By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport


SCENE & HEARD:  In the aftermath of the Belmont buzz and bustle, it seems an appropriate time for a little ‘puppy love’.

Almost a decade ago when the Wiener Dog Races were introduced to fans at Hastings Racecourse there were critics and naysayers convinced that the novelty would never catch on.

Turns out they were barking up the wrong tree.

The loveable little daschunds were an instant hit to the point where a one-day Saturday competition staged between thoroughbred races became Wiener Dog Weekend with semi-final heats and a championship final the following Sunday.

Every year since its inception the wiener dog races have captured the imagination of Hastings patrons, young and old. The 2018 edition is set in bone stone for the July 14-15 weekend.

But after hearing the demands from owners of other breeds, the wiener dogs are sharing the spotlight with bulldogs and corgis on the 2018 Hastings events calendar … not on the same stage but on different dates as part of a unique Dog Days of Summer lineup.

The English/British version of bulldogs described on Wikipedia refers to “medium-sized muscular and hefty dogs with a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose that have found a place in people’s hearts and homes”.  And now they’re coming to a racetrack near you!

Jot down the date:  the inaugural Bulldog Races at Hastings Racecourse on Saturday, June 23. Then, following Wiener Dog Weekend in July, prepare for the Corgis on Sunday, August 12.

Can camel and ostrich races be far behind?  Naysayers beware:  they were introduced for the first time to the Pacific Northwest at Emerald Downs last month to rave reviews.  Tracks across North America have been booking them for years.

For now, though, Hastings patrons will settle for wiener dogs, bulldogs and corgi pups.