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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/3/09)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Irish-born jockey James Graham, runner-up in Arlington’s 2008 jockey standings, enjoyed a quartet of trips to the local winner’s circle Sunday to tie Venezuelan-born Junior Alvarado for the lead this season’s standings entering Thursday’s Arlington program.
In Sunday’s opener, Graham scored with Sonny Huddleston’s Even Wilder, came back in the sixth aboard Barry Butzow’s Garburetor, got his third win on Skip Cheesman’s Girl Sleuth in the eighth and took the finale astride Dyedra Kademoglou’s Okefenokee.
The fourth win gave Graham his 23rd victory of the local season, tying him with Junior Alvarado, who was winless for the afternoon. One win shy of those two was veteran E. T. Baird, with 22 trips to the winner’s circle through Sunday’s races.
Arlington’s 2006 jockey champion Chris Emigh, who reached the 3,000-career-win milestone Saturday, remained focused on winning “the next one” when congratulated during training hours Sunday morning.
The 38-year-old Elburn, Illinois, resident’s concentration paid off when he scored a hat trick later in the afternoon, moving him into fourth place in the local rider standings as well allowing him to become the fourth rider to ride 20 winners since the meeting began May 1.
After winning the third race astride Amy Sauk and Anne Smith’s Leaping Lily, Emigh came back to the winner’s circle aboard Good Karma Stable’s Go Bucky Go in the seventh and completed his triple on William Stiritz’s My Sonny Boy in the 10th race of the day.
High percentage trainer Dale Bennett, whose starters through Sunday have recorded an 82 percent in-the-money ratio, became the first conditioner at Arlington this season to saddle three winners on a single program.
The 36-year-old native of Toronto, Ontario, took down winning honors in the fourth race with Irene Hock, Vance Gricus and Jack Bogan’s Brooks Star, saddled Good Karma Stable’s Go Bucky Go to win the seventh and completed his training troika with Dyedra Kademoglou’s Okefenokee in Sunday’s last race of the day.
Bennett took out his trainer’s license in 1998 and won his first race July 1 of that year at Detroit Race Course with Spirit of Austin.
In 2004 at Arlington, Bennett saddled Marley’s Revenge to win the Taylor’s Special Stakes in course-record setting time.
British-born conditioner Tony Mitchell came out of a five-month winless slump in double-barreled fashion Sunday – becoming the first trainer this season at Arlington to win both halves of the opening Daily Double.
“I thought one might win, but I wasn’t too sure about the other,” said Mitchell, who saddled Sonny Huddleston’s Even Wilder to win the opener and came right back to the winner’s circle with Thundering Mick’s Atheist in the second. “Hopefully, now we can start turning things around again. I’m just grateful to all my owners who have stuck with me.
“I’ve never won both halves of the Daily Double before,” said Mitchell. “I once won three stakes races in one day – but never the Daily Double.”
Jockey James Graham began his own four-win afternoon on the Mitchell-trained Even Wilder while Lake Zurich-raised jockey Jesse Campbell won his first of two races during Sunday’s program on top of the Mitchell-conditioned Atheist.
This Friday’s “Miller Lite Party in the Park” features great rock music by Chicago’s favorite all-girl band “Catfight,” with first race and first song beginning at 2:30 pm.
Later that evening “Party on the Patio” – featuring music by “The Fairlanes” - debuts for Arlington’s 2009 season at Trackside Arlington Park.
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