Arlington Million

Arlington Million Heads 2010 Stakes Slate

| Churchill Downs Communications | 04/21/2010 #

The International Festival of Racing, featuring the 28th running of the Grade I Arlington Million, tops a 2010 schedule that includes 27 stakes races worth more than $5 million during 91 days of racing at Arlington Park from Thursday, April 29 through Sunday, Sept. 26. The schedule is contingent upon approval of the Illinois Racing Board at its January meeting.

Arlington's International Festival of Racing will be on Saturday, Aug. 21, two weeks later than in recent years, and features three Grade I stakes scheduled to be run over Arlington's internationally acclaimed turf course - the $1,000,000 Arlington Million for 3-year-olds & older; the $750,000 Beverly D. for fillies & mares, 3-years-old & older; and the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds.

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. Gio Ponti, the 2009 Million hero, went on to run second to the undefeated Zenyatta in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park. The Million and Secretariat generally play significant roles toward identifying top contenders for the $3 Breeders' Cup Turf with the Beverly D. serving the same purpose for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

In addition to the three Grade I headliners, the 2010 International Festival will feature for the first time the Grade III $150,000 Stars and Stripes Handicap at its new marathon distance of a mile and five-eighths on the turf. A strong performance in the 13-furlong Stars and Stripes could lead to a horse starting in either the mile and a half Breeders' Cup Turf or the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon on the main track at 1 ¾ miles.

Other major event days include the $600,000 Prairie State Festival for Illinois-bred horses on Saturday, June 19; Million Preview Day on Saturday, July 17; and stakes doubleheaders on Saturday, May 15; Saturday, May 22; Saturday, May 29; Labor Day Monday, Sept. 6 when the track presents its annual Turf Showcase card; and Saturday, Sept. 11 when 2-year-olds are showcased.

On July 17, Million Preview Day, scheduled five weeks prior to the International Festival of Racing, includes major prep races for three 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., and the Grade II $300,000 American Derby leads into the Secretariat Stakes.

Also returning is the 11th annual Prairie State Festival, Arlington's showcase for Illinois-bred horses featuring six $100,000-added stakes races. Illinois-owned horses will be spotlighted in a pair of $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes scheduled for Saturday, May 15 with separate 1 1/16-mile turf races - one for fillies and one for colts & geldings.

The third running of $200,000 American 1000 Guineas for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the turf headlines the stakes twin bill on Saturday, May 22 that also includes the $100,000 Arlington Classic for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass.

The following weekend, Saturday, May 29, older horses are featured in the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Matron for fillies and mares at nine furlongs on the main track and the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup for older horses at a mile over Polytrack.

Labor Day Monday (Sept. 6) will be highlighted by the fourth annual Turf Showcase when nearly the entire card will be raced over Arlington's world famous turf course. The grassy program will include two stakes races - the Grade III $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and an eighth and the $100,000 Sea o'Erin for 3-year-olds & older at a mile. The former could serve as a prep for the Filly & Mare Turf while the latter could be considered a prep race for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile.

The following Saturday, Sept. 11, 2-year-olds will be featured when Arlington hosts its signature juvenile events - the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity and the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie. She Be Wild, the 2009 Lassie heroine went on to capture the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies while the Futurity is a Midwest prep for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Two graded stakes will be presented over the Independence Day holiday weekend - and the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and an eighth on the main track on Saturday, July 3 and the Grade III $150,000 Chicago Handicap, for fillies and mares at seven furlongs on Polytrack which will be held the following day, Sunday, July 4. Informed Decision used the '09 Chicago Handicap as one of her steppingstones to victory in the $1 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

One other graded stakes race will be run during the 2010 Arlington Park meet - the Grade III $150,000 Washington Park Handicap at a mile and three-sixteenths on the main track on Saturday, Sept. 4. In recent years, the Washington Park has been a Midwest prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic and could also be considered a prep for the Marathon.

The complete 2010 Arlington Park stakes schedule follows:

Day/Date Race Condition Distance Purse
Sat., May 15 Illinois Owners Stakes F&M, 3yo & up (IL owned) 1 1/16 Miles (T) $100,000
Sat., May 15 Illinois Owners Stakes 3yo & up (IL owned) 1 1/16 Miles (T) $100,000
Sat., May 22 American 1000 Guineas F, 3yo 1 Mile (T) $200,000
Sat., May 22 Arlington Classic 3yo 1 1/16 Miles (T) $100,000
Sat., May 29 Hanshin Cup (G3) 3yo & up 1 Mile $100,000
Sat., May 29 Arlington Matron (G3) F&M, 3yo & up 1 1/8 Miles $150,000
Sat., June 19 Purple Violet Stakes F, 3yo (IL) 1 Mile $100,000
Sat., June 19 Springfield Stakes 3yo (IL) 1 Mile $100,000
Sat., June 19 Isaac Murphy Handicap F&M, 3yo & up (IL) 6 Furlongs $100,000
Sat., June 19 White Oak Handicap 3yo & up (IL) 6 Furlongs $100,000
Sat., June 19 Lincoln Heritage Hcp. F&M, 3yo & up (IL) 1 1/16 Miles (T) $100,000
Sat., June 19 Black Tie Affair Handicap 3yo & up (IL) 1 1/16 Miles (T) $100,000
Sat., June 26 Arlington Sprint 3yo & up 5 1/2 Fur. (T) $100,000
Sat., July 3 Arlington Oaks (G3) F, 3yo 1 1/8 Miles $150,000
Sun., July 4 Chicago Handicap (G3) F&M, 3yo & up 7 Furlongs $150,000
Sat., July 17 American Derby (G2) 3yo 1 3/16 Miles (T) $300,000
Sat., July 17 Arlington Handicap (G3) 3yo & up 1 1/4 Miles (T) $200,000
Sat., July 17 Modesty Handicap (G3) F&M, 3yo & up 1 3/16 Miles (T) $200,000
Sat., Aug. 21 Secretariat Stakes (G1) 3yo 1 1/4 Miles (T) $400,000
Sat., Aug. 21 Beverly D. (G1) F&M, 3yo & up 1 3/16 Miles (T) $750,000
Sat., Aug. 21 Arlington Million (G1) 3yo & up 1 1/4 Miles (T) $1,000,000
Sat., Sept. 4 Washington Park (G3) 3yo & up 1 3/16 Miles $150,000
Mon. Sept. 6 Pucker Up Stakes (G3) F, 3yo 1 1/8 Miles (T) $200,000
Mon. Sept. 6 Sea o'Erin Stakes (G3) 3yo & up 1 Mile (T) $100,000
Sat., Sept. 11

Arlington-Washington
Futurity (G3)

2yo 1 Mile $150,000
Sat., Sept. 11 Arlington-Washington
Lassie (G3)
F, 2yo 1 Mile $150,000

(IL) denotes races for Illinois Registered Conceived and/or Foaled Horses; (IL-owned) denotes races for with at least 51% Illinois Ownership