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Author Topic: Arlington - Stall Rent, Take It or Leave It  (Read 1590 times)
Mary Ann
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« on: March 25, 2013, 07:24:19 PM »

If you haven't seen this article on this site's home page, you might want to read it. CDI and Arlington never cease to amaze me. I left betting on CDI tracks years ago. This is not the type of partnership I like to see between a track and horsemen.

http://itharacing.com/weeklywhinnies/detail/detaillist/MzE4
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 07:26:52 PM by Mary Ann » Report to moderator   Logged
nmslim
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 08:58:47 PM »

Go someplace else to race.Racetrackers complain no matter where they are.
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farquarks
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 09:07:01 PM »

From the current ITHA newsletter that you link:

"Under Arlington’s terms, it would have the authority to charge rent from horsemen whose stalls don’t average one start per month during live racing.

More than 95 percent of stalls won’t meet this standard and could therefore be subject to the charge.

Many horses stabling at Arlington are 2-year-olds in training and others are recovering from injuries; these horses naturally would not race. And even among 3-year-olds actively racing, very few horses can recover quickly enough to make one start a month.

Out of approximately 2,000 stalls at Arlington in 2012, fewer than 100 stalls would have met the “one start per stall per month” standard."

First - I call BS on Campbell and the ITHA. If 95% of AP's stalls didn't meet 1 start per month last year they couldn't have averaged 8+ starters per race, 4 race days a week, with an average of ~10 races per day.

Second - If the above is even 50% accurate why shouldn't AP charge stall rent for less than 1 start per month average? It's a racetrack, not a training/vet center.

As a bettor I have no issue with AP on this topic.



  
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beobob
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2013, 09:32:58 PM »

A perfect example of how the ITHA and AP talk about each other and not to each other. Reasonable people could come to an equitable agreement in 5 minutes that would address AP's concerns and protect Illinois horsemen.  I hope they learn how to play nice, or we're in trouble.
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HorseVoice*
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2013, 11:01:27 PM »

Many horses stabling at Arlington are 2-year-olds in training and others are recovering from injuries; these horses naturally would not race.

Not that I want anyone to choke on their Chicken Nuggets, but I'm going to side with AP on this one...at least from an "intent" standpoint. (Meaning, I like the idea of placing conditions on free stalls...not sure the "must average 1 race per month per stall" is quite right, but that can be tweaked.)

For years, certain trainers have used AP as glorified training center for 2 year olds they have *no intention* of actually running at AP. That is total nonsense: if you train here, race here...or pay.

Injured horses that won't be racing anytime soon might be taking up space from a fit horse that can race soon; some sort of nominal charge would seem to be in order here, and if the connections don't want to pay AP for the privilege, go see if a lay-up facility will take in your broken down plater for free.

Time for all tracks to push back on this, IMO.   
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honest & balanced terry
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2013, 11:04:03 PM »

A perfect example of how the ITHA and AP talk about each other and not to each other. Reasonable people could come to an equitable agreement in 5 minutes that would address AP's concerns and protect Illinois horsemen.  I hope they learn how to play nice, or we're in trouble.

It would be a lot easier to believe that Arlington has actual "concerns" about this issue if it had ever come up before when Dick's buddies were using the track as a training facility. They're acting like AP is a draw the size of Saratoga and they have to turn away 3,000 horses a summer.
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"There are no $7500 maiden claimers, state-bred or otherwise, at Arlington."
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2013, 02:52:47 AM »

I do understand AP Position as a former owner and fan..A few years ago Trainers were using stalls as a training centre..HOWEVER...The regulars Do Race there horses...If A new bigtime trainer wants to come in and use AP As a training center IE Lukas a few years ago I can understand the fee..However again, Its a rule as it stands nowoutlined that needs to be tweaked And Tweaked BIG TIME as ITHA States this puts a situation where some trainers at a small pct might run an unfit horse..And I as an EX Owner would be pissed At that as a lover of the horses and because the fee would be billed to the owner Running small time owners out...
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SandyLoam
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 09:33:44 AM »

So Arlington is now a training center for horses that will probably never achieve much? Tear down the hotel, put the Cubs there and they can both do it together.
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beobob
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2013, 11:27:32 AM »

I think that reasonable people, even those who have longstanding problems with AP, can understand (and many would agree) AP's position on this issue.  As proposed AP's solution is a nonstarter, but a reasonable solution can be found rather quickly.

Given the great difficulties facing the industry, it is troubling to see how this issue has spiraled.  I would have greater hope for our future if somewhere in the ITHA response there had been an acknowledgement of AP's concern and a willingness to work with AP to address their concerns while protecting Illinois horsemen.  Instead we get an NRA scare tactic response warning us that this is a slippery slope that will lead to to charging for 95% of the stalls, and then dorm rent, water, and electricity soon will follow. 

AP is no better.  What did they think would happen when they blindsided everyone with this new policy just showing up on the stall applications?  Couldn't they have contacted the ITHA earlier to give them a heads up? 

Admittedly, I don't have the history that most of you have.  But to my simple mind, you cut a deal that addresses AP's concerns about the stalls coupled with a 3 or 5 year commitment for free water, electricity, and dorm rooms. If an easy to remedy situation like this can't be resolved without IRB intervention, how are we going to tackle the truly difficult issues?
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honest & balanced terry
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2013, 11:45:49 AM »

I think that reasonable people, even those who have longstanding problems with AP, can understand (and many would agree) AP's position on this issue.

Many people simply do not believe AP's stated "position" on the issue. That's the real issue. Many believe it is a weapon with which they will punish ITHA "troublemakers".

Quote
Given the great difficulties facing the industry, it is troubling to see how this issue has spiraled.  I would have greater hope for our future if somewhere in the ITHA response there had been an acknowledgement of AP's concern and a willingness to work with AP to address their concerns while protecting Illinois horsemen.

There was a news article earlier that the two sides had got together and were working on this problem, and the following from this most recent release: "The ITHA repeatedly implored Arlington to rescind this year’s stall applications with the rent provision, and then re-issue applications without the insidious language. Sadly, our repeated protests fell on deaf ears. " That says to me negotiations broke down.
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"There are no $7500 maiden claimers, state-bred or otherwise, at Arlington."
beobob
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 12:23:31 PM »

There was a news article earlier that the two sides had got together and were working on this problem, and the following from this most recent release: "The ITHA repeatedly implored Arlington to rescind this year’s stall applications with the rent provision, and then re-issue applications without the insidious language. Sadly, our repeated protests fell on deaf ears. " That says to me negotiations broke down.

That doesn't sound like a negotiation to me.  The ITHA response seems to have been, take out the rent provision.  I don't see any counter proposal they offered. I would imagine if the ITHA had offered something other than "re-issue applications without the insidious language" they would have mentioned it to show they were negotiating in good faith. 

I haven't seen any counter offer from AP either, so they can't possibly think that their subjective wording will be acceptable to anyone.  I do hope that the ITHA realizes that they are in danger of over playing their hand on this one.  Whether one accepts AP's intent or not, I believe most would agree that AP has a right to have reasonable minimum racing requirements in exchange for free stalls.
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SandyLoam
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 12:28:38 PM »

This shows that the two sides have little to no true working relationship.

Corporations most often deal with iron fists: they know no other way because they are not accountable to anybody or anything. This issue goes beyond just the stall rents. You could make the point this is part of CDI's long-term strategy to close Arlington, first having to find a scapegoat, i.e. "the horsemen's greed."

Think they don't have five- and ten-year plans?
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beobob
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 12:40:55 PM »

This shows that the two sides have little to no true working relationship.

Corporations most often deal with iron fists: they know no other way because they are not accountable to anybody or anything. This issue goes beyond just the stall rents. You could make the point this is part of CDI's long-term strategy to close Arlington, first having to find a scapegoat, i.e. "the horsemen's greed."

Think they don't have five- and ten-year plans?

Why would any corporation, even one as evil and nefarious as some on this board think CDI to be, shut down a unit that consistently makes money?  AP might not be a profitable as it once was, but it still spits cash into the Louisville coffers.  Additionally, CDI knows that any hope of an onsite casino will necessitate having a viable racing operation.  Even if the racing is an afterthought, there will be great opportunities for Illinois horsemen to make big money.

If however, there is no hope for a casino (or other subsidy) AP will have to make money on racing alone or they will close it.  If they have to make it on racing alone the mantra of all of us will be "but we never had to pay for that before".
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Red Ketcher
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2013, 01:12:57 PM »

 
  Subscribe to the "weapon" theory. 

  Stall allotment, denial , and threats of denial have long been used to intimidate, discourage, and punish.

  Dissidents, whistle blowers, and association candidates always prime targets of this powerful "weapon".

  Now the Companymen are using language that make everyone a target of a mass destruction "weapon".

  Organised concerted opposition action is the only hope.

 

 


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SandyLoam
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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2013, 01:14:34 PM »

So at the very least, they mishandled this issue with the horsemen.

We won't know much of what they plan until DD heads to the big paddock in the sky.
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honest & balanced terry
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2013, 01:20:36 PM »

That doesn't sound like a negotiation to me.

Based on the previous news that there WERE negotiations taking place on the issue, this looks like a breakdown of those negotiations to me, and a return to square one.

Quote
The ITHA response seems to have been, take out the rent provision.  I don't see any counter proposal they offered.

If you're not privy to what was discussed, then you have no idea.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 01:22:33 PM by honest & balanced terry » Report to moderator   Logged

"There are no $7500 maiden claimers, state-bred or otherwise, at Arlington."
beobob
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2013, 01:25:03 PM »

  Organised concerted opposition action is the only hope.

I agree, there is a time when you have to pull out the mutually assured destruction card.  But it needs to be used judiously, not pulled out for every little squabble we have, and this is not an issue that we have to go to the mattresses for.

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beobob
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2013, 02:12:43 PM »

If you're not privy to what was discussed, then you have no idea.

True.  But I opined that if the ITHA had made a reasonable counter offer we would have heard about it.  Negotiating through public media 101 is to make your position seem reasonable and your opponate's unreasonable.  That is of course unless the ITHA thinks that their members expect them to unilaterally oppose AP without seeking middle ground.  While there may be those who are looking for that, most horse owners who make their living in the business world realize that conditions change.  The argument that "you can't do this because we have never done it this way before", is a nonstarter in the current business enviornment.

I might have a different opinion than most over what a "good deal" is.  The industry has changed and will continue to change, so I don't think that deals that are cut today can be compared to what we used to do or get.  I'm looking for the ITHA to get us the best deal that is possible in this current enviornment.  I accept that it's not going to be as good as it once was, but I know that conditions on the ground have changed.  If we spend all of our energy fighting keep things as they once were, we will miss the opportunity to help shape the future.  Change is coming, and we can work with the race tracks to shape it now, or have it shoved down our throats later.
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sparky
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2013, 02:12:53 PM »

I understand trying AP trying to have so leverage to make trainers run their horses. Stall rent..NO.
But there really needs to be some language that pertains to the number of stalls allotted verses how many starts.
A prime example is Hawthorne.  Their backside is FULL but there are very few entries...  If the horse needs a break, turn him out.  But for trainers to take stalls/dorm rooms and simply use the track as a training facility is wrong.  And there are MANY who do this.  Compare starts to stalls allotted.
Stall rent is not the answer but allotting fewer stalls to the trainers that I'm sure they are well aware of that have done this in the past.
Arlington creates drama every spring....divide and conquer should be their slogan!  
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honest & balanced terry
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2013, 02:15:42 PM »

True.  But I opined that if the ITHA had made a reasonable counter offer we would have heard about it.

I think you are wrong.

The negotiations broke down, and now both parties are back to ground zero.
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"There are no $7500 maiden claimers, state-bred or otherwise, at Arlington."
beobob
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2013, 02:21:57 PM »

I think you are wrong.

The negotiations broke down, and now both parties are back to ground zero.

If that's true then I hope that someone who is informed can tell us what the sticking point(s) is/were.
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Mary Ann
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« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2013, 06:37:54 PM »

The following article reminded me of CDI because it looked like it came straight out of the CDI business model or playbook:

http://consumerist.com/2013/03/25/store-combats-showrooming-with-5-just-looking-fee/

APCD Dan, are you going to tell the CDI honchos at their upcoming annual meeting that there are costs of doing business, it’s not all profit, and it’s a poor business practice to alienate their customers, which includes horsemen and fans? I am one of those who thinks CDI is just a bunch of skunks, greedy to the core, and that's because it's been one greedy scheme after another with them. Who else would think of charging a nonrefundable $50 administrative fee for ordering Derby tickets online, whether or not you were able to get tickets? And if you agreed to pay 20% more for the tickets, you could go to the head of the line. I believe they have changed this policy since there were so many complaints but in the first Bloodhorse article, it says “In one email to The Blood-Horse, a reader noted Churchill could make hundreds of thousands of dollars from those who don't get tickets.” This is one example but their message always comes through loud and clear - screw everyone else for their money and do whatever it takes to get it (and make it sound like we are doing them a favor).

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/64845/derby-ticketing-policy-changed-fee-added#ixzz1WzZ3qTGb

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/70560/churchill-could-drop-50-derby-ticket-fee

It is my impression that part of the reason CDI thought up this Arlington stall rent, which is unprecedented during any live racing, is because there are no training centers available. In other words, there isn’t another option if you want to race at Arlington. Sticking it to the horsemen having no other choice is a favorite CDI strategy that they’ve used before, like at Calder. In the Form, when I used to play Arlington, I would sometimes see horses running at Arlington but working out at Hawthorne. I assumed they were stabled at Hawthorne too. I really don’t know what the exact arrangement was. How did that work?

beobob, you sound like a reasonable person in speaking about compromise but what exactly did Arlington plan to give up to find a resolution? Nothing, from what I can see and they’d only gain. The only way to compromise with CDI and make them listen is to negatively impact their profits and Arlington is just as dependent on the horsemen in making a profit as the horsemen are on Arlington.

Calabrese left Arlington in 2011 because he couldn't make any money. From the Paulick Report, "One issue for Calabrese is a new agreement with horsemen that will cut purses for overnight races with fields of six or fewer runners. “What are we going to do? If we go back to Arlington and we have a five-horse race and you’ve got your horse in there and you’re supposed to get $18,000,” he said, “they take $3,000 away and another 3 percent they’re putting in some kind of deal that I know nothing about… What (Arlington) is talking about is if they have a five-horse field they’re going to take back some of the purse. That scares me. There’s no money in it anyway.” Also, “Ask me how much money I’ve lost,” Calabrese said in a phone interview from Florida. “I sold a horse for $2 million one year and I still lost money that year."
 
http://www.paulickreport.com/news/the-biz/top-arlington-park-owner-may-not-return/

Sounds to me like Arlington has been playing these games with the horsemen for years.
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honest & balanced terry
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« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2013, 09:34:50 PM »

Sounds to me like Arlington has been playing these games with the horsemen for years.

As another poster correctly noted, Arlington creates drama every Spring.

The ITHA didn't just wake up one morning and decide, "Let's be at odds with AP!" This situation has evolved over many years.
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« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2013, 10:24:13 PM »

It's true they are cutthroats, but they are the only financial involvement with horse racing that I am way ahead on, even with my paltry contribution.

Most lose on betting, many lose on horse ownership, but I have never been in the negative zone since I owned this stock, including during the Great Recession.

They take care of their stockholders, so even little fleas like me can ride on the big hosts.

Just a view from someone other horse people or bettors.
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« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2013, 10:45:47 PM »

 
  Read APCD Dan's excellent analogy , and really worried now.

  Fleas riding on Rats caused the Plague.

  Destruction is near.
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