ThistleDown Racino in Ohio

ThistleDown Racino in Ohio

Tom LaMarra

Thistledown Set to Resume Live Racing June 4

Horsemen will be allowed to ship in starting May 26.

Patrick Ellsworth, the director of racing operations for Thistledown, announced that the Ohio track will begin its COVID-19-delayed meet June 4.

Racing will be mostly on a Monday-through-Thursday schedule, continuing through Oct. 21. Several other dates could be added.

The track will open its barn area beginning May 26 for the first day of training May 28. These dates come as Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course prepares to close its backstretch. All horses must leave Mahoning Valley by May 31, the Ohio HBPA said.

Racing in Ohio last took place March 18 at Mahoning Valley, and many horses have remained stabled there.

Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center is also set to open in the state for its meet June 4.

The Ohio Derby (G3) has been set for June 27 at Thistledown, a week after the Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, the first of the American classics in 2020. Last year's Ohio Derby was won by Rupp Racing's Owendale, who entered the race off a third in the Preakness Stakes (G1). 

This year's race will retain its $500,000 purse and will be run at 1 1/8 miles, Ellsworth wrote in an email. June 27 will be a unique Saturday of racing that the track will stage this year.

Also on the calendar is the "Best of Ohio" stakes card Aug. 8, which features five stakes for registered Ohio-breds: the Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes, Miss Ohio Stakes, Honey Jay Stakes, Pay The Man Stakes, and Ohio Governor's Buckeye Cup Stakes.

View the 2020 Ohio Thoroughbred Race Fund Stakes Schedule