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Contact: David Zenner
ARLINGTON TO RUN 27 STAKES IN 2007 WORTH MORE THAN $5.5 MILLION
Arlington Million and the International Festival of Racing Top Lucrative Slate
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Jan. 9, 2007) – The International Festival of Racing, featuring the 25th running of the Grade I Arlington Million tops a 2007 schedule that includes 27 stakes races worth $5,525,000 during 94 days of racing at Arlington Park from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, September 16. 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. 11 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. A new highlight of Million Day will be the addition of the $150,000 Sea o’Erin Breeders’ Cup Mile on August 11.
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. Each of the three Grade I races is part of the new “Breeders’ Cup Challenge,” which guarantees a starting berth in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to the winner of each race, and will be televised live as part of a two-hour telecast on ESPN.
Other major event days include the Prairie State Festival for Illinois-bred horses on Saturday, July 7; Million Preview Day on Saturday, July 21; and the newly created Ladies Day on Saturday, Sept. 8.
This year’s Mid-America Triple will again provide a showcase for top 3-year-old turf horses in the Arlington Classic on Saturday, June 23, the American Derby on Saturday, July 21 and the Secretariat on Million Day.
On July 21, Million Preview Day, scheduled three weeks prior to the International Festival of Racing, includes major prep races for all three International Festival events. The Grade III $200,000 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.
With all of the aforementioned races slated to be raced over Arlington’s world renowned turf course, the first stakes race scheduled to be run over Arlington Park’s new, state-of-the-art all-weather surface will be the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup on Saturday, May 26.
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, July 7.
In addition, Illinois-owned horses will get their chance in the spotlight at each end of the four-month season with the $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes (to be named later) on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 5 and in the newly created $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes for fillies and mares (to be named later) on the meet’s final Saturday, Sept. 15.
Also new for 2007 is Ladies Day on Saturday, Sept. 8 featuring three stakes races for female horses – the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Lassie for 2-year-old fillies; the Grade III $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf; and the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap for fillies and mares, 3-years-old & up.
Other major stakes races in 2007 include the Grade III $200,000 Stars & Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf for older horses on Wednesday, July 4; the Grade II $300,000 Washington Park Handicap, the meet's richest main track race, on Saturday, July 28; and the Grade III $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Futurity for 2-year-olds on Sunday, Sept. 9.
The complete 2007 Arlington Park stakes schedule is attached below.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 94-day meet in 2007 from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, Sept. 16. 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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