10/09/2010 1:07PM

New era begins for Beulah under Penn Gaming


GROVE CITY, Ohio – Beulah Park begins a 52-day fall/winter meet under new ownership Tuesday. Penn Gaming purchased the track in the spring and the deal was finalized over the summer. Although most of the same personnel are in place, quite a bit has changed.

The 7 & 7 program is gone. Begun in the mid 1990’s originally to speed up the betting experience, a race was run every 15 minutes at one of two participating Ohio tracks. Over time the races were spread farther apart and a live race was run only every 41 minutes. Beulah will now run nine live races Monday through Wednesday and eight on Friday and Saturday.

The barn area has received a face-lift, with dorm rooms repaired and new windows installed throughout.

“The barn area is definitely in the best shape I have seen it and the horsemen seem very appreciative,” said racing secretary Ed Vomacka. “Some of the repairs were to comply with commission regulations and others were just general maintenance up-keep, the outdoor barn area is in great shape.”

Vomacka said the sewer system has also been upgraded.

Although Beulah will be running more races than last year, purses for each level of race will remain the same, according to Vomacka.
Among other changes, there is a no alcohol policy on the backside for the first time. Also, all track employees will be paid hourly rather than a day rate.

“We tried to base the hourly pay on what the day rate was, so it should basically all work out the same,” said Vomacka.

The 25-cent Fortune Six will be implemented Nov. 8 with a $5,000 guarantee. The Fortune six pool was more than a million dollars when the mandatory payout was dispersed on closing day of the spring meet. To win the Fortune Six, a bettor must have the only correct ticket on the six-race sequence.

Vomacka had nearly 1,800 applicants for the 1,000 stalls at Beulah. Joe Woodard, the leading trainer last year, will once again be back, as will jockey Perry Ouzts.

Ouzts, 56, won the riding titles at River Downs this summer as well as at the Turfway Park fall meet, riding first call for Woodard. Charlie Lawson will be back to battle for the training title as well.

The stakes schedule will be the same as in years past with five Ohio-bred stakes and the $13,000 Samuel, restricted to horses who have run at the Beulah fall/winter meet.