Grand River Raceway’s 26th annual Industry Day Celebration is just around the corner, and the event esteems to be one of the best days of the summer for harness racing fans.
Festivities and the TV broadcast kick off at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, August 1. Post time for the first dash is 1:30 p.m.
The annual event showcases an 11-race card featuring Grand River Raceway’s major dash, the 19th annual Battle Of Waterloo. There are 73 Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing colts eligible to start in the $200,000 (estimated) race.
The eighth annual Battle Of The Belles will be contested for $140,000 (estimated) and 91 Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing fillies remain eligible.
The nine finalists for each of those races will be determined during eliminations contested a week prior (July 25, post time 6:30 p.m.). Post position draws for both finals will be conducted during the TV broadcast on July 25.
The Industry Day undercard includes Racing Under Saddle, consolation races for the Battles, and a Gold Leg for three-year-old pacing fillies in the Ontario Sires Stakes.
As always, Industry Day offers many other delights:
► An All-Access Kids’ Pass is available onsite for $5 and includes face painting, balloon artists, bouncy castles, pony rides and a petting zoo (1:00 – 4:30).
► Garage Sale in the Paddock Annex: all sales benefit the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society (12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.). Donations of horse-related and horse racing-related memorabilia/collectibles/household items will be accepted until July 29. Contact (519) 846-5455 ext. 238 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements for drop-off.
► HPIbet 3% Cash Back for wagers through your account on Industry Day races (minimum $50 wager, maximum $100 cash back; other restrictions may apply).
► Enter to win one of 11 prizes valued at more than $4,000.
The prizes include a print of New Kid on the Block by artist Vickie Lawrence. This limited edition (of 100) giclée print is 18” x 22” and is signed and numbered 4/100. It is from Lawrence’s original coloured pencil drawing of the same size and features a frame constructed from wood salvaged from a 100-year-old barn west of Kitchener, Ont. The original drawing was recently published in a book, CP Treasures Colored Pencil Masterworks From Around The Globe, Volume IV by Ann Kullberg. Only 120 pieces were accepted from the 840+ international entries.
Other prizes include designer watches, a purse by Rebecca Minkoff, Nexgrill Portable Grill, Oster Prima Espresso Maker, and Poulan Pro Gas Mower.
An Industry Day program purchase is required to enter the draw.
► First Bet Is On Us (some restrictions apply).
► Horse Meet ‘N Greet (1:00 – 3:00).
► Standardbred Canada’s I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club will be on-hand with the Wheel Of Fame and Fan Club merchandise.
► The Ontario Sires Stakes will provide OSS hats for race participants and lip balm giveaway for fans (limited quantities).
► The 12th annual Drivers’ Edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes.
Greg Blanchard returns to provide commentary for the broadcast which kicks off at 1:00 p.m. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame, Blanchard will be joined by a handful of Hall Of Fame inductees as guest commentators throughout the afternoon.
For complete event details, visit the official Industry Day website. The event hashtag is #industryday26.
(Grand River Raceway)