On Wednesday, Feb. 5, the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association (IHHA) posted on its website that several discussions have taken place with racetracks executives, Illinois Racing Board (IRB) commissioners, and the IHHA, but no agreement for a contract between the IHHA and Balmoral and Maywood Park racetracks was reached.
"We've found that the IRB and it's Commissioners acting as mediators is a more effective way to work out a deal - it allows neutral regulators to hear all positions and put forth ideas/proposals while keeping both parties separated so as not to intensify bad feelings which could possibly extend this process. Several Commissioners are involved in negotiations. They are dedicated to finding a resolution and we thank all of them for their time and assistance," wrote IHHA president Dave McCaffrey. "Again, reasonable control over our $5 million-plus purse account and the harmful effects of recapture are the main issues."