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Ill. T-Bred Track Forced To Cut Dates

Published: July 20, 2009 3:02 pm ET

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Fallout from the Rod Blagojevich episode in Illinois has shut down thoroughbred racing at Fairmount Park in Collinsville in the far southern reaches of the state.

The track had been waiting for its $6.4 million share of the $76.4 million ordered paid to the state’s tracks by the four largest riverboat casinos.

The matter appeared closed last month when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a casino appeal from the Illinois Supreme Court decision. The casinos went back to court, filing a suit in federal court in Chicago June 12, against Blagojevich and five Illinois tracks and others, alleging the former governor had used his office to enrich himself in the matter, with supposed conspiracy on the part of the tracks.

The new litigation delayed payment of the escrowed millions once more, and Fairmount Park cut its final 18 racing dates, saying it can’t afford to pay purses and could not take a chance racing with no decision in the Blagojevich case, or an unfavorable one.

(Harness Tracks of America)

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