02/02/2009 12:00AM

Trainer profile: Larry Rivelli


Many trainers, knowing the typical rough economics of horse ownership, like to stick strictly to their chosen profession: training. Larry Rivelli takes a broader approach.

Rivelli has succeeded as a trainer, and owner, and breeder, largely competing in Chicago but also venturing elsewhere, including to south Florida during the winter.

"I like to cover all the bases," said Rivelli, 38.

Through Sunday at Gulfstream Park, he is 2 for 7 with a small stable of runners, and one of the winners, Excessive Heat, is a filly he co-owns with one of his principal owners, Richard Ravin.

Excessive Heat is not the only talented horse the duo own together. The stable star is My Dominick James, a multiple stakes winner for them.

"He's going to be a steamer this year - I love that horse," said Rivelli of Dominick James. "I just turned him out, and I'm hoping to prep him [at Gulfstream] in an allowance going five-eighths on the turf, and then bring him back to race in those Illinois-bred stakes."

Rivelli, whose uncle is trainer Jimmy DiVito, has developed a reputation as a skilled trainer of turf sprinters - in part because of his work with Nicole's Dream a few years ago. That mare won 20 of her 24 races, almost exclusively on turf, and concluded her career with $826,454 in earnings for the Dare to Dream Stable.

Other horses, such as Excessive Heat, have further illustrated Rivelli's training ability with grass sprinters. He said he likes to give such horses a lot of jogging and short works, but more than anything, doing well with turf sprinters is a matter of finding a horse whose physical attributes point to liking such conditions.

"You can tell a lot from a horse by the way they're built, speed or long, or neither," he said.

The quality of the horses in his barn has improved in recent years, and Rivelli maintains a three-division string, which he said allows him to place his horses better. He said he currently has 20 horses in Florida, 10 at Mountaineer Park in West Virginia, and 16 at Hawthorne Park, which will resume racing March 6.

Adding to his stable depth this winter will be some horses from prominent Chicago owner Frank Calabrese, who recently split with his regular trainer, Wayne Catalano. Calabrese selected Rivelli as one of several trainers that will have horses for him in Florida this winter.

Rivelli claimed Kiernan's Legacy for Calabrese Thursday from a second-place finish in a $10,000 nonwinners-of-three claiming contest.

With Calabrese's horses joining his already-strong stable, Rivelli appears poised for his best meet at Gulfstream Park.