With the Illinois state budget in a shambles and a video gaming in bars and restaurants going nowhere as a solution, racetracks again are urging lawmakers to allow them to install slot machines.
Fort Prado, an eight-time Illinois champion, has been retired from racing and will enter stud at Richard Duchossois' Hill 'N Dale Farms near Barrington, Ill.
Governor Pat Quinn Nov. 9 announced the appointment of Allan Monat to serve as a commissioner of the Illinois Racing Board.
Thoroughbred races have been held under the lights at Hawthorne Race Course in the late fall and winter as daylight diminishes, but for the first time, the Chicago-area track will offer night racing.
The Illinois Racing Board has approved 439 racing days in the state for 2010, it was announced Sept. 24. The total, which includes 91 live programs at Arlington Park and 109 at Hawthorne Race Course, is the least amount the board has ever issued.
Illinois gambling patrons in Illinois will now have the opportunity of placing their bets online, as Gov. Pat Quinn approved a bill Aug. 26 legalizing online wagering on horse racing.
HRTV will broadcast the grade I Arlington Million and two other grade I stakes as part of the Aug. 8 program at Arlington Park in Illinois, while the Horse Racing Radio Network will offer a two-hour broadcast from the track.
Because a supply of equity fund money belonging to Fairmount Park is still being held in escrow, the Collinsville, Ill., track will end its 2009 meeting 18 days earlier than planned.
Racetracks in Illinois submitted their 2010 racing dates request July 31 with the state's racing board. Between Arlington Park, Hawthorne Race Course, and Fairmont Park, a total of 420 racing programs were requested.
Rene Douglas, who was seriously injured in a May 23 riding mishap at Arlington Park in Illinois, continues to undergo rehabilitation following his injury.
Western Outlaw sired his first winner when his son Lone Star Cowboy scored June 12 at Lone Star Park.
The wife of injured jockey Rene Douglas said May 28 it's too early to say her husband won't regain use of his legs.
Jamie Theriot has appealed the 30-day suspension levied on him by the Illinois Racing Board for his involvement in the May 23 racing accident that caused severe injury to Rene Douglas, Theriot's agent, Fred Aime, said May 27.
Arlington Park management has reached an agreement with the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA) to offer a bonus of up to 5% of the base purse of overnight races contingent upon the number of distinct wagering interests in the starting field.
Fairmount Park, which recently put in place a zero tolerance policy on slaughter, will host an April 23 fundraiser to benefit its newly established Thoroughbred adoption program, Racehorse Alternative Choice Environment.
The Montana House of Representatives strongly endorsed a bill Feb. 24 that paves the way for construction of a horse slaughterhouse in Montana and aims to bring the industry back to the United States.
To make its position clear on horse slaughter, Fairmount Park in Illinois has put in place a zero-tolerance policy that would take stalls away from trainers involved in the practice. And in an effort to address the unwanted horse situation, the track has created an adoption program for Fairmount runners when they retire from racing.
The long-hinted horse racing connection to embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged misdeeds finally became public Tuesday at the governor's impeachment trial in the Illinois Senate.
Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois registered gains in average daily total handle for its 2008-09 fall/winter meet thanks to increases in out-of-state wagering. On-track and in-state handle on Hawthorne races declined, however.
A federal affidavit alleges that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich pressured horse racing leaders for campaign contributions in exchange for supporting a bill, passed this month, that requires four of the state's highest-grossing riverboat casinos to share revenue with the Thoroughbred and harness racetracks.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Dec. 15 signed legislation that extends the diversion to horse racing of 3% of revenue from the state's four highest-grossing riverboat casinos.
The Illinois Racing Board Dec. 10 released its 2009 stakes schedule.
Hawthorne Race Course has lost its bid to build and operate Illinois' 10th riverboat casino, with three other potential sites making the final cut.
After more than a dozen years of wrangling, Illinois race tracks and horse owners soon may see the influx of millions of dollars from riverboat casinos – and Hawthorne Race Course could add a casino to its racing operations, helping drive additional subsidies for all tracks.
The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, which represents owners and trainers at Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course, and the Oregon Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, comprised of horsemen competing at Portland Meadows, have voted to join the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group.
While signal distribution at racetracks continues to be a hot topic in the horse racing industry, that doesn't appear to be the case at Hawthorne Race Course, which opens its meet Sept. 26.
The IRB has released approved dates for '09 for Hawthorne, Arlington, and Fairmount Park.
Requests for 2009 racing dates in Illinois show a few overlaps, including a month between Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course in late summer and early fall.
Jockeys at Fairmount Park received a mount-fee increase through the Illinois Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents horsemen at the track.
Tizdejavu again stamped himself as a major player in the 3-year-old turf ranks with another effortless victory, this time in the July 12 American Derby (gr. IIT) at Arlington Park.
Illinois' richest riverboat casinos must pay part of their profits to horse owners and racetracks, the state Supreme Court ruled June 5.
As horseracing interests lobby for slot machines in Illinois, two former state legislators have floated a $31-billion infrastructure plan that would be paid in part by expanded gambling in the state.
HorseRacing TV has reached an agreement with Comcast Cable in the greater Chicago region for carriage of the 24-hour horseracing network beginning April 30, just in time for the Arlington Park meet.
Dan Leary has been named director of communications for Lone Star Park in Texas. Leary has nearly three decades of sports public relations experience, including 14 years in the Thoroughbred racing industry at six different racetracks.
Denis of Cork was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a field of seven in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) April 5 at Hawthorne Race Course.
Arlington Park released its stakes schedule for 2008, which includes 27 added-money races worth more than $5.5 million. The meet runs from May 2-Sept. 21.
Leelanau, a Churchill Downs' track-record setter, has been acquired by Jack Barr for stallion duty at Wally and Janet Hartwig's Tower Farm near Somonauk, Ill.
The first reported foal sired by Sir Shackleton is a filly born Feb. 2 at Richard Rudolph's farm in Illinois.
Youbet.com has reached an exclusive agreement with four Illinois racetracks to offer advance deposit wagering access to residents of the state, a deal that is being called the first of its kind because of its revenue sharing program.
- By Claire Novak
When you meet Thornton in person, you think he is a very, very nice young man. You wonder how he remained steady and well-mannered even after encountering the racetrack's fast-paced lifestyle. When you hear of his multiple injuries and comebacks, you wonder why he hasn't given up on riding or spiraled into oblivion. Then you speak to his mother, and it all makes perfect sense.
The first reported foal sired by 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo is a colt born Jan. 13.
Gaming expansion, including authorization for slot machines at racetracks, appears to have been left at the starting gate once again in the Illinois General Assembly.
Services for trainer Dale Baird, who died in a motor vehicle accident in Indiana Dec. 23, have been scheduled.
Hawthorne Race Course cancelled the remainder of its Dec. 13 card due to unacceptable track conditions, the racetrack announced following the second race of the day.
After months of bitter political infighting and under the looming threat of a Chicago-area mass transit meltdown, Illinois lawmakers moved close Dec. 10 to a sweeping expansion of gaming that would include authorization for slot machines at racetracks.
The last remaining horse slaughter plant in the country was effectively shut down Sept. 21 when a three-judge panel on the U.S.. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled an Illinois law banning horse slaughter for human consumption is constitutional.
It's not quite to the level of Affirmed and Alydar, but the exciting rivalry between a pair of the nation's top turf routers will renew itself once again in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) at Saratoga Aug. 11 when English Channel and Better Talk Now clash for the seventh time.
After Market, one of the favorites in the Arlington Million (gr. IT), is special because of his late kick, trainer John Shirreffs said.
The nation's last horse-slaughtering plant can reopen while it challenges a state law that forced it to close twice in the last two months, an Illinois federal appeals court ruled.
- By Jon Forbes
Cosmonaut, who won the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) in 2006, is back for another try in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) prep.
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