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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hope in Illinois?

There is hope in Illinois after all.  Finally, Arlington Park (Churchill Downs Inc.) and the rest of the industry has come up with a compromise plan to extend ADW for a period of three years.  Legislators have indicated if there was any hope of passing an ADW extension it would require a united front from all of racing, something that has alluded the industry up to now.  If approved, it would allow a full schedule of racing to be conducted in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Now, the problem is time.  The legislature is scheduled to meet on January 29 though there is a possibility of special session in December to discuss the state's pension problem.  If the legislature takes up the legislation by January 29, racing will be saved.  If they don't take up the legislation by January 29 then racing will take a shave next year.

Hopefully it is a moot point, but I asked the IHHA what about paying for their own regulation as done by horsemen in Michigan?  Certainly, this is not a desirable plan as paying for their own regulation would result in a hit to their purse account making them race for even less money, but at least they would be racing.  Well, I got a statement from the IHHA's Executive Director regarding this idea and here is his statement.

"The IHHA is committed to finding a solution to race a full schedule in 2014. The idea of the entire horse racing industry paying for the IRB shortfall has been suggested but for a myriad of different reasons, some from the IRB itself, has never been embraced by all of the interested parties." 

Hopefully, this will be the last time this issue needs to be raised and a full schedule will be raced in 2014.

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