10/27/2004 12:00AM

Ohio dates in jeopardy

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A dispute between Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen in Ohio is threatening a proposal by the Ohio State Racing Commission to reduce racing dates in the state, racing officials said Wednesday.

Dan Theno, the executive director of the Ohio Thoroughbred Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said that his organization is refusing to sign off on the agreement to reduce the racing dates because of objections over the split of simulcasting money that will go to each breed.

Last week, the racing commission released a schedule that would pare 10 percent of the state's live racing days. The proposal needs the approval of all seven Thoroughbred and Standardbred tracks in the state, as well as the horsemen's organizations for Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds.

If all nine parties do not agree to the proposal by Nov. 2, the commission has said it will reduce all of the track's live racing days to the minimums laid out in a 1991 law.

Theno said that if the splits for dark-day simulcasting are not resolved to the Thoroughbred horsemen's satisfaction, his organization would refuse to sign the deal and leave the racing dates up to the commission.

Scott Borgemenke, the chairman of the commission, devised the reduced schedule in an effort to boost overnight purses.