Friday, December 5, 2014

Arlington International News Release: AMERICAN ST. LEGER EARNS GRADE III RATING


Contact: David Zenner

 (847) 385-7535

Cell (847) 371-1670

Fax: (847) 385-7251



ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Dec. 5, 2014) – Arlington International Racecourse's American St. Leger Stakes has been accorded Grade III status under the rules set forth by the North American Graded Stakes Committee it was announced Friday when that organization released its ratings for the 2015 racing season.


            Inaugurated in 2012 and run as part of the International Festival of Racing card, the marathon race run at the uncommon distance of 1 11/16 miles (1 mile and 5 ½ furlongs) over Arlington's internationally acclaimed turf course instantly attracted top runners from around the globe including Group I stakes winner Jakkalberry, who captured the 2012 running, and Group II victor Dandino, the 2013 winner.


            Other graded stakes winners who ran in the first three editions of the race include multiple Grade I winner Wigmore Hall, Grade I winner Admiral Kitten, Grade II winner Big Kick, and Grade III winner The Pizza Man, the 2014 St. Leger champion, plus a plethora of other Grade III victors and several Graded stakes-placed horses.


            "We introduced the American St. Leger in 2012 to stand alongside the Arlington Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat Stakes to augment the already sensational International Festival of Racing," said Arlington International Racecourse President Tony Petrillo.  "The American St. Leger, whose name is derived from the similarly named races run worldwide, was launched to cater to the underserved category of long-distance turf runners in American racing. In just three years, the American St. Leger demonstrates that American runners, specifically quality-bred Illinois horses such as The Pizza Man, Suntracer and Ioya Bigtime, can compete at long distances with horses from around the world.


"Its recognition as a Grade III race in speaks volumes of the work done by Director of Racing Chris Polzin domestically and by the International Racing Bureau overseas," Petrillo added.  "Now that it's a Graded race, I look forward to the St. Leger to attract even stronger fields than in its first three editions and continue to grow in stature."


"I'm delighted to see the American St. Leger get Graded stakes recognition at such an early opportunity after its inception," said Alastair Donald, Managing Director of the International Racing Bureau. "This is a due reward for the caliber of horse the race has attracted in its first three years, and an important first step on the road to it eventually matching Arlington's three marquee Grade I turf races, the Beverly D., Secretariat and Arlington Million itself at its International Turf Festival."





David ZennerSenior Manager of Communications

2200 W. Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights IL 60006-0007

Arlington International Racecourse

P 847.385.7535│C: 847.371.1670 | F: 847.870.6727

E: | Twitter: @dave_zenner; @ArlingtonRacing


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