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Standardbred Dates For Northlands In 2009


Published: November 29, 2008 10:26 am ET

Last Comment: November 30, 2008 2:18 am ET | 12 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Reports out of Alberta indicate that Edmonton's Northlands Park may host harness racing in 2009.

Many of the major players in Alberta's racing industry chime in on issues ranging from the proposed race dates at Northlands Park to the Balzac project in an in-depth report on the state of racing in Alberta in today's Edmonton Journal.

To read the Journal feature in its entirety, click here.

For an accompanying video feature by the Journal, click here.

November 30, 2008 - 2:18 amNorthlands Park is a

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Northlands Park is a community owned organization. If their management team try to run an organization in the real world I wonder how long they will last. Thoroughbred and Standardbred are like oranges and apples they both have different likers. You cannot say because more people like one prouduct then you will delete the other product.
I like to know what Northlands goal is, to make a profit (for Who) or to provide an entertainment facility for the community.

November 30, 2008 - 12:15 amThere is room for only one

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

There is room for only one breed in Alberta because Horse Race Alberta approved a 10 year license with a racetrack that was suppose to be completed in 2004 but due to poor planning among other things, it still won't be ready for 2009. The Alberta Standardbreds are the only breed negatively affected by the neglegence of the HRA Board. If the thoroughbreds were forced to share the burden of the so called 'transition years' which looks to be 5 yrs and counting and had to send their best stock in the Province to race on a B Track during the winter months with no summer racing, race maximum 6 horse fields every race due to the inadequate track design which cannot accommodate a full field, while racing for half the purse money, double the shipping and living expenses,include no advertising or signage and I will guarantee you the results would be the same, regardless of breed. If the HRA Board was a little less PRO THOROUGHBRED/NORTHLANDS and cared at all about Standardbreds, we would be seeing both breeds equally sharing the hard times created by HRA and Balzac Management. Instead they have decided to look after only one breed in Alberta and they couldn't care less what becomes of the other, it's criminal!

November 30, 2008 - 12:14 amWOW!!! Finally someone with

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

WOW!!! Finally someone with some sense. Listen to this person. The best predictor of future bahaviour is past behaviour...time for the powers that be to take a look around before it is to late. It happened in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, what makes Alberta so different that this kind of mentality is not going to destroy a great industry because of prejudice and greed. Get your heads out of the sands before it is to late....There really is room for both racing breeds and then everyone wins. THINK ABOUT IT....USE YOUR HEADS....
To the writer of the above article: Thank you for your sensible view points. Maybe it is people like you that should be making decisions...we would all be alot better off.

November 30, 2008 - 12:01 amGive your head a shake...I

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Give your head a shake...I don't know who you are, but if I am ever at a race track at the same time you are, I will recognize you because you will be the one with your head buried in the sand. Putting all of your eggs in one basket and doing away with an entire breed and genre of horse racing is rediculous.

If we all work together, we can have an industry that is second to none. ALL horsemen...thoroghbreds and standradbreds alike. It is this mentality that has caused horse racing to go down the drain in other provinces and it will happen here too. Time to wake up and smell the coffee man....this kind of talk is dangerous to the sport.

November 29, 2008 - 11:40 pmMust be a real sharp

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Must be a real sharp individual that wrote the comment about "good job HRA picking the right breed to race", heres how dumb a statement that is, once the harness are gone from Northlands and maybe Alberta, the thoroughbreds are right behind. Some of them have figured that out, the powers that be and were to put Alberta horsemen in this state of affairs have and had some big egos that got in the way of common sense and for that stupidity, everyone suffers!!!! Calling out these people responsible for this mess, own up to putting peoples livelihood in jeopardy.

November 29, 2008 - 11:02 pm"Only room for one breed"

sunrise (not verified) SAID...

"Only room for one breed" ... Where on earth are you getting that idea from and how do explain the last 40 years or so where both breeds coexisted perfectly well? Yes, the thoroughbreds are bringing in more handle than the standardbreds, but the numbers for BOTH have plummeted and probably at a similar corresponding rate. The years of uncertainty have taken their toll on the entire racing industry and the quality of the product. It should have never come to this "choosing" as you call it.

November 29, 2008 - 7:45 pmOf course the thoroughbreds

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Of course the thoroughbreds bring in more money. They get the prime dates, they get the best TV dates and they get the newspaper coverage. When the harness horsemen are shafted off to Grande Prairie there is no racing entries or results in the papers. HRA at first would not pay for simulcast coverage. No one knows where the horses are racing or when they are racing. Give harness racing the coverage the thoroughbreds get and see what they can generate. Thoroughbred racing might be the "sport of kings" but I know very few kings and lots of common folk that enjoy harness racing the sport of the ordinary man.

November 29, 2008 - 6:49 pmI just want to let you know

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

I just want to let you know our hearts go out to you in Alberta.
Stand together through this, you are gaining ground.
Harness racing in Alberta not only benefits the horsemen of Alberta, but it also benefits the horsemen of Saskatchewan, BC, Manitoba.....well come to think of it, harness racing in Alberta benefits the standardbred industry throughout Canada.
Jane Grainger

November 29, 2008 - 5:10 pmI think it is what has been

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

I think it is what has been coming for a long time now. There is only room for one breed of horse racing, and thoroughbreds bring in alot more then the standardbreds do. Good call by Horse Racing Alberta, they have chosen the right breed to race.

November 29, 2008 - 1:05 pmWhat a shame that the future

John Mundy (not verified) SAID...

What a shame that the future of harness racing in Alberta was left to a collection of fools and idiots.

Leading the pack was the HRA headed by Ian Reid the man who has almost single handedly destroed what others have taken decades to build.
And where is the former hero (Don Getty) in all this?
Do not blame Northlands Park for this situation, at least they understand the business fundementals of the game.

It is a sad day for fans of standardbred racing in Alberta.

November 29, 2008 - 12:48 pmSo Mr. Northlands.......

Smylie (not verified) SAID...

So Mr. Northlands....... What is going to happen when the track in Balzac is up and running and the Thoroughbred horseman want to run on the mile track in June, July and August? Aren't these YOUR prime dates for racing that breed. Are you telling us that they are going to forsake racing over a more horse friendly surface in the prime racing dates of the year to race at Northlands?
With standardbred horsemen heading to Ontario for more opportunity, what are you going to be left with for racing during your precious summer months. I'll tell you what...... nad , zip, zero, zilch. Your facility will sit empty from June until the thoroughbreds start training again the following spring. You will at best have what is happening in Saskatchewan right now, a province that is rebuilding a once proud tradition of Harness racing.
I hope you are happy with that scenario, most of the rest of what will be left of Harness racing isn't!

November 29, 2008 - 12:18 pmThis promise has been going

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

This promise has been going on for 10 or more years. The harness people in Alberta have lived in uncertainty for so long, I cannot believe that the "powers that be" can't come up with a solution for these people. There is a good harness racing product in Alberta and with all the money in that province it must be bad management that a solution cannot be found. Come on people, give these horsemen at least a temporary something to race for! Keep the Standardbred alive in Alberta!

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