Horse Track Targeted For Major Upgrade Says Turf Boss

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The Antigua Turf Club (ATC) and the horse racing population here stand to benefit from a major sponsorship aimed at improving the facilities at the Cassada Gardens Race Track.
This is according to President of the turf Club, Neil Cochrane, who said that he has been in talks with an “investor” who has shown tremendous interest in building a new facility complete with all of the amenities consistent with a modern racing facility.
“We are happy that we have at least one investor that basically, has shown the interest in putting in the funds and working with us in getting this facility to a top-class facility. We have a second group of investors that we are going to begin to have discussions with and so, whether it’s at Cassada Gardens or we have to find a new site, horse racing is going to go to another level,” he said.
For years, the Turf Club has been locked in a long court battle with businessman Carlton “Tyre Master” Lewis, who claims to be the holder of a valid lease on the land currently housing the track and some stables.
The turf club has argued that it has made a significant investment in upgrading the facility to its current standard and should be allowed to permanently manage the track.
Meanwhile, Cochrane announced that one local company, which promotes and manages pari-mutuel simulcast wagering on international racing, has agreed to support one of their major races.
“ISI Sports, through Ben’s Bar and Joe Mike’s, they have become the official sponsors of the Antigua Black Pineapple Stakes which is the first leg of the Triple Crown and that is paying $6,000 to the winner, $3,000 for second, $1,500 for third, and fourth will get $1,000 and so you can do the math and look at what is being paid in terms of prize monies and you can understand the level of sponsorship that is being had and we are very grateful to
them for that,” the turf boss said.  
The agreement with ISI Sports, Cochrane added, also includes a significant improvement of their betting systems at the Cassada Gardens track during local races.
“Currently, you could say we use a very basic system, but we are now going to have a software which is designed to calculate the odds and payout automatic. It’s going to be fully computerised so it’s something that will step up the game,” he said.
Horse-racing is expected to return to the facility on May 13 when the turf club hosts its Pre Labour Day Race Meet.   

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