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Blanchard Back To The Half-Mile


Published: October 12, 2010 2:11 pm ET

Last Comment: October 13, 2010 3:32 am ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

After years at Canada's premier circuit, Greg Blanchard makes his move back to his half-mile roots starting with this Friday's opener at Western Fair Raceway in London, Ont. After being part of a crew at Woodbine Entertainment that garnered four simulcasting awards in the past seven years, the new Announcer and Assistant Racing Manager talks about half-mile racing and simulcasting the Western Fair product.

"Given the preference, bettors have shown with their dollars over the past couple of decades that they prefer to bet on the larger tracks but I still think there's a place for good, competitive half-mile racing," said Blanchard to Trot Radio's Norm Borg. To hear Blanchard's case in point, listen to the interview below.

Episode 155 – Greg Blanchard
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

Western Fair Raceway has a great deal planned to welcome their fans and horse people back to the track this Friday, October 15, the start of track’s fall meet, the 50th season of harness racing at the London, Ontario half-miler.

The first 500 patrons may exchange a coupon for a free t-shirt. They’ll also be treated to complimentary cake and live entertainment as they arrive. There is lots of on-track activity as well with the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Semi-Finals being contested Friday and Saturday nights.

Also note that October 16, 18 and 19 are the qualifiers for the $25,000 National Handicapping Challenge. The top three winners will receive a trip to the Final on October 30 at Georgian Downs. Participants must be on site in order to play.

HPI TV will cover the full cards of Western Fair’s first two Saturday programs, October 16 and 23 as well as selected races from October 15. Also look for exciting news on the wagering front coming early next month from Western Fair.

The $125,000 (added) Forest City Pace, the distaff companion race to Western Fair’s signature race, the Molson Pace, takes place October 30 with the eliminations the week before. On the evening of the final special guest will be London native Jennifer Hedger, co-host of TSN’s Sports Centre, in an autograph session in the lobby from 6 to 7 p.m.

As always, program pages and live video coverage for Western Fair race cards are available at Western Fair's website. In addition, you can follow the news at the Raceway on Facebook and Twitter.

(Photo Credit: Clive Cohen/New Image Media)

October 13, 2010 - 3:32 amGood luck Greg. Always

Ward Zinn SAID...

Good luck Greg. Always entertaining and a great spokesman for the sport. Truly exciting personality for harness racing. Western Fair Raceway also to be commended for their dedication to this slowly dieing, but hopefully soon thriving sport.

October 12, 2010 - 2:46 pmHow can you possibly expect

How can you possibly expect growth in the wager with a 30% takeout on triactor wagers, to go with the horrid takeout rate on every other wager. You are already at a disadvantage being a half mile track and small field sizes. How then does the track feel it can offer such horrible prices? Greg is right, there is room for growth, but if he can't see the elephant in the room, then he or anyone at Western Fair, will not be able to capitalize on that potential. Sad more then anything.

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