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Doyle On Upcoming Northlands Meet


Published: November 18, 2009 4:32 pm ET

Last Comment: November 20, 2009 12:27 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

It is an understatement to say that horsepeople in the province of Alberta are pleased to be back racing at Northlands Park, even though there will be just 19 cards of live racing in the upcoming meet. Though he won't be hitting the track himself, announcer Shannon 'Sugar' Doyle is as stoked as anyone to be returning to the Edmonton facility.

"I'm really excited to be back in Edmonton," Doyle told Trot Insider. "It's where I got my start and I feel quite at home behind the mic here."

The live cards will kick off Friday, November 20. Northlands will be hosting a four-card-per-week live schedule with pari-mutuel action in the spotlight on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until the meet concludes December 20. First-race post time on weekdays will be 6:00 p.m., while the weekend action will get underway at 1:00 p.m.

"All kinds of great promotions are on tap to start off the meet," Doyle explained. "We have 'College Combat' night Friday evening. University students will battle on the track for cash. Saturday features our $7,000 'Lucky 7' Handicapping Tournament. (It's) just an awesome way to start off the meet, so we're hoping for good crowds."

With Northlands ready to offer both loyal patrons and horsepeople a compact schedule, the top-end stakes action will be plentiful. In addition to a $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open Friday, Northlands will also be playing host the second leg of the Alberta Heartland Series and a pair of $15,000 eliminations for the Western Filly Pace for three-year-olds. Saturday will feature a single Alberta Parkland division as well as two $15,000 Western Pace eliminations for colts and geldings.

"We'll be getting at the big money events right away," said Doyle. "Elims for the $100,000 Western Filly Pace go Friday, with the $100,000 Western Pace elims, for boys, going Saturday afternoon -- Sixdaysontheroad and Wrangler Hitech will finally lock horns in one of those elims."

"Trainer Travis Umphrey has returned, from Ontario, with APs Moneymaker and Blended Whiskey, so that's a great boost for us here. Even if it's only for a month, his presence here will add to the excitement both on and off the racetrack."

With solid purse money up for grabs and the accommodating Northlands facility hosting the action, the province's top horsepeople will be converging on the venue, thus guaranteeing the most competitive of racing environments.

"We'll have top horsemen Keith Clark, Brandon Campbell and Gerry Hudon here," Doyle told Trot Insider. "It looks like Terry Gallant will ship in from Prince Edward Island for a tour around Northlands. He's listed to drive Fred Lamont's Doober Hoozzitz in Friday's evening's 4th race -- a $23,000 stakes division of the Alberta Heartland for four-year-old mares."

A positive way of looking at the reduced amount of Northlands race dates for the meet is that each card will be packing a punch -- none more than what is scheduled for Saturday, December 5.

"I'm really looking forward to December 5," the announcer said. "The 'Battle of Alberta' Super Finals will go to post that day with over a half-million dollars in purse money up for grabs. It will be the richest day of racing -- by far -- that I've ever been involved with."

To view the entries for Northlands' Friday card, click here.

To view entries for Saturday's card, click here.

November 20, 2009 - 12:27 pmThanks Sugar for having such

Earla Sifert SAID...

Thanks Sugar for having such an upbeat attitude, great to have some ink for Harness Racing at Northlands.

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