FORT ERIE STATUS QUO FOR 2012…
NOTICE TO ALL FORT ERIE HORSEPEOPLE AND EMPLOYEES RE:
OLG STATEMENT – Wednesday, March 14, 2012
· Today, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission announced that the slot operation at Fort Erie Race Track would close at the end of business on Monday, April 30th.
· It is VITALLY IMPORTANT that horsepeople and employees at Fort Erie understand that this decision will have NO impact on our scheduled plans for racing at Fort Erie during 2012.
· The government has guaranteed its funding for the operation of the race track and the slot revenue which assists in funding the purses has been committed for this racing season which, if business remains the same as last year, our purse account will not be impacted.
· It is of utmost importance that this message be conveyed to anyone who has raced at Fort Erie or is planning on racing at the track in 2012 in a positive tone.
· It is our main objective to open for training on April 8 and implement our marketing plans for the meeting which we believe will be exciting, effective and innovative in making this season one to remember.
· Senior management will be working on various scenarios for the 2013 season and will keep everyone informed as to the progress we are making during the racing season.
· It is also vitally important that we receive the support of the owners and trainers in supporting our product with full fields and competitive horses as everyone knows these are keys to attracting on track business and also assists in marketing our simulcast signal to our outlets throughout the world.
· We look forward to seeing everyone on April 8th.
BREAKING – WEDNESDAY MORNING-
APRIL 30 – the last day of slots at racetrack program at FORT ERIE, WINDSOR and SARNIA, according to NEWSTALK 1010 this morning.
The OLG is expected to announce their initial assaults on smaller tracks in Ontario, with the government’s blessing (hope you didn’t vote Liberal folks!), today and FORT ERIE is the first one.
No Fort Erie slot money, eeks, tiny purses, will the track survive?
BREAKING – SLOTS MAY BE REMOVED FROM FORT ERIE THIS YEAR
NEWSTALK1010 REPORT: OLG expected to announce closure of 3 slot locations
There are rumours that the OLG will soon announce the closure of three slot locations at race tracks in the border towns of Windsor, Sarnia and Fort Erie.
On Monday, the OLG said it will be taking a closer look at gambling facilities that aren’t performing up to par, while building new casinos in other locations like the GTA.
The closures have not been confirmed, but the mayors of Sarnia and Fort Erie tell Newstalk 1010 that the OLG called them Tuesday to book in meetings for Wednesday morning.
“It’s sort of like dealing with the Sopranos, dealing with these guys,” Sarnia mayor Mike Bradley says. “They’re very mysterious.”
Bradley says the OLG has not confirmed the topic of the meeting but he expects that he will be told the slot location at Hiawatha Horse Park is history.
“We’re being treated with total disrespect,” Bradley. “The people who own the tracks are being left in great jeopardy. All of a sudden their cash flow is gone, their income is gone.”
FORT ERIE people – this is your man .. Tim Hudac-905-563-1755
“This is his home riding office #…..Everybody get on the phone and call and beg for support..He owes this area backing. Remind him of that!” – local owner/breeder
ORGANIZE and DO SOMETHING
As bad as the announcements yesterday were, how disappointing is it that people on the backstretch at Woodbine, a lot of them anyway, seem oblivious to what is going on.
Everyone needs to say their piece, write their MPP, inundate the opposition parties, let’s go! We can fight this.
Reaction from yesterday:
“When I heard that, I wanted to cry,” – owner/breeder/manager
“There are going to be enough horses that will suffer because of this, I do not need to be breeding more ” – breeder/owner
“Makes me very sad to think that the industry that I love and planned to stay with may become a thing of the past.” – breeder
“We’ve got to do a better job of educating our public as to exactly what this program means to them,” Leslie said. “We’re providing our government with over a billion dollars a year, and they’re putting this program in jeopardy on the hope that the new program they’re going to create is going to make more.” – Sue Leslie
Below are a couple of news stories from the bombshell that was the OLG press conference.
Yep, the OLG, who can’t see to do a lottery properly without store owners cheating…nice.
PROPOSAL TO END SLOTS-AT-RACETRACKS MARCH 13, 2013
In what looms as a devastating blow to horse racing in Ontario, the provincial government has proposed that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation end the 14-year slots-at-racetracks program on March 13, 2013.
“When I heard that, I wanted to cry,” said Sherry McLean, who has worked as a thoroughbred manager at famed Gardiner Farms in Caledon East for almost three decades.
“We finally have built up a very lucrative, successful provincial racing program at Woodbine, so much so that many states in the U.S. have been trying to emulate us. Finally, we have been able to make a decent living in this business and now this announcement comes?”
One month after the release of the Drummond Report recommendations, which included a review of the current revenue-sharing contract, another surprise announcement, this time about gambling expansion in the province, came on Monday.
The OLG’s gambling expansion is set to include a reconfiguring of the location of slot machines (they currently exist at 17 Ontario racetracks), a proposed Toronto casino — Woodbine has been floated as a potential site — and wider availability of lottery sales and online gaming. The aim, according to the OLG, is to increase revenues by $1 billion a year and create 2,300 new jobs, plus an additional 4,000 by 2017-2018.
FORT ERIE MAY BE IN TROUBLE
Racetrack and Slots one step closer to end of life span
Mayor says moving ahead with recommendation would ‘cut the heart’ out of town and industry
By Kris Dubé
The provincial government is directing the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to implement changes to its system, which could have more than noticeable impacts to Fort Erie and its largest employer.
On Monday, Ontario’s finance minister Dwight Duncan held a press conference in Toronto to highlight a new ‘strategic direction’ that would involve a modernization of how the OLG operates.
The government has directed the OLG to implement a number of proposals such as a reconfiguration of the number of gaming sites and a tailoring of the types of activities made available at each site.
The one recommendation that has officials in Fort Erie shaking their heads is listed as a stoppage of annual payments to the horse racing industry by ending the Slots at Racetracks program by the end of March, 2013.
Other recommendations include a new casino in the Greater Toronto Area and the launching of multi-lane sales of lottery tickets at major retail outlets, including grocery stores.
Duncan says the changes will create jobs and support schools and hospitals across the province.
“We are focused, more than ever, on balancing the budget while continuing to provide the best education and health care in the world. Modernizing the OLG’s operations and business model is an example of how we are ensuring our assets are delivering the greatest value to taxpayers,” said the fiance minister in a press release.
The Fort Erie Racetrack is about to start its 115th season in May under the third and final year of it being operated as a non-profit organization that receives $5.6 million per year from the province to keep it open. This resulted in the formation of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium (FELRC), comprised of representatives from the Fort Erie Economic Development and Tourism Corporation (EDTC), the Town of Fort Erie and the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Agency (HBPA).
AND YOU ARE…..?
Well, I am INGLORIOUS (Left), I won the Queen’s Plate and Woodbine Oaks!
Hey, I am DIXIE STRIKE, your little half sister, I am going to try and win the Oaks and Plate this year!
Just days after being installed the favourite for the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine, Canadian bred filly DIXIE STRIKE had a flat outing in her 2nd race of 2012. The Dixie Union gal trailed a slow pace in yesterday’s HERECOMESTHEBRIDE STAKES at Gulfstream and closed only mildlly to be 4th.
Here Beyer Figure was just 71.
Her stablemate NORTHERN PASSION was further behind in a disappointing effort.
It was better news for the Oxley/Casse team as Prospective ran an 88 Beyer with his hard fought win in the Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday. Read more further down.
CASSE BUSY AT OBS CHAMPONSHIP RACES
Contreras, Husbands ride for Woodbine’s leading trainer
Mark Casse has even more action today at the OBS track in Ocala. The day before it’s first 2 sale, OBS hosts a few sales races with no betting.
Casse has 6 horses in 4 races and BRIAN LYNCH has one.
OBS CHAMPIONSHIP (COLT & GELDING DIVISION) S.,
$100,000, (R), 3yo, c/g, 1 1/16m (AWT)
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY TRAINER
1 Mucho Mas Macho Macho Uno Leyva Collazo
2 Big Wednesday Repent Morales Martin
3 All For The Trip Trippi Cotto Jr K Dickey
4 Last Prayer Repent Delgado Spicknall
5 Patrioticandproud Proud Citizen Maragh Casse
6 Hello Prince Halo’s Image Garcia Angel
7 Crafty Unicorn Friends Lake Serpa Manning
8 Big Blue Nation Bluegrass Cat Velazquez Pletcher
9 Moon Traveler Malibu Moon Contreras Casse
10 Here We Go Joe Repent Trujillo Pinchin
11 Burn The Mortgage Kitten’s Joy Leparoux Catalano
OBS CHAMPIONSHIP (FILLY DIVISION) S., $100,000,
(R), 3yo, f, 1 1/16m (AWT)
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY TRAINER
1 Lets Go Donna Suave Cruz Downing
2 She’s Copacetic Harlan’s Holiday Rocco Jr Pecoraro
3 Oaks Lily Badge of Silver Leparoux Hills
4 Normative Appeal More Than Ready Serpa Toner
5 Golden History Medaglia d’Oro Contreras Casse
6 Parranda English Channel no rider Garcia
7 Xunlei D’wildcat Maragh Romans
8 Direction Tapit Velazquez Pletcher
9 Ten K Cat Tale of the Cat Trujillo Lynch
10 Andrew’s Girl Lawyer Ron Goncalves Estevez
11 Tippie Tap Pleasant Tap Garcia Delacour
12 Given Enchantment Point Given Jurado DaCosta
Monday, Ocala Training Center
OBS SPRINT (COLT AND GELDING DIVISION) S.,
$50,000, (R), 3yo, c/g, 6f (AWT)
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY TRAINER
1 Mukamer Mustanfar Contreras Casse
2 Trippi’s Secret Trippi Peltroche Figgins
3 Devoted Wildcat Forest Wildcat Desormeaux Hess Jr
4 Vexor Wildcat Heir Maragh Quast
5 It Takes Heart Put It Back D Coa Stewart
6 Making Amends Repent Husbands Casse
Monday, Ocala Training Center
OBS SPRINT (FILLY DIVISION) S., $50,000, (R), 3yo, f,
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY TRAINER
1 Xunlei D’wildcat Maragh Romans
2 Runfor Ro Afleet Alex Leparoux de Gannes
3 Direction Tapit Velazquez Pletcher
4 My Due Process Henny Hughes Cruz Romans
5 Delightful Magic Mineshaft Contreras Casse
6 Quality Lass Exclusive Quality Husbands Casse
7 Backstage Magic Exclusive Quality Garcia Jackson
8 Who Is Camille Dixie Union Velazquez Navarro
A Canadian bred by SHARP HUMOR worked 2 furlongs in :21 for the OBS 2yo sale that begins tomorrow. The colt, out of the mare SOBHY’S GAL, by Stormy Atlantic, was an $87,000 CTHS Woodbine sale yearling last fall. Consigned then by Bernard McCormack for CEDAROW FARM, the colt is a product of the successful breeding operation of NICK ANDREWS whose 100 acre farm is in the Newmarket area.
Andrews purchased SOBHY’S GAL for $25,000 at Keeneland November in foal to Whywhywhy. The mare never raced, never had a workout.
WD North Thoroughbreds sells the colt tomorrow
NO. under tack time NAME SEX SIRE DAM
OUT 6 …………………….DKB/BR C…. Ghostzapper…………..Just Breezing
62 :10 3/5 True Attraction……….CH F…….. Yes It’s True…………New Attraction
OUT 101 …………………….DKB/BR F…. Lion Heart……………Regal Blues
116 :10 …………………….B F……… City Zip……………..Sago
141 :21 …………………….B C……… Sharp Humor…………..Sobhy’s Gal
168 :10 3/5 Tangliora…………….DKB/BR F…. Medaglia d’Oro………..Tango Prospect
183 .:10 3/5……………………CH C…….. Holy Bull…………….Tudor Queen
186 :21 3/5 …………………….B F……… Spring At Last………..Unbridled Run
194 :10 1/5 …………………….B F……… Songandaprayer………..Villacora
209 :11.0 …………………….DKB/BR C…. Sun King……………..Willow Woodman
215 :10 2/5…………………….GR/RO C….. Tapit………………..Woods Bay
237 :10 4/5 Haggatts……………..DKB/BR F…. Harlington……………Appleby Gardens
265 : 10 2/5…………………….CH F…….. Silver Train………….Caseys Irish Pride
301 .:22 3/5 ……………………DKB/BR C…. Fusaichi Pegasus………Duda
348 . :10.00 ……………………DKB/BR F…. Successful Appeal……..House of Soviet’s
MORE ON HASTINGS PARK –
If you have been reading THOROUGHBLOG daily, you would have seen the recent news that:
– (Great Canadian Game) GCGC has rejected renewal of its existing lease with the City;
in particular, the company objected to a 15-year renewal clause, and a requirement to build a parkade and upgrade the barn area;
– GCGC has written off more than $50 million worth of its Hastings assets;
– negotiations are continuing.
Blogger Left Coast Racing has followed this story for some time:
NOW HE’S A PROSPECTIVE KENTUCKY DERBY HORSE
Blinkers and big move nab Tampa Bay Derby for Casse trainee
The WOOD MEMORIAL at Aquduct next month could be the next, and final race for PROSPECTIVE, who won the Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday for Woodbine’s top trainer Mark Casse.
Kentucky bred PROSPECTIVE could take CASSEand jockey LUIS CONTRERAS to the Kentucky Derby after the son of popular sire Malibu Moon won the Tampa Bay Derby by 3/4 of a length. The time of 143.33 for 1 1/16 miles was good for an 88 Beyer Figure, the best of the colt’s career.
Owned by John Oxley, who recently joined forces with Casse to buys expensive young horses and make an assault on bog races in Canada and the US, Prospective was pumped up early in the ‘Derby with his new blinkers on. He bulled his way into a 2 horse duel before the 1/4 pole, led and then had to hold off an inside big by newcomer Golden Ticket.
story from Tampa Bay media:
If Mark Casse had any doubts about Prospective fighting off Golden Ticket through the stretch run of the Grade II, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday, his 3-year-old colt did an awesome job dispelling them.
Headed by Golden Ticket with a furlong to run, Prospective surged again under jockey Luis Contreras to post a ¾-length victory in 1:43.35 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth at Tampa Bay Downs, the second-fastest time in the race’s 32-year history. The only faster winning time was by Street Sense (1:43.11) in 2007.
“I rode him pretty hard,” Casse said jokingly, his voice hoarse from yelling. “Was I worried? Well, I wish he could have won by five. But was I worried? You know, he’s a fighter, and I didn’t really think anybody would beat him once he made the lead.”
Wearing blinkers for the first time, Prospective moved smoothly between Fox Rules and Spring Hill Farm approaching the final turn, overtook pace setter Cajun Charlie with ease and appeared as if he might cruise to victory.
But Golden Ticket, who broke his maiden in his previous outing at Gulfstream, cut the corner smoothly under jockey Manoel Cruz to make it a battle royale to the finish.
Prospective paid $8.20 to win as the third betting choice in the 11-horse field. Cozzetti ralled nicely to finish third by a ¾-length margin from the 11-5 favorite, Spring Hill Farm. Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes winner Battle Hardened was sixth.
The Tampa Bay Derby was able to live up to its considerable billing, especially with Prospective looking so strong virtually every step of the way.
“He (Prospective) moved a little earlier than I expected, but I just tried to keep him quiet and save as much horse as I could for the stretch,” Contreras said. “The inside post really helped me a lot because I saved ground into the first turn.
“The pace was much faster than in the Sam F. Davis (in which Prospective finished second to Battle Hardened) and the blinkers seemed to make him more aggressive. Man, did he want to run today,” Contreras said. “But he let me keep him in hand when there was an opening between horses making the far turn. I asked him again entering the stretch and I thought we had it won, but then (Golden Ticket) came up inside us and he had to respond again.
“I kept hitting him with the left hand and he just kept going. He never quit.”
Prospective, a Kentucky-bred son of Malibu Moon-Spirited Away, by Awesome Again, is owned by John C. Oxley, who underwent hip surgery recently and was unable to attend the Tampa Bay Derby in person.
“He is doing very well and I’m sure he’s very happy and he’ll be fine for the next one,” said Casse, who indicated Prospective may be pointed toward the Grade I Wood Memorial at Aqueduct On April 7. “The Oxleys have stepped up and given me the opportunity to be able to go out and buy horses, so to be able to reward them with something like this is special.”
Casse said Prospective was a different, more mature horse than in the Davis. Now 4-for-7 lifetime, he made his victorious 2012 debut Jan. 14 at Tampa Bay Downs in the Pasco Stakes at seven furlongs.
“I was shocked he made the lead so early today, but with the blinkers he was much more aggressive,” Casse said. “He’s a character—he just does what he has to do.
“We put blinkers on to get him to focus a little more. When we watched him in the Sam F. Davis, he was running down the backside the entire way with his head cocked and he was kind of looking at things. Luis said about the 3/8-mile pole of the Davis he thought he was finished, but then when the horse came outside him he started running again. I said to Mr. Oxley, this (the blinkers) will get him a little closer in the early running and it worked,” Casse said.
MEYDAN – DUBAI WORLD CUP NIGHT PREVIEW RACES
Did you get a chance to see the races from Dubai yesterday morning? A card of events that provided some prep events for horses for the March 31 World Cup night included some solid performances.
The MAKTOUM CHALLENGE went to a previously unheralded fellow, CAPPONI, who was 6 for 12 going into the Group 1 race at 10 furlongs. But the 5yo horse tracks a slow pace, got an early jump on the field and held on to win a trip to the World Cup.
Interestingly, he had won 2 of his last 3 races but was disqualified from one recently due to a positives test due to a rubbing linament.
How about MIKHAIL GLINKA (IRE) winning the CITY OF GOLD at 1 1/2 miles, a prep for the Sheema Classic?
This guy, owned by the same owner as Canadian-bred MARITIMER, Ramsamzn Kadryov, had not win since 2010 but had come to life last time with blinkers on. The ‘visor’ which was not reported in any past performanes, has focused this son of Galileo.
Yesterday he led all the way to win the Group 1 for trainer Herman Brown, who also trains Maritimer.
Mikhail Glinka was 13th in last year’s Canadian International.
REGALLY READY, a Grade 1 winner at Woodbine last year, was eased up in 13th in a turf sprint earlier on the card and certainly that audition for the Golden Shaheen on World Cup day is not promising.
ROCKET TWENTYONE finished last in the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn yesterday, beaten 28+ lengths and perhaps we will see this gal regroup and come to Canada for some shorter, Canadian-bred events.
Promising Earle Mack 3yo gelding CANADIAN NAVY had an easy 4 furlong workout in Florida yesterday 50. He is trained by Josie Carroll.
Expect to see the Carroll trainee DRAGO’S BEST, a Queen’s Plate eligible, in the shorter Plate preps when the season opens next month. DRAGO’S BEST was NO BID yearling at the CTHS Ontario sale. He is by former nNtario sire SEEKING THE BEST, now in Venezuela.
DRAGO’S BEST had a workout at Fair Grounds on Sunday – 4 furlongs in :48 3/5.