One of racing's biggest stars is on target to run in the 33rd Arlington Million on August 15. California Chrome is scheduled to ship directly to Chicago from England in the near future and will train up to the Million at Arlington International Racecourse.
After sweeping the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, California Chrome came up just short in his bid to become racing's 12th Triple Crown champion when finishing fourth in the Belmont Stakes. He closed out his 2014 season in style with a victory in the Grade I Hollywood Derby at Del Mar in his first and only career turf race.
In February, Arlington General Manager Tony Petrillo and Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Howard Sudberry traveled to California to meet California Chrome's owners, Chicagoland native Perry Martin and Steve Coburn as well as the Derby winner's trainer and assistant trainer, Art and Alan Sherman.
“Howard and I enjoyed meeting the owners and their families and the chance to see this great horse up close,” Petrillo said. “Now it is our pleasure to welcome their families to the Arlington family. It is exciting for Arlington and the State of Illinois to be able to attract a star like California Chrome, giving fans from all over the Midwest the opportunity to see ‘Chrome' and the rest of the best turf horses in the world compete in the Million.”
The 33rd running of the famed Arlington Million marks the 30th anniversary of the “Miracle Million” which was run just 25 days after a fire destroyed the original Arlington Park.
California Chrome's connections suggested that the Arlington Million was on the short list of races planned for his 2015 campaign when it was mapped out at the beginning of the year after his third-place finish in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic. Recently he was slated to run in the Group I Prince of Wales's Stakes at England's prestigious Royal Ascot meet but was forced to miss the race due to a bruised foot. Though the minor injury may have derailed his connections' hopes for Ascot glory, the next step will now be a trip to Chicago. Fans in the Midwest will get the chance to see only the second Kentucky Derby winner to ever compete in the Million – 1982 Derby winner Gato Del Sol finished third in the 1984 Million – as California Chrome joins elite company with the likes of Secretariat, Spectacular Bid, and War Emblem as Derby winners who competed at Arlington.
The Million is the centerpiece of the International Festival of Racing which brings worldwide attention to Arlington and Illinois racing with the state's most impressive day of racing featuring three Grade I races and two Grade III races.
Reserved seating is available, and the most popular areas sell out early. Fans are encouraged to visit www.arlingtonpark.com for tickets and other information.
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