|Arlington Park news release
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ARLINGTON PARK TO RUN FROM MAY 14 TO SEPT. 19 IN 2004
96-Day Meet Will Feature Higher Purses During 36-Day Summer Festival of Racing
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 16, 2003) -- With the announcement by the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) of racing dates for 2004, Arlington Park announced that it will conduct a 96-day meet from Friday, May 14 through Sunday, Sept. 19, 2004. Racing will be every Wednesday through Sunday, with Monday and Tuesday dark, except Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day), Monday, July 5 (Independence Day observance) and Sept. 6 (Labor Day) when there will be live racing.
In 2004, Arlington will continue its tiered purse structure, offering substantially higher stakes and overnight purses during a 36-day Summer Festival of Racing, which has successfully attracted interest of horsemen and fans throughout the country resulting in an improved quality of racing and a significant increase in simulcast wagering on Arlington races. In 2003, the Summer Festival was 41 days long.
"The 2004 schedule will mean eight fewer days of live racing at Arlington Park," explained Arlington Park President Cliff Goodrich. "However, with the additional host dark days in February, we will be able to offer significantly increased purses during a shortened Summer Festival. In the end, we feel that by giving up some live racing days, we will improve our racing product."
Next year, Arlington Park will again host the International Festival of Racing, featuring Illinois' only three Grade I stakes: Arlington Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat Stakes. This year, the Festival attracted 14 international horses, the most ever on a single day at any racetrack in North America except on a Breeders' Cup day. In addition to announcing the racing dates for next year, the IRB designated Arlington Park as the host track for simulcasting during the dark days from Sunday, Jan. 4 through Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2004.
Arlington Park -- host to the record-breaking 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- runs a 104-day meet in 2003 through Saturday, Sept. 27. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates seven off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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