Phila. Park horsemen OK contract

May 25, 1994|By Knight-Ridder News Service

PHILADELPHIA -- Last Tuesday, horsemen at Philadelphia Park voted 119-48 to reject a compromise agreement on purses with track management. Monday, many of the same horsemen voted 132-2 to accept the same proposal.

What happened?

"It must be concluded that the membership realizes that the board of directors has made the best deal possible," said Bob Glass, the secretary of the local Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. "We had a meeting Friday night with a concerned group of horsemen. They reviewed financial documents and reached a conclusion."

The conclusion was that the $85,000 per day that management was offering was all it could afford, maybe more than it could afford. The conclusion was the HBPA's board of directors had gotten about all the available blood from this management stone.

So the horsemen, under a threat by management that it would close the track if there was no agreement, signed a one-year agreement that commences June 3.

The new agreement calls for between 200 and 240 days of live racing during the contract year, down from the 250 days originally scheduled this year. Final details are to be worked out Friday, but 220 days seems a likely compromise. That would mean four-day race weeks and some down time in summer and five-day weeks the rest of the year.

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