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TORONTO, April 16 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today unveiled the totally new HPIbet.com website. HPIbet was also introduced as the new simplified brand name of the HorsePlayer Interactive suite of services. HPIbet provides account wagering services to horseplayers from coast to coast in Canada. The new customer-focused site blends leading-edge technology with respected racing traditions, such as the Queen's Plate. "Today's launch reveals the latest in website design and horseplayer functionality," said Greg Martin, WEG's Senior Director of Wagering and Technology. "The needs of our customers are always changing, and in order to exceed the needs of the modern horseplayer, HPIbet.com needed to evolve as well. This is change has produced a faster, more intuitive, feature-packed betting experience for 2015 and beyond." With an updated, easy-to-navigate website, HPIbet.com has maintained all the important functionality, including the key stats any fan needs, complemented by a wealth of sleek new features that maximize the horseplaying experience. One of the new features that is certain to be a hit for bettors is the Streaming Centre. HPIbet.com players can now view four tracks on the screen simultaneously. There's more. A new search engine allows the racing fan to easily access Horse, Jockey/Driver and Trainer data, a note-taking feature offers the ability to capture and review all the insights and an "alert" function enables HPIbet.com to maximize a racing fan's entire wagering experience. "Striking a balance between innovating HorsePlayer Interactive and respecting the legacy features our members admire was a difficult exercise but we believe we have achieved both with HPIbet.com," said Martin. "It's a whole new look for players." With the obvious prevalence of mobile devices, HPIbet.com utilizes responsive design on the new platform. "HPIbet.com is designed to be more intuitive, responding to the popularity of mobile and tablet device usage," said Martin. "We have incorporated responsive design into our framework, which allows us to give a great and consistent customer experience across all device types." John Siscos

Tracking vital health data in real-time on your smart phone or tablet is a snap with Equine Guelph's new Horse Health Tracker App! Whether you have one horse or a whole herd, this app empowers horse owners to give the ultimate in care to their animals. Assess your horse's vital health data, body condition score and body weight with a few simple clicks and easily share this information with your healthcare team. Upgrades allow you to keep track of information such as heart rate, temperature and respiration for up to 50 horses! Special graphs plot this vital data over a 13-month period. Instructional videos are also included in the upgrade to show you how to properly perform the assessments. Appointment reminders sync with your smart phone calendar, making it easy to stay on top of your horse's health care regime. The app accommodates multiple checks per day, making it the perfect tool to monitor sick horses as well as healthy horses. Its built-in e-mail capability allows you to share data with your veterinarian. "The ability to share pertinent information with your veterinarian is a wonderful feature," says equine practitioner, Dr. Laura Frost. "The Horse Health Tracker makes it easy for the horse owner to systematically collect vital health data and provide this information in real-time to a veterinarian. This app ensures that important pieces of the puzzle are not missed when communicating health concerns regarding a sick horse." The Horse Health Tracker App is a must-have management tool for you to become the leading advocate for your horse's health. A user guide is available at EquineGuelph.ca. The App is available for download at the App Store and Google Play. Not only will this app benefit your horse healthcare program, your purchase will support Equine Guelph in its mission to 'Help Horses for Life' as proceeds will be invested back into welfare education programs. This project is funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario. Other partners include: Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare; Equine Canada; Farm & Food Care Ontario; Greenhawk Harness & Equestrian Supplies; Omega Alpha Equine; Ontario Equestrian Federation; the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; Ontario Racing Commission; Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Standardbred Canada. Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.EquineGuelph.ca. by Jackie Bellamy-Zions Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 14 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) would like to issue a final reminder that the next deadline for sustaining payments to WEG and Alliance stakes events, including the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, is tomorrow, Wednesday, April 15. Sustaining payments are due tomorrow for the Pepsi North America Cup, Canadian Trotting Classic, Fan Hanover, Elegantimage, Goodtimes, Somebeachsomewhere, Casual Breeze and the WEG SBOA stakes. The first sustaining payment is also due tomorrow for 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. WEG also continues to handle the stakes administration for all Alliance Racetracks. Sustaining payments are due tomorrow for the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs and the Battle of Waterloo and Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway. For full event details and to view the WEG stakes booklet, click here. To make payments online, click here. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, April 14 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and award-winning Colio Estate Winery today announced a 3-year partnership which includes the southern Ontario winemaker launching an Ontario-wide promotion through the LCBO, offering a red carpet experience for the Queen's Plate, Canada's most renowned horse race.   The Colio Red Carpet Experience at the Queen's Plate will be unveiled for the 156th edition of the race, on Sunday, July 5, 2015 at Woodbine Racetrack.   "The partnership with Colio allows Woodbine to present the Queen's Plate brand to a broader audience across Ontario," said Paul Lawson, WEG's Vice-President of Marketing and Broadcasting. "Colio is a much admired Canadian brand among wine lovers and we're proud of the association Woodbine and the Queen's Plate has with it."   The partnership leverages WEG's premium horse racing and Colio Estate Winery's remarkable VQA wines, which have won over 400 awards in competitions around the globe.   Colio wines will be also available at other WEG's outlets, including Mohawk Racetrack, Turf Lounge and WEGZ Stadium Bar.   "The Queen's Plate and Woodbine Racetrack are the most refined names in Canadian horse racing," said Jim Clark, President of Colio. "Colio wants to be associated with that kind of class. The Colio Red Carpet Experience at the Queen's Plate helps us to do that."   In honour of promoting the 156th Queen's Plate experience at Woodbine Racetrack, Colio is offering the chance to win a Colio Red Carpet Experience at the Queen's Plate prize pack, valued at $500, later this month.   A winner and three friends will receive four (4) VIP Grandstand seats at Woodbine for the race, round trip transportation to and from Woodbine, a VIP party pass and much more. The contest will be available to enter from Wednesday, April 29 to Sunday, June 21, 2015.   WEG continues to possess the strongest collection of sponsors in racing; with Ricoh, Budweiser, Pepsi, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, having race sponsorships and/or marketing arrangements with WEG.   About Colio Estate Winery (www.coliowinery.com)   Since opening its doors in 1980, Colio Estate Winery crafts premium wines from a 200-acre estate vineyard. Located in Harrow, Ontario in Lake Erie North Shore, Canada's southernmost wine growing region, Colio has captured over 400 medals in national and international competitions. Colio table, sparkling, late harvest and Icewines are all available at any of its 14 Estate Retail Boutiques, the winery, many LCBO stores across the province or on-line.   About Woodbine Entertainment Group (www.woodbineentertainment.com)   WEG is the largest horse racing operator in Canada offering world class horse racing at both Woodbine (Toronto) and Mohawk (Milton) racetracks. WEG, part of the Standardbred Alliance, and single operator of Teletheatres and Account Wagering in Ontario, operates off-track wagering at its Champions teletheatres throughout the province. Remote wagering is also available to customers through HorsePlayer Interactive, the company's telephone, internet and mobile account wagering service. WEG operates HPItv, a CRTC licensed digital television channel that broadcasts its racing product into homes across Canada.   John Siscos

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 13 - Cast No Shadow and Maplelea came into Monday night's $36,200 Blossom Series final at Mohawk with a shot at a series sweep, but Doctor Terror and harness racing driver Jody Jamieson had other plans. A compact field of six three-year-old pacing fillies lined up Monday for the final of the Blossom over a 'sloppy' surface at Mohawk. Cast No Shadow, who was undefeated in five starts this season coming into the final, was sent off as the 1/2 favourite, while Maplelea, who entered the final on a five-race win streak, went off at odds of 3/1. Both fillies scored impressive victories in the preliminary rounds and were going for the series sweep Monday night. However, the Blake MacIntosh trainee Doctor Terror would not allow the brooms to come out and came away with the series final victory at odds of 9/2. Driven by Jamieson, Doctor Terror sprinted out to the early lead and would give way to Cast No Shadow in the second-quarter for a two-hole trip. The favourite would set fractions of :58.2 and 1:27.3 to bring the field into the stretch. Maplelea, who paced along sixth, had her chances take a hit around the final turn, as her cover stalled on the way to the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Doctor Terror came off the rail and would grind down Cast No Shadow to overtake the lead. Moonlit Dance came charging on the far outside in deep stretch, but Doctor Terror held her off to win by a head in 1:57.2. Cast No Shadow finished third, while Maplelea got up for fourth. A daughter of Western Terror, Doctor Terror has made all three of her starts this season in the Blossom Series. Along with a victory and a pair of runner-up finishes, Doctor Terror walks away from the Blossom with a total of $25,600 in earnings. Last season, Doctor Terror won a Grand Circuit event at the Delaware County Fairgrounds and banked over $110,000. She is owned by Blake MacIntosh and Stuart McIntosh. Doctor Terror returned $11.80 to win. In order to be eligible to the Blossom Series, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of three-races of $15,000 in 2014. Mark McKelvie

Greg MacDonald,  85, formerly of Sydney, Nova Scotia and Smyrna, DE passed away from heart failure this morning at Bayhealth Kent Genera in Dover, DEl. Greg started his driving career in 1962 north of the border having great success with the pacer, Bob Brook. In 1963 he made the break to the US working as second trainer for the late Hugh Bell. Of note he trained Miles End Brenda, Miles End Diane, & Miles End Steve who won on the same race card at The Meadowlands. They were all $100K winners and full sisters and brother. He last drove in 1988 at Monticello Raceway. An accomplished all around horseman. he was seen in his later years sitting in his pickup trackside watching training miles with Lizzy the Jack Russell by his side. He is predeceased by a son, Larry. Survived by his wife Elizabeth (Betty Lyan), sons, Joe (Linda) of Smyrna, John of NJ, daughters, Trish (at home), Pauline of NJ, Colleen (Jim McGuire) of Sydney, Judy (Dan Murray) of NJ, 8 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. He will be cremated and a home service celebrating his life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers he wished contributions to be made for the youth in harness racing via the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, 16575 Carey Road, Westfield, IN 46074. By Judy Davis-Wilson for the Delaware Standarbred Breeders' Fund

(April 12, 2015) - HANA Harness welcomes the Bellino Stable as a Gold Sponsor and The Raceway at Western Fair District as a Silver sponsor in the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Bellino Stable, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Harness Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. With less than two weeks prior to the commencement of the contest on April 24, it is Last Call for becoming a sponsor. While naming rights for the handicapping contest have been sold out, affordable sponsorship opportunities remain, starting with our Bronze Level ($100), Silver Level ($250) and topping out at $500 for the Gold Level. If you are a racetrack, horsemen association, racing stable, or a vendor who does business in the harness racing industry, sponsorship is a perfect way to get your name out within the industry as supporters of standardbred rescue. The deadline for becoming a sponsor is Friday, April 17. To become a sponsor or for further information, you may contact allan@hanaweb.org. For further information on the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge, visit the contest website here.       Allan Schott HANA Harness Coordinator Check out our contest site for the 2015 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge. Check out HANA Harness' Blog.      

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 11 - American Rock with Jody Jamieson turned in a gritty harness racing effort to win the $37,000 Youthful Series final Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A solid group of ten three-year-old pacing colts and geldings lined up Saturday evening for the final of the three-week Youthful series. Legion Of Boom, the 4/5 favourite, came into the final on a three-race win streak and had a chance at a series sweep. The action was hot right from the start, as the first-quarter saw a trio of horses battle around the opening turn. Dialamara, who was three-wide, would come away with the lead as the field entered the backstretch. American Rock, who got away fourth, came charging first up in the second-quarter to engage Dialamara in a duel. American Rock would eventually clear to the lead at the mid-way point, but not after a rock-solid half-mile clocking of :55.1. Around the final turn, Team Captain was pressing at the leader first up, while Legion Of Boom was placed second-over. American Rock posted a third-quarter of :28.1 to reach the three-quarter pole in 1:23.2. In the stretch, American Rock dug deep and would not allow his rivals to get by, as he reached the wire first in a career-best 1:52. Dialamara came up the rail to finish second by a length and a quarter, while Pantheon Hanover made a rally on the far outside to finish third. Team Captain, who was beat less than two-lengths, and Legion Of Boom had to settle for fourth and fifth, respectively. A son of Rocknroll Hanover, American Rock is trained by Ben Wallace for owner Brad Grant. The sophomore pacing colt came into Saturday's final off a 1:54.1 victory in last week's second leg and had finished second by only a head in an opening leg division on March 28. American Rock, who did not race as a two-year-old, now has a record of five wins from eight starts and earnings $57,250. The Wallace trainee returned $7.10 to win. In order to be eligible to the Youthful series, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of three-races or $15,000 in 2014. American Rock Favourites dominate round one of Don Mills The first leg of the Don Mills Trotting Series Saturday night at Mohawk was dominated by the chalk. A group of 13 four- and five-year-old trotters were split into two $20,000 first round divisions. In the first division, Wild And Crazy Guy picked up his third win from his last four starts in 1:56. Sent off as the 3/5 favourite, Wild And Crazy Guy and driver Mario Baillargeon got away fourth in the early stages. A second-quarter move gave Wild And Crazy Guy control of the lead and he never looked back. The public's choice finished up his mile with a :28.2 final-quarter to win by a length and three-quarters over Windsun Revenge. Exemplar finished third, while Ramas Last Son took fourth. A four-year-old gelding son of Crazed, Wild And Crazy Guy is trained by Martin Lachance for owners Jean Brunet & Ted Gewertz and now has three wins from 12 starts in 2015. Saturday evening's victory gives the four-year-old 12 career victories and pushes his bankroll over $164,000. Wild And Crazy Guy paid $3.30 to win. Wild And Crazy Guy In the second division, Bourbon Bay and driver Mike Saftic lived up to their 1/5 billing and scored a dominant 1:54.1 victory. A four-year-old gelding son of Sand Vic, Bourbon Bay swept the General Brock series back in February at Woodbine and was returning north of the border Saturday off a Weiss Series division victory at Pocono on March 31. The heavy-favourite was sent straight to the lead by Saftic and it was lights out from there. Bourbon Bay set fractions of :28.2, :57 and 1:25.1 before trotting home easily in :29 to win by 2 ¾ lengths over Seawind Pascale. Sheer Flex finished more than 12 lengths behind the winner in third, while A J Destiny finished fourth. The clocking of 1:54.1 is a new career-mark for Bourbon Bay, who now has eight wins from 11 starts in 2015. The four-year-old is trained north of the border by Mike Sinclair for lessee John Cummings Jr of Nichols, New York and increased his career bankroll to over $117,000 with the victory Saturday. Bourbon Bay paid $2.40 to win. Bourbon Bay In order to be eligible to the Don Mills, the trotters had to be non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2014. The second leg of the Don Mills Trotting Series will take place next Saturday (April 18). Mark McKelvie

There are some athletes, who are to their sport — like jam is to peanut butter. They come together like eggs to bacon. They blend. They become one, an osmosis in the world of sweat — like Jordan and basketball; a puck and Gretzky, baseball with The Babe. One without the other is intellectually indigestible. So, it is, that harness racing has always had its Filion and a Waples. Or two. Jody Jamieson is a multiple O’Brien Award winner and John Campbell is regarded with a reverence rarely heard this side of a Gordie Howe conversation. Some, such as Sylvain Filion, who leads the drivers’ standings with Canada’s top harness circuit moving to Mohawk Thursday from Woodbine, continue to hold the standard high for the old world order. But, look close enough, and it is evident that standardbred racing is also coming into a new age. The twitter generation is making its move. A younger, perhaps bolder more aggressive, and evidently a talented wave of young drivers has taken a foothold in the industry. Perhaps never before has so much young blood lined up horses behind a starting gate. “I think it has changed quite a bit,” says Doug McNair, who at age 25, sits second in the driver’s standings behind only Filion. “Even if you go back just a few years, most guys had to be in their 30s before they could race (on the Woodbine/Mohawk circuit) full-time. Me, Jon Drury, and a couple others, all came in about the same time and I think it’s good for the sport. “When you have the younger drivers well, they tend to hang out with a younger crowd and I think it might get more younger people ... a new generation of people coming out to the track.” There is certainly a new generation taking over on the track. With the switch-over to Mohawk, three of the five top drivers have yet to see a 30th candle lit on their birthday cake. Drury, from Rockwood, Ont., is fifth with 37 wins. McNair, has 62 wins in 332 starts, just six behind Filion. James MacDonald, who at age 28 recorded his 1,000th lifetime win last season, sits in third spot with 44 wins. “I think I’ve got a lot of good years ahead. Most of the better, older drivers didn’t get to their best until their mid-30s,” said MacDonald, who grew up in a racing family in Prince Edward Island. “A younger group is starting to break through ... a few of us have gotten noticed.” Noticed is a modest way of putting it. McNair surpassed the 2,000-win mark last year and ranked as the top Ontario Sires Stakes driver. In 2008, at age 18, he became the youngest driver in harness-racing history to win a $300,000 purse in the Battle of Waterloo. Horses, he has always realized, would be his life. His father Gregg, one of Canada’s top conditioners with over $31 million in career earnings, got him started in the sport. “I was only five or six years old maybe when it happened, but there’s a picture in my bedroom of me sitting on a bike in the winner’s circle after (Filion) won a race with one of my dad’s horses. Now I’m 25 and I’m getting a chance to go out there every night with some of these guys. How great is that. Sure, I have my bad days sometimes and I’m not happy when I leave the track — but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing,” said Doug, “lots of four- and five-year-old kids dream of going to the NHL. I always dreamt of going to the track and racing.” Like McNair, Drury and MacDonald both grew up in racing families. Unlike McNair, Drury and MacDonald had to find, or rediscover, their passion for racing after some alternative adolescent diversions. “I played hockey, I played baseball. You name it, I played it,” said MacDonald, who enjoyed his job at the track canteen in Charlottetown, but rarely hung out at the family or track barns. Both his parents worked at the local track, the family was into the breeding business and his brothers Mark and Anthony were already on track to successful careers as drivers. “My brothers were always obsessed with the horses. I wasn’t,” said MacDonald. After graduating Grade 12, he worked a summer in Campbellville for his brother Anthony but, “I didn’t enjoy it that much to be honest” and he returned to college in P.E.I. Everything changed the following summer when he went back to Campbellville and his brother put him on a bike. “I don’t really know what changed. Maybe I was older. Maybe it was just I knew people and had more friends but I loved it.” And, the game, it turned out, loved him back. Last year, he drove Muscle Babe to a stakes-record performance in the $178,287 Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association final for three-year-old filly trotters in an impressive 1:54. His purse earnings this season already top $800,000. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. Even if I’m having a bad night and I go to the gate I still believe I’ve got the best job in the world.” Drury could be building racetracks rather than racing on them. While he also grew up in a racing family — his father Barry worked at Mohawk, still trains horses and once worked for the legendary Ron Waples as an assistant trainer at the old Meadowlands — he toyed with the idea of becoming an architect. “I really enjoyed it, and woodworking in high school. I thought about going to university but I ended up finishing high school and ... well, racing kind of took over. I guess it was just in my blood.” He started at a small track in Woodstock, his father gave him a leg up with a few horses. “Mostly it’s about opportunity. You have to get a chance to drive some decent horses ... when people see you winning at the smaller places they start to be more willing to let you go to the big tracks,” said Drury. A move to Kawartha Downs a few years later and teaming up with top trainers Corey Johnson and Carmen Auciello was the birth of his “Made It” moment. “I was a regular driver there (Kawartha Downs) and they started using me and we developed a relationship and it just snowballed from there,” said Drury, who also raced at Pocono for Auciello. “It was a great experience. I think it really helped me to be to where I am at today. It’s a different style of racing (at the Poconos), it taught me a lot and I think its made me a better driver now.” Since then he has become an integral part in the development of O’Brien Award winner Vegas Vacation, guiding the colt to victory in his first lifetime start at Mohawk Racetrack. Ultimate goals: For MacDonald? “You try not to look at the standings but you do ... It would be to win a drivers title at WEG,” he said. “To me the biggest thrill is still to have a full card against the best drivers that I grew up idolizing. We’re young ... at this age you’re eager to prove (yourself). We want to win and be like the guys who’ve been in this sport a long time.” Thursday, McNair has six races on the opening card at Mohawk in a season in which he is off to his best career start, and one he hopes will culminate with his ultimate dream: The O’Brien Trophy (awarded annually to Canadian harness-racing’s best and brightest) and a driving championship. “I picked up some good horses to start the year and it just seems to have snowballed from there,” said McNair. “In 2013 I got nominated, along with Filion, for driver of the year. He was always one of the guys I idolized when I was a kid. When that happened I felt like I belonged.” They have taken different paths to get to where they belong, but standardbred’s young guns are arriving at the finish line together. Said Drury: “When you’re racing at Woodbine and Mohawk you’re obviously doing something right. Just knowing I’m racing with the best is kind of a special feeling ... In the past, owners have always gone with the experienced guys. It’s nice to see some of the younger guys get a shot, with good horses, because I do think it’s good for the sport. By Bill Lankhof for the Toronto Sun Reprinted with the permission of the Toronto Sun

Everything at your fingertips and an easy-to-follow resource manual make the Equine Guelph First Aid Kit your "go to" item when an equine emergency hijacks your perfectly planned day. Equine Guelph and Greenhawk have partnered to offer this extensive first aid kit, at a great value, to keep you organized and ready to deal with emergency situations. Proceeds from the Equine Guelph First Aid Kit will be donated by Greenhawk to Equine Guelph in support of its welfare education programs. The first thing you will notice is a section to store all your emergency numbers. The resource manual includes checklists and explains the contents of the kit to equip horse owners for emergencies. The manual makes it easy to keep track of items and when to replenish supplies with a handy inventory checklist and log. How to deal with wounds and how to bandage are also covered in the kit along with a list of a horse's vitals. Greenhawk believes in the importance of equine healthcare and welfare as illustrated by its commitment to offering the Equine Guelph First Aid Kit to its valued customers through this unique partnership. The partners have included 16 essential items in your kit at a cost savings of over $55! There is room to customize your kit with additional suggested items, keeping everything in one handy, sanitary container. Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker explains, "The launch of this first aid kit is part of the Full-Circle-Responsibility program Equine Guelph initiated with the help of many partners to promote welfare in the equine industry. Your purchase will support Equine Guelph in our mission to 'Help Horses for Life'." She adds, "Every horse caregiver should be prepared to manage an emergency situation." In case of emergency, Equine Guelph recommends following its abbreviated list of emergency procedures, "A.C.T.", intended to help you stay efficient during an emergency: 1. Assess the situation, 2. Call for help and 3. Treat the horse. Equine Guelph also recommends that all horse care givers should receive first aid or emergency preparedness training. The Equine Guelph First Aid Kit is available for $129 at select Greenhawk stores: Mississauga, Ottawa, Gormley, London, Beamsville, Barrie, Orangeville, Campbellville, Whitby and Toronto (Avenue Road). This project is funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario. Other partners include: Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare; Equine Canada; Farm & Food Care Ontario; Greenhawk Harness & Equestrian Supplies; Omega Alpha Equine; Ontario Equestrian Federation; the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; Ontario Racing Commission; Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Standardbred Canada. by Jackie Bellamy-Zions Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 8 - The 2015 Mohawk Racetrack meet is set to get underway this Thursday, April 9 for a 52nd season of live harness racing. The 118-date meet of North America's premier harness racing will feature racing every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tuesdays will be added to the lineup beginning June 2 for the balance of the meet. First-race post time each night is 7:25 p.m. "Back to Mohawk makes for an exciting time," said veteran driver Paul MacDonell. "It's spring in the air and everyone is showing optimism with young horses and everything that's coming up. It's an exciting time." The 2015 meet will once again be highlighted by the 32nd edition of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, June 20. The 'Cup' undercard will be made up of the Fan Hanover, Goodtimes, Roses Are Red Stakes and the Mohawk Gold Cup. A special post time of 6:30 p.m. will be in place for Pepsi North America Cup night. This year's meet will see the return of the popular Mohawk Fireworks and Family Fun Night during the Victoria Day long weekend on Saturday, May 16. Post time on fireworks night will be 6:45 p.m. The high-profile stakes calendar will once again bring the finest pacers and trotters to Mohawk throughout the entire season. The Metro Pace, Canadian Pacing Derby and Shes A Great Lady Stakes will headline a spectacular evening of harness racing on Saturday, September 5 while the Maple Leaf Trot and Canadian Trotting Classic will makeup an 'All-Star' evening of trotting events on Saturday, September 19. Along with the world-class harness racing, horseplayers will notice a brand new wager added to the betting menu when racing returns to Mohawk. The new Standardbred Jackpot Pick-6 wager will require horseplayers to select the winner of the final six-races each night. If there are multiple winning tickets, 50 per cent of that evening's pool will be carried over to the following card. The other half will be paid out in consolation payouts to those Jackpot Pick-6 tickets which contain the highest number of winners. If only one horseplayer successful hits the Pick-6, they will take home the entire 'Jackpot'. The Jackpot Pick-6 carries a $0.20 minimum bet and a 15 percent takeout. Along with the special post times on signature event evenings, an early post time of 7:05 p.m. will be in place on Saturday, May 2. Fans can stay up to date on news, promotions and events all-season long by visiting www.MohawkRacetrack.com and the Mohawk Facebook and Twitter pages. Mark McKelvie

“Increasing the plane of nutrition should start at conception rather than waiting for the last trimester” emphasized renowned equine nutritionist Don Kapper. Sharing his wealth of knowledge in equine nutrition and management in a recent visit to Canada, Kapper spoke on how to feed the broodmare and the newborn foal right up to weaning. Nutrition begins with the Broodmare Nutrition is a vital component in your horse’s health triangle, where genetics, management and nutrition are all equal. Before the foal even hits the ground it is important that the broodmare has received optimal prenatal nutrition, explains Kapper. Replenishing the mares body reserves earlier rather than later will lend greater ability for her to take care of the baby in utero and when it comes time for nursing. It would be remiss to talk about the nutritional needs of a growing horse without first addressing the needs of the broodmare.   What the mare consumes will greatly affect her milk production, her own health and the well-being of her newborn foal. There is a genetic and management component explains Kapper. The mare’s genetics decide how much milk she can produce as well as the quality. The management and nutrition component comprises of making sure we are putting the nutrition, i.e. calories, protein and minerals, into the mare that she is passing on to the foal in her milk. • If we fail to feed enough calories the mare will lose weight. • A lack of protein in the diet will show up as loss of muscle, visible first by a diminishing top line. • Without the appropriate amount of minerals, the mare’s bone and liver stores could be compromised. Feeding the mare a balanced diet is crucial for her own health and that of her offspring. Maintaining the mare’s body condition score between 5.5 and 6.5 and an “A” topline score throughout the pregnancy is recommended management. Colostrum (first milk) is full of protein (75%) and the antibodies the foal needs to quickly acquire and is produced for the first 12 – 24 hours. It is recommended that as soon as the foal is up on its sternum (preferably within the first half-hour after birth) the mare should be milked so the foal can receive 2 – 4 ounces of colostrum from a baby nipple before the foal stands. This allows them to gain immunity from the whole protein antibodies which is absorbed by their open small intestine and diminishes the chance of scours. Scours can be serious, especially to a newborn, as it causes dehydration. Consumption of colostrum before the foal starts wandering around licking foreign objects, which could contain bacteria or viruses, is beneficial in closing the small openings in intestine and boosting immunity. A 100 pound foal should receive 250 ml (approximately one cup) of colostrum each hour for the first six hours after birth. Every breeder should have an adequate stock of colostrum (1500 ml) stored in their freezer (can be stored for up to 5 years), or access to a colostrum bank, just in case. You can collect colostrum for saving, the same time the foal is nursing during the first 12 hours. Feed According to Need Keeping track of a foal’s rate of growth is an important part of managing its diet. The average foal should weigh between 10 – 12% of the mare’s body weight at birth and will double their birth weight in the first 30 days. Not many horse owners have a scale to measure how fast the foal is growing, but monthly monitoring of their age and size becomes critical to feeding according to their growth rate. Feeding less nutrients than required can result in skeletal and soft tissue problems while overfeeding calories can increase the trauma on the sensitive growth plates causing inflammation to occur, i.e. physitis. Physitis can also occur when inadequate minerals are fed and/or when protein (amino acids) are fed below requirement. Physitis can retard closure allowing multiple things to go wrong at this age. Kapper says, “We do not recommend trying to speed up or slow down a young horse’s growth rate.” Just provide the nutrients according to their individual need, that is determined by its age and size i.e. rate of growth. DOD’s If Developmental Orthopedic Disease (DOD) or limb abnormalities are apparent, immediate action should be taken calling in the vet. These conditions do not go away on their own and are indicative of an underlying problem. The mare’s diet should be checked and milk analyzed. Analyzing the milk is easy, inexpensive and can be the key in getting to the bottom of developmental problems in foals. The nutrients in the milk need to match what is recommended to support optimal growth rate. Checking mineral and nutrient density in the milk is suggested at seven days after foaling and then again during week four, eight and twelve. For example: low protein levels or low calcium or phosphorus can result in decreased bone density and have a negative impact on tendon and ligament strength. A deficiency in copper can result in contracted tendons. When the DOD is nutrition induced - balancing the diet in foals under 30 days old can yield a positive response in ten to fourteen days. For weanlings positive results can be seen in 30 – 45 days and yearlings in 60 – 90 days. This is based on the rate of tissue turn-over being faster in the younger horses. If a DOD is diagnosed, you will need to work closely with your veterinarian, farrier and nutritionist. Kapper cautions against practices such as starving the mare to prevent rapid growth. It will only result in decreasing your mares’ body reserves that will reduce the quality and quantity of her milk. Decreasing these essential nutrients and not addressing the real cause of the problem will only lead to more developmental issues in this years’ foal, as well as next years. He also stressed the importance of prenatal nutrition the ‘entire’ pregnancy. Kapper states, “During the past 30 years of research and monitoring growth related problems, when farms have over 25% of their foal crop affected with DOD, we have reduced the incidence on those farms by over 80%. The two management changes we made were: 1) prenatal nutrition fed the ‘entire’ pregnancy and 2) monitoring growth rate and the nutrients (amino acids, minerals and vitamins) fed to meet their requirements based on their growth rate. The Suckling For the first 30 days –foals will average drinking seven to ten times per hour. This is unchanged whether it is straight from the mother or an orphan foal drinking out of a bucket. The frequency of this purely milk diet is key in reducing digestive upsets which can be caused by drinking too much, too fast, from being too hungry. The hungry foal may attempt to eat forage, bedding or the mares feed that they cannot digest yet. Orphan or rejected foals will be extremely hungry if left for 2 hours without milk and therefore require diligent monitoring and free choice feeding of milk. Little and often is the well-known rule to reduce the chances of diarrhea. Proper nutrition is also essential for thermoregulation and weight gain. Foals grow rapidly; doubling their birth weight in just 30 days. First week to Three months old Access to the mare’s cereal grain should be denied to reduce the chance of diarrhea. The foal is not yet equipped with the enzymes to digest the mare’s cereal grain mixture that is formulated to compliment forage, not mare’s milk. A milk-based foal feed should be introduced which complements the mare’s milk they are already receiving. The quantity of ‘Milk Based’ Starter & Creep pellets consumed per day will be directly related to: how much milk the mare is producing per day, the age of the foal and the size of the foal in relation to the mare. One pound of milk-based feed per day per month of age is an average. It is important to consider factors that affect milk production of the mare: • Maiden mares do not produce as much milk as mares that have had foals previously. • When you cross breed a smaller mare to a larger stallion be prepared for accelerated growth (termed hybrid vigor). • Mare’s normally produce enough milk for a foal to grow to her size, not beyond. • At 4 – 6 weeks the mare’s milk production peaks and then dwindles.   Three - Four months old Between three and four months of age the enzymes in the digestive system begin to change. The cecum undergoes further development and a weanling feed can be introduced. Kapper states, “It is very easy to get a pot-belly on a 4 – 6 month old foal due to stemmy hay because they are not very good at fermenting fiber yet.” It is recommended to feed the softest hay when they begin to digest forage. Following Guidelines, Feed Tags and Testing not Guessing National Research Council (NRC) has recommended minimum nutrients to feed for every horse’s status. It is important to consider the changes and variances in forage quality in order to remain above NRC levels. Anything below will result in a state of deficiency. Of course, exceeding the top end of an optimal range can also cause problems if excess of minerals interfere with absorption of nutrients or cause toxicity. Be sure to read the purpose statement on the feed tags and feed according to their recommendations in order to fulfill nutrient requirements. When feeding mares and young horses, it is important to choose a feed that has been formulated to meet the needs of a growing or reproducing horse, as opposed to one that is specifically for mature, idle or maintenance needs. There will not be enough protein or minerals in the latter to support the growing horse. Performance feeds may be higher in calories but will not be balanced with the vitamins and minerals to support development of a strong skeletal structure in a growing horse. Always choose a feed that is tailored to the individual horses needs and feed according to the instructions. Kapper cautions, “Getting away with feeding less than recommended, means you have chosen the wrong feed.” Feeding less than the manufacturers recommended intake will result in nutritional deficiencies. Finally, if you are not testing your hay – choosing a grain mixture and supplements are guesswork. Other than the first 3 to 4 months of life, ad-lib forage should be the bulk of your horse’s diet so it is important to feed good quality and know what is in it. This also applies to testing soil to determine nutrient levels in pasture. “Horses are designed to be continuous feeders,” explains Kapper. An 1100 pound horse will eat up to 18 hours a day consuming about 2 – 2.5 % of their body weight per day in dry forage. This will improve nutrient absorption and over-all health and well-being. Knowing the levels of nutrients in your forage is the starting point for balancing a horse’s diet. Summary It is important to address nutrition right from the start in your horse’s health triangle along with genetics and management. A healthy broodmare is essential to produce a foal full of vigor and good health. Plan ahead to ensure access to extra colostrum, just in case you need it. Feed the right quantity of the right feed for the horse’s life stage to fulfill their dietary and growth needs. Testing the food source (mare’s milk, forage) is the most simple and effective way to make sure your horses are receiving the necessary level of recommended nutrients. Address any developmental abnormalities immediately, working with your healthcare team of veterinarian, farrier and nutritionist. Bio: Don Kapper is a highly experienced equine nutritionist and a member of the Cargill Equine Enterprise Team. Don graduated from Ohio State University and achieved his credentials as a Professional Animal Scientist from the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists in 1996 and has been a sought-after speaker for equine meetings in both the U.S. and Canada. He was a member of the “Performance Electrolyte Research” team at the University of Guelph and wrote the chapter on “Applied Nutrition” for the authoritative veterinary textbook: “Equine Internal Medicine”, 2nd edition. Don also co-developed the “Equine Nutrition” course for the Equine Science Certificate program for Equine Guelph and has been a popular guest speaker in several Equine Guelph online courses, including the Equine Growth and Development, Exercise Physiology and Advanced Equine Nutrition. Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada

April 7, 2015 - Another bright new harness racing star is bedded down in the Stable That God Loves.   McWicked, a gem of consistency in his three-year-old campaign sported a 12-5-4 record in 23 starts, with earnings of $1,482,447 for his Toronto owner, Ed James, who purchased him at Harrisburg for $210,000.   He was a multiple stakes winner with victories in the Hempt and the Adios, among others, before capping his season with an impressive 1:48.4 victory in the $301,560 Progress Stakes.   The big bay gelding was the recipient of three-year-old pacer of the year honours in Canada in 2014.   McWicked is one of the finest and richest campaigners Ed James has owned in his long tenure in horse racing. "I bought my first horse 59 years ago and I am still trying to get even" said Ed.   Following McWicked's victory in the Progress Stakes he enjoyed three months off and is currently being prepped by trainer Casie Coleman at her Florida training centre for an extensive 2015 stakes campaign.   Some of McWicked's big name stablemates in the Stable That God Loves include Adriano Sorella's 2013 Little Brown Jug winner, Vegas Vacation, John Craig's 2013 Breeders Crown winner Luck Be Withyou, John Fielding's Shake It Cerry, recipient of a 2014 Dan Patch Award, and Mac Nichol's Kentucky Derby hopeful, Madefromlucky, who is scheduled to go postward in the $1million Arkansas Derby on April 11th.   The members of the Stable That God Loves will contribute one per cent of their 2015 purse earnings to the Standardbred Racetrack Chaplaincy of Canada.   For regular up-to-date postings on the Stable That God Loves follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @ StableGodLoves.   For additional information contact Bill Galvin: billgalvin2000@yahoo.ca or Ken Middleton: kmiddleton@rogers.com                    

On Saturday night, the gambling industry witnessed the perfect storm when the harness racing meet at Woodbine offered a one race wager that captivated the gambling world.   A combination of huge carryover, takeout reduced by more than 40 per cent to create the huge carryover, a twenty cent minimum and a mandatory payout gave the players a large advantage statistically resulting in a wager that paid out significantly more money than it took in.   The incredible value of the High Five would bring sports bettors, thoroughbred bettors, poker players and gamblers from around the world to invest in the greatest of wagering opportunities, resulting in a Woodbine High Five pool that would break all North American records.   The Saturday High Five wagers totaled a record $2,581,505. The carryover of $847,458 brought the total pool to $3,428,963, another North American record for harness racing. After the takeout of $387,225, the net pool was $3,041,738 creating a surplus to the winners of $460,232, a fact that was not lost on those investors that knew their mathematics.   The Hugh Five was raced and the result was the second most logical of all from a statistical point of view. The 4-5 favorite Camaes Fellow was victorious followed by the 4-1 second favorite,the7-1 third favorite, the 12-1 fifth favorite and the 11-1 fourth favorite. This fairly predictable finish resulted in 3,522 twenty cent winners. When the results were posted, even the most optimistic players in the game could not believe the payoff they were seeing. The payout was incredibly generous. We will make things easier by converting all race 11 wagers to a one dollar payout. The exacta paid $7.59, the trifecta paid $36.10 and the super paid $211.90. The High Five paid $4,317.55 for a buck. In other words, the High Five paid over twenty times the superfecta by simply adding the next favorite in the betting. The twenty cent price was $863.51. This unbelievable payout rewarded the players handsomely for successfully putting a winning ticket together on a bet that was from a pure numerical standpoint one of the greatest wagering opportunities ever offered. Thank you to all horseplayers for your hugesupport of low takeout wagers, making more of them possible. Handle for the eleven race card was a season high $4,696,209. It was extremely encouraging to see the tracks that were still racing, The Meadowlands, Balmoral and Cal Expo showing the Woodbine High Five race on their signal highlighting the most important race of the night. This is the type of cooperation that I hope we will see later this year for The North America Cup, The Meadowlands Pace, The International Trot, The Breeders Crown and others. Congratulations to Woodbine for an extraordinary job. Best wishes to Mohawk as they open up their expanded meeting with a ten race card on Thursday. Michael Antoniades  -  Chicago Racing Analyst  

TORONTO, April 7 - Woodbine Entertainment Group today announced that per harness racing handle for the 2014-15 Woodbine Standardbred Fall-Winter meet, which concluded on Monday, April 6, was up in comparison to the same period during 2013-14. A total of 94 race cards were held at Woodbine between October 16, 2014 and April 6, 2015, 22 more race dates than the same period over the 2013-14 racing season. The 2014-15 Woodbine Standardbred Fall-Winter meet recorded an "all-sources" betting total of $138,154,596.15. The average per race handle for the meet was $136,922.30, a 7.2% increase over the same period a year prior. A handle of $4,696,209 on Saturday, April 4 was the largest handle of the Fall-Winter meet. The significant handle was powered by a record-setting Jackpot Hi-5 pool of $2,581,505 wagered into a carryover pool of $847,458 for a total of $3,428,963. More than $3 million was paid out to horseplayers who had the winning Jackpot Hi-5 combination. The single-race handle on the Jackpot Hi-5 dash on the April 4 card of $2,966,808 set a new industry record for largest single-race handle, while the Jackpot Hi-5 pool set a record as the largest total for a single-pool. Sylvain Filion finished the Winter-Fall meet as the leading driver with 119 wins. The veteran reinsman finished the meet as the only driver to top $2 million in earnings. On the training side, Richard Moreau led all conditioners with 87 wins and earnings of more than $1.1 million. The 118-date Mohawk Racetrack Spring-Summer meet kicks off Thursday, April 9. Mark McKelvie

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2015 inductees.    A total of 5 horses and people have been elected to the harness racing section of the Hall of Fame.    Standardbred inductees include horses Artsplace, J Cs Nathalie and the people include H. Charles (Charlie) Armstrong, William (Bill) Gale and Harry Eisen.   Artsplace, representing the Standardbred Male Horse Category, was the 1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following a sixteen race, undefeated four-year-old season.    He was a World Record holder in his two-year-old season, winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida.    Under the care of trainer Bob McIntosh and driven throughout his racing career by Hall of Famers John Campbell,  Bill O’Donnell and Cat Manzi, and Bill Gale, Artsplace won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million.    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.    Many of Artsplace’s sons and daughters have gone on to sire champions, including Art Major, sire of 2008 Meadowlands Pace champion Art Official, who won in 1:47, at the time a world record for three year old pacers, and the second fastest race mile in harness racing history.   Standardbred Veteran Horse Category inductee, 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 race record 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.   In total J Cs Nathalie has produced 13 horses of which 11 have started and banked more than $4.5 million in purse earnings.   In the Driver/Trainer Category, William (Bill) Gale, 66 of Woodstock, Ontario, has been elected to the Hall of Fame.   Gale 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 a driving career that spanned over 30 years, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million.   In the fall of ’91 at Pompano Park he won a pair of Breeders Crown Championships, as he guided King Conch to a World Record 1:56.2 win in the $300,000 Two-Year-Old Colt Trot and reined Three Wizards to an upset victory over Die Laughing and Artsplace in the $357,000 Breeders Crown for Three-Year-Old Pacing Colts.   In 1991, William Gale was honoured with an O’Brien Award as Canada’s Driver of The Year following a season where he exceeded $3.2 million in purse earnings.   H. Charles (Charlie) Armstrong, 93, of Brampton, Ontario, has been a true Icon in the Ontario and North American Horse Industry for 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.   Of note, Charlie Armstrong and fellow hall of famer, Gustav Schickedanz were the breeders of champion trotter Goodtimes, who at the end of his 11 year race career was retired as the richest Canadian Bred Trotting Horse of all time.   Other notables include two-time Breeders Crown winner Village Jiffy, as well as such horses as Village Jove and Village Jolt.   Stallions standing at the Armstrong breeding operation included King Conch, Camotion, Dream of Glory, Armbro Emerson and Adios Pick to name a few.   The family company was dispersed in 2005; however Charlie, along with his daughters, continues to raise and race Standardbreds under the name Village Acres Limited.   Charlie’s involvement in racing extended far beyond that of a breeder and owner and resulted in a long list of achievements for his commitment to the racing industry.   In 1999 he was named Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame Honouree in 1999 and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association presented him with the Van Bussell Award in 2003.     The 2015 Standardbred Communicator Inductee is the late Harry Eisen who spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario.   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.   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 and described his work as a “labour of love”.   Eisen’s regular column, “Mostly About Horses” kept horse lovers in the loop.   As a highly regarded handicapper, he also made the Western Fair selections for the Free Press.   In 1980, he became the first non-horseman to be inducted to the Western Fair Raceway Wall of Fame.   Standardbred Inductees Male Horse Category:  Artsplace – bred and owned by George I. Segal, Chicago, Illinois & Brian P. Monieson, Northbrook, Illinois;   later owned by Artsplace Syndicate, Versailles, Kentucky.   Veteran Horse Category:  J Cs Nathalie – bred by Gaetan Dessureault, St. Ours, Quebec;   owned by John P. Lamers, Ingersoll, ON   Builder Category:  H. Charles Armstrong, Brampton, Ontario   Communicator Category:  Harry Eisen, London, Ontario   Driver/Trainer:  William (Bill) Gale, Ingersoll, Ontario     Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com   Linda Rainey Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  

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