09/14/2004 12:00AM

Ohio chair presses dates cut

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The chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission has sent a letter to racetracks and horsemen's groups in the state proposing that dates for Thoroughbred tracks be reduced by roughly 20 percent next year, largely by eliminating midweek racing days.

The proposal would pare the current racing schedule of approximately 450 days a year to 357 days a year as part of a one-year experiment, said Scott Borgemenke, the commission chairman.

Under the proposal, Thistledown racetrack near Cleveland would run 154 days in 2005, from early May to early December. Beulah Park near Columbus would run 113 days, from mid-November until late April. River Downs would run 90 days, from early May until early September.

The proposal is scheduled to be discussed at the racing commission's Friday meeting as the last order of official business. Dates for 2005 will not be awarded until the commission meets in October.