Dividing Horse Racing Dates

Harness horse racing held at the Leamington Fairgrounds. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

The Dresden, Lakeshore and Sarnia horse racing tracks are looking to split between 60-80 race dates in 2014.

Lakeshore Mayor Tom Bain says the municipality has requested 33 race dates, Dresden is seeking 13 and the Hiawatha Horse Park is expected to take the remaining dates, if they are approved by the provincial government.

“There’s like $8-million that has got to be divided up amongst the ‘grassroots’ tracks, certainly everyone wants more than their share, we’re also hoping we can get a little more than that,” says Bain. “The final decision is going to be made by the Ontario Racing Commission. What they want us to do is submit a proposal where we’re in agreement because they have the final say and we have to put a business case forward, which we’re in the process of doing, showing that if we get 33 days we can put 33 days on.”

Representatives from each of the three tracks will meet on Thursday to decide on race dates. Government approval is expected by April 1.