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Racing Returning To Halifax?

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Published: March 17, 2011 1:59 pm ET

Last Comment: March 19, 2011 9:17 pm ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

A five-eighths mile track with a permanent site for concerts could be coming to Halifax if plans for a facility modeled after another Maritime harness racing hot spot come to fruition.

On today's episode of Trot Radio, Nova Scotia's Dan Mailman discusses the plans for a racino that were revealed at last weekend's Atlantic Harness Racing Symposium. The planned $45 million entertainment destination would be privately funded by Celebration Gaming with expanded gaming contingent on government approval.

"I think at some point it comes down to the questions on gaming and whether [the goverment is] willing to change the current gaming model that we have here in Nova Scotia," said Mailman. "We're hopeful at least that we'll get this done but it will come down to the gaming aspect for sure."

The Halifax area has been without racing since Sackville Downs closed in the mid-1980s. Nova Scotia currently has two casinos, both owned by Great Canadian Gaming - one in Sydney and one in Halifax.

"The way the contract [with Celebration Gaming] is structured, [Great Canadian} has right of first refusal. So any opposition, I guess they could lobby against it but they do have the right to match the offer."

According to Mailman, Celebration Gaming is "enthralled" with the Red Shores establishment at Charlottetown Driving Park in Prince Edward Island and would similarly focus the proposed Nova Scotia facility around harness racing. Mailman also stated that research performed by Celebration indicated the region could handle two casinos.

The Nova Scotia government is expected to reveal its new gaming strategy later this month, at which time Mailman feels the future and potential of this endeavor will be more clear. The full interview with Mailman is available below.

Episode 190 – Dan Mailman on a possible racino in Halifax
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

Please note that the opinions expressed in the following interview are those of the participant and do not necessarily reflect Rideau Carleton Raceway and/or Standardbred Canada.

March 19, 2011 - 9:17 pmIts been the best piece of

lynn privett SAID...

Its been the best piece of news i have heard about racing in the maritimes in a long time. When they closed sackville downs we seen how it affected the racing in the maritimes maybe this is the facelift they have been waiting for.

March 18, 2011 - 3:33 pmThis is unbelievable if it

This is unbelievable if it comes to fruition, a track in the centre of the province making it equally accessible to all areas will definitely boost ownership. Not to mention having it in the capital city. While undoubtedly there are many obstacles, now is when all parties involved....owners, breeders, trainers drivers, bettors and standardbred canada to work toward this one common goal. Having Gordie Gosse in government won't hurt either as he was a big harness racing fan when Tartan Downs was up and running.

March 18, 2011 - 12:56 amThat is the best news I have

That is the best news I have heard since 1986 when they closed Sackville Downs. Hats off to all involved. The new track wouldn't only be good for people who are involved in harness racing, but it would create other jobs as well. I believe that the Maritimes needs a new track in the area of Halifax, there are still a lot of people involved in the race game and I for one would move back from Saskatchewan where I run a public stable. 40 weeks is perfect, one month off and back to training. I hope the government makes the right move on this project and allows the group to move a head with their plains. Hopefully see you at the races.

March 17, 2011 - 3:18 pmSo where would this be

Kyle Gillis SAID...

So where would this be located in Halifax?


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