There really is no optimism going on regarding a 2013 season at Fort Erie. However, I don't think there is anyone who believes that the fight to stay open is over either. In fact, the whole horse racing industry in Ontario still are clinging on hope that the decision to end the slots at racetrack program will be overturned. It isn't like the current clowns who are running Ontario into the ground haven't done about faces before (but usually for political gain only) Take the cancelled Mississauga power plant, which will cost Ontario tax payers over $180 million for example. That about face was all about saving Liberal Party of Ontario seats, the problem with the slots program is that even if the Liberal Party were to reverse the decision, they would not be able to gain any future votes out of it. They've lost many votes for life over the decision to end slots. I still believe that either way, there are going to be a lot more large embarrassment in store for the Liberal Party when the Ontario Ombudsman starts blowing the whistle.
Back to Fort Erie. The track was already on life support before the announcement to end slots was made. I believe the only hope for The Fort is if a new buyer comes along and without slots or other forms of gambling, the likelihood is very remote. It does have the possibility to become a training centre, but with the anti-horse racing minority government that is in place, there is a major possibility that too much harm will occur and a never go back situation may result.
At this time, I can't see the track being plowed down to rubble either. It costs money to do that, and upon losing its number one employer, Fort Erie industrial or residential land won't be sought after when it comes to new developments. So there is a possibility that Fort Erie will stand empty until the next election, when hopefully, the new government will come in and help reopen the joint.
Anyway, it is a shame that a minority government can come in and kill an industry. It is hard not to blame the other parties for allowing it to happen, but the reality is that neither cared enough to make it a worthwhile issue.
Did you know that 61 years ago, Fort Erie Racetrack was involved in a huge race fixing scandal? The majority of the jockey colony was either ruled off, suspended or fined. There was even a Lady In Black, a Mr. Fix It, and a Mr. Big Money. Sounds like movie material.
Interesting that back then a jockey, Robert Wankmueller, was arrested for defrauding the public. Imagine that? When did the rules change that defrauding the public by trainers now results in a $300 fine and/or a warning?
I threw some mud against the wall this morning, in an attempt to find the Prince Of Wales winner. I like Dixie Strike. She came back nicely to run a decent troubled and wide third in the Queen's Plate. I think the switch from poly to will not bother her as much as some of the others in the field. My long shot contender is Ultimate Destiny, a horse who seems to be peaking. You can't discount the bottom horse either, Roger Attfield trained Colleen's Sailor. Corey Nakatani must have felt some potential in the Plate for him to take another plane ride and dust off his passport for the Prince of Wales. As for the probable favorite, Irish Mission, her breeding screams out grass and poly, she has also run quite a few good races in a row. Breeding and bounce factor and lack of betting value makes her a very good pitch this afternoon.