That's right, night racing at Arlington Park.
The place that has been under the spotlight since changing surfaces, replacing top management, alienating its top horse owner and endlessly fighting for slot machines, now wants to take that big ol' spotlight and shine it back where it belongs -- on the track itself.
Rumblings swirling around the racetrack are that Arlington -- using the Churchill Downs model -- will request a handful of weekend night racing cards for the 2012 season when it submit a dates request to the Illinois Racing Board today.
If approved, Arlington may use temporary lights next year and then, if things go well, look to install permanent lights shortly thereafter -- just like Churchill did after giving night racing a try in 2009.
And if the Churchill experiment is any indicator, this could be a boon for Arlington.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, since Churchill's night racing began in June 2009, on-track attendance has tripled and on-track betting has doubled, compared to the afternoon racing previously held on those dates.
Not too shabby.
In other news:
The lockout ended, and it rained again.
We got a rock:
The Patriots acquire Albert Haynesworth, the Jets re-up with Santonio Holmes, the Seahawks sign Sidney Rice, Donovan McNabb is a Viking, Reggie Bush a Dolphin and the Bears sign … a punter.
Actually, he sounds pretty good and lord knows how big a role the punter plays in the Bears' offense.
There's village approval to get, neighbors to soothe and industry rules to satisfy before it can become reality, but you have to admit … night racing at Arlington Park would be quite the spectacle.
Big Z file:
Say what you will about Carlos Zambrano, but the man speaks the truth.
June 5: "We stinks."
July: 27: "If we want to win, we need to make some changes."
Oh, big check there.
But is anybody listening?
Are you ready for some … :
Can you say … :
The Arlington Million under the lights? Maybe?
8 men out (on the concourse):
After the unveiling of a life-size statue of Frank Thomas at the Cell on Sunday, the White Sox will be just one statue away from fielding a full starting lineup.
Please, no Alex Rios statue jokes here.
Oh, WTH, go for it.
Lights at AP:
Pro: No longer have to make up excuse to get out of the office for Friday's 3 p.m. first post.
Con: No longer have to make up excuse to get out of the office for Friday's 3 p.m. first post. You're stuck there.
Blaming it on Rios:
Kudos to Kenny Williams for his hard-line approach to his high-priced, underachieving players, particularly Alex Rios.
But does it also apply to Adam Dunn?
In NBA news:
Lights at AP:
Pro: At least fans won't have to endure 170-degree daytime temps.
Con: The heat index will still probably be around 112.
The cutoff man:
Sure, he didn't provide the offense expected, especially for the price. But the loss of Kosuke Fukudome to Cleveland means the Cubs are down to about two or three truly fundamentally sound players.