Arlington Heights, Illinois
|Website||Arlington Park web site|
|Distance||1 ¼ miles|
|Qualification||3-y-o & Up, Thoroughbreds|
|Weight||Weight for age|
The Arlington Million is a Grade 1 flat horse race in the United States for thoroughbred horses aged three years and upward. It is raced annually in August over a distance of 1¼ miles (approximately 2,000 metres) on the turf at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
The Arlington Million was the first thoroughbred race to offer a purse of US$1,000,000. It is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series, and the winner automatically qualifies for the Breeders' Cup Turf.
The Arlington Million was introduced in 1981 by Joe Joyce, the president of Arlington Park at the time. The winner receives 60% of the million dollar purse and the Arlington Million Trophy. The race was graded after only its second running and was awarded a grade one status in 1983 based on the talent of the runners that raced in its first two years.
The horse John Henry won the race twice. On August 30, 1981, Willie Shoemaker became the first jockey to win a $1 million thoroughbred horse race when John Henry took the inaugural Arlington Million by a nose over The Bart. The track famously ran the Arlington Million in 1985 under the shadow of a burnt-out grandstand, after a fire had occurred there 25 days earlier. In 2007, Jambalaya became the first Canadian bred horse to win the Arlington Million, with his trainer, Catherine Day Phillips, being the first female trainer to ever win the race.
The race had been run under several different names in the past: In 1981, it was called the Arlington Million Invitational Stakes; from 1982 through 1984 it was known as the Budweiser Million Stakes; from 1985 through 1987, it was the Budweiser-Arlington Million. In 1988, the race was held at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, and there was no race held in 1998 or 1999.
- 1:58.69 - Awad (1995)
- 2 - John Henry (1981, 1984)
Most wins by an owner:
Most wins by a jockey:
- 2 - Ramon A. Dominguez (2009, 2012), Laffit Pincay, Jr. (1982, 1991), Cash Asmussen (1988, 1992), Jose Santos (1990, 1993), Gary L. Stevens (1990, 1997), Jerry D. Bailey (2000, 2002)
Most wins by a trainer:
Largest Margin of Victory:
- Estrapade (1986), Five Lengths
Winners of the Arlington Million since 1981
* Storming Home finished first in 2003 but was demoted to fourth place following a Stewards' Inquiry.
** Powerscourt finished first in 2004 but was demoted to fourth place following a Stewards' Inquiry.
*** The Apache finished first in 2013 but was demoted to second place following a Stewards' Inquiry.
- No races were held at Arlington International Racecourse in 1998 or 1999, as the Illinois horse racing authorities did not authorise dates for the track.
- Starting in 1991, timing was arranged to hundredths.
- In 2004, Pat Gibson won a million pounds on the UK version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? by correctly answering the Million was not a Triple Crown race in the United States (which were the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes).
- Starting in 2007, the winner of this race will qualify for the Breeders Cup World Thoroughbred Championships in the Turf Division.