Dick Duchossois, Former Arlington Park Owner, Dies at 100

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Posted on: January 30, 2022, 06:30h. 

Last up-to-date on: January 30, 2022, 08:20h.

Richard “Dick” Duchossois, an Illinois businessman who headed a team that bought Arlington Park virtually 40 decades back and then oversaw the suburban Chicago track’s resurrection from a devastating hearth, died Friday. He was 100.

Duchossois
Dick Duchossois in an undated photo with his spouse Judi in an undated picture. Duchossois, the previous owner of Arlington Park, died Friday at the age of 100. (Image: Loyola University of Chicago)

Soon after serving as an Military officer in Environment War II, the place he won a Purple Coronary heart and two Bronze Stars, Duchossois entered the organization world and turned chief executive of a railroad motor vehicle producing company in the 1950s.

By 1983, he experienced turn out to be chairman of Duchossois Industries, and that 12 months, the business bought Arlington Park.

“Mr. D. achieved quite a few great factors in everyday living,” a assertion posted on Arlington Park’s Twitter feed stated. “He labored tough and normally followed the route of honesty and integrity, which is a present that he handed on to all of us around him. We are most grateful to him for sharing this reward with us.”

Made the Million a Precedence Soon after Hearth

The keep track of was destroyed by a devastating hearth in 1985. While Arlington officials moved the track’s summertime meet to nearby Hawthorne Race Class, Duchossois manufactured confident that the Arlington Million – the track’s signature race – remained at the program.

Significantly less than a thirty day period just after the fireplace, Duchossois experienced short term stands erected at the Arlington Heights keep track of, and a group of 35,000 watched as Teleprompter won the 1-1/4-mile turf race.

An obituary in the Arlington Heights Daily Herald recalled an job interview Duchossois gave in 2015. He claimed that his first response to the July 1985 blaze was to come across a way to rebuild the monitor as immediately as possible. His future imagined was to locate a way to retain the Million at the monitor.

Probably it was a very little bit of stupidity on my part to think we could do this, but it never ever dawned on me that we could not,” he stated.

The keep track of by itself would not reopen until finally 1989. Nonetheless, when it did, it stood a crown jewel of racing with a six-story grandstand. It hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 2002.

But Arlington would deal with other issues considerably less than a ten years afterwards. In 1998 and 1999, the observe went dim just after Duchossois said it was losing hundreds of thousands and confronted many difficulties, together with competitors from casino gaming.

Casino gaming would be an issue over the many years with the observe.

Arlington would resume racing in 2000, the same calendar year, Churchill Downs Inc. acquired the monitor.

Served on Churchill Downs Board

Churchill Downs Inc. CEO Monthly bill Carstanjen issued a statement Friday contacting Duchossois a “mentor and a friend” to quite a few at the Louisville-primarily based organization. Churchill Downs obtained the Arlington Heights monitor from Duchossois in 2000. Duchossois then served as a board member at Churchill Downs until finally his retirement in 2019.

Duchossois was a director emeritus at Churchill Downs Inc.

“He was a tireless winner of Churchill Downs and thoroughbred racing,” Carstanjen mentioned. “His effects on individuals of us involved in this market was simply just immeasurable.”

Churchill Downs closed Arlington right after last year’s fulfill and introduced it would promote the 326-acre home to the Chicago Bears. That sale for $197 million is predicted to close possibly late this year or early in 2023.

Prior to the sale, Churchill officers and Illinois horsemen went by protracted negotiations about purses in new years.

Horsemen were upset that Churchill would not go after on line casino gaming at the observe following Illinois lawmakers permitted expanded gaming in the point out in 2019. Churchill Downs also owns a bulk stake in close by Rivers Casino Des Plaines.

In a March 2021 job interview with the Every day Herald, Duchossois said he didn’t recognize the sale but supported it.

2022-01-31 02:30:10

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