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.”

Player Wins $126k on new MegaHits game!



New multi-state progressive Jackpot hits after less than one month at Scioto Downs

Columbus, OH – October 29, 2013 – A lucky winner at Scioto Downs had 126,000 reasons to celebrate when she became the first person to hit the large progressive jackpot on IGT’s MegaHits machine on October 27.

The player, who wishes to remain anonymous, is an INClub™ Gold card member. She placed the $3 maximum bet on the $1 Pink Ice MegaHits game on Sunday just after 10:00pm. Her total jackpot winnings amounted to $126,145.71.

“That is a spectacular amount of money to win. I hope it brings her a lot of happiness and joy,” said Scioto Downs Racino General Manager Troy Buswell. “We wish her well and hope she keeps coming back to visit us here at Scioto Downs.”

Scioto Downs was the first Racino to install MegaHits games in Ohio. The installation took place a little less than a month ago on October 4. The most recent jackpot win totaling $225,000 was at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware just 14 days prior.

IGT’s MegaHits are wide-area progressive (WAP) jackpot games that are linked across multiple lottery jurisdictions in Delaware, West Virginia, Rhode Island and Ohio. Once a WAP jackpot is hit, the games reset at $100,000. Most jackpots to hit on these games are considered life-changing.

About Scioto Downs Racino

Scioto Downs Racino, Ohio’s first Racino, features over 2,100 video lottery terminal games, seasonal live harness horse racing, year-round simulcast wagering, an array of dining options and live entertainment. With a long history or horse racing, Scioto Downs has been bringing gaming to the community for over 50 years. As the first Racino to open in June 2012, Scioto Downs introduced the latest in gaming technology to central Ohio and continues to bring the best and most popular games to the property. Scioto Downs offers world-class entertainment in a customer friendly atmosphere.

About IGT

International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) is a global leader in casino gaming entertainment and continues to transform the industry by translating casino player experiences to social, mobile and interactive environments for markets around the world. IGT’s acquisition of DoubleDown Interactive provides engaging social casino style entertainment to more than 6 million players monthly. More information about IGT is available at or connect with IGT at @IGTNews or Anyone can play at the DoubleDown Casino by visiting or

Carol's Comet wins last Open Pace of Scioto's 2013 Racing Season

Hard-luck Carol’s Comet won the last $20,000 Open Pace at Scioto Downs Racino in 2013 by a nose, in 1:50.2.  The hard luck gelding finished second the last three starts at the track but this week driver Aaron Merriman had a different strategy to make the outcome different, and make his way to the winner’s circle.

“I thought I was in the position last week to get the trip and they told me he really didn’t like the passing lane,” said Merriman.  “I opted to go to the outside so I think I cost myself the race with the drive.  Today, up in the passing lane the horse really appreciated it, the shorter trip around the track.”

Sitting the pocket Merriman waited patiently during the first three quarters that went in 26.3, 55.2 and 1:22.

“He’s very nice, a Cadillac to race,” Merriman continued.  “He really wants to go so that really makes it nice.  He’s very good gated and good behind the gate.”

Audrey’s Dream (Tony Hall) got up for second while Special Forces (Chris Page) held on for third after cutting the mile.


(Carol's Comet wins by nose to win the last Open Pace of the 2013 Scioto Downs Racing Season)

Previous to the evening’s races, Carol’s Comet had made 16 starts and had three wins with eight seconds and one third making $77,275 just this year racing exclusively at Scioto for Delaware, Ohio based trainer Ron Potter.

The striking 4-year-old gelding son of Yankee Cruiser out of the Jenna’s Beach Boy mare Modern Medicine is owned by Martin Presser, Bill Moore, Matthew Moore and Whiskey Tango Stable (Dawn Hornsby, Dawn Potter and Kimberly Rowe).

The evening’s race card also held two divisions of the “Best of the Rest” which was open to horses paid into the Sire Stakes but were not eligible for the $150,000 last week.  Majesty Dream (Chip Chip Hooray-Donna L’s Hope) and Kayne Kauffman took the 2-year-old trotting filly division in 2:00.4.  Trained by Jim Arledge, Jr. for owners Up Front Racing LLC (Ed Mullinax) and Thomas York Jr.  She is now set to race in the Ohio Breeders Championship at Delaware on Sept. 17.

The 3-year-old colt pace was the only other division to fill and was won by Dusto and Kauffman in 1:55.1.  The time was a new lifetime mark for the Stand Forever-Doctor Cindy colt who now has $82,540 in career earnings for owner/trainer William Hartman and co-owner Saundra Andre’.

Even though the live racing season is over at Scioto, the racetrack will still be open for simulcasting from noon-midnight.  Racing will resume in May 2014, dependent on approval from the Ohio State Racing Commission.


Pet Rock sets new five-eighths speed mark

Pet Rock and Dan Noble set the new world record for pacers on a five-eighths-mile track when went wire-to-wire in 1:47.2 in the $125,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational Saturday (Sept. 7) at Scioto Downs Racino.

Conrad Photo
Pet Rock became the fastest pacer ever on a five-eighths-mile track with this 1:47.2 win in the Jim Ewart Memorial.

Previously held at Pocono Downs, the record was in trouble from the word “go” with Noble parking A Rocknroll Dance and Kayne Kauffman to an opening quarter of 25. The pair hit the half in 52.4 and the three-quarters in 1:20.1. A Rocknroll Dance was second with Sweet Lou third.

“He was real strong in the lane and had plenty left,” said Noble.

Virgil Morgan, Jr. trains the 4-year-old stallion for owner Frank Bellino of Bronx, N.Y.

Morgan had a big night even before Pet Rock won as he became the first trainer in history, since the United States Trotting Association has kept records, to hit 5,000 lifetime wins. Earlier in the evening he was also presented as the leading trainer at his home track for the 2013 racing season.


Morgan comments on top-notch Super Night card

Virgil Morgan, Jr. has been a mainstay at Scioto Downs for nearly two decades, winning the training title at the central Ohio oval every year since 1994.


During that time, he is unlikely to have seen a night like Saturday’s Super Night. The 16-race Super Night card features eight $150,000 Ohio Sire Stakes championships for 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters, plus the $125,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational for older male pacers and four $30,000 opens.

Total purses for the night are nearly $1.5 million. It is the richest single racing program in Ohio history.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
Virgil Morgan, Jr. has four horses in the OSS finals and two in the Ewart Memorial.

Morgan has four horses competing in sire stakes finals and two — Pet Rock and Rockin Finish — in the Ewart. Pet Rock is among five millionaires in the nine-horse Ewart field, joined by A Rocknroll Dance, Fred And Ginger, Sweet Lou and Up The Credit.

“There’s definitely lots of good racing and good horses,” Morgan said. “It definitely should be a good night. The crowds here have been amazing on Fridays and Saturdays so this should even contribute to it more.”

Revenue from the introduction of video lottery terminals last year helped spur increases in purses.

“Last year our Super Night card went for just over $900,000 after the VLT facility was open for three months,” said Scioto’s General Manager of Racing Operations Stacy Cahill. “Now, another year later, we have been able to boost our purses and help our horsemen even more. We’ve had a great racing season so far and expect Saturday’s card to be another exciting event for our fans.”

Part of the excitement will be around the Ewart Memorial, which includes numerous stakes-winners such as Morgan’s Pet Rock, A Rocknroll Dance, Fred And Ginger, Up The Credit, Sweet Lou and Hurrikane Kingcole.

“You have to go back in time, but Scioto has had its share of great horses race here,” Morgan said. “But in recent years the purse structure was such that we haven’t had these kinds of horses. Stacy Cahill and (race secretary) Jason Roth have done a great job getting some of the premier aged horses in the business here.

“This is the first year after getting slots at Scioto Downs and hopefully it’s just something to build on.”

Pet Rock has won two of 11 races this year, but banked $558,508 — second most among all older pacers — thanks to earning a check in every start. He is the 7-2 second choice to A Rocknroll Dance (5-2) in the Ewart Memorial.

“He’s just ultra-consistent,” Morgan said. “In almost every start this year he’s paced in (1):48 or better. I can’t say enough about him; overcoming posts, being parked the mile and still having pace late, being first over — he’s just always right there.”

The 47-year-old Morgan is harness racing’s all-time leader for training wins and is five from 5,000 career victories. He led North America in wins twice, was second four times, and is No. 3 this year. He has made 999 starts, which are the most for his stable since 2008.

“You can race more here and it gives you more of an opportunity to race good horses here because of the purse structure,” Morgan said. “The sire stakes is a great program. The purse structure took a boost this year and it’s only going to get better when the three other tracks get their slots up and running.

“The future looks pretty bright here.”

There will be two different wagering opportunities on Super Night that are not available on any other race night at Scioto. A $7,500 guaranteed Pick-8 bet for the eight OSS finals is available for a minimum 20-cent bet; those finals are set as races 4-11.

There will also be a $5,000 guaranteed Pick-4 for races 9-12. The four races that are included for that bet are the last three OSS finals for 3-year-old pacing fillies, trotting colts and pacing colts, as well as the Ewart Memorial.

Before the races, there will be beanie and trucker-style hat giveaways. After winner’s circle pictures are taken and interviews conducted with the winning connections, t-shirts will be thrown to the crowd. There will also be drawings for Jug tickets, Ohio State cornhole boards, wagering and food vouchers.

Morgan posts 5,000th training victory

Virgil Morgan Jr. became the first trainer to reach 5,000 career wins this past Saturday night (Sep. 7).

The USTA has only been keeping trainer’s statistics since 1991.

Conrad photo
Stacy Cahill made a special presentation in the Scioto Downs winner’s circle to Virgil Morgan, Jr. after he hit career training win 5,000 at Hoosier Park just two hours earlier.

Morgan had his first training win when Count Jazz won a $3,000 claimer on Sept. 22, 1992, at The Meadows Racetrack.

Training win no. 5,000 came Saturday at Hoosier Park when Tyler Smith piloted Rose Run Oriana to a win in the fourth leg of the Indiana Sire Stakes silver series trot.

Morgan started on his way to his next milestone less than two hours later when Pet Rock and Dan Noble set a new world record on a five-eighths-mile track of 1:47.2 at Scioto Downs Racino.

Morgan started winning 100-plus races in a single year starting in 1995 when he trained winners of 114 races in only 417 starts, earning a UTR of .393. Since then he has had as many as 409 wins in a year and his horses have earned more than $41.8 million.

“I didn’t know (I was near 5,000) until someone brought it to my attention,” Morgan said.  “Hopefully, I’ll be fortunate enough to win a few more races.

“I prefer to let the horses do the talking,” he continued, adding with a laugh, “It’s one of those things that make you feel a little bit older than you thought you were. You look back and that’s a lot of racing. A lot of people helped me achieve that. Many thanks to all the drivers and owners and all of my help.

Feelin Lika Winner lives up to his name in Ohio Sire Stakes Championship

Eight $150,000 Ohio Sire Stakes championships were held at Scioto Downs Racino Saturday evening. Feelin Lika Winner lived up to his name when he won the coveted 3-year-old colt pacing championship in 1:52.2.

The Scott Mogan trainee sat in the pocket most of the way behind race favorite, That Friske Feelin and Tony Hall, after parking the latter to an opening quarter of 26.3.

“We wanted to follow Burke’s horse (That Friske Feelin), as close as we could get to him,” said driver Kayne Kauffman. “We got out of the gate good and I kind of pushed him through the first turn and tried to sting him a little bit.”

That opening quarter didn’t take much out of the eventual winner as he powered home in 28.3 to win by four and three-quarter lengths.

“That was a very tough call (to pull going around the last turn instead of waiting for the passing lane) but my horse felt strong,” continued Kauffman. “Tony’s plugs were out down the backside so we went ahead and made the move and it worked out.”

Feelin Lika Winner is owned by Mogan, Diamond Chip Stables (Judy Weber), AWS Stables (Allen & Carol Marie Schmidthorst) and Charlie Guiler. The gelding by Feelin Friskie out of the Live Love Laugh mare Naughty Sunflower now has $212,235 in lifetime earnings and took a mark earlier this year of 1:51.4 here at Scioto.

feelin lika winner-2

(Feelin Lika Winner & Kayne Kauffman win the 3-year-old colt pace in 1:52.2)

Other OSS winners on the evening included:

2yo Filly Trot – In the Grippers (Steven One – Over Baked) in 1:58 for driver Chris Page, trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr and owner Herres Stables LLC (Natilie Herres).

2yo Colt Trot – Rompaway Galaxy (Rompaway Wally – Rompaway Wynona) in 1:57.4 for driver Mike Micallef, trainer Krista Williams and owner Rompaway Farms LLC (Thomas Smith)

2yo Filly Pace – Shakin Friskie (Feelin Friskie – Shakeurcancancress) in 1:56.1 for driver Dan Noble, trainer Mark Winters, Sr and owners Bret Schwartz, William Bean and Stephen Montemarano.

2yo Colt Pace – Chance I MIght (Stand Forever – Nature’s Course) in 1:55.3 for driver Brad Hanners, trainer Jim Dailey and owner Rebecca Dwyer.

3yo Filly Trot – Contessa Leigh (Full Count – Howl) in 1:57.1 for driver Sam “Chip” Noble, trainer Marty Wollam and owners G And B Racing (Bradley & George Berlin) and Marty Wollam.

3yo Colt Trot – Final Breath (Victory Sam – First Breath) in 1:56.1 for trainer/driver Hugh “Sandy” Beatty and owner Duane Lowe.

3yo Filly Pace – Igottafeelinfran (Feelin Friskie – Fran Anna) in 1:53.3 for driver Dan Noble, trainer Jim Dailey and owners Jerry Zosel, Kathy Ratcliff and Kimberly Dailey.

Racing will continue for one more week, Wednesday thru Saturday, with a post of 6:30 p.m. each day. Saturday (September 14) is closing night at Scioto for the 2013 racing season.