Describing the pre-season Open House at Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino last weekend as “awesome”, Director of Racing Jackson Wittup refers to it as the perfect launch for the return of harness racing beginning Friday night, Oct. 7.
“Harness Racing BC and the horsemen at Fraser Downs put on a great show with an estimated 550-600 fans of all ages turning out,” Wittup says. “It was the undertaking of staff and volunteers that made it a huge success and they deserve all the credit.”
The doors opened at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24 with standardbred enthusiasts enjoying backstretch tours, watching qualifiers and meeting trainers and drivers. Two of those drivers – Dave Hudon, Jr. and Jim Abbott – entertained families with two-seater jogging rides that proved to be the most popular event on the grounds.
The Open House was to bring awareness to the resumption of racing at Fraser Downs beginning Friday, Oct. 7 (7:00 p.m.) with 31 dates on the calendar through October, November and December and the 2012 dates to be confirmed shortly.
Raj Mutti, Regional General Manager, BC Racing, announced earlier that the take-out rates at Fraser Downs have been reduced to 15% for Win, Place & Show wagering as well as Win 4 wagering.
RACING THREE TIMES A WEEK
During the first six weeks this year there will be three-times-a-week cards on Friday nights (7:00 p.m.) with the Saturday and Sunday afternoons start times having been changed to 1:45 p.m. That format goes until Sunday, Nov. 13. From that point there will be racing on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. The only adjustment happens on Boxing Day Monday (Dec. 26) with a 1:45 p.m. start.
The Oct. 7 Opening Night festivities include ‘Cloverdale Chamber Night at the Races’ where fans can experience the thrill of ‘owning’ a standardbred for the night without any costs involved. By reserving a table for four or more in the Clubhouse, fans can enter a chance to ‘own’ a horse for the night. The package includes a private backstretch tour, watching from trackside and being escorted to the Winner’s Circle for souvenir photo should your horse win.
“We’re excited about what we refer to as our ‘new beginning’,” says Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino General Manager Ken Stratton. “There’s a whole new feeling of optimism in the air.”
The Fraser Downs racing schedule is available at www.fraserdowns.com