Chicago Barn to Wire


Arlington Park Barn Notes

Contact: Graham Ross (847) 385-7500 ext. 7319

In today's notes:


The first four-win day by any jockey at Arlington Park this season was recorded by Chris Emigh Wednesday, fittingly on the Fourth of July.

Even more apropos, considering all the Family Day activities celebrated at Arlington on America's Birthday, was the group participation in the Jockey Goggle Giveaway by the Emigh family foursome after each trip to the winner's circle.

Emigh's banner afternoon, which included three wins in a row and four of the last five races, began in the fifth race, when he returned to the winner's circle aboard Albert Lobrillo's Chalfonte, trained by Danny Switzer.

"Chris never says to me that he thinks he likes his horses," said wife Kim, who met her husband in the winner's circle along with their 6-year-old son Hunter and 3-year-old daughter Taylor, "but as soon as we got there he won his first race."

After the sixth race, which Emigh won with Quick Draw Stable's Ruby Light, trained by Kenny Smith, the family again gathered in the winner's circle to assist in the jockey goggle giveaway.

"Daddy's a champion," Hunter Emigh said, already becoming somewhat blasť about the ceremony. "He wins all the races."

Again after the seventh race, it was Emigh who returned to the winner's circle after his winning ride on Alec South & Kathleen Talley's Styles Leader, conditioned by Dave Kassen.

"Mommy," asked a more-than-blasť Taylor Emigh after Styles Leader crossed under the wire, "do we have to go down there again?"

Then came Emigh's fourth win in the finale of the day astride the Christine Janks charge Native Meadow, owned by Allen Tanis. It was the first four-win day by any jockey at Arlington this season.

"It was a big day," said Emigh following his fourth tally. "Maybe it helped that (leading rider Mark) Guidry was out of town. It just fell into place today. I had good shots and they got the right races. It worked out. It's no fun unless you get the kids and my wife involved. I'm just glad they made it out to see me. I love the Fourth of July. I win races in spurts. Last week I won three in one day and today I won four."

Where did the Fourth of July four-bagger leave Emigh in the jockey standings at the end of the day? Tied for fourth, of course.


In an unrelated jockey family story, twin brothers Donnie and Lonnie Meche will begin riding at Arlington full time next week after Churchill Downs' Spring Meet concludes Sunday.

Agent Chuck Del Preto, who books Donnie's mounts, will be in town over the weekend to start lining up mounts for his client.

"I should be there over the weekend," Del Preto said from Louisville. "Unless Donnie decides to take a couple of days off, I'd look for him to start riding on Wednesday."

Through Sunday, Donnie Meche had won 16 races from 105 mounts at Churchill to be seventh in the standings. His starters earned in excess of $600,000.

"We held our own down there," Del Preto said. "It's a tough jockey colony but we did all right. We're looking forward to getting to Arlington."

Louis Coco, who is agent for Lonnie Meche, will be in Chicago late this week, with his jockey due in Monday or Tuesday.

"We'd like to start riding right away," Coco said from Churchill. "Hopefully, we'll get on a couple on Wednesday."

Lonnie Meche, who won 21 races at Churchill this spring to be fifth in the standings through Sunday, has already had some success at Arlington Park this season, scoring with two of his five mounts and finishing second aboard Indygo Shiner in the Grade II Arlington Classic last weekend.


Mark Guidry, Chris Block and Frank C. Calabrese have been named Arlington Park's Jockey, Trainer and Owner of the Month, respectively, for June.

During June, Guidry, who is defending his leading rider title locally from the 2000 season, vaulted to the front of the standings once again with 18 wins from 64 mounts. With two riding triples and three doubles, Guidry, who also had 14 seconds and three third-place finishes, earned $581,787 in purses.

Local horseman Chris Block, Arlington Trainer of the Month for June, had saddled seven winners from 26 starters through June 30 to be tied for the lead in the trainer standings at that time. Block also saddled a stakes win double on Prairie State Festival Day June 23 at Arlington, capturing the $75,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap with Team Block's Ioya Two, and the $75,000 Cardinal Handicap with Team Block & Lin Grisham's Reno Rumble. Block, who earned purses worth $227,940 during June, also had five second-place finishes and one third during June.

Owner Frank C. Calabrese, Arlington's leading owner during the 2000 season, had five winners, three seconds, and one third from 13 starters to jump in front of the owner standings locally through the end of June. His starters have posted earnings of $99,580.

Bob Chinn of Chinn's World Famous Crab House is sponsor of the Owner, Trainer and Jockey of the Month Awards. Each winner gets a $100 gift certificate to the Wheeling eatery.

Block's presentation ceremony will be conducted during winner's circle ceremonies after Friday's fifth race, with Guidry's following after the seventh and Calabrese's after the ninth race.


  Sunday will be "Make Room for Rob Komosa Day" at Arlington. The "Make Room for Rob" campaign is trying to reach of goal of $300,000 to help build handicapped-accessible housing for Komosa. The former Palatine High School football player is a quadriplegic as a result of an injury suffered during practice two years ago.

  Jockey Roberto Perez and trainer Tom Swearingen combined for a back-to-back jockey-trainer double on Wednesday's Firecracker Day program. The pair teamed to win the second race with Tom Swearingen Racing Stable, Greco Racing Stable & Abruzzo's Big Dividend and the third race with V & M Racing Stable's Patsy My Dad.

  On July 6, 1970, 31 years ago, trainer Ron Goodridge recorded his first Arlington win with C. E. Finkley's Southern Visit under jockey Martinez Heath.

  Saturday's Grade III Hanshin Cup will be broadcast on ESPN2 "2Day at the Races" between 4:30 and 5 p.m. central time.

  Sunday will be a "Free Admission" Day at Arlington Park.

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