ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Jan. 29, 2013) – The International Festival of Racing, featuring the 31st running of the Grade I Arlington Million, tops a 2013 schedule that includes 25 stakes races worth $5.5 million during 89 days of racing at Arlington International Racecourse from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, Sept. 29.
Arlington's International Festival of Racing will be on Saturday, Aug. 17 and features five stakes races including three Grade I events – the $1,000,000 Arlington Million for 3-year-olds & up; the $750,000 Beverly D. for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & up; the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds – as well as the second edition of $400,000 American St. Leger for 3-year-olds & up and the $75,000 Hatoof Stakes all scheduled to be run over Arlington’s internationally acclaimed turf course.
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. The American St. Leger will be carded at the marathon distance of a mile and eleven-sixteenths (1m 5 1/2f) and the Hatoof (previously run as an overnight stakes race) will be run at 1 1/16 miles.
The 2013 schedule features several additional “big event” days that combine multiple stakes races onto a single card.
The first of these days is scheduled for Saturday, May 25, and will feature three Grade III events - the $150,000 Arlington Matron, for fillies and mares at a mile and an eighth on Polytrack, the $150,000 Hanshin Cup for older horses at a mile on the main track and the $150,000 Arlington Classic (newly returned to Grade III status and the first leg of the Mid-America Triple) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Illinois-breds are prominent in June with a pair of stakes races restricted to “Prairie Staters” slated for each of the month’s first three Saturdays. On June 1, state-bred 3-year-olds will vie in the $100,000 Springfield Stakes and the $100,000 Purple Violet Stakes – each at one mile over Polytrack.
The following weekend, older sprinters will tangle in a pair of six-furlong dashes: the $100,000 Isaac Murphy Handicap for fillies and mares and the $100,000 Addison Cammack Handicap (formerly the White Oak) for the boys.
Finally, on June 15 turf runners will get their chance in the $100,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap for fillies and mares and the $100,000 Black Tie Affair for the boys, each race run at a mile and a sixteenth over the lawn.
The Grade III $150,000 Chicago Handicap, a seven-furlong main track race, will close out the June stakes slate on Saturday, June 29.
On July 13, Million Preview Day, scheduled five weeks prior to the International Festival of Racing, includes major prep races for four 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. The Grade III $200,000 American Derby, which is also the second leg of the Mid-America Triple, leads into the Secretariat Stakes while the Grade III $150,000 Stars and Stripes Stakes at a mile and a half on the turf will serve as a feeder for the American St. Leger Stakes.
As has been the case for the last several years, the top three finishers in each of the Preview Day stakes races will have their entry and start fees waived for the counterpart race during the International Festival of Racing.
Also to be run in July are the 2013 renewals of the $100,000 Arlington Sprint (Listed), a 5 ½-furlong turf dash; and the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Oaks a mile and an eighth main track race for 3-year-old fillies. The Arlington Sprint is slated for Saturday, July 6 with the local Oaks scheduled to run two weeks later on Saturday, July 20.
In addition to the International Festival of Racing, the August stakes slate includes the Aug. 31 running of the Grade III $150,000 Washington Park Handicap for older horses at a mile and an eighth on Polytrack.
Two-year-olds will be featured on Saturday, Sept. 7 when Arlington presents the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity for 2-year-old colts & geldings at one mile on Polytrack and the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie (Listed) for 2-year-old fillies at one mile on the main track.
One additional stake race is scheduled for the meet’s final month – the Grade III $175,000 Pucker Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and an eighth on the turf, which will be run on Saturday, Sept. 14.