Arlington International Raccourse, Arlington Heights, IL, Aug 26-28

Million Weekend was planned as the Next Great ??/365 Racing Tour Outing. However, in traditional McChump fashion, no actual travel plans to Chicago were even contemplated until it was too late, when - much to the surprise of McChump #2 - the cost of an airline ticket was discovered to be sky high. So Million weekend went on as a one chump outing.

It was a rousing success nonetheless.


Stuart and I had the good fortune to witness a most interesting race - a 1-5/8 mi. turf race at AP. I personally had never seen a race of this distance before, and I've got to say, it was a thing of true beauty, and also nice not to know the likely winner within 10 seconds after the gates opened. The way the race ebbed and flowed was fascinating, first group A in front, then B, then C, then the eventual winner and place horse coming back in the stretch when you thought they were already done 4 furlongs ago.

I've never paid much attention to the hue and cry for more long races on the Internet, but I'm now a convert. My 2nd act as King of Racing, after limiting all cards to no more than 2 maiden events and taking a nap, will be to decree More Long Races.


Possibly Perfect takes the Beverly D. as expected. WXRT Chicago is hosting Party in the Park and DJ Lin Brehmer confidently predicts that the horse who is owned by "Craig, Jenny" will be right in the hunt because she will be in great shape, dietwise. He plays the horse under Possibly Perfect and over the 3 in the tri, but loses the place photo by a nose and thus the tri. I can't complain - I played the 3 to place. Meanwhile I've discovered The One True Value at Arlington Park - the same beer that costs $3.25 up by the main stands is a mere $2.00 at Party in the Park. Plus local favorites The Bad Examples are cranking out their tunes from a tent stage. I elect to spend much of the rest of my day at the Party. The Lippizon (sp?) Stallions take to the main track to entertain us for a half hour or 45 minutes or an hour or so. (Actually I kinda liked this. For awhile.)


I've talked a female friend into coming to the Million so McChump #2's ticket won't go to waste. Naturally, she shows up 1/2 hour late. She leaves after the Million. Oh well ... now Stuart and I can get down to losing some serious money ...

The undercard for the Arlington Million: 3 maiden special weights and one race with 4 horses. Blech. Six or seven straight races won by v-e-r-y low odds favorites. Double blech. I begin to wonder if the crowd is actually all that dumb. On the positive side: four (?) stakes races, and a bunch of meet records on the turf.

I meet up with my ownership partners Mike H. and Larry M. who have flown in from out of town to see the Million and our horse's race, and meet as well many other of the Chicago area partners. Our horse loses bigtime. Oops! Greg G. is blamed for hexing the partnership by actually wearing the psrtnership t-shirt to a partnership race. Hubris.

Meanwhile, the Big Show went on. The fat lady sang, skydivers plummeted from the sky, a precision kite team flew their crafts in the infield, a snappy barbershop-type singing trio treated us to their renditions of several mellow favorites, the Jesse White tumblers tumbled through the Winner's Circle, maybe some other stuff, and the first 20,000 of us got free Arlington Million commemorative glasses that we had to drag around in little plastic bags all day long (ladies got two each - fill in your reason here - ____). All that was missing was pom-pom girls. And I totally ruined the 1995 Arlington Million attendance and average handle figures by going through the turnstile twice, once at each end of the park, much to the disgust of the dour ticket clerk guy on the grandstand end.

All in all a fine Tour outing!

Next up: Closing weekend at Prescott.