“Javier’s care in the maintenance of Arlington Park’s turf course is a pivotal reason it has long been hailed as one of the world’s best and we will miss him,” Arnold said. “He also played a prime role in the successful installation of our Polytrack synthetic surface in 2007. Based on the reputation he earned during his many years as track superintendent at Arlington, we know Javier will rise to the challenges presented by his new role with the Dubai Racing Club and we wish him well.”
“I have a lot of respect for the Illinois horsemen and I will miss working with them on a daily basis,” he concluded.
Since joining Arlington Park in 1976, Barajas has worked in a number of capacities on the track and turf crew, becoming track superintendent in 1996.
Arlington Park has launched a search for a successor to Barajas, who will return to Arlington for several weeks in April to help prepare both the synthetic main track as well as the turf course for the upcoming season in the weeks leading up to the May 1 opener.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 98-day meet in 2009 from Friday, May 1 through Sunday, Sept. 27. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 10 off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities – Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry, Tad’s Sports Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit and Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at http://www.arlingtonpark.com.