Bennie Stutts Jr. is looking forward to visiting northern Ohio for the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) May 31. But unlike his first trip--about 51 years ago--Stutts won't need a snow shovel.
Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air, runner-up to Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown in the Florida Derby (gr. I), completed his serious work for the May 31 Ohio Derby (gr. II) with a sharp seven-furlong work at Arlington Park May 25.
Two 2007 Ohio champions finished in a dead heat for win in the $50,000 Babst/Palacios Memorial Stakes May 3, closing day of the Beulah Park winter/spring meet.
Declines in on-track wagering, a dispute with the New York Racing Association over signal fees, and horsemen's refusal to allow six major advance deposit wagering outlets to take its signal has led River Downs to cut purses 15%-18% effective May 8.
Live racing returns to River Downs near Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 11 for a 102-day meet that extends through Labor Day.
The Ohio horse industry has officially launched the Ohio Equine Industry Coalition, which is designed to find solutions to what it calls an "economic crisis" for the industry.
Grade II winner King of the Roxy, the 2007 Ohio horse of the year, shows that struggling Ohio breeders aren't through trying to find success with the competitive forces against them.
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 Ohio horseracing and breeding industry always seems to be at a crossroads. With 2008 almost three months old, negative trends continue and near-term relief isn't in sight.
Beulah Park, the Grove City, Ohio, racetrack that has been stymied by weather and track conditions this winter, has lost 17 full or partial racing programs this year alone.
Due to a winter storm in the Ohio Valley, Beulah Park has canceled its live racing programs for March 7-8.
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.
Rollercoaster weather conditions continue to plague Beulah Park, which canceled live racing March 5. It was the fourth consecutive full or partial card that was canceled, and dates lost during the meet are in the double digits.
Graded stakes winner Kazoo has been retired from racing and will enter stud at Bob Bogart's Bogart Stables near Houston, Ohio.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has promised to add keno games to the Ohio Lottery to make up for a projected budget shortfall at the end of this fiscal year on June 30.
Ohio trainer Jake Radosevich reached a milestone 1,000 wins when he saddled Lucky Uncle Jake to victory in the fifth race at Beulah Park Jan. 14.
Private School, a stakes winner four of the five years he raced, died Dec. 17 of an aneurysm at age 20 at Elizabeth Alexander's Eutrophia Farm near Chesterland, Ohio.
The 2007 Ohio Horse of the Year and 14 divisional champions will not only be selected by turf writers and racing secretaries. For the first time, the public and members of the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners will be able to vote on the year-end honors.
Toledo native Leonard Fruchtman, who raced Preakness winner Bally Ache, died at age 86.
Two Ohio racetracks that share the Columbus market have reached a new agreement on full-card simulcasts designed to aid patrons and perhaps their bottom lines.
The Ohio horse industry, in an effort to make its voice heard around the Buckeye State, has formed a coalition similar to the Kentucky Equine Education Project, a horse industry advocacy group in Kentucky.
A controversial plan to shave live racing dates at Thistledown in 2008 could result in the halt of full-card simulcasts at the Cleveland-area racetrack in 2009.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland signed into law legislation Oct. 25 banning the use of gaming devices throughout the Buckeye State.
A Franklin County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court judge has ruled that slot machine-like devices are legal at Ohio's racetracks and bars.
The Miller Lite Cradle Stakes has long been known as the first major two-turn test for 2-year-olds. And though it will be run as usual at 1 1/16 miles Sept. 3, there's a major change that reflects expansion of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Thistledown, the Ohio racetrack that has shaved about 50 racing dates off its schedule since 2005, has requested another major reduction for 2008 to maintain profitability.
New Mexico became the second state to adopt a "safety reins" rule when the New Mexico Racing Commission approved the measure Aug. 21. The Ohio State Racing Commission adopted a similar rule in March.
Jockey Perry Ouzts won the 5,000th race of his career Aug. 21 when he booted Kandinsky home in the first race at River Downs in Ohio.
Bill Couch has been named racing secretary at Gulfstream Park for the 2008 meet, the track recently announced.
The continuing decline in foal crops in Ohio has led the horse racing industry to step up lobbying for assistance from the state legislature.
Trainer Elmer Cowan, who trained Crypto's Redjet to back-to-back Ohio Horse of the Year championships, died July 13. He was 77.
In a racing rarity, the first four finishers in the seventh race at Thistledown July 5 were trained by a father and his three sons.
Harmon Drake, who won 10 Thistledown training titles, died June 26 at Marymount Hospital in Garfield Heights near Cleveland.
A bid by Ohio racetracks to win approval for Instant Racing machines, which resemble video lottery terminals but are pari-mutuel in nature, is said to still have some life left despite an announcement by Gov. Ted Strickland that he would veto the measure.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said June 12 he would veto any legislation allowing video gambling machines at Ohio racetracks.
All pro wide receiver Chad Johnson lived up to his pre-race predictions June 9 when he sprinted one-sixteenth of a mile in 11.1 seconds to defeat Thoroughbred racehorse Restore the Roar on the turf at River Downs in Ohio in the "Man versus Beast" promotion.
Joe Judice, one of seven jockeys banned from Tampa Bay Downs this past December because of an investigation into alleged race-fixing, returned to the saddle June 3 at River Downs and promptly won with his first two mounts of the meet.
Retired jockey Patti Cooksey will return to the saddle June 9 at River Downs for a special race in which her mount will square off against Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson, who will be on foot.
Legislation to authorize Instant Racing machines at Ohio's seven racetracks passed the state Senate May 23 and is headed to the House of Representatives.
MTR Gaming Group has launched an online account wagering service called RacelineBet.com, which is affiliated with AmericaATB.
The Ohio State Racing Commission has approved rules that require all horses to be equipped with safety reins. The rules take effect in July 2008.
Beulah Park again is importing signals from two California racetracks, and purses at the Ohio track have been restored to previous levels after an agreement was reached with the Thoroughbred Owners of California.
Legislation to authorize Instant Racing machines has been introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate.
The addition of a Breeders' Cup turf event for 2-year-olds has led River Downs to move its $200,000 Miller Lite Cradle Stakes from the dirt to the turf in 2007.
Wagering on races from Bay Meadows and Santa Anita Park wasn't available anywhere in Ohio March 10 as a dispute between Beulah Park and horsemen lingers.
Due to earlier cancellations Beulah Park announced that it will add live programs March 23 and 30 to its racing schedule.
George Patrick "Jeep" Ryan, a popular jockey on the Ohio and Kentucky circuit, died Feb. 19 from complications from a stroke.
The owner of Beulah Park said a decision by the Thoroughbred Owners of California to pull signals from his Ohio racetrack will only hurt horsemen by triggering a purse cut.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California plans to withhold the state simulcast signal to Beulah Park beginning Feb. 20 following a vote of its board Feb. 15, TOC president Drew Couto said.
The Fortune Six at Beulah Park set another record Jan. 30 with a payout of more than $364,000 for a gimmick with a minimum wager of 25 cents.
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