Racetrack executives at Thistledown and Beulah Park agreed Friday afternoon to revive the "seven and seven" shared race card in the fall.
The program, started in 1993, creates a 14-race card composed of alternating races from the two tracks. The idea was to create one Ohio product for the simulcast market, rather than have all three of the states Thoroughbred tracks competing against one another Thistledown?s race days overlap with both Beulah and River Downs.
"I've always liked the seven and seven," said Mike Weiss, general manager of Beulah Park. "I think it saved Ohio racing, and it can help at a time when the tracks aren't getting any help and we have competition from riverboats and gaming in other states. We decided it was easier to work together."
River Downs won't participate this year because the Cincinnati track has only seven weeks left in its live meet.
"We haven't agreed to anything yet, but we never rule anything out," said Jack Hanessian, River Downs' general manager. "We?ll see what it does with Beulah and Thistledown. I like the seven and seven. It was great in that it didn?t put our schedules on top of one another."
The downside the program was that patrons who followed either of the tracks complained when the races were mixed with races from somewhere else. The way the program works, when Thistledown sells its signal this fall the receiving track will get seven Thistledown races and seven from Beulah Park.
Hanessian said he had complaints when the seven and seven was first introduced, but he also had complaints when it went away in January. The beginning of the year was the first time since 1993 that the seven and seven wasn't run. Racetrack executives said the program stopped because they just could come to an agreement.