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The Globe and Mail

In Pictures: How the horse racing industry is trying to stand on its own four hooves

As a major race approaches, Woodbine and other horse racetracks struggle to maintain an often overlooked industry

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Scenes from the Woodbine Racetrack June 27, 2013. On Sunday, the spotlight will briefly turn to horse racing, a sport that is overlooked for the rest of the year except by diehard fans and eager bettors.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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Scenes from the Woodbine Racetrack June 27, 2013. There are 17 racetracks in Ontario, where most of Canada’s horse racing and breeding takes place.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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Scenes from the Woodbine Racetrack June 27, 2013. Ontario would lose 30,000 jobs if the horse racing and breeding industry disintegrates, according to industry estimates.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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Scenes from the Woodbine Racetrack June 27, 2013. In 1998, the provincial government pumped millions into the horse-racing industry through the Slots at Racetracks Program, allowing slot-players to subsidize horse racing. The program was unexpectedly halted in March 2012, and the industry has struggled to recover ever since.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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Queen’s Plate favourite Up with the Birds and exercise rider Naz Nagir July 4, 2013. People who love racing tend to turn the conversation to the races they’ve been to, and the horses they’ve seen. They say once you’ve been there, nothing else compares.

MICHAEL BURNS/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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From left to right: jockey Steven Bahen, horse Nipissing, and trainer Rachel Halden. Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne has promised interim funding for some race tracks, and says she wants to have a racing industry that’s “strong for years and years to come.”

WEG/Michael Burns

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