Two-day Showdown – 64 Dogs – at Hastings This Weekend
With his owner Nancy Green saying he’s not too old to cut the mustard, ‘Joey’ the wiener dog is returning to Hastings Racecourse this weekend with hopes of winning his third straight championship.
It’s the 3rd annual Wiener Dog competition with all 64 kennels having been filled as five heats will run between live horse racing Saturday and three heats on Sunday, setting up the eight survivors to dig in their paws for the championship showdown sponsored by Schneiders. Each heat qualifying winner receives $100. The eventual champion receives $1,000 with $500 going to the runner-up and $200 to the third-place finisher.
“There is tremendous pressure for Joey to win three times in a row,” owner Green says. “But I think he’s been enjoying all the attention as defending champion and we’ve decided to go for the three-peat.”
Official Starter and Wiener Warden Joe Gray has not shown a whole lot of puppy love in laying down some stringent rules.
“Only approved dogs competing in the races are allowed on the grounds at any time,” Gray says. “One wiener dog owner stays with the dog in the starting gate and that owner’s partner stays at the finish line. The dogs must reach the finish line by themselves and not be pulled across by over-zealous owners. Each race officially begins when I yell out: ‘Owners, start your wieners!’ and not a second before.”
Gray will again be capably assisted by Wiener Workforce foreman Paul Bouchard, who hopes to avoid an incident that happened in Year One when a nervous competing wiener dog was frightened at the starting gate and bolted under the rail and onto the track infield.
Hastings Director of Racing Paul Ryneveld tried to ketch up to the darling little dachshund but was no match for the four-legged pace.
Coming on the heels of last weekend’s successful Mascot Derby in support of Variety – The Children’s Charity, the 3rdannual Wiener Dog Races are part of a continuing family entertainment program at Hastings where there is never an admission charge.
Friday Night Live thoroughbred racing goes at 7:00 p.m. while Saturday’s live card starts at 3:20 p.m. and Sunday’s at 1:50 p.m. There are two major stakes on the weekend agenda: the $50,000 Strawberry Morn for older fillies and mares on Saturday and the $50,000 SW Randall Plate for older colts and geldings on Sunday.
Hastings Racecourse & Casino is located in Vancouver, B.C. and features live and simulcast wagering, a vibrant gaming floor, numerous dining options, private and public event facility rental opportunities, spectacular views of the North Shore Mountains and outstanding guest services.Tags: featured, Hastings Park, horse racing, racing, Vancouver, weiner dog