River Downs, Thistledown Combine on Record Day

Edited press releases

River Downs and Thistledown combined July 6 for what is believed to be an all-time one-day Thoroughbred handle record for the state of Ohio.

The racetracks, which usually hold their programs jointly as part of the Ohio "7&7" program, each ran separate full cards last Thursday afternoon, when many tracks were dark. Both tracks set handle records.

At River Downs, total handle on an expanded 11-race card was $3,953,788, which shattered the previous record of $2,532,492, set on May 31, the Wednesday after Memorial Day.

Thistledown, which offered a 10-race program, reported record out-of-state handle of $3,002,385 for July 6. The previous record of $2,030,438 was set in 1999 for the Ohio Derby (gr. II) program.

Thistledown's on-track handle on the live product wasn't reported, but based on the figures, about $7 million was wagered on the Ohio Thoroughbred product that afternoon.

"So many tracks around the country elected to race on Monday, July 3, and Tuesday, July 4-- days of the week they do not normally run," River Downs simulcast coordinator Vince Cyster said in a release. "With that switch in schedule, most tracks opted to stay dark on Wednesday and Thursday. Only River Downs, Thistledown, and Monticello Raceway were racing on Thursday afternoon. A similar scenario was created the Wednesday following Memorial Day this year."

Earlier this year, Ohio's other Thoroughbred track, Beulah Park, set a one-day handle record. Beulah Park primarily races in the fall and winter.