Arlington Park Releases 2014 Stakes Schedule

Arlington Park Releases 2014 Stakes Schedule
Photo: Four Footed Fotos

The International Festival of Racing tops a 2014 schedule that includes 25 stakes races worth $5.5 million during 89 days of racing at Arlington Park from May 2 through Sept. 28.

As Arlington celebrates the 25th anniversary of the rebuilding of racing’s most modern facility, the racetrack announced that the Festival of Racing will be Aug. 16.

The festival features five stakes races including three grade I events: the $1,000,000 Arlington Million for 3-year-olds & up; the $750,000 Beverly D. for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & up; and the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds. Also on the program are the third edition of $400,000 American St. Leger for 3-year-olds & up, which is now a listed race, and the $75,000 Hatoof Stakes. All five stakes are scheduled to be run over Arlington’s internationally acclaimed turf course.

The Million and Secretariat are both run at North America's classic distance of 1 1/4 miles, while the Beverly D. is contested at 1 3/16 miles.

Arlington also announced changes that will improve the quality and competitiveness of the meet’s 2-year-old stakes races with distance changes. In addition, the dates of the Illinois-bred restricted races have been spread over four dates, which means that Arlington will present at least one stakes race on all but three Saturdays from Memorial Day until the middle of September. The schedule also features several "big event" days that combine multiple stakes races onto a single card.

The first of these days is scheduled for May 24, and will feature three grade III events: the $150,000 Arlington Matron, for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack; the $150,000 Hanshin Cup for older horses at a mile on the main track; and the $150,000 Arlington Classic for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Two-year-olds will be featured Sept. 6 when Arlington presents the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) for colts and geldings on Polytrack, and the listed $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie for fillies on the main track. The races have been shortened from one mile to seven furlongs, a distance at which these races thrived in their rich histories.

Illinois-bred stakes are prominent in the early stages of the meet with $100,000 events slated for May 31 (Springfield Stakes for 3-year-olds), June 7 (Purple Violet Stakes for 3-year-old fillies), June 14 (Isaac Murphy Handicap for older female sprinters) and a pair of turf races June 21 (Lincoln Heritage for fillies and mares and its companion race, the Black Tie Affair). The remaining Illinois-restricted event (the Addison Cammack for sprinters) is carded for July 26.

The $150,000 Chicago Handicap (gr. III), a seven-furlong main track race, will close out the June stakes slate June 28.

On July 12, Million Preview Day, scheduled five weeks prior to the International Festival of Racing, includes major prep races for four International Festival events. The $200,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) serves as the final local prep race for the Arlington Million, while the $200,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) plays the same role for the Beverly D. The $200,000 American Derby (gr. IIIT) leads into the Secretariat Stakes and the $150,000 Stars and Stripes Stakes (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/2 miles on turf will serve as a feeder for the American St. Leger Stakes.

As has been the case for the last several years, the top three finishers in each of the preview day stakes races will have their entry and start fees waived for the counterpart race during the International Festival.

Also to be run in July are the 2014 renewals of the listed $100,000 Arlington Sprint, a 5 1/2-furlong turf dash; and the $150,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. IIIT), a 1 1/8-mile main track race for 3-year-old fillies. The Arlington Sprint is slated for July 5 with the local Oaks scheduled to run July 19.

In addition to the International Festival of Racing, the August stakes schedule includes the Aug. 30 running of the $150,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. III) for older horses at 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack.

One additional stake race is scheduled for the meet’s final month. The $175,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf, is to be run Sept. 13.

Any overnight stakes that may be added to the schedule will be announced at a later date.

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