07/06/2004 11:00PM

River Downs: Track alters format

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In an effort to boost live attendance, River Downs is altering the 7 & 7 format with Thistledown beginning Friday and for every subsequent Friday through Sept. 3. Both tracks will continue to run seven live races each Friday, but rather than alternate races throughout the 14-race card, River Downs will run more of its races toward the end of the program.

On Friday, Thistledown will run three races beginning at 1:15 p.m., followed by the first live race at River Downs at approximately 2:30 p.m. The two tracks will then alternate races until River Downs concludes the program running races 12 through 14.

This change in format will be in effect only on Fridays. The 7 &7 alternating race format will remain the same on other race days.

By extending live racing into the early evening hours, River Downs officials say they hope to attract fans on their way home from work. River Downs will also offer $1 beer at Finnegan's Bar on the mezzanine all day on Fridays. Free tip sheets, music, contests, and drawings are also planned.