Miami Valley gearing up for Jan. 5 opening
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The Winter Racing Festival at Miami Valley Raceway kicks off Friday, Jan. 5, with the largest purses in the track's brief five-year history. A 10-15 percent purse increase to condition races positions horsemen to race for an average daily overnight purse structure of approximately $150,000.
With close to $14 million in anticipated purses to pay out during its 87-day meet, Miami Valley is grateful to host one of the highest purse structures in all of harness racing.
Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) president Kevin Greenfield remarks, "Miami Valley is a shining example of how Ohio horsemen understood the expansion of gaming to benefit harness racing. Amazing purses, increased earnings opportunity for our members and positive contributions to the community. The team at Miami Valley has brought the OHHA's vision of winter racing to life in Southern Ohio."
OHHA executive director Renee Mancino said, "Three years ago we thought Miami Valley was a diamond in the rough, so it is no surprise to the Ohio horsemen that their ‘can-do' skilled management team, and Ohio-centric approach to the racing program has them pacing strong to the top of the class in the industry."
Unprecedented purses are not the only reason to be excited about the harness racing tradition that continues in Lebanon, Ohio. The second annual $25,000 North America Drivers Championship ushers in Miami Valley's Winter Festival on Jan. 7 and 8, with finals on Jan. 9.Thirty of the continent's most accomplished drivers will go head-to-head for the title.
A variety of enhanced lucrative series will surely appeal to harness racing fans at every level. January, February and March features will include nine Claim To Fame series, four Survivor Series and nine Legends Late Closers.
Wagering opportunities include the early double, a Pick 3, Pick 4, 50-cent Lucky Pick 5 (with industry low 12-percent takeout) beginning on Race 10, and a 10-cent Buckeye Hi-5 on Race 12 each program. Carryover provisions apply to the Lucky Pick 5 and Buckeye Hi-5 wagers until a winning ticket is hit.
Stay tuned for Grand Circuit, Ohio Sires Stakes, Hackett Memorial and Scarlet & Gray Invitational action during Miami Valley's upcoming Spring Festival in April and early May. For the first time ever, trotting divisions have been added to the Hackett Memorials for 3-year-old Ohio-sired horses.
Details on all of Miami Valley's special events for 2018 can be found at: http://www.miamivalleygaming.com/, using the Racing/Horsemens Info tabs.
Condition sheets for opening week are now available on the USTA website.
Plan now to be part of the action when Miami Valley goes postward beginning Friday, Jan. 5. Afternoon matinees will be presented every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with a 2:05 p.m. post time. Friday and Saturday evening cards will commence at 6:05 p.m. (Miami Valley)