Suburban Skyview: Fading evening light brings back Arlington Park memories

A flood of Arlington Park memories came to mind while viewing the remains of the racetrack in fading evening light recently.

I already miss running into Daily Herald sports writers in press box, especially the late Mike Spellman, who always made me laugh. Years ago, I told John Leusch that I felt more comfortable covering the Cubs from the field photo box at Wrigley Field, and he said he'd prefer Arlington Park by far and gave me some pointers that helped me feel at ease.

In my life, I've only bet on a horse once: I placed a winning $10 wager on The Pizza Man at the 2015 Million, based on a tip from Tribune colleague Nuccio DiNuzzo.

Back in 2003, my wife and I went to see the movie “Seabiscuit” at the Randhurst Theater, in which jockey Gary Stevens had an acting role.

At the Arlington Million the following day, I had a photo position at the finish line and witnessed Stevens fall from Storming Home and get kicked by another horse after landing on the track. Storming Home had a reputation for being flighty and had apparently been spooked by something near the rail and veered across the track while Stevens tried desperately to keep hold of the reins.

He suffered serious injuries, including a collapsed lung, but quickly recovered and returned to the saddle a few weeks later.

With Arlington Park demolition progressing to make way for a proposed Chicago Bears stadium, the racetrack seemed to be fading away during the recent evening depicted in this aerial photo, but as with other people who frequented the longtime horse racing venue, I'll always have plenty of memories.

• If you have suggestions for something you'd like to see our drone pilots photograph, email with your idea.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.