Live Horse Racing On The Radio

Published: May 20, 2011 12:31 pm EDT

It was commonplace in horse racing's heyday for followers of the beloved sport to huddle around massive radios from time to time and listen to the call of some of the clashes from nearby tracks

. Fast forward many decades and the radios may have gotten infinitely smaller, but live horse racing is hitting the airways once again.

Dresden Raceway's veteran announcer, Gary Patterson, who is also the general manager, news director and sales manager of 99.1 CKXS FM, recently told Trot Insider that he used to get many calls from passionate owners who wanted to hear his race calls at the half-mile raceway.

"Owners which had horses in some of the races would call me up," he explained. "They would want to hear my call and know how they did. Now I just tell them to tune in to 99.1 FM. It works even if they are out of our range because we stream live through our website."

Patterson Calling a Race at Dresden

Patterson explained that last year he started getting his race calls from Dresden's live Sunday programs --- and Holiday Monday card --- to be simulcast live across the airwaves via 99.1. The same schedule will be utilized for the track's 2011 meet.

"I call them live on the radio, right when regular programming is on," Patterson told Trot Insider. "I'll call into the station from the booth and let them know that the race is coming up. The deejay will then time the next song so it ends before my race call starts. They get the race call and then the station will cut away, but come back when the prices are up and I give the complete rundown and payouts."

99.1 CKXS FM is based out of Wallaceburg, Ont. and beams to Sarnia, Rodney and all of Chatham/Kent.

Dresden simulcasted the opening card of its 2011 meet on 99.1 on Sunday, May 15. "We (the radio station) do junior hockey, so I just thought one day, 'why not harness racing?'" Patterson said that he hasn't heard of anyone else in North America doing what Dresden and 99.1 are currently doing.

"A lot of people love it. Hopefully it is something that will get new people out to the track and wager on a couple of races. They can stay at the track and take in the day, or they have the option of going home and listening on the radio to see whether they won their wagers."




You're right - it IS 2011 - and with that being said, most every radio stations streams live online as well ;) Therefore the calls from our neck of the woods ARE online, every Sunday during race season 1pm-5pm at

Thanks for bring this story to the masses!

Jay Smith
The New 99.1 FM CKXS

Give me a break Leonard - radio is a great idea. I can listen and keep working - multi-tasking as they say.

Some things old are new again. I vividly recall Dean Hagopian doing "race of the night" from Rideau Carleton, on CKOY in the early-mid sixties. And, while working at CFBC Saint John in the early 70's, the legendary Ing (the King) Palmer did a Saturday race from Exhibition Park. Keep calling them Gary.

Great idea Gary. Everything old is new again. Combine the past with the present and the future, and "we" could have a winning Triacta.

Great race call too!

Larry Resnitzky
Managing Editor
Atlantic Post Calls

Good stuff, Gary We need more initiatives like this to promote our industry from within. I think we can always learn from our fellow supporters. When an idea is presented somebody has to run with the idea and make it happen. Every track needs its "promoter"- a person that can talk the talk and walk the walk.

I got excited when I heard BC getting very proactive to bring more race days back to Fraser and now we have this gem started by Gary. We as owners and trainers and fans should be inspired by these examples. I can hardly wait for Saskatchewan to fire up.

"WHAT CAN I DO" should be asked by each of us "TO PROMOTE OUR GAME"

used to do radio at CHYR Leamington 78-85..'Jeff Parker' and spend many a hot sunday aft at the 'Little Saratoga' ...and memories of the occasional Friday night trip in too.

Gary, youre doing the Lord's work. Wonderful...and hello to any and all Weese family members. I'll have to listen, just to hear the way the station transitions from song to dj to 'call'...

from T.O.
the buggyman

Awesome initiative..keep up the good work. Perhaps other track announcers can do likewise with their local stations.

Growing up on the east coast (Canada) in 70's, when you could not make it to the track Ing the King 30 second call of th last quarter could stir the soul Wed and Sat. as well it made a great place for advertisers. Downey's Ford a big support of harness racing got a lot of coverage and a saw alot of Fords in the front and back stretch. I listened to WCBS 88 on the dial New York in those days as well, the calls from Yonkers or Roosevelt Raceway were on nightly. It fostered a life long love for horse racing. I listen to 126 now on sirius. I thinks radio is one of the best location especially along side a good 60's theme music station. Mr MacMaster hit it on the nose. What a wonderful time it was in our business.

Great idea Gary. We as horsemen/women have to do whatever WE can to bring the business back.