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Dissecting Ontario Racing

“You’re talking to the converted,” said Rob Cook, executive director Ontario Racing, when fielding a concern about the future of commercially breeding thoroughbreds in the province. It is a worry shared by local quarter horse and standardbred breeders, too. They need insurance that horse racing will have a future in the province. Those words come two months after local breeders weathered yet another dismal thoroughbred yearling auction, which saw all results dip lower than 2015, with average and median prices down, as well as the number of horses offered and the number of horses sold. That decline, in addition to the critical horse shortage across North America, has sent horse racing in Ontario deeper into an existential crisis that peaked four years ago with the cancellation of the Slots at Racetrack Program (SARP). Cook was in Toronto on Oct. 31 answering questions on behalf of Ontario Racing (OR), a newly-formed…

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