05/29/2016 4:35PM

Arlington eliminates pair of Grade 3 stakes


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Arlington Park eliminated three stakes and trimmed the purse of two others in a cost-cutting move quietly made last week.

Gone from the initially published 2016 stakes schedule are the $100,000 Washington Park Handicap, the $100,000 Arlington Oaks, and the $75,000 Arlington Sprint. The Washington Park and the Arlington Oaks are Grade 3 races, and since neither was run in 2015 both will lose their grade in 2017, according to North American Graded Stakes Committee rules. The Washington Park dates to 1926 and was won by such luminaries as Spectacular Bid, Dr. Fager, Round Table, Swaps, and Coaltown.

The purse for the Modesty and Arlington handicaps on Million Preview day were trimmed $25,000 each to $125,000, and Arlington’s purse account saves $400,000 through the changes.

Tony Petrillo, Arlington’s general manager, said lower-than-expected betting on Arlington races necessitated the cuts.

 “Handle was a little soft throughout May,” Petrillo said.