Horse racing opening day at Grants Pass Downs

Grants Pass, Ore. — And they’re off! The first day of horse racing kicked off at Grants Pass Downs.

Horse fanatics came out to bet on their favorite horses. For some, it was a day to enjoy in the sun and for others, it was simply a tradition worth traveling for.

“People come from all over the place – all over the state of Oregon, from northern California, from a lot of different places. They come here to not only enjoy the races, but to watch the races and have a really good time,” Tag Wotherspoon said. Wotherspoon works with Grants Pass Downs.

Grants Pass Downs added more jockeys and horses this year. This is all part of their goal to set a record-high attendance this season.

Opening day reeled in 2,875 attendance. This is the biggest crowd on opening day since the Southern Oregon Horse Racing Association took over four years ago. In addition, the total amount of money handle, which was $40,894, was also the largest in the last four years.

There are several special event days for the community throughout the race season.The next promotional event is Father’s Day, where dads can come to the races free of the admission charge.

NBC5 News reporter, weather forecaster, anchor Nikki Torres graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Strategic Communication from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

She also received a minor in Business Administration from the Washington State University Carson College of Business. Prior to coming to NBC5, Nikki was an intern at KHQ Local News, the NBC affiliate in Spokane.

She comes to Southern Oregon from the state of Washington, where she grew up just south of Seattle. She loves running, exploring the Pacific Northwest, watching a good football game and spending time with her dog, Gisele. True to her roots, Nikki is a proud WSU Cougar fan and loyal Seahawks fan.

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