Arlington to Run 27 Stakes in 2007 Worth More Than $5.5 Million

(Edited press release)

The International Festival of Racing, featuring the 25th running of the Arlington Million (gr. IT), tops a 2007 schedule that includes 27 stakes races worth $5,525,000 during 94 days of racing at Arlington Park May 4-Sept. 16. The announcement was made Jan. 9 following the approval of the Illinois Racing Board at its monthly meeting.

Arlington's International Festival of Racing is set for Aug. 11 and will feature Illinois' only three grade I stakes, all scheduled for turf--the $1,000,000 Arlington Million for 3-year-olds & up; the $750,000 Beverly D. for fillies & mares, 3-years-old & up; and the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds. A new highlight of Million Day will be the addition of the $150,000 Sea O'Erin Breeders’ Cup Mile.

The Million and Secretariat will both be contested at 1 1/16 miles, while the Beverly D. will be run at 1 3/16 miles. Each of the three grade I races is part of the new "Breeders' Cup Challenge," which guarantees a starting berth in the Breeders' Cup World Championships to the winner of each race, and will be televised live as part of a two-hour telecast on ESPN. 

Other major event days include the Prairie State Festival for Illinois-bred horses Saturday, July 7; Million Preview Day  Saturday, July 21; and the newly created Ladies Day Saturday, Sept. 8.

This year's Mid-America Triple will again provide a showcase for top 3-year-old turf horses in the Arlington Classic (gr. IIT) June 23, the American Derby (gr. IIT) July 21, and the Secretariat on Million Day.

The July 21 Million Preview Day, which is scheduled three weeks prior to the International Festival of Racing, includes major prep races for all three International Festival events. The $200,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) serves as the final local prep race for the Million, while the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) carries the same role for the Beverly D., and the $250,000 American Derby leads into the Secretariat Stakes. 

With all of the aforementioned races slated to run over Arlington's turf course, the first stakes race scheduled to be run over the track's new all-weather surface will be the $100,000 Hanshin Cup (gr. III) May 26.

Also returning is the seventh annual Prairie State Festival, Arlington's yearly showcase for Illinois-bred horses featuring six $75,000-added stakes races with total purses expected to be more than $500,000 July 7. 

In addition, Illinois-owned horses will get their chance in the spotlight at each end of the four-month season with the $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes (to be named later) on Kentucky Derby Day, May 5, and in the newly created $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes for fillies and mares (to be named later) on the meet's final Saturday, Sept. 15.

Also new for 2007 is Ladies Day Sept. 8, featuring three stakes races for female horses--the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Lassie (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies; the $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies on turf; and the $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares, 3-years-old & up.

Other major stakes races in 2007 include the $200,000 Stars & Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) for older horses July 4; the $300,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II), the meet's richest main track race, July 28; and the $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity (gr. III) for 2-year-olds Sept. 9. 

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