Chicago Barn to Wire


Arlington Park Barn Notes

Contact: Graham Ross (847) 385-7500 ext. 7319


Sunday's feature at Arlington Park is the $50,000 Joe Marovich Stakes, named for beloved Illinois Thoroughbred owner and lifelong Chicago native Joe Marovich.

Mr. Marovich, a popular and easily recognizable Arlington personality known by his many friends as "Little Joe," died suddenly last September at Trackside during a charitable function he had helped organize.

Following an unfulfilled youthful ambition to become a jockey, Mr. Marovich operated Triangle Dies and Supplies, a steel rule cutting dies business right here in Chicago.

After keeping up his interest in Thoroughbreds throughout his adult life, Mr. Marovich finally became a Thoroughbred owner in 1995, and developed a solid stable of about 10 Illinois-breds that enjoyed increasing success during the last few years.

Probably the best horse that raced in the silks of "Little Joe" Marovich was Soccory, who won the Flawlessly Stakes here at Arlington last July as a 3-year-old filly. Soccory is named for granddaughter Cory, who plays soccer.

Mr. Marovich's tireless devotion to several philanthropic organizations underlined his benevolent nature. He was particularly active in the Agassi Foundation for underprivileged children and the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund for riders and their families when they are unable to ride due to injury on the track.

Symbolically, it was during a Don MacBeth Fund Raiser last fall at Trackside that Mr. Marovich suffered a fatal heart attack. Mr. Marovich was a primary organizer of that fund raiser and had donated a tennis racket used by Andre Agassi during his 1999 French Open victory to be auctioned off at that fund raiser.

Mr. Marovich's wife Peg and daughters Tanya Puri and Stefanie Marovich will present the trophy to the winner of Sunday's Joe Marovich Stakes.

"I'm overwhelmed," said Peg Marovich of Sunday's upcoming ceremonies. "My family and I are so appreciative that Arlington would remember my husband in this manner. My husband loved Arlington. We are all honored and thankful and are looking forward to Sunday."


Spectacular Cat, who won the $75,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes last Labor Day weekend here, will attempt to regain his winning ways in Sunday's feature attraction, the inaugural running of the $50,000 Joe Marovich Stakes.

Restricted to 3-year-olds, the race named in honor of the late Joe Marovich, a longtime Arlington personality and Illinois Thoroughbred owner, will be contested at seven furlongs.

After winning the Spectacular Bid, Spectacular Cat was unplaced in the Grade II Arlington-Washington Futurity and was most recently ninth in the Grade III Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 24. Jockey Tim Doocy is named to handle the reins.

Facing Spectacular Cat are: Winnie's Pooh Bear, hero of the Dee Lance Stakes at Hawthorne May 19, Alfredo Juarez Jr. aboard; Antsinmypants, winner of the $50,000 OBS Sprint Stakes at the Ocala Training Center March 19, Mark Guidry up; and Tub Tosser, most recently fourth in allowance company at Churchill Downs May 27.

Also in the field: Purplest, fifth in the Shamrock Stakes at Sportsman's Park April 21, Eddie Perez in the irons; Don Regino, winner of an optional claiming race May 25 at Hawthorne, Eddie Razo Jr. astride; Brassy Babe, second in the Dee Lance, Randy Meier in the tack; and Hickory Switch, winner of back-to-back races in allowance company at Churchill May 4 and May 18 with Frank Lovato Jr. named.


Happy 101st Birthday to Ross Mahoney, who will be on hand at Arlington to present the trophy to the winner of today's sixth race!

Joining him today will be three generations of Mahoney's family for a celebration that will also serve as a precursor for Father's Day on Sunday.

Mahoney, born on a small farm in Ottawa, Canada in 1900, is a resident of Mt. Prospect, who retired from a career in advertising sales for a local publishing company.

Despite his retirement, Mahoney has maintained an active lifestyle. Shortly after his 91st birthday, he celebrated with a hole-in-one while playing a round of golf at The Palms of Bay Beach on Fort Myers Beach, Florida. It was the second hole-in-one of Mahoney's career.


Arlington celebrates its first "Party In The Park" of the 2001 season today with the cover band "BBI" performing in the Park area.

Arlington will offer a shuttle service from "Trackside" parking beginning at 1 p.m. Post time for the first Friday twilight racing program of the season is 3 p.m.

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