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More On Calgary-Balzac Track

Published: December 5, 2012 12:55 pm ET

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"We've never been this far or this firm with anybody. In the past we've had the design of what we wanted to build and never really found the funding we needed. Here we've gone about it a little bit differently and found the funding first."

On today's episode of Trot Radio Norm Borg talks to Darcy Marler, the President of the United Horsemen of Alberta. Marler discusses the details on what will be Canada's newest racetrack - the planned tri-breed racetrack in Balzac. The size of the track, at 11-16ths of a mile, made many wonder just who would be racing there and why that size. Marler noted that this configuration fits quarter-horse, thoroughbred and harness racing.

"As we've downsized the land holdings, we tried to get the same original mile and seven-eighths - remember we were two tracks - we still tried to do that, we just don't physically have that room on the land now. We tried to do six or six-and-a-half furlongs. Works great for thoroughbreds, doesn't work for standardbreds. So the next best thing was five-and-a-half furlongs."

Marler feels that this new racetrack project will enhance standardbred racing in the province and not take anything away from Alberta Downs or Northlands Park.

"Talking to Northlands, they're very much in favour of the new track. They've basically been shouldering the entire industry for the past three or four years so they're looking forward to having another partner here in the south so we can switch off and have both breeds fairly represented in the province."

The next few months for UHA and Marler will consist of working with the ALGC on this approval, working with the County of Rockyview on the required building approvals and finalizing the design and layout of the Racing Entertainment Centre, grandstand, racetrack and backstretch. Marler notes that UHA "probably couldn't ask for a better partner" than Century Casinos, an international company with a solid base already in the province.

To hear the full interview with Borg and Marler, including what amenities are in store for the entertainment centre and when Marler expects the track to be ready for live racing, click the play button below.

Episode 280 – UHA President Darcy Marler
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

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