Arlington Park announced March 5 that they will offer a $500,000 bonus to the owner(s) of any horse that can sweep the Mid-America Triple at the suburban Chicago racecourse.
The Mid-America Triple is a three-race series for 3-year-olds that consists of the $150,000 Arlington Classic, the grade II $300,000 American Derby and the grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes. All three races will be run over Arlington’s turf course.
“For many years, the races that make up the Mid-America Triple attracted some of the best sophomores in training,” said Arlington Park vice president of racing and racing secretary Kevin Greely. “By offering this lucrative bonus, we hope to not only reward success but also to restore this historic series to its past luster.”
The Arlington Classic, at a mile and a sixteenth, will be run for the 75th time on May 23. The American Derby, at a mile and three-sixteenths, is Chicago’s oldest stakes race dating back to 1884 and will be held as part of Arlington’s Million Preview Day card on July 11. The Secretariat Stakes, the final leg of the Triple at the classic distance of a mile and a quarter, will have its 33rd running and be contested as part of the International Festival of Racing on Aug. 8.
Only one horse – Honor Glide in 1997 – has captured the Mid-America Triple in its current all-turf configuration. Tom Rolfe and Buckpasser swept the Triple in 1965 and 1966 respectively when the series consisted of the Arlington Classic, the American Derby and the Chicagoan – all on dirt.
In order to give horsemen ample time to nominate to the Mid-America Triple and take advantage of the newly-added bonus, the deadline for nominations has been pushed back by two weeks to April 10.