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"Spring Training" Begins With Wednesday Opening of Stable Area

| Churchill Downs Communications | 04/13/2009 #

Much in the way that pitchers and catchers reporting is a sign that Spring has arrived for baseball fans, horse racing's "Spring training" begins with the arrivals of the first colts and fillies to a racetrack's stable area.

"Spring training" at Arlington Park begins Wednesday, April 15, when the track opens its barn area at 7:00 a.m. Several outfits are expected to arrive throughout the day on Wednesday, the first day the track's barn area is available for stabling for the 2009 season, which begins on Friday, May 1.

Stables will be arriving from as far as away as Hot Springs, Ark., and as close as Cicero, Ill. when trainers Steve Hobby, Leigh Bentley, Jerry Quinn, Larry Rivelli and Lon Wiggins are amongst those expected to ship-in early on.

Training on Arlington's 1 1/8-mile, all-weather Polytrack synthetic surface will begin Friday, April 17, at 5:30 a.m. Training hours on the main track will be from 5:30 a.m. until 10 a.m., with the brunt of the first week's activity completed earlier than that.

Arlington can house 2,140 horses in its stable area that consists of 35 barns.