A great crowd, a beautiful evening and a card of exciting races, made for a nice way to start the 2014 season at Scioto Downs.
With opening night being a Thursday, Scioto Downs kicked off "Starting Gate Thursday.” This is where patrons can fill out a coupon that is in the live racing program and enter it in a drawing to win a ride in the starting car. Three lucky patrons and their guests got to experience the thrill of watching the horses line up behind the gate and fire out for position. It's definitely a unique experience that is unlike any other.
The "Boys Of Summer” are back in full force and ready for the competitive summer meet. The drivers took their turns in the winner's circle.
Ronnie Wrenn Jr. grabbed a hat trick including one of the fastest miles on opening night with Can He Go, trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., who crossed the wire in 1:53. Chris Page snagged a hat trick too, including a seasons best of 1:53.2 for the 7-year-old mare The Shoe Fits, trained by Mike Conklin and owned by Chuck Grubbs of Grove City, Ohio. She was claimed for her $9,000 tag.
Kyle Ater smiled twice for the camera, including a trainee for his dad, Dan Ater. Ater and Tundra stopped the timer in 1:53. Tony Hall also grabbed two wins. Danny Noble, James Pantaleano and Randy Tharps each had one win.
The purses aren't the only thing on the rise at Scioto Downs Racino. The handle on opening night in 2013 versus the 2014 opening night showed an increase of 35 percent. (Scioto Downs)