Larry Rivelli

Two Phil's Carries the Flag for His Chicago Home Team

This week, Larry Rivelli is counting himself lucky in more ways than one. Before this year, he had never seriously considered ever running a horse in the Kentucky Derby, but here he is now in Barn 1 at Churchill Downs with a 12-1 morning line contender. After training for more than two decades, Rivelli is sharing his first Derby journey with an ownership group that he calls family. Two Phil's (Hard Spun), the winner of the GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks and a seasoned veteran among the Derby contenders with eight...

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From Great Lakes Downs to the Derby

The colt had been getting a little fractious in the gate and now he half sat down: too low for Jareth Loveberry to climb out, but not low enough to scramble underneath. "Get me out!" the jockey hollered. He was just trying to lift himself clear when his mount came back up and pinned a calf against the steel. The pain was excruciating. It was only five seconds or so before they got the gate open but that was enough, as they stretched him out, for the agony to be...

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TDN Derby Top 12: The Real Running Starts Now

We've taken the plunge into the deeper end of the prep pool for the GI Kentucky Derby. Five nine-furlong stakes each awarding 100 qualifying points are scheduled over the next two Saturdays, after which this list will expand to the Top 20. 1) FORTE (c, Violence--Queen Caroline, by Blame) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable; B-South Gate Farm (KY); T-Todd Pletcher. Sales history: $80,000 Wlg '20 KEENOV; $110,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt, MGISW, 6-5-0-0, $1,833,230. Last start: 1st GII Fountain of Youth S....

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Hard Spun's Two Phil's Dominates Jeff Ruby

A few days prior to Saturday's GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park, Larry Rivelli, the trainer of Two Phil's (c, 3, Hard Spun--Mia Torri, by General Quarters), had said, "I've been trying to think of the easiest spot for the money and I think this will be the spot. If he absolutely hates the surface, that's on me. I'm sort of putting myself out there saying that I think he will run well over it." He didn't hate the surface. Patricia's Hope LLC and Phillip Sagan's Two Phil's powered...

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Attorney, Trainer Vienna Joins Epistolary Exchanges on HISA

As the deadline looms for congress to insert language into the full year-end omnibus spending bill to fix constitutional question marks surrounding the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), proponents and critics of the law have taken to an epistolary standoff. Last week, trainers Wesley Ward and Larry Rivelli issued a letter through the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) critiquing various aspects of the national program for "too many flaws, missteps and costs that could have been averted with true inclusion and transparency in its development." Earlier this...

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Open Letter to the Industry: We'll Push for Positive Change, Flawed HISA is Not Answer

The National HBPA issued a letter today saying the organization was approached by trainers Wesley Ward and Larry Rivelli to help facilitate an open letter to the industry. While this is being distributed by the National HBPA, which also assisted in putting the letter together, the sentiments are those of trainers Wesley Ward, Larry Rivelli and the undersigned horsemen and racing participants. They encourage others who agree with this letter to add their name by using the link here and below. More than 400 have signed up in 24 hours...

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Hard Spun's Two Phil's Too Tough In Street Sense

Patricia's Hope LLC and Phillip Sagan's Two Phil's (Hard Spun) stalked, pounced and pulled away to take Churchill's GIII Street Sense S. Sunday while flattering the form of a pair of GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile contenders. Fifth in his local unveiling June 23, the chestnut broke through next out at Colonial the following month. He resurfaced to crush by 9 3/4 lengths in Canterbury's Shakopee Juvenile S. Sept. 17, but could only manage seventh on the stretch out in Keeneland's GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity Oct. 8. 'TDN Rising Stars' Forte...

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Expensive West Coast Colt Gives Sire First Winner

Carolyn Wilson's Fit to Fly (West Coast), a $570,000 OBSMAR acquisition, lived up to his name with a dominant 7 1/4-length score, becoming his freshman sire (by Flatter)'s first winner. Hammered down to even-money favoritism for this debut, the bay went straight to the front and never looked back, clear at every call to win for fun over stablemate Rivzonaroll (Good Samaritan). A $155,000 FTKJUL yearling, he more than tripled that price as a juvenile after breezing in :21 flat for Eddie Woods. Fit to Fly is a half to...

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Cautious Optimism in Illinois Racing

Illinois racing has its problems. There's no more Arlington Park, there will be only 64 days of racing this year and the circuit will shut down in the middle of the summer. But with the 2022 season about to start Saturday at Hawthorne, officials at that track are predicting that navigating through this year will be challenging but not impossible. "How are we going to do? I can tell you more Wednesday when we draw the first card," said Racing Secretary Al Plever. "But I think were going to be...

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Rivelli's “Best Shot Yet” at Breeders' Cup

When Larry Rivelli picked up the telephone, he did so from his Del Mar hotel room, watching a race replay of a horse claimed out of his yard. "I'm a little OCD," he said, in explanation of his unusual leisure-time viewing, before turning the spotlight onto a latest obsession, One Timer (Trappe Shot), his leading contender for the GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. "It's all I do. I'll watch a race of One Timer. Then I'm watching a breeze. Then I'm watching the video of his last breeze," he...

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Trappe Shot Colt Shoots and Scores in WAYI Speakeasy

Chicago-based invader One Timer took to the turf Friday to skate into the GII Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar with a guaranteed spot in the starting line-up. A 12 1/2-length debut romper at Arlington back in June over recent GIII Iroquois S. runner-up Tough to Tame (Speightster) and another future stakes performer, the bay paired up 80 Beyer Speed Figures when annexing Woodbine's Victoria S. July 31. He was scratched as a would-be heavy favorite from the Aug. 28 Arlington-Washington Futurity won by stablemate Nobals (Noble Mission {GB}),...

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Pricey OBSMAR Grad a Second Stakes Winner for Unified

OBS March bullet breezer (:20.2) Roger McQueen (Unified) fended of all challengers Sunday to become the second stakes winner for his freshman sire (by Candy Ride {Arg}). Third as the favorite on debut at Churchill May 22--one slot behind GII Saratoga Special S. runner-up Gunite (Gun Runner)--the dark bay stepped forward to air by five lengths here July 17. Displaying ample zip once again to attend the pace through a :46.99 half, Roger McQueen took over approaching the stretch but was immediately tackled by Lucky Boss (Street Boss). He continued...

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