Today’s news – 10 racing days left at Woodbine! See the Transitional panel men, Frankie Dettori gets 6 month ban!



‘THE AGENDA’ on TVO, Transitional Panel speaks…


It was interesting to put faces to the names  after 2 reports have been issued by this group of 3 former cabinet ministers.

In general, the 30 minutes of discussion kept things succinct for those of us who had to wade through hundreds of pages.  It was the reminder, however, that the provincial government, with the help of a recommendation from Don Drummond, has elected to pull the Slots at Racetracks program that is almost too hard to believe and accept.

The quotes from the show included too many false references that the $345 million that racetracks received was a subsidy, or monies that taxpayers were ‘paying’.

The references to “this is 2012” and “how should we be spending this money” are tough to take for those of us who have worked in horse racing all of their lives.

One solution included removing “all the races that people don’t pay attention to, or bet on”, something that is most likely going to happen to the small tracks.  A scary thought.

“The SAR program distorted horse racing” in Ontario, was another comment. Indeed, the purses went through the roof and the money made by owners, trainers and jockeys has been stunning.  Maybe it was unrealistic to think that it could/would or should continue.

The hardest hit will be the breeders, who are already doing some culling and trimming and re-directing of their mares. Locally, the industry will be hit if the numbers of horses born here drops in the next few years.

Meanwhile, with 10 days left in the season and all these workers on the backstretch wondering where to go, what to do…when, when, will we know when the local season starts? And how many dates will there be?

This will be a tough and unnerving holiday season for all of us who hope the industry stays intact.

WHAT NOW FOR FRANKIE ?- banned 6 months

 By Frank Keogh BBC Sport

Split from his regular employer, a damaged reputation and edging towards the twilight of his career, Frankie Dettori is facing an uncertain future.

While he sits on the sidelines serving a worldwide six-month racing ban for failing a drugs test in France, the jockey will have time to assess whether he retains the hunger to reignite his career. ..

21 stakes wins this year

“He is now two short of his Woodbine personal-best of 23 wins, with just under two weeks left in the season.

The win also carried his earnings to CAN$8.9 million, just short of breaking the nine-million dollar mark for the eighth time in his career.”

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from Calgary Herald…

Plans for a horse racing track in Balzac are out of the gate again, this time with a $13-million loan from a casino, developers say.

United Horsemen of Alberta says it has made a deal with Colorado-based Century Casinos to fund the long-proposed racetrack and entertainment area, which has been stalled since before 2007 due to lack of money.

Plans call for 5.5 furlongs (0.7 miles) of racetrack and a casino with 625 gambling machines, a bar, a lounge, restaurant facilities, an off-track-betting area and an entertainment space.

The development is located east of CrossIron Mills shopping mall.

Now, the UHA is waiting on final approval of its gaming license from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

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