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Contact: David Zenner
ARLINGTON TO RUN 26 STAKES IN 2006 WORTH MORE THAN $5.4 MILLION
Arlington Million and the International Festival of Racing Top Lucrative Slate
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Jan. 10, 2006) -- The International Festival of Racing, featuring the 24th running of the Grade I Arlington Million tops a 2006 schedule that includes 26 stakes races worth $5,425,000 during 95 days of racing at Arlington Park from Friday, May 5 through Tuesday, September 12. The announcement was made Tuesday following the approval of the Illinois Racing Board at its monthly meeting.
Arlington's International Festival of Racing will be run on Saturday, Aug. 12 and features Illinois' only three Grade I stakes, all scheduled for turf: the $1,000,000 Arlington Million for 3-year-olds & up; the $750,000 Beverly D. for fillies & mares, 3-years-old & up; and the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds.
The Million and Secretariat are both run at North America's classic distance of a mile and a quarter while the Beverly D. is contested at a mile and three-sixteenths. The Million is part of the World Racing Championships Ltd. and will be telecast live on ABC-TV.
Other major event days include the Prairie State Festival for Illinois-bred horses on Saturday, June 24; Million Preview Day on Saturday, July 22; and Sept. 10, the final Sunday of the meet, when Arlington will run its two premier events for 2-year-olds: the Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity and the Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Lassie.
This year's Mid-America Triple will again provide a showcase for top 3-year-old turf horses in the Arlington Classic on July 1, the American Derby on July 22 and the Secretariat on Million Day.
Million Preview Day, scheduled on July 22 three weeks prior to the International Festival of Racing, includes major prep races for all three International Festival events. The Arlington Handicap serves as the final local prep race for the Arlington Million while the Grade III $150,000 Modesty Handicap carries the same role for the Beverly D., and the Grade II $250,000 American Derby leads into the Secretariat Stakes.
Also returning is the seventh annual Prairie State Festival, Arlington's annual showcase for Illinois-bred horses featuring six $75,000-added stakes races with total purses expected to be more than $500,000 on Saturday, June 24.
Other major stakes races in 2006 include the Grade III $200,000 Stars & Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf for older horses on Sunday, July 2; and the Washington Park Handicap, the meet's richest main track race, on Saturday, July 29. The $100,000 Arlington Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday, Aug. 19, has been accorded Grade III status for 2006.
One new stakes race, the $100,000 Avers Wexler Stakes, appears on the 2006 schedule. The Avers Wexler, a 1 1/16-mile grass race restricted to horses owned by Illinois owners, honors the prominent local horseman who has raced at Arlington for several decades.
The complete 2006 Arlington Park stakes schedule is below.
Arlington Park -- the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- will run a 94-day meet in 2006 from Friday, May 5 through Tuesday, Sept. 12. 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 Lucky's featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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