Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Leading Arlington Park reinsman E. T. Baird rode five winners on Saturday’s Million Preview Day program – including three stakes – and is now three wins shy of the 2,000-win milestone in his career.

Baird, 42, the Chicago-born son of the late Chicago-based reinsman Bobby Baird, culminated Saturday’s winning quintet with a tally aboard Jonathan Sheppard’s Just as Well in the $200,000 Arlington Handicap after taking down winning honors in the $200,000 Arlington Sprint in the previous race astride Encore Racing Stable’s Yankee Injunuity.

Other Saturday scores by Baird came in the third race on Scarlet Stable’s Big Rushlet, in the fourth on Frank Calabrese’s Sedona Belle, and in the $53,300 Diamond Ring Stakes astride Calabrese’s Romacac “This is probably one of the best days I’ve ever had around here,” said Baird immediately after the racing program. “I knew I had some good horses to ride today, but I try not to ‘overthink’ these things. I just try to play things as they work out. If things follow that way – all the better
“The best part is for me to be around here after riding here for 25 years,” said Baird. “There are just so many that can happen in this sport. I wouldn’t even have to be leading rider here to be happy, or get to 2,000 wins. I’m just happy to still be here.”
Baird has never won a riding title at Arlington, but leads the standings through Saturday with 51 wins, seven more than his nearest pursuer.