Harness racing held without spectators


By Braden Moles - bmoles@aimmediamidwest.com



No spectators were allowed at the harness racing which took place on Sunday, Aug. 2.

No spectators were allowed at the harness racing which took place on Sunday, Aug. 2.


Racers prepare to leave the gate during the harness races on Sunday, Aug. 2.


Harness racing was allowed to continue this year, but with no spectators.


No spectators were allowed at the harness racing which took place on Sunday, Aug. 2.


EATON — The sound of hooves rounding the dirt track at the Preble County Fairgrounds reverberated louder than ever as the grandstands sat empty during this year’s harness races on Sunday, Aug. 2.

After declaring that county fairs would be junior fairs only beginning on July 31, Gov. Mike DeWine did make one addendum to that announcement — harness racing could continue without spectators.

Without bettors present to put money down on the 17 races that took place Sunday afternoon, it was a quiet atmosphere as the drivers swiftly moved along the track.

Roy Burns, a driver and trainer who raced Sunday, said that the lack of crowd didn’t have an impact on the competition.

“You don’t even — once you’re racing — you don’t pay no attention to the spectators,” he said. “I mean, beforehand or afterwards you kind of look around, see who’s here and stuff. Normally during the race, the only thing you’re worried about is what’s happening in front of you.”

Burns said an added benefit of no betting public is that the races went much faster. In total, all 17 races took just over 3.5 hours to complete with races usually starting within 15 minutes of the previous post time.

“With no spectators, races go a lot faster instead of waiting on the betting public and all that,” he said. “I mean, it’s too bad that they’re not even broadcasting them here today, but the races go a lot faster. It’s like qualifiers. It’s still very competitive because they’re going for money.”

The 17 races had a combined purse of $89,523, so there was no lack of motivation even if there was nobody in the crowd to cheer them on.

While DeWine’s announcement came just at the end of July, Burns said that they have already had to race under these conditions a number of times.

“Yeah, it’s been about three or four so far that we’ve run into,” he said. “This is kind of becoming, I hate to say, ‘the norm’ of the races with no spectators.”

Burns’ daughter, Kacey Burns, who also drove Sunday, agreed with her father’s assessment about the impact of no crowd on the races, saying she didn’t believe it would make a difference.

“It’s just kind of sad to look in the grandstands and nobody’s out there watching, but nothing will change on the track,” she said.

An empty grandstand doesn’t make for an ideal racing atmosphere, but Roy still appreciated the opportunity to come out and race at the Preble County Fair.

“Nice place to race here,” he said. “Nice fairgrounds, and we enjoy them putting the races on.”

Full Results

Race 1 – $9,962 – OHFS 2C Trot – J’s Onmy Feet L (5 Starters)

Race 2 – $5,969 – OHFS 2F Pace – Saddle Up N Cruise (6 Starters)

Race 3 – $5,156 – OHFS 2F Trot – Boujee Girl (5 Starters)

Race 4 – $5,431 – OHFS 3C Pace – Wf Eeyore (7 Starters)

Race 5 – $9,262 – OHFS 3F Trot – Full Of Truth (6 Starters)

Race 6 – $4,204 – OHFS 2C Pace – Imagine It (6 Starters)

Race 7 – $5,131 – OHFS 3C Trot – Blazintothefront (6 Starters)

Race 8 – $3,771 – OHFS 3F Pace – Bad Ms Johnson (6 Starters)

Race 9 – $3,000 – OPEN Pace – Ohio Prince (8 Starters)

Race 10 – $5,969 – OHFS 2F Pace – Ball Diamond (5 Starters)

Race 11 – $5,156 – OHFS 2F Trot – Banker’s Fortune (4 Starters)

Race 12 – $5,431 – OHFS 3C Pace – Nvrpoptdaplugs (6 Starters)

Race 13 – $4,204 – OHFS 2C Pace – Pinot Blanc (5 Starters)

Race 14 – $3,771 – OHFS 3F Pace – Treasurethosechips (4 Starters)

Race 15 – $5,131 – OHFS 3C Trot – Greek Legend (4 Starters)

Race 16 – $4,204 – OHFS 2C Pace – Illini Duke (5 Starters)

Race 17 – $3,771 – OHFS 3F Pace – Shehitthehighnote (4 Starters)

Full results can be found online at https://racing.ustrotting.com.

No spectators were allowed at the harness racing which took place on Sunday, Aug. 2.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2020/08/web1_Harness_Racing4C.jpgNo spectators were allowed at the harness racing which took place on Sunday, Aug. 2.

https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2020/08/web1_Harness_Racing2.jpg

Racers prepare to leave the gate during the harness races on Sunday, Aug. 2.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2020/08/web1_Harness_Racing1.jpgRacers prepare to leave the gate during the harness races on Sunday, Aug. 2.

Harness racing was allowed to continue this year, but with no spectators.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2020/08/web1_Harness_Racing3.jpgHarness racing was allowed to continue this year, but with no spectators.

No spectators were allowed at the harness racing which took place on Sunday, Aug. 2.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2020/08/web1_Harness_Racing4.jpgNo spectators were allowed at the harness racing which took place on Sunday, Aug. 2.

By Braden Moles

bmoles@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @BradenMoles

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @BradenMoles