08/02/2011 1:58PM

Arlington Park: Hansen making the most with small band of runners


Percentage-wise, it would be tough to top what Andy Hansen has been getting done with his depleted stable at Arlington Park, but that doesn’t necessarily sit well with the 48-year-old trainer.

“I’m down to just a handful of horses,” said Hansen. “For whatever reasons, I’ve lost a lot of horses to injury and attrition.”

Yet the horses who have been eating the Hansen oats have been far more productive than average. Trac N Jam won the $137,000 Indiana Distaff on July 13 at Indiana Downs and could be headed for Del Mar. In addition, Silent Candy was the runner-up in the Lady Canterbury last weekend in Minnesota, and Quite a Handful is a stakes-seasoned earner of more than $250,000.

“The ones we’ve been running sure have paid their way,” said Hansen, who went out on his own following the 2003 death of his longtime mentor, Gene Cilio. “Everybody knows how tough the economy is right now, and you can sure see it in the racing game. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick it back up soon, at least numbers-wise.”

Hansen said he is seriously contemplating a run in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 20 for Trac N Jam, a 3-year-old El Corredor filly riding a three-race win streak after prevailing in a four-horse photo in the Indiana Distaff.

“She just keeps getting better and better,” he said. “If it looks like the Del Mar race won’t overfill and we won’t be shipping out there just to get stuck on an also-eligibles list, I think we’ll probably give it a try. I think she’s an awfully good filly.”

Hansen said Silent Candy “ran into a buzzsaw” when a distant second to A She’s Adorable in the Lady Canterbury. A She’s Adorable is trained by Mike Stidham, whose main base also is at Arlington in the Chicago suburbs.

“Our filly ran her race, so I really can’t complain,” he said. “Unfortunately, she fractured a sesamoid in the race, and although she’s going to be fine, her racing career is over.” A 4-year-old daughter of Candy Ride, Silent Candy retires with 5 wins from 19 starts and $182,208 in earnings.

Hansen said Quite a Handful has been turned out for 30 days because of the oppressive heat and will return for a fall campaign.

Karlsson has a daughter

Inez Karlsson, the leading female rider in Arlington history, is a mother for the first time. Karlsson, who retired last September after winning 439 races in North America, gave birth to a daughter, Sophia Rose Calcagno, on July 25.

Karlsson, a 28-year-old native of Sweden, consistently ranked among the leading riders at Arlington, Hawthorne, and Tampa Bay Downs in a stateside career that began in 2007. In May 2009, she rode five winners on an Arlington card, the only female jockey ever to do so. She was a finalist in the 2008 Eclipse Award voting for top apprentice but lost out to Paco Lopez.

◗ Pre-entries were due Wednesday for the three Grade 1 turf races to be run Aug. 13 at Arlington, led by the Arlington Million. Track officials said pre-entry lists for the Million, Beverly D,, and Secretariat will be released Saturday morning.

◗ Arlington clearly saving some of their better races for Million weekend, there are no allowances on a 10-race Thursday card. First post is 1 p.m. Central.

There is one allowance for a nine-race twilight card Friday (3 p.m. post), and then two allowances, but no stakes, in the condition book for Saturday (1 p.m.).

◗ Both the trainer and jockey races continue to be hotly contested at Arlington. Into the four-day race week that starts Thursday, Larry Rivelli led with 26 wins, followed by Scott Becker (24) and perennial kingpin Wayne Catalano (20). The jockeys are similarly tight, with Jozbin Santana leading with 48 over Jimmy Graham (46) and Eddie Perez (43).

◗ Effective as of last week, multi-race wagers at Arlington are no longer governed by an “all” provision when races are moved from the turf to Polytrack, even on late notice. Horseplayers will have their original choices in those subject races. The change affects the pick three, pick four, pick five, and pick six.

The change was announced by the Illinois Racing Board, which repealed rules 308.40 b) and 308.90 e).