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Borel returns to Arlington for Prairie State Festival
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 6/20/2009 12:00 AM

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Not much has happened to jockey Calvin Borel between the last time he visited Arlington Park in 2006 to ride in the Washington Park Handicap and today when he's scheduled to ride mounts in three of the six $100,000-added stakes races comprising the Prairie State Festival.

He's only won the 2007 Kentucky Derby and Travers Stakes aboard Street Sense, owned by longtime Barrington resident Jim Tafel and trained by Carl Nafzger.

Then this spring shocked the racing world by winning his second Derby, this time aboard 50-1 longshot Mine That Bird.

He wasn't finished yet.

Borel then hopped off Mine That Bird to ride Rachel Alexandra to victory in the Preakness and then came in a solid third in the Belmont back aboard Mine That Bird.

Oh, and he's also visited the White House, met the president, the queen of England, and recently made a guest appearance on the David Letterman show.

"I've just been extremely blessed these last two or three years," Borel said. "I've been on Cloud Nine all this time, and it really began when Carl gave me a start by giving me the mount on Street Sense and then stuck with me.

"Carl never stopped believing in me, and that gave me a lot of confidence."

Team Block's Fort Prado, the 2006 Illinois Horse of the Year, and his stablemate Amazing Results, the reigning Illinois Horse of the Year, are the star attractions among the 53 horses who passed the entry box for today's Festival.