Under clear blue skies, attendance for the Mother's Day crowd Sunday at Arlington Park racetrack was 18 percent higher than in 2011, track officials report.
Track officials also reported double-digit gains for the previous weekend, May 4-5, which featured a strong Friday Opening Day crowd followed by an even larger fan base Saturday for its annual Kentucky Derby Party.
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The biggest crowd for the first two racing weekends at Arlington Park, however, was on Mother's Day when 32,137 showed up, marking an 18 percent increase from the 27,246 that attended in 2011.
While Friday's Opening Day on May 4 featured nine races and smaller fields, it still attracted a crowd of 9,307, roughly 23 percent higher than the 7,596 last year.
The following day saw Arlington Park host 23,085 fans, the largest crowd ever for Derby Day at Arlington Park. The Derby Day attendance was 23 percent better than the 18,779 fans attending a year ago.
"These first two weekends have been a great start to our 2012 season," said Arlington Park general manager Tony Petrillo. "It shows that the fans are enthusiastic about getting back to Arlington Park and we view this as a positive sign for the rest of the year. We can't wait to get back to racing this Wednesday. We have a great race card of full fields so we expect our momentum to continue."