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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/29/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Eight days ago during Arlington’s International Festival of Racing, jockey Michael Baze took command in the Arlington Park jockey standings for the first time since early May with a 5-win afternoon on Arlington Million Day.

One week later, the 23-year-old native of Renton, Washington, celebrated a riding triple and enjoys a four-win lead over defending jockey champion Junior Alvarado entering Sunday’s nine-race program at Arlington.

Baze’s Saturday hat trick was his eighth three-bagger of the season, and began in the opener astride Carolyn Wilson’s Tufao for leading trainer Wayne Catalano. He returned to the winner’s circle after the third race aboard Frank Calabrese’s Jilluke for conditioner Nick Canani, and then came right back after the fourth race on Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman’s Satellite Trick to give Catalano a training double.

Baze is riding in Chicago for the first time this year after hanging his tack in Southern California for the bulk of his career. He is a second cousin to Russell Baze, Thoroughbred racing’s all-time leading jockey, and another cousin is Tyler Baze, currently sidelined with facial injuries suffered this summer but expected to return to the Southern California circuit shortly after the Del Mar season ends Sept. 8.

Arlington defending champion Alvarado rebounded to keep pace in Saturday’s fifth race aboard Shamrock Hill Farm’s Miles and Miles for conditioner Eduardo Rodriguez. Last year, Alvarado and Irish-born jockey James Graham engaged in a head-to-head battle for leading honors until the last day, when Alvarado pulled ahead of Graham by three wins.

Once again, Graham is in the thick of the action, trailing Alvarado by six wins and Baze by 10 entering Sunday in the race still too close to call.

Veteran reinsman Jesus Castanon, currently a solid fourth in the standings, had a riding double Saturday, taking the second half of the Daily Double on Charles Sigrist and Del Sol Farm’s Lucky Gal for trainer Moises Yanez and the seventh event on Pin Oak Stable’s Pulpitarian for conditioner Donnie Von Hemel.


When visiting her father earlier this summer in the box area at Arlington Park, rising television star Kiele Sanchez was quick to sing the praises of her father Oscar, who serves as defending jockey champion Junior Alvarado’s agent.

“I am super proud of my Dad and I brag about him all the time,” said Kiele during her Arlington visit in early June. “Actually, we are kind of competitive. We are always trying to outdo each other.”

However, in August the father-daughter duo have taken their rivalry to a new level. Oscar Sanchez won the richest race of his career as an agent when he secured the mount for Alvarado aboard Richard Duchossois’ Éclair de Lune, who won the 20th renewal of the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes. The sister race to the Arlington Million was one of three Grade I races contested during Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing Aug. 21.

“Right after the Beverly D, Kiele called me and said, ‘Dad, make sure you get me a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup,’” Oscar said this week.

(As the winner of the Beverly D., Éclair de Lune earned “Win and You’re In” status for the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs Nov. 5.)

Also earlier this month, Kiele Sanchez found out that this summer’s new A&E series “The Glades,” in which she co-stars, has been picked up for a second season.

Kiele, born in Chicago, began her acting career at Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream, Ill., when she performed in a school production of “The Grapes of Wrath,” but her professional credits now include a period as part of the cast for the ABC show “Lost” as well as a co-starring role in the 2009 movie “A Perfect Getaway.”

Oscar, also born in Chicago, was Arlington’s leading apprentice jockey in the summer of 1971, about six years before Kiele was born.


Two-time Arlington jockey champion Mark Guidry, who won his first local title in 1992 and another eight years later, returned to the saddle briefly Aug. 20 to participate in Arlington’s special “Young Guns vs. Cagey Veterans” race.

However, five years ago today (Aug. 29) Hurricane Katrina decimated the Gulf Coast, and it was Guidry, born in Lafayette, Louisiana, who earned the 2006 George Woolf Award for his extensive, highly successful relief drive to aid the victims of that disaster.

- END -

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