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Illinois Racing Board

Illinois Racing Board
August 4, 2006

Contact: Mickey Ezzo


CHICAGO, IL -- The Illinois Racing Board announced today that it has hired Michael Peterson, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine, to conduct a third evaluation of Arlington Park’s main track. Mr. Peterson recently completed an inspection of Del Mar’s racetrack and has worked with California tracks on maintenance and safety. This action is being taken because the Board learned last week that its first consultant, Gregory Coon, met privately with Arlington executives after his examination of the track surface and prior to the preparation of his final report. Additionally, the Board’s consultant made recommendations directly to Arlington Park which were not included in his official report.

Illinois Racing Board Executive Director Marc Laino said, “Extensive discussions with Mr. Coon have satisfied us that none of his recommendations were related to track safety or were intended to correct any deficiency in the track, Mr. Coon found the track to be safe and could not identify, then or now, any condition of the track which, in his opinion, contributed to the recent rash of breakdowns. Nevertheless, the circumstances of his interaction with Arlington Park called into question the independence of his evaluation. We are confident that this third evaluation will provide valuable insight into these important issues. The Illinois Racing Board is committed to taking every possible action to ensure the safety of horses and jockeys.”

Arlington Park will be required to reimburse the Racing Board for the cost of this third evaluation. The IRB announced that it will not take any disciplinary action against Arlington Park in connection with these events.




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