ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — A contract settlement has avoided a disruption of the season at the Arlington Park racetrack.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, after eight hours of intense negotiations, Arlington Park and the horsemen have reached an agreement.

READ MORE: COVID-19 Update: Indiana Announces 1,243 New COVID-19 Cases, 36 Additional Deaths

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports

Because of the contract issues, many horses had been held out of the lineup for opening day. While there will be fewer horses than normal, races will run Friday, starting at 11:15 a.m.

Fans who also attend the races on Saturday can place bets on the Kentucky Derby.

The agreement wasn’t easy to reach.

READ MORE: Dolton Mayoral Candidate Giving Cash Prizes At Fundraiser After Previous Allegations Of Buying Votes

The two sides spent a week hashing out the language of the contract. The biggest barrier was around how much casino impact money the horsemen should receive.

The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association also refused to allow Arlington to accept wagers from bettors in other states.

The bottom line is that everything is in place for Opening Day.

The field sizes are much smaller for the Friday and Saturday races. Because of the uncertainty of the contract, not as many horsemen entered their horses.

MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Mostly Sunny With Seasonable Temperatures

But a park spokesman says the park is receiving more entries starting Thursday for Sunday’s races, and the typical number of horses should be on the track for Sunday.