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

Dr. Lipjob avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Cloverdale’s Dan Gibbons remembered for his devotion, humour

Longtime local served with RCMP for more than 35 years

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

VIDEO: ‘The dog picks the job’: Meet the newest member of the Surrey RCMP

Cambria, a labrador-golden retriever mix, is the first victim services dog at the detachment

Surrey RCMP say men with gun steal Jeep from mom, daughter

Police say they are looking for video footage, and two South Asian suspects

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Richmond businesses struggle to hire and keep staff because of high cost of housing

Chamber of commerce calls for diverse housing options, redevelopment of George Massey corridor

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Most Read