Horse racing getting short shrift

Horse racing getting short shrift

How important is it that the area residents enjoy live horse racing when Hollywood at Mahoning Valley Race Course is built? When the Ohio State Racing Commission meets Wednesday, members have the opportunity to put the racing experience ahead of, or at least in line with, the gaming experience.

Our belief is Penn National Gaming (“PNGI”) does not view horse racing as a priority. It wants to trade its Beulah Park location, with seating for several thousand, for the proposed location in Youngstown, where seating will be limited, hindering the experience for the racing fans.

Additionally, PNGI is cutting corners on the barns and stalls, as well as dorms for the horses’ caretakers and is not even providing jockeys with access to nutritional foods.

The Jockeys’ Guild has serious concerns, which have been expressed to the commission.

PNGI’s focus is gaming. However, since it must offer horse racing, the commission should require a greater emphasis on the safety of jockeys and horses, as well as the facilities for its fans.

We are confident the commission is looking out for the future of racing in Ohio. We hope PNGI will do the same, and not let safety and the fan experience be overshadowed by the luxuries of the VLT area.

Terence J. Meyocks, Lexington, Ky.

The writer is national manager of the Jockeys’ Guild.