It was no April Fools' Day prank as today the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) announced its decision in regard to the race-date applications for the nine Standardbred racetracks in the province.
The ORC has announced the approved race dates for Woodbine Racetrack, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Rideau Carleton Raceway, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway.
On Monday, March 31, the ORC released the proposed race dates for the period: April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, for almost all of the province’s racetracks. To view a list of the proposed race dates, click here.
The ORC's release regarding approved dates explains that the live race date schedules for other racetracks will be announced as their agreements are finalized.
The ORC release appears below.
ORC approves Ontario Race Dates for 2014 and beyond
Notice of Director’s decision regarding 2014 Race Dates
The Director of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) today announced the decision regarding the schedule of live race dates for 2014 for certain racetracks. Following the successful conclusion of agreements, the following racetracks were in a position to commit to their race date schedule for the remainder of 2014:
The live race date schedules for other racetracks will be announced as their agreements are finalized.
Agreements were possible due to government’s commitment to provide funds to horse racing to support the industry`s efforts to grow its business. This five-year commitment has allowed for the negotiation of long term agreements which secure this schedule of race dates for each of the next five years.
The Director confirms and approves the schedule of race dates for the 2014 as follows:
APPLICANT – 1st quarter (prior approved) – Remaining dates – Total dates
Standardbred (Premier) – 37 – 71 – 108
Thoroughbred (Premier) – 0 – 133 – 133
Standardbred (Premier) – 0 – 102 – 102
Standardbred (Signature) – 38 – 87 – 125
Standardbred (Signature) – 52 – 94 – 146
Standardbred (Signature) - 0 – 40 – 40
Grand River Raceway
Standardbred (Signature) - 0 – 48 – 48
Rideau Carleton Raceway
Standardbred (Signature) - 14 – 78 – 92
Standardbred (Grassroots) - 0 – 15 – 15
Standardbred (Grassroots) - 0 – 16 – 16
In accordance with Policy Directive 3-2007, all other race date calendars are approved, but are subject to change where a racetrack operator or other interested party makes an application to vary the approved dates, which will be considered based on the strengths of the business plans submitted and the industry funding available.
The Director has been moving forward to implement the components of the five-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan (HRPP), as approved by the Ontario government. Announcements have been made awarding Woodbine Entertainment Group as the single teletheatre operator under a procurement process that is now complete. Revenue earned from the teletheatre network will be used for the benefit of the Centralized Racetracks, which include Woodbine, Mohawk, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Western Fair, Grand River, Clinton, Hanover and Ajax Downs. Additionally announcements have been made designating WEG as the single telephone account betting operator, where revenue earned will be used for the benefit of the Centralized Racetracks. Operation of regional racetracks and the related purses will be funded through a mix of on-track wagering and Horse Racing Partnership Funding Program funds.
Please be advised that you or any other aggrieved party have the right to appeal the Director’s decision to the Commission.
From Steve Lehman, Executive Director for the Ontario Racing Commission