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mm» m, i.,, . ■ , : REFLECTIONS I By Nelson Dunstan Arlington Park Dispute Clears Atmosphere Mediation by Perlman Resolves Moot Points Settlement Benefits Management, Horsemen Pattern Evolved Which Can Apply Nationally NEW YORK, N. Y., June 14. Last Thursday, the racing and breeding worlds read with considerable relief that J. Samuel Perlman, publisher of this newspaper, had brought about a satisfactory settlement of the dispute that that was was raging raging between between the the CentralDivision CentralDivision mm» , m, i.,, . : ■ that that was was raging raging between between the the CentralDivision CentralDivision of the Horsemens Benevolent and Protective Association and the officers of Arlington and Washington Parks in Chicago. The situation was a grave one, especially as its origin dated back more than a year and had magnified itself in the minds of. those on both sides. That publisher Perlman could bring about a settlement so Mondays meeting at Arlington Park could open on schedule was important in itself, but, during the mediation, there were many points discussed which had been so so misunderstood misunderstood that that it it is is to to the the interest interest oi of i • , ! . I ! : 1 | , . : | so so misunderstood misunderstood that that it it is is to to the the interest interest oi of |B_i111-_H both sides, and also to the sport, they be - brought into clearer focus at this time. When Perlman was asked to attend the HBPA meeting at the Hotel New Yorker here, he was reluctant to do so, but, after some discussion, he realized that most of the I differences were emotional, rather than real and for that reason he met with the HBPA officers then in session. He very frankly told them that he disagreed with some of the policies attributed to them, especially their attacks on people who did not see eye-to-eye with them. There was one point, however, on which he was in agreement with the horsemen and that was race track owners should disburse the full amount of purse money they guaranteed. Every one who follows racing knows that Ben Lindheimer has done more to elevate the sport in the Midwest than any man. His stake schedule is one of the finest in this country and the officials and horsemen we talked with were solidly in support of him and against the HBPA officers, some of whom asked that overnight purses total 75 per cent of purse distribution. To have agreed to such a demand would have made a mockery of the expression, "Bigger purses for better horses." To Perlmans satisfaction, he soon found that the demand was another of those emotional things, and that the officers of the horsemens organization were quick to concede they favored a rich stakes program. Lindheimer was also right in offering bonus amounts in each condition book above the guarantee to the horsemen, for that is proof in itself that he is placing a premium on quality performers. In all of this controversy, many people gained the impression that the HBPA was actually endeavoring to be a labor union, but they have officially denied this charge and this writer, for one, does not believe they have such desires. There are many fine horsemen in the HBPA and this writers one criticism of their setup is that more of their officers are not men who own or condition quality horses. As the dispute is now fully settled, We believe racing will benefit as a result and that in the future, as Perlman graphically demonstrated, a round table conference will get far more than the bickering that had become all too frequent between horsemen and track heads. Though it was unfortunate that the Chicago issue resulted in a strike notice, the controversy actually turned out to be a service to the sport. It is to Perlmans credit that both management and the horsemen emerged with gains because of the "clarification" of the issues, without either side giving in on basic principles. The points won by Arlington Park management were: 1. — The controversy was settled without Arlington altering their original purse program in any way. 2. — Arlington may offer bonus purses in the condition books without being obligated to redistribute this bonus money if the races for better horses do not fill. 3. — The HBPA officially went on record as being in accord with the policy of "Bigger purses for better horses." 4. — The HBPA officially went on record that it is "recognized that final decisions on racing conditions and the condition book rest entirely with the racing secretary." The HBPA made the following gains: 1. — The Arlington Park purse program previously "offered" is now "guaranteed." 2. — A minimum amount of money will be guaranteed for each condition book, hone of which be carried over into future condition books. 3. — An assurance from management that non-stake purses will be further increased if business warrants it. 4. — An assurance from management that the racing secretary will meet with a "representative committee of horsemen from time to time to discuss conditions and other matters." Though management claims this right has always existed, the horsemens committee disputes this, claiming that they have not had this privilege in the past. It may readily be seen that the issues involved were more emotional than actual and many of the unreasonable demands made by some HBPA officers were voiced during periods of heated argument. One aspect of the settlement may well become a pattern for many race tracks. One of the chief bones of contention on the part of the horsemen at many tracks, has been the failure of the race tracks to pay out the full amount of money offered in the condition books. The Arlington settlement protects both the race tracks and the horsemen. The horsemen are guaranteed a certain acceptable minimum in each condition book and the race track is free to offer bonus amounts above this minimum in order to attract quality horses without being obligated to redistribute this money for cheaper horses. This writer firmly believes that the clarification of the Arlington Park issues not only solved the situation in Chicago, but will prove of benefit to the sport throughout the country.