Arlington Park news release
Contact: David Zenner
ARLINGTON TO RUN 27 STAKES IN 2010 WORTH MORE THAN $5 MILLION
Arlington Million and the International Festival of Racing Pushed Back to Aug. 21
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Jan. 12, 2010) – The International Festival of Racing, featuring the 28th running of the Grade I Arlington Million, tops a 2010 schedule that includes 27 stakes races worth more than $5 million during 91 days of racing at Arlington Park from Thursday, April 29 through Sunday, Sept. 26. The schedule is contingent upon approval of the Illinois Racing Board at its January meeting.
Arlington's International Festival of Racing will be on Saturday, Aug. 21, two weeks later than in recent years, and features three Grade I stakes scheduled to be run over Arlington’s internationally acclaimed turf course: the $1,000,000 Arlington Million for 3-year-olds and older; the $750,000 Beverly D. for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and older; and the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds.
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. Gio Ponti, the 2009 Million hero, went on to run second to the undefeated Zenyatta in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park. The Million and Secretariat generally play significant roles toward identifying top contenders for the $3 Breeders’ Cup Turf with the Beverly D. serving the same purpose for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
In addition to the three Grade I headliners, the 2010 International Festival will feature for the first time the Grade III $150,000 Stars and Stripes Handicap at its new marathon distance of a mile and five-eighths on the turf. A strong performance in the 13-furlong Stars and Stripes could lead to a horse starting in either the mile and a half Breeders’ Cup Turf or the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon on the main track at 1 ¾ miles.
Other major event days include the $600,000 Prairie State Festival for Illinois-bred horses on Saturday, June 19; Million Preview Day on Saturday, July 17; and stakes doubleheaders on Saturday, May 15; Saturday, May 22; Saturday, May 29; Labor Day Monday, Sept. 6 when the track presents its annual Turf Showcase card; and Saturday, Sept. 11 when 2-year-olds are showcased.
The July 17 Million Preview Day, scheduled five weeks prior to the International Festival of Racing, includes major prep races for 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 $200,000 Modesty Handicap plays the same role for the Beverly D., and the Grade II $300,000 American Derby leads into the Secretariat Stakes.
Also returning is the 11th annual Prairie State Festival, Arlington's showcase for Illinois-bred horses featuring six $100,000-added stakes races. Illinois-owned horses will be spotlighted in a pair of $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes scheduled for Saturday, May 15 with separate 1 1/16-mile turf races – one for fillies and one for colts & geldings.
The third running of $200,000 American 1000 Guineas for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the turf headlines the stakes twin bill on Saturday, May 22 that also includes the $100,000 Arlington Classic for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass.
The following weekend, Saturday, May 29, older horses are featured in the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Matron for fillies and mares at nine furlongs on the main track and the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup for older horses at a mile over Polytrack.
Labor Day Monday (Sept. 6) will be highlighted by the fourth annual Turf Showcase when nearly the entire card will be raced over Arlington’s world famous turf course. The grassy program will include two stakes races – the Grade III $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and an eighth and the $100,000 Sea o’Erin for 3-year-olds & older at a mile. The former could serve as a prep for the Filly & Mare Turf while the latter could be considered a prep race for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile.
The following Saturday, Sept. 11, 2-year-olds will be featured when Arlington hosts its signature juvenile events – the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity and the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie. She Be Wild, the 2009 Lassie heroine went on to capture the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies while the Futurity is a Midwest prep for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Two graded stakes will be presented over the Independence Day holiday weekend – the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and an eighth on the main track on Saturday, July 3 and the Grade III $150,000 Chicago Handicap, for fillies and mares at seven furlongs on Polytrack which will be held the following day, Sunday, July 4. Informed Decision used the ’09 Chicago Handicap as one of her steppingstones to victory in the $1 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
One other graded stakes race will be run during the 2010 Arlington Park meet – the Grade III $150,000 Washington Park Handicap at a mile and three-sixteenths on the main track on Saturday, Sept. 4. In recent years, the Washington Park has been a Midwest prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and could also be considered a prep for the Marathon.
The complete 2010 Arlington Park stakes schedule is attached.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 91-day meet in 2010 from Thursday, April 29 through Sunday, Sept. 26. 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 Waukegan, Shooters Bar & Grill at Don Carter Lanes featuring Trackside Rockford, 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.