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Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/14/08)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


First – the good news. Young Brandon Meier, son of veteran Illinois jockey Randy Meier, won with the first mount of his own career in Sunday’s third race.

The not-so-good news is that the mare Houseboat, who provided the 19-year-old with his first winner, reared up entering the gate banging him solidly in the mouth to make for a bloody winner’s circle photo. However, there is more good news. Despite three stitches on the inside of his mouth, four more on the outside, and some fractured teeth, the Elk Grove Village teenager plans to ride Saturday.

“No problem,” said Meier Wednesday, three days after his winning debut. “My teeth are a still a little sore, but it is all part of the game. Once the gates opened Sunday, I didn’t feel a thing. She relaxed beautifully for me, and once I swung her outside and had that opening, she took off. I was picking (rivals) off left and right. By the end of the race I was hand-riding her, and I got so excited everything became kind of a blur. I can’t wait to get back to riding. This is not going to slow us down one bit. Now, my Dad and I just need that race with both of us in it.”

How did the elder Meier react to his son’s auspicious debut?

“He was very excited for me,” said the youngster. “We didn’t get to talk much because they took me to the hospital, even though I asked them if they could stitch me up right there.”

“He was very calm when I saw him in the jocks’ room before the race,” Meier added, “but they told me he started pacing around after I left.”

Brandon Meier becomes the first jockey to win at Arlington with his first career mount since Zoe Cadman accomplished the same feat on June 10, 2000.


With a carryover of $8,788 already in pool, Thursday’s Early Pick Four pool is estimated to reach $25,000. That’s because for the first time this season Arlington’s Pick Four carryover rule will come into play.

Since there were no perfect tickets on Sunday’s Early Pick Four, those who had three of four correct received a consolation payoff of $8.20 for a $1 ticket.

Arlington’s Early Pick Four covers Race 2 through Race 5. First post Thursday is 1:20 pm (CDT). Post time for the day’s second race, first leg of the Early Pick Four, is scheduled for 1:52 pm.

Also on Thursday, Arlington’s Pick 6 carryover pool is $10,603. The Pick 6 will be conducted on the fourth through ninth races.


Arlington Park’s Friday twilight racing program – with its new 2:30 pm first post – will give local Thoroughbred racing fans the chance to sneak out of the office early this weekend in time to enjoy the classic rock band “Final Say” during the afternoon’s Miller Lite Party in the Park.

The coming weekend May 16-May 18 has also been designated as “Palatine Community Weekend,” and Arlington Park will thank the community of Palatine for its support by offering complimentary admission to Palatine residents through the weekend.

However, the party atmosphere at Arlington will continue Saturday with this season’s first “Breakfast At Arlington” program, with those in attendance getting to watch horses go through their morning workouts while enjoying a breakfast buffet. Later that afternoon, Arlington’s “live” racing program will be supplemented by a simulcast of the 133rd running of the Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. That’s where Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown will continue his quest to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed swept the series in 1978.

Nevertheless, those in attendance Friday at Arlington will be able to make advance wagers on Saturday’s Preakness – and also wager on Pimlico’s unique “Grade I Double” – a two-race wager in which fans must pick the winner of Friday’s Grade I Pimlico Special and combine that with the correct selection of the winner of the Preakness.

Another graded stakes offered Friday at Pimlico, and available to Arlington guests as a simulcast wager, is the Grade II Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. That race for 3-year-old fillies is Pimlico’s answer to Churchill’s Grade I Kentucky Oaks, run on the day before the Kentucky Derby.

Finally, of particular interest to fans of the Arlington Million, and also simulcast from Baltimore as part of Saturday’s Preakness Day program, is the Grade II Dixie Stakes for 3-year-olds and upward at nine furlongs on the grass. That race often serves as a significant prep for the Grade I Arlington Million, which will be contested this summer on Aug. 9.

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