Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

$450,000 Improvements Ok'd for Blue Ribbon Downs Track

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

$450,000 Improvements Ok'd for Blue Ribbon Downs Track

Article excerpt

racetrack in Sallisaw were approved Wednesday by the Oklahoma Ho rse Racing Commission.

In addition, the commission held hearings on applications for 1987 race days at four existing race tracks. Wednesday's hearing included an application for 166 race days at Blue Ribbon Downs, presently the only licensed pari-mutuel track in Oklahoma.

According to Glenn Dickinson, a vice president of Blue Ribbon Downs, the $450,000 project approved by the commissioners calls for a new jockey quarters and a new saddling paddock area at the track.

Work on the project will begin in about 60 days, he said. It is expected to take 90 days to complete.

The new construction is part of an overall $5 million improvement project which will be done in phases over the next few years.

When the entire project is completed, Dickinson said, all the buildings on the track site will be connected. The grandstand area will also be enclosed and air conditioned. Seating is expected to bedoubled.

In addition, a new entrance will be constructed for the track at State Hwy. 64, which will be ornamented by fountains and artwork. Presently, entrance to the track has to be reached through a service road off State Hwy. 64.

The application for 1987 race days were for three non-pari-mutuel tracks: Garfield Downs in Enid, Ross Meadows in Ada and Midway Downs in Stroud. However, Jon Ross, owner of both Ross Meadows and Midway Downs, announced he was withdrawing his application for an unspecified number of race days next year for Midway Downs.

In the hearings for Garfield Downs, Ross Meadows and Blue Ribbon Downs, no one appeared to testify in support or opposition to the granting of race days next year.

Garfield Downs, which holds its race meets at the Garfield County fairgrounds, requested 13 race days in 1987, while Ross Meadows asked for 52 - up from 48 granted for this year. …

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