Day At The Track

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Harness racing driver Pascal Berube scored a driving double on opening day Wednesday at the Hippodrome 3R and he hopes this is a sign of a good racing season to come. Berube, along with his wife, trainer Isabelle Binet, has a small but powerful stable for the summer/fall race meet. They call themselves Team B. "Of course, we would like to have some more horses to train," Berube explained. "But I am happy with the five horses we currently have. They are fit and ready to go." Currently Team B has five horses in their stable. Holiday Party, Lucky Promesses, Stock, Fortune Fella and Uptown Woman. On opening day Wednesday, Berube won with Stock, who was very impressive at odds of 7-1, leading from start to finish in 1:58.2. This Sunday (1:00 pm post), Team B has four horses entered. Uptown Woman is one of the favorites in the Mares Preferred Pace, along with Stock returning to race Sunday and former Quebec-Bred Champion, Holiday Party and Lucky Promesses, are featured in the Preferred Trot for Team Berube-Binet. Berbue will drive Holiday Party and Samuel Fillion will drive Lucky Promesses as they are both in the same race. This season Berube said he does not have two-year-old's in training. "I am fortunate to get some good catch-drives," Berube said. "I must thank the owners and trainers that have faith in me to drive their horses. I am kept busy driving at both H3R and at Rideau Carleton Raceway." Berube has a catch-drive in the sixth race Preferred Pace with G A Speed Sammy for trainer Yves Tessier. They take on top local pacers Outlaw Turn N Burn (post 1), Hooter Shooter (post 5) and Matts Tuition (post 4). He will also drive Gucci Eyepatch (race 1), and Heaven For Sure (race 4). As for competing at the races Wednesday without any spectators to cheer the horses and driver on, it was same as usual for Berube. "It is just like racing in qualifiers but with purses," Berube said. "I feel sorry for the owners who like to be at the track and watch their horses' race live from the grandstand. For the driver it's the same job." "We did order customized masks for us to wear during the pandemic," Berube added. "They were made by Manon Lemelin and look very cool." Look for the Blue, Black and White Team B masks this season at H3R as they may be in the winner's circle a lot. For a free Sunday race program, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club       Steven Wolf Steven Wolf Consulting (954) 654-3757 stevenwolf1956@gmail.com      

Inglewood, ON — On Saturday (Oct. 17), Winbak Farm of Ontario will be hosting the new Ontario Select Yearling Sale. The sale will be held the same weekend as the Ontario Sire Stakes Super Finals. There will be 100-120 horses to be sold; limited entries are available. “In response to the COVID-19 and the cancelling of the in-person London Sale, we came up with the sale idea to make it easier for buyers,” said Joe Thomson, Winbak Farm owner. “We wanted to give the buyers a chance to inspect our horses in person where they are prepped and at a central location. The sale will start at noon in order to give buyers a chance to preview the yearlings before the sale starts. Sale management hopes the time will also give attendees a chance to get to Woodbine Mohawk Park before the races start. “We plan on having a sale preview day on Friday and a one-day sale on Saturday,” said Pat Woods, Winbak Farm of Ontario Manager. “Closer to the sale date, Winbak Farm will have 47 yearlings at the farm available for early viewing. The plan is to have them on-site 30 days prior to the sale.” Additionally, Preferred Equine Canada will be having a consignment representing fellow Ontario breeders. “We will list on the website where other consignors will be available for viewing prior to the sale,” said Thomson. “The sale will conform to Ontario guidelines regarding the virus.” It is important for potential consignors to note that the sale entry deadline will be July 17 or at an earlier date if the available slots are full. The plans for the sale include live video streaming and phone and internet bidding. Interested parties are encouraged to call Pat Woods at 905.838.2145 or email him at pat.woods@winbakfarm.com as soon as possible due to limited amount of consignment spots available. More information for this sale will be available soon. The Ontario Select Yearling Sale website will be coming soon. Winbak Farm of Ontario

INNISFIL, JUNE 26, 2020 - Since harness racing resumed at the beginning of June Ben Baillargeon has been on a tear, sending out 20 winners from 54 starters, and the trainer will be looking to add to that tally when the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series season gets underway this Sunday, June 28 at Georgian Downs. Baillargeon goes into the event with the early favourites in both Gold Series divisions after his three-year-old trotting geldings Hayek and HP Royal Theo delivered a pair of impressive victories at Woodbine Mohawk Park last weekend. "They're similar, they're both fast, I can tell you that," said Baillargeon. "We all knew about HP Royal Theo, we knew that he's very good, he showed all kinds of ability last year," said Baillargeon of the Royalty For Life son who captured the 2019 William Wellwood Memorial Trot. "We cut him loose a little bit last week - not that we didn't cut him loose his first start, he trotted in 1:54.3, last quarter in :27.1, in against older horses - but last week he was ready and I needed to see what we had in the tank. So I said he (Louis-Philippe Roy) might want to let him trot a little. He didn't really let him trot, this is what's amazing about it, he didn't really let him trot and he went in 1:52.3, last quarter in :27.3. "And the other horse, Hayek, a friend of my dad said, 'This horse is for sale Ben, you should look into it, this one's for you'. So I looked into it. I called Marcus Melander and he told me what I wanted to know and that was it, we made the deal," said Baillargeon, who acquired Hayek on June 8. "And the horse looked awful good his first start. He was a little bit of a handful last week, I think he will settle down with time, but he sure has lots of speed, serious speed." Hayek and driver Sylvain Filion will be looking to replicate that June 22 effort - a seven-length gate-to-wire score in 1:53.3 - from Post 3 in the first division on Sunday, facing off against six rivals for the $105,600 purse. Baillargeon shares ownership of the E L Titan gelding with Teresa Davidson of Milton, Santo Vena of Brampton and Nunzio Vena of Bolton, ON and the trainer said Hayek enjoyed a day off after Monday's victory and will just jog and continue to settle into his new home leading up to his Ontario Sires Stakes debut on Sunday. "He came to the barn I think 10 days before I raced him last Monday and he was a little bit, not a handful, but he was a little aggressive, let's put it this way," said the Guelph resident. "Today (Thursday) he was very nice on the track. I think he's starting to like his new surroundings." HP Royal Theo will make his sophomore Gold Series debut from Post 5 in the second $106,400 division, coming into the season opener off the impressive June 20 effort that saw him cruise home three lengths the best in 1:52.3. Regular reinsman Louis-Philippe Roy will be in the race bike for owner-breeder Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC. The gelding was a Gold Series winner at two, but he also made breaks in three provincial starts, so Baillargeon is hoping the trotter can kick off a more consistent provincial campaign on Sunday. "These two horses, they're sure nice," said the trainer. "That Hayek horse, he looked very good his first start and well Theo, like I said, we always knew that he was good, but he showed that he's matured a lot since last year." Georgian Downs will send the first race behind the starting gate at 6 pm on Sunday and feature the Gold Series three-year-old trotting colts and geldings in Races 5 and 8. Downloadable programs and a live stream of all the races are available on the Georgian Downs website. In addition to Sunday's Gold Series, Georgian Downs will also host two $7,100 divisions of the Prospect Series for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Saturday evening. Horses that were sustained to the 2020 Ontario Sires Stakes program are eligible for the Prospect Series, which consists of five legs contested at racetracks across Ontario leading up to a $15,000 final. Saturday's divisions will go postward as Races 1 and 7, with a 7:15 pm post time. Downloadable programs and a live stream of all the races are available on the Georgian Downs website. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit www.ontariosiresstakes.com For feature stories, photographs, background information and/or contact details for local Ontario Sires Stakes participants contact Sandra Snyder at 519-572-0167 or ossnews@ontarioracing.com. Ontario Racing

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The finest aged harness racing pacers on the Eastern Seaboard of Canada will converge on Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park Saturday night in what is sure to be a preview of the upcoming Governor's Plate Invitational. The 11-dash Saturday card kicks off at 6 P.M. with the featured $3,200 preferred pace lining up in race 10. Lisburn has been installed as the morning line favourite after finishing second to Screen Test last week in his seasonal debut. Kenny Arsenault trains and drives Lisburn for Nova Scotia owners Kevin Harvey of Hammonds Plains and Rudge Racing of Dartmouth. The Gold Cup and Saucer finalist will leave from post 2 in Saturday's bout. Avatar J will get the catch driving services of Mark Bradley from post 3 for trainer Danny MacDonald after beating this class two weeks back. Last week's winner, Screen Test, will have to overcome post 6 in the power packed field for driver Corey MacPherson and trainer Ron Gass. Also competing in the field is last year's Governor's Plate champion, Rose Run Quest, from post 4 for trainer-driver Marc Campbell. Race analyst Les MacIsaac sees this race going any number of ways but will back post 2 starter Lisburn for the win. "This one's wide open so the tote board might be your best friend," MacIsaac said. "There's a possibility of some quick early fractions and with Lisburn's dangerous late kick that would be right up his alley. Beware." Also in the field are Simple Kinda Man (To be driven by Jason Hughes), Bugsy Maguire (Brodie MacPhee), Time To Dance (Adam Merner) and Soccer Hanover (David Dowling). The Campbell trained and driven Jetster is top choice in the race 7 preferred 2 pace for a $2,700 pot. The post 3 starter in the compact field of five was a winner two starts back at this level. Other top entries are Winter Blast (Hughes) and Silverhill Buddy (Dowling). Cowboy Logic makes his Island debut in race 9 for new trainer-driver Harold Shepherd of Stratford, who co-owns the pacer with Charlottetown residents Maurice McCabe, Gerard Ellsworth and Angus Birt. The three-year-old son of Western Ideal was racing the Ontario circuit for trainer Isabelle Darveau. For race programs, live video and more go to Redshores.ca and bet online at HPIBet.com. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

At a meeting held June 23, 2020, the Board of Directors of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame made the difficult decision to cancel the harness racing 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Gala, due to the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the intention of the CHRHF to induct the Class of 2020, along with those inducted in 2021, at ceremonies tentatively scheduled to take place during the summer of 2021. After the Board Meeting CHRHF President, Darryl Kaplan provided the following statement. "While consideration was given to alternate formats for the event, it was agreed that the Class of 2020 deserves to be honoured for their lifetime of achievements in Canadian horse racing with the full recognition bestowed to those inducted previously to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, and that includes being surrounded by the family and friends who have been part of their careers. Unfortunately, that is not possible at this time. While we are unable to hold the formal induction ceremony for Gary Boulanger, Sue Leslie, Mike Keogh, Paul MacDonell, Ben Wallace, Amour Angus, McWicked, Play the King, Rambling Willie and Tepin during 2020, we are fully committed to doing so in the near future." "Additionally, as a registered charity, the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame annual Induction Gala is a significant fundraiser for the organization. Like so many others in horse racing and beyond we are looking at creating alternate opportunities to generate the funds required to support the CHRHF's ongoing operation. Further information about these activities will be provided in the coming weeks." Details regarding the Nomination and Election of the Class of 2021 will be released this fall. Linda Rainey Managing Director Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The Warren Grove gang came to play Thursday night at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park as Berazzled took the Fillies and Mares Open pace for trio of horsemen from that community. With the scratch of Miss Kabana, the featured harness racing field was down to just four entries at post time and Warren Grove driver David Dowling patiently bided his time with Berazzled in the $2,900 event, getting away last. Dreamfair Zenfire, a winner in this class last week, was hustled the front by driver Marc Camppbell and laid down unchallenged splits of 28.3 and 58.1. When the field moved past the five-eighths pole Berazzled made her move first-over and ate up ground on her way to engage the leader at the 1:27.4 three-quarter mile station. Berazzled kicked clear in the stretch drive to win by over three-lengths in 1:55.3 with Dreamfair Zenfire second and pocket-sitter Falls Creek (Driven by Adam Merner) third. Neal Moase of Warren Grove holds the ownership papers of the six-year-old Charley Barley mare while son Jonah Moase handles the training duties. Dowling had three wins on the program including a 1:57.1 romp with Medici Hanover for Brittany Watts of Warren Grove and with Woodmere Chella in 1:55.2 for Marvyn Webster of Kensington. The $2,500 Open Trot went to Freddie for his third straight victory in this class for trainer-driver Campbell and owner Three Wisemen Stable of Kingston, stopping the clock in 1:58.2. Driver Corey MacPherson opened up the card winning with JJ Gracie for Gordie Ford of Charlottetown in 1:59.1. The victory was win number 998 for the Cornwall driver as he approaches a career milestone. For race replays and more go to Redshores.ca.   By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

David MacKenzie, General Manager of Red Shores, today announced the appointment of Lee Drake as Manager of Racing, Brands, and Broadcast, effective immediately. In this position Mr. Drake will be responsible for the entire Red Shores racing operations at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park and Red Shores Summerside, as well as the facilities highly regarded Race Day Broadcast and Brand Management. Lee Drake has a life- long involvement and interest in harness racing, and was recently elected to the Board of Standardbred Canada as the Atlantic Racetrack Director.   Red Shores

MILTON, JUNE 25, 2020 - Ontario harness racing fans and participants will be celebrating on Friday evening as the Ontario Sires Stakes program makes its 2020 debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Delayed by five weeks due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the OSS program will kick off with four $23,000 Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies and last season's leading trainer Gregg McNair will look to pick up where he left off, sending out early favourite Landry Seelster in the second split. The Mach Three daughter will start from Post 2 and heads into the Grassroots season opener off a sharp runner-up finish in a June 19 test at Woodbine Mohawk Park and a fourth-place result in her June 9 sophomore debut. "She raced good both starts really. She seems to be getting a little stronger," said Guelph resident McNair, who shares ownership of the filly with Ilderton Boys Stable of London and Dany Fontaine of Ormston, QC. "She still has a bit of a mind of her own on the track and stuff, she's a little hyper, but she's got a good gait to her and everything. We hope that she's all right; she drew good." McNair's son Doug, currently the leading driver at the Campbellville oval, will steer Landry Seelster in the third start of her sophomore campaign. As a two-year-old the filly captured the Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park and went on to qualify for the season ending Grassroots Championship, where she finished seventh. Trainer Rob Fellows started two fillies in the Grassroots Championship last fall and both Mach My Kiss and Coqui Coqui will look to launch another successful provincial campaign on Friday. Mach My Kiss is the early favourite from Post 6 in the first division and Coqui Coqui gets Post 2 in the final split. "The two of them train bridles apart every time they train together," said Fellows. "To me like they act like they have the same amount of ability, but a lot of time when they start racing they separate real quick, because we try to train and keep them together just for attitude as much as anything you know, but once you start racing of course no one's waiting on you, you've got to be able to keep up and go. "Obviously we're hoping for good things for both of them. Both of them actually are owned by the breeders," the Rockwood resident added. "My wife Yolanda and I own part of Mach My Kiss, with Blair and Erna Corbeil who bred her, and of course Jack Turigliatto, he bred Coqui Coqui. They believe in us to keep their horse and you hope you can do them proud." Doug McNair will steer Mach Three filly Mach My Kiss for the Fellows and Corbeil families, while Bob McClure gets the call on Sportswriter daughter Coqui Coqui. With fans not permitted at the racetrack, the owner-breeders will be cheering on their Grassroots hopefuls from afar Friday, but Fellows hopes to see them trackside before the season comes to an end. "Hopefully it will be behind us partway through this season and we'll get people out," said the trainer. "The racetracks will do all they can do to bring it back as quickly and safely as they can, because we don't want to be doing something that's not 100 per cent safe for the people. We want to do whatever is right." Post time for Friday's card at Woodbine Mohawk Park is 7 pm and the Grassroots divisions will be featured in Races 2, 4, 7 and 9. Downloadable programs and a live stream of all the races are available on the Woodbine Mohawk Park website. Both McNair and Fellows will be back at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday when the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings kick off their Grassroots season. McNair will start Mack from Post 3 in the third division and Doubleagentman from Post 7 in the fifth, while Fellows sends out Lous Delight from Post 2 in the second split. Saturday's Grassroots action goes postward in Races 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, and 10, with the colts kicking things off at 7 pm. Downloadable programs and a live stream for Saturday night's races are also available on the Woodbine Park website. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

SUMMERSIDE, PE - The 2020 harness racing season opens up Friday evening at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway and Creepin will take on the best of Western P.E.I., in the feature. The 11-dash Friday card has a 6 P.M. first race post time with the $2,500 featured pace lining up in race 10. Creepin drops out of preferred company into post 5 in the evening top event. David Dowling will again drive the six-year-old son of Mach Three for trainer Brittany Watts and owners Alex Quinn of York, Jim Quinn of Vernon Bridge and Carl Peterson of Hunter River. Creepin has yet to miss the board so far this month. Mantario leaves from the outside post 6 fresh off a second place finish in the preferred 2 class last time out. Kenny Arsenault will retain the drive for trainer Alex Sobey and owner Walter Simmons of Summerside. Hes Marvalous is the classifier's choice for second leaving from post 4 for driver Myles Heffernan Sr. and trainer Myles Heffernan Jr. Known for his early gate speed he could help make the opening quarter interesting in a field that includes former front end champion Big Surf (To be driven by Adam Merner). The Backstretch Beat in Friday's program lists Creepin as the number one choice to win the top class."Creepin hardly ever looks out of place in with the bearcats in the preferred class," reads the beat. "With this group a notch easier he should be the one to knock off." Also in the field are Zack The Men (Dale Spence) and Adventure Luck (Corey MacPherson). The back-up pace will finish off the program in race 11 for a $2,100 purse as veteran pacer Eagle Jolt headlines the field from post 3 for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owners Marie and the late Wilbur MacDonald. The teenage son of Village Jolt has been an iron tough campaigner with 65 wins in his career, now in his second last year of racing eligibility. Other top entries on the morning line are Flash In The Pang (Ken Murphy) and Best To Hurst (Dowling). For race programs, reservations at West End Bar & Grill (lower level of Red Shores Summerside) and more go to Redshores.ca and wager online at HPIBet.com. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The Quebec Jockey Club saw sunny skies and perfect temperature for the opening day of the 2020 harness racing season at the Hippodrome 3R Wednesday afternoon. There were eight races held without any spectators allowed at the track. Horse people in the race paddock followed all safety protocols as mandated by the Quebec Racing Commission. The seventh race Preferred Pace was the spotlight of the racing card and the overwhelming 2/5 favorite, Sports Authority, did not let his fan down. Driven by Tyler Jones for trainer Cassandra Lecourt, Sports Authority scooted to the early lead with Lookin Ata Winner (Martin Morel) sitting the pocket trip. Bali (Stephane Brosseau) was caught first-over early and had to back off the pace after the opening quarter went in :27.2. Past the half mile in :57.1, Jones was still in control of the race with Sports Authority as G A Speed Sammy and driver Pascal Berube came first-over to challenge and they raced head and head to the three-quarters in 1:25.4. Once on the final turn, Sports Authority put away G A Speed Sammy and tore away from the field, winning in a romp by six and one-half lengths in 1:54.4. G A Speed Sammy held for second with Appleby Hanover (Richard Simard) third. It was the first win in three starts for Sports Authority. The seven-year-old gelded by Sportswriter is owned by the trainer, Cassandra Lecourt of Mirable. He paid $2.90 to win. Track Notes: Both Pascal Berube and Jonathan Lachance had driving doubles on the day. The very first race showed that the H3R oval is in great condition as the pacer Mickeymaksomespeed and driver Dany Mainguy wired the field in 1:57.1. It was the first pari-mutuel start for the three-year-old colt by Mickey Hanover that was bred and is owned by Michel Allard of Saint Espirt. Live racing resumes at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday. First race post time is 1:00 pm. For more information, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The Fillies and Mares Open class has been all Marc Campbell, all the time this season and the Winsloe harness racing horseman will look for that to continue Thursday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 11-dash Thursday card kicks off at 6 P.M. with a compact field of five mares set to face-off in the race 10 feature. The Fillies and Mares Open pace carries a $2,900 purse as the Campbell trained and driven Dreamfair Zenfire will leave from post 3 for owners Ryan and Everett MacLeod of Souris. The Sunfire Blue Chip four-year-old is batting 80 per cent on the season, with only one loss from five seasonal outings. Berazzled draws post 5 this week with David Dowling picking up the drive for trainer Jonah Moase and owner Neal Moase of Warren Grove. Berazzled has yet to miss the top three since coming to the East Coast. Race analyst Les MacIsaac expects a similar result to last week as he places Dreamfair Zenfire on top."Dreamfair Zenfire has won four of five this year with both of her local wins in 1:56," MacIsaac said. "With an inside post in a compact field the road to the winner's circle goes through her." Also in the field are Falls Creek (To be driven by Adam Merner), Miss Kabana (Vincent Poulton) and Much Adoo (Brodie MacPhee). The Open trot takes to the track in race 8 for a $2,500 purse as newly minted Maritime Champion Daisy River has drawn the rail position. Walter Cheverie will pick up the catch driver this week as regular driver Jason Hughes must drive his own trainee, Star Photo, from post 5. The William Lanigan owned and trained Daisy River recorded the fastest mile ever by a Maritime bred trotter in the Atlantic provinces last week while winning in 1:58.1. Freddie will loom the biggest danger assigned to the outside post 7 after winning the last two Open trot classes for trainer-driver Campbell. A number of high quality pacing fillies will spar in race 4 with $2,000 in play in what is sure to be a preview of the coming stakes season. An Atlantic Breeder's Crown champion last year at age two, Woodmere Skyroller makes her debut from post 6 with Dowling in the seat for trainer Kevin MacLean. The field also includes last year's talented stakes performers Watch Me Dance (Hughes), Ezra Express (Campbell) and Tobins Choice (Gary Chappell) among others. For race programs and more go to Redshores.ca and wager online at HPIBet.com. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores  

Cream Ridge, NJ - The Standardbred Retirement Foundation, (SRF) and those who helped did all they could to keep every one of the horses from shipping to slaughter. Payment was sent for all except three. "Because it was such a large amount of money, SRF asked for more time for three that have no help at all, and they agreed," SRF's Director said. "Today we must find three homes, fosters, or donations for them, this is not over yet."   Approximately 75 owners, breeders, and trainers who had a relationship in the past with these horses were contacted. Two horses have gone back to those who stepped right up when they heard their horse was in trouble. El Kabong, and Cowboy Cal had a safe and cozy stall last night. The others will be leaving over the next few days. Two are in very compromised condition and are shipping close by for immediate care.   So many people tried to keep these horses from slaughter, family and friend fundraisers were organized; visitors arrived at the SRF with donations; the younger sisters, adopters of La Cheesecake, filled the neighborhood mailboxes with flyers asking for help. The older sister took it upon herself to find the past owners and breeders on the published list through social media. Thanks to her, Cam Cha will now being going home too! (See photo below of these wonderful young ladies).   There were suggestions to seek assistance from the United States Trotting Association,(USTA); the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture; the ASPCA; and the Standardbred Transition Alliance, (STA). These organizations do not help in these situations. Sadly, the ASPCA, the USTA, and the Standardbred Transition Alliance do not support helping horses tagged for slaughter. People who care made this happen!   Three of the following are in need, any three, as any four of them have homes; these homes are happy to help whichever ones are left: Royalpaindastreos, Earl's Madness, Rush Justin Time, Feeling Magic, Art's party Boy, Lorelei Lee, and DC Sweet Speed. These three have through Thursday morning to be helped. "We went out on a limb with these last three horses, said Judy, this is not over, this is still a very urgent situation."   How to Help   Offer a home; Become a foster home; Donate to help; Donate the cost of a horse at the pen, see the link below; Donate for quarantine expense $350, and shipping $250. Sponsor one of the horses so SRF can take it in. Sponsor per month is $350. Another option is a donation to care for a horse over a period of 10-12 months the cost is approximately $4,000. Donations are tax-deductible. Help raise donations and seek homes with SRF.   https://www.adoptahorse.org/   Please email SRFHorsesandkids@gmail.com for questions and offers of help, or message the SRF's Face Book page.   There are two SRF Face Book pages.   Standardbred Retirement Foundation/SOSS Face Book page is managing this and messages there are received more quickly right now. Standardbred Retirement Foundation- AdoptaHorse.org is the second Face Book page that may be used for messages.   Telephone 609-738-3255   Donations are tax-deductible and may be made through https://www.adoptahorse.org/donate   DONATE TO SRF TODAY     About Standardbred Retirement Foundation   Standardbred Retirement Foundation provides human care and services for horse in need of lifetime homes, and in crisis, through rehabilitation, training, adoption, life-long follow--up or life time sanctuary and offering therapeutic equine opportunities for children and adults.   Tammy Cailliau Phone: 609-738-3255 Email address: SRFHorsesandkids@gmail.com    

Moffat, ON — Talented equine artist Michelle Hogan first met iron tough pacer Conrad Seelster when she was in her early twenties and he was a grizzled racetrack veteran with eight years of harness racing under his harness. Eighteen years later they are still together and Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society graduate Conrad Seelster is a beloved member of Michelle’s family. “He moved in with us when we bought our first home, he was there on our wedding day and now he’s here while my twins grow up. My daughter, Autumn, in particular, loves him dearly,” said Hogan. Michelle, whose twins Owen and Autumn will be four this August, stays connected to horse racing now through her art. She is a juried member of the American Academy of Equine Art and her first award from AAEA was for “Shady Daisy Shadow Roll.” “It is most unusual to see Standardbred art hanging in an AAEA show, so to see my racing art not only be accepted, but awarded, is something I am thrilled with. I have worked so hard to get here,” she said at the time. More recently, Hogan’s beautiful ink drawing of the great trotter San Pail was selected by Owen Sound’s juried art show to be on a banner that is hung on the town’s harbor for a year. Like San Pail, Conrad Seelster is enjoying retirement surrounded by people who love him. And for both, it is a well-earned retirement. Conrad Seelster may not have been horse of the year in Canada twice, but he was an absolute iron horse throughout his 13 year racing career which saw him face the gate an incredible 445 times. His lifetime summary was 54 wins, 61 seconds and 61 thirds for $279,176 in earnings. The son of Threefold bred by Seelster Farms never left Ontario during his racing days and he competed at 16 different racetracks in the province including several which are no longer operating (Sudbury, Elmira, Belleville, Barrie and Windsor). He was ultra consistent, averaging 37 starts per year from age three through 14. Conrad Seelster was trained at the start of his career by John Yake of Woodstock, Ontario, who campaigned him until the end of his 4-year-old season. Fred Maguire would take over the training responsibilities for a handful of starts. In May of Conrad Seelster’s 5-year-old season Jeff Houghton claimed him from a race at Elmira for $3,500. It was the only time in his long career that he was claimed and from the age of five until 14 he was owned by trainer Jeff and his wife, Catherine, and it was in the Houghton barn that Hogan first met Conrad Seelster. She grew up close to Flamboro Downs and her love for horses led her to become a caretaker. She worked in the Houghton stable looking after Conrad Seelster from 2002 until 2004. “Conrad was always a gentleman. He was the barn favorite, of course. Jeff’s boys grew up with him. He could be strong on the track to jog and warm up, he liked to do things his way,” Hogan remembers. Jeff’s son, Eddie, was two when the horse first came into the stable. “For my brother (Will) and I it was our routine for many years, each week watching Conrad race somewhere. He was such a special horse, he knew how to take care of himself and that’s why I think he raced as long as he did,” Eddie Houghton recalled recently. Conrad Seelster’s most successful season was at age eight when he banked just over $70,000 from 44 starts. Jeff Houghton wasn’t afraid to race the consistent pacer throughout the province and Conrad Seelster spent quite a bit of time that season in Northern Ontario competing at Sudbury Downs. In late 2000 he had a four race win streak at Sudbury, including two in the $20,000 preferred. “Dad would race him where he thought he could be the most successful and never touched WEG tracks. He excelled on a half-mile track. I remember racing at Sudbury and we’d eat at a restaurant that would give kids stuffed animals with their breakfast. I chose a horse and named him Conrad and took him everywhere with me for a long time,” said Houghton with a laugh. The horse would earn his life record of 1:56.3 as a 10-year-old and Houghton remembers the amusing story behind that race at Clinton on July 14, 2002. Trevor Henry was up behind Conrad Seelster with the plan to leave with him. Just before the race was about to start the horse beside Conrad Seelster fell to the track (he was fine, but taken off the track and scratched). “Conrad just took off, he ended up winning by five lengths. My dad always said he just wanted to get off the track as fast as he could after he saw that horse fall,” Houghton recalled. Conrad Seelster made headlines at the end of his racing career. On New Year’s Eve in 2006 Rideau Carleton Raceway hosted a ‘Clash of the Iron Horses’ race that pitted Conrad Seelster against Kendal Python who was two years younger at 12. At the time Conrad Seelster had more lifetime starts than any horse in North America while Kendal Python had the second most. Kendal Python would surpass him in that category though, as he retired with 494 lifetime trips behind the gate two years later. In that Rideau match-up Conrad Seelster set the pace, and down the lane his rival swept up the inside and the pair battled down the stretch with Conrad Seelster prevailing by a slight margin. It was Conrad Seelster’s last racetrack appearance and fittingly Houghton drove him for the first and final time. Many of the extended Houghton family were on hand for Conrad Seelster’s final performance. That race may be watched through this link. At the end of the race, following the winner’s circle presentation, one of the commentators noted that a horse of his caliber deserved a decent retirement home and Hogan has certainly provided that for him. After his racing career concluded at the mandatory age of 14, Conrad Seelster was part of the OHHA Youth Camps which saw children spending the week learning the basics of harness racing, and working with four retired Standardbred horses. At the end of the week they put their skills to the ultimate test, competing in two four-horse exhibition races while accompanied by professional drivers. “Conrad hadn’t been off the track for too long and I think they found he was too competitive for those races, he still wanted to compete,” said Houghton. “I believe he was with the camp for two years before being given to OSAS. I was working as a vet assistant at the time and came across an advertisement in Horse Trader magazine for him. I immediately sent an email saying I would bring him home. He has been with me now since July of 2010,” noted Hogan. Conrad Seelster was part of Hogan’s wedding to her husband Tim Casson and her photographer on that special day, Carrie Clarke Scott, was thrilled to see Conrad Seelster. “Carrie was his caretaker while he was with OSAS and she was my wedding photographer and was so happy to see him again,” said Hogan. He also has other regular visitors. “Jeff and his family come up and stay every so often to have a good visit with him,” explained Hogan. “I remember the last time I went to visit him with Dad,” said Houghton. “We walked up to the paddock and couldn’t see the horses. Dad called out ‘Hey Conrad’ and we hear this nickering and then see the horse come running. I’m sure he remembered Dad’s voice. My Dad often says what a relief it is that he’s found a home with Michelle, she is awesome.” Conrad Seelster spends most of his days hanging out with Hogan’s other horse, a paint. He’s been lightly ridden and she’s hoping to let Autumn sit on him this summer. “He really is a special horse. He has been so lucky to have so many good people in his life,” said Hogan. Judging by the beautiful photo Hogan recently posted of the now 28-year-old Conrad Seelster looking fantastic, the feeling is mutual. by Heather MacKay. for the OSAS

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Harness racing driver Steeven Genois, a Quebec native, will be back in action full-time at the Hippodrome 3R starting with opening day on Wednesday. The Quebec Jockey Club is conducting a 40-day race meet that will go until early November of 2020, racing primarily on Fridays (4:00 pm) and Sundays (1:00 pm). The special Wednesday card is also National Quebec Day. The 32-year-old reinsman from Levis, Quebec, Genois had a banner year competing at Saratoga Raceway in upstate New York in 2019. He scored 78 wins in the USA with a personal record of more than $600,000 in purse earnings with the horses he drove. Off to a slow start at Saratoga at the beginning of 2020, Genois made a tough decision to return to Quebec after the start of the pandemic in North America. "I was there (Saratoga) at the start of the season," explained Genois. "but because of the Covid19 I came home to Quebec until the boarder reopens. Now I have changed my mind and intend to stay in Quebec for the summer." Genois will be competing in four of the eight races on opening day at H3R. And yes, race fans, it's Steeve, not Steve. He explained that his mom liked the name but wanted it different for her son. "It is nice to be back home," Genois said. "and to be with my friends. Actually, the two driving colonies, H3R and Saratoga are very similar. Excellent competition at both tracks. If I am asked, I will also go and drive at Rideau Carleton Raceway too. Once the H3R season is over I will most likely go back to Saratoga." Genois first started driving in Quebec back in 2007 and made the choice to drive at Saratoga in 2018. It took him a while to get into the swing of things at that track and by 2019 was a sought-after driver by trainers at the track. Ready to compete on opening day at H3R, Genois noted that it will be different without race fans in the stands. "I am just very happy that racing has returned in Quebec," Genois noted. "It will be different going on the track to drive without any race fans. At H3R the fans are usually right on the fence, watching and cheering, and they usually get a lot of fans to the races. Now it will be very quiet until race fans are allowed to attend again." Trainer Francis Richard, who will be trying for his fourth straight training title at H3R, has five starters going to post on opening day. "I think it will be strange," said Richard about having live racing without any fans watching. "Sort of like the qualifying races we have but for purse money. It will be a little weird I think." The leading driver at H3R, Stephane Gendron, who is also going for his fourth straight driving title, is not competing on opening day and is expected to start defending his driving title on Sunday's race program. There is a Preferred Pace headlining the Wednesday program in the seventh race. Featured is Sports Authority (post 2), who was second last week at Rideau Carleton in the Preferred Pace, missing by a half length for driver Tyler Jones, timed in 1:54. Also in the field are standouts G A Speed Sammy (post 6); Bali (post 3) and Outlaw Turn & Burn (post 7). Post time for the opening day program is 4:00 pm Wednesday. Then H3R races Fridays and Sundays for the rest of the season. For more information, including a free race program for Wednesday, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

MILTON, June 22, 2020 - Rebounding after a break last week, Run Director took his turn as the latest older trotter from the Ben Baillargeon barn to win by posting a 1:52.2 harness racing score on Monday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A deep field of 10 older trotters, including 2019 Canadian Horse of the Year Forbidden Trade, squared off in this week's top-class. The $30,000 event saw plenty of action early on with Mass Fortune K leaping Buzz from second to first entering the backstretch, while Dancer Hall was on the move from fourth, eventually clearing to command at the half in :56.2. Dancer Hall led at three-quarters in 1:24.3, as Mass Fortune K was back out and attacking approaching the third station. Run Director got his cue to go from driver Sylvain Filion, grinding his way uncovered from sixth towards the front. Forbidden Trade moved out from eighth, sitting third-over on the turn, while Hey Livvy tracked him. Dancer Hall and Mass Fortune K continued to battle in the lane, but it was the rallying Run Director and Hev Livvy that stormed by late. Run Director found the line first in 1:52.2, winning by three-quarters of a length over Hey Livvy. Mass Fortune K claimed third over Dancer Hall. The Luc Blais trained Forbidden Trade finished sixth in his four-year-old debut. A five-year-old, Run Director is now two for three on the season, improving his career totals to 13 wins and $575,037 earned for owner/breeders Tom & Elizabeth Rankin. On the heels of a nine-win week, Baillargeon put up two more wins on Monday's card. Three-year-old trotting colt Hayek was a dominant 1:53.3 winner to break his maiden. Live racing continues Tuesday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications & Content

MILTON, June 20, 2020 - Pepsi North America Cup eligible Tattoo Artist delivered another harness racing statement victory on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park, stopping the clock in a career-best 1:49.3 The Dr. Ian Moore trainee followed up his six-length, 1:50 score from a week ago with another successful front-end mission for driver Bob McClure in Saturday's eighth-race, a Non-Winners of 7 or $125,000 event. Tattoo Artist blasted out from post-five to post a :26.3 opening-quarter, while Legion Seelster was caught on his outside. Tattoo Artist and McClure weren't releasing Legion Seelster and kept the foot on the gas to post a wild :53.1 half. After putting away his rival, Tattoo Artist stormed by three-quarters in 1:21.2 and stretched out his lead in the lane to win by 3 lengths in 1:49.3. A son of Hes Watching, Tattoo Artist was last year's Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion. The Moore trainee is now two for three this season and seven for 11 overall. His latest victory brings him to $266,325 in career earnings for owners Frank Cannon and Let It Ride Stables Inc. Another notable Cup eligible to race was Beaumond Hanover. The Jack Darling trainee finished third in a Non-Winners of 3 or $50,000 event, finishing just within a length of a 1:50.4 winner. A son of Sportswriter, Beaumond Hanover turned heads with a 1:49.4 victory in his season debut on June 8. His third-place finish was just his second loss in seven career starts. The first Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg of the season will take place on July 4 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Saturday night was originally scheduled to be the Pepsi North America Cup card. This year's event has been pushed back to Saturday, August 29. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m. Mark McKelvie