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.
Defending champion Cosmonaut, who races in the colors of Flying Zee Stable, has accepted top impost of 121 pounds and will head to post July 21 as the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/4 miles over turf.
The Cavel International horse slaughterhouse in Illinois will remain closed after a federal judge dismissed the company's challenge to the state law that shut it down.
Western Playboy, who won the 1989 Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), died in April at Harvey and Nancy Vanier's Fairberry Farm near Waterloo, Ill.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has signed legislation that outlaws killing horses for human consumption.
The Illinois Senate passed a bill May 16 that would end horse slaughter for human consumption in the state. The bill, which passed by a vote of 39-16, now goes to Gov. Blagojevich for his signature.
Arlington Park reported a 25% increase in handle and a healthy jump in attendance for its opening weekend this year.
As the result of a federal court ruling, the horse slaughter plant in DeKalb, Ill., will temporarily be able to resume business.
A bill banning horse slaughter for human consumption was approved by the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee April 25, while the House on April 26 voted 277-137 to ban the government from selling wild horses and burros for slaughter.
The Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill April 18 that would outlaw horse slaughter for human consumption. Illinois is home to one of three slaughter plants in the country. The bill passed 74-41.
Arlington Park president Roy Arnold announced April 9 that Ken Kiehn has been named as vice president of sales, marketing and guest services for the Illinois track.
Arlington Park is in the final phase of installing an $11-million Polytrack surface that will debut when live racing begins May 4.
A federal district court ordered March 28 a shut-down of a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that allowed the slaughter of American horses for human consumption to be paid for by the slaughter houses. The program was put into place shortly after Congress voted in 2005 to cut federal funding for inspections of horsemeat.
A bill introduced Feb. 22 in the Illinois state legislature would prohibit the transportation of horses into the state for the sole purpose of slaughter for human consumption. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Bob Molaro. A Belgian company, Cavel International, runs a horse slaughter plant near DeKalb, Ill.
Illinois horse racing is mired in a "downward spiral that will require action by state government to save it," Hawthorne Race Course President Tim Carey said as his track prepared to open the 2007 Illinois Thoroughbred season Friday.
Jockeys Terry Houghton and Derek Bell have been given approval to ride at the spring Hawthorne meet that begins Feb. 23. The riders were among seven jockeys banned from the grounds of Tampa Bay Downs Dec. 19, 2006.
Arlington Park announced Feb. 6 it will install Polytrack for its meet that begins May 4.
An Illinois legislator said he would propose an expansion of gambling that would include racetrack slot machines.
A federal appeals court ruled Jan. 19 that horse slaughter is illegal in the state of Texas based on a law from 1949. If the law is enforced, it would shut down two of the three slaughter plants in the United States.
Frank Kirby has been elected president of the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
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