10/16/2008 11:00PM

Beulah cancels Saturday card


Beulah Park has canceled its live race card for Saturday, citing the inability to get an agreement with horsemen over their approval of transmission of the track's simulcast signal.

The cancellation is the second in a row for Beulah, which also called off its Friday card because of the dispute.

According to Mike Weiss, the general manager of Beulah, negotiations were ongoing between horsemen and track officials late Friday, but the track did not believe it should open on Saturday and risk horsemen having to ship in and ship out if an agreement was not reached. Beulah officials made the decision to cancel the Saturday card on Friday evening.

Beulah Park opened its fall meet on Tuesday, but the track refused to export its signal on Wednesday because of its displeasure with terms contained in the horsemen's simulcast-approval agreement. Officials of Beulah said that the track would lose money if it ran live race cards without simulcasting revenue.

Dave Basler, the executive director of the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said that horsemen objected to Beulah's decision to close on Friday, and he criticized the track for refusing to export its signal.

"As far as we're concerned, we had an agreement," Basler said. "The Ohio Racing Commission approved it, we approved it, and the track approved it. We know that, because they sent their signal on Tuesday."

Weiss said that provisions in the simulcast contract were "out of line with an export approval agreement."

Both Weiss and Basler said that they hoped to continue negotiations on the agreement through the weekend. One possibility is for the two sides to agree to put all simulcasting revenue in escrow while the negotiations proceed, enabling the track to run live racing in the meantime, both officials said.