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Sunday, 05 March 2017 18:52

Did you know Remington Park races Camels, Zebras, and Ostriches?


Pictured is Dale Day, Program Chairman Lion Duaine Janzen, and President Lion R.C. Morrow.
Photo by Dean Craig

The phrase, "the show must go on" came to mind regarding Tuesday's Lions Club meeting as the regularly scheduled program by Scott Wells, President and General Manager of Remington Park in Oklahoma City, was presented by Dale Day, Announcer and Communications Manager of Remington Park. Mr. Wells was out of the state so Dale admirably stepped in to present the program. And who better to be program chairman than Lion Duaine Janzen because he deals with Mustangs, only a different kind through Harlan Ford Motor Company. (Pun intended).

Dale said he was an "Air Force brat" (his father was an Air Force pilot and his mother was an Air Force nurse) and they lived in a lot of places before moving from Ohio to Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in Broadcast Journalism and joined the Remington Park staff in 1993 after spending many years working for sports radio station WWLS.. He announced football, basketball, baseball games, and even hockey games with John Brooks. His first job at Remington in October 1993 was as the operator of the message board, advancing to head of communications in 1996, marketing director from 1999 to 2005, adding the duties of announcer in 2004.

Remington Park was built by Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. and opened in 1988. The years between 1994-2004 were rather lean years, and the track was close to closing in 2002. House Bill 712 allowed casinos, which basically rescued Remington Park. That, and the fact that the Chickasaw Nation, through Global Gaming, became the third owner of Remington, and began infusing money into the Park on January1, 2010. According to Dale, this was the best thing that could have happened for the track's future. Their purses are much higher now so they are attracting better horses and more of them. The State of Oklahoma receives 1/3 of the track's proceeds, Remington Park receives 1/3, and the horses 1/3. Since 2005, the Park has put $165 million in education.

March 10 the quarter horse racing begins, followed by the thoroughbred racing season. April 23 will be a special day of racing camels, zebras, and ostriches. Several Lions members wanted to nominate certain other Lions members to be jockeys for these special races, but Dale stated that would not be allowed because it is against track rules and, besides, it is too dangerous.

Admission, parking, and valet parking are always FREE at Remington Park, something you can't say about other sporting entertainment venues. Becoming a Lion member is not free but the blessings of serving the community is kind of like Mastercard..........Priceless!! (WE SERVE).