Horse Racing Future Looking Bright

Tom Bain, Mark Williams and Paul Branton at the Leamington Raceway Announcement. June 30, 2014. (Photo by Trevor Thompson)

The Lakeshore Horse Racing Association believes it’s not only set for racing in Leamington this year, but in good shape for the next five.

A contract signed with the Ontario Racing Commission for 13 race dates includes a five-year plan in which the government will fund the same amount of races each year, as long as the tracks prove to be viable.

Paul Branton with the Lakeshore group thinks they can do even better than 13 next year. “We know we’re going to be one of the stronger tracks in our division. If other tracks drop out, that money will be available to come back to us. If our betting handle goes up and we get some of our costs down, we could translate that into more race days.”

Part of making the track at the Leamington Fairgrounds sustainable is building a new paddock, which Branton says could cost about $250,000. The Lakeshore Horse Racing Association plans to hold future meetings on how to finance that project.

This year’s first race date in Leamington is set for September 7.