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

READERS REACT: Pedestrian slapped with jaywalking ticket after being hit in Surrey

Some of our readers were very vocal about the punishment handed out by the Surrey RCMP

Reported pedestrian incident in Surrey bogging down traffic on 152nd Street

A pedestrian accident southbound on 152nd Street near 93rd Avenue is slowing down the commute

Border officers to rally at Peace Arch crossing

‘No desire to inconvenience the public’

Surrey urged to ‘rethink how they donate’ after mess on 135A Street

‘It creates quite a mess and we’re trying to keep that area really clean’ says Surrey Urban Mission director

‘Surrey LRT makes good business sense,’ board of trade CEO insists

‘This is Surrey’s moment to truly consider what it wants to be,’ Huberman writes

VIDEO: Top 4 ‘can’t-miss’ stories from Surrey

Now-Leader reporters Trevor Beggs and Amy Reid break down memorable stories from past few issues

Quarter of students were away sick at Maple Ridge elementary school

Students and teachers at Maple Ridge school away with colds, flu.

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Frustrated federal workers rally against Phoenix payroll system at B.C. MP’s office

Some employees out tens of thousands of dollars with ‘no end in sight’

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Full Cupboard Holiday Program: Raising food, funds and awareness.

Envision Financial and Langley Advance support area food banks this season

Most Read