September 22, 2014

Five Year Agreement Reached Between WEG and COSA

On Friday, September 12, the Woodbine Entertainment Group and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association issued a joint release which states that the two organizations have reached a five-year deal which establishes minimum race dates and purses for the duration of the contract.

The release does not contain any specific facts relating to the minimum race dates and purses, but it contains positive comments from COSA President Bill O’Donnell and WEG Executive Vice-President of Racing Jamie Martin.

The release states that the contract ‘runs through March 31, 2019.’

The contents of the release appear below.

Five Year agreement reached between WEG, COSA

TORONTO, September 12, 2014 – Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) today jointly announced a new agreement that has established minimum purse levels and race dates for the next five years.

“The five-year agreement provides a level of stability and purse certainty for our horseman to plan for the future,” said Bill O’Donnell, President of COSA. “WEG has clearly shown a significant commitment to our sport in these evolving and challenging times.”

“Confirming our ongoing relationship with COSA through 2019 represents a key plank to re-energizing the standardbred racing business in Ontario,” said Jamie Martin, Executive Vice-President of Racing. “We look forward to working together as new opportunities develop.”

The contract runs through March 31, 2019.

Niagara And Valedictory Series Nominations Due Nov.17th


Nomination fee: $200 (CDN & U.S.)

EVENT #61: Eligible: 3‐year‐old pacing fillies, non‐winners of $50,000 lifetime,
as of midnight, October 31, 2014. No allowances. Raced at Woodbine Racetrack

1st Leg: Thursday, December 11, 2014 $15,000 G each

2nd Leg: Thursday, December 18, 2014 g $15,000 G each

Final: Friday, December 26, 2014 $30,000 Added

Declarations close as posted on weekly condition sheet.

EVENT #62: Eligible: 3‐year‐old pacing colts and geldings, non‐winners of $50,000 lifetime, as of midnight, October 31, 2014. No allowances. Raced at Woodbine Racetrack

1st Leg: Friday, December 12, 2014 $15,000 G each

2nd Leg: Friday, December 19, 2014 $15,000 G each

Final: Friday, December 26, 2014 $30,000 Added

Declarations close as posted on weekly condition sheet.


Charity Challenge Announced

The Woodbine Entertainment Group has launched ‘Woodbine Cares Week,’ which runs from Sept. 11 to Sept. 20. Featured in the initiative is a ‘Charity Challenge,’ which asks people to vote for their favourite charity from a list of WEG’s charitable partners. The Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society and the Race Track Chaplaincy of Canada are both charitable partners of WEG.

WEG has announced that it is asking its friends to vote for their favourite charity from a list of its charitable partners. The charity that gets the most votes by Sept. 19 will be awarded a $10,000 donation by the Woodbine Entertainment Group. A cheque will be presented to the winning charity on Sunday, September 21 at Woodbine Racetrack.

To see the list of ‘Charity Challenge Contenders,’ click here.

To vote for your favourite charity, click here.


The Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society – which is an approved charitable organization that was founded in 1996 to assist in the adoption and relocation of retired and non-racing Standardbred horses within Ontario – has issued a release asking for people to vote for OSAS.

To view the Race Track Chaplaincy of Canada website, click here.

The contents of the OSAS release appear below.

Adoption Society Seeks Support

The Ontario Standardbred Horse Association is calling upon everyone in harness racing for their help to win $10,000 in a contest launched today by Woodbine Entertainment Group called WEG Cares Week. They are offering all of the charities they support, including OSAS, the opportunity to win the prize money based on the number of votes they receive.

Founded in 1996, OSAS has placed hundreds of retired Standardbred horses into loving adoptive homes and monitor their progress after placement to ensure their health and safety.

OSAS is the only Standardbred charity in the WEG contest and we are asking anyone connected with harness racing to vote for us as that funding could make a significant difference in several horses’ lives. The charity which receives the highest number of votes, wins.

The contest runs from September 11 to 19 and the winner will be announced on September 21. To place your vote, please use the link below. Any help in sharing this contest via social media would be very much appreciated.


Bidding War At OLG?

It was announced today (Monday, September 8) that the Ontario Government is seeking a service provider to operate specific areas of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.’s lucrative lottery business.

News of the announcement broke Monday morning, with the Toronto Star, pegging Canadian telecommunications giants Bell and Rogers as expected bidders on the contract.

The OLG is not looking to privatize; the Ontario government would still retain ownership and would continue to oversee the operations.


On Monday afternoon, the OLG issued the following press release.


September 8, 2014

TORONTO – The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has initiated the final phase of its procurement process for lottery by issuing Request for Proposal (RFP) documents to pre-qualified service providers.

The RFP will enable OLG to select one service provider to run specific day-to-day operations of the lottery business in Ontario.

To OLG, the integrity of the procurement process is of the utmost importance. Procurement involves information of a commercially sensitive nature. As a result, details of the RFP documents and names of pre-qualified proponents will not be released while the process is ongoing. There will be no further communication about the RFP until a service provider is announced. OLG expects to announce the successful service provider in fall 2015.

Throughout the procurement process, OLG has engaged the services of a Fairness Monitor to provide oversight and advice to support integrity and fairness.

At approximately $2 billion annually, OLG provides the Ontario government with its largest source of non-tax revenue. Modernization will help OLG provide more money to Ontario for hospitals and other government priorities.

CPMA Adds Telmisartan to Schedule of Prohibited Drugs

On August 27, 2014, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) released a Memorandum to the Canadian racing industry and to Provincial Regulatory bodies advising that this drug has been added to Schedule of Prohibited Drugs.

To view a copy of this CPMA Memorandum, click on the link below.

CPMA Memorandum – August 27, 2014

Recipe For Creating A Modern Legend

1. Take one small Camluck mare, named Ruby Cam, that is blind in one eye and has two broken sesamoids.

2. Breed her to a stallion named Modern Art.

3. Send the resulting offspring to a Management Consultant to be trained.

Yes, you read the recipe right.

This is exactly how Dave Drew, of Dave Drew Associates Incorporated management consulting, bred, raised and trained Modern Legend into the champion race horse he is today.

Dave has spent most of his life managing six different plants for General Motors. He is secretary-treasurer of COSA (Central Ontario Standardbred Association) and is Past Chair of the Audit Committee for Standardbred Canada.  Dave has always had a love for racehorses, but until retirement no time for training.  He owned horses with his brother Greg Drew, from Merlin, Ontario.

Dave purchased a lovely little mare named Ruby Cam as a yearling at the Forest City Sale in 2000. His brother, Greg, trained the filly and both of them drove her in 11 starts as a four year old with 6 wins, 3 seconds and a third including winning the Middlesex County Filly Pacing Series Final.  “She had a real nice gait,” says Dave,” but sesamoid trouble kept her from racing more than one season.”  “I decided to retire her into the broodmare ranks.”  “I gave Greg her first foal and he raced her for several years. When I retired from GM I decided to train the mare’s remaining offspring.”

“I had the experience of amateur driving in the Billings Series with the opportunity to participate at 60 different tracks in North America. This included winning the Delvin Miller Silver Cup at the Meadowlands in 2007. I also drove my own horses some of the time winning with Stonebridge Wish in two legs and the final of the Middlesex Pacing Series,” smiles Dave.

Web Cam, Modern Legend’s older brother, kept Dave busy for the next few years, with earnings of over $200,000 dollars in less than 100 starts and a mark of 1.51.4. Dave sold Web Cam this past March to concentrate all his efforts on Modern Legend.

Modern Legend, and what a legend he has been. Dave drove him in his first four starts but realized that this horse’s talents should be in the hands of professional drivers. He won eight stake races in a row in 2011-2012 at Mohawk and Woodbine sweeping the Autumn, Snowshoe and Cam Fella series.

In 2013 he was second by a neck to Foiled Again in a world record performance in the Ben Franklin Series and finished third in the Breeders Crown Final. Now in 2014 he made the best of the best take a second seat in the Canadian Pacing Derby in 1.47.2 equaling the Canadian racing record.

Dave, the humble fellow he is, gives a lot of credit for Modern Legend’s success to his consultants at the training centre.  He explains that “I am at the Dr. John Hayes Stable. John Hayes and Carmen Hie have given me many tips on training that have helped a great deal in getting horses to the track and as importantly keeping them racing.”

So there we have it the recipe for creating a Modern Legend.

As we watch Dave Drew in the Mohawk winners’ circle after his big win in the Canadian Pacing Derby, accompanied by his wife, two daughters, sister and grandson we see with the right recipe even the little guy can make it big in this business.

Asked how he felt at that moment Dave declares, ”Pure exhilaration. I felt so lucky to be associated with this horse who has raced beyond anything I could have dreamed of.”

Chaplaincy Golf Tournament Set

The Standardbred Race Track Chaplaincy of Canada’s annual golf tournament, sponsored by Luc and Anita Ouellette, is set for September 10 at Granite Ridge Golf Course on Dublin Line in Milton, Ont.

This year organizers will again offer golfers a shot at the $25,000 hole-in-one challenge, now into its third year. Give it your best shot and the $25,000 is yours if you put it in. Organizers will offer the popular Beat The Pro Challenge and Longest Drive and Closest To The Hole contests.

To end the day, organizers will host the usual great evening featuring roast beef dinner along with live and silent auctions, a 50/50 draw, and raffle draws. There will also be a special door prize for registered golfers and draws for door prizes.

Registration will start at 11:30 a.m. with a shot gun start at 1 p.m. sharp. Cost for the day is $150 per golfer and those that sponsor their team at $600 will be eligible for tax receipts. The cost of the day includes golf, BBQ lunch, supper, and the shot at the $25,000.

For further information and registration, contact the Chaplain Ken Carter at (519)942-6641 or Robert Coole at (443)566-0206.

OLG to Integrate Ontario’s Horse Racing Business by End of August

By:  Freelance Sports writer, Published on Fri Aug 22 2014


For nearly 15 years, Ontario horse racing tracks have been home to two very different types of people. On one side, the casino player wants to pull a handle or spin a wheel and have instant results.

Behind the casino walls, horse racing bettors study and decipher an age-old sport, supporting an industry that is of significant importance to this province. Other than the slots-at-racetracks partnership program that shared revenue between the two groups, never did the two businesses crossover.

However, before the end of August, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation chairman Philip Olsson and team members will sit down with key members of the horse racing industry to begin the process of true integration.

The integration of horse racing into the OLG’s modernization plan for gaming was brought about by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who inherited a horse racing industry that was close to being wiped out by the cancellation of that slots-at-racetrack program two years ago by former Premier Dalton McGuinty and former OLG chairPaul Godfrey.

In October 2013, Wynne received a five-year partnership plan report from her Horse Racing transition panel of John Snobelen, Elmer Buchanan and John Wilkinson. That included a $500 million subsidy over five years to assist horse racing in the immediate future and recommendations on the melding of racing and the OLG critical to the future of the industry.

The process has been painstakingly slow out of the gate but the sides are now ready to analyze products and proposals.

“Any product or idea that has been put forward will be completely analyzed for its pros and cons: what will produce the best results for both horse racing and the OLG, the legal ramifications, etc.,” said Sue Leslie, chair of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association which will meet with Olsson this month.

“It has been frustrating that it has taken this long but there were a lot of approvals needed and a lot of red tape. But the relationship between the groups is very good and we are getting close now.”

Leslie said that there are many products and ideas to be discussed, including some innovative plans that would be developed by OLG and partnered with racing.

And there is not a lot of time to be wasted: breeders of thoroughbreds and standardbreds that did not go out of business in the last two years have been encouraged by tracks such as Woodbine and Mohawk maintaining its purse structure are still hanging on just blades of hay.

Tony Bitonti, spokesman for the OLG, emphasized that there are many parameters that need to be met for a product to fit both horse racing and the OLG.

“Horse racing comes under federal legislation while the OLG is under the Criminal Code and provincial legislation” said Bitonti. “We are starting this integration with racing from square one so we have to find the product that will work best with the provincial and federal laws.”

Lotteries and horse racing could seemingly go hand-in-hand but there are other possible approaches such as new wagers or casino-type games such as the slot-like Instant Racing, which essentially saved racing in Arkansas and has been very successful in parts of Kentucky.

The slot game uses the results of horse races that have previously been run to determine payouts for players.

The popular Swedish bet V75, a lottery style game, generates billions of dollars for horse racing in Sweden and has been mentioned by some horse racing industry members as an option.

In that game, a player can buy a lottery ticket in which the winning numbers correspond to horses racing on tracks, rather than numbered balls from a drum.

The size of the jackpot would be determined by the odds of the horses to win.

“One of the goals is to have something that works for both groups,’ said Bitonti. “But it is important to develop a firm revenue stream for horse racing, so that it does not (only have) government funding. We want to develop and integrate a product between the OLG and horse racing that helps promote growth in racing, increase purses and ensures its survival.”

Mandatory Payout For Jackpot Hi 5

Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced the mandatory payout date for its Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 wager.

The Jackpot Hi-5 will have a mandatory payout on the final race of the August 30 card of racing at Mohawk. The carryover pool currently stands at $583,607.77 (after the Tuesday, August 19 card).

In preparation for the event, the final opportunity to wager on the Jackpot Hi-5 before the mandatory payout date will be Monday, August 25. The carryover will continue to build through that date, provided there is not a single winner. The wager will then be suspended for the Tuesday, August 26, Thursday, August 28 and Friday, August 29 cards of racing, allowing customers to prepare for the mandatory payout prize.

The August 30 card at Mohawk offers five stakes races, including the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, the $667,000 Metro Pace and the $480,000 Shes A Great Lady Stake.

The Jackpot Hi-5, which has enjoyed a strong following since it launched October 17, has not been won since June 7. WEG last offered a mandatory payout event, with carryover, for the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 on May 17, generating a total pool of $2,002,026.

The wager requires horseplayers to select the first five finishers in exact order, traditionally, on the last race of the program. The Jackpot proviso means that the entire pool pays out only when there is one winning ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order.

If no single winning ticket exists on the Monday, August 25 card, half of the amount bet into the pool, plus the accumulated carryover, will be available for the final race on the August 30 program. The remaining half will be split between the winning tickets as part of a consolation payout.

“The mandatory payout races for the Jackpot Hi-5 have been popular betting options for horseplayers of both breeds,” said Greg Martin, Senior Director, Wagering and Technology. “Bettors are investing efforts in both cashing the wager before the announced mandatory date, looking to be the single winner, and after, as players, core and newcomer, are taking a shot on getting at least a share of the big jackpot payout on the mandatory race.”

The Jackpot Hi-5, which offers a 20-cent minimum, also has a takeout of 15 per cent, a continent-equalling low.


Racing & Gaming Integration Update

After a series of constructive conversations, representatives of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association are ready to sit down to decide the specifics of how horse racing can best be integrated into the province’s overall gaming strategy.

Sue Leslie, president of OHRIA, made the announcement on Monday.

“The last couple of years have been challenging ones both for the OLG and the Ontario racing industry,” Leslie said. “We are at a point now, though, where we can all begin to take a serious look at some of the intriguing ideas and possibilities that have been put forward by the OLG, OHRIA and the racing industry, at large,” stated Leslie.

According to Leslie, the two groups will review, analyze and recommend innovative products and programs with the ability to further the business and economic objectives of both parties. “We are more than confident that, with the right products in place, horse racing can make a real contribution to the OLG’s bottom line. And, that, in turn, racing will benefit significantly from such a strategic partnership,” Leslie said.

“We need to be mindful that, whatever programs we decide to go forward with, must represent a ‘win/win’ proposition for both entities. That is what a successful partnership is all about.”