Harness racing season starts on Canada Day in Woodstock

by | Jun 28, 2024

The 2024 season at Connell Park Raceway begins Monday afternoon with seven cards

The 2024 harness racing season at Connell Park Raceway in Woodstock begins on Canada Day, July 1.

Over $20,000 in purse money will be doled out on Monday, including the $8,000 Walter Dale Memorial, featuring a field of five, including two new horses. 

Seven races are in the afternoon, and post time is at 1 p.m. in the traditional July 1 program. New race secretary Brent Biggs has assembled a tremendous card. 

Looking at the field of starters in the coveted Walter Dale Memorial, Briggs has enlisted The Bird Dance N as the morning line favourite. 

Jose Cervantes of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, owns the nine-year-old veteran, who sports a lifetime mark of 1:50.1 and career earnings north of $300,000. 

The pacer, driven by Dan Deslandes, ships in from the state of New York, where he competed in an open pace at Saratoga. 

Dr. Mitch Downey will debut One Eight Hundred, the son of the incomparable Somebeachsomewhere, who arrives with some incredible stats. 

He was sold for an incredible $ 800,000 and sports an eye-catching lifetime record of 1:48. He has drawn post four and is a winner of over $ 200,000 lifetime. With the breeding of this horse, he could be a potential stallion for Downey.

All Bets On Tex has drawn post one and will be driven by Brett LeBlanc. He showed a 1:54.2 mile last week at Red Shores. It is owned by Jeffrey Lilley, Blair Maclauchlan of Charlottetown, Kent Livingston of Cornwall and Marc Gallant. The horse arrives from P.E.I. He took a new mark this season in Ontario of 1:51.4.

With Paul Langille driving, Nova Scotia pacer Batterup Hanover will bust the gate from post two. He’s owned by Debbie M Francis of Sweets Corner, Rosanne M Langille of Lower Onslow, Douglas G. Lowthers of Inverness and Chantel B Langille of Lower Onslow, N.S. Batterup Hanover has a win in 1:54.3 over the half-mile track at Truro Raceway, 

Rounding out the Walter Dale starters is Island Beach Boy, a winner at Red Shores this year in 1:54.2.

Ian Smith and Arnold Hagen own him, and he will truck in from P.E.I. for the event. Brodie MacPhee is scheduled to drive the tough campaigner.

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