|Arlington Park Barn Notes 9/1/03
In today's notes:
Arlington Park's 2nd annual "Riding for a Cure" -- a horsemen-oriented trail ride fundraiser on behalf of cancer research -- has been set for the afternoon and evening of Monday, Sept. 22, and is scheduled to originate and conclude at the Barrington Hills Riding Center.
A "rain date" of Tuesday, Sept. 23, has also been scheduled.
People wishing to register for this year's trail ride and/or the dinner that follows, are asked to complete their registration formalities by the end of this current first week of September.
Proceeds from the upcoming event, which starts as a 20-mile trail during the afternoon but also includes an evening of dinner and dancing following the trail ride, will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
Last year's inaugural "Riding for a Cure" fundraiser came to fruition as the result of an idea originated by Christine Gabriel, a cancer survivor who has been Arlington Park's television personality since 1995. However, she is also a member of the Northwest Suburban Regional Leadership Council of the American Cancer Society, and it was in that last capacity that the wife of Arlington's executive vice president of racing and racing secretary Frank G. Gabriel Jr. put last year's function into action.
"I spoke to Kim Duchossois (daughter of Arlington chairman Richard L. Duchossois), who is also on the Council, and she thought it was a wonderful idea," Gabriel said, recalling last year's fundraiser. "After that things just really began to take off.
"Mary Zimmerman (a local horsewoman) got involved," Gabriel said, "and her assistance was invaluable because she had the contacts to get the whole project off the ground. She spoke to the people at the Barrington Hills Riding Center, who allowed us to rent their facility, and they also provided the stall space for Arlington horsemen who lent out their own horses for the cause.
"Deborah Keene, Arlington's director of horsemen's relations, is our liaison with the local horsemen this year," said Gabriel, "and Valerie Riggs (administrative assistant with Arlington racing and operations) has been tireless in getting all the necessary forms printed up and ready to go.
"This year, we are asking our riders to secure a minimum of $100 in pledges for their respective rides," Gabriel said. "Last year, we had some people who just came out to enjoy the ride and did not secure pledges toward their efforts."
(A typical donation of $1 per mile from someone wishing to pledge toward a rider would be a $20 pledge donation.)
"People need to see Deborah in her office within the next few days to register for this year's ride and pick up their registration packets from her," Gabriel said.
Last year's inaugural "Riding for a Cure" led to a net contribution of more than $31,000 to the American Cancer Society, and included 120 riders and about 200 dinner guests.
This year's "Riding for a Cure" goal is to raise $40,000 for the American Cancer Society, and have about 150 riders and dinner guests officially registered (including $100 worth of pledges) by the end of the current week.
"Seabiscuit" -- the first-run movie now in theaters throughout the nation -- has been given an "up close and personal review" by a former Arlington employee who served as an extra during the shooting of the film based on one of Thoroughbred racing's largest legends.
Phil Von Borries, a native Kentuckian and a former member of Arlington's publicity department, returned to his original environs some years ago but remains active in his favorite sport in numerous ways that now include celluloid participation.
"I was in the Seabiscuit movie," Von Borries said. "I worked several days as an extra (down-and-out Depression Era guy) at Keeneland. My longest scene was in Gratz Park. Toby Maguire is on a bench, having hit hard times. The shot starts off with a homeless guy sleeping on a mattress. The first two guys they asked refused because of the rain and the cold. I was third in line. I got paid for working in the wet, and a callback for the remainder of the shoot.
"It was very cold working as an extra in the infield and on the rail," Von Borries continued, "but during the stretch drive of War Admiral and Seabiscuit, I could have reached out and touched the horses. That's how close we were.
"For those few seconds, as the horses came down the stretch and then went past in the silks of War Admiral and Seabiscuit," Von Borries said, "you were there for the match race. People went nuts on the rail. It wasn't acting. That's how caught up in it they all were, me included. Just briefly, you were carried back in time."
Jockey Carlos H. Marquez Jr. scored a riding double Sunday at Arlington, also riding his 20th winner during the month of August, when he won the third race with Clyde Peterson's Captian His Due for trainer Richie Scherer and the fifth with James & Ywachetta Driver's Red Wildcat for conditioner Jerry Calvin.
Jockey Eddie Razo also rode two winners Sunday, taking the sixth with K. K. Jayaraman & V. Devi Jayaraman's Quest for Truth for trainer Steve Hobby and the eighth with W. Temple Webber Jr.'s Gold Tango for trainer Tom Amoss.
Groom of the Week this week is Epimenio Ignacio, a native of Guerra, Mexico, who works for trainer Ron Goodridge.
Russell L. Reineman Stable, Inc.'s Distorted Power won Sunday's seventh race at Arlington Park with Starlex Farm's Private Son finishing second. Distorted Power is a half-brother to the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem, while Private Son finished second in the 2002 Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf, but Sunday's exacta returned $60.60 -- or exactly three times 20-20 hindsight.
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