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A Racing First For Canada?

Published: August 11, 2014 2:32 pm ET

Last Comment: August 11, 2014 10:33 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

With less race dates in 2014, the horse racing industry in British Columbia has decided to look outside the box by looking to the inside, or more specifically, the interior.

This Saturday at Desert Park in Osoyoos, B.C., three breeds of horses -- quarter-horses, thoroughbreds and Standardbreds -- will race on the same card and over the same track surface.

"I am sure this is a first in B.C., and possibly Canada, that the Standardbreds will be racing on a traditional Thoroughbred surface," said Harness Racing B.C.'s Jackson Wittup, stating something similar happened years ago over the old Trout Springs wood chip surface track in Alberta.

Five thoroughbred and quarter-horse races will take place, with first race post time at 1:30. Following those betting races, two Standardbred exhibition races will follow.

Despite the fact that Osoyoos is some four hours from Fraser Downs, Wittup told Trot Insider that it wasn't difficult to convince local horsemen to participate.

"They were very cooperative," said Wittup. "We realize that we have to take the lead here and try to find other venues, or, at least, explore the possibility."

Harness Racing BC is looking for other venues for summer racing in 2015 as months have been cut back at Fraser Downs. Wittup went on to say that since the exhibition races have been planned for Osoyoos, other venues in B.C. have shown interest in carding harness racing as well.

"Since this has all come up we're now hearing talk of a turf club scenario in Kamloops, who have had racing in the past as well," stated Wittup. "They've also had thoroughbred spring training there, and they're looking into possibly adding some Standardbreds there for the summer...training as well as maybe racing on weekends."

Kamloops is a three-hour drive from Fraser Downs, with Wittup adding that it has easy highway access. He wonders if this could possibly lead to an interior B.C. racing circuit again.

"If we can do anything for the little guy...we have two amateur drivers competing just to try to bring on the next generation. "

August 11, 2014 - 10:33 pmTrout Springs near Stampede

malcolm lynn SAID...

Trout Springs near Stampede Park raced thoroughbreds, standardbreds, quarter horses, arabians and paints all on the same card in 1989 for a place to race during the Calgary Stampede......Jungle Fighter won two standardbred races.

August 11, 2014 - 5:03 pmWorth some thought. I have

Paul moynagh SAID...

Worth some thought. I have often thought this could be done at Woodbine given the 7/8 track. There could be wagering on both breeds and the standard races & warm ups would help fill the long periods between the thoroughbred races.

August 11, 2014 - 3:20 pmGood Luck!! Why not?

Good Luck!! Why not? Different races, different fans, and not so boring.
They raced both Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds on the same card at Greenwood Raceway. A jockey, Lloyd Duffy won a race with each breed of horse that day.


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