Chicago Barn to Wire


Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 255-4300
Friday, September 15, 2000
92nd Day


With the completion of this weekend's official opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games, it is apropos that the inaugural World Cup of Nations comes to Arlington International Racecourse on Sunday.

The World Cup of Nations, featuring non-professional jockeys from five finalist nations, represents amateurism at its best, showcasing athletic horsemen and horsewomen competing with total indifference to monetary compensation.

To be contested as the third race on Sunday's program, the one-mile grass race will involve 10 horses. Five male and five female riders - one of each to represent the five finalist nations of Italy, Germany, France, the United States and Switzerland - have had their names randomly drawn and assigned to each of the 10 horses entered.

Based on the Davis Cup format, this Cup will crown a nation rather than an individual rider, and going into Sunday's finale, the current standings are:

Nation Baden-Baden Rome Deauville Luzern Total Arlington Grand Total
Italy 4 10 10 1 25    
Germany 10 2 3 3 18    
France 2 4 6 6 18    
USA 3 3 2 4 12    
Switzerland 1 0 0 10 11    

Under the World Cup point system, 10 points are awarded for a first-place finish, six points for second; four points for third; three points for fourth; and one point for fifth.

As an example, in order for the United States to surpass Italy, if the two American riders finished first and second, they would earn 14 new points, bringing their total to 26, or one more than Italy.

However, the two Italian riders would have to be shut out, each finishing between sixth and tenth. (With one fifth-place finish, the Italians would also have 26 points, to finish in a tie despite the Americans' presumed one-two knockout punch.)

The American team will consist of Eric Cohn, 32, from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania; and Leigh Offutt, 20, a student from Annapolis, Maryland.

Cohn, an auto detailer, is a former bartender who won the last Amateur Riders Club of the Americas race run at Arlington International on September 6, 1997. Aboard Mike & John Dini & Gary Spielman's Glen Savoye that afternoon, Cohn and Glen Savoye took command shortly after the start, made the pace and then held sway in the drive to tally by a length and three-quarters. Based largely on that performance, Cohn became the ARCA 1997 USA Champion.

Offutt won the ARCA 1999 Female USA Championship and has a total of five lifetime wins in the amateur competition.

The American silks worn by Cohn and Offutt will be White, Blue Yoke with White Stars, Red Stripes, and Red Cuffs on White Sleeves. Cohn will wear a White Cap and Offutt will wear a Red, White and Blue Cap.

The flags of Italy, Germany, France, the United States and Switzerland will be prominently displayed in the infield near the finish line at Arlington International, with the silks of the riders designed to be similar to that nation's flag. Different colored caps will distinguish the two individual riders for each nation.

In the tradition of the Olympic Games, there will be a medal presentation ceremony following the race with a gold medal for first, silver for second, and bronze for third. Also in the tradition of the Olympics, the National Anthem of the winning nation will be played during the post-race ceremony.


For the last two Fridays of the Arlington meet, September 22 and 29, first post will be moved up five minutes to 3 p.m.

Also, on those two Fridays, the live race card will be reduced to nine live races.

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