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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/3/09)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Arlington Park will celebrate the last weekend of summer in Chicago with five of its traditional graded stakes carded for the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

Three of those – the Grade III Washington Park Handicap, the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity, and the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie – will be run Saturday over Arlington’s Polytrack surface.

The Washington Park is Arlington’s annual main event for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and three-sixteenths on the main track, while the one-mile local Futurity is the climactic goal for 2-year-olds each summer at Arlington, and the eight-furlong Lassie serves in that same capacity for juvenile members of the distaff set.

There will also be a $100,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool Saturday, covering the day’s final four races, with the caveat that the two turf races in the sequence remain on the turf.

On Labor Day, the second of only two Monday racing programs at Arlington this season, Chicago’s premier Thoroughbred oval will offer what has been branded as its “Labor Day Turf Showcase,” with as many as nine races to be contested over Arlington’s world famous grass course (weather permitting).

Arlington, which has not scheduled a graded stakes on Labor Day for the last six summers, ends that drought by topping Monday’s turf extravaganza with the 78th running of the Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at the marathon distance of a mile and a half on the grass.

Also on that Monday program is the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes, restricted to 3-year-old fillies and run at nine furlongs over the local lawn, as well as the $100,000 Sea o’ Erin, which served as the local tune-up for the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile when the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships were run at Arlington in 2002.

A fourth Labor Day stakes race on grass – the $50,000-added Honor Glide Stakes – is restricted to sophomores, will be run at nine furlongs once again Monday and is expected to attract at least two veterans of Arlington’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes run last month.

In addition, there will be a $100,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool on the day’s final four races, once again with the caveat that all turf races in the sequence remain on the turf.

Also as part of the “Labor Day Turf Showcase” – all turf races with eight or more betting interests will offer a $75,000 Guaranteed Turf Trifecta pool.


The final “Miller Lite Party In The Park” of Arlington’s 2009 racing season will be hosted this Friday featuring live music by the band “Local Favorite” helping to kick off Arlington’s extended holiday weekend program.

First race and first song on Friday’s twilight racing program will begin at 2:30 pm, but gates open at 11:15 am.


Backstretch tours, a buffet-style breakfast available for purchase, and the opportunity to watch horses go through their morning workouts against a beautiful backdrop of sunrise at Arlington Park will highlight Saturday’s final “Breakfast at Arlington” program running from 7:30 am-9:30 am.

Regular gates will open at 11:15 am Saturday, with post time slated for 1 pm. Highlighting Saturday’s entertainment, in addition to a graded stakes tripleheader, will be the last “Miller Lite Taste of Summer” program of 2009, featuring classic rock hits by the band “Bucket Number 6.”


The eighth and final qualifying round of the Arlington Handicapping Challenge is also slated Saturday, and the live money contest is free to enter and offers berths into the 2010 Horse Player World Series.

Also, there will be an M. Scott McMannis-hosted handicapping seminar, and in addition to that, Joe Kristufek and Brian Spencer will be conducting “Learn to Win” Sessions at the West Kiosk on the Clubhouse apron from 1 pm until 2 pm and at the East Kiosk near the Park Area from 2:30 pm until 4 pm.

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