Throughout the long-standing racetrack history of Chicago, suburb-based Arlington International Race course, otherwise known as Arlington Park, can really spell out ‘stamina’. With a 1-1/8 mile dirt oval (currently synthetic) and a 1-mile turf oval, its grandstand area can be extended to seat 50,000; it also stables 2,000 horses comfortably at the backstretch.

Founded by Harry D. Brown from California, it officially opened up to 20,000 spectators in 1927. It was the first to install a public-address system circa 1933, and the first electric starting gate in 1940; it is also credited by some with introducing trifecta wagering in 1971, although that’s still in dispute. Hall-of-famer Jimmy Jones of Calumet Farms, was quoted as calling Arlington Park the finest track he had ever been on.

It was the site of the world’s first thoroughbred race boasting a million-dollar purse in 1981, called the Arlington Million, in which Bill Shoemaker, atop John Henry, snagged first place in a thrilling finish. The result was immortalized by a bronze statue of the feat.

Arlington’s resilience was later put to the test by a fire that rapidly scattered and destroyed its grandstand and other areas in 1985, but the Arlington Million was still held there recurring to temporary bleachers. In September 2000, Churchill Downs Incorporated decided to complete its purchase of the race track.

BETMANIA players can find Arlington Park Betting Odds on competing horses, as well as the typical horse bet types such as Win/Place/Show, Exactas, Trifectas, Superfectas and many more. Visit our Racebook to learn more about the available bet options and other popular race tracks.

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Arlington Racetrack Facts:

  • Race course type: American Grade 1 Stakes Thoroughbred; 2 & 3 Stakes (synthetic).
  • Location: Arlington Heights, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Purse: 1.0 million dollars.
  • Venue capacity: 50,000 spectators (with extension).
  • Track length: (single lap) 1.13 miles.
  • Important track records: (1981) John Henry won the world’s first thoroughbred million-dollar race; (1996) Cigar tied Citation’s 16-consecutive-wins record