Boom! Just like that... Century Downs Racetrack and Casino is getting set to celebrate their 7th Anniversary and have dubbed the afternoon program of April 23rd Fan Appreciation Day at the races. To help in celebrating the big event a pair of harness racing legends, when it comes to announcing, will be making the journey to Alberta for the special anniversary card.
“Roger Huston is a legend and an icon. I mean there was a bobblehead doll giveaway at the Meadows one year!" says the Managing Director of Racing for Century Mile and Century Downs Racetrack and Casino Paul Ryneveld. "Vance Cameron brings his flair and expression that has made him a Canadian legend," he continued. "I have been fortunate to hear both live at their respective tracks and look forward to what will be a memorable 7th Anniversary of racing at Century Downs.”
Huston, the famous voice of the Little Brown Jug and Cameron, longtime caller of P.E.I.'s Gold Cup and Saucer will both share in the announcing duties for the day. Huston mentions that he's absolutely looking forward to heading west for some harness racing action. "I always get excited going into a new location to call races and this will mark 20 Canadian tracks that I've had the pleasure of announcing at," says the announcer of close to 181,700 horse races over his career. "This will be the farthest west I've been in Canada," he mentions. "I did call races at Queensbury Downs, for an anniversary program back in 1994, but this will be my first time in Alberta."
When asked about his favourite races to announce, over the years, there are a few Little Brown Jugs that do standout. "I'd be foolish if I didn't say Falcon Seelster's Jug win, in 1985, was my favourite and likely my most popular race call... The Wiggle It Jiggleit Jug, of 2015, will go down as the greatest race I've ever seen or ever called... Life Sign's Jug victory, of 1993, was a memorable one as well."
Cameron has never been west of Marquis Downs, in Saskatoon, so he is anticipating to the new surroundings as well. "I was out that way in 1981 and called races with guys like Ed Tracey, Jerv Clifton, Jamie Gray and Billy Companion, coming in from Alberta, so I do have 'a wee bit of western swing' in me," he says. "I was absolutely humbled to get the call and to team up with Roger Huston for this - I'm just really looking forward to it." Known for his popular 'Boom! Just like that', 'Brouhaha', 'To it and at it - at and it to it' and more - Cameron sounds very keen and will be hoping to use some of his signature calls on the day. "I'm going to bring them all," he says of his popular catchphrases. "And I may have a new one with me as well - I'm sure it will be a great time in the booth!"
Cameron would come out on top of the 'Canada's Best Race Call' poll, as voted on by fans of Canadian harness racing in 2019. His much-heralded call of the 2008 Gold Cup and Saucer, where Earl Smith would win with Pownal Bay Matt, was a clear winner among the competition.
Event organizer James Jungquist, a former driver on the Alberta circuit, came up with the idea of bringing these two legends together at Century Downs. "When I moved into this new marketing role - I thought about my time in the sulky and what would have gotten me excited as a horse person. This was it!" says Jungquist. "Roger Huston is harness racing and Vance Cameron is that in Canada. This will be an awesome event for race fans and horse people on track and off. We've had a wonderful response from our industry partners in making this happen - I'd like to applaud Century Downs, Horse Racing Alberta and ASHA for coming together and sharing in this very special event. The excitement, on this day, will be second to none for all involved."
So there you have it - be sure to circle up Saturday, April 23 for a day at the races with announcing legends Roger Huston and Vance Cameron. Stay tuned for more '7th Anniversary at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino' details to come.