Author: C.J. Johnsen

“News You Can Use” from the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund

CHICAGO – The heat is on and with it several summertime activities and events to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). PDJF Day Across America – Over 30 race tracks across the U.S. will celebrate the 4th annual “PDJF Day Across America” on Sat., July 29. This is a day of fun, fundraising, and awareness-building with each track working with its local jockey colony to engage fans and patrons. Many tracks will be hosting jockey autograph sessions. Some other scheduled events include: A 5k run/walk will be held through the grounds of Arlington Park the morning of the...

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Shinn Sets A Strong Foundation in Short Time at Arlington

By Bailey Gallison for Arlington Park Publicity Australian jockey Blake Shinn, based at Arlington International Racecourse for the past five weeks, rode his final North American winner on Saturday when the 29-year-old jockey piloted High Heel Lady to a win in the first race on the July 15 card for trainer Moises Yanez. While the racing season in the Southern Hemisphere had cooled down during their winter months, Shinn took an opportunity from trainer Wesley Ward to head north and ride at Arlington. A native of Kilmore, Victoria, Shinn arrived at the Chicagoland oval June 5, riding his first...

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Tyler Gaffalione Rides Track Record-Equaling Seven Winners

Gulfstream Park Press Release HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jockey Tyler Gaffalione celebrated the Fourth of July with his own brand of fireworks, riding seven winners Tuesday at Gulfstream Park. Thoroughbred racing’s burgeoning star equaled the Gulfstream record held by Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey. Bailey rode seven winners on the March 11, 1995 Florida Derby Day program, missing an eighth visit to the winner’s circle when he and Suave Prospect fell a nose short of beating Thunder Gulch in the Florida Derby (G1). Born six months after Bailey’s record-setting performance, Gaffalione won the first three races, visiting the winner’s...

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Oh, baby! Borel says he’s happier than with Derby victories

By Jennie Rees for Ellis Park HENDERSON, Ky. (Tuesday, July 4, 2017) — A year ago this holiday weekend, Calvin Borel was a visitor on the Churchill Downs backside, his first time at a racetrack since he suddenly retired with little explanation three months earlier at Oaklawn Park. The Hall of Fame jockey said he was just “chilling,” trying to decide what he wanted to do with his life after the relationship with a long-time girlfriend disintegrated. A lot has changed since then. Borel resumed riding last Aug. 27 at Ellis Park, the fans’ love-fest with the jockey picking right up where it left off. If his business was slower to resume, it certainly is picking up speed. In two days of riding at Ellis Park — he missed Saturday’s opener for his induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and did not have a mount Tuesday — he has won three of eight starts with a pair of seconds, including one by a nose. All three wins were horses trained by his long-time friend, Buff Bradley. But here’s the 50-year-old jockey’s life-altering event: His fiancee, Renay Falkner, is pregnant with Borel’s first child, a boy due in late September or early October. He also plans to adopt Falkner’s 2-year-old son, Stephen. Borel estimates he’s known Falkner for 20 years, including when she was an exercise rider for...

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Jockey Chris Emigh Records 1,000th Win at Arlington International Racecourse

Press Release ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 2, 2017) – Jockey Chris Emigh recorded his 1,000th victory at Arlington International Racecourse in a thrilling finish aboard American Star Racing Stable’s Baltic Star in Sunday’s finale. The 46-year-old veteran jockey entered the stretch second behind an open-lengths leader and rallied his mount to close the distance as the crowd’s roar grew with every stride until he hit the wire a nose in front. “I thought it could set up for me, and down the backside I was singing the song they were singing, ‘Baby Blue,’ or something,” said Emigh. “So I was singing on the backside trying to stay calm. And then I thought I had a little shot, but I knew it would be close. I think I was getting more tired than the horse though. I was trying hard.” Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, Emigh rode his first graded-stakes winner in 1996 aboard Come On Flip in the Grade III Hawthorne Gold Cup after moving from Louisiana to ride in Chicago. His first Arlington title came in 2006 when he brought home 110 wins in the season, topped by a score in the Grade III Modesty Handicap aboard Chic Dancer. Emigh captured his 3,500th career win in the 2014 Grade III Washington Park Handicap at Arlington aboard Avanzare for trainer Tom Proctor. “It took a few days longer than I thought...

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