One of the biggest events on the promotional calendar at Batavia Downs every season is the Wiener Dog Races and 2013 will be no exception as the dachshunds take to the track during this year's Family Fun Day at the races, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 25.
Entry into the races begins today, July 8. To enter your dachshund, call event coordinator Arna Tygart at 585-343-3750, ext. 437.
There is an 80-dog limit and an also-eligible list will be started if needed. The first 70 dogs entered will receive a "Doggie Gift Bag" courtesy of the race sponsor -- Petco of Batavia.
The fleet-footed dachshund named Gordon, owned by Lindsay Ryan, of Lancaster, will be looking to three-peat in this year’s event. He dead-heated with another wiener dog legend, Jake Arnold, and then scored a very narrow victory last year.
A total of 10 heats will be contested this year with eight wiener dogs in each race.
The winners of each qualifying heat will receive $25 in free play at Batavia Downs Gaming. The winners of each heat will advance to the finals with the champion getting $100 of free play for the gaming machines.
The second- and third-place finishers will also receive free play. The wiener dog competition, a dash down the homestretch of Batavia Downs, will begin after the last live harness race, at approximately 4:20 p.m.
"This is one of our biggest days of the year and it definitely brings out one our largest crowds of the season," said Batavia Downs' General Manager of Live Racing Todd Haight. “We'll get dogs coming in from all around New York State. In fact, we have heard some are already in training."
Besides the wiener dog races, other highlights of the Family Fun Day will include free pony rides from 2 until 4 p.m. sponsored by Castilone Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep of Batavia.
The day will also see appearances by the ever popular Pringles the Clown and Mr. Scribbles. There will be $1 Salhen’s hot dogs and $1 sodas available from noon until 4.
A 12-race card of afternoon harness racing is scheduled on Family Fun Day with first post slated for 1:15 p.m. Admission and parking is free.
Batavia Downs, the oldest lighted harness track, will kick off its 67th season on Monday, July 22.