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Three great Million races Dooley will never forget
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff

Arlington Million race caller John Dooley says he'll never forget the 2003 race when jockey Gary Stevens fell from his horse, Storming Home, at the finish of the Arlington Million. Sulamani, ridden by David Flores, left, was the official winner.

 

Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2003

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Published: 8/3/2009 11:46 AM

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He's seen photo finishes, blanket finishes and finishes almost too bizarre to believe.

As he prepares to call his 10th Arlington Million, Arlington Park race caller John Dooley recalls some of his most memorable Millions in his own words:

The Storming Home Million (2003). So many things there: live on ABC, here's an incident happening at full speed and I'm in the middle of wrapping up a race call but does Storming Home ... did that just happen before the wire or on the wire when it could affect the placings? Or is it an incident, almost a news story, and do I mention it? I actually did, mentioning Gary Stevens is still prone on the turf course. I think my exact call was "Storming Home, awkward step right at the wire." All these thoughts were going through my head. Lost in all that was the fact that the disqualification gave Godolphin Racing their 100th Grade I winner with Sulamani. So not only a historical moment, but a frightening moment ... within seconds.

• Definitely 2000 with Chester House and it being the first Million. Hall of Fame rider Jerry Bailey winning that year. Trained by Bobby Frankel. Hall of Famers coming here, my first year, just a highlight for me. To this day, when I call offspring of Chester House it always brings back a great memory to say 'the son or daughter of Chester House.'

• In 2005 it was Powerscourt, Kitten's Joy and Better Talk Now and I called it with "A mouth watering Million!" I've never used that phrase since then. It was natural. To have three championship-caliber turf horses across the course, in the final furlong ... that's a Million I'll always remember.