Along the Backstretch: Frost cancels races Friday but show goes on Sunday

A cold snap followed by warmer temperatures and rain wreak havoc with the track at Fraser Downs, cancelling the races Friday.

The races were cancelled Friday night (Dec. 5) and I will try to explain why.

I am sure the “F” word is the most hated word at Fraser Downs – that word is “FROST”.  After an extended cold snap the previous week and rain before that, the race track freezes and the frost goes down.

The next step is the killer, warmer temperatures and rain bring the frost to the surface and this creates pockets that horses can punch through and get hurt.

Another terrible factor at Fraser Downs is the fact the grandstand blocks the sun where most of the action takes place during a race and takes longer for the frost to come out. You can literally have a sloppy track down the backside and a frozen track in the home stretch which is very bad for the horses as well. I hope you, the fans, will be patient. You can’t fool with Mother Nature.

Sunday morning at Fraser Downs was like being on a roller coaster with regards to racing (or not).  At 8 a.m., there was no doubt we would race. By 9:30 a.m. there seemed to be some question as the temperature rose and the final decision was “to race”.

With only a few scratches, the show went on with the horsemen doing a great job and over $60,000 in purse money was raced for.

Four drivers, Brandon Campbell, Bill Davis, Serge Masse and John Chappell all hit the winners circle with two winners.

Trainer/owner Daniel Gaboury is donating the earnings his horse, Buddys Hope, makes in December to the Surrey Food Bank.

Fraser Downs and Harness Racing BC will match these earnings as well. Buddy finished fourth on Sunday and started by contributing $1,596 to the great cause, thanks Daniel and Buddy!!!

Racing resumes Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 12:45 p.m.

– Jackson Wittup is executive director of Harness Racing B.C.

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