Arlington Park to run 25 stakes in 2014 worth $5.5 million

Jan 31st, 2014 | By TrackSide View | Category: Racetrack Reports

arlingtonwebDavid Zenner
Arlington Park
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The International Festival of Racing, featuring the 32nd running of the Grade I Arlington Million and the 25th running of the Grade I Beverly D., top a 2014 schedule that includes 25 stakes races worth $5.5 million during 89 days of racing at Arlington International Racecourse from Friday, May 2 through Sunday, Sept. 28.

In the year that Arlington International celebrates the 25th anniversary of the rebuilding of racing’s most modern and customer-friendly facilities, the world renowned racetrack announced that the Festival of Racing will be on Saturday, Aug. 16. The International Festival features five stakes races including three Grade I events – the $1,000,000 Arlington Million for 3-year-olds & up; the $750,000 Beverly D. for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & up; and the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds – as well as the third edition of $400,000 American St. Leger for 3-year-olds & up which is now a Listed race and the $75,000 Hatoof Stakes. All five stakes scheduled to be run over Arlington’s internationally acclaimed turf course.

The Million and Secretariat are both run at North America’s classic distance of a mile and a quarter while the Beverly D. is contested at a mile and three-sixteenths. The American St. Leger will be carded at the marathon distance of a mile and eleven-sixteenths and the Hatoof will be run at a mile and a sixteenth.

The 2014 schedule boasts 25 prestigious stakes races worth $5.5 Million in purses which could elevate owners, trainers, jockeys and horses to Eclipse Awards.  Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey, the 2013 Eclipse Award-winning owners and breeders, won five Arlington stakes topped by the Secretariat with Admiral Kitten and the Arlington Million with Real Solution.  Beverly D. heroine Dank went on to win the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and was named Eclipse Award winning turf female.

Arlington also announced changes that will improve the quality and competitiveness of the meet’s 2-year-old stakes races with distance changes.  In addition, the dates of the Illinois-bred restricted races have been  spread over four dates which means that Arlington will present at least one stakes race on all but three Saturdays from Memorial Day until the middle of September.  Of course, the schedule also features several “big event” days that combine multiple stakes races onto a single card.

The first of these days is scheduled for Saturday, May 24, and will feature three Grade III events – the $150,000 Arlington Matron, for fillies and mares at a mile and an eighth on Polytrack, the $150,000 Hanshin Cup for older horses at a mile on the main track and the $150,000 Arlington Classic (the first leg of the Mid-America Triple) for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf.

Illinois-breds stakes are prominent in the early stages of the meet with $100,000 events slated for May 31 (Springfield Stakes for 3-year-olds), June 7 (Purple Violet Stakes for 3-year-old fillies), June 14 (Isaac Murphy Handicap for older female sprinters) and a pair of turf races on June 21 (Lincoln Heritage for distaffers and its companion race the Black Tie Affair).  The remaining Illinois-restricted event (the Addison Cammack for sprinters) is carded for July 26.

The Grade III $150,000 Chicago Handicap, a seven-furlong main track race, will close out the June stakes slate on Saturday, June 28.

On July 12, Million Preview Day, scheduled five weeks prior to the International Festival of Racing, includes major prep races for four International Festival events.  The Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap serves as the final local prep race for the Arlington Million while the Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap plays the same role for the Beverly D.  The Grade III $200,000 American Derby, which is also the second leg of the Mid-America Triple, leads into the Secretariat Stakes and the Grade III $150,000 Stars and Stripes Stakes at a mile and a half 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.

Also to be run in July are the 2014 renewals of the $100,000 Arlington Sprint (Listed), a 5 ½-furlong turf dash; and the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Oaks, a mile and an eighth main track race for 3-year-old fillies.  The Arlington Sprint is slated for Saturday, July 5 with the local Oaks scheduled to run two weeks later on Saturday, July 19.

In addition to the International Festival of Racing, the August stakes slate includes the Aug. 30 running of the Grade III $150,000 Washington Park Handicap for older horses at a mile and an eighth on Polytrack.

Two-year-olds will be featured on Saturday, Sept. 6 when Arlington presents the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity for 2-year-old colts & geldings at on Polytrack and the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie (Listed) for 2-year-old fillies on the main track.  Each of these events has been shortened from one mile to seven furlongs – a distance at which these races thrived in their rich histories.

One additional stake race is scheduled for the meet’s final month – the Grade III $175,000 Pucker Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and an eighth on the turf, which will be run on Saturday, Sept. 13.

Any overnight stakes that may be added to the schedule will be announced at a later date.

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