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Sudbury Alludes To Closure

Published: October 2, 2012 11:08 am ET

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On Tuesday, October 2, officials with Sudbury Downs issued a press release regarding the appearance of track record holder Piece Of The Rock at this Saturday's Remember, Sudbury Downs program. In addition to asking fans to submit their fondest memories of the 38-year-old raceway, the track's release also alluded to possible closure going forward.

The raceway has asked people to submit their fondest memories of the track in order to incorporate them into the program for the final race card of the meet, which will take place on November 24. The release states, "It now seems inevitable that our last night of racing for 2012, to be contested on November 24, will be the last card of live racing ever at Sudbury Downs."

On Friday, September 28, officials with Sudbury Downs announced that the track has been forced to terminate the jobs of 38 staff members effective November 25 due to the heavy cloud of uncertainty hovering over the provincial racing industry. It was also stated that more job terminations could be occurring at the track on December 31 of this year and March 31 of 2013.

The contents of the Sudbury release appear below.

Remember, Sudbury Stakes at Sudbury Downs

Join us as Sudbury Downs welcomes back current all-time track record holder Piece Of The Rock this Saturday (October 6) for the Remember, Sudbury Stakes final. Sudbury Downs Race Secretary Brent Powell states, “We’ve got a great field of horses lined up for our biggest race of the year --- I wouldn’t be surprised if history is made and our current all time track record is beaten!”

Sudbury Downs’ feature race of the year has been named the Remember, Sudbury Stakes. The name has a special meaning as Sudbury Downs reaches out to our community, our employees, past and present, our horse racing fans and all horse racing participants who have raced at Sudbury Downs over the years. Simply, we ask everyone to remember Sudbury Downs.

In 1999 the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) introduced slot machines at Sudbury Downs. The partnership between OLG and the racing industry has produced great results for racing and the Province of Ontario. However, the OLG and the government of Ontario have cancelled the slot hosting contract with the Ontario horse-racing industry, effective March 31, 2013. It now seems inevitable that our last night of racing for 2012, to be contested on November 24, will be the last card of live racing ever at Sudbury Downs.

Over the 38 years we have offered live harness racing in Northern Ontario many memories have been made. Fans may remember our opening day in 1974, the first Nickel Plate, meeting top driver Ron Pierce, watching Piece Of The Rock break our all-time track record or taking a walk through the backstretch on race night. Racing participants may remember winning their first, or 1,000th, race at Sudbury Downs or the conversations they had travelling up Highway 69 to our community. Sudbury Downs is asking the Sudbury community to remember the entertainment, employment and agricultural impact Sudbury Downs has had on the City of Greater Sudbury.

As our race season winds down Sudbury Downs is also asking everyone to send us their best memories of the track ([email protected]). We would like to print these memories in our official race program leading up to our final card of racing on November 24 when the best submission will be highlighted in our final race program. There are still two months of great racing scheduled at Sudbury Downs --- come on out and relive past memories while making new ones!

To our employees, racing fans and harness racing participants --- thank you.

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