Arlington Park Horse Racing Track in Illinois
Officially opened in 1927, Arlington Park has enjoyed a long and prestigious history at the centre of the horse racing community in the Chicago region of Illinois. Situated in Arlington Heights, Illinois, the racetrack was once one of six racetracks in the area – the largest number of horse tracks in any metropolitan area at that time. It not only has a reputation for being the first site of a million-dollar purse horse race, but also of being a technology leader in the horse racing industry.
Arlington Park has enjoyed a number of technological firsts in the racing industry over the years. For example, it was the first track to install a public address system. It was also the first to employ Clem McCarty, a pioneering race caller at the time. An electronic totalisator enabled less time to be spent between races while a photo finish camera installed in 1936 ensured that there was no doubt as to who had won the race. The first electric starting gate was installed at the track in 1940 and the largest closed circuit TV was installed in 1967. Today, despite a minor setback between 1985 and 1989 when a fire destroyed the facility, the racetrack still enjoys competent management and presents a number of championship races. Current races include the legendary Arlington Million, the American Derby, the Washington Park Handicap, the Arlington Classic Stakes and the Pucker Up Stakes.
The track is 1 1/8 mile in length and takes the form of a dirt-surfaced oval. There is also a smaller one-mile turf oval. The facilities are fairly large and the track can seat as many as 50,000 people with room for extension. Arlington Park also hasenough stabling for 2,000 horses and plenty of great facilities to cater to trainers, jockeys and owners as well as the general public.