Record Million Preview Day Handle Set
The total handle on Arlington Park's 12-race Million Preview Day card on Saturday, July 14, of $7,616,325, the highest Million Preview Day handle since the event was launched in 2001. In addition, the 2012 figure was more than 48% higher than $5,141,447 wagered on the 2011 Million Preview Day program of 11 races. The 2012 per-race average handle of $634,694 was nearly 36% higher than the 2011 per-race average of $467,404.
"This demonstrates that there is a strong public interest in seeing the stars perform and wagering on quality racing," said Arlington Park General Manager Tony Petrillo. "Because of tremendous support from owners and trainers who chose to race their horses at Arlington on Million Preview Day, we were able to put on a great show and racing fans around the country responded. This makes us even more excited for what is to come the rest of our season – especially Arlington Million Day, when we'll have stars from around country and from all over the world."
The 2012 Million Preview Day card featured four Grade III turf races – the $200,000 Arlington Handicap for older horses, the $200,000 Modesty Handicap for fillies & mares, the $200,000 American Derby for 3-year-olds and the $150,000 Stars and Stripes for older marathon turf horses.
The Million Preview Day quartet of stakes races serve as prep races for the International Festival of Racing on Aug. 18 that includes the Grade I Arlington Million, the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D., the Grade I $500,000 Secretariat Stakes and the newly created $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes.