Kawartha Downs’ 2015 Season To Start May 30

Kawartha Downs’ 2015 harness racing season will begin Saturday, May 30. Approval has been received from the Ontario Racing Commission for the five-eighths mile facilty to host the same number of race dates as last season, 18.

That would see racing at Kawartha every Saturday night, with a 7 p.m. post time with the last date as October 3. The track now is in the process of applying for additional race dates at the end of their season. The track will be dark on Saturday, September 19 for a NASCAR event.

“We are applying for additional race dates to complement this schedule. If we’re successful those would be added in October,” explained Greg Walling of Sullivan Group in Lindsay, Ontario, who brokered the deal to bring racing back to the Kawarthas last season and remains the liaison between track management and the Ontario government.

Walling, along with track owner Harvey ‘Skip’ Ambrose and Trevor McCagherty, will comprise the operating board for Kawartha Downs for the 2015 season. Ian Fleming will remain as race secretary while Heather MacKay and Jim Huck will return to manage the racing operations.

“We enjoyed a great season in 2014 and look forward to welcoming our fans, staff and horse people and new patrons to Kawartha Downs for this coming season,” noted Ambrose.

The same purse structure as last season will be in place for 2015 with three signature nights with increased purses featured as well as an Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots event for three-year-old colt trotters on July 18. 

Kawartha Downs racetrack will be open for horses to train over starting April 20. The schedule until racing resumes on Saturday, May 30 will be Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The only exception will be May 16 when the track will not be available for training.

Kawartha Downs’ new track superintendent for 2015 is well known horseman Doug Hie who hails from one of the most well known harness racing families in the region and has been part of the Kawartha Downs’ family since the track opened more than 40 years ago.

The first qualifying races at Kawartha Downs will be offered on Saturday, May 23 with the first night of live racing the following Saturday, May 30 with a 7 p.m. post time.