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Ohio Commission approves 17 fewer 2011 dates

September 22, 2010
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The Ohio Racing Commission, based on requests from the state’s harness racetracks, approved fewer live racing dates for 2011 at its September meeting, held this morning at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.
 
The four harness tracks, Northfield Park, Raceway Park, Scioto Downs and Lebanon Raceway, were approved for 366 racing dates, 17 fewer than they had requested for the current year.
 
Only Northfield Park, which asked for 213 dates, and one additional date for the Summit County Fair meet, requested as many dates as they did last year. Toledo’s Raceway Park, which applied for 40 dates--down from 55 requested for 2010--amended its application to 46 dates, based upon a recent agreement with the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association.

“Our horse population has been down by more than 27 percent this year,” Bill McLaughlin, Raceway Park’s general manager told the commissioners when asked why the track, owned by Penn National Gaming, was asking for substantially fewer live race dates.

The Toledo track also received permission from regulators to trim its Oct. 16, 17, 23 and 24 race dates from the 2010 calendar.

“Northville (Downs) opens tomorrow, Windsor is racing and Lebanon is about to open,” McLaughlin said. “When that happens we lose horses.”

Scioto Downs requested 56 dates but was assigned 57 by the commission, down six from their 2010 assignment, and Lebanon Raceway was granted 50 dates to be split between its Miami Valley and Lebanon Trotting Club meets, down only two dates from their 2010 allotment. (USTA)

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