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Arlington Park release (5/26/04)

Contact: Graham Ross


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 26, 2004) -- Arlington Park's "Get In The Game" program for 2004 -- an interactive instructional series designed to teach beginners and casual racing fans about Thoroughbred horseracing and handicapping -- gets underway Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day), in the Starting Gate Theatre at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval.

The Memorial Day introductory session from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. will be the first of 31 scheduled "Get In The Game" meetings planned during Arlington's 2004 season. The introductory session will be conducted as an open forum where those in attendance will be given the chance to tell the hosts exactly what they want to learn, with following sessions adjusted accordingly to fulfill those requests.

"What we are trying to do this summer is return the 'Get In The Game' program to its original focus," said Keith Darby, senior director of marketing and sales at Arlington Park. "We want our newer guests to be introduced to and learn all the cool things about our sport that novices might not know. We want them to be able to come to 'Get In The Game' sessions and leave saying, 'I never knew that until today.'

"If we can get them leaving each session with that kind of a positive reaction," said Darby, "we feel that they will want to take the next step with us.

"Right now, everyone, including people who know nothing about horseracing, is enamored with the Smarty Jones story," said Darby, speaking of the underdog horse who will attempt to become racing's next Triple Crown winner in the Belmont Stakes on June 5. "Our 'Get In The Game' program is a great way to take advantage of the opportunity Smarty Jones and the excitement of his Triple Crown campaign has given us. It's a wonderful opportunity to introduce a whole new level of casual fans to some of the specifics of our sport.

"Our first seminar on Memorial Day would be a great place for that kind of fan to ask questions and learn more about horseracing, because the flagship of our efforts this summer will be to hold a 'Get In The Game' event every Saturday and Sunday," said Darby "At all these events we will take a specific theme, such as how to get into horse ownership, or how to develop effective wagering strategies, and expand on it. You will also see signage throughout the facility to help teach the basics of our sport, such as what to say when you go to the window to make a wager, or what the odds mean in terms of what the payoff will be. I should also add that a great help in planning and organizing all this information we will be giving out this summer came from DAK Productions," Darby said.

Joe Kristufek, president of DAK productions and handicapper for the Daily Herald, will host the "Get In The Game" events, and Marcus Hersh, of Daily Racing Form, will also be on hand to answer questions at the introductory program.

Arlington Park -- Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- will run a 96-day meet in 2004 from Friday, May 14 through Sunday, Sept. 19. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at

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