Arlington Park ends racing season Saturday

  • Present of Hero, with jockey Julio E. Felix, wins the second race at Arlington Park Saturday.

      Present of Hero, with jockey Julio E. Felix, wins the second race at Arlington Park Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Present of Hero, with jockey Julio E. Felix, wins the second race at Arlington Park Saturday.

      Present of Hero, with jockey Julio E. Felix, wins the second race at Arlington Park Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Horses head for the finish line during the second race at Arlington Park Saturday.

      Horses head for the finish line during the second race at Arlington Park Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • I Don't Want to Go, with jockey Olaf Hernandez, heads to the starting gate at Arlington Park Saturday.

      I Don't Want to Go, with jockey Olaf Hernandez, heads to the starting gate at Arlington Park Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Fans are spread out on a patio at Arlington Park Saturday.

      Fans are spread out on a patio at Arlington Park Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Left to right, Jim Smedley of Glen Ellyn, Jeff Koehl of Schaumburg and Dan Deprey of Cary pick their horses at Arlington Park Saturday.

      Left to right, Jim Smedley of Glen Ellyn, Jeff Koehl of Schaumburg and Dan Deprey of Cary pick their horses at Arlington Park Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Jim Rojek, right, of Lake in the Hills his daughter, Haley, and Caleb Green of Denver view the racing program at Arlington Park Saturday.

      Jim Rojek, right, of Lake in the Hills his daughter, Haley, and Caleb Green of Denver view the racing program at Arlington Park Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Arlin Luttrell of St. Charles, Missouri, is dressed for a day at the races at Arlington Park Saturday.

      Arlin Luttrell of St. Charles, Missouri, is dressed for a day at the races at Arlington Park Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Arlington Park was limited to 300 fans in attendance, and tickets were sold out Saturday.

      Arlington Park was limited to 300 fans in attendance, and tickets were sold out Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Seven Seventeen, with jockey Constantino Roman, is the winner of the third race at Arlington Park Saturday.

      Seven Seventeen, with jockey Constantino Roman, is the winner of the third race at Arlington Park Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Seven Seventeen, with jockey Constantino Roman, is the winner of the third race at Arlington Park Saturday.

      Seven Seventeen, with jockey Constantino Roman, is the winner of the third race at Arlington Park Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Present of Hero, with jockey Julio E. Felix, is the winner of the second race at Arlington Park Saturday.

      Present of Hero, with jockey Julio E. Felix, is the winner of the second race at Arlington Park Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 9/26/2020 5:20 PM

Arlington Park Saturday concluded its racing season, one greatly shortened by the pandemic and one run with few or no fans in the grandstand.

There has been fear that this year could mark the end of live racing at Arlington, after the CEO of the parent company, Churchill Downs Inc., cast doubt on whether the track would reopen next year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

However, 10 days ago the track reached an agreement with the Illinois Racing Board on a schedule for 68 live racing dates next year.

Racing Board Chairman Dan Beiser asked for a commitment for next year in writing. Arlington President Tony Petrillo said formal confirmation of that intent would come when he signs the race dates acceptance letters that will be sent out by the racing board.

"We do feel our responsibility to the industry as well as the community, and we intend to fulfill that in 2021 and beyond that when the opportunity does exist," Petrillo said at the meeting, adding that Churchill's corporate leadership team is having daily conversations about the future of Arlington.

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