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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/23/04)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Raffle tickets to benefit the Racing Industry Charitable Foundation (RICF) are now on sale at various locations around Arlington Park for the first of seven drawings to be held throughout the summer season at the local oval.
The first of the seven summer drawings at Arlington Park will be held on Memorial Day Monday, May 31. The more tickets sold, the bigger the prize.
The RICF provides on site medical, dental, social services, licensed outpatient substance abuse programs and community mental heath clinics to the employees and residents on the backstretches of the racetracks in Illinois.
"This is a great opportunity for racing fans, horsemen and employees to win money and donate to a good cause," said Cliff Goodrich, president of Arlington Park. "If our guests can afford to wager $5 on a horse, we hope they will be able to buy a raffle ticket for the same price. They could win a large cash prize, and know that even if they don't, they haven't wasted their money."
There are two separate pools -- one for the public, and one for horsemen and employees in the RICF 50/50 raffle -- so named because 50 percent of each drawing's total pool is paid out to the winning ticket holder, while the remaining 50 per cent of each pool will be donated to RICF.
RICF services are provided largely free of charge to eligible backstretch workers and their families. In addition, RICF provides public health screenings, educational programs, drug prevention programs and health fairs. School physicals, immunizations, flu vaccines, summer children's programs with the area school districts and holiday celebrations are some of the services provided to the children and families on the racetracks.
The first of three Monday racing programs during Arlington Park's 2004 meeting occurs this coming weekend as Chicago's Northwest suburban oval celebrates the Memorial Day holiday with four straight days of festive holiday Thoroughbred racing.
Friday's special twilight racing program, with a late post time of 3 p.m., kicks off Memorial Day weekend at Arlington, giving Arlington guests a chance to enjoy the Miller Lite Party In The Park atmosphere with the Caribbean music of 'rhumbuzzz' - featuring Arlington bugler Bonny Brown.
On Saturday morning, the first "Breakfast at Arlington" program of the 2004 season will be conducted, with a breakfast buffet served from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Track announcer John G. Dooley and Arlington television analyst Christine Gabriel host the morning program, which allows guests to stay for the races that afternoon.
Later Saturday, when Arlington's first race reverts to its regular 1 p.m. time slot, the 52nd running of the Grade III Hanshin Cup, enjoying its 10th year as an exchange race with the Japan Racing Association, will be contested as the featured Thoroughbred event of the weekend. Two years ago the popular Arlington-based Bonapaw won the Hanshin Cup on his way to a Grade I Breeders' Cup Sprint campaign.
On Sunday this weekend, a newly designed theme of "Story Time at Arlington Park" will make it's debut during Pepsi Family Day sponsored by the Daily Herald. The entire family will enjoy watching their favorite stories involving horses come to life with "Stallion Story Acting." Hosted by Paddy Lynn, the show involves combining story telling with acting to create a delightful combination of interactive fun known as "storyacting," with audience members on stage to act out stories everybody knows and loves.
Also, Arlington's Junior Jockey Club will meet Sunday with members learning how to participate in the Junior Jockey Club's Racing to Read program. The first 300 Junior Jockey Club members will receive a copy of "My Horse Coloring Book."
Pony rides and a petting zoo will also be offered for the younger set Sunday.
On Memorial Day Monday, the first 5,000 paid admissions will receive a Rene Douglas bobble head doll, honoring Arlington's defending jockey champion of the last three years. Special family day activities will also be offered, including pony rides, a petting zoo, face painters and a caricature artist.
Also on Monday, the first "Get In The Game" seminar will take place in the Starting Gate Theatre from 11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Daily Herald Handicapper Joe Kristufek will conduct the seminar.
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