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.
Despite the efforts of the track crew, weather continued to cause problems at Thistledown, forcing the cancellation of the remainder of its racing card following the third race Thursday.
As the year 2004 comes to a close, Thistledown is moving up post time. Post time for Dec. 30 will be 12:15 p.m. for a 10-race card. The action will begin at noon on Dec. 31.
A severe winter storm affecting the Cleveland area this past week has forced Thistledown to cancel its live racing program Sunday and Monday.
Inclement weather led to cancellation of live racing Monday at Pimlico and Thistledown racetracks.
The Ohio State Racing Commission has suspended and fined three stewards as a result of a controversial disqualification in a race at Thistledown.
An Ohio state steward who spoke of resigning after video replays of a Nov. 20 Thistledown race disqualification cast doubt on the decision said he is unsure if he will step down after all.
New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program raised $12,500 at the Fifth Annual Silent Auction at Thistledown Oct. 30.
- By Tom LaMarra
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.
- By Tom LaMarra
Racing interests in Ohio continued to negotiate Oct. 27 to seal the deal on a 2005 live racing schedule that would reduce dates for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing by more than 10%.
- By Tom LaMarra
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.
Horsemen's groups have until Oct. 14 to state their positions on a proposed reduction in live racing dates in the Buckeye state, the Ohio State Racing Commission said during its Sept. 17 meeting.
- By Tom LaMarra
Only one Thoroughbred racetrack would be open in the Buckeye state roughly seven months of the year under a 2005 schedule proposed by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
- By Tom LaMarra
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.
The chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission is ready to tackle a long-simmering issue: reduction of live racing dates in the Buckeye state.
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.
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.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out grade II stakes winners Limehouse and Pollard's Vision in Saturday's $350,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II), going 1 1/8 miles at Thistledown. Limehouse is listed as the 5-2 morning line favorite while Pollard's Vision will go off at 3-1.
More than 300 people turned out at Turfway Park Wednesday to honor Mike Rowland, the jockey who died Monday after suffering extensive injuries in a spill at the track Feb. 4.
Three memorial funds have been established to help the family of jockey Michael Rowland, who died early today of injuries received in a riding accident last week.
TCA holds annual stallion season auction...Thistledown adds live racing on Dec. 16...United Tote signs key contract renewals.
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.
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.
- By Victor Ryan
The worst power outage in North American history has resulted in cancelled races and significant handle losses for tracks throughout the Northeast and Midwest.
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.
Thistledown's 2002 live season suffered declines in both handle and on-track attendance figures from 2001.
Rich Wilcke leads Equine Association Management Clinic...Thistledown customer appreciation day is Dec. 21...TVG broadcasts Los Alamitos Million Futurity.
Thistledown is scheduled to finish construction on five new barns on Thursday.
Can't make it to Chicago? Many tracks around the country have special post times, handicapping seminars, and other events this Saturday.
Thistledown is launching the Groom Elite Program in Ohio. The 14-week program is designed to teach stable area employees horse handling skills and knowledge in equine care that will increase the availability of qualified, trained professional help in the stable area.
Racetrack executives at Thistledown and Beulah Park agreed Friday afternoon to revive the "seven and seven" shared race card in the fall.
Scrappy Magic Weisner, who finished a fast-charging second to War Emblem in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), leads a compact field of five in Saturday's $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown.
The costs of problem gambling could outweigh the economic benefits if Ohio's seven racetracks were permitted to install slot machines, according to a draft report by a committee studying the impact of gambling in the state.
Tracks around the country are celebrating Belmont Stakes Day
A number of racetracks across the country will celebrate Preakness Day with contests, handicapping seminars, and other events.
Plenty of racetracks besides Churchill Downs have special events this Saturday.
One jockey was killed and two others were injured Saturday when a horse stumbled coming down the stretch at Beulah Park. Arnold Ruiz, 33, of Arlington Heights, Ill., fell with Winds of Sonora and was run over by the two horses behind him, track steward Joe DeLuca said. Ruiz was pronounced dead of head injuries at Grant Hospital.
Bits and pieces from around the industry...
Riding a two-race win streak, Western Pride entered the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) Sept. 29 at Thistledown with his guns blazing. It was to be his biggest battle to date, facing 1-5 favorite and last year's 2-year-old juvenile male champion, Macho Uno, and four other rivals.
Unbridled Time and Saratoga Games have been scratched from Saturday's Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas pulled Unbridled Time because he said he was deceived. Saratoga Games heads to Indiana Derby.
After much speculation, Macho Uno, last year's 2-year-old champion, is headed to the $300,000 grade III Ohio Derby at Thistledown Saturday. He heads the field with early odds of 3-5.
Last year's 2-year-old male champion Macho Uno, who was being pointed toward Saturday's $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. III) at Thistledown is questionable for the race after suffering a minor bout of colic Saturday night. If he bypasses the Ohio Derby, the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) to be run one week later at Belmont Park is being considered as his next start.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Ohio Thoroughbred industry is in the midst of a grass-roots campaign to solicit support for a measure that would allow voters to decide whether video lottery terminals should be allowed at the state's racetracks.
Special events at racetracks in celebration of the July 4th holiday.
The general manager at River Downs in Ohio said more than $7 million in purse revenue generated at the racetrack has gone to other tracks in the state the past 4 1/2 years through a formula that disperses dark-day simulcasting funds.
Thistledown's plan to revamp its racing program to compete for horses with nearby Mountaineer Park in West Virginia has paid off, at least very early in its 2001 meet. Track general manager Bill Murphy said the increase in field size had much to do with the spike in handle.
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