The Raceway Gears Up For New Season

Harness racing at The Raceway at Western Fair District
Published: September 7, 2022 03:30 pm EDT

The Raceway at Western Fair District is gearing up for a brand-new season as opening night is just around the corner -- scheduled for Friday, Sept. 30 with a post time of 4:50 p.m.

The first night back of this upcoming 2022-2023 meet will feature the Prospect Series finals. The Prospect Series is a series of stakes races for two-year-old and three-year-old trotters and pacers that are Ontario-sired. The top eight point-getters from each division will square off against each other in eight $15,000 showdowns.

Well-known racing analyst Robert Reid Jr., who has proven to be very popular among fans and horseplayers, will be on track opening night with interviews and commentary throughout the evening while Nathan Bain will look after live informative paddock hits during the program. Reid will also continue to offer up his race day selections and join the racing broadcasts, virtually, on Tuesday evenings this meet.    

“It’ll be the best of the best from all of those Prospect Series races over the summer,” said track announcer Shannon ‘Sugar’ Doyle. “And that sure sounds like a very exciting opening night of racing to come back to!”

This race meet will mark the 10th season for Doyle as the voice of harness racing in London, Ont.

Tony Elliott, fresh off his first full season as Racing Manager at The Raceway, is looking forward to a return to racing in the Forest City of Ontario.

“We finished up very strong in May with a spectacular Camluck Classic Night of racing,” noted Elliott. “A large on-track crowd witnessed Jimmy Freight win our signature event in 1:50.2 -- a track record for stallions. The return of the Forest City Pace for mares proved popular, as well, with Gias Surreal matching our track record of 1:52.4. And horseplayers played too – wagering was just shy of $800,000 – the highest handle ever for London’s signature night of racing.”

Elliott said race goers can expect the same high-quality, half-mile harness racing action to continue and he’s hoping for another strong season on the pari-mutuel side as well.

“We were absolutely delighted with the support we received from fans and horseplayers last season,” shared Elliott. “The all-sources season handle surpassed $50 million for the first time in the history of The Raceway and for that, we have to offer up a huge thank you to our fans and horseplayers who continue to support our racing product on a regular basis. Our horsepeople put on a great show and we’ll look forward to them offering up that same high-quality, half-mile harness racing again this season!”

The live racing schedule will feature Monday and Tuesday evening cards beginning at 5:50 p.m., with Friday evening programs starting at 4:50 p.m. Wednesday evenings will be added in the new year to make it a four-day-per-week racing schedule from January through May.  

More key race dates include:

  • Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events for three-year-old trotters on Tuesday, Oct. 4
  • Harness The Hope Night and OLG Ontario Women’s Driving Championship on Friday, Oct. 14
  • Third Annual Drivers’ Holiday Challenge in support of Toys for Tots on Sunday, Dec. 18
  • Boxing Day Matinee on Monday, Dec. 26
  • New Year’s Eve Race Night on Saturday, Dec. 31
  • Camluck Classic Night on Friday, May 26 

(With files from Western Fair District)