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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/17/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


“Never look a gift horse in the mouth,” mothers say – but that didn’t stop “Dad’s” jaw from dropping when his daughter presented him with a racehorse at Arlington Park on Father’s Day weekend.

Mike Kappos, 79, a Chicago native who has been coming to Arlington Park most of his life as racing fan, has always lived the dream of owning a race horse someday. As of Saturday on Father’s Day weekend – he does.

Pat Beauvais, Kappos’ daughter, and her children made his dream come true with a surprise public Father’s Day weekend presentation in Arlington’s paddock after Saturday’s second race.

Following a meticulously coordinated effort with Arlington Park’s staff, Beauvais arranged the surprise scenario for her father as he attended Saturday with his family.

“We took him to the paddock, supposedly to say ‘hello’ to his friend trainer Mike Dini,” said Beauvais. “However, we had contacted Arlington earlier and they had arranged for Arlington television hostess Liane Davis to be in on the surprise. He thought he was going to be interviewed as a father attending the races with his family on Father’s Day weekend.

“When Liane came up to him with a microphone, we all gathered around and brought out a framed photograph of the yearling we had bought for him,” Beauvais said. “Then Liane explained to him that this was a picture of the horse he now owned.

“He was completely and totally surprised,” Beauvais said the morning after the presentation. “He said, ‘Oh my, I can’t believe this.’

“To be honest, I don’t think it’s really sunk in for him yet,” said Beauvais Sunday. “He kept calling us with additional questions about the horse all last evening. What made the surprise even better was that Dad always attended the races with his lifelong friend Gus Nicholson.

“Gus died last year, and we all miss him terribly,” Beauvais added, “but Gus’s wife Mary Nicholson flew up from Florida for the presentation, and she told us that if Gus had been alive, he would have enjoyed this just as much as Dad did. We’ve named the horse ‘Mike’s Gust O’ in honor of both of them.”

Mike’s Gust O, a yearling son of Yonaguska, was purchased at the Fasig-Tipton Keeneland sale in February. Yonaguska won Aqueduct’s Grade II Fall Highweight Handicap in November of 2001.


Chicago Thoroughbred racing fans are reminded that Wednesday racing returns June 20 at Arlington Park and will remain in effect for the rest of the season which concludes Sept. 16.

Along with the return of Arlington Park’s five-day week schedule, Chicago’s Northwest oval has announced guaranteed pools on its increasingly popular Late Pick Four wagers every Friday and Saturday, beginning Friday, June 22.

A $25,000 guaranteed gross pool will be offered for the Late Pick 4 on Fridays, while on Saturday programs beginning on June 23, a Late Pick 4 guaranteed pool of $50,000 is being introduced to entice racing fans hoping for a large possible profit from a very small investment.

The Pick 4 is based on a $1 wager that requires selecting the official winner of four consecutive races. Late Pick 4s encompass the final four races each day (generally the seventh through the 10th race.) In addition, Arlington Park offers an Early Pick 4 wager each day starting with the second race, but there will be no guaranteed pool offered on Arlington’s Early Pick 4 wager.

In the event that no one correctly selects the four official winners of the designated Pick 4 races on the same ticket, 75 percent of the net Pick 4 pool is carried over to the next racing day’s corresponding Pick 4 (early-to early, late-to-late), and the remaining 25 percent of the net pool will be paid out to those who correctly select the most official winners of the designated Pick 4 races.

Through June 15, the carryover provision had come into play six times, most recently establishing a meet-high total pool of $65,162.

On that afternoon, there was one “live” possibility going into the last race of the wager that would have returned $51,820. Because of the inflated carryover pool, the payoff returned $6,477 instead of the $4,995 it would have paid without the carryover – a bonus payoff profit of $1,482.

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