Stampede Park doors open for horse racing

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:16 AM ET

Stampede Park is still in the horse racing game.

The Sun has learned that thoroughbred racing will return to the Calgary track next spring. A formal announcement is expected later this week.

Although it appeared to many people that Stampede Park had closed its doors to racing last month, this new one-year deal will be a major shot in the arm to the racing industry.

It will mean Northlands Park in Edmonton will likely be able to host harness racing next spring and then host a major thoroughbred meet next summer.

Without a deal, the Edmonton track would have likely held thoroughbred training and racing from February to late September next season, leaving the harness industry in major trouble.

The latest arrangement with Stampede Park also makes it relatively clear that the proposed $200-million racetrack near Balzac won't open until at least 2009.

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