BIBLE HILL, N.S. - Despite the recent upheaval at Truro Raceway, Steve Morton is optimistic about the upcoming season of live racing.
Morton, president of the Truro Harness Horse Owners Association (THHOA), said a short-term lease has been signed for use of the grandstand on live race days and he believes there will be enough horses ready to begin the season on April 27.
“We’re back in the grandstand, and I think we’ll have enough horses for six full fields,” he said. “Some people from Sydney, and some from P.E.I., have said they’d bring horses.”
Since the provincial government split the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition and Truro Raceway operations in February, no business related to racing had taken place in the grandstand until April 15, when qualifiers took place. Fifteen horses qualified that day, and more qualifiers are scheduled for April 22.
“We can confirm that The Farm Loan Board has rented the grandstand facility on race day, but it will be up to the Truro Harness Horse Owners Association as to what services they choose to offer,” Province of Nova Scotia media relations advisor Chrissy Matheson said in an email.
The THHOA is renting the track, stables and related facilities for $200 per month.
“Things are as good as they can be for the situation now,” said Morton. “It’s a big job to get things ready and make it work, and it’s up to us to make sure it goes forward.”
The majority of summer race dates have been set for Friday evenings, and Morton said it will be up to the newly formed board of directors at the raceway whether to keep those dates or switch back to afternoon racing.
Live racing is set to resume Friday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m.