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Emigh on Top at Hawthorne

DAK’s Diary for Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chris Emigh has been the leading rider at Hawthorne six times, and this fall he’s gunning for his fifth consecutive title.

He doesn’t travel around a lot for out of town stakes, nor does he have any intention of leaving Chicago for greener pastures.

Chris Emigh is a family guy. He brings his lunch pail to work every day, and quietly goes about his business.

In July at Arlington, when his longtime agent Jay Fedor had an opportunity to take on a second jock, instead of whining about the potential loss of business, Emigh encouraged the move.

It wasn’t just any jockey that would join Emigh in the Fedor stable, it was four-time Arlington riding champ Rene Douglas. Fedor is Emigh’s agent, but he’s also his friend. Friends don’t let friends pass up opportunities for selfish reasons.

As it turned out, Douglas’ arrival didn’t hurt Emigh at all. In fact, the 35-year-old Virginia native never missed a beat, and pushed on strongly to capture his first ever Arlington crown.

Just eight days into the Hawthorne meet, Emigh finds himself in his familiar position atop the standings. He scored the first riding triple of the fall meet on Wednesday, and holds a one win advantage (9-8) over “Everyday” Eddie Razo Jr. and Hawthorne newcomer Jose Ferrer.

As further evidence of his Hawthorne dominance, let’s take a look at the top jocks at Hawthorne this decade.

Top riders at Hawthorne, 2000 to present:

Name

Sts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Purses

Chris Emigh

3638

581

550

438

16 43

$13,067,370

Larry Sterling, Jr.

2345

416

321

327

18 45

$8,661,719

Shane Laviolette

2930

396

338

357

14 37

$7,468,623

Eddie Razo, Jr.

2445

361

336

320

15 42

$8,997,880

Randy Meier

2695

330

299

316

12 35

$7,327,950

Jesse Campbell

2567

327

364

347

13 40

$7,460,860

Carlos H. Silva

2332

312

263

302

13 38

$6,686,840

Eddie Perez

1902

239

216

260

13 38

$5,235,589

E. T. Baird

1666

231

206

212

14 39

$4,799,423

Uriel A. Lopez

2373

194

265

251

8 30

$3,839,033

In other news on the jockey front, Daily Racing Form’s Marcus Hersh reports that Francisco Torres has entered himself into an alcohol rehabilitation facility, and that he will not ride again at Hawthorne this fall. Torres won with one of 15 mounts here on opening weekend.

Torres, who finished second to Emigh at the recently concluded Arlington meet, has had similar issues in the past. It’s good to see that he caught this situation before it got out of control, and that he’s doing something about it.

“Cisco” is a good guy and we wish him all the best. His agent Bobby Kelly, who also represents Larry Sterling, said he hoped Torres could be ready to return for the Fair Grounds meet in New Orleans, which opens Thanksgiving Day.

Random thoughts:

  • Opening weekend, Hawthorne’s main track had an obvious inside bias, which in turn makes speed horses doubly dangerous. Last week, the main track played a lot more fairly. The same situation occurred during the spring. It seems like the track takes a couple of days to settle into uniformity.
  • It was simple and very logical move, and I applaud Hawthorne for instituting the carryover rule for the Pick Four. No bettor should be paid from mediocrity, and that’s the case when the entire pool is paid out when no one has a perfect ticket. Last Thursday, no bettors had all four in the Early Pick Four (races 2-5), therefore a 3 of 4 consolation was paid out (25 percent) and the remainder of the pool -- $7,136 – was carried over to the Friday early Pick Four. The bettors responded, wagering an additional $36,736. On a $1 ticket with the following horses, the Early Pick Four returned a whopping $2,697.40.

2nd – Red Rolls Royce 5-2

3rd – Sandpit Cart 5-2

4th – Communion 10-1 (another longshot win for Zim)

5th – Red River Aggie 7-2

Without the carryover, the return would have been $2,119.40. Therefore the presence of the additional funds spurned an additional $578 return to those with correct tickets.

-30-

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