Columbus, OH--Scioto Downs Racino is on the fast track for the 2013 racing season which will see 75 total racing days, up from 57 in 2012.
Even with the sloppy track on Friday and the cooler nights, people flocked to Columbus to see the opening week of harness racing.
Average daily total handle for the track was up 33 percent compared to last year; total handle this week was $675,379. In 2012, Scioto raced three nights per week (Thursday-Saturday) while this year they race four.
The first mile of the season was won in a scorching 1:52 by a first-time starter, Ilikeitrealhot and regular Scioto driver Jeff Nisonger. The fast miles continued throughout the week, with the Open Trot going to Southwind Pepino and owner/trainer/driver Hugh “Sandy” Beatty, who won the Friday night feature in 1:55.3 over a sloppy track. Saturday night’s feature, the Open Pace, went to locally trained Lonesome Attack in 1:51.1. Both Southwind Pepino and Lonesome Attack hold the season's record for the fastest mile on their respective gaits through the first week.
Scioto offered a Super High Five wager for the first time during race nine this year and each night an 11-horse field went to the gate. On Wednesday, Late For Work and driver Tony Hall won from post 11 in 1:55.4 after getting away eighth. For the 11-horse fields, horses leaving from posts 10 and 11 have finished in the money half of the time.
Racing continues Wednesday (May 15) with 11 races. Once again, all races have at least 10-horse fields with one race, the ninth, having an 11-horse field. Scioto offers a Pick-4 wager every night on races five-eight with the Thursday night Pick-4 guaranteed at $3,000 by the USTA Strategic Wagering program.
Racing will be held every Wednesday-Saturday with a post time of 6:30 p.m. through Saturday, Sept. 14. Special 1:00 p.m. cards will be held on May 27 (Memorial Day), July 4, Aug. 3 (State Fair races) and Sept. 2 (Labor Day).