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Buchanan Talks Industry Growth

Published: November 24, 2014 10:20 am ET

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"We certainly have to look at prevention, when it comes to regulation, more so than we have in the past."

One year into his tenure as Chair of the Ontario Racing Commission, Elmer Buchanan reflects on 2014 and looks to the future on today's edition of Trot Radio.

Buchanan and Norm Borg discuss a multitude of industry issues including regulation, purse levels, product export, claiming races and B track health, the resurgence of Kawartha Downs and the future of Sudbury Downs.

On regulation: "Our investigators are certainly out there and we've heard back from the industry that we're doing more in the prevention side. If they see something that's not just right they're more likely to suggest to people that they need to correct what it is rather than just laying charges. For me, that's an important step forward."

On Yonkers Raceway conducting races on Sunday morning for export to France: "I think it's innovative and it's something that needs to be looked at. We have, with the Government providing the money, given significant dollars to the Alliance tracks and Woodbine is taking the lead in looking for new opportunities to increase the handle....This is something that we in Ontario need to explore."

On Anthony MacDonald's blog calling for more claiming races and a stronger B track program: "It's not something we've really turned our attention to. Occasionally we hear things raised, and Anthony's very good at raising them and I applaud the work he does in blogging...we need people doing more of those kinds of things -- whether it's positive, negative or neutral."

On what made Kawartha Downs' 2014 meet such a success: "They put together a marketing program that reached out to the community and brought new faces to the racetrack on race nights. I was at the track twice...and the thing that struck me most was when I went to the dining room, the young people sitting in the dining room, actively wagering...and having a good time. I had not seen young people like that in any racetrack."

On the status of Sudbury Downs: "There was some money originally set aside for Sudbury if there's a plan that has the support of Sudbury and the community. It's certainly something we're going to take a look at."

To listen to the full interview, click the play button below.

Trot Radio - Episode 327 - Elmer Buchanan
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

The opinions expressed are those of the participants and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

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