10/10/2009 12:00AM

Beulah meeting attracts plenty of interest


GROVE CITY, Ohio - Beulah Park opens for it's 86th season of Thoroughbred racing Tuesday without the slot machines that Ohio Gov. Strickland wanted installed in conjunction with the Ohio Lottery. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to do so without a public referendum.

The decision has not hurt the horse population at Beulah, however. Nearly 1,900 stall requests were made for the 800 available stalls, according to Ed Vomacka, Beulah Park's racing secretary. Vomacka said there were a number of reasons for the large influx of applications, including the early closing of the Fairmount Park meet.

"And we had a few new guys from Thistledown," he said.

Bart Barnes and Gary Patrick are among the new trainers stabled at Beulah. Vomacka had a tough decision to make as how to allot the stalls.

"We also had some guys, namely Doug Cowans, Jevon Crumley, and Randy Faulkner that split their stables between Turfway Park and Beulah last year," he said. "They decided to just keep them all here."

"It is a good problem to have," Vomacka added. "I had to go with the guys that ran a lot last winter."

Both last year's leading trainer, Charlie Lawson, and leading rider, Edgar Paucar, will be back.

Beulah will have Ohio-bred stakes races on the last two weekends in October and first three in November. Four of the events, the Ohio Freshman, Glacial Princess, Ruff Kirchberg, and Bobbie Bricker are for accredited Ohio-breds, which means that both a horse's sire and dam must reside in the state. The traditional final stakes of the meet is the $15,000 Samuel on closing day, Dec. 23, for horses that have raced at the meet.

There will be 7&7 programs when Beulah and Thistledown alternate their races and share a simulcast signal in October on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Beulah will race alone on Wednesdays.