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Contact: David Zenner
RANDALL MEIER EARNS 4,000TH VICTORY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 16, 2007) – Jockey Randall Meier became the 53rd rider to win 4,000 races when he guided Rat Pack’s Officer Frank to a nine-length victory in Sunday’s second race at Arlington Park.
“I want to thank everyone in Chicago,” Meier said. “I think I’ve ridden for just about everyone here. From the little person to the big outfit, I wouldn’t be out here with 4,000 wins if it wasn’t for them. Arlington is a great home to have. I knew when I was going around the turn I was sitting on tons of horse. It feels great to get it done.”
The 52-year-old native of West Point, Neb., was joined in the winner’s circle by his daughter Emily, who serves as Arlington’s marketing coordinator; his son Brandon, who hopes to embark on his own riding career sometime in 2008; his agent Penny Ffitch-Heyes and her newborn daughter, Bella; as well as Arlington Park Chairman Richard L. Duchossois; track president Roy Arnold and Vice-President of Racing Kevin Greely.
After being presented with a bronze horse to commemorate the occasion, Meier received the traditional champagne dousing from fellow riders and a cake in the face to boot.
Officer Frank was quick from the gate and won for Meier in the front-running style for which the rider is best known. The time for the 5½-furlong race over Polytrack was a track-record 1:03.10.
Meier, who rode his first winner at Fonner Park in his native Nebraska in 1972, has been riding at Arlington since 1982. He is 10th on the list of Arlington’s all-time leading riders with 644 victories over the oval. Meier is also the all-time leading rider at both Hawthorne Race Course and the now defunct Sportsman’s Park.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 94-day meet in 2007 from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, Sept. 16. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates nine off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry and The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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