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Arlington Park to host 5 graded stakes this weekend
From Daily Herald News Services
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Published: 9/3/2009 2:05 PM

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Arlington Park will celebrate the last weekend of summer in Chicago with five of its traditional graded stakes running during the Labor Day weekend.

Three of those races - the Grade III Washington Park Handicap, the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity, and the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie - will be run Saturday over Arlington's Polytrack surface.

The Washington Park is Arlington's annual event for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and three-sixteenths on the main track. The one-mile local Futurity is the final goal for 2-year-olds each summer at Arlington, and the eight-furlong Lassie serves in that same capacity for juvenile members of the distaff set.

There will also be a $100,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool Saturday, covering the day's final four races, with the caveat that the two turf races in the sequence remain on the turf.

On Labor Day, the last of two Monday racing programs at Arlington this season, the track oval will offer its "Labor Day Turf Showcase," with as many as nine races to be contested over Arlington's famous grass course (weather permitting).

Leading Monday's turf extravaganza is the 78th running of the Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at the marathon distance of a mile and a half on the grass. Also on that program is the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes, restricted to 3-year-old fillies and run at nine furlongs, as well as the $100,000 Sea o' Erin.

A fourth Labor Day stakes race on grass - the $50,000-added Honor Glide Stakes - is restricted to sophomores and will be run at nine furlongs.

In addition, there will be a $100,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool on the day's final four races, once again with the caveat that all turf races in the sequence remain on the turf. Also, all turf races with eight or more betting interests will offer a $75,000 Guaranteed Turf Trifecta pool.

Last party: The final "Miller Lite Party In The Park" of Arlington's 2009 racing season will be hosted Friday featuring live music by the band "Local Favorite" helping to kick off Arlington's extended holiday weekend program. First race and first song on Friday's twilight racing program will begin at 2:30 p.m., but gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Grab a plate: Backstretch tours, a buffet-style breakfast, and the opportunity to watch horses go through morning workouts against a beautiful backdrop of sunrise at Arlington Park will highlight Saturday's final "Breakfast at Arlington" program running from 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Regular gates will open at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, with post time slated for 1 p.m.