The parking lot at Raceway Park was filled to capacity on this last Saturday of live racing for 2012. Raceway Park which first opened in 1956 will close next year as parent company Penn National moves the track to Dayton. This is being done as Penn National does not want the race track to compete with the Hollywood Casino Toledo which it also owns. The State of Ohio has approved video slot machines for race tracks and Penn National fears that video slots at Raceway Park would siphon business from the casino.
Even though there is one more year left of live racing at Raceway Park, patrons and horsemen are sad that a half century Toledo tradition is nearing an end. Rodney Conner has been a driver in harness racing since he graduated from high school in 1984. "It's too bad that this is the end of the line," Mr. Conner said. In its heyday thousands of people filled the stands at Raceway Park to watch the live racing but the crowds have diminished and so have the purses in the races. Ron Sobczak has been the track announcer for the last 16 years. "We use to race 165 days here and now we have 43 or 44 racing days; I don't know the answers as to why but a lot of peopl are hurting because of this," Mr. Sobczak said.
Live racing at Raceway Park for 2012 concludes on Sunday with a first post time of 6 p.m.