10/13/2010 4:18PM

Arlington names general manager

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Arlington Park named Tony Petrillo as its general manager on Wednesday, two days after the track’s parent company, Churchill Downs Inc., announced that the track’s president, Roy Arnold had resigned, effective immediately.

In its recent history, Arlington has gone outside the company to hire leading executives, but Petrillo has worked at Arlington for 17 years, most recently serving as vice president of facilities and operations.

“Tony has earned this opportunity with the dedication and commitment he has shown to Arlington Park,” the CEO of Churchill Downs Inc., Bill Carstanjen, said in a release.

Among other responsibilities, Petrillo has been directly involved in upgrading maintenance procedures on Arlington’s synthetic racing surface, and he has generally received favorable notices from Chicago horsemen.

“I think he’s a great choice,” said prominent local trainer Chris Block, whose family runs a leading breeding and racing operation in Illinois. “He’s very knowledgeable in all facets of running a racetrack, including the horsemen’s part.”

Arlington had been operating without a general manager in recent years and now, apparently, will not have a track president.

Churchill Downs Inc. has in recent years hired executives from the gaming industry to head tracks with ontrack slot-machine parlors. Illinois racetracks remain hopeful that the state legislature will approve ontrack gaming during a session that convenes in November.