11/30/2012 2:15PM

River Downs meet may have to be delayed or moved to another facility


The Ohio Racing Commission at its monthly meeting Thursday postponed assigning 2013 racing dates until its next meeting on Dec. 13.

One of the issues complicating the dates process is that River Downs may not be able to run its summer meet this year. River Downs typically races from early May until Labor Day.

Pinnacle Entertainment, which owns River Downs, plans to demolish the old grandstand and clubhouse and construct a new racino with up to 2,500 video lottery terminals. The construction process may make it difficult to race there this summer.

Several options for the River Downs dates are being discussed, including holding the River Downs meet at Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio, approximately 100 miles away. Another possibility is for River Downs to open later than usual and hold a meet from August to October.

Dave Basler, executive director of the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, remains optimistic a deal can be reached.

“I am confident we can get something worked out by the 13th,” he said. “I think we are getting close.”

The new racino is scheduled to open in the spring of 2014.