May 23, 2017

Spread The Word Not The Germs

May 17, 2017 – In 2013, a devastating outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus One caused four confirmed cases in Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses and three confirmed deaths. The development reinforced Equine Guelph’s sense that the Ontario horse racing industry – one filled with high-value animals and frequent movement – was in need of further education on biosecurity and infectious disease prevention.

Accessing funding through the Agricultural Adaptation Council, Equine Guelph developed and delivered ‘Biosecurity – Spread the word not the germs.’ The first-of-its-kind campaign targeted infectious diseases in the Ontario horse racing industry. The initiative changed the equine industry’s approach to biosecurity and delivered lasting resources still used today.

In order to reach such a broad community, Equine Guelph used a peer-to-peer educational approach to bring the industry together.

In April 2015, Equine Guelph started by educating horse racing officials. Ontario Racing Commission investigators, judges and stewards received training on biosecurity, arming the officials with the resources needed to visit all 10 Ontario race tracks in the spring and summer of 2015 to spread the word on biosecurity. On their visits, officials discussed how to improve biosecurity and provided an assortment of training materials.

The biosecurity campaign is more than just a communications success story; it created tangible resources for the equine industry, both racing and non-racing. The training content used has been added to Equine Guelph’s equine biosecurity two-week online eWorkshop and has been modified and distributed to a general equine audience across Canada.

The project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario. Now available on thehorseportal.ca – all horse owners and caregivers can learn Canada’s biosecurity code for equines.

You can also access Equine Guelph’s free Biosecurity Calculator to evaluate the biosecurity risk on your farm. In 10 minutes you can be on your way to a biosecurity plan utilizing simple ways to protect your horse from infectious disease.

(Agricultural Adaptation Council / Equine Guelph)

Mohawk’s Family Night This Saturday

May 17, 2017 – Mohawk Racetrack’s annual Fireworks and Family Fun Night is set for this Saturday (May 20).

A fun-filled night of live racing and entertainment for all ages will rock the Campbellville, Ont. oval. Doors to the Mohawk Grandstand will open at 5 p.m. and live racing will get underway at 6:45 p.m.

A strong 10-race card has been put together for the special evening, which will be highlighted by a pair of $130,000 SBOA Stakes Finals for three-year-old fillies. Saturday’s card will also feature a loaded $34,000 Preferred Pace and the regular $40,000 Pick-5 and $50,000 Early Pick-4.

Fans on-track will have a variety of entertainment options, including live racing, to explore throughout the evening

A brand new Kidsfest Zone will be introduced this year, where kids will be able to take part in carnival games, crafts, face painting, an animal show and more. Entry to the Kidsfest Zone costs $5.

Parents will also want to take advantage of a special Kids’ Combo Meal. The $5.99 special includes the choice of a pizza slice or hot dog, juice box, chips and a glow in the dark wristband.

A special $5 collectible horse cup will also be for sale at the concession stands and comes with free refills of fountain drinks all night.

Musician Brian MacIntyre will be entertaining fans throughout the evening inside the main concourse of the grandstand.

A special Pepsi North America Cup ticket offer will be available on Saturday evening, as fans can take advantage of a ‘Me + 3’ offer to grab their tickets for the $1 million race on Saturday, June 17.

Live racing is expected to conclude around 10 p.m. and the spectacular fireworks show is scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m.

Racing fans also looking to catch the Preakness Stakes on Saturday will be able to watch and wager on the second leg of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown at Mohawk. The big race will be shown on the infield screen.

For more information on Fireworks and Family Fun Night, visit mohawkracetrack.com.

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

(WEG)

WEG Stakes Payments Due Today

May 13, 2015 – Sustaining payments and nominations for numerous Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and Alliance stakes/series are due this Monday (May 15).

The May 15 payment is the final round of sustaining payments for all major WEG stakes, including the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. A total of 53 three-year-old pacers are eligible to make the final sustaining payment for Canada’s richest harness race.

The full list of WEG stakes requiring a May 15 sustaining payment is available below.

Pepsi North America Cup (Pace: Three-Year-Olds)
Canadian Pacing Derby (Pace: Three-Year-Olds and Up)
Canadian Trotting Classic (Trot: Three-Year-Olds)
Maple Leaf Trot (Trot: Three-Year-Olds and Up)
Fan Hanover (Pace: Three-Year-Old Fillies)
Elegantimage (Trot: Three-Year-Old Fillies)
Casual Breeze (Trot: Three-Year-Old Fillies)
Goodtimes (Trot: Three-Year-Olds)
Somebeachsomewhere (Pace: Three-Year-Olds)
Metro Pace (Pace: Two-Year-Olds)
Shes A Great Lady (Pace: Two-Year-Old Fillies)
William Wellwood Memorial (Trot: Two-Year-Olds)
Peaceful Way (Trot: Two-Year-Old Fillies)
Nassagaweya (Pace: Two-Year-Olds)
Eternal Camnation (Pace: Two-Year-Old Fillies)
Roses Are Red (Pace: Mares)
Milton (Pace: Mares)
Armbro Flight (Trot: Mares)

Nominations are also due May 15 for the annual two-year-old summer series at Mohawk.

The Dream Maker, Whenuwishuponastar, Define The World and Pure Ivory are signature events in the summer months at Mohawk and have been the learning ground for many top two-year-olds.

The May 15 payment also includes yearling nominations for the 2018 Champlain Stakes, 2019 Simcoe Stakes and 2019 S.B.O.A. Stakes. For more information, click here.

A sustaining payment is also due May 15 for the following Alliance events to be raced at Grand River Raceway:

Battle of Waterloo (Pace: Two-Year-Olds)
Battle of the Belles (Pace: Two-Year-Old Fillies)

To view full information regarding each stakes event and payments, click here.

To make sustaining payments online, click here.

If sending payments by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than May 15, 2017 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended.

Any questions or concerns regarding stakes payments can be directed to the Mohawk Race Office (905-854-7805).

(WEG)

Mohawk’s Double Draw Reminder

May 15, 2017 – Officials in the Mohawk Racetrack race office would like to remind all horsepeople of a change to the draw schedule.

Beginning tomorrow (Tuesday, May 16), the race office will be a conducting double draws each Tuesday for Friday and Saturday cards. The double draws on Tuesdays will be in effect for the remainder of the Mohawk meet.

The draw schedule is now as follows.

• Enter Monday for Thursday
• Enter Tuesday for Friday and Saturday
• Enter Thursday for Monday

The entry box closes the morning of each draw at 10:30 a.m.

When Tuesday racing is added to the Mohawk Racetrack schedule in June, the draw for Tuesdays will be conducted on Fridays.

(WEG)

Hard Rock, Rideau Announce ‘Hard Rock Casino Ottawa’

May 15, 2017 – On Monday, May 15, ‘HR Ottawa, LP,’ which will be known as ‘Hard Rock Casino Ottawa,’ announced that it has been selected by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to be the service provider for the Ottawa Area Gaming Bundle 1, which will transition the existing structure and operations into Hard Rock Casino Ottawa.

The Monday announcement explains that the Hard Rock Casino Ottawa partnership consists of HR LP Investor Inc. (owned by Hard Rock International) and RCR Investor Inc. (owned by Rideau Carleton Raceway Holdings Limited).

Pending required approvals, Hard Rock International and RCR plan to potentially invest more than $320 million during a multi-phase construction process to ultimately create an electrifying, integrated entertainment destination incorporating thrilling nightlife, world-class gaming, decadent cuisine and the heart of the Hard Rock brand, music.

“We are delighted to bring the iconic Hard Rock International casino operator to Ottawa,” Rideau Carleton Raceway Director Andrew Wright was quoted as saying in the release. “Rideau Carleton Raceway has partnered with Hard Rock to build a major tourist destination that will offer multi-level entertainment, energized horse racing, a broader market and substantial economic benefits for all of our employees, patrons, and the Ottawa community.”

More information regarding the bundle-operator selection is in the Hard Rock International release on the subject, which appears below.


Hard Rock International and Rideau Carleton Raceway Announce Hard Rock Casino Ottawa

Following a competitive procurement process, “HR Ottawa, LP,” which will be known as Hard Rock Casino Ottawa, announces it has been selected by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to be the service provider for the Ottawa Area Gaming Bundle 1, transitioning the existing structure and operations into Hard Rock Casino Ottawa. The Hard Rock Casino Ottawa partnership consists of HR LP Investor Inc. (owned by Hard Rock International) and RCR Investor Inc. (owned by Rideau Carleton Raceway Holdings Limited). Pending required approvals, Hard Rock International and RCR plan to potentially invest more than $320 million during a multi-phase construction process to ultimately create an electrifying, integrated entertainment destination incorporating thrilling nightlife, world-class gaming, decadent cuisine and the heart of the Hard Rock brand, music.

Working in close collaboration with OLG, HR Ottawa, LP will enter a transfer period to allow for a transition of current day-to-day operations, resulting in a seamless evolution of the property. Additionally, HR Ottawa, LP will be a key proponent of responsible gaming, integrating leading educational tools and resources to help guests keep gambling safe and fun, and to provide assistance and referrals for those in need of support.

“We’re thrilled to have been chosen by OLG to create Hard Rock Casino Ottawa,” said Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International. “This is a crucial first step towards a larger strategic vision of our world-class brand’s expansion efforts in Ontario and throughout Canada. We are honoured to partner with RCR, a reputable and longstanding member of the Ottawa community, and look forward to working with both the RCR and OLG team members through the transition and beyond.”

Together, Hard Rock International and RCR will transform the existing property with a complete remodel, rebrand and significant expansion, leading to an economic development boost. The multi-phase project is expected to potentially create 1,900 construction-related jobs and 2,000 direct and indirect ongoing jobs.

“We are delighted to bring the iconic Hard Rock International casino operator to Ottawa,” said Andrew Wright, director of Rideau Carleton Raceway. “Rideau Carleton Raceway has partnered with Hard Rock to build a major tourist destination that will offer multi-level entertainment, energized horse racing, a broader market and substantial economic benefits for all of our employees, patrons, and the Ottawa community.”

The anticipated first phase of the capital investment project for Hard Rock Casino Ottawa is expected to be completed within the first year of operations, pending required approvals. It will encompass a dramatic renovation, including a redesign of the gaming floors. Additionally, phase one will include updates to the arrival experience, porte cochère, signage, racetrack and grandstand. Pending required approvals, the subsequent expansion program will bring the addition of a Hard Rock Hotel, Hard Rock Live entertainment venue, a Hard Rock Cafe & Center Bar, a Rock Shop where fans can purchase the brand’s iconic merchandise, innovative music displays and memorabilia from the brand’s curated collection, as well as more than 13,000 square metres of gaming space with additional slot machines and table games.

A press conference will be held today, Monday, May 15, at Rideau Carleton Raceway’s Banquet Room at 3:15 p.m. to discuss Hard Rock Casino Ottawa. Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen, Rideau Carleton Raceway Director Andrew Wright and OLG President and CEO, Stephen Rigby will be available for comment.

For additional information on Hard Rock International, please visit www.hardrock.com.

Update On 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing In Canada

May 10, 2017 – The team managing the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada (#cdnhorseracing250) has been busy working with racetracks, agricultural societies, industry associations and farms putting together activities and celebrations of this monumental milestone in Canada’s horse racing history.

The excitement is building as plans are finalized to host commemorative miles across the country throughout 2017. The first one on the calendar will take place as part of the Mother’s Day Open House at Mac Lilley Farms, located at 28322 Chalmers Line, Dutton, Ontario this Sunday, May 14. At 3:00 p.m., Il Sogno Dream and Alex Lilley will take to the track for a mile in recognition of Mac Lilley Farm’s 50 years of operation. The fastest trotter in North America in 2015 is currently doing double duty, as he is spending time in the Mac Lilley Farm breeding shed as well as beginning preparations for his 2017 race season.

The farm is open to guests from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and will provide an opportunity to get up close and personal with Standardbred mares and foals, take a ride behind a racehorse, learn about the history of both Mac Lilley Farms and Canadian horse racing as well as many other activities.

The 250th anniversary of horse racing team will be on hand to answer questions, and provide 250th anniversary of horse racing colouring sheets and other giveaways for the kids. There will also be CHRHF and 250th anniversary merchandise available for purchase.

In the coming weeks, look for 250th anniversary displays and merchandise available at the following track events:

May 14 – Mac Lilley Farms Mother’s Day Open House, Dutton, ON
May 20 – Mohawk Racetrack Fireworks Night, Campbellville, ON
May 21 – Flamboro Downs – Confederation Cup, Flamboro, ON
May 28 – Grand River Raceway – Open House, Elora, ON

Thank you to industry partners Standardbred Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, HBPA, COSA, OHHA, ASHA, and Harness Racing BC for their financial contributions to this year’s celebration.

New events and activities are being added to the calendar frequently. To stay up to date on all the latest 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada activities, or find out how you can get involved, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or visit the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame website. #cdnhorseracing250

(Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame)

Gateway Now Operating SW Bundle

May 9, 2017 – The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited each announced today (Tuesday, May 9) that Gateway has signed a 20-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement with the OLG and has purchased the business and assets of the Southwest Gaming Bundle. Gateway has taken over day-to-day operations and the assets of the Southwest Gaming Bundle, effective today.

Gateway and the OLG each issued press releases regarding the matter today. The contents of the releases appear below.


OLG signs 20-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement with Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited for Southwest Gaming Bundle Assets


Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has signed a 20-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement (COSA) with Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited (Gateway). Under the agreement, Gateway takes over day-to-day operations and the assets of the Southwest Gaming Bundle, effective today (May 9, 2017).

The Southwest Gaming Bundle includes:

• OLG Slots at Western Fair District
• OLG Slots at Clinton Raceway
• OLG Slots at Dresden Raceway
• OLG Slots at Hanover Raceway
• OLG Slots at Woodstock Raceway
• OLG Casino Point Edward

On December 13, 2016, OLG announced it had selected Gateway as the service provider for the Southwest Gaming Bundle. Since then, OLG and Gateway have been working towards concluding a Transition and Asset Purchase Agreement and entering into the COSA.

OLG has worked with Gateway to help ensure that transferring employees have a smooth and seamless transition. This includes the requirement for Gateway to retain transferring employees for a period of no less than 12 months in their current position and geographic location, and to provide eligible employees with benefits and a registered pension plan.

At more than $2.2 billion annually, OLG provides the Ontario government with its largest source of non-tax revenue. Modernization helps OLG provide more money to Ontario for key government services.

(OLG)


Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Becomes Canada’s Largest and Most Diversified Gaming and Entertainment Company with Ontario Expansion


Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited (“Gateway”) has signed a 20-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement (COSA) with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (“OLG”) and has purchased the business and assets of the Southwest Gaming Bundle. Gateway will take over the day-to-day operations effective today. The expansion into Ontario represents the next exciting chapter in Gateway’s successful growth strategy making Gateway Canada’s largest and most diversified gaming company.

“Today is a very exciting day and an important milestone for Gateway as we expand our footprint into Ontario with the completion of the transition process in Southwestern Ontario. We thank the OLG for the hard work throughout the transition process and we look forward to our long-term partnership,” said Tony Santo, Gateway’s Chief Executive Officer. “On behalf of our 4,200 employees in Western Canada, we are very proud to officially welcome the OLG colleagues to our Gateway team.”

Gabriel de Alba, Gateway’s Executive Chairman, said, “Gateway’s growth strategy and focus on a superior customer experience revolves around investing in the company’s unique gaming properties and creating a broader attraction across numerous demographics. Our success has resulted in significant job creation across the communities where we operate in Western Canada. We are bringing this same approach to Southwestern Ontario with a planned investment of over $200 Million to revitalize and enhance the gaming and entertainment landscape.”

In December 2016, Gateway was selected by OLG as the successful service provider in the Southwest and North Gaming Bundles. The Southwest Gaming Bundle includes a casino in Point Edward and slots in Woodstock (at Woodstock Raceway), London (at the Western Fair District), Clinton (at Clinton Raceway), Dresden (at Dresden Raceway) and Hanover (at Hanover Raceway). The North Gaming Bundle will transition to Gateway in late May 2017 and includes casinos in Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie, slots in Sudbury (at Sudbury Downs) and two planned casino builds in Kenora and North Bay. The Ontario acquisitions are expected to be immediately accretive to Gateway’s top-line growth, EBITDA margin and full year earnings.

The expansion into Ontario is the next step in the continued evolution of Gateway. In 2010, The Catalyst Capital Group Inc. (“Catalyst”), Gateway’s ownership group, took Gateway and its 9 properties under management to rebuild and restructure the company. A focus on superior customer experience and measured growth has seen Gateway’s portfolio expand to 28 properties once the Southwest and North Gaming Bundles are fully transitioned and developed.

Central to Gateway’s success has been the development of signature casino and restaurant brands that have dramatically improved the gaming customer experience while generating important new customer segments. With transition complete, Gateway will now focus on plans to invest over $200 Million in Southwestern Ontario communities to introduce the proprietary casino and restaurant signature brands.

A customer celebration will be held on June 22nd, 2017 at all Gateway’s Ontario sites in the Southwest and North. The daylong celebration will include new and exciting promotions and prizes, live entertainment, Gateway merchandise giveaways and delicious food and drink specials. To learn more about the celebration on June 22nd please visit www.gatewaycasinos.com.

A commitment to responsible gambling is integral to how Gateway operates. All Gateway properties in British Columbia and Ontario hold RG Check accreditation. Together with OLG and other government partners, Gateway will continue to implement responsible gambling initiatives at all properties across Canada.

(Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited)

Summer Camp Deadline Approaching

May 9, 2017 – There is still time to sign up for a Harness Horse Youth Foundation summer camp near you, but the deadline is just one week away, so you’ll have to hurry.

Although several of the camps are approaching capacity, there is still room for a few more campers. Application information is at hhyf.org/schedule-applications and the deadline is May 15.

Five-day camps are for campers aged 12-14, while one day camps can accommodate students age 11 and up. The leadership camp is for teens who have attended a previous HHYF camp.

The 2017 HHYF summer camp schedule includes:

Harrington Raceway June 17 – 21 – Overnight Camp
Rosecroft Raceway June 27- One Day Camp
Ocean Downs June 29- One Day Camp
Leadership Program at Goshen Historic Track July 5 to 8 – Overnight Camp
Vernon Downs July 11 to 15 – Overnight Camp
The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono July 18 to 22 – Overnight Camp
Gaitway Farm July 29 to August 2 – Day camp

(HHYF)

AGCO Stakeholder Working Groups

May 4, 2017 – The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced its intent to establish the ‘Moving Ahead: Horse Racing Regulation in Ontario’ AGCO-Stakeholder Working Groups on February 21, 2017.

The announcement included an open call to the Horse Racing industry for membership in three Working Groups to review and make recommendations for policy reform in the following areas: Equine Drug Program, Officiating , Health and Safety (Equine & Human).

The AGCO is pleased to announce the following representatives have been selected to participate in the Equine Drug Program and Officiating Working Groups:

Equine Drug Program:

– Bill O’Donnell
– Bob Broadstock
– Brett Anderson
– Brian Tropea
– Brian Van Arem
– Chris Huarte
– Gayle Sommer
– Greg Gangle
– Jack Darling
– Jamie Martin
– Mark Beaven
– Mike Chopowick
– Peter Berringer
– Rene Hunderup
– Sue Leslie

Officiating:

– Bill Manes
– Bill McLinchey
– Dan Gall
– Daniel Vella
– Emma Jayne Wilson
– Erik Lehtinen
– Eric Poteck
– Greg Blanchard
– Jessica Peatling
– Jody Jamieson
– Mark Horner
– Mike Chopowick
– Renee Kierans
– Rob Landry
– Robert King
– Steve Lym

These Working Groups are comprised of a broad range of industry positions, industry associations, licensees as well as AGCO representatives. Three to five meetings will be held approximately once a month from May to August, 2017. The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) will also be included in the discussions in the Equine Drug Program Working Group.

The membership list for the Health and Safety (Equine & Human) Working Group will be released in the late summer prior to the first meeting. As the Working Groups progress, key updates will be available through the AGCO website at www.agco.on.ca. The AGCO would once again like to extend its sincere appreciation to the many stakeholders and industry participants that have committed their time, effort, insights and energy to this project to date. We look forward to a series of interesting and productive discussions.

(with files from AGCO)

Special Post Time for Saturday, May 6th at Mohawk

CAMPBELLVILLE, May 3 – Mohawk Racetrack today announced a special post time of 7:05 p.m. for this Saturday’s (May 6) card of racing.

 

The early post time will allow racing fans the opportunity to watch the Kentucky Derby at Mohawk and then catch live harness racing immediately following the big race.

 

The Kentucky Derby will be shown on the infield screen and wagering is available on-track. The scheduled post time for the Derby is currently 6:34 p.m.

 

The racing section of the Mohawk grandstand will open its doors at 5 p.m. on Saturday, but horseplayers looking to wager on the entire Derby card, from Churchill Downs, will be able to inside the Mohawk Racebook (located in the OLG Slots).