An Intern's Review: A Summer of Standardbred Racing

Aug 23,2018 Lauren Zandee

For the past four months, I have been observing, creating, editing and learning in the marketing department at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino. I have had an incredibly eye-opening experience to the world of Standardbred racing and the casino industry as the marketing and event support intern here at Century Downs and my knowledge level has grown exponentially in a variety of ways.

Typically, I am the author and videographer of these weekly Race and Pace and Down to the Wire pieces; however, as my summer student term is coming to an end, Jackson Wittup (Century Downs’ Racing Secretary) thought it might be interesting to reverse the roles. This week in the Race and Pace, I take you behind the scenes of my internship to show you an outsider’s perspective of Century Downs Racetrack and Casino.

Why were you working at Century Downs this summer?

“I am going into my fourth year at Mount Royal University pursing a bachelor of communications in public relations with a specialization in the business of sport and recreation. As a part of my program, we are required to do two work terms and this is my first one. I’ve always been interested in sport and entertainment public relations work so I thought Century Downs would be a good place to begin my work experience as it provides both sport and entertainment to its patrons.”

What do you do in the marketing department?

“One of my main responsibilities is creating the weekend racing programs for the Standardbred meet. I also create and execute a lot of events here at Century Downs, which has been my favourite part of the summer because I’ve been able to put on events for families that visit Century Downs and really broaden that audience to show them that there is something for everyone in the family. The betting and horseracing aspects are really exciting for the adults, but a lot of our events include kid-friendly elements as well such as pony rides, face painters or cotton candy stands so I think the kids really got a lot out of it and the families have learned another side to Century Downs.”

What have you learned about Standardbred racing and the backstretch over your term?

“I’ll be honest, it was a bit intimidating to come into this position not knowing anything about horseracing in general, and while I learned on my feet, the thing that surprised me the most was the dedication and care that goes into this sport. To learn about the effort and work ethic that the grooms, veterinarians, trainers and drivers put into this sport was incredible. I really wish more people knew about the hard work that goes on in the backstretch. Communicating this work ethic became one of my goals during this work term through our Race and Pace and Down to the Wire pieces to show people more of what goes on behind-the-scenes to allow Standardbred harness racing come to life.”

For more on my interview, check out the Century Downs YouTube page.


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Mark your calendars for the Alberta Breeders’ Fall Classic on September 16! Watch and wager on stakes races competing for over $350,000 while enjoying a warm salt pretzel with mustard, pork roast, potato grostl, beer gravy and Kaiser schmarrn for dessert in our Bier Garden! Tickets are $35 per person and are available at customer service or by emailing VIP tickets for a luxury Fall Classic experience are also available! The experience includes guaranteed covered infield viewing, a buffet lunch and a drink ticket! Buy your tickets now for $75 at customer service or by emailing You can also enjoy the Alberta Marketplace featuring a range of products and services that are all made in Alberta!

See you at Century Downs!