TRURO - Big crowd, big wager, big-time racing.
Call opening day at Truro Raceway a success.
"You couldn't get a better day," said Truro's Ron Wilson, who was one of about 300 race fans at the Bible Hill track on Sunday afternoon. "Everybody's anxious to get back in the groove again."
Live racing returned to the Bible Hill oval yesterday for the first time since mid-December with a 10-dash card.
The winter shutdown allowed the purse pool to recover by saving operating costs during a traditional lean period for the raceway.
"It's a great day, a great day for racing," said Truro's Nelson MacKinnon, while standing along the rail with race program in hand. "The track's good and there's a fair crowd on for opening day. I see more people here today than sometimes I see in July and August."
Inside the C.A. Douglas Grandstand, longtime friends Neville Smith of Bible Hill and Bob Leighton of Waverly scanned the race program, looking for a winning combination in Race 8.
"I don't think either one of us are making a whole lot," said Smith. "I might get some money back right here on a ticket."
"He might not, too," laughed Leighton, to which Smith replied: "Oh well, it takes a week or two for the horses to get conditioned ... they can train them and qualify them, but things on race day are quite a bit different - a little faster, drivers are a little more aggressive."
Even Mother Nature was a race fan yesterday, as more than 70 horses hit the track under clear, blue skies and warm temperatures which reached near the 10 C mark.
"It was a good day," said Diane Daniels, race office supervisor at Truro Raceway. "Lots of energy, you could feel it, you could hear the excitement."
Daniels said Sunday's wager was up compared to opening day last year, however, figures were not available at press time.