Mountaineer, Presque Isle Set Dates

Mountaineer and Presque Isle Downs have set their 2008 live racing schedules.

Two Thoroughbred tracks owned by MTR Gaming Group have scheduled 332 racing dates for 2008.

Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia will offer 232 days of racing from Jan. 19-Dec. 30, according to a recently released calendar. Mountaineer will offer four nights of racing per week in January, February, and December, and five nights per week from March-November. Nine or 10 races will be offered each night.

Post time is set for 7 p.m. The West Virginia Derby (gr. III) is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2, when first post will be 2 p.m.

Presque Isle Downs & Casino, which held its inaugural meet in September, has been approved for 100 racing dates in 2008. The Pennsylvania track will race from May 9-Sept. 27, primarily on a Wednesday-through-Sunday schedule with first post at 5:30 p.m.

Presque Isle, as it did this year, will offer eight-race cards.

Mountaineer and Presque Isle, both of which have video lottery terminals or slot machines that provide revenue for purses and breed development, are located roughly two hours apart. Horses are expected to regularly ship between the two tracks.

Meanwhile, Mountaineer officials said table games at the facility could be open Dec. 20, about a week and a half ahead of schedule. Test nights are set for Dec. 17-18 for games such as blackjack, craps, roulette, and three-card poker.

The table games will be located in the Speakeasy Casino and hotel complex, with another gaming room to be added in the grandstand/clubhouse facility. Unlike typical casinos, which place all table games in one location, Mountaineer has pits in four separate areas of the complex.

In October, Mountaineer opened its poker room and new simulcast area on the first floor of the grandstand.