Scioto Downs Prepares for 2014 Racing Season

Columbus, OH —- Scioto Downs is ready to kick off another exciting summer of power packed racing and generous purses.

The action starts on Thursday (May 8). Be sure to join us as we celebrate our freedom and honor America with the flying of an American Flag that was flown over the skies of Afghanistan and is provided to us by the United States Air Force.

Live racing will continue Tuesday through Saturday until August and Wednesday through Saturday until closing night, Sept. 27. We will also have a few holiday cards with an early post time of 1 p.m. Be sure to check out the racing calendar for complete details.

Stakes action is back this summer in full force starting on May 17, Preakness day, when the live racing card will feature the Laverne Hill Memorial Pace for older pacing mares with a purse of $50,000. On a special Memorial Day race card with a post time of 1 p.m., sophomore colts will take center stage in the second leg of the Ohio Sire Stakes. The sophomore fillies get their chance on Saturday (June 7), Belmont day, and share the spotlight with the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot, which will feature the best older trotters dashing for a purse of $200,000.

Another day not to miss is Saturday (July 12) when we go “Back To The Track.” This promotion is a great time to introduce new fans to the wonderful world of harness racing and take advantage of some great giveaways and special offers. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for these great offers and complete details.

In August, the excitement continues with the Ohio State Fair and Ohio Breeders Stakes for 2- and 3-year-old Ohio breds.

To cap off our electrifying season on Sept. 27, Scioto Downs will host Ohio Super Night. The best 2- and 3-year-olds in their respective gaits will battle it out for a share of $200,000. Super Night will also feature the Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational Pace for a bounty of $200,000 (est.). While the purses on this night are totaling a minimum $1.8 million, it’s guaranteed to be a thrilling, edge of the seat evening and a night you will not want to miss.

We hope to see you at the races.

Racino Jobs a ‘Game-Changer’ for People With Disabilities



Nancy Radcliff

Scioto Downs

Corey Edmonds of Circleville has one of the sweetest jobs at Scioto Downs Racino. Edmonds makes sure there are plenty of desserts for patrons who dine at The Grove Buffet. “I love my job,” said Edmonds. “I’ve been wanting to be a cook since I was a kid, but no one would hire me.” Edmonds keeps busy in the kitchen cutting, plating and garnishing desserts and setting up the buffet.


Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014 7:00 pm | Updated: 12:45 am, Tue Apr 15, 2014.

By Steven Collins Staff Reporter

CIRCLEVILLE— Scioto Downs has partnered with the Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities to help place a handful individuals with disabilities in jobs at the racino.Patrick Kilbane, transition services specialist for the PCBDD, said five local people have been employed through the program for about six weeks in existing jobs at the racino, and no new positions were created.

“The five that have been working there have been doing well,” Kilbane said. “Each of the five have different skills and different abilities, and we were able to match their preferences, interests, needs and abilities with jobs that were available there.”
Kilbane said the jobs include working the buffet, working in the kitchen, and serving as a bar back.
“They are five of 500 that we are trying to give support and that extra support through job coaching that the Pickaway County Board of DD could give,” Kilbane said.
Employment First, a two-year-old governor initiative, operates under the belief that people with disabilities can and should be an active part of a community and employment should be their first option.
“All individuals, no matter their abilities, should be able to work if they prefer that,” he said. “That is the whole change of perspective because historically we’ve sent individuals to segregated settings to work in sheltered environments to participate in day habilitation programs. This program helps us to network with the community to find jobs and work with schools to help them provide the skills they need for when they exit school, they can go straight into a job or we can give them what they need to do that.”
Kilbane said the program is far from being a hand-out.
“The heart at Employment First is that every individual can work, and as a county board we’re working to support that,” he said. “We’re not asking for special positions or above and beyond what an employer would do for their employee. Scioto Downs gave us a mini-job fair for 10 individuals, and from that pool they found people they felt were an excellent fit for their jobs.”
Kilbane said the opportunity to work is important because the people placed in jobs feel more a part of the community.
“Any time you meet someone, you ask them what their name is and in small talk you ask them what they do,” Kilbane said. “For our individuals historically that has been a tough question. Through work, it allows them to say, ‘Hi, my name is John, and I work at Scioto Downs.’”
In addition to providing purpose for those individuals, he said, it helps them become a tax-paying member of society, just like everyone else.
“It allows sort of full access to be a citizen and to have the same treatment that you would have for others,” he said.
Kilbane said having jobs also allows individuals with disabilities gain some new independence.
“It allows them to not only work but you develop additional relationships,” he said. “They’re developing additional co-worker relationships, and they’re going places they haven’t been before and gaining a new independence. It’s definitely a game-changer.”

Scioto Downs Helps Developmentally Disabled Gain Competitive Jobs


State Helps Developmentally Disabled Gain Jobs

Mike Groleau, 39, of Circleville, stocks soft drinks in the cooler of the Dash Cafe at Scioto Downs Racetrack & Casino. He’s had the food-service job for five weeks, and it’s his first competitive employment, obtained with help from a recent state initiative.

By Rita PriceThe Columbus Dispatch  •  Monday April 14, 2014 4:47 AM

The place is big, busy and neon-lit. Mike Groleau had never spent time at a racino before, much less worked for one. He instantly felt overwhelmed.

“Everything was going over my head,” Groleau said.

But he had a strategy, and he reminded himself to stick with it: Be honest. Help them understand your disability. Tell them you’re going to give them 100 percent. They just might have to be a little easy with you at first.

That was five weeks ago, and already Groleau smiles at the memory.

“I’m very comfortable now,” he said of his new job at Scioto Downs Racetrack & Casino.

At 39, the Circleville resident is competitively employed for the first time in his life. He’s among hundreds of Ohioans with developmental disabilities who have received additional help finding community jobs since Gov. John Kasich launched the state’s Employment First directive two years ago.

The policy aims to sharply decrease Ohio’s reliance on segregated settings and workshops by mandating a preference for community employment. State officials set a goal of increasing community employment by 10 percent, to 7,727 working-age adults, by June 30. As of Dec. 30, it was up by about 8.5 percent.

“We’re pretty pleased with that number in terms of ramping up the initiative,” said Kristen Helling, who leads the Employment First project through the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

Outreach to employers is a big part of the initiative.

Many worry they won’t have enough time to devote to training employees with developmental disabilities. A few hear the worddisability “and tend to imagine the extreme,” said Patrick Kilbane, a transition-services specialist for the Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Kilbane works to reveal the benefits to both sides. He helped Groleau and four other board clients get jobs in food-service operations at Scioto Downs, putting together video resumes, a job fair and orientation sessions.

The racino wanted to keep employee turnover rates down. Kilbane explained that Groleau and the others, once settled, were likely to be dependable and loyal.

“Training is the most-expensive process for any company, and they had job coaches. With no high turnover, that kills two birds with one stone,” said Ashley Redmon, the advertising and public-relations manager at Scioto Downs.

Sep Adams, manager of food and beverage operations, said his new employees have handled the racino’s pace and bustle just fine. Groleau works in the employee and customer cafes.

“It’s a casino, it’s busy, and I didn’t want to set anyone up for failure,” Adams said. “But I was totally open to it, and it’s been great. Mike is awesome.”

Kilbane said the match is a score on many levels.

“All five have access to full benefits. In our field, we don’t often see this,” he said. “I was blown away. Benefits are almost never on the table.”

Many programs are under the Employment First umbrella. Groleau is the first from Pickaway County to be hired through a partnership between the state’s Department of Developmental Disabilities and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, which provides counselors to help people move from segregated settings to community employment.

“A lot of employers turn you down” or they give a “one-day chance” instead of a week or two, Groleau said.

He is glad the racino let him prove himself. “Being in the community is so much better. My co-workers — and the food — are just the best.”