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Grand River Raceway hosted its fifth annual backstretch Open House on Saturday, October 19. Despite dark skies and showers, 156 people of all ages attended for a rare glimpse of horse racing behind-the-scenes. More than $150 was raised at the door for the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. A full tour of the Open House stations included: a tour of the judges' stand and announcer's booth with track announcer Gary Guy; the basics of breeding, owning, training, driving and caring for racehorses; a tour of the paddock, testing areas, starting car and track maintenance vehicles; and the unique opportunity to drive a racehorse. Grand River Raceway extends its sincere appreciation to people who volunteered their time to help with this event, and provided horsepower, including: staff of the Hands On Horses Program (Stacey Reinsma, Natalie Elliott, Ken Ellis), Brian Tropea of the Ontario Harness Horse Association, Kristen Cobb, Kyle Bossence, Paula McGuire, Ken Middleton, Ben Holliday, John Newell, Bob McClure, Caroline Holliday, Gary Guy, Joe Currie, Tom Williams and Debi O'Brien Moran. The Grand River Raceway event is the final Open House of the season presented in cooperation with the Hands On Horse Program and the Ontario Harness Horse Association. Earlier events were staged at The Raceway at Western Fair District, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway. For information about similar upcoming events, visit www.handsonhorsesprogram.com The Hands On Horses Program returns to Grand River Raceway for the track's 2013 season finale on Wednesday, October 30, when fans can win a spin around the track in a double-seated jog cart between the races. For more information about this event: http://grandriverraceway.com/final-race-night-2013/ To view photos from the Grand River Raceway Open House: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.602883986439651.1073741834.127947220599999&type=1&l=7b7fe3528f by Kelly Spencer for Grand River Raceway  

Clinton Raceway is getting set for its annual Charity Drivers Challenge on closing day, Sunday, September 29, and this year’s event will have a different twist. The Challenge usually pits the top four drivers from the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit against the top four reinsmen from Clinton. However, for the first time ever, the challenge date will conflict with the Grand Circuit races in Lexington, Kentucky, meaning most of WEG’s top drivers will be there competing. Clinton management has opted to switch back to purely local challenge this year with the top eight dash-winning drivers being invited to take part. “It is too bad we had to change the format, but on the other hand, change is sometimes a good thing,” said Racing Manager Ian Fleming. “It also showcases our local guys who have been here all season and this year’s driving colony is one of the strongest we’ve ever had here.” Today's race card determined the top eight drivers to take part in the Challenge in a battle right down to the wire. Top drivers, based on dash winning drives, include Billy Davis Jr., Trevor Henry, Anthony MacDonald, James MacDonald, Bob McClure, Bruce Richardson, Ryan Holliday, and J Harris, who secured the final spot over Lorne House with one win on the card. The top two drivers were involved in a spill in Sunday's second race, but Davis Jr. said he is hoping to return to the sulky on Monday after suffering minor injuries to his leg and "will be at Clinton next Sunday with bells on." Henry was back in the bike for Sunday evening's Grand River Raceway program. This year will mark the 33rd year that Clinton has hosted the Drivers Challenge and the third time that it has been held as a fundraising effort for Childcan, an organization which supports families who are dealing with childhood cancer diagnosis. In the past, the Challenge has raised more than $250,000 for local charities, local clubs and organizations. “It just makes events like this that much more special when you get benefit a great cause at the same time and I can’t think of a better one than Childcan,” explained Fleming. As part of the day’s activities there will be a Twoonie Auction, Silent Auction, Barbecue and Bake Sale with all proceeds going towards Childcan. First post on closing day is 1:30 p.m. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Clinton Raceway. reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca)

Clinton, September 21, 2013 -- Clinton Raceway is getting set for its annual Charity Drivers Challenge on closing Day, Sunday, September 29 and this year’s event will have a different twist. The Challenge usually pits the top four drivers from the WEG circuit against the top four reinsmen from Clinton. However, for the first time ever, the challenge date will conflict with the Grand Circuit races in Lexington, Kentucky, meaning most of WEG’s top drivers will be there competing. Clinton management has opted to switch back to purely local challenge this year with the top eight dash-winning drivers – following this Sunday’s program – being invited to take part. “It is too bad we had to change the format but, on the other hand, change is sometimes a good thing,” said Racing Manager Ian Fleming. “It also showcases our local guys who have been here all season and this year’s driving colony is one of the strongest we’ve ever had here.” Today's race card is needed to determine the top eight, it's a battle right down to the wire. Top driver's, based on dash winning drives include, Billy Davis Jr., Trevor Henry, Anthony MacDonald, James MacDonald, Bob McClure, Bruce Richardson and Ryan Holliday. Currently J. Bradley Harris and Lorne House are tied for the 8th and final spot. "This could make for a little excitement and entertainment on today's race card" states Jessica Carnochan, Marketing Manager at Clinton Raceway. "We'll keep fans updated as the day progresses, both on track and through our social media outlets."  This year will mark the 33rd year that Clinton has hosted the Driver Challenge and the third time that it has been held as a fundraising effort for Childcan, an organization which supports families who are dealing with Childhood Cancer diagnosis. In the past, the Challenge has raised more than $250,000 for local charities, local clubs and organizations. “It just makes events like this that much more special when you get benefit a great cause at the same time and I can’t think of a better one than Childcan,” explained Fleming. As part of the day’s activities there will be a Twoonie Auction, Silent Auction, Barbecue and Bake Sale with all proceeds going towards Childcan. First post on closing day is 1:30 p.m. and for more information, visit www.clintonraceway.com. by Jessica Carnochan for Clinton Raceway  

INNISFIL, ON — Ontario’s exciting three-year-old pacing colts sweep into Georgian Downs on Saturday, July 27 for six Grassroots divisions and local colt Champagne Phil will be looking for his second victory on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit. Champagne Phil posted a 1:52.4 personal best in the Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack and will be looking to replicate that effort from Post 2 in the fourth $15,000 division on Saturday. In eight sophomore starts Champagne Phil has posted two wins, with his other victory coming over the Georgian Downs oval on July 6. Competing against non-winners of three races, the Shanghai Phil son and driver Brad Forward logged a 1:53.4 triumph. Kenneth Oliver conditions Champagne Phil for ICR Racing of Pefferlaw. Joining Champagne Phil on the gate in the fourth division is Rude Boy, who faded to seventh in the season opener after suffering broken equipment. The Armbro Deuce gelding will be looking to atone for that result from Post 3 at Georgian Downs. Michael Sinclair trains Rude Boy for Rosemary Shelswell of Cookstown, Steve Organ of Aurora and Guy Beaulieu of Chelmsford. Through 12 starts this season the gelding has tallied two wins and two seconds. Trainer Gary Kingshott gave Stonebridge Adam a test run over the Georgian Downs oval on July 20 and the colt delivered a 1:55.2 victory. The Stonebridge Regal son was a winner in the Grassroots season opener, laying down a personal best 1:53. Bob McClure will steer Stonebridge Adam from Post 5 in the tenth race for Rockwood resident Kingshott and his partners Shannon Bennett of Toronto, Gregory Kingshott of Rockwood and Terence Molony of Mississauga. The three-year-old pacing colts will wage their Grassroots battles in Races 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, and 10 on Saturday evening, with Georgian Downs sending its first race behind the starting gate at 7:25 pm. For complete entries click here Ontario Sires Stakes

Voting closes Wednesday, October 10 at 10:00 a.m. (EST) for the best guest announcer in Grand River Raceway's FROM BIKE TO MIC series. The initiative put 16 drivers, trainers and track personnel in the announcer's booth during Grand River Raceway's Fun & Frivolity Friday Night harness racing cards.

Orangevill (Ontario) harness racing driver Bob McClure remained cool under pressure tonight with a tough field in his announcing debut on From Bike To Mic McClure was Grand River Raceway's newest guest announcer during its Fun & Frivolity Friday Night card of July 6.

A few years ago, two young harness racing drivers were breaking onto the scene in Ontario horse racing, and making a climb up the rankings at Hanover Raceway.

He might only be 20 and in just his third year of driving, but Bob McClure - already one of the leading reinsmen at Hanover Raceway - is definitely one of the 'new generation' about to make his mark on harness racing in North America.

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