2016 live racing dates have been set for Ohio’s three thoroughbred tracks. Thistledown and Mahoning Valley Race Course will each conduct 100 days of live racing in 2016. Belterra Park will run 93 days next year.
As a part of the Ohio HBPA’s VLT Revenue Sharing agreements for Thistledown and Mahoning Valley those two Northeastern Ohio tracks will not have any overlapping dates during the year and will combine to race year round.
Mahoning Valley’s Winter-Spring meeting will begin January 2nd and race through April 23rd. MVRC will conduct live racing on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays through mid March when Wednesdays will be dropped from the schedule through the remainder of the meet.
Thistledown’s live racing season will begin on April 25th and race through October 22nd. Racing will be conducted on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the meet with the exception of the month of August when there will be no racing on Fridays.
Mahoning Valley’s fall meet will begin on October 28th and run through December 28th. Racing will be conducted five days each week in November on a Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Fridays will be dropped from the schedule in December.
Belterra Park’s live racing season will begin on May 1st, 2016 and run through October 8th. Racing will be conducted on a Thursday through Sunday schedule each week.
Retirement Assistance Program Established
Through contributions made by the Ohio HBPA, the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Health Fund has established a Retirement Assistance Program which will begin in 2016 with contributions in 2016 based upon certain requirements being met during 2015. Below is an outline of the plan.
Application forms for the plan will be available in the main office as well as the OHBPA field offices by January 1st, 2016 with a due date of May 1st, 2016.
1. Trainers- who have 40 starts at Ohio thoroughbred tracks during 2015 with a minimum of 51% of the trainer’s total starts during the year occurring at Ohio thoroughbred tracks or at least 100 starts at Ohio thoroughbred tracks during 2015.
2. Stable Employees- Full time employees of an eligible trainer for a minimum of nine months during 2015 as verified via a form signed by the trainer as well as holding an OSRC license and providing a W-2 or 1099 verifying a minimum of $7,500 for the year.
1. Eligible Trainers- $3,500 2. Stable Employees- $2,000 Vesting Requirements
5 years of participation in the program will be required to be vested. Trainers who have met the program start requirements during any calendar year from 2000 to 2014 shall receive credit for one year towards vesting for each year they met the start requirements during this time period.
Plan participants will be able to choose from a number of investment funds available through Fifth Third Bank and will also have access, without charge, to speak with Fifth Third Investment Advisors. Plan participants will be able to change investment funds at their discretion.
Plan participants will have online as well as in person access to their account balance, performance, etc.
Normal Retirement Age- 65 years old Early Retirement Age- 55 years old
Will be made over a five year period with the vested participant receiving 1/5 of their total account balance the first year, ¼ of their remaining account balance the 2nd year, 1/3 of their remaining account balance the 3rd year, ½ of their remaining account balance the fourth year and their entire remaining account balance in the fifth year.