Another problem for horse racing: fewer foals
SPRINGFIELD As gamblers place fewer bets at Arlington Park and prize money drops for winning horses, the effects are felt far from the track.
The number of thoroughbred horses born in Illinois has been dropping steadily, to 429 this year from 1,009 in 2006, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
“There’s no future in it in this state at this point,” said Frank Kirby, an Oak Brook breeder.
With fewer horses, industry experts say, come lost jobs for trainers and groomers, a smaller demand for hay and other economic effects that are felt across the state.
That’s one of the arguments driving the push to allow tracks like Arlington Park to install slot machines to bring in more revenue. Lawmakers returning to Springfield this week could try yet again to make that happen.