Derby Dog Dash
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(559) 650-FAIR


ENtry Deadline:
tuesday, October 10 at 11:59 p.m.



It will take place on Saturday, October 14th in the Brian I. Tatarian Grandstand at The Big Fresno Fair. Entries must be received by Tuesday, October 10th at 11:59 p.m.


The Derby Dog Dash races will be held at the Racing Grandstand on the Fairgrounds (the Brian I. Tatarian Grandstand on the map). The Derby Dog Dash registration booth will be located on the bottom level, inside the Grandstand and all the way on the North hand side of the structure (to your left if you are facing the Grandstand).

An Official Entry consists of:
  1. Thank you to all who signed-up for the 2023 Derby Dog Dash! We've reached our limit for sign-ups and the form is now closed!
  2. Signed Release and Waiver of Liability Agreement. This document can be signed at the fairgrounds upon registration the day of the race.
The winner of the Championship heat will win $100 and the second-place finisher will receive $50. The winner of each individual heat will win $20 and second place will receive $10. Each entry will include admission to the Fairgrounds.

  1. All dogs must meet the weight and height requirement (less than 28 lbs AND 15” at the shoulder). Dog may be weighed and measured at the discretion of the Racing Officials. The Racing Officials will disqualify any dog that does not meet these requirements. The dogs can be pure-bred or mixed. Every effort will be made to run dogs of similar breeds and weights in the same heats.

  2. If you register for a Derby Dog Dash race and are a “no show,” you will not be eligible to participate in future races. If you cannot make the race, please provide 24-hour notice.

  3. Each dog will run in one preliminary heat. The winner of each heat will compete in the Championship race.

  4. The distance of the race will be approximately 50 yards. The distance is approximate and may vary at the discretion of the racing officials.

  5. There will be a MAXIMUM of 8 preliminary heats. If there are fewer than 96 entries, the number of heats will be adjusted accordingly.

  6. The number of dogs in each heat will depend on the number of entries, with a MAXIMUM of twelve dogs per heat.

  7. If entries exceed 96 dogs, owners will be limited to two dogs per human competitor. Owners are encouraged to enter as many dogs as possible. If we are not able to accommodate more than two dogs per owner, we will contact the owner by phone to determine which two dogs the owner would like to run. Please note that we try not to run dogs from the same household in the same race, but due to weight, breed and timing, it does happen. In that situation, please be prepared to have two people available per dog or be prepared to scratch one of the dogs.

  8. Two handlers are required per dog: one handler remains with the dog behind the starting line, the other handler will stand behind the finish line to call the dog and collect him/her after the race. At least one handler must be 18 years of age or older. For the safety of the dogs, handlers are not permitted to leave their designated places while the dogs are competing.

  9. We will not be using a starting gate. Owners will stand at the starting line and hold their dog. Once the dogs are settled behind the starting line, the track announcer will state “Ready, Set, Go” and the handlers will release the dog. Please allow your dog to run freely from the starting line of his/her own accord. ANY HANDLER RELEASING THE DOG BEFORE “GO” WILL BE DISQUALIFIED AT THE DISCRETION OF THE RACING OFFICIALS.

  10. Once the announcer has said “GO” and the dog has been released, finish-line handlers are to call their dogs across the finish line and into the receiving area. You may use snacks, squeaky toys, etc. to coax your dogs. Loud noisemakers, live animals other than dogs, and anything deemed to be disruptive to other dogs will not be permitted. In order to be declared the winner, all 4 paws must cross the finish line.

  11. Once the first dog (with all four paws) has crossed the finish line, the handlers of the other dogs are requested to continue to call their dogs until all dogs are with their respective owners. If your dog does not come to you within a reasonable amount of time after the finish of the race (determined by the Racing Official), you will be allowed to enter the course and collect your dog. Please be careful, and do not interfere with anyone else’s dog.

  12. Dogs will be issued a colored jacket that will correspond with their starting position. All dogs must wear the jacket. If a dog cannot wear the jacket, the dog will not be allowed to start.

  13. The Championship Heat will consist of the 1st place winners of all the previous heats and possible “wild-card” spots. The procedures for the final heat will be the same as above.

  14. Racing Officials will determine the winners and all subsequent placings. Decisions regarding placing by Racing Officials are final.

  15. The winner of the Derby Dog Dash Championship and his/her owner and handlers will come to the winner’s circle on the racetrack for photos.

  16. Management reserves the right to interpret all questions and conditions in regard to this event, without claim for damages or recourse of any kind. All questions and definitions not covered explicitly in these rules will be decided by the management of the Alameda County Fair, Big Fresno Fair and the California Authority of Racing Fairs with those decisions being final.

  17. Dogs MUST BE kept on LEASHES at all times while on Fairground property (the only exception being when the dog is racing). Violators will be asked to leave the property. No exceptions.

  18. Please bring a dog potty pick-up method to maintain a clean racing environment.

  19. Please DO NOT, under any circumstances, leave dogs unattended in parked cars in the parking lot.
  1. Racers and handlers will be notified of their heats and where to pick up their Big Fresno Fair admission tickets by Friday, October 13.

  2. Racers and handlers will need to check in before their heat. Heat times will be provided by Friday, October 13.

  3. To allow plenty of time, racers and handlers can plan to arrive at the Fair by 1:15 p.m.
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