Midwest Racing News Archive

News about midwest horse racing.

The June 15 deadline for developers interested in purchasing the 326-acre Arlington Park race track property is not set in concrete, said Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes on Tuesday. Depending on what the track’s Request for Proposals attracts, owner Churchill Downs could reach an agreement and embrace one of the ideas or continue to seek more responses.

Although the state is letting businesses and other venues return to full capacity on Friday, Arlington Park officials are pulling in the reins on any immediate plans to add seats. "We've sold our seating packages through June, so it wouldn't be fair to some who bought those packages in advance to offer more desirable seats that weren't available under the previous phase," said Tony Petrillo, Arlington Park's president.

Reserved seating for the elite six-day all-turf meeting at Kentucky Downs in September is now available on the track's website. Kentucky Downs will be back to full capacity for live racing at the meet, which runs Sept. 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12, with its most upscale option yet for reserved seating and dining and the return of free general admission.

Oaklawn President Louis Cella said Saturday an unprecedented change is a possibility for the Hot Springs racetrack's schedule next season. Cella said Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort will present to the Arkansas Racing Commission a proposal for a likely 66-day racing season to begin Dec. 3 and conclude May 7, the date of the next Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

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"I don't think the governor can intervene in any sort of formal way," said state Sen. Bill Cunningham, the Senate's point person on gambling. "One thing I will agree with former Governor Edgar: There are many people who care about horse racing who are upset at Arlington/Churchill Downs/Rivers (Casino) for all the obvious reasons."

ITHA President Mike Campbell urged the attorney general’s office to investigate whether Churchill Downs committed state or federal antitrust violations when it took a series of steps to preclude casino gaming and abate pari-mutuel wagering at Arlington Park.

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Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar, a horse owner-breeder and racing enthusiast, has called on current Gov. J.B. Pritzker to use his influence to stop Arlington Park in Arlington Heights from being sold for development by its owner, the publicly traded Churchill Downs Inc.

LEGENDARY American jockey Calvin Borel faces up to a year in jail after a second drink-drive arrest in as many years. Borel, 54, a three-time Kentucky Derby winner, was charged by cops in the US on Wednesday night.

Following a public hearing at Thursday’s Nevada Gaming Commission meeting, an amendment to Regulation 22 governing race books and sports pools will be considered by the five-member commission.

“Unfortunately, since their last off-track pari-mutuel agreement expired in October 2019, the Nevada books have not been able to successfully negotiate another off-track pari-mutuel wagering agreement with Churchill Downs, the track that hosts the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks,” the petition says.

Regulation 22 requires that a licensed race book shall determine the winners of or payouts on wagers on horse and other animal races only with information the book receives from licensed disseminators. ... [Last year] the Gaming Commission solved the problem the same way it’s been proposed for resolution this year — that sportsbooks be allowed to base race results and calculate payouts on what is presented on national television.

The live thoroughbred horse racing tradition will return to Collinsville later this month. FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing, formerly known as Fairmount Park, will welcome fans back to the track on April 27 with a post time of 1 p.m. and a “Surprise in the Sky” from Sky Dive St. Louis.

The operators of a locally owned horse-racing operation are exploring options to establish a casino in Hastings in the area of the Adams County Fairgrounds, 947 S. Baltimore Ave. Breann Becker, president of FairPlay Park, presented three basic proposals to the Adams County Agricultural Society at its meeting April 13. She said she is willing to work together to come to an agreement that will benefit both parties. As one of Nebraska’s six licensed horse racetracks, FairPlay Park (operated by Hastings Exposition & Racing at the Adams County Fairgrounds) can add casino gambling to its operation thanks to the passage of Initiatives No. 429, 430 and 431 by the state’s voters in November 2020.

In only the second day of action for the 2021 season at Indiana Grand, jockey Orlando Mojica hit win 2,500 aboard Sky Judge in the afternoon’s seventh race Wednesday. It was Mojica’s only mount of the day and only his third start of the season thus far in Indiana.

ebraska's Fonner Park officials said Friday they have chosen Iowa-based Elite Casino Resorts to develop a $100 million casino resort complex at the horse racing track, which will be named Grand Island Casino Resort at Fonner Park.

Construction on a $32 million expansion of Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville is scheduled to begin next week. Caesars Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: CZR) broke ground Thursday on the project, which will add 25,000 square feet of gaming space.

One member of the Illinois Racing Board, author and journalist Alan Henry, had a lot to say about Churchill Downs Inc.'s decision to put Arlington Park up for sale at the monthly board meeting. According to the Chicago Daily-Herald, Henry called CDI's refusal to sell the property to another racing entity “a shortsighted and self-defeating posture” that would irreparably tarnish the company's brand.

The owner of Sports Creek Raceway is aiming to bring back horse racing in the summer, but he is also ready to move on and repurpose the site for future renovation. “We stand ready to go forward,” said Nelson Clemmens, CEO of Kentucky-based AmWest Entertainment LLC, a company affiliated with AmRace & Sports LLC, and owner of Sports Creek Raceway. “We’re hopeful, but we have to be cautiously optimistic because of what we haven’t been able to keep moving forward on a consistent basis.”

With the track having been put up for sale and with parent company Churchill Downs Inc. failing to commit to a meet after this year's season, Arlington Park's days may be numbered. But there may be a flicker of hope. Mike Campbell, the president of the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, told the TDN that he knows of a number of companies and individuals interested in buying the track and keep it open for racing.

The Arlington Million (G1T), the first Thoroughbred race to offer a $1 million purse at its inception in 1981, will be run Aug. 14 as the Mister D. Stakes for a diminished purse of $600,000 as Illinois' three remaining grade 1s will be named in honor of former Arlington International Racecourse owner Richard L. Duchossois and his family members.

Now that Arlington International Racecourse is officially for sale, the owners of Churchill Downs Inc. on Thursday reiterated their desire to relocate Arlington's horse racing operations elsewhere in Illinois, despite questions over the process to do so.

Illinois thoroughbred owners and trainers appreciate the opportunity to race this year at Arlington Park, a world-class track, but are disappointed that Churchill Downs will renege on its longstanding promise to preserve and grow jobs in Illinois racing while also serving the best interests of Illinois taxpayers.

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