09/16/2017 4:19PM

Good Bye Greg's tactics work in Jeff Lynn Memorial Stakes


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Good Bye Greg broke from the gate like a rocket in the $66,600 Jeff Lynn Memorial Stakes on Saturday at Arlington, but from the start the tactics with Goneghost were apparent.

In a July race here, Goneghost had let Good Bye Greg go out on his own and never came close to catching him. On Saturday, however, the plan was to pressure the pace-setter. That worked out perfectly – for Good Bye Greg.

Goneghost wilted after splits of 22.10 and 44.84, but Good Bye Greg did what he nearly always does at Arlington: Cross the finish first and come back for a photo op.

“You’re a special horse,” someone yelled from the edge of the winner’s circle, and that was no lie. Good Bye Greg struggles with soundness, but is all heart in his races, and a 6 1/2-length win in the Lynn ran his Arlington record to 7-1-1 from nine starts. Good Bye Greg is 3 for 3 here this summer, and 8-2-1 from 13 career starts.

With Jose Valdivia Jr., Good Bye Greg’s regular rider, at Churchill to ride The Tabulator on Saturday, Santo Sanjur had the privilege of steering Good Bye Greg for the first time in a race.

“He got off and said, ‘It doesn’t feel like he’s going that fast,’ ” said Larry Rivelli, who trains Good Bye Greg for Vince Foglia’s Patricia’s Hope LLC.

Good Bye Greg ran fast indeed, stopping the timer in 1:09.82 for six furlongs. He paid $3 to win, while Reigning Catfish rallied mildly for second, 2 1/2 lengths better than a tired Goneghost.

Good Bye Greg, 6, is by Teuflesberg out of Tackalac, by Known Fact. Good Bye Greg made three starts all last year, and his connections, Rivelli said, will seriously consider putting Good Bye Greg away for the rest of the year and pointing to Arlington in 2018.