O'Donnell: Georgeff never called any rocketing doctors over Arlington

  • Phil Georgeff and Gerry Gallitano in an updated photo from the set of "Chicago Racing Report."

    Phil Georgeff and Gerry Gallitano in an updated photo from the set of "Chicago Racing Report." Daily Herald File Photo

 
Updated 6/27/2020 10:41 PM

NO FIREWORKS AT ARLINGTON PARK next weekend reminds of a great holiday-themed local TV racing tale:

Gerry Gallitano was a fair-to-middlin' jockey on the Chicago-Florida circuits who retired and bought the daily "Today's Racing" from a weathered mannequin named Ed Connaughton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Gallitano renamed it "Chicago Racing Report." It aired weekdays on SportsChannel.

He hired himself as host, despite a tendency to dig too deeply for the right word and come up dry.

To further the crispness and professionalism of the show, he enlisted the help of the great Phil Georgeff, without question the most theatrical race caller in the history of the game.

So, Georgeff became co-host, primarily as "a favor to the sport."

On the eve of a Fourth of July, Georgeff, on camera, was leading the wrap of a taping.

"And what a great day we'll have at Arlington tomorrow," "The Voice" said. "Another renewal of the grand 'Stars and Stripes,' great holiday fun for all and then, after sunset, all of those fantastic pyrotechnics up in the sky."

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Gallitano, in the giddiness of the moment, edged in for the final word:

"That's right, Phil, it'll be really a fantastic day for everybody. All that great racing and then the fun and then all them chiropractics up in the sky."

Georgeff later told a bearded chum, "I didn't have the heart to tell 'The Little Jock' that there were no plans to launch any doctors the next night at Arlington."

STREET-BEATIN': If L-Vegans are right about MLB's restitched bloop season, it'll be a fickle fall for both the Cubs and the White Sox. Bill Adee's vsin.com is reporting most desert books posted win "totals" of 32 or so for David Ross and crew; 30 to 31 for Eloy Jimenez and the South Siders. ...

Adam Silver and his glorified NBA summer league remains an awful idea. Even if Beach Boy Bruce Johnston reworked the lyrics from his memorable "Disney Girls (1957)" into "Disney Germs (2020)." ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Crane Kenney left 'em laughing on "The Score" with his update about the Cubs' Marquee Sports Network and Comcast "not being that far apart." (These negotiations are taking longer than the Vietnamese peace talks. Besides, who roots for anything involving Comcast other than vaporization?) ...

"Baseball Night in Chicago" returns to NBCSCH for a third season starting Monday at 6:30 p.m. Among the rotating coterie joining host Leila Rahimi will be new Cubs digital reporter/producer Maddie Lee, whose telegenicness is reminiscent of DeKalb's very own Cindy Crawford. ...

Early pick to win the 2021 Arlington Million (if there is one): Frank Calabrese's Big Dreaming. The 3-year-old is the last foal of the hallowed Dreaming of Anna and when his mind fully catches up with his muscles, the colt will be a grass monster. ...

Speaking of the '21 Million, it would be a marvelous scene in the winner's circle if 99-year-old Dick Duchossois were handing the championship trophy to the 92-year-old Calabrese. (Then they could have Betty White and Julie Andrews lead the champagne toast.) ...

Greg Olsen -- who so many believe will be The Next Big Thing in NFL broadcasting -- has recorded a seven-part series titled "TE1" for the podcast startup Blue Wire. (One of his first guests is Mike Ditka. Inaugural drop date remains TBD.) ...

Bob Sirott welcomes HOF-bound Doug Wilson to his WGN-AM (720) morning mild house Monday at 8:30 a.m. (Sirott and Dave Eanet started the former Blackhawks cavalcade with Marián Hossa Friday.) ...

For a game in transition, Illinois harness racing appears to be thriving at Southwest suburban Hawthorne Race Course. Jim Miller and Peter Galassi note a 42-race weekend, capped by a 14-race card Sunday at 7:10 p.m. ...

Kevin and Julie Repple have been keeping their young James, Henry and Gavin engaged with YouTube videos and live rec-room enactments of Jelle's Marble Runs. (It's an incredibly clever Dutch production popularized during the pandemic by HBO's John Oliver.) ...

With the 2020 Tour de France postponed until August, NBCSN begins showcasing "25 of the best stages and races since 2008" Monday at 8 a.m. (Maybe this time Pee-wee Herman and his red bicycle will finally get a mention.) ...

And news that September's Kentucky Derby will have on-track spectators "properly spaced" prompted Bill Hazen to quip: "Will the horses be asked to socially distance too?"

• Jim O'Donnell's Sports & Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at jimodonnelldh@yahoo.com.

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