TORONTO, CA March 5 - An impressive group of 77 sophomore including rookie standouts Hes Watching, Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou have been nominated to the 31st edition of the Pepsi North America Cup. One of harness racing's most prestigious events, the $1 million race is set for Saturday, June 14 at Mohawk Racetrack. Headlining this year's group of nominees is the Dan Patch Award winner and undefeated Hes Watching, who set two world records last season along with six track records for trainer and co-owner David Menary. The son of American Ideal boasts a 1:50 speed badge along with $291,722 in earnings. Arthur Blue Chip, who banked $400,120 last season along with an O'Brien Award, was the richest rookie-pacing colt of 2013. The son of first-crop sire Shadow Play amassed a 6-2-1 record from 11 starts last season. Luck Be Withyou, the 2013 Breeders Crown champion, is also on the list and one of the early favourites for the race. The Pepsi North America Cup eliminations are set for Saturday, June 7. Sustaining payments will be due on March 15, April 15 and May 15. The complete list of this year's Pepsi NA Cup eligibles are listed below: AGADIR HANOVER ALWAYS B MIKI ARI ALLSTAR ARTHUR BLUE CHIP AVALANCHE HANOVER BEAT THE DRUM BEST OF THE BUNCH BONDI HANOVER BOOM BOOM BALLYKEEL BRODYS SCRAPPER BUGGER BRUISER BUSHWACKER CABANA BOY HANOVER CAPITAL ACCOUNT CARRACCI HANOVER CRAFTY MASTER DANCIN HILL DEVIL'S ARCADE DOO WOP HANOVER EARTHSHAKER EWALD HANOVER FOR A BETTOR TIME FORT KNOX GOLD ROCKS HERE COMES WILLIAM HES WATCHING IDEAL COWBOY IDEAL MAGIC IDEAL SHADOW IDEALBEACH HANOVER IM DRINKIN DOUBLES JACKATTACK JET AIRWAY JK ENDOFANERA JIGGLE IT JOURNEYMAN LET'S DRINK ON IT LIMELIGHT BEACH LUCK BE WITH YOU LUCKY KING LYONS SOMEWHERE MAJOR DEAGAN MAJOR TRICK MARCO DE VIE MCWICKED MELMERBY BEACH MOLIERE HANOVER NAKED CITY NATIONAL DEBT ODDS ON RHODONITE ON GOLDEN Ponder PLAY IT AGAIN SAM P L HELLCAT PARNU HANOVER SHADIOS SILVERHILL SHADOW SMACK TALK SOME MAJOR BEACH SOMESTARSOMEWHERE SOMETIMES SAID SOMEWHERE FANCY SURPRISE HANOVER SWEET BEACH SWEET TALKIN CLYDE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT TELLITLIKEITIS THAT'S MY OPINION THREE OF CLUBS UNLOCKED WACO BRUISER WEATHER HANOVER WELL WRITTEN WESTERN VINTAGE WHISKEY N PIE WHISTLE JIMMY K WICKED BUSINESS WINDS OF CHANGE by Greg Gangle, for WEG
One week after driver James MacDonald swept Tuesday's Preferred events at The Raceway at Western Fair District, he turned the trick yet again with another Preferred double. Ostinato was returning to the $10,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 2 Pace after winning last week's edition, but was given second billing by the betting public in favour of Woodbine shipper Perfectly Royal (Doug McNair). Perfectly Royal was sent to the front by McNair but pestered for the lead by 2013's WFD Horse of the Year Rachel Olivia (Alfie Carroll). With those two slugging it out on the front, the chances to pounce from off the pace were good and that's exactly what MacDonald did. Setting up three wide around the final turn but only two lengths from the lead, MacDonald tipped Ostinato off cover in the lane and the mare responded with a swift brush to power past the leaders and hit the wire three parts of a length the best in 1:57.2. To read the rest of the story click here.
Preferred pacers and trotters highlighted the Monday afternoon card of harness racing at the Raceway at Western Fair District in London, Ont. Trotting mare Thundering Ovation could only muster four wins in all of 2013, and just over two months into 2014 she's almost matched that total. Thundering Ovation was picked as the public choice in Monday's $8,000 Preferred 3 Handicap Trot and didn't disappoint. With driver J.R. Plante at the lines, the five-year-old Thunder Road mare made every call a winning one en route to the five-length 2:00.2 score. Gerald Sloan trains Thundering Ovation for Joanne & Courtney Sloan of Harley, Ont. It was Thundering Ovation's third win of the year in eight starts. To read the rest of this story click here.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) has received reports of several cases of equine Strangles (S. equi sp. equi infection) in the Waterloo-Wellington County area. Strangles is not a reportable disease in the province of Ontario, however, it is highly contagious to horses and other equids, and outbreaks are a concern to the equine industry. The reported cases have predominantly shown signs of high fever (40-41⁰C) and mucopurulent nasal discharge with only occasional horses developing enlarged lymph nodes with abscessation. Disease Facts: Strangles is a highly contagious infection of horses caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi. Clinical signs include fever, nasal discharge and, most typically, lymph node abscessation. Transmission occurs by direct nose-to-nose contact with infected horses or via contact with contaminated surfaces, objects or people (e.g. twitches, tack, buckets, feed troughs, stall walls, fences). The bacterium can survive indoors for weeks to months depending on temperature. The disease is diagnosed by detection of S. equi using bacterial culture and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of nasal or lymph node discharge, nasopharyngeal (throat) swabs or nasal or guttural pouch washes. Treatment involves managing the fever and encouraging abscesses to burst. Antibiotics should only be used under veterinary supervision as they may prolong the maturation of abscesses and the disease process. Infection control Minimize all human and animal traffic in and out of the premises. No horses should leave the premises unless they are being taken to an isolation facility, as this increases the risk of spread to other horses. All owners, riders and other personnel in the barn should be made aware of the situation to ensure strict control measures are followed, and so they don’t inadvertently carry the bacterium to other equine facilities Isolate suspect horses as much as possible in a separate, low-traffic area or treat the stall as a quarantined area. Handle infected and suspect horses using gloves, designated coveralls and designated footwear/footbaths. Promote hand hygiene (using products such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers) even when gloves are worn. Take temperatures twice daily on all horses in the facility, including those not showing signs of disease. If a fever is detected (>38.5°C, >101.3°F), the horse should be considered infected and isolated/quarantined until diagnosed. Monitoring should continue for at least two weeks after the last case shows clinical signs. Clean all equipment and surfaces of visible organic material (e.g. dirt, hair, manure) before applying disinfectants. Most common disinfectants are effective. Test horses that have recovered from disease at least twice at one week intervals using throat swab or nasal wash samples to confirm they are negative. Identify those horses that are carriers and intermittently shedding S. equi by testing nasal or guttural pouch washes. Carriers can shed the bacterium for months or years. Prevention Isolate new horses coming on to the farm, or those returning from extended absences, for 2-3 weeks and test them to ensure that they are not shedding the bacterium. If isolation cannot be performed, barn managers should ask for proof of Strangles–free status (based on recent testing) prior to accepting new horses. Discuss with your veterinarian about vaccinating for Strangles. Vaccines can help minimize the severity of disease but may not be appropriate during outbreaks. It is recommended that horses that have been frequently vaccinated for Strangles or have had the disease itself should have a S. equi antibody titre performed prior to vaccination to avoid potential immune reactions. The best method of disease control is disease prevention. See the resources below for other basic biosecurity and infection control practices. RESOURCES OMAF: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/03-037.htm http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/prot_strangle... http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/prev-disease-... WORMS & GERMS BLOG: http://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/uploads/file/JSW-MA2%20Strangles.pdf EQUINE GUELPH: http://www.equineguelph.ca/Tools/biosecurity_calculator_2011-09-12/Biose... Submitted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food
On Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack, a racing rarity took place when a dead-heat for win happened. Even more rare is that both horses are homebreds, and owned by their trainers. In the evening's sixth race, a conditioned race for Ontario-sired three and four-year-olds, So Bad Im Good (Joe Hudon) tried to cut all the fractions but couldn't hold off the backfield heading into the stretch. Kuchar (Jody Jamieson) and Sanattle Slew (Billy Davis, Jr.) were both poised to pounce on the pacesetter from the outer flow and both powered past, hitting the wire simultaneously. To read entire story click here.
Toronto, ON --- Ontario Horse Racing today released more details related to the C$80 million annual funding under the Horse Racing Partnership Funding Program. The details of the five-year government funding program were confirmed on Feb. 13, following the government’s approval of the HRPFP Order in Council. This announcement offers assurance to the racing industry that over the next five years race dates (around 900 live dates per year) will be stable and purse levels guaranteed. To view the full notice, click here. From the Ontario Racing Commission
The Weather Network's Chris Mei paid a special visit to Flamboro Downs on a chilly -12 degree Sunday evening and took over the announcer's booth to share the nightly forecast and call the third race as part of the track's Announcer Idol competition. When the wings of the starting gate closed for the 'Idol' race, pacing mare Victoria established the lead from post six as Mei searched for his binoculars in the booth. "Boy, it's really hard to see that far away! Where's my binoculars?" laughed Mei as the horses headed down the backstretch for the first time. To read the rest of the story click here.
TROIS-RIVIERES, QUE. March 3, 2014 – Pompano Park racing fans were treated to a unique live interview in the winner’s circle when visiting guest, Vincent Trudel, the general manager of the Hippodrome 3R racetrack, located in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, spoke with track publicist John Berry. See video file : http://youtu.be/Naj0-dry5HU. Trudel spoke about how the horsemen had formed the Quebec Jockey Club and took over Hippodrome 3R from bankruptcy and within two years has revamped the racing program that will feature a 50% increase in purses in 2014. He talked about the area the track is located, between Montreal and Quebec City, how the track is now one of the fastest half mile ovals in the sport and spoke about the tracks renewal of the Prix D’Ete race on September 21. With a purse of $200,000 it will be the richest pacing event for four-year-olds in North America this year and reminded horsemen that the first nomination payment must be made by March 15. After the interview, Trudel was taken on a ride to view the first race from the Hummer H2 starting gate at Pompano Park, which he said was amazing. “It had such a clear view of the field,” Trudel said. “And being a Hummer you know that it will travel well through any rain, mud or snow. It was very impressive but I was also told it was not good at gas mileage, I think maybe 9 miles per gallon he joked. Trudel then toured the racetrack and the casino which he said was also very impressive. Submitted by the Quebec Jockey Club
Trevor Henry, Canada's win leader last year, gave his 2014 total a boost on Saturday night scoring seven times during Flamboro Downs' 12-dash card. Henry started a three-race win streak in the second race winning with Richard Moreau trainees Abs To Envy ($2.10) and Zorgwijk Jock ($5.70) and Leonard Lalonde Jr.'s Posey Tina ($7.10). He then went back-to-back in the sixth and seventh races with the repeating Boknows Momngranny ($4.10) for James Hewitt and Beyond Sanity ($5.30) for Scott Mceneny. The Arthur, Ont. reinsman also won the ninth race with Wine Queen ($18.20) for Paul Belanger Jr. and the 11th with the Ben Paquette-conditioned Sleek Hunter ($5.60). To read the rest of the story click here.
Apprentice Hanover continued to dominate the Preferred pacers at Woodbine Racetrack with an open-length victory in Saturday evening's feature race. Woodbine's 2014 leading reinsman Jody Jamieson drove the heavy 2-5 favourite to a 1:51.1 victory -- his fastest in four starts this year and eighth in a row dating back to November 2013. Jamieson settled Apprentice Hanover away fifth from post five in this week's $34,000 Preferred while a three-horse battle for the early lead ensued. Leaving from post four in the field of six, Top Gear (Mike Saftic) out-sprinted insiders Lucky Terror (Jonathan Drury) and Wazzup Wazzup (Randy Waples) to the lead into a :26.3 first quarter. To read rest of story click here.
EDMONTON, AB - Due to the extreme cold temperatures, the harness racing cards scheduled for Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1 at Northlands Park have been cancelled. Racing will resume Friday, March 7 with a 6 p.m. post time and Northlands Park will remain open for both simulcast racing and gaming. For more information, please visit NorthlandsPark.ca by Jennifer Sheehan, for Northlands Park