The Ohio State Racing Commission ruled March 19 that Thistledown's racing permit will be suspended as of March 28 if parent company Magna Entertainment Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection March 5, fails to renew a $1-million bond.
In anticipation of a push by a consortium for casino gambling in Ohio's four largest cities, the Ohio State Racing Commission is formulating its own legislative proposal for video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks.
- By Ryan Conley
Several assets owned by Magna Entertainment Corp. will apparently be offered separately for sale from a $195-million "stalking horse bid" its parent company has tendered in relation to MEC's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing March 5.
Apprentice jockey Joe Musarro, 17, earned his first career win Feb. 22 when he guided Heavenly Surprise to a 5 1/2-length score in Turfway Park's seventh race, a claiming event for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
Requests by Beulah Park and River Downs to schedule their customary Thoroughbred meets for 2009 were officially granted Dec. 19 by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
With a little more than two weeks remaining before the scheduled shutdown of the barn area at Beulah Park, management and horsemen still have no deal to continue live racing in January. But developments on a national level could quickly turn things around.
Winter racing at Beulah Park was plowed under and the spring/summer meet at River Downs went up in flames Nov. 21 when the Ohio State Racing Commission awarded 2009 dates that represent a loss of more than 160 days of Thoroughbred racing at the two tracks.
Barring fruitful negotiations -- and that scenario currently doesn't appear possible -- it could be months before decisions on Thoroughbred racing dates in Ohio are made.
For the first 45 years of his life, Vincent Harris had absolutely no experience with horse racing. As a youngster growing up in New York City, working at a Thoroughbred racetrack was one of the last things on earth Harris envisioned for himself as an adult.
The Ohio State Racing Commission indicated Aug. 21 it will have a difficult time approving requests by two racetracks that call for only four total days of Thoroughbred racing in 2009.
- By Ryan Conley
The head of Magna Entertainment Corp. said Aug. 6 a majority interest of Santa Anita Park could be sold to help the racetrack company reduce its staggering debt load.
Matt Hook has joined Pinnacle Race Course as track announcer, with additional roles as assistant racing secretary and track handicapper. The announcement was made July 16 by Pinnacle Race Course general manager Allan Plever.
Manoel Cruz gave Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air a perfect stalking trip and the Smooth Jazz colt responded with authority, taking over just inside the eighth-pole and then drawing clear for a three-length victory in the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) May 31 at Thistledown.
Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air drew the rail and was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) May 31 at Thistledown, but he will meet some pretty stiff competition, namely, graded stakes winner Z Fortune.
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.
Mount Joy Stable's 3-year-old Smooth Air bounced out of his 11th-place finish behind Big Brown in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Churchill Downs in good condition, and trainer Bennie Stutts, Jr. now has him targeted for the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown May 31.
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.
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.
- By Ryan Conley
With one analyst tagging the proceedings "Groundhog Day," Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Feb. 29 more losses during a short, testy conference call that discussed year-end financials for 2007.
- By Tom LaMarra
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.
- By Tom LaMarra
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.
- By Tom LaMarra
Magna Entertainment Corp. officials said Sept. 13 the company's debt-reduction plan isn't a "fire sale," and they hope the racetrack operator is in the black in 2009.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has announced plans to sell Thistledown near Cleveland, Ohio, and to shed its interest in Portland Meadows, located in Portland, Ore.
- By Esther Marr
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.
Bill Couch has been named racing secretary at Gulfstream Park for the 2008 meet, the track recently announced.
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.
- By Tom LaMarra
Ohio's Thoroughbred tracks will race 24 fewer days in 2007 in keeping with a plan to increase average daily purses and boost field size by offering fewer races. The schedule, agreed to by tracks and horsemen's groups, will be voted on Dec. 15 by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has indicated Thistledown is authorized to send its signal to Youbet.com, but the California account wagering company has indicated it may not be willing to offer the signal.
A petition drive to allow a vote on video lottery terminals at Ohio racetracks was 8,716 signatures short as of Aug. 30, but more will be submitted within the next two weeks.
Don Amos, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Tuesday that Bill Murphy has been appointed vice president and general manager of racing operations at Gulfstream Park.
As the summer racing season heats up, HorseRacing TV (TM) presents racing fans with live coverage of two major grade II stakes races July 15--the $500,000 Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park and the $350,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown.
River Downs and Thistledown combined July 6 for what is believed to be an all-time one-day Thoroughbred handle record for the state of Ohio.
High Cotton and Flashy Bull are expected to compete in this Saturday's $350,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown near Cleveland. The event is for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles.
Trainer Miguel Feliciano scored his 1,000th career victory in 7,316 starts in Thistledown's first race June 19 with Formal Pass. Jockey Ernesto Oro was aboard for the milestone win.
Youbet.com, Inc. announced Monday that its advanced deposit wagering Web site has gained the right to simulcast all of Magna Entertainment Corporation's live horse racing content during the 2006 season.
Trainer Benny Feliciano's nine-race winning streak ended Saturday when his favored Clever Jimmy C ran second in the 13th race at Thistledown.
Trainer Benny Feliciano will be trying to extend his winning streak to 10 when he sends out Millie Feliciano's Clever Jimmy C in Saturday's 13th race at Thistledown, a six-furlong contest for $3,500 claimers.
Winter weather conditions led Beulah Park to cancel live racing Dec. 16. It was the second consecutive day racing was canceled.
A snowstorm in central Ohio led Beulah Park to cancel its live racing program for Dec. 15.
Trainer Benny Feliciano extended his winning streak to nine races when he sent out M.C.R. Stable's El Keko to win a two-mile starter allowance race Wednesday at Thistledown.
The Ohio State Racing Commission is expected to approve a cut in the number of live Thoroughbred and harness racing dates in the state during its Nov. 19 meeting.
The first pari-mutuel race on the new Polytrack at Turfway Park won't take place until Sept. 7, but the surface already has produced a stakes winner.
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.
A field of eight 3-year-olds is expected to contest Saturday's $350,000 Ohio Derby (gr. I), going 1 1/8 miles at Thistledown. The field is highlighted by stakes winners Magna Graduate and Pinpoint.
A field of five 3-year-olds is expected to contest Saturday's $350,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) as Thistledown hosts the Buckeye state's richest Thoroughbred race.
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.
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