Jockey Robby Albarado left his new summer base of Ellis Park and returned to the familiar confines of Arlington Park for Million Preview Day. That quick Saturday trip paid off with a pair of graded stakes wins that helped him claim this week's Jockeys' Guild Jockey of the Week for July 5 – July 10. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys' Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
Albarado, who currently sits fourth in the rider standings after a week of racing at Ellis Park, won three races at Arlington Park on Saturday including the Gr. 3 $125,000 Arlington Handicap. Winning mount Kasaqui (ARG) would sit just off the leaders through the opening six furlongs before being guided outside on the turn by Albarado to make the lead entering the stretch and cleared the field under mild urging to win by 1¼ lengths punching his ticket to the Gr. 1 Arlington Million on August 13th.
“That was our plan to get a target in front of us,” Albarado said. “He finished up well last time on the lead, but he's better with a target.”
In the very next race on the Preview card the veteran rider would get another graded stakes win and another possible mount on Million Day when he piloted One Mean Man to a win in the Gr. 3 $125,000 American Derby a prep race for the Gr. 1 Secretariat Stakes on Million Day.
“He was a little further back than I anticipated, but he was there for me,” Albarado said. “Of all the times I've ridden him that was probably his best finish.”
The 2004 George Woolf Memorial Award winning rider began his racing career at 12-years-old at bush tracks in his native Louisiana and after turning professional earned his first win at Evangeline Downs in 1990. Since then, he has won more than 4,900 races and multiple Grade 1 races including the 2007 Arlington Million aboard Jambalaya.
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