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JOCKEY MARIA THORNTON BREAKS MAIDEN AT ARLINGTON

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/27/2014 #

Jockey Maria Thornton won the first race of her career in the second race Sunday at Arlington International Racecourse when she guided the Larry Bingham and John Conforti's Stephensclassygal to a 6½-length victory for trainer Scott Mullins in the 1 1/16-miles Polytrack race.

The 25-year-old Thornton, younger sister of Arlington veteran Tim Thornton, accepted her first mount on Thursday, July 24, and was riding in just her third race when she broke her maiden.

"It feels great (to win). It was very unexpected," Thornton said. "There's no feeling like it – none at all. You get chills like crazy. Tim told me it was 13 (rides before he won) but this was just my third one."

Though she only recently took out her license, she has been working horses in the morning over the last year and credits conditioners John Haran, Frank Kirby, Moises Yanez and Mike Stidham – in addition to Mullins – for helping her get to this point. Since just prior to the meet, she had been under the employ of Stidham in the mornings, working many of his quality horses.