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updated: 8/22/2013 8:13 PM

Track officials vow not to repeat Million TV faux pas

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  • Real Solution owner Kenneth L. Ramsey celebrates with jockey Alan Garcia after being announced the winner of the 2013 Arlington Million.

      Real Solution owner Kenneth L. Ramsey celebrates with jockey Alan Garcia after being announced the winner of the 2013 Arlington Million.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer


Face it, in horse racing, a lot depends on luck.

For most of Arlington Million Day, luck was in absolute abundance.

Huge crowd, beautiful weather, great racing, a national TV audience ... things couldn't have been going any better on the track's showcase day.

That's why when it ended with a thud -- the live broadcast of the Million going off the air with viewers still in the dark about who actually won the race -- it hit so hard.

After a lengthy stewards inquiry, The Apache was DQ'd and placed second while Real Solution was eventually crowned Million champ.

It looked like it was the right call.

But not building in extra wiggle room in the broadcast in case something like an inquiry were to occur was the wrong call.

Just can't happen on one of the few days people are actually paying attention to horse racing.

The good news is that track officials realize it and I've been told by those in the know that it won't happen again.

More Million thoughts:

Was kind of rooting for Little Mike if for no other reason than had he won, his owner would have pursued a match race with reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan.

Probably wouldn't have happened, but the idea of a match race is always intriguing.

But ...:

Name the last great match race between top-tier horses that didn't end in catastrophe.

Swaps vs. Nashua?

Sea Biscuit vs. War Admiral?

The ill-fated Ruffian vs. Foolish Pleasure battle nearly 40 years ago was probably the last one we'll ever see.


That was nearly 40 years ago??!!


Coach, say hi to Coach:

In the battle of the 'staches, have to call it a dead heat between Da Coach and Coach Q, who were both on hand to present the trophy to Million winner Real Solution.

Those are some impressive lip brows.

Turning back the clock:

Really liking the Bears' switch to white shoes this season.

Very retro.

Turning back the clock, Part II:

Back in the day when K cars were turning heads, one of my favorite NFLers was Billy "White Shoes" Johnson.

Great player, but seriously, whoever came up with that nickname really didn't put much effort into it, did they?

That's like coming up with Larry "Blue Shirt" Wilson, or calling me Mike "Gigantic Orb" Spellman.

Just too easy.

Oldie but goody:

Mark Martin taking over for the injured Tony Stewart in the No. 14 car: now I have a reason to pay more than lukewarm attention to The Chase, which kicks off Sept. 15 in Joliet.


That's also the same week Conway Farms in Lake Forest will be hosting the BMW Championship.


Did you ever think the Chicago area would be hosting a pair of playoff events on the same day?

And did you ever think those playoffs would involve golf and auto racing?

Me neither.

Reality bites:

Item: Former Bear Brad Culpepper will compete on the next installment of "Survivor."

Instant Reaction: Who?

Just perfect:

If the third game is the most important of the preseason, then Oakland on a Friday night is just the kind of rowdy atmosphere I want to see the Bears perform in.

If only for one half.

Must see!

OK, not really, but the Twins' Joe Mauer did provide one of my favorite highlights of the season with this //">no-look catch.

Hard to explain, but all I can say is you gotta see it in slo-mo.

Is it reel or not?

What's the deal with these car ads that look like movie trailers?

I have to admit, though, some of them are so well done that I'd actually like to see the big-screen versions.

And finally:

Toews, trained by Danny Miller, will make his maiden debut in Saturday's sixth race at Arlington.

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