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4th of July at the Grants Pass Downs

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — In Grants Pass on the Fourth of July there is nothing more American then going down to the horse track.

Whether it’s to gamble or just watch the races, the Downs attracts more than 2,000 people every year on the 4th, and this year the track was fast.

There are usually two types of races at the Downs: a straight away 350 yard sprint and 5 and a half-furlongs around the track, a horse by the name of Due South takes this race by a mile.

Another horse that has been a favorite at the downs this year is Chocolate Star. She has won the last 4 races she has entered in, and on the Fourth, she made it 5 in a row, winning by a nose. Her owner and trainer Mary Boyle had a great day, winning both the races her horses entered in. Not bad for a local gal.

As usual, the 4th of July brings out the most spectators during the entire 4 weeks of racing at the Grants Pass Downs. Parking was extremely difficult to get. The official attendance today was 2,219. Also a lot of betting going on, they had almost $60,000 worth of bets placed on Independence Day.

The biggest bet and the biggest race of all was the Annual Fire Cracker Futurity, a straight 350-yard sprint with a $27,000 purse, the winner taking home a big pot of that, and that winner was Jess Be Hawkin, owned by local Grants Pass legend Don Young. This weekend, the 7th and the 8th will be the final days of racing for the entire summer.