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Arlington Park

Arlington Park news release

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Feb. 19, 2008) – Arlington Park and its affiliated network of Illinois Trackside OTB facilities will offer handicappers from throughout the Midwest and nationwide two chances to qualify for the NTRA/DRF National Handicapping Championship (NHC) to be held in Las Vegas in January 2009. Each Arlington-sponsored tournament will offer cash prizes as well as berths into the national tournament, which in 2008 offered more than $1 million in prize money.

On Saturday, April 5, Trackside Arlington Park will have three qualifying berths at stake in its $25,500 NTRA/DRF Qualifying contest. Registration for the contest, which will be limited to 175 entries with a maximum of two entries per person, costs $175 per entry, which includes lunch. Registration for the contest will be available online beginning at 9 a.m. (CST), Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008, at or by calling Wesley Ward at Arlington Park at (847) 385-7744.

Arlington Park will also offer five NHC berths at a qualifying tournament to be held at the track on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008. The September contest, which for the first time will be held in the track’s International Room and feature a buffet lunch, will be limited to 250 entries. Five berths to the NHC will be awarded at the September contest. Registration details for the September contest will be made available in July.

Both Arlington-sponsored contests will be part of the newly-created NHC Tour, a yearlong bonus series offering additional prize money and qualifying berths to the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC). The NHC Tour will be open only to officially registered contestants and will be based on performances at NHC qualifying events throughout the year. For more information and to register for the NHC Tour, visit

Top prize for the April tournament (based on 175 entries) is $8,000 and a berth in the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas in January 2009. Second-place finisher takes home $4,000 and earns a berth in the national contest. Third-place will receive $3,000 and a national contest berth while the fourth-place finisher will win $2,000 and the fifth-place finisher will earn $1,000. New in 2008, contestants finishing 6th through 20th will also receive prize money. Prize structure for the September tournament will be announced in July.

Based on feedback from past contest players, the format for the Arlington’s tournaments will even more closely mirror the format used by the NTRA in the national championship than previously. Just as in the NHC, contestants in the Arlington-sponsored tournaments will make mythical $2 win and place wagers on eight mandatory races and seven races that may be chosen by the contestant from a list of selected racetracks. The person with the highest total bankroll after all 15 wagers have been made will be deemed the contest winner.

“We surveyed contest players to ask for their input to make the Arlington Park handicapping contest the best possible experience for them,” said Wesley Ward, Arlington’s Marketing and Advertising Manager. “Based on their feedback, we decided to implement a number of rule changes to bring our tournament more in line with the NHC, which in turn should help our tournament qualifiers fare better in Las Vegas come next January.

“We also learned from our contest surveys that there is a high demand for Arlington to offer ‘live money’ contests,” Ward added. “Thus in 2008, we will introduce the inaugural Arlington Handicapping Challenge, a series of handicapping contests during Arlington’s live racing season that will culminate in the crowing of an end of season champion.”

Dates for the inaugural Arlington Handicapping Challenge are: Saturday, May 10; Saturday, May 31; Saturday, June 14; Saturday, June 28; Saturday, July 19; Saturday, Aug. 2; Saturday, Aug. 16; and the Season Championship on Saturday, Sept. 13.

Additional details for the Arlington Handicapping Challenge will be announced in April.

Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 96-day meet in 2008 from Friday, May 2 through Sunday, Sept. 21. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 11 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, The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit, Rookies featuring Trackside OTB in Homewood and Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at





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