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Author Topic: What a shock - ITHA supports HAW, opposes AP at IRB meeting  (Read 1729 times)
beobob
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« on: January 30, 2013, 03:16:41 PM »

In his DRF article Marcus writes:

"The purse increase was included in a requested 2013 stakes schedule submitted by Hawthorne. The IRB approved Hawthorne’s schedule unanimously, but voted only 5-3 to approve Arlington Park’s stakes schedule. The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association voiced opposition to the $400,000 American St. Leger, a 1 3/4-mile turf race on Million Day that was introduced in 2012.The ITHA backed the $250,000 Illinois Derby purse increase despite the fact Hawthorne has cut overnight purses for the start of its 2013 winter-spring meet, which begins Feb. 15."

It does not appear to me as though the ITHA uses an objective measure to determine what is best for Illinois Horsemen.  Both the 400K and the 250K do nothing to help the rank and file that run every day.  Assuming 9 race daily cards, Hawthorne could raise overnight purses about $800 a race, AP could raise purses by about $500, yet we support HAW and oppose AP.

Other threads have discussed the wisdom or folly of both of those races, but if your charge is to do what is best for the horsemen you represent, how do you not oppose both of them? Also, there are political considerations. Did anyone really think that either stakes schedule would be voted down? The pragmatic response would be for the ITHA to support both or oppose both.

While I'm sure that in his position Marcus can't editorialize, if you read between the lines in his last sentence he points out the inconsistency of the ITHA's position.  I know that I'm in the minority here and that many feel Hawthorne must be helped and the evil empire destroyed, but for the ITHA to waste AP ammo on this while giving HAW a pass seems politically and practically shortsighted.  Given the state of Illinois racing, we will have difficult future negotiations with AP.  How can opposing only AP in this help us in the future?
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honest & balanced terry
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 04:22:51 PM »

It does not appear to me as though the ITHA uses an objective measure to determine what is best for Illinois Horsemen.

Really? What would be an "objective measure"?

Quote
Both the 400K and the 250K do nothing to help the rank and file that run every day.  Assuming 9 race daily cards, Hawthorne could raise overnight purses about $800 a race, AP could raise purses by about $500, yet we support HAW and oppose AP.

Based on recent runnings of the IL Derby, Illinois horsemen take home a huge chunk of the total purse. So Illinois isn't losing much. But as for the St. Leger, besides Block's horse, most of the money flowed out of state, did it not?

Quote
Other threads have discussed the wisdom or folly of both of those races, but if your charge is to do what is best for the horsemen you represent, how do you not oppose both of them?

Have you ever actually approached Campbell or any member of the ITHA board and asked them why they do what they do? Why they support Haw or AP in this instance or that?
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 04:31:00 PM »

Oh ... wait. What do you know, the ITHA did indeed explain its reasoning on the Arlington race:

"ITHA President Mike Campbell, vice-president Chris Block and executive director Glen Berman made counter-arguments.

"It did not bring out the stars of racing," Berman insisted. "It was a poor field —there was an $18,000 claimer and a $40,000 claimer in the race — and it lost well over $300,000 for our purse account."

"The horse who won it was a quality horse, and selfishly for myself and my family — which made $80,000 last year — I'd like to see it run again," said Block, trainer of Ioya Bigtime, the family-owned Illinois-bred runner-up. "But I was not elected to the board of the ITHA to take that stance. I represent the horsemen of the state of Illinois."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/horseracing/ct-spt-0130-hawthorne-illinois-derby--20130130,0,4762097.story
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beobob
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 04:48:12 PM »

Sorry, I forgot.  AP bad, HAW good. 

I oppose the Leger, and do not think that the increase in the Illinois Derby purse will do anything for Illinois horsemen save the few that would still run in this race without the increase. So while I admire your tenacity, we disagree. If you oppose the 400K because it detracts from Illinois horsemen, the 250K does as well.  The the Illinois runners in the HAW race would probably still be running if the purse was 300K, so if you think that allowing Block to get 75K instead of 30K for 3rd is good for Illinois horsemen, maybe you're right.
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 05:00:11 PM »

From the September dates hearing recap:

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Hawthorne president Tim Carey testified to the IRB that additional money steered Hawthorne’s direction could be used to boost the purse of the Illinois Derby to $750,000 or $1 million, but Carey said after the meeting that no specific plans had been formulated.

http://www.drf.com/news/illinois-racing-board-decision-shifts-2013-dark-day-simulcast-revenue-arlington-hawthorne
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honest & balanced terry
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 05:10:53 PM »

Sorry, I forgot.  AP bad, HAW good.  

My question to you was regarding whether or not you asked anyone at the ITHA about their reasoning. There's no "good or bad" in that.

Quote
I oppose the Leger, and do not think that the increase in the Illinois Derby purse will do anything for Illinois horsemen save the few that would still run in this race without the increase. So while I admire your tenacity, we disagree.

I do NOT admire the tendency to heap criticism on the ITHA leadership without understanding, or making any effort to understand, where they're coming from.

Quote
If you oppose the 400K because it detracts from Illinois horsemen, the 250K does as well.

Apparently the ITHA leaders, including Chris Block who one could hardly accuse of being one of those low-life Hawthorne locals who are usually the object of scorn in these discussions, saw it differently. Why don't you ask one of them what made the difference instead of just launching off on criticism?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 05:12:46 PM by honest & balanced terry » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 05:40:10 PM »

They should fight Balmoral and not each other.  Other states don't bow down to harness like Illinois does. 
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 05:54:26 PM »

Okay I'll try this one more time.

I understand why HAW wants to raise their purse.  I understand why AP wants to run the Leger.  I might not agree with their whys, but I understand.

I understand why the ITHA opposes the St. Leger and I agree with all of their reasoning and I am glad they are opposing it on my behalf. I don't understand, using the same reasoning used to oppose the Leger, why the IL Derby increase is supported. It might help the image of, and be a long term benefit to HAW, but it does nothing for Illinois horsemen, save the few who might run (who would also run with a lower purse). AP would make the same argument for the Leger.

For those without history (that includes me) we admittedly look at this through rose colored glasses and don't realize all that has happened in the past that has led to this adversarial relationship with AP.  I know that all of this factors in to how each person looks at this.  I just happen to think that the logic used to oppose the Leger is applicable the the IL Derby increase as well. A consistent position (for someone like me without any history) would be to oppose both.
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2013, 07:01:25 PM »

For those without history (that includes me) we admittedly look at this through rose colored glasses and don't realize all that has happened in the past that has led to this adversarial relationship with AP.

Here's the problem. You have created in your mind this "adversarial relationship", ITHA vs. Arlington, explanation for everything that happens. You see something you don't understand and have constructed your own explanation of why.

That's why I would suggest asking one of the ITHA board members the "why" on this.
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 07:10:09 PM »

why not designate 4 entries for ill breds into the illinois derby, at least give them a shot at some of the money
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 07:36:25 PM »

Here's the problem. You have created in your mind this "adversarial relationship", ITHA vs. Arlington, explanation for everything that happens.


Seriously? In my mind? I have attended every ITHA open member meeting since 2010. It is not in my mind. I might not know the history or how it got that way, but It is there.
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2013, 08:37:19 PM »

Seriously? In my mind? I have attended every ITHA open member meeting since 2010. It is not in my mind.

It's in your mind as far as motivating the ITHA to act one way or the other in any or every given situation. I went to a lot of years of ITHA meetings myself, and experienced that history, and if there's one thing I learned for sure, it's horsemen are going to do whatever is in their own interest, without loyalty to any track. If they didn't feel that extra $250k for the IL Derby benefits them in some way, they would oppose that, too. Furthermore, it's not reasonable to believe that Chris Block, for one, has an antagonistic attitude towards Arlington, but there he was, opposing that St. Hubbins race, or whatever it is.

So ask one of your duly elected ITHA reps "why", instead of assuming they did what they did simply because "Arlington bad, Hawthorne good."


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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2013, 09:28:58 PM »

Will Helicopter be making his long awaited return in the Saint Leger?
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2013, 10:13:56 PM »

It's in your mind as far as motivating the ITHA to act one way or the other in any or every given situation. I went to a lot of years of ITHA meetings myself, and experienced that history, and if there's one thing I learned for sure, it's horsemen are going to do whatever is in their own interest, without loyalty to any track. If they didn't feel that extra $250k for the IL Derby benefits them in some way, they would oppose that, too. Furthermore, it's not reasonable to believe that Chris Block, for one, has an antagonistic attitude towards Arlington, but there he was, opposing that St. Hubbins race, or whatever it is.

So ask one of your duly elected ITHA reps "why", instead of assuming they did what they did simply because "Arlington bad, Hawthorne good."





Agreed. But is this again the ITHA deciding they need the increase in spring purses now and having the fall meet purses cut ? Looks like another  short term knee jerk decision like we want the casino money all now.
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2013, 11:00:21 PM »

They should fight Balmoral and not each other.  Other states don't bow down to harness like Illinois does.  
A good point.As far as simulcast and live racing handles go,harness only is roughly one-third,yet they have a much bigger say.I have heard it said that Hawthorne cannot race at night because the harness folks would have to sign off on it.Wouldn't there be more money for them if the Tbreds went at night?Hawthorne would do much better in my opinion going against Delta,Mountaineer and the like instead of trying to knock heads with higher quality tracks.
As to the St. Leger and other such races,AP is able to give away more money,simple as that.There are a lot of stakes that are stakes in name only as far as quality goes,at a lot of tracks.
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« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2013, 10:29:45 AM »

Beobob,

2 points:  1). When the IRB awarded Hawthorne the extra 10 days of simulcasting, they intended a portion of it to go to the Derby.  In fact, one commissioner said he would have liked to see the purse raised to a million.
                  2). The extra 10 days translates to about a million to the purse account.  In light of Arlington suing the IRB over those days, and if Hawthorne did not use a portion of that money as intended, is the ITHA wrong to not oppose the Derby to get the other $750,000 into Hawthorne's purse account?
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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2013, 11:11:57 AM »

Beobob,

2 points:  1). When the IRB awarded Hawthorne the extra 10 days of simulcasting, they intended a portion of it to go to the Derby.  In fact, one commissioner said he would have liked to see the purse raised to a million.
                  2). The extra 10 days translates to about a million to the purse account.  In light of Arlington suing the IRB over those days, and if Hawthorne did not use a portion of that money as intended, is the ITHA wrong to not oppose the Derby to get the other $750,000 into Hawthorne's purse account?

How in the world does 10 days of simo translate to 1 million in the purse account. That is 100k a day, which means the purse account would have 36.4 million in it yearly. (Take into consideration that they are not open on Xmas)

And that isn't considering the live attendance money either.

Me thinks your numbers are way off.
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2013, 12:02:48 PM »

It's 19 days according to this:
http://www.drf.com/news/illinois-racing-board-decision-shifts-2013-dark-day-simulcast-revenue-arlington-hawthorne

Quote
A January dark-host day generates about $50,000 in purse money and about $27,000 in track commissions. That constitutes about an $800,000 shift in purse money and $430,000 in track commissions from Arlington to Hawthorne in 2013.

From my calculations 19 x 50k = $950,000
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« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2013, 12:26:48 PM »

How in the world does 10 days of simo translate to 1 million in the purse account. That is 100k a day, which means the purse account would have 36.4 million in it yearly. (Take into consideration that they are not open on Xmas)

And that isn't considering the live attendance money either.

Me thinks your numbers are way off.

Why does $36.4 million earned from simuls surprise you? Total thoroughbred purses "distributed" (however that is calculated) in Illinois for 2011 was $44+ million, and ever since simulcasting came in about 80% of purse earnings has come from simulcasts. (Which is, incidentally, why the crappy splits from ADW esp. Twin Spires is such a threat to the Illinois racing program.)

Enjoy perusing annual report for details.

http://www2.illinois.gov/irb/Documents/AnnualReports/2011_Annual_Report.pdf
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 12:28:30 PM by honest & balanced terry » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2013, 02:13:01 PM »

Beobob,

2 points:  1). When the IRB awarded Hawthorne the extra 10 days of simulcasting, they intended a portion of it to go to the Derby.  In fact, one commissioner said he would have liked to see the purse raised to a million.
                  2). The extra 10 days translates to about a million to the purse account.  In light of Arlington suing the IRB over those days, and if Hawthorne did not use a portion of that money as intended, is the ITHA wrong to not oppose the Derby to get the other $750,000 into Hawthorne's purse account?

If HAW was mandated by IRB to increase the Illinois Derby purse, then you are right the ITHA could not or should not oppose it.  I was not aware that that was a deal that was struck. 

I was just struck by the optics. I believe that the 400K spent on the St Leger is a waste of purse money, it will not drive handle or attendance on AP's biggest day.  I believe that is also true for the purse increase for the IL Derby.  I doubt that a 500K race would receive any less interest (attendance, handle, or participation) on that date than a 750K race. We will have the best horses not running in the KY Derby whether 500K or 750K (unless there is still concern about the virus). This does nothing for IL Horsemen, save the few who will participate. 

So when I see 2 races at different tracks with a seemingly identical proposals as far as their benefit for IL horsemen is concerned, and one is supported and one is opposed, it gives the appearance of favoritism.  Perhaps the ITHA fought this mandate quietly at its inception with the IRB and I'm not aware of that. If the deal struck was that money from the addition of host days had to go to a purse increase for the IL Derby, that is a bad deal for local horsemen. Whether HAW or AP has the host days, it is better for IL horsemen to have as much money as possible earmarked for overnights.  So the net effect of the change in host days for IL horsemen is that the IL Derby increases by 250K - with little local benefit, and IL stakes are cut this summer by 300K.

Now I'm not sure if the ITHA took sides in the transferring of simulcast days, but AP stuck it to IL horsemen.  Did they do that for no reason other than just to stick it to us, or is that payback for us supporting HAW getting those dates?

I am a relative newcomer to the internal politics of racing.  It just seems to me that if the ITHA was going to vigorously oppose AP's proposal (which I agree they should have) and were prohibited because of an understanding between HAW and the IRB to oppose HAW's proposal, remaining neutral toward the HAW proposal would have been wiser politically.

Terry, there is no accusation here.  I am stating how the optics of how all this went down appears to me.  I might be the only one who looks at it this way, but that is how opinions work.
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« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2013, 02:57:17 PM »

If HAW was mandated by IRB to increase the Illinois Derby purse, then you are right the ITHA could not or should not oppose it.  I was not aware that that was a deal that was struck.  

I was just struck by the optics. I believe that the 400K spent on the St Leger is a waste of purse money, it will not drive handle or attendance on AP's biggest day.  I believe that is also true for the purse increase for the IL Derby.  I doubt that a 500K race would receive any less interest (attendance, handle, or participation) on that date than a 750K race. We will have the best horses not running in the KY Derby whether 500K or 750K (unless there is still concern about the virus). This does nothing for IL Horsemen, save the few who will participate.  

So when I see 2 races at different tracks with a seemingly identical proposals as far as their benefit for IL horsemen is concerned, and one is supported and one is opposed, it gives the appearance of favoritism.  Perhaps the ITHA fought this mandate quietly at its inception with the IRB and I'm not aware of that. If the deal struck was that money from the addition of host days had to go to a purse increase for the IL Derby, that is a bad deal for local horsemen. Whether HAW or AP has the host days, it is better for IL horsemen to have as much money as possible earmarked for overnights.  So the net effect of the change in host days for IL horsemen is that the IL Derby increases by 250K - with little local benefit, and IL stakes are cut this summer by 300K.

Now I'm not sure if the ITHA took sides in the transferring of simulcast days, but AP stuck it to IL horsemen.  Did they do that for no reason other than just to stick it to us, or is that payback for us supporting HAW getting those dates?

I am a relative newcomer to the internal politics of racing.  It just seems to me that if the ITHA was going to vigorously oppose AP's proposal (which I agree they should have) and were prohibited because of an understanding between HAW and the IRB to oppose HAW's proposal, remaining neutral toward the HAW proposal would have been wiser politically.

Terry, there is no accusation here.  I am stating how the optics of how all this went down appears to me.  I might be the only one who looks at it this way, but that is how opinions work.

Your opinion is the correct one, BeoBob.  Terry will never accept whatever you point out, so do not waste your time with him.  He is Hawthornecentric and that is where you made your mistake with him.  There is nothing wrong with supporting Hawthorne, especially with the way AP is acting these days, but Terry will carry it to the extreme.  You can answer his argument, but he will come up with something else.  You have made your case well so there is no need to defend it any further, as I said, it will just be a waste of time for you and a fun activity for Terry.  Arguing is his hobby.
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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2013, 02:57:24 PM »

Terry, there is no accusation here.  I am stating how the optics of how all this went down appears to me.  I might be the only one who looks at it this way, but that is how opinions work.

And responses to opinions are designed to shed other light on those optics.
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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2013, 03:00:02 PM »

Your opinion is the correct one, BeoBob.

Poster ggenie just posted the reasons the horsemen supported Hawthorne's IL Derby increase, but here you are still saying through your Arlington hugger goggles that beobob's uninformed (but hopefully informed now) opinion was the correct one?

WAFI.
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2013, 03:49:55 PM »

Your opinion is the correct one, BeoBob.  Terry will never accept whatever you point out, so do not waste your time with him.  He is Hawthornecentric and that is where you made your mistake with him.  There is nothing wrong with supporting Hawthorne, especially with the way AP is acting these days,

Thanks Dan. Your last statement (above) begs the question, why are they acting that way?  I know the knee jerk partisan answer will be ripping CD, AP, and Mr D and their evil plot to destroy Hawthorne and Illinois racing.  Maybe that's all there is to it, but I doubt it.
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2013, 04:09:07 PM »

Beobob, I agree with you saying the same horses would come for $500,000 as for $750,000,  that seems to be consensus of all horsemen.  At that level, trainers shoot for timing of the race and distance and surface as the most important factors.  When the transcripts of the IRB meeting are up, you can listen and hear Mike make that exact argument, and that to increase the purse while dropping overnights is a slap in the face of the Illinois horsemen.  ( maybe not his exact words )  It didn't matter, the deal was the deal.

Concerning the St Leger, throwing $400,000 at an ungraded race, up against the Sword Dancer will never attract the top horses.  ITHA reluctantly supported it last year with all parties agreeing to review it this year.  Arlington claimed it was a huge success,  ITHA contended it was a $300,000 loss to the purse account, with only 2 legit horses in the race.  ITHA requested that Arlington split the loss with the horsemen, and Tony Petrillo said all races loose money - no.

In their cost cutting, Arlington dropped the purses for all 6 Illinois bred races, and from the Illinois owned races.

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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2013, 04:11:57 PM »


Wow, I stand corrected. I never realized that simul betting was that lucative for the host. 
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« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2013, 04:15:56 PM »

I'm in the camp that believes the IL Derby purse increase AND the St Ledger purse could be better distributed by the two tracks. Frankly a $250k purse for the IL Derby would be sufficient for that race, but the Racing Board hacks used the excuse that by taking money from AP (thru dark days reduction) it would hopefully offset the removal of Haw from Derby consideration. The end result is likely significant purse decreases at AP for 2013 with minimal offsetting benefit. The IRB's action, coupled with their inaction on ADW is absurd.
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« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2013, 04:17:00 PM »

Wow, I stand corrected. I never realized that simul betting was that lucative for the host. 

It's why they fight tooth and nail over the dark days each year, and also why Illinois racing is all turned upside down where simulcasting and who has "host track" for how many days is more important than what's offered as a live product or any rational meet dates.
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« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2013, 04:18:40 PM »

Beobob, I agree with you saying the same horses would come for $500,000 as for $750,000,  that seems to be consensus of all horsemen.  At that level, trainers shoot for timing of the race and distance and surface as the most important factors.  When the transcripts of the IRB meeting are up, you can listen and hear Mike make that exact argument, and that to increase the purse while dropping overnights is a slap in the face of the Illinois horsemen.  ( maybe not his exact words )  It didn't matter, the deal was the deal.

Concerning the St Leger, throwing $400,000 at an ungraded race, up against the Sword Dancer will never attract the top horses.  ITHA reluctantly supported it last year with all parties agreeing to review it this year.  Arlington claimed it was a huge success,  ITHA contended it was a $300,000 loss to the purse account, with only 2 legit horses in the race.  ITHA requested that Arlington split the loss with the horsemen, and Tony Petrillo said all races loose money - no.

In their cost cutting, Arlington dropped the purses for all 6 Illinois bred races, and from the Illinois owned races.



Thanks for the clarification ggenie.  So it seems like the net net for IL horseman was a trade of changes to 6 IL bred races in exchange for a 250K increase in the IL Derby.  Not a very good trade for us.  Did we (ITHA) support HAW in the transfer of simulcast days? If we did, what AP did was payback.  If we didn't, that was just a low blow.
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« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2013, 04:28:56 PM »

I'm in the camp that believes the IL Derby purse increase AND the St Ledger purse could be better distributed by the two tracks. Frankly a $250k purse for the IL Derby would be sufficient for that race, but the Racing Board hacks used the excuse that by taking money from AP (thru dark days reduction) it would hopefully offset the removal of Haw from Derby consideration. The end result is likely significant purse decreases at AP for 2013 with minimal offsetting benefit. The IRB's action, coupled with their inaction on ADW is absurd.

The Illinois horsemen get the same $950,000 of earned purse money no matter which track is giving it away. Less money at AP = more money at Haw.

Arlington has 89 live dates for 2013. At an average of 8.5 races per day, that is ~757 races. $950,000 / 757 = negatory $1255 / race. If they gave up the $400k St. Hubbins, that would reduce to negatory $727 / race.

OTOH, Hawthorne has 101 live dates. At 8.5 / day, that's 856 races. $950,000 / 856 = positive $1110 / race. With the $250k dedicated to the IL Derby that reduces it to positive $818 per race.

And as far as ADW, once again, the IRB had no action to take. They are not a legislative or lobbyist body.  
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« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2013, 04:32:03 PM »

Did we (ITHA) support HAW in the transfer of simulcast days? If we did, what AP did was payback.  If we didn't, that was just a low blow.

I sincerely doubt AP's lawsuit has anything at all to do with spiting the horsemen, because they get theirs no matter which track pays the purses. The issue is the $430,000 in track commissions, and the overall purse structure each track can control.
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« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2013, 04:38:39 PM »

I sincerely doubt AP's lawsuit has anything at all to do with spiting the horsemen, because they get theirs no matter which track pays the purses. The issue is the $430,000 in track commissions, and the overall purse structure each track can control.

I realize the $$$ is the same, that wasn't my question.  Did AP target the IL stakes to bear the brunt of the AP revenue lost due to the transfer of days to send a message?  The net for horsemen is a transfer of IL stakes money to increase the IL Derby purse.  That's a bad trade for us.
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« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2013, 05:16:11 PM »

I realize the $$$ is the same, that wasn't my question.  Did AP target the IL stakes to bear the brunt of the AP revenue lost due to the transfer of days to send a message?  The net for horsemen is a transfer of IL stakes money to increase the IL Derby purse.  That's a bad trade for us.

They probably did do that on purpose as punishment, but as for the specific reason of the 2013 dark days, who knows. They've (not just AP, but Churchill) been engaged in an ongoing battling the ITHA/Illinois horsemen on a number of fronts, including ADW splits, racing contract, how that boat money got spent, elections, trying to oust the ITHA to install their own puppets, and all the other crapola you read in their "messages to horsemen" and the ITHA's responses.

The ITHA stands for their own interests with the IRB, Assembly, and various legislation, while Mr. D and Churchill have their own agendas that don't necessarily seem to always have the interests of live racing in Illinois first and foremost. 
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« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2013, 03:59:25 PM »

Beobob, I agree with you saying the same horses would come for $500,000 as for $750,000,  that seems to be consensus of all horsemen.  At that level, trainers shoot for timing of the race and distance and surface as the most important factors.  When the transcripts of the IRB meeting are up, you can listen and hear Mike make that exact argument, and that to increase the purse while dropping overnights is a slap in the face of the Illinois horsemen.  ( maybe not his exact words )  It didn't matter, the deal was the deal.

Concerning the St Leger, throwing $400,000 at an ungraded race, up against the Sword Dancer will never attract the top horses.  ITHA reluctantly supported it last year with all parties agreeing to review it this year.  Arlington claimed it was a huge success,  ITHA contended it was a $300,000 loss to the purse account, with only 2 legit horses in the race.  ITHA requested that Arlington split the loss with the horsemen, and Tony Petrillo said all races loose money - no.

In their cost cutting, Arlington dropped the purses for all 6 Illinois bred races, and from the Illinois owned races.



Sort of supports what Beobob was saying, Terry!
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« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2013, 04:13:16 PM »

Sort of supports what Beobob was saying, Terry!

No, it doesn't. beobob's original claim, back in post #1 of this thread,  was that the opposition to the St. Hubbins with support of the IL Derby was entirely unfathomable and arbitrary, based solely on "Hawthorne good, Arlington bad."  

And furthermore, from what ggenie just wrote, it sounds to me as though the ITHA was actually arguing to the IRB against the increase to $750k, which would mean the original premise on which the claim was based was wrong.
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« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2013, 04:46:23 PM »

No, it doesn't. beobob's original claim, back in post #1 of this thread,  was that the opposition to the St. Hubbins with support of the IL Derby was entirely unfathomable and arbitrary, based solely on "Hawthorne good, Arlington bad."  

And furthermore, from what ggenie just wrote, it sounds to me as though the ITHA was actually arguing to the IRB against the increase to $750k, which would mean the original premise on which the claim was based was wrong.

So then, based on what ggenie has told us, the ITHA was against both the IL Derby increase and the St Leger race. Yet in the IRB stakes approval meeting they opposed AP and supported HAW.  I understand if it would have been fruitless to oppose the Derby increase if a deal had been cut, but why then couldn't the ITHA then have no opinion on HAW's proposal or tell the IRB "you know our position on this"? Why come out in support of it?

The appearance to a simple minded person such as myself if I see 2 proposals that are both bad for local horsemen, and one is supported and one is opposed, is one of favoritism. In fact, it could be argued that this is the worst possible outcome for IL horsemen because not only did we lose what could have been overnight money to the Derby increase, we also lost 300K in purse decreases in IL bred and owner purses as well.

I know you can't publicly acknowledge the inconsistency of this action, but I think most see it.
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« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2013, 07:40:53 PM »

So then, based on what ggenie has told us, the ITHA was against both the IL Derby increase and the St Leger race. Yet in the IRB stakes approval meeting they opposed AP and supported HAW.

I think you're basing an awful lot on your own interpretation of what Marcus' wrote and didn't write. What he wrote was,

"The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association voiced opposition to the $400,000 American St. Leger, a 1 3/4-mile turf race on Million Day that was introduced in 2012.The ITHA backed the $250,000 Illinois Derby purse increase despite the fact Hawthorne has cut overnight purses for the start of its 2013 winter-spring meet, which begins Feb. 15."

but what he didn't write was what the Trib reported, and what ggenie also reported,

"The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association supported the decision to increase the purse by $250,000 but there was a string attached. Hawthorne agreed to reduce purses at its fall meeting by an equal amount and put the money into daily purses at its Feb. 15-April 28 spring meeting."

In other words, they had a problem with it but end up cutting a deal on it. No deal reported regarding the St. Hubbins from AP.

I'm thinking maybe I want or listen to, or read, that IRB meeting myself before I jump to any conclusion regarding "opposed" and "supported", because it's quite obvious the reporting we read (or don't read) influences our conclusions.

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The appearance to a simple minded person such as myself if I see 2 proposals that are both bad for local horsemen, and one is supported and one is opposed, is one of favoritism.

Reconsider it in the light ggenie explained to you. They opposed both, got a deal on one, and ended up with both shoved down their throats anyhow so WTF difference does it really make whether they "opposed" or not? Is the one where they got a mitigating deal for Illinois horsemen better, or the one where the track ran over them roughshod?
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« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2013, 09:50:29 PM »


"The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association supported the decision to increase the purse by $250,000 but there was a string attached. Hawthorne agreed to reduce purses at its fall meeting by an equal amount and put the money into daily purses at its Feb. 15-April 28 spring."


I agree that there are nuances throughout this deal and I might have jumped to wrong conclusions if we didn't support one and oppose the other as I understood what was reported. But whether the 250K comes from the spring overnights or the fall overnights it still comes from the overnights and is a bad deal for IL horsemen.  All that happened was we delayed the pain for 6 months.
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« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2013, 10:09:27 PM »

I agree that there are nuances throughout this deal and I might have jumped to wrong conclusions if we didn't support one and oppose the other as I understood what was reported. But whether the 250K comes from the spring overnights or the fall overnights it still comes from the overnights and is a bad deal for IL horsemen.  All that happened was we delayed the pain for 6 months.

It's also, as ggenie said, money the IRB directed to Hawthorne in part to support the Illinois Derby (and the Spring meet it anchors). For the horsemen to get up there in front of the IRB and argue against using the money as the commissioners had intended probably would not have helped their case with the IRB. They now have an annual battle to hold back the assault of the greedy gobbling Churchill/Arlington monopoly monster that wants to eliminate Spring racing altogether for the sake of the lucrative simulcast dark days (see above), all to fund more St. Hubbins races for Mr. D's yellow socks yachting buddies from out of state. It would put them (Illinois horsemen) effectively out of business for 5 months of the year unless they want to turn into gyps.
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« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2013, 12:49:18 AM »

Beobob,
I agree that the 250,000 increase in the IL Derby could have POSSIBLY helped the image of Hawthorne racing "long term", at some point. But after these past 5 months, I'm not exactly sure that the image etched in the minds of horsemen all over the country can be improved by an extreme purse increase.  It seems rather desperate to me.  We are practically considered lepers at this point. 
After what the horsemen, big and small outfits have been through in the past 5 months, it seems to me that they would not cut the purses of the everyday horsemen and make a statement that they were going to use those funds to help the local horsemen get back on their feet.  Show the horsemen just a little good will for running their horses through a deadly virus.  JUST THINKING that that would go ALOT further in improving their "image ".   
A quarter of a million dollar increase for a race that means little or nothing to the local horsemen who have had no choice but to stay here and suffer, and not make money, and lose clients seems quite like a slap in the face. 
To say that the "Illinois horsemen" supported the increase is ridiculous.  Just take a leisurely stroll through the barn area on any given day and ask.....the answer will be that they most definitely do not support an increase of 1 race, for Hawthornes "potential image purposes" if it means the rug of our very livelihoods will be pulled out from under our feet.   Ask, just...ASK....

BTW, how about those extensive track repairs...huh ?   Everyone has GOT to feel safer now...

And honestly, I like yellow socks.  I love yachts.  And, how many gypsies do you know, personally that you feel informed enough to criticize them....
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« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2013, 09:59:44 AM »

A quarter of a million dollar increase for a race that means little or nothing to the local horsemen who have had no choice but to stay here and suffer, and not make money, and lose clients seems quite like a slap in the face.

Quoting again someone who actually knows something about the situation, ggenie:

Beobob,

2 points:  1). When the IRB awarded Hawthorne the extra 10 days of simulcasting, they intended a portion of it to go to the Derby.  In fact, one commissioner said he would have liked to see the purse raised to a million.
                  2). The extra 10 days translates to about a million to the purse account.  In light of Arlington suing the IRB over those days, and if Hawthorne did not use a portion of that money as intended, is the ITHA wrong to not oppose the Derby to get the other $750,000 into Hawthorne's purse account?
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