Arlington Park plans to reschedule and enrich its stakes program this summer to provide a "Preview Weekend at the Park" before the Oct. 26 running of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Coolmore Stud's John Magnier has reportedly called for Breeders' Cup Ltd. to stage its World Thoroughbred Championship Day races in Europe in alternate years.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship races will make their first appearance in the nation's third-largest market -- at Arlington Park, northwest of Chicago -- on Oct. 26, 2002. After months of complex negotiations, Breeders' Cup Limited, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Churchill Downs, Inc., parent company of Arlington, announced the deal Monday.
Officials of Breeders' Cup Limited and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Monday, Dec. 3, that Arlington Park in suburban Chicago has been named the host site for the 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. The announcement was made at a press conference in Chicago's ESPN Zone restaurant.
Arlington Park's first meet to run through October produced a new single-day record handle and a 10.4% increase in average daily total handle. The tragedies of Sept. 11 were blamed for double-digit losses in on-track handle and attendance.
Gary A. Tanaka's Humble Clerk beat Maltese Superb by a length in Saturday's $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park.
Triple Crown Bloodstock's Publication raced up close through slow opening fractions, inherited the lead when pacesetter Lunar Bounty tired, then held on to win Saturday's $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. II) by a neck at Arlington Park.
Ohio-bred Joanies Bella upset favored Miss Indiana to win Saturday's Arlington Washington Lassie Stakes (gr. III) at Arlington Park. Under Marlon St. Julien, Joanies Bella completed the one-mile course in 1:39.34 on a fast track.
Snow Dance, the 9-10 favorite in the 12-horse field, beat Kiss the Devil by 1 3/4 lengths Saturday to win the $150,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park. Perret earned his third Pucker Up win Saturday and his first since 1969. He also won the 1968 renewal of the race.
According to two published reports, directors of the Breeders' Cup Ltd. have approved plans for the World Thoroughbred Championships to be held at Arlington Park next year and Lone Star Park in Texas in 2005. Neither track has hosted the Breeders' Cup races and both had made presentations that were well-received by Breeders' Cup personnel.
Jockey Shane Sellers won two races at Arlington Park Saturday, including the featured Spectacular Bid Stakes, then announced he was ending his comeback bid.
Bet On Sunshine, the 7-10 favorite, beat pacesetter Tic N Tin by a nose Saturday to capture the $100,000 Arlington Sprint Handicap for the third straight time.
Startac came from far back to nip Strut the Stage in a photo finish Saturday to win the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) by a nose at Arlington Park.
England's Legend set moderate fractions while left alone on the front end, then drew away in the stretch to win Saturday's $700,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) by 7 3/4 lengths on a yielding turf course at Arlington Park.
Carl F. Pollard's Caressing beat Gal on the Go by a length Saturday to win the $125,000 Singapore Plate (gr. III) at Arlington Park.
Four European invaders are scheduled to arrive in Chicago over the next week in an attempt to take down the coveted Arlington Million Saturday, Aug. 18. A total of nine imports from across the pond will try their luck in either the Million, the $700,000 Beverly D for fillies and mares, and the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds. All are grade I contests, with the Million also serving as the third leg of the international Emirates World Series.
The first two stakes races on Million Preview Day at Arlington Park ran true to form Saturday, with 17-10 favorites Make No Mistake and Discreet Hero winning their grade III preps. In the day's final stakes race, 7-1 Illinois-bred Ioya Two held off Megans Bluff and favorite Solvig to win the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a nose.
A trio of grade III races run on the same day for the first time makes up Saturday's Million Preview Day at Arlington Park outside Chicago. The races are set up as a prep for Aug. 18, when the meet's premier day of racing goes with the Arlington Million, Beverly D., and Secretariat Stakes.
On a rain softened turf course at Arlington Park Sunday, 18-1 Fan Club's Mister pulled away from fellow longshot Monsieur Cat to earn a 3 1/2-length win in the $250,000 American Derby (gr. IIT).
Morton Fink's Guided Tour tracked Duckhorn through the early going before reeling in the leader with just over a quarter-mile to run en route to winning Saturday's $400,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) at Arlington Park.
Bits and pieces from the Thoroughbred industry.
Bits and pieces from the Thoroughbred industry.
Jockey Craig Perret and trainer Frank Brothers combined for their second Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) wins as Trip rallied to win the seven-furlong, $157,270 race by a half-length on Saturday at Arlington Park. Perret previously rode Safely Kept to victory in the 1991 renewal of the race; Brothers saddled Rose's Record prior to her 1989 win.
Steve Sexton is the new executive vice president of Arlington Park. The announcement was made Monday by John Long, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI") (Nasdaq: CHDN). Sexton will report directly to Scott Mordell, Arlington's president and chief executive officer.
The stakes schedule for Arlington Park's 2001 meet was announced Wednesday and features many changes from the 2000 stakes calendar at the Chicago-area track, including a drastic cut in the purse for the Arlington Million (gr. IT). The Million was run for a purse of $2 million for the first time in 2000, the track's first meet since 1997, but will return to its original purse of $1 million next year.
Churchill Downs reports strong third quarter revenue and earnings gains, but warns the gains could be offset by the end of the year. Penn National also reports strong revenue and earnings.
Arlington International, Chicago's premier racetrack, is reverting to the name it had before the facility was destroyed by fire in the 1980s. Along with the new name, Arlington is sporting a new logo.
Churchill Downs' president Alex Waldrop will oversee all company operations in Kentucky. Former Ellis Park president Jeffery Smith will take over the transition of Arlington International Racecourse into the Churchill family, but remains head of Hoosier Park.
Arlington International Racecourse reported a significant increase in handle and solid attendance following its 103-day meet. Total handle from all sources increased 10.7% to $333,177,106, up from a total handle of $300.9 million reported in 1997, which is when Arlington last ran a live meet. Last year, Arlington's dates were run at Hawthorne Race Course.
Richard, Bertram, and Elaine Klein's Thunder Bertie closed from off the pace to win the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes (gr. III) by 2 3/4 lengths Saturday at Arlington International. The win was the second career win for the Bernard Flint trainee, who completed the one-turn mile race in 1:36.91 under Jeremy Beasley.
Arlington International puts the accent on international Sunday, when the Chicago-area track serves as the North American wagering hub for the simulcast of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I). Post time for the Arc is scheduled for 10:20 a.m. (EDT).
Trailthefox earned a 1 1/4-length win over Starbury in the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. II) Saturday at Arlington International. The pair ran away from the field of 2-year-olds through the stretch as Starbury came home 7 1/2 lengths clear of third-place finisher Blame It On Ruby.
Megans Bluff became the second graded stakes winner of the day bred by Kevin G. Pipes when the 3-year-old daughter of Pine Bluff just held on to win the $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) by a neck Monday at Arlington International. Earlier in the day at Philadelphia Park, Pine Dance, a 3-year-old son of Pine Bluff bred by Pipes, earned a three-length win in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III).
Jockey Mark Guidry missed his Sunday mounts at Arlington International Racecourse as the result of a spill at the Chicago-area track on Saturday. Guidry was treated and released from Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill., after he was thrown to the track when his mount, Lex a Million, broke down at the half-mile pole during the seventh race on Saturday.
Jockey Mark Guidry was taken to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill., after he was thrown to the track when his mount, Lex a Million, broke down on the backstretch during the seventh race at Arlington International Racecourse. Track officials said Guidry was conscious and alert.
Midway through the stretch, jockey Jerry Bailey looked to be en route to his third grade I win on the day at Arlington International aboard 3-5 favorite King Cugat before Ciro, under Mick Kinane, rallied on the outside for a length victory in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) Saturday at the Chicago area track.
Gary A. Tanaka's Snow Polina rallied from just off the pace to upset 3-5 favorite Happyanunoit by a length in the $500,000 Beverly D Stakes (gr. IT) Saturday at Arlington International.
Guided by jockey Jerry Bailey for the first time, Juddmonte Farms' homebred Chester House unleashed a powerful rally along the rail through the stretch to earn a 3 1/4-length victory in the $2-million Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT) Saturday at Arlington International.
Manhattan Handicap (gr. I) and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) winner Manndar was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the seven-horse field entered in the $2-million Arlington Million (gr. IT) to be run Saturday at Arlington International.
Megans Bluff tracked the early leaders in third place before unleashing a three-wide rally under jockey Mark Guidry to win the $125,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) by eight lengths Saturday at Arlington International.
Nancy Vanier's Illinois-bred Wade for Me surged to the front at the wire in the $100,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT), winning by a nose over Candleinthedark at Arlington International Sunday.
European shippers Pine Dance and Hymn, both racing on Lasix for the first time, swept the top two spots of the $194,000 American Derby (gr. IIT) at Arlington International Sunday.
Stonehedge Farm's 6-year-old gelding Blazing Sword used a ground-saving trip under jockey Jose Rivera II to earn a one-length victory in the $250,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Arlington International. Over a fast track, the Kathleen O'Connell trainee completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.59.
While Arlington International Racecourse finalizes its marriage with Churchill Downs, it is preparing to hike overnight purses for its “Summer Festival of Racing” to about $275,000 per day.
Williams News earned his first black-type victory Tuesday as a pair of 5-year-old sons of Alleged swept the top two placings in the Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Handicap.
King Cugat continued his dominance of the sophomore turf division in the Midwest, winning the $150,000 Arlington Classic Stakes (gr. IIT) by 2 3/4 lengths Saturday.
Upcoming Television Shows
Secretariat Romps In Arlington Invitational
In his role as a consummate television trivia buff, Arlington International press box manager Zenner found himself making news after TV Land Network's "Ultimate Fan Search" came to Arlington on Sunday to film its Chicago quest for trivia nuts.
A state senator in Illinois is calling for a probe into whether Arlington International used recently enacted state subsidies to increase its value and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
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