London, Ontario, September 10, 2015 -- Live harness returns to The Raceway at Western Fair District in less than a month and track officials are gearing up for what promises to be another exciting season. The Raceway will operate on a three-day-a-week schedule this Fall with post times on Mondays and Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. and Fridays at 7:15 p.m.
The first live race day is slated for Tuesday, October 6th and the meet will kick off with a bang on opening weekend, Friday, October 9th, as a new event will be unveiled.
The $50,000 Oktoberfest Classic Invitational will feature the best local aged pacers and will be held in conjunction with Oktoberfest - Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival, which is coming to London for the first time. The marketing team is busy planning a fun-filled night of Oktoberfest-themed events, including a German themed menu at the Top of the Fair Dining Room. Some event details are now available on the new Western Fair District website at www.westernfairdistrict.com.
“The Western Fair District is very excited to be able to bring the wonderful tradition of Oktoberfest to London,” says Racing Manager Greg Blanchard. “Horse racing was a part of the early beginnings of Oktoberfest back in the 1800’s, so this is a perfect tie-in for us and is a great way to kick off our season. We plan to make it a fun event that will mark the start of a new tradition.”
Another new event called the Forest City Preview will take place on Friday, October 23rd. It is for three-year-old trotters and pacers who have raced in the OSS Grassroots Series in 2015 and will feature races for a purse of $12,500 each in four categories. The Raceway will release further details closer to the event.
On the wagering side, The Raceway will continue with its popular Super Hi-5 and Pick-4 wagers (both with a 15% takeout) and will be adding a late Pick-3 to the menu, also with a low 15% takeout rate.
Customers will also notice some significant changes when they come to the facility this season. The wooden seating from the Grandstand has been removed, and will be replaced with a smaller section of bleacher seating, as part of the initial phase of The Raceway’s plan to restore and enhance the Grandstand seating area.
As part of this plan, structural improvements are also planned for the Grandstand while work is already underway on The Raceway’s paddock location. Customers can also take advantage of free Wi-Fi access now available throughout the entire Grandstand facility.
The Raceway will also unveil a brand new, state-of-the-art, video board which is expected to be in place by the end of October. The new giant screen display will feature live video, odds and payouts and digital advertising.
“I’m very pleased that we are going to be able to offer this to our customers,” explains Blanchard.
“They patiently went last season without a tote board and I know it is something they have missed greatly. I think people will be quite impressed when we get the new board in place and operational.”
In total, close to $1 million will be spent on infrastructure upgrades at The Raceway this year.
The Top of the Fair Dining Room will be open every Friday night, all season, featuring a top-of-the-line buffet menu and on Monday nights for Pub Night. To make reservations, call 519-438-7203 (ext. 252) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of last year’s popular promotions will be back, including Survivor Tuesdays (Free to play and available for online and on-track customers) and Friday Fun Nights, featuring some all new games this year.