Latest News, UPDATES, thrills & spillsFrom ASHA and the World of Harness Racing
"THRILLS & SPILLS" DECEMBER 2014 - CHECK OUT THRILLS & SPILLS NEW PAGE UNDER RACING NEWS. THRILLS DECEMBER EDITION IS HERE Check it out CLICK HERE
2017 OPEN STAKES - THE LADY LUCK, RALPH KLEIN MEMORIAL, NORTHLANDS FILLY PACE, WESTERN CANADA PACING DERBY - 2015 YEARLING NOMINATION FORM VIEW HERE
2015 ASHA STALLION DIRECTORY & STAKES GUIDE IS NOW IN! PLEASE CONTACT ORIANNA AT THE ASHA OFFICE @ 403.263.7765 FOR A COPY OR INFORMATION.
ALBERTA HORSEMAN: PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE CENTURY DOWNS PROPOSED SOFT OPENING RACE DATE OF MARCH 28TH HAS BEEN PUSHED BACK TO APRIL 11TH. THE EARLY BIRD PRAIRIE GIRLS/BOY STAKE ELIMINATIONS WILL NOW BE HELD ON APRIL 25TH FOR THE GIRLS AND APRIL 26TH FOR THE BOYS. *THE FINALS FOR THE PRIAIRIE GIRLS WILL BE MAY 2ND AND THE PRAIRIE BOYS WILL BE MAY 3RD.
ASHA PRESS RELEASE - MARCH 6, 2015 (CENTURY DOWNS) VIEW HERE
2015 EARLY BIRD AB STAKES - VIEW HERE FOR NOMINATIONS
CONGRATULATIONS TO KELLY HOERDT IN WINNING THE TRIP FOR TWO TO LAS VEGAS. WE RAISED $2000 FOR JIM MARINO. GET WELL SOON JIM!!
NEW 2015 EARLY BIRD AB STAKES - PRAIRIE STAKES & BEV SEARS/AS PROMISED. STAKE FORMS AND INFORMATION CLICK HERE!
2015 STAKES NOMINATION FORM : CLICK HERE
2015 AB STALLIONS 2015 AB STALLIONS
THE ASHA ANNUAL AGM WILL BE HELD ON SATURDAY, APRIL 18TH. SEE DETAILS.
PERFORMANCE STANDARDBREDS FUN DAY - APRIL 4TH DETAILS HERE!
2015 ASHA AWARDS WINNERS VIEW HERE! CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE NOMINEES AND WINNERS!
CENTURY DOWNS is currently recruiting for the positions of Track Superintendent. Email your resume to Careers@CenturyDowns.com. For a copy of the job description, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Jobs will continue to be posted at http://centurydowns.cnty.com/ under careers at the bottom of the home page.
2015 AB STALLIONS 2015 AB STALLIONS
AS PROMISED DAY - VIEW POSTER HERE
The Alberta Standardbred Horse Association
(ASHA) was formed to represent and protect the best interests of Standardbred industry participants and bring about a closer, more understanding relationship among members, racetracks, racing associations, governing bodies and the public.
AT LONG LAST.....“They’re at the post…….They’re off and pacing…..”
“I don’t think we could have gone on like this much longer,” says veteran driver-trainer, Gerry Hudon. “We were getting pretty close to the end of the line. But I thought when I heard that Century Gaming was getting involved, that there might be light at the end of the tunnel.”.
Century came aboard in 2014, joining United Horsemen of Alberta to revive live racing at a new facility now under construction in Balzac Alberta. It’s a small community just north of Calgary city limits and just south of Airdrie. The new site is just east of Cross Iron Mills shopping centre and is located in the midst of major commercial and light industrial developments. It’s exceptionally well served by a good road system with direct access to Highway 2. That will be important for horsemen because everybody’s going to be a shipper, at least for the time being.
“There will be one barn with ship-in, paddock office, washrooms and testing facility to begin racing,” says Paul Ryneveld, manager of special projects for Century Gaming & Casino. “The barn is being built as we speak. A second barn will have 200 stalls and is targeted for later this summer. This will allow for stabling at Century Downs. A third barn will be built in 2016 and will house an additional 200 horses. Total capacity will then be 500 horses.”
He’s got lots to do in the countdown to Opening Day. The stakes schedule has been developed and it features a good mix of Alberta Sire Stakes and Open events. It is noteworthy that some of the series’ names salute folks and animals who have made major contributions to Alberta harness racing. The As Promised Stake for 3 and 4 year old colts, honours the great pacer and stallion who died last year at the age of 24. He won 71 races in 104 lifetime starts as a pacer, and went on to sire 777 racehorses with at least one start. That list has earned $35.4 million lifetime.
Long time owners and breeders, Gordon Rumpel and Bev Sears, are saluted with stakes series named in their honour. So is Brad Gunn, who started and ran one of the oldest and steadiest breeding farms in the province. And so is the late Ralph Klein, who, as Premier, helped introduce the racing entertainment centre concept to Alberta racing in 1995. That program, which uses some of the revenue from slot machines to support live racing – and helps to keep several hundred people employed in the process – has been very much missed by the industry since it ended in Calgary after the 2008 season.
A recent tour of the site in late February showed workers are rushing to get the new racing entertainment centre operational by the first part of April. The 33,000 square foot building will be home to some 550 slot machines. The hope and expectation is that patrons at Cross Iron Mills and residents of the City of Airdrie (pop. 50,000), will include Century Downs as a new entertainment option in the region. There will be a full simulcast schedule so that racing can be delivered to the Alberta teletheatre network and to off-track locations including Century Casino locations in Edmonton and in Calgary.
As for the racetrack itself, the basic course has been laid out. There are two levels of surfacing that still need to be applied. Weather permitting, the hope is to get that work done later in March. The track will be 11/16ths of a mile in total, with a chute capable of being used for thoroughbred and quarter horse racing. For the first year, harness racing will have Century Downs all to itself..
“We’ll go a couple of days a week to start,” says ASHA’s racing manager, Fred Gillis, who has worked hard the past nine years to keep the sport alive in Alberta, and to help develop the Century Downs plan. “We hope to go to three days a week in June. We won’t have lights to start, which means a Friday program will be a late afternoon start. “
It won’t be a completed facility. Opening Day may arrive without a wide variety of dining options or a fully landscaped area, or a large paved parking lot. But Opening Day is coming – and for an industry that has wondered if that phrase would ever be used again in metropolitan Calgary, it’s a sweet sound indeed. Almost as sweet as it will be to hear Murray Slough intone once again….. “They’re at the post……they’re off and pacing!”
Written by Peter Watts