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Arlington Park Honors A Fan Of A Lifetime.

There are moments in everyone’s life that leave a mark, a life tattoo even. Some good, some bad but they change you.  Kentucky Derby weekend, 2010 was one of those moments for me.

 

I had just gotten into the horse racing social media scene, due to the excitement surrounding my favorite horse Rachel Alexandra. Instantly, I became close Facebook friends with a man that would change my life and the sport of horse racing forever, Tim “Tiznow” Reynolds.   Tim lived in Kentucky in a nice little house he picked out not because of the floor plan, the color of the bricks, or the yard. The main reason Tim decided to purchase the house was because it was on Sunday Silence drive. Sunday Silence was his favorite horse at the time this had to be divine intervention talking, so Tim listened.  

 

Tim’s wife was working in Indianapolis during Derby weekend 2010. He decided to make the drive with her and meet up with me at my home track, Indiana Downs. The friendship took off from there. Tim was a mainstay on Facebook.  In fact, he was becoming quite the legend in the social media circuit. His passion and love for the sport poured out and transcended through simple comments to the lives of the people in the industry. He always talked positively about horses whether he was a fan of them or not. There wasn’t a mean bone in the man’s body and his heart and soul and pure kindness connected to all of us.

 

Tim brought us together, all of us.  Because of Tim we formed a very close horse racing family. It started with just a few of us. Ernie Munick, Jennifer and Kyle Cook, Charlie Orrison, Brian Zipse, and Joe DePaolo. Seven people soon turned into hundreds. These people are spread out all over the country, different ethnicities, political views, genders who were brought together because of that passion for the sport and that passion that radiated off Tim.

 

Tim had one of those “Life Tattoo moments” last year at Arlington Park.  We all met up in Chicago to experience the Arlington Million for the first time.  Tim simply fell in love with the atmosphere. Yes, Arlington is filled with great ambiance. The scenery is something Picasso should have painted. But it was the people Tim fell in love with.  He had the opportunity to sit in the press box lounge after the million had ended. He had been texting Ernie all day long discussing what horse ran well, who he liked in the next race and so forth.  Ernie’s last few messages were questions about how well  Gio Ponti ran ( one of Tim’s favorite horses)  Tim was so excited about the great free food in the lounge all he could muster up to message back was “This place is unreal, these sub sandwiches are out of this world, and the brownies oh my God the brownies are incredible, there’s only two left but this lady took six of them on her plate, just ate two and left.”  This story became epic, there’s not an event that goes by that the “Bogartation Of The Brownies Story” doesn’t come up.

 

As some of you know, on September 26, 2011 Tim passed away.  It left all of us lost, hurting, and alone. But the reaction from the horse racing community lifted us up. Like a group of guardian angel’s they opened their arms to us and got us through the worse time in our lives.

 

After hearing of Tim’s passing, Dave Zenner from Arlington Park contacted me wanting to name a race in Tim’s honor during the Friday before the  Arlington Million 2012. Dave had only met Tim briefly, but you could tell they made an instant connection.  Over the next 6 to 8 months Dave and Joe Kristufek worked hard to make sure everything was planned out perfectly.

 

Everything about yesterday was perfect. The weather even cooperated to give us a perfectly comfortable day.  Arlington Park pulled out all stops even down to the littlest of details. Dave Zenner even made sure brownies were on the Arlington park press box menu. 

 

Joe Kristufek brought us all to the paddock prior to Tim’s race where he went on the live track feed to explain the reason for the In Loving Memory Of Tim “Tiznow” Reynolds race.   Joe spoke with such passion and love that it affected all of us. He ended it with a line I’ll never forget, “Tim We Will Remember You Always.” This hit me hard because the first horse I cashed a ticket on after Tim’s death was a little filly named, “Remembermealways.”   Joe didn’t plan this line so I guess divine intervention was at work again.

 

We were brought to the winner’s circle where Tim’s parents gave out the race trophy. The track photographer took a couple pictures of our group. Wayne (Tim’s Father) sported Tim’s favorite hat, a Black Daily Racing Form hat that has become a symbol of Tim’s spirit. 

                                                                                                                              Even the stars of Arlington Park and horse racing in general reached out to us yesterday. A good friend of mine is super-star jockey, Chris Emigh. Chris wanted to meet Tim’s parents so after riding a few races on the card he came to the paddock and greeted them. He showed them love and kindness that seemed to be everywhere yesterday. 

 

Chris took Tim’s parents to meet Tim’s favorite jockey, Calvin Borel. Calvin took pictures with them and smiled like only Calvin can.  Tim and Chris also signed a t-shirt that we all signed to commemorate this day.

We ended the night having dinner at a place Tim would have loved, Lou Malnoti’s. It wasn’t the atmosphere, the food, or the drinks that made it special. It was all of us being together, don’t get me wrong, I did do a little Tiznow Reynolds impersonation nailing down 3 slices, but what made it special was all of us being there, even Joe Kristufek and Dave Zenner who are in the middle of the busiest weeks of the year made the time to spend the evening with us.

 

Tattoo’s On This Town was Tim’s favorite song. Arlington Park, Dave Zenner, Joe Kristufek, and Chris Emigh you left us with one of those life changing moments. We might have left Tattoo’s On This Town. But you people left Tattoo’s On Our Heart.  My deepest and heartfelt thank you for showing the love Tim showed all of us. I will REMEMBER YOU ALL ALWAYS.

 

 

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Older Comments about Arlington Park Honors A Fan Of A Lifetime....

We are so very blessed to know you Scott and we are so glad we were able to attend Tim's Memorial Race. Arlington is such a beautiful venue & everyone was so nice! I understand why Tim fell in love with this track! When I read your article, I got the most amazing warm feeling & I know Our Tim certainly approves!! Love Alice & Wayne
Well done Scott. Even though I didn't meet Tim before his passing, Alice & Wayne were great folks, so I'm positive the apple didn't fall far from the tree. All around an awesome weekend. I feel fortunate for the opportunity to meet all these horse racing fans, since we don't have it currently where I'm at.
Scott...what a nice story and im sure you all had a very memorable weekend, very nice tribute to Tiz....Peace
Smiles and tears. What a beautiful piece of writing, Scott. I always appreciate you because you speak from the heart. Peace and Love to you from the Cooks.
That was beautiful, Scott!
Awesome, Scott - and very well written straight from the heart. Some day we will meet and I will see in person why Tiz was so lucky to have a friend like you. GB
Awesome, Scott - and very well written straight from the heart. Some day we will meet and I will see in person why Tiz was so lucky to have a friend like you. GB
A very touching homage. Thank you for sharing.
Beautiful.
A wonderful tribute for a wonderful person ... thank you, Scott.
so glad the day went well and thanks to all for putting it together
Wow... what a wonderful story. I'm so glad you were all able to be together to celebrate the life of Tiz... he is still missed but his legacy lives on through events like this.
I'm so glad that so many of Tim's friends and family made the trip to Arlington for the race dedication.
Amazing Scott... Arlington sure does get this right!!!
Sounds like everything was handled with class to help make a really great day. A special place for a special person.

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