When jockey Kent Desormeaux relocated to Arlington Park this summer after an admittedly rocky stretch of years, he was a man with a plan.
"I came here to reinvent my career," Desormeaux said Friday morning. "I think I've reconnected with a lot of people.
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"It's the same guys who I wasn't riding for over the past three years who are using me again, and that's exactly the success I was looking for."
It probably doesn't hurt that he's already won 40 races at the Arlington meet and currently sits fourth in the jockey standings.
"I'm busy; I'm riding four or five races a day, I've been leading rider on occasions -- a couple weeks in and a month in -- so yeah, I think I've had a successful meeting," he said.
And it's paid off with some new business from some old acquaintances.
"There were those that had a wait-and-see attitude, but I think I left them no doubt after the first two weeks. I'm here to ride," he said. "The horse is going to quit a quarter of a mile before I give up."
Desormeaux will be a busy guy during Saturday's festival, riding La Tia in the Beverly D and Tattenham in the Secretariat.
"I'm truly excited about La Tia," Desormeaux said. "I'd like to make the fans here at Arlington proud, and especially (trainer) Armando De la cerda for the opportunity. And in the Secretariat I'm excited to be back on a Bill Mott horse. I'm glad he called my name."
Did you know:
Hard to believe, but track announcer John Dooley's 14th consecutive season of calling races at Arlington (2000-13), tops the legendary Phil Georgeff for consecutive years behind the microphone.
Georgeff called races at Arlington for a better part of 33 years from 1959-69, 1971-1982 and 1983-1992. His longest uninterrupted run was 11 2⁄3 seasons.
Local natives Doug Bredar and his wife Caton Metzler Bredar have keen eyes on this weekend's International Festival of Racing.
Caton, a graduate of Barrington High School and veteran television racing analyst, is covering the races for HRTV with former Arlington rider Zoe Cadman.
Doug is the jockey agent for Florent Geroux, who will be riding Bethel in the Secretariat and Code of Conduct in the American St. Leger. Geroux also rides both division of the Hatoof stakes with I'm Already Sexy and Gold Edge.
Doug Bredar is a graduate of Maine West High School and former racing secretary at numerous tracks, including Churchill Downs.
By the numbers:
Arlington will offer a $200,000 guaranteed pool on a special 50-cent All Turf Stakes Pick 4 wager covering races 7-10 that will conclude with 31st running of the Arlington Million, which will be the 10th race of the day.