The Buckeye State welcomed two new racetrack operators June 23 as the Ohio State Racing Commission approved the sale of both Beulah Park and Thistledown, which are to be purchased by casino companies.
Norm Barron, a prominent horseman and regulator in Ohio, died June 5 at 74 after an illness.
The Ohio State Racing Commission met with four representatives from Penn National Gaming Inc. April 20 to question them on the proposed purchase of Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio.
The Ohio State Racing Commission is filing an appeal in a case in which it was left holding the bag for legal fees that now total more than $200,000.
River Downs, which is hoping to trim racing dates to maintain purses at 2009 levels, released its first condition book March 29 and avoided being fined by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
Absent an agreement with horsemen, River Downs will begin its live meet April 16 with a minimum purse of $3,200, the lowest in almost two decades, in yet another sign of a struggling Ohio horse racing industry.
The Ohio Derby, with a smaller purse and lower grade, will be run July 31, Thistledown officials said.
River Downs, which anticipates further erosion of pari-mutuel revenue this year, has asked the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to consider a reduction in 2010 racing dates.
The Ohio Derby (gr. II), returned to the Thistledown stakes schedule only six weeks ago upon order of the Ohio State Racing Commission, has drawn a field of 13, including the winner of a $1-million race in his previous start.
The Ohio State Racing Commission has approved 2010 racing dates for two Thoroughbred tracks, but the facilities still have no agreement with horsemen on the schedules.
The Ohio State Racing Commission voted Aug. 20 to officially oppose a November referendum to authorize full casino gambling in the state's four largest cities.
The Ohio State Racing Commission Aug. 20 brought the grade II Ohio Derby back to the schedule this year by ordering a reduction of five live racing days at Thistledown, traditional host for the only graded stakes in the Buckeye State.
Five of seven Ohio racetracks failed to have their 2010 applications for dates approved because they don't have an agreement with horsemen or have other conflicts; several requested fewer racing dates than were scheduled for this year; and one facility indicated it wouldn't mind closing its barn area.
It appears Ohio racetracks and horsemen's groups will have to negotiate the percentage of revenue that will go toward purses and breed development from video lottery terminals.
Hundreds of people who make their living in Ohio's horseracing and breeding industry rallied at the state capital May 19 to support a plan for video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks.
Host track Thistledown, the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and the Ohio State Racing Commission are discussing ways to restore the grade II Ohio Derby in 2009, officials said April 21.
Thistledown owner Magna Entertainment Corp. has met the deadline for payment of a $1-million bond to the Ohio State Racing Commission, which means the Cleveland-area racetrack will not have its operating permit suspended.
Saying five of the state's seven racetracks will close without assistance from the legislature, the Ohio State Racing Commission March 19 released a draft plan for 14,000 video lottery terminals that would be located at tracks.
The Ohio State Racing Commission ruled March 19 that Thistledown's racing permit will be suspended as of March 28 if parent company Magna Entertainment Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection March 5, fails to renew a $1-million bond.
In anticipation of a push by a consortium for casino gambling in Ohio's four largest cities, the Ohio State Racing Commission is formulating its own legislative proposal for video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks.
Marble Cliff, the Ohio-bred turned Kentucky-bred stripped of stakes wins in 2008 after a racing commission investigation, finally got his first "official" victory--in West Virginia.
Ohio is among the weakest when it comes to Thoroughbred purses, but it's about to have the strongest rules governing registration of state-bred horses.
Ohio Thoroughbred breeders would be licensed by the state for a fee each year and face serious penalties -- including a suspension of up to 10 years -- should they violate rules governing registration of state-bred horses under regulations proposed by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
Requests by Beulah Park and River Downs to schedule their customary Thoroughbred meets for 2009 were officially granted Dec. 19 by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
Racetrack management and horsemen in Ohio struck an agreement Dec. 16 that will reinstate more than 160 Thoroughbred racing dates at Beulah Park and River Downs in 2009, and save more than 1,000 horses at Beulah Park from being forced out of the track's stable area by Dec. 27.
With a little more than two weeks remaining before the scheduled shutdown of the barn area at Beulah Park, management and horsemen still have no deal to continue live racing in January. But developments on a national level could quickly turn things around.
Marble Cliff, disqualified in all five of his starts -- including two stakes wins--after it was determined he wasn't Ohio-registered, returns to the races a maiden in search of his "first" victory the evening of Dec. 12 at Turfway Park.
The trainer and identifier involved in an incident in which the wrong horse ran in a Nov. 19 race at Beulah Park have been fined and suspended by the track's stewards.
A study released by Ohio State Racing Commission offers a short-term action plan and a long-term strategy for the struggling horseracing industry in the Buckeye State, but one racetrack official said the quickest fix lies with the pen of Gov. Ted Strickland.
Winter racing at Beulah Park was plowed under and the spring/summer meet at River Downs went up in flames Nov. 21 when the Ohio State Racing Commission awarded 2009 dates that represent a loss of more than 160 days of Thoroughbred racing at the two tracks.
About 1,000 Thoroughbreds could be forced to leave the grounds of Beulah Park by the end of this year if the racetrack and horsemen's association don't have a deal for advance deposit wagering revenue in place by Nov. 21, the day the Ohio State Racing Commission will award racing dates for 2009.
Just days before Ohioans vote on whether to authorize a constitutional amendment allowing for a casino in southwestern Ohio, the state Department of Agriculture announced an 11-member Equine Industry Advisory Task Force charged with promoting and strengthening the state's horse industry.
Beulah Park and the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have "agreed to disagree" on contractual issues, but a temporary agreement has allowed the track to restore previous purse levels and export its signal.
Beulah Park, locked in a dispute that centers on revenue from advance deposit wagering, intends to resume live racing Oct. 22 but with greatly reduced purses and no export of its signal outside of Ohio.
Regulation of anabolic steroids will be in effect Jan. 1, 2009, in Ohio.
Barring fruitful negotiations -- and that scenario currently doesn't appear possible -- it could be months before decisions on Thoroughbred racing dates in Ohio are made.
Marble Cliff, the stakes winner-turned-maiden after his Ohio registration was revoked in July, could end up becoming a poster child for serious changes in breed-registration regulations in the Buckeye State -- and perhaps beyond.
Two Thoroughbreds that formerly raced as Ohio-registered are now listed as having been bred in Kentucky.
Officials with two Ohio racetracks indicated they hope to offer Thoroughbred meets in 2009 and could be close to a deal with local horsemen on revenue from advance deposit wagering.
The owners of top Ohio-based Thoroughbred Marble Cliff must return the gelding's earnings of $109,940, the Ohio State Racing Commission ruled Aug. 21 after the panel upheld a stewards' ruling the 3-year-old wasn't eligible for Ohio-restricted races.
A Jockeys' Guild official was verbally barred from River Downs after the Ohio State Racing Commission was notified of an incident in which the track's substitute ambulance caught fire on the racetrack and a pickup truck was used for emergency services for the final two races of a program.
The Ohio State Racing Commission indicated Aug. 21 it will have a difficult time approving requests by two racetracks that call for only four total days of Thoroughbred racing in 2009.
The board of stewards at River Downs has ruled two Thoroughbreds -- one of which had earned more than $100,000 -- aren't registered Ohio-bred horses, and their owners must repay the earnings.
Beulah Park and River Downs, two Ohio Thoroughbred tracks that race more than 200 dates combined, have requested only Quarter Horse dates for 2009, a track official said Aug. 18.
Foxwood Stable's Marble Cliff, regarded as one of the best Ohio-breds in history -- if in fact he is Ohio-registered -- is among a dozen 3-year-olds entered in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort Aug. 2.
Scott Borgemenke, the former Ohio State Racing Commission chairman who joined Magna Entertainment Corp. as executive vice president of racing earlier this year, departed from the company, effective July 18.
The Ohio State Racing Commission said July 8 that most Ohio racetracks would probably install Keno terminals at their facilities when the game launches in the state Aug. 4.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Thistledown have an agreement in principle for 122 days of live racing at the Cleveland-area track this year.
The clock is ticking on negotiations between the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Thistledown, the Cleveland-area racetrack whose 2008 Thoroughbred meet is in jeopardy because of a conflict over racing dates.
Former Ohio State Racing Commission chairman Scott Borgemenke has been named executive vice president for racing with Magna Entertainment Corp., according to the a published report.
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