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Ocean Downs, Cloverleaf Reach Agreement

Published: March 23, 2009 2:12 pm ET

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Ocean Downs Racetrack is on pace for its 61st year of exciting live Harness racing after the track and the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association (CSOA), which represents the horsemen who race at Ocean Downs, signed a contract governing racing at the Berlin oval.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ocean Downs will continue to host 40 nights of live racing annually for the next three years. This year's meet will begin on June 13 and run through August 23. Live racing will be held on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays in 2009 with a first race post time at 7:35 p.m.

"We're pleased and excited that we can continue to offer live racing at Ocean Downs," said Bill Fasy, chief operating officer for Ocean Downs Racetrack. "This agreement, which has the longest term of any agreement that we have had with Cloverleaf, provides security for the horsemen and for Ocean Downs."

CSOA president Thomas Cooke noted that "the association was happy to see this matter resolved in a way that guarantees the future of Standardbred racing at Ocean Downs. All along our main concern was providing our members with future security. This agreement has that and we look forward to working as partners with the management of Ocean Downs."

As part of the terms of the agreement, the track's backstretch will close as of December 31, 2009, and rent on backstretch stalls has been waived for January and February. The horsemen also agreed not to seek funds from the operator's share of video lottery proceeds at Ocean Downs, assuming that a slots license is awarded there. In return, Ocean Downs committed to supplement purses by $900,000 annually and to help cover other Cloverleaf administrative costs over and above the projected $4 million that the horsemen will receive from the state's share of slot proceeds.

(Ocean Downs)

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