Stemming from the recent newspaper reports in the last week concerning Rick Heidner and his alleged ties to questionable past acquaintances, today the Illinois Racing Board amended their 2020 Dates Order from their September meeting by stripping “Playing in the Park” and Rick Heidner/Tim Carey of their 2020 dates. Our racing season next year will start as originally planned on Feb. 15 but will conclude when Hawthorne finishes on September 20th. We will lose those 12 racing dates in December.
We attended the meeting today and were informed that at around 11:00, an hour before the Illinois Racing Board hearing, Tim Carey and Rick Heidner were told that the State of Illinois would not be selling the plot of land to Tinley Park for the racino. Subsequently, Tinley Park couldn’t sell it to “Playing in the Park.” The racing dates originally awarded were predicated on that property being owned by “Playing In The Park,’ and so since that won’t happen the IRB had no choice but to amend their original dates order. Rick Heidner passionately testified to his lengthy career in business without a blemish of impropriety. So the big picture is that someone can still build an additional harness racino, along with Hawthorne, and whether it will be Rick Heidner, Tim Carey or someone else remains to be seen. But no matter, it will be pushed back at least another year. We’ll update as this unfolds.