Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has ruled LetOhioVote.org submitted petitions containing more than 300,000 valid signatures, which is enough to place the issue of racetrack video lottery terminals on the ballot.
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.
Penn National Gaming Inc. said March 8 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio.
Beulah Park in central Ohio is poised to be, or has been, sold to Penn National Gaming Inc., according to Ohio racing industry representatives.
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.
A November 2010 ballot question on racetrack video lottery terminals in Ohio moved a step closer to becoming reality Feb. 8.
A trainer who allegedly left several Thoroughbred horses either dead or neglected at a Southern Ohio farm has been suspended by Kentucky stewards for "conduct detrimental to racing."
Animal control officials and police are currently looking for a Thoroughbred trainer they suspect has left several horses either dead or neglected in Clermont County near Cincinnati, Ohio.
An MTR Gaming Group official said Nov. 4 passage of a casino referendum in Ohio will create new competition but also offer opportunity for racetracks in the Buckeye State.
Ohio voters Nov. 3 approved casinos on the fifth try by gambling supporters in the past two decades, and Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear immediately issued a statement saying Kentucky must respond.
The connections of seven Breeders' Cup starters have pledged a percentage or portion of their earnings to support New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, which has five facilities in four states.
Penn National Gaming Inc. officials Oct. 21 advocated their proposal for casino gambling in Ohio's four largest cities -- an issue that will be decided via referendum Nov. 3.
Pro-racetrack gaming forces in Ohio have taken a strong stand in opposition to a November referendum on full casino gambling in the state's four largest cities.
Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland Sept. 30 put his plan for racetrack video lottery terminals on hold indefinitely in light of a recent state Supreme Court ruling and a need to balance the state budget.
Thirty-two nominations are pretty good for a race that, up until six weeks ago, wasn't even on the schedule. Thistledown officials Sept. 23 said that's the number of nominees for the grade II Ohio Derby Oct. 3. The purse is $150,000, down from $300,000 last year.
Judy Klosterman's blue hen mare Haveaheavenlytime, whose success as a broodmare runs three generations deep, was euthanized Sept. 19 because of complications from the infirmities of old age
Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland indicated Sept. 21 his administration is preparing to take the "next steps" in the wake of an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that says a statewide referendum is required before the state implements racetrack video lottery terminals.
The Ohio Supreme Court Sept. 21 gave opponents of installing video lottery terminals at racetracks the chance to ask voters to repeal the plan.
A Delaware bankruptcy judge approved the sale of Magna Entertainment Corp.-owned Thistledown in Ohio to Harrah's Entertainment for $89.5 million and Remington Park in Oklahoma City for $80.25 million to a Chickasaw Nation subsidiary. An agreement also has been reached to sell Lone Star Park for $27 million.
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.
United States Sen. George Voinovich used biblical verse Sept. 3 to blast gambling proponents, including Ohio Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, who is an ordained minister. Voinovich spoke while announcing a new lawsuit challenging implementation of racetrack video lottery terminals in the state.
Jockeys throughout the United States and Canada will exhibit their unified show of support Sept. 5 for apprentice jockey Michael Straight, who was injured in a racing accident Aug. 26 at Arlington Park. On Sept. 6, River Downs in Ohio will raise money for disabled jockey Gary Birzer and jockey Justin Vitek, who continues to battle leukemia.
A document submitted Sept. 1 suggests Penn National Gaming Inc. is underwriting an effort to overturn racetrack video lottery terminals legalized by Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and the Ohio legislature in July, but the Pennsylvania-based company said the information is false.
Team Valor Stables' Ohio-bred King of the Roxy, voted Ohio Horse of the Year in 2007, made his first start in his home state a winning one Aug. 28 when he captured the $50,000 Honey Jay Stakes at Thistledown.
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.
Grade II stakes-placed Bold Truth, sire of Ohio stakes winner Bold Captain from his first crop, will stand in 2010 at Steve and Theresa Belford's farm near Gilead, Ohio.
- By Tom LaMarra
MI Developments, parent company of Magna Entertainment Corp., said Aug. 12 debtors filed a motion seeking court approval to sell MEC-owned Remington Park Racing & Casino in Oklahoma to a third party for $80.25 million pending "higher and better offers."
MTR Gaming Group, which cut jobs and corporate expenses in the past year, released improved financial results for the second quarter of 2009 and said it's poised for growth in Ohio, where racetrack video lottery terminals have been authorized.
James Day knows a good racehorse when he breeds and sells one. He also knows a claiming-box bargain when he sees it -- especially one as unexpected as the 5-year-old gelding that presented itself at Thistledown Aug. 7.
Speculation abounds in Ohio, where casino companies are examining racetracks for possible purchase and a deal on revenue from video lottery terminals for purses hasn't been hammered out.
After Michigan horsemen experienced a scare of losing half of their summer/fall meet at Pinnacle Race Course, negotiations were held among the Michigan Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, and the Office of the Racing Commissioner to shave less than 10 days from the schedule.
The governor of West Virginia, on hand for the Aug. 1 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, said gaming at tracks was built around racing, and the sport won't be allowed to suffer in exchange for company profits.
Penn National Gaming Inc. officials see upside to an expansion of gambling in Ohio, but said they have no idea how it will shake out.
Habayeb, by Storm Cat, was represented by his first winner and first stakes winner in the same race.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association issued a statement July 16 confirming it will have to negotiate with racetracks for purse revenue from video lottery terminals.
One broodmare died in a July 15 fire that destroyed the primary barn at Double D Farm in northeastern Ohio, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
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.
Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland signed a directive July 13 instructing the director of the Ohio Lottery to immediately begin taking steps to implement video lottery terminals at the seven racetracks in Ohio. But questions remain as to how the racing and breeding industry will benefit.
Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland said July 10 he will sign an executive order authorizing video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks, but questions remain as to how much revenue -- if any -- purses and breed development will receive.
Video lottery terminals at the seven racetracks in Ohio may be authorized by an executive order from Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, a newspaper reported July 10.
Tougaloo, a four-time Ohio champion, was euthanized June 9 at age 26 because of complications from the infirmities of old age.
As Ohio racetracks are busy working on a plan for racetrack gaming, horsemen's groups are lobbying the state legislature to get behind Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland's proposal for video lottery terminals at tracks.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, in search of money to balance the state budget, on June 19 proposed putting racetrack video lottery terminals into the budget bill.
Thistledown race track in North Randall, Ohio made a required $36,000 payment toward a bond, which allows it to remain open, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported June 17 on its Web site, cleveland.com.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project is organizing a rally June 17 in the Capitol Rotunda to drum up support for legislation that would financially assist the horse industry.
Ohio racing still has its supporters, who are finding ways to capitalize on declining purses and a shrinking foal crop in the face of competition from racetracks with gaming in neighboring states.
Trainer Wesley Ward, who plans a venture to the Royal Ascot meet in England this year, came away from River Downs very pleased with the performances of members of his stable that prepped in front of the public at the Ohio track May 24.
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