Illinois Dates Decision Upheld by Court

An Illinois appeals court has upheld action by the state’s racing board to award harness dates for this year to Balmoral Park and Maywood Park. The decision had been challenged by Suburban Downs, a harness track affiliated with Hawthorne Racecourse that had not held live racing since 1997.

In its unanimous opinion, the Illinois Appellant Court ruled that "the board considered all the required factors" in its dates decision and that the decision is supported by "substantial evidence" and "not arbitrary and capricious."

The opinion also quoted Illinois Racing Board commissioner Lorna Propes as follows in the panel’s consideration of the Maywood and Balmoral dates: "The situation on the harness (racing) side is that Balmoral and Maywood together have achieved pre-eminence in this country, have set new records this year in terms of handle; and we have heard from all sides of the industry that these strides (by Balmoral and Maywood) are important, that they’re real, that they should be kept going."