Total handle on the 12-race “Million Preview Day” card at Arlington Park July 14 of $7,616,325 was the highest for that day of racing since the event was launched in 2001.
The 2012 figure was more than 48% higher than the $5,141,447 wagered on the 2011 “Million Preview Day” program of 11 races and this year’s per-race average handle of $634,694 was nearly 36% higher than the 2011 per-race average of $467,404.
“This demonstrates that there is a strong public interest in seeing the stars perform and wagering on quality racing,” Arlington Park general manager Tony Petrillo said in a release. “Because of tremendous support from owners and trainers who chose to race their horses at Arlington on Million Preview Day, we were able to put on a great show and racing fans around the country responded. This makes us even more excited for what is to come the rest of our season, especially Arlington Million Day when we’ll have stars from around country and from all over the world.”
The July 14 race card featured four grade III turf races: $200,000 Arlington Handicap for older horses, $200,000 Modesty Handicap for fillies & mares, $200,000 American Derby for 3-year-olds, and $150,000 Stars and Stripes for older marathon turf horses. That quartet of stakes races serves as prep races for the “International Festival of Racing” Aug. 18 consisting of the Arlington Million, $750,000 Beverly D., $500,000 Secretariat Stakes, all grade I, and the newly created $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes.