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Big Handle Jump At Century Downs

Published: August 27, 2018 3:37 pm ET

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The recently completed fourth season of live Standardbred racing at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino posted double-digit growth in handle. On-track, wagering was up a very strong 29 per cent, while off-track horseplayers increased their wagers on Century Downs by 19 per cent. All-sources handle finished 21 per cent better than the same time period (51 racing days) in 2017.

“The increase in our on-track handle is amazing and frankly very fulfilling! All of our major events showed nice increases in attendance, but even on non-event race days we saw more people and a higher amount bet,” noted general manager Paul Ryneveld. “In its second year, our Calgary Racing Festival showed major increases, but Father’s Day and the Canada Day long weekend also were very strong. In fact, on July 2 we set an all-sources record for Standardbred racing at Century Downs of $182,000.”

The largest crowd of the meet and highest on-track handle was once again at the fourth edition of Packwood Grand on July 28. Packwood Grand is a unique event, particularly for Standardbred racing tracks, which encompasses guests dressing up ‘Derby Style’ and enjoying the afternoon with great food and drink. This is continually the top attended day at Century Downs.

Brandon Campbell was the leading driver with 53 wins and Sanford Campbell was the leading trainer with 36 trips to the winners’ circle. The battle for both of those titles came down to the last day of racing. Dave Lamont and Donna Wyse took home the leading owner award.

The Alberta Standardbred Horse Association was exceptionally happy with the meet, as it noted that two of its marquee races, the Ralph Klein Memorial and the Gord & Illa Rumpel Memorial, each featured purses of $125,000, with projected further growth for the future. Both races are part of the Mid-Summer Classic card which produced the second highest handle of the meet.

Currently, 2019 Standardbred dates are still in the works, as 2019 will also mark the opening of Century Mile in the Edmonton market.

(Century Downs)

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