Dresden Raceway welcomes back fans
WINDSOR, ONT. -- It’s better late than never, for horse racing fans.
Dresden Raceway opened up its doors to fans today, the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
"It feels like things are getting back to normal," says Wayne Bradley, who made the drive down from London to watch Sunday’s races.
"It’s frustrating for us as seniors. There’s not a lot to do. We always enjoy the horse racing," says Bradley.
Bradley was one of many spectators who got there well before the 1:00 p.m. races.
Through the pandemic, fans of Dresden Raceway had only been able to stand on nearby public property to catch a race.
"Our fans have been tremendous all season. We’ve been shown great support and the enthusiasm is tremendous," says Gary Patterson, announcer and publicist for Dresden Raceway.
A hundred fans in total can now enter the raceway facility.
"50 fans on the grand stand side in the parking lot only and 50 fans on the back stretch side in the parking lot only," Patterson explains to CTV Windsor.
He credits local politicians and the Chatham Kent Health Unit.
"Mayor Darrin Caniff has been tremendous as well helping us make sure that we get some fans back here."
And there’s more to the experience than just watching live.
Patterson says fans now live bet on the action.
"They can come bet live and they don’t need to go online to bet. They can actually bet live at the Dresden Raceway."
Fans don’t even have to get out of their vehicles to enjoy the races.
"Fans can sit in their cars, watch the races and hear the calls of the race," says Patterson.
Physical distancing rules still apply to fans who enter the facility.
"You have to wear a mask first of all to get on the grounds. We have chains separating people and we have the six foot lines people have to adhere to as well."
The final round of races at Dresden Raceway will take place on the Civic Holiday.