Horsemen's Journal
The Horsemen's Journal
  • August 03 2017
    Notice of 2017 Annual General Meeting
  • July 24 2017
    Announcement - New Office
  • June 06 2017
    FLASH - HBPA ADMIN ASSISTANT JOB POSTING
  • May 30 2017
    Farewell Message - From Outgoing HBPA of Alberta Manager: Mat Monaco
  • May 10 2017
    ANNOUNCEMENT - APPOINTMENT OF MANAGER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
  • May 09 2017
    HRA Board extends CEO employment contract
  • May 08 2017
    FLASH – JOIN THE 2017 ALBERTA THOROUGHBRED RACING CLUB
  • April 06 2017
    FLASH - NOTICE OF GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
  • March 31 2017
    UPDATE - Clenbuterol Testing Protocol
  • March 31 2017
    ANNOUNCEMENT - NEW RACING FACILITY IN EDMONTON
  • March 22 2017
    FLASH - 2017 NORTHLANDS THOROUGHBRED STAKES SCHEDULE
  • March 21 2017
    FLASH - HBPA OF ALBERTA ANNOUNCES A 2017 PURSE INCREASE AT NORTHLANDS
  • March 17 2017
    FLASH - SPRING TRAINING FINALLY UNDERWAY AT THE PARK!
  • March 16 2017
    FLASH - JOIN THE 2017 THOROUGHBRED RACING CLUB
  • March 15 2017
    FURTHER UPDATE - OPENING OF SPRING TRAINING
  • March 12 2017
    FLASH – POSITION AVAILABLE: MANAGER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - HBPA OF ALBERTA
  • March 09 2017
    FLASH - UPDATE ON SPRING TRAINING AT NORTHLANDS
  • February 28 2017
    FLASH - NORTHLANDS 2017 STALL LIST
  • February 22 2017
    Riversedge Breaks Maiden at Gulfstream with Northlands Runner – Jakob’s Rocket Girl
  • February 17 2017
    FLASH – HBPA ANNOUNCES 2017 THOROUGHBRED RACE DATES
  • January 23 2017
    FLASH – 2017 STALL APPLICATION: NORTHLANDS PARK
  • December 16 2016
    FLASH - Job Opportunity - Throughbred Racehorse Groom Required by Owner/Trainer Joan Petrowski
  • November 20 2016
    2016 - That's a Wrap
  • November 03 2016
    FLASH - Northlands/HRA Announcement re: 2017/2018 Racing at Northlands.
  • November 01 2016
    Job Opportunity - Alberta Quarter Horse Industry
  • October 19 2016
    NORTHLANDS POST TIMES FOR FINAL FOUR (4) DAYS OF THE THOROUGHBRED MEET
  • October 17 2016
    One Day At A Time
  • October 15 2016
    FLASH – ONE LIVE DATE ADDED TO NORTHLANDS 2016 THOROUGHBRED MEET
  • October 14 2016
    FLASH - See Announcment from HBPA President
  • October 11 2016
    One Cannot Control the Weather
  • October 04 2016
    It’s All About The Numbers
  • September 25 2016
    Loaded For Bear
  • September 20 2016
    The Future Is Now
  • September 19 2016
    FLASH – HORSE RACING ALBERTA ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL APPLICANT TO BUILD A RACETRACK FACILITY IN THE EDMONTON AREA
  • September 16 2016
    FLASH - HRA STATEMENT RELEASED RE: NEW "A" RACETRACK FACILITY IN EDMONTON AREA
  • September 15 2016
    Of Yearlings and Stake Races
  • September 10 2016
    FLASH – FALL CLASSIC DAY SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2016
  • September 08 2016
    FLASH - FALL CLASSIC DAY PARTICIPANTS ARE INVITED
  • September 07 2016
    Good News and Some Not So Much….
  • September 03 2016
    FLASH - 2017 Incentives for Lower Claiming Horses
  • September 01 2016
    FLASH - MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT DR. STEVE SMITH RE: FUTURE OF NORTHLANDS
  • August 30 2016
    Post Derby Doldrums
  • August 22 2016
    2016 Canadian Derby Crowd – Un bee leave a ble!!!
  • August 17 2016
    It’s Show Time – in more ways than one!
  • August 09 2016
    Opportunity Lost?
  • August 07 2016
    FLASH - NOTICE OF HBPA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
  • August 02 2016
    Returns start coming in on Investment of and in “Big Bucks”
  • July 24 2016
    Lots of Quality Stakes Action in the US
  • July 18 2016
    Is he back to stay or just passing thru?
  • July 10 2016
    Boring........
  • July 04 2016
    Is Retirement on Hold – Yet Again?
  • June 26 2016
    Is it Spring, Summer, or Fall “at last” in Alberta?
  • June 20 2016
    Plenty of Stakes Action at Northlands this past Saturday
  • June 12 2016
    A Bump in the Road
  • June 05 2016
    Positive Year to Date (YTD) Results for the Northlands Thoroughbred Meet
  • May 31 2016
    Mixed Results from this weekend of thoroughbred racing at Northlands
  • May 27 2016
    UPDATE - ALBERTA THOROUGHBRED RACING CLUB
  • May 24 2016
    Weather Conditions Were less Than Ideal This Past Week
  • May 16 2016
    Upward Momentum in Business Continues after the second weekend of Thoroughbred racing at Edmonton Northlands.
  • May 11 2016
    FINAL - 2016 NORTHLANDS THOROUGHBRED RACE SCHEDULE
  • May 08 2016
    FLASH - 2016 NORTHLANDS THOROUGHBRED RACE MEET FAST OUT OF THE BLOCKS!
  • May 06 2016
    FLASH – ALBERTA THOROUGHBRED RACE CLUB
  • April 08 2016
    FLASH - NOTICE OF GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
  • March 22 2016
    FLASH - DISTRIBUTION OF SLOT REVENUE EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2016
  • March 22 2016
    FLASH - 2016 TB CALENDAR - NORTHLANDS PARK
  • March 08 2016
    FLASH - MESSAGE FROM HBPA OF ALBERTA PRESIDENT - DR. STEVEN SMITH DVM
  • March 03 2016
    FLASH - EDMONTON NORTHLANDS VISION 2020
  • February 29 2016
    FLASH – NORTHLANDS PARK 2016 STALL ALLOCATION BY TRAINER
  • February 12 2016
    CORRECTION: OPENING DAY OF THOROUGHBRED SPRING TRAINING – NORTHLANDS PARK
  • February 11 2016
    FLASH - NORTHLANDS PARK THOROUGHBRED SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE
  • February 05 2016
    FLASH - EQUINE Herpes Virus – 1 (EHV-1) Neurological Disease
  • January 20 2016
    FLASH - Northlands Stall Applications for 2016 Thoroughbred Meet
  • December 21 2015
    Farm Groom for Thoroughbred Horses Required by Owner Joan Petrowski
  • December 20 2015
    FLASH - MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT DR. STEVE SMITH
  • December 20 2015
    2016 Tattoo Fee - $100.00 Canadian Funds
  • December 01 2015
    FLASH - Recap of 2015 Northlands race meet and 2016 Outlook
  • November 09 2015
    Job Opportunity - Alberta Quarter Horse Industry
  • October 16 2015
    Job Opportunity Alberta Thoroughbred Industry
  • October 01 2015
    Job Opportunity - Alberta Thoroughbred Industry
  • September 17 2015
    FLASH: 2016 INCENTIVES FOR LOWER CLAIMING HORSES ANNOUNCED
  • September 08 2015
    FLASH - HBPA Officers and Committees Appointed
  • August 17 2015
    FLASH - RESULTS BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION
  • August 08 2015
    FLASH - NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
  • August 02 2015
    FLASH - REMINDER TO CAST BALLOTS FOR 2015 HBPA OF ALBERTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION
  • July 27 2015
    Wagering & Purse Account Stats: May 1 - July 25, 2015
  • July 05 2015
    FLASH - HBPA of Alberta Website Now Operational
  • July 05 2015
    2015 HBPA of Alberta Election - Board of Directors
  • April 20 2015
    Registration Tattoo - 2015 Fee Increase
  • April 07 2015
    FLASH - HBPA OF ALBERTA GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
  • March 30 2015
    FLASH - FINAL NOTICE TO MEMBERS WISHING TO RUN FOR 2015 HBPA OF ALBERTA ELECTION
  • March 17 2015
    FLASH - 2015 CONDITION CHANGE - WAIVER CLAIMING
  • March 14 2015
    Thoroughbred Foreman/Woman Required for Calmar Stable & Ranch
  • March 09 2015
    FLASH - 2015 ELECTION - HBPA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
  • February 27 2015
    FLASH - 2015 NORTHLANDS STALL ASSIGNMENTS BY TRAINER
  • February 16 2015
    Thoroughbred Groom Required by Calmar Stables and Ranch
  • January 29 2015
    Thoroughbred RaceHorse Groom- Required by Owner/Trainer Joan Petrowski
  • January 19 2015
    FLASH - 2015 NORTHLANDS STALL APPLICATION
  • December 16 2014
    Revision: Career Opportunity - Alberta Quarter Horse Industry
  • December 04 2014
    Career Opportunity - Quarter Horse Industry
  • November 12 2014
    2014 Northlands Thoroughbred Meet and 2015 Outlook
  • October 11 2014
    Career Opportunities - Throughbred Industry
  • September 29 2014
    Career Opportunities - Alberta Thoroughbred Industry
  • September 28 2014
    Career Opportunities - Alberta Thoroughbred Industry
  • September 12 2014
    Career Opportunities - Alberta Thoroughbred Industry
  • September 11 2014
    Career Opportunities - Alberta Thoroughbred Industry
  • September 04 2014
    Career Opportunities - Alberta Thoroughbred Industry
  • August 25 2014
    Career Opportunities - Thoroughbred Industry
  • August 23 2014
    Career Opportunities - Thoroughbred Industry
  • August 15 2014
    Podcast #3 (2014) Interview: Matt Jukich: Northlands Park Track Announcer
  • August 06 2014
    Wagering Stats - First 39 Days of 2014 TB Meet
  • July 31 2014
    FLASH - Notice of Annual General Meeting
  • June 28 2014
    Podcast #2 (2014) Max Gibb Interview - Canda Day Races; Millarville, Alberta
  • June 16 2014
    Wagering Stats - First 17 Days of 2014 TB Meet
  • May 06 2014
    Podcast #1 (2014) Interview: Paul Ryneveld - Century Casino
  • April 15 2014
    Flash - Passing of Ken Shaw
  • April 05 2014
    Workers Required for Edmonton Northlands 2014 Thoroughbred Race Meet
  • April 05 2014
    FLASH - NOTICE OF HBPA MEMBERSHIP MEETING
  • March 30 2014
    FLASH - UPDATE: FOREIGN WORKERS & NORTHLANDS DORMS
  • February 16 2014
    FLASH - FOREIGN WORKERS: 2014 NORTHLANDS MEET
  • December 23 2013
    2013 Northlands Meet Recap & 2014 Northlands Meet
  • November 20 2013
    Employment Opportunities - Assiniboia Downs Racetrack - Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • November 11 2013
    Podcast #6 (2013) - Interview: Trainer Dale Saunders
  • September 30 2013
    FLASH - Canadian Derby Winner wins G3 Oklahoma Derby
  • September 13 2013
    Podcast #5 (2013) - Interview: Track Announcer Sugar Doyle
  • August 13 2013
    Don Danard's Report to the Membership
  • August 12 2013
    Podcast #4 (2013) Interview - Tom Thornbury - Keeneland
  • July 29 2013
    FLASH - NOTICE OF HBPA OF ALBERTA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
  • July 29 2013
    FLASH - HBPA OF ALBERTA CALGARY OFFICE HAS MOVED
  • July 08 2013
    Podcast # 2013 (3) –Interview Norval Honey
  • June 24 2013
    2013 Northlands Meet – First 20 days
  • June 12 2013
    Podcast #2 (2013) Interview with Jockey Real Simard
  • April 27 2013
    Podcast #1 (2013) Interview Rod Cone
  • April 17 2013
    URGENT - Nurse Mare Needed
  • April 14 2013
    FLASH - MEMBERSHIP MEETING: MONDAY APRIL 29, 2013
  • March 24 2013
    FLASH - 2013 Federal Budget re: Section 31 Farm Loss
  • March 24 2013
    FLASH - NORTHLANDS OPEN FOR TRAINING MONDAY MARCH 25, 2013
  • March 22 2013
    FLASH - UPDATE RE: TRAINING @ NORTHLANDS
  • January 28 2013
    Message from Don Danard - President HBPA of Alberta re: Manager/Executive Director: HBPA of Alberta
  • December 05 2012
    FLASH - 2013 Northlands Thoroughbred Meet
  • November 23 2012
    Executive Director/Manager Position Available - HBPA of Alberta
  • October 16 2012
    Interview - Ron Grieves - 2012 Leading Trainer at Northlands
  • September 17 2012
    Interview – Don Danard: Incoming President - HBPA of Alberta
  • September 04 2012
    2012-2015 HBPA of Alberta Officers
  • August 28 2012
    Interview - Jim McFadyen: President HBPA of Alberta
  • August 14 2012
    FLASH - ELECTION RESULTS
  • August 13 2012
    Annual General Meeting - for the year ended December 31, 2011
  • August 02 2012
    Flash – Update: Revenue Canada – Section 31
  • July 26 2012
    FLASH – UPDATE OF NORTHLANDS TRACK REPAIRS
  • July 20 2012
    Flash – Update: HBPA Director Election
  • June 18 2012
    Interview – Chris Roberts: Northlands Venue Director – Racing & Gaming
  • May 17 2012
    Interview – Sue Leslie: President HBPA of Ontario
  • May 08 2012
    Interview - Scott Sinclair: Northlands Management Team
  • May 07 2012
    Opening Weekend – Business is Up!
  • April 11 2012
    Race Day Medication – Salix (Lasix)
  • April 11 2012
    2012 Election - HBPA Board of Directors
  • April 11 2012
    Horsemen’s Journal – now on line!
  • March 24 2012
    Flash – Update: Revenue Canada – Section 31
  • February 11 2012
    Update – 2012 Northlands Meet & Operational Items
  • January 31 2012
    Equine Infectious Anemia - EIA (Coggins Test)
  • December 30 2011
    2012 Jockey Contract "A" Track Racing
  • December 03 2011
    Alberta Connections win Zia Park Derby!!
  • November 30 2011
    2012 Thoroughbred Race Meet – Edmonton Northlands
  • October 19 2011
    Flash - HBPA of Alberta/Northlands Racing Contract
  • October 19 2011
    Interview - 2011 Leading Trainer: Joan Petrowski
  • October 12 2011
    2011 Northlands Meet - Final Thoughts and Stats
  • September 16 2011
    Flash - Remainder of 2011 Northlands TB Meet
  • September 09 2011
    Interview - Ted Davis: Alberta Owner/Breeder
  • September 03 2011
    Backstretch Newsletter - August/September, 2011
  • September 01 2011
    Update - 2011 Wagering & Purses
  • September 01 2011
    Minutes 2011 AGM - August 11, 2011
  • September 01 2011
    Dr. R. Cundy - Salix/Lasix Opinion
  • August 26 2011
    Interview - Exercise Rider: Patti Krotenko
  • August 24 2011
    Podcast #10 - Lianne Knechtel Interview
  • August 15 2011
    Interview: Pierre Esquirol – Esquirol Farms
  • July 27 2011
    Interview - Bob Giffin: Co-owner of Pender Harbour
  • July 17 2011
    FLASH - Pender Harbour Gets The Job Done!
  • July 15 2011
    Notice of Annual General Meeting (AGM)
  • July 11 2011
    Update - Wagering & Purses First 36 days of Np Meet
  • July 10 2011
    Interview - 2010 Eclipse Award Winner - Omar Moreno
  • July 08 2011
    Adam Lee - Inside Alberta Racing will be at Stampede Pk.
  • July 04 2011
    Flash: Northlands Racetrack currently Being Repaired.
  • June 29 2011
    Donver Stable to be Featured on CTV Edmonton Tonite
  • June 26 2011
    A Great day to be an Alberta Owner racing at Woodbine
  • June 24 2011
    Interview - Vern Dubinsky: Co-owner - INGLORIOUS
  • June 22 2011
    Alberta owned Pender Harbour in Queen's Plate
  • June 10 2011
    FLASH - National HBPA CEO on CBS News Tonight
  • June 09 2011
    Update - 2011 Northlands Wagering & Purses
  • June 08 2011
    Interview - Chris Roberts: Venue Manager Northlands
  • June 06 2011
    Congrats - Vern and Donna Dubinsky
  • June 06 2011
    Backstretch Newsletter - by Theresa Sealy
  • May 26 2011
    Update - Neurotropic Equine Herpes Virus -1 (nEHV-1)
  • May 19 2011
    Dr. Jodie Santarossa Interview
  • May 17 2011
    Neurotropic Equine Herpes Virus -1 (nEHV-1)
  • May 17 2011
    2011 Wagering - The Real Story
  • May 16 2011
    2010 Backstretch and Horse Person of the Year
  • May 13 2011
    Sugar Doyle Interview
  • May 13 2011
    Barry Brown
  • May 11 2011
    Slow Start to 2011 Northlands Thoroughbred Meet
  • May 04 2011
    Robertino Diodoro Interview
  • May 03 2011
    Bryant McAfee - Very Sad News
  • April 29 2011
    New & Improved HBPA of Alberta Website
  • April 29 2011
    2011 Thoroughbred Dates/Purses/Stakes 2012 Thoroughbred Race Dates
  • March 02 2011
    General Membership Meeting
  • February 28 2011
    UPDATE - 2011 TRAINING & LIVE RACING: EDMONTON NORTHLANDS
  • January 18 2011
    Congrats Omar Moreno
  • December 10 2010
    2011 THOROUGHBRED RACING - EDMONTON NORTHLANDS
  • August 02 2010
    HBPA Family Day
  • July 25 2010
    Summer Events
  • April 08 2010
    General Membership Meeting
  • April 08 2010
    2010 Purses and Stakes
  • February 25 2010
    2010 Northlands Thoroughbred Race Meet
  • February 07 2010
    Current state of affairs in the Alberta horse racing industry.
  • September 25 2009
    Alberta trainer Lorne Dupont recently retired
  • September 25 2009
    Reduction of 2009 Live Thoroughbred
  • September 01 2009
    Appointment of officers & HBPA Committees
  • August 17 2009
    Horsepeople wanted for Northlands Park Racetrack.
  • August 03 2009
    2009-2012 Board of Directors
  • July 24 2009
    HBPA Annual General Meeting
  • June 07 2009
    HBPA of Alberta Audited Financial Statement
  • June 02 2009
    Election: HBPA Board of Directors 2009 - 2012 Term
  • May 21 2009
    PRESENTATION BY UNITED HORSEMEN OF ALBERTA to HBPA
  • April 17 2009
    Letter sent to United Horsemen of Alberta (UHA)
  • April 14 2009
    REMINDER - LAST CALL FOR ELECTION!!
  • April 09 2009
    Northlands Stakes Schedule and associated Purses
  • March 31 2009
    Some sad news
  • March 18 2009
    Error correction re: HBPA Board of Directors Election
  • March 15 2009
    2009 Race Schedule, Notice of General Membership Meeting & Board Election
  • March 01 2009
    Letter from Dr. Rod Cundy to HBPA members
  • February 25 2009
    2008 in review and 2009 outlook
  • February 05 2009
    MOVE IN & SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE
  • 2014 Northlands Thoroughbred Meet and 2015 Outlook

     

    2014 Thoroughbred Meet Recap

    The 2014 Northlands thoroughbred meet began May 2 and concluded October 25.        During the meet only one (1) day was lost which was due to track conditions. The following Schedule denotes wagering, race days, races carded, starters and all information with respect to purse payments.

    NORTHLANDS PARK 2014 TB MEET
    FINAL STATS:  MAY 2  - OCTOBER 25, 2014
    INCREASE/
    WAGERING 2014 2013 (DECREASE) %
    ON TRACK $6,259,205 $6,007,445 $251,760 4.20
    OFF TRACK $13,811,464 $11,932,696 $1,878,768 15.74
    TOTAL $20,070,669 $17,940,141 $2,130,528 11.88
    DAILY AVERAGE $274,941 $230,002 $44,939 19.53
    LIVE RACE DAYS 73 78 (5) (6.40)
    RACES CARDED 603 645 (42) (6.50)
    TOTAL STARTERS 4,524 4,768 (244) (5.10)
    AVERAGE STARTERS/RACE 7.50 7.39 0.11 1.49
    PURSES
    OVERNITE PAYMENTS $5,861,315 $6,200,921 ($339,606) (5.48)
    STAKE PAYMENTS $2,006,200 $2,016,250 ($10,050) (4.99)
    PARTICIPATION FEES $179,400 $187,400 ($8,000) (4.27)
    ALTA BRED BONUS $472,508 $490,512 ($18,004) (3.67)
    $8,519,423 $8,895,083 ($375,660) (4.22)
    DAILY AVERAGE:  $82,749 $81,902 $847 1.03

    (OVERNITE & PARTICIPATION   FEES)

    Highlights for the meet:

    Ø  Despite running 5 less race days this year compared to 2013, total wagering on our product increased almost $2.1mm.  The majority of the increase was recorded off-track but it was most encouraging to see that on track wagering also increased by $277k. or 4.6%. 

    Ø  The marquee event on the calendar – Canadian Derby Day produced total wagering of $1,257,000 for an increase of $97,000 over last year. Of the total, $685,500 was wagered on track.  To put the importance of this day in prospective, the average on track wagering for all other days during the meet was $77,600/day or about 9 times less than Derby day.

    Ø  There is no question that Northlands continues to make strides in marketing and promoting our product to fans and customers which has resulted in increased attendance and wagering at the Park.

    Ø  As many of our members know, “A” track Horsemen especially the thoroughbred Horsemen were dealt a significant blow when Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) advised on the on the eve of our meet that the HBPA’s 2014 share of funding from slots would be decreased by $1mm.  Being financially prudent and fiscally responsible, The HBPA long ago planned for the obvious, thus your Association was able to internally fund the shortfall resulting in advertised purses remaining status quo.   So that all reading this are aware, the lack of racing in Calgary during the last seven (7) years has resulted in $50mm less being available to industry stakeholders since there has been no source of slot revenue from Calgary since March 31, 2008.

    Ø  In 2014 the $120 participation or starter’s fee was paid to owners of ALL horses in ALL races including Stake races finishing worse than 5th place.  This fee will continue to be paid in 2015 and the Purse distribution of 60/20/10/5/2% with the remaining 3% reverting to the Purse account will not be altered.  

    Ø  Qualifying Alberta bred horses earned an additional $472,508 with payments made directly from the 2014 Breed Improvement fund.  A 24% bonus was added in real time to the regular purse earnings.  Pursuant to the terms of the 2014 program, no “true up” was required however, since the actual amount paid was $114,312 less than budgeted, it is our understanding that this amount will be carried forward to 2015.  Assuming 2015 Breed Improvement funding remains similar to 2014, we do see an increase to the Alberta bred bonus.  

    Ø  The HBPA and Northlands continue with the Arbitration process pursuant to what the HBPA considers noncompliance by Northlands of the terms of Racing Agreement as it pertains to the maintenance of the Backstretch area. Progress is slow – very slow, however we would expect there will be some sort of resolution prior to the commencement of the 2015 meet.

    Ø  Changes to federal regulations, protocol, and fees made and continue to make sourcing of foreign workers to work on the backstretch most difficult if not impossible.  The HBPA as well as many other Parties has been as proactive as possible however, to date have been unsuccessful in affecting change to the current rules and regulations. 

    2015 Outlook

    Ø  As of today, 2015 thoroughbred races dates at Northlands have not been finalized.  Suffice to say that we will race between the goal posts established in 2014 and visualize that there will be somewhere between 73-77 live days on the Schedule.   For the majority of the meet, racing will again be conducted three (3) days per week.

    Ø  The expectation is that move in and training for thoroughbreds will commence on or about March 15, 2015.  Apparently there will be no Standardbred racing conducted at Northlands in February, 2015.

    Ø  HRA has yet to communicate to the HBPA the amount of 2015 funding that will be allocated to this Association from slots. According to the stated public timelines,  the current expectation is that the Century Downs Racing Entertainment Centre (REC) will open on March 31 with Standardbred racing commencing on                April 25, 2015.  A revenue stream will accrue to the industry from this source commencing on opening day and should continue in future years.  

    Ø  HRA has requested a single provider of simulcast wagering for the province.  At this writing The HBPA is not aware of who the provider will be and if in fact there will be any changes to the current arrangement.  Thus we have not begun the 2015 budgeting process for wagering commissions.

    Ø  Given the current information we have to work with we do not see changes to 2015 purse payments, however cannot commit to specifics since there are way too many moving targets which results in a lack of clarity in trying to make informed financial decisions.   Specifically,

    ·         2015 funding from HRA currently unknown.

    ·         Assuming that the Century REC opens on schedule, it will be operational for 9 months in 2015.  At this time there is no track record or history for the Facility with respect to slot play and win.

    ·         It is unknown what the positive impact of Century Downs will be on simulcast wagering at this Facility as well as the entire Calgary market since there has been no live racing in Calgary since 2008.

    ·         It is unknown if any change to the current simulcast wagering model will affect commissions earned by the HBPA from this source.  Currently we don’t know what Operator we will be dealing with in the Calgary market.

    Ø  As previously mentioned, not being able to source foreign workers will be a major challenge to our trainer members in 2015 and beyond.  Not having experienced backstretch personnel is problematic for our breed.  The Groom school and Exercise Riders program are most helpful but do not produce enough graduates annually to meet the current needs.  The HBPA will continue to be proactive, assisting where it can with respect to this matter.   

    Ø  We understand that the current plan is to have stabling for approximately 500 thoroughbreds at Century Downs by 2017 which would make it unnecessary to source outside locations for training and stabling.  During preliminary discussions with industry stakeholders, The HBPA has expressed interest in racing at the Facility subject to sufficient training and stabling being available at the track.           All have agreed that there will be no “A” thoroughbred racing conducted at Century Downs in 2015.

    2015 promises to be most challenging for this Association. Hopefully the ongoing Arbitration process with Northlands will be resolved.  Our current Agreement with Northlands expires December 31, 2016 and renewal of this arrangement under the current terms and conditions will be difficult at best.  The MOU with the Alberta Government ends on March 31, 2016 and despite assurances from HRA that a new deal would be finalized by now, nothing to our knowledge has materialized.  It is imperative that the current MOU be extended under similar terms and conditions since monies derived from our allocation of the slot revenue make up about 50% of our advertised purses. 2015 will also be an election year for the HBPA Directors.  I will start the ball rolling by soliciting members wishing to run for office to please declare your interest now.

     Members can rest assured that your management and Directors work tirelessly at always advocating the best interests of this Association in their dealings with all industry Parties. 

    As is customary, please address any questions, comments or concerns to the undersigned.

    Mat Monaco – HBPA of Alberta

    November 11, 2014