CAMPBELLVILLE, Ontario . . . Hundreds of people converged at Mohawk Racetrack on Wednesday evening to pay tribute to two harness racing icons, first cousins Keith and Ron Waples. The event also served as a fundraiser for Paige and Paula Austin, the young daughters of talented and well-liked trainer Mark Austin who passed away suddenly last month at 54. The 500 guests enjoyed a cocktail hour while perusing the numerous silent auction items available before enjoying a scrumptious buffet put on by WEG. Following the dinner the evening's Master of Ceremonies, Hector Clouthier, former MP, passionate harness racing participant and witty raconteur, got the evening underway. A video chronicling the incredible success of Keith and Ron was then shown interspersed with stories and reminiscences from Roger Mayotte, Jack Moiseyev, Paul Macdonell and Ron's son Randy. "I idolized the way he (Ron) drove horses and the way he conducted himself, he's a great person and a leader in our sport," said MacDonell. Following the video several people spoke including John Kopas and his mother Alice who paid tribute to Keith's wife Eileen. "While Keith was burning up the racetrack, she was tending to the home fires. She did that very well and I can relate to that." John shared a few stories from his dad, Jack, who raced with both Keith and Ron for years. In one stake race Jack had a four horse entry, Keith won with one while the others finished second, third and fifth. After the race one of the drivers asked who let someone pass them preventing a clean sweep of the top four positions. "That would be me," Jack ruefully replied. One of Keith's most memorable victories came in the 1972 Little Brown Jug with Strike Out, trained by the late John Hayes. His son, Dr. John Hayes, called harness racing's poet laureate by Cloutheir, presented one of his wonderful poems centered on the Waples cousins and dedicated to the Austin family. One line said: "Strike Out and father would roll over in their graves if I roasted Keith, so I'll behave." Introduced as 'the second most famous person from Springhill, Nova Scotia (behind only Anne Murray)', Bill O'Donnell also spoke. "I've raced at tracks across North America, and it never failed, people would ask me 'how's Keith Waples?' He was so well respected, while Ron on the other hand . . ." Ron was able to give back with a few jabs of his own when he closed the evening's speakers. He also told Paige and Paula that his wish for them was "may the best day of your past be the worst day of your future." Paula ended the presentation by thanking all who attended for their generosity and kindness. Full results of the fundraising effort are not finalized but will be released when available. One of the hottest tickets at the silent auction was one of Keith Waples' vintage driving jackets. There was a battle between Gregg and Doug McNair, Jody Jamieson and Phil Hudon with Jody winning with an $800 bid. Jamieson also took home the jacket in Ron’s colours for $400. Murray Brethour paid $1,700 for a Pennsbury jogger while Dustin Jones shelled out $1,400 for a Brodeur sulky. An online auction was also held the week prior. "The whole evening was an incredible success and I can't thank everyone enough for their generosity. The harness racing community always steps up and takes care of their own," said event organizer Jack Darling. by Heather MacKay k Darling, flank Ron and Keith Waples and Julie, Paige and Paula Austin. Kelly Spencer, another key player in the event's success, was behind the camera. Keith and Eileen Waples hold hands as they approach the silent auction. Ron Waples addresses the full house in the Mohawk dining room.
Winbak Farm of Ontario is proud to announce the addition of Betterthancheddar, p, 2, Q1:55.3s; 3, 1:49.1s; 1:48f ($1,635,364), to its stallion lineup. "With the new incentives and rejuvenation of the Ontario Program, Ontario is a great place to have Betterthancheddar, a Millionaire son of Bettor's Delight," said Garrett Bell, Winbak Farm General Manager. "Betterthancheddar was an outstanding racehorse and has a phenomenal pedigree." Betterthancheddar is the son of two Living Hall Of Fame parents, Bettor's Delight and Lady Ashlee Ann. In 2012, at 4, he was the winner of 2012 O'Brien Award for Aged Pacing Horses/Geldings. "Cheddar as a baby was a standout in my mind, perfect conformation and perfect size, his gait was astonishing," said Casie Coleman, trainer of Betterthancheddar. "His grittiness and toughness on the track was unbelievable." A tough racehorse, he was one of the top three-year-olds in North America. His wins included the American-National Final, Breeders Crown elimination and Final, Cane Pace, Summertime Pacing Series elimination and the Windy City Stake. He was second in the Little Brown Jug elimination and was a strong third in the Final. He was also second in the Somebeachsomewhere elimination. "His quick speed to snap off the gate or come out of a hole quick like in the Breeders Crown was incredible, he always gave 110 percent on the track," said Coleman. "He was very versatile, he could come from the back, snap the wings, come first over or whatever you asked of him." At 4, Betterthancheddar won the Ben Franklin Pace elimination and $500,000 Final (in a 1:48 world record), Bobby Quillen Memorial (in a 1:49.2 World Record), Canadian Pacing Derby elimination and Des Smith Classic elimination. He was second in the Canadian Pacing Derby Final and Mohawk Gold Cup. In 2013, he was second in the Molson Pace and third in the Ben Franklin Pace elimination before suffering a torn suspensory. His dam has a production record of stakes winners. Lady Ashlee Ann is also the dam of Ashlee's Big Guy, p, 2, 1:53; 3, 1:51.2; 1:50.4f ($978,168), Artist's View, p, 2, Q1:55; 3, 1:50.4; 1:49.4 ($788,811) and BJ's Squall, p, 2, 1:53.2; 3, 1:53.1s ($261,750). "I know I'll be definitely be breeding some of my mares to him and be looking to buy some of his yearlings at the sales," said Coleman. Betterthancheddar will stand his first Ontario season at an introductory stud fee of $3,500. For more information on Betterthancheddar, be sure to check out Winbak Farm's website at www.winbakfarm.com or call Winbak Farm of Ontario at 905.838.2145. From Winbak Farm
The Windsor Star in Windsor, Ontario today reported that a Tecumseh-based harness racing trainer caught injecting performance-enhancing drugs into a horse in 2010 has been convicted of fraud by the Ontario Court of Appeal. Derek Riesberry is the first person in Canada to go before the criminal courts for horse doping. After a lengthy trial that began in 2012, Riesberry was acquitted last year by Superior Court Justice Steven Rogin. Despite finding that Riesberry was a cheat, Rogin found him not guilty of two counts of fraud, saying the Crown had not proven that the betting public had been deprived of anything. In a decision released this week after a Crown appeal, the Ontario Court of Appeal found Rogin had erred in his decision. The appellate court set aside the acquittals and substituted guilty verdicts. The court has referred the case back to Rogin for sentencing. “The betting public was deprived of information about the race that they were entitled to know; they were deprived of an honest race run in accordance with the rules,” the court of appeal found. The court has also ordered a new trial on two counts of cheating at play. On Sept. 28, 2010, Riesberry was videotaped by hidden camera injecting something into the neck of a horse at Windsor Raceway. The horse raced about an hour later, placing sixth. A few weeks later, on Nov. 7, 2010, Riesberry was arrested as he entered the racetrack. A syringe filled with performance-enhancing drugs – epinephrine and clenbuterol – was found in his truck. Reisberry was charged with fraud, attempted fraud, cheating at play and attempting to cheat at play. In the past, such breaches would be dealt with as licence infractions at regulatory tribunals. But in a crackdown by the Ontario Racing Commission, Riesberry and fellow trainer Chris Haskell were charged criminally. Haskell’s trial had been adjourned, awaiting the outcome of Riesberry’s trial and appeal. Both Riesberry and Haskell hired the same lawyer to represent them. He could not be reached for comment, nor could the head of the Ontario Racing Commission to whom calls were referred. In acquitting Riesberry, Rogin had delved into the legal meanings of the word “game.” He concluded horse racing is not a game because it relies on skill rather than chance. “In our view, the trial judge erred in his interpretation of a game,” the court of appeal ruled. “The trial judge erred in law by applying the wrong legal test to determine whether horse racing was a game of mixed chance and skill.” On appeal, the Crown cited starting post positions — drawn by lot or by a computerized random post position generator — as an example of chance. “Certain post positions are more advantageous than others in that the advantageous positions provide shorter distances to travel,” the court of appeal said. “Accordingly, in relation to the cheating while playing a game charges, we set aside the acquittals and order a new trial.” Riesberry and Haskell’s cases will be spoken to in Superior Court in November to set dates. by Sarah Sacheli for the Windsor Star
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Doubling up against the top pacing mares on Canada’s Eastern Seaboard is no small task but Willow Warrior will try her luck on the final Thursday night program of the year at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at The Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 7 pm for the 12-dash affair that features throwback Thursday with $1 race program, hot dogs and pop for $1.50, plus second chance draws and more. The three-year-old daughter of Western Terror made waves last week, upsetting the $2,250 Open Mares by three-lengths in 1:57 for driver Mark Bradley, trainer Brendan Curran and owner Alby Curran of Vernon Bridge. Her task will be tougher this week, as she has drawn the outside post 7 against her six race 7 rivals with last week’s runner-up, For All We Know, drawing post 1 for driver Gary Chappell. Race analyst Les MacIsaac will place his faith in For All We Know. “She has nothing but firsts and seconds the past couple of months and with her now on three straight runner-up finishes she appears poised for the top spot,” MacIsaac said. Also in the field is Yankee No More (Marc Campbell), General Luckypercy (Ron Matheson), Stayoutofmyaffair (Jason Hughes), JK Special (Walter Cheverie) and Bunny Mach (Corey MacPherson). The top conditioned pace of the night lines up in race 11 for a $2,000 purse with a field of six including The Big Bite from post 6 for driver Mike Stevenson, trainer Thane Arsenault and owners Jack Arsenault of Charlottetown, Donna McIver of York, Edward Blaisdell of Montague and Deborah Wilson of Elmsdale, N.S. The Shark Gesture pacer upset the former top Thursday night pacer, Forever Paradise, last week with a 1:57 victory. Forever Paradise will seek redemption from post 5 while post has SOS Grappa (Hughes), another top contender. Other entries include Oh To Be Me (Chappell), Mcjestic (Cheverie) and Every Day (Brian Andrew). The evening trot classes lines up in race 3 with JK Queen favored from post 5 in the field of eight. Cheverie drives the trot mare for co-owner and trainer Joe Smallwood of Stratford and co-owner Norman Clarey of Charlottetown. Top entries include Money Show (Andrew) and Dunmore Chance (Jack Panting). Newcomer to Island racing Warrawee Nuke has post 6 with Kuri White doing the driving for father Blayne White. The five-year-old daughter of Ken Warkentin has not raced in two years, when she was competing at Rideau Carleton Raceway outside Ottawa, Ont. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores
TORONTO, October 29 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to remind horsepeople and customers that post time this Saturday (November 1) at Woodbine has been pushed back to 7:55 p.m. The post time change is to accommodate Breeders Cup day at Woodbine. Saturday's 11-race card will be highlighted by a $34,000 Preferred trot. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
You have just a couple of day left to win a set of $1,400US custom race bike wheels from Forward Motion Technologies, perhaps a full set of RazorHorse shoes, maybe a five gallon bucket of Lifeline Horse Supplement or a $100 Amazon gift card? These prizes, plus more - 13 in total - will be given away in Harnesslink’s month long Insider Access “Win The Wheels Contest” throughout October. All you have to do is sign-up for our fortnightly newsletter, Insider Access, by the end of October. THAT"S THIS FRIDAY AT MIDNIGHT! It’s as simple as that (and be age 18 or older too). No fees, no charges, you can unsubscribe at any time (we suggest you at least wait until after the prizes are drawn), no hidden costs whatsoever, totally free to enter. Can’t make it any simpler than that! Insider Access is a great newsletter which keeps you informed on news and opinions in harness racing that you won’t get on any other website or magazine, even our own Harnesslink! Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing as you view the current issue of Insider Access. “We are so pleased that some of our advertising sponsors have come on board for this special promotion,” said John Curtin, founder and CEO of Harnesslink. “I want to thank the people at Forward Motion Technologies, Lifeline Horse Supplement and RazorHorse for joining us and donating these great prizes. So take a moment to go on our site and check out the companies and see what prizes you might win.” At the end of October everyone who has signed up for the newsletter, even those who already get Insider Access, will be drawn at random. The first 12 names selected will win either the horse supplement or RazorHorse shoes and the 13th winner will get the set of sulky wheels, shipped to their residents, no matter what country you live in. A reminder that everyone who signs up must be age 18 or older in order to win. All winners will be notified via email and proof of age and proper mailing address will be verified. For the complete rules and regulations for the contest click here. Just click below to visit the three sponsors of “Win The Wheels Contest.” https://forwardmotiontechnologies.com/ http://horse.watchthemthrive.com/horses/elite/ http://www.razerhorse.com/
Blue Chip Farms, LLC and Seelster Farms, as co-managers of the Stallion are pleased to announce today that Battle of Brandywine winner and World Champion, Sunshine Beach will be standing at Seelster's Lucan, Ont. farm starting with the 2015 breeding season. A spectacular looking son of super-sire Somebeachsomewhere, Sunshine Beach p, 2, 1:52.1s, 3 1:47.4f –’13 ($977,438) is from the prolific Artsplace mare Light Up, making him the half brother to Warrawee Flare p, 1:50.3s ($609,019), Safe Harbor p, 1:50.1f –’14 ($466,178) and Western Moonlight p, 2, 1:52.3 ($366,091). Sunshine Beach is owned by Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc (Tony Infilise), Conrad Leber, Diane Bertrand Holdings Ltd and Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. "On behalf of my partners we are most pleased to be associated with both Blue Chip Farms and Seelster Farms and very much welcome their proven and professional Stallion Management experience and skills. We are excited to have Sunshine Beach stand in Ontario," said Infilise. "As one of the best Sire Stakes jurisdictions in North America, it offers US and Canadian breeders the opportunity to sell high priced yearlings at major sales. We look forward to contributing to his success in the breeding shed and to see him pass on his tremendous courage, speed and outstanding conformation. We are encouraged by the level of interest to breed in Ontario to a top Somebeachsomewhere son." Trained throughout his career by Mark Steacy, Sunshine Beach captured the $500,000 Battle of Brandywine Stake final at Pocono Downs as a sophomore, ending Captaintreacherous' undefeated three-year-old season, in a world record-equalling time of 1:47.4. Sunshine Beach also paced to victory in the final of the $284,160 Progress Pace at Dover Downs, a division of the Bluegrass Series at The Red Mile, an elimination of the Meadowlands Pace and an elimination of the Matron Stake at Dover Downs during his sophomore campaign. Sunshine Beach will be syndicated and stand for an introductory service fee of $5,000. Booking inquiries should be directed to Seelster Farms. To obtain a Syndicate Prospectus contact Jean Brown at Blue Chip Farms (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ann Straatman at Seelster Farms (email@example.com andwww.seelsterfarms.com). From Seelster Farm
Freehold, NJ --- For the first time this year, Sebastian K is not on top of the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. Father Patrick, who did not race last week, moved up to No. 1 following Sebastian K’s loss in the International Trot Preview Invitational at Yonkers Raceway. Sebastian K, who went off stride and finished eighth, held the top position for 23 weeks. The biggest upward moves, though, belonged to JK She’salady, who remained undefeated with a win in the Three Diamonds Stakes at Woodbine, and Nuncio, who won the Yonkers Trot at Yonkers. JK She’salady added four first-place votes, giving her a poll-best 12, and closed within 12 points of the No. 1 spot. Nuncio received two first-place votes and vaulted over Shake It Cerry and Sweet Lou to land in fourth place in the weekly rankings. Other winners in the poll were Artspeak, who captured the Governor’s Cup at Woodbine, and JK Endofanera, who won a division of the Circle City at Hoosier Park. Mission Brief went off stride in the Goldsmith Maid at Woodbine and finished ninth. There were no newcomers to the Top 10. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 24 – 10/28/2014 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Father Patrick (10) 3tc 14-11-2-0 $1,385,581 302 2 2 JK She’salady (12) 2pf 10-10-0-0 $620,830 290 3 3 Sebastian K (11) 8th 12-8-2-0 $663,853 283 1 4 Nuncio (2) 3tc 15-10-5-0 $1,297,896 217 6 5 Shake It Cerry 3tf 14-12-0-1 $803,436 200 4 6 Sweet Lou 5ph 16-10-1-1 $958,558 160 5 7 Artspeak 2pc 10-8-0-2 $742,185 129 8 8 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 97 7 9 JK Endofanera 3pc 15-10-2-1 $936,145 72 10 10 Mission Brief 2tf 11-7-0-0 $328,570 39 9 Also: Always B Miki (27), Lifetime Pursuit (26), He’s Watching (14), Natural Herbie (12), Limelight Beach, McWicked (8), Act Now (6), Clear Vision, In The Arsenal, Market Share (5), Modern Family, Yankee Bounty (4), All Bets Off, Billy Flynn (3), Dancin Yankee, Foiled Again (2), Freaky Feet Pete, Harper Blue Chip (1). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
A letter issued by the Ontario Racing Commission today states that the province's Standardbred racing industry is about to get a substantial infusion to its program The letter -- penned by the ORC's Executive Director Steve Lehman and addressed to Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Jeff Leal -- states that discussions are ongoing with the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA) to design an "enhanced Horse Improvement Program for Ontario Standardbreds not to exceed $12 million in total funding." Discussions are ongoing and are set to resume in mid-November. This was first released on Tuesday by Standardbredcanada.com. October 28, 2014 The Honourable Jeff Leal Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Government of Ontario Dear Minister, Further to the correspondence from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of October 6, 2014 instructing ORC to further engage the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA) in discussions about the design of a five-year enhanced Horse Improvement Program for Ontario Standardbreds not to exceed $12 million in total funding, I am pleased to update you on progress achieved to date. Over the last few weeks, we have exchanged correspondence with Walter Parkinson, President of the SBOA. I am pleased to report that, earlier this week, the SBOA has confirmed their willingness to work with the ORC in the design of a program for Standardbred and will provide designate names and potential meeting dates in the near future. Unfortunately, due to other commitments, the SBOA representatives likely cannot meet with us prior to November 10, 2014. As you know, the ORC has successfully completed agreements to enhance support for Ontario bred and sired Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds. These enhancements have contributed to an increase in demand for Ontario horses as reflected in the value at sale of Ontario yearlings. It is the expectation that a similar program for Standardbreds would also result in improved prices at upcoming yearling sales. We understand the urgency of completing this work well in advance of the 2015 breeding season and commit to report to you again, hopefully with the design of a Standardbred program, no later than November 14, 2014. Thank you for your guidance, leadership and support for this important component of the Ontario Horse Racing Partnership Plan. Steven Lehman Executive Director
TORONTO, October 27 - Second round action of the Autumn Series got underway Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack and new faces found their way to the winner's circle. A pair of $14,000 divisions for both the two-year-old pacing and trotting fillies were contested. In the first division for pacers, Evas Girl and Jody Jamieson rebounded from a sixth place finish in the first leg to score a leg two victory in 1:53.3. A daughter of Rambaran, Evas Girl got away fourth and was sent first up around the final turn. In the stretch, Evas Girl powered to the lead and cruised to a 2 ¼ length victory. Little Miss Artist finished second, while Lady Hill took the show spot. Trained by Peter Core, the second leg victory was the second win in nine starts for Evas Girl and pushes her career earnings to over $17,000 for owner Nicolas Stoukas. Evas Girl paid $4.40 to win. In the second division, a big opening quarter might have been the turning point to allow Dublin Rose to score the victory. Tessa Seelster blasted off the gate to the front and hung up a wicked opening quarter of :25.4. As the field entered the backstretch, Dublin Rose came out and around to the lead for driver Paul Macdonell. In the stretch, Tessa Seelster came out of the two-hole, but didn't have enough to get by Dublin Rose, who scored a length and a half victory in 1:53.4. Marachere finished third. A daughter of Major In Art, Dublin Rose is owned and trained by Allen Tomlinson and had finished third in the opening leg. The second leg victory is the second win in eight starts for Dublin Rose and increases her career earnings to over $22,000. She returned $8.30 to win. Cum Laude Hall took the opening division for the two-year-old filly trotters. Trained and driven by Rick Zeron, Cum Laude Hall got away third and was pushed first up in the second quarter. After clearing to the lead just past the half, Cum Laude Hall never looked back and trotted clear to a 3 Â¼ length victory in 1:57. Magic Shelley finished second, while Battle Mage got up for third. The second round victory was a maiden breaking victory for Cum Laude Hall, who had finished third in the first leg. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Cum Laude Hall is owned by Walnut Hall Limited and now has career earnings of $24,353 in eight starts. She paid $6.40 to win. In the second division, Meadow Seelster was a gate to wire winner in 1:58.1. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Meadow Seelster set fractions of :27.4, :59 and 1:29.3, before digging in late to hold off a late surge from Hape to win by a length and a half. Yanks Ball Girl finished third, while leg one winner Mischief Smile had to settle for fourth. Trained by Bill Budd, Meadow Seelster, who finished second in the first leg, has now won three of 10 career starts. The daughter of Holiday Road is owned by William Dixon and has now earned $26,030 in her young career. She returned $6.30 to win. The Autumn Series is for Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2014. The finals for both Autumn Series categories will take place next Monday, November 3rd. Autumn Series action continues Thursday night with second leg action for the two-year-old colts and geldings. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie, for WEG
As a result of a mishap at Flamboro Downs which resulted in a head-on collision of two horses after an accident, the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has ordered all tracks to have installed by January 1, 2015 a system using warning lights and a siren to be used in the event of an emergency which requires drivers to proceed with caution or to stop the race. The rule takes effect once the equipment is installed. While this rule only effects the Ontario racetracks, it should become the standard throughout Canada and the United States. For American tracks, it should only require the installation of a siren as they are required to have warning lights around the track already which are to go on whenever there is an accident or a horse gets loose on the track. We know tracks hate to refund wagers on a wholesale basis and horsemen hate to lose the opportunity to earn purse money, but that should not trump the health and safety of racing participants, both drivers and horses. If that is not incentive enough, the last thing you want is coverage of another head-on collision; something which would give ammunition to those opposed to horse racing. Horsemen associations can negotiate in their next contract a provision which calls for purse money to be split evenly among all horses which were still competitive when the race was stopped if the loss of purse money is an issue. We can consider adopting the rule used in some European countries which calls for the remaining horses to return later on the card to contest the race if less than half the race was contested when it was stopped; that should satisfy those worried about refunding wagers for a race declared 'no contest'. Of course, the question is will racing commissions become proactive in the other provinces and states to adopt either the ORC rule or a modified version which allows for a race to be restarted? That remains to be seen. But it shouldn't have to depend on commissions being proactive; horsemen and/or tracks should petition their commissions to enact some version of this rule and enact it using their emergency rule making powers instead of having to go through 6 months or more of review before they can approve it. It took a relatively high-profile accident to get Ontario to act. It shouldn't require another such incident to happen before the rest of the industry follows their lead. Now is the time to make this an industry-wide standard on both sides of the border. by Allan Schott firstname.lastname@example.org
TORONTO, October 27 - The Woodbine race office would like to advise horsepeople of a change to the draw schedule for the Woodbine Fall/Winter meet. Effective immediately, Saturday cards will now be drawn on Wednesdays, while the draw for Friday cards will remain on Tuesdays. Here is the full draw schedule for the Woodbine meet. Enter Monday for Thursday. Enter Tuesday for Friday. Enter Wednesday for Saturday. Enter Thursday for Monday. The entry box closes at 10:30 a.m. each day. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
WALKILL, NY October 27, 2014 – Blue Chip Farms and the Bettor's Delight Syndicate are excited to announce his migration back to Canada. Bettor’s Delight will continue to build his legacy as one of the most prolific Standardbred stallions ever, having sired winners of over $200 million globally. He has sired multiple World Champions including Darlins Delight and Bettor Sweet as well as 11 millionaires. In addition, Bettor's Delight was the leading all‐age money winning sire in 2013 and is poised to be the same in 2014. “Following the wonderful reception to his Canadian bred offspring at the Lexington sale, we were approached by many breeders, owners, and trainers alike who desired a proven top tier producing stallion in Ontario,” said Blue Chip's owner, Tom Grossman. “With next year’s Bettor’s Delight two-year-olds in the Canadian program, and with several top tier mares like I Luv the Nightlife ($1.9 million) already committed to him in the shed, Blue Chip along with our syndicate partners expect Bettor’s Delight to continue to expand the Cam Fella line in Ontario, especially with Camluck’s recent retirement. “He has been an absolute rock of Gibraltar for the syndicate, mare owners, trainers, and yearling buyers that have been fortunate enough to cross paths with him." Grossman added, "and my partner Joe Thomson and I are thrilled to send Bettor’s Delight back to Winbak Canada.” From Blue Chip Farms
The board of the Ontario Racing Commission has announced that it has approved revisions and new rules directing all Standardbred racetracks to upgrade their emergency warning light systems to now include a siren. The changes/upgrades must be implemented by January 1, 2015. The ORC explained that the rule change was a recommendation following an investigation and report by the ORC’s Equine Accident Specialist into an incident which occurred at Flamboro Downs. The ORC held a meeting to review enhanced race protocols with a number of racetrack operators, drivers, veterinarians and horsepeople, as well as a number of ORC judges and investigators. The recommendations discussed ways to stop the race when, in the opinion of the judges, the situation warranted such action. The new and revised rules will provide the judges with the authority and ability to turn on warning lights when they view a situation that could negatively affect the health and safety of the participants. The lights indicate to drivers that they should proceed with caution. Under the new and revised rules, when a more serious emergency situation occurs, the judges will have the authority and ability to stop the race and communicate this to the Drivers through the use of both the warning lights and the siren. The ORC stated that racetracks have until January 1, 2015, to install an enhanced emergency warning system, approved by the ORC. Failure to comply may result in fines or suspensions or both. To view the ORC’s notice on the issue, click here. To view the ORC’s Standardbred Directive #3 – 2014, which includes new rules and revised rules, click here. From the Ontario Racing Commission
Brian Sears, Jody Jamieson and Chris Christoforou, three of harness racing’s top reinsmen, are nearing major milestones in their career dash totals. With their busy race schedules, all three drivers should be able to hit their milestone marks by this coming weekend. Sears leads the way with 8,994 wins as of today and thus is just six away from #9,000. When he hit that milestone, Sears will become only the 16th driver in the history of harness racing in North American to achieve 9,000 wins. Jody Jamieson currently has 6,995 career wins and is just five away from #7,000 while Chris Christoforou is at 5,994 wins and six away from #6,000. Good luck to all three drivers this week! By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
The final card feature of the 2014 season at Leamington Raceway was named in honour of a former war veteran, blacksmith, and horseman, Frank Reid. Reid was a race official at Windsor Raceway and Rideau Carleton, and a veteran of the Korean war. He represented what Canada is all about when freedom is threatened around the world. Leamington Raceway honoured the man who passed away in 2013, with the featured Preferred 3 Pace, won by Conflict Diamond($3.30) in 1:58 flat. Leaving from the rail, the son of Badlands Hanover-Diamond Jubilee sat gapped in the two-hole behind Stoney Durkin, when driver Alfie Carroll got late stretch action to win by a nose. Owner Larry Johnson of London, Ont. also does the training. Conflict Diamond picked up his ninth win in 26 starts this year and now goes over the $50,000 mark in 2014 earnings. Rob Sparling Jr. was the driving star of the day, picking up four wins on the 10-race card. He opened up with a wire-to-wire win aboard Brenway Darbie ($9.00) in 2:01.3 for owner/trainer Mike Hamlin of Essex, Ont. Brenway Darbie has now won three of his last four starts. Sparlings' next win came in the sixth race with another front end performance aboard Ruthies Pride ($6.50) in 1:58.4 for owner/trainer Jason Libby of Dorchester, Ont. and co-owner Patrick Leblanc of Essex, Ont. In the eighth, Light Shine In got a two-hole ride behind Jet Black (Donnie Rankin) tipping out in the stretch to win by one and three-quarter lengths in 2:00.3. The son of I am A Fool-Michelles Fury is owned and trained by B J Leon of Maidstone, Ont. Sparlings' fourth win came in the ninth when he tipped out late in the stretch to win by a head over Albergetty (Tyler Borth) with Brother John ($4.80) for owner/trainer George Robinson of Windsor, Ont. in 1:59.1. Sparling had two more reasons to celebrate as his lady Karen and their newborn baby Avery made appearances in all four winner's circle pictures -- something to put in the scrapbook for years to come. The afternoon also saw one of Canada's leading drivers, Doug McNair, stop by for a win aboard Dr. Reg Wesgarths' Taylorlane Fancy ($4.40) in 2:00.2. The eight-year-old Modern Art-Armbro Ocala mare is trained by Gord McDonnell and picked up her seventh win of the year. It was noted that the purse was $2,500, just a couple zeros short of the $250,000 purse won by McNair a couple weeks ago in the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals. The last card of the season saw Leamington punters push through a handle of $23,909. It's now back to the drawing board for the Lakeshore Horse Racing Association to review the 2014 season and make adjustments for 2015. The leaders of the team include Mark Williams, Dr. Paul Branton, Tom Bain and Wayne Martinuik. Many questions need to be addressed regarding the semantics of racing returning to southwestern Ontario. From the press box at Leamington Raceway "Many thanks must also go out to the volunteers and the 'little people' who helped make this project work," stated a Leamington Raceway news release. "Although the Ontario Racing Commission's demands are great, they have given the horse people a ray of hope that racing in this part of the province is warranted in some shape or form -- thank you ORC and thank you to the fans of racing in Essex and Kent counties."