Day At The Track
So Much More

So Much More grabs Preferred Pace

Standardbred Canada reports that So Much More, sent off as the 7-5 favourite, fired off cover to land first at the finish in the $36,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday (Feb. 15). Kendall Seelster led the field to a :27.2 first quarter with Easy Lover Hanover sitting in the pocket. Driver James MacDonald lagged So Much More off the gate and sat seventh around the first turn, but caught cover to race third over into a :56.1 half. Fixed Idea led the overland charge around the final turn, drawing on near-equal terms with Kendall Seelster past three-quarters in 1:23.1 and taking a narrow lead into the stretch. MacDonald angled So Much More off cover and dashed down the centre of the track to the lead in the final stages, winning by a length over pocket-popper Easy Lover Hanover. Fixed Idea settled for third. A four-year-old mare by Big Jim, So Much More won her 22nd race from 40 starts, surpassing $300,000 in earnings. Trainer Don Beatson co-owns the $4.90 winner with Kenneth Beatson and Cole England. Trainer Richard Moreau claimed victory five times during the 11-race card. He began with back-to-back victories midway through the card, with Blu Crew ($6.00) winning in near wire-to-wire fashion and Legion Seelster ($3.30) winning in wire-to-wire fashion. Two races later, Sylph Hanover ($15.50) won in near gate-to-wire style while Wheels On Fire ($5.30) capped Moreau’s evening with a first-over grind to victory. The finale on the program, giving Moreau his fifth win on the night, featured a mandatory payout to the Jackpot Hi-5. Moreau trainee Peace Out Posse ($30.20) ripped off cover to win, with Play Jet Ray finishing second, 66-1 shot Ramblingamblinman closing for third, Foot Soldier finishing fourth and Freddy Bear rounding the ticket. With over $300,000 bet into a $150,000 carryover, the ticket combo of 9-4-2-8-3 returned $41,354.03 on a $.20 ticket. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Northern Royale and driver Sylvain Filion

Northern Royale commands series finale

Standardbred Canada reports that race favourite Northern Royale swept to command after the opening quarter and closed out the Wine & Roses Trotting Series a winner during the Valentine's Day harness racing card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Northern Royale left sharply from post six in the $33,000 series finale for driver Sylvain Filion before 52-1 shot Kinderunbelievable, firing to her outside, crossed in front through a :27.4 opening quarter. The favourite then looped the longshot leaver down the backstretch and posted middle splits of :56.4 and 1:26.3 en route to a three-length victory in 1:55.4. Second-place went to 3-1 second choice Club Belvedere (James MacDonald), who made a bold rush out of the four-hole in tandem with Northern Royale's winning move during the second quarter and dropped into the pocket to follow the rest of the way. Delilah Seelster (Bob McClure), the longest shot on the board, was last at the half and closed late to finish third at nearly 75-1. Northern Royale, who endured a parked out trip to win the January 30 first leg, was just a head shy of a series sweep as rival Club Belvedere had collared her in their last match up on February 6. Sent postward as the favourite in the finale, she paid $3.30 to win as the 3-5 bettors' choice. Northern Royale's bankroll swelledd to six figures as she improved her career record to 9-5-1 from 26 starts. Julie Walker trains the four-year-old Royalty For Life-Dover Miss mare for owners Brenda Walker, Barry Klages and Nancy Holmes. The series was for three and four-year-old fillies and mares that were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2019. To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Mohawk Park.

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Hi-5 Mandatory Payout Saturday

MILTON, ON -  February 14, 2020 - Harness racing horseplayers will look to cap off Saturday night (February 15) with a big score by taking home a piece of Woodbine Mohawk Park's Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout. A carryover of $152,060.29 will be brought into the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout and past results show that the total pool is expected to be large. The most recent Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout took place less than two months ago on December 21. On that occasion, a total of $544,793.76 in new money was wagered to go with a carryover of $180,992.59. The new money total has tripled that of the carryover in three of the past five mandatory payouts, including a record $2.8 million in new money wagered on the March 30, 2019 mandatory payout that had a carryover of $525,140. The Jackpot Hi-5 race is Race 11 on Saturday's card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. As usual, the mandatory payout race will have an overflow field of 11 going for a purse of $25,000. The horses competing in Saturday's Hi-5 race are Non-Winners of $8,600 last five starts or $17,200 last 10 pacers. This level would typically compete for a purse of $17,000, but with an extra horse added to the Hi-5 race, the purse has been bumped and all starters will receive money. Horseplayers can start studying for Saturday's card and the Jackpot Hi-5 by visiting www.Woodbine.com/Mohawk/Free-Programs/ to download the official Woodbine Standardbred program. Saturday's card will also feature a $36,000 Preferred Pace (Race 9). Mares Kendall Seelster and So Much More are two of the seven competitors in the top-level event. Millionaire Easy Lover Hanover headlines the male competitors. Kendall Seelster comes into Saturday's contest just $11,154 away from reaching $1 million in career earnings. The five-year-old Rod Boyd trainee would need a victory to accomplish the milestone this weekend. Post time for Saturday's card is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Captain Crunch, harness racing

Woodbine Stakes nominations due Tuesday

MILTON, ON - February 14, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to issue a final reminder to all harness racing owners and horsepeople of Tuesday's (February 18) deadline for nominations to all major stakes in 2020 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Nominations close on February 18 for all major events, including the 37th Pepsi North America Cup (three-year-old pacers), Metro Pace (two-year-old pacers), and William Wellwood Memorial (two-year-old trotters). The opportunity to purchase a slot in the inaugural Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters also closes on February 18, as a purchase contract and $55,000 payment must be submitted. The full list of events closing on February 18 is listed below. Purses are all estimated except for $1 million guarantees on Pepsi North America Cup and Mohawk Million. Event Age, Sex, Gait Purse Pepsi North America Cup 3-Year-Old Pace $1 Million Mohawk Million 2-Year-Old Trot $1 Million USD Armbro Flight Filly & Mare Trot $250,000 Canadian Pacing Derby Open Pace $600,000 Canadian Trotting Classic 3-Year-Old Trot $600,000 Casual Breeze 3-Year-Old Filly Trot $180,000 Elegantimage 3-Year-Old Filly Trot $375,000 Eternal Camnation 2-Year-Old Filly Pace $240,000 Fan Hanover 3-Year-Old Filly Pace $450,000 Goodtimes 3-Year-Old Trot $250,000 Maple Leaf Trot Open Trot $650,000 Metro Pace 2-Year-Old Pace $850,000 Milton Filly & Mare Pace $250,000 Nassagaweya 2-Year-Old Pace $225,000 Peaceful Way 2-Year-Old Filly Trot $400,000 Roses Are Red Filly & Mare Pace $330,000 Shes A Great Lady 2-Year-Old Filly Pace $540,000 Somebeachsomewhere 3-Year-Old Pace $190,000 William Wellwood Memorial 2-Year-Old Trot $610,000 (winner receives slot in Mohawk Million) To download the 2020 Woodbine Stakes Booklet (including full conditions), click here. Woodbine Entertainment also handles the administration of stakes races contested at various tracks across Ontario. Nominations are also due February 18 for the following events. Grand River Raceway: Battle of Waterloo (Ontario Sired 2-Year-Old Pace) Battle of the Belles (Ontario Sired 2-Year-Old Filly Pace) Flamboro Downs: Confederation Cup (4-Year-Old Pace) Hanover Raceway: Balanced Image (Ontario Sired 2-Year-Old Trot) Dream Of Glory (Ontario Sired 3-Year-Old Trot) Clinton Raceway Kin Pace (Ontario Sired 3-Year-Old Filly Pace) Sustaining payments are also due February 18 for the following stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. 2020 Simcoe Open (foals of 2017) 2020 Simcoe Filly (foals of 2017) 2020 WEG SBOA Filly (foals of 2017) (NOTE: A late nomination fee for the 2021 WEG SBOA Filly (foals of 2018) is also due if horse was not nominated in May of 2019.) Visit www.Woodbine.com/Mohawk/Horsepeople/ for full information. To make stakes payments online, click here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than February 18, 2020 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

I - as well as others - had a chance to see, read and hear about Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal, this past Tuesday Feb. 4, of establishing a new ‘Nellie Bly’ Scholarship Fund by redirecting $204 million of existing tax dollars from the Race Horse Development Trust Fund.   If this didn't throw the Pennsylvania horse industry under a bus it sure appears that the life line of horse racing in that state is in serious danger. After taking a few days to think about this and inhaling some very good social media posts from drivers, trainers and people around the industry, I ask you - have we done enough to market our product outside the proverbial four walls? The sport of racing has been around a very long time and so has it’s outdated form of betting. The long tradition of pari-mutuel wagering just isn't going to cut it any longer and if we don't do anything to change the landscape of our betting, we will have basically killed our sport. I know the above can't be changed overnight and we have hurdles to leap over, but time is running out. Horse racing has been playing catch up to many things - including sports wagering and before we fall off our own pile of shavings we best start looking at what we need to do as an industry. Have we done enough to get our product out there? I don't mean self-promotion that you see all over the internet and social media sites - where one promotes themselves - for the good of their own and parlays it off as an industry achievement. Our industry requires advertising and advertising agency's to focus on creating a demand for our brand. Selective advertising is not the path we should be looking to follow. Selective advertising can be deceptive to lure one into a false belief. This past month in TROT magazine I can point out where one breeding operation takes a shot at another and in a recent online article you can find similar being done on the Standardbred Canada website. Can’t we sit the children down and remind them that they are the same people who - as one owner said - are suing the province/government over lost breeding dollars from the SARP cancellation? Let me tug on the right line and get you back to selective advertising. Selective advertisers assume there is an existing demand and we see that inside our race tracks with as Casino Operators luring people in with gifts and gift promotions. Give people something for free and they will take it all day long - does that mean value added? Maybe for a casino, but as far as Return On Investment (ROI) for tracks – I’d have to say no! We as an industry need to get racetrack owners and operators to join in. We need to make not just good marketing moves, but great marketing decisions - if we are going to compete for the wagering dollar. Where do we get the funds to do this?  Let’s take a percentage of purse funds and let’s look at selling outside advertising campaigns - to generate cash flow from outside the four walls.  We as individuals are so great at selling the game to one another, but selling this to someone already involved in the sport is like selling water to a camel - when it doesn't want or need to drink. I can sit here all day and make you believe I'm going to bring thousands of people to the sport - by doing something that's hasn't been done yet, but before we jump in - hand over fist - is there going to be any ROI? I have yet to see the cards dealt, but I'm sure a couple of email blasts aren't going to do it… Nor will a few gifts - so to speak Legit marketing firms will tell you this industry needs proposed changes. The industry leaders have to make things - such as past performances - free and available to EVERYONE!   When I want stats to bet a basketball game - I can get tons of information free, for that sport, without having to spend a dime. I betting you'd be hard pressed to point out when the last article you read, on our sport, actually had a positive movement to make you (or someone reading it) want to get out and watch live horse racing. I challenge you to walk around in a circle and find a corner, let me know when you have successfully completed that mission. Deception and illusion are great tools - just as David Copperfield and Criss Angel have shown in the past. If you want to use the phrase ‘outside the box’ then start creating a primary advertising focus and demand - on this general product called horse racing. It all starts there and make sure to get the product out to those who aren’t already a prodigy of the sport. We are all ‘addicts’ to the sport we breathe. I hate to use the word ‘addicts’, but we are IMHO. The industry needs help and we need it fast. Imagine sitting at a McDonalds - eating a Big Mac - and then I walk over to you to try and convince you that a Big Mac is the best - so just keep coming to McDonalds. I hope you get the analogy of that. Back on Feb 4th, of this year, driver Yannick Gingras said the following on social media - after the announcement of Tom Wolf’s proposal… “Let’s all get together and promote our wonderful sport before it’s too late.” His key word there was ‘together’.  Our sport, right now, is like watching an episode of survivor - where it's every man and/or woman for themselves… Where - in the end - they all point their fingers at each other... Hopefully horse racing doesn’t come down to this. As a fan and part-time owner - I won't sit here and preach that I am a marketing firm and I have a ‘100% sure proof solutions’ to solve this, but at the same time - I will tell you what we are missing and it's because I see it daily and have spoken to groups who see it too. Three to five times a year we have the mainstream media actually paying attention to horse racing and I don’t need to list what events those are. I'm sure everyone has their idea of what works best, but remember most ideas are like armpits - we all have them and most stink. People can't come to the races if they don't know about it. More often than not, no one knows what is going on at their local track - unless they are on the inside looking out. Think about that last statement for a bit. We, as an industry, are promoting horse racing to people who are already a part of the sport - so how can we expect it to grow? We can't grow it like that… by Lou Sorella, for Harnesslink  

Guelph, ON Feb. 13, 2020 - In 2015, Lara Genik and Dr. C. Meghan McMurtry from the University of Guelph’s Department of Psychology conducted a survey at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, looking into the prevalence and impact of less studied painful incidents among children while handling and riding horses. Some of the results may surprise you. “There hasn’t been much work conducted about less serious incidents”, says Genik. “When I looked at the literature that did exist, I found that it has primarily focused on serious injuries that led to hospitalization. For example – we don’t know much about how often less serious incidents are occurring, when or where they are occurring, and what the impact is on youth and their parents.” Genik’s research survey set out to understand common painful incidents associated with riding and to gain insight that could potentially lead to intervention through safety and educational programming.   With the help of Equine Guelph and their EquiMania! youth display, data was collected at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. 120 children aged 8-18 (who participated in riding at least once per week) and a parent completed brief questionnaires about their riding habits including helmet use, supervision, painful incidents that have occurred, and their impact.   A startling result indicated that 75% of the children surveyed had experienced at least one type of painful incident more than once, yet only 7.3% said they had modified their behavior (e.g., keeping fingers away from the horse’s mouth after having been bitten). “We were quite surprised that these incidents had little impact on children’s behavior around horses,” says Genik. “This implies that the incidents may continue to occur even if they could be prevented – and we know from recent work that many incidents around horses may actually be preventable.”    Responses from parents and children were quite consistent and revealed regular and consistent helmet use and supervision were more commonly endorsed when riding horses compared to handling them on the ground. There were just a few responses that differed; specifically, parents believed children’s helmet use occurred more frequently when handling horses on the ground compared to their children’s reports. The same was true for the answers regarding supervision when working around horses from the ground.   'Once Bit, Twice Shy' not the case in equine research study   When incidents did occur, it was mainly parents and coaches who addressed them. Therefore, a proactive suggestion would be for both coaches and parents to have current first aid training and knowledge about concussions. The study also identified many benefits associated with riding, which Genik identified with, having been involved with horses since a young age herself. “It is a fantastic sport and there has been many positive changes in regards to safety around horses over recent years,” says Genik, “but we still need to do more. Specifically, we think there would be value in learning more about how and what is happening when these incidents occur – this could allow us to more specifically inform, develop and implement targeted interventions to relevant stakeholders.”   Genik hopes future research into the relatively unknown prevalence of minor incidents around horses will help parents and riding coaches supervise and educate children in proactive ways, as well as work through incidents and talk about prevention strategies. The development of problem-solving skills was one of the benefits of riding, according to survey participants. This is a great opportunity for parents to apply these problem-solving skills with children.   Future studies collaborating with stables could provide a better understanding of incidents to tailor and update safety programming. Detailed incident reporting and real-time reporting are just a few of the items cited for potential research that could contribute to education influencing behavioural change.   Read the full research paper at ScienceDirect.com   Equine Guelph has been happy to support this important research. With the same goals for increasing safety through education, Equine Guelph offers online courses benefiting anyone who handles horses. Visit TheHorsePortal.ca for the next offering of Horse Behaviour & Safety. This short course is available for both Adults and Youth (age 13 – 17) and our students say, “I recommend this course for everyone involved with horses to gain a better understanding of their behaviour and how we can make safety our top priority.”   Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca.   Story by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions

MILTON, ON - February 12, 2020 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform all harness racing horsepeople that training has been cancelled for Thursday morning (February 13). With winter weather expected overnight and into Thursday morning, the cancellation is to allow the track crew an opportunity to prepare the racing surface for Thursday's qualifiers (beginning at 4 p.m.) and live races (beginning at 7:10 p.m.). The track is expected to be open for training on Friday morning. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - FEB. 12, 2020 - Seelster Farms topped all harness racing participants in the Ontario Resident Mare Program in 2019, earning a total of $370,026 in breeders' rewards from the efforts of offspring from their Resident Mares. Pacing filly Karma Seelster topped all Seelster-breds competing in 2019, contributing $75,727 to the Lucan, ON nursery's bottom line. In her freshman campaign the daughter of Sportswriter and Kiddie Cocktail won an Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold Series leg and finished third in the Super Final, captured her elimination and the final of the Battle of Waterloo, and finished second in her Eternal Camnation leg for a record of four wins, three seconds, three thirds and earnings of $262,205 in 11 starts. "It's encouraging to be able to see a horse that you bred go on and achieve," said Walter Parkinson, assistant farm manager at Seelster Farms and president of the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association. "You can do well here in Ontario when everything is done here, from the breeding and the raising to the actual racing." Seelster Farms enrolled almost all of their mares in the Ontario Resident Mare Program (ORMP) in 2016 and 2017, and a total of 28 two and three-year-old starters from 22 different mares contributed toward their 2019 breeders' rewards. Of the $370,026 total, $359,039 came in the Ontario Sires Stakes with the remainder from open stakes. "Generally we're breeding on average about 60 mares that are farm owned each year. Certainly every one of them gets enrolled in the resident mare program when she's in foal, with the hope that we'll be able to participate once they hit the track as two and three-year-olds," said Parkinson. "There might be years where it's slightly higher or slightly lower, but I think it's a fairly good representation of OSS performers that we had in the 2019 stakes season." From his perspective as SBOA president, Parkinson feels the breeders' rewards are both an excellent incentive for Ontario breeders to upgrade their operations and a tangible acknowledgement of the investments those breeders have made in the province's Standardbred industry. "I think it's a tremendous bonus to have these breeders' rewards allocated towards the performance of the offspring. I think it encourages breeders to continually invest in their breeding stock, to upgrade, and to reward them for producing horses that perform," he explained. "Certainly this year's standout was Century Farroh, so a horse like that, who is an Ontario Bred horse, versus Alicorn, who was not, the earning potential for the breeder is substantial. Both great horses, both had great seasons, but one is Ontario Bred and one is not." All horses produced by Ontario Resident Mares are considered Ontario Bred and their earnings in eligible races contribute toward their breeder's rewards. Prior to foaling mares that meet the eligibility requirements can be enrolled in the program for $100. After foaling and before September 1, the enrollment fee is $300 and third party proof of residency is required. For complete information about the Ontario Resident Mare program please visit Ontario Resident Mare Program. Further questions can be directed to program co-ordinator Kathie Wilkinson at ontariomare@ontarioracing.com or 416-477-5529. Top 10 Ontario Breeders' Rewards Recipients in 2019 [Breeder/Top Performer/Total Breeders' Rewards] Seelster Farms Inc. (Karma Seelster, Sportswriter-Kiddie Cocktail, $75,727)............................... $370,026 Century Spring Farms (Century Farroh, Mach Three-Beachy Girl, $180,386)............................... $193,159 Charles and Gordon Lawrence (Boadicea, Big Jim-Rose Seelster, $138,281).............................. $138,287 Warrawee Farm (Warrawee Vicky, Royalty For Life-The Tall Poppy, $72,736).............................. $129,677 Robert McIntosh Stables Inc./ CSX Stables / Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. (Sunny Dee, Sunshine Beach-West Of L A, $106,542)....................... $119,637 Tymal Farms (Haveoneforme, Kadabra-All Filled Up, $98,607)................................................... $110,941 Glengate Farms (Scorched Romance, Kadabra- Tequila Slammer, $32,990)............................... $100,033 Bet Max Stables Inc. (Bright Eyes M, Kadabra-Motown Muscle, $87,159)................................... $87,556 Leonard Gamble (Teddys Littleangel, Archangel-Pine Knolls, $63,973)....................................... $64,125 Winbak Farm (Hetalkstoangels, Archangel-J Marie, $23,496)..................................................... $62,399 From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON -- Grand River Raceway is proud to announce that the harness racing organization has been named on the 2020 list of Best Workplaces in Retail and Hospitality. Grand River Raceway received this honour after a thorough and independent analysis conducted by Great Place to Work Institute Canada. The list is based on direct feedback from employees of the hundreds of organizations that were surveyed by Great Place to Work. Grand River Raceway was eligible for this list as our organization was recently certified as a Great Place to Work® in 2019. The Elora, ON track offers seasonal horse racing and year-round gaming, dining, entertainment and Meetings & Events Services. Its award-winning Retail & Hospitality service offers versatile facilities, unique amenities and a gorgeous location for any event. The Meetings & Events staff have coordinated and hosted thousands of bookings and gatherings of all shapes and sizes for hundreds of different occasions and industries. "This recognition comes on the heels of the ground-breaking of our $4 million renovation to expand our award-winning hospitality services," said Jamie Martin, Director of Operations. "We're very much looking forward to offering our guests grand meeting and event spaces and a larger raceway restaurant when renovations are completed this summer." Grand River Raceway is owned and operated by the Grand River Agricultural Society. The organization has received several awards since its inception in 2003, including the 2016 Business Excellence Award in the Hospitality/Tourism Award category, presented by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Of Commerce (GKWCC). About Great Place to Work: Great Place to Work (www.greatplacetowork.ca) is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, Great Place to Work recognizes the Best Workplaces across the world in a series of national lists including those published by Fortune magazine (USA) and The Globe & Mail (Canada). Great Place to Work provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway

Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce the host tracks and dates for the 2020 Regional Driving Championships and National Driving Championship which will ultimately determine Canada’s representative to the 2021 World Driving Championship for harness racing. The 2020 National Driving Championship will take place at Century Mile in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday, September 11. “As the newest racetrack in Canada, it is not only a privilege but also very exciting to host the National Driving Championship at Century Mile Racetrack and Casino,” commented Paul Ryneveld, Managing Director, Racing, at Century Mile. “In the inaugural meet, drivers and horsemen alike found the one-mile track to their liking and we believe the wide turns and long homestretch will make for a fun event from both a spectator and a betting angle. This will also be a fantastic event to showcase Century Mile to racing fans across Canada and North America, and to the drivers competing to represent Canada in the next World Driving Championship.” This marks the first time that the National Driving Championship has been hosted in Alberta. Drivers must earn their way into the National Driving Championship by finishing first or second in their respective Regional Driving Championship. In addition, Hippodrome 3R is a first-time host for a Regional event as they will host the Eastern Ontario / Quebec Regional Driving Championship. The Ontario Regional will be hosted at The Raceway at the Western Fair District, Century Downs will host the Western Regional and Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park will be the site of the Atlantic Regional. “We are very pleased to see the interest that tracks across the country have in hosting the Regional and National Driving Championships, and we're happy to have two first-time host venues this year in Century Mile and Hippodrome 3R,” said Dan Gall, President & CEO of Standardbred Canada. “We are looking forward to working with Paul Ryneveld and the team at Century Mile, Canada’s newest horse racing venue, to showcase the National Driving Championship. The one-mile oval promises an exciting competition and this state of the art facility will provide an exceptional experience for both the drivers and the fans.” Here are the locations and dates for the four regional events (in chronological order): REGIONAL DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS Tuesday, May 12 Ontario Regional Driving Championship - The Raceway at Western Fair District; London, Ont. Saturday, May 30 Western Regional Driving Championship - Century Downs; Calgary, Alta. Sunday, June 7 Eastern Ontario / Quebec Regional Driving Championship - Hippodrome 3R; Trois Rivieres, Que. Saturday, June 13 Atlantic Regional Driving Championship - Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park; Charlottetown, P.E.I. NATIONAL DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIP Friday, September 11 - Century Mile; Edmonton, Alta. Regional events will feature either eight or nine drivers who will compete in a minimum of eight races. Drivers will receive points based on their finishing position and the top two point earners will advance to the National. Past winners of the NDC title include Doug McNair (2018), Brandon Campbell (2016), Jody Jamieson (2014 & 2011), Brad Forward (2009), and Gilles Barrieau (2007). The winner of the 2020 National Driving Championship will have the opportunity to represent Canada in the 2021 World Driving Championship. From Standardbred Canada

MILTON, February 10, 2020 - The photo finish camera couldn't separate On The Ropes and Perfetto leaving Monday's $36,000 Preferred Trot at Woodbine Mohawk Park with two harness racing winners. The dead heat finish came as Perfetto and trainer-driver Dagfin Henriksen were able to reach up in the final strides to hit the wire at the exact same moment as On The Ropes and driver Jonathan Drury. The duo trotted the mile in 1:54.1, finishing nearly two-lengths ahead of B Yoyo in third, while Odds On Amethyst rallied for fourth ahead of Hemi Seelster. Perfetto cut an opening-quarter of :28.1, before On The Ropes made a second-quarter rush from fourth to the top. The new leader proceeded to post fractions of :57.2 and 1:26.2 prior to the thrilling stretch drive. Both five-year-olds, On The Ropes and Perfetto had each never won the Preferred level at Woodbine Mohawk Park prior to Monday's contest. On The Ropes is trained by Carmen Auciello and now has three wins in six starts this season for owner Percy Elkins. The Preferred victory 13th career score for the winner of over $238,000. Perfetto improved to two for five this season for conditioner Henriksen and owner Gerald Haggerty. His latest triumph gives him 11 for his career and pushes his lifetime earnings over $277,000. Perfetto (3) reaches up in the final stride to finish in a dead heat for win with On The Ropes (2) A large portion of the wagering public put their support behind On The Ropes, who paid $3.20 to win as the top-choice. Perfetto returned $8.50 to win. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

MILTON, ON - February 10, 2020 - The deadline to enter for a slot in the inaugural Mohawk Million at Woodbine Mohawk Park is approaching and several of the industry's most prominent harness racing owners have submitted for a slot. "From the moment I learned of the Mohawk Million, I was immediately interested in participating," said award-winning owner John Fielding, who signed his purchase agreement on Wednesday. "The Mohawk Million has the potential to make an impact in many areas of our sport and I'm hopeful this will be the start of a great new event." A payment of $55,000 (USD) is due February 18, 2020 to be entered for one of nine slots in the Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters. The owners who receive the slots in the Mohawk Million will then be required to submit a $55,000 payment by June 1, 2020. If more than nine slots are purchased by the deadline, Mohawk Million slots will be determined by draw. The owners who are not selected in the draw for a slot in the 2020 event will receive first opportunity to purchase a slot in the 2021 event. To help media and horsepeople fully understand the details of participating in the Mohawk Million, Woodbine Entertainment has provided answers to the questions below. WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR OBTAINING A SLOT IN THE MOHAWK MILLION? A purchase contract and payment of $55,000 must be submitted to Woodbine Entertainment by February 18, 2020 to be entered for one of nine slots in the Mohawk Million. Following the deadline, one of three scenarios will take place. If less than nine slots are sold, the race will be cancelled.If exactly nine slots are sold, each purchaser will receive a slot in the race.If more than nine slots are purchased, a live streamed draw will take place to determine the recipients of the slots. HOW WOULD THE MOHAWK MILLION "SLOT DRAW" WORK IF MORE THAN NINE ENTRIES ARE RECEIVED? All the purchase contracts received will be entered in a live streamed draw with nine contracts pulled to determine the slot recipients. Those outdrawn for a slot in the 2020 Mohawk Million will receive the first right of refusal to purchase a slot in the 2021 Mohawk Million. Owners interested in submitting for a slot or learning more information about the Mohawk Million should contact Bill McLinchey, Director of Standardbred Racing, at bmclinchey@woodbine.com. The Mohawk Million purchase contract can be downloaded by clicking here. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - February 10, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced a mandatory payout for the Woodbine Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 will be held this Saturday (February 15) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Jackpot Hi-5 wagering has been suspended for the remainder of the week until Saturday's mandatory payout. The carryover heading into the mandatory payout is $152,060.29. The most recent Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout at Woodbine Mohawk Park took place on Saturday, December 21, 2019. The carryover heading into the evening was just over $180,000 and a total of $544,793 in new money was wagered. The $1 payout returned $2,905.45. The draw for this Saturday's card of racing will take place on Wednesday. The Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout race will be the final race on the card, which has a first-race post time of 7:10 p.m. Free program pages will be available at www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment        

MILTON, ON - February 5, 2020 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform all horsepeople that training has been cancelled for Thursday morning. With winter weather expected overnight and into Thursday morning, the cancellation is to allow the track crew an opportunity to prepare the racing surface for Thursday's qualifiers (beginning at 4 p.m.) and live races (beginning at 7:10 p.m.). The track is expected to be open for training on Friday morning. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment            

The public is encouraged to participate in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 2020 nomination process, by submitting recommendations of people and horses who have made a significant contribution to Canadian Standardbred or Thoroughbred horse racing. All submissions received by 5:00 pm EST, March 4, 2020 will be carefully considered by the Nominating Committee of the applicable breed.  A maximum of three finalists in each of five categories for Standardbreds and five categories for Thoroughbreds will be presented to the Election Committee for final voting by secret ballot. Nominations are being accepted for the following: PERSON:  Trainers, Drivers, Jockeys BUILDERS:  Includes, but not limited to Breeders, Owners, Officials, and others. COMMUNICATORS:  Includes, but not limited to Writers, Broadcasters, Photographers, Announcers,     Bloggers VETERAN PERSON:  Trainers, Drivers, Jockeys whose careers have been concluded for 20 years, but less than 50 years. MALE HORSE:  Stallions or geldings whose contribution to Canadian racing occurred in the past 20 years.  FEMALE HORSE:  Mares whose contribution to Canadian racing occurred in the past 20 years. VETERAN HORSE:  Horses whose careers have been concluded for 20 years, but less than 50 years. All nomination submissions to be made by completing the online form available on the CHRHF website .  Nomination forms may also be obtained by contacting admin@horseracinghalloffame.com.  Complete eligibility criteria may be found at: http://horseracinghalloffame.com/inductees/eligibility/  For further information, or to submit a completed nomination form, contact:   Standardbred Nominations:   Kathy Wade Vlaar, Standardbred Nomination Chair,  Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 1-2150 Meadowvale Blvd., Mississauga, ON L5N 6R6 P:  (905) 858-3060 ext. 207 F: (905) 858-3089 E:  kwvlaar@standardbredcanada.ca The list of finalists selected for consideration by the Election Committee for each breed will be announced Monday, March 23, 2020. The Inductees for the 2020 class of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame will be announced Tuesday, April 7, 2020. We invite you to visit the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame located at Gate 10 of Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario.  Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is available at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com or by contacting admin@horseracinghalloffame.com or 416-417-9404 by Linda Rainey, for the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  

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Standardbred Canada reports that So Much More, sent off as the 7-5 favourite, fired off cover to land first at the finish in the $36,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday (Feb. 15). Kendall Seelster led the field to a :27.2 first quarter with Easy Lover Hanover sitting in the pocket. Driver James MacDonald lagged So Much More off the gate and sat seventh around the first turn, but caught cover to race third over into a :56.1 half. Fixed Idea led the overland charge around the final turn, drawing on near-equal terms with Kendall Seelster past three-quarters in 1:23.1 and taking a narrow lead into the stretch. MacDonald angled So Much More off cover and dashed down the centre of the track to the lead in the final stages, winning by a length over pocket-popper Easy Lover Hanover. Fixed Idea settled for third. A four-year-old mare by Big Jim, So Much More won her 22nd race from 40 starts, surpassing $300,000 in earnings. Trainer Don Beatson co-owns the $4.90 winner with Kenneth Beatson and Cole England. Trainer Richard Moreau claimed victory five times during the 11-race card. He began with back-to-back victories midway through the card, with Blu Crew ($6.00) winning in near wire-to-wire fashion and Legion Seelster ($3.30) winning in wire-to-wire fashion. Two races later, Sylph Hanover ($15.50) won in near gate-to-wire style while Wheels On Fire ($5.30) capped Moreau’s evening with a first-over grind to victory. The finale on the program, giving Moreau his fifth win on the night, featured a mandatory payout to the Jackpot Hi-5. Moreau trainee Peace Out Posse ($30.20) ripped off cover to win, with Play Jet Ray finishing second, 66-1 shot Ramblingamblinman closing for third, Foot Soldier finishing fourth and Freddy Bear rounding the ticket. With over $300,000 bet into a $150,000 carryover, the ticket combo of 9-4-2-8-3 returned $41,354.03 on a $.20 ticket. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Standardbred Canada reports that race favourite Northern Royale swept to command after the opening quarter and closed out the Wine & Roses Trotting Series a winner during the Valentine's Day harness racing card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Northern Royale left sharply from post six in the $33,000 series finale for driver Sylvain Filion before 52-1 shot Kinderunbelievable, firing to her outside, crossed in front through a :27.4 opening quarter. The favourite then looped the longshot leaver down the backstretch and posted middle splits of :56.4 and 1:26.3 en route to a three-length victory in 1:55.4. Second-place went to 3-1 second choice Club Belvedere (James MacDonald), who made a bold rush out of the four-hole in tandem with Northern Royale's winning move during the second quarter and dropped into the pocket to follow the rest of the way. Delilah Seelster (Bob McClure), the longest shot on the board, was last at the half and closed late to finish third at nearly 75-1. Northern Royale, who endured a parked out trip to win the January 30 first leg, was just a head shy of a series sweep as rival Club Belvedere had collared her in their last match up on February 6. Sent postward as the favourite in the finale, she paid $3.30 to win as the 3-5 bettors' choice. Northern Royale's bankroll swelledd to six figures as she improved her career record to 9-5-1 from 26 starts. Julie Walker trains the four-year-old Royalty For Life-Dover Miss mare for owners Brenda Walker, Barry Klages and Nancy Holmes. The series was for three and four-year-old fillies and mares that were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2019. To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Mohawk Park.
MILTON, ON -  February 14, 2020 - Harness racing horseplayers will look to cap off Saturday night (February 15) with a big score by taking home a piece of Woodbine Mohawk Park's Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout. A carryover of $152,060.29 will be brought into the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout and past results show that the total pool is expected to be large. The most recent Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout took place less than two months ago on December 21. On that occasion, a total of $544,793.76 in new money was wagered to go with a carryover of $180,992.59. The new money total has tripled that of the carryover in three of the past five mandatory payouts, including a record $2.8 million in new money wagered on the March 30, 2019 mandatory payout that had a carryover of $525,140. The Jackpot Hi-5 race is Race 11 on Saturday's card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. As usual, the mandatory payout race will have an overflow field of 11 going for a purse of $25,000. The horses competing in Saturday's Hi-5 race are Non-Winners of $8,600 last five starts or $17,200 last 10 pacers. This level would typically compete for a purse of $17,000, but with an extra horse added to the Hi-5 race, the purse has been bumped and all starters will receive money. Horseplayers can start studying for Saturday's card and the Jackpot Hi-5 by visiting www.Woodbine.com/Mohawk/Free-Programs/ to download the official Woodbine Standardbred program. Saturday's card will also feature a $36,000 Preferred Pace (Race 9). Mares Kendall Seelster and So Much More are two of the seven competitors in the top-level event. Millionaire Easy Lover Hanover headlines the male competitors. Kendall Seelster comes into Saturday's contest just $11,154 away from reaching $1 million in career earnings. The five-year-old Rod Boyd trainee would need a victory to accomplish the milestone this weekend. Post time for Saturday's card is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  
MILTON, ON - February 14, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to issue a final reminder to all harness racing owners and horsepeople of Tuesday's (February 18) deadline for nominations to all major stakes in 2020 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Nominations close on February 18 for all major events, including the 37th Pepsi North America Cup (three-year-old pacers), Metro Pace (two-year-old pacers), and William Wellwood Memorial (two-year-old trotters). The opportunity to purchase a slot in the inaugural Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters also closes on February 18, as a purchase contract and $55,000 payment must be submitted. The full list of events closing on February 18 is listed below. Purses are all estimated except for $1 million guarantees on Pepsi North America Cup and Mohawk Million. Event Age, Sex, Gait Purse Pepsi North America Cup 3-Year-Old Pace $1 Million Mohawk Million 2-Year-Old Trot $1 Million USD Armbro Flight Filly & Mare Trot $250,000 Canadian Pacing Derby Open Pace $600,000 Canadian Trotting Classic 3-Year-Old Trot $600,000 Casual Breeze 3-Year-Old Filly Trot $180,000 Elegantimage 3-Year-Old Filly Trot $375,000 Eternal Camnation 2-Year-Old Filly Pace $240,000 Fan Hanover 3-Year-Old Filly Pace $450,000 Goodtimes 3-Year-Old Trot $250,000 Maple Leaf Trot Open Trot $650,000 Metro Pace 2-Year-Old Pace $850,000 Milton Filly & Mare Pace $250,000 Nassagaweya 2-Year-Old Pace $225,000 Peaceful Way 2-Year-Old Filly Trot $400,000 Roses Are Red Filly & Mare Pace $330,000 Shes A Great Lady 2-Year-Old Filly Pace $540,000 Somebeachsomewhere 3-Year-Old Pace $190,000 William Wellwood Memorial 2-Year-Old Trot $610,000 (winner receives slot in Mohawk Million) To download the 2020 Woodbine Stakes Booklet (including full conditions), click here. Woodbine Entertainment also handles the administration of stakes races contested at various tracks across Ontario. Nominations are also due February 18 for the following events. Grand River Raceway: Battle of Waterloo (Ontario Sired 2-Year-Old Pace) Battle of the Belles (Ontario Sired 2-Year-Old Filly Pace) Flamboro Downs: Confederation Cup (4-Year-Old Pace) Hanover Raceway: Balanced Image (Ontario Sired 2-Year-Old Trot) Dream Of Glory (Ontario Sired 3-Year-Old Trot) Clinton Raceway Kin Pace (Ontario Sired 3-Year-Old Filly Pace) Sustaining payments are also due February 18 for the following stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. 2020 Simcoe Open (foals of 2017) 2020 Simcoe Filly (foals of 2017) 2020 WEG SBOA Filly (foals of 2017) (NOTE: A late nomination fee for the 2021 WEG SBOA Filly (foals of 2018) is also due if horse was not nominated in May of 2019.) Visit www.Woodbine.com/Mohawk/Horsepeople/ for full information. To make stakes payments online, click here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than February 18, 2020 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  
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