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Sunday, October 27, 2002
Contact: Notes Team (847) 385-7472/7473

Volponi to race next year

Hall of Fame trainer Phil "P.G." Johnson and his wife, Mary Kay, quietly celebrated their horse's victory in the Classic Saturday night.

"We went to that party at the track for about 10 minutes, but it was too hectic for us," Mary Kay said. "So, we went to the hotel. We stayed there at the Sheraton. One man from the track, an assistant to Mr. Duchossois [Arlington Park Chairman Richard L. Duchossois], took us back in the car. He had to make two trips because we had our daughters (Kathy and Karen). We had dinner in the dining room, and Phil excused himself about 9 o'clock and went to bed. I stayed downstairs with the girls for a while, but we all konked out and we were asleep by 11.

"Knocking on wood, the horse pulled up great and he was leaving today about 1:30. Phil came back home for about 15 minutes, got his car keys and was heading to Belmont (to check Volponi).

"They treated us so well (at Arlington). Everything was perfect. I was speechless. I think I was up for a couple of hours this morning, when I said, 'Oh my God! Happy Anniversary!'

"I don't know many people who can celebrate their 57th anniversary the way we did last night."

Mary Kay added, "P.G.'s voice was not very good. He didn't cheer a lot or anything, but he talked a lot. We've been doctoring it for years and they say it is an allergy. It annoys the heck out of Phil because he likes to talk a lot."

Asked if Volponi would race again next year, she responded "Oh, for sure. Phil thought he would be a better 5-year-old than he is now as a 4-year-old."

She added that Volponi was likely done racing for the year, "But never say never."

- END -


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