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Keeling On West Coast Racing Crisis


Published: August 16, 2010 2:02 pm ET

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Much has happened in British Columbia's racing industry since Chuck Keeling relinquished his position with the Great Canadian Gaming Corp. on July 29. With all of the developments which have occurred in the past few days, Keeling has finally commented.

On Friday, the BC Government's Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Housing and Social Development announced that GCGC had asked to "rescind all assigned [2011] race days for the standardbred sector."

The announcement also stated that discussions with Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) are already underway to possibly create an inter-provincial standardbred racing season for 2011 with four months of racing in BC from January to April, then shifting to Alberta from September to December.

For the remainder of 2010, GCGC has requested that GPEB reduce the number of assigned race days for the standardbred sector from 37 to 23 days during the period between October 15 and December 31, 2010.

An article on has cited Keeling as saying that he believes that with the right things in place, the industry could be back on its feet by next year.

"Some pretty challenging circumstances right now, that's the biggest problem," Keeling was quoted as saying. "There's a lot of moving pieces with this thing."

According to the article, Keeling said his decision to retire from Fraser Downs had nothing to do with the news that the fall season would be cut in half. "No, absolutely not," Keeling said. "I can say that unequivocally."

He said it's tough to say what will save the industry for next year's season.

"I know that there's some tough work going on with the lottery corporation through this (Sturko's) committee and that may be the biggest opportunity/development that the racing industry will have for both thoroughbred and standardbred."

(With files from

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