Sneed: Arlington Park chief Dick Duchossois thinking about retiring
By Michael Sneed September 11, 2013 11:28PM
Updated: October 15, 2013 6:50AM
Turf trouble . . .
Mr. D may be going bye-bye.
Sneed has learned that Arlington Park racetrack impresario and mega-businessman Dick Duchossois, a Chicago legend who’s approaching 92, is finally thinking retirement.
“He still puts in over 50 hours a week as the track’s CEO, but he is concerned nobody is going to step up to the plate to ensure the viability of racing in Illinois,” a top Duchossois source tells Sneed.
“Dick can’t continue being the go-to guy all the time and there are a lot of distressed faces at the track because horsemen are concerned about the viability of Illinois racing without Mr. D’s energy and enthusiasm,” he said.
“He loves the horses and is not in it for the money. The land is now worth more than what the track produces.”
Duchossois, who still runs the privately owned Duchossois Group, was instrumental in the rebuilding of Arlington Park after it burned to the ground in a fire in 1985.
Sneed is told Duchossois is planning to alert members of the Illinois Racing Board, during their annual meeting to set racing dates on Sept. 24, of “his frustration and possible retirement,” the source said.
Ironically, Duchossois’ behemoth boat “The Blue Moon,” which is anchored in Chicago, just left its mooring here and headed south to Florida.
Tiger tweet . . .
Tee talk: Golfing great Tiger Woods has encountered all kind of fans as he treads the turf, but Wednesday took the cake.
◆ Tee spree: While practicing for the BMW Championship at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, the golf star was greeted by a guy who showed him his license plate: TI GR WDS.
◆ Tee hee: The Tiger responded by giving the guy a golf ball . . . not clocking the golf goof with the golf ball.
Compliments . . .
. . . with a serving of meatballs: Centro owner Alex Dana and chef Joe Farina’s ears must be burning.
◆ To wit: Actor Mark Wahlberg, who is in town filming the latest in the hit “Transformers” series, claims Centro’s meatballs were ‘the best he’s had since his own mother’s,’ ” said a source — who claims Wahlberg was gracious enough to let diners take his photograph . . . as long as he wasn’t eating.
Weiner words . . .
Failed New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner did manage to thank his spokeswoman during his concession speech Tuesday night, who he said “didn’t sleep more than an hour because she had to sleep with one eye open defending me all the time.”
◆ Who Weiner didn’t thank: His wife, Huma Abedin, who exited his campaign trail after her painful press conference defending him in the wake of the sexting scandal.
Over & out.
The Syrian file . . .
It’s not a shocker that nearly 60 percent of Americans in a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll say “No” to military action in Syria, despite the country’s use of chemical weapons on its own people.
Historically, our country has always been isolationist.
But Sneed bets the collective American memory when it comes to war is generational.
◆ This generation points to the debacle in Iraq.
◆ The previous generation points to the Vietnam nightmare.
◆ But Sneed bets those who were born before and during World War II . . . are in the 33 percent “Give ’em Hell, Harry” category.
◆ Backshot: It’s the generation that was around when America dragged its feet while Hitler gobbled up most of Europe and began annihilating its Jews.
◆ Backstory: Frustrated by our country’s isolationism and afraid he’d lose an upcoming election if he went against the grain, President Franklin Roosevelt hastily and cagily instituted a “Lend-Lease” program to “sell” armaments to a war-weary England. (We reportedly have yet to send weapons to the Free Syrian Army.)
It took the bombing of our own country at Pearl Harbor to finally wake us up.
Let’s hope the surrender and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons take place.
If not . . . what then?
Sneedlings . . .
Thursday’s birthdays: Paul Walker, 40; Jennifer Hudson, 32, and Jason Statham, 46.