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Coming to Arlington
By: Sheldon Russell, Jockey
Until this spring, it had been three years since I rode at Arlington. In 2011, I rode Rahystrada in the Arlington Million. I remember really liking the place and enjoying my brief time there. Once it started to become clear that another summer at Colonial Downs in Virginia wouldn’t be an option, Arlington was my first call.
I moved to the United States six years ago, after having been raised in England and South Africa. I had about 65 rides in England before coming to Tapeta Farm to spend a few months working with Michael Dickinson. What was intended to be a brief visit turned into much more, as Michael convinced to return on a more permanent basis. He told me over and over about the great opportunities I could find. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I’d be where I am today.
The one thing I look forward to at Arlington this summer is riding on the Polytrack. Growing up in England, all I remember watching were races on turf or the Polytrack. Coming to the United States was the first time I'd ridden on a dirt track. Returning to Arlington means a return to the synthetic track, which is a change I'm excited for!
I’ve had some great experiences and earned some titles during my time on the East Coast, and it’ll be great to extend that experience here at Arlington. I’m ready to get some exposure and to ride for new trainers, and I’m hoping for a top-5 finish for the meet. Let’s get the 2014 meet started!