How fitting it is that Arlington has chosen to honor the late Addison Cammack with an overnight stakes race named for him less than a year after his death.
“Addison had been a fixture for decades around Arlington,” said conditioner Chris Block, currently engaged in a nip-and-tuck battle for runner-up honors in the 2012 Arlington trainer standings when speaking on Arlington’s apron during training hours earlier this week. “I believe earlier in his life he had been a pony person, but for decades, along with his significant other Pam Kuehl, they ran their own horse transport business here in the Chicago area. Addison was loved by everyone at Arlington and Hawthorne. He was a trustworthy, classy guy and a good friend to everybody who knew him.
Standing on Arlington’s apron a few feet behind Block was longtime Arlington trainer Jimmy Gulick, who quickly added his own respectful memories of Mr. Cammack.
“They broke the mold when they made him,” said Gulick. “He was a lifelong racetrack man and he constantly strived for perfection in all his business dealings. They just don’t make men like Addison anymore. To know him was to love him. He was awesome.
“In his later years we all gave him the title of Executive Director of Equine Transportation,” Gulick said, “and for short we used to call him by the acronym EDOET. He loved that nickname.
“Also, I remember how he fought his lung cancer with just the right attitude,” Gulick said. “He never gave up. ‘I’m still here, ain’t I?’ he would say whenever anyone asked him about his health. He refused to give in to it. In fact, now it makes me want to cry just thinking about that.”
For the last several years, Britt McGehee has been a jockey’s agent for James Graham, Arlington’s defending jockey champion who also finished second in the Keeneland standings last fall and again this spring. However, before that McGehee was a trainer at Arlington and was quick to add his own fond recollections of Mr. Cammack.
“Addison was just an incredibly nice guy,” said McGehee. “When I trained horses, I did all my vanning business with him because he was such a perfectionist in everything he did. In fact, the best steak I have ever eaten in Chicago was one he cooked for me at his house. With him, everything had to be just right.
“Addison knew that I liked to go downtown every Tuesday and enjoy the city of Chicago,” McGehee said, “so every week he would go and find a copy of ‘The Reader’ and bring it to me so I would know what was going on in town. That was just the kind of a guy he was. We all miss him around here. He was just an awesome man.”
ARLINGTON JOCKEYS ALL FAIRED WELL AT FAIRMOUNT TUESDAY
The members of Arlington’s jockey colony who journeyed downstate to Fairmount Park for its series of stakes races for Illinois-breds last Tuesday all had some measure of success.
Arlington’s leading rider Francisco Torres, well on his way to his first Arlington riding championship at 43 years of age, won the $51,500 Bungalow Stakes with Elias Lubbat’s Sweet Lemon Chello and returned to the winner’s circle two races later aboard Larry Owens’ Campo Joti in the $52,000 Lady Riss Stakes.
Also, veteran Arlington-based jockey Chris Emigh captured the $51,500 Troy Our Boy Stakes astride Sharon Morgan’s Delstar, Arlington jockey Jeffrey Sanchez took down winning honors in the $51,750 All Sold Out Stakes on GDK Stables’ Chase the Weasel, and Arlington-based jockey Tim Thornton won the $52,250 Tex’s Zing Stakes on Dana Waier Thoroughbreds’ River Bear.