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Leal Comments On Kawartha Downs

Published: June 27, 2017 2:04 pm ET

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Kawartha Downs, which moved away from Harvey ‘Skip’ Ambrose’s control in May, has started fresh. General manger Orazio Valente has already began to put some of his touches on the popular Peterborough-area facility. Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal has said that he will do what he can to help the track find a new owner.

Valente was announced as the track’s new general manger earlier this month, as it became known that Kawartha Downs fell into receivership in May.

Regardless of the changes that are occurring behind the scenes, Valente has conveyed that it will be “business as usual” at the Fraserville, Ont. track. In speaking with Trot Insider earlier this month, Valente said that he is very excited about the opportunity to lead such a great operation with such rich history, stating, “We are working diligently to take a great product and make it even better."

He went on to say, “Our goal is to improve our customers' experience, and hopefully attract new fans to the horse racing industry. To that end, we have already started to make some improvements, including updating our menu (and significantly lowering some of our prices); upgrading our audio/visual infrastructure and we are looking to modernize our betting terminals.”

Minister Leal, whose riding is Peterborough, has told the Peterborough Examiner that, "I hope in the next little while to sit down and have discussions with the new general manager and share some ideas about the future. I'd like to play a role as always with any issue that impacts Peterborough riding."

Reiterating what he told Trot Insider earlier this month, Valente reaffirmed to the Peterborough Examiner that "there will be no fire sale" at the raceway, which is in the midst of yet another successful on-track summer season.

Valente also told the Peterborough Examiner that the track will be put up for sale, but there is no timetable to do so.

(With files from the Peterborough Examiner)

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