A multi-party agreement has paved the way for a three-year funding model for Hastings Racecourse in British Columbia, Canada, officials said Feb. 17. The 2014 Thoroughbred meet is expected to begin in late April or early May.
The British Columbia Horse Racing Industry Management Committee made the announcement on the deal, which involves Hastings and Fraser Downs operator Great Canadian Gaming Corp. Standardbred racing is offered at Fraser Downs, which, like Hastings, has slot machines.
"The funding model will be an extension of arrangements that have been in place since 2012 whereby pooled income from all of the industry's revenue sources is allocated to industry participants," BCHRMC chairman Douglas Scott said in a release. "Income from a portion of slot-machine profits at the casinos at Hastings Racecourse and Fraser Downs will continue to be divided equally between the Thoroughbred sector and Standardbred sector."
Scott said the funding arrangement includes the next three years for the Thoroughbred sector and five years for the Standardbred sector. "We feel this will create an atmosphere of stability that will benefit breeders, owners, trainers, bettors, and racetrack personnel," he said.
Hastings could race up to 55 live days this year over a six-month period; four of the days are conditioned upon income during the meet. Fraser Downs was assigned 71 days over eight months.
"This race-day calendar will allow us to put on a first-rate racing product on a consistent basis," said Darren MacDonald, interim general manager at Hastings. "We'll be rolling out numerous new initiatives this season to attract a wider base of racing fans and look forward to working with our horsemen throughout the 2014 race meet."
Hastings in 2013 offered 63 days of racing for total purses of $7.84 million (an average of $124,541 per day), according to The Jockey Club Information Systems. Field size averaged 7.12 horses per race.