On behalf of the Alberta Horse Racing and Breeding Industry, Horse Racing Alberta is pleased to announce the return of live horse racing in Alberta. Horse Racing Alberta, in conjunction with all industry stakeholders and the Government of Alberta, are pleased to see live Standardbred racing return in Alberta starting this Sunday, June 14th, at Track On 2 in Lacombe. Live Thoroughbred racing will load the gate June 21st in Edmonton at Century Mile and live Standardbred racing will resume June 22nd at Century Downs in Calgary. The Thoroughbred dates originally scheduled for Century Downs have been moved to Century Mile.
There will not be any spectators at the tracks for the time being.
Numerous safety precautions will be put in place to protect all industry participants following the Covid 19 guidelines set forth by Alberta Health and the Canadian Pari Mutuel Agency (CPMA). Racing will take place with strict physical distancing measures in place. Fans can wager in the comfort of their own homes on HPIbet.com.
Gill Hermanns, Chair of Horse Racing Alberta, emphasized, “We are thrilled to announce the re-opening of live horse racing across Alberta with strict protective safeguards in place to protect the well-being of everyone. The industry employs over 4,800 Albertans and contributes $312 million annually to the province in economic impact. “
HRA would like to thank all industry stakeholders for their co-operation, patience and understanding during this challenging time. The Horse Racing and Breeding Industry would also like to thank the Government of Alberta for their concern and guidance during the pandemic. A complete list of live race dates can be found on the Horse Racing Alberta at www.thehorses.com or on the calendar below.
The news is not so good coming out of Saskatoon, SK, as MARQUIS DOWNS has had to cancel its 2020 Thoroughbred season.
For the first time since the track was opened at Prairieland Park in 1969, there will not be racing at the province’s only Thoroughbred track.
Prairieland on Tuesday announced that, “with the safety of our patrons and staff in mind” during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was cancelling the 2020 Thoroughbred racing season. Prairieland had previously announced that races would be cancelled until July.
“This is the first time we are seeing anything like this,” race manager Rick Fior said in a statement.
“We have missed nights due to rain or weather, but never anything like this before.”
Prairieland said that because most of the jockeys who race at Marquis Downs are from Trinidad or Jamaica, that “leaves the Marquis season at the mercy of the travel ban” during the pandemic. Other factors include time needed for trainers to get the Thoroughbreds race-ready, as well as limitations around public gatherings. All of that makes a race season “just not feasible,” Prairieland said.
“It is sad to think there won’t be horse races this year,” said Fior, who has been a presence around the track for more than four decades.