Sunday, 05 June 2016 14:41

Positive year-to-date results for the Northlands thoroughbred meet

Written by Norm Castiglione
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For the first thirteen (13) days of the 2016 meet, total wagering on the live product amounted to $3,433,041 ($264,080/day) compared to $2,986,106 ($248,842/day) in 2015. The upward trend continues with YTD wagering now up $446,935 or nearly 15% compared to last year.

Overnight payments (including the Starter/Participation Fee of $120/start) for the first ten (10) days ending May 31, 2016 totaled $787,340, or $78,734 per diem. This compares to 2015 figures of $842,727 or $84,273 per diem respectively. 2016 purse payments are within budget.

The Owners bonus paid to Alberta bred horses finishing 1, 2, 3 in qualifying races totaled $101,714 for the above noted period compared to $104,151 paid last year.

Last fall in an effort to entice horses participating in lower claiming categories to return to race at the 2016 Northlands meet, HBPA Alberta introduced an Incentive Program for Owners. Eligible horses making their third start after August 1, 2016 qualify for bonus money of up to $1,000. Thus far for the period ending May 31, 2016, a total of $47,900 has been paid under this Incentive Program which is administered by the Northlands Bookkeeper’s office. The HBPA appreciates all of the owners participating under this Program.

Beginner’s Luck? 

HBPA Director Curtis Landry and a major force in the local ownership ranks has been working tirelessly during the past two (2) months rounding up members for the newly formed Alberta Thoroughbred Racing Club. First off one would have to say that his efforts were rewarded by the horse god on Saturday with two personal victories including first time two year old starter – Fall in Time who he owns in partnership with Don Danard. A visually impressive winner by more than 12 lengths going 3½ furlongs is not a common feat. Furthermore he was ridden by Jockey Keishan Balgobin who flew in from Trinidad about 12 hours earlier and one can only assume that he must have completed all his paperwork requirements just prior to post time. Not a bad start – second mount, first win on an extremely fast two year old.

We would think though that the most pleasing experience for Curtis would have occurred in the 6th Race when Alberta Thoroughbred Club’s first starter Streakin Discreet also won by a margin of 12 lengths in front of a large Northlands crowd. You cannot not make this stuff up - how good is this for the neophyte owners? Prior to the race there were club members who visited Craig Smith’s barn taking in what the backside of a racetrack has to offer. The report was that 50 club members were in the Winners Circle photo with others on the outside looking in. Needless to say it was an exciting moment for all involved. We further understand that immediately following the race there were many others signing up to be part of the action. Winning is obviously a very effective marketing tool.

Pressure is now on the other Club Trainer – Rod Cone who has a two year old named Swift Sally Swift for the Group. Rod advises that filly is about one more work away before making her debut most likely later this month. All in all it was a great day for thoroughbred racing at Northlands!

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