Arlington, ITHA Arrive at IRB Meeting Without Signed Contract

For the third time in two weeks, representatives from Arlington International Racecourse and the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA) arrived at a crucial Illinois Racing Board (IRB) meeting without a signed contract for the 2020 meet, again putting in jeopardy the already delayed and curtailed summer racing season at suburban Chicago's premier track. Thursday morning's IRB meeting went into recess 43 minutes after it started after both sides stated that they are close, but not in total agreement over a contract that would cover both 2020 and 2021 racing at...

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IRB Stunner: No Contract Means No Arlington Dates Decision Yet

In a move that seemed to catch some industry stakeholders off guard Friday, the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) deferred voting on approving a long-awaited plan to belatedly start the 2020 race meet at Arlington International Racecourse, citing the lack of a contract between the track and the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA) as the sole reason. Friday's "special" meeting had been convened primarily for the purpose of getting Arlington back up and running after months of squabbling between the horsemen and the track, plus the COVID-19 pandemic that caused Arlington...

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Grilling on the Menu for Arlington at IRB Meeting

After an Arlington International Racecourse president Tony Petrillo reiterated that Chicago's premier Thoroughbred track won't seek to start racing until spectators are permitted, Illinois Racing Board (IRB) commissioner Thomas McCauley grilled him at length Friday as to why Arlington's refusal to go spectator-free is out of step with tracks nationwide that are starting to emerge from COVID-19 restrictions. McCauley, who for months now has been practically the only IRB member to ask direct questions of witnesses, also pressed Petrillo during Friday's monthly tele-meeting on why Arlington's plans for getting up...

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