Arlington, Horsemen in Dispute Over Funding

The lack of a contract could threaten export and import simulcasting.

A dispute between Arlington Park and the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association could lead to a simulcast blackout of the Illinois racetrack’s signal out of state.

In addition, because Arlington and the Illinois THA have no contract for the meet that begins May 4, other horsemen’s groups could deny Arlington their signals on a lucrative weekend that features the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (both gr. I).

A primary issue in the fight is the manner in which purse money accrued from a casino supplement is paid.

Arlington, in a May 1 release, said it will reduce purses by 20% effective opening day if the conflict isn’t resolved. Track officials said they offered to honor the 2011 contract until a deal is struck.