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Gillis: Lacombe Meet A Go


Published: March 17, 2009 10:23 am ET

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This morning, Trot Insider spoke with Alberta Standardbred Horse Association racing manager Fred Gillis, who stated that a 15-day meet has been finalized for Alberta Downs in Lacombe, AB.

The track will be hosting live cards on Saturdays and Sundays beginning April 18, concluding June 7. The only exception to that schedule is that there will be no live card on Saturday, May 30.

"Everything became official yesterday (Monday, March 16) at 3:00 p.m.," Gillis told Trot Insider. He also told Trot Insider that weekly Monday meetings between Horse Racing Alberta, Alberta Downs, ASHA and the Rocky Mountain Turf Club since December.

Gillis told Trot Insider that horsemen have had 160 horses training at Alberta Downs for some time now, and news of the deal brought a great weight off the shoulders of the horsemen.

"I think they (the horsemen at Lacombe) breathed a big sigh of relief," Gillis said. "I think it was one of those things where the horsemen were thinking, 'okay, we're here, now we've just got to get this thing rubber-stamped.'"

Gillis told Trot Insider that many people and organizations had to be thanked for the 15-day Lacombe meet coming together. He stated that Grande Prairie and of its employees had to be given much credit, as the facility gave up 'B' dates and the corresponding purses to help make Lacombe a go.

"I believe that there currently would not be a standardbred industry in the province of Alberta without the help that Grande Prairie has provided over the past few years," Gillis told Trot Insider.

Gillis also said that many thanks had to be given to HRA, Rocky Mountain Turf Club and Alberta Downs in working to assemble the Lacombe meet.

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