Rider Fong Gets His First Win at Arlington

Recent Arlington Park arrival Freddy Fong Jr. rode the first winner of his career on Saturday when he guided The Edwards Group's Coppers 'n' Brass to victory in the first race at the suburban Chicago racetrack.

Fong, a 19-year-old native of Arcadia, Calif., only began accepting mounts at Arlington on Friday, and finished third in the final race of the afternoon. He had previously ridden at Calder Race Course in Florida. Heading into Saturday's Arlington card, Fong had gone winless from 24 starts.

Agent John Hoffman, whose previous client Ray Sibille retired last week, is handling Fong's engagements. Hoffman also handles the book for jockey Brian Peck.

Fong kept Coppers 'n' Brass just behind the pace set by Pagliacci, who was ridden by veteran Randall Meier. He made a wide rally in the stretch and took command inside the final sixteenth of a mile and was three-quarters of a length best at the finish. The one-mile race was timed in 1:39.15.

"I just followed Mrs. Little's (trainer Pam) instructions," Fong said. "It worked out great."

Sent off at the second longest odds in the race, Coppers 'n' Brass paid $29.80, $12.60 and $7.20.

(Chart, Equibase)