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Arlington Park Figures Up

30 September 2003

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Illinois – (Press Release) -- The 104-day, 2003 Arlington Park race meet - run from Friday, May 9 through Saturday, Sept. 27, 2003 - concluded with a 12.7-percent increase in average daily attendance and a 1.9-percent rise in overall wagering compared to the corresponding daily averages of the 2002 meet of 106 days. For comparison purposes, the 2002 average daily figures are exclusive of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship attendance of 46,118 and record-breaking total handle of $116,367,198 recorded on Oct. 26, 2002.

This year, total attendance was 737,369 versus 666,834 in 2002 (not including the Breeders' Cup), an increase of 70,535 overall. Average daily attendance for the 104-day season rose to 7,090 compared to 6,291 last year.

"Everyone at Arlington Park is grateful for the support of our fans, horsemen and employees during this successful 2003 race meet," said Arlington Park President Cliff Goodrich. "The increase in attendance appears to be driven by people relatively new to Thoroughbred racing and indicates that we had great success in attracting new fans to our sport."

Total handle from all sources for the 104-day meet was $424,770,925 for a daily average of $4,084,336, surpassing the 2002 daily average for 106 days (not including the Breeders' Cup) of $4,007,779 by $76,561 per day. Last year, a total of $424,824,598 was wagered on the 106 days excluding Breeders' Cup day.

On-track, average daily wagering decreased by 3.6 percent from $580,545 in 2002 (not including the Breeders' Cup) to $559,454 per day in 2003. This year, a total of $58,183,198 was wagered at Arlington Park during the 104-day meet versus $61,537,805 in 106 days during 2002 (not including the Breeders' Cup).

"As we move forward and continue growing the sport of Thoroughbred racing by attracting more new and casual fans to visit Arlington Park," added Goodrich, "our next step must be to educate these people to the nuances of wagering, which should have a positive impact on our handle numbers.

"These new fans, combined with our loyal core customers and a continued emphasis on improving our racing product, should provide the impetus for an even more exciting 2004 season."

Overall attendance at Arlington Park in 2002, including the 46,118 fans who attended the Breeders' Cup at Arlington Park, was 712,952.

Total handle from all sources in 2002, including the record $116,367,198 wagered worldwide on Breeders' Cup day, was $541,191,796. On-track handle at Arlington Park last year, with the Breeders' Cup total of $13,568,233 bet at the track, totaled $75,106,038.

Arlington Park -- host to the record-breaking 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. - completed its 104-day meet in 2003 on Saturday, Sept. 27.

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