ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — Trainer Larry Rivelli and jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr. swept the pair of Illinois sprint stakes at Arlington on Saturday, July 6. Jean Elizabeth, making her first start of the year, drew off to a decisive 3 3/4-length victory in the Isaac Murphy Handicap. One race later her stablemate Richiesinthehouse, dominant at Golden Gate Fields this winter but freshened after a pair of graded stakes tries in the spring, scored a frontrunning three-length victory in the Addison Cammack Memorial Handicap. Owners Richard Ravin and Vince Foglia own both winners; Ravin and Foglia’s V-Leaf Stables own Jean Elizabeth in partnership with Rivelli, and Ravin co-owns Richiesinthehouse with another Foglia ownership entity, Patricia’s Hope LLC.
It marked the second year in a row that the winners of the Isaac Murphy Handicap and the Addison Cammack Memorial Handicap have been so closely connected. Last year, Michele Boyce trainees Puntsville and Devileye swept the races; jockey Carlos Marquez rode them both, and both are homebreds for S. D. Brilie Partnership.
Jean Elizabeth was making her first start since November of 2018, when she placed second behind Yorkiepoo Princess in the Autumn Days Stakes at Aqueduct. She came back just as sharp as she left. Though outjumped to the lead by a speeding Brittney on Blades, Jean Elizabeth got a good spot pressing directly outside she pacesetter. Jockey Jose Valdivia got Jean Elizabeth going past the seven sixteenths, took the lead with three eighths of a mile remaining, and drew clear nearing the quarter pole. She opened up further into the lane, keeping on well clear all the way to the wire. The closest bid came from Joyful Night, a Chris Block trainee making just her fifth career start, who gave chase all the way down the lane, drew well clear of the rest of the five-horse field, but still crossed the wire 3 3/4 lengths in arrears. It was another 3 1/4 lengths back to Chris Hartman trainee Game Time Decision, who settled between horses at the rear of a well-bunched pack and made a brief rally into the lane. Puntsville and Brittney On Blades completed the order of finish; Itsagimme’s Girl was a stakes scratch.
Jean Elizabeth is a four-year-old Illinois-foaled daughter of Adios Charlie out of the Lit de Justice mare Rooney Doodle. She was bred by Larry Rivelli and Richard Ravin. The victory was her seventh in twelve career starts, and her second in stakes company. Her other stakes victory came last spring at Hawthorne, when she won the Pretty Jenny Stakes. Jean Elizabeth has been a rock of consistency in her twelve-race career; she has never finished worse than third. The $32,160 winner’s share of the purse took her career earnings up to $240,660.
“We really would have liked to get her back to the races sooner,” stated trainer Larry Rivelli after the race. “But the way things worked out we couldn’t get any preps in her. She’s a good horse and we’re looking forward to this year with her.”
Jean Elizabeth stopped the clock in 1:10.75 for six furlongs on fast polytrack, and paid $3.80 to win as the well-defined betting favorite. The $1 exacta over Joyful Night (5-2) came back with $4.90. The trifecta with Game Time Decision in the third rung (5-2-3) returned $7.75 for each $0.50 base bet. The dime superfecta with Puntsville in the lowest rung (5-2-3-6) paid $2.00.
In the next race, Richiesinthehouse kept the spotlight shining in the same direction.
Richiesinthehouse had won four straight races through the fall and winter, a handicap at Presque Isle Downs in September and then three allowances at Golden Gate in January, February, and March. After off-the-board finishes in the Commonwealth Stakes (G3) and the Hanshin Cup (G3), he regrouped and returned in this state-bred spot.
In the opening furlong it looked like Richiesinthehouse would be in for a drawn-out battle: he sent hard, but so did Recount, and they dueled for the lead. Past the five-furlong mark, though, Richiesinthehouse began to edge clear.
He was not home free. Into the turn, What’s Up Dude mounted a bid, and descended outside of Richiesinthehouse approaching the three eighths. What’s Up Dude hounded outside of Richiesinthehouse through the rest of the turn and into the lane, but Richiesinthehouse shook clear from the three sixteenths. Bulldog of Bergen rallied two wide down the lane, and Wile E Peyote three wide, but Richiesinthehouse had slipped away. He crossed the wire three lengths clear of Bulldog of Bergen, who hit the wire a head in front of Wile E Peyote. It was another neck back to What’s Up Dude. Recount completed the order of finish; Northern Fire was a stakes scratch, and he is entered to contest a turf dash allowance at Arlington on Thursday, July 11.
Richiesinthehouse is a five-year-old Illinois-foaled gelding by Sidney’s Candy out of the Bring the Heat mare Streamin Heat, bred by Richard Ravin. The victory was Richiesinthehouse’s first in stakes company, and his eleventh victory in his 16-start career. The $32,295 winner’s share of the purse brought his career earnings up to $269,950.
After the race, trainer Larry Rivelli made it clear that Richiesinthehouse had found his niche. “We tried to stretch him out and get him to go long last time [in the one-mile Hanshin Cup] and that didn’t work out,” he said. “Sprinting on the Poly is just who he is, and that’s where he’s going to stay.”
Richiesinthehouse stopped the timer in 1:09.54 for six furlongs on fast polytrack, and returned $4.80 to win as the narrow wagering favorite. The exacta with Bulldog of Bergen second (3-4) came back with $21.80 for each $1 on the combination. The $0.50 trifecta with Wile E Peyote third (3-4-2) paid $31.70. The superfecta with What’s Up Dude fourth (3-4-2-6) paid $8.74 for each dime wagered.
You can take “Picks & Ponderings” with you anytime, anywhere. You can get Twitter updates @picksponderings for on-scene reports from Arlington International Racecourse. And you can get “Picks and Ponderings” in your e-mail by typing your email address in the box and clicking “Create Subscription.” It’s a FREE service, and you’ll never get any unwanted spam.