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Projected $9 Million Surplus In Ontario?

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Published: March 23, 2011 9:56 pm ET

Last Comment: March 29, 2011 12:06 pm ET | 36 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

With the new Ontario Racing Program expected to generate a surplus of around $9 million as a result of purse levels restricted at the smaller tracks, Central Ontario Standardbred Association President Bill O'Donnell has gone on the record stating how he would like to see that money allocated.

“I think the biggest concern is there will be a surplus of around $9 million,” said O’Donnell in a Guelph Mercury article. “Where does that go?”

O’Donnell said he is hoping the projected surplus will be used to create a stakes series across Ontario for aged horses to help keep the talented fan favourites racing beyond their two and three-year-old campaigns.

“The two- and three-year-olds, they have lots of races to race for,” said O’Donnell. “The odd guy ends up keeping the horses as four-year-olds. If there’s not a viable place to race them, then you just sell them and we lose horses.

“That’s what the business was built on, Dan Patch and Greyhound. Those were horses that created a fan base,” added O’Donnell.

March 29, 2011 - 12:06 pmI wish all of you guys would

Tom Kelly SAID...

I wish all of you guys would go to the olg website and see where your money goes from gambling..every year. 3.8 BILLION + goes to OLG .PAYMENTS TO HORSE RACING INDUSTRY 340 MILLION .PAYMENTS TO MUNICIPALITIES HOSTING SLOT MACHINES 119 MILLION PAYROLLS. for 19'200 EMPLOYEES 941 MILLION DOLLARS........THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO? 1.9 BILLION ........1.6 BILLION paid to lottery winners? WHAT A JOKE THAT IS! EVERYTIME I WON ON A SCRATCH TICKET I TURNED AROUND AND BOUGHT MORE TICKETS.JUST LIKE THE RACES I BET MORE RACES. THAT'S THE ODD TIME I HIT THE WINNER. WHEN I GO TO GRAND RIVER I ALWAYS ASK THE MANAGER WHY I CANNOT BET THE HARNESS RACES LIVE ALL YEAR? SAME AT ALL B TRACKS? THEY NEVER GIVE ME AN ANSWER! DO ANY OF YOU KNOW WHAT THEY DO WITH THE SLOT MONEY IN THE WINTER? I WAS SORRY WE COULD!NT HAVE THE SLOTS BACK IN 1996 .BUT NOW MY VIEW IS CHANGING".....

March 29, 2011 - 12:38 amGreg you're not getting it.

Archie Watt SAID...

Greg you're not getting it. The plan is to reduce race dates and discourage Central Ontario B track trainers so these "less professional" trainers can no longer afford to participate in the industry that they have dedicated a life time to. This will mean there will be more money for the true professionals.But hey you don't have to leave the business entirely,you're encouraged to go to your local silmucast parlour and wager the few dollars that you have left.

March 28, 2011 - 3:35 pmI think another point we are

Greg Parke SAID...

I think another point we are all missing besides the obvious to market to the younger and other people who don't or havne't seen a standardbred race, and I can't understand why the ORC and all the horse associations are not behind it.

The excess should be used to extend the meets of a few central racetracks so the small horseperson can race longer.

This puts more money in their owners pockets and will help the trainers pay blacksmith, feed, vet, employee etc. It also will help the breeders as people will breed more mares if there is more of an opportunity to race and a chance to get more owners in if they see they actually have a chance to make some money, possibly leading to new fans.

There also should be money spent to come up with better conditions for claimers and conditioned horses, tighter races, more excitement, potential for new fans, excitement sells no matter the class of horse, boredom repels people.

Greg Parke

March 27, 2011 - 12:04 amMR. Martin, OHHA is not

david gibson SAID...

MR. Martin, OHHA is not split they have had hearings with the ORC and been to a number of meetings and have been told that they( the ORC) were pressing ahead with their plan and it didn't matter what we thought or said. It's going to take the whole industry to finally come together and speak up before there is any chance of getting anything done.

March 26, 2011 - 7:49 pmAnd it just gets worse if

Pat Martin SAID...

And it just gets worse if you race at the B tracks. Our OHHA is now split and the BIG association want to use the money for WEG stake horses to race at 4. We let this happen so we are getting what we deserve, a big Central Assoc. and a silent OHHA (who can blame them). Just want to ask the ORC, if purses at the smaller tracks are going to be reduced, are you also going to see that Vet. Blacksmith, Feed and Supplies, Harness, Race bikes, etc. are also reduced in price so smaller owners and trainers can afford to stay in business or is this the way ORC and WEG have decided is a good way to effectively shut down the smaller tracks. I wouldn't be surprised, would you?

March 26, 2011 - 4:39 pmmine mine mine!!! Thats all

jarvis rich SAID...

mine mine mine!!! Thats all I read. Invest the money and build on wealth for this generation of horse people and the next generation of horse people. Use a small portion for product promotion and hopefully over time there will be enough equity to help maintain the industry. I would suggest cutting the horse player a break on take-out but who is anyone kidding. Though it seems to have worked in some places, Ontario is stuck in the middle ages. There is a balance that can be struck between the "old" ways and a newer generation that is getting into the industry. I heard a quote once from a horse person, "There is alot of ways to spend money in this industry but there is only one way to make it." Please try not to feed into the idea of spreading 90% of the wealth among 10% of the population. Work together or those toronto horses will be coming to Clinton because they fit a condition add-on and you will continue to race for 4th and 5th money. What a shame

March 25, 2011 - 7:55 pmThis 9 million surplass

adam albert SAID...

This 9 million surplass should be used as purse money for a supernight night at mohawk! have races for 10 claimers with a 1000 thousand purse 20 claimers for 125 thousand ect and for the big open mares 1 million purse the open 1 million ect

March 25, 2011 - 2:20 pmIan Dow I just read the

Ian Dow SAID...

Ian Dow I just read the release from the ORC, I'm still at a loss to understand what the hell is going on.
Why don't we get straight answers that horsemen like me can understand, the only thing I would like an answer to is "Where's the money going?"

March 25, 2011 - 1:36 pmSo Bill I gather this is

So Bill I gather this is your train of thought.

The little guy has been racing his 5 claimer for way too much money so we chop that amount down and bring in ex Gold Series OSS horses to race at Clinton etc. for WEG type purses funded from rural slot money (your series idea) - So instead of discouraging A track horses from cleaning up at B tracks like this purse/condition sheet restructuring was designed to do, we will now encourage it and pay nicely for it with your idea for the projected 9 mill. surplus.

Noone wants another federal election but we so dearly need several in our industry.

March 25, 2011 - 1:00 pmIn regard to the "surplus" .

chris bush SAID...

In regard to the "surplus" . It's not a surplus but a purse underpayment. Nobody should have the right to touch it for anything other than purses.
This should be protected by law. Here's a radical idea... simply allocate to its intended purpose, purses,like every other year and avoid yet another unnecessary ORC induced fiasco.

March 25, 2011 - 11:52 amDrop the takeouts on just

Maury Ezra SAID...

Drop the takeouts on just about everything. Use part of the money as a safety net to replenish any deficit from betting that may arise short term, while building the game for long term success by giving players more money back on wagers.
Personally, I think a drop in takeout will be met with immediate success, but the reality is that there might be a small deficit in the first two or three months.
Dropping takeout creates positive results, but it takes a little time to see the benefits. Part of this surplus can create a better tomorrow.

March 25, 2011 - 11:51 amDon...yes Tracks were

gord dougan SAID...

Don...yes Tracks were responsible for the cost of building their slot facilities.
Racetracks also pay common costs, including garbage, parking lots, hydro, based on square footage, as well as keep back a portion of their Slot revenue each year for capital improvements, like hvac replacements, or renovations to the existing site. Tracks are also responsible for purchasing the building and liability insurance coverage, for their facilities.

March 25, 2011 - 12:58 amDon Patrick "Tracks had to

Don Patrick SAID...

Don Patrick

"Tracks had to bear the expense of building the slot buildings" I'm not sure about that. Something tells me that the OLGC, or the OLC, or the OLG (they keep changing their name) must have contributed to that. At Woodbine they didn't build on. They just moved in and renovated.

March 24, 2011 - 9:54 pmYou're right. The slot

Lynne Magee SAID...

You're right. The slot players rarely visit the track but they do know when the money that they've been feeding those machines all year comes back to their communities. We are small, tightly knit and well aware of things like this and grateful for it. Seeing it leave the area is going to put a bad taste in those folk's mouths even if they never see an actual horse race.

March 24, 2011 - 4:50 pmI have been asking what will

Morag Watt SAID...

I have been asking what will happen to this surplus since the framework was released. None of the ORC, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Finance have been able/willing to give an answer. A few points to consider:

This perceived problem of the "fancy" horses coming to the smaller tracks and winning our purse money is overstated. Often they cannot compete here either and there is nothing we like more than to beat them! Competition is the lifeblood of our industry. It makes us take a good look at our stock and ensures that we constantly upgrade. The new framework will encourage mediocrity in our breed and that must be avoided. Bring on the competition!

Mr. O'Donnell himself says that often people sell the two and three year olds after their stakes are over. To whom does he intend to sell them? If there is not a suitable class to race them in at the small tracks (and there won't be under the new plan) why would those few horsemen who will be able to survive these changes buy them? Perhaps that realization is dawning now and hence this proposal?

Tracks are often criticized for not having reinvested slot money and in some cases (some private owners) this is undeniably so. HOWEVER, the timing of this change is very suspect. When slots came, tracks had to bear the expense of building the slot buildings (millions of dollars). Now that some of the tracks are finally in a position (Mortgages paid off or down) to start spending money on things that would benefit racing (Hanover's $10 million Grandstand/Community Centre project starts this fall, Clinton is developing Grandstand project proposals) they are being handicapped by not being able to offer higher class races or grow their local product. The government got their slot buildings built for sure but now it seems to be to heck with racing.

When I stood up in public debates along side my local politicians to lobby for slots in my local community, I did so believing that money that was raised at the local slot parlour would be reinvested in MY community not be skimmed off to who knows where. Restricting race dates costs jobs in your communities; losing local horsemen hurts your local agricultural economy. Call your local and provincial politicians and get them fired up. Tell them we will not entertain any proposal that moves local money out of our communities!

March 24, 2011 - 2:42 pmpurses in all b tracks

purses in all b tracks should stay the same,or even, be lowered.the handle(mutual) in most b tracks are very low. how can you give over sixty thousand dollars in purse money,for a race program, and have the public bet 50-60k thousand dollars only. It just doesn't make good business
sense.

Also, major racetracks like woodbine should lower the purse money, and concentrate on giving back,more to the bettor.remember, if racing fans decide to stop betting,that will result in a very small betting pool.which is what the b tracks are all about, small betting pools.

the issue here, is that the horse people care only about themselves,and not the public(bettors) it is the public that keeps this industry alive.give back to the public. look what happened in montreal, the public lost interest
in horse racing when the casino opened.

March 24, 2011 - 2:19 pmI had to laugh when I read

Don Patrick SAID...

I had to laugh when I read the comment "how do you think people playing slots at Hanover feel about their money going to Weg". Or something close to that. I can absolutely state for a fact that there is VERY LITTLE crossover of patrons from slots to horses. Most slot players don't even know they are supporting racing. If they do know, they don't care.
Some of you people really need to stop associating the two groups of gamblers. They have little in common.

As for the surplus? It will be lost in some remedial marketing campaign that has little impact. I would like to see it given to tracks who are able to reduce their takeout rate, and increase their handle. Kind of an incentive program to improve your own product. Fat chance.

March 24, 2011 - 3:54 pm9 million dollar surplus in

Bob Ciprick SAID...

9 million dollar surplus in the first year of the program is a quite substantial sum.

I have monitor the wide variety of comments and opinions of all interested parties on 'what's wrong with horse racing'for some time. There have also been numerous reports written by industry insiders regarding this major issue - the current state of horse racing, not only in Canada, but in North America. The decline certainly hasn't happen overnight and the fix will not happen overnight.

At the time the slots were introduced and to be able to share the profits, the theory looked like this was horse racing saviour. Higher purses, more new owners, breeders producing more horses, track facilities being upgraded for the customer's enjoyment. Slot communities reaping economic benefits from sharing the profits. All is well. Or is it?

The benefit of the slots are now over ten years old, why is the industry still looking for answers? What are the benchmarks that show how the slot profits have improved the game? Are there any? The auto industry were forced to present a business plan to show how they would become self-substainable before they received a penny of their bailout. What plan has the racing industry come up with to warrant their money, need I call it a bailout? Today the industry is being dictated to what kind of product they can offer, horsepeople are facing fewer racing days, does this encourage breeders to increase their efforts? Track operators are not filling their grandstands, nor are they reducing their takeouts, which many customers see as too high considering the different options they have to spend their money.

American simulcasts are filling the viewing of customers and the tracks present all of their broadcasts in the same manner.(where's the promotion of their own live product) so in reality it does not matter to the operators who the bettors bet on or how they bet. Track employees are being replaced with technology and yes the track employees also should share in the economic benefits that derive from the slots. They have been part of the industry from the beginning. They are not an expense but an asset that can treat the customers to a rewarding experience.

So all interested parties are looking through their own respective eyes in how to fix the industry and not through a cooperative collective eye that would generate ideas that would benefit all parties. The highest priority that should shape the view and what is truly important is the view of the most important interested party - the customer.

It does not even need to be said no customer no business but that is where we are headed. Look at the industry as a customer and what would you want in your visit to the track. A race night/day involves approximately fours hours of your time at the track. So, you want to be safe and comfortable,to have a good view of the great product to watch, easy access to placing a wager whether its with a teller, or on a self-serve, or on your smart phone, the customer wants the choice, not to be dictated to. We all want a fair return on our investmensts, so do the customers. Most customers during a race card will certainly have some refreshments and food, so they should be able to receive good food, at reasonable prices with comfortable surroundings to consume their choice of refreshment, whether in is in the dining rooms or the grandstands.

The industry should cater to making the customer visits an experience (again it has to be in the customers idea of what a quality experience is)having a spokesman such as Bill O'Donnell or other well known horsepeople, sorry to say we don't need a hockey player this is horse racing. So having an industry star whether past or present visit all the tracks and talking about their experiences with such great horses the likes of Greyhound and Dan Patch would be eaten up like candy with the customers. Nobody minds bumping into a great like Sandy Hawley and talking abit with him at WEG. This is what builds the customers experience. Also, using the excess monies to hold special stake races at the grass roots tracks is a great idea in letting the smaller communities see some of the top horses on a more regular basis. Often thought that WEG should sponsor some grassroot races at smaller community tracks. Since WEG is the beneficiary of having the location to reap the most benefit from the slot profits. Afterall, the slot operations have one and only one shareholder, the Government of Ontario and we the taxpayers own the government. Or, the excess monies could go in a special pool that rewards customer who actually visit the track. Such as a free pick six ticket given to every patron upon their visit. Similiar to buying a quickpick on 649. Who knows when it would be won and at which track, but only customers who visit the tracks for racing will receive a ticket. The excess doesn't have to be in one pool but nine million goes a long way.

So, don't let individual interest dictate the usage of the slot profits, if we charm the customer we all will benefit. With that said, unfortunately the industry does not have a group or a body or an organization that looks to the future entailing everyone's interest in mind. Until then I'm afraid that each interested party's discisions in how to run the show will conflict with the other groups ideals. Good luck to all.

March 24, 2011 - 1:11 pmUnfortunately this surplus I

Unfortunately this surplus I am assuming is the purse money that is not being paid out yet because the Orc had a great idea on how to reduce the purse accounts at smaller tracks but had no idea on how to distribute it back to meet some wishy washy concept of attracting new clients. First of all Bill it is your organizations responsiblity to insure that this money stays in the purse account and is distributed to horsemen and not used to subsidize marketing ,cover budget shortfalls at the commission or any other idea that whoever put together this plan thinks might work.

Why dont we ask the racetrack operators and the government to put up 9 million each and add it to the 9 million horsemen surplus and then talk about how to promote horse racing because my understanding of the model is that this 9 million came from losses by slot and horse race gamblers and this is the horsemens portion of the loss.

Unfortunately this program and terminology smells too much like Governor Christie in New Jersey. The government of New Jersey recieves hundreds of millions of revenue from simulcasting and live product wagering liscensing and many other forms of taxes from the New Jersey racing industry and they describe them as revenue. Instead of giving the horseman the appropriate portion of the revenue for putting on the show and to help foster a strong equine industry ,the powers to be decided it would be easier to blackmail the casinos to to write an annual check for 30 million dollars to keep other casinos and slots out of the rest of New Jersey especially the Meadowlands. The Governor of New Jersey likes to call this 30 million a subsidy just like the Orc would like you to see this 9 million as a Surplus.

The word surplus implies that everybody is entitled to this money and nothing could be further from the truth. This is undistributed money from the purse account and should be treated accordingly.

If this industry spends money to either reduce takeouts or market to new clients and betting revenues increase the racetrack operators and the governments will equally participate in the increased revenue so it is only fair they contribute equally in the cost of promoting this sport. Governor Christie uses a lot of convenient words to confuse the masses lets not start in Ontario!

March 24, 2011 - 12:57 pmWhile this idea may seem to

chris bush SAID...

While this idea may seem to have some merit, the reality is much different. Ohio had these 4 yr old events and it was dominated by two or three horses with one division of short fields. Didn't really accomplish anything of value. A better idea would be to enhance the slots cup races for four yr olds for nw of so much lifetime. However I still don't think you could spend anywhere near 9 million. What about the rest?

P.S Isn't it wonderful that we have absolutely no recourse in an industry altering process that will bankrupt the smaller participant which in fact make up the 90% of the horseperson population. To these unelected individuals -keep up the good work.

March 24, 2011 - 12:23 pmTo Mr.Parke Forget about not

John Carter SAID...

To Mr.Parke

Forget about not betting at weg for one night i have not bet a race for 2 years now and that's a fact. Many other people like me who have an issue with excessive track takeouts have also walked away from the race game. That is why the wager in both harness and the t'breds have been in a free fall for the last 10 years.

Now when i did bet i would not fit into the whale category but i was a solid player. On a friday or sat night between weg and the big m i would wager on about 6 to 8 races and depending on wether the race was a superfecta or not i would bet between $300. to $600. per race on the races i bet on.

So lets just say on average I bet 7 races per night at a per race average of $450. per race, that is $3150. per night 10% of that would be $315. per night for weg and the big m. These tracks continue to charge excessive takeouts so i don't wager at all. So 20 to 25% of nothing equals zero and that is what they get off me and the thousands of others who have walked away from the game.

I would also always bet the odd race from dover and some other tracks but would bet a little less because of the smaller pools. It is a lose, lose situation, i don't get to play the races and they don't get any of my money. You may ask if i haven't bet a race in over 2 years why i take the time to post and the reason is i still hold out a little hope that the powers to be in the race game will wise up before it is to late.

March 24, 2011 - 11:33 amWell heres a thought.

Greg Parke SAID...

Well heres a thought. Promotion and marketing.

It really is kinda a good thing on the purses at the smaller tracks, this may stop trainers and drivers from the super "B" track (WEG) invading and taking money from the grass roots horsepeople who truly do put on the show and need the money the most. It is not often a smaller trainer has a horse to race at WEG where WEG trainers have horses that can race anywhere.

Most small tracks are in smaller populated areas and need the help and support as they are trying harder than anyone (Grand River, Hanover,etc) to promote themselves. Creation of four and five year old stakes are a great idea but how about for winners under 25000 or 50000 or less over their two and three year old carreer so that smaller trainers who attract people to the smaller tracks can have a chance to race thier horses which are not quit good enough for the OSS and GR but have a chance to make money for the smaller owner when their horse are older. Work in co-operation with the smaller tracks to help them support series like this for their local fans and local horsepeople. This helps EVERYONE in the industry.

Have a series for the better four year olds like the old OHHA series. Race at the smaller tracks all summer to collect points and have the final at a different track every year. Each track gets a look at some of the better four year olds that kept racing.

Lowering the takeout would also be a good step but that is up to the owners of the Racino's and that is up to the betting public, my opinion, to lobby against. Here is a thought to MR. Carter et all, have all your big time bettor friends stay away from WEG for 1 night, don't bet a thing and see if the takeout changes. If the biggest issue for the bettor is the takeout, don't bet for one night or a week, guarantee it changes.

One last comment, if none of the racing associations know where the money is going, maybe we have the wrong people running the associations and not enough pressure to make what seems to be the necessary changes at the ORC so horsepeople no what is actually happening, if enough of them care.

Randy, you crack me up.

Greg Parke

March 24, 2011 - 11:09 amWho's 9 Million is

Ian Dow SAID...

Who's 9 Million is it?

Certainly not the the horse people who race at WEG!
Once again the rich get richer, big brother know's best!

Hopefully the election in October will get rid of the current government and we may get a government who will listen to the concerns of the small tracks & do something about it.

I'm not holding my breath, if not then as they say on Dragons Den--I'm Out!

March 24, 2011 - 11:02 amTo Mr.Fisher,

John Carter SAID...

To Mr.Fisher,

Jeff Gural also said in an interview with trot radio that for the race game to survive they need to compete with other forms of gambling by reducing the takeout rate to 10% or less in every pool. He went on to say that he would like to reduce the takeout rate to i do believe 8% at tioga if he could. He tried to reduce the take out rate at vernon downs but a bunch of short sighted horsemen and women at vernon downs vetoed it. If the industry wants to listen to him it starts and ends here,because without the take out rate being reduced no amount of promotion will attract the next generation of gamblers to the races.

March 24, 2011 - 10:41 amSo now it is established

Lynne Magee SAID...

So now it is established that the ORC is going to rob from the smaller tracks like Hanover, where they have denied requests for upgraded classes and Clinton--two tracks where fans actually do still exist and enjoy our sport--so that they can siphon $9,000,000 (per year?)into the premier tracks of Ontario. Along with the money goes any of the decent race horses so the rural tracks are left with mediocre racing, for the most part. The ORC claims that it will help the small fish by keeping the big fish away. We now get to keep ALL of our soon-to-be 3-4 thousand dollar purses. Whoopee!

From their past performance, it would seem that the ORC has tapped into a wad of easy money to put their financial statements in the black while paying their ever-expanding number of employees some pretty nice salaries (with perks). Isn't this the estimated amount that Standardbred Canada was proposing to take from our purses to invest in the industry? Of course, the ORC doesn't need or hasn't asked for our vote or support to get at the money--they just take whatever they want.

The people who are actually putting that money into the coffers are the slot players in our small areas. I wonder how they feel about "their" money going down to the WEG tracks or to cover expenses at the ORC. I wonder if they are going to be so generous with that spending money when they realize that the local horsepeople (usually friends and relatives) are losing their purses to feed the fat cats in the city. Where does the ORC get that $9,000,000 from when they have left the building?

I like Bill's idea (he has a lot of good ones)about putting that money into classes for older horses. The problem is, there might not be a lot of them around when the small horsepeople are forced to close up shop. There might not be a lot of horses around, period! The ORC's very short sightedness is going to be the start of the end to grassroots harness racing. Grassroots feed the upper echelons. Our expenses are not much less than those of the big, city types. Trucks, trailers, feed, fuel, veterinary, farrier, staff expenses, etc. are pretty much the same across the province. But, hey, we will have a better chance to race our "inferior" horses for "inferior" purses--for a few years until tracks like Hanover (an excellent venue by the way)and Clinton (also pretty good and a lot of fun on a Sunday afternoon) are no more. Let's see---$1500-$2000 per race if we win even twice in four weeks. Hmmmm---not going to keep the wolves from the door of most farms and allow people to upgrade their racing stock so that we can drive two hours to the city to compete. It's a guarantee that the fans who attend our local tracks won't be travelling that far.

The ORC needs to get a grip on the reality of the situation and how we, in rural Ontario, are going to be affected before they start tearing it apart.

March 24, 2011 - 10:18 amJeff Gural (the man that

Dan Fisher SAID...

Jeff Gural (the man that people are thankful to for his insight and for attempting to save the Meadowlands) thinks that "money needs to be set aside from purses/slots and used to market the product with particular emphasis on bringing new and younger people to view the product."

Why is it that we're not listening to him in this regard ?

March 24, 2011 - 9:01 am"I guess this program is

Norm Brunet SAID...

"I guess this program is like a reverse Robin Hood where you take from the poor and give to the rich"

I asked my feedman, blacksmith and vet if they would drop their prices 8% because the purses were down by that much and they all laughed at me. That 8% goes right against my bottom line.
B tracks all have their signature races which brings in the aged elite horses already ie. Des Smith (160K) and Frank Ryan (150K) at RC.
I thought the only good thing about this program was that they would at least stop Ontario tracks from going head to head against each other. But yet we still have 3 Ontario tracks racing at the exact same time ????
The hidden agenda of this program is starting to show its ugly head.

March 24, 2011 - 8:37 amwell,everyone is looking to

well,everyone is looking to improve racing at all levels,some suggest a celebrity to draw attendance,we are now questioning the distribution of the monies,we the people have concerns of the governing body of the racing commission,a structure needs a solid foundation,there is one person i know of who fits the category of no nonsense,,, if he did it convict him,,,, if they abide by the law leave them alone,he has shown great leadership and integrity in every portfolio,and has kept the peace,,there would be no room to suspect,,,, the monies would go to establish the concerns of all interests,,,,,,his name THE HONOURABLE JULIAN FANTINO,,,,there will be a solid foundation, the only problem i can forsee is anyone who is cheating or deceitful better leave town MR. FANTINO always gets his man. all the public would feel safe and secure,gamblers could wager on what they could believe honest outcome.MR FANTINO also save monies on hearings and appeals,because when a racing stewart or overseer makes a call,,,it must be clean.

March 24, 2011 - 8:30 amWhy dont we give some of it

Roy Steele SAID...

Why dont we give some of it to the smaller tracks to increase purse levels. So we dont have to restrict the purse levels at smaller tracks.

March 24, 2011 - 4:30 amBilly maybe you could go on

randy waples SAID...

Billy maybe you could go on tour with these big stakes races and tell the fans what it was like to drive greyhound and dan patch? I think the fans would be interested on your views of driving these great animals..thank-you..rw :)

March 24, 2011 - 3:53 amNow tell me that pair

murray brown SAID...

Now tell me that pair doesn't look like a pair of gangsters from Chicago in the Capone era. :-))

March 24, 2011 - 1:02 amHere's an idea why don't

John Turner SAID...

Here's an idea why don't they put 75 percent of the money away a year to prepare the industry with racing funds when the slot money is gone. Once the slot money is done pouring in (which it most obviously will) were are we to get the money? If any portion of this money is not used for that purporse this industry needs a new ORC "team"' right away... Also if the horsmen at the "c" tracks ge to raise for less money do the judges and other ORC employes get paid less as well? I think i know the ansewr but jut thought I wouldnask

March 24, 2011 - 12:27 amI hope they dont use the

james ross SAID...

I hope they dont use the money to start some new knee jerk bunch that are furthering their own agenda.

March 23, 2011 - 11:57 pmCy McEwen Right on

cy mcewen SAID...

Cy McEwen

Right on Mr.Odonnell .. I think this is a fantastic idea . Gone are the days that you could go to your local track and see the likes of cam fella, otra, and many other super stars . These horses had huge followings and the racing was really exciting. The horses were the product and the drivers and betting and everything else was secondary. It was quite easy to bring someone new to racing to the track when the best performers in the world were at arms length , Many of these new people became the $2 bettors that filled the grandstands..today try to bring someone to the track to watch a bunch of condition claimers and cheaper claimers that are barely eking out an existence and 99.9% wont be back . Gone are the days that a horse like Cam Fella could be seen in Edmonton or Cloverdale what a shame for standard bred racing. I think if every racing jurisdiction in the country brought back the big purse stakes for older horses you would see new faces in the grandstands and not in the casino . All the best with this and i hope some racetrack operator's here in BC are reading your story. PS people here still 25 years later still talk about cam fellas visit here and how exciting it was.. We need something positive to talk about.. Thanks for you dedication Cy McEwen

March 23, 2011 - 11:49 pmWell its been over a week

Well its been over a week since I sent an email to the ORC asking where the surplus money is going........still no response...........Seems like noone knows where its gonna go, or noone is saying

March 23, 2011 - 11:02 pmThis will not help a local

Tim Bates SAID...

This will not help a local horseman, unless he has a stakes caliber horse. Your customers have spoken (the betters) The only fix for the handle is to lower the take out! The product on the track is not as relevent as the take out.


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