|Contact: Dan Leary
ARLINGTON IMPROVES 2001 STAKES PROGRAM
Reallocation of Purses, Additional Stakes Races Strengthen Overall Stakes Schedule
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Nov. 22, 2000) - Arlington Park announced Wednesday that it will present a new stakes schedule for 2001 to complement its new race dates structure. The 2001 Arlington race meeting is scheduled from June 13 to Oct. 28, 2001.
"We have reallocated the money available for stakes to bolster the effectiveness of the entire program in order to support the continued growth of Illinois racing," explained Arlington Park President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Mordell. "The changes include returning the Arlington Million purse to its original value of $1 million, increasing the purses for six existing stakes races and adding three new stakes for the upcoming season."
The Arlington Million, which ran for a purse of $2 million as part of Arlington's return to live racing in 2000, will be run on Saturday, Aug. 18 as part of the Emirates World Series Racing Championship for its original purse of $1 million.
"In our first year back, it was necessary to raise the purse of the Arlington Million to $2 million to put it back on the map," added Mordell. "We are confident that we will be able to increase the Million in the future as Illinois purse monies continue to grow from increased wagering and from the full implementation of the recent Illinois racing legislation."
Of the six graded stakes that will have higher purses in 2001, the Beverly D. will receive the largest boost, $200,000, raising the purse to $700,000. The Washington Park Handicap will be raised to $400,000 ($150,000 increase), the Arlington Handicap to $250,000 ($100,000 increase) and both the Arlington Classic, American Derby and Modesty Handicap will increase by $50,000 to $200,000 and $150,000, respectively.
The three new stakes races for 2001 will be the $100,000 added Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile on Monday, Sept. 3, the $75,000 Manila Stakes on Saturday, Oct. 20 and the $75,000 Escapade Handicap on Sunday, Oct. 28. The Sea O'Erin adds a third Breeders' Cup National Stakes Program race to the 2001 Arlington schedule.
Arlington also announced that the Arlington Oaks will be renamed the Singapore Plate as part of an international race exchange with the Singapore Jockey Club and will be run on Saturday, Aug. 11.
In 2001, Arlington will introduce the new "Million Preview Day," featuring the Arlington Handicap, the Modesty Handicap and the $125,000 Round Table Stakes, on Saturday, July 28. It will mark a third multiple-stakes day on next year's slate. The two multiple-stakes events that return from 2000 will be the Prairie State Festival, with six stakes for Illinois-breds and purses totaling $450,000, on Saturday, June 23 and International Festival of Racing Day, featuring over $2 million in purses and Illinois' only three Grade 1 races - Arlington Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat Stakes - on Saturday, Aug. 18.
In addition, the distance for the Saturday, July 21 Washington Park Handicap (3-year-olds and up) will be increased from 1 1/8 miles to 1¼ miles, making it a more attractive race in the national stakes schedule.
The complete stakes schedule for 2001 will be submitted to the Illinois Racing Board for consideration at its next meeting on Dec. 12, 2001.
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