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Clockwise Races Coming To Woodbine?

Published: November 27, 2015 1:14 pm ET

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It’s safe to say that fans of North American horse racing are pretty used to watching races contested in the counterclockwise direction. Now, if the most prominent Canadian track operator has his way, those that tune in may see some clockwise action as well.

In a report by veteran racing writer Jennifer Morrison for the Toronto Star, Woodbine Entertainment Group President and CEO Jim Lawson has stated that Woodbine Racetrack could be carding clockwise turf races for Thoroughbreds in 2016.

The article explains that the clockwise dashes would be the first of their kind in North America.

Lawson discussed the reaction that he got when he proposed the idea. “At first, I think everyone thought I was crazy,” Lawson said. “But why not? We are in a very competitive world for that sports, entertainment and wagering dollar. We need to have innovative ways to attract fans, more horses and more horse people to Woodbine.”

He went on to state that Woodbine wants to promote and increase its turf racing. “The size of the fields are always bigger on the grass and there is a direct correlation to field size and wagering,” he said.

In addition to his comments on Woodbine’s turf racing, Lawson also discussed wagering, and stated that the track’s 133-date 2015 meet has seen a handle increase of roughly 14 per cent. Lawson has cited the strength of the U.S. dollar as a factor in the increase. The meet will conclude this Sunday (November 29)

(With files from the Toronto Star)

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