Attention Horsemen !!!

January 23rd, 2017 | written by Pete Scalcione

Some sad news to report, Donna Rosie Mosier, wife of Trainer/Owner Harry Mosier has passed away.  She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.  I will post arrangements when available.

Attention Horsemen !!!

January 22nd, 2017 | written by Pete Scalcione

One barn at Turfway Park and two at Keeneland are quarantined and the horses residing within them are being tested after a filly that left Turfway Park for a breeding farm tested positive for the wild-type strain of equine herpesvirus (EHV-1).

An email release issued by Rusty Ford, Equine Programs Manager for the Office of the State Veterinarian in Kentucky, said the affected filly is in isolation on a private farm in Kentucky.

Although the affected filly came from Turfway and not Keeneland, the barns at Keeneland were quarantined after officials analyzed movement records of horses shipping from the barns at Keeneland and the barn where the filly resided at Turfway, the release said. Test results from the quarantined horses at Turfway are not expected until late Monday.

The quarantine, issued early Saturday morning, temporarily restricts horses to their barns, preventing training or racing – which led to scratches on Saturday night’s card at Turfway, including The Great War, who had been the morning-line favorite in that evening’s Forego Stakes.

Wesley Ward, one of four trainers with quarantined horses in barn 27 at Turfway, said none of his horses is showing signs of sickness or running temperatures.

The wild-type strain of the equine herpesvirus is far less dangerous than neuropathogenic strain. It is endemic in horse populations, and typically produces nothing more than mild illness. Seemingly healthy horses can also test positive for it.

This latest positive test for equine herpesvirus follows positive tests at Fair Grounds in Louisiana and two locations in Oldham County, Ky., one of which was Highpointe Training Center, a facility from which horses often ship to Turfway to race.

After the discovery of the equine herpesvirus there, proactive measures were implemented at Turfway earlier this year to decrease the chance of it spreading. Because of these measures, Ford states in his email release, “we are optimistic our efforts will pay a dividend and that we have minimized risk of disease transmission on the backside.”

Even stricter protocols are now in place after the latest discovery, with Turfway requiring all ship-in horses to have health certificates from a veterinarian within 24 hours of their arrival to the track, down from the 72-hour timeframe that had been the rule.

“We want people to have a lot of confidence that things are being managed at Turfway,” said Chip Bach, the track’s general manager.

Bach said Sunday morning the quarantined horses could resume training separate from the general horse population if cleared by Ford after more testing and information becomes known.

As a result of the latest quarantine, Gulfstream Park announced Sunday it would not accept shippers from Kentucky

Attention Horsemen !!!

January 22nd, 2017 | written by Pete Scalcione

Attention !!!  Attention !!! Attention !!!

Please be advised that as of this date, 1/22/2017 NO HORSES will be allowed to enter the grounds if they have been at Turfway Park.  Currently Turfway has had 1 confirmed case of Equine Herpes, (Barn 27 in now under quarantine).  There are other issues in the State at different places as well.  If you wish to race at Turfway you may leave to race, but will not be allowed to re-enter the grounds here at Fairmount until you follow certain protocol to be sure your horse is not sick.

The protocol to re-enter Fairmount will be a veterinarian slip that states your horse has had NO temperature for 14 consecutive days.

We are sorry if this causes any inconvenience to anyone, but we must protect our horses and insure we have no issues here at Fairmount in order to run in Chicago’s spring meet as well has run our meet which starts in May.

If you have not had your horse vaccinated or you are unsure, please contact one of the vets and get it done ASAP.  Your horses need to be re-vaccinated every 120 days.

Clearly once Turfway and Kentucky removes the quarantine and tells us all is clear, we will lift this re-entry process.

Please stay tuned, there will be follow up information.

Press Release to Gov. Rauner !!!

January 17th, 2017 | written by Pete Scalcione
A Plea to Gov. Bruce Rauner: Join Us in Asking the Illinois Racing Board to Stop Racetracks from Raiding Purse Dollars and Destroying Illinois Jobs
 
Statement from Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association,
Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association and 
Illinois Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association
Illinois regulators will soon decide whether horse racing tracks can take for themselves more than $11 million in purse money intended to pay backstretch workers, jockeys, drivers, blacksmiths, veterinarians, hay and feed suppliers, trainers and other workers.
If the Illinois Racing Board on Jan. 24 votes to allow the tracks to raid purses, it will expedite the collapse of an industry already shedding jobs and struggling to compete with racing in other states, such as neighboring Indiana and Iowa, where gaming revenue is used to boost purses, enhance competition and improve racing quality.
Illinois thoroughbred and standardbred owners and trainers ask the IRB to vote against allowing tracks to take dollars explicitly earmarked – as a percentage of handle (the amount wagered) – for purses. We respectfully request that Gov. Bruce Rauner use his platform to make it clear to IRB commissioners, the majority of whom he has appointed, that they should side with the thousands of men and women who work each day for a share of those purses. With Illinois unemployment higher than the national average, this state cannot afford the job cuts that inevitably will result from a significant purse reduction. Every dollar the tracks remove from purses represents a dollar of lost economic opportunity.
In 2016, Arlington Park alone took $4.4 million from purses, depleting them by nearly $60,000 per race day. The track seized that purse money even as its parent company, Churchill Downs Inc., reported “record net revenue” during each of the first three quarters of last year. Had Arlington not raided the purse account, daily overnight purses would have been 46 percent greater, rising from $130,730 to $190,324. That would have dramatically strengthened overnight races at that track and helped stanch the loss of jobs across Illinois’ horse racing industry.
“Recapture” Means “Corporate Welfare” 
The practice of “recapture” was never intended to become corporate welfare, enabling tracks to subsidize their own operations while squeezing the life out of live racing. But since 1995, when recapture began, the IRB has signed off on diverting a staggering $262.1 million in purse money to track owners. (Even after accounting for reimbursements the state made to purse accounts more than 15 years ago, purses still have lost more than $200 million.) While the racetracks enjoy that herculean subsidy, horsemen compete for purses that, at best, cover less than half of our cost to buy, train, feed and care for the horses around which our sport revolves.
Recapture is unique to Illinois and from another era of horse racing – one in which tracks feared the loss of live handle relating (at the time in 1995) to the growth of simulcasting of races from other states. Since 2009, track owners here and across the nation have embraced advance deposit wagering, a technology that has largely supplanted full-card simulcasting and which has been highly profitable for them.
When a dollar is wagered via ADW, a portion of that dollar goes to the ADW operator and that leaves less for the track and the purse account to split. But while it may appear that track owners get less when bets are made over ADW, they are in fact making more because all the tracks in Illinois are financially tied to the ADW companies taking those bets.
Arlington, for example, is connected to TwinSpires.com – a fellow subsidiary of Churchill Downs Inc. and the self-described “largest legal online gaming platform in the U.S.” When a bet is made on TwinSpires, the horsemen’s purse account earns less while Arlington’s parent company (which enjoys the shares of both the ADW company and the track) keeps more. In its third-quarter report for 2016, CDI said “TwinSpires handle grew 14.3%, outpacing the U.S. thoroughbred industry performance by 13.5 percentage points.”
IRB Must Act in Accordance with Horse Racing Act
Until such time that Illinois lawmakers authorize tracks to host gaming for the purpose of bolstering purses, the surest way to immediately and dramatically improve purses would be to unceremoniously stop the tracks from draining them. (Prior to the legislature’s recent “lame duck” session, the IRB unsuccessfully promoted legislation that, in its view, would have allowed the transfer of up to $500,000 in pari-mutuel tax dollars from the IRB’s budget to the purse account. Click here for the ITHA’s statement on that proposal.) With Illinois thoroughbred and standardbred racing now rapidly contracting – handle and purses are down dramatically, as is the state’s racing horse population – continuing recapture would contradict the spirit, if not the letter, of the law underpinning our sport.
The Illinois Horse Racing Act requires the board to consider “the need to ensure reasonable purse levels” before it can permit any amount of recapture. The Act further specifies that its entire purpose – and, by extension, the IRB’s mission – is to: support and enhance the racing industry; ensure that Illinois racing stays competitive with other states; stimulate growth of racing; promote the growth of tourism; encourage the breeding of thoroughbred and standardbred horses in our state; and maintain public confidence and trust in the credibility and integrity of racing operations and the regulatory process.
On Jan. 24, the IRB can vote to honor the law’s intent, truly promote Illinois racing, and end recapture, which will halt the exodus of racing jobs from our state, preserve what remains of breeding, attract additional bettors, and, ultimately, grow field size and handle. Or, it can maintain the status quo and hasten the demise of Illinois racing.

Attention Horsemen and Membership !!!

January 16th, 2017 | written by Pete Scalcione

We have scheduled a General Membership Meeting for Monday, January 30th at 6:00 PM on the 2nd floor of the grandstand near the paddock in the horsemen’s section.  Hope to see everyone there !!!!

Attention Horsemen and Membership !!!

January 13th, 2017 | written by Pete Scalcione

Wanted to pass along a bit of information.  There is a new budget proposal for the State of Illinois, this budget proposal includes Gaming Expansion, which includes slots at tracks. This means our slots at tracks bill is back in action and could possibly pass along with the budget.  There is most likely allot of work to be done before anything happens and before any budget is voted on. One never knows what our legislators will do, as we have seen in the past.  There is only one positive note at this point, at least we are back in the game !!!

Things will probably progress over the next 60 days, as they do we will update here whether it be good or bad !!!  Stay tuned…..

Attention Horsemen and Membership !!!

January 8th, 2017 | written by Pete Scalcione

Please be advised that we will be holding a General Membership meeting this month for the purposes of updating all and answering any and all questions that any may have.  Once I have the date and time I will post here, please check back in a few days.

Attention Horsemen !!!

January 7th, 2017 | written by Pete Scalcione

The track will remain closed and re-open on Tuesday Jan. 10th, I will post opening and closing time on Monday.

Attention Horsemen !!!

January 5th, 2017 | written by Pete Scalcione

The track will be closed today, 1/5/2016 and through the weekend, if the weather allows, it will re-open on Monday January 8th.  Please check back for further updates.

Attention Horsemen !!!

December 27th, 2016 | written by Pete Scalcione

The track will be open tomorrow Wednesday, December 28th from 10:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.