Belterra Park

Belterra Park

Tom LaMarra

Ohio to Offer 293 Thoroughbred Dates in 2015

Including harness and Quarter Horse, live racing days will number 770.

Seven Ohio racetracks have been approved for a total of 770 live racing days in 2015.

During its October meeting, the Ohio State Racing Commission signed off on a schedule that offers 293 days of Thoroughbred racing, 473 days of Standardbred racing, and four days with some Quarter Horse racing. Officials said even if there are revisions, the number of racing days at each track won't change.

On the Thoroughbred side, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course will offer split meets as did its predecessor, Beulah Park. Mahoning Valley was awarded 65 days from Jan. 5-April 25 and 37 days from Oct. 30-Dec. 29.

ThistleDown Racino will race 100 days from April 27-Oct. 24, while Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center, the former River Downs, will offer 95 days of racing from April 27-Sept. 27.

With advent of video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state, the tracks and the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association worked to from a northern circuit between Mahoning Valley and ThistleDown to avoid an overlap in dates. Though statute may require a higher number of racing days, it can be lowered with a two-party agreement approved by the OSRC.

On the harness side, Northfield Park Rocksino near Cleveland was approved for 214 racing programs from Jan. 1-Dec. 30. The other three harness tracks, all of them located in central and southwestern Ohio, will form a three-track circuit.

Miami Valley Gaming and Racing will race 89 nights from Jan. 7-May 3, followed by 95 nights at Scioto Downs Racino from May 5-Sept. 12. Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway will complete the year with 75 programs from Sept. 14-Dec. 30.

In other business, Mahoning Valley, which opened for VLT gaming in September, will offer its first Thoroughbred meet beginning Nov. 24. Track officials said the barn area, which will accommodate almost 1,000 horses, is expected to open Nov. 10.