COLUMBUS, OH --- An estimated $1.5 million in purse money will be up for grabs on Saturday night, Sept. 7 when Scioto Downs hosts the Ohio Super Night for the best Standardbreds in the state.
“This will be the richest single racing program ever in Ohio,” said Bob Schmitz, chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission. “For racing fans, it will be a parade of high quality horses all night. For horsemen and horse breeders in Ohio, it will be a chance to showcase their horses and race for fantastic purses.”
The Super Night program will be highlighted by the finals of the Ohio Sires Stakes for two- and three-year-old trotters and pacers, both colts and fillies. Purses in those events will be a minimum of $150,000.
In addition to the Ohio Sires Stakes jackpots, a $125,000 race in memory of former Scioto Downs race secretary Jim Ewart is being planned. That event promises to attract many of the best older pacers in North America and is almost certain to produce the fastest race ever in the 55 years of racing at Scioto Downs.
Scioto Downs race secretary Jason Roth estimates that the track will host 14 or 15 races on the Super Night program. The increased purses at Ohio tracks result from revenues produced by the racino at Scioto Downs.
“Ultimately, Ohio will have seven racinos at tracks in Ohio with video lottery terminals, and racing’s share of those revenues will provide an enormous boost to Ohio agriculture,” says Schmitz. “The higher purses will revitalize the horse industry in the Buckeye State. “Ohio was the leading state in breeding Standardbred foals for decades, but it dropped in recent years as surrounding states offered more attractive purses,” continued Schmitz. “Higher purses in Ohio will encourage more people to buy and race in Ohio, and that will support agriculture in the state.”
By Dean A. Hoffman for OSRC