In horse racing, being first is what counts.
Second is nice, third is OK, but first is what matters most. And being first is something that Arlington Park is particularly good at.
Arlington was the first track to set up a public address system, the first to use an electric starting gate in Chicago racing, and among the first tracks to set up a photo-finish camera. It’s certainly the first and only track to dare hold its signature race, the Arlington Million, only 25 days after being burned to the ground in 1985.
And yes, the Arlington Million was the world’s first million-dollar Thoroughbred race.
And so Little Mike, the winner of last year’s Arlington Million, will be in the right place as he tries to become the first horse to win this race two years in a row. This year hasn’t been great for Little Mike, but according to his connections he’s all systems go. Little Mike will have plenty of company- the field is expected to be full at 14 runners with half of them turf experts from overseas.
Other firsts include: veteran Rahystrada will become the first horse to compete in four Arlington Million races and Chad Brown’s first entry into the Million with Real Solution.
But the most important will be the nose that crosses the finish line in front.
Good luck to all!