AP Weekly News and Notes By Marcus Hersh


Jim Gulick won one race as a trainer during the entirety of 2016. On Saturday at Arlington, he won two on the same card.

To be fair, Gulick has run only a handful of horses for which he was listed as the official trainer the last several seasons: Between 2013 and 2016, Gulick started only 39 horses; already this year he has sent out 20. Gulick didn’t have an Arlington starter as a trainer between 2012 and a few weeks ago. Now, he has two wins and two seconds from five runners after less than a month this meet.

“It starts with me basically quitting five years ago owing to not very much business. Well, it looked like it was quitting, but I was taking a break to take care of the family farm,” Gulick said.

The family farm is 20 acres in Morriston, Florida, which lies about 20 miles northwest of the Thoroughbred hotbed of Ocala. Gulick’s flock includes sheep, chickens, donkeys, and bees, as well as horses, but this year, he has jumped – or at least slowly waded – back into the training game. Gulick as of Monday had five horses stabled at Arlington, but four more, including a pair of 2-year-olds, were scheduled to arrive Thursday from Florida.

Gulick, who turned 58 Sunday, is a Floridian with deep Illinois racing roots. Way back in the 1991 season, he had 123 runners during the Arlington meet, and between 1991 and 1994, with owner Don Piser blowing wind into his sails, Gulick won an average of 24 races per Arlington season.

Gulick won Saturday’s second race, a $10,000 conditioned claimer, with a 4-year-old filly named Lu Sea that he owns himself. He won race 8, an open maiden, with a more talented filly, 3-year-old Princess La Quinta. Princess La Quinta required six starts to clear the maiden ranks, but she had shown enough in her career debut last summer that her connections tried her in the Arlington-Washington Lassie, where Princess La Quinta finished a creditable fifth.

Gulick owns Princess La Quinta in partnership with Al Morehouse, and Gulick picked both Saturday winners out at auction for purchase as weanlings. They did not break the bank: Lu Sea cost $4,700, Princess La Quinta $6,500. Princess La Quinta will run next in a first-level allowance race, and Gulick has seen some real flashes from at least one of his 2-year-olds. However they pan out, it’s good to have Jim Gulick back at Arlington this summer.

Another good weekend for Rivelli

Trainer Larry Rivelli won the highest-class race of the two-day racing week May 19 and May 20 at Arlington and snagged three more victories during the span, another strong showing in what has been a generally strong start to the Arlington meet.

Rivelli’s four winners gave him 12 through the first seven days of the meet; Extrapolate, and Rivelli would have 122 winners by the end of the Arlington season. That won’t happen, but he could get closer to his meet-leading 72 wins in 2015 than the 58 he notched as leading trainer in 2016.

It was the Rivelli-trained Daddy’s Boo who won Saturday’s featured fourth race, a high-end allowance race that was rained from turf onto Polytrack. Daddy’s Boo beat a game Princess Erindelle by a neck, and the 11th win of her career was her first on a synthetic racing surface.

Arlington Chart Caller

It’s been a revolving door of chart-callers at Arlington in recent years.

The chart-caller (all now are employed by Equibase, an off-shoot of the Jockey Club) is the gate-keeper to all the statistical information that comes out of races. The caller watches a race through binoculars and calls out all the horses’ running positions at various points, goes back through tape to note any trouble or issues, and then enters a numerical representation of what just transpired along with a section of commentary.

It’s daunting, difficult work, really, but Arlington’s newest chart-person, despite being only two years into the job, appears up to the challenge.

Carly Keiser is just 25, but she clearly loves racing and has thrown herself into the business of calling chart. Keiser grew up in Seattle the child of parents who cared not a whit for the sport, but Keiser started watching the Kentucky Derby as a kid and was hooked. Her first racing job was as a tour guide at the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs, after which she was hired by Equibase. Keiser called charts at a few steeplechase tracks, filled in at Belterra Park, and is the regular chart-caller at Penn National.

When Keiser has some down time from the racetrack, you might well find her – at the racetrack.  

“My goal was to visit 50 racetracks before I turned 25, and I made it by three weeks,” she said. “The new goal is 100 by the time I’m 30.”

From noting tough trips to making trips around the world to visit the track – Keiser is deep in the racing life right now.