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Karlsson Leads "Young Guns" to Victory Over "Cagey Veterans" in Jockey Challenge
The Young Guns beat the Cagey Veterans in the special Jockey Challenge Race on Friday at Arlington Park. Led by Inez Karlsson, who won the race aboard Saint Leon, the Young Guns outscored the Cagey Veterans by a count of 25-14 in a special Jockey Challenge wager that paid $2.20.
"My horse was running real easy," Karlsson said of her mount, which was drawn by lot when entries were taken for the one mile turf race which was sponsored by the track's leading owner Frank C. Calabrese. "At the three-eighths, I looked back and I could see Earlie (jockey Fires on Bobby Sands) coming. He was blowing hard and I didn't know if it was the horse or him (blowing that hard). When I turned for home I asked him, and he took off.
"It was very exciting to be riding along side my idols and I hope this is the start of a big weekend for me," said Karlsson, who rides Robert Courtney Jr's Rahystrada in Saturday's Grade I Arlington Million.
Karlsson's four-length victory aboard Saint Leon was worth 12 points while Earlie Fires, representing the Cagey Veterans, earned 10 points for his runner-up finish aboard Bobby Sands.
"This is really for a good cause, the charities, the backside and the Chaplain," said Fires, the Hall of Fame jockey who retired in 2008 with 6,470 victories. "It was a lot of fun to do it, and everyone got interested. I was following one of the current jockeys, I figured he knew the pace so I was sitting along side of him, and then I didn't have enough horse."
Rounding out the top five in the race with their jockey and point totals were Serengeti Tour (Junior Alvarado for the Young Guns, seven points); Mining for Silver (James Graham for the Young Guns, six points); and Snapphok (Otto Thorwarth for the Cagey Veterans, four points).
The Jockey Challenge pitted five of Arlington's top riders which included in addition to those listed above Michael Baze and Jesus Castanon against five retired jockeys including Patti Cooksey, Zoe Cadman and Mark Guidry as well as those listed above. The proceeds from the wagering on the race were donated to the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund and the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America.
Saint Leon paid $5.80, $4 and $3.20 as the 19-10 betting favorite. Bobby Sands returned $3.60 and $3.20. Serengeti Tour paid $5.20.