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Kentucky Derby horse racing to start up at Rocky Mountain Turf Club this weekend

September 4, 2020

Horse racing in Lethbridge is gearing up to make a comeback. Starting tomorrow, the Rocky Mountain Turf Club is bringing back horse racing in a limited capacity. Rose Rossi, the General Manager of the Rocky Mountain Turf Club, says that these events will feature a smaller crowd due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but even though races will look different, she knows fans have been waiting since May to get back into the excitement of the chase.

Rossi says that there is a huge economic impact of $48 million that horse racing brings in Lethbridge.

The Rocky Mountain Turf Club is not run on grants, and the COVID-19 pandemic slammed racing to a halt. But now, horse racing is back says Rossi, "We start our meet in May, and it starts with the Kentucky Derby. It had to be postponed. We are starting this weekend September 5, with the Kentucky Derby."

There is a limit of 200 spectators that are allowed to come to the festivities this weekend due to COVID-19 regulations. "Indoors in our space, it's 100. Everyone must follow the regulations. We have our city bylaw to wear a mask. We encourage everyone to social distance," adds Rossi.

Even jockeys will be wearing face masks this weekend as they race from the post.

Rossi wants the public to know that there is no charge for horse racing if you would like to come down and watch. But the upper floors will not be open due to spacing because of COVID-19.

There is big money in these races for the winners, "Our purses are just over $4,000. We have the Alberta Breds, and the Breeders' Cup as well. You're looking at $400,000 in purse money," says Rossi."

The Kentucky Derby will start up again on September 5, and races will go until October 12.

For more information on these events, you can visit https://rockymountainturfclub.com/.