Calabrese, Catalano rule the roost at Arlington
The 98-day meeting at Arlington Park ended Sunday, with owner Frank C. Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano in their familiar positions atop the standings in their respective divisions while jockey Junior Alvarado picked up his first riding title at the suburban Chicago racetrack.
The white and black diamond silks of Calabrese were displayed in the winner's circle on 38 occasions. Calabrese has been leading owner in races won at Arlington Park every year since sharing the title with Lothenbach Stables in 2000. Calabrese has also been leading owner in purses earned in 2001, 2002 (excluding Breeders' Cup Day), 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, and was leading owner in purses won excluding the winning owner of the Arlington Million (G1) in 2000, 2004 and 2009.
When winning his previous training titles, Catalano was the primary trainer for Calabrese but after that tandem split earlier this year, the veteran conditioner opened a public stable. Following a bit of a slow start, he quickly gained momentum to win 51 races, easily capturing his fifth straight training crown and his eighth in the last 10 seasons. He has also been leading trainer in purses earned in 2002 (excluding Breeders' Cup Day), 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008.
Chris Block took down the money title for trainers with his starters earning $1,201,000 while Catalano filled the runner-up spot with $1,096,063.
Junior Alvarado won the race for leading jockey, which went down to the meet's final day, with 110 victories, three more than runner-up James Graham, who did take the title in purses earned with $2,752,816. Alvarado finished second in money earned with $2,486,559.
Castleton Lyons' GIO PONTI (Tale of the Cat), trained by Christophe Clement and ridden by Ramon Dominguez, took the Arlington Million on August 8. The win was the first in the Million for all of Gio Ponti's connections.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode the winner of the meet's other two Grade 1 fixtures, capturing the $750,000 Beverly D. S. aboard Dr. John Chandler's DYNAFORCE (Dynaformer) for Hall-of-Fame trainer Bill Mott and the $400,000 Secretariat S. with Starlight Partners' TAKE THE POINTS (Even the Score) for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Buoyed by a carryover of more than $53,000 and the prospect of a closing day mandatory payoff, more than $98,000 was bet into Sunday's Place Pick 9 pool at Arlington Park and when the dust settled, one lucky player correctly selected nine-of-nine and took down the entire major pool of $109,094.10.
An eight of nine consolation returned $844 to those handicappers who fell one short of a perfect ticket in the Place Pick 9, which was a new wager to Arlington Park for the 2009 meet.
Get more articles by Noel Michaels here...