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Clinton Opens To Record Crowd

Published: May 22, 2016 7:04 pm ET

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It was a day of greats at Clinton Raceway, as the Huron County oval held its opening card of the 2016 season. Great weather, great races and great prizes all led to a record attendance and record handle.

The 10-race card saw a wagering handle of just over $30,000 despite the sixth race being declared a 'No Contest' and those wagers refunded when one of the starters suffered a broken line, resulting in the rest of the field being forced to pull up for safety.

“This was the biggest Opening Day that Clinton has seen, almost ever,” stated Jessica Carnochan, Director of Marketing at Clinton Raceway. “The weather was definitely in our favour, if people were on the fence, that was the deal maker.”

Super Sunday show fans were treated to new games between the races with lots of fun and prizes. Two lucky winners went home with a pair of tickets to see Carrie Underwood in London, Ont. next week and a $500 garden package courtesy of Verbeeks Farm and Garden in Clinton, Ont.

Central Huron Secondary School was able to raise just over $2,800 during their trackside fundraiser.

“We really appreciate the ability that Clinton Raceway has given us over the last years to fund-raise," said Leigh Melady, chair and teacher at C.H.S.S. “The fans have continued to support us and we’re grateful for their generosity.”

On track, eight-year-old trotting gelding West Grey Bay ($5.10) kicked off the harness racing season with a wire-to-wire win in 2:00.4 for driver Garrett Rooney and trainer/owner Keith Hastie of Priceville, Ont.

Rooney also drove a pair of winners of trainer George McClure, including five-year-old pacing gelding Kerrfect Fella ($3.70) and four-year-old pacing mare Missus Big ($3.60) in a division of the Alliance Spring Series for $6,000 claiming mares and fillies.

Ryan Holliday enjoyed a driving triple during the Opening Day program as well.

Longtime race caller, Frank Salive made his return to the mic for Opening Day, and will be back again when live racing resumes Sunday, May 29, with a post time of 1:30 p.m. The day will belong to the Saugeen Maitland Women’s Hockey Association and their 'Day at the Races' fundraiser.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Clinton Raceway.

(With files from Clinton Raceway)

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