Arlington Park will return to its traditional May opening for the 2003 season after conducting a June through October season for the past two years. The 2003 schedule includes 29 stakes worth more than $5.5 million in purses during its 104 days of racing from May 9 to Sept. 27.
The International Festival of Racing will feature the $1-million Arlington Million (gr. IT), the $700,000 Beverly D (gr. IT), and the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT), all on Aug. 16. The day before grade I triple header, the $75,000 Estrapade Handicap has been added to the festival.
For the third consecutive year, "Million Preview Day," July 26, will feature the $250,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT), the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT), and the $100,000 Round Table Stakes.
Also returning in 2003 is the fourth annual Prairie State Festival with six $75,000-added stakes for Illinois-breds and total purses are expected to total more that $500,000 on June 21.
The second running of the $100,000 Black Tie Affair Handicap is carded as the meet's first stakes on May 10. The only new stakes in 2003, the $75,000 The Real Delight Stakes will be May 31.
The $150,000 Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile is slated as the Father's Day feature on June 15.
The 2003 meet concludes on Sept. 27 with a pair of Breeder's Cup prep races to be run at a mile for 2-year-olds, the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) and the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie.