August 27, 2016

Metro, Shes A Great Lady Elims Set

August 23, 2016 – The pacing stars of today and tomorrow are set to clash at Mohawk Racetrack for the Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady.

The entry box for all three major events closed Tuesday morning with no eliminations required for the Canadian Pacing Derby, as 10 of the sport’s finest older pacers were entered, sending them directly to the $616,000 final on Saturday, September 3.

The Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady Stakes will need eliminations this Saturday (August 28) to determine the finalists for September 3.

A total of 25 two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were entered in the Metro for three $40,000 eliminations, while 15 rookie pacing fillies were dropped in the box for the Shes A Great Lady for two $35,000 eliminations.

The Canadian Pacing Derby is Canada’s oldest stakes race and the 2016 edition has attracted a field of superstars.

State Treasurer, the reigning Canadian Horse of the Year, is back to defend his ‘Pacing Derby’ crown against several of harness racing’s giants.

Always B Miki, last year’s Breeders Crown champion, will be returning to Mohawk for the first time since his track record 1:47.1 performance in the Mohawk Gold Cup. The Jimmy Takter trained five-year-old has won six of 10 starts this season, including the Ben Franklin and William Haughton Memorial. The world champion is approaching double-millionaire status and holds a mark of 1:47.

Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 2015 U.S. Horse of the Year, will look to become the third four-year-old to win the Canadian Pacing Derby in the last 10 years. Trained by Clyde Francis for George Teague, the son of Mr Wiggles has earned over $1 million this season to bring his career bankroll to over $3.3 million. Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 34 of 45 career starts and holds a career-mark of 1:47.2.

Shamballa will look to defend his home track for trainer Rick Zeron. The six-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere captured the U.S. Pacing Championship earlier this month at the Meadowlands Racetrack in a career-best 1:47.1. A local fan-favourite for his outstanding closing speed, Shamballa is a three-time winner this season and has hit the board in eight of 10 starts. The Zeron trainee finished second in last year’s Pacing Derby.

Despite facing some stiff competition, State Treasurer has recently found his best stride of the season after having dealt with an injury. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee was scratched from an August 6 start after he stepped on a nail, but has since returned and won two consecutive starts, including a 1:48.3 effort last Saturday at Mohawk. A winner of over $2 million, State Treasurer will be competing in his third consecutive Canadian Pacing Derby.

The 2016 Pacing Derby field also includes double millionaire All Bets Off, last year’s Cane Pace winner Dealt A Winner, Molson Pace winner Evenin Of Pleasure, WEG Preferred standouts Nickle Bag, Nirvana Seelster and 2015 Empire Breeders champion Rockin In Heaven.

The post position draw for the Canadian Pacing Derby will take place Saturday evening.

The Metro Pace appears wide open heading into this Saturday’s three eliminations. The top three-finishers from each elimination, plus a fourth-place finisher drawn by lot, will advance to the $661,000 final.

The first elimination features Ben Baillargeon trainee Rock This Way (PP4, Mario Baillargeon), who pulled off a 65-1 upset in a division of the Nassagaweya last Saturday. The son of 2005 Metro Pace winner Rocknroll Hanover stopped the clock in a national season’s best 1:51.3.

Calvin K (PP5, Jody Jamieson) has the highest earnings of the 25 rookies in this year’s Metro Pace, with $114,220 earned through seven career starts. The Ontario Sires Stakes standout was second in his Nassagaweya division for trainer Tony O’Sullivan.

The second elimination features Macs Jackpot (PP7, Sylvain Filion), who won the other Nassagaweya division last Saturday. The son of Somebeachsomewhere recently joined the O’Sullivan barn after racing south of the border for Jim Campbell. The third foal out of $1.3 million winner Michelles Power, Macs Jackpot has won three of six starts for just under $80,000 in earnings.

The final elimination has a several intriguing competitors, including Southwind General(PP7, Jody Jamieson) who is jumping from the OSS Grassroots to Grand Circuit competition in just his second start. The Jack Darling-trained son of Sportswriter was a $110,000 yearling purchase and won his debut by more than eight lengths.

Bettors Dream (PP8, Tim Tetrick) will also compete in the final elimination. The son of Bettors Delight won the Dream Maker Series final in convincing fashion, but suffered his first loss last Saturday in the Nassagaweya. The Scott McEneny trainee finished second after hooking up in an opening-half battle of :53.4.

The Metro Pace eliminations have been carded as Races 3,4,8.

The Shes A Great Lady Stakes will have two eliminations with the top-five finishers from each split advancing to the $427,000 final.

Candlelight Dinner (PP6, David Miller) has been the talk of the town in recent weeks and the undefeated pacing filly will star in the first elimination. The Casie Coleman trained daughter of American Ideal has won four in a row to begin her career, including victories in the Eternal Camnation and Whenuwishuponastar. Candlelight Dinner was a $110,000 yearling purchase.

The second elimination will see the Mohawk debut of Somebeachsomewhere filly Idyllic Beach (PP8, Yannick Gingras). The first foal out of $1.3 million winner Idyllic, Idyllic Beach has won three of four starts to begin her career. The Takter trainee has made each of her starts in Pennsylvania.

The Shes A Great Lady eliminations have been carded as Races 2 and 6.

The post positions for the $661,000 Metro Pace and $427,000 Shes A Great Lady finals will be drawn following the eliminations on Saturday.

Post time for Saturday’s 11-race card is 7:30 p.m.

To view the harness racing entries for Saturday at Mohawk, click the following link:Saturday Entries – Mohawk Racetrack.

Below are the fields for the Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady eliminations.

(PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer)

Metro Pace Elimination #1 (Race 3)

1. Bettors Western – David Miller – Rob Fellows
2. Odds On Delray – Tim Tetrick – Tony Alagna
3. The Wall – Yannick Gingras – Jimmy Takter
4. Rock This Way – Mario Baillargeon – Ben Baillargeon
5. Calvin K – Jody Jamieson – Tony O’Sullivan
6. Windsong Napoleon – Jody Jamieson – Carl Jamieson
7. Pointomygranson – Sylvain Filion – Chris Ryder
8. Classic Pro – David Miller – Dr. Ian Moore

Metro Pace Elimination #2 (Race 4)

1. Bobcat Bound – Jody Jamieson – Carl Jamieson
2. Ocean Colony – Brett Miller – Jimmy Takter
3. Manceiver – Jody Jamieson – Howard Okusko Jr.
4. Darlings Dragon – Donald Dupont – Marie Dupont
5. Ideal Wheel – David Miller – Casie Coleman
6. Abbeydorney – Yannick Gingras – James Ciaran Morrison
7. Macs Jackpot – Sylvain Filion – Tony O’Sullivan
8. All It Takes – Doug McNair – Gregg McNair
9. Beach House – David Miller – Rich Gillock

Metro Pace Elimination #3 (Race 8)

1. Deadly Action – Randy Waples – Colin Johnson
2. Tuxedo Bay – Randy Waples – Mark Steacy
3. Blood Line – Yannick Gingras – Jimmy Takter
4. Beyond Delight – Sylvain Filion – Tony O’Sullivan
5. R J P – David Miller – Erv Miller
6. Some Attitude – David Miller – Bob McIntosh
7. Southwind General – Jody Jamieson – Jack Darling
8. Bettors Dream – Tim Tetrick – Scott McEneny

Shes A Great Lady Elimination #1 (Race 2)

1. Happy Hannah – Randy Waples – Mark Steacy
2. World Apart – Tim Tetrick – Linda Toscano
3. Thats The Ticket – Sylvain Filion – Chris Ryder
4. Manhattan Play – Mike Saftic – Nicky Comegna
5. Blameitonthenight – Randy Waples – Tony Alagna
6. Candlelight Dinner – David Miller – Casie Coleman
7. Vintage Book – Yannick Gingras – Ron Adams

Shes A Great Lady Elimination #2 (Race 6)

1. Agent Q – David Miller – Aaron Lambert
2. Obvious Blue Chip – James MacDonald – Mark Steacy
3. Awash – Tim Tetrick – Tony Alagna
4. Fade – David Miller – Casie Coleman
5. Bid Writer – Tim Tetrick – Jeff Gillis
6. Out Of Sight – Jody Jamieson – Bob McIntosh
7. Everyones Watching – Sylvain Filion – Tony Alagna
8. Idyllic Beach – Yannick Gingras – Jimmy Takter

Canadian Pacing Derby (Field listed in alphabetical order)

All Bets Off
Always B Miki
Dealt A Winner
Evenin Of Pleasure
Nickle Bag
Nirvana Seelster
Rockin In Heaven
Shamballa
State Treasurer
Wiggle It Jiggleit

(WEG)

(Standardbred Canada)

Steacy Feted For Money Milestone

August 23, 2016 – The barn of trainer Mark Steacy has been on a roll this season at Mohawk Racetrack, and Tuesday evening the conditioner celebrated a special milestone.

Three-year-old pacing filly Stylish Beachwhere got back to her winning ways with a 1:52.3 front-end score for Steacy. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was winless in her last two starts heading into Tuesday’s contest after winning three in a row to begin her career.

Tuesday’s victory was the first for Steacy on the WEG Circuit since surpassing $20 million in career earnings last Saturday night at Pocono Downs with Nocturnal Bluechip in a consolation of the Battle of the Brandywine.

Steacy was presented with a sign recognizing his accomplishment in the winner’s circle following Stylish Beachwhere’s victory.

Steacy has enjoyed plenty of success over the course of his career, most notably with superstars Majestic Son ($1.9 million – 1:52.2) and Hana Hanover ($1.2 million – 1:48.4). His trainees have visited the winner’s circle 1,472 times during his career.

This season, Steacy sits second in the Mohawk meet trainer standings with 33 victories.

Overall, his barn has 49 wins this season with the most recent victory from Stylish Beachwhere pushing the stable over $1 million in seasonal earnings.

(WEG)

To view results for Tuesday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Tuesday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.

Zeron Nabs 8,000th; Faves Grab Gold

August 19, 2016 – One of harness racing’s most popular drivers, Rick Zeron scored his 8,000th career driving victory Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

Zeron, 59, entered the evening just a single win shy of the milestone. Driving three-year-old pacing filly Dixie Lullaby in the evening’s seventh-race, Zeron was able to get the filly up in the final strides for the milestone victory.

Nicknamed “The Whip”, Zeron has been a regular driver and trainer on the WEG Circuit for over two decades. The Oakville , Ontario resident has consistently posted impressive numbers throughout his career, including driving the winners of over $3 million in 14 of the last 16 seasons.

Zeron, who won his first race at Rideau Carleton Raceway in 1975, was the top driver in Quebec for many years before relocating to Ontario in 1995. His career best season for wins came in 1989, when he won 437 races and captured another Quebec driving title.

Zeron’s best season for earnings was recorded in 2006, when he drove the winners of over $7.7 million. Last season, he put together another solid campaign with 126 wins and earnings of nearly $3 million.

The past few weeks have been memorable for the Zeron’s, as Rick’s son, Scott, won the Hambletonian with Marion Marauder on August 6th. The father-son duo also teamed up to capture the U.S. Pacing Championship with Rick’s stable star Shamballa on the same day.

A model of consistency, Rick Zeron is on pace for another solid season with 71 victories and earnings of over $1.4 million. He currently ranks ninth in the WEG Drivers standings and sixth in the Trainers standings.

Thursday’s card also featured a number of high profile trotters, as they did battle in a set of OSS Gold Series divisions for three-year-old fillies plus the final of the Define The World Series for two-year-olds.

On the heels of her second-place finish in this year’s Hambletonian Oaks, Caprice Hillpowered to a 1:53.1 in her $105,000 OSS Gold Series division for the tandem of driver Randy Waples and trainer Tony Alagna. The daughter of Kadabra-Bramasole sat second through the opening quarter before marching to the top in the backstretch. She cleared and cut middle fractions of :57 and 1:26 before turning on the afterburners. A :27.1 closing quarter earned Caprice Hill the win by 2-1/4 lengths over Emoticon Hanover. Dottie was third.

Tom Hill of Hamilton, Ont. owns the 11-time winner who owns a 4-3-0 record from seven starts this season. The lion’s share of the loot lifted her lifetime earnings to $931,877.

Flowers N Songs was a popular winner, as well, in her $105,000 assignment for the team of driver Doug McNair and trainer Paul Reid. After getting away fourth, she held that position to the half before tipping into the flow and then making a three-wide move toward the lead at the three-quarter pole. With fractions of :26.3, :56 and 1:25.1 in front of her, the homebred powered home in :28.2 to win by four lengths over Tymal Tempest in 1:53.4. Major Muscle, who set the first three fractions, faded to finish third.

Paul Reid trains the daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe-Pleasures Song for owner/breeder Bob Key of Leechburg, PA. The filly has faced the gate 20 times this year, and she managed to produce an 8-6-1 record while banking over $325,000 along the way.

Seven And Seven, who captured the opening leg of the Defind The World Series before finishing second in leg two, powered home in :26.3 to capture the $36,000 final in 1:58.2 for trainer/driver Tom Durand.

The veteran horseman had the rookie positioned third for the majority of the mile before putting him into sprint mode around the final turn. AWOL Hanover and Jake took turns on the lead through first-half fractions of :30 and 1:01, but Seven And Seven showed a short lead while racing parked at the three-quarter pole in
1:32, and his blazing, final quarter speed helped him earn the half-length decision over Jake. Cant U Spell finished third.

Tom and June Durand bred and own the colt with partner Allan Smith. The group has watched the youngster put together a 2-1-0 record in his first four starts while banking $29,620 along the way.

(With files from WEG)

Nassagaweya, Eternal Camnation Set

August 18, 2016 – Two-year-old pacers will step into the spotlight Saturday night to kick off a month and a half stretch of Grand Circuit action at Mohawk Racetrack. The Nassagaweya Stakes for freshmen pacing colts and geldings and the Eternal Camnation Stakes for juvenile pacing fillies will each feature two divisions.

Each event carries a total purse of $211,000.

Many of the two-year-olds competing in this Saturday’s stakes are preparing for next week’s Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady eliminations.

Bettors Dream, an undefeated son of Bettors Delight, headlines the Nassagaweya’s $106,250 opening division. The Scott McEneny trainee is a perfect three for three to start his career, including a three-length score in the Dream Maker Series final on August 1.

A $45,000 purchase at last October’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Bettors Dream really caught the eye of his trainer.

“He was a good looking colt, he was well-bred,” McEneny said, following Bettors Dream’s series victory. “A lot of the two-year-olds in his family didn’t make it to the races, but he looked like he could’ve been a two-year-old, so I thought he was kind of cheap.”

John Fielding and Domenic Chiaravalle share ownership of Bettors Dream with McEneny, who noted that he was forced to geld the pacer early while training down.

“He’s been a pretty nice horse to train down, a little lazy, he shows that on the front end, but I think he would be a lot better horse out of a hole.”

Doug McNair will steer the undefeated gelding from Post 6 in the first split.

Listed as the 4-5 morning line favourite, Bettors Dream will be looking to follow in the footsteps of last year’s Dream Maker winner, Control The Moment, who followed up his series victory with a win in the Nassagaweya and ultimately the Metro Pace.

Trainer Casie Coleman is regularly well represented by her rookies during the Grand Circuit events at Mohawk, and this Saturday will be no different.

Ideal Wheel is two for two to start his career and will look for a stakes victory in the Nassagaweya’s $104,750 second split. The Coleman trainee hasn’t raced since July 28, but qualified last Friday at Mohawk and finished first in 1:54.4, two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Bettors Dream.

The son of American Ideal was a $150,000 purchase at last November’s Harrisburg Sale and is owned by Mac Nichol. Jonathan Drury will drive Ideal Wheel and the duo will start from Post 7.

The Eternal Camnation Stakes attracted 16 pacing fillies, but much of the focus will be on Coleman trainee Candlelight Dinner.

The daughter of American Ideal is a perfect three for three entering Saturday’s contest and has not only been the most impressive rookie pacer locally, but arguably in the entire sport.

Candlelight Dinner caught the eye of Coleman last year at Hunterton Farms and eventually was purchased for $110,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.

“There was nothing not to like about her at sale time,” said Coleman after her filly’s last start. “I went to Hunterton Farms and saw her a few weeks before the sale and I actually couldn’t turn her out.

“I love to turn my horses out in the field and see how they travel, but she had hurt her leg, just a superficial thing, and Cindy and Steve (Stewart) were like ‘we can’t turn her out’ and I understood, but there is nothing to fault on her, she’s just phenomenal.”

Candlelight Dinner appears to be a special filly based on her performances to date. Through three starts, her smallest margin of victory is four and a half lengths, and she most recently captured the final of the Whenuwishuponastar Series by five lengths in a nation’s best 1:52.2.

Drury will once again have the assignment behind the talented pacing filly and they will start from Post 5 in the first division. Candlelight Dinner is the 2-5 morning line choice.

Just like Coleman, McEneny is also well represented in both of Saturday’s event.

Bettors Up will return to Mohawk after three starts in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes action. The McEneny trainee is riding a two-race win streak, including a 1:52.3 victory in her last start on August 7 at Pocono.

A $15,000 purchase at last fall’s Lexington Sale, Bettors Up has earned $87,955 through five starts for her connections of Brad Grant, Teresa Davidson and Michelle McEneny. The four-time winner will start from post six in the second split with driver James MacDonald and has been installed as the 7/5 favourite.

The Nassagaweya divisions have been carded as Races 5 and 7, while the Eternal Camnation splits are carded as Races 3 and 9.

Saturday’s 11-race card also features a $34,000 Preferred Pace. Post time is 7:30 p.m.

To view the harness racing entries for Saturday at Mohawk, click the following link:Saturday Entries – Mohawk Racetrack.

Here are the full fields for Saturday’s Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation Stakes.

PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer/Morning Line

Race 5: Nassagaweya (Division 1) – $106,250

1. Deadly Action (J. Drury – C. Johnson) 8-1
2. Some Attitude (P. MacDonell – R. McIntosh) 5-1
3. Beyond Delight (S. Filion – T. O’Sullivan) 10-1
4. Manceiver (T. Henry – H. Okusko Jr.) 12-1
5. Bobcat Bound (Ph. Hudon – C. Jamieson) 6-1
6. Bettors Dream (D. McNair – S. McEneny) 4-5
7. Classic Pro (C. Christoforou – Dr. Moore) 20-1
8. Rock This Way (M. Baillargeon – B. Baillargeon) 20-1
9. Richard Hill (R. Waples – T. Alagna) 8-1

Race 7: Nassagaweya (Division 2) – $104,750

1. Calvin K (P. MacDonell – T. O’Sullivan) 5-2
2. Shadow Rouge (C. Christoforou – Dr. Moore) 10-1
3. Windsong Napoleon (Ph. Hudon – C. Jamieson) 5-1
4. All It Takes (D. McNair – G. McNair) 12-1
5. Macs Jackpot (S. Filion – T. O’Sullivan) 8-1
6. Darlings Dragon (D. Dupont – M. Dupont) 4-1
7. Ideal Wheel (J. Drury – C. Coleman) 2-1
8. This Is My Song (T. Henry – C. Barss) 20-1

Race 3: Eternal Camnation (Division 1) – $105,550

1. Awash (Ph. Hudon – T. Alagna) 15-1
2. Thorne Seelster (J. MacDonald – A. MacDonald) 15-1
3. Everyones Watching (S. Filion – T. Alagna) 12-1
4. Windy Sport (T. Henry – C. Coleman) 8-1
5. Candlelight Dinner (J. Drury – C. Coleman) 2-5
6. Beautiful Hill (C. Christoforou – T. Alagna) 15-1
7. Happy Hannah (R. Waples – M. Steacy) 7-2
8. Black Jack Pat (D. McNair – D. Menary) 10-1

Race 9: Eternal Camnation (Division 2) – $105,550

1. Blameitonthenight (R. Waples – T. Alagna) 7-2
2. Somemoneysomewhere (P. MacDonell – P. MacDonell) 15-1
3. Loreenas Ruffian (C. Norris – C. Norris) 6-1
4. Perplexed (C. Christoforou – T. Alagna) 10-1
5. Manhattan (M. Saftic – N. Comegna) 12-1
6. Bettors Up (J. MacDonald – S. McEneny) 7-5
7. Thats The Ticket (S. Filion – C. Ryder) 8-1
8. Fade (J. Drury – C. Coleman) 4-1

(WEG)

Woodbine Announces ‘Horse Racing 3.0’

August 16, 2016 – On Tuesday, August 16, Woodbine Entertainment Group, iBoost and Ryerson University’s Office of the Vice President, Research and Innovation announced that they are partnering to launch a new initiative that will challenge Canadian start-ups, entrepreneurs, developers and students to use technology to help bring the traditional sport of Horse Racing to the next level.

The program, called Horse Racing 3.0: Changing the Game, will seek new and innovative product solutions, to help drive sustainable growth and revenue within the horse racing industry.

“At Woodbine, we are continuously looking for ways to modernize our industry to ensure a sustainable future for horse racing in Ontario and gaming is a key piece of the equation,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of WEG. “Our plan in leading the industry is to develop ways to reach and engage a younger demographic. We are excited to partner with Ryerson and work with Canadians pushing the boundaries of technology in traditional industries that help transform our sport for generations to come.”

Kicking off on September 23, participants will engage in a one-and-a-half-day-long ‘Design Jam’ where they will work with WEG staff and mentors to develop their initial ideas. Teams will then have three months to refine their idea into a commercially viable Proof of Concept. During this stage, teams will be asked to participate in bi-weekly workshops to meet with mentors and set growth milestones. Teams that meet their milestones will be invited to present their solutions to a panel of judges for a chance to be selected as the top team.

During the program, participants will receive dedicated workspace and work alongside mentors, as well as WEG’s innovation team to help drive their product forward. Teams will be given access to data from Woodbine to help prototype their developments, as well as briefings to understand the industry, challenges and opportunities.

“This is a unique opportunity for people to innovate the traditional sport of horse racing and work with mentors over an extended period of time to develop their ideas, as opposed to the typical 1-3 day hackathon,” said John MacRitchie, senior director, business development and strategic planning at Ryerson. “Horse Racing 3.0: Changing the Game is a program dedicated to providing the time and support required in the prototyping phase to set people up for optimal success. We are excited to be working with Woodbine to bring this program to life.”

A total of $21,000 in cash prizes will be divided among the top three teams along with an eight-month enrollment in Ryerson’s iBoost incubation zone. Teams will also have the opportunity to make connections with prospective customers, partners, industry experts and investors and potentially enter into a pilot agreement with WEG.

“Our goal at iBoost is to connect the best talent with industry challenges,” said Dr. Rafik Loutfy, director of the Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Ryerson. “This opportunity will help entrepreneurs develop creative solutions that would be relevant for the horse-racing industry and accelerate their time to market.”

More information, including application details and eligibility, is available at hr3.ca. The deadline for applications is September 24, 2016.

(WEG)

Mohawk Qualifiers Cancelled

August 16, 2016 – Officials within the race office at Mohawk Racetrack have announced that the qualifying session that was scheduled for Tuesday, August 16 has been cancelled.

The cancellation comes due to the forecast of heavy rains in the area and a limited number of entries.

 

(Mohawk Racetrack)

Trot Heavy Card At Mohawk

August 16, 2016 – It wasn’t an all-trot Monday evening at Mohawk Racetrack, but it was pretty close. The oval featured a 10-race card, with seven of those dashes designated for square gaiters.

Dream Together captured the richest race on the card – the $37,000 final of the Pure Ivory Series – for the tandem of driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Luc Blais. The heavily-favoured filly marched to the lead from Post 4 and successfully led the group through panels of :28.2, :58.2 and 1:28.2 before kicking home in :27.4 to win by 2-3/4 lengths over Pure Kemp in 1:56.1. Southwind Tesla was third.

Determination of Montreal, QC owns the two-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill-Danae, who made it a clean sweep of the event following facile wins in the first two legs of the series. Purchased for $240,000 from last year’s Lexington Select Yearling Sale, the youngster has produced a 3-0-1 record in her first four assignments while banking $34,180 in the process.

Determination, Blais and Filion also celebrated a victory with Lookslikeachpndale, who upset heavily-favoured Musical Rhythm in the $34,000 Preferred Trot. Filion hustled his charge to the lead from Post 6 and they led the group to the quarter pole in :26.4. Race favourite Musical Rhythm shot out of third when they hit the backstretch, and he cleared to the lead before hitting the half in :55.4. He was the leader at the three-quarter marker in 1:25.1, but he couldn’t fend off Lookslikeachpndale in the closing strides. Lookslikeachpndale fired home in :27.1 to win by a length over Musical Rhythm in 1:52.4. O Narutac Perfetto took home the show dough.

It was the third win of the season in nine trips to the track for the four-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Poster Pin Up. The lion’s share of the loot bumped this year’s earnings to $79,582 while his career total climbed to $206,488.

There were four OSS Grassroots divisions on tap for two-year-old trotting fillies, with each tilt carrying a purse of $18,000.

Powerful Mission overcame a challenging trip to win by a comfortable margin for driver Phil Hudon and trainer Kevin St. Charles. The filly parked past the half before fining the front in the backstretch. She led the group to the three-quarter pole in 1:28.3, and then slipped home in :29.2 to win by 4-1/2 lenghs over even-money favourite You Cant Afford Me in 1:58. Late Shift, who was first-over in the late stages of the mile, was third.

It was the second win in four tries for the career-winner of $18,700. The daughter of Manofmanymissions-The Power Of Magic is owned by E C S Racing LLC of Rockford, MI.

Stuck In My Spanks was an overwhelming favourite in the second division, but she rolled into an early break and appeared like she might be out of it. The filly was more than 23 lengths from the lead at the half, but she kept chipping away for driver Paul MacDonell who eventually fired her five-wide coming out of the last turn. The daughter of Manofmanymissions-Puta Ring On It stormed home in :28.3 to win by a half-length margin over Jilona. Third prize was earned by Hilarious Honey.

Michelle McEneny and Teresa Davidson own the two-time winner, who was purchased for a mere $3,500 from last year’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale. She’s closing in on $20,000 in lifetime earnings.

Anikadabra blew away the foes she faced in the third division. Rick Zeron has her fourth and parked past the quarter pole in :28.4 before stepping on the accelerator and rushing to the front end. The filly cleared to the top on the way to the half, and after leading the group through middle intervals of :59 and 1:29.3 she out-kicked them home in :29.2 to win by 5-3/4 lengths over Crystal Gumdrop. Third prize was earned by Stritch.

Rob Fellows trains the homebred daughter of Kadabra-Anikawiesahalee for Edward Wilson of Seagrave, Ont. and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. Her lifetime earnings now sit at $27,840.

Magic Presto, who posted a win and a second-place finish in her first two starts versus OSS Gold Series foes, cruised to an easy triumph in the final Grassroots contest on the card. She got away fourth and held that position through first-half fractions of :29 and 1:00. Trevor Henry moved Magic Presto shortly past the half, and the son of Kadabra-In The Mean Time easily swept to the top shortly after Hab Faith hit the three-quarter pole in 1:30.1. Magic Presto uncorked a :28-second closing panel to win by 4-3/4 lengths over Royal Witch, with Northern Oath taking home third prize.

Sent off as the 1-9 favourite, the Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman student won for the second time in three starts for Mel Hartmann, Herb Liverman, David Mc Duffee and Little E LLC. Purchased for $160,000 from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Magic Presto has recovered $61,500 of her steep price tag.

To view results for Monday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.

(Standardbred Canada)

Five Straight For Golden Son

August 9, 2016 – Golden Son has been the hottest thing since sliced bread in recent weeks, and Monday night he posted his fifth consecutive victory in one of five $18,000 OSS Grassroots divisions for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Mohawk Racetrack.

Sylvain Filion dropped into the pocket spot with the 1-5 favourite while Magic Missions worked his way to the lead at the quarter pole in :27.4. Filion quickly moved Golden Sonto the front, however, and they cleared without much of a tussle. The duo led the group through middle splits of :57.1 and 1:27 before firing home in :29.1 to seal the deal by a length over P L Jerico in 1:56.1. Are You In was third.

Richard Moreau trains the son of Majestic Son-Dawn Dream for Gary & Fay Clark of Oriskany Falls, NY. The gelding, who was unraced as a rookie, now owns a 7-1-3 record from just 12 trips to the track this season. He’s banked $41,500 to date.

Nofear Blue Chip captured his division in 1:54.4 – the quickest of the OSS winners – for the tandem of driver Trevor Henry and Paul Reid. In a trip similar to that of Golden Son, Henry got away fourth before rushing his charge to the top in the backstretch. After leading through middle fractions of :57.4 and 1:26.2 the gelding held on to win by a length over race favourite Muscles For Life. Defi Normand took home the show dough.

Norah Park of New Lowell, Ont. owns the three-time winner who improved this year’s record to 2-0-2 from six starts with the win. The $9,000 payday boosted his bankroll to $94,610.

Mass Balance was a front-stepping winner in his division, but Asterix gave him a major scare in the closing strides. Trevor Henry threw down fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:26.2 with Mass Balance who then used a :30.2 closing quarter to prevail by a nose over Asterix in 1:56.4. Bow Ties N Bourbon rounded out the Triactor ticket.

Sent off as the even-money choice, the son of Muscle Mass-Aimees Image posted his first win of the season for Synerco Ventures Inc of Toronto, Ont. Rob Fellows trains the three-time winner who lifted his lifetime earnings to $102,199 with the victory.

Trevor Henry nabbed his third OSS Grassroots division of the night thanks to a pylon-skimming score with Muscles Bound. Henry treated the gelding to a ground-saving while race favourite Matza Man led the field through fractions of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:27.2. Matza Man tired late and Henry stick-handled through traffic and used a :29-second closing quarter to win by a length over Midnight Toker in 1:56.3. French Bastille came on strong to finish third.

Wayne Langille trains the homebred son of Angus Hall-Showmeyourmuscles for partners Randall Crosby of Princeton and Dale Sparks of Woodstock, Ont. The win gives the gelding a 4-1-3 record from 12 trips to the track this season. His career earnings climbed to $45,190 in the process.

Manofmanyimages overcame Post 10 in an eleven-horse field to capture the final division in 1:55.2 for driver James MacDonald and trainer John Bax. The son of Manofmanyimages-Spicey Image gained the two-hole thanks to a sharp move from the starting gate, but he was then shuffled to fourth through the middle stages of the contest. The Land Shark and Gonna Fly took turns on the lead through fractions of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:25.4, but it was Manofmanyimages who shook loose late and used a :29-second final frame to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Gonna Fly. Agent Dinozzo rounded out the top three finishers.

Richard Gutnick, T L P Stable and Joseph Lozito, Jr. share ownership on the sophomore who is 3-for-7 this season after going just 1-for-6 as a rookie. The lion’s share of the purse pushed his earnings over $40,000.

Two-year-old trotting fillies were also in action to kick off the week at the Campbellville oval as they did battle in the second leg of the Pure Ivory Series.

Dream Together was sent off as the overwhelming favourite in the $14,000 tilt, and she passed the test with flying colours. She got away third for driver Sylvain Filion, who had her moving first-over in the second quarter. A Doozy led the field through first-half fractions of :28.4 and :59.1, but Dream Together powered past that foe and proceeded to move the field to the three-quarter pole in 1:28.4. A :28.1 closing panel was enough to earn the filly the win by 2-1/4 lengths over Pure Kemp in 1:57. A Doozy settled for third prize.

Luc Blais trains the daughter of Muscle Hill-Danae for Determination of Montreal, QC. The freshman, who was a 1:58.2 winner in last week’s opening leg of the series, has stashed away more than $15,000 in her first three attempts.

The $37,000 final of the Pure Ivory Series will take place next Monday, August 15.

Monday’s card also saw a group of seven go postward in the $34,000 Preferred Trot, with Whiskey Tax taking home bragging rights thanks to his come-from-behind score in 1:52.1.

Randy Waples had the veteran buried on the rail for most of the mile while Fearless Man and Lookslikeachpndale took turns on the lead through hot fractions of :27, :54.3 and 1:23.1. Waples angled Whiskey Tax off the rail in the lane, and the gelding used a :28.1 closing panel to prevail by three-quarters of a length over Harper Blue Chip. Third prize went to race favourite Etruscan Hanover.

Trainer Tom Durand co-owns the speedster with his wife, June, and partner Allan Smith of Oakville, Ont. The eight-year-old son of Revenue S-Bourbon Belle now boasts a 2-2-4 record from 10 starts this season. The 16-time winner is quickly closing in on millionaire status.

To view results for Monday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.

 

(Standardbred Canada)

Potential Drug Exposure Route

August 8, 2016 – On Monday, August 8, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency announced that the legitimate use of human prescription drugs by people handling racehorses can be a source of drug exposure for the horses that could, consequently, result in a positive drug test.

The CPMA release states that human urine is a proven source of drug exposure for racehorses. And although not proven at this time, exposure could also be to drugs directly, through human saliva or via unwashed hands.

The contents of the CPMA release appear below in both English and French.


Human Prescription Medications as a Potential Route of Drug Exposure for Racehorses

It has come to the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency’s (CPMA) attention that the legitimate use of human prescription drugs by people handling racehorses can be a source of drug exposure for the horses that could, consequently, result in a positive drug test.

Human urine is a proven source of drug exposure for racehorses. And although not proven at this time, exposure could also be to drugs directly, through human saliva or via unwashed hands.

In the interest of accuracy and to reduce unintended positive drug tests, the CPMA therefore strongly discourages people from urinating or spitting in horse stalls, and recommends that all people who handle racehorses wash their hands immediately after contact with, or consumption of, medications, and avoid bringing human prescription medications into barns whenever possible.


Médicaments Sur Ordonnance Pour Usage Humain : Source Potentielle D’exposition Aux Drogues Chez Les Chevaux

On a signalé à l’Agence canadienne du pari mutuel (ACPM) que les personnes prenant des médicaments sur ordonnance de façon légitime peuvent contaminer les chevaux dont elles s’occupent. Il est donc possible d’obtenir un résultat positif aux tests de dépistage de drogues.

L’urine humaine est une source avérée d’exposition aux drogues chez les chevaux de course. Ces derniers pourraient également être contaminés directement par la salive ou les mains sales des humains, quoique cela n’ait pas encore été prouvé.

Par souci d’exactitude et afin d’éviter de recevoir un résultat positif à un test de dépistage des drogues, l’ACPM déconseille vivement à quiconque d’uriner ou de cracher dans les stalles des chevaux. Elle recommande à tous ceux et celles qui s’occupent des chevaux de course de se laver les mains immédiatement après avoir touché ou pris leurs médicaments et, dans la mesure du possible, de ne pas apporter leurs médicaments sur ordonnance dans les écuries.

(Standardbred Canada)

 

“What I’ve Learned So Far”

August 8, 2016 – It was announced last month that Rob Cook would be taking over the reins at Ontario Racing as the organization’s executive director. Now that he has acclimatized himself to his surroundings, Cook has introduced himself to the industry and has conveyed what he has learned so far.

Cook has penned his first blog entry for OR, which kicks off by saying, ‘With two weeks under my belt at Ontario Racing, I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far.’

The blog entry appears below in its entirety.


Rob’s Blog – e1

With two weeks under my belt at Ontario Racing, I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far.

First, as I continue to meet professionals in this industry, my key takeaway has been that this is a group of passionate and hardworking individuals, dedicated horse racing and to the future of the sport in Ontario.

I share your commitment and your concerns, but am optimistic that there is a path forward. As I work with our partners in government, at the AGCO and at OLG, and at tracks and within horsepersons associations, to build that future – I have also learned how the current circumstances came to be. Knowing where we have been is integral to shaping where we will go.

Twenty years ago, the government of the day designed the pari-mutuel tax reduction program (PMTR) that returned 6.5 per cent of pari-mutuel tax to the industry under a memorandum of understanding. You know where the story goes next: five years ago, the government cancelled another program that provided support to the industry – the Slots at Racetracks Program (SARP), and the subsequent reinvestment of public funding through the Horse Racing Partnership Program (HRPP).

These changes have brought with them a need for horse racing to assume a senior role both in directing and administering a multi-faceted racing program and in designing a long term funding arrangement with government.

As is often the case, change was a long time coming but very quick in implementation. Last fall the government began preparing to dissolve the Ontario Racing Commission and transition administration to OLG and regulation to AGCO.

Why Ontario Racing? We are not the ORC, and we are not OHRIA. Our goal is to have Ontario Racing fully in place as the recognized industry association on January 1, 2017. Until that time, Ontario Racing has and will continued to benefit from OHRIA’s expertise. Governance and industry representation is critical for Ontario Racing – now, and in the future.

Until this point, OR has been more engaged with partners like OLG, AGCO and government, than we have with the industry. That will change. The primary purpose of Ontario Racing is to provide the industry a voice for leadership in shaping their future. As we move forward, build capacity and establish governance structures, we will have the skills and tools we need to effectively listen to industry participants and provide that leadership.

Our task is to transition from viewing horse racing participants as stakeholders, as within the ORC model, to serving them as shareholders.

Ontario Racing is a step forward in the horse racing industry’s ability to direct its future. While there have been growing pains, the effort will be worthwhile. Getting Ontario Racing off the ground has required partnership with the government and, more importantly, the patience and trust of everyone in horse racing.

I thank you for your patience, and I restate my commitment to continuing to communicate with you as this process unfolds.

Best,
Rob Cook

(Courtesy: Ontario Racing)