Arlington Park news release
Contact: David Zenner
ARLINGTON PARK PURSES REDUCED BY 20 PERCENT BEGINNING MAY 4
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 1, 2012) – As a consequence of the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA) not allowing Arlington Park to accept wagers on its races outside of Illinois, Arlington Park is forced to announce that purses will be reduced by 20 percent beginning Friday May 4, 2012.
In the interest of Illinois horse racing and as a last ditch effort to avoid a purse reduction, attached is a letter to Glen Berman of the ITHA dated Sunday, April 29, 2012 setting forth Arlington Park's offer to operate the 2012 race meet under the previously agreed to 2011 agreement while both sides continue to negotiate to resolve outstanding issues. Unfortunately, our offer was not accepted. This offer is still open for the ITHA's acceptance and Arlington Park will reinstate purses as soon as we can once again accept wagers from outside of Illinois.
We remain optimistic that the horsemen will take action and accept our offer of racing under the 2011 agreement so that purses can be restored.
April 28, 2012
Glen E. Berman
Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Inc.
7301 W. 25th St. Suite 321
North Riverside IL 60546
RE: 2012 Purse Agreement
In the interest of time, the best interests of the Illinois horseracing industry, and in an effort to resolve, in good faith, the outstanding issues between Arlington Park and the ITHA with regard to the 2012 purse agreement, Arlington proposes the following:
1. Arlington and the ITHA will conduct the 2012 race meet operating under the terms of the 2011 purse agreement dated April 10, 2011, with the following exception regarding the 3% impact fee monies from the Horse Racing Equity Trust Fund that were released from escrow in 2011 (the “Impact Fee”). With respect to the Impact Fee, Arlington accepts the proposal submitted by the ITHA in the mark-up of the 2012 purse agreement sent on April 24, 2012 as modified below:
On or about August 9, 2011, approximately $26 million of these Impact Fee monies was released to the horsemen's purse account at Arlington Park. Ten percent of the Impact Fee monies were agreed by the parties to apply to purses for the 2011 meeting. As of January 31, 2012, $23,620,958.32 of the Impact Fee monies remained. These remaining monies are to be kept in a segregated, fully-insured, interest-bearing account. Arlington agrees to apply no less than one-third of the remaining Impact Fee monies for the payment of purses during the 2012 race meeting and to apply the balance of these Impact Fee monies for the payment of purses during the 2013 and 2014 race meetings. The allocation of the Impact Fee monies between the 2013 and 2014 race meetings will depend on actual or anticipated receipt of additional supplemental monies to purses from new sources, such as the Des Plaines 10th casino impact fee and the authorization for Arlington to conduct slot machine or other casino gaming. If monies are received as anticipated in advance of or during the 2014 race meeting from slots or the Des Plaines casino the remaining money will be split in an amount with the intent to ensure purses in 2014 or no less than purses in 2013.
2. The ITHA shall provide its consent for Arlington to conduct interstate simulcasting of its races by extending the 2011 consent letter for the 2012 racing meet.
3. After a cooling off period of thirty days, Arlington and the ITHA will meet to discuss and negotiate all outstanding issues between the parties.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 90-day meet in 2012 from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, Sept. 30. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 11 off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities – Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Waukegan, Tavern on North featuring Trackside Villa Park, Shooters Bar & Grill at Don Carter Lanes featuring Trackside Rockford, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Stanley’s Ale House featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry, TADS Sports Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit and Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.