|Arlington Park news release
Warning: include() [function.include]: URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration in /hsphere/local/home/jrstark3/barntowire.com/APrelease030929.html on line 23
Warning: include(http://www.barntowire.com/dleary.html) [function.include]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /hsphere/local/home/jrstark3/barntowire.com/APrelease030929.html on line 23
Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening 'http://www.barntowire.com/dleary.html' for inclusion (include_path='.:/hsphere/shared/apache/libexec/php5ext/php/') in /hsphere/local/home/jrstark3/barntowire.com/APrelease030929.html on line 23
ARLINGTON CONCLUDES 2003 SEASON WITH INCREASES IN AVERAGE DAILY TOTAL HANDLE AND ATTENDANCE
Daily Attendance Rose by 12.7 Percent While Overall Handle Increased Nearly 2 Percent
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 29, 2003) -- The 104-day, 2003 Arlington Park race meet -- run from Friday, May 9 through Saturday, Sept. 27, 2003 -- concluded with a 12.7-percent increase in average daily attendance and a 1.9-percent rise in overall wagering compared to the corresponding daily averages of the 2002 meet of 106 days. For comparison purposes, the 2002 average daily figures are exclusive of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship attendance of 46,118 and record-breaking total handle of $116,367,198 recorded on Oct. 26, 2002.
This year, total attendance was 737,369 versus 666,834 in 2002 (not including the Breeders' Cup), an increase of 70,535 overall. Average daily attendance for the 104-day season rose to 7,090 compared to 6,291 last year.
"Everyone at Arlington Park is grateful for the support of our fans, horsemen and employees during this successful 2003 race meet," said Arlington Park President Cliff Goodrich. "The increase in attendance appears to be driven by people relatively new to Thoroughbred racing and indicates that we had great success in attracting new fans to our sport."
Total handle from all sources for the 104-day meet was $424,770,925 for a daily average of $4,084,336, surpassing the 2002 daily average for 106 days (not including the Breeders' Cup) of $4,007,779 by $76,561 per day. Last year, a total of $424,824,598 was wagered on the 106 days excluding Breeders' Cup day.
On-track, average daily wagering decreased by 3.6 percent from $580,545 in 2002 (not including the Breeders' Cup) to $559,454 per day in 2003. This year, a total of $58,183,198 was wagered at Arlington Park during the 104-day meet versus $61,537,805 in 106 days during 2002 (not including the Breeders' Cup).
"As we move forward and continue growing the sport of Thoroughbred racing by attracting more new and casual fans to visit Arlington Park," added Goodrich, "our next step must be to educate these people to the nuances of wagering, which should have a positive impact on our handle numbers.
"These new fans, combined with our loyal core customers and a continued emphasis on improving our racing product, should provide the impetus for an even more exciting 2004 season."
Overall attendance at Arlington Park in 2002, including the 46,118 fans who attended the Breeders' Cup at Arlington Park, was 712,952.
Total handle from all sources in 2002, including the record $116,367,198 wagered worldwide on Breeders' Cup day, was $541,191,796. On-track handle at Arlington Park last year, with the Breeders' Cup total of $13,568,233 bet at the track, totaled $75,106,038.
On the track, Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Sulamani, trained by Saeed bin Suroor with David Flores aboard, was declared the winner of an unusual finish to the running of Arlington Million XXI. Storming Home, who crossed the wire first but caused interference to multiple horses in the stretch and threw his rider Gary Stevens to the turf just past the finish, was disqualified and placed fourth.
The Million is one of three Grade I races that comprise the International Festival of Racing, held this year on Aug. 16. This year's Festival featured a record-setting 13 foreign horses, the most international horses ever to run on a non-Breeders' Cup day.
In the other Festival headliners, Juddmonte Farm's Heat Haze, trained by Bobby Frankel and ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., won the Beverly D. Brushwood Stables' Kicken Kris, trained by Michael Matz with Javier Castellano in the saddle, earned a 3½-length tally Secretariat Stakes.
Other notable performances included Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift winning the Grade II Washington Park Handicap, Select Stable's Take Charge Lady capturing the Grade III Arlington Matron and stakes record performances by Dream Walkin Farm's Cactus Ridge in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity and by Darley's Zosima in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie.
Owner Frank C. Calabrese fell one win short of equaling his record setting 66 victories in 2002 with 65 scores to earn his fourth consecutive title as the meet's leading owner, 50 better than runner up Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.
Wayne Catalano, private trainer for Calabrese, captured 59 races (six of Calabrese's victors were trained by Pat Cuccurullo) to pick up his second straight and third Arlington title overall. Chris Block was second in the standings with 29 wins.
Jockey Rene Douglas picked up his third consecutive Arlington riding crown with 132 trips to the winner's circle including seven on one card on July 24. Douglas joined jockeys Steve Brooks (1947-49) and Bill Hartack (1955-57) as one of only three jockeys in history to win three Arlington riding titles in a row. Longtime Chicago-based reinsman Eusebio Razo Jr. enjoyed his best Arlington meet ever, finishing second in the standings with 89 tallies.
Trainer Rebecca Maker was named the meet's "Rising Star" and Russell L. Reineman was honored with the Lifetime Achievement award.
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. -- completed its 104-day meet in 2003 on 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.
- END -