Arlington’s State-Bred Races Now Open To Arkansas- And Louisiana-Breds

For the first time a trio of State Bred horses will be able to compete against each-other at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill. Racing Secretary Chris Polzin has begun carding races that will include Louisiana-bred, Illinois-bred and Arkansas-bred horses.

Arlington fans and bettors will notice the possible rise in field size for state-bred races. In previous years the state-bred Illinois races may have only gotten six entries, and run with a short field. However, this year state-bred races may turn into eight- or nine-horse fields due to the availability of horses bred in Louisiana or Arkansas to now be entered alongside the Illinois-breds.

There was concern coming into this year that Illinois-bred races wouldn’t fill and be run, due to the lack of purse money and decline in number of mares bred in Illinois. This concept will not only help with field sizes and entries for state-bred races, it also is considered an open-company race. As an open-company race owners of an Illinois-bred horse will receive a bonus on top of the purse.

Trainer Chris Block, who has always had Illinois-breds in his barn, is a huge supporter of Polzin’s idea,

“I fully support it,” said Block. “It’s an excellent idea for a breed that is struggling right now for numbers. Our foal crops are less and less each year and I think Chris Polzin came up with an excellent idea.”

It also gives Arkansas-bred horses a place to go after the winter/spring meet at Oaklawn Park,

“After that meet in Arkansas in the winter the Arkansas-bred horses really have nowhere to go,” he added. “Now I think with this program we will start to get a lot more trainers shipping their Arkansas-bred horses here and it’s comparable competition. It gives our Illinois-breds a chance to compete against equal competition even though they are Arkansas-bred horses, they’re relatively the same.”

The same is true for Louisiana-breds at the conclusion of the Fair Grounds meet in New Orleans.

“Rather than the Louisiana horses who don’t want to run at Delta having to ship and go run against Florida or Kentucky-breds in open races, instead they can come here as well and have the benefit of running against a comparable competition.”


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