Arlington Million Could Move to Colonial Downs

Colonial Downs Darrell Wood

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Churchill Downs Inc. has requested permission from the American Graded Stakes Committee to move the GI Arlington Million S., the GI Beverly D. S. and the GI Secretariat S. to Colonial Downs. The three races were fixtures at Arlington Park before that track closed in 2021. Last year, the Million and the Beverly D. were run at Churchill Downs.

The 2023 races are slated to be run on Aug. 12.

In November, it was announced that Churchill had acquired the assets of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment LLC, the owners of Colonial Downs.

“Churchill has made a request and the committee will review it,” said  Andy Schweigardt, secretary for the American Graded Stakes Committee. “They hope to have a meeting before Christmas to make a decision.”

Approving Churchill's request may not be a formality. Schweigardt explained that in order for the committee to grant approval to a track to move a graded race a number of factors have to be taken into account.

“They have a rule that covers this that was instituted many years ago,” he said. “We consider moves on a case-by-case basis. The basic requirements are that the new venue has to be in the same region as the old racetrack and the name, conditions, calendar date and purse of the relocated race have to be substantially similar to previous years.”

When asked if Colonial in Virginia is in the same region as Churchill and Arlington,  Schweigardt said: “To me, no. But that's just me. The previous tracks would be considered to be in the Midwest. I'm not sure Virginia would be considered the Midwest.”

The 2022 Secretariat was not run because Churchill was having issues with its turf course at the time and track officials wanted to limit the number of races run over it.

Colonial's turf course is a mile-and-an-eighth in circumference and is the widest grass course in North America.

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