Arlington International Racecourse will host its final "Arlington Million" event, now named "Mr. D's Day" after the track's owner, this weekend.
The formerly known Arlington Million race Saturday be a Grade I Mister D race, named for 99-year-old Dick Duchossois and run at 1¼ miles for a $600,000 purse.
Other Grade I races that day include the $400,000 Beverly D. run at 1 3/16 miles for fillies and mares and the $300,000 Bruce D., formerly the Secretariat, run at 1 mile for three-year-olds.
The three races at Million Day are the only Grade I races conducted in Illinois, the racecourse noted in a release.
Million Day will also feature eight stakes races for the first time in the track's history, with six of the races contested on the turf:
- Grade III Pucker Up Stakes for three-year-old fillies at 1⅛ miles, worth $100,000
- Isaac Murphy Stakes for fillies and mares 3 years old and up at 6 furlongs, worth $75,000
- Addison Cammack Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 6 furlongs, worth $75,000
- Mike Spellman Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares 3 years old and up at 1 1/16 miles, worth $75,000
- Black Tie Affair for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles, worth $75,000
“We are very excited for the upcoming meet,” Arlington President Tony Petrillo said. “Million Day has always been a highly regarded event and now to honor Mr. Duchossois and his family will make this year the most special of all. It is the day that brings the superstars of racing to our state and unprecedented attention to Illinois racing. This maintains an interest in Illinois racing for fans in the state and worldwide.”
To purchase tickets for the Million, click here.
This year's racing season could be the last for the facility, as the owners of Arlington Racecourse announced plans to sell the property to a developer.
According to a press release from Churchill Downs Incorporated, the 326-acre property in suburban Arlington Heights will be sold, and the company selling the property will aim to find a buyer who will redevelop it.
“Arlington’s ideal location in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, together with direct access to downtown Chicago via an on-site Metra rail station, presents a unique redevelopment opportunity. We expect to see robust interest in the site and look forward to working with potential buyers, in collaboration with the Village of Arlington Heights, to transition this storied location to its next phase,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this season's race days will not include live entertainment events, family days nor carry-in items. The racetrack will also have limited capacity and a face covering requirement.
The track has been a Chicago-area staple for nearly a century, opening in 1927.
It briefly shut down in 1998 and 1999, but it reopened in 2000 after Churchill Downs Incorporated purchased the track and rechristened it Arlington Park. It changed its name to Arlington International Racecourse in 2013.