Beulah Park - Grove City, OH, USA
Founded in 1923, Beulah Park holds the distinction of being Ohio’s "first original" racetrack. During the early years, the track enjoyed a reputation as the "Little Saratoga" of the Midwest.
In recent years, the reputation of the historic Grove City facility has been enhanced by a multimillion dollar master plan of redevelopment and restoration. Since the purchase of the track by Columbus developer Charles Ruma in 1986, more than 12 million has been spent on improvements to the grandstand, clubhouse, and backside barn areas.
In addition to a new banked and spiraled track surface, Beulah Park built a new modern outdoor paddock area and plaza, along with an outdoor walking ring that has become the showpiece of the restoration project. more....
Northfield Park - Northfield, OH, USA
Originally constructed in 1934, the track, then known as Sportsman Park, was intended as a greyhound track. When this plan failed, ownership changed and the focus was switched to midget car racing. After 20 years as a successful car racing facility, interest began to wane and in 1956, Sportsman Park was demolished to make way for what would eventually become one of the nation's premier harness racing tracks, Northfield Park.
The opening night card, on Friday, August 23, 1957 offered nine races with the first race a class D trot won by Bunter’s Boy in 2:12, driven by Bill Popfinger. The feature race, an invitational handicap pace for a purse of $3,000 was won by Jerry H in 2:04 and was driven by Jim Mace, the fastest mile of the evening. The track was founded by Walter Michael, shown below.
While Northfield Park is the only remaining commercial harness track in Northeast Ohio, originally it was the third track in a circuit that included Painesville Raceway to the north and nearby Grandview Raceway. Northfield was constructed and opened in 1957 by Grandview's owner, the late Walter J. Michael, who wanted to expand the racing season. Michael, owner of Pickwick Farms, Ohio's most prominent standardbred breeding farm for decades, also owned a stable of notable horses including Miss Gene Abbe, the equine star of the motion picture, "Home In Indiana." In 1972, the racetrack was purchased in part by Cleveland real estate magnate Carl Milstein who later leased the facility to outside operators. more...
Raceway Park - Toledo, Ohio, USA
Raceway Park was built in the early 50’s by the Jechura family and was originally a car track. In 1959 the track was converted to a thoroughbred track, and in 1962 the first harness race was run on the 5/8 mile oval. Over the years, harness racing champions such as Ramblin’ Willie, Mack Lobell and Shady Daisy have competed at the north Toledo oval, and well known horsemen such as Chuck Sylvester, John Campbell, Carl Allen, Doug Ackerman and Chris Boring have raced here.
In 1988, “Shake” Jechura sold Raceway Park to the partnership of Arnold Stansley, Cheri Lenavitt & Jack Lenavitt. That trio presided over Raceway Park during an era that saw Grand Circuit racing and full-card simulcasting come to Toledo. Raceway Park also established Ohio’s first and only off-track betting parlor, Cedar Downs, during their tenure. In 2005, the track was purchased by Penn National Gaming, Inc., which is an owner/operator of racetracks and casinos throughout North America. They made a commitment to improving the customer’s experience and restoring the excitement of harness racing in Ohio.
Every year Raceway Park hosts numerous fan-favorite events, with Buckeye/Wolverine Night topping the list. Every fall, Buckeye and Wolverine fans come out to watch the Buckeye/Wolverine Pace and enjoy all of the festivities. Every year, Raceway Park partners with a local charity for the night to help them raise money for their organization. The track also features multiple legs of the Ohio Sires Stakes and the Champion of Champions event which showcases the best of the Northwest Ohio Fair Circuits.
Raceway Park has been providing fun & exciting entertainment for all ages for many, many years and will continue to do so for many more to come. We thank everyone who supports Raceway Park and hope that you find your experience an enjoyable one every time you visit! more...
River Downs - Cincinnati, OH, USA
On September 19, 1996, the track entered into a new era when state legislation finally allowed for Full Card simulcasting to take place in the state. In a matter of weeks after the live meet ended, the River Downs Clubhouse was transformed into the country's most modern simulcasting center - the River Downs RaceBook. Thoroughbred and Harness racing from across the nation is broadcast over a new 500 set state-of-the-art television system that features over one hundred 40 inch, high resolution direct-view televisions.
River Downs is offering free parking and free admission to both the RaceBook and the grandstand throughout the year. The track is also entertaining sports fans with several satellite receivers that bring down a myriad of professional and college sporting events.
With the advent of increased simulcasting and the innovative Twin Seven Supercard, River Downs has been on the cutting edge of technology and has a unique 110 channel in-house television system in place that allows the viewers access to race replays of every race, advance viewing of upcoming simulcast race conditions and preview shows, changing odds formats and program changes.
Only months after the renovation of the River Downs RaceBook, the track fell victim to the "Flood of '97. Waters flowed over the banks of the Ohio River in March at a rate that hadn't been witnessed for over 50 years. Due to the determination of the entire River Downs staff, the track lost only 18 days of operation before the upper level of the RaceBook was back in operation. Against all odds the track opened on schedule for live racing in late April. In addition to a completely new lower level Clubhouse, the backstretch underwent extensive improvements including a newly designed and renovated racing office and kitchen area.
For over three-quarters of a century, race fans have enjoyed the pleasure of taking in the races at this beautiful track that has kept up with the times, while never losing its ambiance. Located only minutes from downtown Cincinnati along the scenic Ohio River, River Downs is warm, friendly, and it keeps you close to the live action while presenting year-round simulcast racing in a comfortable setting that is on the cutting edge of modern technology. more...
Scioto Downs - Columbus, OH, USA
Let Us Entertain You at Scioto Downs!
For more than 50 years, people of all ages have experienced thrilling harness racing at Scioto Downs! We're proud of our illustrious past, and looking forward to an exciting future. Many of harness racing's superstars - both human & equine - have competed at Scioto Downs, and some of today's standouts call Scioto home.
No other night spot in Columbus offers fine dining with the added thrill of top harness racing action right in front of you! Plus, we have simulcasting from the top thoroughbred and harness tracks across the country. Whether you want to spend a casual night on our outdoor Patio, entertain business associates or friends, or dress up for a special night out, Scioto Downs has what you're looking for!
Looking for a place to throw a party, Scioto Downs is just the place anytime of the year. Whatever the occasion may be, Scioto Downs has the facility for you. Call 614-491-2515 for your reservations today.
Thistledown - Cleveland, OH, USA
Thistledown is located on 128 acres approximately 10 miles southeast of downtown Cleveland. Thistledown has one of the longest racing seasons of all North American thoroughbred racetracks, covering approximately 125 racing days between April and October.
Annually, Thistledown hosts the Ohio Derby, which is the premier graded stakes race in Ohio and one of the top races for three-year olds in the country. Thistledown's facilities include a one-mile oval track. MEC acquired Thistledown in November 1999. more...
Toledo Raceway Park - Toledo, Ohio, USA
Welcome to Raceway Park, Toledo Ohio's premiere entertainment destination! We have something for everyone in your group. Whether it be betting on the ponies, having a great meal or watching some great live music, Raceway Park is sure to be "The Best Bet In Toledo" for a good time! Please check out our website for upcoming events, food & beverage specials, signature race events & much more. more...