Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Friday, July 13, 2012

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/13/2012 #

In Today's Notes: Former Arlington Jock Champ Chris Emigh Rides Thursday Triple; Defending Jock Champ Graham Scores Thursday Double

Veteran Arlington-based jockey Chris Emigh, who won leading rider honors at Arlington during the summer of 2006, scored a riding hat trick Thursday at Chicago's northwest suburban oval to move up into a tie for the ninth spot in the local standings entering Friday's races.

"It's been awhile since I've had one of those here," said Emigh when speaking of his triple at the conclusion of Thursday's program. "It feels great to get one of those at Arlington again."

There's a reason for that. During last summer's Chicago season, Emigh rode almost exclusively in Indiana, coming home only on his off days from the Hoosier State to ride at Arlington.

"I made the decision to go up there because I thought one of the main sources of my business was going to be up there," said Emigh. "Then, as it turned out, that outfit didn't go, so when I got there I started off with no business even though I'd already made a commitment. So this summer, I'm going to ride here and only go up there on my off days here. I'm just trying to keep paying the bills.

"I'd really like to get going again here at Arlington like I did in the old days," said Emigh, whose wife Kim, son teenage son Hunter and teenage daughter Taylor remained in their Elburn home while when he was riding in Indiana some three and a half hours away. "I feel like I'm riding as well as I ever did. All I need is to get lucky with a couple of breaks to get my business back to where it used to be. Hopefully, those three wins Thursday will help the trainers here start to notice me a little more."

Emigh's riding triple began in Thursday's opener aboard Louis Clarizio III, Tamara Romano, Louis Perrino and Anthony Giannini's Unbridled Vicar for trainer Eduardo Rodriguez. He came back to the winner's circle after the seventh on William Stiritz' Algonquin Posse for conditioner Scott Becker and completed his hat trick Tom Rinaudo's Remembermealways for trainer Kim Lunsford.

Following his championship summer in 2006, Emigh was the runner-up in the local standings the following year and never out of the top five during the next three seasons.

The 41-year-old longtime Chicagoland resident reached the 3,000 career-win milestone in 2009, currently ranks eighth among Arlington's all-time leading riders and was tied for ninth in the 2012 standings at the conclusion of Thursday's program.

"It's an honor to be in the top 10 in Arlington's all-time leading rider standings," said Emigh. "There have been so many good riders here over the years. The competition is tough, but I've always loved riding here and want to ride here for the rest of my career. The way I feel right now, I think I can probably ride for at least another 10 years or so before I retire."

Defending jockey champion James Graham had a riding double Thursday to finish that day's program four wins behind current leading rider Francisco Torres. That Chicago-raised reinsman has topped the local standings since early May while in pursuit of his first local title.

Graham's two-win day started in Thursday's third race with a win aboard Last Mango Racing Stable's Fleurdefortyfour for trainer Tom Amoss and was completed after the sixth on Glen Hill Farm's Grandma's Rules for conditioner Tom Proctor.