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Bain’s Update On Date Negotiations

Published: April 10, 2014 11:46 am ET

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Tom Bain of the Lakeshore Horse Raceway Group has offered comments regarding 2014 race date negotiations with Ontario Horse Racing.

Bain has been cited as saying that he has been informed by OHR that funding is only available for a total of 45 dates, which are to be shared between Dresden Raceway, the Hiawatha Horse Park and Leamington Raceway.

Operators of live racing at the trio of tracks had applied for a total of 60 dates for the 2014 season. Under the initial proposal, Dresden Raceway would host 11 cards of live racing, Hiawatha would host 34 cards and Leamington would host 15 programs.

According to a report by The Windsor Star, due to the funding restrictions the trio of tracks are now looking at having 11 race dates at Dresden, 20 dates at Hiawatha and 14 cards at Leamington.

The Windsor Star story has quoted Bain as saying that in terms of race date negotiations, things are “headed in the wrong direction that’s for sure,” adding that the tracks are hoping to get a further meeting with OHR this week.

“We’ve got to start planning,” Bain was quoted as saying, adding that, “We have to build a paddock in Leamington. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We can’t leave it to the last minute.”

(With files from The Windsor Star)

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Later on Thursday, the Ontario NDP issued a release on the matter, calling for the Ontario Government to ‘stop undercutting (the) regional horseracing industry.’

The contents of the NDP release appear below.

Government should stop undercutting regional horseracing industry: NDP

Queen’s Park – Today Percy Hatfield, MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh, called on the Premier to stop undercutting regional racetracks after the government substantially reduced race dates. Hatfield called on the government for long term plans to support horseracing and to ensure tracks get the support they need in time for racing this season.

“The racetracks at Leamington, Sarnia and Dresden will receive fewer race dates than they requested for the 2014 season. Cutting dates from 60 to 45 is another indication this government has no intention of supporting the horse racing industry,” Hatfield said.

“Will the Liberal government actually come up with a long term plan for the horseracing industry instead of issuing self-congratulatory press releases as race dates are being cut?”

Hatfield said while the Lakeshore group has been working to keep racing alive in Essex County since the demise of Windsor Raceway and the loss of 2000 jobs, the Wynne government continues to chip away at the horse racing industry.

“Businesses need stability and they need to start planning now for the upcoming race season. The misguided cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks program has had a huge negative impact on the horse racing industry for the past two years,” Hatfield said.

The Windsor-Tecumseh MPP said instead of reversing its decision on the slots for the long term viability of regional racetracks, the Wynne government is cutting more race dates compromising horse racing this season.

“Will this government ensure that racetracks across Ontario get the support they need in time for the upcoming race season?

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