In 2009, Richard Ravin and
Christine Wagner’s Helicopter won nine races during the course of his sophomore
season. Only three horses in North America
had more, and only three others as many.
However, Typical Design, who
led the continent with 11 wins that year, only had six more in 2010 and did not
run this year, whereas Helicopter added seven more wins to his record in 2010
and recorded his third win this season in Thursday’s seventh race at Arlington.
Two other horses – Calm and
Collected and Iberico – who each had 10 wins in 2009, did not win any races in
2010 or 2011.
Newport Lulu, who along with
Helicopter visited the winner’s circle nine times in 2009, only had three in
2010 and none this year, while Beware of the Bop and Stoneyer, who also had
nine wins in 2009, only had one apiece in 2010.
Is it possible that
Helicopter, with his total of 19 wins from the beginning of 2009 through
Thursday, has posted more wins than any other horse in North
America over that time frame?
It’s certainly probable, but
even if he isn’t, Helicopter continues to be an amazing story at Arlington
this year, which he began by winning the first race on opening day of Arlington’s
2011 season May 6. On Thursday, he won the first race of his career on
the grass, adding a new dimension to his admitted preference as a Polytrack
Helicopter has posted an
11-for-16 win record over Arlington’s
Polytrack, but has also won over the Polytrack ovals at Woodbine, Keeneland and
Presque Isle Downs. Since going winless in his first 18 starts in 2008,
he has posted his 19 wins in his 31 starts since, and has won at distances from
seven furlongs to 2 1/4-miles.
“Distance is the key for
(Helicopter),” said trainer Larry Rivelli on Friday morning, “but they only
write so many races going a mile and a half. He doesn’t like dirt
(although he’s won on it), and obviously Polytrack is his favorite surface, but
if he can win on grass the way he did yesterday, that will definitely give us
HUNCH-COUPLED EXACTAS WIN TWICE THURSDAY
Casual horseplayers who like
to wager on horses’ names could have had some fun with two exactas Thursday at Arlington
Finishing second to Richard
Ravin and Christine Wagner’s Helicopter was a horse named Navy Wings, owned by
William Stiritz and trained by Scott Becker.
Then, in Thursday’s finale,
Anthony Granitz and Derrick Miller’s Candyonmymind was the winner with a horse
named Too Much Sugar, owned by Patricia and Ralph Esposito, as the runner-up.
Granitz, who also trains
Candyonmymind, also saddled Captain Jack Racing Stable’s Hoist the Colors to
win Thursday’s ninth race and sweep both halves of the late daily double.
NEW HIGH-TECH ITEM DEBUTS IN ARLINGTON
LIVE PROGRAM SUNDAY
guests open their Arlington
Park live racing programs
beginning this Sunday, they will notice the addition of a QR barcode embedded
in the header of each race courtesy of Equibase.
What will that do?
By scanning that barcode with
a smartphone, Arlington’s
more technologically advanced guests will be able to get instant scratches and
changes before each race on their mobile device. Also, if the guests scan
the barcode after each race has been run, their smartphones will link to the
official results page that has additional links for charts and video replays.
QR code readers can be
downloaded to smartphones for free, and Equibase recommends the I-nigma reader
for iPhone users and Google Goggles for Android-based smartphones.
EARLIE FIRES HIT 5,000-WIN MILESTONE 21 YEARS AGO TODAY
Hall of Fame jockey Earlie
Fires, Arlington’s all-time leading rider, became the 11th jockey in
Thoroughbred racing history to register 5,000 victories when he guided Loretta
Clark’s Tex’s Zing to victory 21 years ago today at Arlington Park.