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The Passing Lane Turns 25

Published: April 8, 2017 10:03 am ET

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Canadian harness racing welcomed the passing lane on this day 25 years ago (April 8, 1992) with the addition of an inside path to the homestretch at Flamboro Downs.

It took six races for the first horse to win using the passing lane at Flamboro Downs that historic Wednesday night as the first four races on the card were all captured in gate-to-wire fashion. The fifth was won by a first-over horse.

In the sixth race, driver Bill Budd was able to secure a pocket trip for four-year-old Gran Premier behind race favourite Armbro Foxy (Donnie Graham). Gran Premier was coming into the $2,600 event with a 1-for-14 record on the year, and punters dismissed the pacer's chances from post eight by making him the longest shot on the board at 73-1.

Budd angled Gran Premier for the stretch drive and powered past the pacesetter for the historic win, achieved in grand fashion with a $149.80 win payout.


Gran Premier was the first winning horse to use the passing lane at Flamboro Downs on Wednesday, April 8, 1992. Bill Budd was the winning driver for the one mile pace in 2:01.3. Marking the occasion (L-R), Bob Bratina of CHML Radio, track President Charles Juravinski, Martin Caputo of the Ontario Racing Commission, Bill Budd, Gran Premier, Marketing Manager Ron Barr and Glenda Van Stone of the track's marketing department.

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