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With its gleaming-white, palatial, six-story grandstand and lush gardens, this racecourse is one of the most beautiful showcases for thoroughbred horse racing in the world. Its storied history stretches back to 1927, and such equine stars as Citation, Secretariat, and Cigar have graced the track. The annual Arlington Million (the sport’s first million-dollar race, held in mid-Aug) attracts top jockeys, trainers, and horses, and is part of the World Series Racing Championship, which includes the Breeders’ Cup races. Arlington’s race days are thrilling to behold, with all of racing’s time-honored pageantry on display—from the bugler in traditional dress to the parade of jockeys.

Arlington likes to say that it caters to families, and the ambience is more Disney than den of iniquity. “Family days” throughout the summer include live music and entertainment ranging from petting zoos to puppet shows.