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Ohio has just completed a major overhaul  to accommodate casino wagering. Tracks have been refurbished, Tracks have been razed and rebuilt, tracks have been abandoned and relocate. Northfield Park and Thistledowns were upgraded on their original sites. Scioto Downs and River Downs were torn down and rebuilt, With River Downs getting a name change to Belterra Park. Three others were abandoned and relocated. Raceway Park was relocated to Dayton and renamed Dayton Raceway. Lebenon Raceway was moved a few miles up the road and renamed Miami Valley Gaming and Racing. Old Beulah Park was relocated to Youngstown and renamed Mahoning Valley.  One interesting fact about all the changes, was that Miami Valley and Mahoning Valley both were given the same abbreviation, MVR.

It is hard to say what affect these changes will have on neighboring states, Mahoning Valley will probably be the main concern as it might pull patrons who used to frequent The Meadows or Mountaineer Park. 

Organized Racing began in Ohio, shortly after the turn of the century in 1908 at Randall Park, near Cleveland. During the twenty's other tracks were added, Beulah Park near Columbus, Northampton Park in Cuyahoga Falls, River Downs in Cincinnati, and  Thistledown near Cleveland a few years before pari-mutual wagering was legalized in 1933. During the fifty's more tracks were built, as the first major harness racing tracks showed up in Lebanon, Cleveland, and Columbus, another thoroughbred track was added in Toledo, but was converted to harness racing in later years. From that point racing started to stagnate in Ohio.

In the mid-sixties Edward DeBartolo a real estate magnate started buying up tracks around Cleveland, most had severely deteriorated, so badly that the Ohio Racing Commission refused to license some of them. From there DeBartolo got the state to transfer all the Cleveland Area Tracks dates to Thistledown's, which would now run one long meet. The other tracks were turned into shopping centers, which have since deteriorated badly. Well anyway it was all downhill from here for Ohio Racing.

After the turn of the next century Ohio horse racing already suffering from state lotteries found itself in a tight spot when most of it's neighboring states stated to legalize racino style wagering. Ohio horseman were begging for a racino format and got way more than they bargained for. Ohio went right past racino's and legalized full scale casinos in all the major cities where race tracks were located. Eventually the track were allowed to add racino style wagering but was the market saturated?