Ladies do it Right

Apr 01,2018 Krystle Frisky

On Sunday, April 1st Century Downs Racetrack and Casino is opening its doors to its fourth live Standardbred Racing season with a post time of 1:15 p.m. In preparation of the new season, ladies were invited to track to learn more about the industry… and give men a run for their money.

This past weekend, Century Downs Racetrack and Casino hosted its first Horse Racing 101. Fourty ladies, and a few brave men, came together to learn about the one thing that keeps us going: horse racing. The workshop featured different aspects of the industry that could intrigue the common bettor and quirks to look for when placing a bet at the track.

The three-hour event hosted several interactive mini-workshops that were designed to dig deep into the horse racing industry. Guest speakers from all aspects of our industry were brought in to talk about their respective fields, and highlight their duties and why they are important to the continued success of  horse racing in our province. The speakers represented drivers, trainers and grooms, as well as members involved in the racing community.

Upon arrival, guests received a Betting Basics course while eating brunch, hosted by Shelley Hastey and Tim Lawson. They were then invited to the Apron of the racetrack to watch driver, Dave Kelly, complete a training mile with ANYWHEREANYTIME, or more commonly known as Frankie. Don McDougall, Vice President of the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association (ASHA) explained what a training mile is, and what a driver can expect from his horse.

Trainer Kaitlin Haining, Groom Chelsea Chase and Don McDougall then gave an interactive demonstration of the difference between a jog cart and a sulky. Guests were able to take a seat and put themselves in the driver’s shoes to understand what it takes to get behind a 1000 lb animal.

Guests were then split into three teams to get up-close and personal with our industry experts. They were taken to our Off-Track Betting area to learn about betting on races from tracks across North America, and learned how and where to place a bet at Century Downs. They were also given the opportunity to learn about the Century Downs Racing Club, which they could buy shares in a two-horse stable with NAKKERTOK and NORTHERN TITAN.

The next stop was a visit to the “eye in the sky.” Participants travelled to the Judges’ Room on the third floor and saw the view from the top. Tim Lawson spoke briefly about Century Downs’ history, and what the judges look for before and during each race.

Participants were then given the opportunity to talk to Trainer Kaitlin Haining and Driver Dave Kelly about the ins and outs of industry, what it takes to get into that position and why horse racing is a family affair. Guests were then able to get up-close with Groom Chelsea Chase. She brought tack, tools and knowledge to teach people about the strenuous and important role of every groom.

To end the day off, our studious guests viewed 2017 footage from one Standardbred race and one Thoroughbred race to practice their newly learned betting skills. Winning bets took home a $10 betting voucher. All guests were entered to win a private viewing suite for up to 12 guests, valued at $1,500, which included complimentary programs, a private Betting Basics, a named feature race, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the industry experts who helped make this event successful! Don McDougall, Shelley Hastey, Tim Lawson, Kaitlin Haining, Chelsea Chase, Dave Kelly, Jackson Wittup and Colleen Haining.

Interested in participating in the next Horse Racing 101? Email [email protected] to get your name on our waitlist! For more information on upcoming events, go to or check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!