11/29/2006 12:00AM

Beulah adds five days for 2007


After a week of fine tuning, the 2007 racing schedule for Ohio's three Thoroughbred tracks is now settled.

The completion of the dates process was held up when Beulah Park refused to sign off until receiving Thistledown's 2007 racing schedule. Thistledown had expressed a desire to race additional dates in the 7 & 7 alternating-race program with Beulah, an idea that Beulah resisted.

Thistledown will cut 20 racing days from this year's schedule, going from 156 days in 2006 to 136 days next year. Thistledown will run from April 12 through Nov. 18. Thistledown will run from Thursday through Sunday each week and will add an additional day per week June through August as well as in October and November.

River Downs will add two racing dates next year and will race 105 days from April 6 and through Labor Day on Sept. 3. With a few exceptions, River Downs will run alone on Tuesday afternoons, and in the 7 & 7 program with Thistledown on Thursday through Sundays each week.

Beulah Park will add five racing dates in 2007, going from 123 days this year to 128 days. Beulah's 75-day winter-spring meeting will run from Jan. 6 through Kentucky Derby Day on May 5. Racing will be conducted Mondays through Wednesdays and Fridays and Saturdays each week through mid-March before dropping to three to four days per week for the remainder of the meeting. Beulah's fall meeting will run from Oct. 5 through Dec. 22.

* Ralph Martinez, fifth in the national trainer standings by wins, has made an instant impact in his first meeting shipping runners to Beulah. Martinez has won with 8 of his 10 starters at Beulah through Tuesday and is tied for third in the standings here. The trainers in front of Martinez have all started at least 80 runners here. Martinez has been the leading trainer at four tracks already in 2006, having taken the titles at Fairmount Park, Indiana Downs, Ellis Park, and Hoosier Park.

* The Fortune 6 returned to Beulah on Tuesday. Beulah debuted the Fortune 6 - a 25-cent pick six wager that has a jackpot that is paid off only when there is a single winning ticket - last winter but had not conducted the bet since the winter-spring meeting concluded in May.

On days when there are multiple tickets with six winners or no tickets with six winners, 40 percent of the pool is split among those tickets containing the most winners and 60 percent goes to the carryover. Beulah made a $5,000 guarantee for the Fortune 6 wager and had to pay out more than $4,000 of its own money when a single winner hit the Fortune 6 on Tuesday with slightly more than $1,400 bet into the pool.

Last spring, a single winning 25-cent ticket took down more than $190,000 after the Fortune 6 had carried over for nearly a month.