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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/15/05)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Irish-born jockey James Graham, who came to Chicago for the first time last summer and finished his debut season as the winner of Arlington's 2004 Rising Star Award, rode four winners Sunday in defiance of the sophomore jinx.
Graham captured the second half of Sunday's Daily Double aboard Seamus Flanagan's Sooey Sunrise, took the fourth astride Luis De Hechavarria's Runaway Cat, came right back to the winner's circle in the fifth with Midnight Cry Stable's Art Variety, and made it three straight and four for the day with Peachtree Stable's Riverside Blues in the sixth.
Congratulated on his multi-win afternoon, including his three in a row, Graham joked, "Actually, it was four in a row; I didn't ride the third race."
The four-win day left Graham securely in fourth position in the current Arlington jockey standings with 18 wins, two behind Chris Emigh, currently in third place. Leader Shaun Bridgmohan is far in front with 36 wins through Sunday, while runner-up Eddie Razo Jr. has 24.
"I'd just like to thank all those trainers: Jeff Thornbury, Rebecca Maker, Ken McPeek and Tom Amoss," said Graham. "Those horses all ran very well. They all had their horses in top condition.
"I always try to learn a little bit more every day," said Graham as he settles into his second summer at Arlington. "Things just seem to keep going my way. I was second in the standings at the Fair Grounds this winter, and I think I was fourth or fifth in the standings at Keeneland this spring. I'm especially proud of that because all the top riders in the nation seem to go there each spring trying to pick up Derby mounts.
"You learn a lot more when you ride against the most successful riders," Graham said, "and I was happy to do as well as I did against that type of competition. As long as things keep going the way they are right now at Arlington, I hope to keep improving at Arlington this summer."
Father's Day Sunday at Arlington Park, traditionally one of the most popular Sunday Pepsi Family Days, presented by the Daily Herald, will include pony rides, face painters, a petting zoo and live music by the Kimi Hayes Band.
Also on Sunday, Junior Jockey Club members can make Dad a special placemat that he can keep forever, and all arts and crafts supplies needed will be provided by the JJC in the Park Area from Noon until 4 p.m.
Sunday's "Get In The Game" session will feature host Joe Kristufek joined by the father-son teams of Mike and Jesse Campbell and R. L. and E. T. Baird, and will be held at the Starting Gate Theatre from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
This Saturday at Arlington, the first 5,000 paid admissions will receive a free Arlington T-Shirt that will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1985 "Miracle Million."
On Saturday's "Get In The Game" program, Kristufek is to be joined by Harry Teinowitz, ESPN Radio 1000 afternoon host. Teinowitz's family has been involved in Thoroughbred racing for many years.
"Suburban Funk" is the featured band for the Bud Light Summer Bash & BBQ, and this week's food special off the Weber grill is grilled BBQ turkey leg.
On Friday, Father's Day weekend kicks off with "The Doormen" playing the best acoustic-driven rock from the '50s to today's hits at the "Miller Lite Party in the Park." First race and first post for Friday's twilight racing program is at 3 p.m.
When Thomas Van Meter II & Michael Lowenbaum's Let 'Em Go captured Saturday's seventh race, conditioner Shannon Ritter could boast of an undefeated career as a trainer.
The former longtime assistant to trainer Elliott Walden was saddling her first starter, and quickly assumed a trainer's obligatory pose answering her cell phone in the winner's circle.
Was it Walden on the phone?
"No," answered Ritter. "Elliott actually called me as the horses were pulling up. The call in the winner's circle was my second call."
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