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Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/17/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Veteran Illinois jockey Chris Emigh is known for winning his races in bunches, and he underlined that reputation Thursday with his first four-win day at Arlington Park this season.

What made Emigh's Thursday coup somewhat unique was that his first three winners came on horses he had never ridden before. However, his final win of the afternoon was on a filly making only her fourth career start, and Emigh has been aboard for all of them.

The multi-win afternoon began when Emigh captured the opener with Pixie Poo, an invader from Fairmount Park owned by James Hines Jr. and trained by Thomas Trione Jr. Emigh then posed in the winner's circle aboard Norma Lee & Wayne Stockseth's Corpus Sand, a shipper from Prairie Meadows conditioned by Don Von Hemel; took the fifth on P.T.L. Stables' Quick and Crafty, trained by Bret Calhoun; and came back in the finale astride the Christine Janks-trained Modjadji, owned by William Lydon, Arbaway Farm & Carson Springs Farm.

Emigh's four-bagger moved him into a tie for second in the local jockey standings with Eddie Razo Jr. through Thursday with 26 wins apiece; 11 behind leading rider Shaun Bridgmohan. (Razo won Thursday's fourth race aboard William Congleton's Johnny Thunder, conditioned by William Helbrecht.)


Darrell and Evelyn Yates, who watched their 3-year-old colt Crypto Star win the Louisiana and Arkansas derbys in 1997, and then go on to run fifth in that spring's Run for the Roses, have another good one who will go to the post in Saturday's Grade III Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap at Arlington Park.

The Yates own the 4-year-old filly Injustice in partnership with Turf Express Inc., the nom-de-course of Mark Cornett, a fellow-racing enthusiast they met through Arlington's current leading trainer Wayne Catalano, conditioner of Injustice. Last year, the partnership raced the talented filly Tamweel in their first venture together.

"We decided after her last couple of races that Injustice might be a little better going short," said Yates Thursday at Arlington. "Even though she won that race around two turns at Oaklawn (the Grade III Azeri Breeders' Cup March 12), she was allowed to get out in front and set her own pace that day.

"My Trusty Cat (Chicago BC Cap morning line favorite) likes to come from way back," said Yates. "What we'd like to do is be able to sneak off by ourselves the first part of it to slow things down, and then have something left at the end."

The Yates, from Bethalto, Illinois, where they have a family-owned construction business, won Wednesday's third race with Wise Diplomat, who they also own in partnership with Cornett.

"We've had a lot of luck since we started a partnership with him," said Yates, "so we're going to hang on to him."

My Trusty Cat earned the favorite's mantle in Saturday's seven-furlong feature by winning the Grade I Humana Distaff Handicap at Churchill Downs in her last start on Kentucky Derby Day, May 7, also at seven-eighths of a mile. She is the defending champion from last season's Chicago BC Cap and is owned by Carl Pollard, chairman of Churchill Downs Inc.


Apprentice jockey Denis Rojas won his first Arlington Park race when he guided Margaret Maylor & Faraway Farm's Bill Heinz home to a three-length tally in Thursday's second race for trainer Marco Salazar.

Three races later the 21-year-old native of Chiriqui, Panama, finished second in Arlington's fifth event aboard Richard Rudolph & Michael Vranich's Chateau for veteran conditioner Spanky Broussard.

Rojas won the first four races of his career in Panama, journeyed to Gulfstream Park this winter where he won his fifth in February, and then went to Aqueduct where he won three more in March before being briefly sidelined after hurting his knee in a morning training accident at Belmont Park.

The apprentice, whose engagements are being handled by Oscar Sanchez, got on his first horse as a 7-year-old and attended Panama's famous jockey school while still in his teens. He has a brother who is currently riding in Indiana.

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