Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/15/10)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
CATALANO KEEPS CLIMBING TO NEW HEIGHTS AT ARLINGTON
When Arlington Park brings down the curtain on its 2010 meeting in less than two weeks on Sept. 26, defending trainer champion Wayne Catalano will have won his sixth straight local training title and his ninth in the last 11 years.
On Aug. 8 this summer, Catalano tied the late Jere Smith Sr. for the second spot Arlington’s all-time leading trainer list and on the next racing day that week took over sole possession of that place in Arlington history.
However, the 54-year-old conditioner now stands in the shadow of a new Arlington milestone and that would be to break the Arlington trainer record of saddling 74 wins at a local meeting. Catalano established that mark three years ago.
Entering Thursday’s racing day, the New Orleans native and former jockey had saddled 70 winners this season. He has two horses entered Thursday and one more Friday.
Last weekend, Catalano won his second straight Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity with Gary and Mary West’s Major Gain, and also saddled Darrell and Evelyn Yates’ Jordy Y to be the runner-up in last weekend’s Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie after winning last year’s Lassie with Nancy Mazzoni’s She Be Wild. That filly went on to win the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and was subsequently named the nation’s Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly.
ALVARADO CLOSING GROUND AGAINST BAZE IN LEADING JOCKEY RACE
A week ago, Arlington’s defending jockey champion Junior Alvarado was 10 wins in arrears of current leading rider Michael Baze, but after three straight riding doubles Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Alvarado has narrowed that margin of separation to five entering Thursday’s racing day.
Alvarado won last Friday’s opener aboard Eric McAnallen’s Black Patch for trainer Eric Reed and returned to the winner’s circle after the seventh on William Lageman’s Huxley Winner for that same conditioner.
On Saturday, Alvarado guided Gary and Mary West’s Major Gain to winning honors in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity for leading trainer Wayne Catalano and came right back to the winner’s circle after the seventh aboard Genevieve, Aaron and Michael Rafael and Susan Fallon’s Big Al for trainer Moises Yanez.
On Sunday, Alvarado took down winning honors in the second half of the Daily Double astride Kay Reed’s Martha’s Shadow for trainer Reed and gave Reed a training double with Marablue Farm’s Belafonte in the seventh race.
JOCKEY CASTANON NEARING 2,000-WIN MILESTONE
After scoring a “hat trick” at Kentucky Downs on Monday, veteran reinsman Jesus Castanon now has 1,992 career wins on Thoroughbreds with eight racing days remaining in the Arlington Park season which ends on Sunday, September 26.
The Panamanian-born Castanon, who has been based at Arlington on a full-time basis for the first time this summer, is named to ride five mounts on Thursday’s program and is listed astride six mounts for Friday’s racing day.
NEIL MILBERT WINS WALTER HAIGHT AWARD
Veteran Chicago-based turf writer Neil Milbert has been named to receive this year’s Walter Haight Award when the National Turf Writers Association (NTWA) hosts its annual dinner on Nov. 3 dinner in Louisville, Ky., during the week of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
The Walter Haight Award is named for the former Washington Post turf writer and columnist. The Haight Award is presented annually for meritorious service to racing.
Milbert, 71, born in Dyersville, Iowa (where Field of Dreams was filmed), is a former director of the NTWA and was the lead turf writer for the Chicago Tribune from 1968 to 2008.
Currently an Illinois-based correspondent for Thoroughbred Times, Milbert has been present for all 28 runnings of the Arlington Million, and rates the “Miracle Million” in 1985 and the 13-days of racing at Arlington with graded stakes on each day in 1986 as his favorite Arlington memories.
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