London, ON - January 4, 2017 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District has announced its 2016 award winners to be honoured during the annual awards dinner on Saturday, February 11th at the Carousel Room of The Raceway. Irvine James, who captured a City of London Series Final in May, and Nadia Can Go, who compiled an impressive nine-race win streak at London last Spring, are the winners of the Older Pacing Horse and Older Pacing Mare honours respectively. Driver Alfie Carroll and trainer Vic Puddy captured their second consecutive Western Fair titles. Many of their wins came for owner Keith Cassell who is the 2016 top owner at the London oval. The horse awards are based on the highest money winners with a minimum of six starts at The Raceway during the season while the claiming awards are based on the highest number of wins in claiming races at The Raceway during the year. Award winners were announced in 13 categories with another four to be announced the night of the event - they include the Caretaker of the Year, Walltyme 'Outstanding Service' Award, Ruth Herbert 'Horsewoman' of the Year and the overall Horse of the Year. To nominate someone for 'Caretaker' of the year, people are asked to email their nominee along with a written description of or before January 27th. Five finalists will be selected from the nominees and horse people will then have a chance to vote for their choice. The winner will be announced on February 11th. Tickets for the awards night go on sale next week at The Raceway's Race Office and are available for $40 per person or $45 at the door - a table of eight can be purchased for $280. The evening will include a cocktail reception, dinner, awards ceremony and D.J. and dance to follow. For more information, or to nominate someone for Caretaker of the Year, email Amy O'Toole at email@example.com. Here is a complete list of the 2016 award winners: Older Pacing Horse - Irvine James Older Pacing Mare - Nadia Can Go 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt - Overthinkenit 3-Year-Old Pacing Filly - Uptown Woman Older Trotting Horse - Raising Richard Older Trotting Mare - Daylon Mermaid 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt - On The Ridge 3-Year-Old Trotting Filly - Shes All Muscle Claiming Pacer - Mighty Mouse Claiming Trotter - Jimoris Tigeress Driver - Alfie Carroll Trainer - Vic Puddy Owner - Keith Cassell Caretaker - TBA Walltyme 'Outstanding Service' - TBA Ruth Herbert 'Horsewoman' - TBA Horse of the Year - TBA by Greg Blanchard, for The Raceway
AUGUST 9, 2016 - Harness racing driver Alfie Carroll and trainer Bob McIntosh captured two of four Grassroots divisions for the freshman pacing colts at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening. Starting from Post 5 in the first $18,000 Grassroots division, Carroll fired Mc Mach off the gate and the heavy favourites were two lengths in front of the field at the :27.3 opening quarter. Mc Mach maintained control through the :58 half and 1:26 three-quarters and then sailed down the stretch to a one and one-half length victory in 1:55. Heza Big Dealer and Thrownoutofbetter finished second and third. "He showed being on front in Toronto (July 7 at Mohawk Racetrack) and so I figured he'd probably end up cutting the race out, because he was favourite and showed being good on front. So it was kind of easy," said Carroll with a chuckle. "He does it all on his own, I didn't have to urge him at all really." Carroll engineered the win for Windsor resident McIntosh and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and Randy Liepa of Livonia, MI. The homebred son of Mach Three and Northern Empress now has two Grassroots wins to his credit and currently sits third in the division standings with 100 points. Carroll also employed a front end strategy with Test Ride in the second division. From Post 1 the favourites controlled the tempo through fractions of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:25.3 before accelerating away from the field to a four and three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:55.2. Kentucky Nick finished second and Brave World was four more lengths back in third. "They said he had lots of talent, he just hadn't been giving 100 per cent, but he raced real good tonight," noted the Iona Station, ON resident. "He had some pressure, a horse first up pressured him, but he fought him off good. "I was pretty confident, he's just a little bit on the lazy side, but he felt good," added Carroll. "I was happy with both of them." Tuesday's win was also Test Ride's second in Grassroots action, and the son of Mach Three and L A Confidential sits just ahead of his stablemate in the standings with 103 points. Bob and Al McIntosh bred and share ownership of the gelding with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. Down On My Luck claimed the third Grassroots trophy, powering out of the pocket to a neck victory in 1:55. Fan favourite Tigers Way settled for second and pacesetter One Source was third. London resident Nick Steward piloted Down On My Luck to his first lifetime victory for trainer Ron Adams of LaSalle and owners 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor and David Kryway of Amherstburg, ON. The son of Camluck and False Alert was a modest $10,000 purchase from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and has banked $13,500 in his first four starts. The final Grassroots division went to Silverinyourpocket and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON, who motored up the outer lane to a three-quarter length decision in 1:55. Tremendous Play settled for second after serving as a wind break for Silverinyourpocket and pocket-sitter Master The View finished third. "This colt has got talent. We don't pretend he's a Gold, but for sure a decent Grassrooter," said trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON. "We're looking forward to his next race." Moreau conditions the son of Badlands Hanover and Fillys Victory for David and Marguerite Ratchford of North Sydney, NS. The colt was a $19,000 acquisition from the Forest City Yearling Sale and boasts a record of two wins and two thirds in five starts. A pair of wins and one third in Grassroots action has Silverinyourpocket atop the division standings with 112 points. The two-year-old pacing colts will make their fourth Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on August 17. Next up on Georgian Downs' Ontario Sires Stakes schedule is the fifth Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing colts on Tuesday, August 23. Ontario Racing
London, October 9, 2015 -- Evenin Of Pleasure, one of the most consistent performers in Ontario over the past two seasons, got his moment in the harness racing spotlight on Friday night at The Raceway when he captured the first ever Oktoberfest Classic Invitational Pace. Leaving from post five in the $50,000 contest, driver Alfie Carroll pointed by the five-year-old son of Dragon Again straight to the front in the seven-horse field and led through a quick opener of :27.3, before stealing an easy second quarter and leading through the half in :56.4. At that point, race favourite Lets Drink On It moved up to press the pacesetter and the top pair sprinted together past three-quarters in 1:24, with Push Back moving up into contention third. In the stretch, Evenin Of Pleasure was able to fend off the challenge from both rivals with a :29.2 final quarter to stop the clock in 1:53.2. Lets Drink On It was able to hold on to second over a closing Push Back who was third. The victory capped off a big week for Carroll who was the leading driver at The Raceway last season. He captured the $100,000 Ellamony Pace last Sunday at Flamboro Downs with Sandbetweenurtoes for trainer Richard Moreau who also conditions Evenin Of Pleasure for owner Gestion J Y Blais Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. Evenin of Pleasure was winning for the fourth time this season and pushed his career bankroll to just over $435,000 with the victory. Racing resumes at The Raceway this Monday evening with a 6:15 p.m. first race post time. Greg Blanchard
SEPT. 15, 2015 - Ontario Sires Stakes post season action gets under way at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening with eight Grassroots Semi-Finals for the harness racing two-year-old trotters and pacers. Trainer Blake MacIntosh won the two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots Championship in 2014 with Star Cover and the Cambridge, ON resident will send out two hopefuls on Thursday, including two-year-old pacing filly division leader Sports Expert. "She's feeling really good. She trained well this morning (Sept. 15) and we're really happy with the way she's going into the race," said MacIntosh of Sports Expert. "She had an easy race Saturday night; she got away last in the Champlain and closed hard and just missed a cheque. I wasn't happy we didn't get a cheque, but I was happy with the way she raced." In her four regular season Grassroots starts Sports Expert posted three wins and one second, clocking a personal best 1:54.2 in the Sept. 1 event at Mohawk. The daughter of Sportswriter and Lyons Mandi has seven starts under her belt and has banked $34,000 for MacIntosh and his partners Touch Stone Farms of Guelph, ON and 30 Plus Stable of Trenton, ON. "They're good people. They're always supportive of whatever I decide to do with the filly and they follow her very closely," said MacIntosh of the ownership group. "Joe Intine (of Touch Stone Farms) and his wife (Barbara) are always at every race, they come to the barn once or twice a week and follow her very closely and are very involved with the horse. The 30 Plus group (Andy, Stan and Tim Klemencic) has come up a couple times, but they live in Trenton so it's harder for them to get up here." MacIntosh expects a solid group of supporters will be on hand when the filly lines up at Post 3 in the first $20,000 two-year-old pacing filly Semi-Final on Thursday. Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair will be in the race bike as the filly aims for a top five finish and a berth in the Sept. 26 Grassroots Championship. McNair and Sports Expert will battle a field of nine challengers in Race 5, with the second two-year-old pacing filly Semi-Final slated for Race 8. In addition to Sports Expert, MacIntosh will also harness a son of Sportswriter, Sporty Mercedes, in the first two-year-old pacing colt and gelding Semi-Final. Sporty Mercedes heads into the race off a fifth-place finish in the Sept. 7 event at Grand River Raceway, but MacIntosh is cautiously hopeful that the gelding is poised to deliver a stronger effort on Thursday. "Sporty Mercedes, he's been a bit of a disappointment this year. After we gelded him he had two good races and we were pleased, we thought we had him on the right track, and then he got loose on the groom trying to load him just before Georgian (Aug. 23) and he banged himself up and he just hasn't been the same since," the trainer explained. "Now, saying that, he trained the best he's trained in a while this morning (Sept. 15). "We were high on him during the winter time and he's sort of been a bit of a disappointment, but hopefully we can get him to the final and things will come around for him," MacIntosh continued. "He's a colt we paid into the Metro, and paid into everything else. He's not a Metro horse, but hopefully he can be a good Grassrooter." In four Grassroots starts Sporty Mercedes garnered one win, one fourth, one fifth and one eighth to finish eighteenth in the point standings. The gelding recorded his personal best 1:55.1 in the Aug. 13 Grassroots test at Rideau Carleton Raceway and has banked $15,740 for MacIntosh and his partners Dan and Kim Sergeant of Straffordville, ON. Sporty Mercedes will make his bid for a top five finish from Post 3 in the sixth race with Iona Station, ON resident Alfie Carroll in the race bike. The second two-year-old pacing colt and gelding Semi-Final will go postward as Race 10, wrapping up the evening's Grassroots action. The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings kick off Mohawk Racetrack's Thursday evening program at 7:25 pm in Race 1 and are also featured in Race 9, while the two-year-old trotting fillies wage their Semi-Final battles in Races 2 and 3. Grassroots post season action continues at the Campbellville oval on Friday with eight Semi-Finals for the three-year-old trotters and pacers. Ontario Horse Racing
JULY 7, 2015 - Georgian Downs hosted the Ontario Sires Stakes debut of the two-year-old trotting fillies on Tuesday evening and harness racing driver Alfie Carroll piloted three of the novice trotters to Grassroots victory over the rain-soaked oval. "The trainers had them all ready and they raced super," said Carroll. "Made my night great, made it easy - it wasn't really anything I did." Carroll kicked things off with a win in the first $18,000 Grassroots division, guiding Ballykeel Rocket to a 2:03.2 score for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owner-breeder Ballykeel Racing Inc. of Tillsonburg, ON. The Majestic Son daughter finished two lengths ahead of pacesetter Shes All Muscle and Darling Diva. "Richard doesn't really tell you too much how to drive, he just said don't get her on the gate too soon, so I just timed her in and she got away decent," said Carroll of Ballykeel Rocket. "Then I just moved her first up and she trotted on by. She raced good." In the second Grassroots division Carroll followed a nearly identical path to the winner's circle with Bob McIntosh trainee Tough Affair. Getting away third, the reinsman tipped the filly out heading for the three-quarters and Tough Affair pulled away from the field to a four and one-quarter length victory in 2:00.3, an impressive mile over a surface rated two seconds slower than normal. Shes In Gear and Windsongmusclelady finished behind Tough Affair in second and third. "The trainer said Bob said to say that they were better than their lines showed," noted Carroll. "So I just basically did the same thing, left comfortably, got away third and was able to move first up, and she raced tough too." Hall of Fame horseman McIntosh of Windsor, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio bred and own Tough Affair, a Muscle Mass daughter from their $462,826 winning broodmare Armbro Affair. Carroll completed the driving hat trick in the final Grassroots division aboard another McIntosh trainee, Krafty. Starting from Post 1 the fan favourites went straight to the front, cruised through fractions of :32, 1:05 and 1:35.4, and hit the wire three-quarters of a length on top in 2:05.3. Pocket-sitter Mariana and a hard-closing Malibu Seelster rounded out the top three. "They said she's a Cadillac to drive and the Kadabra filly was," said Carroll of his third winner. "She left good, I got to the front, got decent fractions and she was strong right to the end." While Carroll has visited the Grassroots winner's circle before, the Iona Station, ON resident had never captured three events on one night. Coming off a personal best season in 2014 and on track for an even more successful 2015, Carroll is hoping the Ontario Sires Stakes program becomes a regular part of his summer schedule. "I've won a few Grassroots, but never three in one night, so it was a great night for me," said the 30-year-old. "Bob (McIntosh) was wondering if I could drive some of them for him, kind of commit to some of them, so I said I'd try to do my best. And then there's a few other trainers, hopefully if I get that one of Moreau's back I'll follow it too. Hopefully it keeps rolling." The other two Grassroots divisions on the Tuesday evening program went to Jangone and Its All About Sam. Trainer Riina Rekila piloted Jangone to a front-end victory from Post 7 in the third division, sailing home three and three-quarter lengths ahead of The Power of Many and Shezastrikin Loral in 2:03.4. It was the second straight win over the Georgian Downs oval for Jangone and Rekila, who captured a two-year-old event on June 27. A daughter of Johnny William and Panderosa F, Jangone is owned by breeder Overseas Farms Ltd. of Campbellville, ON. Its All About Sam closed hard through the last quarter to earn her first victory, reaching the wire three lengths ahead of First Mission and Attitude To Burn in 2:02.3. The Angus Hall daughter, a $40,000 acquisition at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale, is trained by Scott McEneny for Bradley Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton and Michelle McEneny of Waterdown, ON. Guelph resident James MacDonald engineered the win. The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Grassroots start on July 22 at Grand River Raceway. Georgian Downs has a full weekend of Ontario Sires Stakes action on tap beginning Saturday, July 11 with the two-year-old trotting colt Grassroots season opener and continuing on Sunday, July 12 with the first Gold Series event for the two-year-old trotting fillies. Ontario Horse Racing
Clinton -- Two years ago, James MacDonald was winning Clinton Raceways' annual harness racing drivers challenge heading into the final race when Trevor Henry pulled off a last second victory. MacDonald got his revenge a year ago, winning his first title with a decisive victory over Jody Jamieson. Henry was third. On Sunday, May 31, the trio, along with five other top reinsmen, will suit up against each other again as the 35th annual Drivers Challenge hits the track in support of the Clinton branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. "Legions are having a tough time financially across the province. Every cause is a good one, but we think this will be a nice tie-in for us," said Clinton Raceway general manager Ian Fleming. Though it's a fun, relaxed atmosphere in which all proceeds of the day, including the drivers' fees, will go to the Legion, MacDonald said the drivers don't take the competition lightly. "Everyone's really competitive," he said. "You put a bunch of egos in together and one's a winner and you're going to get people trying pretty hard. There's no favours there, that's for sure." Henry, a finalist for the O'Brien Award for Canada's driver of the year in 2014, said pride is on the line. "It's always nice to have the bragging rights," Henry said, "But it's just a lot of fun. It's a good day out." The Drivers Challenge will pit Clinton's top three drivers of 2014 -- Henry, Ryan Holliday and Bruce Richardson-- against MacDonald, Jamieson, Doug McNair and Mike Saftic from the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit and Canada's leading dash winner, Alfie Carroll, who turned 30 in early May, and is leading the nation with nearly 200 wins already in 2015. For the first time in its long history, the Drivers Challenge is being held at the beginning, rather than at the end of the season, to make room for the eighth edition of Clinton Raceway's biannual Legends Day classic that will close out the track's 16-race season on Sept. 6 in support of the Clinton Public Hospital. Henry, long the king of Ontario's smaller tracks and now a regular fixture on the WEG circuit, said he's a big fan of Clinton Raceway. "It's just good to go there and give back to the town of Clinton," Henry said. "They do a lot of good there. It's a good town and a nice track and a good spot." MacDonald said he likes making the trip to Clinton because the Drivers Challenge usually draws a huge crowd and, "the people there seem to appreciate it and they put on a good show." MacDonald currently ranks a close second on Canada's driver earnings list with over $1.35 million made in 2015. McNair is a close third ($1.23 million), following by Henry in fifth ($1.09 million), Jamieson in sixth ($980,000) and Carroll in eighth ($890,000). In the wins department, after Carroll, McNair currently ranks sixth in the nation with 90 wins, followed by MacDonald in seventh (88) and Henry tied for ninth (80). The eight reinsmen participating in the Drivers Challenge have more than 26,300 career wins between them and combined career earnings of around $300 million. Jessica Carnochan
London, February 22, 2015 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District in London honoured its top harness racing performers for 2014 during their annual awards night on Saturday. Among the highlights was driver Alfie Carroll taking home his first trophy as Driver of the Year, Kendal Gustav being selected as overall Horse of the Year and Natasha House being voted Caretaker of the Year. Two other awards were announced the night of the ceremony and they include Lisa Thompson who was selected as Horsewoman of the Year and the Dave Wall Outstanding Service Award which went to longtime London horseman Larry Fitzsimmons. Here is a complete look at this year's Raceway award winners: Older Pacing Horse - Kendal Gustav Older Pacing Mare - Twilight Seelster Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt - Good Side Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly - Delta Grace Tone Older Trotting Horse - Moonbeam Hall Older Trotting Mare - Thundering Ovation Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt - M C Wood Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly - Sonny With A Chance Claiming Pacer - Cat Four Claiming Trotter (Tied) - Strike A Light and Weskey Driver - Alfie Carroll Owner - Keith Cassell Dave Wall Outstanding Service Award - Larry Fitzsimmons Caretaker - Natasha House Horse of the Year - Kendal Gustav Horsewoman of the Year - Lisa Thompson Greg Blanchard
London, January 12, 2015 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District will hold its annual awards night on Saturday, February 21 at the Carousel Room at The Raceway. The Raceway's top performers for 2014 will be honoured in a variety of categories. Awards for the three-year-olds and older horses are based on the top money earners who made a minimum of six starts at The Raceway in 2014. The claiming awards are based on the most number of claiming wins at The Raceway in 2014. The Owner of the Year award, sponsored by Standardbred Canada, goes to the owner who finished in the top 10 for money winnings and had the highest number of starts during the season. The Caretaker of the Year award will be handed out for the second consecutive year. To qualify, caretakers must be nominated by Tuesday, January 13th. To nominate someone, send an email with your reason why to one of the following: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Raceway will also honour its Overall Horse of the Year the night of the event. Tickets will go on sale next week and will be available in both the race office and the promotions department. For more information, contact 519-438-7203 (ext. 380). The 2014 award winners are as follows: Older Pacing Horse - Kendal Gustav Older Pacing Mare - Twilight Seelster Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt - Good Side Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly - Delta Grace Tone Older Trotting Horse - Moonbeam Hall Older Trotting Mare - Thundering Ovation Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt - M C Wood Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly - Sonny With A Chance Claiming Pacer - Cat Four Claiming Trotter (Tied) - Strike A Light and Weskey Driver - Alfie Carroll Trainer - Vic Puddy Owner - Keith Cassell Dave Wall Outstanding Service Award - TBA Caretaker - TBA Horse of the Year - TBA From the Western Fair Media Department
London, December 30, 2014 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District will wrap up what has been a successful month with its annual New Year's Eve racing program on Wednesday night - the final program of the 2014 season in London. The 12-race program will once again feature the Auld Lang Syne Trot and Pace which are open to horses that last competed in a $5,000 claimer, with the oldest entrants receiving preference. The night will also feature a 'Heart of Harness Racing' calendar giveaway with program purchase (while supplies last) as well as prize giveaways, a Raceway t-shirt toss and special editions of the Fun Wheel and Deal or No Deal. On the wagering side, the early pick-4 will offer a $7,500 guaranteed pool while the late one has been bumped up to $10,000. It is also the last night for the Horseplayer Interactive (HPI) promotion where customers who wager $50 on The Raceway are entered for a chance to win one of 15 draws of a $150 deposit in their account. "We start a little bit later on New Year's Eve," said Racing Manager Greg Blanchard of the 8:00 p.m. start time. "We look to end the card just a little bit before midnight and give customers a chance to ring in the New Year with us afterwards. There will be something for everyone and this has become one of the most anticipated nights on our racing calendar." Alfie Carroll and Vic Puddy will look to end off the season on a high note as they will capture their first driver and trainer title respectively at The Raceway. Carroll had three more wins on Tuesday night to put further distance between him and Trevor Henry in the driver's race while Puddy added two more wins to his meet-leading total. Both will be in action on Wednesday night. Customers have been showing their support at the windows for the month of December with the London oval on pace to easily surpass its single-month wagering record. The handle has topped $500,000 on four different occasions, including a $700,000 night on December 23rd, and fans can expect large pools once again on the New Year's Eve. For more information and to download free race programs for Wednesday night's card, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. From the press box at The Raceway
There was no stopping driver Alfie Carroll during the Monday evening program at The Raceway at Western Fair District, as the sulky sitter scored a touchdown and kicked the point after. Carroll had the hottest hands of them all as noted in the seven-win performance he manufactured over the course of the 14-race card. In the midst of what has been a career season, Carroll got on the scoresheet with Little Turk (1:57.3) in Race 3. He went on to win the next three races in succession thanks to wins with Monster In Law (1:56.4), Off By Heart (2:00.1) and Billy White Sell (1:59.2). To view the rest of this story click here. Driving triples for Allard-Jamieson at Woodbine The Monday evening program at Woodbine Racetrack featured a festive edition of “anything you can do, I can do better” between reinsmen Simon Allard and Jody Jamieson. The sulky sitters took turns exchanging victories on the 11-race program before each of them finished the card with three trips to the winner’s circle. Jamieson drew first blood thanks to his win with Vague Traces (1:54.1) in Race 2, and he came right back to take Race 3 with Escuela (1:54.1). Allard then got on the scoresheet thanks to his win in Race 4 behind Sky Desperado (1:51.3). He was back to victory lane in Race 7 thanks to the hard-closing skills of No Bu (1:50.4). To view the rest of this story click here.
Charlottetown Driving Park hosted a double-header of PEI Colt Stakes on Saturday with the two-year-olds featured during the afternoon card and three-year-olds front and center in the evening. Gilles Barrieau, Clare MacDonald and Mike Stevenson each won three of the stakes divisions, which ranged in purses of $5,400 to $6,300. Barrieau pulled off the biggest upset of the day when he catch-drove Landed Alien to a 1:57.4 triumph, converting from the pocket to defeat heavy favourite Lovineveryminute at odds of 11-1. Jackie Matheson trains the sophomore filly, who earned her first stakes victory and a new lifetime mark. Barrieau also drove two-year-old winners Dixeland Band (1:59) for trainer Kevin MacLean and filly Jann Down (1:59.3) for trainer Stephen Mason. To view the rest of the story click here. Emotional win at Kawartha Downs It was an emotional night at Kawartha Downs tonight for the Boyd family, who buried family patriarch Ross Boyd this afternoon. They then travelled to the track to watch grandson Nick record two victories on the card including one with a horse he owns and trains. Boyd went gate-to-wire with his own colt, two-year-old Rise Against, who won in 1:58.3. Boyd, of Guelph, Ont., also trains the youngster, who was notching his first lifetime win in just two starts. Boyd was also in the winner’s circle following the third race thanks to a 1:57.2 effort by Lucky Regal. “We buried my grandpa this afternoon and tonight down the lane it was like he was helping me across the wire,” Nick said following the win. To view the rest of this story click here. Accident mars Alberta stakes Mothers Melody and Shark Festival were victorious in the $10,000 Alberta Standardbred Horse Association Filly Stakes for three-year-olds on Saturday afternoon at Alberta Downs, but the final division was marred by an accident at the top the stretch. Charismatic Art (J.F. Gagne) was leading the fillies around the final turn in the second division when she broke stride causing interference to Rummys Command (Jim Marino) in behind and Blue Star Escape (Kelly Hoerdt), who fell in the backfield. The rest of the field was able to get around the breaker with Shark Festival (Keith Clark) closing off cover for the 1:56.3 victory. Favourite Rollin Deep (Travis Cullen) finished one and a quarter length behind in second with Great Desire (Philip Giesbrecht) back in third. Marino was up on his feet quickly after being dumped from the sulky. Hoerdt told Trot Insider he was doing okay after the race, but headed to hospital to have his left ankle x-rayed. Both drivers booked off their remaining assignments after the 10th race accident. To view the rest of this story click here. Hat Trick for Sparling at Leamington Hockey season may not have started yet, but Rob Sparling Jr. scored three wins on the Saturday afternoon card at Leamington Raceway. Starting in the third race with an impressive two-year-old Bettors Delight filly, Passion Delight ($3.70), "Spar" made it look easy, winning in 2:04.3 over the "good" track for trainer Andrew McCabe and owner Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, Ont. The time of the mile was a track record for freshman fillies. His next win with DS Surprise ($4.10) wasn't so easy as he battled tooth and nail with St Lads Top Model and Alfie Carroll, ending up in a dead-heat for win in 2:00.3. DS Surprise is owned by Archie and Janice McEachern of Alvinston, Ont., with Janice handling the training chores. Sparling's third win was memorable as well, as he drove three-year-old filly Blissfullannmarie ($25.10) to a maiden win in 2:04 for trainer Catharine Gaudreau and owner Don Wilkins of Bothwell, Ont. With the 2014 election campaign just underway, Lakeshore mayor Tom Bain didn't need the winner's circle platform to announce his candidacy as no one in Lakeshore dare run against the popular mayor. Still, he was in the winner's circle with his trainee Wallet Sniffer, catch-driven by Alex Lilley for owner Don McMurren of South Woodslee, Ont. and parked the mile in 2:02.3. The handle for the Saturday afternoon card was $9,153. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Leamington Raceway. (With files from Leamington Raceway)
Alfie Carroll wasted no time in hustling Account Rollover to the front in Monday’s $7,000 Preferred pace at Grand River Raceway, and the public’s wagering favorite was able to lead from start to finish. Account Rollover sliced Cutting fraction of :29, :59.3 and 1:28.1, Account Rollover then kicked in a :28-second last quarter mile for Carroll to win by one half length in 1:56.1 over F Twenty Two with J M Jet Set third. Bob McIntosh trains the three-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover-All Accounted For for the Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. The homebred, who was unraced as a two-year-old, posted his seventh career win and has earnings of $57,000. (With files from Grand River Raceway)
Trainer Keith Cullen enjoyed a perfect night at the the track on Saturday with his starters going three-for-three during Hiawatha Horse Park's 10-race card. Cullen's trainees won three straight races mid-card using the same racing strategy. Royal Sir ($9.60) kicked off the stable streak winning the fourth race for $3,000 claiming colts and geldings in 1:56 with Jeff Mayhew working out the winning pocket trip. In the next race, Marvelous Mario ($4.20) and Tyler Borth prevailed in 1:54 off a pocket trip of their own, although the pacer was claimed from Cullen for $6,000 in the race. Coffee Black ($6) also converted off a two-hole trip to win the following $4,000 claiming trot in 2:00.2 with Alfie Carroll aboard. To view the rest of this story click here.
Elora, ON --- A total of seven $16,740 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series divisions for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers were featured on Monday night (July 21) at Grand River Raceway and they saved the fastest split for last as Single White Sock toured the half-mile oval in 1:56. With Scott Coulter at the lines, Single White Sock was in front through fractions of :27.4, :58, and 1:27.3. Single White Sock turned away a big three-wide bid by Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) past three-quarters, and he then kicked clear in the lane to prevail by 2-1/4 lengths. Twin B Scandal wound up second with Pan Street USA (Bob McClure) back in third. It was the second win in three starts for Single White Sock, a Badlands Hanovercolt trained by Barry Treen for owner Len Gamble. Tanya Prescott bred Single White Sock, who was purchased for $24,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale. Single White Sock, an earner of $17,281, is the fifth foal out of the Apaches Fame mare Love You Dear, making him a half-brother to millionaire and former Ontario Sires Stakes winner Ramegade Bruiser. Camluck, the long-time stalwart sire of the Ontario Sires Stakes program, had a pair of winners with Big Moment winning the second division in 1:56.1 with Alfie Carroll handling the driving assignment and Mike's Powerhouse picking up a 1:56.4 victory in the third section for driver Trevor Henry. Big Moment broke his maiden in his second attempt for trainer Bob McIntosh, who also bred the colt with CSX Stables. McIntosh and partner Max Newham own Big Moment, the fourth foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Breathtacular. Breathtacular is related to two six-figure earners in Breathdefying and Lucky Encounter. Mike's Powerhouse, who is out of the Artsplace mare Michelle's Jackpot, making him a full brother to the likes of 2012 Little Brown Jug champion and millionaire Michael's Power and millionaire Michelle's Power, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner-breeder Jeff Snyder. Mike's Powerhouse was victorious at first asking after finishing fourth and first in two qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack. Coleman was right back in the winner’s circle in the next race after Mike's Powerhouse’s victory as her Sportskeeper (Jody Jamieson) romped to a an 8-1/4 length decision in 1:56.3. Coleman also bred and co-owns Sportskeeper, a Sportswriter colt, with partner Merlin Howse. Sportskeeper, who was also making the initial start of his racing career, is the third foal out of the Nuclear Flash mare Keeper Flying, which means Sportskeeper is a half-brother to former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Keepers Destiny (Intrepid Seelster, $702,855). Sportswriter had another siring credit with Half A Billion, who was a 1:57.3 victor in the sixth Grassroots flight. Mike Saftic drove the colt for trainer Marcel Barrieau. Half A Billion is a homebred for the Hudson Standardbred Stable and he is a perfect two-for-two in his career and in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series competition. Half A Billion, the fifth foal out of the Western Hanover mare Racey Miss, is a half-brother to multiple OSS winner Racey Miss ($214,571) and Petite Courageuse ($195,733). Also picking up victories were: Bridge Of Stone, a Stonebridge Regal-Dreamlands Sachi (Western Hanover) gelding, who halted the clock in 1:57.3 for driver Scott Coulter, trainer Carmen Auciello, and owners Denarben Stables and Rocco Auciello. He has won both of his Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series tries The Fire Within, a gelding by Whosurboy and out of the Big Towner mare Mollie Hanover. The half-brother to Illusionist ($893,246) picked up his second win from three attempts for driver Jody Jamieson and breeder/owner/trainer Fred Drouillard. The next time the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will be in action is August 15 at Mohawk Racetrack. For full results of Monday’s night’s events, click here. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
JULY 6, 2014 (DRESDEN) – Chris Johnston was the man to beat at Dresden Raceway today as he scored three winners. The Sombra, Ontario horseman notched his first winner in the fifth race while driving WALLET SNIFFER. Johnston guided WALLET SNIFFER from off the pace for a win in 2:01.2.The five-year-old CAMOTION horse is owned by Don McMurran of Woodslee and trained by Tom Bain. Johnston’s second trip to the winner’s circle was in the eighth race behind PRETTYSHEISSHEIS. The seven-year-old MILIONDOLLAR CAM mare is owned by Lisa Spenser of London while Johnston is the conditioner. PRETTYSHEISSHEIS went wire to wire in 1:59.4.Johnston wrapped up the card of racing with his third win of the day at the controls of BRANDON CS. The five-year-old CHOCLATIER gelding is owned and trained by Janice Annett of Wyoming and co-owned by Marjorie Simmons of Chatham. BRANDON CS paced the mile in 2:02.1. Alfie Carroll had two winners on the day with BILLY WHITE SELL and CAT FOUR. About 800 people were at the track today and the total handle was $17,760. TRACK TIDBITS...STREAKING...EE BAY has won two in a row at Dresden Raceway for driver Nick Steward...SPEED DEMON...STIMULUS SPENDING turned in the fastest mile of day pacing the mile in 1:58 flat in the opening race...MONEY MONEY MONEY...The fourth race triactor was the biggest payout of the day as the 6-7-3 combination paid $1,219.50...BIG BUCKS...Five of the 10 races on the card had winners that paid over $10...UP TO DATE...DRESDEN RACEWAY is over 140 years old but are modernizing as streaming is available to hear the races live every Sunday as well as Dresden Raceway is on FACEBOOK and TWITTER! By Gary Petterson
JULY 1, 2014 (DRESDEN) – Dresden Raceway kicked off its 2014 season with a bang today! Almost 2,000 people swarmed to the local oval for a great family day of harness racing and celebration. Just a few short months ago the death bell seemed to be ringing for the small half mile track in Southwestern Ontario but it was alive and vibrant today. “I was really happy with opening day, I wasn’t sure what to expect coming here, ” said Greg Blanchard, who is in his first year as General Manager of Dresden Raceway, “ I knew the history here at Dresden, I knew there was a rich tradition of harness racing and a big fan base.” Blanchard added, “It was validating and I think it bodes well for the summer.” Patrons flocked to the windows and bet a total handle of $30,360 which is ranks among one of the best opening days in the past few years at Dresden Raceway, The 10 race card in the community that has had harness racing for 140 years highlighted a great Canada Day celebration including giveaways, rides in the r curious patrons and a 6’x 4’ Canadian Flag cake. Alfie Carroll, Robert Sparling Jr and Scott Wray all cashed in driving doubles on the day. Carroll opened the card by driving COFFEE BLACK to the winner’s circle and then struck again in the ninth race with TWIN B SHASTA. Sparling scored his first victory in the second race aboard ELECTRICINTENTSIONS and won again in the 10th with UNIQUE SHUFFLE. Wray went wire to wire with SACHERTORTE in the fourth race for his first win of the day then capped the double in the sixth race with KESONS REIGN. Dresden Raceway has always been owned by the Dresden Agricultural Society but has been operated by Windsor Raceway for the last 20 years until this year when the Ag Society took control back. Blanchard said “We’ve got some promotions planned for the track this year and we hope to set a benchmark that will keep people coming back with quality racing and family friendly giveaways all season long.” Dresden Raceway will race every Sunday until Labour Day except the Civic Holiday and Lanour Day weekends in which case they race Monday. Post Time all summer long at Dresden Raceway is 1PM. by Gary Patterson, for Dresden Raceway