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Woodbine Responds: “We Expect To Be Racing On January 1”

Published: December 24, 2008 12:54 pm ET

Last Comment: January 5, 2009 1:48 pm ET | 14 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Jamie Martin, Woodbine Entertainment Group’s Vice President of Racing, spoke to Trot Insider this afternoon about the prospects of racing in the new year at Woodbine.

“The condition sheet is out,” said Martin. “The box closes on Monday and we expect to be racing on January 1.”

Martin said that dialogue has been continuous between WEG and OHHA for a long time, and he expects talks to continue in the days to come. Woodbine is expected to release a notice to horsemen this afternoon.

While the lack of a contract may jeopardize standardbred simulcasting through Woodbine’s network, the existence of an ongoing contract with the HBPA, the thoroughbred horsemen, allows Woodbine to continue with thoroughbred simulcasting regardless of the outcome of talks.

January 5, 2009 - 1:48 pmomg this is terrible omg

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

omg this is terrible
omg you have to race

December 28, 2008 - 1:13 ami think u guys should keep

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

i think u guys should keep racing becuase u guys are one of the best tracks around and have alot of good drivers and trainers that need u guys to keep racing the days that u guys always do becuase its hard to take your horse to another track then u have to worry about them running all over the place.

December 27, 2008 - 4:46 pmWEG,SORRY BUT YOUR

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...


December 27, 2008 - 12:55 pmI don't believe this whole

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

I don't believe this whole debacle is about the 'integrity' of the sport as WEG is attempting to portray it. There are other issues involved one being who has a hand in revenue sharing in the future. The 'integrity' issue is being employed by WEG as it sells well. I have no love for 'cheaters' far from it, but at the same time I do not believe people should be convicted as cheaters on innuendo and assumptions. You need proof. I raced horses for years and did so honestly and my experience was that there was a greater lack of integrity (drivers needlessly giving away holes or running down honest drivers) happening right on the racetrack than in the training barns. Personally I believe if you want to benefit harness racing straigten out the problem on the track and weed out trainers that use brutality employing fear to win races. If WEG is so all fired up about the 'integrity' of the sport then why have they more than any other racetrack entity seen to it that a very select handful of drivers drive at their tracks?

December 27, 2008 - 9:52 amTouche!!!! I also agree

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Touche!!!! I also agree with the statement made on a previous comment with regard to the timing of the boycott. This serves no purpose at this time of year, when Georgian Downs has already received the go ahead to shut it's doors to the live harness cards for January and February, yet is allowed to leave the doors wide open to the Casino! I understood the original agreement was "no live racing, no slots", yet OHHA wants just that if the horsemen make the move to shut down racing at WEG. To boycott WEG for sticking to it's guns in cleaning up harness racing (one item on the bargaining), is to say "it is okay, let them (the trainers with little or no integrity) race and we'll race for 2nd or 3rd money". WAKE UP! I believe the issue of control over the January & February simulcasting revenue is legitimate, but as Mr Rankin has said, why not let these issues be settled by a mediation board including representation from the owners who have the most invested and the most to loose by the boycott, while continuing to race through the winter months. A strike in these times when people are concerned about keeping their homes, feeding their families etc, is the last thing needed. I seriously doubt there will be very little, if any, public support for the horsemen, and once again, negative media coverage for harness racing.

December 26, 2008 - 8:39 pmI fully support WEG in their

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

I fully support WEG in their ability to restrict the cheaters. They are not doing the testing and they are not handing out the fines. This is the role of the regulator; However once the cheaters have been exploited for what they are, WEG is doing their due diligence, not only for those horsemen taking the honest route but also for the betters. How can you argue integrity? Why do we continue to compromise integrity at the expense of our future?

December 26, 2008 - 6:15 pmOHHA does not condone

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

OHHA does not condone cheating and yet is suggesting a boycott against WEG for being the only organization that is doing something to protect the integrity of racing... More tracks need to step up and do the same. Any horseman, land owner, or home owner has the right to refuse anyone access from their home, barn, or property under the private property laws of Ontario, and I congratulate Woodbine for recognizing the lack of disciplinary action being taken against cheaters by the ORC and OHHA, and being brave enough to protect the horsemen, and ultimately the game of horse racing by way of the back door, which apparently is the only way possible.

December 26, 2008 - 3:59 pmName me one person that WEG

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Name me one person that WEG has banned who didn't use EPO / DPO or the cheating trainers (or THEIR shadow trainers) who use this poison to steal from honest horsemen and women. WEG's stand on that issue seems fair to me, considering the poor excuse for a test now being used by the ORC.

December 25, 2008 - 5:21 pmHear, hear, Darryl! With

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Hear, hear, Darryl!

With regard to a previous (anonymous) post in this section:

"I agree with the clause in the contract allowing WEG to ban 'cheaters' from racing at their tracks under the Trespass provision. Someone has to promote integrity in this business."

Absolutely! But whatever happened, in this democracy of ours, to "innocent until proven guilty"? If OHHA left it to WEG's totalitarian rule, it would seem that any trainer below the age of 40 with an average above .280 would be subject to scrutiny, much like Ms. Coleman or Mr. Montini and others! Everyone is well-familiar with those cases. Montini starters were "locked up" forever because New Dice Please was "too good" one night! NO positive test, still treated as such. It is absolutely ridiculous.

What about the owners/trainers involved in the Aminorex cases? The were guilty until (finally) proven innocent! If it was left to WEG, without OHHA's interjection, those men and women would never have raced again.

[email protected]

December 25, 2008 - 3:51 pmI have been involved in

Darryl MacArthur (not verified) SAID...

I have been involved in these negotiations from the start. WEG's press release is very selective in its language. If anyone has a question pertaining to the issues I would be happy to discuss them with you. Please call my office at 905-857-0651 and I will me paged.

I will leave you with two last is it that an entire industry of horse people and all of the related spin off jobs need less revenue than WEG and since when is due process not merited in Canada under our democracy?


December 25, 2008 - 12:24 pmI think its funny that

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

I think its funny that people say show some backbone but consistently post anonymously...And yes.. the most important thing is to bring integrity back into this business. There are far to many cheaters.. Its just a shame that WEG is the only track that has the nerve to stand up to them....
Cheaters, and there are many, are taking money out of the pockets of hard working honest horsemen.. of which there are few left.

December 25, 2008 - 10:15 amAn open dialogue and

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

An open dialogue and continued racing is the smartest option. I don't think that WEG's exclusion policy is a valid reason to halt racing and boycott the box. A reasonable concession would be to allow WEG to initiate its exclusion policy and for WEG to give up its demand that OHHA give up its intervenor status.I find exclusion not entirely disagreeable, but the demand that OHHA give up intervenor status a little heavy-handed.

December 25, 2008 - 10:11 amI agree with the clause in

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

I agree with the clause in the contract allowing WEG to ban "cheaters" from racing at their tracks under the Trespass provision. Someone has to promote integrity in this business.

December 24, 2008 - 8:56 pmITS TIME FOR HORSEMEN TO

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...


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