Ohio Tracks Agree on Plan to Share Market

Two Ohio racetracks that have gone head-to-head in the full-card simulcasting arena have agreed on a way to split the Columbus market in 2002.

Scioto Downs, a Columbus Standardbred track, said in a release that it will only import tracks with a post time of 3 p.m. or later, and then remain open throughout the evening. Beulah Park, it's neighbor in Grove City, will simulcast only through the afternoon tracks on the West Coast. That will leave an overlap only from mid-afternoon through early evening.

For the most part, both tracks have been open day and night for simulcasting seven days a week. They're located about 20 minutes apart.

"After a year of full-card simulcasting, we've found that our business has consistently been much stronger in the evening," Scioto Downs general manager Edward Ryan said in a statement. "And Beulah's strength has been the afternoon. It seems that we have the reputation as the place to be at night, and Beulah is the track of choice during the afternoon.

"We're drawing from the same pool of dedicated players who bet on simulcasting, so we came to an agreement that would make matters simpler for everyone involved."

"This change will allow both tracks to remain strong and competitive in the market," said Mike Weiss, general manager of Beulah Park. "It is a great working agreement for the tracks and the racing fans."

With the two tracks open at the same time, overall handle is up in the Columbus market this year compared to last year.