Arlington Park

A Chicagoan's Premature Goodbye To Arlington

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL--The year was 1981. I was approaching freshman year at Wheeling High School, not far from my home, about 15 minutes north and east of Arlington Park. Three doors down from me at 1512 Clearwater Drive lived a heavy-set, middle-aged man named Bert Loebmann. He and a partner campaigned a then 4-year-old filly named Diablo Morn (that I still remember this name 40 years later is either really frightening or super impressive, you decide). Bert was an enthusiastic horse owner, even if Diablo Morn wasn't going to make...

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Sisterson Can Add to Grade I Grab in Bruce D.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL--Since going out on his own in 2018, trainer Jack Sisterson has sent out the winners of eight graded races. Remarkably, fully 50% of those have come in Grade I company and he can up that tally should Tango Tango Tango (Tourist) get the job done in Saturday's GI Bruce D. S. (formerly Secretariat S.) at Arlington. Third from a pair of tries on the dirt to begin his career, the $35,000 Keeneland September graduate finished runner-up trying the grass for the first time at Ellis Park July...

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'Mary' Meets 'Barbara' in Beverly D.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL--For all leading trainer Graham Motion has accomplished in an illustrious career, missing from his resume is a victory in any of Chicago's Grade I events. Alex Campbell, Jr.'s Mean Mary (Scat Daddy) will try to right that wrong as the 9-5 morning-line selection for Saturday's GI Beverly D. S., the first of the afternoon's top-level tests. A treble graded winner in 2020, the homebred was just run down by champion Rushing Fall (More Than Ready) in the GI Diana S. last August and weakened to seventh at...

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Domestic Spending Leads Home Challenge in Mister D.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL--Domestic Spending (GB) (Kingman {GB}), perfect in three starts this term and in six of seven trips to the post in his career, will look to give Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stables a second consecutive success in the GI Mister D. S. (formerly Arlington Million) and provide trainer Chad Brown with a record-extending fifth when he faces as many as nine rivals in what is to be the final running (at Arlington Park) of America's first million-dollar race Saturday in suburban Chicago. A 300,000gns purchase out of the 2018...

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Original Seven-Figure Race Exceeded Expectations

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL--They are a dime a dozen nowadays, but back in 1981, the idea that a track would offer a $1-million purse for a Thoroughbred horse race was about as far-fetched as civilians building their own rockets for space travel. As president and chief executive officer of Arlington Park, the late Joe Joyce conceived of and brought to fruition a race that would be called the Arlington Million, an event aimed at drawing the best horses to race over the renowned Arlington turf course not just those based domestically,...

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Pessin Savors an Honorable Success

She's the one, all right. The one and only, in fact--at least up until now. Who knows? Perhaps Neil Pessin's exemplary achievements with Bell's the One (Majesticperfection) might yet reward him with another Grade I winner or two. But after a lifetime in the game, and 36 years since saddling his first winner, he's neither expecting nor even desiring to transform the intimate scale of his operation. "You know, I don't get jealous of anybody," Pessin says. "I'm very happy with where I'm at. I've been successful with the numbers...

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Report: Arlington Employees Receive Layoff Notices

According to a report in Chicago's Daily Herald newspaper, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), the owner of Arlington Park, has sent official notices to employees informing them they will be laid off 14 days after the final day of the meet, which is Sept. 25. CDI has not committed to racing beyond the end of this meet and has put the track up for sale. The layoff notices are a discouraging development after CDI applied for 2022 Illinois racing dates. A date request is not binding and does not have to...

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CDI Reportedly Asks for '22 Illinois Dates Application

The Week in Review, by T.D. Thornton Two months before Arlington International Racecourse is scheduled to run what is feared to be the historic track's final race, Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), the gaming corporation that owns the up-for-sale landmark, has reportedly requested an application for 2022 race dates from the Illinois Racing Board. But as columnist Jim O'Donnell of the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago put it in his Friday scoop of this story, "What the carnivorous CDI will do with the application remains to be seen." With a July...

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Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners Founder Aron Wellman Joins Writers' Room

Fresh off a Group 2 win last week at Royal Ascot, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' founder Aron Wellman joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Wednesday morning to talk about his ownership strategies, how he talks to new partners about concerns in the industry and much more. Asked about Eclipse's ever-evolving purchasing power, Wellman, who called in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week said, "We made a point when we launched Eclipse about 10 years ago to really try to prove ourselves at being good at...

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Four Months After Announced Arlington Sale, IRB Just Now Initiates CDI Talks

After four months of no public action by the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) since Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), announced its polarizing intention to sell Arlington International Racecourse for "non-horse racing" purposes, IRB chairman Daniel Beiser disclosed just before the end of Tuesday's meeting that the IRB will only now begin the process of reaching out to the gaming corporation to try and get a clearer understanding of what is likely to happen to suburban Chicago's landmark Thoroughbred track, which faces potential permanent closure at the end of this season. But...

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Eight Wins Already in '21–And It's Only June

The Week in Review, by T.D. Thornton We're not even at the midpoint of 2021, and one North American Thoroughbred is already taking aim at a ninth win on the season. For perspective, the eight wins racked up so far this year by Arizona-based Six Ninety One (Congrats) are equal to the number of victories achieved by the four horses who co-led the continent during the entirety of 2020. Such a fast start through the first 5 1/2 months puts Six Ninety One on a trajectory to blast past what...

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Former Track President Submits Bid for Arlington

The future of Arlington Park remains very much up in the air, but Roy Arnold is convinced that racing can prosper there and is hopeful that he can spearhead an effort to insure that one of America's most beautiful racetracks remains a racetrack for years to come. Arnold should know. He was the track's president during better times, from 2006-2010, and is currently the president and CEO of Endeavor Hotel Group. Arnold was instrumental in bringing together a consortium interested in purchasing Arlington Park from Churchill Downs. Churchill announced in...

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