Coach Jimi Lee earned over one million dollars in a long productive career that saw him answer the bell to many midwestern sprint races. Trained by Jim DiVito, he holds the six furlong track record at Hawthorne, which is also the fastest time ever in the Land of Lincoln. He at one point held the six furlong mark at Prairie Meadows in Iowa.
Coach Jimi Lee, winning the Iowa Sprint Handicap in 2006. Photo courtesy Jeff Coady/Daily Racing Form.
After retiring, he's now in the midst of a second career as a stable pony for DiVito. G. Ross profiled his transition in Arlington's June 1 Barn Notes.
The Coach Jimi Lee Stakes has a purse of $65,000 and will be restricted to three- year-old males sprinting on the main track. With conditions fitting the namesake, the runners here can point for another overnight stakes, the Straight Line at a single-turn polytrack mile on Arlington Million Day.
Arlington Park - - Race 1 -- Coach Jimi Lee Stakes -- Seven Furlongs on polytrack -- Post time 1:00 CT
Take note of the early post time; we're kicking off Million Preview Day with a stakes race. A semi-short field with a dearth of speed on paper looks forecast, and the speediest of the bunch may be
TIREE, who gets the services of Cisco Torres, a good speed rider. On a three race win streak, and beat N3L allowance elders last time at Presque Isle near Erie, PA on the Tapeta; a 21% trainer ships west for this $65K stakes. Seven of eight in the money lifetime, all on the Tapeta. SWEET LUCA goes out for the formidable C. Block barn. Second a single-turn mile last time against state-breds, he's never been worse than second going one turn on the main track. Not thrilled with the success rate on the distance cutback (2% wins, 41 starts), but goes second off the layoff. HOGY has only one bad start in the career, when he was fifth beaten eleven last Autumn in the G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity. Stretches out today, and you wonder if he's better at six furlongs than seven. Still, he won a listed stakes three back and cashed some checks in six-figure stakes on synthetic stakes the last two starts. Perhaps cutting the purse down is a subtle drop in class that will get him back on the beam.
#5 TIREE (7/2)
#4 SWEET LUCA (5/1)
#1 HOGY (5/2)
Longshot: Could the connections of Coach Jimi Lee win the stakes in their honor? It's possible. #2 MACHO COACH (10/1) has the services of trainer J. Divito (who is winning at his usual 27% at Arlington rate), half of a solid Sanchez/DiVito team hitting at a slightly lower percentage. He'll get a target to chase in ARCADE or perhaps even TIREE and will be coming in the late stage races of the race. Could be the one doing all the rallying in the lane.