What happened to Arlington Park race track?
The Arlington Park race track in Illinois is permanently closed and demolition began in late May 2023. Located in the Arlington Heights suburb of Chicago, originally called Arlington International Racecourse when it was opened in October 1927. In 1981, it was the location of the first thoroughbred race with a $1 million dollar purse at the International Festival of Racing which included the Beverly D. Stakes, Secretariat Stakes, and Arlington Million Stakes.
Featuring a one-mile track and one-eighth dirt oval track, Arlington Park race track also featured a one-mile turf track. At its peak, the race track could stable over 2,000 horses, with a seating capacity of 35,000 in addition to 12,00 clubhouse seats. As a pioneer of North American horse racing, Arlington Park was the first track in the country to have a public-address system to broadcast races to horse racing fans.
In 2000, Churchill Downs Inc. purchased Arlington Park Race Track, operating it for 21 years before holding its final race in September 2021. Shortly after, it was announced the Chicago Bears would purchase the property for $197 million, with future potential plans to build a new NFL stadium.
In May 2023, demolition officially began, completed in September 2023 as future plans for the site are still being considered.
Betting at horse race tracks in Illinois
At both Fairmount Park and Hawthorne Race Track, you can bet on horses in person right at the track. Both horse racing tracks in Illinois offer customers a great experience, from horse racing betting to sportsbook options. If it is your first time betting at horse race tracks in Illinois, here is what to expect in the process.
1. Head to the racebook
Usually located right next to the horse racing track, you will see the ticket counter where horse race track staff are taking wagers. Typically, it will be next to a big electronic board with the races posted and the odds next to each horse. For a small fee, you can purchase a booklet from the staff at the counter which will show the horses' racing history.
2. Pick your race
Located on the televisions next to the ticket counter, you’ll see the upcoming races and their post times. The post time indicates what time each of the races will start.
3. Pick your horse
For each race posted, there will be odds listed next to each horse. As an example, if you see a “2” next to a horse, that indicates that the horse is 2 to 1 (i.e. bet $1 win $2) to win the race. A 7/2 next to a horse, means that the race is 3.5 to win the race.
4. Place your bet
Now that you have your race and horse picked out, it’s time to decide which kind of bet you are going to place. Here are a few of the options available: