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Woodbine, T-Bred Horsepeople Ink Deal

Published: June 15, 2016 1:12 pm ET

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The Woodbine Entertainment Group and the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario recently announced the signing of a contract that guarantees 133 dates of Thoroughbred racing at Woodbine Racetrack every year through the 2018 racing season.

The two entities announced via a joint release that ‘a commitment to revenue sharing between WEG and the horsepeople on any new gaming that may occur through Woodbine is also part of the agreement.’ The agreement will conclude on March 31, 2019 (the previous agreement closed on March 31, 2016).

In the fall of 2014, WEG and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association announced a five-year agreement that established minimum purse levels and race dates. That deal also ‘runs through’ March 31, 2019 – the same day that the WEG/HBPA deal expires.

In regard to the WEG/HBPA deal, Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson has said, “this three-year extension of our deal with the horsepeople allows us to build on the momentum of the current success of our 2016 racing season.”

Lawson went on to say that “it also sets the foundation for a deeper relationship between Woodbine and Ontario’s horsepeople in the short and long term. This stability and vision allows us to continue to offer our customers and horseplayers the highest quality of horse racing.”

“The HBPA is proud of reaching an agreement through the 2018 racing season with Woodbine," said Sue Leslie, the president of HBPA of Ontario. “Woodbine and its horsepeople must work together in co-operation in order to face the many outside challenges before our industry. This agreement exhibits the commitment needed to help provide stability and assurance that we are on the same path together moving forward. This contract should be welcomed by all sectors of the industry.”

Woodbine Racetrack’s 133-day 2016 meet launched on April 9 and is set to conclude on December 4.

(With files from WEG / HBPA)

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