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Jockey Brandon Meier Debuts a Winner

Churchill Downs Communications | 05/11/2008 #
  • Jockey Brandon Meier makes a winning debut aboard Frank C. Calabrese's Houseboat on May 11, 2008.

Apprentice rider Brandon Meier, 19, son of popular local reinsman Randall Meier, made his professional debut a winning one when he guided Frank C. Calabrese’s Houseboat wide entering the stretch to draw off to an easy 4 1/4-length win in the fourth race at Arlington Park on Sunday, May 11.

Despite the ease of the victory, the younger Meier came back to winner’s circle battled and bloodied as the result of his mount throwing his head back entering the gate, banging into the “bug boy’s” mouth.

A large throng greeted the Elk Grove Village-born rider upon his return including his father Randy; his sister Emily, who works at the track as marketing coordinator; trainer Wayne Catalano; and Calabrese.

“I want to thank Wayne and Frank for giving me this chance,” said the Saint Francis High School graduate.  “I’ve been working for them for awhile and I’m glad my first win came for them.  We were in a little tight on the turn but then I found an opening and the horse did the rest.”

“It’s awesome to see his first mount be his first win,” said the elder Meier of his son’s winning debut.  “I’m very proud of him.”

The veteran Meier, still going strong at age 53, also had mounts on the Mother’s Day card at Arlington Park but was not a participant in his son’s debut effort so the first father-versus-son match-up remains on the horizon.

Sent off as the even-money favorite, Houseboat paid $4, $2.60 and $2.40.