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McClellan and Dr. Reid On Race Dates

Published: December 3, 2008 9:58 am ET

Last Comment: December 4, 2008 12:57 pm ET | 5 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

In a note uploaded to its website, Horse Racing Alberta officials Shirley McClellan (chair) and Dr. David Reid (CEO) have commented on the allocation of standardbred race dates for 2009.

To view the allocation of '09 race dates, click here.

The HRA note, which contains five points, was uploaded to the HRA website. The five-point list appears below in its entirety.

1. Why the harness dates in the winter and late fall at Edmonton's Northlands Park: "You have more flexibility in standardbred (racing). They can race in colder weather and more often. And we think we can offer a good meet in Grand Prairie," said HRA chair Shirley McClellan.

"We started off the year with zero (harness) dates at Northlands Park and now have 50," said Dr. David Reid, HRA CEO.

2. What will the purse structure be at Grande Prairie during the 46-day meet (June 13-September 26)?: "We are working hard at a purse structure that will attract top quality (horses) to Grande Prairie," said Reid.

3. The feeling in the thoroughbred community on receiving four fewer days than hoped at Northlands Park, dropping from 100 to 96: "The horsemen don't realize there is a real world out there," said Reid, referring to the slowdown in the economy.

4. Will there be any racing dates at the proposed Balzac facility operated by the United Horsemen of Alberta in 2009?: "We're not saying it's a non-issue but our industry has to know (dates for 2009 right now). At this point, we can't say with any certainty there will be racing (in '09 at Balzac)," explained McClellan.

5. There is speculation the harness horsemen want 50 days at the proposed racing facility near Lacombe: "With Lacombe, we are not sure of the logistics," Reid stated. There is talk within HRA that the Lacombe track could be ready for training next year.

December 4, 2008 - 12:57 pmMaybe it is time to

Cathy (not verified) SAID...

Maybe it is time to appreciate some of the people that are trying to make things better and I believe Shirley McClellan is one of them. She took on a thankless job that most people would have run from. Instead of turning her back she came on board and has gone to the table for us the Standardbred people. For that I thank you Ms. McClellan.

This situation started when a license was awarded to a track that didn't even exist and may well end that way if we continue to whine about life being not fair and drive away those willing to help.

Our situation is far from ideal and will not likely change until the new track at Balzac is up and running. That should be our focus. Hopefully, better decisions today will work to make the future better for all of us.

December 4, 2008 - 10:44 amI own two young horses not

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

I own two young horses not sure what to think about racing them in GP yet even if its for the sires stakes series.Having said that there are still major problems yes but I think we should be giving Shirley McClellan a big hand she walked into a terrible situation and did a great jobin very short time on the job.If this is any indication of what Shirley McClellan can do HARNESS RACING WILL BE ALLRIGHT IN ALBERTA GREAT JOB SHIRLEY

December 3, 2008 - 8:08 pmheres i stupid question,

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

heres i stupid question, where are the sires stakes going to be raced??? Grande Prairie, that should be interesting

December 3, 2008 - 7:49 pmAccording to David Reid we

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

According to David Reid we should be happy getting 50 days at Northlands considering the alternative was zero, Who does this guy think he is?

December 3, 2008 - 11:58 amThe biggest mistake in all

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

The biggest mistake in all of this is Northlands providing thoroughbred training in March and April. They should be racing harness at that time and the runners should train at their own training centres, farms, Grand Prairie, Lacombe, Lethbridge, etc. They should bring their horses ready to race when their meet starts in May. After all they have only lost 4 days at an A track...harness have lost 45!

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