While Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg has opened for Thoroughbred racing and Woodbine is set to get underway June 6 (tomorrow), horsepeople in Alberta and British Columbia continue to wait for the green light from provinces and tracks. The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down businesses and sports since March while the world tries to control the number of outbreaks of the virus.
Stage 2 of re-opening businesses in Alberta is expected to be launched next week.
CENTURY MILE in Nisku has had training for a couple of months and some of its horses have been in action at Assiniboia while the track remains closed. Operated by Century Casino, Century Mile is the new one-mile track in Alberta that had its first season in 2019.
The Horse Racing Alberta website notes that there is racing at Century Mile on Friday June 12.
Century Downs, which had its spring dates cancelled, has dates for Standardbred racing listed on its website with a start date of June 13 and September and October dates for Thoroughbred racing.
Terry Jones in Postmedia News addressed Century Mile racing in a June 2 news item, quoting an unnamed trainer:
“At least we know we are racing. We don’t know what the exactly plans are but everybody is feeling better,” one long-time thoroughbred trainer told your correspondent Tuesday.
“All we’ve been told is that we’re going to be racing and the purses are going to be roughly the same as last year. We are definitely all happy to get back to racing.”
Jones said there are currently 390 thoroughbreds at Edmonton’s Century Mile and 206 harness horses at Calgary’s Century Downs that have been training for more than two months waiting for the word.
More from The Telegram here.
EVERGREEN PARK in Grande Prairie is expected to open a race meet later in the summer according to this according to this story.
In British Columbia, where the number of COVID-19 cases has been low and the number of new cases has been in the single digits for weeks, the Stage 3 plan for re-opening is approaching. Hastings Racecourse is operated by Great Canadian Gaming, which at one time stated racing would not begin unless fans could be in attendance (but then reverted back to allowing racing without spectators). Horses returned to the backstretch May 1 for training and news on an opening date for racing is expected shortly.
MARQUIS DOWNS‘ website notes that the Saskatoon track has racing on June 12; however, there have not been any recorded workouts of horses at the track.