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Contact: Dan Leary
ARLINGTON PARK ANNOUNCES A WEEK-LONG CELEBRATION OF SPECIAL EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE 25th ARLINGTON MILLION
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 30, 2007) – The 25th running of the Arlington Million on Saturday, Aug. 11 isn’t the only big event planned for Arlington Park’s 2007 International Festival of Racing.
The week-long series of special events and charitable affairs kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 4, when Arlington hosts its inaugural Beach Bash featuring live music by Southern Course, a Jimmy Buffet cover band, a sandy beach in the park area, Tiki Hut bars with signature beach drinks, a mechanical surf board and appearances by the Hawaiian Tropic girls and hula dancers throughout the day.
Next up is another brand new event, Aveda’s Ladies Day at Arlington Park, on Sunday, Aug. 5. On that day, all women wearing a fashion hat (baseball caps not included) will be admitted free and are invited to enter the track’s annual hat contest that will be judged by NBC-5 TV Health Reporter Dr. Sandy Goldberg. All women attending the event are also welcome to free Aveda spa treatments and a champagne Bubble Bar, with NBC-TV on-air personalities Rob Elgas, Natalie Martinez, Alex Perez and Ginger Zee serving as celebrity bartenders, in the paddock area.
Also on Sunday, Aug. 5, Arlington Park will hold the “Show Me the Silver” Fundraiser in the Governor’s Room from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Hosted by NBC’s Dr. Goldberg, the luncheon will feature a hat display by the Millinery Arts Alliance and a silent auction. Tickets are priced at $56 and are available to the public by calling (847) 385-7410. All proceeds benefit A Silver Lining Foundation whose mission is to ensure access and treatment options to underserved individuals affected by cancer. The foundation has provided more than 400,000 people with information concerning cancer resources, treatment options and support services.
Million Week kicks off on Monday, Aug. 6 with the Seventh Annual International Festival of Racing Charity Softball Game pitting Arlington Park jockeys, racing officials and employees against the Arlington Heights Police Department. Chicago Blackhawks coach and horse owner Denis Savard will be on hand as the celebrity manager for the track’s squad. Opening Ceremonies begin at 5:30 p.m. and the first pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at Arlington Park’s Cigar Avenue Field located on Rohlwing Road adjacent to the track’s stable area.
On behalf of the two teams, Arlington Park will make a donation of $2,500 ($1,500 in the winner’s name and $1,000 from the losing team) to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Other fundraising activities at the game include: a BAGGO tournament with prizes for a $20 donation, a photo opportunity for fans with the Arlington Million Trophy with a charitable donation, plus $2 beer and $1 hot dogs. All proceeds from these activities along with private donations from Arlington Park horsemen, employees and fans are expected to exceed $5,000 for Make-A-Wish.
On Tuesday, Aug. 7, a group of Arlington Park jockeys dressed in racing silks will make a visit to Children’s Memorial Hospital at 700 West Fullerton Avenue in Chicago from 3 to 5 p.m. to play bingo, take pictures, autograph jockey goggles and give gifts bags to the children.
The focus shifts to racing with the Post Position Draw and Breakfast to be held on Wednesday, Aug. 8 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Starting Gate Theater on the second floor at Arlington Park. At the Post Position Draw, the horses for the International Festival of Racing on Saturday, Aug. 11, which includes Illinois’ only three Grade I stakes races – the Arlington Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat Stakes – will have their post positions assigned for each race. Former Chicago Bears wide receiver Johnny Morris and CBS-2 Sports Reporter Howard Sudberry will join Arlington track announcer John Dooley in hosting the event. The Post Position Draw is open to the public, but the breakfast is limited to the connections of the competing horses and the media.
On Thursday, Aug. 9, the Women in Racing Luncheon and Fashion Show fundraiser is back at Arlington Park, with a cocktail reception in the exclusive Turf Club beginning at 11:30 a.m. followed by the luncheon and fashion show by Starr Couture at 12:30 p.m. in the International Room. ABC-7’s News Anchor Ron Magers will serve as the master of ceremonies for the presentation of the 2007 Penny Chenery Distinguished Woman in Racing Award to Gretchen Jackson, owner of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro. Ms. Chenery, who owned 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat, will be on hand to present the award. Tickets, which are available to the public, are priced at $125 with all proceeds to benefit the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation. For ticket information, call 847-385-7410.
Festivities begin early on Friday, Aug. 10 with the International Festival of Racing Breakfast at Arlington from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on the apron level of the track. Fans are invited to join track announcer John Dooley and TV personalities Liane Davis and Lauren Massarella for interviews and merchandise giveaways as hundreds of horses, including the stakes horses that will race on Saturday, go through their morning workouts. Admission is free and open to the public. A breakfast buffet is available for $7.
Once racing begins at 3 p.m. on Friday, legendary Arlington jockey Mark Guidry, who is a two-time jockey champion at Arlington Park and has more than 5,000 career victories, will be honored as Arlington Park’s newest Legend in Racing with a special tribute and presentation in the Winner’s Circle following the fifth race (approximately 4:45 p.m.).
Also on Friday, ESPN Radio 1000’s Mac, Jurko and Harry show will be at Arlington Park for a live remote in the park area from 3 – 7 p.m. Fans are welcome to join hosts Dan McNeil, John Jurkovic and racing enthusiast Harry Teinowitz as they interview special guests to discuss the Arlington Million and horse racing.
Following the races on Friday, Aug. 10, the annual Mane Event block party will take place starting at 6 p.m. in downtown Arlington Heights at Campbell and Vail Avenues. Live music, food and entertainment are provided as part of this street party in celebration of Arlington Park’s International Festival of Racing.
Gates will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11 for Arlington’s International Festival of Racing, featuring the 25th Running of the Arlington Million. Post time for the first of 12 scheduled live races is at 11:45 a.m. The first 10,000 paid admissions will receive a complimentary Arlington Park/Breeders’ Cup Challenge fleece jacket.
This year all three of the Festival’s Grade I stakes will be televised live nationally on ABC Sports, on a show that will air from 3 – 5 p.m. (Central time). Scheduled post times for the three feature races are: Secretariat Stakes (7th race) at 3:15 p.m.; the Beverly D. (8th race) at 3:50 p.m.; and the Arlington Million (9th race) at 4:45 p.m.
Following is the schedule of Arlington Park’s International Festival of Racing events:
For more information on Arlington Park’s International Festival of Racing events, call (847) 385-7500 or visit the track’s Web site at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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 nine off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry and The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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