Horse racing fans in West Central Illinois will be excited to hear that next week’s Greene County Fair will be hosting this year’s Downstate Classic.
The Carrolton based fair will be the home of the three year event for two and three-year old trotters and pacers.
While Greene County Speed Superintendent Robert Walker says the fair has had the harness races for years, he believes the Downstate Classic’s first place prizes of over $15,000 should spark some interest for local riders.
“The idea is that you are racing for a pretty nice purse,” says Walker.
“Rather than racing for the Midwest races that we normally have worth around $3,000, you are now racing for nearly five times as much as you were before.”
In total, ten cash prizes will be handed out during the Downstate Classic.
Walker says after the Macon County Fair decided to not bring back the Downstate Classic, Greene County and several other fairs jumped at the opportunity to become the new host.
“Any fair in Illinois was open to bid,” says Walker.
“Basically you had to do it by telling how much money you would put up. I think five fairs bid for these races and we basically won by bidding the most money.”
Walker says with the purse for the race being so high, the number of racers will increase along with the amount of fans wanting to watch.
“So what we are hoping is to bring better horses and also they will bring their own fan group along with it,” says Walker.
“We hope people will be lined up around the fences and the grandstand will have a great crowd, which financially help the fair.”
The Downstate Classic will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, both nights starting at 7:00 p.m.
To enter into the race contact Tina Schrock at 217-416-0006 and for more information on the Greene County Fair and any other area fairs visit the County Fair Page on our website.