01/03/2012 4:35PM

Elmer Polzin, Chicago turf writer and handicapper, dies at 87

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Elmer Polzin, a former handicapper and turf writer at several Chicago newspapers, and the father of Arlington director of racing Chris Polzin, died Tuesday at 87 following a long illness.

Polzin worked for the Chicago American and Chicago Today – both long defunct – before moving in 1974 to the Chicago Tribune, where he worked until retiring in 1985. Gruff and garrulous, Polzin was a revered figure in the Chicago press boxes at a time when racing still commanded serious attention in the Chicago papers.

No funeral will be conducted, but a memorial service for Polzin may be scheduled in coming weeks.