Illinois Racing Board Approves 2018 Dates Despite Dire Financial Concerns

by | 09.26.2017 | 7:17pm
Fairmount Park

On Tuesday the Illinois Racing Board approved a similar 2018 racing schedule to that of 2017, but shareholders were sure to make it known that the industry will face dire financial straits without some kind of legislative assistance. According to, officials from Fairmount Park noted that they may have to cancel half-way through the 2018 meeting due to overpayment of the purse account of nearly $2 million.

Hawthorne president and general manager Tim Carey is hopeful that the state will provide additional funding to the racing industry via “recapture,” a statute that would replace lost money into purse accounts. That statute has been ignored since the mid-1990s, however, and officials estimate that it will cost $11.9 million to fulfill it for 2018.

“We're not asking for a handout,” said Tony Petrillo, general manager of Arlington Racecourse. “We're asking, 'Please fulfill your statutory responsibility to fund recapture.' We're asking for economic opportunity.”

The 2018 schedule is as follows:

  • Hawthorne granted 55 live Thoroughbred programs, March 2 – April 29 and Oct. 2 – Dec. 21
  • Arlington granted 71 live programs, April 30 – Oct. 1
  • Fairmount granted 41 live programs, May 1 – Sept. 22


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