Don't Forget - Monday February 18th is the Illinois Harness Horsemens' Hall of Fame Banquet - Saluting 'IL. native' Tim Tetrick as man of the year.
Tickets $30 - Reservations required by February 8th. Please call the office at 630-323-0808 to purchase your tickets
Over 100 door prizes including a raffle for a lifetime subscription to RTN (racetrack television network)
David McCaffrey on winning Maywood Park's overall 2007 training title and to Ryan Anderson for his winning Maywood Park's overall driving title, also best wishes to Ryan for a speedy recovery!
Balmoral Park is sponsoring a blood drive thru Life Source on Wednesday, February 27 from 2-8pm in the 1st floor arcade.
Appointments are recommended and can be made by contacting Debbie Hutchinson at Balmoral, however walk-in's are welcome.
All donations are greatly appreciated.
SYNOPSIS OF JANUARY IHHA BOARD MEETING
Report from lobbyists and President Bonomo that HB4194 is still active and viable; however, there will be little action or discussion until after early February Illinois primaries.
The information provided in previously submitted “legislative report” is still current although there has been a proposed amendment put forth by Arlington Park interests which need to be addressed.
This amendment has not been “voted on” and does contain some arbitrary language which we are addressing with general assembly members and we are confident it will be clarified and modified in horsemen’s best interests.
Membership renewals continue come in and there will be a second application letter mailed out this week to all former members and USTA membership as well.
It was noted that USTA membership is required for owners (because of registration papers requirements) and although trainers and drivers are not required to have membership (in USTA) to race at pari-mutuel race tracks, they then are not insured by the tracks unless they too have USTA membership.
This is an extremely important provided benefit and the IHHA will encourage all to participate thru membership in the IHHA and USTA.
Bureau Chief, Illinois Dept. of Agriculture, Charlyn Fargo has requested financial assistance from all Illinois horsemen’s associations to help defray the cost (approx. $18,000) towards purchase of gas blood testing apparatus to be used at county fairs.
The Board did vote to contribute up to $5000.00 towards the purchase of said equipment.
Backstretch/Race Track Condition
Executive Director Somone has been directed to contact Balmoral regarding cable television problems on backstretch.
There was discussion regarding other backstretch issues (hygiene, cleanliness, maintenance, etc) and there will be discussion with management regarding same.
President Bonomo reported that he has had several meetings/discussions with Balmoral management regarding track surface conditions and a permanent remedy will be effected during the Hawthorne race meeting.
A more comprehensive testing program was discussed and President Bonomo and Ex. Dir. Somone will meet with University and Illinois and Illinois Racing Board regarding the viability of implementing testing .
(Note: If proposed legislation is enacted, a comprehensive testing program by Illinois Racing Board will be in place)
Discussion regarding increase in premiums for 2008: IHHA has absorbed increases for the prior two years and has declared three (3) insurance premium holidays in the past fifteen (15) months.
We will continue to closely monitor and manage this important benefit.
President Bonomo reported that the HB1918 legal action is still pending and there are indications that a decision is expected before end of March.
Monies have been placed in escrow pending resolution, and, if we do prevail, harness purses would receive about $5 million dollars for year one (1) and approximately $8-9 million dollars for year two (2) , while at the same time significantly reducing prior recapture debt.
Also, there is still legislation in place providing that horsemen receive fifteen per cent (15%) of adjusted gross revenues for the 10th Gaming License; however, this legislation may be voided should HB4194 be enacted.
Ex. Dir. Somone presented purse report.
After review, President Bonomo noted that handle is down approximately twelve per cent (12%). There have been some discussions with track management and there are no indications of an imminent purse reduction.
Discussion regarding lack of maiden Trot/Pace on condition sheet. The IHHA will address this issue with race secretary and bring to resolution.
Public Relations: IHHA newsletter to be mailed to all IHHA and USTA members.
2008 Agreement: All requests from Board and Negotiating Committee were agreed to by track management along with some additional accommodations to benefit of membership. Summary is posted on website and will be included in newsletter.. President Bonomo thanked all for their efforts and contributions in this regard.
Hall of Fame Banquet: February 18…All were asked to encourage others to be in attendance to make for a successful event.
Illinois Racing Board: Discussion regarding IHHA position on “out of competition” testing. We will await final language for statement of our position.
General Horsemen’s Meetings: Discussion ensued regarding two (2) general horsemen’s meetings during 2008; one to be held in Chicago area and another in Champaign area.
Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association