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|Arlington Park news release
Contact: Dan Leary, 847-385-7754
Illinois Racing Board track expert confirms two earlier findings
Professor Peterson finds good, safe track
Chicago, Ill. - The Illinois Racing Board announced Aug. 10 that their horse track expert concluded that Arlington Park has a safe, good racing surface and Arlington Park is safe for racing. In his preliminary report to the Racing Board, Prof. Michael “Mick” Peterson reported no specific areas of concern and the track appears to have a consistent and fair racing surface.
Richard L. Duchossois, Chairman of Arlington Park, said he was confident that Arlington Park’s track superintendent Javier Barajas had maintained one of the finest and safest tracks in America. He said he was delighted the Illinois Racing Board’s second horse track expert, Prof. Michael Peterson, concurred with their first expert consultant, Gregory Coon, as well as Arlington Park’s independent track expert, Joe King.
“Arlington Park is one of the finest and safest tracks in the world,” Duchossois said. “Our primary concern has always been for the safety of the horses and jockeys who ride them. We have and will continue to fully cooperate with the Illinois Racing Board. We have on our own taken numerous pro-active measures to insure the safety of our track.”
Arlington Park is preparing for the International Festival of Racing including the 24th running of the Arlington Million on Saturday, Aug. 12. Although these top races are run on turf, the racing day will feature a number of races on the track.
“The caliber of jockeys, owners and trainers who have come to Arlington Park is a testament to the high quality of Arlington Park,” Duchossois said. “The top professionals in the field are coming to ride on our track. They have come to Arlington Park to enjoy a great weekend of racing and ride on our track with confidence.”
The safety of Arlington Park is well noted among top jockeys and owners. This Saturday owners of injured Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro will be making their first visit to Arlington Park. Lael Stables’ ownership duo of Roy and Gretchen Jackson will watch their horse Showing Up run in the Secretariat.
Arlington Park also welcomed jockey Rene Douglas, four-time Arlington Park riding champion, last month. In addition, Robbie Albarado and Mark Guidry, two of the leading jockeys in Kentucky, returned upon completion of Churchill Downs’ meet.
From July 2 through August 9 (27 racing dates and 39 calendar days) only 2 horses suffered breakdowns racing from a field of 1,781 starters for an average of 1.1 per 1,000 – less than the national average of 1.5 per 1,000. In addition, during those 32 days, there have been no breakdowns during morning workouts. From May 5 through July 1 (41 racing dates), 16 horses suffered breakdowns racing.
Arlington Park -- the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- will run a 95-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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