Jockey Chris Emigh, Arlington’s leading rider in 2006, but who has been hanging his tack at Indiana Downs this summer, returned to his Chicagoland home Sunday and accompanied his daughter Taylor to a local horse show when his cell phone rang.
Realizing the caller was trainer Scott Becker, for whom Emigh rides frequently, the jockey answered the phone with the greeting, “911 Emigh.”
As he suspected, Becker wanted him to ride two horses for him that day at Arlington as late jockey changes: William Stiritz’s Honour First in the fourth race and Stiritz’s Navy Wings in the fifth.
Honour First and Navy Wings both made the pace and held on willingly in the late stages with Emigh’s urging to each score neck victories, giving the Emigh-Becker tandem a double for the afternoon.
Jockey Julio Felix also had a riding double Sunday, winning the seventh race on Sugar Daddy Stable’s Charbourg for conditioner Manny Perez and the ninth on Millard R. Seldin Revocable Trust and the Estate of Hoss Inman’s Cherokee Lord for trainer Charlie Livesay. The latter finished fourth in last summer’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes at Arlington.
SATURDAY HAT TRICK VAULTS GRAHAM TO SECOND IN STANDINGS
With three wins last Saturday during Arlington Park’s Million Preview Day – including a half-length tally in the Grade III Arlington Handicap aboard Shadwell Stable’s Tajaaweed – jockey James Graham vaulted to second place in the local standings entering Thursday’s racing program.
The Arlington Handicap is the designed local preview for the Grade I Arlington Million, which will be one of the three Grade I races offered during Arlington’s 2011 International Festival of Racing on Aug. 13.
Tajaaweed, who is trained by Danny Peitz, finished third in the 2010 Arlington Handicap and sixth in the 2010 Arlington Million, but is being pointed once again toward this summer’s showcase race after last Saturday’s impressive win.
Graham, who also won Saturday’s fifth race on G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s New Wave for trainer Rusty Arnold and the sixth on John Wade’s Aweeoneinthebunker for conditioner Doug Matthews, is one win behind Arlington’s current leading rider J. Z. Santana entering Thursday’s 10-race program.
ALL-TURF PICK-5, LATE PICK-4 FEATURED FRIDAY AT ARLINGTON
The first half of Arlington Park’s 2011 summer season officially ends Friday, but features an All-Turf Pick-5 as well as a late All-Turf Pick-4 as highlights of the day.
The Pick-5 and Pick-4 are both 50-cent wagers, and the Pick-5, which begins with Friday’s fifth race, also features a low 15 percent takeout.