Balmoral Park (1/26/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
BALMORAL SET TO KICK OFF 2010 SEASON ON WEDNESDAY
Lower take-out and lower minimum bets highlight new wagering menu
Harness racing action returns from a 24-day break on Wednesday, Jan. 27 as Balmoral Park will open the 2010 season with an 11-race program. Live racing at Balmoral will be conducted on three evenings, Wednesday and Saturday nights with a new first post of 7:10 pm, and Sunday evenings with the traditional early post time of 6:30 pm.
Opening night at Maywood Park will follow on Thursday, Jan 28. Racing will take place twice a week on the half-mile oval as the action on Thursdays and Fridays gets underway at the new earlier post time of 7:10 pm.
A new wagering format will debut at Balmoral Park on Wednesday as well. The Pick 4 has been moved to a later slot on the wagering menu and will now follow The Meadowlands Pick 4. Balmoral Park and Maywood Park’s Pick 4s will be offered with a fan friendly takeout of 15 percent. The Pick 4 will be contested on races seven thru 10. The minimum wager on the Pick Four is one dollar.
The High 5 will remain on race 10. This bet requires the player to select the top five finishers in order. Unlike every other racetrack in America, Balmoral and Maywood will offer this wager with a 10 cent minimum, allowing every type of bettor a chance to make a major league score for just a dime.
With the Pick 4 moving back to a later slot, the Pick 5 will now be the early horizontal bet in Chicago, starting on race two and ending with race six. The Pick 5 again will have a minimum bet of 50 cents.
On Sunday nights Balmoral Park will lower the minimum trifecta wager to 50 cents. This will allow anyone to play the same combinations for half the amount on Sundays. Trifecta boxes will cost $3 for three horses, $12 for four horses and $30 for five horses. Balmoral will again offer superfecta wagering with a minimum bet of 10 cents every night. Maywood will offer $1 superfecta wagering.
Balmoral Park will once again present one of the finest stake schedules in the country. A wide variety of state-bred stakes action will be offered and the first “major” ICF tests of the season will take place in late May as the Violet Stake Finals for 3yo filly pacers will be contested on May 23 and the Violet Stake Final for 3yo filly trotters headlines the action on May 30. The sophomore trotting and pacing colts will have their turn to shine in the Cardinal Stake Finals which will be held at Balmoral Park on June 2 and June 5 respectively.
The 2010 Hanover Stakes season gets underway at Balmoral Park on July 14 with three-year-old trotting fillies taking center stage. A big weekend of Hanover Stakes will then follow as the Crete plant will also play host to the Hanovers for 2yo colt pacers, 2yo filly pacers, 3yo colt pacers and 3yo filly pacers on July 17. The big weekend will draw to a close with the Hanover for 3yo colt trotters on July 18.
The Second Annual Southland Festival of Racing at Balmoral Park will showcase some of the Prairie State’s finest trotters and pacers on Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1. Among the stakes that will be contested on that fun-filled weekend will be the Mini Me (2yo colt pace), Loyal Opposition (2yo filly pace), Big Tom (3yo & up pace), Incredible Finale (3yo colt pace), Ann Vonian (3yo filly pace), Parklane Powerful (3yo & up filly & mare pace), Kadabra (3yo colt trot) and the Fox Valley Evita Stake (3yo filly trot). Freshman trotters will also get their first “major” tests of the season in the Fox Valley Flan (2yo filly) and the Plesac (2yo colt) stakes on Wednesday, August 4 to wrap up the festival.
Illinois biggest night of racing, Super Night, will once again take place at Balmoral Park on Saturday, Sept. 18. More than $1,000,000 in purses will be on the line as Illinois' best pacers and trotters are showcased. Eliminations for the eight championship tilts will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12.
Even though the temperatures will be dropping the action will remain red-hot in November as Balmoral Park will once again host the prestigious American National Festival of Racing on Saturday, Nov. 13. On the card that night will be the 2yo colt pace, 2yo filly pace, 3yo colt pace, 3yo filly pace, the Aged Pace and the Aged Trot. As has been the case in recent years, some of North America’s top trotting and pacing stars as well as the top drivers in the sport are expected to hit town for these events.
For more information visit www.balmoralpark.com or call (708) 672-1414.