Lethbridge’s Rocky Mountain Turf Club kicks off successful opening weekend

LETHBRIDGE — Despite having to cancel Sunday’s races due to poor track conditions brought on by heavy rain, there’s a real buzz at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club.

The club was forced to postpone its opening day on May 15th after finding out last minute that all jockeys and gatekeepers needed to receive a negative COVID-19 test result before racing.

The delay came as a frustration, but now that things are rolling again, there’s a real sense of excitement from fans who have waited months to get back in the stands.

However, spectators are currently not allowed to attend races. The club is hoping things will change in the coming months for fans who are itching to get back to the track.

“Fans were lined up on (Saturday) and we said, nope you can’t come in but they said, ‘Are you sure? Just a few of us?’ But we said no we can’t,” said the club’s CEO Max Gibb.

“They’re excited, they want to come and definitely there’s a couple of thousand that are really enthusiastic.”

All of the races are live streamed on the club’s website, and bets can only be placed online through Xpressbet.

The first day of racing surpassed expectations with more than $70,000 in best placed from across North America.

“They’re watching us from California, Florida, New York, everywhere. We get lots of comments and interest.” Said Gibb.

Having to navigate the ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions in the past year hasn’t been easy for the Rocky Mountain Turf Club.

Being able to reopen and get racing back underway is a crucial.

“We’ve gotten hit hard. Like, we are a casino, we are an event centre, there’s six banquet rooms, we are a race track and as far as catering, last year and this year this year, it’s done.” Said the club’s general manager Rose Rossi.

The clubs is fielding more calls this year than ever before from fans who can’t wait to watch more races.

But for Rossi, getting fans back in seats to watch the events unfold in person can’t come soon enough.

“That’s what I look forward to. That, and all the kid’s activities that we provide it isn’t happening and you know, it’s been different.” She said.

For more information on Horse Racing in the province, you can visit Horse Race Alberta’s website. 

View original article here Source