Columbus, OH -–- The Ohio State Racing Commission approved live racing dates at two commercial racetracks next year during its monthly meeting in Columbus on Thursday (Oct. 24).
The commission approved 122 live Thoroughbred dates at Thistledown in 2014. Racing begins on April 18 and concludes on Nov. 16. For the most part racing will take place on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, formerly Raceway Park, was granted 56 live days that won’t begin until the racing permits are moved to Dayton. The company will also conduct video lottery terminal wagering at the new racetrack. Racing begins on Oct. 3 and concludes on Dec. 27.
Both racetracks above are owned by Penn National Gaming, as is Beulah Park.
The commission will consider the remaining live date applications submitted by five racetracks when scheduled to meet next at 10 a.m. in downtown Columbus on Nov. 21.
Representatives of organizations representing Thoroughbred and harness horsemen suggested agreements would be in place with the remaining commercial tracks on a number of live days.
This is necessary in order to reduce the number of live days from legislated minimums, something allowed by the Ohio Revised Code if both parties reach agreement.
At this time, harness days that await approval appear to be 72 at Miami Valley Gaming and Racing (formerly Lebanon Raceway), 212 at Northfield Park, and 90 at Scioto Downs.
Two tracks will share 77 Thoroughbred days -- Beulah Park and Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course when it opens next November. Two days will also feature quarter horse racing.
River Downs, to be renamed Belterra Park, has reached an agreement to conduct 100 Thoroughbred days between May 8 and Oct. 19. Two days will also feature quarter horse racing.
Three officials from this racetrack or its parent company, Pinnacle Entertainment, outlined progress in reconstructing the racetrack and building the racino in Cincinnati.
Another progress report was presented on the construction of barns to stable horses on the backstretch at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course.
The current plan is to construct 10 barns that would house 760 horses. The backstretches at River Downs and Thistledown can each accommodate more than one thousand horses. Track officials were asked to address the issue at the next meeting on Nov. 21.