Racetracks and horsemen's groups are considering a proposal by the chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission to radically reduce live racing dates--several hundred could be eliminated--in order to boost purses and increase field size in 2005.
Virginia Kraft-Payson's Scipion, who impressed observers with a last-to-first victory in his career debut Aug. 14 at Saratoga, drew the rail in a field of eight for the $200,000 Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds Sept. 6 at River Downs.
The chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission is ready to tackle a long-simmering issue: reduction of live racing dates in the Buckeye state.
A field of 11 juvenile fillies, including recent Colleen Stakes winner Im a Dixie Girl, will compete Saturday at River Downs in the six-furlong, $100,000 Pepsi Bassinet Stakes.
The Cradle Stakes, believed to have the longest running race sponsorship by one company, will have a new name in 2005, but the sponsor remains intact.
Thistledown, the Magna Entertainment Corp.-owned racetrack that has battled for years over simulcasts with a neighboring harness track, received approval Aug. 10 from the Ohio State Racing Commission to import races it hasn't been able to take because of state law.
River Downs has added the name of Kevin Goemmer, the former announcer at the Ohio racetrack, to a stakes named for one of his favorite racehorses. Goemmer, who most recently worked for Charlson Broadcast Technologies, died earlier this year at the age of 48.
Pat Day began his "What a Difference a Day Makes" summer tour to benefit the Race Track Chaplaincy of America July 20 at River Downs by riding in a few races in the afternoon and speaking during dinner in the clubhouse that evening.
The Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners will offer $50,000 in incentives to encourage buyers of Ohio-bred yearlings at its Midwest Regional sale Oct. 2 at River Downs.
Beginning July 5th, Thistledown will offer a 7% purse increase on $10,000 claiming races and above and a 5% purse increase on those races under $10,000. The purse increase is a direct effect of increased field size, export handle and record-breaking Triple Crown and Ohio Derby days, according to a release from the track.
The Ohio House of Representatives, by a slim margin, has defeated a proposal to allow video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks.
Supporters of legislation to allow video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks hope to win approval to put the proposal on the November ballot before the legislative session ends for the summer.
A decrease in handle in Ohio so far this year has led the Ohio State Racing Commission to reduce funding for the Ohio Thoroughbred Race Fund.
The "Kentucky Derby $5 Million Pay Day" went uncollected May 1, but one contestant won a $25,000 consolation prize by selecting the top five finishers in the Derby in exact order.
A stalemate between Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen in Ohio continued when the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association declined a proposal by the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to submit to mediation to resolve financial issues tied to state law.
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft has again stated his opposition to installation of video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks. Meanwhile, a key legislator has suggested non-track casinos be located in urban areas.
A proposal to allow Ohioans to vote on the issue of video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks will be introduced again in the legislature.
Earthmover, who set a Hialeah track record, was euthanized April 3 because of complications from a leg injury.
River Downs embarks on its 79th season of racing April 9 with numerous on-track promotions and a the redesignation of its top stakes as a grade III event.
The team of George Smith and Dr. Wilbur Johnston, owners of Woodburn Farm in Centerville, Ohio, were among the big winners March 27 at the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners awards banquet in Columbus.
River Downs, which has the longest continually sponsored stakes in the United States with the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes, has announced an extension of Pepsi Americas' sponsorship of the Pepsi Bassinet Stakes for another three years.
River Downs in Ohio has reconsidered its position and allotted stalls to several prominent horsemen who were told they wouldn't get them for the meet that begins April 9.
The Ohio State Racing Commission, subject of an investigation by the state Office of Inspector General, has agreed to allocate funds to expand the scope of its customary audit. The more detailed audit will look closely at issues raised in the probe.
Several politically active horsemen in Ohio are considering legal action after receiving word they wouldn't get stalls for their racehorses at the upcoming River Downs meet.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Beulah Park have struck a deal on revenue splits for account wagering, but the chief negotiator for the horsemen's group called it a big-picture issue that needs attention and leadership on the national level.
The president of a growing account wagering service said handle declines at major winter meets aren't good for racing, and he suggested it's time for a "fragmented industry" to move forward in the best interests of its customers, racetracks, and horsemen.
The Ohio State Racing Commission Feb. 19 deferred action on a request from the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to withhold Thoroughbred signals that originate in the state from account wagering companies. It scheduled a hearing for March 1 to further discuss the issue.
Ohio State Racing Commission chairman Luther Heckman has resigned in the wake of a state investigation into commission activities.
Jockey Michael Rowland, who was seriously injured in a spill at Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky Feb. 4, died early Monday, Feb. 9, at University Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was 40.
Veteran jockey Perry Ouzts won his 4,500th race Sunday at muddy Turfway Park after riding Private Ambition to a 1 3/4-length victory in the third race, a $5,000 claiming event.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has asked the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association to agree to mediation in an effort to resolve "program and policy differences" between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries in the state.
Kevin Goemmer, a longtime track announcer and most recently director of sales and marketing for Charlson Broadcast Technologies, suffered an apparent heart attack and died Jan. 27 in a motor vehicle accident. Goemmer, 48, continued to call races on a fill-in basis, most recently at Turfway Park, and was regarded as one of the best in the business.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has refused to permit signals from Ohio racetracks to go to Indian casinos in Oklahoma, a move one Ohio racetrack official has questioned.
Cliff Nelson, executive director of the Ohio State Racing Commission since 1987 and an employee of the commission for more than 30 years, will retire effective Jan. 31.
Beulah Park kicked off its first four days of racing in 2004 with a staggering 96% percent increase over the same number of days a year ago. On Monday the track shattered an 81-year-old all time single day pari-mutuel record of $1,554,073.
River Downs near Cincinnati, Ohio, shut down its simulcasting operation Jan. 8-9 because the level of the Ohio River continues to rise, track officials said.
AmericaTab has launched a new wireless wagering service that will be offered free to customers with any affiliate account. AmericaTab has launched the product with its "On the Go" label.
Magna Entertainment Corp. initiated restrictions upon or pulled its live racing signals from most account-wagering services effective Dec. 26, and at least one operator isn't happy about the developments.
A two-month shutdown of Beulah Park was averted Dec. 18 when the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and track management agreed to at least negotiate revenue splits from account wagering. If no deal is in place by Feb. 10, horsemen will withdraw permission for Ohio's live racing product to be sent to account-betting providers.
Legislation to put the issue of racetrack video lottery terminals on the ballot in March 2004 has been killed in the Ohio General Assembly, a lobbyist said Dec. 2, the deadline to get the measure passed.
Legislators continue to work on a compromise on racetrack video lottery terminals as a deadline nears to get the measure on the March 2, 2004 ballot in Ohio.
A compromise proposal to put the issue of racetrack video lottery terminals before voters has been offered in the Ohio Senate, though it must pass the General Assembly by Dec. 3 if it is to make the ballot.
The 4th Annual Silent Auction to benefit New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program was held at Thistledown on Breeders' Cup Day. Over 60 individuals donated art, memorabilia, tickets to sporting events, tack, gift items, and services. The merchandise portion generated $4,079 while additional monetary contributions amounted to $3,975 for a fundraiser total of $8,054.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has told regulators state laws favor the Standardbred industry to the point where Thoroughbred racing is unfairly paying millions of dollars at a time when it badly needs the money.
The Ohio Senate on Oct. 15 took a major step in approving video lottery terminals for the state's seven racetracks. The Senate, by 24-9 vote, approved a bill that would put the issue of VLTs before the public in the March 2, 2004 primary.
Legislation to put the issue of video slot machines at Ohio's seven racetracks on the ballot was approved late Tuesday by a Senate committee.
Legislation legalizing video lottery terminals at Ohio's race tracks will be introduced in the Ohio Senate next week.
The Ohio Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry has taken serious hits in recent years because of competition for the gambling dollar, but there should be a bright spot Oct. 4 when one of the strongest Best of Ohio championship programs in recent memory is offered at Beulah Park.
Prominent Ohio owner/breeder George Smith, barred from Beulah Park when he categorized it as the worst of Ohio earlier this year, said he isn't sure whether he'll be on hand at the Grove City track Oct. 4 for the Best of Ohio championship series. Owner Charlie Ruma banned him this spring.
America TAB, an account-wagering service whose majority owners are Beulah Park and River Downs in Ohio, said it would pursue legal action after having discovered a betting service has been pirating live racing signals from its Web site.
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