07/29/2004 11:00PM

Ill. dates requests for 2005


The 2005 Illinois Thoroughbred racing calendar will retain the same shape as this year if dates submitted by the state's racetracks are approved by the Illinois Racing Board.

The National Jockey Club, which has been forced next door to Hawthorne Race Course with the closing of Sportsman's Park, asked for 65 racing programs, though it was awarded only 47 this year. The NJC wants to run three days a week beginning Feb. 11, with five-day weeks to begin in March.

Arlington requested 104 days, from May 6 through Sept. 25. This year's 96-day meet began May 14 and ends Sept. 19.

Hawthorne, which has 69 fall dates this year, asked for 73 days, from Sept. 23 through Dec. 31. That request also includes Jan. 1 and Jan. 2, basically part of the track's 2004 meet.

Fairmount Park in downstate Illinois asked for 150 programs scattered throughout the year.