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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/16/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Longtime Arlington Park jockey Randy Meier, with 3,999 career victories following his local win Saturday, is listed to ride eight horses on Sunday – closing day program of Arlington Park’s 2007 racing season.

Meier, who shares senior status with Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires as the unofficial co-captains of Arlington’s jockey colony, also has family ties at Arlington. Daughter Emily, an Arlington staffer for several seasons, was named Arlington’s marketing coordinator this summer, and son Brandon, currently learning the racing ropes in leading trainer Wayne Catalano’s barn – expects to begin his apprenticeship as a jockey at the beginning of Arlington Park’s 2008 season next spring.

Chicago Thoroughbred racing fans and members of the Arlington family get eight opportunities to watch Meier become the 53rd jockey in the history of Thoroughbred racing to reach 4,000 lifetime wins on Sunday at the Northwestern suburban oval.

The 52-year-old Nebraska native begins Arlington’s 2007 swan song afternoon with mounts in both halves of the Daily Double – aboard Ron Goodridge’s Secret Woods in the opener and then aboard Rat Pack’s 2-1 morning line favorite Officer Frank in the second race.

Meier is slated to return to action in the fifth race astride Sister Odell, a 5-2 morning line favorite owned by perennial leading Arlington owner Frank Calabrese, Jerry Pinkowski’s Zagor’s War in the sixth, Trudi Morsman’s Boogie Hill in the seventh, Dolphus Morrison’s Rapid Proof in the featured John Henry Stakes, Richard Glander’s Sir Spencer in the ninth, and Mary Ann Calabrese and Michael Cohen’s Easy Tee in Arlington’s 2007 season finale.


Defending Arlington Park jockey champion Chris Emigh concedes this year’s title to Rene Douglas, but remains three wins in front of the veteran E. T. Baird for the second spot entering Arlington’s closing day program Sunday.

Emigh, 36, born in Portsmouth, Va., is listed for eight mounts Sunday, inactive only in the first and last race of the afternoon.

Baird, 40, a native Chicagoan and son of the late legendary jockey R. L. “Bobby” Baird, is slated astride five mounts Sunday.

Defending Arlington Park trainer champion Wayne Catalano is assured his sixth local title in 2007, and defending Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher is guaranteed at least a tie for the second spot entering the season’s closing day.

Pletcher’s ubiquitous runners had a division stabled at Arlington for the first time this season, and his local string is listed to participate in three races Sunday.

Trainers Chris Block and Moises Yanez share the third spot entering Sunday’s program, where Block and Yanez are both slated to saddle two – with Yanez’s half-brother runners going as an entry in the John Henry Stakes.


Although Arlington Park closes the doors on its 2007 live racing season Sunday, reservations are still being taken for Arlington Park’s Million Room on Oct. 27, when local guests will be able to watch and wager on the second day of the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships from New Jersey’s Monmouth Park.

Applications for reservations are available on the track’s Web site

Each ticket will include admission, program, a continental breakfast and a special lunch buffet featuring chef-carved herb-rubbed roast beef, chicken chasseur, penne pasta, a BLT salad and a dessert bar.

Million Room television tables (including reserved seat, admission, program, and TV table) are available for $48, and the Million Room Platform, which includes a reserved seat, admission, and a program with a view of common TVs is available for $45.

Also, Trackside Arlington Park is accepting Breeders’ Cup reservations in the restaurant, sports bar and banquet room. Reservations may be made in person at Trackside or by calling (847) 385-7671.


Arlington Park announcer John G. Dooley will visit Dubai for a brief vacation Oct. 17-24 prior to assuming his next announcer’s booth assignment at Fair Grounds Racecourse in New Orleans, La., when that historic oval opens on Thanksgiving Day Nov. 22.

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