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Eaves: Positive Momentum Into 2015

Published: December 12, 2014 12:34 pm ET

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Officials with the Woodbine Entertainment Group have said that the Canadian racetrack operator is heading into 2015 with positive momentum, even though it did see a slight dip in its overall 2014 handle on its live Thoroughbred product.

In a Toronto Star article by Jennifer Morrison that focuses mainly on WEG’s Thoroughbred offerings, the company’s president and CEO, Nick Eaves, stated that WEG is “going into 2015 with some good momentum,” even though the organization saw a slight 2.9 per cent decrease in wagering on its live Thoroughbred product.

Eaves chalked up the decrease to the relentless winter weather which had a negative impact on Woodbine’s live Thoroughbred product early in the season. He did point out, though, that once the weather started to take a turn for the better, the Thoroughbred numbers followed suit, accordingly.

“We were off to a slow start, as were many North American tracks, due to the brutal winter weather,” Eaves said. “Horsepeople missed training time with their horses, the size of the race fields was down and thus the wagering was down.”

Eaves went on to say that “It was disappointing, but you can’t control the weather and by mid-season we started to see momentum.”

In speaking of WEG’s live Standardbred offerings in 2014, Eaves stated that the company took “a big step forward.” The company’s meet of live harness racing at Mohawk Racetrack saw a-nearly 16 per cent increase over the previous year. The Mohawk meet also produced a record single-card handle, as it handled $5,006,896 on its Canadian Pacing Derby / Metro Pace card.

“We manage and co-ordinate the business of many of these Standardbred tracks, write races for horses between the tracks in co-ordinating fashion and that has led to a big step forward for Standardbred racing,” Eaves said. “That type of growth, after a very challenging three years, is really encouraging.”

(With files from the Toronto Star)

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