The stakes schedule for Arlington Park's 2001 meet was announced Wednesday and features many changes from the 2000 stakes calendar at the Chicago-area track, including a drastic cut in the purse for the Arlington Million (gr. IT). The Million was run for a purse of $2 million for the first time in 2000, the track's first meet since 1997, but will return to its original purse of $1 million next year.
"We have reallocated the money available for stakes to bolster the effectiveness of the entire program in order to support the continued growth of Illinois racing," said Scott Mordell, the track's president and chief executive officer. "The changes include returning the Arlington Million to its original value of $1 million, increasing the purses of five existing stakes races and adding three new stakes for the upcoming season."
The purse for the Beverly D will be hiked $200,000 to $700,000. The Washington Park Handicap will be run for $400,000 in 2001 and at longer distance of 1 1/4 miles, up from $250,000 and 1 1/8 miles this year. Other stakes with increased valuations for next year are the Arlington Handicap, up $100,000 to $250,000; the Arlington Classic, up $50,000 to $200,000; and the Modesty Handicap, up to $150,000 from $100,000.
The three new stakes races on the calendar are the $100,000-added Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile (Sept. 3), the $75,000 Manila Stakes (Oct. 20), and the $75,000 Escapade Handicap (Oct. 28).
Arlington will host "Million Preview Day" on July 28, featuring the Arlington and Modesty Handicaps and the $125,000 Round Table Stakes. The Arlington Million, Beverly D, and Secretariat Stakes will be run on Saturday, Aug. 18.
Arlington also announce a name change for the Arlington Oaks, which will be renamed the Singapore Plate as part of a race exchange with the Singapore Jockey Club.