Pari-mutuel season on fast track
A new season of live pari-mutuel horse racing opened at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds on Saturday and Sunday.
The two-day July Fourth Race Meet, sponsored by the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association, drew 3,906 fans, including 2,632 on Saturday and 1,274 on Sunday.
Over the two days, a total of $255,082 was wagered on 18 races including $164,332 on Saturday and $90,750 on Sunday.
The payout to bettors totaled $200,021, including $129,515 on Saturday and $70,506 on Sunday.
“We had a great turnout,” said Larry Burrow, president of the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association, “the crowd was amazing and the weather was great.”
He said that they had a few firstday glitches when the tote board went out for a little while and the computers went down in one of the betting booths for a short time on Saturday afternoon.
“We got everything up and running and quickly as possible,” Burrow said, and on Sunday, everything ran smoothly.
Burrow also praised the many volunteers who “help us cover all the bases and do a great job.”
He added that anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to call the office at the fair grounds.
“We look forward to everyone coming out for our upcoming events,” Burrow said.
The opening weekend’s racing program included trials for the 350-yard GCFA Maiden Classic on Saturday. Total purse for the race is $33, 800.
The 10 qualifiers for the GCFA Maiden Classic include “Dashingtobefamous” (17.9096); Perrys Domination (17.9553); “First Girl Ever”
(18.1522); “Triple Perry” (18.1610); “Lucero In Bayou” (18.2281); “Three R Mr Perry” (18.2825); “Splash of Eisenheim” (18.3579); “Miss Senator Annie” (18.3727); “CH Bodacious Bug” (18.3975), and “CC Get Cash”
On Sunday, trials were run for the 350-yard July Firecracker Futurity. Total purse is $48,600.
The 10 qualifiers include “Jeg Moons Facination” (17.7204); “This Fancy On Fire” (17.8282); “Js Cartel Runner” (18.0394); “Be A Freighttrain” (18.0449); “Five Bar Charade”
(18.0642); “Mr Chilango” (18.1742); “Curiositi” (18.1857); “Swift Wagon”
(18.1890); “Agavero Cartel” (18.2286), and “Special Leaving” (18.2952).
Finals for both races will be run during the Night In Old Fredericksburg Race Meet on Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21.
Three more live pari-mutuel racing weekends, the 131st Gillespie County Fair and Scholarship Fest are on the summer schedule at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.
The second of four weekends of racing takes place on Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, and includes the Night In Old Fredericksburg celebration on Saturday, July 20.
Night In Old Fredericksburg activities include wiener dog races, a 42 tournament, washer pitching, goat roping, chili and barbecue cooks and car show.
Featured entertainers include Chris Rybak and Moe Bandy.
The Gillespie County Race Meet is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10-11.
Also taking place that weekend will be lamb and meat goat shows.
Rounding out the racing schedule will be two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24-25, as part of the 131st Gillespie County Fair.
131st Gillespie County Fair
The 131st Gillespie County Fair will be held Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 22-25.
Horse racing takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24-25.
Entertainment on Friday night, Aug. 23, will feature Jake Hooker & The Outsiders.
Highlighting the entertainment Saturday night, Aug. 24, will be Stephanie Urbina Jones at 6 p.m. followed by Pauline Reese at 8 p.m. and Tanya Tucker at 10 p.m.
A free “Tejano Night” of music will be offered, beginning with various bands starting at 6 p.m. and concluding with Los Texmaniacs at 9 p.m.
The fair also includes a parade, queen’s contest, agricultural and home products displays, carnival and midway, livestock shows and much more.
Rounding out the season will be the annual Scholarship Fest on Saturday, Sept. 21.
And with the summer season in full swing, patrons are reminded that they can purchase advance tickets online at www.gillespiefair.net.
Box seat tickets for the races can also be purchased online.
The events are sponsored by the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association.