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CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – All the Open Trot attention has been on the harness racing rivalry between Star Photo and Freddie but Majian Tango had something to say about that Thursday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. In line to Jim Ripley, Majian Tango got away last in the compact field of five contesting the $2,250 Open Trot but used a three-wide brush at the three-quarter pole to swoop his competitors and stop the clock in 1:58.3. Freddie (Driven by Marc Campbell) set the fractions and had to settle for second with Star Photo (Jason Hughes) third. Marylea Ripley of Amherst, N.S, owns Majian Tango. It was one of two wins on the card for the Ripley family as Majian Gilroy won the $2,050 back-up trot as the longest shot on the board in 2:00.4. Julep Hanover landed on the wire first in the top pace of the night in the evening finale. Driver Kenny Arsenault sent the Wade Myers owned and trained mare to the front from post 7 in the $2,000 class and controlled every fraction en route to a 1:57.2 mile. Charlottes Western (Campbell) was second while One Hot Camshaft (Ken Murphy) completed the $587 triactor. The combination of trainer Tom Weatherbie of Charlottetown and driver Mark Bradley had a pair of trips to the winner’s circle both with Ontario bred two-year-olds. Thinking Out Loud filly Smiling Dialing won the first dash of the evening in 2:00.1 for owner Doug MacPhee of New Haven, then the Betterthancheddar rookie lass Bettorthanbobbi disposed of her maiden status with a 2:00 score in the race 5 Stars For Life Foundation Pace for Bradley, Weatherbie and owner Ian Smith of Charlottetown. Go to www.Redshores.ca for race replays and more.   By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

MILTON, ON--Atlanta marched uncovered after her stablemate Hannelore Hanover moving to the final turn, ripped past moving into the stretch and trotted home to a harness racing stakes-, track- and Canadian-record 1:50.2 mile in the $256,000 Armbro Flight Final on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Emoticon Hanover launched to the top from post 9 with Top Expectations slipping into second and Hannelore Hanover progressing first over into third moving to a :26.3 opening quarter. Hannelore Hanover cleared control moving to a :54.1 half as driver Yannick Gingras angled Atlanta off the cones to charge her stablemate into the final turn. Atlanta swept to command past three-quarters in 1:23 and opened a lead which narrowed through the stretch as Atlanta drifted and Weslynn Dancer closed for second. Top Expectations held third. "In the last turn I had a handful of trot," Gingras said after the race. "She went from zero to 60 in three strides and she's an amazing mare. Hopefully we have a great year this year and I'm already looking forward to next year." Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor, Atlanta's 1:50.2 mile lowers the previous Canadian mark of 1:50.3 set last week by Hannelore Hanover in the elimination. The four-year-old Chapter Seven mare won her 16th race from 28 starts and has earned $1,416,477. Ron Burke conditions the $2.50 winner. "She's as push-button as they get," assistant trainer Mickey Burke said after the race. "She's done everything we've asked of her and we don't see where her end is yet. [We were] a little worried [in the stretch]. It's racing; horses will catch you when you don't think they are and it's a miserable night but she responded and raced on her toes." Beating the boys in the 2018 Hambletonian, Atlanta has returned to the races to now mark herself as one of the best aged trotting mares currently racing. "When she's racing against the older mares she's just unbelievable; a freak," co-owner Brad Grant said after the race. "Most of her life she's raced close to the front or on the front, so to get her sitting for a bit and then cranking up like that is unbelievable." Atlanta paid $2.50 to win.   By Ray Cotolo for Woodbine Mohawk Park

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - E R Quinn had his Thursday night winning streak cut short last week and with an outside post this week's feature is wide open at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 11-dash Thursday evening harness racing program kicks off at 6:30 P.M. with the $2,400 top pace lining up in race 10. E R Quinn is shouldered with post 8 but retains the services of top Canadian percentage driver Gilles Barrieau for trainer Jeff Holmes and owner Orwell Bay Stable. Likely To Win has been known to go on Thursday night feature hot streaks and leaves from post 2 this week for driver Adam Merner, while race analyst Les MacIsaac is taking a slightly longer play. MacIsaac is siding with post 5 starter Zero Rate to score a mild upset in the competitive field for driver Kenny Arsenault and trainer Michael Gallant. "Zero Rate is a rallying threat and if there are some quick early fractions, which is possible, it could be right up his alley," MacIsaac said. "If he gets some live flow and a cover trip to bring him into it late his chances go way up." Also in the field is Midnight Matt (Driven by Jason Hughes), Perfect Escape (Ron Matheson), Harbourlite Jerry (Steven Shepherd), Rockin Indy (David Dowling) and Hes Marvalous (Myles Heffernan Sr.). The $2,400 Open trot lines up in race 7 with a newcomer ready to take on the defending champion. Freddie has been nothing short of dominant in this class for years but now Star Photo makes the trip East and will take his shot from post 3 for new trainer Kevin Gillis and driver Hughes. A winner in a seasonal best of 2:00 in his latest start at The Raceway at Western Fair District in Ontario, Star Photo will look to add to his $366,000 in career earnings Thursday evening. Freddie leaves from post 5 in the field of as many with Marc Campbell in the bike as the morning line favorite. For race programs and more go to www.Redshores.ca   By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores.

JUNE 1, 2019 - Of the 26 three-year-old pacing fillies that gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night for their first Gold Series harness racing event of the season, 11 were making their Ontario Sires Stakes debut and it was the debutantes that emerged victorious in all three divisions. Unraced at two due to an injury, Sunny Dee made her career debut on January 17 and had a flawless record of seven wins in seven starts heading into Saturday's first $73,867 Gold division. As a result, Woodbine Mohawk Park fans sent her off as the heavy favourite and the Bob McIntosh trainee did not disappoint, cruising to an effortless 1:52.3 victory over a rain-soaked track rated one second slower than normal. Deb and Chocolatemilktoast finished three and three-quarter lengths back in second and third. "She was really good tonight, but she has been, she's a special filly," said Trevor Henry, who drives Sunny Dee for Windsor resident McIntosh and his fellow owner-breeders Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The Sunshine Beach daughter, who bumped her career earnings to $172,578 with her eighth win, is eligible for the Fan Hanover Stake at Woodbine Mohawk Park next Saturday, June 8 and Arthur resident Henry is looking forward to tackling the best sophomore pacing fillies in North America with the talented youngster. The second division saw a trio of first-time OSS starters ranked as the fans' top choices and it was Betcha Baby who hung on for a nose victory over a hard charging Lovely Donna and Sports Flix. Milton resident Sylvain Filion drove Betcha Baby to the 1:54.1 victory for trainer Nick Gallucci of Brantford, ON and owner-breeders Velocity Standardbreds of Lebanon, OH. The win was the Bettors Delight daughter's second in seven lifetime starts and lowered her personal best by two-fifths of a second. Unlike Sunny Dee and Betcha Baby, Boadicea made five starts as a two-year-old, but trainer Bill Budd raced the long-legged filly exclusively at Woodbine Mohawk Park and opted to skip the freshman OSS events. However, with a trio of qualifiers and two starts under her belt this season, including a win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 20, Budd and driver Jonathan Drury were confident Boadicea was ready for the provincial stage. Boadicea scored the fastest win of the June 1 Gold Series opener for three-year-old pacing fillies, stopping the Woodbine Mohawk Park teletimer at 1:51.3 for driver Jonathan Drury.      ---New Image Media Starting from Post 6 Drury sent Boadicea to the lead and rolled through fractions of :27.2 and :55 before yielding to favourite Powerful Chris in the backstretch. After drafting behind the favourite through the 1:23.3 three-quarters Drury tipped his filly out in the stretch and Boadicea powered home to an impressive 1:51.3 victory. Powerful Chris settled for second, two and one-half lengths behind the winner, and Summer Charm was five more lengths back in third. "She's a big filly, a big filly. She's about 17 hands. She was growing so much we quit with her as a two-year-old," said Budd. "She's just, everything is push button about her, she takes care of herself. She's all heart and go." Budd trains the Big Jim daughter for Charles and Gordon Lawrence of Blenheim and was pleased to see Boadicea score a win for the owner-breeders. Unlike Sunny Dee, Boadicea is not eligible to the Fan Hanover stake so her next opportunity to shine will come in the second Gold Series event, June 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, where Budd is confident she will deliver another strong effort. "She loves her job," said the Waterdown, ON resident. "She's always got the ears up looking for something, just especially to race, she loves it." In addition to the Gold Series event for the three-year-old pacing fillies, Woodbine Mohawk Park also hosted two divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday night and Ontario Sired horses delivered impressive results. Recent Gold Series winner Century Farroh extended his unbeaten streak to eight with a 1:52.4 victory in the first $80,000 division, holding off fellow OSS competitor Caviart Rockland by a neck. Better Up made it an Ontario Sired sweep with his third-place effort. Sylvain Filion piloted Mach Three son Century Farroh to the win for trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge and the Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS. In the second division Bettors Delight sons Best In Show and Stag Party finished second and third behind American-bred Tyga Hanover, who stopped the clock in 1:52.1. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park this week as the Campbellville oval welcomes the three-year-old trotting fillies for their Gold Series opener Monday and their Grassroots opener on Tuesday. Post time for both programs is 7:10 pm.   Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The first two Thursday night's have been all about E R Quinn and the veteran harness racing pacer will look for more of the same this week at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 10-dash Thursday evening card will see a 6:30 P.M. first race post time while the featured pacers will go to the starting gate in race 9. E R Quinn has drawn post 5 in the $2,500 featured pace with Gilles Barrieau back in the bike for trainer Jeff Holmes and owner Orwell Bay Stable of Orwell. The seven-year-old son of Total Truth has recorded five wins this season with three of them coming since relocating East four starts back. Screen Test has been acquitting himself well since making the jump to Eastern Canada after residing in Alberta since his birth. The four-year-old Vertical Horizon pacer will have Corey MacPherson in the race bike for owners Kickin Horse Stable of York and William Andrew of Calgary. Tempo Seelster is selected for third in the morning line and will leave from post 4 with Ken Murphy at the lines. Race analyst Les MacIsaac sees no reason to not keep E R Quinn as his top selection. "E R Quinn has dominated the Thursday night feature the past two weeks and there hasn't been anything to indicate that it's about to change anytime soon," MacIsaac said. "He has a big shot at a three peat." Also in the field is Dream On Dream On (Driven by David Dowling), Likely To Win (Adam Merner) and Midnight Matt (Jason Hughes). A compact field of five will contest the race 5 top trot for a $2,200 purse. Freddie will leave from the outside for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owner Three Wisemen Stable of Kingston. Other top entries include Hop Up (MacPherson) and Suicide Shift (Steven Shepherd). Races 1 and 3 of the evening will have three-year-old Open trot classes with $1,800 purses on the line. Richsnortherndream (Kenny Arsenault) is the morning line favourite in race 1 while Getting Messi (Mike McGuigan) gets the top nod in race 3. For race programs, live video and more go to www.Redshores.ca.   By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - After hitting the board in last year's The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer final, Rose Run Quest kicked off his 2019 harness racing season on a winning note Saturday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Marc Campbell was in the bike behind his seven-year-old trainee as he stalked in the two-hole behind pacesetter Adkins Hanover (Driven by Corey MacPherson). The front end saw splits of 28.1, 56.3 and 1:26.1 then Rose Run Quest was launched to the outside to acquire the lead and win by one-and-a-quarter lengths in 1:55.1 for the fastest mile of the Island racing season. Blair Hansen of Charlottetown owns Rose Run Quest. Euchred (David Dowling) was second in the $2,900 preferred event while Mick Dundee (Don MacNeill) completed the triactor. Sodwana Bay was knocked off her throne in the $2,800 Fillies and Mares Open pace while going off as the heavy post time favourite. Innocent Kiss supplied the upset for driver Adam Merner, who co-owns the four-year-old with Max Sehl of Port Morien, N.S. The Melissa Rennie trainee stopped the clock in 1:58.2 with Sodwana Bay (Gilles Barrieau) securing second place and Drivingthedragon (Jason Hughes) in third. Live racing continues at Red Shores Charlottetown Thursday evening with a 6:30 P.M. post time. For more information go to www.Redshores.ca.   May 26, 2019 Carlisimo Records Fastest Win On Stakes Opener SUMMERSIDE, PE - Carlisimo teamed up with the King of Island Racing to scorch the oval at Red Shores Summerside in the fastest stakes split Sunday afternoon. Marc Campbell supplied in the steer behind the Kevin MacLean trained Carlisimo to win his $8,100 Bob Dewar Memorial division for three-year-old pacing colts on the first stakes program of the 2019 Island racing season. The son of Shadow Play stopped the clock in 1:56.2 for owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford. Mrs Brown Boy (Clare MacDonald) and Red Dirt Rocknroll (David Dowling) completed the triactor. Saulsbrook Lassie was victorious in his Dewar split with a mild upset for driver Adam Merner and owners Jean Belliveau of Dieppe and Normand Leger of Shediac, N.B. Time of the mile was 1:58.1 as he prevailed over A Grand Terror (Gilles Barrieau) and Q Ts Charlie (Campbell). Maritime Champion Notorious gave Campbell a Dewar win in 2:00.1 over Maritime Breeder's champion Red Dirt Boomer (Barrieau). Campbell trains Notorious for owners Darryl and Gordon MacLean of Winsloe and Nova Scotia owner Shirley Symes of Springhill. Westward Whim (Merner) finished third. In Ruby Chappell memorial action for three-year-old pacing fillies, Woodmere Tango prevailed in a nose decision in 1:58.4 in her $8,100 split over Im A Miracle (Dale Spence) while Howmac Sabrina (Dowling) was third. Clare MacDonald trains and drives Woodmere Tango for Morah Kerr of Greenfield, N.S. You Aint Dolly made her 2019 debut a winning one as she took a pocket ride to win her Chappell division in 1:58.2 for driver Mark Bradley and trainer Brendan Curran of Peakes, who co-owns the mare with Alby Curran of Alberry Plains and Craig Arsenault of Summerside. Second went to Woodmere Oleksiak (Barrieau) with Gentle Warrior (Ernie Laffin) third. Ma Rebelle was a popular winner in her $8,100 Chappell division as the three-year-old daughter of Ameripan Gigolo paced the oval in 2:00.4 over After The Lovin (Dowling) and Elm Grove Nellie (Walter Cheverie). Larry and Kathy Chappell of Marshfield hold the ownership papers of Ma Rebelle, who hangs her harness bag in the Campbell stable.   For race replays and more check out www.Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes  For Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A deeply competitive field will face off Saturday evening in the featured harness racing event at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 10-dash Saturday card gets underway at 6 P.M. with the $2,900 preferred pace hitting the track in race 9. Mick Dundee has rail control in the top class for owner-trainer-driver Don MacNeill of New Haven. The homebred son of Aahm Canadian Now has been knocking on the door the past few weeks in the preferred ranks but has yet to find the winner's circle. Last week's winner, Euchred, has post 6 and rides a two-race win streak into Saturday for trainer-driver David Dowling. Revenant has yet to miss the top three this season as the son of If I Can Dream will look for his first preferred victory with Adam Merner supplying the drive. Race analyst Les MacIsaac sees a possibility for any one of the six entries to hit the wire first and will defer to Mick Dundee's post position advantage. "This one appears to be wide open so the tote board might be your best friend," MacIsaac said. "There's a possibility of some early mayhem up front so if Mick Dundee can sit and stalk all the way and exploit that good late kick he could get it all." Also in the deep field are Half Cut (Driven by Mark Bradley), Adkins Hanover (Corey MacPherson) and Rose Run Quest (Marc Campbell). Sodwana Bay was dominant in 2018 in the Open Mares Pace and showed more of the same last week in her seasonal debut. She will contest the $2,800 Fillies and Mares Open in race 7 of the program for trainer-driver Gilles Barrieau and owners Wayne MacRae of Fall River, N.S., and Howmac Farms Ltd., of North Wiltshire. The daughter of No Pan Intended has been assigned the outside post in the field of six. Other top entries include Innocent Kiss (Merner) and Prettyndangerous (Dowling). Trainer Jackie Matheson will be the special guest on Inside Track with host Peter MacPhee. The interview segment will air at 5:35pm on the live Red Shores broadcast Check out www.Redshores.ca for race programs and more.   May 26, 2019 Island Stakes Season Commences Sunday At Red Shores Summerside   SUMMERSIDE, PE - Magical Mistress was nothing short of superb last year and will look to remain perfect in the first Island stakes engagement of the season Sunday afternoon at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. Sunday's program kicks off at 1 P.M. featuring a trio of divisions of the Ruby Chappell Memorial Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies as well as three divisions of the Bob Dewar Memorial Stakes for sophomore pacing colts. Magical Mistress headlines her Chappell division in race 7 with Adam Merner back at the controls for trainer Stephen Gass and new owners Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge and Allard Racing of Quebec. The daughter of Camystic has drawn post 3 in the $8,100 class as she looks to expand on her 12-race undefeated streak put together as a two-year-old in 2018. The program commences with a Chappell division in race 1 with Ma Rebelle selected as the one to beat from post 2. The daughter of Ameripan Gigolo has already recorded a 1:59.1 victory this season for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owners Larry and Kathy Chappell of Marshfield. Arc Light has similar prospects in the other $8,100 Chappell division in race 5 as she leaves from post 2 as the morning line favourite for trainer-driver Campbell. The daughter of Camystic was a 1:59.2 victor in her latest start for owner Grayland Farm of Pugwash, N.S. Bob Dewar Memorial action starts off in race 3 with a pair of champions colliding. Last season's Maritime Breeder's Futurity champion Red Dirt Boomer leaves from post 1 for trainer-driver Gilles Barrieau and owner Daniel Ross of Belfast. Atlantic Breeder's Crown champion Notorious has post 5 in the same split with Campbell in the bike for owners Shirley Symes of Springhill, N.S., and Darryl and Gordon MacLean of Winsloe. The second Dewar division is later on the card in race 9 with a $8,100 pot at stake. Carlisimo won the first Maritime stakes event of the season in the Dawn Bremner Memorial in New Brunswick. The son of Shadow Play must contend with the far outside at post 7 with Campbell at the helm for trainer Kevin MacLean and owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford. The final Dewar split has A Grand Terror favoured to win the lion's share of the $8,100 purse for trainer-driver Barrieau and owners Wayne MacRae of Nova Scotia and Robert Tilley and Lester Mott of New Brunswick. The Camystic pacer will leave from post 1 in the field of eight entries. Driver David Dowling will be special guest on Inside Track with host Rocky Schurman. The interview segment will air at 12:35pm on the live Red Shores broadcast For more information go to www.Redshores.ca.   By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

LONDON & HAMILTON, April 5, 2019 - The Raceway at Western Fair District and Flamboro Downs - both member tracks of Ontario Racing (OR) - have jointly announced a 10% purse increase for the balance of their Spring meets. The additional purse money, as well as added races that had been carded in recent weeks, will offset the cancelled programs suffered at both venues this past winter season due to unfavourable weather throughout Southern Ontario. Enhanced purses will also be offered on the tracks' signature nights - the Confederation Cup program at Flamboro on Sunday, May 19th and the Camluck Classic program at The Raceway on Friday, May 31st. Flamboro features live racing every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 6:35 p.m. while The Raceway goes every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. and Friday nights at 6:55 p.m.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

Guelph, ON March, 28, 2019 - Milton Fire Chief Dave Pratt recalls the fire at First line Training Centre in Milton, ON , Dec 21.    The call came in the middle of the night, around 1:30 am. The scene upon arrival was that of a front-end loader tractor beside a barn engulfed in flames. The tractor block heater plugged into the barn appeared to be the cause of the fire and the side of barn next to the tractor was fully involved. Crews of fire fighters from both Milton and Halton responded. Milton put hot spots out, Halton worked on suppression (knocking down the fire with water) and then all hands were on deck evacuating horses from barn.     Rescue fire fighters were on air (SCBA Self-contained breathing apparatus equipment) to rescue horses in the barn. They worked quickly to get 35 of the 37 horses out.   Horse owners and staff had halters and lead ropes at the ready as horses were handed off to be put in secure areas. “We were really lucky to have so many horse handlers at the scene,” said Chief Pratt “It was a team effort not only from fire department staff, but from everyone who led horses away from danger and into safe containment areas.”     Horse owners and first responders on site worked quickly to arrange transport. Many horses were received by Woodbine Mohawk Park, who supplied temporary stabling, after initial assessments and first aid was delivered by the team of vets and vet techs who came together including - Drs. Liz Shiland, Abigail Stovman and Marisa Markey. EMS and police on the scene all worked diligently with community effort. Huge acknowledgements must be given to all who sprung from their beds in the dead of the night to support the rescue.   In a very well attended presentation to horse owners at System Equine Mar 19, Riley McGilloway from Halton Hills Fire Department outlined some of the reasons they were able to save the majority of horses at the First Line fire. He also gave a clear run down of what a barn owner can do in emergencies, starting with that first deep breath to give clear information to the dispatcher.     Calmly relaying the problem and location of an incident at the first sign of a problem is key and always remembering to give your name and phone number. McGilloway explains that information from dispatch reaches the team already in transit. Important details help them prepare a plan, such as how many are involved? If a human becomes a casualty by rushing into a burning barn, they know their priority has shifted from saving livestock to saving human life.   McGilloway elaborated, educated/experienced horse people including Joe Stutzman, on the scene at the first line fire, did not pull open the doors until fire and rescue arrived so the fire did not receive additional oxygen further fueling it.   A brilliant diagram aided review of the owner’s role after the call to dispatch: Send someone to the road to meet the firetruck and give directions on exactly where to go.   Help with the scene survey giving first responders the layout of the barn and letting them know what is connected that could be further ignition sources.  Move anything that may be in the way so the firetrucks can get to where they need to be.     A rescue team effort becomes faster and more effective when those arriving on the scene are informed what they can and cannot do to help. The many owners who arrived at the First Line fire quickly became an asset to the rescue, helping with containment of the horses pulled from the burning barn and then holding and assisting as the veterinary team sprang into action. The System Equine Barn Fire Prevention and action plan evening was also broadcast via webinar and the recording is available at: https://www.facebook.com/systemequine/videos/1665571347083745/   Wendy McIsaac-Swackhamer, recently appointed, manager of Emergency Preparedness and Fire Prevention at Woodbine Entertainment, was also on the scene on the night of Dec 21. Amazed from the moment she arrived by the sight of fire fighters and police officers with horses in their hands, she quickly became part of the massive team phoning and arranging relocation of horses. “Everyone came together, knew they had a job to do and got it done,” said Swackhamer of the well-coordinated effort.   Swackhamer, has been involved with the fire service, horses and technical large animal rescue for a number of years now. She was quick to join in organizing a hands-on Barn Fire Safety Seminar at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville, ON, Wednesday April 10 from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm.     “We were tremendously proud of everyone involved in the rescue and the quick decisions that were made,” says Jessica Buckley, President, Woodbine Mohawk Park. “The importance of barn fire knowledge cannot be underestimated and we are pleased to help facilitate barn safety training for horse people.”   Milton fire department will attend on April 10th and play a role in the mock set up of hazards in the barn to help participants identify them. Participants will also practice using fire extinguishers and come away with a greater understanding of barn fire prevention, evacuation procedures and animal safety. Register by April 5 for the Barn Fire Safety Seminar at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   Equine Guelph will also be launching a Fire & Emergency Preparedness online short courseon TheHorsePortal.ca– Apr 8 – Apr 15     Jackie Bellamy-Zions Communications Equine Guelph  

Separating the Truro Raceway operations from the management of Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission (NSPEC) would not be a recommended move from the perspective of a longtime harness racing proponent. “How do you divide it up when there’s events going on, on either side,” said Bruce Kennedy, who has had “my finger on the pulse over there for the last 50 years almost.” “That should be under one management to get the full benefit out of it,” he said, of the various activities that are held at both the raceway and the NSPE complex. Kennedy’s comments came in response to a recent article published in the Truro Daily News regarding what is believed to be a planned restructuring by the provincial government the will see the operations of the Truro Raceway separated from the NSPEC. Agriculture minister Keith Colwell met with a number of local officials in a closed meeting in mid December during which he said an announcement regarding the NSPEC will be forthcoming. News of that meeting prompted a response from Lenore Zann, MLA for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River, who said the minister had informed her last fall of his intentions to separate the two entities. Although Zann said Colwell did not indicate his reasons for wanting to separate the two operations, she said she was left with the impression the decision is being made for financial reasons. In early 2014 Colwell called in the NSPEC’s $422,000 debt to the Nova Scotia Farm Loan board, relieved the board members at that time of their responsibilities and ultimately established a new operating board. At that point, the NSPEC carried a total outstanding debt load of $1 million. Colwell’s department is currently refusing to release any financial information pertaining to the NSPEC and the only statement it will offer on the issue is to say “the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition is an important organization for the agriculture sector and for the economy in the region and province. We are working with the exhibition.” “So I would say this latest decision is both a ‘calling in of the markers’ (by writing off the Farm Loan debt) but it is also political - a way for this Liberal minister to take control of the NSPE … while cutting the raceway loose and letting them fend for themselves - sink or swim,” Zann said. Kennedy who has been involved in the harness racing industry, including as an owner for the past 50 years, including as both a member and chairman of the former commission board and president of the Harness Racing Association, among other roles, said he believes separating the two organization is not the best way to make the raceway financially viable. “The thing, I guess, that might concern me is the harness racing side of it,” he said. Kennedy said he doesn’t know what Colwell plans to do with the facility but separating the two operations and expecting the raceway to survive on its on simply will not work. “There’s just too much cost and overhead to it,” he said. Currently, the provincial government allocates $1 million a year to the Harness Racing Industry Council, which is split between the Truro Raceway and the tracks in North Sydney and Inverness. The money, the bulk of which goes to the Truro Raceway, is used both to supplement race purses and for infrastructure at the tracks. But Kennedy said the amount is too little to split among three tracks. Additionally there are just not enough racehorses in Atlantic Canada anymore to justify having three tracks in Nova Scotia, Kennedy said. “In my book we don’t have enough for two racetracks,” he said. “They’re racing for such a small amount of money, that the guys go out there and they’re really subsidizing themselves. There’s not enough money to race for to pay your bills.” Kennedy said he and other harness racers are travelling to the United States where they can still enjoy the sport while earning enough from larger purses there to make it financially worthwhile.  “But we can’t do it at home,” he said. “Pretty sad.” By Harry Sullivan Reprinted with permission of The Truro Daily News

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - A record number of 28 nominees for the $200,000 Prix D'Ete at the Hippodrome 3R are now final for the revival of the showcase race on Sunday, August 20, 2017. Restricted to four-year-old pacers, the 4th renewal of the Prix D'Ete final will feature the top eight money-winners in 2017 that enter the race. New this year for the race is that every horse that enters will receive purse money as the new conditions of the race call for horses finishing 6th through 8th place to each receive $1,000. While the Prix D'Ete final is nearly three months away, the action in the four-year-old division has been fast and furious so far, this season. This past Sunday, Western Flame proved to be the current standout as he was able to quarter move and then wire the field in capturing the $176,000 Confederation Cup final at Flamboro Downs in 1:51.4 over a "good" track. Trained by Jimmy Takter, who won the inaugural revival of the Prix D'Ete in 2014 with Sunfire Blue Chip, Western Fame could be his second Prix D'Ete triumph. Second in the race was the top horse Check Six from the Ron Burke Stable. Burke has sent out the last two Prix D'Ete winners, All Bets Off (2015) and Rockin Ron (2016) as the stable goes for a record three straight Prix D'Ete triumphs. Finishing third was Sinatra and, in fact, all nine starters in the Confederation Cup Final are also eligible to the Prix D'Ete Final. Quebec owned nominees include Quebec-bred champions HP Patriote and Sports Authority, Endeavor and Stonebridge Beach. The Prix D'Ete was the most prestigious race in all of Canada from 1966 through 1992. World champions Brett Hanover, Albatross, Niatross, Hot Hitter, Cam Fella, On The Road Again, Ralph Hanover, Matt's Scooter and a host of other top pacers won the Prix D'Ete. "This is super to have a record number nominated for the final," said Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club. "We could well see the track record broken come August 20 in the final." In 2014, the Quebec Jockey Club revived the Prix D'Ete, making it the tracks premier race in all of Quebec and one of the richest races in North America only for four-year-old pacers. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club 2017 Prix D'Ete Final Nominees AMERICAN PASSPORT by American Ideal ANOTHER DAILY COPY by Somebeachsomewhere ARSENIC by Bettor's Delight ARTMAGIC by Art Major AWESOMENESS by Mach Three BIG TOP HANOVER by Western Ideal CHECK SIX by Somebeachsomewhere DAY TRADE HANOVER by Big Jim DR J HANOVER by Somebeachsomewhere ENDEAVOR by American Ideal GERRIES SPORT by Mach Three HP PATRIOTE by Vintage Master LYONS SNYDER  by Well Said MAGNUM J by Big Jim MISSILE J by American Ideal MR WIGGLE PANTS by Mr Wiggles NOCTURNAL BLUECHIP by Bettor's Delight PRETTY BOY HILL by Somebeachsomewhere ROLLAROUNDTHEWORLD by Roll With Joe ROLL AWAY JOE by Roll With Joe SECRECY by Mach Three SEELEY MAN by Western Maverick SINTRA by Mach Three SPIDER MAN HANOVER by Western Ideal SPORTS AUTHORITY by Sportswriter STONEBRIDGE BEACH by Mach Three VORACITY by Sportswriter WESTERN FAME by Western Ideal    

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Track management at the Hippodrome 3R today released the names of the eight harness racing drivers who will be competing in the second annual All-Star Drivers Tournament set for Sunday, June 4. Invited to participate in the tournament will be Stephane Bouchard, Daniel Dube, Sylvain Filion, Yannick Gingras, Jody Jamieson, David Miller, Louis-Philippe Roy and Scott Zeron. The tournament features a prize purse of $10,000 (US) as the eight drivers will compete in eight races with each driver starting once in posts 1-8. There will also be a special Meet & Greet before the start of the races where fans will be to get autographs, photos and chat will all eight of the drivers. Live interviews with all eight drivers will take place in the winner's circle throughout the afternoon. Last year's inaugural All-Star Drivers Tournament winner, Jody Jamieson, was able to pull away with the victory in the last race of the tournament and defeat John Campbell and Sylvain Filion. This year, a special newcomer to the tournament is Hall of Famer David Miller, who was last at H3R in 2014, driving Lucan Hanover in the $200,000 Prix D'Ete. Also, new to the tournament and representing H3R, is last year's leading driver at both H3R and Rideau Carlton, Louis-Phillip Roy, Montreal native Stephane Bouchard, a career winner of 8,555 races and another Quebec native, Scott Zeron, who last year won the Trotting Triple Crown with Marion Marauder, round out the rookies in the tournament. Of course, Quebec native drivers Yannick Gingras, Daniel Dube and Sylvain Filion need no introduction to race fans at H3R or anywhere in harness racing. "This is a superb group of drivers we have coming to H3R on June 4." Said Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club. "I know the harness racing fans not just in Quebec but throughout North America will want to see these great drivers compete in our tournament. It has become one of our biggest events at H3R." More details about the All-Star Drivers Tournament will be announced shortly and you can also visit, www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Despite having a commitment that harness racing will continue for at least two more years in Leamington, the local horse racing association is raising a red flag. Lakeshore Horse Racing Association president Mark Williams made a plea to county councillors Wednesday to show their commitment to local harness racing by writing a letter of support for the group. Williams said the association has a contract for the next two years to race at Leamington Raceway but recent events have raised concern with the association, so he was making a “pre-emptive move” with county council. “We want to make sure (provincial government representatives) know that we have the support here and there will be some backlash if they intend to move ahead and just unilaterally cut us out,” Williams said. Williams said the threat is coming from a new government entity called the Ontario Racing Association. “It’s populated for the most part by racetracks and associations that are beholden to the Woodbine Entertainment Group, and that in itself is troubling,” he said. Williams said the local association has put forth a name for a regional representative to the new organization “but we know it will be almost a mute voice because they can out-vote us at any point on anything. “You would hold out some hope that things would be fair, but we also know that a little less than a year ago in London (a group there) wanted to disband the regional racetracks — Sarnia, Dresden and, of course, Leamington Raceway — take all the funding from us and in essence put us all out of business.” That London group, made up of four London horse trainers, sought to close those three grassroots tracks as part of a broader reform, allowing the province to redistribute funding into larger purses for the remaining venues. Williams said they were able “to show this past year the third highest on-track wagering in all of Ontario.” That success translates into jobs and “huge investments. “It’s what we do,” he said. “We’re horse people, it’s just what we do.” Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara said councillors understand fully the importance of jobs that are dependent on the industry. “It’s critically important that rural Ontario stays sustainable,” McNamara said. “(We must) maintain and support the jobs that are available.” Warden Tom Bain, who is also a member of the local horse racing association, excused himself from council’s deliberation. After the meeting, Bain said it’s now a “Toronto fight that we’re fighting” with the new Ontario association. He said despite the fact the Lakeshore association has dates for the next two years, “this is the long term, the long haul for harness racing in the area” that they’re fighting for. “We’ve shown our importance to the area and we’ve got a huge fan base behind us,” Bain said. The Lakeshore Horse Racing Association had 13 race dates in 2017 with the season opening in August. By Julie Kotsis, Windsor Star Reprinted with permission of The Windsor Star

More than 200 people packed today's inaugural Open House & Horse Sale hosted by The Stable at Tomiko harness racing training centre near Puslinch, ON. Thousands more tuned into a three-hour broadcast of the event via Facebook Live, complete with commentators and interviews. Forty-three of The Stable's yearlings were showcased in seven sets, driven by some of North America's top harness racing reinsmen.   Those in attendance -- including several novice Standardbred racehorse owners -- were able to meet the horses, chat with industry professionals, and purchase shares.   The Stable is a racehorse ownership venture launched in 2015 by Anthony and Amy MacDonald.   The Guelph couple own and train several Standardbred racehorses near Mohawk Racetrack. Anthony is also a prominent racehorse driver and a well-known harness racing industry advocate.   The MacDonalds built this 'fractional ownership' stable as a bridge -- a way to welcome non-horse-people to racehorse ownership with a very modest investment (as low as $100), low-risk, and completely accessible and transparent operations.   There are currently 61 horses and 171 active racehorse owners in The Stable.ca.   "The turnout for today's Open House was incredible," said Anthony MacDonald. "Amy and I had the opportunity to speak with most of our guests, and the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd throughout the day was a real confirmation of the value of this fractional ownership model.   "This is a really effective way to engage people in harness racing and promote ownership of Standardbred racehorses. That was abundantly clear, based on the people we had the privilege to meet with today," said MacDonald.   "Among our guests were three twenty-something guys from the GTA -- exactly the demographic harness racing is hungry for. They heard my interview this week on The Fan 590, emailed me, came to look at the horses this afternoon, and bought a share of a horse. None of them have ever owned a horse before, and have only been to the races a handful of times. But when they heard the interview, they instantly understood the fun to be had if they all owned a share of a racehorse together. That's a perfect illustration of the power of this model."   A catalogue of today's horses is available on The Stable.ca website which details all horses for which shares are available for purchase.   Video of today's live broadcast will be available tomorrow on The Stable's Facebook Page.   Images from today's event are available here.   Guests at today's free event were asked to bring a non-perishable food item, resulting in more than 200 pounds of food for the Guelph Food Bank.   The Stable would like to thank the many people who supported today's event including: Mike Jobb and Tea Habjan of Tomiko Training Centre for their gracious provision of complimentary breakfast for Open House guests; TV commentators Bill O'Donnell and Fred MacDonald, and interviewer Mark McKelvie; the crew at Cujo Productions; all of the drivers who steered our 43 yearlings; Shawn MacDonald for grooming the track between sets; and the entire staff at The Stable for their daily commitment and hard work.   For more information about The Stable, contact Anthony at anthony@thestable.ca or (519) 400-4263.   Other media about The Stable.ca:   Prime Time Sports The Fan 590 interview, December 2016 The Sun: Feb. 20/16 article and video Prime Time Sports The Fan 590 interview, March 2016   Kelly Spencer  

CLOVERDALE — Roy Johnson’s next birthday will be his 80th. He doesn’t look it, and he doesn’t sound it. Maybe that’s what a life surrounded by horses and harness racing does for you. On Monday (Oct. 3), as rain pounded on the roof above, Johnson worked busily on a horse in one of the six large red barns that have for so long identified the facility now known as Fraser Downs Racetrack at Elements Casino. Johnson was here when it was simply “Fraser Downs,” and before that when it was called Cloverdale Raceway. Indeed, Johnson has been part of the track’s fabric since the very first day, on Jan. 1, 1976. “It was just a field before that I think,” he recalled, “but yes, I was here from the beginning, when racing first started.” It all began very early for one of the track’s most iconic figures. “I’ve been doing this since I was five years old,” he said. “My parents had horses...they had standardbred and thoroughbreds, in Saskatchewan. We lived on a farm there. I’ve been involved with them ever since. “I’ve raced in Regina, Saskatoon, Sandown Park (on Vancouver Island), Sportsman’s Park (in Illinois), Hollywood Park (in California). In the States, I worked for a big stable, and we toured the country. “I’m like Hank Snow – I’ve been everywhere,” he said, laughing. Johnson, who’s called Surrey home since 1965, remembers well the many years he spent as a trainer and a driver, but is quite content now to leave the driving to others. “I was in an accident. A racing accident, here at this track, I would say five or six years ago. And my daughter said, ‘That’s it. We’re not going through this again.’ “I can go out and train my own horses now, but I don’t care to go out and race anymore. I have two horses here, but I get someone else to drive them. For me, rather than sitting at home watching television, I’m moving around every day. You can’t beat it.” On Thursday (Oct. 6), Johnson and his compatriots will begin a new season of harness racing at Fraser Downs. But not just any old season. This is the 40th anniversary of the storied Cloverdale track. And Johnson isn’t the only one who’s psyched. Carla Robin, the executive director of Harness Racing BC, is looking forward to the party. On opening night, she promises giveaways to the first 100 people through the gate, a memorial celebration for longtime star driver Bill Davis and an appearance by Ray Gemmill, the first driver to ever win a race at the facility. On Monday, Robin took me on a behind-the scenes tour. She showed me her office, directly across the hall from that of the BC Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch. She explained that Harness Racing BC provides the horses for harness racing throughout the province, which these days is limited to just a single track: Fraser Downs. The GPEB, literally within arm’s reach, makes sure everything is kosher. She took me to the barns, a beehive of activity where upwards of 200 people were scooting this way and that, training the horses and readying them for the season at hand. She told me the Fraser Down barns can house up to 500 horses, and explained that once the season gets underway, the entire area is “closed off and restricted.” And that’s what happens in a wagering atmosphere. According to Robin, “on some nights we have more than $300,000 being bet on the horses.” Here, everyone I see is down-home friendly. Over there is Mark Abbott, son of another Fraser Downs veteran, trainer Gord Abbott. At 27 years of age, Mark is one of the younger folks I met during my visit. But he’s no rookie. “I’ve been shoeing for 10 years,” he said as he worked on a “new horse we just got from Alberta.” The horse will compete in a “stakes race” Thursday, where the winner trots away with $10,000. And Mark’s removing its shoes, inspecting them for wear, making reparations to both shoe and hoof, and re-shoeing. Mark’s also a driver, and his enthusiasm for the sport is obvious. The guy’s a natural. No wonder. His dad’s been a Fraser Downs fixture for three and a half decades, and is also a member of the board of directors. “I was raised in the business in Ontario,” the elder Abbott said. “I came out here in 1981. I’ve been training the entire time.” They just returned from Alberta, where they “race all summer,” and that they’re “racing eight horses (at Fraser Downs) now.” “The horses jog every day. Some days we work them out harder than others. We keep them fit and keep them sound and we look after whatever ailments they have. They’re athletes.” Standing trackside, I noticed some horses travelled clockwise, while others moved counter-clockwise, like they do during a race. Some are confined to the smaller inner circuit, and one trainer handled two horses simultaneously. At least the horses and the drivers know what they’re doing, even if I don’t. Robin suggests arriving a bit early for Thursday's season kickoff. Racing begins at 6 p.m., but arriving just after 5 should get you a good seat and first crack at the buffet. For more info, call 604-576-9141 or visit Elementscasino.com/racing. by  Gord Goble - Surrey Now Reprinted with permission of thenownewspaper.com site    

An usual suspect at Exhibition Park Raceway will look to win his third straight event as racing continues this Saturday at the port city oval in harness racing action. Six races will be presented by Horse Racing New Brunswick with race one scheduled for 1:00 P.M. There was a large contingent of fans and supporters in last Saturday's winning circle presentation for Upstairswithron as he paced to a gate to wire effort en route to a 2:02.3 victory. Bob MacNeil owns the five-year-old son of Quick Comeback who is making himself a solid pick for most improved horse in 2016 in New Brunswick. Last year, the big strapping pacer went without a win all season. He owned a modest 2:06.2 pacing record taken back in 2014. So far this year, he sports a new record of 2:01.2 taken over Fredericton Raceway. Popular catch-driver Chris Davies gets the call this Saturday in the afternoon's final race. Saturday's top-class will feature a battle of Mike Downey entries as Fall Bliss, last week's top-class winner will take on City Of The Year in the day's premier event for a purse of $ 1350. Scott Waddell  

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