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

Surrey RCMP issue warning after third sexual assault since Sunday

It is the third sexual assault reported this week in Surrey

The long table’s set for fourth annual community dinner in Surrey

Cuban flank steak the main course at Surrey Civic Plaza in June

Surrey, Delta residents arrested after $100,000 of stolen liquor found

Arrests follow an internal investigation by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch

Delta to expect high flows, little flooding in coming weeks

The emergency operations centre will remain open, however no flooding is expected in Delta

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP release sketch of ‘suspicious person’ who approached child outside school

Surrey RCMP describe the suspect as South Asian, in his 40s or younger, with a beard and a blue turban

VIDEO: Quick work with ‘cat’s eyes’ on busy Surrey street

Three-person crew shows how it’s done on 152nd Street

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

B.C. dad pens letter urging overhaul of youth health laws after son’s fatal overdose

The Infants Act currently states children under 19 years old may consent to medical treatment on own

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

VIDEO: Campers leave big mess at rural Vancouver Island campsite

Vehicle parts, garbage, a mattress, lawn chairs, beer cans, and even fecal matter left in the area

VIDEO: B.C. woman gets up-close view of Royal wedding

Kelly Samra won a trip back to her home country to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say ‘I do’

30 C in B.C., 30 cm of snow expected for eastern Canada

It might be hot in B.C., but the rest of Canada still dealing with cold

Man airlifted to hospital following mushroom farm stabbing

Abbotsford Police speaking with two men from the scene

Most Read