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Excitement For Western Fair Meet

Published: September 10, 2015 10:10 am ET

Last Comment: September 11, 2015 4:03 pm ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Live harness returns to The Raceway at Western Fair District in less than a month and track officials are gearing up for what promises to be another exciting season with new racing events added to the calendar and on-track upgrades.

The Raceway will operate on a three-day-a-week schedule this Fall with post times on Mondays and Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. and Fridays at 7:15 p.m. The first live race day is slated for Tuesday, October 6 and the meet will kick off with a bang on opening weekend, Friday, October 9, as a new event will be unveiled.

The $50,000 Oktoberfest Classic Invitational will feature the best local aged pacers and will be held in conjunction with Oktoberfest - Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival, which is coming to London for the first time. The marketing team is busy planning a fun-filled night of Oktoberfest-themed events, including a German themed menu at the Top of the Fair Dining Room. Some event details are now available on the new Western Fair District website.

“The Western Fair District is very excited to be able to bring the wonderful tradition of Oktoberfest to London,” says Racing Manager Greg Blanchard. “Horse racing was a part of the early beginnings of Oktoberfest back in the 1800’s, so this is a perfect tie-in for us and is a great way to kick off our season. We plan to make it a fun event that will mark the start of a new tradition.”

Another new event called the Forest City Preview will take place on Friday, October 23. It is for three-year-old trotters and pacers who have raced in the OSS Grassroots Series in 2015 and will feature races for a purse of $12,500 each in four categories. The Raceway will release further details closer to the event.

On the wagering side, The Raceway will continue with its popular Super Hi-5 and Pick-4 wagers (both with a 15 percent takeout) and will be adding a late Pick-3 to the menu, also with a low 15 percent takeout rate.

Customers will also notice some significant changes when they come to the facility this season. The wooden seating from the Grandstand has been removed, and will be replaced with a smaller section of bleacher seating, as part of the initial phase of The Raceway’s plan to restore and enhance the Grandstand seating area.

As part of this plan, structural improvements are also planned for the Grandstand while work is already underway on The Raceway’s paddock location. Customers can also take advantage of free Wi-Fi access now available throughout the entire Grandstand facility.

The Raceway will also unveil a brand new, state-of-the-art, video board which is expected to be in place by the end of October. The new giant screen display will feature live video, odds and payouts and digital advertising.

“I’m very pleased that we are going to be able to offer this to our customers,” explains Blanchard. “They patiently went last season without a tote board and I know it is something they have missed greatly. I think people will be quite impressed when we get the new board in place and operational.”

In total, close to $1 million will be spent on infrastructure upgrades at The Raceway this year.

The Top of the Fair Dining Room will be open every Friday night, all season, featuring a top-of-the-line buffet menu and on Monday nights for Pub Night. To make reservations, call 519-438-7203 (ext. 252) or email [email protected].

Many of last year’s popular promotions will be back, including Survivor Tuesdays (Free to play and available for online and on-track customers) and Friday Fun Nights, featuring some all new games this year.

Important Dates this Fall at The Raceway:

October 6 – Opening Night for Live Racing
October 9 – Oktoberfest Classic
October 12 – Thanksgiving Day Racing
October 23 – Forest City Preview
October 25 – Forest City Yearling Sale
December 26 – Boxing Day Racing
December 31 – New Years Eve Racing


September 11, 2015 - 4:03 pmNow this is a great sign. As

Will Yamakva SAID...

Now this is a great sign. As I have said, there is only a handful of tracks that should remain open because all 3 groups get it, the horseman, the track management, and the government slots. As one can see by the purses, the slots compliment the great program of racing they put on, and the handle exceeds the purses by a lot each day. The track is also good at making the fans part of the game. I enjoy seeing the winner's circle at WFR because when it is not cold out, the fans are near the winning horse, and many of the young drivers engage the fans there.

I really hope the drivers there help build on to what they have started and go out of the way to engage the youth that might be at the track that night as they are the future of the sport and have to be addressed and made into fans.

Good luck WFR and I look forward to your win 4s. (only harness track I play the win 4 at)

September 10, 2015 - 7:46 pmCan't wait - The one track

Can't wait - The one track that actually gets it!

September 10, 2015 - 6:14 pmIt sure would be nice to have

gord young SAID...

It sure would be nice to have a bar area where you could view the races, they must be moving the paddock to the other side of the tunnel.

September 10, 2015 - 2:51 pmLooking forward to the return

Looking forward to the return of racing at The Raceway! Looks to be lots of excitement on the way this Fall... And cannot wait for that OKTOBERFEST CLASSIC INVITATIONAL - see you in London! #TheyreOffAndItIsOn

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