August 29, 2015

‘Golden’ Girls Impress At Mohawk

August 28, 2015 - Solar Sister has been unstoppable this season in the OSS, and it was more of the same when she took on five foes in the second of two Gold Series divisions Thursday evening at Mohawk Racetrack.

With three wins in as many tries against Gold Series foes this season, Solar Sisterturned a two-hole trip into an eye-catching score in 1:50.4 in her $105,000 assignment for Team McNair.

She rushed to the early lead and threw down a :26.2 opening quarter before taking a backseat to Tessa Seelster as the field moved into the backstretch. Tessa Seelster sprinted through middle panels of :54.4 and 1:23 before being challenged in deep stretch by Solar Sister. Doug McNair summoned up :27.2 closing speed from Solar Sister who edged past Tessa Seelster by a neck in the closing strides. Capela rallied to finish third.

Gregg McNair trains the homebred daughter of Mach Three-Cabrini Hanover for partners David Willmot of King City and Clay Horner of Toronto, ON. The victory was the seventh of the season in 11 tries for the career winner of $598,940.

Cast No Shadow turned her two-hole trip into a 1:51 triumph in the first division for driver Randy Waples. The daughter of Shadow Play-Hypnotize stalked race favourite Wrangler Magic through sensible fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:24.1 before going on the offensive in the lane. Cast No Shadow rolled alongside Wrangler Magic before using a :26.3 kicker to prevail by one-quarter of a length over the late-rushing Glamour Seelster. Wrangler Magic managed to hold on for the show dough.

Nick Gallucci trains the photogenic pacer for owner Millard Adams of Carlisle, OH. The victory was her eighth of the season in 15 tries, and the lion’s share of the purse bumped her bankroll to $185,784

The three-year-old pacing fillies have one more Gold Series event prior to the Super Final. The fifth – and final – leg will be hosted by Flamboro Downs on October 1.

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

(Standardbred Canada)

August 27: Purina’s comments on the CPMA Ractopamine Update

August 27, 2015 - You have received a memo regarding Ractopamine on August 21st from the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (see below), suggesting to purchase horse feed from Type A feed mills to avoid Ractopamine contamination.

We feel the information sent is misleading and is potentially putting horses at risk of being in contact with other feed medication, including ionophores (eg Rumensin). Relying on the Type A feed mill designation when purchasing horse feed creates a false sense of security, because the facility can use all other feed medications except Ractopamine.

Moreover, the CPMA press release gives a CFIA link to view the status of mills involved in the Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification program. This list is far from being inclusive in terms of safe options available for horse owners. The list does not include any drug free equine production facilities like the Purina plant in Strathroy, Ontario

As you probably already know, Strathroy does not manufacture pig feed, therefore is not part of the CFIA Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Program. The Purina Strathroy feed plant is not a Type A facility. Strathroy is a drug free facility, which is a class by itself.

We would like to clarify a few key points as follows and we feel it is important that your members are aware of these:

  • In 2013 CFIA on initiative of the Canadian pork industry developed the Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification Program (a 57 page copy of the program is available upon request). This to allow continued export of Canadian pork to Russia which did not permit use of Ractopamine for the production of pork.
  • Within this pork certification program CFIA created two types of feed mill designations;
    • Type A Ractopamine-free: Feed mills that do not have Ractopamine on their premises (they either never used the drug or stopped using it)
    • Type B Ractopamine-free: Feed mills that use Ractopamine and use sequencing and flushing procedures to avoid cross-contamination of Ractopamine with feeds that should not contain this drug.
  • What does it mean for a horse owner to buy horse feed from a Type A feed mill?
    • The horse feed would be manufactured in a feed mill that does not have Ractopamine on site but the mill may be using any other feed medication, including ionophores. (eg Rumensin)
    • Simply stated, Type A feed mills can use all medications except Ractopamine. In addition, Type A facilities are permitted to source ingredients from Type A and Type B facilities. Therefore, ingredients used at a Type A feed mill could come from facilities that use Ractopamine (Type B).
  • Which type is the Purina Strathroy plant?
    • The Purina Strathroy plant is medication free, a classification far above the Type A or Type B Ractopamine-free designation. Strathroy simply has no drugs of any kind.
    • Ingredients used at Strathroy are sourced from facilities that do not use medicated feed additives in their production systems.
    • Ingredients received at Strathroy are unloaded only if the previous loads was a verified approved material.
    • Purina horse feed is shipped in bags, preventing contamination during transport.

You will find more information on our Strathroy Facility via this short video:



(Standardbred Canada)

Ideal Rocky Seeks Metro Knockout

August 27, 2015 - “It will be interesting to see which ones are going to step up. Time will tell. We’ll know in another week for sure. Hopefully when they push them a little harder he will have enough fight left in him to push on and be a good colt.”

The test is coming soon. John Butenschoen hopes his young student Ideal Rocky is ready to excel.

Ideal Rocky is among 23 horses preparing for Saturday’s (Aug. 29) three eliminations for the Metro Pace for two-year-old male pacers at Mohawk Racetrack. The top three finishers from each division plus a fourth-place finisher drawn by lot will advance to the $685,000 final on Sept. 5.

The Mohawk card also includes eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby for older male pacers and the Shes A Great Lady Stakes for two-year-old female pacers.

Ideal Rocky, the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion, is in the second of the three Metro eliminations. He is 6-1 on the morning line, with Corey Callahan driving for trainer Butenschoen. Brad Maxwell’s Control The Moment, undefeated in five lifetime starts, is the 7-5 choice.

Eight of the last nine editions of the Metro Pace on a fast track have been won with times faster than 1:51, with four triumphs in less than 1:50. None of this year’s 23 Metro hopefuls have been quicker than 1:51.1 so far, and only four have won with times faster than 1:52. Ideal Rocky’s mark is 1:52.4, set in a non-stakes start Aug. 7 at the Meadowlands.

“It looks like it’s a real evenly matched group of colts up there,” Butenschoen said. “A lot of these horses are pacing big last halves and quarters. We know they have speed, but when they stretch them out and get to the three-quarters in 1:21 or 1:22 we’ll see which ones get tired and which ones have fight to them. We don’t know.”

With a name like “Rocky,” he should show some fight.

“Hopefully he’ll be on the right side of the way we’re thinking than on the wrong side,” Butenschoen said, laughing.

Ideal Rocky is a son of stallion Rocknroll Hanover, who won the 2004 Metro Pace in 1:49.4, out of the mare Eternitys Delight, who won the 2006 Jugette. He was purchased for $47,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Bill Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, and Eugene Schick. His family also includes previous New Jersey Sire Stakes champion colt I Fought Dalaw as well as stakes-winners Emeritus Maximus, Racing Star, and Western Glory.

“We spend as much time at the farms as we can,” Butenschoen said. “We probably look at two-thirds of all the horses that are in the sale. He was on Bill’s list of pedigree and my list of conformation, so we went after him. He’s a real well-bred colt. He looked the part.

“If he had been New York-eligible or Pennsylvania-eligible, I think he would have been well over a six-figure horse. We got a discount for the New Jersey program. It’s hard to make money there. Hopefully things will get changed around; some legislation (in New Jersey) will prove fruitful. My Pennsylvania colts aren’t eligible to the Metro because they can race for enough money without having to go. But this colt has to go somewhere to get a shot at better money.”

Ideal Rocky has won three of six races and earned $82,144. He heads to his Metro Pace elimination off a third-place finish in a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes on Aug. 22 at Mohawk. The Catamount Kid won the race, with Sossys King Kong finishing second.

“We made a couple little equipment changes on him after his start up there,” Butenschoen said. “He had the rail and was looking at stuff down on the inside. We kind of gave up the race a little bit last week when he wasn’t able to get out of there how we wanted to. Then coming first up into soft fractions wasn’t quite his trip.

“But it was a good race for him and a learning lesson for us. We trained him yesterday and he trained good. Hopefully with a start up there over the track he should be ready to roll. We’ll see what we’ve got.”

Below are the fields for the Metro eliminations, with drivers, trainers and morning line.

Elimination One
1. Bank Shot Hanover, Corey Callahan, Daniel Renaud, 12-1
2. Blayde Hanover, Sylvain Filion, Tony O’Sullivan, 15-1
3. Stonebridge Beach, Stephane Pouliot, Stephane Larocque, 12-1
4. Check Six, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 5-2
5. Voracity, Randy Waples, Tony Alagna, 2-1
6. American Passport, Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna, 4-1
7. Cruise Patrol, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 6-1
8. Nvestment Bluechip, Jody Jamieson, Dave Menary, 8-1

Elimination Two
1. Carter Beach, Jody Jamieson, Carl Jamieson, 10-1
2. Highlandbeachycove, Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna, 12-1
3. Sossys King Kong, Doug McNair, R. Nifty Norman, 8-1
4. Ideal Rocky, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 6-1
5. Manny, David Miller, Howard Okusko Jr., 10-1
6. Control The Moment, Randy Waples, Brad Maxwell, 7-5
7. Racing Hill, Brett Miller, Tony Alagna, 5-1
8. Manhattan Beach, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 7-2

Elimination Three
1. Mind Trip, Brett Miller, Tony Alagna, 5-1
2. Talk Show, John Campbell, Steve Elliott, 2-1
3. Betting Line, Steve Condren, Casie Coleman, 3-1
4. Pretty Boy Hill, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1
5. Rodeo Rock, Randy Waples, Don Swick, 12-1
6. The Catamount Kid, Jody Jamieson, Carl Jamieson, 5-2
7. Real Kid, Doug McNair, Larry Ainsworth, 15-1

To view entries for Saturday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Saturday Entries – Mohawk Racetrack.

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit

Elimination Mania Hits Mohawk

August 25, 2015 – The present and future of harness racing’s pacing ranks will be on display Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack for the eliminations of the Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady.

An all-star group of 18 older pacers have been split into two $40,000 eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby. The Metro Pace for two-year-old pacing colts has attracted 23 rookies separated into three $40,000 eliminations, while 12 two-year-old pacing fillies will contest a pair of $35,000 eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady Stakes.

The Canadian Pacing Derby is Canada’s oldest harness race and annually serves as one of the premier events in the sport.

This year’s ‘Pacing Derby’ once again has attracted the finest older pacers in the sport.

The first elimination Saturday is highlighted by the red-hot State Treasurer (PP4, David Miller). The Dr. Ian Moore trainee enters his Derby elimination off back-to-back victories in the U.S. Pacing Championship and the Roll With Joe Stakes.

State Treasurer has won six of 12 starts this season and earned over $500,000 to bring his career bankroll to north of $1.4 million.

The Ron Burke trainee All Bets Off (PP7, Matt Kakaley) also enters the first elimination with plenty of confidence. The four-year-old pacer captured the Prix D’Ete last Sunday in Quebec and has hit the board in four of his last five starts. All Bets Off has banked over $400,000 this season to bring his career total to over $1.5 million.

The second elimination features the richest Standardbred of all-time Foiled Again (PP5, Yannick Gingras).

A winner of over $7.1 million, Foiled Again won the 2012 edition of the Canadian Pacing Derby and a top-five finish in this Saturday’s elimination will secure the 11-year-old his fifth appearance in the ‘Pacing Derby’ final.

The Burke trainee finished second in last year’s Derby and has finished no worse than third in his four Derby appearances.

The second split will also feature the hottest horse on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit Shamballa (PP1, Rick Zeron).

The Rick Zeron trainee has been dominating the Preferred level at Mohawk and enters his elimination on a five-race win streak. Known for his wicked closing speed, Shamballa will be making his first career Grand Circuit start.

The five-year-old gelding has eight wins in 11 starts this season for $138,000 in earnings.

Another notable in the second elimination is four-year-old JK Endofanera (PP7, Brett Miller), who will be making his first start at Mohawk since capturing the 2014 Pepsi North America Cup.

The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby final on Saturday, September 5. The eliminations have been carded as races five and seven on Saturday.

The Metro Pace has annually been the top race for two-year-old pacers and has severed as a launching pad to impressive careers for many greats.

The first elimination Saturday will feature Ontario Sires Stakes standout Voracity (PP5, Randy Waples). The son of Sportswriter is fresh off a victory in a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes and has three wins from four starts this season.

Voracity is trained by Tony Alagna, who captured last year’s Metro Pace with Artspeak. Alagna also sends out American Passport (PP6, Scott Zeron) in the first elimination and three other rookies (Highlandbeachycove, Racing Hill, Mindtrip) in the final two eliminations.

The undefeated colt Control The Moment (PP6, Randy Waples) highlights the second elimination. A son of Well Said, Control The Moment captured his Nassagaweya split last Saturday with ease to improve to five for five.

The Brad Maxwell trainee is the only undefeated rookie of the 23 entered in this year’s Metro eliminations.

The third and final Metro elimination will feature a field of seven rookies. The Catamount Kid (PP6, Jody Jamieson) will look to carry the momentum from his victory in last Saturday’s Nassagaweya into his preliminary.

The son of Well Said comes into the Metro on a two-race win streak for trainer Carl Jamieson.

Casie Coleman trainee Betting Line (PP3, Tim Tetrick), a two-time OSS Gold series winner, will look to rebound from a break in his most recent start in the final elimination. The son of Sportswriter has won three of five starts to begin his career.

The top-three finishers from each elimination and a fourth-place finisher drawn by a lot will advance to the $685,000 Metro Pace final on Saturday, September 5.

Two-year-old pacing fillies will also share the spotlight Saturday in a pair of eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady Stakes.

Thatsoveryverynice (PP5, Jody Jamieson), an Eternal Camnation division winner, will highlight the first elimination. The daughter of Vintage Master has won three of four starts for trainer and co-owner Tony Alagna.

The second split features Bob McIntosh trainee L A Delight (PP2, Randy Waples). The daughter of Bettors Delight won her division of the Eternal Camnation Saturday to extend her current win streak to six starts in a row.

The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $455,000 Shes A Great Lady final on Saturday, September 5.

The winners of each elimination Saturday will earn the right to select their post position for the final of their respective race.

Post time for Saturday’s star-studded 12-race card is 7:25 p.m.

The full fields for all the stakes eliminations can be found below.


Canadian Pacing Derby – Elimination 1 – Race 5
1. Ellis Park – Randy Waples – Brad Maxwell
2. Piston Broke – Tim Tetrick – Rob Fellows
3. Bettorever – Corey Callahan – Jeff Bamond, Jr.
4. State Treasurer – David Miller – Dr. Ian Moore
5. Mcwicked – David Miller – Casie Coleman
6. Captive Audience – Andrew McCarthy – Colin Johnson
7. All Bets Off – Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke
8. Luck Be Withyou – Luc Ouellette – Bill Cass
9. Bettors Edge – TBA – Ron Burke

Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination 2 – Race 7
1. Shamballa – Rick Zeron – Rick Zeron
2. Mach It So – Corey Callahan – Jeff Bamond, Jr.
3. Evenin Of Pleasure – Sylvain Filion – Richard Moreau
4. Melmerby Beach – Paul MacDonell – Paul MacDonell
5. Foiled Again – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke
6. Nirvana Seelster – Sylvain Filion – Bill Budd
7. JK Endofanera – Brett Miller – Jimmy Takter
8. Limelight Beach – TBA – Ron Burke
9. Clear Vision – Brett Miller – Ron Burke

Metro Pace – Elimination 1 – Race 6
1. Bank Shot Hanover – Mark MacDonald – Daniel Renaud
2. Blayde Hanover – Sylvain Filion – Tony O’Sullivan
3. Stonebridge Beach – Stephane Pouliot – Stephane Larocque
4. Check Six – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke
5. Voracity – Randy Waples – Tony Alagna
6. American Passport – Scott Zeron – Tony Alagna
7. Cruise Patrol – Sylvain Filion – Jimmy Takter
8. Nvestment Bluechip – Jody Jamieson – Dave Menary

Metro Pace – Elimination 2 – Race 8
1. Carter Beach – Jody Jamieson – Carl Jamieson
2. Highlandbeachycove – Scott Zeron – Tony Alagna
3. Sossys King Kong – Doug McNair – Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman
4. Ideal Rocky – Corey Callahan – John Butenschoen
5. Manny – Corey Callahan – Howie Okusko, Jr.
6. Control The Moment – Randy Waples – Brad Maxwell
7. Racing Hill – Brett Miller – Tony Alagna
8. Manhattan Beach – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke

Metro Pace – Elimination 3 – Race 10
1. Mindtrip – Brett Miller – Tony Alagna
2. Talk Show – John Campbell – Steve Elliott
3. Betting Line – Tim Tetrick – Casie Coleman
4. Pretty Boy Hill – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke
5. Rodeo Rock – Randy Waples – Don Swick
6. The Catamount Kid – Jody Jamieson – Carl Jamieson
7. Real Kid – Doug McNair – Larry Ainsworth

Shes A Great Lady – Elimination 1 – Race 2
1. JK Fannie – Matt Kakaley – Nancy Johansson
2. Upside Surprise – Andrew McCarthy – Tony O’Sullivan
3. Albany Girl – Brett Miller – Jimmy Takter
4. Thisorthat Hanover – Tim Tetrick – James ‘Friday’ Dean
5. Thatsoveryverynice – Jody Jamieson – Tony Alagna
6. Highland Rocksolid – TBA – Marty Fine

Shes A Great Lady – Elimination 2 – Race 3
1. Ivy League – Brett Miller – Jimmy Takter
2. L A Delight – Randy Waples – Bob McIntosh
3. Show Time Hill – Andrew McCarthy – Tony Alagna
4. Three Dreams – James MacDonald – Jeff Bamond, Jr.
5. Darlinonthebeach – David Miller – Nancy Johansson
6. Blue Moon Stride – Andrew McCarthy – Mark Harder


(Standardbred Canada)

To view entries for Saturday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Saturday Entries – Mohawk Racetrack.

Statement On Ractopamine In Feedstuffs

August 25, 2015 - This memo is to comment on the CPMA press release issued on Friday, August 21st, regarding “Ractopamine In Feedstuffs Update”.

In the press release, the CPMA “reminds race horse owners and trainers that it remains their responsibility to obtain horse feed and supplements that are free from substances that may trigger a positive test such as ractopamine.” It goes on to suggest that “Race horse trainers and owners may wish to obtain their feed from facilities that have been designated as Type A which are those commercial facilities that manufacture, handle and/or distribute only feeds that do not contain ractopamine.” The press release then gives a CFIA link to view the status of mills involved in the Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification program.

While we commend the efforts of CPMA to bring awareness to the issue of safe manufacturing of feed by avoiding purchasing feed supplied by mills that include Ractopamine in their production, the list provided by CFIA is far from being inclusive in safe options available to Ontario’s horsemen. The list does not include any of the drug-free equine production facilities in Ontario, such as Agribrands Purina in Strathroy, Brooks Feeds in Port Perry, and Sharpe Farm Supplies in Moffat. None of these plants are listed on the CFIA website as they do not manufacture pig feed, hence are not part of the CFIA Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Program. These plants are completely drug-free, not just Ractopamine free, offering zero chance of feed contamination from medications, which puts them in a classification far above any type A or B designation when it comes to feed safety! To be a Type A plant, the feed mill cannot use Ractopamine in their manufacturing, but can use a number of other medications in the feed mill such as Rumensin, which is deadly to horses. For complete feed safety, horsemen should be asking for more than just a Type A designation of their feed supplier.

Paul Sharpe
Sharpe Farm Supplies

(Standardbred Canada)

Clenbuterol Guidelines Changed

August 25, 2015 - The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency has issued an important reminder to the Canadian horse racing industry that a significant change to the elimination guideline for Clenbuterol will come into effect September 1. The change states that the current elimination guideline for Clenbuterol will be increased from 72 hours to 168 hours (seven days).

The main points from the CPMA’s changes to the elimination guidelines are as follows:

  1. The current elimination guideline for the 0.40 mg oral dose given twice daily for 5 days of clenbuterol (Ventipulmin) contained in the 2011 edition of the Schedule of Drugs booklet will be increased from 72 hours to 168 hours (7 days).
  2. CPMA is temporarily removing the elimination guideline for the 0.30 mg intravenous single administration until further studies are completed.
  3. The 0.32 mg oral single administration will no longer have an elimination guideline.

To view a copy of the CPMA’s memorandum, click here.

The CPMA has announced that the changes will come into effect on September 1, 2015.

The contents of the memorandum appear below.

This memo is to inform the horse racing industry of upcoming changes to the elimination guidelines for CLENBUTEROL.


  1. The current elimination guideline for the 0.40 mg oral dose given twice daily for 5 days of clenbuterol (Ventipulmin) contained in the 2011 edition of the Schedule of Drugs booklet will be increased from 72 hours to 168 hours (7 days).
  2. CPMA is temporarily removing the elimination guideline for the 0.30 mg intravenous single administration until further studies are completed.
  3. The 0.32 mg oral single administration will no longer have an elimination guideline.

There are several medications that may be used as alternatives for clenbuterol. The CPMA provides elimination guideline for some of these substances in the 2011 Schedule of Drugs.

To allow ample time for the industry to adjust to the new elimination guidelines, these changes will come into effect on September 1, 2015 and will be reflected in the next version of the Schedule of Drugs booklet expected to be released later this year.

As always, the CPMA recommends that owners and trainers consult their own veterinarian for advice and guidance in the use of all drugs.

(Standardbred Canada)


OLG Names Senior VP Of Horse Racing

August 25, 2015 - The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. announced on Monday, August 24 that it has hired Cal Bricker as its new Senior Vice President of Horse Racing.

Building on the work that has been underway over the past several months, Bricker will provide dedicated leadership as OLG continues to integrate horse racing into the provincial gaming strategy, according to an OLG release on the hiring.

According to his Linkedin profile, Bricker served as Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications for Waste Management in Canada from 2003 to 2014. Prior to that, he worked in Public affairs, for Labatt Breweries of Canada from 1992 to 2001, and Labatt USA from 2001 to 2003. Bricker has a PhD, International Relations, from the University of Alberta.

According to the OLG, Bricker will strengthen the OLG’s efforts to support industry self-governance by focusing on the ongoing development of strong working partnerships with the horse racing industry, government and regulatory bodies.

Touching on Bricker’s background, the OLG release states that Bricker has experience working in complex business environments that generate revenue while protecting the public interest. The release goes on to state that Bricker’s background in building partnerships among diverse stakeholders with multiple interests will serve OLG well, as the corporation works to create the conditions for sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario.

Bricker’s first day at OLG will be September 1, 2015.

(Standardbred Canada)

Adoption Society Fundraising Dinner

August 24, 2015 - B&R Promotions has announced that it is pleased to once again be hosting the OSAS Fundraising Dinner at Mohawk Racetrack in the dining room on Saturday, September 12 in support of the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society.

Tickets will remain at $65 per person with $5 discount for OEF, SC and ORC members and a group discount of $55 per ticket for 10 or more seats.

The night will include a wonderful buffet dinner, tea/coffee/soft drinks, taxes and gratuities, a $10 slots voucher, a race program, a lot of door prizes and an amazing silent auction table.

Last year’s event was a huge success and organizers are looking forward to seeing everyone again this year. Get your tickets early!

Please contact Bonnie Holland at 905-299-0130 or or Joanne Colville at 905-854-6099 for tickets.

You may also visit to purchase tickets for this wonderful event as well.

(With files from B&R Promotions)
(Standardbred Canada)

Turf Lounge To Close Its Doors

August 24, 2015 - On Monday, August 24, the Woodbine Entertainment Group announced that it is closing its Turf Lounge operation in downtown Toronto, effective Saturday, September 5.

Turf Lounge, located at 330 Bay Street, opened in 2003 with the objective of offering horse racing and off-track betting in the financial district in an upscale atmosphere while providing a fine dining experience.

“Turf Lounge was a concept that a great number of people worked hard to develop and sustain,” said Sean Pinsonneault, WEG’s chief operating officer. “We sincerely thank all of those individuals for their efforts and support over the last 12 years.”

The decision to close the restaurant was made after a careful deliberation of strategic priorities at WEG.

“Consistent with our evolving strategy and recent announcements, the focus is to continue building our world-class horse racing and entertainment business,” said Pinsonneault. “We are leveraging our tremendous assets and, with our aggressive expansion of the Champions network throughout the province and the strong customer appeal of our live racing products, wagering trends are exceeding our expectations.”

The release states that WEG is working with its loyal racing customers and will be offering an enhanced wagering experience at the Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill, a Champions location at 276 King Street, just a short walk west from Turf Lounge. There will be expanded floor space dedicated to racing, and more terminals, televisions and racetracks available to watch and wager.

In addition, there are several other Champions Off-Track Betting locations in the downtown core, as well as the newly redesigned HPIbet internet and mobile offerings, ready to serve passionate racing fans. WEG will be working with them to ensure that they are comfortable exploring the other available options to continue playing their favourite tracks.

(With files from WEG)
(Standardbred Canada)

Study To Evaluate Cobalt Announced

August 24, 2015 - The U.S. Trotting Association announced on Monday (August 24) that it will fund a research study by renowned equine researchers Dr. George Maylin from Morrisville State College in New York and Dr. Karyn Malinowski and Dr. Ken McKeever of Rutgers University in New Jersey to evaluate the effects of cobalt on red blood cell production (erythropoiesis) and performance enhancement in horses.

Dr. Maylin anticipates that the study will commence at the beginning of September.

“The purpose is to study the effects of cobalt on racehorses with the exercise physiology model used by Dr. McKeever to study drugs such as EPO,” explained Dr. Maylin. “It’s the only way to assess the pharmacological effects with this type of compound. It will be a dose-response study to see if some level of cobalt has an effect on performance.”

In a previous study funded by the USTA, the three researchers determined a baseline for what the normal levels of cobalt are in a Standardbred horse.

“Most of the research has established that the naturally occurring levels in a horse are below 25 ppb but occasionally can range as high as 70 ppb,” said USTA President Phil Langley in making the announcement. “The problem remains that, other than establishing the natural levels, little is really known about the effects of cobalt on horses when it is given in excessive amounts.”

Racing jurisdictions have set thresholds to regulate the use of cobalt because it is known to be toxic in humans. However, there is currently no scientific evidence to determine an appropriate threshold for horses because dose-response studies have not been reported.

“The recent action of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on cobalt pretty much reflects the actions taken in many racing jurisdictions and the prevailing thought is that a warning at readings in excess of the 25 ppb level and a more severe penalty when the results exceed 50 ppb will dramatically reduce any improper use of cobalt,” said Langley.

In addition, there have been no controlled studies to document the purported performance enhancing effects of cobalt. The goal of the proposed study is to test the hypothesis that cobalt administration will alter biochemical parameters related to red blood cell production as well as markers of exercise performance.

“The important questions are whether cobalt can dramatically improve a horse’s performance or is detrimental to the horse’s health,” added Langley. “That’s what this research aims to discover.”

Eight healthy, trained Standardbred mares will be used for this experiment. Before receiving any drug treatment, all animals will complete a series of baseline testing.

According to the study plan, 50 mg of cobalt (Co HCl in one litre of saline) will be administered at 9 a.m. on three consecutive days. Blood samples will be obtained before and at one, two, four and 24 hours after administration. Administration will commence seven days after the first Graded Exercise Test (GXT). Plasma and blood volume will be measured two days after the last dose of cobalt. A post administration GXT will be performed the next day.

Testing will be comprised of measurement of maximal aerobic capacity and markers of performance, measurement of plasma volume and blood volume as well as lactate, erythropoietin (EPO), thyroid hormones and various blood hematological factors.

Cobalt toxicity and its ability to increase red blood cell production in humans have been known for more than 50 years. Recently there has been renewed interest in cobalt as a performance enhancing drug (PED) in race horses and human athletes. The possible toxicity associated with its use as a PED has become a welfare concern in the horse industry.

(Standardbred Canada)