The 2020 Fall race season at The Raceway at Western Fair District is set to kick off on Wednesday, October 7 at 6:15 p.m. and fans will notice some changes to both the schedule and wagering menu when racing resumes. In addition, details around COVID-19 protocols and capacity limits for on-track participants and guests are also available.
The Fall schedule will look slightly different with live harness racing taking place each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:15 pm through December 31st. This change from the traditional Monday-Tuesday-Friday Fall schedule will allow track officials more time to fully clean and disinfect the paddock building between race programs.
The traditional Friday post time of 6:55 p.m. has also been changed to 6:15 p.m. to create more consistency in the schedule and better position The Raceway product on the busy Friday night simulcast market.
The opening weekend of live racing will feature the glamour boys of the Ontario Sires Stakes on Friday, October 9th. It will be their final stop of the season prior to the lucrative OSS Super Finals which take place on October 17 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
On the wagering front, The Raceway will introduce a new Pick-5 wager starting in the first race each night. It will feature a $2,500 guaranteed pool along with a low 15% takeout. If the wager does not produce a winning ticket, a carryover will be in effect.
The caretakers – the people who look after the magnificent horses that race night in and night out – will also be recognized on October 9 as part of the National Caretakers initiative that has been happening at racetracks across the country this season. The Raceway will offer a swag bag for the groom of each winning horse and COSA is offering one $100 HPI card per groom per race to be randomly drawn.
Ontario Racing’s Series will return to The Raceway on Wednesday, October 14. The track will host events for two- and three-year-old filly trotters and colt pacers with the $20,000 added finals taking place on October 15. The last Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events of the season for three-year-old filly trotters are slated for October 28 and 30th.
The Raceway generally hosts its Survivor contest on Tuesday, however due to the new racing schedule, Survivor will now be contested on Wednesdays. Same rules will be applied this year and customers can fill out their entries at WesternFairDistrict.com/Raceway
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic a number of measures have been put into place in order to accommodate participants and patrons in a safe environment.
Here’s what customers can expect:
- The Top of the Fair restaurant will be open all three racing days. The restaurant will offer a Pub style menu and will be limited to 150 patrons to ensure physical distancing is in place. Customers will be pre-screened before entering the facility. Reservations will be granted on a first come first serve basis. To make a reservations please visit https://www.opentable.ca/r/top-of-the-fair-western-fair-district-london. Reservations can only be made online at this time.
- Wagering and restroom facilities will be made available.
- All other areas of the Grandstand facility will remain CLOSED for live and simulcast racing until further notice.
Here’s what horse people can expect:
- When horse people enter the race paddock, they will be subject to a full screening process. This includes temperature checks and a questionnaire. Trainers are encouraged to allow themselves extra time when commuting to the track. Face masks are mandatory and physical distancing of 2metres/6 feet must be maintained.
- The Raceway will offer a new paddock layout to ensure safety of all participants. Management has repositioned each race accordingly to offer the best experience with social distancing at the half-mile oval.
Below is a sitemap of the new layout.
Welcome to The Raceway in the Western Fair District.
The Raceway in the Western Fair District has been officially hosting Harness Racing in London, Ontario for over 50 years!
Since 1961, we are proud to be South Western Ontario’s place to play! Featuring harness racing at its best - live on our half-mile track, October through May. Simulcast racing is available all year round, broadcasting races from all over North America!
Our Live Racing season runs October through May and we race 3-4 times a week depending on the time of year! We are open 7 days a week for simulcast racing! You can bet on many different tracks all over North America.
Harness racing is a sport where a special breed of horses, called Standardbreds, race around a track while pulling a driver in a two wheeled cart called a “sulky.” The horses reach speeds of more than 30 mph
The name “Standardbred” originated because the early trotters (pacers would not come into the picture until much later) were required to reach a certain time standard for the mile distance in order to be registered as part of the new breed. The mile is still the standard distance covered in nearly every harness race. The Raceway is a ½ mile track and because of that you will see the horse’s race twice around the oval in a race.