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Solid Promotions For Upper Canada Cup

Published: May 14, 2009 12:17 pm ET

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Georgian Downs has announced that the $480,000 Upper Canada Cup on Saturday, May 23 will be coupled with a solid line-up of on-track promotions.

The UCC has not only attracted a very solid cast, but has prompted a dramatic makeover of the Innisfil, Ont. plant into a festive scene from the early 1800s.

Short of canons rumbling and muskets blazing, no effort has been spared to recreate the authenticity of pre-Confederation days. Spectators will know something special is afoot when they’re shuttled from parking lot to front door by a handsome clydesdale team and wagon. The history-inspired theme continues with greeters in period costume, a facility festooned with flowers, and a relaxing musical backdrop provided by a classical costumed pianist.

Opening ceremonies will include visiting dignitaries parading in a landau carriage, outriders sporting the Union Jack, and the theatrical release of 1,000 red and white biodegradable balloons.

Spectacle and pomp notwithstanding, Jackie Warner, manager of Marketing at Georgian Downs, promises a night that’s all about harness racing. “The focus,” she emphasized, “will be on the racetrack. We’ve never seen anything like the racing we’ll see on May 23. It’s going to be very special.”

So while the backdrop reflects life at a simpler and slower pace, action on the track will be very much in step with today’s headlines. In addition to the celebrated sophomores gunning for the big-money pot, the racing card will be fully loaded with complementary high-class events. These include not only a $50,000 consolation division of the UCC, but the historic Hon. Earl Rowe Memorial Cup, saluting the area’s former lieutenant-governor and founder of Barrie Raceway, via both Gold and Silver trotting events for more than $150,000.

Between-race entertainment features a host of crowd-pleasing promotions, including Money Machine Madness, with $1,000 in wind-driven bills up for grabs, plus Georgian’s special version of Deal or No Deal.

Best of all, one lucky fan will go home the owner of a fully-outfitted sport canoe, courtesy of 'The Big Red Canoe Giveaway' sponsored by Labatt Breweries. Fans will be asked to guess the number of rolled-up Budweiser t-shirts loaded into the 16-foot canoe. The winner will take home paddles, a safety kit and, of course, the big red canoe.

Click here to read a Trot Insider preview of the UCC eliminations, which will be taking place this coming Saturday at Georgian Downs.

(With files from Georgian Downs)

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