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Contact: David Zenner
ARLINGTON PARK TO OFFER PURSE ENHANCEMENT TO OVERNIGHT RACES WITH 10 OR MORE WAGERING INTERESTS
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (March 31, 2009) – In a continued effort to provide the wagering public the best racing product possible, Arlington Park management announced that they have reached an agreement with the Illinois Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association (ITHA) to offer a bonus of up to five percent of the base purse of overnight races contingent upon the number of distinct wagering interests in the starting field.
The base purse of overnight races that leave the starting gate with 10 or 11 separate wagering interests will be increased by 2.5% while the base purse of overnight races that start with 12 wagering interests will receive a 5% boost. For example, should a maiden special weight race with a base purse of $28,000 leave the gate with 10 or 11 wagering interests, that purse will be increased to $28,700 and increased again to $29,400 should a full field of 12 betting interests start.
Field size at Arlington Park last year averaged 8.23, slightly ahead of the national average of 8.17, with more than 30% of the more than 900 overnight races carded last year starting with 10 or more separate betting interests.
“Offering this incentive is a win-win-win situation for the horsemen, racing fans and the racetrack,” explained Arlington Park Vice President of Racing and Racing Secretary Kevin Greely. “The more horses there are in a race, the better the wagering opportunity for the racing fans, which leads to more betting which of course leads to higher purses.”
The purse enhancement is being offered on all overnight races, regardless of class level or surface, from maiden claiming races to overnight stakes races on both Arlington’s all-weather main track and its world famous turf course and is believed to be the first such across-the-board, meet-long enhancement to be offered at a major racetrack.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 98-day meet in 2009 from Friday, May 1 through Sunday, Sept. 27. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 10 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, Tad’s Sports Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit and Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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