Arlington Park

CDI Reportedly Asks for '22 Illinois Dates Application

The Week in Review, by T.D. Thornton Two months before Arlington International Racecourse is scheduled to run what is feared to be the historic track's final race, Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), the gaming corporation that owns the up-for-sale landmark, has reportedly requested an application for 2022 race dates from the Illinois Racing Board. But as columnist Jim O'Donnell of the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago put it in his Friday scoop of this story, "What the carnivorous CDI will do with the application remains to be seen." With a July...

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Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners Founder Aron Wellman Joins Writers' Room

Fresh off a Group 2 win last week at Royal Ascot, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' founder Aron Wellman joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Wednesday morning to talk about his ownership strategies, how he talks to new partners about concerns in the industry and much more. Asked about Eclipse's ever-evolving purchasing power, Wellman, who called in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week said, "We made a point when we launched Eclipse about 10 years ago to really try to prove ourselves at being good at...

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Four Months After Announced Arlington Sale, IRB Just Now Initiates CDI Talks

After four months of no public action by the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) since Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), announced its polarizing intention to sell Arlington International Racecourse for "non-horse racing" purposes, IRB chairman Daniel Beiser disclosed just before the end of Tuesday's meeting that the IRB will only now begin the process of reaching out to the gaming corporation to try and get a clearer understanding of what is likely to happen to suburban Chicago's landmark Thoroughbred track, which faces potential permanent closure at the end of this season. But...

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Eight Wins Already in '21–And It's Only June

The Week in Review, by T.D. Thornton We're not even at the midpoint of 2021, and one North American Thoroughbred is already taking aim at a ninth win on the season. For perspective, the eight wins racked up so far this year by Arizona-based Six Ninety One (Congrats) are equal to the number of victories achieved by the four horses who co-led the continent during the entirety of 2020. Such a fast start through the first 5 1/2 months puts Six Ninety One on a trajectory to blast past what...

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Former Track President Submits Bid for Arlington

The future of Arlington Park remains very much up in the air, but Roy Arnold is convinced that racing can prosper there and is hopeful that he can spearhead an effort to insure that one of America's most beautiful racetracks remains a racetrack for years to come. Arnold should know. He was the track's president during better times, from 2006-2010, and is currently the president and CEO of Endeavor Hotel Group. Arnold was instrumental in bringing together a consortium interested in purchasing Arlington Park from Churchill Downs. Churchill announced in...

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Arlington Heights Trustees Take Steps That Could Impact Sale of Track

The Arlington Heights Board of Trustees has passed an ordinance that would prevent Churchill Downs from placing any restrictions on what a buyer of Arlington Park can and cannot do with the 326-acre property. It is feared that Churchill will not sell the track to any individual or group that expresses an interest in opening a casino or even to anyone committed to maintaining racing at the historic Illinois track. Churchill may want to limit competition for the nearby Rivers casino that it co-owns in the town of Des Plaines....

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The Beginning of the End? Arlington Kicks Off 2021 Meet Friday

In years past, opening day at Arlington Park has been an event. It comes at a time when winter is giving way to spring in the Chicago area and takes place at what may be the most beautiful racetrack in the U.S. But Friday's opening day at a track that first ran in 1927 will occur under a pall. To some, it will seem more like the opening to a funeral than the opening to a race meet. "Under that thinly disguised veil of happiness for this opening day will...

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Possible Suitors for Arlington Park, But Will Churchill Sell to a Racetrack Operator?

With the track having been put up for sale and with parent company Churchill Downs Inc. failing to commit to a meet after this year's season, Arlington Park's days may be numbered. But there may be a flicker of hope. Mike Campbell, the president of the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, told the TDN that he knows of a number of companies and individuals interested in buying the track and keep it open for racing. "There is interest, for sure, from different parties that wish to keep it just as a...

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Mister D Stakes, Formerly Arlington Million, To Be Worth $600K

The GI Mister D. S., formerly known as the Arlington Million, will be run with a purse of $600,000 Aug. 14 at Arlington Park, in what is likely to be the final year of racing at the Chicago-area plant. The Million, along with the rest of its traditional accompanying stakes, was scrapped last year due to the uncertainty surrounding racing dates and purses at the track. Renamed for longtime Arlington owner Dick Duchossois, the Mister D. will be the centerpiece of an eight-stakes card that also includes the 1 3/16-mile...

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Churchill Downs Announces It Will Sell Arlington Park

Churchill Downs announced Tuesday that it has launched a process to sell Arlington Park, which sits on 326 acres of real estate 30 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. The sale will be handled by CBRE Group, a full service commercial real estate firm. Arlington's future looked bleak in September of 2019 when Churchill Downs made the surprising decision to not take the necessary steps to open a casino on the racetrack property. It is widely believed that Churchill did not want to create competition between an Arlington casino and a...

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Request to Escrow $4.9M in 'Recaptured' Arlington Purses Again Shot Down By State
Request to Escrow $4.9M in 'Recaptured' Arlington Purses Again Shot Down By State

For the second time in four months, the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) Jan. 21 declined a request by the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA) to put $4.9 million of "recaptured" purse funds in escrow so that money can only be collected by Arlington Park if the track runs its entire slate of 68 dates in 2021. During Thursday's IRB meeting, the ITHA restated the same argument it articulated back on Sept. 16, when the 2021 dates were initially granted: that the Illinois racing community doesn't have faith that Churchill Downs,...

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Chris Polzin Named Indiana Grand's Director of Racing

Arlington Park's former director of racing and racing secretary, Chris Polzin, will assume the same titles and duties at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, beginning Monday, Oct. 26. Associated with racing for nearly 40 years, Polzin is an Illinois native whose father, Elmer Polzin, was a Chicago-area turf writer and handicapper. Polzin has been with Arlington Park since the early '80s, holding positions ranging from press box statistician to clerk of scales. He was the director of racing and racing secretary for the past 11 years. "I'm very excited and...

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