Arlington International Racecourse will host its second annual Food Truck Festival in The Park on Saturday.
But fans also hungry for racing will have no problem filling their appetites with four Grade III stakes events to be run as part of Arlington Million Preview Day.
The stakes parade, all on the turf course, includes the 1¼-mile $200,000 Arlington Handicap, $150,000 1½-mile Stars and Stripes, the $200,000 1-3/16ths-mile American Derby and the $200,000 1-3/16ths-mile Modesty Handicap.
• Arlington Handicap: Admiral Kitten, last year's Grade I Secretariat winner, returns for his 4-year-old season hoping for a strong showing Saturday to gain entry into the Million.
The Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey homebred, to be ridden by Julien Leparoux, has been assigned the top weight of 122 pounds. Trained by Mike Maker, Admiral Kitten finished second in two other Grade I races last year (Jamaica at Belmont Park and the Hollywood Derby).
His only win this year came in January when he won the Grade III John B. Connally in Texas. Facing strong competition all year, he was fifth to two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs.
As an added bonus, the 1-2-3 finishers will have their entry and starting fees waived for the Aug. 16 Arlington Million should they elect to run in that event.
• Stars and Stripes: The 1½-miles turf marathon will feature Team Block's Suntracer, who was the 2013 American St. Leger runner-up.
Trained by Chris Block, the son of Kitten's Joy will be on his home course facing other top contenders such as Moro Tap (third behind winner Suntracer in the Grade III Louisville Handicap), The Pizza Man (trained by Roger Brueggemann) and the Brazilian-bred Olympic Thunder handled by Kenny McPeek.
The 1-2-3 finishers in the Stars and Stripes will have their entry and starting fees waived for the Aug. 16 American St. Leger should they elect to run in that event on Million Day.
• American Derby: Team Block's Afortable, a three-quarter brother to talented marathoner Suntracer, Pletcher's Divine Oath and European shipper Our Channel (trainer William Haggas) are among the headliners in this prep for the Secretariat Stakes to also be run on Million Day,
The 1-2-3 finishers in the American Derby will have their entry and starting fees waived for the Secretariat should they elect to run in that event on Million Day.
• Modesty: Local favorite Kepi, trained by Brian Williamson, Todd Pletcher's invader Ana Luisa and Christophe Clement's graded stakes-placed Tabreed are among the fillies and mares included in this full field of Beverly D. possibles.
The 1-2-3 finishers in the Modesty will have their entry and starting fees waived for the Beverly D. should they elect to run in that event on Million Day.
• Gimmick time: The Arlington Handicap will kick off a special All Stakes Mid Pick 4, covering the seventh through 10th races on the 12-race card. In order, the Pick 4 will include all four graded turf stakes: the Arlington Handicap, Stars and Stripes, American Derby and Modesty.
• Jockeys to watch: Arlington's top two jockeys fit the track's "international" part of the track's title quite well, and they've been a solid fit for the turf course.
Florent Geroux (40 wins) is a native of Normandy, France, while James Graham (37 wins) grew up in Dublin, Ireland.
Both are slated to ride in the Stars and Stripes, American Derby and Modesty.
• Action galore: In addition to the races, there will be live music and fans can sample tasty dishes from a variety of Chicagoland's favorite food trucks that will be on site from 1-5 p.m.