Happy Hour, you have excellent insight to what has happened to the smaller Illinois based harness stables in Illinois. And the IRB board vote giving even more power to t-bred race secretaries will be causing another big bump in the road for ICF races and Illinois based horsemen.
The salvation for t-breds is the 60% extra money for ICF horses that win in open company, overnight races. The insignificant amount that you guys provide in harness racing owners awards helps, but it is not enough to keep racing ICF horses.
So your stake races will continue to not fill, your country fair program will dry up, your breeders will either quit or start shipping in semen from out of state. What little clout horsemen now have with the Illinois legislature will be gone because the value to the state agriculture will be diminished. It all starts with the kind of races your race secretary chooses to use.
Your state appears to be headed for less racing opportunities and bigger purses. Hello big time training operations that have access to a lot of financial resources. Goodbye Mom and Pop operations and small time owners unless they are happy with a little percentage of really good out of state bred horses.
The ICF program isn't the cause of your demise. Rather the program and the smaller Illinois based stables, owners, and breeders are the victims.
There goes your agriculture base and the only reason your state legislature might some day listen to your pleas for a better deal.
Knowitall had posted this elsewhere. For the recapture experts, why did the IRB certified recapture amounts to Haw for harness racing to the amount of 936,804, for 2016. I thought a track needed just a few racing dates prior year to qualify? Hawthorne had zero.