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Illinois Racing Board

Illinois Racing Board 10/10/06

Racing board upholds purse decision, authorizes task forces
By Janine Starykowicz

CRETE, IL The Illinois Racing Board today upheld the purse redistribution for Strong Tea, who won the $160,000 American National Two-Year-Old Filly Trot at Balmoral in 2004. Strong Tea subsequently tested positive for Mepivacaine, a Class 2 drug. In June, the board had voted to reverse the purse redistribution.

At the August meeting, the board had voted to reconsider reopening that vote. The original ruling had never been finalized in writing, and after discussion the board voted to reopen the original decision. Because the existing rule states no level of a prohibited drug can be found in a horse's system on race day, the board unanimously voted to uphold the stewards' disqualification of Strong Tea and redistribution of the purse.

Afterwards, Chairman Lorna Propes proposed a task force on medication rules and threshold levels, to bring Illinois rules more in line with various model rules and rules in other states. The task force will report back in 60 days.

The board also approved Arlington Park's request for a new OTB in Hodgkins, Illinois. After the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association testified against the OTB because of its effect on live handle at Hawthorne, Chairman Propes asked all the tracks to consider capping future recapture at 2006 levels. "It might be a step in the right direction," said Propes, considering all lost monies would go to increase purses.

Arlington Park President Roy Arnold reported that the track has been peeled back and inspected, and they "have not found anything other than normal wear and tear on the limestone base." All work has been filmed, and the cushion is being screened and processed before being replaced.

Propes quizzed both Arnold and Hawthorne President Tim Carey about the status of a track vet and progress towards necropsies of all breakdowns. Carey reported that there have been two breakdowns at Hawthorne so far, one a heart attack and one after the wire.

Propes then proposed another task force, on artificial surfaces. The task force will be made up of two board members and representatives from both Arlington and Hawthorne.

 

 

 

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