Horse Racing Meet starts May 13 at Presque Isle Downs & Casino

Monday-Thursday racing opens 100-date season; Sundays added July 7-Aug. 25

Presque Isle Downs & Casino has again adjusted its schedule for the 12th full season of thoroughbred racing, which opens on Monday, May 13.

Eight-race programs will be Monday through Thursday for the first eight weeks and the final seven weeks of a 23-week, 100-date season that ends Thursday, Oct. 17, the latest date the track has closed.

Sunday racing, popular in summer with local fans but the lowest day in the lucrative off-track on-line handle totals, begins July 7 and continues eight weeks until Sunday, Aug. 25. On Labor Day, Sept. 2, racing returns to four days a week for the final seven weeks.

Presque Isle Downs had run five-days-a-week racing since its first full season in 2008, but in 2018 raced Monday through Thursday the first five weeks in an effort to increase fields early in the season until more horses arrive at the track and round into form.

“We increased the four-day schedule to keep up with the populace of the barns and horses can race less frequently while we bolster the size of the racing fields which makes for stronger betting races,” said Matt Ennis, director of racing and finance director for Presque Isle Downs LLC, now owned by Churchill Downs.

In 2018, Presque Isle Downs set records for off-track handle ($78,127,458) and total handle ($83,042,838), an increase of more than $11.2 million over 2017…