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Balzac "Critical" For Alberta Racing

Published: May 2, 2013 4:35 pm ET

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In an article by the Edmonton Journal, a handful of racing officials in Alberta have gone on the record in regard to the highly anticipated racetrack in Balzac. One official did not stop short of referring to the much-needed track as "critical" for Alberta horse racing.

In early March, United Horsemen of Alberta President Darcy Marler positively stated that because of a solid financial partnership with Century Casinos, the proposed racetrack project has never been as far along the path to becoming a reality as it is now.

On Wednesday, May 2, Northlands Park Racing and Gaming Manager Chris Roberts said during a news conference that the Balzac racetrack, which would be on the other side of the CrossIron Mills mall, is “the lynch-pin issue" for Alberta horse racing, and that it is a "critical" piece for the provincial industry.

Echoing Marler's sentiments from months earlier, Edmonton Journal quoted Horse Racing Alberta Chairman Rick LeLacheur as saying, “We’re certainly farther ahead now than ever.” He added that, “The financing is in place and the land is secured. All this has never happened before.”

“The HBPA has always been 100 per cent behind building a racing entertainment centre and track in southern Alberta to replace the revenue stream we lost in 2008,” said Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Alberta Executive Director Mat Monaco. His comments were in reference to Calgary's Stampede Park, which last offered live racing in 2008.

“If the Balzac Racetrack Entertainment Centre and track are up and running in 2015, thoroughbred purses and investment in bloodstock will rival the 2008 numbers," Monaco said.

(With files from the Edmonton Journal)

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