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End of season at Northlands Park

EDMONTON, AB - The 2014/2015 Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino harness racing season came to close this afternoon with a 10-race card at the Edmonton oval. "Northlands Park is alive with action 363 days a year and the harness racing season captures some of the most exciting three months in the racing calendar," said Tim Reid, President and CEO, Northlands. "The 2014 and 2015 harness racing season was no exception, as some of the best Standardbreds, trainers and drivers in the nation came to the track to give our guests a great experience." The season's two biggest races at Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino were the Western Canada Pacing Derby on December 6, 2014 and the Northlands Filly Pace on December 13, 2014. Rummys Command trained and driven by Keith Clark won the $70,000 Northlands Filly Pace while Outlaw Gunpowder, driven by Philip Giesbrecht and trained by Kelly Hoerdt, took the $95,000 Western Canada Pacing Derby. The 2014/2015 harness season showcased the continued dominance of the 2013 O'Brien Award winner for Rising Star, Travis Cullen. He was the runaway winner in both the trainer and driver categories, never being challenged from the outset. A few career milestones were also set at the meet. Driver Brandon Campbell recorded his 1,000th victory in the sulky, and trainer Doug Shaw recorded his 1,000th win conditioning horses. Driver and trainer Jamie Gray recorded his 1,500th training victory while closing in on his 2,300th driving win. To round out the 2014/2015 harness racing season, Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino is proud to celebrate Alberta's champions for 2014 at the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association Awards Night on Sunday, February 1 in the Paddock Theatre. Harness racing in Alberta will resume after a short break on March 28 at the all new Century Downs racing facility near Calgary. Horse racing returns to Northlands Park when the 77-day thoroughbred meet kicks off on Friday, May 1 with a 6:30 p.m. post time. Chris Roberts

Charlottetown Driving Park

Winter harness racing meet closes Sunday

Charlottetown, PE - The curtain will fall on the winter harness racing meet with a 15 dash program Sunday at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Post time is 12 Noon. The card was moved due to the winter storm in the forecast for Saturday. Veronicavermillion (Brian MacPhee) will be back in the top class after upsetting the field last week to win in 1:56.4. The Alex MacPhee owned pacer drew post 7 while runner-up Cambest Kisser (Kenny Arsenault) lands inside for this week's showdown and leaves from post 2. Modern Xhibit didn't have any luck with the draw either as he has been saddled with post 8 after being scratched last week. Walter Cheverie gets the call to drive from owner Jonah Moase, Cornwall. The other horses in the field are also capable of landing on top of the triactor ticket and they include Oh To Be Me, Machinthesand, Pictonian Storm, Forever Paradise and Narragansett. The race is sponsored by Darlene Compton with a trackside cooler presentation to the winner. Race 11 will see the final career start for Thebeastfromtheast who has post 5 in the eight horse $1,000 contest. The 10-year-old daughter of Drop Off - Norma goes into Saturday's action with 26 lifetime wins and $253,418 in purse money. She sports a 1:50.2 lifetime mark taken at age four at The Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey in 2009 with Brian Sears in the bike for trainer Anthony Montini. The hulking mare was bred by Garrett, Justin, Brett and Marshall Whelan of Troy, Ontario, raised at Wally Wood's Marshfield Farm and campaigned by Jim Whelan in Ontario where she was a regular on the Woodbine Circuit with Garrett as the regular pilot. Her 1:50.2 victory gave the mare the distinction of being the fastest Maritime Bred mare of all-time until she was eclipsed in 2014 by Elleofnxample. Thebeastfromtheast still stands in a third place tie for Fastest Maritime Bred ever, regardless of sex, with Kid Carson. Jim Whelan campaigned the mare for the majority of her career and is now her sole owner after claiming her back from Maine in 2014 and will breed her this coming Spring. Saturday, Jason Hughes will guide Thebeastfromtheast to the starting gate, for the 182nd and final time of her career, for trainer Nicholas Oakes. The final card of the winter meet goes Sunday with a special post time at 12 Noon. For race programs, top picks and live video go to www.redshores.ca Lee A. Drake

Therapeutic medications can be effective when they are used properly

Drugs & your horse - Dangers of medicating

In the management of horse health, injuries and disease, conscientious horse owners would never put their horse at risk; however, improper use of some commonly administered equine drugs can impact the health and safety of our horses more than we think. Seldom does a month go by when media attention doesn't focus on a positive drug test in the horseracing world. The news leaves many in the horse industry to shake their heads and wonder how trainers or owners could do such a thing to their animals. But did you know that the majority of these positives involve some of the more commonly used drugs that we administer to our horses on a routine basis and which can produce some pretty unsettling results? Under Diagnosis and Over Treatment Used to relieve pain, allow or promote healing, and control or cure a disease process, therapeutic medications can be effective when they are used properly, but are quite dangerous when misused. Phenylbutazone, or "bute," is one of the most commonly administered prescription drugs in the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) family. When used properly, NSAIDs offer relief from pain and help in the reduction of inflammation and fever. Found in the medicine kits of many horse owners, bute can be prescribed for a plethora of ailments, including sole bruising, hoof abscesses, tendon strains, sprained ligaments and arthritic joints. NSAIDS are invaluable as a medication, says Dr. Alison Moore, lead veterinarian for Animal Health and Welfare at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in Guelph, Ontario. "When used appropriately, they are very safe; however, some horse owners tend to give too much of a good thing," she says. Dr. Moore goes on to say that this form of drug (bute) is both economical and convenient, available in either injectable and oral formulations; but is most likely to cause problems if given too long or in improperly high doses, especially if horses are more sensitive to NSAID toxicity. "If you look at the chronic use of bute, there's certainly known ramifications from it," says Dr. Moore. "There's health derived issues including gastric and colon ulcers, as well as renal impairment. Renal impairment is more prevalent in older horses that have developed issues with their kidney function or with equine athletes that perform strenuous exercise and divert blood flow from their kidneys. Chronic or repeated dehydration is also a risk factor for renal impairment. Chronic exposure to bute is more likely to cause signs attributable to the gastrointestinal tract." Clinical signs of toxicity include diarrhea, colic, ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract (seen as low protein and/or anemia on blood work or as ulcers on an endoscopic examination), poor hair coat, and weight loss. In the event of such symptoms, the medication should be stopped and the vet called for diagnosis and treatment. While a different type of drug, flunixin meglumine (trade name Banamine), is found in the same NSAID family. "It's not typically used as chronically as bute because it's more expensive and mostly used for gastrointestinal , muscular or ocular pain, but if misused, especially with dehydrated horses, kidney and digestive tract toxicity can occur similarly to bute," Dr. Moore notes. Because of the deleterious effect chronic NSAIDS can have on your horse, it is even more important not to "stack" NSAIDS. This is the process where two NSAIDS, usually bute and flunixin, or bute and firocoxib, are given at the same time. Not only does the dual administration create gastrointestinal and renal problems as listed above, but bute and flunixin given together can cause a severely low blood protein that may affect interactions with other medications. That Calming Effect The list of tranquilizers, sedatives and supplements intended to calm a horse can be extensive, including some which can be purchased online or at your local tack shop. For example, Acepromazine, known as "Ace," is commonly used as a tranquilizer to keep a horse calm and relaxed by depressing the central nervous system. It is available as an injection or in granular form and does not require a prescription. If given incorrectly, it can carry a risk of injury or illness for the horse. "Tranquilizers can be used to keep horses quiet for training purposes or for stalled horses due to injury, but it can be difficult to control the dose when given orally," states Dr. Moore. "The difficulty with chronic administration is you don't know how much you're dosing your horse or how the horse is metabolizing it. Since it is highly protein bound in the bloodstream, a horse with low protein may develop side effects more quickly or react to a lower dose. Side effects include prolapse of the penis, which is more of a problem in stallions, and low hematocrit, a measure of red cell percentage in the blood. At very high doses, the horse will develop ataxia [a wobbly gait] and profuse sweating." As every horse is different, and the correct dosage needs to be calculated based on the horse's weight and other influences, Dr. Moore stresses the importance of having a vet oversee any tranquilizer use. It is also important to inform the veterinarian of any acepromazine given to your horse, as it can affect the outcome of veterinary procedures, such as dentistry that requires sedation. Drug Compounding In equine medicine, compounding is the manipulation of one drug outside its original, approved form to make a different dose for a specific patient, whether it's mixing two drugs together or adding flavouring to a commercially available drug. However, mathematical errors can occur. Last July, Equine Canada issued a notice asking their members to use compounded drugs with caution citing that because these medications are not available as a licensed product, they may contain different concentrations compared to a licensed product. There have been several instances where the medication contained too little of an active ingredient, leaving it ineffective, or too much, which can result in death. Compounded drugs and its related risks came to light several years ago with the high-profile deaths of 21 polo ponies at the U.S. Open Polo Championships in Wellington, Florida in 2009. After being injected with a compounded vitamin supplement that was incorrectly mixed, all 21 ponies collapsed and died. "The biggest issue with compounded drugs is that many horse owners are not often aware of what it means," says Dr. Moore. "They think it's a generic form of a drug, but it's not. It's the mixing of an active pharmaceutical ingredient, wherever it comes from in the world, with whatever flavour powder or product the pharmacy or veterinarian puts together. When going from one jar to the next, the concentrations could be different. It could be twice the strength, and that's harmful or half the strength and have little effect." Because this process is not regulated with respect to quality, safety and efficacy, there can be risks associated with compounding drugs. "Technically, veterinarians are not supposed to dispense a compounded drug if there is a commercially available product already, such as phenylbutazone [bute]," says Dr. Moore. "If your vet felt that there was a therapeutic use for a combination product of bute and vitamin E, then that is a legitimate reason for compounding it. But a lot of people want to use compounded drugs because they're cheaper. But cheaper doesn't necessarily mean better." Dr. Moore explains that without careful attention to the appropriate dosage and administration, such as shaking the bottle properly so that no residue will settle in the bottom (or the last few doses will be extremely concentrated), health issues can occur. Compounded medications have provided a lot of benefit to horse health by providing access to products or product forms that would be difficult to obtain otherwise, but because of the concerns regarding quality control, horse owners should fully understand the potential risks of using a compounded product and discuss these concerns with their veterinarian. Deworming Strategies In the past, traditional deworming programs didn't consider each horse as an individual, as common practice was to deworm the entire barn on a fixed, regular schedule. However, over the past 10 years, studies have shown there is a growing concern regarding parasite resistance to dewormers. Veterinarians now recommend that horses be screened for parasites by way of a fecal egg test first instead of deworming with a product that may not be effective against parasite burdens. A fecal exam is far safer than administering deworming medications that they don't need. Dewormers are safe when used properly, including testing first and using a weight tape for an accurate dosage. Dr. Moore suggests contacting your vet to develop a deworming program that is right for your horse and your specific area. A Question of Welfare? Horse owners should be aware of the more frequent reactions to drug use in their horses and consider both the short term and long term effects before use. Consideration of the horse's welfare should not only for the present, but also for its future. With the use of drugs and horses, it's important to: * proceed with the guidance of your veterinarian; * use the lowest possible dosage possible in order to achieve the desired results; * calculate the correct dosage based on your horse's body weight through the use of a weight tape; * closely monitor your horse throughout the course of treatment. "It's being very aware of the use of our common, everyday drugs. As good a drug as it is, when it's misused, negative effects will occur," says Dr. Moore. "There's a greater importance on knowing the overall health level of your horse. It's always best to have a good base point first, and because the kidneys and liver are the two main organs that process medication, it's important to know that those organs are working properly. That's why those annual veterinary wellness exams are so important." Sign up for our free e-newsletter at EquineGuelph.ca, which delivers monthly welfare tips throughout 2015 and provides tools to aid all horse owners in carrying out their 'Full-Circle-Responsibility' to our beloved horses. In partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Equine Guelph is developing a 'Full-Circle-Responsibility' equine welfare educational initiative which stands to benefit the welfare of horses in both the racing and non-racing sectors. Visit Equine Guelph's Welfare Education page for more information. Story by: Barbara Sheridan   Photo Credits: Barbara Sheridan     Weblink: http://www.equineguelph.ca/news/index.php?content=428     Forward this email   This email was sent to news@harnesslink.com by jbellamy@uoguelph.ca | Rapid removal with SafeUnsubscribeâ„¢ | Privacy Policy.   Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada

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Insider Access - Welcome columnist Bob Carson

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else. All previous reviews can now be viewed at http://stallionsphere.com. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: History, Hardball, Humor and Harness Racing - Harnesslink.com is proud to welcome Bob Carson to our staff. Bob has published over 300 magazine articles and short stories in what he refers to as his Four H Club (history, hardball, humor and harness racing). Among his awards are the Hervey, World Trotting Conference, The USTA Presidents and Best of Ohio Fiction. The Voyage of Mess (humor) was his first novel and he produced the documentary film Touching Home (Minor League Baseball). Bob lives in northeastern Ohio with his wife, Sue, and family. Make sure to read Bob's first Harnesslink column as it is a great story! What's happening with the Auckland Trotting Club video? - Without doubt the Auckland Trotting Club is one of the most progressive and forward thinking clubs in the Southern Hemisphere. The board is now made up of a good balance of successful businessman and horseman and appears to be making great progress in securing the long term future of harness racing in the largest urban area in New Zealand. Stallion Review – ROCKIN IMAGE – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Rockin Image p,3,1:48.2 ($903,424)). Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

TORONTO, January 28 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to inform harness racing horsepeople of a schedule change to this week's qualifying session at Woodbine Racetrack. Due to the snow in the forecast for Thursday, qualifiers will now take place on Friday afternoon. Post time for Friday's qualifiers is 4 p.m. Mark McKelvi

TORONTO, January 26 - Not even the cold temperatures could cool off the red-hot harness racing trainer Richard Moreau Monday night at Woodbine. Moreau's stable sent out seven starters in six races over the course of Monday's 10-race card and visited the winner's circle an impressive five times. Driver Sylvain Filion teamed up with Moreau to drive four of the five winners. The Moreau barn didn't waste anytime winning races, as they swept the first three races of the night. Trotter Big Package, a first time starter for the Moreau stable, won the opener with Filion in the bike in 1:57.1. In the second race, three-year-old pacer Camvicted also won in his Moreau barn debut to remain unbeaten in two career starts. Trevor Henry piloted the sophomore to victory in 1:54.1. Trotter Tymal Colossus kept the barn's hot streak going by easily winning the third race with Filion in 1:57. Moreau didn't send out his next starter until the sixth race, but he picked up right where he left off. Pacer Arrived Late and Filion turned in a big last-quarter to track down and defeat the favourite Velocity Headlight in 1:56. Moreau would next send out a pair of trotters in the top-level conditioned trot and score his fifth victory in upset fashion. Filion was able to get the veteran trotter Watkins to the wire first for a 13-1 upset in 1:55.2. The other Moreau starter, Cracker Zack, finished fourth. Moreau's final starter on the evening, Gonna Rock N Roll, finished out of the money in the final race of the night. The five win evening for Moreau catapults him ahead of Joe Cirasuola for top spot in the WEG trainer's standings. Moreau has won 15 races from 74 starters in 2015 at Woodbine. The veteran conditioner is a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada'a top trainer in 2014. The O'Brien Awards will take place on Saturday, February 7. Moreau will look to keep the hot streak going when he sends out three starters Thursday night at Woodbine. Richard Moreau's five winners Race 1 - Big Package Race 2 - Camvicted Race 3 - Tymal Colossus Race 6 - Arrived Late Race 9 - Watkins Mark McKelvie

London, January 26, 2015 --The Monday harness racing program at The Raceway at Western Fair District produced another large carryover in the late Super Hi-5 of more than $6,700 which means the London oval will be offering an instant guarantee of $15,000 on the early Super Hi-5 on Tuesday night's program. It was the longest shot on the board, Give Em Heck (31-1) and driver Ryan Holliday, who scored the upset in Monday's finale at The Raceway, triggering the large carryover into the Tuesday card. The Raceway offered a $15,000 guarantee on Monday's early Super Hi-5 pool and it was Lee Ave, at odds of 9-5, who topped the winning combination which returned a whopping $20,603.35 for a $1 ticket. The early Super Hi-5 is slated for race 7 on Tuesday's program which gets underway at 6:15 p.m. The Raceway will also feature a pair of $5,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pools as well and both the Pick-4 and Super Hi-5 are offered at a low 15% takeout rate. Free programs and free live streaming video are available at www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard Raceway Manager  

James “Allan” Smith, passed away Sunday morning at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The longtime PEI harness racing horseman was 87. The Hunter River resident operated a small stable from 1955 through until 2008. He was a complete horseman, did his own blacksmithing from the longtime family forge, jogged and trained horses on the roadside in rural PEI and at numerous matinee tracks. Allan had a driving career that saw him race on all the tracks in the Maritimes and many of the rivers during the ice racing days. He retired from driving in 1996. During his career he owned, trained and drove a number of Atlantic and PEI Colt Stakes winners, such Link C, Lady Stretch, Jim Andy, Bell’s Charm and Maritime fan favorite, the stakes winning and Invitational pacer, Bayside Katfish during the 1980s. Allan also trained back to the races, and shared the driving duties with his son, Earl, on legendary maritime stallion, Paris Dexter. After retiring from his driving career, Allan bred a number of stakes winners as well as continuing to attend the races in Charlottetown and Summerside up until the time of his passing. He also served as a director and president of the PEI Colt Stakes. He was honoured by the PEI Standardbred Horseowners Association, in 1999, as Horseman of the year. The Smith family was inducted the Atlantic Breeders Crown Association Families of honour. Allan is survived by his wife of 68 years, Wanda (Bernard), and children Margie, longtime maritime horseman Earl, Gary, Janet, and former Western Canadian trainer/driver Roger. His remains are resting at the Central Queens funeral co-op in New Glasgow, PEI, until the funeral this Thursday from the Hunter River United church. Lee Drake

London, January 25, 2015 -- Harness racing fans of the Super Hi-5 wager at The Raceway will have another massive pool to go after on Monday night's program. The late Super Hi-5 on Friday night did not produce a winning ticket, triggering a big carryover of more than $7,200. The Raceway will offer an instant guarantee on the gross pool for Monday night's early Super Hi-5 of $15,000. The early Super Hi-5 is offered on race 7 and asks fans to select the first five finishers in order. If no one correctly selects all five, then the pool gets carried over to the next Super Hi-5 race. The popular wager has produced some huge payouts of late, including a record return of $15,182.00 on a single .20 cent winning ticket in Friday's early Super Hi-5. Free programs and Free live streaming video are available at www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard                                                                          

A breeders meeting on Standardbred pedigrees will take place Sunday, February 1 at the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus in Bible Hill, NS, in the Haley Institute, Room 116. The harness racing seminar-style meeting will get underway at 1 p.m. The Haley Institute is located at 58 River Road in Bible Hill, NS. The main entry doors during the weekend is located next to the upper parking lot. Melissa Keith is an aspiring Standardbred owner with a lifelong interest in the pedigrees behind great horses. She is the secretary of the US Harness Writers Canadian chapter and a regular contributor to Trot, Hoof Beats and Atlantic Post Calls. "At this time of year, I thought other Nova Scotians who would want to attend the Island-based educational sessions on pedigrees might find travel a bit tricky. So I was happy to discover that the 'Pedigree Guru' was willing to bring his presentation here, to the Dal Agricultural Campus," added Keith. The Nova Scotia event will be the fourth in a series presented by the PEI Colt Stakes. The seminars are open to all breeders of Atlantic-bred Standardbreds and to any members of the public that are interested in the horse breeding industry. All attendees will receive a complimentary three-month subscription to the PM Online pedigree resource website to assist with their breeding decisions for the coming season. The PEI Colt Stakes, for Maritime-bred or foaled horses, is the longest running stakes program in Canada, and the organization has presented a stakes racing program and related breeder development programs for the past 80 years. Last year, the Island Breeders Series saw 53 races contested for total purses over $312,000. In 1934 there were three races for combined purses less than $1,000. Norman Hall, the current manager, is in his 33rd year in that position. "I have seen a lot of breeders come and go over my years with the colt stakes, but one thing remains constant and that is the need to provide educational opportunities especially for younger breeders just getting into the industry," noted Hall. "I encourage those young men and women to take advantage of every opportunity to improve their chances for success in what can be a very rewarding but demanding challenge to breed the best horses possible." For further details, please contact: Norman Hall (902) 628-5581 or email at norman@pedigreematching.com    

ELORA, ON - Cujo's Cubs captured the inaugural edition of the Grand River Raceway Snow-Pitch Tournament, staged in the harness racing track's infield on January 24. Nine co-ed recreational teams battled under an overcast, and eventually foggy sky. As sunset approached, Cujo's Cubs held a three-run lead over The Roasters heading into the final inning. They held on to win by a single run. Cujo's Cubs include several harness racing participants and today's victorious line-up featured: Rob Doyle, Scott Lecain, James MacDonald, Jacqueline Ellis, Jared Bothwell, Stephanie Yorke, Julie Walker, Don Johnson, Lee Ibey and Boyd Wilson. The team is normally captained by Curtis (Cujo) MacDonald. The champs won $300 plus a team party for Dinner & Races in the Captain's Quarters tiered dining room at Grand River Raceway during the 2015 race season, which begins June 1. Grand River Raceway extends its gratitude to all of the tournament teams: GREAT In KW Meet Up, Booze On First, Cold Blooded, Sons of Pitches, Not The Benders, Where My Pitches At, The Zieglar's, The Roasters, and Cujo's Cubs Kelly Spencer

Charlottetown, PE - Veronicavermillion came from off the pace to win the afternoon harness racing feature race in an impressive 1:56.4 Saturday at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Driver Brian MacPhee and Veronicavermillion tracked mid-pack behind Cambest Kisser (Kenny Arsenault) and pace-setter Forever Paradise (Marc Campbell) through hot fractions of 28, 57.4 and 1:27.1 before the leader began to tire and the only girl the field handed the boys a defeat. Veronicavermillion is owned by Alex MacPhee, Cornwall and trained by Neil Bambrick. She paid $11.90 to win. Cambest Kisser was second with Narragansett rallying to finish third. The 3-1-5 triactor returned $395.20 while the superfecta 3-1-5-2 was $963.50. Modern Xhibit was a late scratch. Jason Hughes had another big day at the track with four winners on the program. The Stratford native got the grand-slam rolling with Sanchez Blue Chip then followed up with Machinthesand and Walbert where he was greeted in the winner's circle by Island Storm player Rashad Whack who teamed up with the horse and driver for a special promotion. Whack, a guard with the Storm, came right back in the second promotional race to get his picture taken with Talk Back and driver Wade Sorrie. Hughes closed the day with Blue Start Oultlaw for owner Donnie MacRae, Vernon Bridge. In other action, I Aint No Lady ended Frill Seeker's winning streak after claiming the open trot for MacPhee and owner Sandra Cole of Kensington. Garth Cole was the winning trainer. Wade Sorrie, Brian MacPhee and Ken Murphy recorded driving doubles on the day. The wager was $46, 488 By Lee Drake     *

TORONTO, January 23 - The first two stake finals of 2015 took place Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack and it was the Sylvain Filion show. The veteran harness racing reinsman could be poised for another big year, as he took home both the $45,000 Snowshoe Series and $40,000 Blizzard Series finales. The Snowshoe Series final appeared to be wide-open on paper, as seven different horses won divisions during the first two legs. Kindofabigdeal and Filion came into Friday's final as the most consistent horse in the ten-horse field and left with another big effort. The Richard Moreau trainee got the cue to leave hard from Filion and sprinted out to the quick lead, but was quickly challenged for the front by A Boy Named Suuzz. Filion allowed the outside challenger to clear and got a perfect two-hole trip for Kindofabigdeal. Kindofabigdeal sat patiently in the pocket until Filion made his move at the top of the lane. In the stretch, Kindofabigdeal overtook the lead by the eighth-pole and paced away to win in 1:53.3. Bad Bug came on late to make it close and finish second by half a length, while A Boy Named Suuzz held on to hit the board in third. A four-year-old son of No Pan Intended, Kindofabigdeal has been on a roll over the last few months at Woodbine, but has recently been unable to come through in series finals. The Moreau trainee won a leg of the Autumn Series, but finished second in the November final. Last month, Kindofabigdeal won the opening two legs of the Valedictory, but finished third as the favourite in the Boxing Day finale. The series final victory Friday gives the pacer seven career wins from 13 starts and pushes his bankroll over $88,000 for owner Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc. Kindofabigdeal paid $5.70. Kindofabigdeal In the Blizzard Series final, heavy favourite Artistic Fusion completed the series sweep with a 1:54.4 victory. Trained by Joe Agostino, Artistic Fusion and Filion got away in fourth and came first up down the backstretch to challenge the leader A Fearless Affair. Those two mares would battle side-by-side past the three-quarter pole in 1:25.2, but Artistic Fusion was too much to handle for A Fearless Affair in the lane. Artistic Fusion wasted no time leaving her rivals behind and cruised home to win by 2 ¾ lengths. Badlands Love got up for second, while A Fearless Affair dug in to finish third. A four-year-old daughter of Artistic Fella, Artistic Fusion has been firing on all cylinders over the last few months in series action. The Agostino trainee won the Autumn Series final in November, finished second in the Niagara Series final on Boxing Day and has now swept the Blizzard Series. Artistic Fusion surpassed the $100,000 mark in career earnings with her eighth career win Friday night for owner Mike Foote. She returned $2.60 to win. Artistic Fusion Mark McKelvie

Charlottetown, PE - The Jonah Moase stable has another pacing star back on Prince Edward Island to compete in the afternoon harness racing feature event Saturday at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Post time for the 14 dash program is 12:30pm. Modern Xhibt is the morning line favorite after coming off a dazzling 1:55 victory at Rideau Carlton racetrack in Ottawa last week. Moase secured the services of Walter Cheverie for the match-up which includes Forever Paradise (Marc Campbell) from post two. The horses will be battling for top honors with Forever Paradise sporting an impressive resume with eight top three finishes in his last nine assignments. The Jason Hughes operation has two entries with Cambest Kisser drawing the rail. Hughes has Kenny Arsenault listed to drive while he will handle Narragansett in the power-packed field. Veronicavermillion (Brian MacPhee) and Pictonian Storm (Wade Sorrie) are both capable of pulling off upsets in the race. Red Shores is teaming with Island Storm players on the afternoon program. The professional basketball team will be meeting fans and touring the paddock when they partner with horses and drivers for races 8 and 9. Billy Rush, a resident of Chicago, Illinois and plays forward with the squad, gets to cheer on favorite Artist List and driver Ken Murphy in race 8 while the Storm's Brandon Robinson drew the other favorite The Big Bite and driver Corey MacPherson in race 9. Trot specialist Frill Seeker will go after his fifth win in a row when he lines up behind the starting gate in race 3. Kenny Arsenault will do the driving for the Ebbsfleet stables. The rest of the field will try to spoil the party. They include I Aint No Lady (Brian MacPhee), JK Hustler (Walter Cheverie), Pleasure Girls (Corey MacPherson), JK Queen (Marc Campbell) and Caliban Hanover (Ron Gass). For entries, results and race programs go to www.redshores.ca Lee Drake

Toronto, ON --- The stage is set for the first two stakes finals of 2015 this Friday (Jan. 23) at Woodbine Racetrack. The $45,000 Snowshoe Series and the $40,000 Blizzard Series finals have been carded as races six and nine on Friday’s 11-race harness racing card. The Snowshoe for 3- and 4-year-old pacers featured seven divisions over the opening two legs and saw seven different winners prevail. All seven winners will return to make up a wide-open ten-horse series finale. Four of the seven winners, Ramblingamblinman (post one, Rick Zeron), Kindofabigdeal (post four, Sylvain Filion), A Boy Named Suuzzz (post five, Jonathan Drury) and P L Heavenly (post 10, Anthony MacDonald), also had a second place finish in a separate leg. The other three division winners were Vegas Rich (post two, Paul MacDonell), Decisive Destiny (post three, Trevor Henry) and Whistle Jimmy K (post eight, Doug McNair). The Richard Moreau trainee Kindofabigdeal has been a top performer on the stakes series scene over the last few months. The 4-year-old son of No Pan Intended won a leg and finished second in the final of the Ontario Sired Autumn Series. The gelding followed that up by capturing the first two legs of the Valedictory, but finished third in the final on Boxing Day. The connections of Kindofabigdeal will hope the third time is the charm to capture a series title, but they will have their hands full with a stack of challengers, including the speedy Ramblingamblinman. Trained by Rick Zeron, Ramblingamblinman joined the Zeron barn in late November and turned in an eye-catching career best performance of 1:51.4 in a non-winners of two event on Dec. 15. The 4-year-old son of Lis Mara finished second in the opening Snowshoe leg and followed that up with a 5-1/4 length victory in round two. The second leg victory was the largest margin of victory in the first two rounds of the series. The Snowshoe Series was first staged in 1978 and has been a launching pad for successful older horses, including Modern Legend, last year’s Canadian Pacing Derby champion, who won the series back in 2012. Unlike the Snowshoe, the Blizzard Series for 3- and 4-year-old pacing fillies and mares has been dominated by one horse. Artistic Fusion (post five, Sylvain Filion) has stamped herself as the horse to beat in the ten-horse final, after winning in both of the first two legs, including a more than seven length victory in round one. The Joe Agostino trainee won the Ontario Sired Autumn Series final on Nov. 28 and finished second to Witch Dali in the Niagara Series final on Boxing Day. A 4-year-old daughter of Artistic Fella, Artistic Fusion won five of 19 starts last year and will look to improve to three for three in 2015 by sweeping the Blizzard Series for owner Mike Foote. Mappos Moenhay (post three, Mike Saftic), A Fearless Affair (post eight, Simon Allard) and Deuces For Charity (post nine, Paul MacDonell) were all division winners that also finished second in another leg and will be looking to block the broom of Artistic Fusion. The Blizzard Series was first raced in 1980 and has been won by several mares that went on to be Open class competitors, including Art's Secret (1998) and Numeric Hanover (2003). In order to be eligible to both the Snowshoe and Blizzard Series, the 3- and 4-year-olds had to be non-winners of two races or C$30,000 lifetime as of Oct. 31, 2014. Post time for Friday night’s card is 7:25 p.m. Here are the complete fields for Friday’s stakes finals. Race 6: Snowshoe Series Final–Purse: C$45,000 Post-Horse-Driver 1. Ramblingamblinman–Rick Zeron 2. Vegas Rich–Paul MacDonell 3. Decisive Destiny–Trevor Henry 4. Kindofabigdeal–Sylvain Filion 5. A Boy Named Suuzz–Jonathan Drury 6. Bad Bug–James MacDonald 7. American Island–Trevor Henry 8. Whistle Jimmy K–Doug McNair 9. Ys Lotus–Simon Allard 10. P L Heavenly–Anthony MacDonald AE: Newbie–Randy Waples Race 9: Blizzard Series Final–Purse: C$40,000 Post-Horse-Driver 1. P L Hurricane–Chris Christoforou 2. Onyourmarknatava–Rick Zeron 3. Mappos Moenhay–Mike Saftic  4. Badlands Love–Sylvain Filion 5. Artistic Fusion–Sylvain Filion 6. Doc's Hollywood–Phil Hudon 7. Bettim Jenny–Roger Mayotte 8. A Fearless Affair–Simon Allard 9. Deuces For Charity–Paul MacDonell 10. All The Ladies–James MacDonald Woodbine Entertainment Group

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EDMONTON, AB - The 2014/2015 Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino harness racing season came to close this afternoon with a 10-race card at the Edmonton oval. "Northlands Park is alive with action 363 days a year and the harness racing season captures some of the most exciting three months in the racing calendar," said Tim Reid, President and CEO, Northlands. "The 2014 and 2015 harness racing season was no exception, as some of the best Standardbreds, trainers and drivers in the nation came to the track to give our guests a great experience." The season's two biggest races at Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino were the Western Canada Pacing Derby on December 6, 2014 and the Northlands Filly Pace on December 13, 2014. Rummys Command trained and driven by Keith Clark won the $70,000 Northlands Filly Pace while Outlaw Gunpowder, driven by Philip Giesbrecht and trained by Kelly Hoerdt, took the $95,000 Western Canada Pacing Derby. The 2014/2015 harness season showcased the continued dominance of the 2013 O'Brien Award winner for Rising Star, Travis Cullen. He was the runaway winner in both the trainer and driver categories, never being challenged from the outset. A few career milestones were also set at the meet. Driver Brandon Campbell recorded his 1,000th victory in the sulky, and trainer Doug Shaw recorded his 1,000th win conditioning horses. Driver and trainer Jamie Gray recorded his 1,500th training victory while closing in on his 2,300th driving win. To round out the 2014/2015 harness racing season, Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino is proud to celebrate Alberta's champions for 2014 at the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association Awards Night on Sunday, February 1 in the Paddock Theatre. Harness racing in Alberta will resume after a short break on March 28 at the all new Century Downs racing facility near Calgary. Horse racing returns to Northlands Park when the 77-day thoroughbred meet kicks off on Friday, May 1 with a 6:30 p.m. post time. Chris Roberts
Charlottetown, PE - The curtain will fall on the winter harness racing meet with a 15 dash program Sunday at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Post time is 12 Noon. The card was moved due to the winter storm in the forecast for Saturday. Veronicavermillion (Brian MacPhee) will be back in the top class after upsetting the field last week to win in 1:56.4. The Alex MacPhee owned pacer drew post 7 while runner-up Cambest Kisser (Kenny Arsenault) lands inside for this week's showdown and leaves from post 2. Modern Xhibit didn't have any luck with the draw either as he has been saddled with post 8 after being scratched last week. Walter Cheverie gets the call to drive from owner Jonah Moase, Cornwall. The other horses in the field are also capable of landing on top of the triactor ticket and they include Oh To Be Me, Machinthesand, Pictonian Storm, Forever Paradise and Narragansett. The race is sponsored by Darlene Compton with a trackside cooler presentation to the winner. Race 11 will see the final career start for Thebeastfromtheast who has post 5 in the eight horse $1,000 contest. The 10-year-old daughter of Drop Off - Norma goes into Saturday's action with 26 lifetime wins and $253,418 in purse money. She sports a 1:50.2 lifetime mark taken at age four at The Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey in 2009 with Brian Sears in the bike for trainer Anthony Montini. The hulking mare was bred by Garrett, Justin, Brett and Marshall Whelan of Troy, Ontario, raised at Wally Wood's Marshfield Farm and campaigned by Jim Whelan in Ontario where she was a regular on the Woodbine Circuit with Garrett as the regular pilot. Her 1:50.2 victory gave the mare the distinction of being the fastest Maritime Bred mare of all-time until she was eclipsed in 2014 by Elleofnxample. Thebeastfromtheast still stands in a third place tie for Fastest Maritime Bred ever, regardless of sex, with Kid Carson. Jim Whelan campaigned the mare for the majority of her career and is now her sole owner after claiming her back from Maine in 2014 and will breed her this coming Spring. Saturday, Jason Hughes will guide Thebeastfromtheast to the starting gate, for the 182nd and final time of her career, for trainer Nicholas Oakes. The final card of the winter meet goes Sunday with a special post time at 12 Noon. For race programs, top picks and live video go to www.redshores.ca Lee A. Drake
In the management of horse health, injuries and disease, conscientious horse owners would never put their horse at risk; however, improper use of some commonly administered equine drugs can impact the health and safety of our horses more than we think. Seldom does a month go by when media attention doesn't focus on a positive drug test in the horseracing world. The news leaves many in the horse industry to shake their heads and wonder how trainers or owners could do such a thing to their animals. But did you know that the majority of these positives involve some of the more commonly used drugs that we administer to our horses on a routine basis and which can produce some pretty unsettling results? Under Diagnosis and Over Treatment Used to relieve pain, allow or promote healing, and control or cure a disease process, therapeutic medications can be effective when they are used properly, but are quite dangerous when misused. Phenylbutazone, or "bute," is one of the most commonly administered prescription drugs in the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) family. When used properly, NSAIDs offer relief from pain and help in the reduction of inflammation and fever. Found in the medicine kits of many horse owners, bute can be prescribed for a plethora of ailments, including sole bruising, hoof abscesses, tendon strains, sprained ligaments and arthritic joints. NSAIDS are invaluable as a medication, says Dr. Alison Moore, lead veterinarian for Animal Health and Welfare at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in Guelph, Ontario. "When used appropriately, they are very safe; however, some horse owners tend to give too much of a good thing," she says. Dr. Moore goes on to say that this form of drug (bute) is both economical and convenient, available in either injectable and oral formulations; but is most likely to cause problems if given too long or in improperly high doses, especially if horses are more sensitive to NSAID toxicity. "If you look at the chronic use of bute, there's certainly known ramifications from it," says Dr. Moore. "There's health derived issues including gastric and colon ulcers, as well as renal impairment. Renal impairment is more prevalent in older horses that have developed issues with their kidney function or with equine athletes that perform strenuous exercise and divert blood flow from their kidneys. Chronic or repeated dehydration is also a risk factor for renal impairment. Chronic exposure to bute is more likely to cause signs attributable to the gastrointestinal tract." Clinical signs of toxicity include diarrhea, colic, ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract (seen as low protein and/or anemia on blood work or as ulcers on an endoscopic examination), poor hair coat, and weight loss. In the event of such symptoms, the medication should be stopped and the vet called for diagnosis and treatment. While a different type of drug, flunixin meglumine (trade name Banamine), is found in the same NSAID family. "It's not typically used as chronically as bute because it's more expensive and mostly used for gastrointestinal , muscular or ocular pain, but if misused, especially with dehydrated horses, kidney and digestive tract toxicity can occur similarly to bute," Dr. Moore notes. Because of the deleterious effect chronic NSAIDS can have on your horse, it is even more important not to "stack" NSAIDS. This is the process where two NSAIDS, usually bute and flunixin, or bute and firocoxib, are given at the same time. Not only does the dual administration create gastrointestinal and renal problems as listed above, but bute and flunixin given together can cause a severely low blood protein that may affect interactions with other medications. That Calming Effect The list of tranquilizers, sedatives and supplements intended to calm a horse can be extensive, including some which can be purchased online or at your local tack shop. For example, Acepromazine, known as "Ace," is commonly used as a tranquilizer to keep a horse calm and relaxed by depressing the central nervous system. It is available as an injection or in granular form and does not require a prescription. If given incorrectly, it can carry a risk of injury or illness for the horse. "Tranquilizers can be used to keep horses quiet for training purposes or for stalled horses due to injury, but it can be difficult to control the dose when given orally," states Dr. Moore. "The difficulty with chronic administration is you don't know how much you're dosing your horse or how the horse is metabolizing it. Since it is highly protein bound in the bloodstream, a horse with low protein may develop side effects more quickly or react to a lower dose. Side effects include prolapse of the penis, which is more of a problem in stallions, and low hematocrit, a measure of red cell percentage in the blood. At very high doses, the horse will develop ataxia [a wobbly gait] and profuse sweating." As every horse is different, and the correct dosage needs to be calculated based on the horse's weight and other influences, Dr. Moore stresses the importance of having a vet oversee any tranquilizer use. It is also important to inform the veterinarian of any acepromazine given to your horse, as it can affect the outcome of veterinary procedures, such as dentistry that requires sedation. Drug Compounding In equine medicine, compounding is the manipulation of one drug outside its original, approved form to make a different dose for a specific patient, whether it's mixing two drugs together or adding flavouring to a commercially available drug. However, mathematical errors can occur. Last July, Equine Canada issued a notice asking their members to use compounded drugs with caution citing that because these medications are not available as a licensed product, they may contain different concentrations compared to a licensed product. There have been several instances where the medication contained too little of an active ingredient, leaving it ineffective, or too much, which can result in death. Compounded drugs and its related risks came to light several years ago with the high-profile deaths of 21 polo ponies at the U.S. Open Polo Championships in Wellington, Florida in 2009. After being injected with a compounded vitamin supplement that was incorrectly mixed, all 21 ponies collapsed and died. "The biggest issue with compounded drugs is that many horse owners are not often aware of what it means," says Dr. Moore. "They think it's a generic form of a drug, but it's not. It's the mixing of an active pharmaceutical ingredient, wherever it comes from in the world, with whatever flavour powder or product the pharmacy or veterinarian puts together. When going from one jar to the next, the concentrations could be different. It could be twice the strength, and that's harmful or half the strength and have little effect." Because this process is not regulated with respect to quality, safety and efficacy, there can be risks associated with compounding drugs. "Technically, veterinarians are not supposed to dispense a compounded drug if there is a commercially available product already, such as phenylbutazone [bute]," says Dr. Moore. "If your vet felt that there was a therapeutic use for a combination product of bute and vitamin E, then that is a legitimate reason for compounding it. But a lot of people want to use compounded drugs because they're cheaper. But cheaper doesn't necessarily mean better." Dr. Moore explains that without careful attention to the appropriate dosage and administration, such as shaking the bottle properly so that no residue will settle in the bottom (or the last few doses will be extremely concentrated), health issues can occur. Compounded medications have provided a lot of benefit to horse health by providing access to products or product forms that would be difficult to obtain otherwise, but because of the concerns regarding quality control, horse owners should fully understand the potential risks of using a compounded product and discuss these concerns with their veterinarian. Deworming Strategies In the past, traditional deworming programs didn't consider each horse as an individual, as common practice was to deworm the entire barn on a fixed, regular schedule. However, over the past 10 years, studies have shown there is a growing concern regarding parasite resistance to dewormers. Veterinarians now recommend that horses be screened for parasites by way of a fecal egg test first instead of deworming with a product that may not be effective against parasite burdens. A fecal exam is far safer than administering deworming medications that they don't need. Dewormers are safe when used properly, including testing first and using a weight tape for an accurate dosage. Dr. Moore suggests contacting your vet to develop a deworming program that is right for your horse and your specific area. A Question of Welfare? Horse owners should be aware of the more frequent reactions to drug use in their horses and consider both the short term and long term effects before use. Consideration of the horse's welfare should not only for the present, but also for its future. With the use of drugs and horses, it's important to: * proceed with the guidance of your veterinarian; * use the lowest possible dosage possible in order to achieve the desired results; * calculate the correct dosage based on your horse's body weight through the use of a weight tape; * closely monitor your horse throughout the course of treatment. "It's being very aware of the use of our common, everyday drugs. As good a drug as it is, when it's misused, negative effects will occur," says Dr. Moore. "There's a greater importance on knowing the overall health level of your horse. It's always best to have a good base point first, and because the kidneys and liver are the two main organs that process medication, it's important to know that those organs are working properly. That's why those annual veterinary wellness exams are so important." Sign up for our free e-newsletter at EquineGuelph.ca, which delivers monthly welfare tips throughout 2015 and provides tools to aid all horse owners in carrying out their 'Full-Circle-Responsibility' to our beloved horses. In partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Equine Guelph is developing a 'Full-Circle-Responsibility' equine welfare educational initiative which stands to benefit the welfare of horses in both the racing and non-racing sectors. Visit Equine Guelph's Welfare Education page for more information. Story by: Barbara Sheridan   Photo Credits: Barbara Sheridan     Weblink: http://www.equineguelph.ca/news/index.php?content=428     Forward this email   This email was sent to news@harnesslink.com by jbellamy@uoguelph.ca | Rapid removal with SafeUnsubscribeâ„¢ | Privacy Policy.   Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada
In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else. All previous reviews can now be viewed at http://stallionsphere.com. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: History, Hardball, Humor and Harness Racing - Harnesslink.com is proud to welcome Bob Carson to our staff. Bob has published over 300 magazine articles and short stories in what he refers to as his Four H Club (history, hardball, humor and harness racing). Among his awards are the Hervey, World Trotting Conference, The USTA Presidents and Best of Ohio Fiction. The Voyage of Mess (humor) was his first novel and he produced the documentary film Touching Home (Minor League Baseball). Bob lives in northeastern Ohio with his wife, Sue, and family. Make sure to read Bob's first Harnesslink column as it is a great story! What's happening with the Auckland Trotting Club video? - Without doubt the Auckland Trotting Club is one of the most progressive and forward thinking clubs in the Southern Hemisphere. The board is now made up of a good balance of successful businessman and horseman and appears to be making great progress in securing the long term future of harness racing in the largest urban area in New Zealand. Stallion Review – ROCKIN IMAGE – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Rockin Image p,3,1:48.2 ($903,424)). Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
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