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Contact: Dan Leary (847) 385-7754
ARLINGTON PARK ANNOUNCES 2002 SCHEDULE
107-Day Meet Slated for June 5 to Oct. 27
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 19, 2001) -- With the announcement by the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) of racing dates for 2002, Arlington Park announced that it will conduct a 107-day meet from Wednesday, June 5 through Sunday, October 27, 2002, five racing days more than its 2001 meet. Racing will be every Wednesday through Sunday, with Monday and Tuesday dark, except Monday, Sept. 2 (Labor Day) and Oct. 14 (Columbus Day) when there will be live racing. Arlington Park was awarded the dates from June 5 to October 31, 2002 by the IRB.
"We are glad that Arlington was awarded additional dates in 2002," said Arlington Park President Steve Sexton. "We realize the Illinois Racing Board has a difficult challenge each year in allocating race dates and host time, and appreciate their efforts to do what they feel is best for Illinois racing.
"Arlington Park will continue in its role to be the catalyst for the Illinois racing industry." added Sexton. "In that endeavor, we will continue in our efforts to bring racing's biggest day, the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, to Arlington Park next year.
"Regaining Belmont Stakes Day (Saturday, June 8) for our 2002 schedule is a plus for all of Illinois," added Sexton, "since we have proven our ability to promote big racing days like this year's Arlington Million Day which produced the largest single day wagering handle (over $14.5 million) on Illinois races ever," concluded Arlington's president.
Arlington's two-tiered purse structure, offering substantially higher stakes and overnight purses in July and August, has successfully attracted interest of horsemen and fans throughout the country resulting in an improved quality of racing and a significant increase in simulcast wagering on Arlington races.
Arlington has invested more than $14 million in facility and backstretch improvements over the last two years and has successfully attracted more people to the track, where new fans are created, and new horsemen and better horses to Illinois racing.
In addition, Arlington's 2001 race meet has continued many positive signs of progress for the horse racing industry including: increased on-track handle; the highest purses in Illinois history during the Summer Festival of Racing; a successful 2-Year-Old in Training Sale; and the second annual Prairie State Festival for Illinois-bred horses.
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