11/06/2003 12:00AM

Blue Ribbon to end meet early

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Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw, Okla., must end its meet two weeks earlier than expected because the licensing process for its new owner, Backstretch LLC, cannot be completed before the meet's scheduled closing, Nov. 23.

The track will run five trial races on both Saturday and Sunday, but the races will be exhibitions, with no parimutuel wagering. There will also be no simulcast wagering at Blue Ribbon.

Backstretch LLC, owned by the Choctaw tribe of Oklahoma, purchased Blue Ribbon on Monday, one day before it was set to be auctioned to clear a near-$3 million debt with the city of Sallisaw.

The remaining four stakes for this meet, including three for Quarter Horses, have been transferred to Remington Park in Oklahoma City.