Racing & Wagering

Father's Day Fruition Friday for Oscar, Kiele Sanchez

| Churchill Downs Communications | 06/06/2010 #

In Today's Notes: 

  • Father's Day Fruition Friday for Oscar, Kiele Sanchez
  • Baze Scores Fourth Local ‘Hat Trick' Saturday

Father's Day is still two weeks away for most families, but when you combine the careers of a father who is a jockey's agent with that of an actress daughter with stardom slated for coming summer, you celebrate Father's Day when you can.

That day came Friday afternoon at Arlington Park when Oscar Sanchez, who handles the riding assignments for Arlington's defending jockey champion Junior Alvarado, was able to kick off the weekend by enjoying the races with his daughter Kiele - now just weeks away from a breakthrough of increased national recognition accompanied by its adjacent loss of privacy.

Keile, born in Chicago, began her acting career at Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream, Ill., when she performed in a school production of "The Grapes of Wrath," but professional credits now include a period as part of the cast for the ABC show "Lost" as well as a co-starring role in the 2009 movie "A Perfect Getaway."

However, on July 13, A&E Network will premiere the original scripted drama series "The Glades" - a police drama set in the fictional town of Palm Glade, Florida.

"Basically, it's about a cop from Chicago who retires to a small town in Florida - supposedly to work on his golf game," said Kiele as she sat with her father in Arlington's box seat area. "But soon after he gets down there, there is a murder in the town, and things get more complicated from there.

"Naturally, I'm happy that the pilot for this series got picked up," said Kiele as she explained some of the details of the television business.  "Over the last few years, I've done a lot of pilots for series that were never picked up, but I've been able to make a living just by doing those pilots.  My parents could never figure out how I was making a living because they never saw any of these shows on TV, but I never had to send home for money."

According to an A&E press release, "The Glades" stars Australian actor Matt Passmore as a hard to get along with homicide detective from Chicago who is trying to practice his short game while trying to get a date with Callie:  "a quick-witted, beautiful medical student with a 12-year-old son and a husband in prison."  That's the role played by Kiele Sanchez.

Oscar Sanchez, however, began his own racetrack career as Arlington's leading apprentice jockey in the summer of 1971, about a half-dozen years before Kiele was born.

After retiring from the saddle, he became an jockey agent, but did not make a significant mark in that career until he picked up Junior Alvarado at Calder in 2008 and brought him to Chicago at the suggestion of trainer Moises Yanez.

New to the United States and a complete unknown in Chicago, Alvarado - under the guidance of Sanchez - gradually introduced himself by finishing eighth in the 2008 Arlington standings and garnered his first local championship last summer.  Through Saturday's races he was on top in the 2010 standings.

"I am super proud of my Dad and I brag about him all the time," said Kiele Friday when asked about her father's latest successful venture.  "Actually, we are kind of competitive.  We are always trying to outdo each other."

Oscar, on the other hand, recalled being at the "wrap-up" party for the pilot of the upcoming series at the invitation of his daughter last winter in Florida.

"There was a special vibe of upcoming success in the air at that party," Oscar said.  "I'm very proud of her success in her career, but I would be just as proud of her if she were a waitress in a cafeteria.  She's always been a good girl, and I'm just proud to be her father."

(An added attraction of Oscar's family weekend came when the agent and his jockey flew to Iowa Saturday night to take down winning honors in the $60,000 Prairie Mile aboard Savoy Stable's Forestry Type for trainer Dale Bennett.  "We got off the plane, and 20 minutes later he was on the back of the horse," said Sanchez.  "We won the race, got back on the plane, and got back here to Chicago by 11 p.m.")

Jockey Michael Baze may be new to the Chicago circuit, but he became the only jockey accomplish four riding triples at Arlington's 2010 session on Saturday when he scored a "hat trick" starting with Ken Sentel and Judy Dorris's Gentle Lana in the sixth race for trainer Tom Dorris, won the eighth astride Talons Racing's Open Outcry for conditioner Wayne Catalano and then completed his threesome with a win aboard Carson Springs Farm's Shedrow Hero for trainer Christine Janks in the finale.

Tom Dorris, incidentally, saddled a training double by also posing in the winner's circle with Gary Tussey's Sugared Toast, ridden by Inez Karlsson.