August 2, 2015

Commission Adjusts Qualifying Rules

July 30, 2015 - At its meeting on Wednesday, July 30, the Board of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) approved a revised SB Rule on qualifying times, effective August 1, 2015.

A release from the ORC states that the change in qualifying times is a response to a shortage of horses which effects field size which then directly impacts the wagering handle. This shortage is being felt at the Grassroots level of racing.

Details of the new qualifying rule appear below.

To view the ORC’s official notice regarding the executed directive, which shows the changes from the old rule to the new rule, click here.

ORC: Iron-Dextran Not licensed For Use

July 24, 2015 - The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) reminds the racing industry that a basic aspect of good medication control is ensuring that you only use products that are properly manufactured and clearly labelled, and that have been obtained from an authorized distributor.

Simply stated, medication control means only using medications or products that have a therapeutic value to the horse. You should also read the labels on all medications carefully and follow the directions of an ORC licensed veterinarian.

Trainers should note that an iron-dextran product exists which is labelled only for baby pigs and is directed for intra-muscular injection.

Please be aware that such a product is not licensed for use in horses and if given may result in severe reactions including death.

(Standardbred Canada)

Chaplaincy Golf Info; Hyatt Honoured

July 24, 2015 - Officials with The Standardbred Race Track Chaplaincy of Canada have announced some of the details for the organization’s annual golf tournament, including a name change for the tournament to honour the late Doug Hyatt.

The tournament is is scheduled for September, 16 at the Granite Ridge Golf Course in Milton, Ont. and will start at 1 p.m.

Via release, the chaplaincy announced that the name of the tournament is being changed to honour the late Doug Hyatt, who passed away last fall.

The release states the following:

It is our honour and pleasure that this year we honour a person who for the last several years has worked tirelessly to promote and work with those who needed help throughout the year. He has gone out and made sure that we were able to have the resources to be able to help any one that needed it. He took pride in knowing that we were doing good work for our community.

To that end, The Standardbred Race Track Chaplaincy of Canada has been honoured by his family that this year we have renamed the annual tournament The Doug Hyatt Memorial Golf Tournament and hosted by Luc and Anita Ouellette.

In the coming weeks, please stay tuned for more information on the tournament and special events for the day.

(With files from The Standardbred Race Track Chaplaincy of Canada)
(Standardbred Canada)

Walltyme Golf Registration Open

July 24, 2015 - Registrations are now being accepted for the 23rd annual Walltyme Stables Golf Tournament.

This year, the tournament will be taking place on Wednesday, August 12 at the Caradoc Sands Golf Club in Strathroy, Ont. The entry fee is $125 per player, including green fee, cart, driving range, souvenir, breakfast buffet and a steak dinner.

Shotgun Start at 11:30 a.m., with breakfast from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. After the dinner, there will be karaoke.

As usual, net proceeds from the tournament will be donated with the goal of harness horsemen helping harness horsemen.

Donations and Sponsorship are always appreciated. To register, sponsor a hole or make a donation contact Dean Wall at 519-476-0828 or at A registration form can also be downloaded and printed here.

Canadian Hall’s Induction Gala Info

July 9, 2015 - The 39th Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala Fundraising Dinner on August 5th promises to be an evening of celebration as ten new members join the best of Canadian Horse Racing.

Held at the Mississauga Convention Centre, co-hosting duties will be shared by Jim Bannon, Woodbine Entertainment Group Thoroughbred Racing Analyst and 2015 CHRHF Communicator inductee along with Greg Blanchard, Raceway Manager at the Raceway at Western Fair and former racing television commentator. The Gala event will feature a cocktail reception, a fantastic line up of silent and live auction items, a four course gourmet dinner and the Induction Ceremony.

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame acknowledges the generous sponsorship support of this year’s event: Event Sponsor – OLG; Reception and Wine Sponsor – Central Ontario Standardbred Association; Photography Sponsor – Ontario Standardbred Alliance Tracks and Woodbine Entertainment Group for producing the video tributes to each of this year’s inductees.

The CHRHF Planning Committee is putting together an impressive list of live and silent auction items including sporting event tickets, racing related memorabilia and art. All proceeds from the auction will go directly toward helping the Hall of Fame recognize the achievements of those that have built and established the roots of horse racing in Canada.

The gala will celebrate the induction of Standardbred honourees H. Charles Armstrong, Bill Gale, Harry Eisen, Artsplace, and J Cs Nathalie. Thoroughbred honourees include Robert Anderson, Stewart Elliott, Roger Laurin and Mine That Bird.

The event will pay tribute to 2015 Legend honourees Col. K. R. (Rud) Marshall and Harold H.

There will also be a look back to 1965, the year George Royal was named Canada’s Horse of the Year and Armbro Flight made headlines for her racing accomplishments as a three-year-old.

The reception and silent auction will commence at 5:30 p.m., followed by a four course dinner, live auction and induction ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $175 per person or $1,700 for a table sponsorship which includes 8 tickets and a $300 donation to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame are available by visiting the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Online Store or by contacting Linda Rainey 416-417-9404 or

Opportunities to advertise in the souvenir induction program and event sponsorship packages are also still available.

(CHRHF/Standardbred Canada)

Jim Lawson Profiled

July 6, 2015 - “There are 50,000 people employed in this industry in the province. So that’s why I’m here. I grew up in this industry. More than anything I care about the people. I care about their jobs. I’ve known a lot of these people all my life and their livelihoods depend on this industry.”

The Toronto Sun recently ran a profile piece on the Woodbine Entertainment Group’s new CEO, Jim Lawson. The article takes a look at Lawson’s past – including his days in minor-league hockey – and his tenure atop the Canadian Football League.

The profile piece paints quite an interesting picture of Woodbine’s top dog. Lawson’s love of horse racing and his determination to bring Woodbine to where it needs to be to ensure a positive future is front and centre in the piece.

Trot Magazine spoke with Lawson earlier this year and picked his brain as to what racing in the province of Ontario would look like in 20 years’ time in a perfect scenario. To read the piece, click here.

In the Toronto Sun article, Lawson again asserted his drive to make sure racing finds itself on solid footing going forward, and what is paramount in that process, according to Lawson, is the potential multi-faceted expansion at Woodbine Racetrack that is currently being addressed within Toronto’s City Council.

“I want to make sure this industry survives … getting the gaming experience here will be a catalyst to developing the whole community here,” Lawson said. “It’s vital.”

(With files from The Toronto Sun/Standardbred Canada)

Celebrate Canada’s Best

June 30, 2015 - Have you ever wanted to ask Bill O’Donnell about winning the richest race in harness racing, find out from Dr. Glen Brown what it was like to be the owner of Fan Hanover, or ask caretaker Sarah Scott about her special bond with Rocknroll Hanover? Here’s your chance!

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club will host a special meet and greet with these Hall of Famers and more on Saturday, July 18 at Mohawk Racetrack from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

See and learn more about memorabilia displays like the Armstrong Bros. Trophy Showcase, the Somebeachsomewhere display, the Dr. Glen Brown showcase, a display case honouring Admirals Express and a cherished collection of items from Rocknroll Hanover’s career.

There will also be a Silent Auction of harness racing memorabilia and a raffle to win a framed, limited edition Somebeachsomewhere print by Canadian equine artist Linda Shantz, all to benefit the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Watch for updates on Silent Auction items and the roster for the Meet and Greet!

Woodbine Donates $100K To Hospital

June 27, 2015 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) has announced its support of the Milton District Hospital’s (MDH) expansion project with the donation of $100,000 to the MDH Foundation’s Our Home Our Hospital Campaign, in a special celebration with community members at Mohawk Racetrack on June 27.

WEG’s $100,000 gift to the MDH Foundation’s capital campaign will be matched by the Orlando Corporation through a matching challenge of up to $5 million.

“The MDH continues to have a significant impact and importance on the many people who depend on the hospital,” said Helen Vatistas, an executive director with MDHF. “Everyone in the area and surrounding communities is influenced by the hospital and the services it offers. Through the generosity, kindness and longtime support of organizations like WEG, we will be able to provide even more critical services to people in need.”

To recognize WEG’s support in the expansion of the Milton District Hospital, the Fracture Room, part of the hospital’s Emergency Department, will be named, ‘Woodbine Entertainment Group.’

“We are extremely proud to support both the MDH and the community in this critical expansion of the hospital,” said Jim Lawson, WEG’s chief executive officer. “Through our WEG Cares program, we are able to leverage the power of horse racing to assist and work within the communities in which we operate to create better places to live, learn and gather together.”

The Milton District Hospital expansion will add 330,000 square feet of space to the existing 125,000 square foot hospital. The project will address the needs of all with a focus on meeting the needs of those living in Milton, the fastest-growing community in Canada.

Project highlights include the expansion of emergency and surgical services, medical/surgical inpatient units, critical care, maternal newborn and diagnostic imaging and support services, overall capacity increase from 63 to 129 inpatient beds, and the addition of the hospital’s first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine.

(Standardbred Canada)

Record Handle For N.A. Cup Night

June 23, 2015 - The 2015 Pepsi North America Cup not only set a Canadian record on the track, it was also the highlight of a record-setting evening Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.

A handle of $4,292,777 on Saturday’s 15-race card broke the previous North America Cup card handle record of $3,820,598 set in 2005 at Woodbine. Saturday night’s wager was up 24.9 per cent over the all source wager of $3,437,076 in 2014.

A total of $681,716 was wagered on the Pepsi North America Cup race, a 43.8 per cent increase over the race handle on the 2014 edition.

On track, Mohawk Racetrack was packed from wall to wall with an attendance of approximately 12,000 people, which helped elevate the on track handle 20.6 per cent in comparison to last year’s Cup.

Wakizashi Hanover’s victory in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup was also a Canadian record for a three-year-old pacing gelding on a seven-eighths mile track, one tick better than Michaels Power’s 1:48.1 mark.

Fans and horseplayers were entertained all evening with a fantastic card of harness racing, live music, food trucks and giveaways.

The hashtag #NACup was a top trend on social media in the Toronto area Saturday evening and was also trending across Canada.

Live harness racing continues at Mohawk every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday all summer long. Post time each night is 7:25 p.m.

(with files from WEG)

(Standardbred Canada)

‘Wakizashi’ Wins North America Cup

June 20, 2015 - Wakizashi Hanover defeated the 2-5 favourite Wiggle It Jiggleit to win the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, June 20 at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ont.

Wakizashi Hanover converted off a perfect pocket trip to prevail over world champion and previously undefeated Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) in a career-best time of 1:48 flat while Betting Exchange (David Miller) finished third.

Tim Tetrick drove the Dragon Again-Western Gesture gelding for trainer Joann Looney-King and the Tri County Stable of Truro, N.S.

Leaving from post three, Wiggle It Jiggleit crossed over in front of fellow elimination winner and post two starter Wakizashi Hanover through a :25.1 stakes record tying first quarter. Meanwhile, Penji Hanover (Chris Christoforou) and the reigning divisional champion Artspeak (Scott Zeron) remained parked out after leaving from their assigned outside posts. Wiggle It Jiggleit continued to lead the field past the half in :53.3 and three-quarters in 1:21 while Artspeak fanned wide off fading cover. As the field turned for home, Wakizashi Hanover tipped out from the two-hole at the top of the stretch and wore down Wiggle It Jiggleit for the three-quarter-length victory with a :26.4 final frame.

The 1:48 clocking came within one-fifth of a second of the track and Canadian record for three-year-olds while establishing a new gelding record.

“It worked out perfect,” said Tetrick of his winning trip. “I got to follow a really good horse and the horse did the rest. My horse tipped and we got the job done. He’s a nice colt. The connections have done a great job with him. I appreciate them letting me drive the horse. He’s versatile. He’s a good horse and he’s got tons of speed.”

“Well, I feel like we’re the new Sheriff in town!” beamed an emotional Looney-King in the winner’s circle. “And you know, everybody said we weren’t good enough…it’s just overwhelming to show people that this is the good horse that we thought he was.”

Wakizashi Hanover had earned five wins and four seconds in 10 career starts competing solely in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes program before tackling the sport’s top three-year-olds male pacers in the North America Cup eliminations and final.

Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, Wakizashi Hanover was purchased for $23,000 at the Harrisburg sale as a yearling by his Maritimes ownership group consisting of Percy Bonnell, Scott Bowen, David Bugden, Wayne Burley, David Chabassol, and Bruce Kennedy. After working with trainer Gordon Corey in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the gelding joined Looney-King’s stable.

“As a two-year-old, we knew he was okay. We knew right from the start he was okay,” said Looney-King, who operates a stable out of Harrington, Delaware with her husband Jim King Jr. “He was lightly raced as a two-year-old and we knew when he came back as a three-year-old he was going to be good. We knew it, he was just a good horse.”

Wakizashi Hanover provided Tetrick with his second driving victory in the North America Cup over the past three years. He also won the prestigious race in 2013 with Captaintreacherous.

“When Tim came to Delaware and he came to Harrington, we became very good friends with Tim and love Tim like a son,” said Looney-King. “He is the best driver, we feel, on planet earth. He’s the best and he’s been a big, big force in this horse’s success.”

Sent postward as the 5-1 third choice on the toteboard, Wakizashi Hanover paid $13.40 to win. The complete order of finish was: Wakizashi Hanover, Wiggle It Jiggleit, Betting Exchange, the other elimination winner In The Arsenal, Artspeak, Hurrikane Ali, Arque Hanover, Yankee Bounty, Penji Hanover and Good Friday Three.

“It’s the best thing that’s ever happened in my life, bar none!” exclaimed Looney-King.

“Lots of supporters calling, sending messages in the last two days, it’s just been phenomenal,” said Kennedy. “We’re living a dream. Three of the six people are brand new owners, never owned a horse before. What a way to start a career. Now they’re hooked, I hope.

“We’ve got a great trainer in Joann Looney-King and her husband, Jim, and we have a great relationship. We’re all small time operators. I don’t know how you get Tim Tetrick as a driver, but we did. We had the package coming in.”

Click here for complete coverage of the Pepsi North America Cup undercard consisting of the $75,000 North America Cup Consolation, the $479,000 Fan Hanover Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, the $233,000 Goodtimes Trot for three-year-olds, the $272,000 Armbro Flight Stakes for older trotting mares, the $350,000 Roses Are Red Stakes for older pacing mares, $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational Pace, and a pair of Preferred events.

Important Links

  • Entries - Saturday’s overnight sheet
  • Results - Saturday’s racing results
  • Program Pages - past performance program page for each race, courtesy of TrackIT
  • News - all the previews and recaps leading up to Canadian harness racing’s richest prize
  • Handicapping Tips - advice and selections from WEG’s handicapping experts
  • Live Video - watch the races via live streaming online

(Standardbred Canada)