11/28/2012 4:44PM

Arlington Park files suit against Illinois Racing Board over 2013 dates


Arlington Park has filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Racing Board alleging the board acted improperly in issuing its 2013 racing dates awards at a meeting in September.

The suit, filed with the Cook County Circuit Court, contends that the IRB acted punitively against Arlington when it switched 18 dark-host days next year from Arlington to Hawthorne, and that the board violated the Open Meetings Act when it issued dates awards at its Sept. 26 meeting.

Tracks earn a greater share of commissions and purse money during non-racing dark days when they are designated as the host track for simulcast betting, and the change in host-track status will shift hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue from Arlington to Hawthorne next year. The board changed the allotment of dark-host days after expressing concern over the decision of Churchill Downs Inc., Arlington’s parent company, to exclude the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne from its new Road to the Derby qualifying format for the Kentucky Derby. Arlington’s suit claims the IRB exceeded its statutory authority by acting to punish CDI through the shift of the dark-host dates.

Arlington’s complaint also alleges the IRB violated the rules for conducting open meetings when it allowed board members to speak to each other during a period between the board’s rejection of an initial dates awards proposal and the submission of a proposal that eventually passed.

willard soetero More than 1 year ago
I applaud the IRB. Ever since simulcast wagering was introduced, Arlington has been trying to put Hawthorne out of business so they can get the "free money" revenue that simulcasting brings. Not awarding the Illinois Derby any points was an obviously a sucker punch, an attempt to weaken Hawthorne at the expense of Illinois racing, It would take a blind man not to recognize this. Three cheers for the IRB. I see that the UAE Derby was awarded the maximum, 100 point status. How many UAE runners have won, hit the board, or even competed in the KY Derby?
Senor Enrico More than 1 year ago
Is this argument why Churchill excluded the Illinois Derby from the Kentucky Derby perp points system? If so Churchill should be ashamed and punished in some way.
jttf More than 1 year ago
more bad press coverage for churchill downs. they started the fight. illinois will back hawthorne over a kentucky company. i prefer hawthorne dirt racing over arlington synthetic racing (boring).
Patrick Mooney More than 1 year ago
We reap what we sow, and in that case, CDI has a lot more hardship coming its way.
Guy More than 1 year ago
I'm a big Arlington fan but what Churchell did to Hawthorne was wrong and hurt the Ill Derby's signifcance. Not good for Illinois racing. Pretty lame on Churchell's part.
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
CDI has taken a wonderful track and turned it into a third rate, low end claiming track. Too bad, it was a great place to see racing. CDI, must acknowledge they are runing tracks in other states, not only KY, where they rule the government. Just look at the product offered by lower level KY tracks without racino monies. They are doomed, the horseman go where the money is, and this year it's to OP and FG. Wake up you good ole boys and get into the current times. Your not in charge like you use to be.
Bob Caito More than 1 year ago
Arlington just doesn't attract the "big" horses anymore. I guess Cigar was the last really "big" horse to come to AP. I agree with Tabula Rasa--the racing product isn't what it used to be.
PennNatRick More than 1 year ago
Even the Racing Commission knew that Hawthorne got robbed of the Derby Points. Give the Illinois Derby the points it deserves and you'll get some dates.
Tabula Rasa More than 1 year ago
CDI has been acting like a bully as well as a spoiled rotten brat depending on the given situation. I am a racing fan for almost 30 years I stopped going to Arlington Park more than three years ago. For such a gorgeous facility, the product they offer is third rate. Arlington gouges its customers and provides virtually no appreciation, nor services for its egregious prices. And its polytrack. Most everyone I sit with at the OTB won't bet Arlington unless its a classy grass race. What a shame.
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Couldn't agree more with both of you, although I still love going to AP on classy grassy days.
Jim Tully More than 1 year ago
Haven't been there since the Formblog Convention. Before the last time was when The Tin Man won the Million. A decade ago I went every Friday. Nice to see Hawthorne get rewarded for the the period when they kept IL racing alive when Arlington closed shop.
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Come to Gulfstream with us from March 15 to 17th 2013. Formbloggers are still fun and also hardcore, sometimes!