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Arlington Adjusts Start for 1 1/16-Mile Races

| Churchill Downs Communications | 04/26/2013 #

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (April 25, 2013) – Beautiful facilities and quality racing are not all that will greet Arlington International Racecourse fans this season.  By popularly demand, Arlington is reverting to a former start for one of America’s most common main-course distances.



Races at 1 1/16 miles on the main-course will now use the traditional finish line, with the starting gate placed between the finish and the sixteenth-pole past, utilizing a significant run-up to the pole that triggers the timer.  Previously, an auxiliary finish had been employed at the sixteenth-pole, resulting in a substantially shorter stretch and slightly unclear finish for fans.

According to Director of Racing and Racing Secretary Chris Polzin, the previous start and finish combination “never caught on with the fans.  Many in the crowd didn’t understand what was going on with the finish.”

With regard to horsemen, “some of them didn’t like that they had to make an earlier move on the turn,” Polzin continued.

In accordance with the shortened run to the first turn, fields will be limited to eight runners (plus also eligibles) with a slightly wider placement of the starting gate to soften the angle into the first turn.  Consequently, off-the-turf races originally carded for 1 1/16 miles will be run at one mile on the main course.

The angularly friendly start, in addition to the field limitation and longer stretch, aims to collectively result in a reliable and competitive racing experience for horsemen and fans.