"And down the stretch they come!"
In the lead it’s Minnie, then Vinnie, then Molly and Rossi. Mr. Big looms large on the outside while Snickerdoodle slips through along the rail!” The track announcer at River Downs could easily be making that call on Saturday as those are the names of a few of the dogs that will compete in the first heat of ten as the track presents the annual Wiener Dog Summer Nationals. Sponsored by Pet-Wow and presented by Stray Animal Adoption Program (S.A.A.P.) the canine competition is expected to get underway at 5:30 p.m. on the main track – rain or shine.
A total of 100 Wieners dogs have been pre-entered at the track and they will compete after the live racing of the thoroughbreds. Prizes will be awarded to the winner of each heat and then the ten winners will compete in the championship race. Unlike the horses, the dogs will race a distance of about 20 yards with one handler at the start and another encouraging to win at the finish line. A grand prize of a getaway to Belterra Casino and resort awaits the winning owners of the grand champion.
In addition to Pet-Wow and S.A.A.P., there will be a variety of dog rescue programs and pet product vendor booths located at the east end of the grandstand. The event is free as well as parking at the track all day long. Post time for thoroughbred racing is 1:00 p.m.