Sorry to report that our President John Wainwright’s Mother has passed away. The thoughts of all John’s friends are with him and his Sister.
Good Afternoon-The budget negotiation stalemate in Springfield continues. As a result, on Tuesday, a Cook County judge issued a ruling barring the Comptroller from paying all state employees full wages. Instead, the judge ruled that only some employees can be paid the federal minimum wage. Unfortunately, Racing Board employees are not part of this group. Under this court’s ruling, no state employees would be paid full wages.
If there were a shutdown, the impact to the industry at this point of the race season will be dramatic. We would not be able to regulate pari-mutuel wagering at the live race meet, ADW platform or simulcast locations.
This is strikingly similar to the 2011 Minnesota state government shutdown. The shutdown was the result of a fiscal dispute that was not resolved by the deadline on June 30. The shutdown started at midnight on July 1, and ended after a budget bill was passed and signed on July 20.
During the shutdown all less important parts of the state government, that were not identified as critical services before the shutdown or in several court cases, suspended their operations. Including the regulation of racing.
According to an email we received last night, the Administration has filed an expedited appeal in the First District Appellate Court seeking to overturn the order issued yesterday in Cook County. Additionally, a separate legal effort filed in St. Clair County is ongoing, and the Administration expects movement on that case later in the week.
Additionally, the Administration is currently drafting legislation that will make state employee pay a continuing appropriation for the fiscal year, guaranteeing wages paid. Legislators are already guaranteed their pay under continuing appropriations. The legislation will be introduced by Leader Durkin and Leader Radogno as soon as it is ready..
There are minute to minute changes on this issue and when details become available we will communicate them. Under this cover of uncertainty and until such time a decision is made the staff continues to manage the day today issues. Obviously, if any of these measures are successful during the next couple of days we should not expect any interruption.
Feel free to contact me should you have any additional concerns.
The track will be closed for training the next two Wednesdays July 8th. and 15th. in order to add material to the surface.
I’ve just been informed by Lori that entries will be taken tomorrow (Saturday) for Tuesday.
Due to track conditions racing is cancelled for tonight Friday June 19. We will resume racing tomorrow night.
Friday races 3 through 7 are back as extras for Tuesday.
FOAL PAPERS ON FILE IN CLAIMING RACES
Effective immediately: Horses may be allowed to start in a claiming race without foal papers being on file if the provided request form is properly submitted and all conditions listed on form are agreed to and if approved by the Stewards prior to start.
This policy will be strictly adhered to and if not properly submitted and approved, the horse will not be allowed to start.
Permission forms are available in the H.B.P.A. office.
The May I.R.B. meeting will be held next Tuesday at Fairmount Park. It will convene at 10:30 in the Top Of The Turf. This is a unique opportunity to see how the Board functions in person. There are several very important issues on the agenda this month, so I urge everyone to attend. The meeting is open to the public, but seating is limited.
The annual H.B.P.A. golf tournament will be Thursday June 18th at Arlington Golf Course with a 10 am shotgun start. $25 per player includes 18 holes with a riding cart and dinner and prizes after. Sign up in the H.B.P.A. office. You can also call to reserve a spot for your team. 618-345-7724
Join us tonight in the First Turn Cafe for a night at the races with Representative Jay Hoffman. There will be food, drink and a chance to talk to Jay about the impending Gaming bill. Just tell the door person that you’re with the HBPA.
We are so sorry to report that our dear friend for many years Alma Berkemeier passed away on Saturday. Alma and her daughter Linda were passionate horsemen for many years. Alma was a kind and wonderful woman and we will miss her so much. She was 98 years old.
Visitation will be this evening from 5 until 8 at Stygar funeral home, 13980 New Halls Ferry Rd. Florissant Rd. 63033
On Wednesday April 15, the RICF will be holding a health fair which will include adult and child immunizations for measles. It will be from 8:30 am until early afternoon in the medical trailer.
Also, we have a new Doctor! His name is Dr. Brian Ruiz and he will be here on Tuesdays from 8:30 to 12:30 beginning April 21.