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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/11/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Veteran reinsman Jesus Castanon, with riding doubles both Thursday and Friday at Arlington this week, might still be able to reach the 2,000-win milestone aboard Thoroughbreds before Arlington Park closes the doors on its 2010 season on Sunday, September 26.

The Panamanian-born jockey thought he had achieved the 2,000-win milestone last week. However, Equibase Company LLC, the official record keeper of Thoroughbred statistics in North America, only counts Thoroughbred races in its totals.

Twenty of Castanon’s career wins were achieved aboard Arabians last winter when he was riding at Tampa Bay Downs and that accounts for the discrepancy in Castanon’s totals.

Nevertheless, Castanon rode Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Mojito Man to victory in Friday’s third race for trainer Roger Brueggemann and then came back to the winner’s circle after the sixth astride the Tammy Domenosky-conditioned Perimeter Defense for the ownership of Miracle Logistics.

One day earlier Castanon scored with M and H Stables’ Awesome Offering in Thursday’s fourth race for trainer Ray Tracy Jr. and came right back to the winner’s circle after the fifth aboard Silver Oak Racing’s Judith’s Lake for conditioner Mike Dini.

With the back-to-back riding doubles, Castanon is 11 wins shy of the 2,000-win milestone on Thoroughbreds entering Saturday’s nine-race program.

Saturday is the 82nd day of Arlington’s 91-day meeting. Although Castanon has no mounts scheduled locally, he is scheduled aboard four mounts at Hoosier Park in Anderson, Indiana, and one mount at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pennsylvania.

The 37-year-old native of Panama City, Panama, has five mounts slated Sunday at Arlington upon his return to Chicago.


Defending Arlington trainer champion Wayne Catalano, assured of his sixth straight local title this summer – and ninth of the last 11 years – is on a pace that should tie or break his own Arlington meet-win record of 74 victories established during the summer of 2007.

The 54-year-old conditioner has saddled 67 winners through Friday’s races and has horses entered in five of Saturday’s races, including Gary and Mary West’s duo of Major Gain and Impersonator – as well as Darrell and Evelyn Yates’ Ghetto Cat in Saturday’s Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity, and the Yates’ Jordy Y and Peachtree Stables’s Honey Chile in the 75th renewal of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie.


Defending Arlington jockey champion Junior Alvarado jumped right back into the fray for leading rider honors this season by posting a riding double Friday.

The 24-year-old native of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, combined with trainer Eric Reed to win Friday’s opener aboard Eric McAnallen’s Black Patch and came back to the winner’s circle after the seventh on William Lageman’s Huxley Winner.

Alvarado is nine wins behind current leading rider Michael Baze entering Saturday’s 82nd day of Arlington’s 91-day session in 2010, which comes to a close on Sunday, Sept. 26.


On this date in 1982, Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires, Arlington’s all-time leading rider with 2,886 victories at Arlington and 6,470 in his career, reached his own 3,000-career win milestone aboard Volga Ace in the fourth race of the day.

Later in the day, Fires, born in Rivervale, Arkansas, won the Modesty Handicap aboard Mrs. P. L. Hexter’s Office Wife, trained by W. C. Freeman. He was Arlington’s leading rider for the first time in 1966 but also won local championships in 1969, 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1984.

Now 63, Fires retired from the saddle at the end of Arlington’s 2008 meeting but made a one-race return to the tack in race this summer during Arlington Million week in a special race featuring “Young Guns” vs. “Cagey Veterans.” Representing the veterans, Fires finished second to 27-year-old youngster Inez Karlsson.

Also on this date in 1973, jockey Robby Albarado was born in Lafayette, Louisiana. The popular reinsman went on to become Arlington’s jockey champion in 1996 and holds a record nine leading rider championships at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

- END -

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