Columbus, OH --- It appears 2014 will offer a preview of what the Standardbred racing circuit in Ohio will look like when all the tracks have operating video lottery terminals.
Applications for racing dates were discussed but not approved during the Thursday (Aug. 22) Ohio State Racing Commission meeting. The proposed schedules will be tweaked depending on negotiations with horsemen and construction of two new harness tracks in the state.
Miami Valley Gaming and Racing, which will replace Lebanon Raceway, requested 53 days from Feb. 21-May 4, with racing Wednesdays through Sundays most weeks.
Hollywood Dayton Raceway, which will replace Raceway Park, asked for 56 days from Oct. 3-Dec. 27, with racing Mondays and Wednesdays through Saturdays.
Scioto Downs Racino requested 100 days from May 1-Sept. 27, with racing Wednesdays through Sundays most weeks.
Northfield Park Rocksino is seeking 213 days from Jan. 1-Dec. 30, with racing Mondays through Thursdays most weeks, with Fridays added in December.
The tracks by law have to race a minimum number of days unless the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association agrees to fewer racing programs. There have been ongoing talks about Scioto, Miami Valley, and Dayton forming a year-round circuit with minimal overlap, with Northfield continuing to race year-round in northeastern Ohio.
OSRC chairman Robert Schmitz said he wants racetracks and horsemen “to move forward in the next month or so” so 2014 dates can be approved as quickly as possible.
If the proposed schedule becomes reality, 2013 will be the last year for live racing at Lebanon, which races through early December, and Raceway, which ends its meet in September.