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.
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.
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.
A proposal to use racetrack video lottery terminals to fund Ohio's educational system is dead, newspapers throughout the state reported Tuesday. A top legislator in the state had suggested that up to 1,500 machines be place in each of Ohio's seven racetracks to raise $900 million over the next two years.
Morton Fink's Guided Tour stalked the early leaders and then rallied while three wide to win the $150,000 Hall of Fame Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) by 5 1/4 lengths Monday at Thistledown.
Stronach Stable's Milwaukee Brew rallied late to win the $300,000 Ohio Derby by a head Saturday at Thistledown.
Performing Magic heads the probable field for Saturday's $300,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown near Cleveland.
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