Day At The Track

Harness racing returns to Georgian Downs

02:03 AM 09 May 2018 NZST
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Georgian Downs, harness racing
Georgian Downs

They’re in the hands of the starter… and THERRRRRRRE THEY GO! They’re off and pacing. The sounds, sights and thrills of those thundering hooves echoing down the track return to Georgian Downs Saturday, June 2, ushering in another great season of harness racing to have fans shouting themselves… well, hoarse!

“Each season there is a sense of excitement as we move closer to opening the Georgian Downs facility for live racing,” according to Ontario Racing Operations assistant general manager Chad Gates.

And it looks to be a full summer of outstanding events, on the track and off, Gates tells BarrieToday.

“We will be starting off the season with $1 food specials at the concession stand at Georgian Downs. This is our traditional way of welcoming back our valued customers.” 

What’s more, Gates says, “throughout our 2018 race meet, race fans will have the opportunity to watch and wager on some of the best harness horses in Ontario. The Ontario Sires Stakes will be held at Georgian Downs throughout the summer months,” (July 14, 15, 17, 21 and 29, as well as on Aug. 14 and 19).

But, of course, the four-legged heroes don’t create this buzz all on their own. Gates tells us there are star drivers to watch out for.

“Bob McClure, Canada’s winningest driver in 2016 and 2017 (as well as Georgian Downs top driver in 2016 and 2017), will once again be displaying his talents at Georgian Downs. The likes of other top drivers in the industry are sure to make an appearance on Ontario Sires Stakes nights.”

Among them, “Sylvain Filion, James MacDonald (2017 World Driving Champion), and Rick Zeron, to name a few.”

Gates also says harness racing in Ontario is making something of a comeback after a few lean years.

“With the formation of the Ontario Racing Alliance, of which Georgian Downs is a member, harness racing seems to have become more stable than in the past. The harness racing industry is moving in the right direction.”

One of the big events that should have folks circling their calendars is the $75,000 Earl Rowe Invitational Trot Sunday, Aug. 19.

Moreover, says Gates, ‘to add excitement to the evening, we will also have Family Day with food specials, prizes, and loads of activities and fun for all ages.”

Harness racing at Georgian Downs runs Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday nights, starting June 2 at 7:15 p.m.


Reprinted with permission of Barrie Today

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