Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Sat. June 25

| Churchill Downs Communications | 06/25/2011 #

Bradlee Rainwater Resurrects Family Name Friday; Turf Course Rated ‘Good’ for Prairie State Festival; Jockey James Graham Gets Two Winners Friday

The Rainwater name reigned once again Friday when southern Illinois-based horseman Bradlee Rainwater saddled Whys Miss to win Friday’s sixth race at Arlington Park.

“Yeah, I guess it is my first winner officially,” Rainwater said, moments after his sophomore daughter of Whywhywhy won the event for accredited Illinois-bred fillies and mares by three and a half lengths.  “Our horses have always had Dad’s name listed as the trainer of record until last month.”

Longtime Illinois horseman Owen Rainwater, Bradlee’s father, died in early May at the age of 75, and days later his son turned in his assistant trainer’s license and was issued an Illinois trainer’s license to take over the conditioning of the family’s horses. 

“I pretty much stayed home and took care of the family farm in Wayne City,” said the younger Rainwater.  “We have 2,500 acres down there.  Most of the time I stayed there but I helped him out hauling the horses whenever he needed me.”        

Bradlee Rainwater, 49, had saddled nine horses, finishing second twice and third once before jockey Jesse Lantz guided Whys Miss into the winner’s circle Friday.         

Owen Rainwater was credited with 155 lifetime wins from about 1,400 starters since 1977 and saddled three winners from 45 starters at Arlington last season.

Despite the severe storms that swept through Chicagoland earlier this week, Saturday’s $100,000 Black Tie Affair and $100,000 Lincoln Heritage handicaps remain on Arlington’s world famous turf course which was listed as “good” Saturday morning.

The two 1 1/16-mile races are the only grass races scheduled as part of the six-stakes state-bred Prairie State Festival series, restricted to horses register in the Illinois program.

The Prairie State Festival, which celebrates its 11th renewal Saturday, is completed by the White Oak and Isaac Murphy handicaps at six furlongs on Polytrack as well as the Springfield and Purple Violet stakes at one mile over the Polytrack.  All six stakes events carry $100,000 purses.

Going into Saturday’s series, conditioner Chris Block is the leading trainer in the series with 16 wins followed by runner-up Christine Janks with nine trips to the winner’s circle in Festival competition.  Block and Janks each have six horses entered in Saturday’s Festival.

The leading jockey in the Prairie State Festival is Eddie Razo with nine winners, but Razo is riding out of town Saturday. 

The only jockey to get multiple wins Friday at Arlington was James Graham, even though he crossed first under the finish line only once.

The 32-year-old native of Finglas, Dublin, Ireland, won Friday’s opener aboard Bass Seeligson Partnership’s Khukuri for trainer Tom Amoss and finished second by a neck under the wire on Rabbah Bloodstock’s Royal Order in the seventh.

However, William Stiritz’s Deluxe Heir, the first horse under the wire, was disqualified from first and placed second for inadvertent misuse of the whip by jockey Corey Nakatani, who accidentally caught Royal Order with his whip in the drive to the wire.