Thoroughbred trainer Laura de Seroux of Rancho Santa Fe, who has three horses entered in Saturday's Breeders' Cup at Arlington Park in Chicago, is providing U-T readers with an inside look at the experience through a daily diary in collaboration with staff writer Hank Wesch.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – There has been quite a bit of interest generated over the fact that Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are apparently going to be here, as well as Cheryl Tiegs, with (owner) Michael Klein's group to watch Dublino run in the Filly & Mare Turf. I heard about it around a month ago when the owners faxed us a list of who they were bringing. It said "Mr. and Mrs. Michael Douglas." Our secretary, Sandy Amundson, said, "Do you think that's who I think it is?" We called Michael Klein's secretary and got confirmation.
I haven't met Michael Douglas or Catherine Zeta-Jones, but I met Cheryl Tiegs when she was with Michael Klein's entourage for the American Oaks (July 6 at Hollywood Park). When introduced to her, of course I looked up because she's a bit taller than I am, and said, "I always thought I would meet you because we went to the same high school." She was a senior when I was a freshman.
She went quiet for a moment and I thought, "Oh, God, have I blown her cover? Maybe she reinvented herself as going to some fancy prep school back East rather than blue-collar Alhambra High." But then she warmed up and said, "Oh, yeah, and Dublino's wearing our school colors (Chargers Blue and Gold)." Cheryl Tiegs was our homecoming queen, she was a cheerleader, she was already modeling for Seventeen magazine. She was very high-profile even then. Maybe she'll be a good luck charm for Dublino.
I'm not really the type to be starstruck. I've been around celebrities before. I was on Mr. (Allen) Paulson's plane once to go to New York for one of Cigar's races. I wondered why we were sitting on the runway and not taking off when all of a sudden a car drove up to the Gulfstream and out stepped Jack Nicholson. All by himself. He stepped on board and went down the aisle saying, "Hi, I'm Jack."
Once in New York we went to an Italian family-type restaurant near Belmont. Jack went into town to pick up his date to join us later. I wondered how long it would take this crowded restaurant, with everybody immersed in what they were doing, to take notice when he walked in. I positioned myself at the bar, he walked in, I looked around and it was an interesting scene.
It took about 30 seconds and the whole place went absolutely quiet. Then, to their credit, everybody left him alone and we had a nice evening.