A premier event for aged pacers, the Des Smith Classic was contested from 1982-2012 producing classic champions such as Coal Harbor, Apaches Fame, Artsplace, Staying Together, Riyadh, Lis Mara and most recently Betterthancheddar. This year, the event will be resurrected and contested on Sunday August 16th for an estimated purse of $75,000. “To have our signature event return is very exciting” remarked racing manager Peter Andrusek. “An event of this magnitude drawing some of the best aged pacing talent in North America and some of racing’s best trainers and drivers will certainly bolster the notoriety and credibility of our racing program. ”We are very proud of our 58 year history as a cornerstone track in Ontario and we will continue to enhance the on and off track experience for our valued racing fans.”
The 59th season kicks off Sunday February 9th with a 6:30 post time. When Thursday programs are added in June, post time for that day will be 4PM for the first time. This is an attempt to find the “sweet spot” where maximum pari-mutuel wager can be attained. Rideau will also pilot a hitching fee experiment where owners of horses not finishing in the top 5 will be sent home with $150. Fans may also notice a new state of the art tote board in the infield and horses and drivers will assemble behind a brand new starting car capable of accommodating multiple guests.
The NCRHHA and Rideau Carleton couldn’t be more pleased and proud to welcome a very special guest driver on May 17th to assist in their annual fundraiser for The Shepherds of Good Hope. The world’s all time leading driver, Dave Palone, with over 19,000 wins and $145 million in career earnings will be honoured for his illustrious career by the Rideau Carleton faithful. Palone will have a meet and greet with fans and his superior driving skills will also be on display as he competes in 8 races on the card.