Day At The Track

$500,000 Industry Day program at Grand River

11:36 AM 01 Aug 2019 NZST
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Trophy table for the Industry Day card at Grand River Raceway
Dave Landry photo
2018 Industry Day crowd at Grand River Raceway
Dave Landry photo

ELORA, ON - A race card worth $500K and a forecast of sunny skies will deliver one of the hottest afternoons in Canadian harness racing during Grand River Raceway's 29th Industry Day celebration on Monday, August 5.

Industry Day kicks off its festivities and broadcast at 12:00 p.m. EST with first race going to post at 12:30 p.m. EST. Fans and families planning to attend the event should note that parking and admission are free.

Activities will include a free kids' zone from 12:00 - 4:00 featuring a petting zoo, bouncy castles and face painting. A summer prize pack (valued at $2,000) and a $250 dollar betting voucher will also be up for grabs. The Central Ontario Standardbred Association will sponsor a Caretakers That Care Competition in which $1,500 in prize money will be won by Industry Day caretakers, recognizing their commitment and dedication to the sport's equine stars.

A 50/50 draw will be offered by the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, and the Drive A Racehorse crew will provide free guided trips around the racetrack in double-seated jog carts, between the races, for a limited number of lucky guests.

The much-loved Drivers' Edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes will headline the half-time show after race 5.

Eleven races will be featured on the Industry Day card with purses amounting to $540,850. The 11-race card includes five divisions of Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) for three-year-old colt pacers.

The $157,500 Battle Of The Belles and the $239,000 Battle Of Waterloo each showcase nine of the province's best Ontario-sired rookie pacing fillies and colts. The finalists earned their berths in elimination races contested on July 29 at the Elora, ON half-miller.

Featured in this year's Battle Of Waterloo is elimination winner Beach Blanket Book who leaves from post 4. Trainer Blake MacIntosh will look to score his second Battle Of Waterloo victory since winning with another son of Sportswriter, Sports Column, in 2016.

Beach Blanket Book won his elimination with a sweep of the field in a maiden breaking score in 1:56.4. The colt is owned by Mac and Heim Stables as well as Hutt Racing Stable who also teamed up with Blake MacIntosh in 2016 as partners on Sports Column.

Second Battle Of Waterloo elimination winner Aneto will leave from the trailing position 9 for trainer Tim Gillespie and owner Synerco Ventures Inc. The Bettors Delight colt (one of three offspring of Bettors Delight in this field) also broke his maiden with his elimination win and was a coast-to-coast winner in 1:55.4 with driver Bob McClure.

The 22nd Battle of Waterloo also features trainers of past Battle champions such as Carl Jamieson who endeavours to score his sixth Battle Of Waterloo title with Sports Obsession leaving from post 5. Local trainers Scott McEneny and Ian Moore are seeking their second Battle title with Better B Swift (post 7) who was second in his elimination for McEneny and Denali Seelster (post 3) who finished fourth in his elimination.

Young teamster Teesha Symes will send out Mach Three colt Wind Blown from the coveted rail position (post 1). He was second by a head to Aneto after a gritty first-up journey in his elimination race.

If Wind Blown finds the winners circle for Symes, she would be the first female trainer, and the youngest (at 30) to win the Battle Of Waterloo. The victory would also give J Harris his first Battle Of Waterloo driving title.

Wind Blown would also add his name to the list of Mach Three offspring that have won this race, joining Machapelo, Three Of Clubs and the immortal Somebeachsomewhere.

The 11th annual Battle Of The Belles will feature Alicorn, a daughter of Bettors Delight, from post 4. Alicorn, matched the track record for two-year-old fillies with her elimination win in 1:54.2 and also holds the record for the fastest divisional mile in OSS history with her recent Gold Series win in 1:51 over Woodbine-Mohawk Park.

With Louis Philippe Roy in the bike, Alicorn was missionized early with a bold first-up move before the half mile marker against Sound Idea (with Sylvain Filion). Alicorn then drew off from the field to a margin of three-and-a-quarter lengths for owners Windermere Stable LLC and Robert Muscara. Trainer Chantal Mitchell will also seek Battle redemption after finishing second to Bronx Seelster with Bettors Wish in last year's Battle Of Waterloo.

The Battle Of The Belles will also feature elimination winner Queso Relleno with driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Blake MacIntosh from post 3. Jamieson shoots for his fourth Battle Of The Belles title with Queso Relleno who broke her maiden in an elimination race victory where she breezed by the field in 1:55.4. MacIntosh co-owns the daughter of Betterthancheddar with Hutt Racing Stable, Sue Vernon Smith, and The Flanagan Sisters.

MacIntosh will also send out Betterbeasecret from post 7 in the final.

The local father-and-son duo of Gregg McNair and Doug McNair (both of Guelph, ON) will send out Karma Seelster from post 8 in the Battle Of The Belles final. She won the third of three elimination races on Monday night. Karma Seelster, who holds the highest yearling price of any horse in the Battle Of Waterloo or Battle Of The Belles ($127,000) is a sister to Kokanee Seelster, Kendall Seelster and Kylie Seelster and is one of three daughters of Sportswriter in the field.

Karma Seelster would give sire Sportswriter his fourth Battle Of The Belles winner. For Team McNair, it would be their second Battle Of The Belles title.

Also featured in the field for the Battle Of The Belles is Temagami Seelster, who leaves from post 2 and was second in her elimination to Queso Relleno. Temagami Seelster, driven by J Harris is trained by 2018 Battle Of Waterloo winning trainer, Wayne McGean.

Trainer Amanda Fine, who celebrated her first training win in early July will send out elimination runner-up Highland Salsa from post 5, who impressively fought a closing Karma Seelster down the stretch.

The five OSS divisions will feature Silas Seelster and Missile Seelster - the winner and runner-up (respectively) in the City Of London Series raced earlier this year at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Both are campaigned by trainer Ian Moore.

2018 Battle Of Waterloo finalists Prestige Seelster, Better Moonon Over, Fast N First and Sports Teen will also return to Industry Day for sophomore OSS Grassroots action.

Leading OSS Grassroots starter Sugartown will also race on Industry Day, hunting for his third OSS Grassroots win of the season for trainer Richard Moreau and driver Louis Philippe Roy.

Post time for Industry Day on August 5 is 12:30 p.m. EST. The broadcast and festivities kick off at 12:00 p.m. EST. Complete event details are available here.

by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway


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