03/10/2009 11:00PM

Four stakes approved for Beulah


The Ohio Racing Commission has given Beulah Park permission to run four stakes at its current meet, but the remainder of the Ohio stakes schedule is still under advisement, according to Ed Vomacka, racing secretary for Beulah Park and River Downs.

"They are looking at possibly changing some of the accredited stakes to registered and then perhaps raising the value of the remaining accredited stakes to $55,000," said Vomacka.

There are a total of 33 Ohio-accredited and Ohio-registered stakes divided among the state's three Thoroughbred tracks - Beulah, River Downs, and Thistledown.

Ohio-accredited foals must be foaled in Ohio and sired by an Ohio-accredited sire, whereas Ohio-registered foals must only be foaled in Ohio.

Three of the four stakes that were approved by the commission are for Ohio-breds and the final race, the Alyssa, is for fillies and mares that have run at the Beulah winter/spring meet.

The stakes are the Royal North for 3-year-old fillies on March 28, the Howard B. Noonan for 3-year-olds on April 11, and the Babst/Palacios Memorial Handicap for 3-year-olds and up on May 2. Each has a $50,000 purse and will be run at six furlongs.

The Alyssa on May 2, closing day, has a $15,000 purse.

* Charlie Luken, chairman of the Ohio Jobs and Growth Committee, submitted paperwork to the Ohio Attorney General's Office seeking to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to allow four casinos to be built in Ohio. The casinos would be placed in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo. If the attorney general okays the language in the amendment, 402,275 signatures must be obtained to get it on the Nov 3. ballot.

Approximately 1 percent of revenue generated by the casinos would go to an Ohio State Racing Commission fund to help revitalize the state's horse racing industry.

The casino group includes Penn National Gaming and Dan Gilbert, majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.