Maybe because the news has me thinking about my own mortality, I don’t know.
Of course Arlington Park is a great venue, but I visited there only once, and it was a blessed, unforgettable experience.
I didn’t have the Pick 6 cold, but enjoyed the most successful day of my public handicapping and betting life, a forever remembrance of this day. Thank you, Mr. Johnson. Thank you, Volponi.
It’s 15 minutes after the first sentence was written and I still don’t understand why this news shook me so badly that it makes my insides hurt.
Except that it’s always personal.
So, who wouldn’t want the Chicago Bears in their community? Not me. And who wouldn’t want Arlington Park? Not me.
There was early talk of co-existing on the property. And there was hope that one of two “horsemen groups” would win the bid.
Then the Bears won, at least one huge round, anyway.
Selling the property to the Bears was the most responsible thing to do for the people of Arlington Heights. The mayor was right about that.
But then not many can stand in the way of a $192-million real estate deal.
There’s no sense in getting down on Churchill Downs; a corporation is what a corporation does.
It was the detached coldness of the news release, so befitting these rancorous times. Maybe that’s it.
It must be great for corporations that they don’t have to pretend anymore. This was a straight-up business deal and horse racing was in the way. See y’all.
Powerful interests do things because they can. Hubris is its own reward. Sadly, the times have normalized greed again; the 80s reborn, only meaner. Maybe that why my stomach still hurts now.
So, a spectacular facility, of its’ or any other time period, is gone, as are many great friends who worked there and moved on.
The writing became indelible when Arlington recently failed to apply for 2022 racing dates.
Closing of the sale will happen a year from now, at the earliest. And of course no one knows what portends for the future as the process unfolds.
Perhaps Arlington will rise from the ashes a second time.
I’m an optimist eternal. Nothing says that the replacement property as specified in the Purchase and Sale Agreement language couldn’t be a racetrack. Chances are slim, but slim appears on his way out of town.
For a little while, I’m going to take the loss hard. And very, very personal.