Day At The Track

Future of Kawartha Downs still undetermined

04:45 PM 24 Apr 2018 NZST
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Kawartha Downs
The Ontario government has committed to funding $105 million over 19 years for the horse racing industry, and as far as Kawartha Downs goes, they are still in the dark as to how much they will receive.

The future of Kawartha Downs, is still undecided. The harness racing racetrack is losing its Shoreline Slots at the end of the year and 85 per cent or more of the racetrack’s revenue is going with it.

The track also applied to expand its race dates to 40 from 18 last year, but the Ontario Racing Commission rejected that application.

The Ontario government has committed to funding $105 million over 19 years for the horse racing industry, and as far as Kawartha Downs goes, they are still in the dark as to how much they will receive.

CHEX News spoke with the general manager, Orazio Valente, who says he is optimistic for a favourable outcome. He says he is currently in the midst of it all, including a long-term funding agreement and the pieces are slowly coming together.

READ MORE: Kawartha Downs still in the dark as to how much money it will get from the province

“I am optimistic but realistic,” said Valente.

The mayor of the township of Cavan Monaghan, Scott McFadden, says this was inevitable.

“I’m hopeful that there will be harness racing obviously at Kawartha Downs and tracks across rural Ontario but it doesn’t look good. Essentially, with the core funding of us being pulled out of racetracks across Ontario moved to urban centres, this is inevitably what’s going to happen when there is no funding,” said McFadden.

READ MORE: Ontario government pledges millions for horse-racing in 19-year agreement

The OLG will determine how much money each track in Ontario will receive.

The original open date for Kawartha Downs was set for May 26.

As of right now, Valente is waiting for a decision and if he doesn’t get the answers he is looking for from the province, the racetrack may have to close.

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Reprinted with permission of Global News

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