Columbus, OH --- The Illinois Racing Board, meeting today, approved the appropriation of funds sufficient to provide regulatory staffing for the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and the Du Quoin State Fair, meaning that both fairs will be able to offer pari-mutuel wagering in 2010.
The action came as part of an agreement with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, which will share in some of the veterinary and testing costs associated with racing at both venues, and with a reduction of the number of racing days offered at the two fairs as an additional cost-saving measure.
The board, voting 9-1, funded pari-mutuel inspectors and will pay the cost of gathering and testing samples from winning horses. The Department of Agriculture will fund the services of the track veterinarian and bear the cost of gathering and testing samples from “specials” -- non-winning horses from which judges request a sample be taken.
Racing at Springfield will be conducted Friday, Aug. 13, through Thursday, Aug. 19, with the exception of Sunday, Aug. 15. At Du Quoin, racing will be conducted for three days, from Friday, Sep. 3 through Sunday, Sep. 5 -- which represents a change from what had originally been a much longer meet, though earlier reduced to three days with the cancellation of elimination races and Grand Circuit races.
Maywood Park, which had at first indicated it did not want to provide pari-mutuel services because their 2009 expensed had not been reimbursed -- but which later received payment from the State of Illinois -- will again serve as the betting operator.
The Board also approved sufficient appropriations to be able to offer pari-mutuels at the county fair at Mt. Sterling, Ill.