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JULY 9, 2017 - An outstanding afternoon of harness racing wrapped up the Kinsmen and Kinette Club's PlucKinFest at Clinton Raceway on Sunday, starting with four Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts. Three of the four Grassroots winners lined up behind the outside Post 7, and Many A Man kicked off the parade of right rail winners in the first $18,800 division. Driver Bob McClure eased Many A Man away from the gate and the pair were sitting last as Gotagetmesomathat took the field of eight to a :29.2 opening quarter. Heading for the :59.3 half McClure sent Many A Man up the outside and the colt made steady progress through the 1:30.2 three-quarters before shifting into high gear in the stretch and accelerating home to the 2:01 victory. Masster Blue finished one and one-quarter lengths back in second and Uknow What To Do was two lengths back in third. "I seen he had some breaking issues so I was really careful, but he was really impressive because not many horses can go last to first in Clinton," said McClure. "He was really tough." The Elora, ON resident crafted Many A Man's first sophomore victory for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON and his partners C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. The homebred son of Manofmanymissions was a five time Ontario Sires Stakes winner at two, including the Grassroots championship, but had made breaks in three of four starts heading into Sunday's test. The second Grassroots division saw another winner come from the outside Post 7 as fan favourite Yo Yo Mass stalked Speedycrest through fractions of :30, 1:00 and 1:30.3 before slipping out of the pocket and sailing home a one length winner in 2:00.3. Speedycrest settled for second and Airborne Seelster overcame an early break to finish third. "I raced against him in the last Gold and thought he was an alright horse. He proved today he is a legit horse," noted Trevor Henry, who crafted the Muscle Mass son's first Grassroots, and second lifetime, win. "You can ask him to do anything and he responds." Campbellville resident Kyle Reibeling trains Yo Yo Mass for his partner, and the gelding's breeder, Nancy Grimble of Newcastle, ON. Division point leader Rose Run Speedster delivered the only Grassroots victory that did not start at Post 7, going gate-to-wire from Post 4 in the third division. The Windsong Espoir son and driver Louis-Philippe Roy loafed through fractions of :31.2, 1:03.3 and 1:34 on their way to a five length victory in 2:03.1. Gym Rat overcame a series of breaks to finish second, edging Addycor Royal into third. Rene Allard of Matamoras, PA trains Rose Run Speedster for his partner the Rose Run Speedster Stable of Guelph, ON. The colt is now flawless in three Grassroots starts and sits atop the division standings with 150 points. Warrawee Shipshape delivered the third Post 7 victory in impressive fashion, firing off the gate and leading the field through fractions of :29.3, :59 and 1:30.3 before trotting under the wire in 2:00.2. Santini finished one length back in second and Jayport Buddy was two more lengths back in third. "They do a good job on this track so it helps," said trainer-driver Pat Hudon of Warrawee Shipshape's Post 7 victory. "Some track surfaces are not so good for trotters, but this track is." The win was the Muscle Mass son's second in Grassroots action this season, but his first under Hudon's tutelage. The Rockwood, ON resident and his partner, numbered company 8113564 Canada Ltd. of Sherwood Park, AB, acquired Warrawee Shipshape from Eddie Green on June 12, but missed the July 1 Grassroots event at Hiawatha Horse Park because the gelding was under the weather. "He just wasn't 100 per cent and with that long of a trip, there was no sense," said Hudon of the decision to delay Warrawee Shipshape's provincial debut for his new owners. "We figured it was better to scratch and race next week." One race after Warrawee Shipshape's victory Clinton fans welcomed eight of Ontario's top three-year-old pacing fillies onto the racetrack for the $61,200 Kin Pace Final and fan favourite The Joy Luck Club demonstrated that she was 100 per cent healthy with a gate-to-wire victory from Post 6. The daughter of Camluck and Oh The Joy sprinted away from the gate and cruised through fractions of :29, :58 and 1:27 before sprinting home to a five and one half length win in 1:55.3. Elimination winner Stonebridge Sundae finished second and Roselily completed the top three. "She's perfect gaited for a half, but she had some sickness issues the last three starts," said driver Doug McNair of Guelph, ON. "Dad did a good job having her healthy for today." McNair engineered the filly's tenth win of the season for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and his partners R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington and Mark Horner of St. Marys. Horner also bred the filly and had handled training duties on the winner of $95,277 up until last week's Kin Pace Eliminations. "Mark's done a good job with her," noted Doug McNair. "She raced great." The McNairs, Horner and R A W Equine received the Kin Pace trophy from former Toronto Blue Jays star Jesse Barfield, who was on hand for photographs and autographs throughout the afternoon. In addition to the outstanding racing, the large Clinton Raceway crowd - who wagered a total of $36,152 on the program - was treated to a variety of giveaways and special trackside activities, including a draw for a Pineridge Backyard BBQ Bash for 20 people won by Darrell Gorvett from Elora, ON. The Huron Heat Female Hockey Association was the racetrack's fundraising partner on Sunday and the organisation netted over $2,500 from their barbecue, bake sale and 50/50 draw. Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action returns to Clinton Raceway on Sunday, July 30 when the two-year-old trotting fillies will be driven by some of harness racing's greatest horsemen, including Ailsa Craig native John Campbell, who will make his final appearance in the race bike on Legends Day. Post time for the July 30 program is 1:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: OSS Program Administration   Ontario Racing

Clinton, ON --- They once dominated harness racing like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson did basketball and Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux ruled hockey. Now Hall of Famers Bill O’Donnell and John Campbell will both hang up their colors for good after a final drive against each other on July 30 in the C$15,000 Legends Day Trot at Clinton Raceway. O’Donnell said it was an idea first hatched in Las Vegas in February during the Dan Patch Awards honoring the best in the sport in the United States from the previous year. “We were down in Vegas for the Dan Patch. John and I and Dave Miller were standing there and John said, ‘Dave’s coming to Legends Day’ and I said, ‘Good, he can take my place. I don’t want to (drive) anymore.’ So John said, ‘Let’s do it together, our last drives,’” O’Donnell said. Considering O’Donnell has only had a handful of drives in the last five years -- most of those for fan events -- he said he isn’t bothered by the fact Campbell, who is still driving regularly, is getting most of the attention for making his last drive at Clinton. “I don’t mind it. I made $98 million on (Campbell’s) coattails,” O’Donnell said, laughing, adding that he’s been trying to officially call it quits for a few years and came close in 2013 after winning the $10,000 Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot for Hall of Fame drivers at the Goshen, N.Y. Historic Track that is located behind the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. “After I won there that one year I said, ‘That’s it, I’m all done,’ but then they call because they have trouble getting eight guys (for the race). (Museum trustee) Ebby Gerry has called and it’s hard to say no to him, but I’ll break it to him this year (at Goshen) that this is it,” O’Donnell said. In the 1980s, when the sport was flourishing at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey and the concept of hired-gun catch-drivers was in its infancy, O’Donnell and Campbell battled at the top of the sport like few drivers had before them and few have since. It was during that era that O’Donnell earned the nickname The Magic Man for his wizardry in the race bike. “Billy at his best was better than any driver I have ever seen,” Campbell said in 2001, the year Legends Day debuted. Legends Day, which this year is raising money for the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation, has been held every two years since and will celebrate its ninth edition this year. O’Donnell has never missed it. “It’s just refreshing to see everyone is there for harness racing. These are fans,” O’Donnell said of Legends Day. “It’s a great day. You get to see people you haven’t seen for a long time.” O’Donnell, 69, has 5,743 career wins and has earned C$99 million on the track. He is one of eight of the world’s greatest harness drivers contesting the Legends Day Trot on the card along with Campbell (11,049 career wins and C$303 million), Ron Waples (6,923 wins, C$75 million), David Miller (12,100 wins, C$215 million), Mike Lachance (10,421, C$190 million), Steve Condren (6,845, C$114 million), Dave Wall (7,200, C$60 million) and Doug Brown (8,427, C$89 million). Combined, the eight legends have earned more than C$1.15 billion and won nearly 69,000 races. Fellow legends Bud Fritz and 93-year-old Keith Waples -- both of whom are retired from driving -- will also be on hand for an autograph session. O’Donnell said it’s nice the legends get along so well off the track. “We’ve always been comrades. The racing was competitive on the track, but we all get along, pretty much, in that age group,” O’Donnell said. O’Donnell was inducted into the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1990 -- the same year Campbell was also enshrined in Goshen, N.Y. -- Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1996. He was born in Springhill, Nova Scotia, a mining town of some 5,000 that is also the birthplace of Canada’s “Songbird,” Anne Murray. O’Donnell’s father, Henry -- better known as “Henny” -- was a coal miner and a part-time horseman. In 1958, when Bill was 10, the Springhill Mine Disaster claimed the lives of 75 men and led to the closure of the mine. That forced Henny to transfer to a mine in Cape Breton. Though the family moved, they still stayed in the harness racing game. Bill was exposed to the horses by his father and his uncle, Art Porter, from whom Bill took his blue, orange and white colors. In the summer of 1965, when he was 17, Bill moved to Toronto and worked as a groom for Ron Feagan. He went home to Nova Scotia for the school year before returning to Toronto in the summer of 1966 to work for Bill Wellwood. In 1967, O’Donnell went back to Nova Scotia, worked there a few years and then headed for New England as an assistant trainer for New Brunswick native and former Legends Day honoree Jim Doherty, who died in 2015. Bill stayed in New England for seven or eight years before poor purses forced him to pack up and move to Saratoga in New York. Only a few years passed before Bill moved to the Meadowlands in 1980. He stayed for two decades. The date of Aug. 16, 1984, still stands as Bill’s single greatest day in the business. That morning he set a world record driving trotting filly Fancy Crown at Springfield, Ill. Then Bill hopped on a plane back to Jersey where he won the Woodrow Wilson with Nihilator for a purse of more than $2.16 million, to this day still the richest harness purse in history. To top it off, he also won three of the four sizable Wilson consolation events. The win with Nihilator is widely considered the key moment harness racing changed from a sport of trainer/drivers to one in which trainers hired catch-drivers better skilled at getting the most out of horses. Legendary horseman Billy Haughton took himself off Nihilator -- arguably his greatest horse -- because he thought Bill O’Donnell would have more success. That same year, Bill set a record for driver earnings of $9,059,184. The next year, Bill became the sport’s first $10 million man while driving both Nihilator and 3-year-old champion colt trotter Prakas to single-season money-winning records. Prakas won the Hambletonian. Nihilator was the U.S. Horse of the Year. The brilliant son of Niatross won 23 of 25 starts, capturing every major stake offered and setting a then world record of 1:49.3 at The Meadowlands. Bill earned the reputation of excelling with trotters, even though he drove the fastest pacer ever -- Cambest -- in a 1:46.1 time trial in 1993 that stood for 23 years as the sport’s fastest mile until broken by Always Be Miki in 2016. Among the numerous Horse of the Year or divisional champions that Bill steered to victory are Little Brown Jug and Cane Pace champion Barberry Spur; Governor’s Cup and Presidential Pace winner Redskin; Camtastic, Valley Victory, Sweet Reflection, Cayster, Delinquent Account and Canadian Pacing Derby winners Artsplace and Staying Together, who also won the Breeders Crown. Bill said fans at Clinton Raceway often ask him about the horses he’s driven and Staying Together, owned by Robert Hamather of nearby Exeter, Ontario, comes up more than most. Today, Bill lives in Guelph, Ontario and is the president of the Central Ontario Standardbred Association that represents the horsepeople racing on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit. He said he is honored to hang up his colors at Clinton and be there when Campbell does the same. “I think it will be a big deal,” Bill said. “That’s where John started. That’s his area.” Clinton Raceway

It was a harness racing challenge in the truest form of the word. Down to the last race. A win by Trevor Henry on Charmbro Curiosity in race eight had him within three points of the winner, Doug McNair. McNair finished with a scratch , awarding him 10 points to take the challenge with a total of 146 points, over Trevor Henry's 143.    The 2016 Driver's Challenge Championship, marks the second win for McNair, his first in the Challenge coming in 2012. Final standings is the challenge were as follows,   Doug McNair 146 Trevor Henry 143 Bob McClure 125 Ryan Holliday 115 Jody Jamieson 100 Alfie Carroll 87 James MacDonald 70 Nick Steward 33   Driver's Nick Steward and Ryan Holliday also tied as Clinton Raceways Top Dash Winning Drivers with 21 wins in the 2016 season. Clinton resident Jim Watt was presented on track with the 2016 training title, with 11 wins on the season. (See photo)   Over the last 35 years the Clinton event has helped to raise over $290,000 for various charities. For the second year, the beneficiary has been the Royal Canadian Legion and through the generous donation of drivers fees, a 50/50, silent auction and Chicken BBQ another approx $6000 was added to that total this year.   The 12 race card ended with four divisions of Ontario Sires Stakes, three year old filly pacers.   The season closer was the best the Huron County oval has seen all season, a record attendance, and a handle of over $57,000 was a great way to end the 2016 live season.     Jessica Carnochan

SEPT. 4, 2016 - Clinton Raceway wrapped up its 2016 season with the 36th annual Driver's Challenge and the last regular season Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots event for the harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies. Although he did not win one of the four Grassroots divisions, driver Doug McNair earned the second Challenge title of his career, edging out rival Trevor Henry by three points. McNair's best Grassroots finish came in the first $18,000 division, when he guided Heavenly Bet to a runner-up effort behind Icthelight Hanover. Starting from Post 3, driver Jody Jamieson sent fan favourite Icthelight Hanover straight to the front and the filly rolled along through fractions of :28.3, :58.2 and 1:28 before hitting the wire two lengths on top in 1:57. Guelph, ON resident McNair and Heavenly Bet were second and Dancin Inthe Nude was third for driver James MacDonald. "That was the first time I've ever driven her, so it was a nice ride," said Moffat, ON resident Jamieson. "She handled the track real good and simply jogged." Jamieson piloted the daughter of Big Jim and Ifyoucouldcwhati C to her first sophomore Grassroots win for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and Determination of Montreal, QC. The win will give Icthelight Hanover an opportunity to extend her three-year-old Ontario Sires Stakes campaign through the Sept. 16 Grassroots Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack. The second Grassroots division went to fan favourite Maxim Seelster and driver Bob McClure, who also employed front-end tactics to secure the 1:57 victory. Local filly Top Royal, owned by trainer Heather Toll of Seaforth and Brydown Farms Inc. of Clinton, finished one and three-quarter lengths back in second with Phil Hudon in the race bike and McNair was third with More Than Many. "She was really very push button. She couldn't have had anything else go her way, she just had everything absolutely in her favour," said McClure, who crafted the Big Jim daughter's second Grassroots win for trainer Rene Bourassa of Fergus and M & S Stable Inc. of Rockwood, ON. "Also I think a bunch of them at the back got roughed up, but she had lots left coming to the wire, for sure." McClure enjoyed the Driver's Challenge, in spite of the fact that he did not take home the title. "It was a lot of fun; we all had a lot of fun. I think Doug cheated," said the Elora, ON resident with a laugh. "They had a big crowd too." A third front-end effort and another 1:57 result came in the next division for driver Phil Hudon and Glorious Delight. The filly cruised home two and one-half lengths ahead of McClure and Bettys Bay and McNair and Northern Prima. "I didn't know much about her so I took a shot leaving and landed front, had good fractions and everything worked out," said Guelph resident Hudon. "She seemed like a nice filly." Hudon piloted Glorious Delight to her second Grassroots victory for trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON and owner-breeder Emerald Highlands Farm of Mount Vernon, OH. Like Icthelight Hanover and Maxim Seelster, the Bettors Delight daughter will finish among the top 20 point earners and advance to the post season. The final Grassroots winner, Selling The Dream will also appear in the Sept. 16 Semi-final. In rein to Challenge runner-up Trevor Henry, Selling The Dream sat behind pacesetter Killean Finale through fractions of :27.3, :57 and 1:27 and then sprinted down the stretch to a head victory in 1:56. Killean Finale and Jason Ryan settled for second and James MacDonald piloted Trilife to third. Dean Wall conditions Badlands Hanover daughter Selling The Dream for Donald and Sheila Murray of Kincardine, ON. A Grassroots winner at two, Sunday's win was the filly's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action this season. The top 20 point earners from the six regular season Grassroots events will now begin preparations for the Sept. 16 Semi-finals. The top five finishers from each Semi-final earn a berth in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 24. Ontario Racing

CLINTON, Ontario . . . Eight of the best harness racing drivers in Canada will be at Clinton Raceway on the track's final program for the 2016 season, Sunday September 4. They will compete in the 36th Clinton Drivers' Championship, an annual fundraiser which has raised in excess of $290,000 since its inception in 1981.   "The charities we're supporting with the drivers' competition this year are the four area Legions, Clinton, Seaforth, Goderich and Brussels," explained Ian Fleming, the track's General Manager. "The Legions are an important aspect of every community and I think it's good for racing to support them."   "I'm always happy to win," said Trevor Henry after winning his third Drivers' Championship at Clinton last year, "but the real winners here are the veterans and the local legions that are working to support them. I know we're all happy to come out and drive to support them."   Henry, who currently sits second among all drivers in Canada this year for money won with $3.2 million in purses to date, will be looking to defend his title this year. Clinton's top driver for many years, Henry went over the 6,000 mark in races won earlier in 2016.   Should Henry win the 2016 Drivers' Championship he'll tie with Dave Wall and Jody Jamieson for the most wins in the competition at four. Jamieson, who is perennially in the top 10 drivers in Canada in money and races won, will be looking for his fifth Championship trophy. Named Canada's Driver of the Year three times in his career, Jody has 7,400 wins and $116 million earned to date.   Jamieson and Henry will be joined by two other talented WEG drivers, Doug McNair and James MacDonald and they'll square off against the top two drivers at Clinton, Nick Steward and Ryan Holliday, along with Canada's top two drivers in terms of races won so far this year, Alfie Carroll and Bob McClure.   Steward and Holliday have both made 80 starts at Clinton's half-mile oval so far this year raking up 19 and 17 trips to the winner's circle respectively. Steward is on track for a career year with a total of 161 wins so far in 2016 for just under a million in purse earnings. He's just four wins shy of 1,500 lifetime wins. Holliday meanwhile just achieved a career milestone of $5 million in purses in his career.   Carroll and McClure are two of the country's busiest (and winningest) drivers. Carroll has competed in 1,737 races so far this year while McClure has sat behind 1,423 horses in races to date in 2016. Their hard work has been rewarded as they have more wins than any of their rivals this year. Carroll has 375 trips to the winner's circle while McClure has 305. The third place driver is distanced with 215 victories.   In addition, the pair are the top two drivers at three of Ontario's racetracks - Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway and Flamboro Downs. When Western Fair's meet ended in May Carroll was their number one driver followed by Steward and McClure.   All of the drivers participating will be donating their fees to the fundraiser which will also be boosted by a silent auction, draws and a BBQ chicken dinner. The card also includes Ontario Sires Stakes races for three-year-old pacing fillies.   The final card of racing at Clinton Raceway for 2016 promises to be a great one with the country's leading drivers in attendance, very talented stakes horses performing and a fundraiser for a very worthwhile cause. First race post is 1:30 p.m.   Jessica Carnochan

AUGUST 21, 2016 - Driver Phil Hudon captured a pair of Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions at Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon, guiding three-year-old trotting geldings Tough Get Going and Magic Missions to victory on the half-mile oval's 70th anniversary harness racing card. Starting from Post 6 in the third $18,000 Grassroots division with Tough Get Going, Hudon fired the trotter to the front, reaching the quarter in :29. The pair led the field of seven to a :59 half and a 1:30 three-quarters and then held on in the stretch to score a one-half length victory in 2:01.4. Willyorwonthe finished second and fan favourite Bow Ties N Bourbon recovered from an early break in stride to be third. "He raced great," said Hudon of his first trip behind Tough Get Going. "Just went to the front, trotted nice and was able to hold of Bill Megens' trotter (Willyorwonthe). He seems like a nice a trotter." James McEachern conditions Tough Get Going for Asa Farm of Norwood and Gary Smith of Ennismore, ON. Sunday's win was the Kadabra gelding's first in Grassroots action this season and boosted his sophomore record to two wins, one second and one third in 10 starts for earnings of $14,377. In the fourth division Hudon and Magic Missions left from Post 2 and landed on the rail behind early pacesetter Holiday Party. As Holiday Party was pressed through fractions of :29, :58 and 1:29.4, Hudon and Magic Missions waited patiently for their opportunity, which came as the colts squared up in the stretch. Hudon eased Magic Missions into an open lane and the gelding powered by the leader to a three-quarter length victory in 2:00, the fastest mile of the five Grassroots divisions. Holiday Party settled for second and Wildwild Men overcame an early error to grab the third-place finisher's share. "Magic Missions seems to be getting better each start," noted Hudon. "He's still green and the trip worked out perfectly; they raced up front and I sat the two-hole and was able to get out and win by a little bit." Hudon drives Magic Missions for trainer Bill Budd of Waterdown and his partners Macks Stable and Joe Carnovale of Stoney Creek, ON. The Manofmanymissions gelding has made just six starts this season and Sunday's effort marked his first lifetime win. Budd added trotting hopples to Magic Missions' equipment bag after his first two sophomore starts, and the gelding has not missed a cheque since the addition. "The hopples helped Magic," said Hudon. "They just steady him a little bit, for sure." With their victories, both Tough Get Going and Magic Missions jumped up the point standings and have a shot at the Grassroots Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 16. The three-year-old trotting colts have two more regular season starts remaining, Aug. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack and Sept. 7 at Grand River Raceway, where they can pad their point tallies. Gonna Fly took the first division at Clinton on Sunday and moved into second spot in the division standings with 125 points earned through two wins and one second in the first three regular season events. Iona Station, ON resident Alfie Carroll piloted the Kadabra colt to the 2:01 victory that saw him reel in the leaders through the final quarter and roll home to a four and one-half length victory over favourite Midnight Toker and Ulysses Bi. Windsor resident Bob McIntosh conditions Gonna Fly for his partner Earl Hill, Jr. of Ohsweken, ON. In nine sophomore starts the colt now has three wins and two seconds for earnings of $35,900. The second division went to Dynamic Edge and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr., who led through fractions of :30.1, 1:02 and 1:32 and then battled down the stretch to a head victory in 2:02. Defi Normand and V For Victory finished second and third. Campbellville resident Christoforou crafted the win for trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph and his partner, numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. The win was the first of the season for the Muscle Mass gelding, who was the runner-up in the Grassroots Championship at two. The final Grassroots division went to Rose Run Rudi, who got a perfect pocket trip behind pacesetter Terrain Seelster, and then accelerated down the stretch to a two and one-quarter length victory in 2:03.4. Terrain Seelster had to settle for second and Galaxy completed the top three. Thornton resident Steve Byron engineered the win for trainer David Byron of Thornton and his partners James Cantelon of Thornton, David Cantelon of Bolton and Craig Wallwin of Barrie, ON. Through 10 starts the Manofmanymissions gelding has two wins, one of them in Grassroots action, one second and one third for earnings of $25,744. In addition to the five Grassroots divisions, Clinton Raceway marked its 70th anniversary with a cake and a commemorative race. Two original members of the Clinton Turf Club, Bruce Dupee and Harold (Hoot) Gibbings, were on hand to present an anniversary cooler to Race 6 winner Toureg Seelster and his connections exactly 70 years to the day after harness racing first made its debut in Clinton. Lorne House of Ingersoll guided Toureg Seelster to the 2:00 victory for trainer Peter Brickman and owner Erin Swainson Brickman of Sebringville, ON. Also participating in the 70th anniversary celebrations were members of the Huron Heat Female Hockey Association. Through a 50/50 draw, bake sale and Pork Chop BBQ the organization was able to raise just over $4,600 for team jerseys for their first season. Two Sundays remain on Clinton Raceway's 2016 schedule and the Ontario Sires Stakes will help wrap things up at the half-mile oval on Sept. 4. The three-year-old pacing fillies will make their final Grassroots regular season stop as part of the racetrack's 36th annual Driver's Charity Challenge in support of the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. For more information visit Ontario Racing

The Hands on Horses Program has toured South Western Ontario over the past two weekends. This past Sunday many young harness rascing fans appeared at Clinton Raceway for Kids Day and lined up for their chance to sit behind a racehorse. The previous weekend saw the program make stops at Grand River Raceway, Hiawatha Horse Park and Leamington Raceway. At all events patrons were offered the opportunity to take a ride around the racetrack between races. As an added bonus fans at Hiawatha Horse Park had the opportunity to pose and take a picture in between races with our long time program horse Hollywood Ham. Fans lined up for the unique opportunity for a picture with a racehorse. Large crowds were in attendance as legendary race announcer Roger Huston was in the house to announce the evening's races. Driver Mark Williams was thrilled to capture his 5,000th win on the card and have it announced by Roger. After the win Mark took the lines of one of the program horses and gave some happy fans a trip around the track. The following afternoon Roger met up with Mark for a congratulatory photo at Leamington Raceway where he was announcing that tracks card of racing. Roger indicated that Leamington was the 139th racetrack that he has now announced at in his illustrious career. As a special bonus Roger hopped in the jogger and gave Essex Mayor Ron McDermott a thrill as they toured the Leamington Oval together. The weekend finished off with a hockey players challenge race between the Wheatley Omstead Sharks and the Leamington Flyers. The Wannadrive team assisted with outfitting the participants and providing the two seater joggers. Special thanks to all of the trainers that provided the horse power for the event which was won by the Flyers Cale Phibbs in an exciting finish. We look forward to offering this interactive experience to racing fans across the province. For your chance to participate check out the schedule at the website Our next event will be August 27th at Georgian Downs. To see photos of all of the events visit our facebook page here. By Stacey Reinsma

CLINTON, Ontario . . . On Sunday, August 21, Clinton Raceway will celebrate 70 years of hosting harness racing at their picturesque facility. The first Standardbred race was conducted at the half-mile oval on August 21, 1946, organized by the Clinton Turf Club, a group of harness racing enthusiasts in the area. The purses were $300 and the horses were housed in tents as there were no barns at that time. The times the horses had to meet were all over two minutes and 20 seconds, while the current pacers and trotters average a mile around 2:00 flat. During that time period the race meets would have to be cancelled once every few years due to track conditions caused usually by weather. The one day meets continued for close to three decades. In 1970 the Clinton Kinsmen took on the task of hosting races as a fundraising project and operated full summer meets with great success until 1983. At that time a local not for profit business was formed to run the track with their board comprised of local business people and horse enthusiasts who continue to oversee the operation. A common theme from all three operators, The Turf Club, Clinton Kinsmen to the currently board is their commitment to promoting racing and community involvement. Regarded as one of the most successful Grassroots tracks in the province, Clinton Raceway has 15 race days in 2016 with racing every Sunday afternoon from mid May to September 4. One of its most successful initiatives has been Legends' Day which was introduced in 2001. Legends' Day brings together Hall of Fame Canadian horsemen and the biggest names in the Standardbred sport including John Campbell, Buddy Gilmour, Keith Waples, Bill O'Donnell, Mike LaChance, Ron Waples, Dave Wall and Bud Fritz. The famed horsemen meet and greet with the fans and compete on track in the Legends' Day trot. For 37 years Clinton Raceway has also hosted a very popular Drivers' Challenge featuring some of Ontario's top drivers competing against the top four drivers at the local racetracks. The Drivers' Championship and Legends' Day have raised more than $600,000 for local charities. Clinton has recently introduced opportunities for local charities to host fundraisers during every race day through auctions, bake sales and barbeques. Celebrations on August 21 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary include the second appearance of Ontario Sires Stakes, welcoming three-year-old colt trotters to the race course. Race fans will be treated to a slice of anniversary cake while welcoming the Standardbred Canada Fan Club on site with offers and promotions. A commemorative insert into the live race program will highlight the last seventy years at Clinton Raceway The Huron Heat girls hockey organization will be hosting a track side fundraiser for their upcoming 2016/17 season with a Smoked Pork Chop BBQ, 50/50 and bake sale. The late Fred Sadler of Parkhill will be honoured with a special memorial race and blanket presentation. Sadler, a well known horseman in Southwestern Ontario passed away in January of 2012. He was a fixture at both Western Fair and Clinton Raceway's, winning the Charity Driver's Challenge at Clinton in 1985. Post time for the action packed day is 1:30pm. More details can be found at   Jessica Carnochan

For the majority of the ten race harness racing card this Sunday at Clinton Raceway the sky was grey and overcast. Minutes before post to the tenth and final race, the Vic Hayter Memorial Trot, the clouds parted and sun shone warm on the backs of family and friends gathered to honour the late horseman and hotelier of Stratford.   In early spring the family had thought it would be a appropriate way to honour Vic, whom had passed away from a short, but courageous battle with pancreatic cancer in February. Plans came together to include a track side fundraiser for the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society and the Stratford Perth Humane Society, organizations that were both near and dear to Hayter.   Through the raffle, beef bbq ticket sales and the silent auction, just over $5000 was raised for the two organizations.   The $12,500 invitational trot saw eight go to the gate for the tenth and final race of the day. Lexis D J nosed out front of the pack from post position three for a gate to wire finish for owner Shane Arsenault in a mile time of 1:59.2. A commemorative trophy was presented, which will be engraved and held at the track. Presentations were also made to the owner, trainer, driver and groom.   "It was an emotional day" states Greg Hayter, son of Vic. "even more so when Shane's horse won the race, it was the icing on the cake."   The annual event will make a return to Clinton Raceway next Summer, with hopes of becoming a yearly invitational trot. The days handle was just shy of $26,000.   Jessica Carnochan

JULY 17, 2016 - When Shanghai Sugar won her Grassroots division at Clinton Raceway on Sunday, Travis Henry and his partners experienced a moment of déjà vu. Last season Henry, Craig Wood and Glen Wark watched their two-year-old pacing filly Tempus Seelster win her July 19 Grassroots division at Georgian Downs and then go on to win her Battle of the Belles elimination at Grand River Raceway one week later. Shanghai Sugar's schedule is the same, and her connections are hoping she can match her stablemate's success. "It's exciting because last year we had kind of the same thing. We bought Tempus Seelster for $10,000 out of the London Sale and she took us on a bit of a ride, she won her Battle of the Belles elim and then she was sick in the Final actually," explained Henry. "So my partner Craig Wood said 'Battle of the Belles take two, I guess.' Hopefully we can get a better result." So far, Shanghai Sugar has followed the same path as Tempus Seelster. Acquired for just $9,000 from the Canadian Open Yearling Sale last fall, the daughter of Shanghai Phil and $563,299 winner Fast Lane Cruizin was Henry's best youngster all winter. "I started with three, and she was the best one out of them all," said the Brantford resident, who conditions the filly for Craig Wood of Waterdown, Glen Wark of St. Catharines and his mother Linda Henry of Brantford, ON. "She just was like an old racehorse the whole time. She loves her work and she has a really great attitude about everything she does." Henry and Shanghai Sugar lined up at Post 5 in the first of three $18,000 Grassroots divisions at Clinton Raceway on Sunday and were sitting fourth when Lady Sherri reached the quarter pole in :30.4. With the favourites stacked up behind him, Henry opted to send Shanghai Sugar up the outside and the filly was sitting second at the 1:01.1 half. After reeling in Lady Sherri, Shanghai Sugar sailed on to a 1:31 three-quarters and then accelerated down the stretch to a four and one-half length victory in 2:00. Odysseus and Lady Sherri paced into second and third. "I tried to quiet her down from her (July 1) qualifier because she was really aggressive, and you don't really want them like that," said Henry of the first-time starter. "So I added the hood with cups so she could kind of see behind her a little bit, and I put ear plugs in her. "When I popped the ear plugs (today), she kind of just dropped into another gear. She was really good," he added. The Battle of the Belles eliminations are Monday, July 25, with the final slated for Monday, Aug.1. Sandwiched in between is Henry's wedding to Maddi McNiven, who is the daughter of Rob and Tammy McNiven of Embro's Twinbrook Farms and an equine massage therapist based in Cambridge, ON. "That's on the 31st, and Industry Day's on the first, so we're hoping we're racing the day after our wedding, but we'll see," said Henry. The other Grassroots winners at Clinton Raceway on Sunday were Treasures Pearl and OK Jewel. Already the owner of a Grassroots trophy earned in the July 8 opener at Mohawk Racetrack, Treasures Pearl was the favourite in the second division. In spite of a field shorted to four when Mach On and Casimir QT were forced to withdraw due to sickness, the fillies delivered a lively battle, maintaining pressure on pacesetter Shewearsthepants through fractions of :30.2, 1:00 and 1:30.4. Finding a clear path in the stretch Treasures Pearl and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton sprinted to a one-half length victory in 1:59.4. The Joy Luck Club was awarded second and Shewearsthepants was demoted to third as a result of interference in the stretch. The win put Treasures Pearl firmly atop the two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots standings with 100 points. The Sportswriter daughter is trained by Ron Adams of LaSalle for owner-breeder Donald Leschied of South Woodslee, ON. The filly is the first foal from $209,445 winner St Lads Treasure. First time starter OK Jewel and driver Bob McClure also used a late sprint to claim the third Grassroots trophy. The filly reeled in pacesetter and fan favourite P L Kaleidoscope and Menagerie to score the one-half length victory in 2:00.3. Elora resident McClure engineered the win for trainer Tim Jacobson of Midhurst, ON and owner Seaspray Stables Ltd. of Nanaimo, BC. The filly is a Mach Three daughter of $332,983 winner Whitesand Jewel. Shanghai Sugar and OK Jewel will go looking for their second Grassroots trophy, and Treasures Pearl will be after her third, when the two-year-old pacing fillies make their third Ontario Sires Stakes start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 11. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Clinton Raceway on Sunday, August 21 when the half-mile oval hosts the three-year-old trotting colts in their fourth Grassroots outing. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Another successful harness racing trackside fundraiser, in the Day at the Races Fundraising program took place this Sunday afternoon at Clinton Raceway. In addition to the 10 race card, race fans came out and supported Clinton Minor Baseball through the silent auction, 50/50 draw, raffle and BBQ. The handle on the days race card was just over $21,000   The local group of baseball enthusiasts was able to raise approx $5900 to be used towards diamond upkeep at both the Clinton and Holmesville locations. 185 8-18 year old players are registered in both the soft and hardball programs in the 2016 season.   Each Sunday Clinton Raceway hosts a different group, club or organization looking to raise money. Remaining fundraisers include AAA Huron Perth Lakers, Huron Heat Girls Hockey Association, Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, Perth Stratford Humane Society, The Sunshine Foundation and The Royal Canadian Legion.   Groups that are interested in the track side fundraising program for the 2017 program at Clinton Raceway are invited to contact Jessica Carnochan ( for applications and information.   Ontario Sires Stakes make their 2016 season debut at Clinton Raceway on Sunday July 17 as two year old filly pacers hit the track. Race fans are invited to bring a friend for great offers and incentives as part of Standardbred Canada's Bring a Friend initiative, and the chance to Be A Winner courtesy of the OSS program. Visit for complete season schedule of events.   From the Media Department at Clinton Raceway

Morag and Jim Watt have been breeding and raising Standardbred racehorses on their Clinton area farm for three decades and are fixtures on Clinton Raceway's Sunday afternoon harness racing programs. This Sunday, however, their homebred filly Watt Machs Me Win will line up alongside some of Ontario's finest three-year-old pacing fillies in an elimination for the track's signature event, the Kin Pace. "It's really exciting to be able to have one to race in the Kin Pace, right here at home," said Morag Watt. "You work your whole racing career, you strive to have good horses, and to have one that's good enough to even enter is kind of a little thrill." Watt Machs Me Win heads into the $8,000 elimination with five starts under her belt this season, one over the half-mile oval at The Raceway at Western Fair District and four on the seven-eighths mile surface at Mohawk Racetrack. While she's yet to find the winner's circle, the filly has been showing steady progress. "She's just started back this year, she's only had a couple of starts, so she's still sort of racing into form," noted Watt. "We're looking forward to her three-year-old year. "We tend not to push our two-year-olds overly hard, we like to let them mature a little bit before we really ask them to exert themselves, so we sort of were conservative with her last year in her starts and in her training," Watt added. "Hopefully with a little bit of maturity she's ready to roll this year." Jim Watt taught Watt Machs Me Win her early lessons and handled training duties on the daughter of Mach Three and Feisty Form through her two-year-old campaign, but the couple opted to send her to trainer Richard Moreau in early May, after the first start of her sophomore season. "It's very unusual for us to send a horse away, but we felt that this filly showed enough potential that we wanted to give her every opportunity this summer to race in the stakes," explained Morag Watt. "It just seemed like a good strategy to send her away for the stakes season to see if she could reach her potential." The Watts hope the filly's knowledge of Clinton Raceway's half-mile surface will work to her advantage in Sunday's second race, where she faces a field that includes two fillies from the division's top tier. At the rail, Bad As Leader comes into the Kin Pace Elimination off a sixth-place result in the $438,000 Fan Hanover Final at Mohawk on June 25 and, from Post 4, Cracklin Rosie rides in on a two-race win streak including a victory in the opening leg of the Gold Series at Mohawk on June 4. "That's all part of racing, you just have to accept it," said a pragmatic Watt about the deep field. "Sometimes it doesn't play out the way that you imagine it will before the race, so that's when you depend on the driver's expertise to use his best judgement when he's behind the gate. "That's what makes it exciting and gives everyone an opportunity, because anything can happen," she added. Travis Henry will steer Watt Machs Me Win from Post 6 in Sunday's test, with the top two fillies from each of the three eliminations, along with two third-place finishers selected by random draw, advancing into the $60,000 Kin Pace Final on July 3. Sunday's eliminations are the eighth edition of the Kin Pace, named in honour of the Clinton Kinsmen, who introduced pari-mutuel wagering to Clinton Raceway in 1970. The Final takes place on the last day of the Kinsmen and Kinettes annual PlucKIN' Fest, which features a jam-packed weekend of activities kicking off with a Chicken BBQ and Craft Beer Night in the Clinton Raceway grandstand on Thursday evening. For more information about the Kin Pace Eliminations please contact Clinton Raceway at 519- 482-5270 or visit Jessica Carnochan

Monte harness racing in Ontario returned to the site where the first North American under saddle wagering race took place, as Clinton Raceway hosted two events for the monte trotters on Sunday afternoon (June 19). Alex Marion, who is RUS Ontario's sole licensed male rider, earned his first victory as 10-year-old Celebrity Legacy inherited the 2:04 score in the first C$3,000 event. Precious Phoebe reset after an early miscue and trotted to a six-length lead while Celebrity Legacy swept from last to second. Precious Phoebe and Evelyn Harms crossed the wire first with Celebrity Legacy chasing three-quarters of a length behind, however, judges ruled Precious Phoebe failed to lose ground while on a break and she was placed sixth. Celebrity Legacy, a son of Windsong’s Legacy, is owned by trainer Felix Marion and Krystel Simard. The victory was his first under saddle, after 22 wins to sulky. Harms won later aboard trotting mare Southwind Alice in the other C$4,000 monte race. Southwind Alice overtook Massive Muscles and Marit Valstad to win by a length in 2:03.4. The five-year-old Muscle Hill mare, an 11-time career winner, has now won successive RUS events for trainer David Dowling and owner Allan Neal. Handle on the two RUS events totaled C$3,267, compared to the total program handle of C$18,294, or an average/race of C$1,829 on the ten race card/ Thomas H. Hicks

It was a day of greats at Clinton Raceway, as the Huron County oval held it's opening card of the 2016 harness racing season. Great weather, great races and great prizes all lead to a record attendance and record handle. The 10 race card saw a wagering handle of just over $30,000. "This was the biggest opening day that Clinton has seen, almost ever" states Director of Marketing, Jessica Carnochan. "The weather was definitely in our favor, if people were on the fence, that was the deal maker". Super Sunday show fans were treated to new games between the races with lots of fun and prizes. Two lucky winners went home with a pair of tickets to see Carrie Underwood in London next week and a $500 garden package courtesy of Verbeeks Farm and Garden in Clinton. Central Huron Secondary School was able to raise just over $2800 during their trackside fundraiser. "We really appreciate the ability that Clinton Raceway has given us over the last years to fundraise, comments chair, and teacher at C.H.S.S. Leigh Melady. "The fans have continued to support us and we're great full for their generosity." Long time race caller, Frank Salive made his return to the mic for opening day, and will be back again when live racing resumes Sunday May 29 with a post time of 1:30pm. The day will belong to the Saugeen Maitland Women's Hockey Association and their Day at the Races fundraiser. A full calendar of events can be found at Jessica Carnochan  

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 28 - The deadline for nominations to the Alliance Spring Series is this Monday (May 2). A total of 11 events will be contested as part of the Alliance Spring Series. Flamboro Downs, The Raceway at Western Fair, Clinton Raceway, Grand River Raceway and Georgian Downs will all host series races. The Alliance Spring Series offer racing opportunities for $6,000 and $12,000 claimers, along with four-year-olds and younger who are non-winners of $5,000. Flamboro Downs will host two series finals on Confederation Cup night (May 15), while Western Fair will also host a pair of series finals on Molson Pace night (May 27). The nomination fee for each series is $100 ($75 USD) and the Woodbine Entertainment Group will handle all payments. To view the full conditions for each series and nomination form to the Alliance Spring Series, click here. To make payments online, click here. by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

CLINTON, ON -- A full crowd and sunny skies provided the backdrop for Clinton Raceway's eighth annual Legends Day harness racing event on September 6.   The bi-annual event began in 2001 as a celebration of Canadian harness racing's most accomplished drivers. The beloved afternoon race card also serves as a major fundraiser for local groups, institutions and charities within the small, rural community.   This year's benefactor is the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation. The track's efforts included an online auction featuring 40 items which grossed $9,650 an on track Pineridge Chicken BBQ and 50/50.   For racing fans, the highlight of the afternoon was the opportunity to meet the extraordinary group of drivers competing in the Legends Day Trot: John Campbell, Doug Brown, Mike Lachance, Bill O'Donnell, Steve Condren, Dave Wall, Ray Remmen and Ron Waples.   Collectively, they have driven horses to purse earnings of nearly $1 billion and captured almost 60,000 wins. The Great Eight, plus fellow Hall Of Famers Keith Waples and Bud Fritz greeted racing enthusiasts of all ages. Throngs of them lined up in glee, clutching various racing memorabilia to be inked during the hour-long autograph session.   The winner of the $15,000 Legends Day Trot was Dave Wall with Brandon Cs. The longest shot on the board at 9-1, Wall steered the six-year-old gelding to his 22nd career win. Leaving from post four, the duo took control of the field by the half-mile marker and cruised home to a two-length win in a new career best of 1:57.3. Brandon Cs is owned by trainer Janice Annett of Wyoming, ON, and Marjorie Simmons of Chatham, ON.   Wall, of Komoka, ON, is a lifetime winner of 7,179 races and $58 million in purses.   The track also paid tribute to driving legends Jim Doherty and Buddy Gilmour with a memorial race and blanket presentations following Race 7.   Doherty passed away in March of this year at the age of 74. Throughout his career, he drove winners of 4,620 races and nearly $39 million in purses. He was an integral part of Legends Day since 2003.   Buddy Gilmour, a native of Lucan, ON, won 5,381 races and $44 million in purse earnings throughout his colourful career. He actively participated in the inaugural Legends Day in 2001 and again in 2003, returning as a guest through 2009. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 78.   The track also featured a memorial dash in Race 8 for Lorenzo Lamarra, a longtime employee of United Tote and a fixture at Clinton Raceway, who passed away suddenly this winter.   Total handle for the 11-race card was $60,818 -- a substantial jump from the 2013 Legends Day handle of $48,311 (which was based on 12 races).   Jessica Carnochan

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