Horses races were slated to begin Saturday at Sudbury Downs, but without a deal from the province the stalls remain empty at the once bustling track.
Last year, the province cut the slots revenue that used to flow to racetracks in Ontario. The previous race season had only 22 races, where usually more than 60 were held.
Since that time, people like MJ Pappin-Lamoureux and her husband have been forced to travel as far south as Mohawk and Woodbine to race their horses.
“Typically we would have about 12 to 14 horses right now and now we’re down to six,” Pappin-Lamoureux said. “In a worst case scenario, my husband will probably, if we don’t get any answers soon, probably make some decisions about work… and he’s a third generation horseman,”
John Snoblen, interim director of Ontario Horse Racing, said the track owners in Sudbury are currently considering a deal.
"In the case of Sudbury Downs, there’s an offer from the province that’s been tabled,” Snobelen said. “The form of that offer is a transfer payment agreement that’s very similar with the other dozen or so agreements that have been executed across the province.”
No one at the track was able to say when or if races will commence again this year.