Long tall jockey Tanner Riggs was in the midst of his drive down from Minnesota to Chicago when reached on his cell phone shortly after Labor Day.
The 23-year-old South Dakota native had just completed a successful summer season at Canterbury Park, winning leading rider honors at the Minnesota oval, but was bringing his tack back to Arlington for the remainder of the local meeting which comes to a close September 30.
“Three different times I won five races in a day up there so that was a big thrill,” Riggs said. “I think I ended up with 74 winners and also had a couple of Quarter Horse wins. However, now I’m really looking forward to coming back Arlington to get back in the barns of some of the Chicago horsemen who rode me in the past. You get to ride better horses at Arlington.”
Riding the whole meeting at Arlington last summer, Riggs finished ninth in the standings with 37 wins. He also picked up his first Arlington stakes win aboard the Frank Kirby-trained Wild Hope in the 2011 Isaac Murphy Handicap.
“I’ve also won three riding titles at Hawthorne over the last couple of years,” said Riggs, “so I’ll be going on down there after the Arlington season ends.”
Although Riggs had ridden at Arlington full time since 2008 before this summer, he was no stranger to Canterbury. As a South Dakotan, he had begun his career at the bush tracks of his native state, but quickly graduated to the Minnesota circuit.
“When I first rode at Canterbury I still had the bug,” Riggs said.