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Fair Grounds In, Flamboro Out

Published: January 15, 2010 3:19 pm ET

Last Comment: January 22, 2010 10:54 am ET | 14 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

With the move of Lousiana thoroughbred track Fair Grounds to race three nights over the course of 2010, HorsePlayer Interactive is forced to make room for the popular track on HPItv. Tonight, that casualty is Flamboro Downs.

Chris Martin from Woodbine Entertainment told Trot Insider that HPI will include Fair Grounds each of the Friday nights they race this year and whichever track has the lowest handle through HPI will be dropped. Whether or not that track is Flamboro for the other two Fridays remains to be seen.

As Fair Grounds moves back to its regular afternoon schedule next week, Flamboro is back on HPItv's programming lineup for Friday, January 22.

January 22, 2010 - 10:54 amDedicated channel for

Dedicated channel for Canadian harness racing. Great idea but will never happen. Who has the money to invest in such a venture? WEG's HPI Tv as they will tell you televises the racing which generates the most wagering dollars? Thoroughbreds generate more revenue plain and simple, that's why they are showcased more.
Does harness racing want more wagering on our product? Absolutely and how you achieve this is the subject of endless discussions. However developing and implmenting a new racing channel would take considerable resources just to launch and even more to sustain it. Getting it to air on bell or starchoice plus whatever cable companies is expensive and i'm guessing the clientele that we are trying to reach wouldn't want to pay for the cost of subscription since that would probably end up being rather high.
Once again your looking at a market share of less than 1% of the total viewing public. We would hope for more but it is a niche market, some gamblers and horsepeople and both parties want the access and programming but don't really want to pay for it. Only speaking from experience in dealing with both parties.
The horseplayers feel the dollars they wager should entitle them to access whether free programs & viewing and I would agree. Horsepeople just want to watch races and I'll only speak to some who frequent the track where I work they won't even buy a cup of coffee let alone maybe go for dinner the odd night, just come out and socialize and watch races. Now I now this isn't everyone but unfortunately it may be a geat number who certainly wouldn't want to pay more than a minimal charge for a racing channel.
Perhaps one day with a turn around in wagering, spectators and other factors some far-sighted individual or group with deep pockets will take the plunge. I hope so but can't see it.

January 20, 2010 - 7:09 pmGreat idea Joe! Now here is

Great idea Joe! Now here is a crazy plan; brace yourself everybody. Lets look into the idea/cost of funding our own s-bred only channel. If you want your track's signal beamed out on this channel, you must reinvest some handle/purse money, which you will get back of course through an increase in bet. This would be a tough decision for some horseman who can't see any further into the future than a 3 or 4 day box (sorry if that hurts a bit!). If something like (or unlike) this were to be suggested would we be willing to take a 5% cut in current purses to work at securing some sort of long term viability for our industry?

January 19, 2010 - 8:22 pmHPI listen up..lets get

joe pascoe SAID...

HPI listen up..lets get one channel all standardbred racing,all the time.no thoroughbreds at all.Pompano,Rideau,KD,Mohawk,meadowlands,Red mile,Hanover,etc. thanks

January 18, 2010 - 6:32 pmI've said this before and

I've said this before and I'll say it again. What the standardbred industry needs is less tracks operating in Ontario and more Canadian coverage coast-to-coast. The talent of horses and drivers are so diluted in this province that with a couple of exceptions beyond Woodbine/Mohawk the industry is dying a slow death. The answer is not to pull more money from the slots either. This industry needs to do a way better job of marketing itself on it's own merits without more handouts from another gambling industry that wants absolutely nothing to do horse racing. The smaller tracks in Ontario are not going to survive much longer with $2000 purses and handles that pay 1-All or 1-All-All on 6 out of 10 races. We've already seen the death of racing in Quebec and a good portion of the Ontario scene won't be too far behind with a few more decisions like this.

January 18, 2010 - 5:03 pmBILL BOJESKI HPI ONLY CARES

BILL BOJESKI SAID...

BILL BOJESKI HPI ONLY CARES ABOUT MAKING A PROFIT. THEIR PRODUCT WOODBINE AND MOHAWK IS #1 TO THEM.AFTER THAT ITS IS PROFIT ONLY. LETS FEED THE AMERICAN HANDLES. OUR CANADIAN HANDLES ARE SMALL.THE BIGGER THE HANDLE MORE PROFIT TO HPI. OUR CANADIAN PRODUCT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR HPI TO MAKE THEIR PROFIT THAT IS WHY WE SEE MORE AMERICAN PRODUCT. JUST ASK TO SEE A CANADIAN PRODUCT LIKE SARNIA OR SUDBURY THAT WE CAN WAGER ON AND SEE HPI COMMENT.

January 18, 2010 - 1:16 amJeff... I apologize, I

Jeff...

I apologize, I should have said they (HPItv) which would be WEG? Correct me if Im wrong but the Standardbreds are a year long venture for WEG, whereas the Thoroughbreds are seasonal. I would figure that a lot of their patrons would be split evenly, but in the months of dark days on the Tbred side, would you not want to cater to the Sbred crowd who likely are more interested in a local product?

January 16, 2010 - 1:51 pmSeems to me that we should

Norm Brunet SAID...

Seems to me that we should be promoting Canadian tracks. I know that radio and television need to have a certain % of canadian content (to protect and promote canadian music ) so why is this channel any different. It's no wonder handle's at canadian tracks are down, we simply don't have access to these tracks. 27 tracks are available today, Saturday, (10 harness, 17 thoroughbred & no Kawartha with a 13K handle ) and 5 of them are canadian for a 19% canadian content...we are basicaly diluting our product to the point that we have little handle and are left to depend on the casino revenue. Gamblers want to bet at a track with some handle or else there is no point in betting. There is only so many times this industry can shoot itself in the foot. In December Rideau Carleton achieved a 245K handle on a Thursday which was 150% more then the average, (btw Rideau does not have HPI on Friday racing why ??) many tracks were not available south of us. Obviously the horse industry and gambling industry (HPI) are not on the same agenda...very unfortunate.

January 16, 2010 - 1:18 pmWhich Standardbred track

James Budd SAID...

Which Standardbred track will be the next " casualty "? We want MORE Harness Racing not less.

January 16, 2010 - 9:45 amjudy pitcher This is

judy pitcher SAID...

judy pitcher
This is ridiculous! I pay Rogers for this channel I want to see Flamboro! I don't want to see some useless fairground track from the U.S. I want to see the horses and people I know in the harness industry racing here in Canada. How can they even justify this nonsense. Don't we have any say or control over HPI? No wonder we have problems, why do the thoroughbred people always get their way when when it comes to what races we get to see when we pay for this? There are only 2 thoroughbred tracks in Ontario and 24 Harness tracks. We already have to watch Santa Anita,Lone Star and a host of other Tbred tracks which are not Canadian, come on people take control and let HPI know we are not going to take this Bull----!!!

January 16, 2010 - 8:24 amAs a subscriber to bell

Kathie Lock SAID...

As a subscriber to bell satellite service we pay over $400 a year to watch "harness racing" . Although we are now inundated with thoroughbred simulcasting, many will continue to pay for a service that is not representative of the local product and or industry.

January 15, 2010 - 10:26 pmNick, you say "we decide to

Jeff Porchak SAID...

Nick, you say "we decide to show some second rate track from Lousiana"...

Who is the "we" you're referring to?

January 15, 2010 - 9:54 pmWHY?????? I missed Flamboro

WHY??????

I missed Flamboro because of Louisana!! I get more than enough thoroughbred racing - Aqueduct, Tampa Bay, Gulfstream, Mountaineer, Australia A & B, Hong Kong need I go on.
I want more Standardbred racing -- Pompano, standardbred racing from Europe, New Zealand, Australia. There is great standardbred racing out there but we never get to see it on HPI

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me more standardbred racing!!!!!

Marie Stoyles-Moura

January 15, 2010 - 6:41 pmWait until other tbred

Wait until other tbred tracks entertain the idea of night racing Yikes! We need to act now as a strong united group of professionals who will show the public and the govt that we will upgrade/change our product. Business 101 - "Give the customer what they want." Oh ya, we havent payed much attention to what they want for the past several decades. Lets get going on the real harness racing issues people.

P.S. they are not one handed whipping and late bridle changes.

January 15, 2010 - 4:27 pmFrustrating to say the

Frustrating to say the least...

Is there any surprise harness racing is barely surviving?? Instead of protecting our own, promoting our sport, we decide to show some second rate track from Lousiana that 1% of the viewers may care to watch. Another prime example of where harness racing sits in priority hiearchy.


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