Friday, November 26, 2021

Black Heritage Day taking place at Dresden Raceway on Sunday

For many people Sunday will be like a homecoming as Dresden Raceway will host its first annual Black Heritage Day.

“This is going to be a great event,” said Terry McCorkle, in a media release.

“There have been so many people I haven’t seen in years, I cant remember the last time I saw Gates (Duwayne Guest), Freddy (Fred List) and a lot of these people.”

The half mile track will be honouring eight families and Rev. Josiah Henson for their contributions to racing at Dresden Raceway and harness racing.

The track is located on the original 200 acre property that Henson bought in 1841 that eventually became the end of the underground railroad.

Henson was also a horse breeder and in his will left half the proceeds of my prized Hambletonian stallion John to his son Peter.

Hambletonian was the father of harness racing in North America meaning there have been race horses on that 200 acre plt since the 1850’s.

Fast forwarding to the 1960’s and 1970’s when names like Fred List, Lonnie McCorkle and Lyle Grineage were regulars at Dresden and other local tracks.

“I’m pretty excited for Sunday,” said Mike Grineage, who is pert of one of the families being honoured, in a media release.

“There will be lots of people I haven’t seen in a while and it will be nice to hear some of the old stories and catch up on some great memories. I’ve been all aorund Ontario in through the states and Dresden really was groundbreaking when it came to people of colour in the business. Some other places we weren’t treated the same but here in Dresden I was just one of the guys, it was home.”

“I think this event is a great idea,” said driving legend John Campbell, in a media release.

“Lonnie (McCorkle)was a good friend of my father’s and became a friend of mine as well. I remember driving against Lonnie, Fred (List) and Lyle (Grineage), they were all top notch horsemen. I think this is great that they are being honoured for their contributions to the sport.”

Dresden will be honouring the Davis Family, the Tanner Family, the Prince Family, the Simmons Family, the List Family, the Grineage Family, the McCorkle Family, Duwayne Guest and Josiah Henson.

Post time for Sunday’s card of racing is 1 p.m.

To attend you can register by messaging the number of people in your party, their names and phone numbers to the Dresden Raceway Facebook page or by email at dresdenracewayreservations@gmail.com.

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