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The Phoenix Continues To Rise

Published: August 11, 2014 11:50 am ET

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"Our business model has allowed us to make sure and to prove to everybody in Quebec that it was possible to relaunch this industry."

Rising from the ashes in Quebec is the harness racing industry, thanks to seven businessmen that had the faith and the desire to see it reborn. Those are the words of Vincent Trudel of the Quebec Jockey Club, today's guest on Trot Radio.

Trudel tells Norm Borg that there is still work to be done.

"We're back at a certain level but obviously we'd like to be at a higher volume in terms of pari-mutuel to make sure that it will become a sound industry and a profitable industry for every professional here in Quebec."

That process won't happen overnight, nor does it have to. A 15-year-agreement with the provincial horsemen's association plus a long-term mortgage with the bank for Hippodrome 3R.

The next big hurdle facing racing is to strike a partnership with the provincial government, one that did not exist previously. Right now, Quebec racing solely relies on the pari-mutuel through its on-track and off-track handles but Trudel hopes that will change.

“I don’t know many other jurisdictions in North America that are living and enjoying this industry through only pari-mutuel. In many provinces or other states there is VLT revenue or slot machine revenue."

For now the growth is there, considering that purse pools started at only $500,000 and are now at $3-million dollar mark. To that end, the QJC is making overtures to the provincial government and Trudel points to the Ontario model with envy, saying that integration in Ontario is something that should be copied in Quebec.

To hear the full interview, click the play button below.

Trot Radio - Episode 325 - Vincent Trudel
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

The opinions expressed are those of the participants and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

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