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Arlington Park release (5/20/04)

Contact: Graham Ross


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 20, 2004) -- Beverly Lewis, prominent Thoroughbred horse owner who teamed with her husband Robert to form one of the most immediately successful Thoroughbred ownership partnerships in racing history, will be honored as this year's recipient of Arlington Park's 2nd annual "Penny Chenery Distinguished Woman in Racing Award" at an invitation-only charity luncheon to be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 12 in Arlington Park's International Room.

"I'm absolutely thrilled and very surprised to be chosen for this honor," said Beverly Lewis when asked her reaction to be named 2004's Distinguished Woman in Racing. "As always, I will look forward to coming to Arlington, especially for such a delightful occasion."

Mrs. Lewis and her husband, who quickly gained international recognition as Thoroughbred owners with such horses as Timber Country, Serena's Song, Silver Charm and Charismatic in the 1990s, are equally well known for being actively involved in several charitable activities, including the Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center in Pomona, California. The Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center, a part of Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC), has been helping battle cancer since 1993.

In late 1989 PVHMC's Foundation was asked to raise the funds necessary to build, equip and endow an outpatient Cancer Care Center. One of the first gifts received was from Robert and Beverly Lewis, a gift of $1 million. During the course of the campaign, the Lewises gave another $4 million bringing their total gift to $5 million.

Also, as owners of Serena's Song, champion 3-year-old filly of 1995, the Lewises donated a portion of that filly's earnings toward a balloon of the same name that was launched to give hot air balloon rides to handicapped children.

Arlington's Distinguished Woman in Racing award is named after Helen "Penny" Chenery, Thoroughbred racing's unofficial First Lady since campaigning Meadow Stable's Secretariat to win the Triple Crown in 1973. Not surprisingly, Mrs. Chenery and Mrs. Lewis have been friends for more than 10 years.

Previous awards won by Bob and Beverly Lewis include the 1997 Eclipse Award of Merit, the 1995 Big Sport of Turfdom Award given by the Turf Publicists of America and the 1998 William H. May Award from the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

Hosting Arlington's Women in Racing Luncheon will be Arlington television personality Christine Gabriel, founder of Arlington's "Riding for a Cure" program. Charlsie Cantey, noted television personality for the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup races on NBC, will be a guest speaker at the luncheon.

Arlington's third annual "Riding for a Cure" program, with proceeds donated to the American Cancer Society, is scheduled for Sept. 13 this year.

The upcoming Luncheon invitations will be extended to women in racing, including owners, trainers, assistant trainers and jockeys and other women involved in various aspects of the Thoroughbred industry. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will precede the Luncheon. Tickets cost $75 for the gala event, with a fashion show presented by Adrienne Vittadini LLC, and a silent auction for the original of a sketch by noted equine artist PEB honoring the occasion.

Arlington Park -- Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- will run a 96-day meet in 2004 from Friday, May 14 through Sunday, Sept. 19. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at

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