More in store for “Back to the Track 2,” July 15, 16 and 17
Columbus, OH --- Back to the Track weekend, which will be renewed for a second time on July 15, 16 and 17, seems sure to build on last year’s initial success. Every track offering live harness racing that weekend will offer fans special reasons to come out to the races. Other industry-related groups, such as horsemen’s organizations, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and Standardbred pleasure horse groups are pitching in.
A check of the www.BackToTheTrack.com
website shows that tracks will again offer such inducements as driver autograph sessions, rides in the starting gate, food and beverage specials, and merchandise giveaways – with features varying by track.
The biggest of all the giveaways will be for an expenses-paid trip for two to the 2011 Little Brown Jug; there will be a winner of a Jug trip at each U.S. racetrack. There may also be a big payoff somewhere around the country on Friday, July 15, when a Pick-4 wager consisting of races from Meadowlands Racetrack, Northfield Park, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway and Maywood Park offers a $25,000, guaranteed pool that is expected to grow much larger than that.
Last year, in its debut year, Back to the Track was deemed a success -- and this year’s edition, based on what’s being offered by America’s tracks, seems to have a “can you top that” theme.
One thing new this year is the “Back to the Track Team,” comprised of volunteers who will assist newcomers in answering questions about the sport, the horses and the ins and outs of how to play the wagering part of the harness racing game.
“So for one weekend, the industry’s key stakeholders came together to support a common theme and have a nice day at the races,” USTA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner said last year in the wake of the first Back to the Track. “That’s cool, but here’s the really intriguing part: What else might we be able to accomplish if we all were to get on the same page again?”
Tanner’s question, as it pertains to Back to the Track, is likely to be answered in a very positive manner if the response received from the public last year -- clearly increased attendance and betting -- is bigger, as many think it will be this year.