01/05/2008 12:00AM

Live racing resumes on new surface

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GROVE CITY, Ohio - Beulah Park will have a renovated racing surface and a new simulcast policy in place when it begins its 73-day winter/spring meet Monday.

The cushion of the racing surface was removed and a new cushion installed in the two weeks since the fall meeting concluded. The new track is sure to be welcomed by horsemen, who lost three racing days at the fall meet due to the freezing and thawing of the old track.

As for simulcast wagering, a deal has been struck with Scioto Downs, the local harness track, to allow simulcasting in the evenings at Beulah. Until now, Beulah was only allowed to simulcast through the last race at whichever California track was being shown, and then night simulcasting would commence at Scioto. Under the new agreement, when Beulah conducts live racing, it will simulcast until midnight and Scioto will remain closed. Scioto in turn will be able to simulcast all day and evening from May 4 to Oct. 13 after the Beulah meet concludes.

"This makes sense for everyone involved," said Mike Weiss, the general manager of Beulah Park. "It's easier for the customer, who until now has been splitting time between Scioto and Beulah.

"The agreement is financially more efficient since Beulah can focus on potential special events during the offseason, such as concerts, fireworks, and motorcycle racing."

Racing will be held five days a week in January and February, with Sundays and Thursdays dark. In March, Beulah will drop Fridays and go to a four-day week. In April, the track will go to a three-day week by dropping Tuesdays.

Three Ohio-bred stakes were recently approved by the Ohio Racing Commission - the $50,000 Royal North, for 3-year-old fillies on March 29, the $50,000 H.B. Noonan for 3-year-olds on April 12, and the $50,000 Babst/Palacios Memorial for 3-year-olds and up on May 3. All three stakes will be run at six furlongs.