Sunday, September 28, 2014

Arlington Barn Notes: Sunday., Sept. 28

                                Contact: Michael Adolphson
(847) 385-7558
Barn Notes:  Saturday, September 27, 2014      
In Today’s Notes: 
  • Stiritz Clinches Second Meet Title in Four Years
  • A Second Meet Title for Journeyman Graham
        Owner William Stiritz has clinched the owner’s title for the 2014 Arlington International Racecourse meet.  With 20 victories going into the final day of the meet on Sunday, Sept. 28, Stiritz has a three-win margin on Patricia’s Hope, LLC of Vince Foglia.
        Striking at a 20% rate in his meet-leading 101 starts, Stiritz’s victories include horses of virtually all class levels and conditions – including a thrilling allowance victory with stable star Hogy early in the meet over three-time Arlington Sprint winner Saint Leon.  With earnings of $573,708 and an in-the-money rate of 53%, Stiritz wins his second meet title in four years and could extend his lead with his two entries on Sunday afternoon.
        Stiritz’s win comes one year after finishing second to Midwest Thoroughbreds in 2013 and improves his win total by at least four from last year’s 16.  A mainstay and great supporter of Illinois racing, Stiritz keeps almost all of his horses with veteran trainer Scott Becker and has been mostly employing the services of journeyman Chris Emigh, who himself had a huge meet with 43 wins going into the final day of the meet and hitting win number 3,500 in late August. 
        The title win comes after a battle with Patricia’s Hope, which had a stellar meet as a solo ownership – and also in partnership.  With 17 victories going into the day, the outfit owned by Foglia and trained mostly by meet-clinching trainer Larry Rivelli also has nine wins in collaboration with Richard Ravin.  Impressively, Patricia’s Hope struck at a rate of 31% throughout the meet with any horse it owned. 
        Jockey James Graham was a terror at the Arlington International Racecourse this year, winning nearly 100 races going into the last day of racing and doing so with a diverse conditioner clientele supporting him.  Batting 21% throughout the 89-day meet, Graham also hit the board a meet-leading 54% of the time and showed no signs of letting up the entire time.  Graham had an outstanding 27 multi-win days – including the meet’s only five-bagger on Aug. 9 – the second year in a row he won five races on a single card. 
        Last year, Graham lost a battle with apprentice Emmanuel Esquivel 83-79, with much drama leading up to the last few days of the meet.  Not so much this time around – as Graham seized command of the standings by mid-August and never looked back.  The native of Dublin, Ireland, annexed two stakes races – the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Classic on Istanford, the Mike Stidham-trained filly who beat the boys that day, and the $100,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap on the Brian Williamson-trained Kepi – defeating multiple Illinois champion La Tia in the process. 
        Though Graham was a runaway winner for victories this season, he was unable to close the gap on Florent Geroux’s $2,457,228 in purse earnings – a title Graham had won three of the previous five years.  The 35-year-old is the third-leading active Arlington jockey with 863 wins going into Sunday’s card behind Chris Emigh (905) and E. T. Baird (903).
David ZennerSenior Manager of Communications
Arlington International Racecourse
2200 W. Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights IL 60006-0007
P 847.385.7535│C: 847.371.1670 | F: 847.870.6727│E:


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