06/18/2009 11:00PM

HBPA eyes Hoosier accusations


The Indiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will meet on Tuesday to determine whether to take action against one of its directors who has been accused of arranging stall allocations for trainers at Hoosier Park in exchange for his support of legislation favored by the track, officials of the group said.

Randy Klopp, the president of the Indiana horsemen's association, said that evidence regarding the allegations will be presented at the Tuesday meeting, and that board members will then vote on whether to take action against the director, Larry Smallwood.

"Right now we're having our lawyers look into the bylaws and what actions we can possibly take," Klopp said.

In a letter distributed to horsemen on Wednesday, Raymond "Butch" Cook, the racing secretary at Hoosier Park, alleged that Smallwood reached a deal with Hoosier management that would guarantee nine trainers specific stall allocations in exchange for support for the legislation, which would cut the amount of money Hoosier pays to the state from its revenue from slot machines. Cook wrote that Hoosier officials told him his job would be in "serious jeopardy" if he did not grant the trainers the stalls.

Cook said Friday that he released his stall allocations that morning. All nine of the trainers were given stalls, Cook said, though not in the allocations he said Hoosier requested.

Hoosier Park officials did not return phone calls.

Two of the trainers who were guaranteed stalls are board members of the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, which has been lobbying with Hoosier for legislative relief.