According to the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association (IHHA) website, on Tuesday the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) awarded all of the live harness dates in Illinois for 2016 to Hawthorne Race Course. No dates were awarded to Balmoral Park or Maywood Park, which both have been operating under bankruptcy because of a $78 million civil court judgment against an owner of the track.
Hawthorne Race Course, which played host to winter harness racing for many years in the 1980s under the banner of Suburban Downs, asked the IRB for 61 live harness programs from May 13-31 and some dates in June, July, August and September. The IHHA website said Hawthorne was awarded 128 total dates if the Illinois State Fair does not race, 117 if racing takes place in Springfield.
The live harness schedule at Hawthorne is as follows: racing five days a week (Wednesday-Sunday) from Jan. 6 through Feb. 6 (24 dates); racing five days a week (Wednesday-Sunday) from May 6 through Sept. 25 (92 dates); racing on Monday, July 4.
Balmoral Park had requested 87 live harness programs, with racing two days a week Jan. 2 through Nov. 3. Maywood Park had requested 17 programs (Nov. 4-Dec. 31), but had already received permission to vacate its remaining 2015 harness dates.
No other information was posted on the IHHA website.