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Contact: David Zenner
JOCKEY BRANDON MEIER DEBUTS AS WINNER
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 11, 2008) – Apprentice rider Brandon Meier, 19, son of popular local reinsman Randall Meier, made his professional debut a winning one when he guided Frank C. Calabrese’s Houseboat wide entering the stretch to draw off to an easy 4 1/4-length win in the fourth race at Arlington Park on Sunday, May 11.
Despite the ease of the victory, the younger Meier came back to winner’s circle battled and bloodied as the result of his mount throwing his head back entering the gate, banging into the “bug boy’s” mouth.
A large throng greeted the Elk Grove Village-born rider upon his return including his father Randy; his sister Emily, who works at the track as marketing coordinator; trainer Wayne Catalano; and Calabrese.
“I want to thank Wayne and Frank for giving me this chance,” said the Saint Francis High School graduate. “I’ve been working for them for awhile and I’m glad my first win came for them. We were in a little tight on the turn but then I found an opening and the horse did the rest.”
“It’s awesome to see his first mount be his first win,” said the elder Meier of his son’s winning debut. “I’m very proud of him.”
The veteran Meier, still going strong at age 53, also had mounts on the Mother’s Day card at Arlington Park but was not a participant in his son’s debut effort so the first father-versus-son match-up remains on the horizon.
Sent off as the even-money favorite, Houseboat paid $4, $2.60 and $2.40.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 96-day meet in 2008 from Friday, May 2 through Sunday, Sept. 21. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 11 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, The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit, Rookies featuring Trackside OTB in Homewood and Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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