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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/17/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


One lucky racing fan wagering at the Oakbrook Terrace OTB Thursday afternoon collected Arlington Park’s Pick 6 jackpot – worth an eye-opening $120,266 based on a $2 wager.

Although the six-figure sum was easily the largest payoff based on a $2 wager recorded during the current Arlington session, which runs until Sept. 16, it was less than half of Arlington Park’s all-time record payoff.

On the final day of the 1984 Arlington Park season, one lone ticket holder collected an Arlington Park Pick 6 ticket worth $269,253.

Going into Thursday’s race-day program, Arlington Park’s Pick 6 jackpot was the largest in North America – worth $70,614.


Jockey Cecilio Penalba, ninth in Arlington Park’s jockey standings through Thursday, will be sidelined the rest of the local season due to injuries suffered in a spill during Thursday’s second race.

According to his agent Oscar Sanchez, Penalba, 31, a native of Sona, Panama, suffered injuries to his back, knee and face when his mount Classic Canyon, owned by William Tippett, clipped heels with a rival entering the stretch and fell, throwing Penalba to the ground. Classic Canyon appeared uninjured, according to trainer Ron Goodridge on Friday.

The popular jockey, who resides in South Florida, was riding at Arlington for the first time this season and was enjoying a successful summer in Chicago. Sanchez also said that Penalba is expected to remain in Northwest Community Hospital for a couple of days for further tests before being released.

“It’s just one of those unfortunate things,” said Sanchez. “It wasn’t anyone’s fault. Cecilio doesn’t blame anybody. Things like that happen in racing.”

Penalba, a graduate of Panama’s highly regarded jockey school that also boasts Hall of Fame reinsmen and former Arlington Park champions Laffit Pincay Jr. and Jorge Velasquez among its former pupils, had ridden 24 winners from 259 mounts at Arlington this summer and had recorded purse earnings of $532,538 through Thursday.


Members of Arlington Park’s extended family joined forces with the Arlington Heights Police Department last week to help make a wish come true for one local youngster – and their efforts were so successful that they will end up helping three.

Arlington Park and the Arlington Heights Police play an annual softball game for charity and this year’s designated recipient was the Make-A-Wish® Foundation of Illinois. The Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Since its start in 1985, more than 7,000 local children have experienced a wish come true. For more information, visit

The goal this summer was to fulfill the wish of an 11-year-old Arlington Heights resident who wanted to attend the “Summerslam” wrestling tournament in New York City, a dream which will reach fruition next week following a winner’s circle check presentation ceremony after Saturday’s fifth race.

The youngster and his family will be met by a limousine at their home early next Wednesday morning and will be accompanied to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport by an Arlington Heights Police Department escort.

Fortunately, the amount necessary for the Make-A-Wish® Foundation to adopt that youngster’s dream was tripled, and the total sum collected will allow the Make-A-Wish® Foundation to adopt the wishes of two other Arlington Heights youngsters.


Conditioner Frank Kirby, with two Arlington Park training titles to his credit – earned 30 years apart – saddled a training triple Thursday at Arlington.

After winning both halves of the Daily Double, with Hondo Ranch Inc.’s Summer Range in the first with Mark Guidry aboard, and Silver Mound Stable’s I’m A Good Guy in the second with Chris Emigh up, Kirby completed his triple with David Banks and Hondo Ranch Inc.’s Lord Carmen in the eighth – Guidry astride once again.

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