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Kawartha Downs cancels press conference about its future due to ‘major development’

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A scheduled press conference on the future of Kawartha Downs was canceled at the last minute after a 'major development' – Feb 22, 2018

A press conference outlining plans for the future of Kawartha Downs was cancelled at the last minute on Thursday morning.

Officials with the harness racing track in Fraserville said a “major development” within the last 24 hours is unfolding but wouldn’t elaborate, only saying it would mean good news.

“It is our belief, and my personal belief that this development here can only be good news for Kawartha Downs, said Orazio Valente, track general manager.  “That is my personal sense as of right now, and that’s the reason why we’re postponing it.”

READ MORE: Peterborough County council to review Kawartha Downs’ race request, health-care funding support

The cancellation caught some area harness racers by surprise as they were eager to learn about the viability of the facility which opened in July 1972 along on Highway 28, about 18 kilometres south of Peterborough.
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“I was pretty skeptical when I came here today thinking it was bad news and another press conference with bad news,” said Dave Gibson, a local representative of the Ontario Harness Horse Association.
“We’ve had so many of them. But no news is good news, so let’s stay optimistic.”

Last fall, the Ontario Racing Association rejected an application for funding to double the length of the racing season at Kawartha Downs.

Track officials argue they will be losing significant revenue once the Shoreline Slots relocates to the new casino in Peterborough which is expected to open later this year. They fear without additional races, the track’s future could be jeopardized.

“There was no one here from the province and there was a press conference cancelled today because something is going on in the background. I read into that something positive is happening, because the press conference would’ve gone ahead,” said Scott McFadden, mayor of Cavan-Moaghan Township.

A future date for the announcement or press conference wasn’t released.