Hamburg, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- It's a season of changes at Buffalo Raceway.
The Hamburg track is set to open its 70th season of live harness racing on Wednesday, Jan. 11, but never in its history has it opened with so many changes.
“I don’t think there’s a track in the country that has accomplished more in an offseason than what has been done this autumn, especially in the stable area” C.O.O. Jim Mango said in a news release.
Three new barns have been built, plus major repairs to all the existing barns have taken place. Dormitory renovations, more blacktopping, new roofs, painting, and stall repairs in most every barn. The racing surface has been improved with what Mango calls, “the best material I’ve seen in many years”.
A 3% Players Reward program is up and running in the clubhouse and will be introduced to live race patrons. A new Café style food service -- “The Winners Circle” -- will allow patrons to buy food at all times on race nights without any delay. The clubhouse will also feature open seating.
The Raceway will have a new Race Secretary, Ginny Rosenfeld, and a new announcer, Gabe Prewitt, for the 2012 season. Rosenfeld has been the Assistant Race Secretary at Batavia, for the last decade, and comes to Buffalo with a plethora of knowledge of the Western New York racing community. Prewitt is a native of Kentucky, and has been calling races at The Red Mile, in Lexington for the past seven years. Long time trainer-driver Tom Agosti will be the new assistant Race Secretary.
Another big change for this year is the new racing schedule. The season will start with a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday format. However the new time for Wednesdays will be 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays will remain with a 6:40 p.m. post time. Thursdays are added starting April 12th, and will also have a 5 p.m. start. Sunday afternoon racing (1:05 p.m.), which was very popular with our patrons, is back this year for June and July. Even though there will be nine more racing days, purses will remain the same as last year.
Buffalo Raceway is also pleased to announce it has joined with the USTA Strategic Wagering, and will offer a guaranteed $5,000 pick 4 every Wednesday in January. Quickly becoming a favorite bet for most bettors, it’s a chance to win big money if you can pick the four winners of the designated races. Saturdays in February feature the popular “Niatross Knockout Series”, where you can get a free long-sleeve t-shirt on February 4.