October 30, 2014

Update On Waples Tribute Night

Due to the overwhelming response for tickets to the upcoming Tribute Night for Keith and Ron Waples, the event has been moved from the Sports Dining Room at Mohawk to the main dining room meaning there are 50 tickets now available which will be sold on a first come first served basis.

To order tickets, or to donate items for the silent auction, please contact Jack Darling (jackdarling@rogers.com – 519-653-2698), Ian Fleming (ifleming@clintonraceway.com – 519-482-5270) or Bill O’Donnell (billodonnell01@aol.com – 905-854-2672).

The online auction is currently underway and will end next Monday evening. Note that for all stallion services, a non-refundable deposit of $500 is due at the conclusion of the auction with the remainder due upon the birth of a live foal.

Fall Four Brings Stars To Woodbine

Harness racing action returns to Woodbine Racetrack this Thursday evening, and fans will be treated to plenty of firepower during the first weekend of the fall/winter meet thanks to the elimination round for this year’s Fall Four stakes.

Friday evening’s program is dedicated to the fillies, with trotters doing battle in a set of Goldsmith Maid eliminations and pacers sparring in a pair of Three Diamonds eliminations.

On Saturday night the boys will be in the spotlight as the Rexdale, Ontario oval will feature four elimination races. Pacers will go at it in a pair of Governor’s Cup eliminations while the trotters will butt heads in a set of Valley Victory eliminations.

Here’s a preview of this weekend’s elimination races:

Friday – Race 1 – $25,000 Three Diamonds Elimination

The undefeated JK Shesalady totes an 8-for-8 record into the first elimination for the tandem of driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Johansson. The daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady has drawn Post 3 in her quest to add to her $444,850 bankroll. Since setting a world record in the final of the Shes A Great Lady Stake the precocious youngster has added wins in the Kentuckiana Stake at Hoosier Park and more recently a division of the International Stallion Stake at The Red Mile.

Among the other headliners in the first elimination are five-time winner Happy Becky (Post 1) and two-time winner Shakai Hanover (Post 2).

Friday – Race 6 – $25,000 Three Diamonds Elimination

Band Of Angels will be shooting for a bounce back performance for trainer Ron Burke, who watched the daughter of Rocknroll Heaven-Time N Again kick off her career with six straight wins. The filly has since missed the board in back-to-back starts, but she qualified in good order at Harrah’s Philadelphia on October 7. Yannick Gingras will be paired up with the filly from Post 4.

The Show Returns (Post 1) enters the assignment with a 3-for-8 record for Chris Ryder, while Ideal Nuggets (Post 2) has only missed the board once in her first 10 tries for trainer Ed Lohmeyer.

Friday – Race 2 – $25,000 Goldsmith Maid Elimination

Jolene Jolene destroyed the foes she faced when she established a career-best clocking of 1:52.1 in her division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile on September 25 for trainer Jonas Czernyson. The daughter of Muscle Hill-Celebrity Speedie improved her rookie record to 4-2-1 from eight tries with the win while her bankroll climbed to $212,507. Sylvain Filion will catch-drive the talented youngster.

Flirting Filly (Post 2) will be on the lookout for an effort similar to the one she turned in when winning her division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile earlier this month for trainer Jimmy Takter, while trainer John Bax will be hoping for a bounce back performance from Juanitas Fury (Post 4) following her off-the-board effort in last weekend’s OSS Super Final.

Friday – Race 3 – $25,000 Goldsmith Maid Elimination

Mission Brief enters her Friday evening assignment following her awesome performance at the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile earlier this month. The scary-fast daughter of Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena annihilated the world record for two-year-old trotting fillies when she roared to a 16-length triumph in 1:50.3 in her latest assignment for the duo of driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. The six-time winner enters the weekend with a cash stash of $314,900.

She’ll take on last weekend’s OSS Super Final winner, Danielle Hall (Post 3), and this summer’s Peaceful Way Stakes champion, Stubborn Belle (Post 2).

Saturday – Race 2 – $25,000 Valley Victory Elimination

Billy Flynn, who lost for the first time in his career when he was second in his division of the International Stallion Stakes in Lexington on October 3, will shoot for his ninth win of the year for trainer Staffan Lind. The multiple NYSS-winning son of Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones will depart from Post 7 as he tries to add to his already-impressive bankroll of $331,337.

He’ll take on a talented, Jimmy Takter-trained trio which consists of Uncle Lasse (Post 3), Pinkman (Post 4) and The Bank (Post 5).

Saturday – Race 3 – $25,000 Valley Victory Elimination

Habitat, the winner of this year’s William Wellwood Memorial Trot, totes a two-race winning streak into his elimination assignment for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. The five-time winner has only been worse than second on one occasion during his eight-race career. He’s schedule to depart from Post 8 on Saturday evening.

He’ll take on a trio of $100,000-winning foes in Walter White (Post 2), Jetpedia (Post 4) and Southwind Stryker (Post 6).

Saturday – Race 6 – $25,000 Governor’s Cup Elimination

The first elimination is as wide-open as it gets thanks to the likes of Lyons Levi Lewis, the runner-up in the Metro Pace, and Lost For Words, a suddenly-streaking son of Well Said, being in the field.

Lyons Levi Lewis, who starts from Post 1 for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Ron Burke, last raced in a division of Champlain Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack on September 6. He won that assignment in a career-best 1:52.1, and he has since come back to win a pair of qualifiers at The Meadows. The son of Well Said has banked close to $270,000 this season.

Lost For Words has won four of his last five outings including three straight wins for trainer Brian Brown. The colt, who is scheduled to start from Post 6 for driver Ron Pierce, blew away the foes he faced in his division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile on October 4.

Saturday – Race 8 – $25,000 Governor’s Cup Elimination

All eyes will be on Artspeak in the second elimination as the previously-undefeated son of Western Ideal-The Art Museum will try to right the ship after breaking and settling for a third-place finish in his latest outing in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. Tony Alagna trains and Scott Zeron is scheduled to drive the seven-time winner. In order to get back on track the colt will have to overcome Post 9. He’s stashed away earnings in excess of $520,000.

With regards to the finals of the Fall Four events, the Governor’s Cup will go for $565,000, the Valley Victory will be contested for $521,000, the Goldsmith Maid goes for $464,000 and the Three Diamonds will be raced for $424,000.

The finals will be contested at Woodbine Racetrack part of the October 25 card of racing.

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

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

(Clockwise from top left: Artspeak, Habitat, Mission Brief, JK Shesalady. Photos courtesy New Image Media, Nigel Soult Photo)

(Standardbred Canada)

Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals Set

The fields have now been established for this Saturday’s eight $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals at Mohawk Racetrack, which will showcase the top performers in the provincial program and provide an exciting conclusion to the 2014 OSS season.

The races have been carded as Race 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10. To view the entries, click here. For a free, printable program page, courtesy of TrackIT, click here.

Another special race on Saturday is the Wendy Hoogeveen Memorial (Race 6), in honour of the Ontario Racing Commission’s director of industry development and support, who passed away in August at the age of 56.

In addition to all of the exciting races on track, there will be a multitude of activities to enjoy off track, including EquiMania, a youth education program presented by the University of Guelph. Designed to delight horse enthusiasts of all ages, EquiMania features games, workbooks, fun materials and true to life displays and offers a unique hands-on adventure into the wonderful world of horses.

It will be a jam-packed evening at the Campbellville racetrack on October 11, with lots of entertainment for the family, live music, contests, exhibits, great food and of course, some outstanding racing by the very best colts and fillies in the province.

The fun will begin at 5:30 p.m. with racing starting at 7:25. Admission and parking are free.

Here’s a preview of Saturday’s eight Super Finals:

Two-Year-Old Filly Trot – Race 2

Trainer John Bax sends out a strong 1-2 punch to kick off this year’s Super Finals thanks to the dynamic duo of Stubborn Belle and Juanitas Fury.

Stubborn Belle (Post 1 – Paul MacDonell) is the richest filly in the field thanks to a bankroll that stands at $361,286. The upset winner against Grand Circuit foes in last month’s $385,000 Peaceful Way Final has since come back to win an OSS Gold Series division in a career-best clocking of 1:54.1.

Her stablemate, Juanitas Fury (Post 8 – Steve Condren), has stashed away more than $227,000 while assembling a 3-4-1 record in her first nine assignments. The daughter of Kadabra was a lapped-on second to Stubborn Belle in the Peaceful Way Final.

The points leader in the division, Danielle Hall (Post 2 – Jody Jamieson), went 4-1-0 in five Gold Series assignments for Team Jamieson. The six-time winner has racked up more than $250,000 in the process.

Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot – Race 3

Harper Blue Chip figures to be one of the biggest favourites in the Super Finals parade, and trainer Mark Steacy can finally say he drew a great post in a big money final. The trainer has been a bit snake bitten in that department in the past, but Post 2 figures to be a great spot for the son of Majestic Son to work from. Sylvain Filion will pair up with the eight-time winner who will try to add to his $678,000 bankroll. He went 3-for-3 in Gold Series events this season and led the division with 150 points.

Two-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace – Race 4

It’s the Casie Coleman show in this Super Final as the five-time O’Brien Award winner as Canada’s Trainer of the Year will send out a five-headed monster in the rich tilt.

Leading her freshman army is the incredibly talented Reverend Hanover (Post 5 – Chris Christoforou). The son of Sportswriter, who is 3-for-3 going into Saturday’s affair, has looked dominant in each of his performances. The colt earned a 1:51.1 career-best clocking in his first OSS Gold Series assignment and followed it up with a 1:51.4 triumph in his follow-up try against Gold Series foes.

Coleman will also send out Southwind Indy (Post 1 – Jack Moiseyev), Bob Ben And John (Post 3 – Jonathan Drury), Sportskeeper (Post 6 – Sylvain Filion) and Rollwiththepunches (Post 10 – Phil Hudon).

Two-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot – Race 5

After racking up three OSS Gold Series wins in the regular season, Dont Rush will try to keep the ball rolling in Saturday’s Super Final. The son of Infinitif will have to overcome Post 8 in his quest for a third straight score for the tandem of driver Chris Christoforou and trainer Dustin Jones. The colt manufactured a 3-3-1 record from 10 trips to the track, and he banked more than $170,000 in the process.

He’ll take on a host of other capable rookies including recent Gold Series winners, Rise Up Rise Up (Post 2 – Mike Saftic) and Alacrity (Post 3 – Eddie Green).

Two-Year-Old Filly Pace – Race 7

Sports Chic has dominated the division for trainer Blake MacIntosh and driver Jody Jamieson, but she disappointed in the final Gold Series event of the season. The daughter of Sportswriter, who went 5-3-0 in her first eight tries, finished a disappointing seventh at Mohawk Racetrack on September 29. Bouncing back won’t be easy based on the fact she’s drawn the dreaded Post 10.

What might help is the fact that recent Gold Series winners, Capela (Post 8 – James MacDonald) and Wrangler Magic (Post 9 – Sylvain Filion), haven’t drawn much better.

Three-Year-Old Filly Trot – Race 8

Riveting Rosie will look to become a repeat Super Final winner for the team of driver Paul MacDonell and trainer John Bax, but it won’t be easy considering she’s drawn Post 10. The O’Brien Award-winning daughter of Muscle Mass came out of the blocks slowly this season, but she’s really found her form in recent weeks. She was second against the continent’s top sophomore fillies, and she has since posted back-to-back Gold Series scores.

Sweetie Hearts (Post 1 – Randy Waples is another filly who got off to a slow start to the season, but trainer Ron Parsons has her firing on all cylinders going into Saturday’s final. The daughter of Angus Hall has been first or second in four of her last five assignments. She’s stashed away more than $280,000 this season.

Three-Year-Old Filly Pace – Race 9

Skippin By (Post 3 – Randy Waples) has won back-to-back Gold Series events since moving into the barn of trainer Corey Johnson, and she figures to get a lot of pari-mutuel support on Saturday night. The daughter of Shadow Play came within one-fifth of a second from matching Michelles Powers’ all-time OSS record for three-year-old pacing fillies when she blazed to a 1:50.2 win in a Gold Series division at Mohawk Racetrack on September 8. She’s won five of 18 starts this season.

Lady Shadow (Post 7 – Doug McNair) also racked up five wins this year, including a 1:49.2 triumph for driver Rick Zeron in her elimination of the Canadian Breeders Championship at Mohawk Racetrack on July 12. She won back-to-back Gold Series events before finishing fourth in her elimination heat of the Jugette last month in Ohio.

Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace – Race 10

Jet Airway made four appearances in the OSS Gold Series this season, and the speedy son of Jeremes Jet was perfect in those assignments for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Randy Waples. After racking up just over $62,000 last year, the colt has tacked on more than $278,000 in earnings this year. The ten-time winner, who is 7-for-15 in 2014, will start from Post 1 on Saturday evening.

The Dr. Ian Moore-trained Play It Again Sam (Post 9 – Jody Jamieson) and Silverhill Shadow (Post 10 – Chris Christoforou) have both had their fair share of success in Gold Series events this season, but they’ve got their work cut out for them considering they’ve drawn the outside posts in the rich tilt.

(With files from the OSS)

Racing-Gaming Integration Update

“I look forward to the future. I think the right people are sitting at the table to move this forward now, and the cooperation is there.”

In an update posted to the OHRIA website, Sue Leslie discusses the status of the long sought-after reintegration of Ontario’s horse racing industry with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. One problem that’s a current impediment, according to Leslie, is that there is still some lack of clarity on what exactly “integration” means.

“There’s been a little bit of a delay in pushing hard forward because all of us — both on the horse racing side and in the OLG — are trying to make sure that we really understand what Premier Kathleen Wynne and her government means by integration,” Leslie told Norm Borg. “So we’re trying to get a more well-defined description of what the government’s view of integration is and that should be forthcoming very shortly.

“The cooperation is there; obviously with what we’ve all been through, and as much as we really don’t have sympathy for OLG, this has been a difficult two years for them, too. They haven’t had a lot of stability in terms of their leadership at OLG. To [OLG Chair] Phil Olsson’s credit, he is starting now to gel that and gel his board.”

By “very shortly”, Leslie indicated that she’s hopeful that answer would come “in the next couple of weeks.”

On the side of horse racing is, according to Leslie, the majority government in Ontario that should help expedite any future projects. There are some “short-term” projects on the table now that, according to Leslie, would take less time to realize than others. Details on those products were not elaborated on in fairness to those currently working on them.

Leslie and Borg also discuss the recent announcements pertaining to Fort Erie and the Standardbred yearling crop as well as the idea of establishing a marketing fund for racing from the province’s purse pool. To listen to the full interview, click the link below.

Racing-Gaming Integration Update

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

Industry Info Meeting Follow-Up

On July 24, 2014 close to 120 industry stakeholders, including breeders, drivers, OLG representatives and racetrack officials, gathered at Country Heritage Park in Milton, ON to participate in an open Industry Information Meeting hosted by Ontario Horse Racing (OHR).

Elmer Buchanan, Chair of the Ontario Racing Commission opened the meeting, followed by John Snobelen, Interim Director of OHR, who presented “The Business of Racing”. A variety of topics were outlined, including an explanation of the industry’s main revenue sources, the five-year, $500 million Horse Racing Partnership Program and the structure of racing at Ontario’s centralized and regional racetracks.

Following the presentation, attendees had an opportunity to share comments, voice concerns and ask questions. Issues raised included OLG integration, marketing opportunities and concerns over future horse supply.

Click here for a copy of “The Business of Racing”.

OHR was encouraged by the strong turnout and extends a thank you to all of the attendees.

(OHR)
(Standardbred Canada)

Condren/OSAS Golf Tourney Details

Details have been released for the 17th annual Steve Condren Charity Golf Tournament, which will see proceeds go to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Association.

The tournament will take place on Wednesday, August 6 at Granite Ridge Golf Course in Milton, Ont. OSAS is still accepting hole sponsors and prize donations.

A scramble will once again be in place. There will be a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.

Registration and a BBQ lunch will be served from 11 a.m. until 12 noon.

This year OSAS will again accept single and/or team entries. Please enclose all necessary information as to contact name, address and phone number. Registration fee this year will be $175 per golfer. This includes green fees, golf cart, lunch, buffet dinner, prize table and souvenirs.

Entries will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis and the tournament will be strictly limited to 144 golfers.

In an effort to streamline our operations the day of the tournament, we request that a cheque be sent with your registration. Please make cheques payable to OSAS. Debit or credit cards are also accepted the day of the tournament for your convenience.

Sponsors for the prize table and auction items are always needed. If you know of any persons or businesses that would be willing to help out, please contact OSAS.

To enter your single or team entries, please return this page by mail or fax to confirm your spot. Entries can be faxed to 905-854-6100 or mailed to:

OSAS ~ Golf Tournament
Box 297
36 Main Street
Campbellville, ON
L0P 1B0

The OSAS office number is 905-854-6099 should you have any questions or concerns.

(With files from OSAS)

WEG Pleased With NA Cup Night

JK Endofanera’s victory in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup was a popular one for many fans attending Mohawk’s showcase evening.

The Ron Burke trainee returned $26.30 for a $2 win wager in the 31st renewal of the race.

Woodbine Entertainment Group was also pleased with the business results of the event billed as Ribs, Racing and Rivalries on Saturday.

Fans and horseplayers wagered $3,437,037 on the 14-race card, up 14.5% compared to the $3,001,036 figure recorded in the 2013 edition of the race. The overall handle was the highest since the race moved to Mohawk in 2007.

A figure of $474,023 was wagered on the Pepsi North America Cup race itself.

“It was a good evening,” said WEG’s Executive Vice-President of Racing, Jamie Martin. “There was a definite positive vibe at Mohawk on Pepsi North America Cup night, felt by both the casual fan and the core horseplayer. We’re determined to continue our mission of offering a high quality horse racing experience for fans while growing wagering across the province. That was seen by many on Saturday.”

Many fans showed up three hours before the first race to get their “First Bet on Us”, a commemorative Pepsi North America Cup hat and to secure a great spot to enjoy the evening.

They enjoyed award winning ribs from Silver Bullet BBQ and Blazin BBQ and unique brands of beer at “Beerville.” Fans were also entertained between races all night with live music from the River Junction Band and Amy Rose.

This Friday, June 20, Mohawk will offer a Fireworks Show following the races to celebrate the 100th birthday of Campbellville. A special first-race post time of 7:05 p.m. is slated.

(WEG)

Strong Response To Langley Fundraising

Harness Racing BC Executive Director Jackson Wittup has said that the response to fundraising efforts for the families of the recent fire in Langley have been “overwhelming.”

Fire ripped through the Langley, B.C. barn on June 1 and claimed the lives of 17 Standardbred racehorses. The blaze took a tremendous toll on trainer Bill Davis and owner Rick Mowles’ J J J Stables.

“I have not seen the totals from the Fraser Downs event on June 17, but there were close to 100 auction items and lots of choices for the well-attended event,” said Wittup.

“Once again, there are too many people to list for ‘thank-you’s, but I would like to particularly single out Sandra Roberts, who spent many hours on this project as well as finding sponsors. Well done!”

(Standardbred Canada)

Driver Paul MacKenzie Spearheads Fundraising Effort Along with GCG Execs To Aid JJJ Stables

Driver Paul MacKenzie has spearheaded a fundraising effort with a group of drivers for this Saturday at Georgian Downs, and he’s asking others to consider similar efforts.

In support of JJJ Stables’ tragic barn fire in British Columbia, drivers at Georgian Downs will donate their driver’s fees on Saturday, June 14. Taking part in the donation drive this Saturday are MacKenzie, Travis Henry, Robert Shepherd, Scott Coulter, Steve Byron, Dan Clements, Bob McClure and Scott Young.

MacKenzie told Trot Insider that would like to see drivers and tracks follow suit either this weekend or at a later date.

“It’s a terrible thing to happen and we’re just trying to help out,” said MacKenzie, hoping these actions inspire others as well.

In addition to the initiative taken on by Georgian Downs drivers, Bruce Barbour, executive director of Racing Operations for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, has committed $500 to start the ball rolling. Barbour is challenging all racing officials to match or contribute as much as possible.

At the time of writing Chuck Keeling, VP of Stakeholder Relations for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, has accepted the challenge and has matched the $500 donation.

(With files from GCGC and Standardbred Canada)