06/21/2005 11:00PM

Blue Ribbon looks to get the jump on slots


Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw, Okla., is expected to be the first track to operate electronic gaming in Oklahoma. Track officials told state racing commissioners during a meeting late last week that construction on a gaming facility was scheduled to be complete in one week. Blue Ribbon's gaming license application will be considered in July.

The track can begin operating gaming within five days of approval, officials have told commissioners. Blue Ribbon, which is owned by the Choctaw Nation Indian tribe, can operate 250 electronic gaming machines, which play like slot machines. Blue Ribbon will open for a fall meet Aug. 6.

For next year, Blue Ribbon has asked the commission for 61 dates of mixed racing for Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, from July 29 through Nov. 18.

In other dates requests, Remington Park in Oklahoma City has asked for 68 dates of Thoroughbred racing in 2006, from Aug. 4 through Nov. 28, and 50 dates for Quarter Horses, from March 10 through June 4.

Fair Meadows in Tulsa has requested 33 dates of mixed racing for Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds from May 25 through July 22, while Will Rogers Downs in Claremore has requested 42 dates of racing for Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, from Feb. 24 through May 28.

* Randy Calvert, an attorney from Oklahoma City, has been elected chairman of the Oklahoma Racing Commission, effective July 1.