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Dayton Preparing For Third Season

Published: August 13, 2016 6:02 pm ET

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Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway is eagerly preparing for the start of its third season of live harness racing action. A matinee card on Monday afternoon, September 12, will be the first of 75 programs through closing night on Friday, December 30.

America's newest track will follow a five-days-a-week schedule with Monday and Tuesday matinees at 2 p.m. and evening programs at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The only schedule exceptions will be dark days September 19-22 in deference to Little Brown Jug week at the Delaware, Ohio county fairgrounds; and the substitution of Wednesday, November 23 for Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving).

The projected overall purses for the meet are approximately 40 percent higher than in 2015. The average daily purse distribution is expected to grow from $64,000 in 2015 to $90,000 this year. In total, horses will race for over $7 million during the 3-1/2 month meet.

The highlight of the 2016 season could well be the $140,000 (estimated) Dayton Pacing Derby and $160,000 (est.) Dayton Trotting Derby on Friday night, September 30. Among the pacing nominees are Wiggle It Jiggleit, Always B Miki, Shamballa, Freaky Feet Pete and All Bets Off. On the trotting side, headliners could include Crazy Wow, Maestro Blue Chip, Obrigado, Pinkman and Shake It Cerry.

Other major racing events will be the $200,000 (est.) Ohio Fair Finals night on Saturday, October 8; and the $200,000 "Doc Mossbarger Memorial Series" Ohio Sires Stakes championships for older state-sired horses on Saturday, October 15.

Ohio Fair Finals night will feature eight races for two and three-year-old Ohio horses of both sexes and gaits, who earned their way into their respective $25,000 (est.) championship tilts by earning points at any of Ohio's 63 county fairs that feature harness racing throughout the summer months.

Four $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes finals fields for horses four years old and up, divided by sex and gait, will be determined by accepting the nine highest 2016 money winners (based on Ohio earnings through October 1 only) for each division. There was no nomination fee this year, so older Ohio-sired horses with reasonable earnings just need to enter by October 11 to become eligible. There is a $500 starting fee for the horses whose earnings secure them a spot in the race.

The second annual "Hoosiers vs. Buckeyes Driver's Challenge" has been scheduled for Saturday, December 10, pitting the top five drivers from Hoosier Park against the top five from Hollywood Dayton in a four-race contest to determine bragging rights for the next year.

An exciting new wager is also being introduced for the 2016 season. The "Dayton Flying Pick 6" will be available on the final six races of each program, with a guaranteed payoff of at least $3,000 for a unique (single) winning ticket. If no unique (single) winning ticket is sold, 70 percent of the day's betting pool will be divided amongst consolation winners while 30 percent will be carried over to the next program's Pick 6 until a unique winner is awarded.

Tentative condition sheets for opening week of the 2016 season are currently available on the United States Trotting Association website. A pre-meet qualifying races session has been scheduled for Tuesday, September 6 at noon.

(Dayton Raceway)

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