Arlington Million day at Churchill will have only 2 turf races


Plans for the special one-day Arlington Million Day program at Churchill Downs on Saturday, Aug. 13 remain on course. The stand-alone 11-race program at the Louisville, Ky., racetrack now will feature nine races on dirt and two centerpiece events on turf: the Arlington Million spirit Beverly D.

The previously announced $300,000 Secretariat (Grade 2) for 3-year-olds at one mile on turf and $200,000 Pucker Up (G3) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf have been placed on hiatus.

“While our new Bermuda-hybrid turf course continues to mature to its ultimate potential, we are being appropriately conservative by limiting the number of races in the best interest of long-term preservation of the surface and growing root system,” said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Mike Anderson.

“The course is healthy and vibrant, and we are extremely optimistic about its performance now and in the future,” he said. “However, we don’t want any setbacks to its progression, especially right now during its critical growth season. Our plan is to take advantage of the width and versatility of the new course and run the two marquee races – the Arlington Million and Beverly D. – in two separate running lanes to provide fresh ground for each important race.”

The 32nd running of the $500,000 Beverly D. (G1) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf – a Breeders’ Cup “win and you’re in” event for the Filly & Mare Turf division – will be staged early in the 11-race card and be run in Lane 3, 24 feet off the inside rail with up to 12 runners.

The featured 39th running of the $1 million Arlington Million (G1) for 3-year-olds and up to 1 1/8 miles on turf will be run late in the program from Lane 1 with a maximum of 14 entrants.

In addition to the Arlington Million and Beverly D., there will be two other stakes races on dirt: the $200,000 Fort Larned for 3-year-olds at 1 3/16 miles and the $200,000 Lady Tak for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

Entries for the Aug. 13 cards will be taken Tuesday.

Thanks to cooperation from Ellis Park, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Kentucky horsemen, Churchill Downs Racetrack is hosting the Arlington Million and Beverly D. for the first time. They were previously run at Arlington Park until the racetrack closed in 2021.

Gates at Churchill Downs on Aug. 13 will open at 11:30 am EDT and the first of 11 races will be 12:45 pm The final race is scheduled for 6:25 pm

For all but four years since it was inaugurated in 1981, the Arlington Million card was held at Arlington Park. The Million itself was downsized to $600,000 and renamed the Mister D. Stakes for its 2021 running last August. Churchill Downs Inc. closed Arlington Park last September. A deal to sell the 326-acre property to the NFL’s Chicago Bears is due to close early next year.

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