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Published: Friday, 10/29/2004

Illinois firm to purchase Raceway Park

An agreement has been reached to sell Toledo's harness-racing track, Raceway Park, to an Illinois gaming company for approximately $20 million.

While specific details still need to be finalized, Alton, Ill.-based Argosy Gaming Co. will purchase the track, and an off-track wagering facility in Sandusky, from Jack and Cheri Lenavitt and Arnold Stansley.

The track, at 5600 Telegraph Rd., just south of Alexis Road, offers live, weekend harness racing for approximately eight months a year, and year-round off-track betting.

Commenting on the sale, Raceway general manager Mike White said, "It's a tough industry. When someone big wants to buy you, it's kind of hard to say no."

Jim Wise, a spokesman for Argosy, said the current Raceway management team will stay on to run the track. Argosy's primary business is gambling casinos; it owns six riverboat casinos in the Midwest and South.

According to White, "They are buying us an an insurance policy" in case Ohio racetracks ever are approved for casino gambling.

"We see value in the purchase," Wise said, "as it provides us with an excellent opportunity to gain the insight and understanding required for the operation and marketing of a racing facility."

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