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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/3/04)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
The third and final of three Monday racing programs during Arlington Park's 2004 meeting takes place this weekend as Chicago's Northwest suburban oval celebrates the Labor Day holiday.
Monday's Labor Day live racing program will have a normal first post time of 1 p.m., and Arlington Park will also feature a special family day program on that day that includes pony rides and a petting zoo for the entertainment of Arlington's younger guests.
One day earlier, Arlington will host its regular Pepsi Family Day on Sunday, featuring the world of cowboys and horses for the youngsters in the park area. Also on Sunday, there will be an Arlington Park Bag giveaway to the first 5,000 paid admissions.
Saturday of this extended Labor Day weekend, the final "Breakfast At Arlington" program of the 2004 season will begin at 7:30 a.m. and run to 9:30 a.m. The breakfast buffet is $6, but fans can watch the Thoroughbreds' morning workouts while listening to the informative program conducted by Arlington television personality Christine Gabriel as well as Arlington announcer John G. Dooley.
However, the highlight of Saturday's racing program is the 68th running of the Grade III Arlington Matron, featuring last year's Grade I Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Adoration. The 5-year-old mare owned by Amerman Racing LLC takes on eight other fillies and mares including Iron County Farms Inc.'s Bare Necessities and Turf Express Inc.'s Tamweel.
Also offered during Labor Day weekend will be three of the increasingly popular "Get In The Game" sessions. Saturday's format will feature a discussion of time and speed figures, while on Sunday, Arlington president Cliff Goodrich and Arlington racing secretary and handicapper Frank Gabriel Jr. will be the featured guests. Monday's "Get In The Game" session will feature Arlington's leading rider Rene Douglas, Arlington leading trainer Frank Kirby and Arlington leading owner Frank Calabrese.
Arlington Park's perennial leading owner Frank C. Calabrese, well on his way to another local title, will be honored as the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA)'s Midwest Owner of the Year in ceremonies Sept. 10 at Central Kentucky's Juddmonte Farms. However, the Chicago native who calls Arlington "the best track I've ever been at," will not be on hand to accept it.
"Since I retired and sold my printing business, I don't like to wear a coat and tie anymore," explained Calabrese. "I had to do that all my life in business, but now I just don't want to do that anymore. In fact, one year at Thistledown for the Ohio Derby and I was the worst dressed owner ever in the winner's circle there. I was dressed typically in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, no stockings."
Calabrese has dominated Arlington's owner standings in recent years, both in money earned and number of wins, but asked which was more important to him he said: "Most money.
"I'm investing heavier into good quality horses now," Calabrese said, who has had foals by his 1997 Arlington-Washington Lassie winner Silver Maiden and also admits to liking the breeding end of the business.
"Now my next goal is to become my own trainer," Calabrese said. "When I do that I'll be able yell at myself."
Jockey Chris Emigh, trainer Steve Asmussen and Thunderhead Farms have been named respectively Arlington's jockey, trainer and owner for the month for August.
Emigh, currently third in the jockeys' standings, visited the winner's circle 18 times from 105 mounts in August and also celebrated a four-win day, one riding triple and two doubles during the month.
Asmussen saddled 12 winners from 52 starts in August, and had three days when he saddled training doubles.
Thunderhead Farms of Bill and Nancy Peters had five winners from five starters during August, including an impressive four and three quarter-length score by their top 2-year-old Rocky River in last Sunday's $52,800 Spectacular Bid Stakes.
Arlington jockey Men Chen, thrown to the ground when his mount Discounted, owned by Markus Lindsay and Lindsay Racing Stable Ltd., clipped heels and fell during Thursday's seventh race, has apparently escaped serious injury.
Chen, who suffered a concussion and complained of pain in his left side, was taken to Northwest Community Hospital but was expected to be released Friday.
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