One day before the Rocky Mountain Turf Club was set to begin its 2021 racing season and two days before Century Mile was scheduled to start, the track’s management were informed they cannot open due to COVID-19 protocols.
The HBPA Alberta posted on its Facebook page late Friday:
“Unfortunately, we have to cancel Sunday, May 16’s race card. We received notice late today that AHS has informed us of last-minute protocol in regards to our COVID-19 requirements. We do not have time before Sunday’s post time to become compliant with these requests. As soon as we have more information we will share with our members.”
Lethbridge News Now reported that “GM Rose Rossi says they were informed of public health requirements that nobody thought to tell them about before.”
Alberta Thoroughbred racing is back May 15 and 16 as Lethbridge and Century Mile begin the 2021 meetings. The Rocky Mountain Turf Club hosts the Lethbridge meeting and the May 15 opening day card is available for wagering on HPI.com and XpressBet.
Century Mile has a 10-race card May 16 and among the jockeys riding in the card including Sovereign Award winning apprentice Mauricio Malvaez and Corrine Andros, a leading rider at Hastings Racecourse in 2014 who will be riding Thoroughbreds for the first time since 2018.
Andros, who rode at Ajax Downs’ Quarter Horse meeting in 2018 and 2019, has a mount in all 10 races at Century Mile.
Century Mile’s featured race, the seventh, is an allowance/optional claiming event at five furlongs for 3-year-olds and Alberta-bred WEDGE POND is the 2-to-1 favourite off sizzling workout times for trainer Dale Saunders. The gelding ended 2020 with a 7 3/4 length maiden win.