Still No Deal on River Downs Dates at Beulah

Penn National first wants an agreement with horsemen on 2014 meet at new track.

The Ohio State Racing Commission tabled almost all items on its agenda during its April 24 meeting at the Riffe Center in Columbus because a resolution on running this year's River Downs dates at Beulah Park has not been reached.

Steve Snyder, representing Penn National Gaming, said the track owner has reached a signed agreement to allow River Downs to use Beulah Park. However, the contract contains contingencies that must be met before Penn National will allow River Downs to use the Grove City Thoroughbred track.

Specifically, the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association must formally agree to a 75-day live racing schedule at Penn National's planned track in Austintown during 2014, and accept backstretch accommodations for licensees and horses that can be completed within Penn National's construction budget.

Snyder made another presentation about Penn National's proposed relocations of Beulah Park, to Austintown. and Standardbred track Raceway Park to Dayton. While he did not announce the construction of any additional seating above the current number, he said Penn National has developed plans to increase seating at each racetrack if the amount of business justifies this course of action.

Without an agreement in place, the OSRC tabled consideration of the Ohio Thoroughbred Race Fund program for this year because nine of the stakes are scheduled during the River Downs race meeting.

The next meeting is scheduled for May 1 where the OSRC may consider, in addition to the River Downs dates, increasing the cost of collection and testing currently paid for by horsemen at the next meeting, according to Chairman Robert K. Schmitz. Horsemen are charged $45 per race. Testing costs currently average $152 per race.