6/24/2017 Thistledown Race 8
The Ohio Derby–$500,000 Grade III
1 & 1/8 Miles on Dirt for Three-Year-Olds
Post Time: 2:30 P.M. PST
Analysis by Michael Patricks
Saturday is the 83rd running of the Ohio Derby from Jack Thistledown Racino in North Randall, Ohio. The Ohio Derby is the clear headliner from the 100-day meeting spanning May 1st through October 21st. While other racetracks have contracted their race dates or shut their doors entirely, Thistledown race course has gained a second economic wind due to the State of Ohio assenting to the installation of 1,150 video lottery terminals (VLT’s) onsite at Thistledown. Thanks largely to the merger of gaming and racing Thistledown is able to offer a $500,000 purse as an enticement to Ohio’s most prestigious thoroughbred race. With the ongoing shrinkage of California’s horse population statewide, it would be ideal to see the powers that be within California’s legislature do everything possible to join horse racing with the Indian tribes in a tribal-state compact. If other states and racetrack operators can exercise their creative powers to craft legislation towards maintaining financial solvency and can function on a level playing field with respect to incentivized purse distributions, what is hindering the Golden State of California from doing the same?