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Not-For-Profit Talks In Sudbury

Published: September 8, 2014 3:56 pm ET

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Preliminary discussions have taken place regarding the creation of a not-for-profit entity to rent Sudbury Downs from the MacIsaac family and operate live Standardbred racing at the northern Ontario track.

Officials from Sudbury Downs announced this past spring that the track could not reach a deal with the province and therefore live harness racing would not take place at the track in 2014. After that, Sudbury’s ORC licence was then conditionally cancelled. The ORC then ordered that all Sudbury purse monies be forwarded to the ORC to be held in trust for the Standardbred horsepeople.

A recent article by Sudbury Northern Life explains that the most recent discussions regarding the creation of a not-for-profit entity to run Sudbury Downs would be in the same vein of the current situation which is taking place at Kawartha Downs in the Peterborough area.

The Sudbury Northern Life article has cited Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas as saying that a ‘turnaround specialist’ has spoken with Pat MacIsaac. Commenting on the discussion, MacIsaac was quoted as saying that he was “encouraged” by the discussion, but that he also didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up regarding the return of live racing to Sudbury Downs.

Northern Horsemen's Association President Bob Bodkin has said that his group has also held preliminary discussions on the matter. He also added that stabling remains a major issue for the prospect of racing returning.

“It was just a meeting to basically tell us what was working in Kawartha,” Bodkin was quoted as saying. “But the nuts and bolts (of how it could work here), we don't know that yet.”

Bodkin went on to state, “If we can get stabling, then any kind of deal is possible,” adding, “It would give us our best chance of attracting horses from down south (southern Ontario).”

(With files from Sudbury Northern Life)


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