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Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/19/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Meryl Squires-Cannon, president and CEO of Barrington, Illinois' Merix Pharmaceutical Corporation, has answered prominent Thoroughbred owner Charlotte Weber's $50,000 matching gift challenge over the next five years to match pledges made to Arlington's "Riding For A Cure" program on behalf of cancer research.

"I was very inspired when Mrs. Weber gave her challenge," said Ms. Squires-Cannon, a Chicago-born and -raised Thoroughbred owner and breeder who has three horses currently at Arlington Park with trainer Michele Boyce. She is familiar with Arlington's "Riding For A Cure" program from her connection to Horizon Farms in Barrington Hills, Illinois.

"Riding For A Cure," founded in 2002, is a 20-mile Arlington horsemen-oriented trail ride through Barrington Hills, where riders raise money through pledges for the cause. The day culminates with an evening of dinner and dancing, as well as a live and silent auction on behalf of cancer research. This year's "Riding For A Cure" fundraiser will be held Sept. 12, with funds going to The University of Chicago Cancer Treatment Research Foundation. "Riding For A Cure" has earned more than $140,000 for cancer research since its inception in 2002, including a record $60,000 that was raised in 2004.

"I met Mrs. Weber for the first time at last week's 'Penny Chenery Distinguished Woman in Racing Award' luncheon in her honor," said Ms. Squires-Cannon, "and I was very impressed with her and the whole idea of her matching gift challenge for cancer research. I've always felt we all need to really pull together as a great force to defeat this terrible problem.

"I have been a regular contributor to the Breast Cancer Foundation in the past," said Ms. Squires-Cannon, "but answering this challenge was much more inspiring. Especially when I heard how 'Riding For A Cure' had raised the money they had before now."

In addition to her head management role at Merix, Ms. Squires-Cannon, who specialized in microbiology as a student affiliated with The University of Chicago, is an inventor who developed the formula for "RELEEV -- One-Day Cold Sore Treatment," her corporation's product.

In her career she has specialized in developing formulas that put botanical medicines in her corporation's products.

"The motto of our corporation is, 'We are a healing force,'" said Ms. Squires-Cannon, "and I try to maintain my focus to do whatever I can to live by those words."


Although Arlington's jockey and trainer standings have taken a backseat to Arlington's International Festival of Racing since the beginning of August, the trends established by local horsemen throughout the season have remained remarkably consistent.

Leading rider Shaun Bridgmohan has continued to be leading rider in number of wins with 17 in August going into Friday's program, increasing his margin to 37 wins over current runner-up Chris Emigh. With 99 wins at Arlington through Thursday, Bridgmohan went over the $2 million mark in purse earnings during Thursday's program but remains on the cusp of the three-figure local win mark.

However, besides Bridgmohan, it is longtime Arlington regular reinsman Eddie Razo who has been Arlington's hottest August rider, with 12 wins during the month. Razo now has 57 wins during the local season going into Friday's program and remains five wins behind Emigh for the second spot.

Arlington regular rider Jesse Campbell, and two-time former Arlington champion Mark Guidry both rode 11 winners in August going into Friday's program, putting Campbell in the fifth spot with 52 winners while Guidry holds down sixth position with 41.

James Graham, in his second season at Arlington, holds down the fourth position in this summer's Arlington standings with 55 winners through Thursday.

Guidry, Arlington's riding champion in 1992 and again in 2000, arrived late to Chicago following the close of Churchill Downs July 10, and has posted a phenomenal win ratio of 31 percent and an in-the-money ratio of 61 percent during his rapid rise in the standings.

In Arlington's trainer standings through Thursday, Wayne Catalano, winner of two out of the last three and three out of the last five trainer championships, has saddled 46 winners from 124 starters through Thursday, while the consistent Christine Janks is in second position with 27 winners from 98 starters.

Janks is also the trainer of Fifteen Rounds, the only four-time winner at the meeting from five starts; High Expectations, who is three-for-five at the session; and Chic Dancer, who boasts a three-for-four mark this summer at Arlington.

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