Rivelli Captures First Arlington Training Title

Arlington Park.

Trainer Larry Rivelli, who had a two-win advantage over conditioner Scott Becker entering Sunday’s closing day of the 2011 Arlington Park season, officially earned his first trainer championship at Chicago’s northwest oval at scratch time when Becker scratched two of the three horses he had entered for the final program of Arlington’s 86-day meeting.


Born and raised in Chicago, the 40-year-old Rivelli is the grandson of the late longtime Arlington Park trainer Pete DiVito and his uncle is Arlington conditioner Jimmy DiVito, but Rivelli becomes the first member of that family to win Arlington’s leading trainer honors.


“It’s an honor to win leading trainer honors at a major track like Arlington because the quality of the other trainers is so high here,” said Rivelli during training hours Sunday.  “I believe if the meet had been just a little bit longer Cat would have caught me.”


Rivelli was referring to trainer Wayne Catalano, winner of the last six Arlington training titles and currently second on Arlington’s all-time leading trainer list.


“There are a like about a million people that had a lot to do with helping me achieve this,” said Rivelli, “and I should thank every one of them.  I’ve got a very good crew of people working for me and this is really more like an achievement for the whole team.  When I first got into this business I was told that if you have good people around you, you will get good results, and I’ve always found that to be the case.


“Of course, I also owe a great deal to my owners and I have to thank them as well,” said Rivelli, who began training on his own in 1999.  “My owners are all a great bunch of guys, and fortunately they know that there are going to be a lot of disappointments along the way in this game, but they have always stuck by me and I really am grateful to them.


“My grandfather Pete started taking me to the races when I was 6-years-old, but the first guy I ever worked for was my uncle Jimmy,” Rivelli said.  “Jimmy is just an awesome horseman and I’ve learned just about everything I know from him.  He can just about pick who is going to be a good horse right out of its mother’s womb, and he doesn’t ever pay very much for them.  If I can learn what he’s already forgotten, I figure I’ll be all right.”





Arlington Park’s 2011 jockey championship was still undecided between James Graham, J. Z. Santana and Junior Alvarado before Sunday’s closing day program of the 86-day meeting.


Irish-born Graham had 79 wins as of Sunday morning, while Puerto Rican-born Santana and Venezuelan-born Alvarado both had 78.


After scratch time Sunday, Graham was still listed aboard seven mounts for the day, while Santana had six and Alvarado also had six.




Jockey Julio Felix, sixth in Arlington’s jockey standings this season in his second summer at the Chicago oval, scored a riding triple Saturday on the penultimate day of Arlington’s 2011 session.


Felix won the second race of the day on M and H Stables’ Number One Gal for trainer Ray Tracy Jr., came right back to the winner’s circle after the third astride Silver Wing Stable’s Quite Acceptable for conditioner Manny Perez and concluded his hat trick in the sixth aboard George Ditola, Coby Tresner and Charles Jennings’ Embers Glowing for trainer Ingrid Mason.





Frank Fletcher’s Rocket Twentyone, heroine of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie Sept. 10, accomplished a five-furlong breeze in 1:02.40 Sunday morning under the guidance of regular rider Eddie Razo.


The juvenile daughter of Indian Charlie, trained by Tom Howard, recorded early splits of 38 flat and 50.40, and then galloped out three-quarters in 1:15.40 while preparing for her next scheduled engagement in Keeneland’s Grade I Alcibiades Oct. 7




Services for Janell Bettis, wife of Arlington trainer Charlie Bettis, will be held Tuesday at the David Funeral Home in Erath, Louisiana.


Visitation will be at 10 a.m., a Rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lourdes in Erath, with interment to follow at Our Lady of the Lourdes Cemetery.




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