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Reddam Sounds Off On Windsor Raceway, Ontario Liberals

Published: June 13, 2012 2:23 pm ET

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Whenever thoroughbred racehorse owner J. Paul Reddam has a live runner in a high-end stakes event, the harness racing industry scrambles to acknowledge that he has also owned standardbred horses.

The day that Reddam's ultimately-scratched (and retired) I'll Have Another would've run for glory in the Belmont Stakes, an article by veteran racing scribe Bob Duff emerged in The Windsor Star.

Unlike the hundreds, if not thousands, of I'll Have Another stories that had the mainstream abuzz, Duff's report was not in regard to the horse, the Triple Crown or any of its jewels. The piece had to do with harness racing. More particularly, the piece had to do with both the Ontario Liberal Government's decision to inexplicably scrap the lucrative slots-at-racetracks agreement, and Windsor Raceway, where Reddam cut his teeth in both the handicapping and ownership arenas.

Even though Reddam has owned a stable of standardbred racehorses over the years, he confirmed to Duff that he no longer has any. He also confirmed that he isn't impressed whatsoever with the embattled Ontario Liberals and the management at Windsor Raceway.

In regard to Windsor Raceway, Reddam didn't mince his words.

“The place has been degenerating for quite a long time,” he said. “Just like anything, you have to put capital dollars in to keep your business feasible.

“It’s sort of like owning a restaurant and trying to milk every dollar out of it without ever redoing it. You’ve got to keep it fresh and alive. Change the menu. Change the chairs. Keep bilking it and eventually, people won’t go there.”

On the topic of the Ontario Liberals' decision to steamroll the provincial breeding and racing industry, and, more particularly, close the slots area at Windsor Raceway, Reddam was wondering where the common sense was.

“What’s the motivation to close the slot parlour?" he queried. "It seemed like they had a thriving horse economy in Ontario and the carpet was pulled out from underneath them --- boom! It’s going to cost a lot of job loss."

(With files from The Windsor Star)

(Photo of J. Paul Reddam courtesy of Kevin C. Cox , Getty Images)

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