Horsemen hope to race Boxing Day

Staff ~ The Truro Daily News
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BIBLE HILL - Horsemen at Truro Raceway are hoping they'll be able to race one last time in 2013.

They'll find out today whether that wish will come true. The Truro Harness Horse Owners Association will be in contact with pari-mutuel authorities in Montreal this morning to seek approval to race on Boxing Day on Thursday. Authorities were forced to cancel Saturday's card, which was slated to be the last of the year, due to bad track conditions.

"We hope we can get this done," THHOA president Steve Morton said. "But we need permission from the pari-mutuel people whether we can set the card up."

The target date for a final card was set to Boxing Day after freezing rain throughout the day Saturday made track conditions too dangerous to race. The card had originally been slated for Sunday, but was moved ahead to Saturday in an attempt to avoid Sunday's forecasted freezing rain.

There hasn't been action on the half-mile oval since Dec. 8 after the penultimate card of the year, slated for Dec. 15, was also cancelled due to stormy conditions.

"It was pretty disappointing," Morton said of Saturday's decision not to race. "We tried to make it happen but there's not much we could do.

"The conditions were terrible."

The owners' association has already cleared one hurdle in putting on a Boxing Day card by netting the approval of the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission.

Since a starting draw can only be put on hold for up to 82 hours, the lineup for a Boxing Day card will have to be redrawn.

But based on how the track did on Boxing Day in the past - it hasn't held a Boxing Day card in several years - Morton said all the effort could be worthwhile.

"It was always a good day," he said. "We've tried for a lot of years but couldn't get permission (from the Nova Scotia provincial Exhibition Commission). But things seem to be working better with the new board and they're trying to cooperate with us and we're trying to cooperate with them."

On Twitter: @tdnmatt

Organizations: Truro Harness Horse Owners Association, Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission, Nova Scotia provincial Exhibition Commission

Geographic location: Montreal

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