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Baird off to fast start at Arlington Park racetrack
Daily Herald News Services
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Published: 5/8/2009 2:11 PM

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Veteran Chicago-born jockey E.T. Baird is currently perched atop the leaderboard in Arlington's jockey standings following a riding triple Thursday.

After winning Thursday's fifth aboard Frank Calabrese's Sarahthetiger for trainer Danny Miller, the eighth on Richard Ravin and Larry Rivelli's First Movement and the 10th on George Ditola and Larry Rivelli's Big Bold Place ­-both conditioned by Rivelli - Baird has 7 wins from 14 mounts, while his nearest pursuer is jockey Junior Alvarado with five trips to the winner's circle.

Two other riders - Spanish-born Diego Sanchez and French-born Florent Geroux - also boast 50 percent win ratios but with fewer mounts at the session.

Meanwhile, leading conditioner Rivelli's Thursday training double left him with 6 winners from the nine horses he has saddled so far to record an impressive 67 percent win ratio through Thursday's program.

Mike Stidham, currently the runner-up in the trainer standings with 4 wins from five horses saddled locally, boasts an incredible 80 percent win ratio through Thursday.

Maintaining a perfect two-for-two record in the owner standings so far is Ravin by himself and the Ravin-Rivelli partnership together.

Also with a perfect two-for-two win record so far is trainer Emmagene Schwan.

Countdown to 3,000: Following a riding double Thursday, Arlington's 2006 jockey champion Chris Emigh continues toward the 3,000-career win milestone.

Emigh guided William Stiritz' Robin My Girl to a five-length victory in Thursday's fourth race for trainer Scott Becker and returned to the winner's circle after the sixth astride Stealth Woman, owned by Allen Tanis and conditioned by Christine Janks, who was also clearly best by 2 1/4-lengths.

With 2,987 career victories at the end of Thursday's Arlington races, Emigh remains 13 shy of the coveted milestone but is listed for seven mounts Friday.

Mother's Day plans: Roses will be presented to the first 7,500 ladies through Arlington's gates by jockeys dressed in racing silks, and admission to the holiday program is discounted by 30 percent to those who make their reservations online.

Fans who like to play hunches in their handicapping might want to enjoy the following helpful hints:

• Reine des Coeurs (Queen of Hearts) is 8-1 in Sunday's Mother's Day opener, with Arlington's reigning queen jockey Inez Karlsson astride.

• Mom Cat, 7-2 in the morning line, goes to the post in Sunday's third with Arlington's 2008 Rising Star and Elk Grove Village native Brandon Meier aboard.

• Lady of Greatness, conditioned by Arlington's current leading trainer Larry Rivelli, runs in Arlington's seventh race on Mother's Day, and is 10-1 in the early line while Kissit (8-1) and Lipstick Lady (4-1) are slated for Sunday's eighth and ninth races respectively.

• Finally, Saygoodnightgracie is projected at 3-1 in the 11th and last race on the Mother's Day program.

Musical treat: "Million Dollar Quartet" - the hit musical inspired by the famed 1956 recording session that brought together legendary rock 'n' roll icons Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley - will kick off the races on the Miller Lite Band Stage in the Park Area on Mother's Day at 2 p.m.