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Arlington Park news release

Contact: Dan Leary (847) 385-7754


Invites All Other Racetracks to Join Fundraising Effort for Former Jockey

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Feb. 15, 2002) -- Arlington Park announced Friday that the racetrack has established a "Rally For Randy" Fund to assist former jockey Randy Romero. Arlington will initiate the fundraising effort with a $2,000 donation and invites all other racetracks to participate in the effort.

"Randy Romero has given so much of himself to the sport of Thoroughbred racing through his incredible sacrifice, determination and dedication," said Arlington President Steve Sexton. "He maintains a special place at Arlington Park where he was an important part of our jockey colony during the 1980s and '90s and it is critical for us to give him something back now.

"But this is just the start," emphasized Sexton. "Arlington Park will conduct additional fundraising during our 2002 meet. In addition, we challenge all other racetracks to do the same and to match all or part of our donation to the 'Rally For Randy' Fund. On closing day, we will announce the grand total of funds raised through our efforts and the donations made from other tracks."

Donations can be made to "Rally For Randy" c/o Arlington Park, P.O. Box 7, Arlington Heights, IL 60006. At a later date, a new address for donations will be announced.

Romero, 44, from Abbeville, La., needs a kidney transplant and his brother has been identified as a possible donor. However, due to his plethora of injuries as a rider, which led to more than 20 surgeries, and a near fatal accident in the jockey's "hot box" that caused burns over most of his body, he has been unable to obtain medical insurance.

As a rider, Romero won two jockey titles at Arlington Park in 1982, with a then-track record 181 wins, and in 1985. He is a two-time winner of the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington in 1985 aboard Derby Wish and in 1990 with Super Abound. He won his 4,000th race on La Chatte during Arlington's International Festival of Racing weekend in 1996. Romero also won riding titles at Belmont Park, Delta Downs, Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park, Hialeah, Jefferson Downs, Keeneland and Louisiana Downs.

During his career, Romero rode the undefeated Personal Ensign (13 for 13) in all but one of her starts, including a nose victory over Winning Colors in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Distaff. He won two other Breeders' Cup races, the Distaff in 1987 on Sacahuista and the 1989 Juvenile Fillies aboard Go For Wand.

Romero, who recently has been working as a jockey agent, retired in 1999 with 4,294 wins from 26,091 mounts and earnings of $75,264,198.

Arlington Park, host of the 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 26 and Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill., will run a 107-day meet in 2002 from Wednesday, June 5 to Sunday, Oct. 27. Arlington Park, which merged with Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN) in September 2000, also operates five off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities -- "Trackside" Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Quad City Downs (East Moline), Chicago, Rockford and Waukegan. For further information on Arlington Park, visit our website at

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