This year's $500,000 Ohio Derby in retrospect can be considered a success on several levels, and management at ThistleDown Racino expects the marquee race--and the overall racing product--to only get better.
Belterra Park will open its 2015 live race meet May 1 but it will do so without a contract with the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association for video lottery terminal revenue.
Horsemen's representatives told the Ohio Horse Racing Commission March 30 that equine medication rules, which the commission is reviewing, should be breed-specific in nature.
Ohio's three Thoroughbred racetracks have applied for a combined 293 racing days for 2015. There would be no overlap between ThistleDown Racino and Mahoning Valley Race Course, which are located not that far apart.
Belterra Park received its meet approvals from the Ohio State Racing Commission April 29 and is on schedule to begin its 2014 meet May 8.
Ohio Thoroughbred breeders were told April 5 that supporting stallions based in the state should be a big part of the equation in the new environment of racetrack gaming.
Penn National Gaming Inc. and the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have reached an agreement in regard to the under-construction Youngstown-area racetrack that will replace Beulah Park.
With a deadline fast approaching, Ohio racetracks and horsemen's groups indicated Dec. 19 they are close to having definite deals on the percentage of video lottery terminal revenue that will go to purses.
The Ohio State Racing Commission was unable to act on 2014 racing dates at its Sept. 24 meeting, but a horsemen's representative said negotiations on dates are progressing.
The lack of an agreement on a revenue split from video lottery terminals continues to keep the signal from ThistleDown Racino from being exported outside of Ohio.
After months of negotiations that held up regulatory approval, the Ohio State Racing Commission May 1 signed off on plans for River Downs to move its 2013 live racing dates to Beulah Park.
The Ohio State Racing Commission tabled almost all items on its agenda during its April 24 meeting in Columbus because a resolution on running this year's River Downs dates at Beulah Park has not been reached.
The Ohio State Racing Commission April 16 once again deferred action on a proposal to transfer the River Downs meet to Beulah Park because horsemen and Penn National Gaming Inc. have no contract for the meet.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has informed Thistledown it won't grant the track approval to export its signal when live racing begins April 19 because it has no deal with horsemen on VLT revenue.
As the first Thoroughbred track in Ohio prepares to open its video lottery terminal facility, purses are up. But some longtime horsemen in the state are on a waiting list for stalls.
The transfer of the 2013 River Downs meet to Beulah Park could get Ohio State Racing Commission approval March 20.
The Ohio State Racing Commission put racetrack casino developers on notice Jan. 10 when, at a hearing, members expressed strong displeasure with the racing aspects of the proposed Miami Valley Gaming and Racing facility.
Negotiations continued Dec. 12 among the Ohio parties involved in a possible shift of the River Downs meet to Beulah Park in 2013.
The awarding of 2013 Thoroughbred racing dates in Ohio has stalled given the fact the meet at River Downs may have to move to Beulah Park because of construction of a new racetrack gaming facility.
With one exception, there could be little change in live racing dates at Ohio tracks in 2013, but significant alterations are possible for 2014 should more facilities begin operating video lottery terminals.
Given the current climate of Thoroughbred racing, it's no surprise that health, safety, and medications were the primary topics of discussion at a meeting of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
Language pertaining to the horse racing industry remained intact May 24 when the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate passed a casino cleanup bill that was sent to Republican Gov. John Kasich for his signature.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion Jan. 24 that states the federal Interstate Horseracing Act trumps Ohio statute in regard to horsemen having a say in where races are transmitted.
Racetracks and horsemen's groups in Ohio continue to wrestle over how much purses and breed development programs will receive from track-based video lottery terminals, which were legalized earlier this year.
River Downs near Cincinnati plans to open for live racing May 13, two weeks later than scheduled because of severe Ohio River flooding.
Predictions the Ohio River near Cincinnati, Ohio, will rise above flood stage the weekend of April 23-24 has forced the evacuation of about 400 horses from the barn area at River Downs.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is in negotiations with a Cleveland-area harness track to avoid a situation that could lead to a statewide simulcast blackout of the May 7 Kentucky Derby.
Having compromised on the number of racing dates, Pinnacle Entertainment and the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have agreed on a contract for the 2011 meet at River Downs.
Pinnacle Entertainment, a Las Vegas-based casino company, said Jan. 28 it has closed on the purchase of River Downs in Ohio for $45 million in cash.
Ohio's three Thoroughbred racetracks have mapped out their live racing schedules for 2011, but two of them still have no agreement with horsemen on racing dates.
The Ohio State Racing Commission has approved 325 live Thoroughbred racing dates -- 33 fewer than this year -- for 2011.
Total racing dates would continue to drop under 2011 requests submitted by Ohio's seven racetracks Aug. 19.
Continued declines in handle and the lowest purse structure in decades have led River Downs to cut the purses of its two premier stakes for 2-year-olds by 50%.
The Ohio State Racing Commission is filing an appeal in a case in which it was left holding the bag for legal fees that now total more than $200,000.
Absent an agreement with horsemen, River Downs will begin its live meet April 16 with a minimum purse of $3,200, the lowest in almost two decades, in yet another sign of a struggling Ohio horse racing industry.
River Downs, which anticipates further erosion of pari-mutuel revenue this year, has asked the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to consider a reduction in 2010 racing dates.
The Ohio State Racing Commission Aug. 20 brought the grade II Ohio Derby back to the schedule this year by ordering a reduction of five live racing days at Thistledown, traditional host for the only graded stakes in the Buckeye State.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association issued a statement July 16 confirming it will have to negotiate with racetracks for purse revenue from video lottery terminals.
Host track Thistledown, the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and the Ohio State Racing Commission are discussing ways to restore the grade II Ohio Derby in 2009, officials said April 21.
Thistledown, at the suggestion of the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, has suspended the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) for 3-year-olds. The race was to have its 75th running in 2009.
Requests by Beulah Park and River Downs to schedule their customary Thoroughbred meets for 2009 were officially granted Dec. 19 by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
With a little more than two weeks remaining before the scheduled shutdown of the barn area at Beulah Park, management and horsemen still have no deal to continue live racing in January. But developments on a national level could quickly turn things around.
Winter racing at Beulah Park was plowed under and the spring/summer meet at River Downs went up in flames Nov. 21 when the Ohio State Racing Commission awarded 2009 dates that represent a loss of more than 160 days of Thoroughbred racing at the two tracks.
Beulah Park and the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have "agreed to disagree" on contractual issues, but a temporary agreement has allowed the track to restore previous purse levels and export its signal.
Beulah Park, locked in a dispute that centers on revenue from advance deposit wagering, intends to resume live racing Oct. 22 but with greatly reduced purses and no export of its signal outside of Ohio.
Declines in on-track wagering, a dispute with the New York Racing Association over signal fees, and horsemen's refusal to allow six major advance deposit wagering outlets to take its signal has led River Downs to cut purses 15%-18% effective May 8.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Thistledown have an agreement in principle for 122 days of live racing at the Cleveland-area track this year.
The clock is ticking on negotiations between the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Thistledown, the Cleveland-area racetrack whose 2008 Thoroughbred meet is in jeopardy because of a conflict over racing dates.
The Ohio horse industry, in an effort to make its voice heard around the Buckeye State, has formed a coalition similar to the Kentucky Equine Education Project, a horse industry advocacy group in Kentucky.
A controversial plan to shave live racing dates at Thistledown in 2008 could result in the halt of full-card simulcasts at the Cleveland-area racetrack in 2009.
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