Weiss said he and Scioto Downs general manager Ed Ryan have a "handshake agreement" not to take each other's live signal. The tracks are located about 15 minutes apart.Scioto Downs' plan to go year-round to maximize revenue was introduced in August, and it created quite a stir at a racing commission meeting at River Downs. But Weiss said negotiations between the two tracks have gone well, and that it's time to see how it all shakes out. (Beulah Park owner Charlie Ruma said in August his track's handle would drop from $400,000 a day to about $275,000 a day.)"I wouldn't want to call it a war," Weiss said, "but it's definitely going to be a serious battle."As for live racing, Beulah Park will race 140 days (Jan. 12-May 5, and Sept. 15-Dec. 23). Thistledown near Cleveland will race 187 days (April 6-Dec. 31, with a short break in late August). River Downs will race 121 days (April 13-Sept. 4). The tracks will continue with their "7 & 7" format whereby two programs from each track are treated as one for simulcasting purposes.
In a change from this year, River Downs will be dark Mondays except for July 4 and Labor Day, and will go back to a 12:55 p.m. post time for all racing days. This year, it experimented with a 5 p.m. first post time Friday through Monday, but handle suffered.