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Wiener Dog Races at Turfway Bring Awareness, Funds to Local Animal Shelters

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:00 AM
  • General
FLORENCE, Ky. (August 27, 2013) – Racing of a different sort returns to Turfway Park Sept. 21, when the Thoroughbred racetrack hosts its 2nd annual Polytrack Puppy Party, this year featuring the SAAP Wiener Dog Races.

The event benefits the Stray Animal Adoption Program (SAAP), headquartered in Newport, Ky., and the Boone County Animal Shelter, based in Burlington, Ky.

The Polytrack Puppy Party Featuring the SAAP Wiener Dog Races is a series of races for Dachshunds and other small dog breeds and mixes. Fans can even make $2 wagers on their favorites, though winning bets pay off in prizes, not cash. To add to the fun, the dogs will break from Turfway's official starting gate. The first of 11 races goes off at 1 p.m. Check-in begins at 11 a.m.

This is the first year SAAP has teamed with Turfway for the races. While Turfway introduced its Polytrack Puppy Party last fall, SAAP has held "wiener dog" races at River Downs for the past two years. This year, however, the Cincinnati, Ohio, racetrack is under construction and unavailable for SAAP's event.

"These races are a lot of fun for everybody, and they're a great way to raise money to help stray and abandoned animals," said Mary Troilo, Turfway's national simulcast director and the driving force behind the Northern Kentucky track's Polytrack Puppy Party. "And where better to hold them than at a real racetrack? We also didn't want the SAAP races to lose their momentum by having to sit out a year, so joining their efforts with ours was a perfect solution."

"SAAP is excited to partner with Turfway Park," said Debby Manning, chair of this year’s SAAP Wiener Dog Races. "This will add a new dimension to the races while helping animals not only in the SAAP and Boone County programs but also in other Tri-State area rescues as well. The wiener dog races are a fun way to raise awareness about many different pet rescues."

The fun-with-pups theme continues all day. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., local radio personality and author Janeen Coyle will be on hand with her pug, Tank, to sign her new children's book, A Pug with a Plan.

At noon, a team from Buckeye Search and Rescue Dogs will demonstrate their training and skills.

Animals up for adoption through various agencies also will be on the grounds, ready to choose their new owners.

The day's honored guest is Rex, a Dachshund from Owen County (Ky.) Friends of Animals. Rex has problems with his spine, but that doesn't dim his will to run and play. Using a two-wheeled cart that stands in for his hind legs, he will be an honorary competitor in the day’s final race.

Throughout the day, Frisch's Big Boy, the Chick-Fil-A cow mascot, and racetrack mascot Turfway Tommy will drop by to join the festivities. Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky radio station ClassX (FM 88.9, 89.1, and 89.3) will provide the day's classic rock soundtrack. Pet-related vendor booths and raffles will keep fans busy between races.

Nine of the day's 11 races are restricted to "wiener dogs"; should questions arise about a dog's eligibility for the wiener dog class, SAAP's three-person panel of experts will determine whether the dog meets the breed requirement. Two other races are open to dogs of any breed or mix under 20 lbs. Eight of the wiener dog races will be run as heats, followed by the two open class races. The race day ends with the winners of the wiener dog heats facing off in the final.

While larger dogs may not race, all dogs are invited to bring their owners to cheer on the competitors and enjoy the fun.

Advance registration for the Polytrack Puppy Party Featuring the SAAP Wiener Dog Races is $10 online at Advance registration ends at noon on Sept. 16. Registration is $15 at the door if spots remain.

More information is available at Adopt a Stray or by calling (859) 391-1234.


Contact Sherry Pinson, Turfway Park, (859) 647-4842, or Debby Manning, SAAP, (859) 391-1234.

About Turfway Park
Part of Kentucky's year round Thoroughbred racing circuit, Turfway Park presents live racing from December through March. Opened in 1959 as Latonia Race Course, the track was renamed Turfway Park in 1986 and has been owned since 1999 by a partnership that currently includes Caesars Entertainment, Rock Gaming, and Keeneland Association. Turfway is known for innovation; the track introduced night racing to Kentucky, was the first Kentucky track to offer simulcast and intertrack wagering, and in 2005 pioneered an all-weather surface for racing. Turfway Park is home to the $550,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (G3), a designated prep for the Kentucky Derby.

About the Stray Animal Adoption Program
SAAP is a Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati 501(c)3 rescue organization founded in 1998. In the last six years, the organization has adopted out more than 4,800 animals. SAAP is run entirely by volunteers and depends primarily on private donations and adoption fees for operating funds.

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