|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Five wins by a jockey at Arlington Park on a single racing program has been accomplished before; as recently as June 7, 2000 and as far back as July 17, 1939.
However, no records have been found to show that any rider in Arlington history has swept the first five straight races on any day before Rene Douglas accomplished the feat Saturday at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval.
As the leading rider at Arlington Park this season and the defending jockey champion of the 2001 local session, no one paid particular attention when Douglas won the first race of the day on Real Deal Racing's Yodog for trainer Danny Hutt.
However, when he took the second half of the double with Richard E. Trebat's Switch for conditioner Jere R. Smith Sr., Arlington Park announcer John G. Dooley alertly reported "a double dose of Rene Douglas" as the horses crossed under the wire.
Again in the third, when the Panamanian-born reinsman guided James D. Tifton Jr.'s Bootleg and Susy home first for Jerry Hollendorfer, Dooley informed the crowd with "Rene Douglas sweeps the first three" at the finish.
In the fourth, after Douglas tallied with 3rd Turn Stables LLC's Richter's Emblem for Paul McGee, Dooley kept the audience into the dramatically developing story with an exclamatory: "It's Richter's Emblem and a four-win day for Rene."
Finally after the fifth, when Douglas won still another with Hondo Ranch Inc.'s Chris' Facts for Frank Kirby, Dooley stepped up the crowd's adrenaline once again. "Rene Douglas is having a banner day," Dooley said dramatically. "He's just swept the first five races! Wow!"
In all, it was a nice series of exciting, original and dramatics climatic announcements by the voice of Arlington, and well garnished with a post race interview by Arlington's television personality Christine Gabriel.
"I don't think about it, Christine," Douglas said, when asked what was going through he mind during each of his winning races. "I just try to concentrate on the next race coming up."
Jimmy and Dennis Richard's Bonapaw, Steve Knight & Kuehne Racing's Slider, and B. Wayne Hughes' Discreet Hero, the first three successive finishers in Saturday's Grade III Hanshin Cup, all came back fine and were doing well Sunday morning.
"Bonapaw came back great," said trainer Norman Miller III Sunday morning. "He cleaned up his feed last night and he's still got that shine about him today. If they have no problems when you send 'em over they usually come back good. This is a quality horse. If you get him fit, he'll run good. We'll look toward the Arlington Sprint (Aug. 24) for his next start."
"He came back real good," said Tracy Pierce, assistant to trainer Dick Lundy, when asked about Slider, runner-up in the Hanshin. "That other horse (Bonapaw) was just too much for him. We were probably the only ones who could have pushed him early, but that would have been suicide. Our horse is fine. Every race he runs, he comes back and settles right in to his stall. He's a good eater - a good doer. We don't have anything specific in mind right now."
"Our horse is fine," said Pam Fitzgerald, assistant to Al Stall Jr., trainer of third-place finisher Discreet Hero. "We were proud of him. We thought he ran very well considering all that time off he had. We'll look around awhile before we decide what's next."
Veteran Arlington Park jockey Ray Sibille, with over 4,200 riding wins in his career, won as a harness driver for the second time in his life Saturday night at Balmoral Park when the Louisiana reinsman drove in a celebrity harness driver event at the Crete, Illinois, oval.
Using experience garnered from three previous drives at similar events, Sibille waited patiently just behind the early leaders while driving in tandem with Harness Hall of Fame driver Dave Magee, challenged outside the two leaders in the lane and held on willingly at the wire.
Sibille donated his $5,000 prize to the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund and the Disabled Riders' Fund.
"Dave Magee is a fanastic horseman," said Sibille after the race. "He was explaining to me how the horse was 'hitting' as we warmed him up before the race. I didn't think we won but Dave knew we did. He told me to look at the wheels and then I saw we were clearly in front."
Magee's best quote came before the race, when he told Sibille: "Ray, we have 13,000 wins between us, and we're half the weight of the other guys. We should be okay."
On July 25, North and Northwest suburban educators will take a "Teacher Trek" to Arlington Park and Arlington Heights to learn modern business skill required of their students.
While at Arlington Park, local officials will discuss careers in sports entertainment and then the teachers will tour the backstretch.
Over 1,200 educators from the North and Northwest suburbs are participating in Teacher Treks this summer, where they learn technological advances in the workplace, current employment trends, and activities that can bring the world of business into the classroom.
Teacher Treks are part of "Education to Careers," a highly successful program now in its fifth year.
Bill Nack, an Eclipse Award-winning freelance turf writer who has written extensively for Sports Illustrated, will present the trophy to the winning connections of Sunday's Grade II American Derby, second jewel of Arlington Park's Mid-America Triple.
Veteran jockey Randy Meier won Saturday's seventh race astride R. Otto Stables Inc.'s Summer Mis on his 48th birthday.
Summer Mis, winner of the $86,750 Purple Violet here June 22, will now be pointed for the Grade III Singapore Plate August 10, according to trainer Tony Mitchell.
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