June 28, 2016

McNair: Post 10 Win ‘Not Impossible’

June 16, 2016 - If recent form is any indication, Magnum J will be flying through the stretch in Saturday’s (June 18) $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack. He will try to make history and land in the winner’s circle.

Magnum J, last year’s Battle of Waterloo champion, will try to become the first horse to win the North America Cup from Post 10 since the event moved from Greenwood Raceway to Woodbine Racetrack in 1994 and then to Mohawk Racetrack in 2007, a span of 22 races. He enters the Cup off a fourth-place finish in his elimination, where he started from Post 9 and rallied from last place with a :26.2 final quarter-mile to end up one and a quarter lengths shy of winner Boston Red Rocks.

His final quarter was four-fifths of a second better than any other horse in the field.

A week earlier in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes at Mohawk, Magnum J started from Post 10 and rallied from last place in the final quarter-mile, this time in :25.4, to finish fourth. He paced his back half in :53.

Trot Insider was able to catch up with Magnum J’s driver, Doug McNair, at the NA Cup post position draw on Tuesday. McNair answered some questions about the gelding

Magnum J is 15-1 on the North America Cup morning lineBetting Line, who won the first of last week’s two Cup eliminations in a career-best 1:49.1, is the 5-2 favorite for trainer Casie Coleman and driver David Miller. Boston Red Rocks, who won his elim in 1:50.3, is the 3-1 second choice, with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Steve Elliott.

“It would be good if he could be a little closer to the front end; I think he would still close good,” said trainer Gregg McNair, who owns Magnum J with Tony Lawrence and William Brown. “He’s not likely going to get that chance Saturday, so we’ll probably have to race him the same way as the last two starts.

“We’ll just hope they go big fractions and something opens up and he maybe gets good money somehow. We’ll see how things go.”

Magnum J won two of four races last year, with his final start coming in the Battle of Waterloo on August 3 at Grand River Raceway. Soreness issues forced McNair to quit with the horse for the season, but the son of Big Jim-Jamirotoy trained back well this year.

He finished seventh in his seasonal debut because of a breathing issue, but bounced back to win a division of the Ontario Sires Stakes in 1:53.2 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. That victory was followed by his two starts from the outside posts in the Somebeachsomewhere and North America Cup elimination.

McNair selected Magnum J, a $10,000 yearling purchase, at the 2014 Forest City Sale.

“I wanted to try a Big Jim because he was a heck of a speed horse himself,” McNair said. “Magnum J, he kind of caught my eye a little bit. He’s been a good buy. It’s too bad that we had to shut him down last year, and when he’s real good this year he’s not drawn good.

“I really don’t know how good he is. But he’s a fast horse.

Doug McNair, Gregg’s son, is the regular driver of Magnum J. The McNairs will try to join the father-son team of driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Carl Jamieson to win the North America Cup. The Jamiesons accomplished the feat in 2011 with Up The Credit.

“It’s not impossible,” Gregg McNair said. “It seems like that right now, but that’s why they have the race.

“He’s got some other stakes this year,” the trainer added, “but none for a million dollars.”

To view the entries for Saturday’s card at Mohawk or a free program for Mohawk’s Saturday card, courtesy of TrackIT, click on one of the following links: Saturday Entries – Saturday Program Pages.

The complete field for the Pepsi North America Cup, in post order, appears below.

(PP – Horse – Driver – Trainer – Morning Line Odds)
1. Big Top Hanover – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 6-1
2. Lyons Snyder – Sylvain Filion – Mark Silva – 4-1
3. Betting Line – David Miller – Casie Coleman – 5-2
4. Boston Red Rocks – Tim Tetrick – Steve Elliott – 3-1
5. Michael’s Victory – Scott Zeron – Mark Silva – 12-1
6. Racing Hill – Brett Miller – Tony Alagna – 8-1
7. Beast Mode – Trevor Henry – Christopher Nicol – 20-1
8. Manhattan Beach – Corey Callahan – Ron Burke – 15-1
9. Control The Moment – Randy Waples – Brad Maxwell – 8-1
10. Magnum J – Doug McNair – R. Gregg McNair – 15-1

(Note: The connections of Betting Line and Boston Red Rocks selected posts as elimination winners)

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

(Standardbred Canada)

Ontario Racing At Queen’s Park

June 15, 2016 - Ontario Racing has announced that it hosted an ‘enormously successful’ advocacy day at Queen’s Park last week.

The organization has stated that it met with 16 MPPs, Ministers and their staff. The evening reception was attended by almost 200 people, including more than 50 MPPs.

Ontario Racing has said that it took three messages to Queen’s Park: 1) Ontario Racing is the new industry association for horse racing; 2) Ontario Racing is ready to be a professional, knowledgeable and collaborative partner with the government; and 3) Ontario Racing needs the government to deliver on its 2016 budget promise of sustainable, predictable, long-term funding.

(With files from Ontario Racing)
(Standardbred Canada)

Fee Change For New Fractional Owners

April 27, 2016 - On Wednesday, Standardbred Canada’s Board of Directors approved a fee change that will make it easier, and more cost effective, for new owners to become involved in harness racing through fractional stables and partnerships.

Effective immediately, new members, or returning members out for a full period of two (2) or more years, who enter the industry in a stable with a minimum of eight (8) people, will receive two years of full Standardbred Canada membership for $45 plus applicable taxes (to their birth day in 2018). The Stable registration fee remains the standard rate of $130.

New members involved in fractional stables will have the same privileges as all other paid members, plus they will receive a one week free trial to TrackIT.*

“Management has worked in consultation with industry stakeholders and the Board to develop this program,” said Linda Bedard, Standardbred Canada’s Registrar and Manager of Member Services. “We recognize with large syndicate groups that new people may enter the business owning as little as 1% of a horse. It is our goal to help transition these new owners into a full membership over a period of time.

“With the benefits associated with Standardbred Canada membership, including an annual subscription to Trot Magazine, and TrackIT at the membership rate, we would like to see all owners, across the country – even those in large racing clubs and groups, to become full members,” said Bedard.

Membership fees are subject to GST/HST and the tax rate is based on the residency of the member.

The rates, including taxes, break down as follows:

  • AB, BC, SK, MB, QC = $45 + 5% GST $2.25 = $47.25
  • ON, NB, NL = $45 + 13% HST $5.85 = $50.85
  • NS = $45 + 15% HST $6.75 = $51.75
  • PE = $45 + 14% HST $6.30 = $51.30

Please note:

► NL will increase HST rate to 15% effective July 1, 2016
► PE will also increase HST rate to 15% effective Oct 1, 2016

For more details on the program, contact Standardbred Canada’s Member Services department.

* – the TrackIT trial is good for one week or 200 queries, whichever comes first

CPMA Elimination Guideline Reminder

April 26, 2016 - On Tuesday, April 26, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Association released a new notice in regard to the full implementation of the 2016 Elimination Guidelines.

The contents of the April 26 notice appear below in both English and French.

Reminder: Full implementation of the 2016 Elimination Guidelines as of May 1, 2016

This is further to previous CPMA notices to industry respecting the implementation of the 2016 Elimination Guidelines (link).

We would like to remind owners and trainers that full implementation of the 2016 Elimination Guidelines will take effect on May 1, 2016, and that testing will be consistent with these guidelines. Changes from the 2011 Schedule of Drugs can be found in CPMA notices to industry dated January 20 and March 3, 2016.

Particular attention needs to be paid to those drugs that were removed from the 2011 Schedule of Drugs (see notice to industry dated March 3, 2016 for the full list of removed drugs). Some of these drugs, such as flumethasone, are no longer available in an approved veterinary formulation and are now only available as a compounded product. Testing will continue for removed drugs.

We would also like to remind owners and trainers about the CPMA’s position with regards to the use of compounded medications. Previously established elimination guidelines should not be applied to compounded products. Positive certificates of analysis resulting from administration of compounded medication remain the responsibility of the owner and trainer.

For further information, contact the CPMA toll free at 1-800-268-8835 or by email:cpmawebacpm@agr.gc.ca.

Rappel : Le Guide d’élimination 2016 entre en vigueur le 1er mai 2016

La présente fait suite aux avis précédents envoyés par l’Agence canadienne du pari mutuel (ACPM) à l’industrie concernant la mise en œuvre du Guide d’élimination 2016 (link).

Nous aimerions rappeler aux propriétaires et aux entraineurs que le Guide d’élimination 2016 entre en vigueur le 1er mai 2016 et que les tests y seront conformes. Les changements apportés à l’Annexe des drogues 2011 ont été publiés auparavant dans les Notifications à l’industrie de l’ACPM datées le 20 janvier et le 3 mars 2016.

Une attention particulière doit être accordée aux médicaments retirés de l’Annexe des drogues 2011 (voir la Notification à l’industrie datée le 3 mars 2016 pour la liste complète des médicaments retirés). Certains de ces médicaments, comme flumethasone, ne sont plus disponibles dans une formulation à usage vétérinaire approuvée et sont maintenant disponibles uniquement comme un produit composé. Nous continuerons de tester pour les médicaments retirés.

Nous tenons également à rappeler aux propriétaires et aux entraineurs sur la position de l’ACPM en ce qui concerne l’utilisation de médicaments composés. Les guides d’élimination établis antérieurement ne peuvent pas être appliqués aux médicaments composés. Des certificats d’analyse positive résultant de l’administration de médicaments composés demeurent la responsabilité du propriétaire et de l’entraineur.

Pour de plus amples renseignements, communiquez avec l’ACPM au numéro sans frais 1-800-268-8835 ou par courriel à cpmawebacpm@agr.gc.ca.

(Standardbred Canada)

Update To Mohawk Qualifying Schedule

April 19, 2016 - Spring has certainly arrived, and to accommodate the numerous horses returning to the racetrack, Mohawk Racetrack will soon switch to two qualifying days a week.

Starting next week, Mohawk will be offering qualifying sessions each Monday and Friday morning. The first race for each session will head to post at 10 a.m.

The entry box for Monday qualifiers will close on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., while entries for Friday qualifiers will be due on Wednesdays by 10:30 a.m.

Along with the qualifying dates, horsepeople are reminded that the track at Mohawk is available for training every day of the week, except on Sundays. The track will open each morning at 7 a.m. and will close at 12:30 p.m.

Upcoming qualifying dates at Mohawk appear below.

Thursday, April 21 – 10 a.m.
Monday, April 25 – 10 a.m.
Friday, April 29 – 10 a.m.
Monday, May 2 – 10 a.m.
Friday, May 6 – 10 a.m.

(Standardbred Canada)

AGCO Approves Post Time Changes

April 14, 2016 - The Registrar of the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario has approved the application made by 405730 Ontario Ltd. to amend the post times of the 2016 race date schedule for Hiawatha Horse Park & Entertainment Centre (Hiawatha).

Woodbine Entertainment Group is requesting approval for amendment of the post times at Mohawk Racetrack.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is circulating this application for amendment to the approved race date schedule and will receive comments on the application from interested industry participants before making its decision on the application. Copies of the application and business case to support these changes are included with this Notice.

The AGCO approves racetracks’ live and simulcast dates. Amendments or variances to the approved schedule of dates and post times are made by application to the Registrar. A post time change of more than 30 minutes must be approved by the AGCO.

The Registrar has approved the following:

Hiawatha Revised Post Time(s)

All Race Dates
Post Time: 7:00 p.m. (change from 6:30 p.m.)

The application from Woodbine Entertainment Group is as follows:

Mohawk Revised Post Time(s)
Saturday, May 14, 2016 Post Time: 7:25 p.m. (change from 6:45 p.m.)
Saturday May 21, 2016 Post Time: 6:45 p.m. (change from 7:25 p.m.)

Input, comments or concerns must be received by April 21, 2016 to be considered and can be forwarded to the AGCO as follows:

416-326-5555 Attn: “Horse Racing”


Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario
90 Sheppard Ave East, Suite 200
Toronto ON, M2N 0A4
Attn: “Horse Racing”

Please be advised that any aggrieved party has the right to appeal the Registrar’s decision to the Commission.

To view the document in its entirety, click here.

(Standardbred Canada)

WEG Stakes Payments Due Friday

April 14, 2016 - Another round of stakes payments for Woodbine Entertainment Group and Alliance events, including the Pepsi North America Cup, are due this Friday (April 15).

A group of 53 three-year-old pacers remain eligible to make the second sustaining payment to the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. The sustaining fee for the ‘Cup’ is $1,000 ($745 USD).

A second sustaining payment is also due Friday for the Canadian Trotting Classic, Fan Hanover, Elegantimage, Goodtimes, Somebeachsomewhere and Casual Breeze.

The ‘Fall Four’ events for two-year-olds will be held at Woodbine Racetrack in November. The Governor’s Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid all have a sustaining payment due Friday.

Following last month’s nominations, the Metro Pace, Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot are several events with a first sustaining payment due Friday.

Two-year-old events the Shes A Great Lady, William Wellwood Memorial, Peaceful Way, Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation have a sustaining payment owed Friday. The Roses Are Red and Milton Stakes for older pacing mares and the Armbro Flight for older trotting mares also have a first sustaining payment due Friday.

The final sustaining payment for the 2016 WEG-SBOA Filly events is owed Friday. The eliminations for the three-year-old filly pace and trot stakes are scheduled for Saturday, May 21 at Mohawk.

The Woodbine Entertainment Group continues to handle all stakes administration for Alliance Racetracks.

A second sustaining payment is due Friday for the Battle of Waterloo, Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway and the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs. A sustaining fee is also due for the Dream Of Glory Trot at Hanover Raceway.

All stakes payments can be made online by clicking here.

All stakes conditions and details can be found in the WEG Stakes Booklet, which can be accessed byclicking here.

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

Any questions or concerns regarding the April 15 deadline can be directed to the Mohawk race office (905-854-7805).

Stakes payments to these stakes can also be made through SC Stakes Online. Click here for more info on how to get started.

(With files from WEG)
(Standardbred Canada)

New Model Rule Updates Posted

April 13, 2016 - The revisions to the racing regulatory standards that were adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) at its meeting last month in New Orleans were formally posted today.

Among them, sections pertaining to Medical Labeling were strengthened to ensure that improper medications are not being used in racing and to strengthen racing commission jurisdiction in this area.

ARCI Chair Judy Wagner praised several racing industry organizations that provided invaluable input to assist the development of the final medical labeling version that was adopted. She noted specific contributions by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, the National HBPA, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians.

The Model Rules of Racing were amended as follows:

• ARCI-004-105 Calculation Of Payouts And Distribution Of Pools

• ARCI-008-030 Jockey Suspensions and Designated Races

• ARCI-011-010 Treatment Restrictions

• ARCI-011-020 Medical Labeling

• ARCI-011-025 Trainer Responsibility

• ARCI-025-010 Treatment Restrictions

• ARCI-025-020 Medical Labeling

• ARCI-025-025 Trainer Responsibility

The ARCI also expanded its Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule to include and set regulatory thresholds for the following four medications: Cimetidine, Ranitidine, Cetirizine and Guaifenesin.

Additionally, regulatory thresholds for Xylazine and Omeprazole were modified based on new information and research not available when the schedule was initially adopted. The Xylazine and the Omeprazole thresholds were adjusted based upon studies conducted at the University of California at Davis, funded by the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, and coordinated through the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.

The ARCI also amended the Uniform Classification Guidelines of (Prohibited) Foreign Substances, as follows:

• Methamphetamine: Added footnote language recommending Penalty B if testing can prove presence of only levo-methamphetamine is present in sample.

• Tramadol: Penalty recommendation changed from Penalty A to Penalty B.

• Cetirizine: Penalty recommendation changed from Penalty B to Penalty C after inclusion into ARCI Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule.

• Morphine: Footnote language added recommending Penalty A if intentional administration can be proven by regulators.

• Cocaine: Footnote language added recommending Penalty A if intentional administration can be proven by regulators.

All ARCI regulatory standards are published on the association’s website. Model Rules can also be accessed through the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program(RTIP).

ARCI Model Rules serve as a guide to jurisdictions in the making of racing regulatory policy. In some instances, portions of the ARCI Model Rules have the force of law by virtue of statutes or rules incorporating them “by reference”. This means that when the ARCI adopts a rule, it automatically becomes the applicable policy in jurisdictions that have done that.

(with files from ARCI)
(Standardbred Canada)

Lawson On Year-Round Mohawk Racing

April 7, 2016 - Woodbine Entertainment Group officials let it be known last fall that the organization was considering the idea of conducting live Standardbred racing at Mohawk Racetrack year-round. The organization’s CEO, Jim Lawson, has discussed the idea this week, and has outlined some of the key commitments that would be needed in order to make it happen.

In speaking with Bill Lankhof for an article in the Toronto Sun, Lawson stated that discussion regarding such a move is still “in the early stages.”

The CEO touched on some of the changes that would have to be undertaken in order to make the big move conceivable, one of which “would include winterizing Mohawk.”
Lawson stated that Mohawk would “need a larger dining room for big events like the Breeders Crown,” which is something that was mentioned by many horsepeople when news of the discussions were reported last fall.

In discussing the potential move this week, Lawson unveiled a key aspect that WEG would need in order to make such a move feasible.

“Part of our willingness to do that (have full-time racing at Mohawk) would include having a partner at Mohawk,” Lawson was quoted as saying. “If we can have the OLG sharing property taxes and capital costs then we’d be prepared to spend the money to upgrade the facilities. We’d spend the $3 to $5 million to run harness racing at Mohawk full time.”

Lankhof’s article also touches on what would be done with the current Standardbred course at Woodbine Racetrack if racing moves to Mohawk full time. Lawson stated that WEG is considering laying down a second Woodbine turf course over the Standardbred strip if such a move comes to fruition.

“We have to find ways of attracting more horses and getting bigger fields (for Woodbine Thoroughbred racing) and there’s no question that turf races attract larger fields,” Lawson said. “We could put that second turf course at Woodbine and run six or seven turf races a day. That would be a big attraction and bring horsemen to Woodbine.”

The possibly of WEG moving all of its Standardbred product to Mohawk is certainly a polarizing one. Some view it as a positive, citing a location with closer proximity to the on-track action and easier highway access . Others feel the move would not at all be beneficial to the Standardbred industry. Dr. Glen Brown, who served on the WEG Board of Directors for nearly 25 years and acted as the Chairman of WEG’s Standardbred Racing Committee, voiced his opinion on the issue when the idea was first brought to light in October of last year.

“Do we, as an industry, want to abandon exposure of our sport in the largest city in Canada, at the county’s finest racetrack?” asked Brown. “What’s to be gained? Maybe a little less trucking costs, but that’s not really that important in the whole scheme of things.”

In his March 2016 edition of The View, Trot Editor Darryl Kaplan echoed similar sentiments on the detrimental effects of losing live racing locations.

“Whether it’s losing racing in St. John’s or Edmonton or Sarnia, the undeniable result is that we will lose customers. It is a certainty,” stated Kaplan. “Those parents who come to the track with their young kids on a Sunday afternoon are not going to head to a simulcast outlet – they are lost. Those retirees who bring their grandchildren to the races, and have been doing so for a decade, are not going to bet online – they are lost. Those college kids who are brought out to the local track for a bit of fun on a quiet Thursday evening, are not going to haul three hours to the closest town with a racetrack – they are lost.”

(With files from the Toronto Sun)
(Standardbred Canada)

Woodbine Unveils Expansion Plans

February 16, 2016 - On Tuesday, February 16, the Woodbine Entertainment Group and Trinity Development Group Inc. announced that the companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the purpose of developing an integrated entertainment venue at Woodbine Racetrack.

The WEG-Trinity proposal calls for an entertainment venue of approximately 165,000 square feet and seating for up to 5,000 patrons. It would reside adjacent to the current Woodbine Racetrack facility and occupy three to four acres of the Woodbine property. The collaboration is the next step in WEG’s property development vision of an integrated district with multiple forms of gaming, entertainment and horse racing.

“This is an exciting day for Woodbine Entertainment Group and the city of Toronto,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of WEG. “To partner with a trusted, well-respected property development company like Trinity allows the citizens of Toronto, and frankly the entire province, to start to see the possibilities of what we can develop on one of the most attractive pieces of real estate in the GTA.”

Together WEG and Trinity will conduct a procurement process to bring in a world-class third party entertainment company to be the manager and operator of the venue. The venue is expected to be used for live performances (i.e. music, theatre, dance) and other forms of live entertainment.

“Trinity Development Group is looking forward to working with an iconic brand like Woodbine Entertainment Group to develop a portion of the 680 acres of prime land on the Woodbine Racetrack property,” said John Ruddy, executive chairman of Trinity. “Trinity has a deep history in developing real estate of this quality in high profile locations.”

Trinity is responsible for the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. After a revitalization project that opened in November of 2014, Lansdowne is a hotbed for businesses and restaurants that drew 1.5 million visitors in its first year of operations.

(WEG – images courtesy BBB Architects)