By Christy Lewis
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Saturday is the kickoff for the Grants Pass Downs and organizers are getting geared up. As horse trainers arrive, crews are making sure the track is well manicured. Dozens of horses are already on site, eating carrots and gearing up.
Fairground officials say they expect a big turnout this year, hoping for around 2,000 on the very first night. This year the crew also focused on decorating the fairgrounds and creating a new winner’s circle.
In 2010, two horses were euthanized because of injuries at the downs. Investigators say the track wasn’t the cause, but this year, fairground officials changed it anyway, adding a new track crew, a new tractor and a new water truck.
On top of that, board members are on decorating duty. This year you’ll see a new winner’s circle and better landscaping, making it festive for the 2,000 fans expected turn out Saturday evening. The event starts at a new time this year: 4 p.m. Saturday and again at 1 p.m. Sunday at the fairgrounds.