ELORA, ON - Veteran trainer Larry Ainsworth has a beef to pick with Grand River Raceway. "They need to expand the dining room to get more people into the buffet," he said, laughing. "$16.99 for a buffet and you can sit and watch races all night? That's the best deal in Southern Ontario." Ainsworth recently celebrated his 76th birthday, but the trainer isn't slowing down one bit. He's one of the leading trainers at Grand River Raceway and, for the first time in 13 years, he's back down as the official trainer for a family stable that has a long, enviable record of producing champions. "It's just in name only," he said. "I'm still involved the same as I always was." For well over 20 years, the Ainsworth operation has been led by Larry's son, Jim. In April, Jim stepped back from horses to help run the family's growing school bus business in Petrolia, ON. "I suggested to Jim one day, 'Why don't you go and get the buses going in the morning over at Sarnia and then come out to the farm?' The trouble is, he never came back to the farm. He loves it, which is good. The timing was great." The Ainsworths have cut back in recent years due to the end of the Slots at Racetracks Program and shrinking Ontario Sires Stakes purses that are the staple of their operation, but Larry said he can never fully quit the horses. "I'll die doing it," he said. In its heyday, the Ainsworth operation trained as many as 35 horses, including such greats as Beau Jim (career earnings of $230,000), Debbielynnekillean ($335,000), Armbro Oliver ($835,000), Carolache ($530,000) and Cathedra ($735,000), a mare that was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2007 after a successful career on the track and an even better one as a broodmare. Cathedra's offspring have earned nearly $4.4 million, combined, on the racetrack. "As a broodmare, yeah, she was really outstanding. But, that's hard to believe. I would have never expected her to be a great broodmare." Today, Larry is training about six horses in Ontario and another half-dozen that he just sent to Indiana to race. He can't imagine doing anything else besides working with horses and having a family school bus company. "That's all I've ever known. I can't think of ever doing anything else," said Larry, whose career with horses started when he was a teenager with his grandfather. "My grandfather raced horses and had saddle horses," Larry said. "When my grandfather died he left me one racehorse. She made $9,000 the first year that he died. So, I thought, 'If one will make you $9,000, six would make you $54,000.'" Naturally, his math didn't work out, but school buses quickly played a significant role in Larry's horse stable. He bought his first small bus company in 1976 and "in '77 and '78 Beau Jim made enough to pay for the bus business." Today, Larry Ainsworth enjoys watching the races on simulcast at home and getting out to the track when he can. He said he particularly enjoys "the closeness" of the races to the people at Grand River Raceway. "We had people there last week and what a nice facility. We were sitting in the restaurant down below and it was nice for people watching. The races are right there close. It's a great little spot. It's made for people." To hear more of our conversation with Larry Ainsworth - including his choice for the best show on television - check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway
Harness Racing New South Wales has been advised by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory(ARFL) that salbutamol has been detected in the post raceurine samples taken from Fagins Lad after he raced and won Race 6 - The Borjeson Family Pace (1609 metres)at Bulli on 25 February 2012.
The Albion Park Harness Racing Club will play host to a mammoth nine event program this Saturday night (April 7) at Queensland's home of metropolitan Harness Racing, featuring the final of the Horsepower Easter Gift.
Three heats of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club's TH Marshall Taxation Member's Cup will be staged at the Queensland headquarters this Saturday night (November 5). The first event, The Garrard's Horse and Hound Pace, an M1 to M2 event over 2138m will kick off proceedings at an earlier start time of 5.10.
Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards today (Thursday May 6) inquired into a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that the post race urine sample taken from Hush Woman after that horse competed in Race 3 Hilltops Equine Centre Ladyship Pace 2100m at Young 12 February, 2010 showed the presence of the prohibited substances Atropine and Scopolamine.
The traditional Melbourne Cup night meeting was held at Nyah on Tuesday November 3, with keen harness racing the order of the evening. Mildura father and son - Ian and Luke Watson combined to land the Lawman Pace for C0 class over 1765 metres with Kiwi import Loaded in a rate of 2-01.7.
Talented Armbro Oliver gelding gelding Angus McGregor scored his fourth win in succession when he proved too strong for a quality field in the $10,000 Cannonball Charge at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night. One admirer who relished the win was the horse's six-year-old namesake Angus McGregor from Hobart who travelled to the course with his parents to see the gelding in action.
Once again Victoria's two Friday meetings were held in unbearable heat conditions - Shepparton in the afternoon and Bendigo at night, however both fixtured attracted keen racing. Veteran Elmore horseman Neville Welsh's ultra consistent 5-Y-0 Wagon Apollo/Bethany Rose mare Enotheque brought up her 10th victory in taking out the Shepparton Rentravision Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2190 metres at Shepparton.
Long Forest (Bacchus Marsh) husband and wife Andy & Kate Gath, plus Dunnstown's David Murphy took the honours at Bray Raceway Ballarat on Wednesday January 21, with each providing a stable double.
Cobram on the border of Victoria and N-S-W was the venue for harness racing on Monday December 15 and as is usually the case, most winners came from the northern part of the state.
Many of the connections of Salliwood have an affiliation with the galloping code so it is no surprise the winner of Andrea's Birthday Pace at Forbury Park tonight (9 October) has done a lot of work in the saddle.
It is an accepted belief in harness racing that if a horse can win on debut, then it is generally speaking above average in ability.