The first half of Arlington
Park’s 86-day summer session in 2011 officially came to a close when KatieRich
Stables’ Papa Sid galloped home 3 1/4-lengths in front of his nearest
rival in Friday’s final race of the day.
Like the All-Star game earlier
this week in major league baseball, where the teams leading their respective
divisions begin to get serious consideration as possible World Series
contenders, Arlington’s jockey and trainer standings deserve some perusal in an
attempt to determine who might eventually be crowned Arlington’s leading rider
and leading trainer when the 2011 Arlington season comes to a close on Sunday,
However, more so than in
recent memory, the jockey and trainer standings are both so competitive that
predicting their eventual outcomes is still too close to call.
For instance, Arlington’s
leading rider at the half-way mark is J. Z. Santana with 40 wins, but he’s only
two wins in front of James Graham, who is two wins ahead of Eddie Perez, who
has only one more win than E. T. Baird.
Still worthy of consideration
for season-ending leading rider honors are Julio Felix and Junior Alvarado, six
and seven wins respectively behind Baird at the half-way mark.
2009 jockey champion and runner-up in the standings last year, is an especially
The 25-year-old native of
Barquisimeto, Venezuela, enjoyed a five-win lead in the standings when he was
sidelined with a broken collarbone suffered in a spill May 27, and when he
returned five weeks later July 3, he was only 13 wins off the pace of the
leader Santana, and it was assumed he could quickly regain his status as the
leader. However, as of Saturday’s races, Alvarado was still 13 wins
Santana, 32, a native of Rio
Piedras, Puerto Rico, is hanging his tack at Arlington
for only the second time this season, and tied for 13th in the 2010 standings,
but began his surge to local prominence when he finished in a tie for leading
rider honors at Hawthorne
RIVELLI, BECKER IN LEADING TRAINER DUEL – CATALANO
Trainer Larry Rivelli has
never won a training title at Arlington
Park, but he’s led the
2011 standings since May 6, when he was the only conditioner to saddle two
winners on the opening day program.
However, although he’s never
lost the lead, which Rivelli held with 20 winners Friday night. he has been
closely pursued throughout the first half of the season, first by Arlington’s
Russian-born newcomer Gennadi Dorochenko and more recently by Scott Becker.
Becker had saddled 19 winners
entering Saturday’s races, but Rivelli has only one horse entered for the day
while Becker has three scheduled starters.
Currently poised within easy
striking distance of Rivelli and Becker is Arlington’s perennial leading
trainer Wayne Catalano, who got off to a much slower start than usual this
season but has been steadily advancing into contention in recent days.
leading trainer for the last six seasons (and nine of the last 11) celebrated a
training double Thursday to reach the 15-win mark and has four horses entered Saturday.
ITHA SUMMER PICNIC MONDAY IN FOX RIVER GROVE
The Illinois Thoroughbred
Horsemen’s Association (ITHA)’s annual summer picnic will be held on Monday
from Noon-6:30 p.m. at Picnic Grove
Park on Birch
Lane in Fox
River Grove, Illinois.
All owners, trainers,
assistant trainers, jockeys, agents, blacksmiths, gate crew, racing staff and
their immediate families are welcome.
Entertainment at the picnic
will include games, Bingo, fishing, Baggo, a boat race, pontoon boat rides,
swimming, music and a volleyball tournament.
Sodas and water will be
provided, but guests are asked to bring their own beer and wine.
For tickets, call the ITHA at