07/13/2016 1:36PM

Overnight purses slashed up to 20 percent

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Lower-than-expected handle at this meet has forced Arlington to cut purses starting next Thursday, the beginning of the next condition book.

Purses for the highest-paying races, allowances and straight maidens, will be trimmed by 20 percent; bottom-level purses will be cut by 10 percent. An open maiden race will be worth just $25,600, and $7,500 maiden claimers will run for $8,800.

“Thus far, wagering on our races is less than anticipated, and the amount of money earned for purses is also less than anticipated,” Arlington general manager Tony Petrillo said in a statement. “Therefore, an adjustment to the purse of the races in this condition book has been adjusted to account for the shortfall to insure we do not spend more than we earn. The industry stakeholders are collectively working on solutions that will hopefully restore purse levels.”

Arlington earlier this meet cut $400,000 worth of stakes purses by canceling three stakes and reducing the purses of two others, but those cuts alone couldn’t offset a continuing fall in betting on Arlington races. Through last Sunday, all-sources average daily handle on Arlington was $1,621,283, a decline of 13 percent from the $1,871,036 Arlington averaged during a comparable period in 2015. There were 36 racing days during the 2015 span and 32 this year. Arlington ran three-day race weeks – eight races per day – during May and June. The track’s average daily all-sources handle has fallen a remarkable 60 percent since 2009, when Arlington averaged more than $4 million per day.

Arlington’s purse structure initially was higher this year than last because of an agreement with Hawthorne Race Course through which Arlington would receive a greater share of revenue from betting during the winter dark period of the Chicago racing season than in 2015. Arlington is averaging 7.69 starters per race at this meet but only 7.22 in races run over the Polytrack main track.

◗ Arlington will continue running 32 races weekly but is shifting one race from Sunday to Saturday, carding nine races on Saturdays and just seven on Sundays. Post time for Saturday also has been pushed back to 2 p.m. Central.

John Thomas 9 months ago
When I was a kid 50s and teen 60s ( and look 20s and able to bet )Arlington was no 1 in Midwest   and one reason Churchill did not have a turf course and with Arlingtons great 1 turn mile races got most of the best stables which means trainers and jockeys.   I remember going to Arlington and after last race heading for Sportsmans.
JERRY 2929 12 months ago
To bad the ill  racing board help close most the  O T B   in the state  plus no slot  machines for  the track  or  O T B  Thank you Ill  racing  board  your the best  keep up the good work  ???????
Anonymous 12 months ago
To many short fields. Also, there is no money in horse racing unless you have a racino at the track. How many tracks would be open today if there were no casinos at the tracks?
John Thomas 9 months ago
Very few.....Tampa Bay downs does not have slots and is packed every race day. ( but 50% of the people in attendance are Florida visitors.
Eleanor Sniegowski More than 1 year ago
Its all marcus hersh's fault! Kidding  we love you Marcus for being the sole provider of Arlington news.I wonder how long they can stay open doing Canterbury like numbers.Anything under 2.5 million a day is pathetic for a historic track like Arlington.
Chas More than 1 year ago
So at point does Churchill finally step up and sell the track since they are doing nothing to help improve the racing there?
Rod 12 months ago
Given CDI's track record, they'll sell it to Bay Meadows Land Co., so Arlington can go the way of Hollywood Park.
MIchael More than 1 year ago
Maybe they should workout the differences with TVG so the country could see the races and then the wagering would go up. Just another day closer to closing Arlington Park. That will be a sad day. Illinois please get your act together! Also I hope on Arlington Million Day that you don't schedule any $5000 claiming races! Please let show the country a great day of racing.
Sheldon Glass More than 1 year ago
Why would you want to see a train wreck..  LOL  
John Thomas 9 months ago
Arlington will be closed inside 5 years,,,,,,,,Indiana Downs or (Live  or   Grand ) has a huge casino and 90,000 alowrence races on a Tuesday.  Where would you take your stable?
TroyKelm1 More than 1 year ago
Too many $5,000 Claiming races or less in NA. Short fields for $5,000 is worse. Who wants to play cheap races. Mountaineer is the worst for $5,000 Claimers. None winners for over 1 year but may as well say 5 years.
t More than 1 year ago
They card too many 5f turf races (3 this Sat). No serious bettor wants to play those races. They have a terrific one mile one turn chute that they rarely use.
Tim Shugrue More than 1 year ago
so sad..........
Tim Shugrue More than 1 year ago
so sad...........