05/07/2009 11:00PM

Rivelli gets off to blazing start


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - It's not out of bounds to say that trainer Larry Rivelli can come off a touch on the brash side. But big talk is easier to take when it's backed up by results, and Rivelli's prediction that he would start off the Arlington Park meet rolling has come to pass.

Two more wins on Thursday's card here boosted the Rivelli barn's local record to 6 wins from 9 starts after four days of Arlington racing in 2009. Rivelli already has won a 2-year-old race and thinks he's very live in another one Sunday (race 5), when he has horses in three different races. One of those is the featured 10th, a six-furlong main-track filly-and-mare sprint allowance, but Streamin Heat may have to be scratched from the spot, Rivelli said.

Rivelli has some minor stakes and allowance horses to go with what he believes is a strong group of 2-year-olds this summer, but his Thursday winners both were veteran claimers. Six-year-old First Movement returned from a layoff to capture race 8, a $5,000 starter allowance, in his first start since last September. First Movement was favored and figured to win if Rivelli had him ready - which he did - but 7-year-old Big Bold Place's victory in race 10, a $5,000 claimer, was far less predictable. Big Bold Place had been off since November, when Rivelli and co-owner George Ditola claimed him for $4,000 at Hawthorne. Big Bold Place managed to lose all 13 of his 2008 starts, and Rivelli said the horse was not going well over the winter.

"I thought I might have to give him away," Rivelli said.

But Big Bold Place was turned out with other Rivelli horses at the Ocala, Fla., farm of Dr. Jean White. The first two days in the paddock, Rivelli said, Big Bold Place snorted and watched the other horses run around. One chiropractic treatment later, Big Bold Place was out there running with them. Thursday, he rallied from far back in a field of route horses to win going away under E.T. Baird, who, like Rivelli, is off to a flying Arlington start, leading the local jockey standings with seven wins through Thursday's action.

If the Rivelli-trained Streamin Heat does indeed come out of Sunday's feature, it makes things all the easier for Ride Em Cowgirl, who seems the most likely winner. Ride Em Cowgirl won a Polytrack stakes here last summer and should improve off her comeback sixth-place finish last out in the Giant's Causeway, a turf stakes at Keeneland. The race also includes stakes winner Dreaming of Liz.