Chris Emigh won his first race in 1989 as an 18-year-old riding the Southern Louisiana circuit. Twenty-nine years later he is sitting on 3,983 wins coming into the 2019 Arlington Park meet, at a track where he has found plenty of success over the years. He sits third on the Arlington Park all-time winningest jockeys behind Hall of Famers Earlie Fires, and Pat Day.
Emigh couldn't be more excited at the fact that he's nearing this milestone at Arlington.
“It's what I was hoping. It's been home for me for so long and the people here, the crowd, the celebration, everything,” he said. “This is a dream track and I was really hoping it wouldn't happen anywhere else but here.”
For Emigh, being underestimated when he was younger was something he just learned to deal with. Even he didn't feel as though he was a very good rider back in those days, but he always had one number in mind. 4,000.
“I told myself if I consistently work hard, wake up every day and give everything I've got to this, one day I can reach 4,000. 4,000 wins was the number; it's always been the number. I knew if I reached 4,000 no one would ever be able to tell me I wasn't a good rider.”
On opening day Emigh is named to ride eight races, and on day two of the meet Emigh will be riding nine races. He is 17 away from reaching his lifelong goal of 4,000 wins.
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