11/22/2006 1:00AM

Two tracks agree on dates


Thistledown and River Downs have reached an agreement with the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association on 2007 racing dates. Ohio's other Thoroughbred track, Beulah Park, will await further information from Thistledown before signing off on its 2007 dates.

Thistledown plans to run 136 days in 2007, down from the 156 days run this year. The HBPA agreed to the date reduction at Thistledown after a close vote Monday by more than 100 members of the organization.

River Downs will run 103 days in 2007, basically the same as this year's 104 days. The meet is scheduled to run from April 6 through Sept. 3, with racing scheduled on Tuesdays and Friday through Sunday in April; Tuesdays and Thursday through Sunday from May through July; and back to Tuesday and Friday through Sunday in August.

Beulah Park applied for 123 days in 2007, the same as this year. The 79-day winter-spring meeting dates are not in question and will be run from Jan. 6 through May 5.

Beulah applied for a 49-day fall meeting that would run in early October until just before Christmas. However, the exact schedule is being held up until Beulah receives information from Thistledown on its proposed racing schedule.

Thistledown has proposed racing additional dates in the 7 and 7 alternating race format with Beulah in the fall, an idea Beulah opposes.

"Until I see exactly what Thistledown's proposed schedule is, we won't sign anything," said Mike Weiss, Beulah's general manager. "We may add a few days to our schedule in November depending on what they want to do, but I won't know until I see their schedule."

Beulah requested a 2007 racing schedule from Thistledown on Monday, but has yet to receive a reply, according to Brian DeJong, Beulah's director of simulcasting.

Dates will not be granted for any of the three tracks until Beulah signs the agreement.