Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Two racetracks will likely close
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Two racetracks will likely close

Friday, Oct 2, 2015

* I didn’t get to this earlier in the week, but let’s try now. Amanda Vinicky

Illinois’ racing board is taking a gamble in an attempt to save the beleaguered industry. Two historic Illinois tracks will hold no races next year, a decision that could lead to their permanent closure.

The decision by Illinois’ 11-member racing board was unanimous: no horses will run at Balmoral and Maywood parks in 2016.

“We can’t sit out a year and survive; we’ll have to default on our lease and that’ll be the end of it,” said Duke Johnston, a partial owner of the tracks. […]

The board has given it and the Hawthorne park all Chicago-area races. The idea is that consolidating races - and therefore expenses and prizes - will make the remaining tracks more competitive.

“It raises purses at both entities, which will attract more horses, which will result in larger field size, which results in more wagering which results in more purses. It’s circular,” Arlington racecourse General Manager Tony Petrillo said.

* More

After unsuccessfully fighting to eliminate Hawthorne’s spring thoroughbred meeting for the last four years Arlington International Racecourse formed an alliance with its former adversary and the tracks made a joint presentation.

Hawthorne agreed to give Arlington a portion of the host track money it receives from out-of-state simulcasts to use to significantly bolster purses at its summer thoroughbred meeting. In return, Arlington supported Hawthorne’s requests for the two harness meetings and its usual spring and fall thoroughbred meetings.

The tracks also have promised to promote one another.

Arlington wins again.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Coach - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    It is becoming evident that our current Governor doesn’t care about saving jobs because if he did the first thing he would have done was to get the Gambling bill in place to save the horse racing industry and all the jobs that go along with it! The owners, trainers, drivers, breeders,tellers, concession people, vets, backstretch people, feed producers, all the way down to janitors and program sellers, etc.! It might not be much but to those people it is a job! Plus I’m sure the State could use the extra revenue!

  2. - Mama - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    How many years has Illinois race-tracks been operating?

  3. - TT - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    Sad for those of us who still enjoy horse racing, but necessary. Racing just isn’t popular enough to sustain four tracks in the Chicago area.

  4. - Georg Sande - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    Right Coach, it’s clearly Rauner’s fault. A massive Gaming expansion bill is something he clearly could have accomplished this year with the legislative assistance and goodwill of the Speaker … not. Are you seriously delusional?

  5. - Shoe Searer - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 11:43 am:

    ==Racing just isn’t popular enough to sustain four tracks in the Chicago area.==


    Should have happened sooner had it not been for the silly arrangement of giving them subsidies from the riverboats. Allowing racinos would have done nothing to increase the popularity of horse racing, but instead would have turned these into video gaming sites that featute some horses from time to time, or never.

  6. - south side - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 11:43 am:

    Fewer days. Cards reduced to 8 races. Small purses. I hear they even charge for picnic tables on the grass. Illinois racing has been on full life support for years. It now has committed the greatest of all sins, it is uninteresting. Next summer if I get the horse racing urge, I’ll drive to Saratoga.

  7. - Southside Markie - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 11:48 am:

    The backside workers at the harness tracks are pre-dominantly African-Americans (as opposed to those at the thoroughbreds who are Latinos). It will be interesting to see if/how the legislature’s Black Caucus will respond.

  8. - Coach - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 11:56 am:

    Georg Sande, I’m not into name calling just saying It looked like the votes were there from the Legislators to pass it just needed a Governor to pass it but he wanted a budget passed first which is tied to getting his agenda passed before a budget could be passed. so it comes back to the Governor wanting his personal agenda approved before the budget is discussed. I’m not a Democrat so don’t go there either! I just wished we had someone like Edgar at the top position who understands that you can’t change or get everything you want over night or completed in four years. The only way this budget will be resolved is not with the two stubborn people we have leading in Rauner & Madigan but rather with essential services that the State requires to operate.

  9. - West Side Willie - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    Sad but true. If you are looking for top notch racing you play the New York tracks, Belmont, Acqueduct, or Saratoga. The money should stay here in Illinois but we have nothing to offer. Playing Hawthorne can be painful.

  10. - NoGifts - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 12:18 pm:

    We’ve already said goodbye to fox tossing, rat and bear baiting, quoits and skittles. Say goodbye to another Victorian pastime.

  11. - jerry 101 - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 12:23 pm:

    No one cares about horse racing anymore.

    It’s no one’s fault but the general public. Close them all, and redevelop the land.

  12. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 12:24 pm:

    NoGifts -
    Congrats with making a point in a colorful way!

  13. - Because I said so... - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 12:35 pm:

    ===Racing just isn’t popular enough to sustain four tracks in the Chicago area.==


    Should have happened sooner had it not been for the silly arrangement of giving them subsidies from the riverboats. Allowing racinos would have done nothing to increase the popularity of horse racing, but instead would have turned these into video gaming sites that featute some horses from time to time, or never.=

    Why isn’t horse racing as popular as it used to be? Because the out of state tracks have had slots for years and they draw larger crowds and have bigger purses. For years the top drivers and trainers have been fleeing Illinois for more money elsewhere and who can blame them. I bet if you talked to these folks they’d tell you they didn’t want to leave but it was a financial necessity. If one of the two gaming bills that passed the General Assembly got signed, the Illinois horse racing industry wouldn’t be in the sad shape its in.
    It’s terrible to see all these people lose their jobs.

  14. - DE - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    I don’t go to or enjoy the Bears, Bulls, Sox or Cubs, but I see them receiving public fund concessions-subsidies for stadium repairs, renovations, etc, when they are all in pretty good financial shape. I like horse racing and going to the track. I know there are fewer people like me, and the industry is in trouble, but I just don’t understand how Joe’s Tavern and Betty’s Beauty Parlor can have slot machines, but a horse racetrack ‘gambling’ facility can’t. And I don’t see the state giving subsidies for their scoreboards/jumbotrons. If you think it is a dying industry, it is not. Look at the recent Keeneland yearling sale. It is dying an unnatural death in Illinois.

  15. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 12:57 pm:

    @Shoe Searer nails it. Racing’s in decline, and even allowing OTB has not rescued the industry.

    Last week’s casinomall Gaming Board hearing showed that any declining mall, bar, café, racetrack, would convert into a casinomall, videobar, gamingcafe or racino if allowed.

  16. - Different Strokes - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 1:00 pm:

    “Say goodbye to another Victorian pastime…”

    Like bicycling and baseball?

    The purses for harness races have been pathetic. The thoroughbreds have been doing somewhat better, but cost cutting measures are evident (fewer races, smaller fields of entries, fewer dates for live racing, etc.).

    Think back to Blagojevich. One of his alleged misdeeds was trying to shakedown the owners of Balmoral and Maywood Parks for a “campaign contribution.” No wrongdoing was alleged on the part of the owners. The legislature approved bills to permit slots at horse racing tracks (which is the norm in most of the country), but Quinn vetoed the bills.

  17. - Different Strokes - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    By the way, general admission at Hawthorne is $2.00 and there is free parking available.

    All of the fancy prices and additional fees are part of the Arlington experience.

  18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 1:06 pm:

    ===A massive Gaming expansion bill is something he clearly could have accomplished this year with the legislative assistance and goodwill of the Speaker===

    He never lifted a finger on that topic, so we’ll never know.

    But, in my experience, if a governor really wants a gaming bill, he’ll get it.

  19. - anon - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 1:13 pm:

    Lots of agri-business jobs associated with Illinois horse racing. Worth preserving the industry based on a pragmatic calculation of jobs, economic activity, and tax revenue. Other states supplement purses — the economic engine that drives the industry — through electromic gaming (i.e., slots at tracks). Absent gaming expansion very soon, these jobs and taxes will be largely gone, as horse owners and trainers and breeders leave Illinois for better opporunities in other states. The State of Illinois and the City of Chicago could also use the revenue.

  20. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 1:18 pm:

    Forcing casinos to pay the tracks was a mistake.

    Should Rich also pay the Sun Times, or Politico pay the Washington Post?

    ==The Times They Are A Changin’==

  21. - Wordslinger - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 2:01 pm:

    Anyone recall seeing any advertising or promotions by any of the tracks recently?

    The casinos advertise. The movies. The sports teams.

  22. - Jockey - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    Horse racing is dying a deliberate death in IL; not everywhere else:

  23. - Enviro - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 2:54 pm:

    Consolidation of the race tracks makes good business sense.

  24. - vibes - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 3:00 pm:

    Yikes! Maywood’s last night is tonight

    >>2015 Live Racing Schedule:
    January 29th - October 2nd
    Thursday and Friday Post Time 7:30 PM

  25. - MasterPiece - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 3:05 pm:

    No!!! Not quoits!!!

  26. - Southside Markie - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    Not only lots of agri-business jobs will be lost. Lots of very poor backstretch workers will lose their jobs and their entire lifestyles. These folks are usually unskilled laborers working at low wage jobs. They live with their families on the backstretch of the track. If the tracks close, they will be unemployed and homeless.

  27. - Different Strokes - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 3:35 pm:

    “Anyone recall seeing any advertising or promotions by any of the tracks recently?”

    A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y ! Hawthorne opened its Fall Meet today and it has been promoting its night racing event (”Rocktoberfest”) tomorrow heavily.

    The Tribune has largely abandoned coverage of horse racing, so horse players have to read the Sun-Times.

  28. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 3:58 pm:

    Not the state’s job to prop up dying industries.

  29. - Blue dog dem - Friday, Oct 2, 15 @ 4:19 pm:

    Robert the Bruce–why can’t we prop up dying industries? We prop up ConAgra,we still subsidize extension advisers(and the Internet has been aroun awhile), and lastly didn’t we give the Cubs some help”"”"

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Madigan's daily press briefing: He'd meet with Rauner and he's peeved at Durkin
* We're staying open!
* Hardiman on Madigan: "He’s like the Godfather down there"
* Rauner asked why Madigan could work with other governors and not him
* Emanuel goes off on Rauner... again
* *** UPDATED x4 - Rauner denies Cullerton claim - Cullerton: Special session is a "stunt" - Manar wants Rauner to call daily leaders meetings - Durkin said he opted out on his own *** Cullerton claims Rauner "pulled the plug" on meeting
* NRDC warns of "giant jumping fish" at Oak St. Beach
* Question of the day
* Rauner takes questions for first time in several days
* Illinois' "get along" shirt
* Pritzker slams Rauner over federal health care overhaul
* Emanuel doubles down
* New school funding reform plan appears DOA
* Let's be careful out there
* A little context, please
* After hot dispute, Rauner to sign gun crimes bill today
* Proft on Rauner's "massive" tax hikes: "He's done and so are Republicans for another generation"
* The Republican special session roundup
* Rauner administration loses legal power play to AG Madigan
* *** UPDATED x1 - The plot thickens *** As if things couldn't get any weirder
* *** LIVE *** Special session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...





* Illinois governor signs bill targeting repeat g.....
* Rauner appoints new DCFS director - Herald & Re.....
* Stephen Moore: The Banana Republic Of Illinois..
* Mendoza part of the problem as a legislator - S.....
* People like the state Capitol building, not the.....
* Scrutiny builds over Berrios property tax asses.....
* Rauner tells people: Power of change is in your.....
* Rauner tells people: Power of change is in your.....
* Rauner tells people: Power of change is in your.....

* Illinois State Fair to offer mobile ticketing, parking pass
* Obama Foundation seeks library construction management firms
* Auto dealership wins naming rights to Bloomington arena
* Lobbyist wounded in GOP baseball shooting leaves hospital
* NW Indiana's longtime Star Plaza Theatre to be demolished
* FBI: Search for visiting Chinese scholar is agency priority
* Trump slashes grant for group combatting white extremism
* A look at recent settlements in fatal police encounters
* Rauner names new director of Illinois child welfare agency
* The Latest: Brendan Dassey lawyers petition for his release

* Mendoza issues warning while leaders argue
* People like the building, not the gridlock
* Rauner threatens to reject 911 funding bill over fee increases
* Former Edgar appointee tapped as new DCFS director
* Rauner signs repeat gun offender plan into law
* Illinois House leaders meet, but no action on a budget
* House leaders meet, but no action on a budget
* SJ-R Podcast: Talking with Bernard Schoenburg about the special session
* Schuyler County hog farm opponents seek state ag meeting; threaten lawsuit
* SJ-R Live: Tax hikes vs. spending cuts; two experts disagree

* Was Rauner's televised speech a success? Sort of.
* How this company defies the law of large numbers
* Toronto's simple marching orders for PrivateBank's Richman: Grow
* Move over, Champagne. There are some new (old) bubbles in town.
* Why a stabilizing banking sector is good news

* Man, 38, seriously wounded in Cragin shooting
* Four Chicago Police officers among five injured in West Side crash
* Struggling Todd Frazier trying to ‘sit back and enjoy the show’
* Hitting one day, pitching the next — that’s how erratic Cubs roll
* 2 men shot on South Side
* ‘Unflappable’ Mark Buehrle all set to have White Sox No. 56 retired
* Blackhawks select Finnish defenseman Henri Jokiharju in first round
* Depp’s ‘assassin’ comments at music festival latest in celebrity anger
* Palmer Square man reported missing may need medical assistance
* Man, 21, critically wounded in West Garfield Park shooting

* 'Chicken lady' farms in Rogers Park, despite neighbors' gripes
* $208K grant aims to help Northwest Indiana residents get HIV test, treatment
* Announcing the Daily Southtown 2017 Baseball All-Area Team
* Last tango in Paris for Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler: What's on their itineraries
* Eric Brauer the Daily Southtown 2017 Baseball Coach of the Year
* Mego: Making old library part of new building 'ghoulish'; let it die with dignity
* Saudi Arabia says suicide bomber killed in foiled plot to attack Mecca
* Trump joins effort to pass health-care bill, but another GOP senator is opposed
* Draft pick causes hardly a ripple on day Blackhawks GM makes big splash
* Jonathan Toews on Blackhawks' roster moves: 'It's definitely a shock'

» State Week: Special Session Begins
» Prosecutors Seek To Uphold 'Making A Murderer' Confession
» Budget Impasse Makes Future Of Sojourn Shelter Unclear
» Bulls Trade Butler To Timberwolves, Go All In On Rebuild
» Illinois Experiments With High Schools Of The Future
» Senate Democrats Urge Republicans To Compromise On Budget Deal
» Cook County Democrats Hear From Gubernatorial Candidates
» $25,000 Reward Offered For Rare Clock Stolen In Chicago
» Obama Presidential Center Could Include Playground, Sledding
» There's At Least One Thing On Which Illinois Democrats And Republicans Agree ...

* Guest Column: Will Illinois get an F in higher education this year?
* Charles Krauthammer: The great Muslim civil war — and us
* Mendoza issues warning while leaders argue
* People like the building, not the gridlock
* Rauner threatens to reject 911 funding bill over fee increases
* Former Edgar appointee tapped as new DCFS director
* Rauner signs repeat gun offender plan into law
* Illinois House leaders meet, but no action on a budget
* Point: Education of state's children harmed with property tax freeze
* Counterpoint: Illinois should cut property taxes now

* PODCAST: Craig Virgin on hall of fame induction
* PODCAST: Dee Brown on hall of fame induction
* PODCAST: Brad Underwood on Illini hall of fame
* PODCAST: Jerry Colangelo on hall of fame induction
* PODCAST: Dick Butkus on hall of fame induction
* PODCAST: Tonja Buford-Bailey on hall of fame induction
* PODCAST: Robert Jones on Illini hall of fame
* PODCAST: Nick Anderson on hall of fame induction
* PODCAST: Craig Tiley on hall of fame induction
* PHOTOS: 63rd Annual Piatt County Trail Blazers Rodeo

* Bandits top Charge in extras
* Toews shocked after roster remake; Chicago Blackhawks draft D-man
* IN Current Conditions
* Utah evacuees watched flames draw closer, smoke get thicker
* St. Charles police arrest man who had a gun

* Hultgren pushes for job training, educatio...
* Hultgren backs Trump; suburban Democrats d...
* The importance of funding science research...
* Randy Hultgren: US should remain on UN cou...
* Rep. Randy Hultgren constituents decry sec...
* Roskam Twitter Wars With Jake Tapper - Rol...
* Payments in the future will be sent like t...
* Illinois GOP representatives plan fundrais...
* Northern Illinois Congressman Co-Sponsors ...
* Hultgren pushes for job training, educatio...

* Search for US attorney in Chicago narrows ......
* Search for US attorney in Chicago narrows ......
* Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows - ......

* Search for US attorney in Chicago narrows ......
* Search for US attorney in Chicago narrows ......
* New bill would expand SBA cyber training -......

* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* Chicago Zombie March, Logan Square Arts Festival, and more things to do in Chicago this weekend
* Raise Your Pride Flag!
* EXTRA: Everybody’s spewing a load of bull in the land of Springpatch
* Steppenwolf releases ‘official statement’ on Hedy Weiss review uproar
* Di Leo: Springfield – The City That Banned Capitalism
* Next week saxophonist Dave Rempis plays solo and leads a full-band performance of a South African jazz classic
* Don't Rain On Our Parade -- Or Park Near The Route
* Fathers Day Sunday.
* Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers episode #21.

* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

* Canada rumored next on the list for 32GB iPhone 6
* OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 3T: A 6 Month Phone Upgrade? (Video)
* Samsung Galaxy Note 8 hefty price, LG V30 features & more – Pocketnow Daily
* Crunch Report | Google To Stop Scanning Inboxes
* CEO: India should hold off new tariffs to keep OnePlus 5 pricing stable
* Only two months in and there’s a Sony Xperia XA1 deal on Amazon
* HTC U11 Edge Sense updates will let you zoom in and pick up

* White Sox struggle vs. Cotton in opener loss
* 'Consistent' Buehrle set for jersey retirement
* Hansen earns promotion to Winston-Salem
* Even-keeled Buehrle regular guy amid success
* Baseball is a family tradition for Matthews
* Pelfrey faces A's to open homestand
* White Sox prospects on the move in Minors

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller