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IRB NOTES

Illinois Racing Board

IRB assigns 2006 race dates

Arlington's meet will run from May 5 September 14, covering all three Triple Crown races. Arlington will also be the simulcast host track for January 3 to February 8.

Hawthorne National (Sportsman's) will become host track on February 9 with live racing to start February 24 and run through May 4. The track will run a regular five-day schedule with Monday and Tuesday dark.

Hawthorne will complete their 2005 meet on Jan 2, 2006, then pick up again on September 15, after Arlington closes, and run through the end of the year.

Hawthorne will again host harness racing as Suburban Downs, but only six days a week, from May 6 to June 17, 43 host days. The dark day was not specified. Suburban will waive the additional recapture for extra dark days. This is similar to the way Thoroughbred meets handle recapture.

Arlington will run for 95 days in 2006, up from 94 this year. Total host days is 170, up from 164.

Sportsman's at Hawthorne will run 49 days in 2006, down from 54 this year, with total host days of 85, down from 87. Hawthorne will run 80 rather than this year's 73, with total host days of 110, down from 114.

Fairmount Park in southern Illinois will run March 14 through September4, and will still be able to simulcast despite running only 90 days.

Balmoral will race four days a week from January 1 to February 18, dark on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Super Bowl Sunday, February 5. On those seven Saturdays, Balmoral will run doubleheaders.

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

The board approved the harness schedule by a 6 to 5 vote, and the Thoroughbred schedule by a voice vote. A motion to not give dates to NJC was defeated 9-2.

During the dates presentation the board also discussed purse levels, the financial stability of the NJC, and its new board. Balmoral and Maywood have still not agreed to a contract with the horsemen for 2006.

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