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Current Climate, Polling Data, Lack Of Specifics Make Campaign Untenable Roseland - Paul Fireman and Jeff Gural are today reluctantly announcing the suspension of the paid media component of the statewide OUR Turn NJ campaign. In doing so, they issued the following joint statement: "We believe deeply that gaming expansion to Northern New Jersey is a remarkable opportunity that should not be squandered. We have committed $4 billion in private investment to this state to create world class resort destinations with gaming. The benefits include 43,000 new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in recaptured revenue -- a rare opportunity for New Jersey. In addition, as New York debates allowing gaming in New York City, it is critical that we beat them to market or risk losing this opportunity permanently. "The data, however, speaks for itself. The current political climate in New Jersey and voters' concerns about the lack of details relating to the effort have proved overwhelming. Even knowing that an out-of-country gaming company that sends New Jerseyans' gaming dollars to Malaysia is funding opposition ads does not have an impact. As such, with great reluctance we have decided to suspend the paid media component of the statewide campaign." Recent internal and third-party polling data have noted how difficult the current climate is. As noted in the attached internal polling summary, "Voters have a very negative outlook on the direction of the state and have extremely low confidence that the revenue promised in the Casino Expansion Amendment will be delivered as it is promised. Just 19% of New Jersey voters believe that the state is headed in the right direction. And an even lower proportion (10%) have a high level of confidence that the state will deliver upon the promised revenue as stated in the ballot measure." The summary also notes that when asked to explain why they have low or no confidence in the revenue being delivered as promised in the amendment, 50% of respondents say it is because politicians will use the funds for their own priorities, while another 30% volunteer that it is a concern for them. The polling shows that, while there are strong arguments to be made for the benefits of gaming expansion, "Respondents react very strongly to reasons to oppose the Amendment, which play to the lack of specifics and distrust directed at state government in Trenton. For comparison, the highest testing positive message is viewed as a very strong reason to support the measure by 48% of voters. The four negative messages tested in the survey all receive anywhere between 56% to 60% of voters who say that each one is a very strong reason to oppose the measure." Polling released earlier this week by Rutgers-Eagleton reinforces this voter dissatisfaction. In that poll, only 25 percent of those surveyed believe New Jersey is headed in the right direction, while 68 percent say the state has gone off on the wrong track. The poll is available at: http://eagletonpoll.rutgers.edu/rutgers-eagleton-Christie-casinos-NJ-Booker-Menendez-Sept2016/ The current campaign to expand gaming is mirroring New Jersey's first efforts to legalize casino gaming in 1974. In that year, the New Jersey voters rejected a ballot initiative to legalize gaming due to a lack of specifics in the ballot question about where casinos would be located. Two years later, a revised ballot question passed. One of the main reasons the 1976 question passed, unlike the 1974 one, was that it was more specific in nature. The 1974 campaign indicated that casinos would most likely be in Atlantic City, but the resolution itself did not indicate a specific location. Thus, proponents of the 1974 resolution "later admitted that a large number of voters apparently rejected the proposal simply because they did not want to see casinos in their own community."[1] In 1976, the resolution clearly stated that casinos would only be legal in Atlantic City, making voters far more comfortable with the idea. Gaming Polling Summary  

The Maine State Harness Racing Commission plans on Friday afternoon to release more details about the cases of seven people who have been suspended or fined by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry for supplying cobalt to their horses, according to a report by Portland TV station WCSH. The seven are drivers, trainers or owners of horses and some are appealing the rulings, according to the report. The use of cobalt is banned, as it improves endurance, according to a report on racing.com, and can cause severe side effects in horses. Steven Vafiades of Corinth was hit the hardest for penalties, as he has been suspended 450 days and must repay $23,000 in purse money. He also has been fined $2,250. Others who received suspensions of 450 days were Randy Bickmore, Patricia Switzer and Stephen Murchison. Longtime driver Drew Campbell of Scarborough, who has more 3,500 career victories, was suspended for 270 days. He also was fined $1,250 and must repay $2,150 in purse money. Bickmore, Switzer and Murchison were each fined $2,250, and each must repay purse money ranging from $4,000 to almost $11,000. Allison McDonald was ordered to repay $1,250 in purse money, and Frank Hiscock must repay $1,200. The penalties for Bickmore, Campbell, Vafiades and Switzer were apparently handed down by the Maine Harness Racing Commission in February. The commission is part of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. A report by harnessracingupdate.com on March 6 said it received a penalty summary for those four people from Henry Jennings, the commission’s acting executive director. Although issues with the use of cobalt in horse racing reportedly surfaced as early as 2013, the misuse of the chemical appears to have increased dramatically during 2015. That is the time frame in which the seven Maine harness racing trainers/drivers were found to have abused the substance in their horses. In April, the New York State Gaming Commission levied what were termed unprecedented penalties against six Standardbred horse trainers who had administered doses of cobalt that were deemed potentially dangerous and performance-enhancing in nature. Those trainers are to be suspended or have their licenses revoked entirely and each has been fined at least $25,000, according to a report in the Daily Racing Forum. The cobalt levels in horses trained by three of the individuals were deemed to be so serious that those individuals will be banned from harness racing for 10 years. The violations involving the six New York trainers occurred at Monticello Casino and Raceway, Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Yonkers Raceway during March 2016. The New York State Gaming Commission also has referred the violations to law enforcement, opening the door for possible animal cruelty charges. According to thoroughbredracing.com, cobalt is a substance that occurs as part of the vitamin B12 complex and is present naturally in horses at low levels. However, it gained attention as a performance enhancer in horses because it stimulates the production of the hormone erythropoietin, which promotes the formation of red blood cells. The result is better endurance and decreased muscle fatigue. However, high doses of cobalt can have major health ramifications for horses. It can produce abnormal sweating, anxiety and trembling. A study by Dr. Mary Scollay, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission equine medical director, found that high doses of cobalt also interfere with the clotting of blood. Reprinted with permission of The Bangor Daily News

To help drivers understand how Stewards in NSW will regulate the new Australian whip rules, Harness Racing New South Wales has produced a full breakdown of the new interpretation.  HRNSW has developed penalty guidelines to impose penalties for those that breach the rules and encourage drivers to curtail their whip action to reduce the risk of infringing again. The follow penalty structure will be in use in NSW and is a reflection of the national policy. 1st Offence Fine $200 2nd Offence – if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 1st Offence Fine $400 3rd Offence - if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 2nd Offence Fine $400 and 7 days suspension 4th Offence - if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 3rd Offence Fine $1,000 and/or 14 days suspension (at the discretion of the Stewards) 5th Offence - if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 4th Offence 21 days suspension HRNSW interpretations of Rule 156(4), which essentially explains the correct use of the whip, are as follows: A Driver who drives (apart from activating approved gear), or uses the whip, with a free hand or in any or all of the following would be in breach of the whip Rules, that is using the whip in “an unapproved manner”. Draws the tip of the whip further than the Drivers shoulder. If the whip hand is drawn back further than or above the Driver’s shoulder. If the whip action involves more than a wrist or elbow action. If the reins are lengthened so as to result in loose reining regardless of whether the whip is being used at the same time.“Loose reining” is considered to occur, but not exclusively, when the reins act in a “whipping motion” on the hindquarters of the horse. If the whip is used other than in a flicking motion. If the whip continues to be applied to a horse which is considered to;                         (i)         not be visibly responding;                         (ii)         be out of contention;                         (iii)        no longer be maintaining or improving its position;                         (iv)        be winning clearly;   Use the whip in a "side" action so as to be outside the confines of the sulky Use of the whip irrespective of whether the whip is striking the splash sheet or sulky shaft, a driver's whip action can still warrant a charge under the rules In instances where a Driver is found to have breached the “Whip Rules” on more than eight (8) occasions in any twelve month period HRNSW may require the Driver to show cause as to why he remain licensed by the Controlling Body. In the event a Driver is required to show cause the Controlling Body may direct that the Driver not be permitted to drive pending the said Driver responding to such Notice. Greg Hayes

Harness Racing New South Wales is committed to the improvement of equine welfare measures and fully supports the new Whip Rules announced by Harness Racing Australia earlier this month.  The use of the whip in the racing industry is a major issue for some parts of the community and animal welfare groups and the industry, as a whole, must recognise these concerns and adapt to current welfare and safety expectations. After consultation and support from the UHRA, the accredited industry body representing trainers and drivers, HRNSW will continue to implement strategies to improve animal welfare. The new rules basically require a driver to hold a rein in each hand throughout a race or trial.  The changes have been designed to help eliminate any conjecture surrounding the previous rules while improving animal welfare and providing a better public perception.  The changes also take into account a driver’s capacity to control a horse. From April 1 2016 no driver competing in trials across NSW will be allowed to cross the reins and apply the whip with a free hand. HRNSW and Trial Supervisors will be monitoring trials and those in breach of the new rules may be subject to penalty.  The main reason for the implementation of this policy is to begin the education process for drivers so they can amend their driving styles in the lead up to May 1. HRNSW Stewards are currently working on a penalty structure for breaches of the new Whip Rules, however effective May 1 there will be no grace period for breaches.  All participants are required to familiarise themselves with the new rules. Here is Rule 156 – the new provisions are specified in italics Rule 156(1)(a) a)  A driver shall only use a whip “of a design and specification” approved by the Controlling Body. b)  “A whip, once approved:-                 i. shall not be modified in any manner;                 ii. shall be maintained in a satisfactory condition; c)  A whip that does not comply with sub-paragraph b) may be confiscated by the Stewards”. Rule 156(2) “A driver shall hold a rein in each hand at all times unless he or she is adjusting approved gear”. Rule 156(3) “A driver shall not use a whip in an unapproved manner”. Rule 156(4) “For the purposes of Sub-rule(3) a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive”:- a)  If the tip of the whip is drawn back further than the driver’s shoulder. b)  “If the whip hand is drawn back further than or above the driver’s shoulder”. c)  If the whip action involves more than a wrist and elbow action. d)  If the reins are lengthened so as to result in loose reining regardless of whether the whip is being used at the same time. e)  If the whip is used other than in a flicking motion. f)  “If the whip is applied continuously and/or without allowing the horse time to respond”. g)  “If the whip is applied when the horse:- i. is not visibly responding; ii. is not in contention”; iii. cannot maintain or improve its position; iv. “is clearly winning”; v. has passed the winning post at the finish of a race. Rule 156(5) “A driver shall not use the whip in a manner which causes injury to a horse”. Rule 156(6) A whip shall not be used so as to obstruct, strike or endanger another driver or horse. Rule 156(7) A driver shall not allow a whip to project outside the sulky.   Rule 156(8) A whip shall not be used in a prodding or jabbing motion. Rule 156(9) "A driver shall not be in possession of a whip that has not been approved by the Controlling Body." Rule 156(10) "A person who fails to comply with any provision of this Rule is guilty of an offence." Rule 156 B 1) “A person shall not instruct or offer an inducement to a driver to use a whip in a manner contrary to the provisions of Rule 156”. 2) “A person who fails to comply with Sub-rule 1) is guilty of an offence”. Here is the link to a short video has also produced by HRA. HRNSW would like to thank the NSW participants who were involved in the making of the video and would encourage all drivers to watch the short production. Greg Hayes  

The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity announced today that a number of additional members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on in support of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 (THIA) in recent weeks.   Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA), Luke Messer (R-IN), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Chris Collins (R-NY), and Tony Cardenas (D-CA) signed on in the first two months of 2016.   THIA now has a total of 25 co-sponsors, demonstrating the growing momentum of support for the horse racing medication reform bill.   "I'm grateful for the members of Congress from both parties who have stepped forward to support the goals of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act," said Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY), co-author of THIA.   "Achieving this milestone is evidence of the growing support for uniform medication standards which will enhance the safety and integrity of Thoroughbred horseracing in America."   "I am energized to see this critical, bipartisan legislation approach 25 cosponsors," said Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), fellow co-author of THIA, "and I look forward to working with Congressman Barr to push this closer to the finish line."   "I am pleased to report that New York has 7 co-sponsors of H.R. 3084, the most of any state."   I will also continue to stress the importance of this legislation to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and advocate for a hearing on this issue."   Tonko continued, "As I travel throughout New York's Capital Region, home to the famed Saratoga Race Course, constituents everywhere are enthusiastic about this potential for this legislation to reinvigorate the sport of kings."   Last August, during the Saratoga meet, I had the opportunity to provide the keynote address at the Saratoga Institute on Equine, Racing & Gaming Law Conference, where I made the case that implementing uniform rules and enhancing respect for our equine athletes are essential elements to improve the image of the sport for today's discerning fans."   THIA, or H.R.3084, is the only legislative proposal with active support across the diverse stakeholders that make up America's horse racing community.   Signing on form both sides of the aisle, these new cosponsors also signify the widespread bipartisan support THIA continues to gain on Capitol Hill.   In supporting THIA, the representatives join House co-authors Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) as well as cosponsors Richard Hanna (R-NY), David Jolly (R-FL), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), David Joyce (R-OH), Jerold Nadler (D-NY), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Mark Takano (D-CA), and James Himes (D-CT).   The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity supports the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015, which would authorize an independent, racing-specific, non-governmental and non-profit organization to create uniform, high standards in drug and medication testing and enforcement for Thoroughbred horse racing.   The Coalition's membership includes major racing organizations, animal welfare groups, racing and wagering facilities and a grassroots organization with over 1,200 owners, trainers, breeders, and racing professionals.   Additional information, including a list of coalition members, stories from supporters and ways to contact Congress to express support for this legislation, is available at www.horseracingintegrity.com.   Caroline Roth

On March 10, 2016, in Department 85 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Honorable James C. Chalfant, Judge presiding, granted Quarter Horse Owner Gustavo De La Torre's petition for a writ of mandate directing the California Horse Racing Board to set aside its approval of the Los Alamitos Race Course “house rule” providing for disqualification of horses resulting from hair testing for albuterol and clenbuterol, both authorized medications in California. Additionally, the court ruled that De La Torre is entitled to declaratory and injunctive relief against both the California Horse Racing Board and Los Alamitos regarding enforcement of the illegal “house rule.” De La Torre was represented by Los Angeles attorneys, Darrell Vienna and Carlo Fisco. Commenting on the Court's decision, Vienna said: “The disqualification of Mr. De La Torre’s horse from the El Primero Del Año Derby was contrary to established Horse Racing Law and CHRB regulations. We were pleased the Court granted Mr. De La Torre's petition and are convinced that a return to the rule of law will benefit California horse racing.” Co-counsel Fisco noted: "Judge Chalfant's rebuke of the CHRB and Los Alamitos is just another in a long line of decisions where the CHRB was found to have ignored the law or failed to discharge its mandatory duties. These clear decisions warrant, in my opinion, a comprehensive review by the Governor or other principals into the policies, personnel and practices of the CHRB. The public interest cannot be held hostage by an agency bent on ignoring the mandates of California law and its own rules." Even though De La Torre’s horse, Runaway Fire, passed all official CHRB testing, he was disqualified by Los Alamitos from participation in the El Primero Del Año Derby after a hair sample taken from the horse was alleged to contain traces of clenbuterol. Evidence presented at the trial established that the Los Alamitos house rule conflicts with California Horse Racing Board rules, thus necessitating the abolishment of the private house rule.  March 10, 2016   Darrell Vienna: horselawyer@gmail.com   Los Angeles, California      

Governor Tom Wolf today signed House Bill 941, which, among other things, includes much-needed reforms of Pennsylvania's equine racing industry. The governor was joined by state Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, members of each of the legislative caucuses, leadership from the House Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee, and various representatives of the racing industry. "Racing today is drastically different today than what it was 35 years ago when the last reform effort was put into law," Wolf said right after signing the bill, which is now referred to as Act 6. "It was clear that the status quo was no longer sufficient to maintain the integrity of the industry, to protect the wagering public, and to ensure proper oversight of racing in the commonwealth. Simply put, the system was broken. We were operating under a structural deficit that undermined our ability to regulate the industry properly and maximize the economic opportunities of this industry." In October 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced it no longer had the financial resources necessary to maintain operations at the state's two racing commissions - the Horse Racing Commission and the Harness Racing Commission - or to operate the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology Research Laboratory at West Chester University where samples from Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses are tested for performance-enhancing substances. As a result, the state faced the difficult prospect of suspending racing in Pennsylvania. The structural deficit in the State Racing Fund was the result of a 71 percent decline in wagers on live horse racing in the state since 2001. Pari-mutuel taxes on those wagers fund the oversight of racing in the state. That persistent imbalance had been noted by the Wolf administration, the administrations of previous governors, as well as the state auditor general and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. In response to this challenge, the Wolf administration convened a working group of state officials, members of the General Assembly, and stakeholders from the equine industry and the state's six licensed racetrack operators to develop a solution. The results of those negotiations are reflected in Act 6. Among other things, the new law combines the two racing commissions into one unified commission that strengthens the governance of the industry, yet retains the ability to render decisions on breed-specific issues. The new nine-member commission will be composed of five members appointed by the governor (one veterinarian, one representative of a Thoroughbred horsemen's organization, one representative of a Thoroughbred breeder organization, one representative of a Standardbred horsemen's association and one representative of a Standardbred breeder organization) and four members appointed by each of the four legislative caucuses. The Secretary of Agriculture, or a designee, will be a non-voting, ex-officio member. The new law also makes the industry, rather than taxpayers, responsible for bearing the cost of drug-testing horses, and it institutes new license fees for racetrack operators and for businesses that offer electronic wagering. Act 6 repeals the 10 percent advanced deposit wagering tax on horse races that had been challenged in the courts, and the law calls for a comprehensive industry study to assess the financial, regulatory and market factors of the horse racing industry. The Joint State Government Commission, with assistance from the Independent Fiscal Office, is responsible for conducting the study. "Getting to this point was not easy," Agriculture Secretary Redding, "but thanks to the involvement of the stakeholders, we were able to arrive at a sound compromise that accomplishes our objectives: strengthening the integrity of horse and harness racing in the commonwealth, and putting in place a financial model that will allow for the long-term viability of the State Racing Fund. I want to thank all of the stakeholders, particularly the members of the General Assembly, including the four chairs of the Senate and House Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees, for their leadership and continued engagement on this issue." For more information about racing in Pennsylvania, visit www.agriculture.pa.gov and search "racing." To view House Bill 941 in its entirety, visit http://bit.ly/1Uig8d3. Brandi Hunter-Davenport             William R. Nichols | Press Aide Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture | Press Office 2301 North Cameron Street | Hbg PA 17110 Phone: 717.787.5085 | Fax: 717.705.8402   www.agriculture.pa.gov      

The New South Wales Betting Tax Legislation Bill was introduced into the Parliament by the NSW Government in November 2015. The subsequent Act provided for reductions in tax on wagering and was backdated to 1 July 2015. As a result NSW Treasury estimates the harness racing industry will receive a total amount of $29.9 million over the next five years. HRNSW is seeking industry feedback before considering priorities for funding which will flow from the 2016/2017 financial year. Submissions are invited from industry bodies, racing clubs and individuals. It is important to note the NSW Government has indicated that the allocation of funds provided via tax parity is to be distributed in accordance with the code's Strategic Plan. Therefore submissions need to conform to the strategies identified in the controlling body's Strategic Plans. The closing date for submissions is close of business on Monday 29th February 2016 and can be forwarded to Mr John Dumesny Chief Executive Harness Racing NSW PO Box 1034 Bankstown NSW 1885 Or submissions can be emailed directly to jdumesny@hrnsw.com.au Greg Hayes

State Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, is sponsoring legislation in the Illinois House to prevent the closing of Balmoral Park and Maywood Park, harness racing tracks, at the end of the year. Jones, whose district includes Crete, where Balmoral Park is located, admitted to me that his effort is a long shot, "but the only hope we have right now of keeping Balmoral Park open next year so that it might attract a buyer." The lawmaker questioned the Illinois Racing Board's decision to take harness racing dates away from Balmoral and Maywood, which had historically held them, and give them to Hawthorne Race Course. "There was no public discussion about this, no consultation with state legislators, and we don't know exactly what information the racing board was acting on when it made its decision," Jones said, adding that he wants to hold a public hearing in Chicago to find out how the board reached its decision. Jones' bill, H.B. 2663, would amend the Illinois Racing Act of 1975 and allocate a minimum of 30 days of racing in the next year to any race track that was in good standing during the current year, meaning Balmoral and Maywood. Under the current law, the off track betting operations associated with Balmoral and Maywood could remain open for a few years, but would be placed in jeopardy by the way OTB money is distributed, according to Jones. Jack Kelly, a former lobbyist for Balmoral and Maywood, said gambling revenues at OTB parlors are divided up among racetracks under a complicated system that rewards "host tracks" which are featuring live races. All the revenue wagered at local OTB parlors, he said, goes to those tracks that have live racing at the time (day or night), which has ultimately resulted in what he called a fairly equal distribution of funds between Arlington International Racecourse, Hawthorne, Maywood and Balmoral. According to Kelly, Balmoral and Maywood generate about one-third of all the OTB revenue in the Chicago metro area. But if Maywood and Balmoral have no live racing next year, they would get none of that revenue split. So Jones' bill would alter the "host" system that determines how revenues are split on bets made at OTBs and inter-tracks. The change would allow each OTB and race track to retain the commissions and purse money earned from betting out-of-state races at their respective operations. Jones admitted that at this point he can't even muster the votes to get his measure out of a House committee. "So my goal now is to get a hearing in Chicago where we can go into how the Illinois Gaming Board made its decision and how it was influenced by the people at competing racetracks in the hope that once people understand how these decisions were made they will start questioning the entire process," he said. Jones said he believes Arlington and Hawthorne used a $78 million civil judgment against the Johnston Family, which owns Balmoral and Maywood, as fodder to sway the votes of racing board members. The Johnstons were forced to file for bankruptcy after being caught up in the Gov. Rod Blagojevich scandal, resulting in a civil lawsuit filed by casinos for allegedly offering campaign contributions to the former governor in exchange for the state extending an agreement to share casino gambling revenue with the two racetracks. The contribution apparently was never made and the deal never completed. "The racing board decided to take the harness racing dates away from Maywood and Balmoral because of that, but if it was a matter of them saying they wanted to clean up horse racing in Illinois and punish the tracks involved in the scandal, that could have been done back in 2011 when the information first came out," Jones said. "Instead, they waited for a decision in the civil suit. "What I'm interested in is the economic impact on the communities I represent," Jones continued. "We have 270 acres of land out there in Crete that really isn't of much use for anything other than a race track. Its economic impact on Crete, Steger, Beecher, Monee and other surrounding communities is between $2 million and $3 million a year. "There are hundreds of jobs at stake, either connected to the track directly -- tellers, food service staff, security, parking attendants, maintenance staff people who work the backstretch -- and those people employed by businesses that do business with the track," Jones said. "There are also people who live on the track, at Balmoral, and some of them may be able to relocate, but many of them will have no place to live. "Finally, to sell that track to a new buyer, you have to be able to offer them something in return. No one is going to buy a race track if they are not guaranteed race dates by the state. It would be foolish to invest that kind of money. Our only hope of attracting a buyer, of retaining those jobs and that revenue for the businesses in the community, is to keep the track operating until a buyer can be found." Jones said he hopes to convince south suburban mayors to support his measure and lobby their lawmakers to back his bill. Earlier this week, the legislative and policy committee of the Will County Board voted to back the legislation. "This reminds me of the closing of Oak Forest Hospital," said Jones, who testified against the closing at a public hearing. "The closing of that hospital had a significant economic impact on the south suburbs. We lost jobs and revenue and most of that hospital remains vacant. We can't keep allowing our government, which we pay taxes to support, to work against the best interests of the people of the south suburbs. We have to take a stand and put a stop to this. I believe we can do it." While Jones sounded optimistic, I'm not convinced there's time to reverse the gaming board's decision. Maywood has already shut down its operations and Balmoral is in the process of doing that, although it remains open for harness racing this year. In addition, the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association, which represents breeders, trainers, drivers and others in the industry – came out in support of the Racing Board's decision because Balmoral and Maywood had each sought only two racing days a week next year, far too few to support the people who make their living in harness racing. Hawthorne will host 117 days of harness racing next year, down from the 192 dates at Maywood and Balmoral Park this year, but far more than what those tracks had requested in 2016. Trainers and horse owners also told me that purses at Balmoral had decreased significantly in recent years making it nearly impossible for them to show a profit. They expressed optimism that Hawthorne's purses would increase, making it easier for them to make a living. Jones said he had not reached out to the horsemen, but planned to do so in the near future. "I respect their concerns and their problems," Jones said, "but this is about the larger community. This is about the impact on the entire south suburban region. And they have to understand that." Jones said he hoped to have his public hearing on Balmoral and Maywood sometime before Thanksgiving in order to gain support for his bill before Christmas. Since there is no place to find the odds on such things, I'm officially setting the line at 100-to-1. You know, I've always been a sucker for long shots. By Phil Kadner Reprinted with permission of The Southtown News

After a week of daily discussions between state officials and representatives of Pennsylvania's horse and harness racing industries and its race tracks, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding expressed optimism today that a long-term solution to the structural deficit in the State Racing Fund is within reach. "This has not been an easy process, but it has been an incredibly productive process," said Redding. "We have come a long way since last Friday when the future of racing in Pennsylvania was very much in doubt, but today, thanks to the tremendous work of a lot of people around the table, we find ourselves in a very much improved position. Everyone seems genuinely committed to finding a long-term, sustainable solution that will keep racing alive and well in Pennsylvania for years to come. "I want to thank everyone for their diligence and their willingness to return to the table day-after-day and talk through these issues," Redding added. "That goes for members of the General Assembly, the horsemen and the track operators. While we don't yet have a comprehensive agreement, we do agree on many of the major points. Those areas where differences remain are not insurmountable. Our goal has always been to reach a consensus among all of the stakeholders that promotes the future of racing in Pennsylvania. We believe that within another week, we can get there." Given the progress in conversations over the past week, Redding said the state was delaying any decision on whether it had to initiate the suspension of live racing in the state for one-week. Previously, it looked like a suspension of racing was to start on Oct. 30. The chairs of the State Horse and Harness Racing Commissions echoed Redding's optimism and appreciation for the ongoing dialogue with the industry and its stakeholders. "We are optimistic that this next week will get everyone where we need to be so that racing is not suspended," said Harness Racing Chairman Johnathan Newman. "The Harness Racing Commission appreciates all efforts extended by the various partner groups to get us to this point. We remain confident that we're on strong footing and are close to coming to an agreement." Similarly, Alan Novak, chairman of the State Horse Racing Commission said, "Significant progress has been made. Whenever you bring together a group representing diverse interests, there has to be time given to allow them to come to a compromise. We know that everyone involved is working in a cooperative spirit and my hope is that an agreement is reached soon." The questions over the future of equine racing in the commonwealth were brought to the forefront last week when the department announced a deficit State Racing Fund, leaving the state without the resources to maintain the financial integrity of the industry and to protect the wagering public. Pari-mutuel tax revenues from total handle — or the total amount wagered on racing — has declined tremendously over at least the past 15 years. In 2001, more than $1.46 billion was wagered on races in the state. In 2014, that number had declined to $427.5 million — a 71 percent decrease. Similarly, the state's share of tax revenues on those wagers decreased 65 percent over the same period, from $31.8 million in 2001 to a little more than $11 million in 2014. It costs between $18 million and $20 million to regulate racing in the commonwealth. In recent years, the Racing Fund's deficit has been filled using transfers from the Race Horse Development Fund, which is supported by a percentage of tax revenues from slot machine gaming. A transfer of $4.2 million, spread over fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15, allowed the Racing Fund to remain solvent. Governor Tom Wolf's budget proposed a $6.5 million transfer for fiscal year 2015-16. While the Race Horse Development Fund has helped to keep the Racing Fund afloat, the law that created it contributed to the present dilemma. Act 71 of 2004, or the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, increased the regulatory oversight responsibilities of the state racing commissions by 50 percent, adding two new race tracks to the four that existed at the time, but the act did not dedicate any of the approximately $2 billion in slot revenues that have been generated to date for the Race Horse Development Fund to meet that increased workload. The present deficit is also complicated by another factor. In 2013, the General Assembly enacted Act 52, a provision which imposed a 10 percent advanced deposit wagering tax on horse racing bets placed with companies other than the six licensed Pennsylvania racetracks via the Internet from a Pennsylvania-based IP address. As a result of litigation challenging the constitutionality of this provision, a $1.9 million tax refund must be paid from the Racing Fund. For more information on horse and harness racing in Pennsylvania, visit www.agriculture.pa.gov. Chairman Newman also reiterated that the Standardbred Sale that kicks-off today, Nov. 2 at the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg was moving forward as planned. Reprinted with permission of the NJ.com site

Harrisburg, PA - After a week of daily discussions between state officials and representatives of Pennsylvania's horse and harness racing industries and its race tracks, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding expressed optimism today that a long-term solution to the structural deficit in the State Racing Fund is within reach. "This has not been an easy process, but it has been an incredibly productive process," said Redding. "We have come a long way since last Friday when the future of racing in Pennsylvania was very much in doubt, but today, thanks to the tremendous work of a lot of people around the table, we find ourselves in a very much improved position. Everyone seems genuinely committed to finding a long-term, sustainable solution that will keep racing alive and well in Pennsylvania for years to come. "I want to thank everyone for their diligence and their willingness to return to the table day-after-day and talk through these issues," Redding added. "That goes for members of the General Assembly, the horsemen and the track operators. While we don't yet have a comprehensive agreement, we do agree on many of the major points. Those areas where differences remain are not insurmountable. Our goal has always been to reach a consensus among all of the stakeholders that promotes the future of racing in Pennsylvania. We believe that within another week, we can get there." Given the progress in conversations over the past week, Redding said the state was delaying any decision on whether it had to initiate the suspension of live racing in the state for one-week. The chairs of the State Horse and Harness Racing Commissions echoed Redding's optimism and appreciation for the ongoing dialogue with the industry and its stakeholders. "We are optimistic that this next week will get everyone where we need to be so that racing is not suspended," said Harness Racing Chairman Johnathan Newman. "The Harness Racing Commission appreciates all efforts extended by the various partner groups to get us to this point. We remain confident that we're on strong footing and are close to coming to an agreement." Similarly, Alan Novak, chairman of the State Horse Racing Commission said, "Significant progress has been made. Whenever you bring together a group representing diverse interests, there has to be time given to allow them to come to a compromise. We know that everyone involved is working in a cooperative spirit and my hope is that an agreement is reached soon." The questions over the future of equine racing in the commonwealth were brought to the forefront last week when the department announced a deficit State Racing Fund, leaving the state without the resources to maintain the financial integrity of the industry and to protect the wagering public. Pari-mutuel tax revenues from total handle - or the total amount wagered on racing - has declined tremendously over at least the past 15 years. In 2001, more than $1.46 billion was wagered on races in the state. In 2014, that number had declined to $427.5 million - a 71 percent decrease. Similarly, the state's share of tax revenues on those wagers decreased 65 percent over the same period, from $31.8 million in 2001 to a little more than $11 million in 2014. It costs between $18 million and $20 million to regulate racing in the commonwealth. In recent years, the Racing Fund's deficit has been filled using transfers from the Race Horse Development Fund, which is supported by a percentage of tax revenues from slot machine gaming. A transfer of $4.2 million, spread over fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15, allowed the Racing Fund to remain solvent. Governor Tom Wolf's budget proposed a $6.5 million transfer for fiscal year 2015-16. While the Race Horse Development Fund has helped to keep the Racing Fund afloat, the law that created it contributed to the present dilemma. Act 71 of 2004, or the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, increased the regulatory oversight responsibilities of the state racing commissions by 50 percent, adding two new race tracks to the four that existed at the time, but the act did not dedicate any of the approximately $2 billion in slot revenues that have been generated to date for the Race Horse Development Fund to meet that increased workload. The present deficit is also complicated by another factor. In 2013, the General Assembly enacted Act 52, a provision which imposed a 10 percent advanced deposit wagering tax on horse racing bets placed with companies other than the six licensed Pennsylvania racetracks via the Internet from a Pennsylvania-based IP address. As a result of litigation challenging the constitutionality of this provision, a $1.9 million tax refund must be paid from the Racing Fund. For more information on horse and harness racing in Pennsylvania, visit www.agriculture.pa.gov. Chairman Newman also reiterated that the Standardbred Sale currently slated to kick-off Monday, November 2 at the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg will move forward as planned. Brandi Hunter-Davenport, 717.787.5085 William R. Nichols | Press Aide Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture | Press Office 2301 North Cameron Street | Hbg PA 17110 Phone: 717.787.5085 | Fax: 717.705.8402  

As racing steward Terry Bailey stumbled on to his nature strip, clutching a tribal carving for ­defence seconds after gunfire peppered his suburban family home, he confronted two new realities. His world as sheriff of the track had changed forever: criminal elements had taken the fight straight to his doorstep only days before the Melbourne Cup. His second thought provided little comfort: the shooter could be anyone among a bulging Rolodex of enemies the 48-year-old chief steward had accumulated during a meteoric rise from Rockhampton racetrack to the hallowed turf of Flemington. Among the beaming celebrities and corporate suits in the luxurious marquees of the Birdcage from today, the party will barely miss a beat: DJs, champagne, fashion and some stunning feats of equine athleticism. But the racing industry — and its top cop — have been blasted into a new and terrifying era. Bailey speaks with a slow, nasal drawl that betrays his humble ­origins as the son of a cop who grew up in the backblocks of Queensland and NSW. But, up close, his eyes twinkle with a raw intelligence that smart folk quickly detect. John “The Sheriff” Schreck, perhaps the most famous steward in Australian turf history, saw that glimmer in Bailey’s eye and plucked him from obscurity at Rockhampton and put him on the path to the big league. “I first met him when he was still at school and he was working as a gofer on the track at Rockhampton — all he ever wanted to do was be involved in the administration of racing,’’ he tells The Weekend Australian in his first ­extended interview since the shooting. “His work ethic was quite outstanding and his common sense.” Today the stakes are astronomically higher, the villains smarter and far more ruthless, but Bailey hasn’t lost his laconic bush sense of humour. “I don’t have any other interests in life so, I presume, this is the common denominator,’’ he said the morning after an unknown enemy had pumped six rounds from a semi-automatic weapon into the front door of his suburban Melbourne house. “If they want to find you, they’ll find you.” Now, as the $16 billion racing industry begins its biggest week of the year, with the eyes of the racing world fixed on Melbourne, he and his family (a wife and two teen daughters he “idolises”) are living out of a safe house with a security detail attached to them 24/7. The attack was written up this week as the moment that racing lost its innocence, a description that didn’t pass the laugh test even for those who love the so-called sport of kings. “Don’t they remember (gangster) Tony Mokbel betting up a storm? Or (a certain jockey) taking bungs? Or the Smoking Aces (race-fixing) case? Or the cobalt scandal,’’ one world-weary racing fan mused. But Bailey’s mentor Schreck, who was the Australian Jockey Club’s chief steward for 15 years and did stints in senior roles in Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau, believes the attack on his friend and protege marks a significant new low and racing needs to recognise it. “It’s a bloody awful thing and it’s done untold damage to horse racing in this country,’’ he said. “He (Bailey) would be terribly disturbed about it and worried for his family. In the future, when Terry Bailey moves back home I would expect he will have CCTV throughout the house. I never thought I would see those days. It’s just gangster stuff, isn’t it?” Gunshots flying into the home of the industry’s top cop is undoubtedly a new low, but villains have always lurked in the shadows of horse racing. There was the Fine Cotton scandal in the 1980s, ­George Freeman roaming Sydney tracks before that — the links even go back to the days of John Wren, depicted in Frank Hardy’s Power Without Glory. In more recent times, there has also been the unsolved execution-style murder of horse trainer Les Samba, gunned down on a Melbourne street in 2011. The jailed drug lord Tony Mokbel was a horse owner and reputedly still punts from his maximum-security prison, having led the so-called Tracksuit Gang in the 1980s and 90s, trading words and tips at racecourses across Australia. His brother Horty Mokbel was banned from tracks in 2004. Mick Gatto, who shot dead gangland killer Andrew “Benji’’ Veniamin more than a decade ago but beat a murder charge, is also now banned from racetracks and Crown casino. Carl Williams, the murderer who was killed in jail, was at the epicentre of Melbourne’s gangland war. He loved a punt as well. As did ­Alphonse Gangitano, once the public but violent face of the Carlton Crew. His interest in horse racing and protection rackets ended with his death in 1998 at the hands of — police believe — Jason Moran. The Morans had close links with racing and Jason Moran was accused of triggering the underworld war that killed dozens. He, too, is no longer with us. Beyond the glittering success of the Flemington carnival, racing has for years been locked in a struggle to expel criminal elements, with Bailey at the vanguard. Pretty much ever since he was lured from the Gold Coast to clean up harness racing in Vic­toria, he has had a tiger by the tail. Bailey soon unearthed a race-fixing scandal involving the use of a drug known as Blue Magic. In a move that foreshadowed his ­aggressive style, he liaised closely with police and used covert surveillance to build a case that culminated in raids in Australia and New Zealand that would smash a crime syndicate. He parlayed that success into a shift into thoroughbreds — the main game — where he became one of the youngest chief stewards in Victorian history, replacing stalwart Des Gleeson. As Bailey drove a more aggressive enforcement culture, that Rolodex of enemies continued to grow. His detractors accuse him of the law enforcement equivalent of “managing up” — kicking the shit out of industry participants to garner publicity and to further his own career. He tangled with talented but troubled jockey Danny Nikolic, pursuing the hoop unsuccessfully over the so-called Betfair scandal and then the Smoking Aces race-fixing probe. Nikolic was cleared on both, but it was the start of a bloody war of attrition between the steward and jockey that would ultimately see Bailey get his man following a clash outside the steward’s tower in which Nikolic is alleged to have said: “We’ve all got families, c---, and we know where yours live ...” Nikolic, who was banned for two years, denied making the comment and was not commenting on this week’s incident. Bailey has been unrelenting in driving higher integrity standards, pushing for covert surveillance of stables and demanding trainers give his officials keys to their stable doors and even seeking to implant a spy in one stable. He found himself at the centre of the most high-profile drug case in the sport’s recent history when big-name trainers Peter Moody, Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien were charged over positive swabs for cobalt returned by horses in their care. The cases continue to grind on, further damaging the sport’s image as ever darker secrets emerge, such as the reported links between a vet involved in supplying cobalt and organised criminals with ties to the harness racing world. It is true that racing has taken big strides towards a far more ruthless enforcement culture, introducing tough drug standards and investing in testing laboratories that keep officials close on the heels of biochemists. Victoria’s Racing Integrity Commissioner, Sal Perna, says on top of sophisticated race-day betting analysis teams, racing now has its own compliance and audit squads. “These are guys who are jumping the fences of trainers’ properties and checking the stables and drug testing,’’ he said. “Integrity has become much (more) important. Racing’s success is based on public confidence. If the public don’t have confidence in integrity, they won’t bet, then there’s less money coming in.” Racing Australia chief executive Peter McGauran says the brazen gun attack is a wake-up call for the federal government, which must let the industry’s integrity bodies have better access to phone call and intercept data to protect the sport from organised crime. “If there are criminal elements capable of that here you can only imagine what those associated with illegal Asian bookmaking are capable of,” he said. Racing commentator Richard Freedman, the brother of Melbourne Cup winning trainers Lee and Anthony Freedman, says the attack on Bailey comes at a bad time for the sport but he doesn’t believe it will have a lasting negative effect. “I don’t want to sound blase about what happened to Terry because it’s appalling, but you have to take the long view — in the long term, the sport will be better.” Freedman agrees that racing is suffering from “the Tour de France syndrome”. “If you attempt to tackle cheats in your sport, you will expose yourself to claims your sport is full of cheats, because you will find them,’’ he said.   By Rick Wallace   Reprinted with permission of The Australian.com.au site

Last week, state officials announced that the financial health of the Pennsylvania Racing Fund was declining and had reached a point where it could no longer sustain or protect the integrity of the racing industry. Officials noted without a fix in place, racing may have to be suspended. A one-week timeline was instituted for all vested stakeholders to come to consensus on a solution to address the structural deficit. This evening, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture provided the following update regarding the matter: "Considerable progress has been made over the course of the last week, in particular, the last 24 hours," said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. "We appreciate the engagement of all the parties - everyone from the track operators, the horsemen, and members of the General Assembly. While there is agreement on a vast number of the issues, more work remains on a few important, final points. We've asked all of the parties to reconvene tomorrow to further discuss these remaining issues. We remain optimistic." William R. Nichols | Press Aide Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture | Press Office 2301 North Cameron Street | Hbg PA 17110 Phone: 717.787.5085 | Fax: 717.705.8402  

Following a period of suspension and disqualification for drugs of abuse, Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers indicated their intention to be re-licenced by Harness Racing South Australia. The Board of Harness Racing SA issued both Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers with a notice which required them to attend before the board and ‘show cause’ as to why they should be re-licenced. The rules allow the Controlling Body to refuse an application for a licence without assigning any reason. At this ‘show cause’ hearing, the Board re-inforced to both Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers that HRSA grants the privilege of a licence to individuals committed to adherence to the rules and lifting the industrys profile and that licencees that engage in conduct unbecoming to their status could bring them or harness racing into disrepute. The Board questioned Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers as to whether they were fit and proper persons to be licenced taking into account their history, behaviour, ability to operate within the rules, honesty and personal circumstances. After taking into account their conduct that has occurred in the past, the Board looked to the future as to whether there is likely to be a repetition of the subject conduct. The Board took into account that both Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers had:   *Successfully undertaken drug and alcohol counselling *Provided clear urine samples in recent weeks *Shown they were remorseful *Understood the consequences of providing a sample in the future that contained drugs of abuse As a result the Board of HRSA resolved to re-licence both Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers on the understanding they would be subject to an increased level of scrutiny and would continue to have targeted and random sampling for drugs of abuse. Barbara Scott Chair of Stewards

Harness Racing New Zealand had scheduled a meeting for Friday, 25 September to review the licenses of Mr Mike Stratford. This was following his attempt to drive with a modified whip on Friday 11 September at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club race meeting. This matter has been adjourned till 22 October due to Mr Stratford’s legal counsel being unavailable and also requesting further time to prepare for submissions in his defence. HRNZ and Mr Stratford have agreed that pending the hearing on the 22nd of October, Mr Stratford will not drive in a race or present any horse trained by him for racing. Background. Mr Stratford’s licences are to be reviewed pursuant to Rule 324(1) which states: 324 (1) The Board may, in its discretion, at any time cancel, withdraw, suspend, or impose, amend or delete any conditions or restrictions upon any licence for such period during the currency thereof as it thinks fit, giving seven days notice of its intention to do so. The HRNZ Committee established to review this matter is comprised of the following Board members:  Mr Brain Wastney (Chair HRNZ Animal Welfare Sub-Committee)  Mr Ken Spicer (HRNZ Vice Chairman)  Mr Colin Hair (Chair HRNZ Audit & Finance Sub-Committee) Edward Rennell Chief Executive  

Sample Irregularities Harness Racing South Australia has been advised by Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) of sample irregularities. THE NATURE BOY – Trainer R. Lemon. RASL have advised HRSA that arsenic has been detected in the urine sample taken from THE NATURE BOY following its win in Race 2, The Pirie Fodder Supplies Pace, conducted at Port Pirie on Friday 10 July 2015. The ‘B’ sample has been sent to the Chem Centre in Western Australia. Acting under Rule 183A, THE NATURE BOY has been stood down and shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the outcome of an inquiry or investigation. A date for the inquiry has not been set. Barbara Scott, Chair of Stewards

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