The International Festival of Racing, featuring the 31st running of the Arlington Million Stakes (gr. I), tops a 2013 schedule that includes 25 stakes races worth $5.5 million during 89 days of racing at Arlington Park from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, Sept. 29.
Arlington's International Festival of Racing on Saturday, Aug. 17 will feature five stakes races including three grade I events: the Arlington Million for 3-year-olds and up; the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. I) for fillies and mares; and the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds. The day also includes the second edition of the $400,000 American St. Leger for 3-year-olds and up and the $75,000 Hatoof Stakes, all scheduled to be run over Arlington's 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. The American St. Leger will be carded at the marathon distance of 1 11/16 miles and the Hatoof (previously run as an overnight stakes race) will be run at 1 1/16 miles.
The 2013 schedule features several additional "big event" days that combine multiple stakes races onto a single card.
The first of these days is scheduled for Saturday, May 25, and will feature three grade III events: the $150,000 Arlington Matron Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack; the $150,000 Hanshin Cup Stakes for older horses at a mile on the main track; and the $150,000 Arlington Classic Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The Arlington Classic is the first leg of the Mid-America Triple.
The July 13 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. III) serves as the final local prep race for the Arlington Million while the $200,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. III) plays the same role for the Beverly D. The $200,000 American Derby (gr. III), also the second leg of the Mid-America Triple, leads into the Secretariat Stakes while the $150,000 Stars and Stripes Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/2 miles on the 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 of Racing.
Illinois-breds are prominent in June with a pair of stakes races restricted to "Prairie Staters" slated for each of the month's first three Saturdays.