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Arlington Racecourse To Reopen

September 22, 1999

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) _ Arlington International Racecourse received approval Tuesday from the Illinois Racing Board to reopen next year with a summer thoroughbred meeting.

Arlington, the state’s top track before it closed in 1997 in a dispute over competition from casino gambling, was awarded the dates May 14 through Sept. 30.

``We’re excited to be back under way. We’ll be opening on Mother’s Day,″ spokesman Thom Serafin said.

The Arlington Million will be held in August. The track also has been bidding for the Breeders Cup, but that prestigious event wouldn’t be moved to Arlington for at least a few years, Serafin said.

Track president Richard L. Duchossois closed the racecourse two years ago when he was unable to get state legislation passed to help the ailing horse racing industry better compete with the state’s 10 gambling boats and others casinos in nearby Indiana.

This year, he was able to work out a deal with state lawmakers that gave the racing industry a big cut of casino profits. One recent estimate puts the track’s cut at $11 million from a new casino proposed for the nearby Chicago suburb of Rosemont.

``It’s been a long road, and we are proud of the consensus that our industry has achieved,″ Duchossois said. ``We are investing millions of dollars and working diligently to present a special on-track experience for our 2000 re-opening, and we look forward to helping lead Illinois racing back to national prominence.″

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