Ohio

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Early Numbers Up at Beulah; Sets Single Day Wagering Record

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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.

MEC Move Creates Account-Wagering Dilemma

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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.

Ohio Horsemen Force Issue on Account Wagering

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.

Racetrack Gaming Push Hits Another Wall in Ohio

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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.

Compromise on Ohio VLTs as Deadline Looms

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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.

New Vocations Auction a Success at Thistledown

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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.

Ohio HBPA Says Thoroughbred Racing at Disadvantage

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.

Ohio Senate OKs VLT Ballot Question for 2004

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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.

Ohio VLT Bill Clears Committee

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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.

Best of Ohio May Be Best in Recent Memory

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.

Barred Ohio Owner: 'Maybe I'll See You There'

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 Claims Betting Service Pirated Signals

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.

Blushing Indian Out to Rock the Cradle

Blushing Indian, second to Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) winner Chapel Royal in his last start, heads a field of 10 for Monday's Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes at River Downs. At 1 1/16 miles, the $200,000 Cradle is the first big-money stakes for 2-year-olds around two turns.

River Downs to "Seed" Exacta Pool

Due to a snafu by a racing official at River Downs earlier in the meet, River Downs will attempt to remedy the situation by "seeding" an exacta pool with $5,000 in the last race on the last Friday (Aug. 29) of the meet.

Horsemen to Consider Operating Offshore Betting Hub

The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, in an effort to thwart what it believes is a growing problem with the piracy of signals and subsequent loss of revenue, plans to discuss the possibility of operating its own offshore wagering hub.

Roark Re-elected as National HBPA President

John Roark, president of the Texas Horsemen's Partnership and a board member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, fought back a challenge to win a second two-year term as president of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

Drug Consortium Works on Plan to Fund Initiatives

With a goal to raise $2 million to $3 million a year to support its initiatives, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is looking at a mechanism that would raise money from horsemen and racetracks based on the top four finishers in each race.

Panelists: Medication Not Sole Reason for Fewer Starts

Participants in a July 10 medication workshop reached the consensus that "over-medication" may contribute to fewer starts by racehorses, but other factors -- racetrack surfaces, an emphasis on speed, too much pressure on 2-year-olds, and a thirst for quick profit -- probably are just as responsible.

National HBPA Has Contested Races for Top Officers

With its election of officers looming July 13, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has races for both president and vice president. In addition, the question of whether the position of chairman of the board would continue to have voting rights figures to come up for discussion.

Auction Among Offerings on Day for Jockeys

A silent auction to raise money for the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund figures to draw some interest at River Downs, usually among the fund-raising leaders on Jockeys Across America Day. The event will be held at tracks around the country July 5.

Wild and Wicked is Favorite for Ohio Derby

Wild and Wicked, despite having only two lifetime starts and none in stakes company, has been installed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown. Preakness runner-up Midway Road is the second choice at 8-5.

Ohio VLT Resolution Stalls in Senate

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The Ohio Senate on June 11 delayed consideration of a resolution to put a racetrack video lottery terminal issue on the November ballot. The delay was caused by disagreements among Senate Democrats over how VLT revenue, estimated to be $500 million and $700 million a year, would be distributed.

Probe: No Fraud in Race in Which Wrong Horse Ran

Ohio State Racing Commission officials said June 11 an investigation into the circumstances behind a race in which the wrong horse competed and finished last as the favorite at River Downs near Cincinnati revealed it was a mistake with no fraudulent intent.

Ohio Senate Could Vote on Racetrack VLT Proposal

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The Ohio Senate is expected to vote by June 13 on a resolution to put the issue of video lottery terminals at racetracks on the November ballot. Meanwhile, opposition to the proposal picked up with ads on cable television in selected areas of the state.

Battle Over Track VLTs May Begin in Earnest in Ohio

A resolution to place the issue of racetrack video lottery terminals on the November ballot will be introduced in the Ohio Senate, probably the week of June 3, Sen. Louis Blessing said. The Senate recently removed a proposal for VLTs from the proposed state budget.

Officials: Sale of Scioto to MTR Gaming a Go

Officials with Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio, said May 22 all systems are go on its purchase by MTR Gaming Group, owner of Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in West Virginia.

Father Niehaus Reaches Out With His Funny Side

Father Frank Niehaus, a Catholic priest who breeds and owns Thoroughbreds, knows the horses and knows his audience. On May 4, the day after the Kentucky Derby, he used racing's biggest event to reach out to his parishioners.

Ohio Panel Conditionally Approves Racetrack Sale

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The Ohio Racing Commission has conditionally approved the sale of Scioto Downs, a Columbus Standardbred track, to MTR Gaming, owner of Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in West Virginia.

AmericaTab Grows Handle, Customer Base in 2003

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AmericaTab and its affiliates set a one-month handle record in March with $8.3 million in wagers, the company reported April 10. It was the second consecutive month of record-breaking handle.

Proposal Puts Racetrack VLTs on Ohio Ballot

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The issue of video lottery terminals at Ohio racetracks is again being discussed in the Ohio General Assembly. The latest proposal would put the question up for public vote later this year.

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