Day At The Track

Significant gains at Charlottetown/Summerside

09:12 AM 17 Jan 2020 NZDT
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CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Harness racing at Red Shores in Summerside and Charlottetown saw significant gains across the board in 2019.

The live wager saw an over 10 per cent increase in 2019 compared to 2018 with $392,236 in new wagering dollars to give a $4,281,446 total all sources wager. Those 2019 increases are thanks to upward bumps in on-track wager as well as a 15 per cent increase in the off-track wager over the 2018 campaign.

Racing experience manager Adam Walsh points to the hardworking individuals in the racing community for making 2019 such a banner year with 100 total race dates held across the province.

"Red Shores offers an excellent and exciting racing program that our customers on Prince Edward Island and throughout North America have come to enjoy," Walsh said. "It is the love and passion of the hardworking horsemen and horsewomen of PEI of these equine athletes that is the strength of the racing industry in PEI."

Lee Drake, Manager of Marketing & Brands, says guest experience is the number one focus at Red Shores and a key reason the business continues to grow in every facet.

"We work hard on getting new people to our properties through strong partnerships and relationships in tourism, meetings & conventions and the corporate community," Drake said. The world-class presentation at Red Shores is another major factor in their success.

"We have beautiful clean properties with a professional staff and it's all about the experience whether it's racing, dining or the casino," he said. "We have really stepped up our social media presence which also drives new business as well."

The Red Shores Race Day broadcast network is also sporting some great numbers with 2.6 Million viewers (2,640,878) from all locations with Atlantic Canada viewership at 1.9 Million (1,961,380).

Red Shores' two signature events also had exceptional showings in 2019 with the Gold Cup and Saucer program pulling in $307,134 from all wagering sources putting that handle second all-time in Island racing to the Gold Cup and Saucer card in 1994. The 2019 Governor's Plate card was the second highest grossing program in the history of the Summerside Raceway with $96,651 wagered on the card, narrowly putting it behind the $99,994 record handle of 1996. Walsh says the difference in outside competition from those record wagers in the 1990s to today's climate should not be overlooked. "There is quite a difference in the landscape today compared to 10 or 25 years ago but we are focused on growing those numbers," said Walsh.

The 2020 winter racing season is coming to a close at Red Shores in the coming weeks but the red-hot action will be back at the city track on Saturday May 2nd for the summer racing meet with the Kentucky Derby theme. Post time for that May program will be 6 P.M. Governor's Plate week is July 5th to the 11th while Old Home Week is August 13th to the 22nd featuring the Guardian Gold Cup & Saucer.

Keep an eye out for upcoming announcements on Red Shores' new line of promotions and events for 2020.

By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores



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