Passing lane to open up at Fraser Downs

Horses race past pylons at Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino. The track's new passing lane should be complete by the start of racing Jan. 7.

Plans are underway to create a new, inside passing lane for harness racing at Fraser Downs. Proponents say it will make races more exciting to watch and bet on.

A passing lane allows horses that are blocked in an opportunity to break out from behind the leaders during the final stretch.

“It’s an issue our horsemen have been supporting and we’re going forward with a plan,” director of racing Jackson Wittup said. “It would give more horses a shot at winning.”

It’s a return to form for the historic harness racing facility, which originally opened as a half-mile track under the name Cloverdale Raceway.

When the racetrack expanded to a five-eighths of a mile oval in 1996, it lost the passing lane, Dan Jukich, simulcast director at Fraser Downs, said.

The plan is to have the new, inside passing lane in place for the Jan. 7 races – the start of the 2011 schedule.

“The horsemen wanted it, and we’re going to put it in,” he said.

A designated pylon is set up at the start of the stretch, indicating the beginning of the inside passing lane. Nobody can go inside until the final lap, and there are strict rules drivers must follow.

When the inside lane is in place, horses will be able to move to the inside lane and have a better opportunity to win.

“It’s going to make the races more exciting. There will be a better finish,” Jukich said. “Now, when they get boxed in they’ve got no place to go.”

The passing lane will be in place in time for the Western Regional Driving Championships Saturday, Feb. 26 at Fraser Downs.

The regionals are expected to draw drivers and horses from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. and decide which decide two winners go onto the nationals at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino in Charlottetown, PEI, on May 7.

Just Posted

Two from Delta killed in two-vehicle crash near Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

PHOTOS: White Rock Renegades play at Softball City

The ‘04 and ‘03 White Rock Renegades both played in South Surrey Sunday

White Rock’s Lady Alexandra hearing date postponed

Lawyers are scheduled to sit before a judge this week

White Rock pride flag raising ceremony to be held Friday

Pride Society to host sold-out event the following day

Semiahmoo Rock alum to represent Canada at World Junior Lacrosse Championship

Jacob Dunbar plays for Port Coquitlam Saints of BCJALL

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Most Read