10/08/2011 12:32PM

Beulah Park resurfaces track, lowers takeout on multi-race wagers

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Beulah Park opens its 53-day fall/winter meet Monday for the second year under the ownership of Penn Gaming with changes to the physical plant as well as the wagering format.

A new surface has been put down on the one-mile oval, including work to the base on the turns. The new surface is getting rave reviews, according to Ed Vomacka, Beulah’s racing secretary.

“Even the chronic complainers are saying good things about it, everything I have heard has been positive,” Vomacka said.

Moe Nye has been hired as the new track superintendent after working most recently at Will Rodgers Downs and Canterbury Park.

“It has taken some rain and Moe said he thought he would put the dogs up a couple of mornings early, but it has drained so well he hasn’t had to use them.” Vomacka said. “They used a spreader to put the new surface down, rather than just dump the material on the track and then move it around. It really seemed to help.”

In past seasons, Beulah Park has tried to replace and or repair the surface during the two-week winter break at Christmas.

“It was something that needed to be done and it is great that it is fixed early this year,” Vomacka said. “Hopefully this will keep us from tearing it up at the Christmas break and losing training time.”

The takeout on all multi-race wagers has been lowered to 15 percent. Those wagers – the pick three, pick four, and the new pick five, as well as the trifecta, will have a 50-cent minimum base wager this season as well. The pick five will have a daily carryover possibility.

The first two days of entries went very well, with 181 horses entered in the first 18 races. Vomacka said the barn area is filling up quickly.

We have a half-dozen trainers from Hoosier that will be here and probably a dozen from Thistledown and so entries are going well,” he said.

The jockey colony will have a few additions with apprentice Ronald Richard from Turfway and Amanda Tamburello, the second leading rider at River Downs, joining regulars Yuri Yaranga, Azael DeLeon, Edgar Paucar, and Sergio Figueroa.

Penn Gaming also has the rights to build a casino in Columbus and is lobbying for the ability to move Beulah Park to Dayton when slots are finally allowed to be installed. Although Ohio Gov. John Kasich legislatively gave Ohio’s seven race tracks the ability to build facilities for 2,500 slot machines at each track, no definitive date has been set for the tracks to purchase the needed licenses and begin construction.