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Horse track host opening night Friday

July 31, 2018

Horse racing fans in and around Columbus will have 14 days to catch live racing at AG Park starting on Friday. The post time is at 6:30 p.m.

Columbus Exposition and Racing (CER) is in its sixth year of overseeing the races at AG Park, and according to one of the members of CER Dan Clarey very little is going to change from this year to last year.

One of the main changes is that fans will now be able to bet on the races live, right from their phone, right at the track.

“People can now bet from their phone using MBet,” Clarey said. “You can bet from your phone and cash in when you leave, that is brand new this year.”

AG Park will also offer simulcast racing every Thursday through Sunday year round from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Opening night is one of the main nights of the year, according to Clarey.

“Opening night is probably one of the best nights of the year,” Clarey said. “It’s a social event, everyone is there to have run and it’s a like a giant party.”

Clarey mentioned that even if someone hasn’t been to a horse race that opening night is a good night to give it a shot.

“If you’ve never been out on opening night, it’s the place to be Friday night.”

The races this year will run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, except for this Sunday and September 1.

Every week the Friday and Saturday have a post time of 6:30 pm and the Sunday races will have a post time of 2 p.m.

Labor Day races will also have a post time of 2 p.m.

Clarey is expecting this to be a successful year for the Columbus racing scene.

“I think just from the initial response, I think it’s going to be a pretty good year,” Clarey said.

Clarey didn’t have the exact number, but said that gambling was most likely down a couple percentage points from last year from the previous year.

Ag Park took a total of $4 million in bets, including simulcast races, in 2016, down from $4.3 million in 2015.

According to Clarey, the steady decline of money from gambling has been going on for the last few years.

The races will go through Sep. 3, which will be the last day of the horse racing season this year.

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at peter.huguenin@lee.net

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