Most Racing Dates Still Not Approved in Ohio

Most Racing Dates Still Not Approved in Ohio
Photo: John Engelhardt
Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center, currently under construction, is planning on offering 100 days of racing in 2014.

Racing dates for five tracks will remain undecided until at least Nov. 21, the date of the next Ohio State Racing Commission meeting.

The OSRC, which met Oct. 24, was able to approve 2014 schedules for ThistleDown Racino, formerly called Thistledown, and the under-construction Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, a harness track.

Thistledown, as expected, was awarded 122 dates for next year from April 18-Nov. 16. Dayton Raceway, which will replaced Raceway Park in Toledo, was awarded 56 racing days from Oct. 3-Dec. 27.

Dates for the other five racetracks hinge on agreements between track management and horseman's groups. In order to race fewer dates than the statutory minimums, Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen must sign off.

Officials at River Downs, now called Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center, said they have a deal with the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to offer 100 days of racing from May 8-Oct. 19. The facility, which will have 1,600 video lottery terminals, is under construction.

The Beulah Park license is being moved to the under-construction Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course near Youngstown. In 2014 the tracks would split 77 racing days, the first part of the year at Beulah Park and the fall at Mahoning Valley.

Beulah Park and Raceway Park, both owned by Penn National Gaming Inc., will cease operations when their replacements begin operating.

Other tracks awaiting approval from the OSRC are Northfield Park, which requested 212 days in 2014; Scioto Downs Racino, which wants 90 days; and Miami Valley Gaming and Racing–the replacement for Lebanon Raceway–which seeks 72 racing programs.

According to a release, the OSRC also received a progress report on the construction of barns at Mahoning Valley. The current plan calls for 760 stalls; Thistledown can house more than 1,000 horses, and officials Oct. 23 said Belterra Park when it opens will have room for more than 1,000 horses.

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