For the first time a trio of State Bred horses will be able to compete against each-other. Racing Secretary Chris Polzin has begun carding races that will include Louisiana Bred, Illinois Bred, and Arkansas Bred horses.
Arlington fans and bettors will notice the possible rise in field size for State Bred races. In previous years the State Bred Illinois races may only get 6 entries, and run with a short field. However, this year those same 6 horse fields may turn into 8 or 9 horse fields due to the availability for Louisiana Bred and Arkansas Bred horses to now be entered in alongside the Illinois Bred horses.
There was concern coming into this year that the Illinois Bred races wouldn’t fill and be run, due to the lack of purse money and lack of Illinois breeding. This concept will not only help with field sizes and entries for State Bred races, it also is considered an open-company race. As an open-company race owners of an Illinois Bred horse will receive a bonus on top of the purse.
Trainer Chris Block who has always had Illinois Breds in his barn is huge supporter in Polzin’s idea,
“I fully support it. It’s an excellent idea for a breed that is struggling right now for numbers. Our foal crops are less and less each year and I think Chris Polzin came up with an excellent idea”
It also gives Arkansas bred horses a place to go after the winter meet at Oaklawn Park,
“After that meet in Arkansas in the winter the Arkansas Bred horses really have nowhere to go. Now I think with this program we will start to get a lot more trainers shipping their Arkansas Bred horses here and its comparable competition. It gives our Illinois breds a chance to compete against equal competition even though they are Arkansas bred horses, they’re relatively the same.”
For Louisiana Bred horses, it also gives them a place to go,
“Rather than the Louisiana horses who don’t want to run at Delta having to ship and go run against Florida or Kentucky Breds in open races, instead they can come here as well and have the benefit of running against a comparable competition as well.”
It seems as though Polzin’s idea is a win win all around for owners, trainers, and horses alike.