Day At The Track

Waples back for another "Legends" race at Clinton

05:20 AM 14 Aug 2013 NZST
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Ron Waples returns for
Ron Waples returns for "Legends" race

He has been an integral part of Clinton Raceway’s Legends Day since its inception back in 2001 and will be back again this year on Sunday, August
18. But Ron Waples still can’t get used to the thought of being considered a harness racing ‘living legend’.

Those who have followed the incredible career of the double Hall Of Famer would say otherwise. Waples has driven just shy of 7,000 winners and has
posted career purse winnings of more than $75 million in the process. Along the way, he has been blessed to sit behind some of the greatest horses ever to look through a bridle – horses like Ralph Hanover, Sugarcane Hanover, Peace Corps, No Sex Please, Dream Maker and Presidential Ball, just to name a few.

He has won almost every major race in the sport along the way, including the Hambletonian, Little Brown Jug, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and nine Breeders Crown titles.

“At the time, it’s all just another day at the office,” recalls Waples. “But now, when I reflect back on things, I realize just how fortunate I was to be associated with so many great horses and great people and to enjoy the success that I did.”

Waples will be looking to capture his second Legends Day Trot this year after winning the 2003 edition with Carrland Buddy in a then track record of 1:58.2. This will be his seventh consecutive Legends Day appearance and he says it is an experience that never gets old.

"I don’t really think of myself as a legend but it’s definitely very special to be asked to take part in something like this. I’m still a fan too and I’ve got to spend this day with some of the guys I’ve idolized myself like the late Buddy Gilmour for example.

“It’s always a great day and I love the atmosphere,” he explains. “I am amazed at how many fans come out and they’ll stand in line for a couple of hours just to get autographs. The folks at Clinton go above and beyond on this day and they’ve raised a lot of money for local charities too over the years which makes it even more special.” In fact, the previous six Legends Day events have provided $132,000 that go directly to benefit local charities in the Clinton area.

The Legends Day roster this year will include Waples along with Herve Filion, John Campbell, Bill O’Donnell, Ray Remmen, Keith Waples, Dave Wall,
Clint Galbraith, Bud Fritz, Jim Doherty, Doug Brown and Steve Condren – a group with combined purse winnings of well over half a billion dollars.

The $15,000 Legends Day Trot and Ontario Sires Stakes action for two-year-olds will be the highlight races for the afternoon. Fans will have an opportunity to meet this year’s legends and receive autographs starting at 2:30 p.m. There will also be live entertainment and pony rides in the park.

The Pineridge Barbecue Chicken dinner is scheduled from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. (tickets $15 each) and Legends T-shirts will be on sale for just $2. All proceeds, along with those from the silent auction that day, will go to the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation.

For complete details visit www.clintonraceway.com .

by Jessica Carnochan
 

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