mike campbell

Commentary: Illinois Racing Abandoned By Churchill Downs; Regulators Should Hold Company Accountable

The Thoroughbred racing community watched in dismay when Churchill Downs sold California’s Hollywood Park to a real estate company that jettisoned live racing and then endeavored, at Calder Race Course in Florida, to replace live racing with jai alai. Now at Arlington Park near Chicago, we’re seeing Churchill again working to squelch live racing by […]

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Illinois Racing Board Backs Down, Includes Arlington Park In 2020 Live Racing Dates

The Illinois Racing Board backed down from what turned out to be empty threats to deny live racing dates to Arlington Park in 2020 after the track’s parent company, Churchill Downs Inc., said it would not seek a casino license at the suburban Chicago racetrack. One week after kicking the can down the road and […]

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View From The Eighth Pole: The Sting Left On Illinois Racing By Churchill Downs Inc.

You’ve probably heard the fable of the scorpion and the frog. A scorpion wants to cross a stream but needs help getting from one side to the other. He sees a frog and tells him of his desire, asking if he can ride across the stream on the frog’s back. The frog says, “Why should […]

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‘Hope And Optimism’: Illinois Gambling Legislation To Put Casinos, Sports Betting At Racetracks

After more than 25 years of frustration, Illinois racetracks and horsemen will soon be able to better compete with neighboring states that benefit from casino revenue, thanks to omnibus gambling legislation that passed both the House and Senate in Springfield during overtime sessions this weekend. On Saturday, the Illinois House passed Senate Bill 690 by […]

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Illinois Breeders Add Their Weight To Lawsuit Battling The ‘Crushing Blow Of Recapture’

The following statement was released by the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association: Illinois horsemen understand that purses must be much larger for our state’s racing industry to once again be competitive with those in other jurisdictions such as New York, Indiana and Arkansas. Breeders recognize this, too, and together we are taking action to make that […]

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ITHA: ‘Illinois Tracks Threaten Collapse Of Live Racing’

The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association – under president Mike Campbell, trainer-director Chris Block and breeding industry leader David Block – issued the following statement in advance of Tuesday’s meeting of the Illinois Racing Board, to be held at 10 a.m. CST at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.   The ITHA statement follows: Illinois tracks are plotting […]

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Illinois Horsemen, Arlington Park Reach Contract Agreement

Following an all-day mediation session Monday, the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Arlington International Racecourse reached a contract agreement for the 2015 season. The new contract will run through April 22, 2016, and details will be forthcoming. The ITHA would like to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts put forth by its Executive Committee of President Mike […]

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Contentious New York THA Election Includes Questionable Endorsement

Presidents of five state divisions of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, collectively calling themselves a Philadelphia-based “Coalition of Horsemen,” have endorsed trainer Rick Violette over West Point Thoroughbred founder Terry Finley in a hotly contested election for president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. In a widely distributed email using the logos of the Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New […]

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2014 Illinois Racing Dates Hinge on Legislative Action

With just over three months until the new year, horsemen and employees of Illinois racetracks have no idea what 2014 may bring after the Illinois Racing Board on Tuesday approved four alternate racing schedules ranging from a severe reduction in racing dates to a business as usual calendar. In the end, it will be up […]

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Illinois horse racing at a crossroads

Even with the backdrop of struggles across the country for horse racing, perhaps no other state is more conflicted on how to move forward (or not) than Illinois. Breeders, racing stables and jockeys don’t feel they can make enough money, even when they have winners. And the long journey to bring slots to Illinois tracks […]

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