"What a great opportunity to enjoy live horse racing and the be able to see, and wager, on all the races on the Belmont card, including the Belmont Stakes itself," said Rocky Mountain Turf Club CEO Max Gibb about the three-day race card Friday through Sunday.
"You can watch American Pharoah go for the Triple Crown Saturday right here at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club, surrounded by fellow horse racing fans, with the convenience of the RMTC parimutuel windows. As well the RMTC has live racing Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1:15 p.m.
"Due to the Triple Crown bid we only have seven races Saturday, but we'll make up for it with nine races Sunday. Enjoy this historic weekend in horse racing right here at Bullys, the home of hospitality." There'll be six races on tap as usual for a Friday night, closing up with a seven-horse, five and a half furlong run with top trainers like Pete Dubois, Les Adams, Bill Kinch, Angelle Carter, Marsha Willard and Daniel Oberholtzer all going head to head.
"Saturday we have one of my favourite races, the $7,900-added Lethbridge Paint Stake, with most of the top Paints in western Canada in action, including Les Webb's Kick Buttowski, the early favourite.
"Also this weekend we have a series of Quarter Horse qualifying trials. Saturday the first two races are the All Canadian Open Futurity Trails, while Sunday the opening five races feature the Alberta Bred Futurity Trials." The Open trials feature 11 two-year-olds. With My Mr. Millionaire of Bruce Ironshirt and Chaos On Tappanee, trained by Janice Sather among the early favourites to be among the top eight at day's end.
"The Alberta Bred Futurity Trials will see 34 horses vying for the eight final spots for the championship," says Gibb. "Certainly some of the top Quarter horse trainers, and jockeys, will be in action during these five 300-yard sprints. Trainers like Les Adams, Laurie Ferguson, Allen Goodsell, William Leech, Angelle Carter, Kurt Calton, George Ron Scott, and Bucky Stockwell all have more than one entry in these trials.
"Also Sunday we have the Sydney Ives Memorial, over seven furlongs, and the $9,550 Spring Overnite Sprint." The Spring Overnie matches Careless Hunter with Dubla Gold once again this Spring along with Streets Of Fire, and four other top three-year-olds and upwards.
A lot of pressure is on the jockeys during these features and sprint races, where one small error can move their mount out of the top eight for the Finals.
Larris Allen is still the leading rider at the RMTC with 18 wins but Trevor Simpson is only one behind. Ricardo Moreno is the only other rider in double figures with 10.
Lyle Magnuson, not known for his Quarter horses, is the top trainer at the RMTC this Spring, with 12 victories. Hard-charging Riley Rycroft is next is line with nine, and a leading Quarter horse trainer, William Leech, has seven wins this Spring.
Along with the Belmont and the live races the RMTC has a full array of entertainment for the race fans, from a large and varied bazar, live Dixieland Jazz music, a variety of food and drinks, simulcast wagering, to the kiddies petting zoo and the popular candy scramble.