2016 Illinois Calendar Set With 21 Fewer Racing Days In Chicago

by | 09.29.2015 | 7:09pm

A joint dates proposal submitted by Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course was approved by the Illinois Racing Board on Tuesday, leaving Chicago with 21 fewer Thoroughbred racing dates in 2016 than the year before, according to The Daily Racing Form.

Arlington's meet is down to 74 days from 77, while Hawthorne will be down from 83 racing days this year to 65 next year. The agreement keeps Hawthorne's purse structure the same but will boost purses for Arlington next year.

The 2016 arrangement is a one-year deal as officials hope that Illinois will soon pass legislation that would allow expanded gaming at racetracks.

The plan left Standardbred fixtures Balmoral and Maywood without any dates in 2016, a move that the tracks' ownership had previously said would likely lead to the sale of both facilities by the Johnston family.

  • Andy

    what a shame on the possibility of losing Maywood and Balmoral, state is doing what it can to cripple horse racing in general

    • marlo

      without a doubt they are—-typical of Illinois and their greeding politicians. One thing Illinois has going for them is they hold the number one spot for corruption in the whole united states SHAME on them!

  • Jeff

    This is devastating instead of creating jobs our political leaders led by Gov. Rainer continues to lose jobs in this state. Governor and Democrats and Republicans legislators are killing Illinois! Gov. forget your agenda and start working with the legislators to approve a budget! Enough jobs have been lost!

    • Tinky

      Could you please explain how you would propose to “create” jobs?

  • Jeff

    This is devastating instead of creating jobs our political leaders led by Gov. Rainer continues to lose jobs in this state. Governor and Democrats and Republicans legislators are killing Illinois! Gov. forget your agenda and start working with the legislators to approve a budget! Enough jobs have been lost!

  • theosmachine

    Sadly, this is just the beginning of the end. Everyone is waiting for expanded gaming but it has already happened in Ill. The tracks were just left out in the cold. You can go to just about any bar, restaurant, etc… Hope I am wrong I have so many great memories at Hawthorne and old Sportsman’s Park.

    • Georgeff

      I knew someone named theosmachine would miss the old sportsman’s park. I remember him motoring around the 5F oval. I loved that Lisa Flatland trainee, too. It’s really sad what happened to Chicago racing. I wish I could go back to that time.

    • Bob C

      I’m afraid that memories are all that friends of Illinois racing will have left. Dr. Fager broke the world record for a mile at Arlington. Secretariat won his first race after winning the Triple Crown at Arlington. The summer harness meeting at the old Sportsman’s Park was one of the best in the country. Some of the top stables, both Thoroughbred and Standardbred, called Chicago home. Memories. When the lights go out for the last time we will still have our memories.

    • edwords

      Wasn’t Sportsman’s Park bankrupted when Stormy Bidwell
      borrowed too much to add NASCAR racing?

      What a fool!

  • Buckpasser

    On the harness racing site, it states that all harness dates will be held at Hawthorne

    • THE ENFORCER

      ONE WONDERS WHAT HAW. DID TO DESERVE ALL OF THE HARNESS DATES..HOW DO MAYWOOD AND BALMORAL EXIST WITH NO DATES??

      HOW LONG IS THE STATE GOING TO DELAY EXPANDED GAMING AT THE TRACKS??..WILL THEY ACT–AFTER IT IS TOO LATE??

      AS MENTIONED ABOVE, I TREASURE MY MEMORIES OF RACING THE WAY IT USED TO BE..SHOULDN’T RACING IMPROVE WITH EACH GENERATION??

      DO YOU BLAME THE POLS OR THE RACING LEADERS FOR THIS DEMISE??

      • Bob C

        I think Hawthorne got all of the harness dates by default. The Illinois Racing Board couldn’t or wouldn’t give dates to Balmoral and Maywood because of their financial condition. There is plenty of blame to go around but most of it should fall in the lap of previous Governor Pat Quinn who gave video gaming to doughnut shops and hot dog carts but not racetracks because he didn’t want Illinois to become “The Las Vegas of the Midwest”.

        • Diego Brower

          That makes no sense.

      • Buckpasser

        Balmoral and Maywood are in bancruptcy and Hawthorne used to hold harness racing dates previously.

  • Widget

    The Johnston family got exactly what they deserved

  • stlouiskid1

    Casinos continue to try and put Illinois racing out of business. The right politicians bought and paid for. Need a state wide strike with no entries by any horsemen to get some attention.

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