Big race for little wiener dogs is this Sunday at Batavia Downs
By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs
Of all the promotions presented during the live harness racing meet at Batavia Downs each year, the Dachshund or “wiener dog” races have become the most popular. Since 2005, thousands of fans have congregated at the fence in front of the grandstand to position themselves for the best view of the starters in each of the carded heats.
This year the wiener dog races will be held Sunday, Aug. 24, during Family Fun Day at Batavia Downs. Sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia, a total of 10 heats will be contested with eight wiener dogs in each race. The first race will begin after the last live harness race of the day, which will be approximately 4:20 p.m.
For the last three years, a fleet-footed flyer named Gordon has won this annual event. But he is not entered in the race this year so his reign as champion is over. Gordon's retirement will be welcome news for the other doggies who will be storming down the home stretch because, with the favorite out of the race, the field is wide open for a new titleholder.
The first 70 dogs entered will receive a canine gift bag courtesy of Genesee Feeds of Batavia. But the dogs won’t be the only winners here; their human counterparts are in line for a nice payoff as well. Each “puprietor” will be eligible to receive some nice prizes if their pet pooch proves prolific.
The owners of each heat winner (10 in all) will receive $25 in gaming free-play. And the winning, second- and third-place owner in the championship final will receive $100, $75 and $50 in gaming free-play, respectively, along with two complimentary clubhouse buffets each.
Besides the wiener dog races, other highlights of the Family Fun Day will include free pony rides from 2-4 p.m. (sponsored by Castilone Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep of Batavia), a bounce house and appearances by the ever popular Pringles the Clown, Mr. Scribbles and Jason the Juggler.
There will be $1 Sahlen’s hot dogs and $1 sodas available from noon until 4 at the concession on the track apron. Cotton Candy and Snow Cones will also be available for $1 all afternoon.
A 12-race card of afternoon harness racing is scheduled on Family Fun Day with the first post slated for 1:15. Admission and parking, as always, are free.