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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
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Racing

Pays to be racyEdmonton horseracing started off as a friendly, small time affair at Rossdale Flats during the 1880s. Neighbours would bring out their best saddle horses and race them in informal competitions.

By the time competitors adopted the formal rules of the sport, horseracing was already perfectly at home on the Edmonton track. Following a move from the flats to its current location, the sport flourished under the care of Northlands Park's predecessors for nearly 100 years.

Through the introduction of parimutuel betting, and its long status as the only legalized form of gambling around, the sport saw an extended heyday. Strong returns and a high level of interest led to the location of the Canadian Derby on Edmonton soil, as well as to an increase in the number of live race-days.

Change for the bettorInterest in live racing has declined globally in the last few years, and so has the number of younger spectators. While some tracks have withered on account of this shift, Northlands adapted to it by offering simulcast racing, a games room, and upgrades to the grandstand.

Not surprisingly, simulcast contributions grew to outstrip local contributions, but introduction of the latter ensured the former would survive at the local oval.

Sport of kingsToday spectators can either sit in the open air, or inside a tiered dining lounge that features simulcast televisions and large bay windows overlooking the track. From there, they can watch the picturesque thoroughbred and harness competitions that take place every 25 minutes on a race day.

Future challenges to the sport primarily involve getting a younger crowd interested. Through the introduction of new games, and media spots aimed at a variety of age groups, Northlands is working towards that goal.

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Quicklinks

Thoroughbred

Harness

Northlands Race Regulation Bodies

Canadian Derby Sweepstake

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