View Full Version : Beulah for the winter: Opinions Needed

Sep. 25, 2007, 08:57 PM
Right now I am at Finger Lakes as an exercise rider riding for more people than I can even really count. I am hell bent on being a jockey and will, come hell or high water, make weight. I can be unhealthy for a while, no worries. Anyway, every year for the past 6 I have gone to Ocala. I compete my personal horses in Eventing and Hunter Jumper and exercise ride and break babies. I have been offered, however, something different by one of the trainers that I ride for at Finger Lakes. He is taking twelve horses to Beulah for the winter and wants me to be his rider. All questions of character aside, this seems like a good offer. So what about riding there? Is it a good place for a bug? Can I get alot of rides? How COLD is it? What's the area like? Places to board my horses? Places to live? Things to do? What's the track itself like? The backside? Any information would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.

Sep. 25, 2007, 09:25 PM
Ok... I am not an authority on this, since I never worked out of Beulah... and I've definitely never been a jock at Beulah...

...but my gut screams "no."

Beulah is not one of the lower end tracks I would want to work out of. Even if you're there with a good outfit, there's enough incredulous people there that I think you could start yourself out on the wrong foot. And I think the potential to get hurt would be a lot higher than other places. Although I cannot back this up with any solid evidence.

Maybe my impressions have always been wrong. Maybe it's all flowers and roses on the backside. :) Hopefully someone else will correct me. (Actually, I'm sure someone else will correct me)

P.S. Ohio is cold. And Columbus is ugly. But that's just my two cents. :lol: Beulah Park itself isn't half bad looking, though...

Edited to add, I was just thinking I have not been there since they sunk a bunch of money into the place, so maybe it's improved? I don't know, it just always left me with a weird feeling.

Sep. 25, 2007, 09:43 PM
I have never been, so have no idea what the backside looks like...

I did glance at their condition book, the purses stink, and lots of low level (and I mean really low) claimers...

This would not be my choice of tracks to start off a riding career... Nothing makes you look worse than riding bad horses, or gets you hurt faster.

Sep. 26, 2007, 02:33 PM
Just say No to Ohio for starting off. That's my humble opinion. Why don't you see if you can get an outfit heading to Turfway? You'll have better horses, better trainers, better purses, be in Kentucky, where you could chance to ride at Keeneland or Churchill for some of the same trainers?

Sep. 26, 2007, 04:31 PM
Beulah Park in the winter is perhaps the most miserable place on earth. I've had the misfortune of having to race there. Winter is VERY cold - racing is very often cancelled. The backside is, in my opinion, the worst in the midwest. They painted the barns that faced the paddock area to make it look more appealing on TV. Trust me - it is a S**T hole - literally. The muck piles get really big and spill over everywhere. The best thing about Beulah is the track kitchen - at least the food is good!

You could do much better at Turfway. Plenty of trainers there year-round plus winter racing. Purses are good and many jocks leave for the winter - as it's not that much warmer in northern KY than at Beulah.

PM me if you want more info an Beulah or Turfway.

Sep. 26, 2007, 11:32 PM
i wouldnt go there i have heard nothing but bad things from people at beulah

Sep. 27, 2007, 11:21 AM
If location is not a huge deal to you, you could always try and go to work for Allen Jerkins... he will ride girls that are good and work for him. You may not get alot of mounts, but you are sure to ride some quality horses. Good horses make you look good, if you have any talent for race riding you will get recognized by other trainers.

Sep. 27, 2007, 11:42 AM
I haven't been to Beulah in a while, and frankly, haven't missed it! I always found it a very depressing track. In the winter, it's grey and bleak and COLD. The horses have always been low end, but with other venues in the region surpassing OH in purse money, it's getting worse. This is one of those tracks where you're going to see some of the outfits that give racing a bad name.

There are, however, couple of things going for it: it's not right in the city and it's small enough that things are more laid back than a lot of tracks. I however, really like a quiet smaller track. There are also a lot of horses in the greater Columbus area, so reasonable boarding probably could probably be found.

Congratulations on the offer, though! It's great to have multiple options! :)

Sep. 27, 2007, 12:00 PM
In 1994 I was at the backside of that racetrack and it was very miserable, and that was in April!!! It is freezing cold there in April so I can't even imagine what the winters would feel like. The trainers there are the way lower end and the horses scared the heck out of me. I think you would feel safer at Turfway or any track in Kentucky.

Sep. 27, 2007, 09:12 PM
Thank you for your opinions, every one. Decision made, not going to Beulah. Don't exactly trust the guy who made the offer in the first place, and in light of your opinions, it's definitely a no go. So now I move on to my FL options. I love FL, I really do, and I know about a million people I can ride for. However, I have never looked at FL, particularly Ocala, from a jocks stand point. I suspect that Tampa and/or Calder are both hard to break in as a jock and while I have tons of horses to exercise in FL, they're not the horses that I would get rides on. Suggestions abound please.

Sep. 27, 2007, 10:07 PM
Tampa would not be a bad option... Gulfstream is a tough meet for riders, as the best of the best are usually down there. But it would be worth it to go down and gallop for a good trainer... nothing like working horses with top riders to really continue learning. My advice is dont rush it, and dont ride untill your ready...

Sep. 28, 2007, 05:39 PM
I think Tampa is a very good option. Trainers there like to use bugs, fields are really large thruout the winter, which makes it much easier getting mounts.

Sep. 28, 2007, 09:30 PM
Ok so I haven't ever been to Beluah before but I do know that Ohio can be very very cold in the winter and good old Grovetucky (Grove City) is def. not the nicest area in the world. A lot of horses go there when it is the end of their carrer and the owners/trainers aren't ready to retire them yet so they can get as much money out of them as possible. I adopted my OTTB and he spent a couple years there at the end (he stopped racing at the age of 12...granted he is completely sound and did do well when he was younger).

Sep. 28, 2007, 10:14 PM
Ok, I am in no way directing this at the OP in particular, its just an overview of how the world works or in this case, how the racing world works. It all depends upon your level of talent. I don't think anyone goes to Beulah to ride or to train because that is their first choice, its just where they belong. I started out at Penn National as a trainer and was successful. I moved to MD for hubby's job and it has been a struggle. True, purses are better but its harder to get that purse and with my budget, the horses fit better at Penn. Overall you are better off winning a decent amount of races with crappy purses than one or none with bigger purses.
Maybe you can find someone you trust to give you an honest assessment of your ability OP and it will give you a better idea of where you stand the best chance to succeed.

Sep. 28, 2007, 10:19 PM
I agree with your advice Laurie... I started riding in Maryland, had the oppurtunity to ride alot of horses in New England, and jumped at the chance... I rode alot for a girl, sometimes up to 5 mounts a day.. however, the quality of horses was overall pretty poor... and the risk of injury greater on bad horses...and the money earned wasnt worth it. In the end I called it quits and walked away sound..

That is why I recomended at least working for a decent trainer, letting them evaluate you, work horses with good riders that you can learn from... and then go from there. The racetrack can be a funny place, lots of talent wasted, and the not so talented can really look good with nice horses, whether riding or training them.

Oct. 8, 2007, 06:15 PM
There is nothing good now, nor has there ever been about Beulah Park. The track is awful, the weather is below awful, it is damn near the "last stop" for an awful lot of race horses, and race track rats. Been there, worked there, worked for leading trainer for years there, don't. Stop. Run away. You can go to Florida and work in a s**th**e and at least you'll be warm. did I mention the MUD, nasty, shitty, pissy, MUD, that is 4 inches deep EVERYWHERE from the second week of November til the first week of April. It is just not a nice place. I don't care how much they spent on the ammenities for the public, the backside isn't any place for anyone. I didn't have much of a choice, sounds like you do.