April 19th, 2024

RMTC opening weekend postponed

By Dale Woodard on May 15, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDsports@lethbridgeherald.com

The Rocky Mountain Turf Club will wait another weekend before the horses charge from the gate.

On Thursday, the RMTC announced the opening weekend of racing — minus the fans due to COVID-19 protocol — would take place Saturday and Sunday with the Preakness Stakes weekend.

But late Friday, the starting gate closed when Horse Racing Alberta received a letter from Alberta Health stating jockeys and gate crew would have to be tested.

“We had been told verbally that all was good to go by Alberta Health and that they would be forwarding the approval letter,” said RMTC CEO Max Gibb. “We got a letter from Horse Racing Alberta that said everything was OK and that they had confirmation we were good to go. All of a sudden the regulations came in and there were some tests which were required and we didn’t have the time to get it done this weekend.”

Gibb said it takes two or three days for the jockeys and gate crew to be tested, resulting in the opening weekend postponement to the following weekend.

“It was impossible to get it done in the timeline,” said Gibb. “We had only received a letter (Friday). So we are confident we will be able to run next weekend, we just won’t be able to do it this weekend.”

Gibb said the tests are for any of the crew working close together at the track.

“It’ll be the jockeys and the gate crew, people who are immediately close to each other within the six-foot span,” he said.

Despite the postponement, fans can still bet on the Preakness on xpressbet.com or at http://www.rockymountainturfclub.com.

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