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Contact: Graham Ross
JOSEPHINE ABERCROMBIE NAMED 2006’S ‘DISTINGUISHED WOMAN IN RACING’; ARLINGTON’S 4TH ANNUAL PENNY CHENERY AWARD TO BE PRESENTED AUG. 10
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 29, 2006) -- Josephine Abercrombie, prominent Thoroughbred owner, breeder, member of The Jockey Club, and proprietress of the world famous Pin Oak Stud, will be honored as this year’s recipient of Arlington Park’s 4th annual “Penny Chenery Distinguished Woman in Racing Award” at an invitation-only charity luncheon to be held Aug. 10 at 11:30 a.m. in Arlington Park’s International Room, which also includes cocktails in the Turf Club.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be the recipient of this wonderful award,” said Ms. Abercrombie when asked her reaction to being named 2006’s Distinguished Woman in Racing. “I’m really looking forward to Aug. 10; it will be a very special day in my life.”
Penny Chenery, for whom the Distinguished Woman in Racing Award was named, was equally enthusiastic about this year’s recipient.
“I’ve known ‘Jo’ a long time,” said Ms. Chenery. “She is a remarkable woman owner who is unafraid to demand results. She’s a very feminine and a very attractive lady, and not at all pushy, but she’s very definite, and sees no reason her horses shouldn’t be successful. She has a variety of trainers, but she keeps in touch with all of them and knows her horses well.”
In her younger years, Ms. Abercrombie, 78, was an accomplished horsewoman who won numerous championship titles with her string of American saddlebreds, which she kept in Texas prior to the family’s transition to Kentucky.
Notable Thoroughbreds bred at the original Pin Oak Farm in Versailles, Ky., included 1976 Preakness winner Elocutionist and 1982 English St. Leger winner Touching Wood. The newer farm, called Pin Oak Stud, received the Eclipse Award for top female turf champion Laugh And Be Merry. In 1995 Pin Oak Stud celebrated a banner year with Peaks And Valleys receiving Sovereign Award honors in Canada for Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male, while Hasten To Add was named Canada’s champion grass horse. Also that year, The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association named Pin Oak Stud winner of both nationwide and statewide honors as “Thoroughbred Breeder of the Year.”
However, besides its many equine honors, Pin Oak will contribute over $100,000 in donations this year to Ronald McDonald House of Houston as well as Texas Children’s Hospital, which was founded in 1953 by James Abercrombie, Ms. Abercrombie’s father. That hospital specializes in all pediatric care but includes a cancer center.
The Abercrombie Foundation also made a $225,000 donation to the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Ovarian Cancer Screening Program in 2000.
Arlington’s Distinguished Woman in Racing Award is named after Penny Chenery, Thoroughbred Racing’s unofficial First Lady since campaigning Meadow Stable’s Secretariat to win the Triple Crown in 1973. Previous honorees were Amy Bondon-Peltz in 2003, Beverly Lewis in 2004 and Charlotte Weber in 2005.
All proceeds from Arlington’s Women in Racing Luncheon will go the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation.
The upcoming charity luncheon invitations for Aug. 10 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 $125 for the gala event, which also includes a fashion show presented by Talbots. There will also be a silent auction at the event.
The Honored Speaker at this year’s charity luncheon and fashion show is Ms. Meryl Squires-Cannon of Merix Pharmaceutical Corporation.
Arlington Park -- the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- will run a 95-day meet in 2006 from Friday, May 5 through Tuesday, Sept. 12. 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 Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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