LIMA — Unlike other grandstand entertainment at the Allen County Fair, harness racing can be an interactive one.
“When you put two dollars down on a horse, it makes you a part of the race,” Ohio Colt Racing Association Vice President Denny Fricke said.
Harness racing has been a longstanding event at the fair, but this year, the schedule has shifted due to a change-up in the harness racing association that helps organize the event. Under the new schedule, the two harness races are scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 22, and Friday, Aug. 23.
For those unfamiliar with harness racing, Fricke said many people enjoy watching the horses thunder down the track in both pace and trot styles, but betting creates stakes that can heighten the tension for those in the grandstands. Pace denotes the way the horse runs (two legs on the same side move forward together) compared to trot (diagonal legs move together).
To get more fairgoers involved in the race, Fricke said pre-shows scheduled for 6 p.m. have been instituted to teach those in the grandstand how to place their bets, which can involve specialized lingo.
The informational sessions will also teach the audience how to better understand the data presented in the program to guide where to place their bets.
While the number of races and horses involved will be known three days prior to the weekend’s races, Fricke is looking forward to another exciting year.
“It should be a busy night. I’m not sure how many races there will be,” Fricke said. “The bigger the the field, the better the betting is. The odds are a lot better.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.