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Barn Notes: Sunday, July 3

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/03/2011 #
  • Trainer Carlos Silva celebrates his first win as a trainer as jockey Brandon Meier looks on.

Former Jockey Carlos Silva Saddles First Winner as Trainer;Jockey Brandon  Meier Returns from Injury With Two Wins; Indian Jockey Narredu Returns to India Sunday; Jockey Seth Martinez Scores Saturday Hat Trick

FORMER JOCKEY CARLOS SILVA SADDLES FIRST WINNER AS TRAINER 
Former jockey Carlos Silva, who retired from the tack less than two years ago as Arlington’s third all-time leading rider, saddled his first winner as a trainer Saturday with a horse he used to ride piloted by a jockey who he booked mounts for last season.

“I feel right now like I just won the Kentucky Derby,” said Silva moments after Asiel Stable’s Heavenly Lass drove to a half-length victory in Saturday’s fourth race under Brandon Meier.  “It was a beautiful race for me to win, and to win it with Brandon made it even better.  He’s my man.”

Last year, during Arlington’s Prairie State Festival when working as Brandon’s agent, Silva got Meier the mount on Heavenly Lass when she won the 2010 Purple Violet Stakes.

In October of 2009, Silva guided Heavenly Lass to a five-length victory at Hawthorne in her career debut when she was trained by Richard Hazelton, Arlington’s all-time leading trainer.

Earlier this month on June 4, Chilean native Silva officially embarked on his training career by saddling Asiel Stable’s Dazzling Day to finish sixth after the horse was compromised by repeated bumping leaving the gate.

JOCKEY BRANDON MEIER RETURNS FROM INJURY WITH TWO WINS
Jockey Brandon Meier, seriously injured in a spill at Hawthorne Race Course Feb. 18, visited the winner’s circle for the first time Saturday since returning to riding June 22 by guiding Richard Ravin’s Neverrguwithrichie to a 7 3/4-length tally in the first race of the day.

“It feels great to win a race again,” said Meier.  “Larry (winning trainer Rivelli) helped me out by giving me back the mount on (Richard Ravin and Christine Wagner’s) Helicopter last Sunday and I couldn’t get the job done, but then he was nice enough to give me another shot with this horse.”

Meier, named Arlington’s Rising Star in 2007, is the son of longtime Arlington reinsman Randy Meier, 12th on Arlington’s list of all-time leading riders, who was on hand to great his son shortly after the win.

“He looked like me going to the lead like that,” said the senior Meier, known for his front-running riding style throughout his career.

“That’s where I learned it,” his son responded.

Meier came right back to the winner’s circle for his second win of the afternoon after the fourth race Saturday aboard Asiel Stable’s Heavenly Lass to give Carlos Silva his first win as a trainer.

“I was just happy for Carlos,” Meier said after that win.

INDIAN JOCKEY NARREDU RETURNS TO INDIA SUNDAY
Jockey Suraj Narredu, a native of India who reached the 1,000-career win milestone faster than any other rider in that nation’s Thoroughbred history, returned to India on Sunday after a six-week sojourn in the United States.

Narredu, 26, finished fourth with his final American mount – Larry Bingham’s Run Big Bud Run – in Saturday’s seventh race at Arlington.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time here at Arlington this season and I want to thank everybody for all their help to me while I was here,” said Narredu Saturday, shortly before Arlington’s fireworks show began.  “Right now, I am under contract to return to India, where I am scheduled to ride three very good mounts in three important races back home on July 10, but I’m looking forward to coming back to America next April.”

Narredu’s lone local tally came aboard owner-trainer Al Ali’s Invisible Star on May 29.

JOCKEY SETH MARTINEZ SCORES SATURDAY HAT TRICK
Jockey Seth Martinez, hanging his tack at Arlington on a full-time basis for the first time this season, enjoyed his first three-win day at the local oval on Saturday.

Martinez won the second half of Saturday’s Daily Double aboard Jay Skibinski’s Drumblare for trainer Tammy Domenosky; came right back to the winner’s circle after the third on Wendell Yates, Tim Leary and Matt and Scott Maberry’s Well Excuuuse Me for defending trainer champion Wayne Catalano; and completed his hat trick in the sixth astride Marablue Farm’s Sweetbriar Academy to give Catalano a training double.