Some of the state’s most promising Thoroughbreds, such as Caviar N Champagne and Thunder Harbor, are ready to enter the gates for the start of the 89th racing season at ThistleDown Racino.
The 122-day racing season begins on Friday, April 19, with the first post time at 12:55 p.m. The opening day live racing card has attracted an impressive mix of 77 starters in eight races, which will help launch a new era in the storied history of ThistleDown Racino.
ThistleDown Racino reopened on April 9 with the addition of more than 1,100 video lottery terminals (VLTs), two bars and four new restaurants. Combined with traditional racing, these additions have transformed ThistleDown Racino into a completely new entertainment destination.
“We look forward to welcoming our many loyal guests for live and simulcast Thoroughbred racing, but also to introduce new generations to this time-honored sport that has brought Northeast Ohio so much joy over the years,” said Rick Skinner, general manager of ThistleDown Racino.
Skinner hopes that the addition of VLTs will generate a renewed interest in horse racing, which will create larger purses for the winners of each live race. Horse owners and jockeys have taken note; this spring the stalls at ThistleDown Racino were filled three months earlier than in prior years.
National and regional races such as the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Ohio Derby will continue to be popular events at ThistleDown, but the Racino is planning to welcome even more fans on those racing days in 2013.
As a result, ThistleDown Racino once again will launch free Fan Seminars to teach new guests how to select a Thoroughbred and how to place a smart bet.
“Wagering on horse racing is a lot of fun. For those new to the sport, we want to educate them on the betting process,” Skinner said. “We’ll provide some quick and easy tips that will increase their chances of winning.”