ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (March 5, 2009) – Arlington Park officials announced that they will offer a $500,000 bonus to the owner(s) of any horse that can sweep the Mid-America Triple at the suburban Chicago racecourse.

The Mid-America Triple is a three-race series for 3-year-olds that consists of the $150,000 Arlington Classic, the Grade II $300,000 American Derby and the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes. All three races will be run over Arlington’s world renowned turf course.

“For many years, the races that make up the Mid-America Triple attracted some of the best sophomores in training,” said Arlington Park Vice President of Racing and Racing Secretary Kevin Greely. “By offering this lucrative bonus, we hope to not only reward success but also to restore this historic series to its past luster.”

The Arlington Classic, at a mile and a sixteenth, will be run for the 75th time on Saturday, May 23. The American Derby, at a mile and three-sixteenths, is Chicago’s oldest stakes race dating back to 1884 and will be held for the 95th time as part of Arlington’s Million Preview Day card on Saturday, July 11. The Secretariat Stakes, the final leg of the Triple at the classic distance of a mile and a quarter, will have its 33rd running and be contested as part of the International Festival of Racing on Saturday, Aug. 8.

Only one horse – Honor Glide in 1997 – has captured the Mid-America Triple in its current all-turf configuration. Tom Rolfe and Buckpasser swept the Triple in 1965 and 1966 respectively when the series consisted of the Arlington Classic, the American Derby and the Chicagoan – all on dirt.

In order to give horsemen ample time to nominate to the Mid-America Triple and take advantage of the newly-added bonus, the deadline for nominations has been pushed back by two weeks to Friday, April 10. Arlington officials will be at tracks around the country to solicit nominations.

Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 98-day meet in 2009 from Friday, May 1 through Sunday, Sept. 27. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 10 off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities – Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry, Tad’s Sports Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit and Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at