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Arlington Million Trophy

File:Arlington Million Trophy.jpg
A U.S. Marine carries the perpetual "Arlington Million Trophy" to its presentation stand.

Each year the perpetual "Arlington Million Trophy" is presented to the winners of the Arlington Million in a national televised award ceremony. The Arlington Million Trophy is one that was commissioned in 1984 and stays on display at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois year round. Arlington Park is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated and the parent company lists the Arlington Million as one the country's most important races behind the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. The names of the horse and the connections are included in the display.[1]

Contents

Dimensions of the trophy

The trophy itself is a magnificent work of art. It is a cup (more like a bowl) that stands 24" tall and 30" wide at the rim of the cup. It is made of solid polished silver and 14 karat gold. The base is two platforms that make the foundation of the trophy. The bottom platform is 14" at its base with another platform beveled right on top of the first. Both platforms are made of silver. The base is supporting eight 8" greek revival silver columns. Those columns are capped by another platform that is encircled by a 14" gold collar that is 1-1/4" tall by 1/8" deep. Inside the collar are 1" 14 karat gold letters that spell the words Arlington Million. Atop the trophy sits a huge solid silver bowl that is 12" tall and 30" wide. The bowl is Etched with the words Arlington Million in the shape of an arch. Inside the arch is a 3" x 5" 14 karat gold relief of the Arlington Park emblem with two horses and a coat of arms. In time this emblem would become the facility's logo and used on marketing pieces for the track.

Owners, trainers and jockeys trophies

Although the pertpetual trophy is only used in the cermony, a 60% solid silver only replica is given to the winning owner each year. That replica stands 18" tall and is 14" wide at the rim of the cup. It is supported by six greek revival columns. The winning trainer and jockey also receive trophies but these do not resemble the perpetual trophy.

Traditions

File:Arlington Million Flowers.jpg
Each year a garland of "Million Dollar Flowers" are draped around the winner.

Richard Duchossois has started several traditions run in relation to the race. The first is right after the race is run, Mr. D. will pass out dozens of flutes of champagne and toast the winners just before watching the replay on the jumbotron. Then the trophies are passed out by Chairman Emeritus of Arlington Park Richard Duchossois and then interviews and commentaries are made.

Even though Richard Duchossois merged Arlington Park with Churchill Downs Inc. several years ago, everyone still thinks of the local oval as Mr. D's place. And indeed, he patrols the facility often and is always a presence in the paddock for big events such as the International Festival of Racing, the annual celebration of racing on turf which features the Grade I Arlington Million. One can count on the festival to lure top horses from throughout the world.

Blanket of flowers

Like most signature races, the Arlington Million has its version of a garland of flowers that is draped over withers of the winning horse. This blanket is unlike most prestigious grade one races because it does not have just one type of flower. The Kentucky Derby has roses, the Preakness Stakes has the black-eyed Susans, the Belmont Stakes has white carnations, the Breeders' Cup has Chrysanthemums. The Arlington Million calls their blanket their "Million Dollar Flowers." It has a Magnolia backing that is topped with a red and white peppermint striped broad-brimmed blanket. It is arranged with a field of red carnations that is 20" wide surrounded by a 4" trim of two white carnations representing the flowers of the Arlington Million. The entire blanket is 84" long by 24" wide.

References

  1. Arlington Million History, Arlington Park website:http://www.arlingtonpark.com/million/million_history.



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