01/29/2013 4:27PM

Arlington Park trims stakes schedule by $300K


Arlington’s 2013 stakes schedule, which was released Tuesday, nearly mirrors the 2012 schedule, with one fewer stakes race scheduled this year and a reduction of $300,000 in stakes purses.

2012, Arlington hosted 26 stakes worth $5.8 million; this year, there are 25 stakes worth a total of $5.5 million. Two $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes were dropped from the schedule, and the Arlington-Washington Lassie, which lost its Grade 3 status, took a purse cut of $50,000 down to $100,000. Six Illinois-bred stakes in June were trimmed to $100,000 this year from $125,000. One race, the Arlington Classic, had its purse boosted for 2013, from $125,000 to $150,000, while a new stakes, the $75,000 Hatoof – run as an overnight stakes in recent seasons – was added to the Arlington Million Day program.

The 2013 Million will be held Aug. 17, keeping its same spot on the calendar. Supporting the Million are the $750,000 Beverly D., the $500,000 Secretariat, the $400,000 American St. Leger – which was introduced to modest reviews in 2012 – and the Hatoof.

As usual, open stakes are few and far between during the meet’s early portion, with Arlington – as per the strategy of its parent company, Churchill Downs Incorporated – loading the schedule with multi-stakes days. The first comes May 25, when the card includes the Hanshin, the Matron, and the Arlington Classic for the first time; there is not another open stakes at the meet until the Chicago Handicap on June 29.

Million Preview Day, which includes the Arlington Handicap, the Modesty, the American Derby, and the Stars and Stripes, is scheduled for July 13 in 2013.

* An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Arlington Classic had its purse reduced by $25,000 for 2013.