Assiniboia Downs legal fight hurting race track's business
A legal dispute over the future of Assiniboia Downs is taking its toll on business at the Winnipeg horse-racing track, according to officials.
The Manitoba Jockey Club, which owns the facility, is embroiled in a battle with the provincial government and the Red River Exhibition Association.
The province wants the Ex to acquire the race track, but the jockey club has said it was blindsided by the move.
Last week, the club announced it has filed a complaint against Finance Minister Stan Struthers and the head of the Red River Ex with the RCMP and the federal attorney general.
Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn says the way the matter has been handled is disappointing, especially given the horse-racing season is just three weeks away.
"Certainly it's been damaging. The phone was ringing off the hook in January for interest to come up here and spend six, seven months in Manitoba and spend a lot of money in Manitoba. We hit a brick wall when that happened," Dunn told CBC News on Thursday.
Dunn said employees at the Downs are very concerned about their future.
The jockey club claims that the Red River Ex is attempting to buy the track for below market price.
It also alleges that the Ex used confidential, privileged cabinet information in its bid, including information that the province may cut funding to the track in the next budget.
The matter will be heard at a judicial review hearing on April 26.