conditioners Larry Rivelli and Scott Becker continued their season-long battle
for leading trainer honors Sunday, with Rivelli registering a training double
and Becker saddling one winner to remain in close pursuit.
With four racing days left in
Arlington’s 2011 racing season which comes to a close Sunday, Rivelli still
leads with 38 wins, while Becker’s horses have reached the winner’s circle 35
times. The always dangerous defending trainer champion Wayne Catalano has
won 31 races and cannot be eliminated from consideration at this time.
On Sunday, Rivelli saddled
Pirates Vow, owned in partnership with Mario Donato, to dead-heat for the win
with George Ditola’s Live From Appollo, trained by Ingrid Mason in the third
race of the afternoon, and then came back to pose in the winner’s circle with
Rivrav, owned in partnership with Richard Ravin, after the fifth race of the
In a touching sporting gesture
that attracted applause from the fans after the third race dead-heat, Rivelli
and Mason posed their horses in the winner’s circle together and then
high-fived each other after the photo had been taken.
Becker won Sunday’s fourth
race with William Stiritz’s Magic Chapel to stay strongly in the hunt, but
Catalano went winless on the program.
On Thursday, Rivelli has seven
horses entered, with two of those in the ninth race of the day, but has no
horses entered for Friday’s 11-race card.
Becker has only two horses
entered Thursday, but comes back with three more chances on Friday.
Intriguingly, Catalano, who
has been Arlington’s
trainer champion for the last six seasons, has 10 horses entered over that same
This Saturday’s and Sunday’s
cards had not been drawn as of Wednesday morning.
JUNIOR SCORES RIDING TRIPLE SUNDAY TO CHALLENGE
IN JOCKEY’S RACE
Jockey Junior Alvarado, who was Arlington’s
leading rider in 2009 and runner-up last season, remained in contention for
leading rider honors at the current session by riding three winners Sunday.
The 25-year old native of
Barquisimeto, Venezuela, rode George Ditola’s Live From Appollo to dead-heat
for the win with Larry Rivelli and Marco Donato’s Pirates Vow in the third race
Sunday, came right back to the winner’s circle after the fourth aboard William
Stiritz’s Magic Chapel and then completed his hat trick astride Rodney Miller’s
Magic Bullet after the sixth race of the afternoon.
Alvarado, who missed five
weeks of Arlington’s 2011 season after suffering a broken collarbone in May,
went over the 70-win mark Sunday, has 71 wins entering Thursday’s racing day
and is named on eight horses that day and 10 more Friday.
Jockey J. Z. Santana,
currently the runner-up in the jockey standings, remained in leading rider
contention Sunday by visiting the winner’s circle after the seventh on Michael
Bojarski, Auglyn Stable and Cherrywood Racing Stable’s Peso for trainer Michele
Santana had 75 wins at the
meeting at the end of Sunday’s races while current leading rider James Graham
Santana is listed aboard eight
mounts Thursday and seven more Friday, while Graham is slated for eight mounts
Thursday and 11 more Friday, although two of those are in Friday’s sixth race.
WIGMORE HALL, NEVER RETREAT WIN SUNDAY STAKES AT
Mark Hawtin’s British-based
Wigmore Hall, who crossed the Atlantic last summer to finish second in
Arlington’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes and again this season to run fourth in
the Grade I Arlington Million, made a third transatlantic journey in September
to win Woodbine’s Grade I Northern
Dancer Turf Stakes last Sunday.
Three races earlier on that Woodbine
Sunday program, Team Block’s Arlington-based Never Retreat took down winning
honors in the Grade II Canadian Stakes for Arlington
trainer Chris Block.
Earlier this summer, Never
Retreat captured Woodbine’s Grade
II Dance Smartly Stakes before returning to Chicago
to run seventh in Arlington’s
Grade I Beverly D. as the sister race to the Arlington Million.