Pari-mutuel racing returns to Prineville on Wednesday
Organizers are rushing to get ready for this years' Crooked River Roundup Race Meet.
With the fairgrounds used for a truck and tractor pull on Friday and Saturday, that doesn't leave much time to prepare the ground for racing, which starts this Wednesday night with ladies night.
However, the Roundup received new sponsorships this year along with larger and more powerful equipment for preparing the ground, so organizers are confident that the track will be ready for racing.
Due to hot weather the past couple of weeks, volunteers have been heavily watering the grounds, both to make sure that the track will be in good shape and to keep down dust.
With temperatures expected to rise again by the end of the week, it may be a bit of a challenge to keep the track in shape, but event organizers are confident that the track will be ready for racing by Wednesday evening.
As of Monday, horses were already arriving at the fairgrounds, and there is expected to be a full slate of at least eight races nightly.
Wednesday is ladies night, with all women getting into the races free of charge.
General admission tickets are $7 at the gates and free to those 12 and under. In addition, discounted tickets can be purchased at Wilco in Prineville for $5.
Gates will open nightly at 6 p.m. and there is no assigned seating.
Both quarter horse and thoroughbred races are scheduled nightly during the four-day event.
The biggest race on Wednesday night's card is the Simonas Sprint.
Friday races include the Praise Jay Thoroughbred Stakes and the Mizer Memorial.
Saturday has several big races, including the Jack Rhoden Memorial Bonus Challenge, which has the largest purse of the race meet.
Other big Saturday races include the Prineville HBPA Thoroughbred Stakes, the Art Smith Memorial and the Ben Woodward Memorial Stakes.
The race meet is run entirely with volunteer help and, according to organizers, it's not too late to volunteer.
Help is needed with the beer servers, gate watchers, ticket takers and manning the betting windows during the races.
Those interested can contact the Roundup board at infocrookedriverroundup.com.