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Le Drew: Sask. Wagering Increases Again

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Published: November 13, 2009 11:35 am ET

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For the fourth consecutive year, the wager on live harness racing has increased in the province of Saskatchewan.

"This is something we have all worked so hard at in the last few years -- it is nice to see those efforts paying off," Saskatchewan Standardbred Horsemen's Association president Glenn Le Drew said. "The Saskatchewan Standardbred Horsemen's Association along with racetrack operators in Yorkton and Saskatoon have all contributed to the growth and can share in the success."

The numbers may seem quite humble compared to those in richer racing jurisdictions, but considering the province of Saskatchewan currently does not have slots and race for much smaller purses, the increases are very positive and rewarding.

"I wouldn't doubt that our wager is amongst the highest of racetracks racing without additional gaming support and this is something we are very proud of," Le Drew said. "Wagering on live racing is a concern to all of us across the country, and while it has trended downward, we have been fortunate enough to buck that trend and glad to be going in the right direction."

Saskatchewan horsemen wanted to say 'thank-you' to both the operator and race fans in Yorkton for all their support and sponsored the Owner for a Day Contest in 2009. The SSHA gave away purse money to the participants drawn for a race and it not only brought out many more people to the races, but created quite an atmosphere with lots of excitement on the final day. Along with organizers in Yorkton, SSHA started promoting it with three weeks remaining in the race meet and experienced the highest three-day wager total of the year.

The SSHA is very pleased with the progress at both current tracks and looks forward to continued success at those venues and even more growth in the province with the added return of harness racing to Regina hopefully in 2010.

The SSHA has met with the Saskatchewan government about a plan which would support an increase in purses at Yorkton, Saskatoon and Regina. Applications for race dates by all three tracks, if approved, would see the same number of dates at Yorkton and Saskatoon, additional dates at West Meadows Raceway (in Regina) and an expanded race season for the entire industry.

Some tickets are still available for the upcoming SSHA annual Awards Dinner on November 21 in Regina.

Click here for more information.

(With files from the SSHA)


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