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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/20/09)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


After winning Friday’s fourth race astride Ida Spagnola’s Fantastic Secret, veteran Arlington Park jockey Randy Meier is two wins away from joining the top 10 of Arlington’s all-time leading riders.

With six mounts slated for Sunday’s program at Arlington but only one Saturday, there’s a good chance that the 54-year-old Meier will reach that goal on Father’s Day – but in three of those races he’ll have to beat his son Brandon to the wire.

Brandon Meier, 20, born in nearby Elk Grove Village and currently the leading apprentice at the 2009 Arlington session, is scheduled to return to riding Saturday after recovering from a slight concussion sustained Thursday in a starting gate incident.

In Sunday’s sixth race, the father and son face off for the first of three matches when Randy rides Tom Dorris’s Sultry Venture and Brandon while Brandon is listed astride Sylvia Wells’ Gosophiego.

Two races later, Randy is named on Richard Glander’s Fast N Ready while Brandon is scheduled on Larry Bingham’s Yukon Jaack.

Finally, in the 11th race of the Father’s Day program, Randy is listed astride Lizabeth Gore’s Dee for Three – the morning line favorite – while Brandon gets the mount on Mike and Maureen Moore’s King Negwer.

Currently rounding out the top 10 among Arlington’s all-time leading riders is the now- retired Shane Sellers, with 659 career victories at Chicago’s northwest suburban oval.

Sellers, Arlington’s leading rider in 1991 and again in 1993, also holds the all-time record of 219 Arlington victories in a single season, which he set with his first local championship.


Guests of Arlington Park making plans to attend Sunday’s Father’s Day program are reminded that a reduced admission of $7 is still available to those making their advance reservations online.

General admission at Arlington Sunday – traditionally one of the biggest days of the year at Chicago’s premier Thoroughbred oval – will be $10 at the gate.


Gentle giants – father and son – may roam the Arlington Park paddock in the same race on Sunday’s Father’s Day program at the local oval.

Longtime Illinois-based trainer Tom Dorris, who also boasts several leading trainer titles at Kentucky’s Ellis Park, will saddle his own 5-year-old mare Sultry Venture in the sixth race on Father’s Day at Arlington.

Always Faithful Stable’s Rooville, trained by Tom’s son Chris Dorris, remains on the also-eligible list for that same race. Chris also owns and saddles Vocabulary in Sunday’s 10th.

The elder Dorris, 63, born in Herrin, Illinois, stands 6 feet 6 inches tall, while son Chris is a 6-foot-10-inch man.

Other father-and-son trainers in action Sunday at Arlington Park are Don Von Hemel and son Donnie K., as well as Hugh Robertson and his son Mac (McLean).


Arlington Park’s International Festival of Racing, consisting of the Arlington Million, $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes and $400,000 Secretariat Stakes is seven weeks away, but appropriately enough on Father’s Day weekend, two of its former champions became fathers of winners for the first time earlier this month.

Mrs. John Magnier’s Powerscourt and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Kitten’s Joy, first and second respectively in the 2005 Arlington Million, were also in Festival action the previous year when Powerscourt was first under the wire in the Million before being disqualified and placed fourth, and Kitten’s Joy captured that year’s Secretariat Stakes.

Mrs. Kevin Prendergast’s Termagant, an Irish-bred 2-year-old filly by Powerscourt, won her career debut at Ireland’s Leopardstown Race Course June 11 to become Powerscourt’s first winner, and R.S.R. Racing Stable’s Maddie’s Odyssey, a Kentucky-bred juvenile sophomore by Kitten’s Joy, won the third race of her career at Presque Isle Downs June 14 to be that 2004 Eclipse Award-winning grass champion male’s first winner.

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