Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Thursday, June 21, 2012

| Churchill Downs Communications | 06/21/2012 #
  • With the helmet cam firmly in place, jockey Tim Thornton rides Capt. Bullet Bob to victory in the $112,125 White Oak Handicap.

In Today's Notes: Timmy Thornton Ticks Off Four Wins Wednesday at Arlington; Three Season-High Mutuel Payoffs Registered Sunday


Jockey Timmy Thornton, increasingly a media darling at Arlington during its 2012 summer session because he wears a helmet camera while riding in races, added to his star status Wednesday by becoming the first rider this season to win four races on a single program at Chicago's northwest suburban oval.

"It's been awhile since I won four races in one day," said Thornton immediately after Wednesday's finale became official. "In fact, I can't even remember the last time I did it.

"Actually, things started off a little slow for me when the season started," he said. "I had a lot of seconds and thirds but didn't seem to win a lot. That's just the way it goes. I haven't changed my riding style at all. I'm not during anything different. It just seems that like things are starting to fall into place for me lately."

One month into the meeting, Thornton had only won six races, but during the last two weeks the 25-year-old native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, has more than doubled that total. In fact, Wednesday's quartet of wins leapfrogged him from eighth to sixth in the jockey standings with 15 victories, just two wins behind the two riders who were tied for fourth at the conclusion of Wednesday's races.

"Maybe, it's the 'helmetcam' that's bringing me luck," Thornton said with a laugh. "Everybody seems to like what it shows, and wearing it doesn't bother me at all."

For about the last two weeks, Thornton has been riding his mounts with a tiny television camera attached to his helmet. That view from a jockey's perspective is then shown to the public as part of a video series updated weekly called "Behind The Silks with Tim Thornton." The series is the brainchild of Arlington's paddock television analyst Jessica Pacheco, producer of the show that can be accessed through the Arlington website.

Thornton's four-win Wednesday began astride Vanessa Nye's Spanish Comedy, trained by Jim McMullen, in the fourth race of the day. He returned to the winner's circle after the seventh aboard Ronnie Lamarque's Quietdetermination for conditioner Louie Roussel and made it two straight after the eighth on Richard Ravin's Fightin Mean Mad for trainer Larry Rivelli.

Thornton scored his third straight win and concluded his four-bagger while riding Soaring Pegasus, owned and trained by Mike Reavis, in the last race of the day. However, he had to survive a claim of foul by the rider of the second-place finisher for interference in the stretch run before the race was made official.

"That jock tried to hold me in behind the speed horse all the way down the backstretch," Thornton said. "I wasn't going to let him get away with that. He leaned on me back there so I came out into him a little bit down the lane. That's just race riding."

A daily double payoff of $1,604.40, a Pick-3 payoff of $2,297.80 and a Superfecta payoff of $2,368.33 – all season-high record payoffs this season – were recorded Sunday at Arlington.

Two of those record payoffs were triggered by owner-trainer Bradlee Rainwater's Izzaeven, who returned a $73.80 win mutuel when winning Sunday's fifth race under jockey Sebastian Madrid.