Really Sorry To See This Happening

October 12th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Monday, October 12, 2015

The IHHA received this notice from Balmoral Park:

Effective:  Friday, January 8, 2016, Balmoral Park barn, track and dormitory housing will be closed.   All persons, animals and personal belongings must be removed before January 8, 2016, so please plan accordingly

Racing dates for 2016

September 30th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

A joint dates proposal submitted by Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course was approved by the Illinois Racing Board on Tuesday, leaving Chicago with 21 fewer Thoroughbred racing dates in 2016 than the year before, according to The Daily Racing Form.

Arlington’s meet is down to 74 days from 77, while Hawthorne will be down from 83 racing days this year to 65 next year. The agreement keeps Hawthorne’s purse structure the same but will boost purses for Arlington next year.

The 2016 arrangement is a one-year deal as officials hope that Illinois will soon pass legislation that would allow expanded gaming at racetracks.

The plan left Standardbred fixtures Balmoral and Maywood without any dates in 2016, a move that the tracks’ ownership had previously said would likely lead to the sale of both facilities by the Johnston family.


As you can see in the above article, all tracks were awarded less days for 2016 than they ran this year, with two tracks receiving none. Reality has arrived my friends.

Let’s talk about our track. We have been racing for many years with an overpaid purse account. When we received the monies from the impact fee, we owed over three million dollars to Fairmount Park. If we hadn’t received that money, we would have been closed by now. We took the remaining impact fee money and spread it over three years which allowed us to raise our bottom purse to $5000 which is the largest in the track’s history. Well folks that money is gone. We finished this season one million dollars plus overpaid. The owner then said that we must be at a -0- balance by the end of 2016. In order to do this management offered a 30 day meet next year. After many negotiations and board meetings we were then offered two choices. 36 days of racing at 8 races per day or 42 days of racing at 7 races per day since we could not fill 8 in 2015. All board members except one  who gave no opinion signed off on the 42 days. Other members of the association were asked to weigh in as well. In order to keep the purse level the same as last year another concession was made by management. The training expense will not be deducted from the purse account next year. It will be deferred until 30 days after a gaming bill becomes reality or until January 1 2017 which it will be repaid in 12 monthly installments. All of this will lead us to a -0- balance in the purse account by the end of next year.

Any hope of starting earlier in 2016 was gone with the Hawthorne/Arlington plan being approved. Racing this year during the live Hawthorne meet proved unsuccessful.

As far as the gap between September and May, the on track training will continue as it has for many years to allow our horsemen to have the opportunity to race basically year round as they have done and continue to do as we speak.

These are tough times for every track in Illinois and every group has been forced to think outside the box.

From today and going forward, we all should have only one thing on our minds. Pass a gaming bill in the spring!  If we don’t, training expense and racing days will no longer be a concern.

Membership Roster

September 17th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks


Attention Horsemen! We are in the process of updating our membership roster, as we do at the end of each racing season. Please e-mail the association if your address has changed at

Charlie Buchanan Passes away

September 9th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Just got a call from John Wainwright with the sad news that long time owner Charlie Buchanan passed away today. Charlie was a good guy who hung in there through all the ups and downs that owning horses brings.

Arrangements are pending, but visitation will be at Ziegenhein & Sons Funeral Home which is located in St. Louis County. The address is 4830 Lemay Ferry Rd. St. Louis 63129

We will re-post the details when they become available.

4830 Lemay Ferry Road
St. Louis, MO 63129
Phone: 314-894-8444

Loving people and serving them ~ kindness always


Charles R. Buchanan

April 16, 1932 – September 08, 2015
Saint Louis, Missouri

Buchanan, Charles R., entered into rest on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at the age of 83. Beloved father of Mary Towersey and the late Theresa Buchanan; dear grandfather of Dawn (John) Beaudoin and Johnathon Buchanan; dear great-grandfather of Elizabeth and Taylor Beaudoin; our dear brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin and friend to many.

Charlie worked 47 years as an electrician for Anheuser-Busch and as a hobby he owned and raced horses. Mary requests that instead of sending flowers, you make a donation to the Humane Society of Missouri.

Services: Funeral Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 10:00 am at
JOHN L. ZIEGENHEIN & SONS (South County), 4830 Lemay Ferry Road (63129). Interment Shepherd Hills Cemetery. VISITATION FRIDAY 4~9 PM.



September 11, 2015
04:00 am – 9:00 pm
John L. Ziegenhein & Sons South County
4830 Lemay Ferry Rd. St. Louis, MO 63129

Get Directions


September 12, 2015
10:00 am –
John L. Ziegenhein & Sons South County
4830 Lemay Ferry Rd. St. Louis, MO 63129

One of the few left.

September 7th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Our own B.C. Wilborn is celebrating his 94th birthday today. B.C. is one of the few remaining survivors of Pearl Harbor. We thank him for his service and always look forward to seeing him. Have a great day B.C.

Attention Horsemen

September 5th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Starting next week the new training hours will be from 7:00 until 11:30. Track will be closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

Happy Horsemen At Fairmount

August 25th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

The H.B.P.A. delivered over 1000 items of horse supplies today to Fairmount trainers and owners at no cost to the horsemen. A big crowd took little time unloading the trucks. Thanks to all horsemen who helped deliver the goods. Pictures can be seen on our Facebook page as well as Barn To Wire’s Facebook page. Enjoy!

Jim Hickam

August 20th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Very sorry to report that long time horsemen Jim Hickam passed away. Visitation will be Sunday from 4 until 8 pm at Herr Funeral Home. Services will be Monday at 10am at the Funeral Home.



August 18th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

We will have 24 pallets of free supplies for the horsemen next Monday the 24th. We will leave to pick them up right after training and should be in front of the HBPA office a little after 11.

Audit and Training

August 7th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Attention Horsemen,
Last month current audits were requested by the Illinois Racing Board from the ITHA, HBPA, and IHHA. Our current audit was sent to the I.R.B. A copy of that comprehensive audit is and has been available for viewing in the H.B.P.A. office “by any board member or any association member for any proper purpose”.

WINTER TRAINING: We will remain open for training from the end of this meet and through the beginning of the 2016 meet.
Purses for 2016 will remain the same as this year.
Dates for next year will be determined at the September Dates Hearing