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Butler Comments On Balzac

balzac.jpg

Published: December 5, 2008 9:55 am ET

Last Comment: January 7, 2009 4:23 pm ET | 6 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Les Butler, Northlands Park's assistant general manager of Racing and Gaming, has been quoted as saying that he has been told that the proposed Balzac project will be operational in 2009.

"I have been told that IronCross (the long-delayed and controversial project at Balzac, north of Calgary) will operate in 2009," Butler was quoted as saying in an article today in the Edmonton Sun.

Butler went on to say, "if there are two tracks operating in Alberta, there is every reason to believe the sport of racing will do well (in Alberta) in the next few years."

Within the Edmonton Sun article, Butler made it clear that some of his optimism is due to the presence of Shirley McClellan as chair of Horse Racing Alberta.

"The only reason I believe there will be racing at Balzac in the future is that Shirley told me so," Butler said.

To read the Edmonton Sun story in its entirety, click here.

(With files from the Edmonton Sun)

January 7, 2009 - 4:23 pmas a groom for the "runners"

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

as a groom for the "runners" i would just like to say that, everyone has to relize that this sport is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!!! and the harness just don't bring in the money like we do, now i'm not saying that it's fair but welcome to the real world, not everyone is going to have an easy go of things. Harness just isn't what it used to be 5, 10 even 15 years ago. i have worked both, and i have to say they just don't fill up the stands like the "runners" do!

December 5, 2008 - 6:37 pmDarn, I was going to comment

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Darn, I was going to comment on how everyone has become accustomed to not believing a word these people say, but it looks like some people beat me to it. Go figure!

December 5, 2008 - 5:33 pmGiven the recent release of

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Given the recent release of the 2009 race dates by Horse Racing Alberta, it appears that the Balzac Track could host racing for the month of March, the last two weeks of May, the first week of June, the last three weeks in October and the first two weeks in November. If the information/opinion from Mr. Butler is correct, perhaps the tracks and HRA should revisit the published race dates and include Iron Cross in the schedule. Personally, I'll believe it when it happens.

December 5, 2008 - 4:17 pmNorthlands should be ashamed

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Northlands should be ashamed of itself. Reducing harness from 100 days to 50 and increasing runners from 60 to 96. Betting on the live product for both breeds is horrible. The big difference is the amount of premium thoroughbred tracks being simulcasted compared to harness. I know for a fact many harness players bet these major thoroughbred tracks as well.
Also, everyone knows the t-breds don't like the 5/8ths "bullring" at Northlands and will surely not return once the mile track at Balzac (CrossIron) gets going.
John Short also mentioned harness people going to Arizona....Must be for vacation, I don't know of any harness tracks down there in the last 30 years!

December 5, 2008 - 3:45 pmNice picture, too bad the

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Nice picture, too bad the horsemen cant put alot of faith into what Butler has to say, no matter what his source...

December 5, 2008 - 10:34 amUnfortunately, Northlands

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Unfortunately, Northlands administration and board have lost all creditability with the harness community.

The reality is their actions are clear that they do not want harness racing.

Alberta's harness industry will never move forward until Northlands is removed from the equation. They have lost sight of the reason why alternative gaming was implemented into their operation.

A private independant facility is needed in the Edmonton market which is committed in promoting and growing the sport. Only then can this industry move forward.


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