After an emergency meeting held Sunday night (April 29), the Lakeshore Horse Racing Association (LHRA), which runs Leamington Raceway, reported it declined to be pressured into signing the recently announced long term funding agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG).
The agreement was designed to provide up to $105 million for all Ontario racing in each year for the next 19 years. The LHRA has reported Leamington was guaranteed up to $35,000 for each of 13 racing cards, and only for the next three years.
A release from the LHRA states the pressure came when OLG executive Cal Bricker in a memo last week required that all tracks sign the agreement by May 1. The LHRA executive, through its members, felt that there was not enough time to discuss the merits of such a long term deal, especially when other comparable tracks were getting up to $65,000 per card in funding.
President Mark Williams stated, "Our horsemen and horses are worth just as much per 10-race card as those in Flamboro, and we need time to work this out."
Lakeshore manager Wayne Martiniuk was thus directed to not sign any agreement at this time.
(With files from Lakeshore Horse Racing Association)