|Arlington Park Barn Notes 05/23/03
In today's notes:
Who was that strikingly handsome blonde lady posing in the winner's circle with Riviera Dance after Thursday's second race at Arlington Park?
That was Terri Stufflebean, an Oklahoma-born trainer who was saddling the first winner of her career in her own name after years as an assistant to some of the best horsemen in the United States. As an added twist, the owner of Riviera Dance, Edwardo Candelas, actually works for her: galloping horses for her and some of her more noted mentors.
Although a familiar face in the barn areas at Arlington and Oaklawn for years, Stufflebean is mostly known for saddling the Chicago-based horses of trainer Lynn Whiting. On Wednesday, in fact, it was Terri Stufflebean with her hand on the hip of Choctaw Racing Stable's Miss D'Or after that mare won Arlington's seventh race with Whiting as the trainer.
"It was a special feeling, however, to win with Riviera Dance," said Stufflebean said as she grazed another horse outside Barn 19 Friday morning. "Not only because it was the first winner I have saddled in my own name but because of the owner. He has galloped horses for me for years. He was the one who saw this colt on a farm in Arkansas and bought him. The colt has been kind of a special project for us. He's a huge horse, but Edwardo liked the way he looked."
Candelas, incidentally, galloped 2003 Oaklawn Handicap winner Medaglia d'Oro for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel in the days prior to that horse's victory in the central Arkansas oval's premier event.
"It's nice to have a few horses of my own to train," said Stufflebean, "although I still enjoy working with horses trained by Lynn and Bob Holthus. They always have nice horses so I help them when they can't be here, and it helps me at the same time.
"Having horses around was a normal way of life where I grew up in Oklahoma," said Stufflebean. "My parents had show horses and cutting horses, but that didn't appeal to me so I decided to try the racetrack, and it's worked out very well for me."
Trainer Steve Hobby saddled two winners Thursday at Arlington Park, both 3-year-old fillies, and had a previous winner, still another sophomore distaffer, last Sunday at the suburban Chicago oval.
"Three-year-old fillies are definitely our strong division," said Missy Hobby, the trainer's wife as she wrapped the legs of Smart Juliet, one of Thursday's winners owned by K. K. & V. Devi Jayaraman. Smart Juliet, who broke her maiden at Oaklawn last winter, scored her second career win by three and a quarter lengths in Thursday's sixth race as the odds-on choice of the fans.
Earlier in the day, the Jayaraman's Quest for Truth had dead-heated for the win in Arlington's third race after being sent to the post as the choice of the fans in Oaklawn's Honeybee Stakes during the winter.
Last Sunday, Russ Beran & Dick Johnson's Casual Attitude kept her undefeated record intact with a neck tally in Arlington's fourth race that day.
"Steve and I looked it up and we started 3-year-old fillies 18 times in Hot Springs this winter," said Mrs. Hobby, "and we won 13 of those races. Things are starting out a lot better this year for us. Hopefully, we can keep it going. Steve just left for Churchill Downs a few minutes ago where we have Chindi running today (Friday). He's still the grand old man of the barn."
Cresran Racing's Chindi, now a 9-year-old gelding, has had a cult following for years. A multiple stakes winner in younger days, the ancient gray likes to come from far behind the field in sprint races, and used that patented style to win as an 8-year-old last August at Arlington.
Arlington Park's Junior Jockey Club, free to join and open to all children 12 and under, will have the first of 16 scheduled sessions for younger racing fans this Sunday, when the "Meet the Jockeys" program will be held from 12-1 p.m. in the Band Tent of the Park Area.
Children can sign up as members at the Junior Jockey Club tent on activity days or online at www.arlingtonpark.com. The function of the Junior Jockey Club is to educate children about Arlington Park and Thoroughbred horse racing.
This Sunday, registered members get to take pictures, ask questions and get autographs from several members of the Arlington Park jockey colony, and the first 300 Junior Jockey Club members will receive real jockey goggles.
Next Sunday, June 1, club members will learn how to care for a Thoroughbred.
Conditioner Bret Calhoun saddled a training double on Thursday's Arlington Park program. Turf Express Inc.'s Beeville dead-heated for the win with Quest for Truth (part of the Steve Hobby-trained double) in the third race of the day, and Coast To Coast Racing Fund LLC's Broke First, also from the Calhoun barn, took down winning honors in the fifth race.
Arlington's current leading jockey Curt Bourque had a riding double Thursday, capturing the seventh race with Frank C. Calabrese's Miss Spragg for trainer Wayne Catalano and coming back in the finale with a win aboard George Ditola & Joe Tristino's Fly Taylor Fly for trainer Jere R. Smith Sr.
Defending jockey champion Rene Douglas also rode two winners Thursday to remain one behind Bourque in the standings through the end of the day. Douglas' first winner came aboard Broke First for Calhoun in the fifth and he came right back to the winner's circle in the sixth astride Smart Juliet for Hobby.
Veteran Arlington reinsman Chris Emigh was the third jockey to have two winners Thursday, but for Emigh, it was back-to-back doubles. On Wednesday, Emigh won with Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Home of Steel for trainer Harvey Vanier, and came back with a tally aboard Tom Dorris & Ken Sentel's Seven Gold Gems. On Thursday, Emigh took the opener with Patricia Shenofsky's Sox On Top for trainer Ron Shenofsky, and returned to pose in the eighth astride Nancy A. Vanier's Princess Paleface for Harvey Vanier in the featured event of the day.
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