, who won Thursday’s finale aboard Castro Stables’ Trying Brian for trainer Hugh Robertson, entered Friday’s racing program in third position in the standings eight wins behind Baze for the runner-up spot.
$60,000 HATOOF STAKES ADDED TO ARLINGTON MILLION DAY PROGRAM
Arlington racing secretary Chris Polzin and stakes coordinator David White have announced an added stake slated for the Arlington Million Day program Aug. 21.
The $60,000 Hatoof is restricted to 3-year-old fillies and will be run at one mile over Arlington’s world famous turf course.
Nominations to the Hatoof close Wednesday, August 11.
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