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Perkins Has Harsh Words For Liberals

Published: March 29, 2013 9:03 pm ET

Last Comment: March 30, 2013 10:52 am ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Toronto Star sports columnist Dave Perkins recently spoke with a variety of horse racing industry members for a pair of columns on the Ontario Liberal Government's "shameful" decision to end the Slots-at-Racetracks program on Sunday and "its ludicrous infatuation with bingo halls and American-owned casinos."

Perkins' Friday columns discuss the outcome of the Liberal decision with a handful of drivers, trainers, owners, breeding farms and training facilities.

“I have been in most facets of the standardbred business more than 40 years,” owner and breeder Bob Burgess, a Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame builder inductee, was quoted as saying in one of Perkin's Toronto Star columns. “The last 12 months have been brutal. [We] have been giving away yearlings, broodmares and racehorses at mixed sales and privately to scavengers. At one yearling sale the commissions charged by the sales company exceeded our revenues.

“We are all surrounded by despair as there is no longer any real standardbred market in Ontario with the possible exception of the market for high-class racehorses for export to the U.S.,” he added.

Perkins also spoke to various high-profile trainers whose stables have reduced in size -- in both horses and employees -- since the announcement last year.

“I have owners who want to buy horses, but in another jurisdiction," trainer Ben Wallace said in another Perkins column. “There’s such a cloud of uncertainty here. So they’ll go elsewhere and pay taxes there and spend their money there.”

“I’m very cautious right now," added trainer Anthony Montini. "I’ve bought high-priced horses in the past, but six-figure horses? No way. My owners are backing off, too. They want to wait and see what happens.”

March 30, 2013 - 10:52 amJust think of the political

Just think of the political enhancement if the liberals had gone in the opposite direction with the OLG. I mean to update the existing facilities, keep Windsor raceway operating, veto the building of new casinos, give good direction to the OLG executives. It is after all governments duty to enhance and promote existing businesses. The liberals would have a huge majority in the next election. Instead their going to be lucky to elect any one of them. Not one person old or young, wants to see a liberal majority in the next election. Not one person I have listened to. Bruce T. Winning

March 30, 2013 - 10:31 amI've had tremendous respect

I've had tremendous respect for Dave Perkins ever since he wrote those wonderful articles about Secretariat in 1973.And here he has captured the essence of our problems in this and several of his previous articles.The only thing I continue to wonder about is why he and all the media are so "gentle' on Paul Godfrey and the OLG.To me they are the real 'bad' guys here and for some very complicated reasons they have the Liberal government in their back pocket.

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