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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/18/08)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Jean Laurenz, a music student a Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, has been named as the new official bugler for Arlington Park, Chicago’s premier Thoroughbred oval.
The appointment is effective immediately, helping to kick off the first weekend of the second half of Arlington’s 2008 season which runs through Sept. 21.
Laurenz, 21, born and raised in Arlington Heights, Illinois, has been coming to Arlington Park most of her life, but as an undergrad a Northwestern, missed the announcement of Arlington’s bugler auditions earlier this season.
“I was really lucky,” said Laurenz, “because my Mom read the announcement somewhere and told me about the audition. I made arrangements to come home right away and made it for the audition that afternoon. It seemed like an ideal job for me.”
Laurenz took up the trumpet for the first time about 10 years ago, but is also a singer currently majoring in Choral Music Education. She has also performed with American rap artist and hip hop producer Kanye West during her musical career.
With her extensive familiarity with Arlington Park as a guest, Laurenz was asked if she enjoyed wagering on horses.
“I’ve tried a few times before when I’ve been out here,” said Laurenz, “but I’ve never had any luck at it. For me, bugling is better.”
With Arlington Million XXVI now only three weeks away on Aug. 9, two final major preps for Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing occur this weekend in other parts of the nation.
On the East coast Saturday, Colonial Downs offers the Grade II Virginia Derby for 3-year-olds and a mile and a quarter on the grass as a final prep for the Grade I Secretariat Stakes over Arlington’s world famous turf course on the second Saturday in August.
On the West coast Sunday, Del Mar presents the final major Grade I Arlington Million prep when seven California-based stars are scheduled to go to the post over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course in the nine-furlong Grade I Eddie Read Handicap.
You could call them Chicago’s angels or maybe Arlington’s Angels – because they all hail from Chicagoland and they all work at Arlington Park – but three local ladies have been honored recently with Arlington’s Aspire Awards for service above and beyond the call of duty.
Jen Beresheim, who graduated from Eastern Illinois University last spring and is now a suites event floor captain at Arlington, was walking to her car after work recently when she saw an elderly man walking in the parking lot who appeared to be lost. He was unable to find his car, and then unable to find Northwest Highway after his car was located, so Beresheim had him follow her back to Arlington, where she called his family once again and had them come pick the gentleman up as she waited with him.
“I felt so sorry for him,” Beresheim said. “He was a very nice man but he was just a little disoriented that day. I felt it was the least I could do.”
Even more recently Geraldine Grosspietsch, a Lake Zurich resident who is Arlington’s Sales Manager, went out of her way to help the elderly president of a local company who was enjoying a group outing at Chicago’s northwestern Thoroughbred facility while coming by train. When the group organizers expressed concern about their president being able to walk from the train station all the way to Arlington’s suite level, Grosspietsch volunteered to drive to the train station, pick him up, and then meet the man at the end of the race day to drive him back to the train station.
“It was really nothing,” said Grosspietch, when asked about the incident. “I thought it was the least I could do to make sure everyone in the group had an enjoyable day.”
And last but not least, there is the story about the appropriately named Abby Valentine, an Arlington Heights resident who serves as Arlington’s senior event manager. When some important company files accidentally made it into the trash but were not discovered missing until after the trash was removed and placed in the compactor, Valentine, who was dressed in a skirt and high heels, joined the more appropriately dressed male employees Tom Musielak and Abel Malagon, and dug through the trash to find the file folders.
“Abby was hardly dressed to be jumping into a trash compactor,” one of her female coworkers noted, “but she knew what she was looking for – and she found it.”
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