The Indiana Horse Racing Commission’s ban on the import of signals from Arlington Park and Calder Race Course turned out to be short-lived.
Two days after the commission voted to withdraw its consent for the signals, Churchill Downs Inc. on Aug. 23 restored the two Thoroughbred signals to Indiana Downs’ Evansville satellite wagering facility. The Arlington and Calder signals, which CDI started withholding from the southern Indiana betting parlor Aug. 15, were available at all outlets in the state Aug. 23.
“I received word late in the afternoon that the signals would be restored,” Indiana Downs general manager Jon Schuster said. “I was hopeful we would have something by the weekend. Economically, it makes sense to everybody.”
The Arlington and Calder signals were pulled from the Evansville outlet when CDI couldn’t come to an agreement with Ellis Park management. According to a release, the withholding of the signals was part of CDI’s sale agreement with businessman Ron Geary. Ellis Park in western Kentucky is located several miles from the Evansville betting facility.
In response, the IHRC invoked a ban on the Arlington and Calder products throughout the state. Conditions of the ban allowed the signals to be imported to all outlets once they were made available to the Evansville OTB. The Ellis Park sale contract with CDI states that should the IHRC ban a signal statewide, that provision is voided.
According to published reports, Geary doesn’t agree with that interpretation.
“I thought they acted in the best interest of Indiana’s racing industry,” Schuster said. “(The commission) took an appropriate action to protect the interests of the state of Indiana. Fortunately, it worked out.”
CDI, under the sale contract, continues to manage simulcast of the Ellis Park signal. It has a similar deal with Indiana’s Hoosier Park, of which it used to be majority owner.