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Strong Season At Red Shores

Published: January 16, 2020 3:46 pm ET

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Harness racing at Red Shores in Summerside and Charlottetown saw significant gains across the board in 2019.

The live wager saw an over 10 per cent increase in 2019 compared to 2018 with $392,236 in new wagering dollars to give a $4,281,446 total all-sources wager. Those 2019 increases are thanks to upward bumps in on-track wager as well as a 15 per cent increase in the off-track wager over the 2018 campaign.

Racing experience manager Adam Walsh points to the hardworking individuals in the racing community for making 2019 such a banner year with 100 total race dates held across the province.

“Red Shores offers an excellent and exciting racing program that our customers on Prince Edward Island and throughout North America have come to enjoy,” Walsh said. “It is the love and passion of the hard-working horsemen and horsewomen of PEI of these equine athletes that is the strength of the racing industry in PEI.”

Lee Drake, Red Shores’ manager of marketing and brands, has said that guest experience is the No. 1 focus at Red Shores and a key reason the business continues to grow in every facet.

“We work hard on getting new people to our properties through strong partnerships and relationships in tourism, meetings and conventions and the corporate community,” said Drake.

The world-class presentation at Red Shores is another major factor in their success.

“We have beautiful clean properties with a professional staff and it’s all about the experience whether it’s racing, dining or the casino,” said Drake. “We have really stepped up our social media presence which also drives new business, as well.”

The Red Shores Race Day broadcast network is also sporting some great numbers: 2.6 million viewers (2,640,878) from all locations, with Atlantic Canada viewership at 1.9 million (1,961,380).

Red Shores’ two signature events also had exceptional showings in 2019, as the Gold Cup and Saucer program pulled in $307,134 from all wagering sources, which put that handle second all-time in Island racing to the Gold Cup and Saucer card of 1994. The 2019 Governor’s Plate card was the second-highest-grossing program in the history of Summerside Raceway, as $96,651 was wagered on the card, which narrowly put it behind the $99,994 record handle of 1996.

Walsh says the difference in outside competition from those record wagers in the 1990s to today’s climate should not be overlooked.

“There is quite a difference in the landscape today compared to 10 or 25 years ago, but we are focused on growing those numbers,” said Walsh.

The 2020 winter racing season is coming to a close at Red Shores in the coming weeks, but the red-hot action will be back at the city track on Saturday, May 2 for the summer racing meet with the Kentucky Derby theme. Post time for that May program will be at 6 p.m. Governor’s Plate week will be July 5 to the 11, while Old Home Week will be August 13 to 22 and will feature the Guardian Gold Cup & Saucer.

Keep an eye out for upcoming announcements on Red Shores’ new line of promotions and events for 2020.

(Red Shores)

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