by Chad Rozema, Raceway Manager
The first quarter of the 2023 season at Grand River Raceway wrapped up on Monday, June 26th, two programs sooner due to poor air quality forcing the cancellation of the Wednesday and Friday cards. With 11 dates contested, the growth at GRR was solid having produced an all-sources handle of $3,040,392, a 19% increase compared to June 2022 which also carded 11 dates. The per race average jumped to $27,639, a 24% increase over last season.
The drivers title is shaping up to be a great one this season with Travis Henry, Anthony Haughan, and Colin Kelly all tied at 13 wins apiece. Brett MacDonald is a close fourth with 11 victories so far. As for the trainers race, Rachel Andrew leads the way with 5 winners from only 10 starters. Gerard Demers, Isaac Waxman, Meg Crone, and Jodie Cullen all sit a close second with 4 wins apiece.
Trotting mare Tijuana Seelster is a perfect 3 for 3 at GRR so far this season and gets a chance to extend that streak to four on Wednesday’s program for trainer Jacob Roberts. 3-year-old pacing colt St Lads Criminal has also enjoyed the Elora oval this year having won 3 times in as many starts for trainer Lori Lepage. Lawless Shadow stopped by for his GRR debut on June 26th and made every call a winning one enroute to a 1:51.4 Preferred level victory. The 2021 Meadowlands Pace champion is trained by Dr. Ian Moore and was driven to victory by son Tyler Moore.
In the Friday, June 16th finale, Control The Smile and Bruce Richardson lit up the tote board with a 59-1 upset! The $121 winner triggered a Super Hi 5 carryover to the next program and helped produce a pool shot winner in the Late Pick 5 that returned $2,068 for .20 cents.
The Early Pick 5 has shown solid support, averaging $7711/night and saw its pool guarantee get boosted to $5,000 on Monday, June 19th. The Pick 3,4,5, Doubles, and Super Hi 5 wagers always offer a low 15% takeout.
The 2023 season continues in July with racing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening at 6:30 pm. Be sure to join us for our annual Wiener Dog races night on Friday, July 14th and catch 2yos in elimination action for the Battle of Waterloo presented by Winbak Farms and Battle of the Belles on Monday, July 31st.