Sunday, March 9 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:54:31 GMT
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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
This weekend a new season of live harness racing gets under way at Raceway Park, but it's unknown if this will be the final year at the track in west Toledo.
Penn National, which also owns Hollywood Casino Toledo, is planning to build a racino in Dayton, which is a racetrack with casino-style video lottery terminals. However, the timeline for the project is up in the air.
Marty Walkowski has been visiting the track on Telegraph Road since 1959, whether for off-track wagering or betting on live races.
"I came out here with my father. He was a thoroughbred player and that's how I got involved in it. I liked the horses the first time I came here," said Walkowski.
Walkowski believes the company can be successful operating a casino and racetrack in the same city.
"I don't see where the casino should have any impact on the racing fans. Yes, I do think they could coexist," said Walkowski.
David Socha also has decades of fond memories at Raceway Park.
"I was a young guy selling popcorn and hot dogs in the stands when they had stock car racing, so I was here ever since the advent of racing," said Socha.
While it's still not known if this is the final year for the track, Socha is hoping it's not.
"It gives a lot of retirees things to do that really enjoy this. They don't get hurt by watching horses and betting a couple of dollars. It's really entertainment," said Socha.
One thing is certain for Walkowski, he is looking forward to the Kentucky Derby and live racing in Toledo May 4.
"Derby weekend is a great weekend. My wife and I come out with some other couples and we have a great time. Naturally, if you pick the derby winner, that's better yet, and I've had a few of those in my lifetime," said Walkowski.