Dresden Raceway’s history is like that of many other small tracks throughout Canada.
Racing began over 140 years ago when men would race their horses for bragging rights after church. It turned into an afternoon of festivities for the families as the children would play between dashes while the wives would enjoy some “girl time” with each other. When the races started they would cheer for their favourites.
Things became more organized at Dresden Raceway when a group of men including Jack Martin, George Deacon, Jack Latimer, Ray Unsworth and a group of others got together to build the track where it stands.
The original grandstand was on the south side of the track exactly opposite of where the grandstand sits now. In 1976 the Dresden Agricultural Society held the grand opening for a new grandstand on the north side of the track where it still stands.
In the 1980′s the track was vibrant, racing four nights per week with handles that would hit between $80,000-$100,000 on average nights but climb to $100,000-$120,000 on good nights.
Some of the best drivers of all time like Levi “Jiggs” McFadden, Shelley Goodreau, John Campbell, Dave Wall and Kevin Wallis all raced regularly at Dresden Raceway.
McFadden headlined a group of legends that raced at Dresden that included Wilf Duford, Elwin Dell and Dunc Campbell.
Top trainers like Bob McIntosh would often bring their two-year-olds to the track for their first races and it would be a site to behold as six or seven of the McIntosh entries would be in each of the schooling races and the maiden races.
Camluck, Fundamenalist, Mystery Fund, and Bond Street are just a few of his offerings that got their first start at Dresden Raceway.
Other great horses got their start at the local oval as well, including Apaches Fame and A Worthy Lad who was halter broke by trainer Mark Austin who was stabled at the track.
Interestingly enough, A Worthy Lad tied Cam Fella’s record of 28 straight victories at Dresden Raceway.
There were many great overnight horses that raced at Dresden Raceway as well including Dave Wall’s Pro Fighter and others like Davey Lee, Dapper Duke Dee and Mr Peter Ray.
Dresden Raceway was operated by Windsor Raceway for many years through the 1990′s and into the new millenium but is now back into the hands of the Dresden Ag Society.
The track has a five-year deal with Ontario Lottery and gaming to operate through 2021.