“We’ve got to keep the momentum going,” said Dan Leary, Arlington’s Director of Communications. The Northwest suburban Chicago track enjoyed an opening weekend that was 58.6 percent up in handle and 31.6 percent in attendance.
“There’s nothing definitive. The thought has occurred to us,” Leary said, when asked what the chances were that the track might provide some incentive to Jim Tafel, the Chicagoan who owns Street Sense, in exchange for a re-appearance of Street Sense at Arlington. Sweetening the deal is a Chicago tradition, and it wouldn’t be the first time a man with a super horse was encouraged by some candy. Street Sense ran third in the Arlington-Washington Futurity and broke his maiden at Arlington for peanuts.
As a Grade 2 turf stakes for $250,000, the American Derby isn’t much. But boosted to $1 million for this year alone, and moved to Arlington’s new Polytrack, the July 21 stakes might be the Travers prep that it was in the past, when horses such as Damascus, Buckpasser, Round Table, Native Dancer and Citation came to the Windy City and won it.