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Racing Returning To Alberta

Published: May 11, 2021 9:38 pm ET

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Live harness racing will be returning to Alberta next week after the province’s reopening process forced a delay to the 2021 season.

The last harness race in Alberta took place on Dec. 12, 2020 at Century Mile. Racing was slated to being in 2021 at the end of March, however the province had not yet moved into Stage 3 of its reopening protocol which delayed the opening of racetracks and casinos.

On Tuesday (May 11), Century Downs hosted a session of 14 qualifiers in preparation for the first race card of the year, slated for next Tuesday (May 18). Spectators will not be allowed on the grounds at Century Downs due to current COVID restrictions and the facility – including the casino – still remains closed to the public.

As it stands, Century Downs has 48 race dates approved for 2021 from May 18 through Nov. 7. Racing will take place at Century Downs on Tuesdays except for Sept. 14, which is the week of the ASHA Yearling Sale (Saturday, Sept. 25). The track adds Sundays to its racing schedule beginning on May 30. Racing will switch to Century Mile for 11 race days beginning Nov. 20 on a Saturday-Sunday schedule through Nov. 12, when racing will take place only on Sunday. Century Mile is also scheduled to host a card on Dec. 31.

The Track On 2 will host 15 race dates from July through September, shifting from its traditional Sunday offering to mostly Saturday cards.

These dates are subject to change according to Paul Ryneveld, General Manager of Century Downs.

"All of this is predicated on Alberta Health Services allowing us to continue racing and the casinos opening by July 1,” Ryneveld told Trot Insider. “In the event the latter does not happen, there will be reductions in dates."

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