Apr 30,2019Frank Fontana
With Northlands Park now closed for good, all eyes will be on the spanking brand new Century Mile Racetrack and Casino located next door to Redtail Landing Golf Course and close to the Edmonton International Airport in South Edmonton. Thoroughbred racing is scheduled to start on the one-mile race track for the first time tomorrow on April 28th. Nine races are on tap with a post time of 1:45 p.m. The first race will be run at five and one-half furlongs with the remaining races all to be run at five furlongs.
In addition to the racing entertainment, the site consists of a glamorous 25,000-square-foot casino including a state of the art off track betting parlour, 550 slot machines and electronic table games, 28 interactive terminals and 14 video lottery terminals and a grandstand building with a total of 89,700 square feet over several floors with the capacity for 800 stalls including all amenities required by horsemen. Racing fans will see a unique characteristic of this new track as it will have a very long 1,280-foot homestretch distance, making it one of the longest in North America. (See comparison chart below).
Race Track Stretch Run
Delmar 919 feet
Santa Anita 990 feet
Pimlico 1,152 feet
Oaklawn 1,155 feet
Churchill Downs 1,234 feet
Fair Grounds 1,346 feet
Keeneland 1,174 feet
Gulfstream 898 feet
Saratoga 1,144 feet
Belmont 1,097 feet
Race distances will range from 4.5 furlongs to 1 ½ miles including the very popular 7 furlongs race.
The 2019 racing season will be highlighted by the Count Lathum Oaks (final local prep for the Derby) onCanada Day, July 1, the prestigious Packwood Grand event on August 17 which will see the Northlands Distaff and Century Casino Oaks stake races contested, and the main event being the $150,000 Grade 3 Canadian Derby on August 18 to be run at a new distance of 1 ¼ miles (same as the Kentucky Derby). The 51-day thoroughbred meet runs from Sunday April 28 to Monday August 26.
Alberta Fall Classic day is scheduled for September 14 down at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino down in Balzac. Quarterhorse racing will also be offered. Harness racing fans can look forward to the $130,000 Western Canadian Pacing Derby and the $130,000 Don Byrne Memorial both to be held on September 15, with the biggest Harness day the $350,000 Alberta Superfinals scheduled for November 2.
Wagering pool takeouts always a contentious issue with bettors and racetracks will find this track customer friendly and appealing with the following take out rates which makes it one of lowest in the North America:
Win/Place/Show pools--14.75 %
Pick 5 & Hi-5-------------10.00 %
Pick 3 & 4-----------------15.00 %
Fans not being able to make it to the track will have options. Back on January 1, 2019, Century Mile took over operations of the pari-mutuel off-track and Internet horse betting in Northern Alberta from Northlands Park and added 20 off-track betting parlors in addition to the 13 already operated by Century Bets! in Southern Alberta. Visit www.cnty.com/centurymile for more details.