On a beautiful summer evening we celebrated the
Finally, on August 2nd, we were able to get ALL the Red Rabbit Racing connections together to celebrate the wonderful racing year we had all the way back in 2008. This was the 3rd RRR Awards Dinner, and the chatter following this event suggests this was the best one yet.
It was hosted by none other than Kathy Rabbit at her home in Arlington Heights. It had been exceedingly difficult getting all the attendees together given the busy year we have all had. But it was well worth the wait.
Attending this year's event were all 4 surviving investing partners, Peggy, Jean, Jeff & Rick. Silent partners Laurie & Nancy were present along with their husbands. Trainer Chris Block, along with his lovely wife Linda and son David came as well. Southern Trainer Neil Pessin also attended with new friend Shelly. Drew Kuntz, assistant trainer to Chris was there as was fractional owner Allie Gray.
Johnson family Patriarch Robert Arthur Johnson (pictured left) was in attendance as we were proud to celebrate his 79th birthday. Various children, neices, nephews, girlfriends, etc all claimed the much sought after invitation to this event. Highlight guests this year were none other than Red Rabbit Racing jockey Eddie Perez with beautiful girlfriend Nancy.
Picture below is Trainer Chris Block speaking from the podium after he won the coveted "Richard John Johnson" award, which is for Most Valuable Player for his contribution to our fine year in 2008. He was hilarious as he publicly called out Jean Rabbit for asking some rather goofy questions at different times in our 2008 campaign - which certainly let the other owners off the hook as we have all asked some beauties ourselves.
Of course the evening was packed with festivities. After gretting each other, playing some Baggo, and having a few beverages, I divided all the guests into 3 teams for the 1st ever Red Rabbit Racing Trivia Contest. The Marion's Man team was captained by Jean Gallo, while the Salt Syn team was captained by Peggy Lenz, leaving Jeff to captain the General Charley team. 25 questions were asked with an extra tie breaker thrown in should we have tied which we didn't. All the questions and answers can be found by clicking the links towards the end of the page. The Marion's Man Team won by answering 22 of the 25 questions correctly.
Following the Trivia contest, Kathy laid on a fine spread supplemented by catered Italian goodies from our favourite local eatery, Nino's. Following dinner, Jeff Rabbit was invited to the Podium to give the all important Keynote speech which is intended to recall our glorious achievements in 2008 while looking forward to events in 2009 and beyond. He did not dissappoint. Video of Jeff's stemwinder of a speech can be seen at the bottom of the page.
After Jeff concluded his remarks, a nervous silence fell over the attendees as they realized that the presenting of the 2008 Red Rabbit Racing Awards was finally at hand. This year a whopping 13 awards were given out - far surpassing the amount of any prior year. However, since no one actually did anything to obtain an award, I can't remember what the categories were - but suffice it to say they were magnificent. Pictured below are all the award winners with their trophies.
Martin, Chris' barn manager was also given an award, but he unfortunately could not make the event - so we could not get a picture with him. Also RRR mentors Darrell & Sadie Brommer couldn't make it this year, but hopefully will be around for next.
Following the awards ceremony, it was time to cut the cake. The cake featured a picture of our hero General Charley with jockey Eddie Perez aboard, taken after one of our great wins. That brought to a close the exciting evening that will be a challenge to surpass in 2009.
Jeff's Keynote Speech