Arlington Park

Churchill Downs Donates Against All Odds Statue to National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

Churchill Downs Incorporated will donate "Against All Odds," an inspiring bronze statue by Edwin Bogucki, to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame as part of the Museum's permanent collection. The statue will be unveiled at its new home in Saratoga Springs July 12. "Against All Odds" depicts the thrilling photo finish victory of John Henry with jockey William Shoemaker in the irons as they ran down The Bart in the shadow of the wire in the inaugural running of the Arlington Million in 1981, the first Thoroughbred...

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Stadium Plan for Arlington Could Be In Trouble

The Chicago Bears' plans to build a stadium in Arlington Heights, Illinois on the site of the former Arlington Park has reached a "stalemate," Bears president Kevin Warren told local residents at a public forum, according to a report from Front Office Sports. Warren told the crowd that an ongoing tax dispute has halted stadium development efforts there, even while demolition continues on the former racetrack, the outlet reported. At issue is a tax assessment on the racetrack land that would raise the annual property tax from $2.8 million to...

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This Side Up: Whether For Hard Profit Or Soft Power, Passion Is No Commodity

It's the transfer window over in Europe--and not just because they're between soccer seasons. They have also seen big money paid, both at auction and in private trade, to switch jockey silks at Royal Ascot this week. A couple of the top races have been won by a significant new investor, Wathnan Racing. Apparently, the people involved were eager to maintain a low profile, but it's tricky to remain incognito when the meeting's most storied trophy is being presented by the new King of England while Frankie Dettori, that least...

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Demolition Of Arlington Grandstand Begins

Once considered among the most beautiful facilities in racing, Arlington Park met the wrecking ball Friday. The work on the exterior portion of the track started after the Arlington Heights Building and Safety Department approved a request from the Chicago Bears for a building permit that allowed the demolition of the grandstand and other structures on the property. In February, the Bears completed its purchase of the 326-acre property from Churchill Downs, Inc. for $197.2 million. The Bears have yet to fully commit to building a new stadium on the...

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Two Phil's Carries the Flag for His Chicago Home Team

This week, Larry Rivelli is counting himself lucky in more ways than one. Before this year, he had never seriously considered ever running a horse in the Kentucky Derby, but here he is now in Barn 1 at Churchill Downs with a 12-1 morning line contender. After training for more than two decades, Rivelli is sharing his first Derby journey with an ownership group that he calls family. Two Phil's (Hard Spun), the winner of the GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks and a seasoned veteran among the Derby contenders with eight...

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The Week in Review: Handle Falls Sharply Again in February… What's Going On?

Figures released last week by Equibase showed that U.S. handle declined by 5.21% in February. This comes after handle declined by 7.19% in January. For the year, that's a drop off of 6.22% and, if those numbers hold up throughout the year, total handle will be off by $750 million and the year-over-year percentage decline will be the worst the sport has suffered since 2010. And it's not just that racing has gotten off to a slow, reversible start this year when it comes to wagering. Whatever is going on,...

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Earning Their Stripes: Chris Davis

Last year, we conducted a popular Q and A series called 'Smaller But Still Super,' where we featured veteran trainers who have built a competitive racing stable with relatively small numbers (click here to view the archive). This year, we will highlight trainers who have already cut their teeth as novice trainers, but now have a few years of experience under their belt and are looking to make a name for themselves as they grow their stable. We'll talk about the challenges that come with hanging out your single, advice...

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Late Bid to Keep Bears in Chicago Despite Looming Arlington Sale

The developer advising Chicago's mayor is proposing a $2.2-billion renovation proposal that includes a glass stadium dome to keep the city's National Football League team, the Bears, at its longtime downtown location, Soldier Field. The website Front Office Sports published details Jan. 8. The news is of peripheral interest to horse racing enthusiasts, because the Bears have otherwise entered into a purchase agreement to instead build a $5-billion stadium on the site of the former Arlington International Racecourse. Although the specifics of the proposal are new, city officials have been...

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Arlington Million Could Move to Colonial Downs

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...

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Ron Magers Reflects On His Decades In Racing And Breeding

"It all happened only because my wife, Elise, is very careful about where she walks...especially around horses." A Chicago-area veteran and established local TV news anchor, Ron Magers knows a good story when he hears one. It was Gulfstream Park in the spring of 1990 when Ron, accompanied by his wife, Elise, were making their way out of the paddock on their way to the airport at the end of the day's races. When something shiny in the dirt caught Elise's eye, she bent and scooped up what was an...

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Brown Hopes Million Dominance Transfers to Churchill

Perhaps no trainer felt the loss of Arlington Park more keenly than Chad Brown, who had dominated the historic track's signature Arlington Million Day card for the past decade, but the multiple Eclipse Award winner will have a pair of runners as he tries to keep the momentum going at the relocated--and truncated--Million card at Churchill Downs Saturday. Currently leading North American trainers with 10 Grade I wins on the year, Brown will be in search of a record-extending fifth victory in the Million when he sends out recent GIII...

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This Side Up: Oasis or Mirage?

In this instance, you really can't say that the grass is any greener on the other side of the fence. Take your dystopian pick: the floods of Kentucky, or the desiccation of Europe, where I've just returned from a vacation that seamlessly united the city parks of England and Italy in the same wasteland, with just a few bleached spikes still protruding from the baked, ashen earth. However illusory, then, it's a relief to find enough recognizable vegetation salvaged Stateside at least to host all three of Saturday's Grade I...

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