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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/3/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


It’s over at last for Black Tie Affair. Dee Poulos, widow of Black Tie Affair’s trainer Ernie Poulos, got the phone call from Michael Blowen of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, Kentucky, early Thursday morning, and he advised that it was time to put the 1991 Horse of the Year down.

Ironically, in the end it was laminitis that got Black Tie Affair, not the cancer he’d had for years that was actually improving with the experimental medication he was being given.

“He was eating well and enjoying himself all day Wednesday,” Poulos said, “but took a turn for the worse during the night. Obviously, at 24-years-old, it was his time, and there was nothing else to do, but I still am getting used to the finality of it. Even when we had to say goodbye to him when he went to Japan (for stud duty), I didn’t feel the void I’m feeling now because we still had some connection to him. There was always a bloodstock agent or someone around who could keep an eye on him for us and keep us updated on how he was getting along over there.

“I guess part of the grief I’m feeling now is because while Black Tie Affair was alive he was my last living connection to Ernie and the life we had together, and of course he was the horse that changed Ernie’s and my life together forever,” Poulos said. “After he won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Black Tie Affair became the people’s horse. He was America’s blue collar horse and so many people began to identify with him. They still do. Even this morning (Saturday), I’m getting e-mails from all over the country from people – some of whom I know and some from people I don’t know – all of them expressing their sorrow. Also, a lot of people want to let me know exactly where they were when Black Tie Affair won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and how much it meant to them when he did.

“I’m very grateful that my sister (Dianna Caramico) and I went down to Old Friends to see him last month,” said Poulos. “It was really a spur of the moment kind of thing that we even went. We had no reservations or any thing like that. We just wanted to see him and say hello.

“We didn’t verbalize about it at the time, but I think both of us had the feeling it might be the last time we might get to see the old boy,” Poulos said. “ I didn’t want to say goodbye, but I think he did. His eyes kind of told us it was his time.

“But one other thing we are very grateful for is how well Black Tie Affair got to spend the last year of his life,” Poulos concluded. “He almost made it to a full year at Old Friends, and for all that time he just got to be a horse. There were no demands made on him. He got to enjoy life with a bunch of people who really loved him and took care of him. Some horses never get to do that.”


The Northwest Suburban Council for the Boy Scouts of America will celebrate the Fourth of July with a daylong outing at Arlington Park Sunday to honor the 100th anniversary of Scouting.

More than 30 suburban communities will take part in the celebration, which will include a parade, special exhibits, video tributes and the presence of retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Sammy Davis, a Medal of Honor recipient.

More than 400 Scouts will participate in the event, as will WLS-TV’s Paul Meincke, himself a former Scouter.


Team Block, Michael Baze and Nick Canani were named Arlington’s Owner, Jockey and Trainer of the Month respectively for their individual records from May 31 to June 25.

Team Block’s green and yellow blocks silks were posed in the winner’s circle five times from 19 starters while Baze rode 19 winners from 86 mounts during that time and Canani saddled 12 winners from 25 starters.

- END -

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