FREDERICTON, NB, June 26, 2015 - Horse Racing New Brunswick (HRNB) is pleased to announce the start of the live harness racing season in New Brunswick. Kicking things off on Canada Day in Fredericton is the first race card of the season that includes the popular, historical Walter Dale Memorial sponsored this year by Moosehead Breweries. The history of Walter Dale goes back to 1937 when the legendary horse set a record that many tried to beat for over forty-two years. Every year horses and drivers attempt to break the current track record, most recently set in 2012 by McApulco at 1:54.2 and matched in 2014 by Modern Xhibit. This year the Walter Dale Memorial is set as an invitational that will focus primarily on a very competitive field of New Brunswick horses. The day's program will of course include other races of various classes. There will be a Raffle, Food Vendors on site, Winner's patio will be open, 50/50 Draw, and more. Most important is the excitement in the air as the twenty-one day race season gets underway. Admission to Fredericton Raceway is free so bring the family for some fun and entertainment. Enjoy a walk by the barns to see the horses up close, cheer on the horses and Drivers as they race for the finish, celebrate part of your national holiday amid the excitement of a sport that has been part of our national fabric since the 1800s. This year Fredericton Raceway will host ten race days, the Saint John track at Exhibition Park is scheduled for ten race days, and Woodstock will have a race day during Old Home Week. "We are focused on the harness racing sport thriving and growing in New Brunswick. To achieve that growth, providing more jobs and thrilling race days, the best road forward is a grass-roots approach", stated new Executive Director, Roberta Nixon. HRNB and the New Brunswick Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association have established twenty-one days of racing this year will make it possible to expand that next year. Roberta Nixon Horse Racing New Brunswick
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, May 31, 2015 - The best harness racing pacers eligible to the $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series for 4- and 5-year-olds meet for their second preliminary round Sunday afternoon at Hippodrome 3R, with two $6500 fields of mares facing the starter in races 1 and 3 and a single $6500 dash for horses and geldings slated for race 6. In the first of the three preliminary rounds leading up to each division's $35,000 Championship, there were also two events for mares, with both events taken by the heavy favorite in a runaway. Each winner is back Sunday, but each faces a challenge if they are to keep up their series record unblemished. The Santanna Blue Chip mare Champagne Shower won by 11 lengths last week in 1:56.4, and she is justly the favorite for round two as she starts from post two in the field of six for driver Denis St. Pierre, 3R's defending driver champion; trainer Yves Tessier; and owner Sotirios Anastasopoulos. Among those in the wake of Champagne Shower last week was Chauleurs Fantasy, who also has the difficulty in starting from the outside post Sunday. But the daughter of Omar Khayyam, conditioned by Carl Duguay and to be driven by Stephane Gendron for Elevage Baie Des Chaleurs, should be better in this, her second start of 2015 - and in her last start of 2014, she won her $65,000 three-year-old Championship, with among the conquered that day being none other than Champagne Shower! In the other mares division, Victoria Semalu led at every call in scoring by over six lengths in 1:56.1, and again will draw her share of the fans' attention. The American Dream mare begins from post four for trainer Dany Fontaine, owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc, and driver Stephane Brosseau, who has "come out of the gate" in hot form this season to be the leading driver at 3R to date. Starting two posts inside Victoria Semalu will be the Western Ideal mare My Tallia Ideal, who will be guided by Denis St. Pierre for trainer Michael Allard and the ownership duo of Gestion Mario Audet Inc and Yves Sarrazin. My Tallia Ideal comes to 3R after having been facing very good mares at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania, where she won in 1:51.2 last month, and obviously her best mile makes her a major factor here. The divisional track record of 1:54.3, set by Sans Frontiere in 2013, could be in jeopardy in either division, given ideal conditions. In the lone event for horses and geldings, the field of seven will not miss Atomic Million AM, who takes this week off from the series after winning last week in 1:55.2, pacing his last half in 55.4. Certainly Bali (post seven, driver Marie Claude Auger) and My Lucky Bluejeans (post five, driver Stephane Gendron) will be comforted by the absence of Atomic Million AM after finishing second and third, respectively, to him last week. However, an invader from Ontario, Champagne Phil, should definitely attract a good share of the backing, coming off a 1:49.4 victory at Mohawk last Saturday. The Shanghai Phil gelding, set to be driven by Denis St. Pierre for trainer Francis Richard and owners ICR Racing, has post two on Sunday, and is comfortable winning on or off the pace. The first of ten races will start at 1:30 p.m. at Hippodrome 3R on Sunday. Quebec Jockey Club
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, May 26, 2015 - Return winner Somoli E heads the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old harness racing trotters at the Hippodrome 3R on Wednesday. Starting from post four in the first race on the card, Somoli E is the lone return winner in the field. Last week in the opening round he led from start to finish in his division for driver Jerome Lombart with neck triumph in 2:02.3. His main rival will be Andovers Touch from post five for driver Stephane Polliot. Last week Andovers Touch was a game second place finisher to Maximuscle, who was not entered for the second round of the series. Other contenders include SOS Robocop (post 3), SOS Masters Boy (post 2) and Bouffon P V (post 6). Third race, second division for older horses has George S P has the 5/2 morning line favorite from the rail. The five-year-old gelding by Striking Sahbra will be driven by Stephane Brosseau and was third last week to Maxiemuscle. Three starts back he was a winner at Rideau Carlton in 1:59.1. He takes on SOS Ticket Master (post 5) and Victorycari (post 3). The mares get underway in the seventh race with just one division with ten horses in the field. With Viva Bayama taking the week off, the race is a wide-open affair. The 5/2 morning line favorite is Bambie Benjo from post five for driver Rheo Filion. A four-year-old mare by Southwind Lustre, Bambie Benjo was a game second place finisher to Viva Bayama last week and is seeking her maiden victory. She goes against Canbec Kangourou on the rail for driver Jocelyn Gendron who will be expected to try and wire field as she usually does. First race post time on Wednesday is 7:00 pm. For more information about the Hippodrome 3R go to www.quebecjockeyclub.com. Vincent Trudel Quebec Jockey Club
Many retired Standardbred horses are rehomed and retrained into new disciplines including pleasure saddle horses or Western /English show horses. Others become pasture buddies and family pets. Such is the story of the 11 harness racing mare P.H. Super Model. Foaled in Shubenacadie by owner Dr. Trevin K. Shive, Super Model had 95 lifetime starts recording three victories since her maiden season at Truro Raceway in 2006. At the completion of her harness racing career, the mare was given to a re-homing stable, Morning Star Acres, located north of Moncton. Morning Star Acres is a non-profit, family-oriented farm dedicated to an equine retraining and re-homing program. Bill and Jo-Ann Livingstone of Toney Bay, N.S. were in the market for a carthorse to participate in driving events held in their area. After a visit to the Morning Star Acres website, a few phone calls and a visit to the New Brunswick farm, the Livingston family and PH Supermodel united. The horse has since become known as Tyra. This past Saturday, Tyra made her debut appearance in her new career as a carthorse. The Wallace River Haflingers & Equestrian Centre hosted a novice driving clinic under the guidance of the Nova Scotia Driving Society. Seven horses, ponies and minis were in attendance, including P H Super Model with Joann and Bill each taking turns at the reins. The Standardbred breed as a whole is eager to please, fearless and extremely intelligent. In addition most of these animals have had exposure to vehicles, crowds and loud noises, as well as trailering and shoeing, Established in 2007, the Maritime Standardbred Pleasure Horse Association (www.mspha.ca), based out of Truro, Nova Scotia, is actively devoted to the re-homing of Standardbreds as an all-purpose pleasure horse and encourages the new owners to showcase their “graduates” of the program at local exhibitions, parades and clinics. Note: Diane Daniels is the race office supervisor at Truro Raceway. Her ‘Trackside’ column can be found in the Truro Daily News every Saturday. Reprinted with Permission of The Truro Daily News
ELORA - Sunny skies and smiling faces are in the forecast for this Sunday's Open House at Grand River Raceway. The Elora track will host its seventh annual backstretch Open House on Sunday, May 24. Guests are invited to drop-in any time from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a rare glimpse of harness racing behind-the-scenes. A full tour of the Open House's four main stations will last approximately one hour. The itinerary includes the unique opportunity to drive a racehorse. Standardbred racehorses and double-seated jog carts from the Hands On Horses Program provide the horsepower. Other interactive stations include a tour of the judges' stand and announcer's booth high atop the grandstand with track announcer Gary Guy. Back in the barn, visitors will learn the basics of breeding, owning, training, driving and caring for racehorses in sessions led by industry experts. Dr. Alison Moore's station will explore the high-performance racehorse by comparing it to human athletes. Machinery enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity to view and learn about the equipment and techniques required to maintain the track surface. The ever-popular starting car will also be on display, and open for photo opps. Riders from Racing Under Saddle (RUS) Ontario will also be on-hand to provide demonstrations of these Trot MontÃ© races - popular in Europe - being showcased at harness tracks throughout the province. No registration is required for the Open House. The event is suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The Open House will run rain or shine. Participants are urged to wear closed-toe shoes and casual, comfortable clothing. Admission is free, but participants are urged to make a $2 donation at the door to support the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. A BBQ lunch and beverages will be available for purchase between 11:30 - 2:00. The Grand River Raceway Open House is presented in cooperation with the Hands On Horse Program and the Ontario Harness Horse Association. More than 1,500 people have attended Grand River Raceway's Open House event in the past six years. For more information, visit http://grandriverraceway.com/open-house/ or call (519) 846-5455 x238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Kelly Spencer
HALIFAX - Missing financial records and meddling by former board members at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition (NSPE) highlight some of the concerns revealed in an operational review prepared for the provincial government. Although the review, prepared by KPMG at the request of Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell, did not uncover any criminal wrongdoing, operations were negatively impacted by a board of directors that regularly interfered with how the facility was run, the report said. “In recent years the Commission has experienced turnover at the general manager position,” the report states. “This is partly due to the governance structure in that the board of directors have been actively involved in the commission’s operations which has undermined the general manager’s authority.” Poor financial planning also resulted in the exhibition commission being unable to pay its bills, which resulted in “significant payment delays” and ultimately led to loss of credit that forced the NSPE to pay cash for delivery of all goods and services. The commission also is at risk of having its pari-mutuel contracts with other race tracks cancelled because of a failure to remit payouts for amounts collected for betting on the other parties’ races (net of payouts), the report noted, which “has resulted in strained relationships with key racing partners.” As well, financial results for the commission “have not been in line with expectations”, in part because of declining attendance and a lack of sufficient cash flow to fund the ongoing capital maintenance of facilities and in certain circumstances cover the operating costs, the report disclosed. “A review of financial and business affairs of the Commission conducted by Grant Thornton in August 2013, declared it insolvent, where current and long term liabilities ($638,000 and $373,000 respectively) and cash flow constraints prevented it to make payment on its obligations,” the report said. The KPMG review also determined that the NSPE’s financial records for the years 2009 through to 2011, were completely missing, a factor that Colwell told the Truro Daily News was especially concerning for him. “It sure did (cause him concern). But if it’s not available it’s not there,” he said, of the missing information, which was attributed to a changeover in staff at the NSPE administration office as well as the introduction of new computer software. “And whatever happened to it we don’t know,” he said. “That highlights one of the weaknesses in the whole system.” Colwell said based on the report’s findings and given ”the deteriorated condition of the buildings” on the NSPE grounds, he said the facility had been mismanaged for a “long time.” And he said that was also pretty much the assessment of the auditors when he addressed their findings in the report. “The list goes on and on and on and on,” he said, of proper business controls that were not in place under the previous management. “It’s just a whole lot of not really solid management practices,” Colwell said, of the overall findings. “They said the place really needed to be run properly and the bottom line is, it wasn’t.” Facility rentals also have to be brought in line with reasonable market rates to ensure the facility can operate without government handouts, the minister said. And controls also have be put in place for things such as gate admissions for the annual Exhibition. For example, visitors to the Middle Musquodoboit Exhibition are given a bracelet with a serial number on it when they pay their admission fee,” Colwell said, compared to the provincial exhibition in Bible Hill where there simply is “no accountability for the cash. That’s just one example.” Despite the past struggles, however, Colwell said that with proper controls put in place, the NSPE can have a promising future. “We’re very optimistic about the facility at a time when a lot of facilities are struggling and I think this one has a great deal of potential,” he said. Reprinted with permission of The Truro Daily News
On behalf of the Saint John Harness Horsemen Association, I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks and gratitude for supporting our fundraising efforts on May 8th in Saint John. We would like to recognize and thank all the sponsors, volunteers, and those who came out to support our group initiative to raise funds to upgrade and maintain the racing surface at Exhibition Park Raceway. Response and support leading up to, and including the May 8th fundraiser was overwhelming to say the least. We doubled our goal of financial support and once again the harness racing industry came together from New Brunswick and other jurisdiction's. We are excited to return to racing this summer on July 1st ( tentatively ) at Fredericton Raceway and we invite you to take in all the harness racing action this year and appreciate as always support from fans and industry participants in New Brunswick. Sincerely, Debbie Mahar, Saint John Harness Horsemen Association
Long time owner and harness racing industry volunteer Carl Bagnall of Stratford, and Two Year Old Pacing Colt Dixieland Band, owned by Reg MacPherson, and David and Aaron MacKenzie were the major award winners as the sold out PEI Standardbred Horse Owners Awards held Saturday, April 18th at the Rodd Royalty Inn. Mr. Bagnall was recognized for his contribution to PEI racing as a breeder, owners, trainer, driver, and industry official. Dixieland Band edged out Paymenowpaymelater for Horse of the Year honours in one of the closest results in recent event history. Dixieland Band was bred by Meridian Farms of Milton and earned almost $51,000 in his Two Year Old campaign. Scott MacPhail was named Horseman of the year for his decades long contribution to the PEI matinee racetrack program. Gold Cup and Saucer Co-ordinator Heather Dixon was named Horsewoman of the year for her service to the successful Old Home Week racing program. Guest speaker Dr. Ian Moore updated the crowd on his stable star State Treasurer and the large roster of young horses he is prepping for the Grand Circuit competitions. Other award winners were: 2 Year Old Colt Trot Windemere Ty had earnings of over $21,000, and 10 of 14 in the first three. Bred by Windemere Farms, owned and trained by Ralph Annear, co-owned and driven by Jack Panting. 2 Year old Filly Trot Paymenowpaymelater was a nine time winner, with earnings of $30,862. Bred by Eldred Nicholson, owned by Wade Peconi, trained by Earl Watts, driven by Kenny Arsenault . 2 Year old Pacing Colt Atlantic Breeders Crown winner Dixieland Band earned almost $51,000 in 2014. Bred by Meridian Farms, owned by Reg MacPherson, David and Aaron MacKenzie, trained by Kevin MacLean and driven by Gilles Barrieau. 2 Year old Pacing Filly The winner of almost $37,000 Dusty Lane Bria, was bred by Travis Wilkie, owned by Larry Chappell, co-owned and trained by Kenny Wilkie, primarily driven by Kenny Arsenault. 3 Year old Colt Trot Dusty Lane Galaxy earned over $23, 000 in 2014, with a record of 2.01. Bred by Dusty Lane Farms , co-owned by Peter Buchanan and the estate of George Boswell, trained and driven by Gary Chappell. 3 Year Old Filly Trot Maritime Breeders Champion Southfield Shadow earned $19,000, and was bred by Meridian Farms, Owned by Southfield Farms, trained by Thane Mann, and driven by Terry Gallant. 3 Year old Pacing Colt Arties Magic was Bred and co-owned by Windemere Farms, co-owned by Clive Balderston, and trained by Earl Watts. 3 Year old Pacing Filly A winner of over $56,000, Lovineveryminute , owned by Kent Duggan, Lana Murphy and Windemere Farms and trained by Earl Watts. Claiming Horse of the Year Forever Paradise was a seven time winner in the claiming ranks in 2014, bred by Art Millar, owned by Reg MacPherson, trained by Kevin MacLean, and driven by Marc Campbell . Aged Trotting Horse A thirteen time winner in 2014, Zip The Lip had an incredible 23 for 26 in the top three. Owned by Orville Willis and trainer Don Sweet, and driven by Brian MacPhee. Aged Trotting Mare Pleasure Girls was a 2.00 winner , and is owned by Shelly Gass, trained by father Ronnie, and driven by Corey MacPherson. Aged Pacing Horse ASTOR , a 1.55.4 winner at the CDP with earnings of over $24,000. Owned by Foxyhall Racing Stable, trained and driven by Jason Hughes. Aged Pacing Mare Stayoutofmyaffair was a nine time winner, included a 1.55.1 clocking at the CDP. Owned by Robbie Hughes, trained and driven by Jason Hughes. Fan Favourite Award One of the toughest campaigners in Prince Edward Island racing, a 53 time winner, and a horse that is getting better with age. Blu Meadow Willie was bred by Ralph Frizzell, co-owned by Brenda MacInnis, and co-owned, , trained, and driven by Bob McInnis. Pacing Horse of the Year Dixieland Band, Bred by Meridian Farms, Owned by Reg MacPherson, trained by Kevin MacLean and driven by Marc Campbell. Trotter of the Year Paymenowpaymelater was Bred by Eldred Nicholson, owned by Wade Peconi, trained by Earl Watts, driven by Kenny Arsenault. Horse of the Year Dixieland Band Owned by Reg MacPherson, trained by Kevin MacLean and driven by Marc Campbell. Grooms of the Year: Melissa MacRae and Shane Bagloe Mr Trot Challenge Brian MacPhee. Rookie Driver Brandon Webster Leading Percentage Driver With a UDRS of .419: Gilles Barrieau Leading Dash Winning Driver A dead heat, Tied with 126 wins in 2014 were Marc Campbell and Jason Hughes. Leading Percentage Trainer Earl Watts. Appreciation Awards Hon. Ron MacKinley and Heather Gamester Standardbred Canada Owner of the Year: Dan Ross. Most Dedicated Horseperson Mr. Gary Chappell By Tom Clark PEI Standardbred Horse Owners Association Awards.
London, March 12, 2015 -- Officials at The Raceway in London have announced that Friday morning's qualifying session has been cancelled to give the track crew time to prepare for Friday nights live harness racing program which is scheduled for 7:15 pm. The track was forced to cancel programs this past Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday due to the warmer temperatures which caused extreme thawing in the racing surface. Greg Blanchard Raceway Manager
TORONTO, February 26 - A few weeks off didn't bother Nippy W Hanover as she was razor-sharp in winning the harness racing $41,200 Miss Vera Bars series final Thursday night at Woodbine. Originally set for two preliminary legs and a final, Mother Nature caused the second-leg of the Miss Vera Bars to be cancelled twice, forcing officials to scrap the second-leg and send the series directly to a final Thursday night. All nine three-year-old pacing fillies that competed in the first leg on February 5 returned for the final. Maplelea, the winner of leg one, took most of the support at the windows and was sent off as the 4/5 favourite. However, she would have to settle for second-best, as Nippy W Hanover got the job done in 1:57.1. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Nippy W Hanover got away in second from her rail starting spot. Down the backstretch, Baillargeon opted to circle around to the lead and never looked back. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:28 with Maplelea first up at her wheel, Nippy W Hanover turned aside the favourite's challenge in the lane and paced home in :29.1 to win by 2 ½ lengths. Wake N Bake closed well to finish third, while Docs Hollywood took fourth. A daughter of American Ideal, Nippy W Hanover is trained by Blair Burgess for owners Karin Olsson Burgess and Mac Nichol. The sophomore pacing filly finished second in the first leg after winning her 2015 debut the week before. The series final victory improves Nippy W Hanover's career record to four wins from 12 starts and earnings exceeding $50,000. A $2 win ticket on Nippy W Hanover returned $6.90. Nippy W Hanover In order to be eligible to the Miss Vera Bars series, the three-year-old fillies had to be non-winners of three races or $40,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. Mark McKelvie
It came down to the final race and an inquiry for Marilyn Spitzig and Debbie Campbell to garner the 11 dollars in points and leapfrog into first place in the Hanover Raceway and Slots Handicapping Contest. The event lasted 8 weeks and was sponsored by Hanover Raceway and Slots, Woodbine Entertainment and HDTV in Hanover and Walkerton. Spitzig and Campbell each win a 50 inch High Def Smart TV from HDTV thanks to their final total of $323.80 dollars in selections over the 8 week tournament. Ron Lauson and Mike Stachelscheid of Hanover finished in 2nd place and won $500 dollars, while Harold and Heather Fleet of Hanover finished in 3rd place, and won $250.00. A total of 15 teams of 2 and 3 players took part in the contest. Hanover’s next Race promotion is a 2015 Dodge Ram Truck giveaway with Woodbine. HPI or Cash Card players can register at Woodbineentertainment.com/winatruck and each time they spend $50.00 in wagers at a Woodbine sponsored simulcast theatre, they will receive 1 ballot towards the new truck giveaway. The contest runs each and every day in March, so participants can earn up to 31 ballots. For more information contact the Hanover Raceway Simulcast. Hanover Raceway
London, February 22, 2015 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District in London honoured its top harness racing performers for 2014 during their annual awards night on Saturday. Among the highlights was driver Alfie Carroll taking home his first trophy as Driver of the Year, Kendal Gustav being selected as overall Horse of the Year and Natasha House being voted Caretaker of the Year. Two other awards were announced the night of the ceremony and they include Lisa Thompson who was selected as Horsewoman of the Year and the Dave Wall Outstanding Service Award which went to longtime London horseman Larry Fitzsimmons. Here is a complete look at this year's Raceway award winners: Older Pacing Horse - Kendal Gustav Older Pacing Mare - Twilight Seelster Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt - Good Side Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly - Delta Grace Tone Older Trotting Horse - Moonbeam Hall Older Trotting Mare - Thundering Ovation Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt - M C Wood Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly - Sonny With A Chance Claiming Pacer - Cat Four Claiming Trotter (Tied) - Strike A Light and Weskey Driver - Alfie Carroll Owner - Keith Cassell Dave Wall Outstanding Service Award - Larry Fitzsimmons Caretaker - Natasha House Horse of the Year - Kendal Gustav Horsewoman of the Year - Lisa Thompson Greg Blanchard
TORONTO, February 21 - Ontario sired four-year-olds were the main attraction Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack in a pair of harness racing winter series finals. The $45,000 Ontario Boys final for four-year-old pacers and the 44,600 Ontario Girls final for four-year-old pacing mares were co-main events on Saturday night's 11-race card. All eyes were on heavy favourite Nirvana Seelster in the Ontario Boys final, as he went for the series sweep. Driven by Phil Hudon, Nirvana Seelster sprinted out quickly to the front to grab his usual spot on the lead and would cruise along in control cutting out fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24.4 In the stretch, Nirvana Seelster continued to pace strong and was never in any danger of surrendering his lead. He posted a final-quarter of :27.4 to score a length and a quarter victory in 1:52.3. Ideal Jet got up to finish second, while Kindofabigdeal took the show spot. A son of Camluck, Nirvana Seelster is trained by Bill Budd for owner Bruce Davy. The four-year-old pacer swept the Ontario Boys series by winning each leg on the front-end. Nirvana Seelster now has three wins from seven starts this year and ten career victories overall. The winner's share of the purse pushes his career bankroll over $145,000. Nirvana Seelster returned $2.80 to win. Nirvana Seelster In the Ontario Girls final, Artistic Fusion was sent off as the heavy 2/5 favourite and did not disappoint winning in 1:53.4. A first-half battle saw a parked out Regally Ready finally clear to the front before the half ahead of Performing Art. However, Jack Moiseyev wasted no time charging Bet Ya up from fourth to overtake the lead from Regally Ready at the half in :55. Meanwhile, Artistic Fusion and driver Sylvain Filion paced along fourth and made a first-over move on the way to the final turn. Artistic Fusion and Bet Ya would slug it out past the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 to bring the field into the lane. In the stretch, Artistic Fusion powered by Bet Ya and paced on to the win the Ontario Girls final by a length and a half. A hard-closing Jakardez got up for second, while Bet Ya finished third. A daughter of Artistic Fella, Artistic Fusion captured the first leg of the series, but then saw her four-race win streak snapped in last week's second leg by Bet Ya. The series finale victory improves her record to five wins from six starts in 2015. Artistic Fusion is trained by Joe Agostino for owner Mike Foote and now has an Ontario Girls title to go along her Blizzard series triumph a month ago. Artistic Fusion now has 11 career victories and earnings of over $142,000. She paid $2.90 to win. Artistic Fusion In order to be eligible to the Ontario Boys and Girls series, the Ontario sired four-year-olds had to be non-winners of $100,000 lifetime or $50,000 in 2014 as of October 31, 2014. Mark McKelvie
Hanover, Bentinck & Brant Agricultural Society is requesting approval for an amendment of the race date schedule at Hanover Raceway (Hanover). The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) is circulating this application for amendment to the approved race date schedule and will receive comments on the application from interested industry participants before making its decision on the application. Copies of the application and business case to support these changes are included with this Notice. Please click here to view the full Notice to the Industry.
TORONTO, February 16 - Bourbon Bay completed the General Brock series sweep with a dominating harness racing victory Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of nine four-year-old trotters contested the $50,800 final of the three-week series. Bourbon Bay and driver Mike Saftic came into the finale off two impressive victories in the opening two rounds and they lived up to their 3/5 billing with another eye-catching performance. A son of Sand Vic, Bourbon Bay sprinted out to the lead from post position one and posted a speedy opening-quarter of :27. A fired up Bourbon Bay had to be reeled in a bit by Saftic down the backstretch as he had a two-length advantage over Severus Hanover in second and more than ten-lengths on Bags For All in third. The duo would reach the half in :56.1 and continue to roll along around the final turn, while the back of the pack tried to tighten up to the leaders. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:26, Bourbon Bay kicked into another gear and extended his lead back out to several lengths on his opponents in the stretch. When it was all said and done, Bourbon Bay scored an easy-looking 4 ½ length victory over Bags For All in 1:55.1. Meadowview Vicky finished third, while Severus Hanover took fourth. A four-year-old gelding, Bourbon Bay had been racing primarily in New York, but shipped north of the border into the Mike Sinclair barn for the General Brock. Bourbon Bay is leased by John Cummings Jr. of Nichols, New York and now has four wins from six starts in 2015. Monday's victory was the ninth career score for the son of Sand Vic and pushes his career bankroll over $75,000. Bourbon Bay paid $3.20 to win. In order to be eligible to the General Brock, the three- and four-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. Mark McKelvie
TORONTO, February 14 - The second leg of the Ontario Boys harness racing series was contested under frosty conditions Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A group of 13 four-year-old pacers were split into two $18,000 divisions for the second leg of the three-week event. Nirvana Seelster took last week's only division and was back to crush his opponents again Saturday night. Driven by Phil Hudon, Nirvana Seelster went straight to the front and never allowed his rivals to get close. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:25.1, Nirvana Seelster separated himself from the pack in the stretch and scored an impressive 6¼ lengths victory in 1:54.3. Ramblingamblinman finished second just ahead of Mittcent Van Gogh in third. A four-year-old son of Camluck, Nirvana Seelster is trained by Bill Budd for owner Bruce Davy. The gelding now has two wins from six starts in 2015 and nine in his career. The round two victory pushes his bankroll over $133,000. Nirvana Seelster returned $6.10 to win and will now have a chance to sweep the series in next week's final. Nirvana Seelster In the first division of the night, Ideal Jet and driver Randy Waples made a second-quarter move to the front and never looked back en route to a 1:55.2 victory. A four-year-old son of Jeremes Jet, Ideal Jet finished eighth in last week's single division. The Craig Barss trainee got away third Saturday night, but was moved before the half by Waples to take the lead. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2, Ideal Jet paced home in :29 to win by a length and a quarter. P L Heavenly finished second, while Regal Babe took the show spot. Saturday's victory was Ideal Jet's first win in 2015 from five starts. The four-year-old now has four career wins and earnings exceeding $96,000 for owners Nurko Sokolovic and Barss. Ideal Jet paid $6.50 to win. Ideal Jet The $45,000 final of the Ontario Boys series is scheduled for next Saturday (February 21) and will be joined by the $44,600 final of the Ontario Girls series. Live racing continues Monday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie