Guidry finally gets his chance in Million
By Mike Spellman, Chicago Daily Herald, August 19, 2000
Mention Arlington International, and the first jockey most people will mention is Mark Guidry.
Mention the Arlington Million, and the jockeys that come to mind are Willie Shoemaker, Cash Asmussen, Gary Stevens and Jose Santos.
Guidry would like to change that. The dominant jockey on the Chicago circuit the last 11 years and Arlington's leading rider again this year, Guidry will get his first shot at it today when he rides the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Mula Gula in the 18th running of the Arlington Million.
A field of seven will go to the gate in the first Million in three years and the first one to feature a $2 million purse--with $1.2 million guaranteed to the winner.
Taking home the centerpiece race of the Arlington season won't be easy with a field that includes the likes of Manndar, Bienamado, Asidero, Slickly and Chester House, but Guidry says you can't win the game if you're not playing.
"I'm tickled to death just to be in it. I'm very grateful," said Guidry, who also rode in te Kentucky Derby for the first time this year aboard Deputy Warlock. "When you ride for $2 million . . . man, hopefully we'll do good. The connections, they have to like their horse to ship him in from California."
Mula Gula's last race was at Arlington on the dirt in the Grade II Washington Park Handicap. Guidry guided that mount to a second-place finish, a length behind Blazing Sword.
"It looks like he might have a little plus the grass compared to the dirt," Guidry said. "And you don't have all that many standouts in the field and I'm sure the turf is still going to be a little yielding by Saturday, so anything can happen."