Updated on 10/21/2016 11:22AM

Thistledown plans to race Friday, Saturday as valets return to work


Thistledown racetrack in North Randall, Ohio, is expecting to hold its last two 2016 live racing dates Friday and Saturday without the disruption that led to the cancellation of races on Wednesday, the track’s spokeswoman said Friday morning.

Shannon Mortland said, “We are going to race as scheduled,” on Friday and Saturday, but she declined to comment on whether the track had resolved a pay issue with its valets. The valets, who assist riders with their tack, refused to work the Wednesday card approximately 10 minutes prior to the post, leading to the cancellation of the card.

“Everyone is working as scheduled today, the entire racing team,” Mortland said.

A valet who was said to be representing his co-workers did not immediately return a phone call Friday morning.

A representative of the track’s riders, Heriberto Rivera Jr., said on Wednesday that the valets were seeking a $2 per hour raise. Valets are some of the lowest-paid employees of a racetrack. Thistledown is owned by Jack Entertainment, which also owns and operates a casino at the track.

Post time for the Friday and Saturday cards is 1:40 p.m. Eastern.

Last year, some members of the gate crew and several valets at Penn National in Grantville, Pa., staged a strike over wages, but the track’s operations were undisturbed by the action.