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Author Topic: WHY DID HAWTHORNE LOSE THE WINTER MEET?  (Read 913 times)
off stride
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« on: March 22, 2006, 12:04:44 PM »

after posting on the 'other side' of the barn to wire about hawthornes winter meet i received two explanations why it came to a close. one was that maywood took the dates away and hawthorne didnt want them and one was a 6:30 time  for harness racing to begin, also some crap about the placing of light standards at hawthorne and an unsafe hubrail .. perhaps you veterans of the chicago scene can fill me in on exactly why the best meet of all has been discontinued?
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2006, 12:09:58 PM »

after posting on the 'other side' of the barn to wire about hawthornes winter meet i received two explanations why it came to a close. one was that maywood took the dates away and hawthorne didnt want them and one was a 6:30 time  for harness racing to begin, also some crap about the placing of light standards at hawthorne and an unsafe hubrail .. perhaps you veterans of the chicago scene can fill me in on exactly why the best meet of all has been discontinued?

It was all tied into the shift that occurred when Spk no longer took harness dates.

That start time stuff is pure BS.  That's just sissy talk.  As far as the light standards, I'm not sure...but I will say -- the turf course at Haw is elevated about 1-2 feet above the main track, and there's only about 2-3 feet of space inside the pylons.  If somebody ever gets that far inside, it's going to hurt.

Best,
EW
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Dan Nance
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2006, 12:13:29 PM »

after posting on the 'other side' of the barn to wire about hawthornes winter meet i received two explanations why it came to a close. one was that maywood took the dates away and hawthorne didnt want them and one was a 6:30 time  for harness racing to begin, also some crap about the placing of light standards at hawthorne and an unsafe hubrail .. perhaps you veterans of the chicago scene can fill me in on exactly why the best meet of all has been discontinued?

There is only one reason why Hawthorne does not have the great winter double headers and that is because when Bidwell had the great idea of turning Sportsman's Park into a place where hillbilly's can watch fast cars go around in circles they closed the barn area.

    When there was no place for the t-breds to stable during their off time (Jan.& Feb.) because Sportsman's Park had no barn area they just stayed at Hawthorne after the t-bred meet ended in Dec.

    Once again the harness got screwed in favor of the Chicago t-bred rats that needed somewhere to stable for the winter. This is the reason and the only reason why harness does not race at Hawthorne in the winter anymore.

  P.O THE T-BREDS !
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Thomas Graham
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2006, 12:17:44 PM »

EW is right. Hwwthorne never ewanted to give up the winter harness meeting.  I recall that in the second dates hearing for '98 (the one after Arlington gave back its dates) and the t-bred year was cut to 8 months and divided 4 months at each SPT and HAW, Tom Carey Sr. stood up and asked about his winter harness date (which he had been awarded in the first dates hearing for '98) and in not so many words, the commissioners told him to sit down, shut up and not be greedy as we was getting 6 months of T-breds (4 live months and 2 months of host time).  In 1998, it still would have been possible to run a harness meet as the barns at SPT were still available for winter t-bred stabling.

By the dates hearing in Sept. '98 to award the '99 dates, it was a moot point. SPT had torn down its barns, was running its '99 meet at HAW and needed the barns and track for winter stabling/training.

The following year, AP was back in the picture and HAW requested harness dates in the summer to essentially replace to old SPT harness meet, but was denied (safety rail, lights, etc.) and it wasn't until 2002 that they were awarded any harness dates.

In the three seasons since it has been back, it had one season of early-summer dates, one season of mid-summer dates and then last year's three-way split summer schedule.

No way to build any continuity in the simulcast marketplace.

Hawthorne has been treated terribly unfairly by the IRB with regard to the harness meet IMHO.

TJG --- not the trainer.
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Petro
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2006, 12:19:22 PM »

BIDWELL IS A REAL MORON!!!!

THE DOUBLEHEADERS AT HAWTHORNE WERE AWESOME!!!!  IF HAWTHORNE DOESN'T GET AT LEAST 3 MONTHS NEXT YEAR THE HARNESS SPORT WILL BECOME EXTINCT!!!


CAN IT GET ANY WORSE!!!
« Last Edit: March 22, 2006, 12:21:01 PM by Petro » Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2006, 12:23:20 PM »

In the three seasons since it has been back, it had one season of early-summer dates, one season of mid-summer dates and then last year's three-way split summer schedule.

No way to build any continuity in the simulcast marketplace.

Hawthorne has been treated terribly unfairly by the IRB with regard to the harness meet IMHO.

Completely correct.  The worst part is that you have a SHARP staff over there that does great contests, actually runs ads, a better location, and a nicer plant.

That mess in 1997-1999 was just that...a mess.  There was one flats track pouting, another one building an auto track, one caught in the middle, and a "B" harness track suddenly promoted to an "A."  It's a miracle we've gotten this far.

Best,
EW
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2006, 12:33:41 PM »

(This was copied and pasted here from the Thoroughbred side)


HUH?? Here is what happened. In 1998 Arlington decided not to race because Dick D. wanted slots and didn't get them. Arlington said that they would go bankrupt if they had to race and compete against the riverboats.
At the same time, Sportsman's closed for 2 years to build the Chicago Motor Speedway. The Illinois Racing Board asked Hawthorne NOT to apply for harness dates to help keep Thoroughbred racing alive in Illinois, and gave Hawthorne year round dates. For the next 18 months Hawthorne was only dark for a total of 5 months. In 2000 Arlington again asked for dates and got them.
Sportsmans asked for dates and got them.
Hawthorne got their thoroughbred dates, but were refused the harness dates Jan. 1 to Feb 15th. The racing board told them that they had given the dates up, but in fact it was because the IRB ASKED Hawthorne to give them up to help keep thoroughbred racing alive in Illinois. That's typical Illinois politics at it's finest!
Then the next year(2001-2002) is when the Fontenau(sic) rail and track lighting issue came into the picture as another political ploy to keep harness racing out of Hawthorne. This was a joint alliance with the IHHA and the Johnson family.
Hawthorne installed a new state of the art track lighting system at a cost of $2,000,000.00+, and removed the Fontenau(sic) rail - replacing it with the current system that I engineered, and Tim Beckers crew installed. It still took 1 more year before the IRB gave the harness dates back to Hawthorne, but instead of the old winter dates - they gave them summer night dates.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2006, 12:37:44 PM by BeauNarro » Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2006, 12:46:00 PM »

EW is right. Hwwthorne never ewanted to give up the winter harness meeting.  I recall that in the second dates hearing for '98 (the one after Arlington gave back its dates) and the t-bred year was cut to 8 months and divided 4 months at each SPT and HAW, Tom Carey Sr. stood up and asked about his winter harness date (which he had been awarded in the first dates hearing for '98) and in not so many words, the commissioners told him to sit down, shut up and not be greedy as we was getting 6 months of T-breds (4 live months and 2 months of host time).  In 1998, it still would have been possible to run a harness meet as the barns at SPT were still available for winter t-bred stabling.

By the dates hearing in Sept. '98 to award the '99 dates, it was a moot point. SPT had torn down its barns, was running its '99 meet at HAW and needed the barns and track for winter stabling/training.

The following year, AP was back in the picture and HAW requested harness dates in the summer to essentially replace to old SPT harness meet, but was denied (safety rail, lights, etc.) and it wasn't until 2002 that they were awarded any harness dates.

In the three seasons since it has been back, it had one season of early-summer dates, one season of mid-summer dates and then last year's three-way split summer schedule.

No way to build any continuity in the simulcast marketplace.

Hawthorne has been treated terribly unfairly by the IRB with regard to the harness meet IMHO.

TJG --- not the trainer.
Tom:

     I could have not said it any better. Why Hawthorne keeps getting screwed on the winter harness double-headers nobody knows, but I have a feeling you will see a big change this September at the date’s hearings.  If Propes and company does not realize that a early winter and mid-summer 6 month Hawthorne harness schedule next year is needed for harness racing to continue in Illinois, then they simply do not care and it will be bye-bye for harness racing here.  Just my opinion, and by the way, your post on this subject was excellently written. 

Best Regards,
Joseph M. Dakuras
(A UNLV Runnin Rebel for Life)

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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2006, 12:52:06 PM »

if what beaunarro said was true and i have no reason to doubt it.. it is time for the irb to keep harness racing alive by giving the winter dates back to hawthorne and let the t breds find another winter home, perhaps with the fairgrounds re-opening possibly this fall that may help the horse storage problem

with the problems now on the harness side it would only be in the best interest of the sport to see hawthorne get a big share of the dates..winter t bred racing at hawthorne appears to be a losing proposition, bring back the harness and dont start the t bred season in illinois till late march
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Thomas Graham
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2006, 01:05:53 PM »

Joe:

The winter harness meet at Hawthorne is a moot point since whether or not there is a T-bred meet, there are simply too many horses that use HAW asa winter training/stabling base for them too be displaced for a harness meet there.

Unfortunately, the economics of the situation are clear --- Thoroughbreds (whether live or simulcast) generate significant more wagering revenue for the state.

Regards,
TJG --- not the trainer
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Dan Nance
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2006, 01:07:12 PM »

if what beaunarro said was true and i have no reason to doubt it.. it is time for the irb to keep harness racing alive by giving the winter dates back to hawthorne and let the t breds find another winter home, perhaps with the fairgrounds re-opening possibly this fall that may help the horse storage problem

with the problems now on the harness side it would only be in the best interest of the sport to see hawthorne get a big share of the dates..winter t bred racing at hawthorne appears to be a losing proposition, bring back the harness and dont start the t bred season in illinois till late march


They use the excuse that the t-breds need a place to winter at and Hawthorne is the only place available so that's why they can't run a harness winter meet at Hawthorne anymore. PERIOD!
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2006, 01:45:48 PM »

(I copied my reply from the t-bred side)


Yes and No. Hawthorne could have still had their winter harness meet. Back at that time Bob Carey was trying to negotiate with Arlington for the T-breds to be stabled there, but Arlington wanted to charge (as I remember) a hefty gross amount for the horses to be stabled there, and to be able to use the track for training and work-outs. The Careys tried to appeal to the IRB to step in, but to no avail. The t-bred horsemen certainly didn't want to pay the added expense, and the Carey/Bidwell fronts didn't either unless Dick D. would have lowered the amount by a few hundred thousand..which he didn't. So therefore the winter t-breds ended staying at Hawthorne.
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Dan Nance
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2006, 01:47:11 PM »

They use the excuse that the t-breds need a place to winter at and Hawthorne is the only place available so that's why they can't run a harness winter meet at Hawthorne anymore. PERIOD!

PEROID!!!!
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