Grand River Raceway set for opening week

07:50 AM 29 May 2014 NZST
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Grand River Raceway, harness racing
Grand River Raceway
Iron Horse Photo

ELORA, ON - On June 2, Grand River Raceway kicks off its 11th racing season of live harness racing with exciting new features and returning favourites.

Grand River Raceway will stage 48 cards this season, which spans June through September. The half-miler will feature racing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. through September (Full schedule)

Opening night on June 2 marks the fifth annual Local Biz Night, presented in cooperation with the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce. The event hosts more than 100 local businesspeople paired with a horse in the Local Biz Night Race. Prior to the dash, guests are treated to a cocktail reception hosted by the OLG Slots At Grand River Raceway, followed by dinner and a trip to the paddock to meet their horse.

Wednesday, June 4 will kick off the first of four one-month Betting Contests held every Monday and Wednesday race night throughout the season. Entry is free with the purchase of a race program and there's a total of $4,000 in cash prizes to be won.

Friday, June 6 is the track's first Fun & Frivolity Friday Night of the season, and the second annual Bring A Friend (BAF) national challenge. The BAF challenge encourages those who love the races to bring someone they know who has never been before. Grand River will be offering free rides in the starting car, winners circle presentations and paddock tours to those who register for the Bring a Friend challenge. (Click HERE to register) The first 200 registrants who arrive will also receive a free program.

Friday night will also play host to its first-ever Media Race where local media celebs suit up and square off in a race to the finish line.

Media drivers:

  •  Kelly Waterhouse, Morning Show Host, The Grand 92.9 FM
  •  Randy Steinman, Sports Director, CTV Kitchener
  •  Meagan Leonard, Reporter, Wellington Advertiser
  •  Simon McGhee, DJ, 107.5 DAVE-FM

The crew from 107.5 DAVE FM returns to broadcast live from the tarmac every Friday night all summer long.

Kids will enjoy the NEIGHbourhood, an interactive horse education program held under the Tarmac Tent from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

The Tarmac Show revs up the antics on Fridays with a new Bouncy Pony Stakes Elite Hop championship. The winners of each Friday night's bouncy pony race will return on the final Friday night of the season (September 5) to determine the ultimate champion.

Upcoming summer happenings at Grand River Raceway include an all new Murder Mystery dinner show happening twice each month (starting June 19 and 21), a Mutt Show on July 6 and an all-new online handicapping tournament happening each race night between June 16 and Aug 4.

For more information on these events, please visit our website.

Major stake races this season include 11 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) events and the 24th annual Industry Day Celebration on Monday, August 4. The popular afternoon card features the 17th annual Battle Of Waterloo and the sixth annual Battle Of The Belles.

A newly formatted $16.99 buffet will be featured every race night in the Captain's Quarters tiered dining room overlooking the racetrack. Several race dates are already sold-out and reservations are always highly recommended by calling (519) 846-5455 ext. 247.

Post time for the season-opener on June 2 is 6:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.GrandRiverRaceway.com.

by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway

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