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Please note that Arlington Park has closed.

Arlington Park in Illinois, often celebrated as the most scenic racetrack in America, has become a favored summer hotspot for horse racing enthusiasts and friends looking to revel in the thrilling spectacle of horse racing.

Along with hosting the breathtaking sport, the venue also offers an array of stunning facilities suitable for various events, be it corporate gatherings, family reunions, or even weddings.

There was always a celebration in the air, be it the Miller Lite Party, the exhilarating Saturday's Miller Lite Horses & Hops, or the family-friendly Sunday events sponsored by the Daily Herald.

About Arlington Park in Illinois

With a history extending over 90 years, Arlington Park racetrack in Illinois first opened its gates on October 13, 1927, becoming a vibrant hub for thoroughbred racing.

On its opening day, despite the cold weather, the racetrack witnessed a footfall of over 20,000 spectators, marking the beginning of an era. The track remained resilient during the trials of World War II and the Great Depression, flourishing during the Golden Age of Racing.

In 1981, Arlington Park had the privilege of hosting the first ever Million Dollar Race — The Arlington Million — worldwide. The inaugural race was won by the horse John Henry, ridden by jockey Bill Shoemaker, and their victory is commemorated by a statue. John Henry holds a unique record as the only horse to win this race twice, with his second victory coming in 1984.

In 2002, the racetrack was the venue for the first Breeders' Cup Thoroughbred Championships in the Midwest, with an impressive turnout of 46,118 enthusiasts.

By 2007, Arlington introduced the innovative Polytrack surface, becoming the first track in the Midwest, and fifth in the US, to adopt a synthetic horse racing surface. Over the years, this track has witnessed some of the best riders, trainers, and thoroughbreds.

Arlington Park's journey continues as the Chicago Bears acquired the site with plans to erect a new NFL stadium, promising top-tier sports and superior customer service in the Chicago metropolitan region, and potentially launching a leading sportsbook.

What types of gambling does Arlington Park offer?

Arlington Park extends two main betting options to its visitors.

Horse betting

Horse race betting in Illinois is an integral part of the Arlington Park experience. With advancements in technology, punters can place their bets either online or at the racetrack.

When betting, “Win” signifies first place, “place” signifies second, and “show” denotes third. There are also "win/place/show" bets, which have a slightly different meaning.

  • If your horse secures the first position, you win a Win bet.
  • You secure a Place bet if your horse finishes either first or second.
  • If you've placed a Show bet, you win if your horse finishes anywhere in the top three.

In addition to these, bettors can also engage in Show Bets, exactas, trifectas, and superfectas.

In an exacta bet, you need to correctly predict the first and second-place finishers, in order. Trifecta requires you to correctly predict the top three, and for a superfecta, the first four horses in their exact order of finish.

Pari-mutuel wagering is a betting style that pits you against other bettors instead of the racetrack.

The collected money is pooled together, with the payoff for a winning bet proportionally reduced based on the amount of money wagered on a particular horse to win. This principle applies to exotic wagers and trifectas, as well as place bets and show wagers.

Off-track betting

Arlington Park's Off-Track Betting (OTB) allows punters to gamble on horse racing events happening away from the racetrack. The races are relayed to officials through a secure live feed from Turf Paradise, ensuring real-time excitement.

You can place your bets at the venue's wagering machines, represented by an OTB official. Once your wager is placed, you receive a ticket outlining your bet. Post-race, the official results let you cash in your winning ticket.

How do I place a bet at Arlington Park?

Placing a bet at Arlington Racetrack is as simple as gambling at any Illinois casino, just follow the outlined steps.

  1. Select the race you want to bet on. Consult the program for details about the horses at each track. It includes the horse's number, the jockey's “silks” color, the owner and trainer details, the trainer's win percentage, and more.
  2. Decide on the race, and the amount you want to wager. Choose the type and size of the bet you wish to make.
  3. Determine your wager type. Decide where you are going to place your bet in the game.
  4. Pick your horse(s). There are a few ways to decide which horse to back - study the race card, visit the paddock, or simply go by the sound of a name.
  5. Place your bet. To place a bet, tell the betting organizer the horse's number, the amount you wish to wager, and the type of bet. For example, “Number 4, £5 to win.” You'll receive a ticket, which you need to keep safe until the race concludes.

Arlington Park entertainment & cuisine

Arlington Park offers more than just exhilarating races. It is also renowned for its food and entertainment. Here are a few notable experiences.

  • Million Room: At the Million Room in Arlington Park, savor delicious cuisine while soaking in the million-dollar racetrack views. This indoor seating area features tiered seating and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide an unobstructed view of the track. Each table is equipped with its own flat-screen television for an enhanced experience. When booking the Million Room online, you secure your table for the entire day. The dress code mandates smart-casual with collared shirts.
  • Arlington Trackside Banquet Room: Elevate your next social or business gathering at Arlington Trackside. This banquet room offers a choice of indoor and outdoor spaces for your event.
  • Cobey's Food Court: Offering a wide array of fast-food options, Cobey's Food Court is ideal for grabbing a quick bite between races. From burgers and pizza to Asian cuisine, there's something for everyone.
  • Mr. D's Sports Bar: Named after Arlington's founder, Richard Duchossois, Mr. D's Sports Bar is a popular gathering spot for race fans. The sports bar offers a full-service bar and a variety of menu items, making it a perfect place to watch the races in a relaxed setting.
  • The Terrace Cafe: Nestled between the paddock and the grandstand, the Terrace Cafe offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Guests can enjoy casual dining options, a full bar, and unparalleled views of the track.

Arlington Park's new chapter with the Chicago Bears

In September 2021, the Chicago Bears announced the acquisition of the Arlington Park site for their new stadium.

The move, set to be completed by 2026, aims to bring the NFL to the suburbs of Chicago. The team's management intends to create a state-of-the-art venue that combines the thrill of NFL games with a complete entertainment experience.

While the precise impact on the racing schedule is yet to be determined, the Chicago Bears are committed to preserving Arlington Park's legacy as they embark on this exciting new chapter. Stay tuned for further updates on this significant development.


Are there any hotels close to Arlington Park?

Yes, there are many hotels that you can stay in around the Arlington Park area, including the Embassy Suites Chicago, among others. Some of these hotels have specific partnerships with Arlington Park, so make sure you check to see if there are any discounts before booking your stay.

Are there smoking areas in Arlington Park, Illinois?

There are some smoking areas in Arlington Park, Illinois. Smoking is allowed in the park, 15 feet from the entrances. Make sure you ask staff if it is OK to smoke where you are stood, as some areas might be more strictly prohibited.

Can I bring food from outside into Arlington Park?

No. Coolers or carry-ins with food and drinks from outside are not allowed in Arlington Park. However, there is a wide range of dining options in Arlington Park, so make sure you check those out so you don’t go hungry.