Day At The Track

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Cape Breton's finest pacer came out on top in last week's feature event but has a new foe for his Saturday afternoon harness racing contest at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Intended Royalty was a winner in the featured event last Saturday at Red Shores Charlottetown and will be the morning line favourite this week. The 13-dash Saturday afternoon presentation kicks off at 12:30 P.M. with the $2,400 preferred pace hitting the track in race 12. Intended Royalty is the choice of classifier Gerard Smith from post 5 with Mike McGuigan back in the race bike for co-owner and trainer Randy Copley of Inverness, N.S., and co-owner Ed Copley. The eight-year-old son of No Pan Intended has been a winner in eight of 11 races since the beginning of 2018 but did not make a start since July until his win last Saturday in Charlottetown. Adkins Hanover returns to red soil for the Saturday contest and draws post 4 for trainer Trevor Hicken and owner Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile., Que. David Dowling will drive the 10-year-old Western Ideal pacer who had been performing well on the Ontario circuit in recent months including three wins from his last four starts. Race analyst Les MacIsaac gives the edge to Intended Royalty in the compact field of five. "Intended Royalty was out for most of the mile last week including three wide at the half and still won his local debut," MacIsaac said. "After that performance, other than the likely short price there's not much to dislike." Also in the field is Tempo Seelster (Driven by Ken Murphy), Red Magician (Adam Merner) and Burn Out Hanover (Kenny Arsenault). The top mares pace of the afternoon hits the track in race 9 for a $1,800 purse with Dusty Lane Zendaya guarding the rail for driver Corey MacPherson, trainer Stephen Gass and owners Alexis Gass and the Estate of Shelley Gass of Cornwall, P.E.I. Dusty Lane Zendaya's sister, Dustlanemissmolly, was the winner last week for trainer-driver Myles Heffernan and gets post 4 to work from on Saturday. Catch the action live at the track or tune into the worldwide broadcast at By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

An unusually low exactor payout in Wednesday's (January 16) 7th race at The Raceway at Western Fair District prompted us to contact Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) officials along with our Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) rep in order to investigate the wagering patterns for that race and the origin of the winning tickets. Our tote provider provided us the pertinent wagering information which showed that the bulk of the winning tickets were sold at a tote hub in Kentucky. This type of wagering anomaly has occurred before during the past couple of seasons and in each of those instances the bulk of the winning tickets have been traced back to the same Kentucky Hub. A prior investigation included officials from that location and found no evidence of collusion or anyone driving in a questionable manner in that race. We are continuing to look into this instance and we support the regulators in investigating this situation to the fullest extent required. Greg Blanchard The Raceway at Western Fair District    

MILTON, January 17, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment today revealed its harness racing industry-leading $16 million-plus Standardbred stakes lineup for 2019. The 2019 stakes schedule is headlined by the 36th edition of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, June 15 and the return of the $6 million (USD) Breeders Crown to Mohawk Park on October 25 and 26. This year's Pepsi North America Cup, Canada's richest race for Standardbreds, will showcase the continent's finest three-year-old pacers and will be the 13th consecutive edition contested at Mohawk Park. The Pepsi North America Cup undercard will again feature harness racing's best across various divisions. The $425,000 Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies, $370,000 Roses Are Red for pacing fillies and mares, $260,000 Goodtimes for three-year-old trotters, $250,000 Armbro Flight for trotting fillies and mares and $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational will make up the stacked Cup undercard on June 15. Woodbine Entertainment is pleased to host the 2019 Breeders Crown, presented by Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, at Mohawk Park. The $6 million (USD) Breeders Crown will feature 12 championship races contested over two-nights. The four Breeders Crown finals for two-year-olds will take place on Friday, October 25 with the eight finals for three-year-olds and up to be held the following evening on Saturday, October 26. Woodbine Entertainment reminds all owners and trainers of the new Standardbred Integrity and Accountability Initiative conditions in effect for the 2019 season. Any owner who participates in a Woodbine Standardbred Stake Race (added money $50,000 or greater) with a trainer who has an outstanding Class 1, Class 2 or TCO2 positive test under appeal in any jurisdiction, shall be ineligible to participate as an owner in any Woodbine Standardbred Stakes for 12 months following the trainer's conviction, if such trainer is later found guilt to the Class 1, Class 2 or TCO2 positive test. (The new conditions are only applicable to the a positive test occurring on or after January 1, 2019). New in 2019, Woodbine Entertainment has changed the format of the $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic and $350,000 Elegantimage Stakes for three-year-old trotters. These events will no longer require eliminations and instead the final will be limited to the ten (10) highest lifetime money earners among the horses entered at draw time. Consolations may be contested depending on the number of horses entered for each event. Following a strong stakes season in 2018, Woodbine Entertainment has kept all stakes in the same position on the calendar for 2019. The $650,000 Maple Leaf Trot and $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby remain on Labour Day weekend (Saturday, August 31). The $400,000 William Wellwood Memorial and $380,000 Peaceful Way for two-year-old trotters join the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage on Saturday, September 14. The $850,000 Metro Pace, harness racing's richest race for two-year-olds, and $550,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes will be contested on Saturday, September 21. The $250,000 Milton Stakes for pacing fillies and mares will also take place on this date. Woodbine Mohawk Park will again play host to a leg of the Miss Versatility and Graduate Series in 2019. The Miss Versatility for trotting mares will visit on Monday, May 20, while the Graduate Series for four-year-old pacers and trotters joins the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes for a stakes-filled card on Saturday, June 1. The Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots and Super Finals will be held at Mohawk Park in October. The Grassroots Finals will take place on Saturday, October 5 with the Semi-Finals scheduled for September 27 and 28. The Super Finals will be held on Saturday, October 12. Woodbine will again distribute money to all finishers in major stakes finals during the 2019 season. The winner of the finals will receive the traditional 50% of the total purse, while those finishing sixth through last will take home 1% of the purse. The horses finishing second through fifth will receive 50%-24%-16%-10% of the remaining purse. Nominations for all Woodbine Standardbred Stakes close on Friday, February 15. Conditions and payment details can be bound in the 2019 Woodbine Stakes Booklet. Woodbine continues to administrate stakes for Ontario Racetracks, including Grand River Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway. Details of their 2019 stakes can be found in the Stakes Booklet. Stakes payments for all Woodbine administrated events can be made payable to Woodbine Entertainment. Payments can be made through the Race Office, by mail or online. To view the 2019 Woodbine Standardbred Stakes schedule, click here. Mark McKelvie

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The Quebec Jockey Club at the Hippodrome 3R is seeking someone for the position of Race Secretary for the 2019 harness racing season. This person must be fluent in French, responsible in supervising the Racing Department and secure an ample supply of race horses for the racing meet. The position requires the ability to write condition sheets for all race programs, schedule all the races and stakes events along with other specified duties. Those who meet these criteria should contact Murielle Thomassin, General Manager at H3R via email at From the Quebec Jockey Club    

TORONTO, January 15, 2019 - The 2018 season was a very busy and exciting year on and off the track for Woodbine Entertainment. "Reflecting back on the year that was, it's remarkable to think of all that was accomplished and started in 2018," said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. "Our efforts have positioned us well to continue to tackle our challenges head on as we remain laser-focused on our sole mandate of sustaining and growing the horse racing industry in Ontario." Here's a look at the past 12 months: Off the Track Off the racetrack, Woodbine Entertainment made significant investment in the sport, executed its single breed strategy by moving harness racing to Mohawk Park exclusively, secured real estate opportunities that will sustain the horse racing industry for decades, continued its focus on people and culture at Woodbine Entertainment, unveiled a new logo and brand identity and so much more. Here are a few key highlights: In 2018, Woodbine transitioned all Standardbred racing to Woodbine Mohawk Park for year-round harness racing. The 2019 season, which just started on January 5, will mark the first time in its history that the Standardbred meet will be held exclusively at Mohawk Park. To accommodate year-round racing at Mohawk Park, Woodbine invested $10 million to winterize the facilities. It has also committed another $6 million to expand the paddock to improve the experience for horsepeople while also being able to host premier harness racing events like the 2019 Breeders Crown. In Toronto, Woodbine invested $9 million to install a state-of-the-art, 7-furlong inner turf track that will open in Spring 2019. For the second consecutive year, Woodbine Entertainment was certified as a Great Place to Work®. Woodbine also hired 713 new employees, more than double from the previous year. Woodbine welcomed new casino operation partners at both of its racetracks. At Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, construction has started to pave the way for the full construction project that will see a casino resort developed, which will include a brand-new gaming pavilion, a concert venue and trackside hotel on 33 acres of Woodbine property. In 2018, Woodbine Entertainment acted on its commitment to be industry leaders to ensure the long-term viability, sustainability and growth of horse racing in Ontario. One example of that was Woodbine Entertainment undertaking the need to operate Ontario Racing Management, the execution arm of Ontario Racing, which is the independent governing body of horse racing throughout the Province. This required an investment of nearly $5 million in 2018 and will require an ongoing financial commitment and dedicated resources moving forward. New Deals with Associations At the end of the 2018 Thoroughbred meet, the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario (HBPA) and Woodbine Entertainment jointly announced a new four-year agreement in principle that includes an additional $18 million in guaranteed purses and a minimum commitment of $4 million in capital investment in Thoroughbred racing over the course of the agreement. That was followed by an agreement in principle between the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) and Woodbine Entertainment on a new five-year racing deal that provides an additional $15 million in purses and commits a minimum of $5 million in capital investment in Standardbred racing over the course of the agreement. "Reaching new deals with both HBPA and COSA provides the industry, and especially breeders, with the certainty and confidence moving forward to invest in the breeding of horses in Ontario," said Lawson. "This is particularly important to our industry as increasing local horse supply and labour remain key factors in successfully growing horse racing at Woodbine and throughout the entire industry." Thoroughbred Racing and Wagering Despite the Thoroughbred season producing a record "all-sources" handle of $533,268,900, marking a 5.8 per cent increase over the previous year's total, home market wagering was down 3 per cent in 2018. The record handle was largely driven by strong growth of 9.2 per cent in the U.S. markets. There were 132 race cards in 2018 with one cancellation. That amounted to 1,257 races and an average field size of 8.25.The 2018 Thoroughbred meet was highlighted by record-breaking race days for its signature events, The Queen's Plate, Ricoh Woodbine Mile and Pattison Canadian International. Standardbred Racing and Wagering Woodbine's 2018 Standardbred season, contested between Woodbine Racetrack and Mohawk Park, produced a steady and industry-leading "all-sources" handle of $332,208,097.41.The 2018 season consisted of 219 cards and 2,282 races. The average per-race handle came in at $145,577.61.The average field size per race was 8.7. Woodbine Entertainment secured a deal with the Hambletonian Society to host the $6 million (USD) Breeders Crown at Mohawk Park in 2019. "Overall, our wagering metrics remain healthy, but we are not without our challenges," said Lawson. "We need to continue to invest and market our product to drive wagering here at home, while seizing the opportunity we are seeing South of the border with more and more horse players wagering on Woodbine races remotely. This is a testament to the quality of our product and brand." Opening day for the 2019 Thoroughbred racing season, consisting of 133 race dates, is scheduled for April 20. Standardbred racing resumed on January 5 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, which will host race cards four days a week with post times set for 7:10 p.m. each Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

MILTON, January 14, 2019 - P L Jill scored an impressive harness racing victory in her jump up to the $34,000 Preferred Trot on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The six-year-old mare came first-up on the far turn and kept on powering in the lane to defeat eight-talented rivals in 1:54.3 for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Ben Baillargeon. An early-battle saw Dancer Hall ignore the two-hole to move around to the lead going into the first-turn, while rival Dunbar Hall was close to the top on the outside with eyes for the lead. Dancer Hall posted a :28.2 opener before surrendering the lead to Dunbar Hall, who led the field up to the half in :57.1. P L Jill and Filion moved out from fourth at the half to start a first-up bid. Dunbar Hall held a narrow lead over P L Jill at three-quarters in 1:26.2 but made a break as he reached the third marker. After inheriting the lead turning for home, P L Jill took care of business with a :28 last-quarter to hold off runner-up Dancer Hall at the rail by half a length. Free Willy Hanover rallied from last with a :27 final-quarter to finish third, while B Yoyo was fourth. P L Jill was making the move up to the Preferred on Monday off a strong victory in a $22,000 event on January 7. The daughter of Kadabra was making her fifth start for trainer Baillargeon and collected her 17th career victory. The Baillargeon barn has now won the Preferred in consecutive weeks, as Musical Rhythm, who finished fifth to P L Jill on Monday, captured last week's edition. Owned by breeder Prince Lee Acres along with Jill Coleman and Alan Christensen, P L Jill's two for two start to 2019 brings her career earnings to $250,833. Her only other attempt at the Woodbine Preferred prior to Monday was a fifth-place finish on December 4, 2017. A $2 win ticket on P L Jill returned $9.60. P L Jill Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click this link - Monday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park. Replay available at (Race 8) Mark McKelvie

Harness racing entries for the Blooded Horse Winter Sale close Wednesday Jan 16! The one day sale takes place on Tues, Feb.12 at the Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio. Take a break and join horsemen from 27 states and Canada as they converge at this 56th annual event to replenish their racehorses, look for young prospects, pick up broodmares, and sort through yearlings. Visit to enter or to order a catalogue.  

MILTON, January 12, 2018 – Kendall Seelster continued her dominance of the Mares Preferred at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a 1:53.2 harness racing victory Saturday evening. The now four-year-old daughter of Shadow Play converted off a perfect second-over trip from driver Sylvain Filion for her fourth consecutive score in the $30,000 top-class. Exhilarated was the quickest away and led the field of seven to the opening-quarter in :28.1. Request For Parole made a second-quarter move to the lead from fourth and led the field by the half in :58.1. P L Hurricane angled out at the half from third to commit first-up, which provided cover for Kendall Seelster from fifth. Request For Parole led by just under a length at three-quarters in 1:26. In the stretch, Kendall Seelster powered off cover and charged home in :27 to secure her fourth win in a row. Double A Mint rallied from sixth at the head of the lane to edge out Just Her Luck for second, while P L Hurricane was fourth. Kendall Seelster moved up to the Preferred-level in late-October and capped off her sophomore campaign with several victories over aged rivals. The Rod Boyd trainee is now undefeated in two starts this season after winning nine of 23 and earning $283,465 in 2018. Saturday’s victory brings Kendall Seelster’s career stats to 15 wins and $767,450 earned for owners 1187422 Ontario Inc. She paid $2.60 to win. Kendall Seelster Along with Saturday’s $30,000 feature, millionaire pacer Sintra collected his second consecutive win after a layoff with a strong 1:52.1 victory in a $27,000 event. The six-year-old gelding sat second-over turning for home and powered by rivals in the lane for driver Jody Jamieson. Trained by Dave Menary, Sintra returned to the races last week for the first-time in over three-months and won in 1:53.1. The 2017 Canadian Pacing Derby champion was moving up to face tougher company Saturday, including a trio exiting the Preferred, and prevailed for his 20th career victory. Sintra is owned by Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc. Sintra Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.   Mark McKelvie - Woodbine Communications

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Intended Royalty had to do it the hard way but came out on top in the Saturday afternoon harness racing feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Mike McGuigan was in the sulky for the $2,200 event leaving from post 7 with Intended Royalty at 5-1 odds. Euchred (Driven by Adam Merner) set the early tempo as the post time favourite with splits of 29.3 and 59.2. Intended Royalty began his forward advance at the half-mile marker while being forced three-wide for a short period before the five-eighths. Euchred would open up daylight on his competition before the three-quarters of 1:29.4 with Intended Royalty gobbling up ground in that split to sit in the two-hole heading into the completion of the race. Intended Royalty overcame Euchred in a stretch drive slugfest to win in 1:59.4 with Burn Out Hanover (Kenny Arsenault) finishing third. Randy Copley of Inverness, N.S., co-owns and trains Intended Royalty with co-owner Ed Copley. The victory put the veteran pacer over $100,000 in career purse earnings. The King of Island racing is already establishing another lead in the Red Shores Charlottetown Driving standings as Marc Campbell had four wins on the afternoon card. Campbell was a front-end winner with Pictonian Sareta in race 2 with a mile time of 2:04.3 for his first win of the day. The next three came in quick succession as he captured races 5, 6 and 7. Cougar Gal was a 2:04.1 winner from the Neil Bambrick stable, then Malabrigo captured race 6 in 2:02.3 from Campbell's own barn followed by a 2:03.2 victory with Windsun Rebel for trainer Vaughan Doyle. For more information go to By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

Mississauga, ON — On Jan. 9, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario issued harness racing trainer-driver Rick Zeron a fine of C$10,000 and suspension of 180 days. As a result, Standardbred Canada has disqualified Mr. Zeron as a finalist for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship, as well as 3-year-old trotting filly Atlanta, trained and co-owned by Mr. Zeron. Standardbred Canada’s O’Brien Award eligibility policy states: “An O’Brien Award will not be presented to any individual or entity who has served, or is currently serving a penalty for a continued period of 180 days or more during a calendar year. If the penalty continues through any part of the following calendar year, said individual is also ineligible for an O’Brien Award in the second year of the penalty. Outstanding appeals and/or stays do not alter the conditions of eligibility for O’Brien Award consideration.” “This is a very unfortunate situation for all those involved, that clearly no one is happy about,” said Dan Gall, President and CEO of Standardbred Canada. Guy Gagnon, the other finalist in the Horsemanship category, has been acclaimed as the winner, and Illusioneesta, the other finalist in the 3-year-old trotting filly category will be honored as the O’Brien winner on Saturday (Feb. 2) at the O’Brien Awards Gala. Standardbred Canada

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - One of the top pacers in Cape Breton will attempt to go over the $100,000 mark in earnings Saturday afternoon but will have an uphill battle in the featured harness racing event at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The capital oval will play host to 13-dashes on the afternoon with a 12:30 P.M. first race post time. Intended Royalty was hot during an abbreviated campaign in Inverness, N.S., that saw him win seven out of 10 starts in 2018. Owners Randy and Edward Copley of Inverness, will have their charge driven by Mike McGuigan in the $2,200 top event in race 12 from post seven in the field of as many fresh off a 2:00 qualifier with a 28.4 closing quarter last week. Red Magician defeated the preferred group in his latest start and will leave from post 6 with Corey MacPherson back in the bike for trainer Melissa Rennie and owners Dale and Ronnie Rennie of Elmsdale, P.E.I. Eagle Jolt has rail control in the competitive group for trainer-driver Marc Campbell, while the other Rennie trainee, Euchred, has post 3 for driver Adam Merner. Also in the field is Rollwithitharry (Driven by Drew Neill), Burn Out Hanover (Kenny Arsenault) and Winter Blast (Jason Hughes). Top Desire joins the East Coast racing wars in race 4 of the program for new owner-trainer Ed Harvey of Tyne Valley, P.E.I. The six-year-old son of Real Desire was racing the Ontario circuit most recently for trainer Richard Moreau. Norris Rogers will hand the driving duties Saturday from post 3 at 8-1 morning line odds. Malabrigo has been established as the morning line favorite for Campbell in the Shawn Driscoll pace on race 6. Zingers Laugh returns to Island racing on the program drawing the rail in race 10 of the program. The now nine-year-old son of Bettors Delight is owned by Neal Moase of Warren Grove, P.E.I., and placed in the hands of trainer-driver Drew Neill. With over $125,000 in lifetime earnings and 17 career wins, Zingers Laugh was formerly campaigned by Walter Cheverie on P.E.I. in the 2014-2015 seasons and by Mike McGuigan and Moase in 2017, with stints to Ontario and Quebec in between. Catch the action live at the track or tune into the worldwide broadcast at By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

MILTON, January 11, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) jointly announced today the agreement in principle of a new five-year harness racing deal that includes an investment in capital upgrades and an increase in purses, further solidifying Woodbine Mohawk Park as one of the leaders in total purses paid for Standardbred racetracks in North America. "The future is bright for Standardbred racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park. We are thrilled to come to terms on a new agreement with COSA representing Woodbine's continued partnership with horse people in the Province," said Jessica Buckley, President, Woodbine Mohawk Park. "We value our partnership with COSA and have successfully collaborated on multiple projects this year, including this new agreement." The new deal is highlighted by $15 million in additional purse money to be distributed over the course of the contract. Woodbine Entertainment has also committed to $1 million in capital upgrades to Woodbine Mohawk Park annually over the five-year period, a further demonstration of its commitment to the Standardbred horse racing industry in Ontario. "This new five-year deal is part of our commitment to Standardbred Racing, and the vision to grow year-round racing at our World Class facility in Milton," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "This long term deal gives Standardbred breeders and owners the opportunity to plan and invest with confidence." "COSA is pleased to come to terms on a new five-year deal with Woodbine, providing purse growth each year for the next five years for our members," said Bill O'Donnell, President of COSA. "We have developed a strong working relationship with Woodbine and will continue to work closely with them to reach goals for both sides during this new contract." Woodbine Mohawk Park reopened for the 2019 racing season on January 5. A total of 221 live race dates are scheduled for the upcoming season, highlighted by the Pepsi North America Cup and the 2019 Breeders' Crown. Mark McKelvie

MILTON, January 10, 2019 - Reinsman Bob McClure put on a show Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park by driving six-winners on the 10-race harness racing card. The Elora, Ontario resident had a drive in all 10 of Thursday's races and made a statement early by sweeping the opening three-races on the card before earning his next three victories in the sixth-race and the 'Late-Double'. Adding to the impressive evening, McClure teamed up with six different trainers for his six-win performance. McClure's first win came with Barry Bird trained three-year-old gelding R U Talkin ($3.20). He then completed his sweep of the evening's first 'Pick-3' with four-year-old gelded trotter P L Louigi ($13.60) for Matt Dupuis and five-year-old pacing mare Sauble Bonnie ($3.30) for trainer Otis Hall. The combination of McClure and Marty Fine has had success over the last few months and the duo connected in the sixth-race with sophomore pacing colt Just Wave Goodbye ($4.90). McClure wrapped up his huge night by sweeping the 'Late-Double' with four-year-old gelded pacer Arukidinme Cabbie ($7.90) for trainer Tony O'Sullivan and eight-year-old gelded pacer Avalanche Hanover ($7.10) for conditioner Richard Moreau. Poised for a huge 2019, McClure is a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada's Driver of the Year in 2018 after winning 328-races and posting a career-high $5.3 million in earnings. McClure will look to carry the momentum gained from Thursday's dominance into Friday evening's card. He is scheduled to drive in nine of the evening's 10-races. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Replays available at   Mark McKelvie

Winter is here - Are you ready?   Does this horse kick for no reason or is there an underlying cause?   Cribbing – A behaviour or nutritional deficiency?   Sign up at to have your horse behaviour and safety related questions answered.   IMPORTANT ALERTS   Alert: Equine Infectious Anemia - Cariboo Sub. B, B.C   Alert: Rabies - In Canada   Alert: Rabies - Hamilton, ON   Alert: Strangles - New Brunswick   EQUINE GUELPH thanks Merck Animal Health for sponsoring the HEALTHflash program     HEALTHflash - WINTER EDITION 2019      ‌  ‌           IMPORTANT ALERTS       Alert: Equine Infectious Anemia - Cariboo Sub. B, B.C Alert: Rabies - In Canada Alert: Rabies - Hamilton, ON Alert: Strangles - New Brunswick         EQUINE GUELPH thanks Merck Animal Health for sponsoring the HEALTHflash program           FEATURED STORIES               Behaviour & Safety - Q & A     Does this horse kick for no reason or is there an underlying cause? Cribbing – A behaviour or nutritional deficiency?   Sign up at to have your horse behaviour and safety related questions answered.                 Take Stock of your First Aid Kit & Update Your Skills     3 items that do not survive sub zero… Don’t forget Equine Guelph’s first aid course online begins Feb 25!                 Gastric Ulcer Prevention     Why you should give hay before exercise is discussed by Kathleen Crandell. Crandel is also the instructor of Equine Guelph’s Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition online course. Pre-requisite Equine Nutrition starts Jan 14!                   Biosecurity Risk Calculator TOOL OF THE MONTH     Start the year reviewing your biosecurity plan in 6 steps! Identify risks, prepare a farm diagram... info from the National Farm Level Biosecurity standard makes it easy to minimize disease risk - Try The Tool of The Month.         EQUINE HEALTH       Vaccination Survey Results     82% of our survey participants vaccinate their horses against influenza. 82% rely on their veterinarian for vaccination information. 73% leave the decision as to the specific brand of vaccine up to the vet. 43% know the benefits of a modified-live vs. a killed equine influenza virus vaccine.   New Update in Vaccination Equi-Planner links to an AAEP page explaining the benefits of a modified-live vs. a killed equine influenza virus vaccine                Horse Behaviour & Safety Short Course     January 21 to February 8     Learn to speak horse! Take action to create a safe environment for you and your horse   REGISTER TODAY       MORE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES           New 12-Week Courses Start January 14th     Mgmt of the Equine Environment   Health & Disease Prevention   Equine Nutrition   Equine Functional Anatomy   Equine Exercise Physiology   Marketing & Communications   Equine Event Management   The Equine Industry   Global Perspectives in Equine Welfare   SIGN UP TODAY         Upcoming Horse Portal Short Courses     Horse Behaviour & Safety January 21st to February 8th   Horse Behaviour & Safety (Youth) January 21st to February 8th   Equine First Aid February 25th to March 4th   Sickness Prevention in Horses TBA   Horse Care & Welfare TBA   Gut Health & Colic Prevention TBA   SIGN UP TODAY       OTHER NEWS & EVENTS         When did you last check under that rug for Body Condition Score?   Cold weather riding tips   Winter management of the outdoor horse   First signs of Heaves video   Reduce Respiratory Risk video   How to transition feedstuff in your horse’s diet   Going on Vacation – Post your emergency preparedness plans   Extending your Hay Supply   Video - Stop, Think, Act and be safe around horses  

As a former professional hockey player and the son of a CFL quarterback, Jim Lawson appreciates keen competitiveness. But when it crosses into cheating, that’s where he draws the line. The CEO of the Woodbine Entertainment Group says integrity issues remain one of the greatest challenges facing horse racing. “I think we are our own worst enemies,” Lawson said in an interview with the Toronto Sun. “There’s a little bit of an attitude out there that if you can get away with it, it must be okay. I think that’s so wrong. “I think it is a real issue and I think the horsemen need to understand that they are not doing themselves any favours by condoning a lot of the behaviour that goes on. We need to remove that grey cloud.” Though the horse racing industry is regulated and horses are tested for illegal substances, there is indeed a cloud that hovers over trainers who have uncanny success. The perception is that the cheaters are one step ahead of the testers, something Lawson said must change. “We really have to go back to a grassroots culture where it’s not okay to cheat,” Lawson said. “When we talk about attracting that new generation of the public, we definitely have to put it as one of the top things on our agenda as an industry to eliminate the integrity concerns.” Lawson admits he doesn’t have all of the answers, but favours banning all race-day medication save for the anti-bleeding drug, Lasix. BREEDS APART Notable for WEG in 2019 will be a return to the separation of thoroughbreds and their harness-racing standardbred cousins on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit. “We didn’t have big concerns that we were going to lose the Toronto market, which was the biggest criticism, that Woodbine was throwing harness racing under the bus,” Lawson said. “Our evidence to date, six weeks into it now, is that we haven’t lost any wagering. We are very much holding our own at Mohawk versus what we would have been doing (at Woodbine) last year.” Lawson remains bullish on the harness product and said he believes an average of $3 million per night in betting handle is a realistic goal. “I think it’s the strongest harness-racing rack in North America,” Lawson said. “Our purses are great, our product is great. Unlike the thoroughbreds, we attract the best harness horses in North America. It’s just a great place.” BREAKING GROUND Besides sports betting, Woodbine’s other great revenue hope is development of the vast lands that surrounds the Rexdale track. In a leasing arrangement with Brookfield Business Partners and Great Canadian Gaming, the first 20 acres are slated to be developed this year. Included is a 200,000-square foot gaming expansion to the existing casino, a 5,000-seat music auditorium, a five-story parking structure and at least one hotel. “It should be a pretty vibrant area in the next three to five years,” Lawson said. KICKING GRASS With standardbreds moving west to Mohawk, the old harness track at Woodbine has been replaced with what will be known as an inner turf course. Combined with the spectacular E.P. Taylor turf track, the goal is to make Woodbine the best turf racing facility in North America. “That’s our goal,” Lawson said. “We’re likely to try all turf days and we’ll have five or six turf races a day on weekends this year. It’s our goal to be attractive as a turf destination.” Good turf racing with big fields is an attractive wagering option, particularly in markets such as Asia and Australia, where Woodbine is bet on remotely. And now with two courses, there will be options aplenty. Lawson likened the outer E.P. Taylor turf course with it’s big sweeping turns as a surface with “rough as deep as (golf’s) U.S. Open” while the new course “is like fairways — short and beautifully cut.” The old “horses for courses” cliche will be alive and well. “I’m expecting some horses will like the grass on one course and not like it on the other course,” Lawson said. “We’re going to have good field sizes and a whole bunch of uncertainty. It adds a whole new dimension.” By Rob Longley Reprinted with permission of The Toronto Sun

MILTON, January 7, 2018 - Muscial Rhythm pulled off a 12-1 upset in Monday's $34,000 Preferred Trot at Woodbine Mohawk Park to complete a 'Grand Slam' for harness racing trainer Ben Baillargeon. Freezing rain had no impact on Baillargeon trainees, as four of his five starters on Monday's 10-race card visited the winner's circle. Those that supported the veteran trainer's horses at the windows had a large night, with three of the four going off at odds of 9-1 or higher. Musical Rhythm captured Monday's feature contest by tracking race-favourite Dunbar Hall second-over around the far turn and out battling the previous top-class winner in the lane for a victory of half a length in 1:54.1. The victory gives the gritty seven-year-old 30 for his career and pushes his career earnings to $698,928 for owners Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon. Musical Rhythm returned $26.10 to win. Musical Rhythm Four-year-old trotter Bautista ($21.60) got the night rolling for Baillargeon in the second-race by picking up his first win in his third start for the barn. Six-year-old pacer Major Legacy ($39.10) collected the second win for Baillargeon by narrowly holding on in the evening's fifth-race. The 'Hat-Trick' for Baillargeon came in the evening's sixth-race with six-year-old trotting mare P L Jill ($4.50) taking care of business as the public's top choice. Sylvain Filion steered Bautista and P L Jill to victory, while Mario Baillargeon drove Major Legacy and Musical Rhythm. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. To view Monday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Monday Results - Mohawk Park. Replays available at Mark McKelvie