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2006 Arlington Meet Concludes

14 September 2006

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Illinois -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The 95-day, 2006 Arlington Park race meet - run from Friday, May 5 through Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006 - concluded with decreases in handle and attendance compared to the corresponding totals from the track's 94-day meet in 2005.

Total handle from all sources for the 95-day meet was $371,109,123, an 8.5-percent decrease from last year's total of $405,443,841 wagered over 94 days in 2005. In 2006, the average daily total handle of $3,906,412 fell short of last year's average of $4,313,232 by $406,820 per day, a decrease of 9.4-percent.

On track, a total of $46,215,951 was wagered at Arlington Park during the 95-day meet, $7,853,973 and 14.5 percent less than the 94-day total of $54,069,924 during 2005. Average daily wagering decreased by 15.4 percent from $575,211 in 2005 to $486,484 this year, a daily decrease of $88,727.

The 95-day 2006 Arlington Park race meet concluded with a total attendance of 655,788. In 2005, overall attendance was 715,023 for the 94-day meet. Average daily attendance in 2006 was 6,903 compared with 7,607 in 2005.

Although there was an additional race day in 2006, the total number of races run during the meet was 861, 16 less than the 877 run in 2005.

Total average daily purses paid during the 2005 meet amounted to $272,224, a 5.6-percent increase of $14,499 compared to daily average purses of $257,725 in 2005. The 2006 average number of starters per race of 7.44 is down from the 2005 meet average of 7.98 starters per race.

On the track, Ralph & Aury Todd's The Tin Man, with Victor Espinoza aboard, returned to Arlington Park after a three-year absence to win the Grade I Arlington Million with a wire-to-wire one-length victory in this year's renewal of Arlington's signature race.

The Million is one of three Grade I races that comprise the International Festival of Racing, held this year on Aug. 12. This year's Festival attracted a crowd of 29,979.

In the other Festival headliners, Martin S. Schwartz's Gorella launched a courageous rally in the center of the course to win the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths to give Schwartz and trainer Patrick Biancone their second straight victory in the mile and three-sixteenths turf race. French-born apprentice jockey Julien Leparoux rode the French-bred distaffer in the sister race to the Arlington Million. Lael Stables' Showing Up, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, took the lead right out of the starting gate and held off a late run from Ivan Denisovich to capture the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths.

Other notable performances this season included a dead-heat for the win between Frank Fletcher Racing Operations Inc.'s Officer Rocket and Sayat Stables' Got the Last Laugh in the Grade III $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity; a track-record time of 1:53.53 for a mile and three-sixteenths by Jay Em Ess Stable's Suave in the Grade II $300,000 Washington Park Handicap; Keith McKinney's Gold Storm winning the $150,000 Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint for the second time while setting a stakes-record of 1:08.39 for the six furlongs; and Lothenbach Stable Inc.'s Vacare keeping her record perfect when she took the Grade III $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes.

On the track, owner Frank C. Calabrese earned his seventh consecutive title as the meet's leading owner with 49 wins, more than three times the total of runner-up 2 Blondes Inc., who posted 14 victories.

Trainer Wayne Catalano earned his second straight training title and his fifth in the last seven years with 49 wins. Frank Kirby second with 31 victories.

Chris Emigh picked up his first Arlington jockey championship with 110 victories. Francisco Torres, competing at Arlington on a full-time basis for the first time since 1994, was second in the standings with 98 wins.

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