Even without a stakes race on the card, 102 horses plus five also-eligibles have been entered into nine races Saturday, the final day of scheduled Thoroughbred competition in the 94-year history of Arlington Park.
The track is being sold by Churchill Downs Inc., which wants to find a buyer who will not continue to run horse races.
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Larry Rivelli, who has clinched his ninth straight training title, has five horses entered in the main draws Saturday plus one also-eligible. Jareth Loveberry, already assured of the riding title, has six mounts, including four for Rivelli.
Saturday’s 7:12 p.m. EDT finale is a $40,000 optional-claiming turf race covering 5 1/2 furlongs with five of the 12 starters in for $20,000 tags. It is for fillies and mares competing under allowance conditions and has been named the Luxembourg, in honor of the horse that won the first race at Arlington on Oct. 13, 1927.
The first post is at 3:25 p.m. EDT. A half-hour fireworks show has been scheduled to start 90 minutes after the final race.
The course will remain open for training until Saturday, Oct. 2. Track management has ordered barns and temporary housing to be vacated by midday Tuesday, Oct. 5.
Even though CDI does not want the next owner to run horse races on the 326-acre site, a bid organized by former track president Roy Arnold would preserve the course for that purpose. The Chicago Bears announced their interest in buying the property, presumably to build a stadium. Crown Development of Chicago wants to buy the area and turn it into a multi-use commercial neighborhood.
Executives at CDI have not said when they will choose a buyer or finalize a sale.