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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Not All of Canada Has Turned Against Racing

In Canada, it appears horse racing has a friend, at least in British Columbia.  In the Cloverdale Reporter, British Columbia minister Rich Coleman, who is in charge of horse racing has indicated the province anticipates continuing subsidizing horse racing.  In addition, a five year strategic plan being released in August will call for significant changes to horse racing, but will support continued operation of Fraser Downs as a harness racing only facility with the runners competing at Hastings Park, assuming a lease with the City of Vancouver for Hastings Park is consummated. Of course, it assumes Great Canadian Gaming is willing to continue operating two separate tracks.

The newspaper article does indicate while Fraser Downs' attendance has been flat, wagering is up thanks to online wagering and more standardbreds are being bred in the province.  Of course, racing in British Columbia can be improved.  For one thing, racing approximately eighty days a year (thoroughbreds race sixty-seven days at Hastings) of harness racing keeps British Columbia from becoming a hotbed of racing.

Admittedly, I don't know much about Fraser Downs, but from what I have been able to deduce in the past from afar, it appears to be a first class operation.  In fact, it is one of the few racinos whose website actually lists racing before their casino operations.  Compare this to The Meadows on whose website racing is the last item on the menu, after their bowling alley.  All things considered, it must be nice to know the embattled racing industry has a friend in British Columbia.

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