Chicago native Larry Rivelli is back to chase his fifth training title at Arlington International Racecourse, kicking off the 2017 season with eight entries on the Opening Day card. After first capturing the honor in 2011, Rivelli secured the title again in 2014 and hasn’t let up since, finishing 2016 with 58 wins from 226 starts for a 26% win rate. A majority of those victories came with 2016 leading rider Jose Valdivia, Jr. in the irons, who will also return to Arlington to defend his title after capturing it with 100 wins in 2016.
“I’m happy to be back at Arlington,” said Valdivia. “Rivelli and I think a lot alike when it comes to the horses and how they should run – I work a lot of his horses in the morning and know them well. It’s great to ride for his owners like Patricia’s Hope and Richard Ravin because they love Chicago racing. They can run anywhere but they like to race here and come out to see their horses.”
Together with Rivelli and Valdivia, Patricia’s Hope LLC took home the 2016 leading owner award after notching 29 wins during the season. The trio will team up for three entries on opening weekend in an attempt to get a head start on their competition going into the 2017 meeting at Arlington.
ILLINOIS-BRED STREAMLINE AIMS FOR GRADE I VICTORY IN KENTUCKY
The Grade I La Troienne on Friday’s Kentucky Oaks undercard looks like the perfect landing spot for Brian Williamson trainee Streamline as she attempts to earn her first Grade I victory in Churchill Downs’ fifth race. Owned by breeder Nancy Vanier along with Cartwright Thoroughbreds, the 5-year-old mare by Straight Line captured the Grade II Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 18 before finishing third behind champion Stellar Wind and Terra Promessa in the Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap on April 14.
“She’s been training super – breezed very well the other day,” said Williamson. “I was thinking about skipping [the La Troienne] because she ran so hard her last couple of races, but then I saw a couple others skip it, so I thought we’re here and we’re doing good, let’s take advantage of it.”
Born and bred in Illinois, Streamline won her debut as a 3-year-old at Arlington International Racecourse on the Polytrack. She won five of eight starts in 2015 before moving tack to Oaklawn where she landed her first stakes win as a 4-year-old. The hard-running mare has hit the board in all her starts since.
“She’s more like her sire,” said Williamson, who trained both of Streamline’s parents during their racing careers. “I thought she was going to turf (like her dam), and she won on the turf, but once I ran her on the dirt her numbers were just clearly much better than on the turf. Her sire won the Iroquois Stakes as a 2-year-old here at Churchill, as well as the Ack Ack Handicap, and I know she likes the track.”
The daughter of Love Handles showed she can handle the Louisville dirt oval last season when she finished second in the Grade II Falls City Handicap on Thanksgiving Day. That was just her second start coming back from an injury over the summer, but the competitive mare didn’t seem to lose a step in the interim.
“She goes out there and tries every time,” Williamson said. “Tomorrow I think it’s just going to be ride your own race, and whatever happens, happens.”
Source: Arlington Park