Beulah Park will begin its 2011-12 racing season Oct. 10 with a renovated racing surface and “pick” wagers with a reduced pari-mutuel takeout of 15%.
The track near Columbus, Ohio, is scheduled for 123 days of racing through May 5, 2012. Racing will be held Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Officials said more than half of the material on the racing surface was removed and replaced with a mixture of 4,800 tons of finer sand and silt. The surface’s drainage system was upgraded this year as well.
“After extensive testing on potential combination of sands, we felt the addition of this material would allow the track to react more favorably during inclement weather, given our racing season, while also providing a much-improved and safer racing surface,” Beulah Park general manager Jim McKinney said in a statement. “We think horsemen will notice a positive difference.”
Beulah Park owner Penn National Gaming Inc. hired Richard “Moe” Nye to be track superintendent for the upcoming meet. Nye is a 33-year veteran in the racing industry with similar positions held at Canterbury Park in Minnesota and Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma.
Beulah Park has added a Pick 5 with a carryover pool to its wagering menu. The Pick 5, Pick 4, and Pick 3 will all have a takeout rate of 15%, which officials said is the lowest rate for any bet offered at Ohio racetracks. The minimum amount for “pick” bets and trifectas will be 50 cents.
Purses will be similar to those for the 2010-11 meet according to the first condition book. Purses averaged $38,293 a day for the last meet, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems.
Field size for the 2010-11 meet, which spanned 113 days, was 8.07 horses per race, according to TJCIS.
Beulah Park will offer five $50,000 stakes for Ohio-bred runners during the fall portion of the meet.
As of Oct. 9 all full-card simulcasts in the area will be offered at Beulah Park. Scioto Downs, a nearby harness track, and Beulah Park divvy up full-card simulcasts according to their live racing schedules under a handshake agreement.