Richard Duchossois

One Life in a Box: Richard Hazelton

For nearly three years, a frayed cardboard box has hidden in the corner of a small apartment in the Westside of Los Angeles, buried from view by wooly blankets, a tennis racket with broken strings, worn clothes long earmarked for the thrift store and an old jacket with a broken zipper and patched leather sleeves. The box is filled mostly with creaky photo albums stuffed full of old newspaper clippings pasted onto faded paper, laminated win pictures--the plastic as brittle as sheet-ice--and handwritten letters. There are magazines and an old...

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Richard Duchossois Passes Away at 100

Richard Duchossois, the businessman whose name was synonymous with Arlington Park, a track he bought in 1983, has passed away. He was 100. Duchossois was born in 1921 in Chicago and was a graduate of Washington and Lee University. He joined the Army in 1942 and became the commander of Company C of the 610th Tank Destroyer Battalion, which landed on Utah Beach in Normandy. He served in five European campaigns and later served as the military governor for the region of Eichstatt. He was released from active service in...

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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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This Side Up: A Million Memories, From Heaven to Hell

"Quit? Hell, no!" Anyone who has seen the framed photograph in the grandstand concourse will always remember the caption; nor, in continuing through one of the most sumptuous public facilities in all sport, will they forget the bricks-and-mortar incarnation of that invincible spirit. The photo shows the smouldering debris of the Arlington grandstand after the fire of July 31, 1985. Twenty-five days later, the fourth Arlington Million was staged on schedule before 35,000 spectators in temporary bleachers and tents. The "Miracle Million" was won by a horse trained in Yorkshire...

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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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