07/10/2006 11:00PM

Board eyes Arlington breakdowns


The Illinois Horse Racing Board on Tuesday ordered an investigation into the number of breakdowns at Arlington Park and will hire an additional state veterinarian to assist in physical inspections at the track, the executive director of the board said after a board meeting.

The actions are in response to a rash of breakdowns this summer at Arlington that have so far failed to fit any pattern, according to the racing board's executive director, Marc Laino. According to board records, 16 horses have broken down during races at the current Arlington meet, and another five have broken down during training hours, just halfway into Arlington's four-month meet. Last year, a total of 12 horses broke down during the entire meet.

The investigation will include a review of the medical and treatment records for any horse who has broken down at Arlington over the past 60 days, according to Laino. In addition, the racing board will hire a veterinarian to be based at the track in order to enforce a new policy that will require that 50 percent of all horses who run receive a complete physical inspection.