TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec – The richest and fastest harness racing pacing colts of the 2014 season in North America have been nominated to the second annual revival of the $200,000 Prix D’Ete at the Hippodrome 3R. The $200,000 Prix D’Ete is restricted to four-year-old pacers only and the race will be held on Sunday, August 23. It is the richest harness horse race in all of Quebec and one of the richest races for four-year-olds in the sport. Headlining the list of the 28 four-year-olds that features six of the top ten money winning three-year-olds from last year is $1,472,937 winner McWicked. He was voted the Dan Patch award and the O’Brien award as North America’s top three-year-old pacing colt of the year in 2014. Last year he was victorious in the Breeders Crown, the Hempt Memorial, the Adios Pace and the Progress Pace for trainer Casie Coleman and Ed James SSG Stable. He is joined by other world class performers All Bets Off, He’s Watching, Always B Miki, Limelight Beach and Somewhere In L A among the top ten money winners from 2014. Three of the horses nominated are million dollar lifetime winners, McWicked, He’s Watching and All Bets Off. And if speed counts for anything, then the Prix D’Ete eligibles for 2015 have that too, as five of the six fastest three-year-old pacing colts last year were also nominated. There are 12 horses nominated with a race record of 1:50 or faster. He’s Watching, with his amazing 1:46.4 world record performance in the Meadowlands Pace final, which ties him as a co-fastest harness race horse ever, heads the lineup followed by McWicked’s 1:47.3 world record mile at Pocono Downs, Always B Miki (1:47.4), Luck Be With You (1:48) and All Bets Off (1:48.3). “With this caliber of horses nominated,” said 3R General Manager Vincent Trudel, “the Hippodrome 3R track record set last year by Sunfire Blue Chip in 1:50.3 in the Prix D’Ete could easily be broken. What a great group of horses we have that have been nominated.” Jimmy Takter trained Sunfire Blue Chip, who was driven in the Prix D’Ete by local favorite, Yannick Gingras. Takter hopes to return once again to vie for the Prix D’Ete trophy as his stable has nominated Somewhere In L A, who last year won over $500,000 with a record of 1:50. The top four leading money winner trainers in 2014 all have horses nominated to the Prix D’Ete. They are Ron Burke, Jimmy Takter, Erv Miller and Casie Coleman. “We could not be more pleased with such top horses nominated to the Prix D’Ete,” Trudel added, “There are still two more nomination payments that must be made in April and May, but I am sure that most of these horses will remain eligible. It will also be exciting as this season we have purchased a new starting car with a slated gate that will make the races even more competitive.” There is also a local flavor to the race as seven of the horses entered have Quebec-based connections. They are Atomic Million AM, Bettorever, Big Boy Dreams, Boomboom Ballykeel, Electric Western, Titus Seelster and Vance Bayama. “It is shaping up that we can look forward to an exciting live race meet at 3R,” Trudel said. “The race fans will not only get to see the best horses compete in the Prix D’Ete, but with the new starting gate, our $1 million Quebec-bred series, the drivers tournament and the special promotions we have planned throughout the season, opening day on Sunday, May 3 cannot arrive fast enough.” From the Quebec Jockey Club Here are the 28 horses nominated in alphabetical order: All Bets Off Always B Miki Arthur Blue Chip Atomic Million AM Best Said Bettorever Big Boy Dreams Boomboom Ballykeel Electric Western Fort Knox He’s Watching Jet Airway Limelight Beach Luck Be Withyou Mattamerican McWicked Melmerby Beach National Debt Roger Mach EM Silverhill Shadow Somewhere In L A Speckled Door Three Of Clubs Titus Seelster Unlocked Vance Bayama Whiskey N Pie Winds Of Change
ELORA, ON - Over the course of two days next week, more than 800 Grade 3 students will delve into the unique Pizza Perfect event at Grand River Raceway. The local youngsters will spend the field trip in a hands-on agricultural education program themed after the favored pie. The ninth annual event happens on March 31 and April 1 in the race paddock at Grand River Raceway. The students are bused in from 20 local schools across four school boards in the Waterloo-Wellington area. More than 8,000 local students have benefitted from this program since its inception at the Elora racetrack in 2006. Pizza Perfect is a one-day program designed specifically for Grade 3 students. The event is themed after pizza, which typically represents all four food groups identified by Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating. The agriculture-awareness program involves a comprehensive study of related agriculture, nutrition, food processing, economics, mathematics, science, arts and language, and agricultural careers. Pizza Perfect explores these subject areas with complete interactivity. Hands-on activities and live demonstrations include milking a cow, cheese making and transplanting seedlings. Hosted by the Grand River Agricultural Society (owner/operator of Grand River Raceway), Pizza Perfect is made possible with the help of more than 85 volunteers and representatives from over 30 agricultural producer's groups, associations and suppliers. Educational video about the Pizza Perfect program, produced by Grand River Raceway. Photo gallery of past Pizza Perfect events WHAT: 9th annual Pizza Perfect - agricultural education event hosted by the Grand River Agricultural Society (owner/operator of Grand River Raceway) WHEN: March 31 and April 1, 2015 WHERE: Paddock Building at Grand River Raceway in Elora WHO: 800 Grade 3 students (400/day) from 20 schools across four school boards WHY: This hands-on field trip is an ag-education program themed around ag products required to build a pizza. Throughout the day, kids explore different stations hosted by ag producers, and enjoy pizza for lunch. Dorothy Key, Administrator Grand River Agricultural Society
TORONTO, March 26 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced that the mandatory payout for the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 is set for Saturday, April 4, the second-to-last card of the Woodbine harness racing meet. Harness racing moves to Mohawk for 118 dates, beginning Thursday, April 9. In preparation for the event, the final opportunity to wager on the Jackpot Hi-5 before the mandatory payout date will be Monday, March 30. The carryover will continue to build through that date, provided there is not a single winner. The wager will then be suspended for the Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3 cards of racing, allowing customers to prepare for the mandatory payout prize. The Jackpot Hi 5, which currently boasts a carryover of $726,120.53, requires horseplayers to select the first five finishers in exact order on the last race of the card. The Jackpot proviso means that the entire pool pays out only when there is one winning ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order. The Jackpot Hi-5, which has not been won since December 8, 2014, has become a popular part of the WEG wagering profile since it launched in 2013. WEG has offered mandatory payout events, with carryover, with much success. On August 30, 2014, the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 at Mohawk generated a total pool of $2,522,851. Each 20-cent payout returned $1,347.36 that evening. The 'Hi-5' on May 17, 2014 at Woodbine also generated a large total pool of $2,002,026. That night, the $0.20 cent payout was worth $8,759.15. On a card where there is not a mandatory payout, and not just one winning ticket, half of the wagering pool is carried over and offered on the next racing card. The other half is paid out in consolation payouts to those Jackpot Hi 5 tickets which have the correct order of finish. If there are no winners of the wager, the entire pool, minus takeout, carries over. The Jackpot Hi 5, which offers a 20-cent minimum and a low takeout of 15%, has proven to be popular among core and new racing fans. This past Monday night, $56,794 was wagered into the Jackpot Hi 5 pool. For fans and horseplayers wanting further details on WEG's Jackpot Hi 5, including details, strategy and carryover info visit www.WoodbineEntertainment.com/JackpotHi5. Mark McKelvie
CAMPBELLVILLE, March 24 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to inform horsepeople that this week's qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack will now be held on Friday morning. Originally scheduled for Thursday morning, the first qualifying session of the season at Mohawk has been pushed back to Friday at 10 a.m. due to projected rain in the forecast over the next couple of days. Entries for Friday's qualifying session are due tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. Mark McKelvie
You can sign up now in case you have not received the most recent Harnesslink newsletter called Insider Access, and here is your chance. Just fill in the form below and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else. All previous reviews can now be viewed at http://stallionsphere.com. Sign up to "Insider Access" Full Name Email Subscribe This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: We need more Sam Stathis types in our sport - Recently harness racing in North America received a big positive boost and it did not come in the form of a long shot winning at a racetrack or someone setting a track record. It came from a real estate business transaction in south Florida. Where are the NZ two-year-olds? - A common complaint heard these days in New Zealand is where are all the two year olds? On trial day there is an abundance of two-year-olds in evidence but come race day a lot of clubs are struggling to get a field of even eight runners. Now a lot of trainers have one look at the nominations and see a couple from the All Star barn and keep their two year olds for another day and you can't really blame them. Stallion Review – MUSCLES YANKEE – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Muscles Yankee 1:52.2 ($1,424,938). Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2015 ballot. A total of 30 horses and people comprised of 15 Standardbred racing candidates and 15 Thoroughbred racing candidates have been selected to appear on this year’s ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will determine the winners in their respective categories. Results will be announced Tuesday, April 7. Standardbred ballots representing this year’s five voting categories are as follows: In the Standardbred Male Horse category, Artsplace, Blissfull Hall, and Majestic Son are the candidates. Artsplace was the1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following an undefeated four-year-old season. He was a two-year-old World Record holder winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida. He won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million during his racing career. As a stallion, Artsplace produced top horses from the time his first crop raced in 1996. To date, his progeny, including 18 millionaires, have accumulated over $173 million in earnings with an average of $126,372 per starter. In 1999, Blissfull Hall captured harness racing’s elusive Pacing Triple Crown for owners Ecuries Daniel Plouffe, Inc. of Bromont, Quebec, trainer Ben Wallace, and driver Ron Pierce. A 31 race career over two seasons amassed a record of 19-4-6, a mark of 1:49.2 and earnings of $1.4 million before he embarked on a successful career as a stallion. To date his progeny have amassed over $67 million in earnings, including 205 horses with earnings over $100,000, and average earnings per starter of $92,461. Majestic Son’s race career consisted of 38 starts, stats of 22-5-3, a mark of 1:52.2 and $1,993,157 in purse earnings. A son of Angus Hall out of the King Conch mare Celtic Contessa, Majestic Son's career was highlighted by wins in the premiere stakes for sophomore trotters including the Champlain, Goodtimes, Canadian Trotting Classic and Breeders Crown. As a sire, his progeny have earned $8.2 million including three $500,000 winners, seven winners of $250,000 and 20 winners of $100,000. B Cor Tamara, Happy Lady and J Cs Nathalie are nominated in the Veteran Horse category. Before embarking on her second career as a broodmare, B Cor Tamara enjoyed a productive racing career, earning more than $185,000. Bred and owned by Bill Core of Dresden, Ontario, the daughter of Dream Of Glory was the dam of 19 foals, including star trotter B Cor Pete, and granddam of two champion juveniles, Banker Hall and Broadway Hall. Her offspring have earned in excess of $2.7 million. Happy Lady, a daughter of Most Happy Fella, raced in 1977 and 1978 for owners Myra Masterson of St. Catharines, and Linda Lockey of Ridgeville, Ontario. Though her race career was brief, she won $528,825 in purse earnings and attained a mark of 1:55.2. Trained and driven by the late Jim Rankin, she was almost flawless in her juvenile campaign, winning 15 of 16 races. As a sophomore she won 19 of 24 starts. As a broodmare, J CS Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario -- pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal. Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a mark of 1:49.3. Dreamfair Eternal, a winner of 56 races and over $2.5 million in purse earnings was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010 and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2014. The three candidates in the trainer-driver category are Jack Darling, Yves Filion, and William Gale. Jack Darling, 62 of Cambridge, Ontario has enjoyed a successful career as a harness horse trainer in southern Ontario over three decades including campaigning 876 winners and conditioning horses to $17.3 million in earnings. In 1995, four fillies put Darling in the spotlight- Diamond Dawn, a winner of $175,000, Low Places (who would win a 1996 O’Brien Award), Faded Glory (winner of more than $250,000 as a freshman) and DieHard Fan (over $200,000 as a two and three year old). Other top horses included Northern Luck ($907,984), North America Cup champion Gothic Dream ($1,528,671), and Twin B Champ. Jack is also known for significant fundraising efforts on behalf of racing related causes, and was recently winner of the Lloyd Chisholm Memorial Award by the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario as well as the recipient of the United States Harness Writers Association Unsung Hero Award and the Good Guy Award. Yves Filion, 68 of Saint-Andre-D’argent, Quebec was one of his province’s premier trainer-drivers for close to 30 years, driving in almost 18,000 races with 4,362 wins and $26.5 million in earnings. Training credits include 248 winners and horses earning in excess of $3.4 million. Pacing colts Runnymede Lobell and Goliath Bayama each became millionaires with Filion responsible for both training and driving. Filion bred, owned and trained pacing mare Rebeka Bayama, a multiple stakes winner who won 23 races and over $690,000 during her career. William Gale, 66 of Woodstock, Ontario, was one of Canada’s leading drivers for a period that spanned the 70s, 80s and 90s. Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons. During his career, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million. In the fall of ’91 at Pompano Park when he won a pair of Breeders Crown races, he guided King Conch to a world record 1:56.2 win in the $300,000 Two-Year-Old Colt Trot and reining Three Wizards to an upset victory over Die Laughing and Artsplace in the $357,000 Breeders Crown for Three-Year-Old Pacing Colts. Candidates in the Builders’ category include Charles Armstrong, John B. Ferguson and Ted Smith. Charles Armstrong 93, of Brampton, Ontario, has been a true Icon in the Ontario and North American Horse Industry over 60 years. Following the death of his father Elgin, Charlie and his wife Lenore took over the operation of Armstrong Bros. Farm, and as Chairman of Armstrong Holdings Brampton Limited, he oversaw the growth of the farm into the second largest Standardbred breeding operation in North America. The Armbro name was ever-present in the winner’s circles of prestigious races for both trotters and pacers, producing such champions as Armbro Flight, Armbro Feather, Armbro Omaha and hundreds of others. Stallions standing at the Armstrong breeding operation included King Conch, Camotion, Dream of Glory, Armbro Emerson and Adios Pick to name a few. The late John B. Ferguson may be best known for his time in the National Hockey League, but his passion for Canadian horse racing was drawn from early years spent with his father and grandfather at old Hastings Park in Vancouver, BC. In addition to his role as a very active owner and breeder, Ferguson also took a role in track management. He was hired by Blue Bonnet Raceway in Montreal, Quebec, and after leaving the NHL became the President of Windsor Raceway. He was also one of driving forces behind the formation of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Ted Smith, of Rockwood, Ontario is the fourth generation of his family to have a passion and interest in horse racing. In 1976 he began working at the Canadian Trotting Association, leading many initiatives and developing many processes and procedures in areas that included freeze branding as a means of identification of Standardbreds in Canada, online systems for maintaining race lines and horse registration data. Ted was also responsible for the management and dministration of the amalgamation of the Canadian Trotting Association and Canadian Standardbred Horse Society and became Standardbred Canada’s first president and CEO in 1998 where he remained until his retirement in 2010. In the Communicators category the election committee will make their selection from Paul Delean, Harry Eisen, and Marie Hill. North Bay native Paul DeLean, began his career as a horse racing writer in the late 70’s at the Barrie Examiner where he met Bill Rowe and was in turn introduced to Standardbred racing. He has worked for The Gazette in Montreal since 1981 and was once referred to as the “English language voice of harness racing in Quebec”. For owners, breeders, trainers, drivers and fans, Delean was the man on the front line telling what they needed to know about the racing game in the province. In addition, Paul was a frequent contributor to the many trade journals in racing. At age 61, Paul has compiled an impressive body of work in covering the sport in Canada. The late Harry Eisen spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario. As a lifelong journalist, he spent many years exposing the sport to the public, including the majority of his 40 years at the London Free Press. Eisen who once said he saw his first harness race when he was “three or four years old,” sold tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a boy. He was inducted into Western Fair’s Wall of Fame in 1980. Marie Hill, a native of Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick became involved in harness racing as a youngster, she began writing at the age of 13 and had sporadic columns in The Canadian Sportsman. She followed racing in the Maritimes and during her teen years became friends with Joe O’Brien who she later penned two biographical books about, “Gentleman Joe, The Story of Harness Driver Joe O’Brien” and ‘The Horseman from Alberton”. Other books she wrote include “Single G the Horse That Time Forgot”, “Adios, The Big Daddy of Harness Racing” and “The Delvin Miller Story”. In 2007, Marie was inducted into the Communicators Corner of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York, becoming the first female author to receive this honour. The voting ballots for Thoroughbreds will feature: A Thoroughbred Male Horse ballot comprised of Joshua Tree, Mine That Bird and Quiet Resolve is offered for election committee consideration. Irish-bred Joshua Tree’s career statistics feature earnings of $3,851,594 in 37 starts (7-7-4). The son of Montjeu achieved wins in multiple graded stakes around the globe including the Qatar International Invitation Cup (G1) in 2011 and three victories in the Pattison Canadian International Stakes (G1) in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Mine that Bird, the 2008 Sovereign Award Champion 2-year old bankrolled $2,228,637 in 18 starts (15-2-2). His Juvenile year began at Woodbine with an impressive 4 wins in 5 starts. He gained international attention with his performance came in the 2009 Triple Crown winning the Kentucky Derby, a 2nd place finish in the Preakness and 3rd in the Belmont. Quiet Resolve, winner of the 2000 Sovereign as Champion Turf Horse and also named Canada’s Horse of the Year the same year, was a winner of $2.3 million and a homebred for Sam Son Farm. His race 10-6-4 career over 31 starts included multiple graded stakes wins highlighted by victories in the Atto Mile (G1), and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy Stakes (G2) Stewart Elliott, Richard Grubb and Mickey Walls have been selected to appear on the Jockey ballot. Toronto-born, second generation jockey Stewart Elliott made headlines around the world when he became the first jockey in 25 years to win the Kentucky Derby in their first appearance when he partnered with 2005 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones. During a career consisting of over 29,000 starts, horses ridden by Elliott horses amassed earnings in excess of $93 million with wins in 4,650 races. In 2010 he was named the winner of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award. Born in Kitchener, ON, Richard Grubb began his riding career in 1966 at the age of 16 and won the first race he ever rode in as a professional, the first of 1,607 career trips to the winners circle. The following year he was Canada’s leading Jockey with 230 victories. That same year (1967) he won seven straight races on an eight-race card, a feat never duplicated. Richard rode some of the country’s most time-honoured stars including 1968 Sovereign Award - Horse of the Year, Viceregal, Mary of Scotland, and Rouletabille. During his career, Grubb won over 100 major races and was presented the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award in 1997. Following his retirement from racing in 1989, he became a senior Steward with the Ontario Racing Commission. Mickey Walls of British Columbia was born to a horse racing family. His parents Joe and Carol Walls are well-known owner and trainer on the backstretch at Woodbine. In 1990, when Walls was just 16 he won his first Sovereign Award as Canada’s Outstanding Apprentice Jockey. His 1991 efforts saw him become the first apprentice jockey to be voted the Sovereign Award and the United States' Eclipse Award in the same year. In addition, he was voted the overall Canadian Champion Jockey. An early season injury forced him to sit out most of 1992, but he bounced back in 1993 to become leading riding for the second time at Woodbine. In the mid 1990’s he competed in the USA at various tracks before returning to Canada in 1996, winning the final two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown. Among his accomplishments in 1999 he rode Queen’s Plate winner Woodcarver. Career stats include earnings of over $37 million between 1990 and 2002 Election Committee members will select between Thoroughbred Builders Robert Anderson, Michael Byrne and Michael Colterjohn Robert M. (Bob) Anderson was a long-time horseman based in St. Thomas, ON. As President of Anderson Farm, he was involved with breeding, racing and selling both thoroughbred and Standardbred horses for 41 years in Canada, U.S., and Europe. A former Director of Woodbine Entertainment Group (formerly OJC) and past national President of the CTHS from 1981-82, he was also a Board member of Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association in the U.S.A, a Steward of the Jockey Club of Canada as well as a member of the Ontario Racing Commission Advisory Board, the First Chairman of the Guelph Research Centre for Equine Research and member of the E.P. Taylor Equine Research Fund. He bred and matured over 1,400 thoroughbreds including champions Pinafore Park, Larkwhistle, and Prince Avatar. He was the breeder of successful sires Ascot Knight, National Assembly and Alydeed. Michael C. Byrne emigrated from Ireland in 1970, and quickly found a job with thoroughbred owner George Gardiner. Twelve years later, Byrne opened his own operation in Orangeville, Ontario, Park Stud, that became home to Ontario stallions such as Brave Shot, Geiger Counter, and Bold Ruckus. In time Byrne took on a larger role in the industry, serving six years on the Ontario Racing Commission, and was a Director of the Ontario Jockey Club for a decade. Other industry positions included Steward of the Jockey Club of Canada in 1993, Chief Steward from 1996-2005. He helped form the Canadian Graded Stakes Committee in 2000 and is also a member of the International Cataloguing Standards. He founded his own sales company, Canadian Breeders’ Sales in 1990, and subsequently took over the CTHS sale at Woodbine for eleven years. Dr. Michael Colterjohn, one of Canada’s top equine reproductive experts joined Gardiner Farms in 1987 and soon became farm President. Under his management, the Caledon East farm became one of the country’s most well-respected and accomplished breeding operations. He built a quality broodmare band to elevate the farm into a significant player in the Canadian-yearling market. Following the sale of Gardiner Farms 2008, Colterjohn along with his wife Dr. Moira Gunn and farm manager Sherry McLean, purchased the Gardiner livestock he had spent so much time and effort amassing and the three partners launched Paradox Farm Inc. The long list of Paradox-bred horses include 2014 Queen’s Plate winner Lexie Lou along with venerable Ontario-sire performer, Pender Harbour. The three Communicators appearing on the Election ballot are Jim Bannon, Curtis Stock and Tom Wolski Toronto’s Jim Bannon, was part of the first Simulcast Racing TV Show in North America in 1981. His natural comfort in front of the camera and extensive Thoroughbred racing knowledge propelled Bannon into a career that includes television analyst, commentator and handicapping expert with followers at racetracks and living rooms across North America. He has been the face of the CBC’s Queen’s Plate and Breeders’ Cup shows and in 2010 he was rewarded with a Gemini Award as Canada’s Best Sports Analyst. For the past 40 years he has published Woodbine Journal, a staple for bettors. In addition to his journalistic endeavours he gives generously of his time as an educator in handicapping seminars, as well as an instructor at Humber College’s Canadian Racing Official’s Course. He is head of the Chaplaincy Program at Woodbine and is also a Director of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Curtis Stock, originally from Calgary, got his start as a horse racing reporter while still in university, before working at Woodbine with CHRHF member Bruce Walker. He returned to Alberta to take over the publicity, marketing and advertising at Northlands Park and is now with the Edmonton Journal Stock’s affection for the horses, jockeys, trainers and horse people in general, is reflected in his writing. His reporting has resonated with Sovereign Awards judges. Stock was the recipient of back-to-back Sovereign Awards for Outstanding Feature Story in 1993-94 and beginning in 1985 took home an unprecedented eight Sovereign Awards for Outstanding Newspaper Story in Canada. BC based Tom Wolski has been involved in thoroughbred horse racing for forty years, during which he has worn many hats including jockey, radio-television sportscaster, racing columnist, racetrack media and publicity director, film actor and public speaker. Wolski is the recipient of multiple Sovereign Awards in the category of Outstanding Film &Video Broadcast as writer/ producer in 1998, 2001 and 2011. He was also honoured with the U.S.T.A.’s John Hervey Award in 2004, which recognizes the best in harness racing television and radio journalism. The Veteran Person category will be contested by Roger Laurin, J.G. (Jerry) Lavigne and Robert A. (Red) McKenzie. Roger Laurin, the Montreal-born trainer, came into prominence in 1964 when he took charge of the race conditioning of a filly named Miss Cavandish for Harry S. Nichols. Miss Cavandish became one of the top two fillies racing in the United States that year. From there the list of graded stakes horses he conditioned reads like a who’s who of 1960’s and ‘70’s racing. He trained Drumtop who won numerous top stakes and who broke three track records in 1971 for John Moseley while at the same time achieving conditioning the 1971 2-year-old Eclipse champion filly Numbered Account for Ogden Phipps.J.G. (Jerry) Lavigne’s career as a trainer began in 1958. His achievements included 68 stakes race wins with 22 stakes winners, as well as two Queen’s Plate races with Almoner in 1970 and Son of Briartic in 1982. He was the conditioner of Canadian Champion colt Nice Dancer, a multiple stakes winner on the turf; Lost Majorette and sprinter Park Romeo. His trainee Fabe Count had a stellar record over four years as a multiple stakes winner at nine different distances over both turf and dirt. Alberta-based trainer Robert A. (Red) McKenzie has literally spent a lifetime on the racetrack, joining the backstretch community at the age of 11 before becoming a jockey at age 16 and going on to be a leading rider in western Canada in the mid-40s. When McKenzie grew too big to be a jockey, he took out his trainers' licence. He had early success at Bay Meadows, Golden Gate, Hollywood Park, Meadowlands, Assiniboia Downs, Hastings Park, as well as the Ontario tracks in the fall. In later years, he concentrated on racing in Alberta; at Calgary, Edmonton, or Whoop Up Downs and Grand Prairie. McKenzie won both divisions of the Alberta Derby in 1965 with the filly Chariot Chaser while Chopstick won the other division. Chariot Chaser would go on to win the Prairie Triple Crown that year, a record that stood for 34 years. McKenzie also won 29 races with the venerable campaigner Grandin Park. The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 2015 Induction Ceremony will be hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015. Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com Contact: Linda Rainey Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Linda.email@example.com 416-417-9404
TORONTO, March 21 - A field of nine three-year-old pacing colts and geldings squared off in the WEGZ final including first leg winner Dialamara and J Js Delivery who impressed in the second leg while making his seasonal debut. Dialamara, trained by Pat Fletcher for owner John Lamers, spoiled his two-hole trip a week ago by making a break at the three-quarter pole. This week, however, the Lis Mara colt made no mistakes tracking the early pace of J Js Delivery from third position through a half in :57, advancing confidently into second position through the turn. James Macdonald allowed Dialamara a quick breather at the top of the lane before digging in with a powerful closing kick to reel in J Js Delivery in the final stride. Dialamara stopped the clock in 1:54.1. Dialamara The WEGZ Series is for Ontario-sired three-year-olds that were non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. Maplelea completed a sweep of the Horseplayer Interactive series on Saturday night capturing the $39,400 Final with ease as the harness racing 1-9 mutuel favourite in 1:55.3. Maplelea, owned and trained by Andrew Moore, now has five wins from seven starts in 2015. The Sportswriter filly won the opening leg of the HorsePlayer Interactive series by five lengths on March 6 and nearly doubled that margin of victory a week later to take the second leg by 9 1/4-lengths. Rick Zeron steered Maplelea into third position in the HPI final as Mega Machsy notched the opening quarter in :28.2 with Missy Tap Tina chasing her early pace. Maplelea took command down the backstretch marking the half in :57.3 and three-quarters in 1:25.2. War Filly, runner-up in the second leg, advanced through the turn to take a run at Maplelea but had to settle for place. Wake N Bake closed to complete the triactor. Maplelea paid $2.10 to win. Maplelea In order to be eligible to the Horseplayer Interactive, the Ontario sired sophomore pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. Dialamara arrived in the nick of time to collar favoured J Js Delivery and win the $42,400 WEGZ Final on Saturday night at Woodbine. Woodbine Communications Office
A harness racing owner in the UK and Ireland is seeking an experienced caretaker or assistant trainer to come to London, England to help with their small stable. The farm is located just outside of London and there are living accommodations at farm included. Great opportunity for someone from abroad that wants to see the United Kingdom. Stable has Swedish and French bred trotters. If you are also a licensed driver you will have the opportunity to compete in the UK too. Employment is from late April to the end of October and the owner will pay half of the airfare to come over. Please email owner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) announced that it will begin working with the horse racing industry to develop a practical and appropriate response to the testing for cobalt. The ORC plans to move in a timely manner through its existing Out-of-Competition Testing (OCT) Program. It is noted that the addition of a cobalt threshold would be communicated to the industry prior to implementation. Out-of-Competition testing of cobalt Ontario Racing Commission
There may not be a barn in all of southwestern Ontario that is big enough to accommodate all of the horses in the Stable That God Loves, but presently there are harness racing stalls available. The keen interest and support for this major fundraising program designed to raise much needed dollars for the tireless work of the Standardbred Chaplaincy, and to provide a good news story for all harness racing, is growing and growing. It has captured the imagination and the support of the harness racing community. As one horsemen commented: "This is an excellent, grass roots image-building, program for the sport. It reflects the caring, generosity and kindness of the human spirit of horsemen for those less fortunate, with emotional, physical and human needs in our industry". To date, 27 trotters and pacers including standout performers like John Fielding's Shake It Cerry, John Craig's Luck Be Withyou, and the entire stable members of Marc Hyatt, John Patterson and Ted Nadhazi, among many others, will race with heart and determination to the aid of a homeless Chaplaincy. The initiative calls for participants to donate a small percentage ( one per cent) of the purse earnings of one (or two, or three) of their horses to the diligent work of the Chaplaincy via the Stable of Horses That God Loves. With the valued addition of Mac Nichol's Kentucky Derby hopeful, Madefromlucky, the lone thoroughbred in the Stable That God Loves, the program has attracted international mainstream media attention in the world of Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing. Following Madefromlucky's second place finish in Oaklawn Park's $750,000 Rebel Stakes on March 14th, one industry leader commented: "I like the cross-over between the two breeds. Anything that can be done to look at us as a whole industry instead of one breed versus another, is incredibly important , especially now" For those interested in acquiring stall space in the Stable That God Loves for the 2015 racing season, please contact: Bill Galvin email@example.com or Ken Middleton : firstname.lastname@example.org
Equine Guelph's interactive youth education attraction is the perfect fit where education meets fun! From sitting on top of everyone's favorite fiberglass horse, "Shorty Legs", to learning the inner workings of the horses skeletal and digestive system - EquiMania! delivers information in the most entertaining way for the whole family. The EquiMania! Explorer safety program tours youth through the entire display learning how to be safe around horses, in the stable, around equipment and in the barn yard. Our new helmet safety display is proving popular, teaching riders why it is so important to use their head and always wear a helmet when working around horses. This youth safety education initiative is made possible each year by our partners: Kubota Canada, Ontario Equestrian Federation, SSG Gloves, System Fencing and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. Equine Guelph also thanks Greenhawk, Shur-Gain and Zoetis for their generous support as sponsors of our healthcare displays. Our next stop will be at Can-Am Equine All Breeds Emporium, April 3 - 5 at the new location of Markham Fairgrounds. Help us celebrate our 10th year at Can-Am! Bring the kids to enter a new colouring contest (up to age 10). And for horse enthusiasts new to riding, the Ticket to Ride program will trot out again. Brought to you by Equine Guelph and the Ontario Equestrian Federation, "Ticket to Ride", offers youth an opportunity for a FREE assessment lesson, discounted lesson package or free introduction to horses barn tour at participating OEF member riding facilities. Pick up your Explorer Passport at the EquiMania! display and let the learning begin! Story by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada
TORONTO, March 16 - The second leg of the Lifetime Dream took centre stage Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of ten four- and five-year-old trotting mares contested the $20,000 second leg of the three-week harness racing trotting event. Seawind Pascale improved off her second-place effort in the first leg to come away with a gate-to-wire score Monday night in 1:54. Driven by Rick Zeron, Seawind Pascale sprinted out to the lead and would set honest opening fractions of :27 and :56.1. Around the final turn, the leader was challenged first up by Samira Hanover and the two mares squared off past the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4. In the stretch, Seawind Pascale put away Samira Hanover early, but got tested in deep stretch by an outside push from Her Name Is Lola. At the wire, Seawind Pascale held on to prevail by a neck over Her Name Is Lola. Standing My Ground, who got a two-hole trip, finished third, while Samira Hanover had to settle for fourth. Kate Smith, the winner of leg one, made a break around the final turn and finished ninth. A five-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Seawind Pascale is trained by Ted MacDonnell and now has three wins from five starts in 2015. MacDonnell co-owns the trotting mare with Seawind Amg Stbs 2005 Inc. Monday's victory was the ninth career-win for Seawind Pascale and pushes her career earnings to $117,800. The clocking of 1:54 establishes a new lifetime best for Seawind Pascale. She paid $7.30 to win. The $44,400 final of the Lifetime Dream will take place next Monday (March 23). Mark McKelvie
Delray Beach, FL – Trainer Erv Miller has sent five horses into the Sunshine Meadows/OnGait.com online mixed harness horse sale set for Tuesday, April 7. The sale starts with a live broadcast beginning at 2:00 pm with some of the horses sold live on the internet with an auctioneer. Erv Miller entered one three-year-old and four two-year-olds in training. The three-year-old pacing filly is Party Rocks, a late blooming daughter of Rockin Image who was third in 1:58 in her first qualifier last month at Pompano Park. Starting bid will be $12,000. Graceful Vision is the possible sales topper with a starting bid of $45,000. The pacing filly by PA sire Yankee Cruiser and according to Erv Miller “is a VERY NICE filly and does it right. She has been a mile in 2:18 and does it right. We purchased at a reasonable price and are looking to turn a profit.” You can view yearling sale video of Graceful Vision at www.yearlingvideos.com/horses/797-graceful-vision Wisecrack is a pacing filly by PA Sire Western Ideal with an opening tag of $12,000. Miller said she should make a nice racehorse and possible Stallion Series filly. Wealthy Master is a big trotting colt by Lucky Chucky who is NY eligible and needs time to grow into himself. Currently turned out at Chris Coyle’s farm in NC. His starting bid is $7,500. Here is video of him as a yearling www.winbakfarm.com/player/index.asp?id=470&sale=HAR The fifth horse entered is Indiana bred trotting filly, Lisa On Top. She is sired by Swan For All. The stable has four other IN bred fillies that show more promise and she needs time to grow. She is listed to start at $6,500. For more information and race lines you can go to www.ongait.com/stallionbreedingsandsharessale.asp You can also contact the Erv Miller Stable at 407-230-6046 to set up a time to come to the farm and see them in action. There is still plenty of time to enter the online sale. Cost is just $100 to register and a 3% commission if the horse brings the opening bid price. For information go to www.ongait.com or call Maurice Chodash at 800-240-7223.Top of Form From Sunshine Meadows/OnGait.com Mixed Sale
TORONTO, March 14 – J Js Delivery and Chris Christoforou went gate-to-wire to win the second leg the WEGZ series Saturday night at Woodbine. A compact group of seven three-year-old pacing colts and geldings squared off in the $17,000 second round of the WEGZ. However, only four of the seven horses were returning from last week’s first leg. One of the new faces to the series made an immediate impact, as J Js Delivery picked up the victory in his first start of 2015. A son of Jeremes Jet, J Js Delivery got his cue to sprint off the gate from driver Christoforou and grabbed the early lead. Dialamara, the first leg winner, got away in second and would tag along in the pocket. Around the final turn, Dialamara spoiled his two-hole trip by making a break at the three-quarter pole. The costly break by the leg one winner allowed J Js Delivery to create plenty of separation on his rivals in the stretch and draw clear for a 4 ¼ length victory in 1:54. Halton Hurricane took second, while Jet Settin Mitt finished third. Trained by Bill Robinson, J Js Delivery was making his season debut Saturday night off a sharp qualifier on March 5. The sophomore pacer, who made his last start of 2014 on December 15, recorded two wins from nine starts and banked just over $30,000 in his rookie season. The clocking of 1:54 matched J Js Delivery speed-mark from last year. A $2 win ticket on J Js Delivery returned $4.10 to win. The WEGZ series will come to a close next Saturday (March 21) with the $42,400 series finale. Mark McKelvie
TORONTO, March 13 - Maplelea crushed her rivals for the second consecutive week in the Horseplayer Interactive harness racing series Friday night at Woodbine. Headlining a field of seven three-year-old pacing fillies, Maplelea was sent off as the 1/9 choice and performed just like her odds would indicate. Driven by Rick Zeron, Maplelea made a second-quarter brush to the lead from third and reached the half in :57.2. After taking the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:26.3, Maplelea paced away from her rivals with ease down the lane to score a dominant 9 ¼ length victory in 1:53.4. War Filly finished second, while Wake N Bake took third. A three-year-old daughter of Sportswriter, Maplelea is owned and trained by Andrew Moore. The sophomore pacing filly now has four wins from six starts in 2015 and seasonal earnings of over $46,000. The clocking of 1:53.4 knocks more than two-seconds off Maplelea's previous career mark of 1:56. A $2 win ticket on Maplelea returned $2.20. The Moore trainee will now have a chance at the Horseplayer Interactive series sweep in the $39,400 final next Saturday night (March 21). Mark McKelvie
TORONTO, March 12 - The deadline for nominations to several Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and Alliance racetrack stakes events is quickly approaching. Nominations to the Metro Pace, Shes A Great Lady, William Wellwood, Peaceful Way, Nassagaweya, Eternal Camnation, Canadian Pacing Derby, Maple Leaf Trot, Roses Are Red, Milton and Armbro Flight stakes close Monday, March 16. Also closing on that date are several spring series events. Nominations are due Monday for the Youthful, Blossom, The Diplomat, Princess, Tie Silk, Celia's Counsel and Don Mills series. The Woodbine Entertainment Group also continues to handle the stakes administration duties for all Alliance racetracks. Nominations to the Balanced Image and Dream of Glory at Hanover Raceway, the Kin Pace at Clinton Raceway and the City of London at Western Fair District close Monday. The first sustaining payment to several major stakes events, including the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, are also due on March 16. Sustaining payments are needed Monday for the Fan Hanover, Elegantimage, Goodtimes, Somebeachsomewhere and Casual Breeze. The first sustaining payment to the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs and the Battle of Waterloo and Belles at Grand River Raceway are also due. A sustaining fee is also due on Monday for foals of 2013 to remain eligible to the 2015 Champlain stakes, 2016 Simcoe stakes and the 2016 WEG SBOA stakes. For full events details and to view the nomination forms, click here. To make payments online, visit www.woodbineentertainment.com/sbpayments . Mark McKelvie