Racing & Wagering

Fan Appreciation Day Kicks Off 2018 Arlington Season Featuring 36th Arlington Million and More

Churchill Downs Communications | 05/16/2018 #

Live racing and entertainment return to Arlington International Racecourse in 2018 with another event-filled calendar making every day a great day to go to the races.

Opening Day on Friday, May 4 starts with a 3:15 p.m. first post as Arlington shows appreciation for their fans. The first 1,000 guests will receive a free Arlington baseball cap and hot dog. Arlington is offering free General Admission for tickets obtained online at Guests must obtain a print at home ticket to be scanned at the gate upon entry in order to receive free admission. Reserve online and rediscover any one of the many dining options Arlington has to offer from the Million Room to Cowboy Grille and purchase tickets for any available race day.

The fun continues with Chicagoland’s biggest and best Kentucky Derby party on Saturday, May 5. Pick your horse and your outfit and take a walk down the red carpet in the Derby Party Zone, or enter the hat contest for a chance to take home prizes for win, place and show. Enjoy mint julep specials and live racing in the lead up to the Run for the Roses.

Every Sunday from Memorial Day-weekend to Labor Day will be dedicated to the kids as Arlington Family Days return offering a petting-zoo, pony rides, and more activities in the Junior Jockey Zone. After each race the winning jockey will sign and give away two pairs of goggles to kids at the winner’s circle. Kids can enter the Design Your Own Silks contest for the chance to have their creations brought to life and worn by jockeys in a race at Arlington at the end of the season. Illinois State Fair Family Day on May 27 is the first of four themed days that fall on the last Sunday of the month featuring food specials, live music, roaming entertainment and amusement rides.

Wine-lovers can rejoice with the return of Binny’s Taste at the Track on two dates (June 2 and September 8) showcasing wines from around the world, specialty beers and cocktails perfectly paired with delicious foods. Take in live music and racing action trackside with an All-Inclusive ticket available online.

Ride to the Million, presented by Miller Lite on July 7 will feature four Grade III races offering the top-three finishers automatic entry to the International Festival of Racing including the 36th running of the Grade I Arlington Million on Saturday, August 11. The Ride to the Million will run alongside the 5th Annual Arlington Food Truck Festival where racegoers can sample from 25 of the most popular food trucks from around Chicagoland.

Named one of Chicago’s top 100 events in 2017, the Arlington Million will continue to shine as the gem of the season with world-renowned turf racing and live entertainment in a celebration of Chicago’s biggest day of racing. Arlington’s International Festival of Racing will showcase equine stars from around the globe in four graded stakes events including two “Win and You’re In” opportunities leading up to the 2018 Breeders’ Cup to be held this year at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

New in 2018 are a variety of ticketing options for the recurrent racegoer. General admission for non-Premium Days can be purchased in sets of five or 10 tickets for a savings of 25%. Arlington’s Season Pass offers General Admission for every day of the racing season, including Derby Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Fireworks, and the 36th running of the Arlington Million. For even more value, Arlington Preferred Plus includes a Season Pass with the benefit of guest passes, racing programs, group discounts, and entrance into the track 15 minutes early on race days for card holders.

For more information on all Arlington events and to purchase tickets, guests may visit

Arlington International Racecourse – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 71-day meet in 2018 from May 4 through September 22. Arlington International Racecourse, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 10 off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities in Aurora, Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Waukegan, Villa Park, Rockford, Hodgkins, McHenry, Green Oaks and Orland Hills.  Arlington International Racecourse is a proud member of America’s Best Racing. Information on Arlington International Racecourse and Trackside OTB can be found online at, on Facebook at and, and on Twitter at @Arlington_Park for the latest happenings, @ArlingtonRacing for the latest racing news and @TracksideOTB for all things pertaining to off-track wagering.