“ It looks great, just super” veteran horsemen Craig Banks said. He made the five-hour trip from Cannon Falls, Minn. to compete on the new track.
The track appears to be about four seconds faster after the improvements. The fastest mile of the day, 1:59.1 by the 5-year-old Iowa-bred BeautyNHonor, was four seconds faster than the best time at the May 2011 meet. It was also the first sub-2:00 in May in Iowa.
“The track is not just faster, but safer for the horses too” Coon said.
The Iowa Harness Racing Association spent about $200,000 on track improvements at the state’s two primary fair tracks, What Cheer and Humboldt, after legislation mandating harness purses -- but ending racing at Prairie Meadows -- was enacted in 2011.
Harness purses in Iowa will total approximately $1.5 million over 37 racing days.