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Birzer to Appear at Benefit Auction at River Downs

The Gary Birzer Benefit featuring a silent and live auction will take place at River Downs Sept. 4, to help raise funds for the 28-year-old jockey who remains paralyzed from the waist down after a spill July 20, 2004 at Mountaineer Park in Chester, W.Va.

Ohio HBPA Strikes Account Wagering Deals

The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has approved the transmission of Thoroughbred signals from Ohio to the TV Games Network and XpressBet, and also approved the sending of the signal from Thistledown to Youbet.com. However, it has failed strike a deal with AmericaTAB, the account-wagering company owned by Ohio interests.

Thistledown Pulls Signal From Northfield Park

The Ohio State Racing Commission unanimously granted the request of Thistledown to withdraw its live signal from Northfield Park, which is a harness track located six miles from the Magna Entertainment-owned Thistledown.

Woodbine Gains Limited Access to U.S. Pools

Woodbine Entertainment Group announced July 2 that Canadian wagers on Balmoral Park, a Chicago-based harness track, will for the first time be combined with the U.S. host track's pools, giving customers in both countries the same winning payout prices.

Even Account Betting Service Serving 'Lemonade'

Support for Alex's Lemonade Stand continued to grow June 3 with the announcement that more racetracks in North America--even an account wagering service--had committed to host stands June 11, the day of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

River Downs Opens April 8 with New Surface

River Downs, which will open for its 80th season Friday, has installed a new racing surface on its main track that is expected to better withstand the rigors of live racing during the summer months and require less daily maintenance.

Ohio Gaming Supporters Want Statewide Poll

Gambling interests have agreed to poll Ohio voters on the issues of casinos and video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state. The decision came during a March 24 meeting loosely dubbed the Ohio Gaming Summit.

Sawyer to Become Ohio's First Female State Steward

Kim Sawyer has been promoted to state steward in Ohio effective April 8. Sawyer replaces Allen Fairbanks who retired at the end of the 2004 live racing season last December after 21 years at Thistledown. Sawyer is the first female state steward in Ohio.

Ohio OKs Model Rules, Taps Purses for Tests

The Ohio State Racing Commission tightened its medication rules Jan. 20 to greatly reflect the model rules offered by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. In another change, money will be deducted from each purse to defray all or part of the cost to test blood and urine samples.

National HBPA Seeks Answers on Drug Uniformity

The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association medication committee, in response to concerns from affiliates in Kentucky and Ohio, has asked its affiliates to make known their position on the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium's proposal for uniform medication and drug testing.

'Players' Pool' Strikes Again With Pick Six Hit

AmericaTab followed the success of its first Players' Pool on the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6 with its second hit in a month. Bettors had one winning pick six ticket and 28 consolation tickets Nov. 28 at Hollywood Park.

Once Again, Ohio Racetrack VLT Push Looms

A supporter of video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks said Nov. 8 there is an "excellent chance" the proposal would go before Ohio voters in a November 2005 referendum.

Plan to Boost Ohio Racing Appears Doomed

Final approval of a live racing schedule for 2005 in Ohio stalled again Nov. 2 and put in jeopardy an Ohio State Racing Commission-led effort to reduce dates in an attempt to improve economic conditions for the horse racing industry.

Some Ohio Tracks Face Further Dates Reduction

Racing interests in Ohio continued to negotiate Nov. 1 to seal the deal on a 2005 live racing schedule that would reduce dates for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing by more than 10%. But time was running out.

Ohio Racing Dates Cut; HBPA Wants Assurances

A plan to reduce live racing dates in Ohio by more than 10% in an effort to keep the horse racing industry afloat may hinge on an agreement between three Thoroughbred tracks and the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

Ohio Panel to Probe Illegal Video Gambling Devices

The Ohio State Racing Commission has opened its own investigation into a state Department of Public Safety report that video gambling machines were operating in a bar on property that includes the Cedar Downs off-track betting parlor in the northwest portion of the state.

In Ohio, Serious Proposal for Serious Times

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.

Thistledown Wins a Battle in Simulcast War

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.

Tah Dah!--Late Announcer's Name Added to Stakes

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.

Day Begins Summer Tour for RTCA at River Downs

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.

Thistledown Increases Purses

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.

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