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Arlington Meet Opens Friday with $50,000 Double Delta Stakes
Arlington Park kicks off its 81st year with Valvoline Instant Oil Change Opening Weekend Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4. The weekends festivities are highlighted by Saturday’s “World’s Largest Derby Party” featuring the simulcast of the Grade I Kentucky Derby, presented by Yum! Brands and as well as entertainment for the entire family.
Gates will open early Friday for simulcast racing from Churchill Downs that gets underway at 10 a.m. and includes the Grade I Kentucky Oaks, while post time for the first live race Friday is at 2:30 p.m., a half-hour earlier than in previous years. Friday’s card is highlighted by the $50,000 Double Delta Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile over Arlington’s world famous turf course. The Double Delta attracted an overflow field of 13 topped by morning-line favorite Vancy Pants.
Friday’s opening day activities include live rock music by I.R.S. on the Miller Lite band stage as part of the first Miller Lite Party in the Park of the 2008 season.
On Saturday, gates will open at 9:30 a.m. for Arlington Park’s “World’s Largest Derby Party.” The day's festivities will include a Kentucky Derby Glass Giveaway presented by Valvoline Instant Oil Change to the first 4,000 paid admissions, and a bonus Miller Lite Derby T-Shirt giveaway, Kentucky Derby-themed beverages, live music from Kimi Hayes Band the on the Miller Lite Band Stage and entertainment for the entire family including a climbing wall in the Park area. In addition guests can enter for chance to win a Prince Craft Ventura 150 LW Boat. The first live race on the Arlington Park card gets underway at 1 p.m. and the program is highlighted by the $100,000 James B. Tafel Illinois Owners Stakes.
The opening weekend activities conclude Sunday. The gates open at 11:15 a.m. with a 10-race card set to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday is Pepsi Family Day presented by the Daily Herald. Each weekend’s Family Day has a special theme and in keeping with the Kentucky Derby, the first week’s theme is “Make Your Own Derby Hat” and all the regular Family Day activities are back – pony rides, face painters and a petting zoo – from Noon until 4 p.m. in the Park area. The Junior Jockey Club will also be having a “Make a Derby Hat” theme on Sunday.
The Arlington Park season will run for 96 days through Sunday, September 21 beginning on a Thursday through Sunday schedule through June 15. Wednesday racing is added to the schedule from June 18 through August 27. The Thursday through Sunday schedule returns for the week’s final three weeks. Post time on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays is 1 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday’s first race is 1:20 p.m.; and post time on Friday is 2:30. There are some exceptions to the schedule, notably 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, August 9 for Arlington Million Day – for a complete schedule, visit the newly redesigned www.arlingtonpark.com.
The stakes schedule is topped by the International Festival of Racing on Saturday, August 9 featuring three Grade I races the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds, the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes for fillies and mares and the meet’s centerpiece, the Arlington Million, which traditionally attracts some of the world’s best turf horses.
Arlington Park 2008 Meet At A Glance
Dates: Friday, May 2 – Sunday, Sept. 21 (96 days). Dark on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from May 2 through June 15; dark on Mondays and Tuesdays from June 18 through Sept. 1; dark on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Sept. 4 through Sept. 21. Live racing on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26 and Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1
Location: Euclid Ave. & Wilke Rd., Arlington Heights, Ill.
Gates Open: 11:15 a.m.; 10:15 a.m. Friday, May 2; 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 3; and 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9
Post Times: First post is at 1:20 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays; 1 p.m. weekends and holidays. Post time on Fridays is 2:30 p.m. Post time Million Preview Day Saturday, July 12 is 12:30 p.m. Post time Arlington Million Day, Saturday, August 9 is 11:45 a.m.
Admission: $7 general admission ($6 if purchased in advance on line); $5 for Twin Spires Club members.
Parking: Ample free parking is available; $5 preferred parking; $10 valet.
Wagering Format: Daily Doubles every race; exactas every race; trifectas and superfectas every race that qualifies on field size; High-5 on the last race daily; Pick 6 on the last six races of each race card; Pick 3 wagers every race; Pick 4 on races 2-5 & final four races.
Television: All races except the Arlington Million on HRTV – available locally on Comcast Cable Digital Sports Tier channel 407 and on DISH Network channel 405.