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IRB NOTES

Illinois Racing Board

IRB assigns 2005 race dates

Arlington's meet will run from May 11, with the first racing day being Friday, May 13, through September 22. Arlington will also be the simulcast host track for the balance of January.

Hawthorne National (Sportsman's) will become host track on Wednesday, February 13 with live racing to start February 25 and run through May 10. The track will run a regular five-day schedule with Wednesday and Thursday dark.

Hawthorne will become the simulcast host track on September 23, after Arlington closes, and run through the end of the year. Hawthorne will also finish off the 2004 meet with racing on January 1 and 2 in 2006. In addition, Hawthorne will be host track for simulcast from February 1 to February 12.

Hawthorne will again host harness racing as Suburban Downs, but as part of a blended schedule, from June 5 to August 26, for 48 days (down from 55 in 2004). Suburban will race on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. During this time, Maywood will race Thursday night, and Balmoral will race Tuesday and Saturday.

Arlington will run for 94 days in 2005, down from 96 this year. Total host days is 164.

Sportsman's at Hawthorne will run 54 days in 2005, up from 47 this year, with total host days of 87. Hawthorne will run 73 rather than this year's 69, with total host days of 114.

Fairmount Park in southern Illinois will run March 25 through November 26, with an option to drop some of those days. There are 142 total days assigned.

Maywood and Balmoral will split the rest of the harness year between them, with Balmoral racing Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Maywood will race Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The board approved the schedule by a 6 to 5 vote, after defeating a previous proposal by a 6 to 5 vote.

During the dates presentation the board also discussed purse levels at Arlington, the one percent win surcharge at Balmoral and Maywood, and bettor representation. Balmoral announced that a contract with the horsemen for 2005 was agreed to this morning.

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