Former jockey Larry Sterling
Jr., who retired from riding last fall in 43rd position among Arlington’s
all-time leading reinsmen, returned to Chicago’s
northwest suburban oval Friday to resume a training career for the second time
in his life.
“I guess you could say I’m
returning to my new old career,” said Sterling
Saturday morning after saddling Brad Kelley’s Wolfcamp to finish second in
Friday’s ninth race and driving back to La
immediately after the event. “I was pleased with the way the horse ran,
and the owner was pleased, too. I’ve got a bunch of babies down here at
Highpoint for Brad Kelley, and I’m glad I got to get a shot at training again.”
Sterling, now 41,
was born in Arcadia, California,
and raised on the backstretch of Santa Anita as the son of a famous Southern
California trainer. He originally began his jockey career at
16 but quit to start training horses at 18.
“Back then I won with the
first horse I ever saddled at Golden Gate Fields,” Sterling
said. “The horse won by 12 lengths. I continued to train horses
until about 1991 or 1992 and then I went back to riding. I rode my last
horse at Churchill last Nov. 27 but when my father died I made a quick switch
back to training.
“I’m really glad to have this
opportunity to train again,” said Sterling.
“Now it’s up to me to take the ball and run with it. Hopefully, I’ll
score a few touchdowns along the way.”
“Not at all,” he said.
“Not having to get on the scale all the time is a lot easier on my body.
I get to have dinner every night and I get to eat breakfast whenever I
want. The funny thing is I’ve only put on two or three pounds since I
starting eating again. I don’t know why.”
Among the highlights of Sterling’s
career as a jockey were riding titles at Kentucky Downs in 2007, Sportsman’s
Park in 2002 and Hawthorne
in the spring of 2003. He also won the Grade II Illinois Derby aboard
Russell Reineman Stable’s War Emblem in 2002. That horse went on to win
the Kentucky Derby and Preakness later that spring under different ownership.
BECKER GETS TRAINING DOUBLE FRIDAY; CUTS RIVELLI LEAD
Trainer Scott Becker,
runner-up in the Arlington trainer standings most of the summer, posted two
victories on Friday’s program to trail current leading trainer Larry Rivelli by
two wins entering Saturday’s 11-race program.
Becker won Friday’s third race
with William Stiritz’ Dominant Sun, ridden by Junior Alvarado, and returned to
the winner’s circle after the 10th to pose with Stiritz’ Deluxe Heir, ridden by
Rivelli was winless on the
program to remain the leader with 36 wins entering Saturday’s races while
Becker now has 34 and defending trainer champion Wayne Catalano has 31.
JOCKEY J. Z. SANTANA POSTS RIDING DOUBLE FRIDAY
Jockey J. Z. Santana, currently the runner-up
rider standings, rode two winners Friday to trail current leading jockey James
Graham by four wins entering Saturday’s 11-race program
Graham had one winner Friday,
as did jockey Junior Alvarado, Arlington’s
leading rider in 2009, was in third-place entering Saturday’s races.
Santana’s two wins came in the
fifth with Calvin Johnston’s Milestonemissile for trainer Tony Granitz and in
the ninth aboard Carson Springs Farm’s Candy Train for conditioner Christine
Janks. Granitz, incidentally, also saddled the second-place runner in the
Junior Alvarado rode William
Stiritz’ Dominant Sun to victory in the third for trainer Scott Becker and
James Graham rode Tri Star Racing’s Serengeti Tour to win the sixth for trainer
Graham had 76 wins entering
Saturday’s races, while Santana had 72 and Alvarado was in the third spot with
APPRENTICE JOSH MOLITOR RIDES TWO WINNERS FRIDAY
Apprentice jockey Josh Molitor
rode two winners Friday, exactly two weeks after he posted the first riding
double of his Arlington
Molitor took Friday’s opener
aboard John Conforti’s Stardust Raj for trainer Ron Goodridge and came back to
the winner’s circle after the seventh astride C. J. Equine Service Inc. and
Kathlee Clifford’s Giverny Girl for conditioner Jon Cowan.