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JUNE 29, 2015 - Dresden Raceway will ring in Canada Day with exciting prize draws, an eight-foot long cake and seven Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for the talented three-year-old trotting fillies. It will be the first Ontario Sires Stakes event at the historic half-mile since September 2013 and Dresden fans are looking forward to seeing the province's best in harness racing action. "The races themselves are kind of a highlight for us," says General Manager Greg Blanchard. "They haven't had OSS races there in quite some time, so I think there's a lot of excitement around there for that." Among the fillies heading to Dresden for the 1:30 pm program is Cincinnati Miss, co-owned by Wheatley resident Doug McIntosh. Cincinnati Miss posted a third-place result in the Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on June 22 and McIntosh likes her chances from Post 5 in Wednesday's sixth race. "I was saying, the four or five is perfect at Dresden," McIntosh explains. "But there's a couple in there that can go pretty good too. The Grassroots is not easy racing now, it's pretty solid. It's a good quality of racing, and that's what we're after." McIntosh shares ownership of Cincinnati Miss with breeder Ivey Pharm Stable of Cincinnati, Ohio, and his brother Bob McIntosh of Windsor trains the filly. Through four starts this season the daughter of Kadabra and Livias Image has tallied one win, two seconds and one third for earnings of $16,160. "We don't know what we've really got," adds McIntosh, who retired from training horses in the spring to focus on his business, McIntosh Pro Line. "I think she'll be a nice filly and I think there's life for her beyond (the OSS), as a four-year-old. I think she'll get better." In addition to the seven Grassroots divisions, racing for a total of $126,000 in provincial purse money, early arriving Dresden Raceway fans will be treated to an OSS t-shirt with their program purchase and OSS ball caps will be tossed to the crowd between divisions. Fans can also enter to win a variety of prizes from local sponsors and enjoy a piece of the eight-foot long Canada Day cake. "There will be lots of prizes and giveaways - and cake to celebrate - throughout the day," says Blanchard. Dresden Raceway's Canada Day program gets under way at 1:30 pm with seven $18,000 Grassroots divisions followed by three overnight events. Ontario Horse Racing

Heavy rains may have postponed Opening Day of the harness racing season at the horse racetrack here by one week, but the spirits of those who attended Sunday's event weren't dampened by the delay.   Warm temperatures welcomed visitors to the Dresden Raceway and its revamped offerings.   Dresden Agricultural Society president Lucille Laprise told The Daily News the standardbred horse racing season is strong thanks to local business owners.   "The BIA (Business Improvement Area) is completely behind us," Laprise said.   Whether the Dresden Raceway can make up the loss of its official opening day card will be up to "horse availability" during the season, Laprise added.   "We wouldn't want to take away from other tracks."   The racetrack was given 11 race days this year, including one on Wednesday July 1 for a Canada Day celebration when fans are asked to wear red and white.   The added giveaways and draws for such things as gift cards wasn't lost on Rob Ellis.   Ellis has been bringing his family and friends to the racetrack for years, even racing horses himself at one time.   "It's a nice relaxing Sunday afternoon," Ellis said.   "We don't miss too many races, unless the sons are playing baseball," he added.   Mike Rosella, a long-time friend of Ellis, travelled from Windsor to enjoy catching up with friends at the track.   "It's nice to meet on a Sunday. You never know who'll show up," Rosella said.   A racing fan for years, Rosella said it was sad to learn Windsor lost its raceway.   "It's being torn down as we speak," he said.   Ellis noted the benefits to local tourism and employment the Dresden track creates.   "We weren't so sure the last couple of years what to expect, but I think we should be fine," he said.   "I see a lot more younger families coming out to sit and watch and that's good for the future of horse racing," Ellis added.   Between races, Laprise took to the microphone to introduce the crowd to a special family.   Ethel Townsend of the Blenheim area agreed recently to donate an antique sulky her husband purchased years ago.   Bill Townsend passed away in 2013 and Ethel was trying to figure out what to do with the old wooden sulky.   It turned out the sulky was made in Dresden in the 1880s at the Rudd factory and the local agricultural society pledged to look after it for racing fans to view for years to come.   The sulky was officially turned over to the society Sunday and the Townsend family received many thanks for their generous donation.   "It's come home," Laprise said.   Vicki Gough   Reproduced with permission of Chatham Daily News - Check site here    

The president of the Dresden Agricultural Society says the historic track will be ready for the May 31st opener. Lucille Laprise said there was a buoyant atmosphere at Dresden Raceway on Monday when word came that the harness racing track had been granted an 11-race summer meet by the Ontario Racing Commission. "Everybody's been anxiously waiting to see what was going to happen. Now that it's official that we're getting our 11 race days, we are very enthused and we're good to go," said Laprise, the president of the Dresden Agricultural Society that revived the track in 2014. "Dresden Raceway is back on track." Dresden will race predominantly on Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. and also include special cards on Canada Day (Wed., July 1) and will close its meet on the Civic Holiday Monday in August (Aug. 3). The 11-race season is the same number of race cards the track had in 2014, though, this year, the season is starting much sooner. "We really have to start spreading the word," Laprise said. "May 31st is going to be here sooner than we think." Harness racing has been conducted in Dresden for over 140 years. The Dresden Exhibition will celebrate its 140th anniversary this summer and harness racing has been conducted there longer than that. In the late-1800s, the Dresden Driving Club organized trials of speed at the track. In the early 1900s, locals gathered in the winter to watch races over the icy Sydenham River. This summer, Dresden Raceway will be part of a southwestern Ontario circuit of small tracks that includes Sarnia's Hiawatha Horse Park and Leamington Raceway. Greg Blanchard will be returning as Dresden Raceway's general manager and Gary Patterson will be back calling the races. "We've got some really good ideas," Laprise said. "We're going to have special race days like we did last year and give-aways and fan appreciation events. We certainly want to invite the people to come back. We've got some great horses, a great track, a great grandstand and we're going to be ready for them." Dave Briggs Standardbred Communications Ontario Horse Racing www.ontariohorseracing.ca        

Sept 1, 2014 - Lorne House made an early move with Kendal Gustav and never looked back in the Shelly Goodreau Memorial Pace at Dresden Raceway. House rolled the five-year-old Life Sign gelding just past the quarter poll and led every step of the way after that move pushing past the half in 57.1 and three quarters in 1:27 flat with a last quarter of 29.1 to win in 1:56.4. Kendal Gustav is owned by Tomas Broadhurst of London, Shirley Griffin of Thorndale and is trained by Scott McNiven of Putnam. J M Jet Set and Donnie Rankin Jr. closed hard to finish second by a head while Leafs And Wings and Chris Johnston finished third. The Shelly Goodreau Memorial Pace wrapped up a very successful season at Dresden Raceway. Robert Sparling Jr took Schrader Hanover to the front and never looked back in the OLG Slots Trot. The seven-year-old Ken Warkentin gelding set fractions of 29.4, 1:00.2, 1:30.3 for a mile time of 1:59.2. Schrader Hanover is owned and trained by Karl McNaughton of Clinton. The handle today was $35,679. TRIPLE DOUBLE...Donnie Rankin Jr., Nick Steward and Lorne House all had driving doubles today...THE KING OF THE RING...Nick Steward claimed the dash crown at Dresden Raceway by picking up his 25th win of the season...JACKPOT!...the largest payout of the day was the 3-2-8 triactor combination in the eighth race that lit up the board at $418.70...GUSTOV GO...KENDAL GUSTOV was the fastest horse of the day winning in 1:56.4. by Gary Patterson, for Dresden Raceway  

August 31, 2014 - Harness racing driver Donnie Ranking Jr. made four trips to the winner’s circle today at Dresden Raceway. Rankin’s first winner of the day was MUST BE PAIGE in the fifth race.  The three year-old BADLANDS HANOVER filly is owned by trainer Joe Santarossa and his wife Bev. MUST BE PAIGE won her third in a row in 2:01.2. Rankin struck again in the seventh race with RAMMATTIC in 2:00. The six-year-old RAMBARAN mare is owned by Tom Jacobs and Dom DeSantis while Greg Price does training. The man in the blue and yellow checkerboard made his way to the winner’s circle in the eighth race while at the controls of PCS WILCARD. The five-year-old SAND CHASER gelding trotted the mile in 2:02 and is co-owned by trainer Pat Sweeney and his partner Jeff Lemmer. Rankin rounded out the day by guiding SAMILLION DOLLARS to victory in 1:58.2 for owner Amber Robinet and trainer Price. The handle for the Kid’s Day card of racing was $14,475. Monday will feature the revival of the Shelly Goodreau Memorial Pace. Goodreau grew up near Dresden and was one of North America’s premier harness drivers but was killed in a racing accident at Hollywood Park in California in 1982. The morning line favourite is LEAFS AND WINGS while the race is expected to be hotly contested by KENDAL GUSTAV and CALGARY SEELSTER. There will also be lots of draws and giveaways on Labour Day. Post time is 1p.m. and admission is free. by Gary Patterson, for Dresden Raceway

Dresden, August 30, 2014 -- Dresden Raceway will concluded summer racing season with a bang this weekend, featuring racing on Sunday afternoon as well as the traditional Labour Day program on Monday. Sunday is Kids Day at the raceway. There will be rides, games, bouncy castles, face painting and much more for the kids. It is also $1 hot dog day. A huge card has been planned for Monday afternoon, highlighted by the return of the Shelly Goudreau Memorial Pace in honour of the late local driving legend. Monday's program will also feature a Racing Under Saddle (RUS) exhibition race and the return of the 'Wanna Ride' team which will be offering fans the chance to ride in a double seater jog cart between races. There will also be plenty of prize and t-shirt giveaways on Sunday and Monday. Post time both days will be 1:00 p.m. "It's a great way to end off what has been a terrific summer of racing here," said General Manager Greg Blanchard. "The support of the fans and the local business community had been exceptional. I hope everyone can make it out for what will be a fun final weekend." Going into the final two programs of the season, the wagering numbers at Dresden show an increase of 70% over 2013 totals. From the press box at Dresden Raceway

Harness racing trainer Taylor Spitzig, 23, is a dedicated and hard working individual with a bubbly and bright spirit. Taylor says she was 'bred' into horse racing. Being around horses from a young age, Taylor knew she was destined to be horsewoman. "My parents are divorced and I spent a great deal of time with my mom (Barb). The only time I would be at the barn or the track was when I spent a weekend with my dad (Rusty)." Taylor continues, "Going into the 7th grade, I moved out to my dad's house and that's when I got more involved with (the horses)." After high school, Taylor went to Fanshawe College for Fashion Merchandising. After working in the fashion field for a couple of companies, Taylor came to understand that working with horses is what she truly wanted to do. Taylor obtained her trainer's license last December and in March Taylor tallied her first training victory at Western Fair (London, ON)! Looking back at her first win, Taylor was not sure her horse even won. "Where we stand at Western Fair, you can't really tell" says Taylor. "I was watching the TV, and then back at the track, then back to the TV. I was like 'Aww he got beat'. Looking at the win photo it was so close; the other horse could have got him in the next stride." "Then I heard (starter) Brad yell 'Test #3' and that was me so I was all excited and went to the winner's circle." That win photo is framed and on the fridge at the stables' office. "It was my first win and it was the first win for the stable this year, so we started a tradition that every win we have goes on the fridge" Taylor explains. "The office is really my dad's man cave and that's where we throw all of our parties." What came to mind was Taylor decorating it, floor to ceiling with win photos throughout the entire room. When posed with the question what will happen when she gets to 500 wins? Taylor opted to think about that scenario when the time comes. "It was hard to get your first" Taylor admits with a laugh, "and it's harder to get your second." Through the summer, Taylor has been racing her horses at Dresden Raceway, Hiawatha Horse Park (Sarnia, ON) and Clinton Raceway. Once Leamington Raceway kicks off in September, you will see Taylor there cheering on her horses. When it comes to travelling, Taylor is all for it, though it can be tiring as Taylor works the night shift for a trucking company where she handles the customs paperwork. "I work Wednesday through Saturday from 9pm to 730am" Taylor confirms. "I make sure all my transports can cross through customs without any problems. I deal with trucks crossing in British Columbia, Alberta, Windsor and Quebec. Working with customs isn't always easy." "Sunday mornings when I get back from work, we are kind of rushed as its two hours from Sarnia to Clinton." Taylor continues, "I'm pretty tired.... Sometimes I don't go out the barn and my dad will get on me saying I should be in the barn. After working 40 hours night shift, it's hard to get to the barn. Driving home you're dead tired and it's like I don't want to fall asleep jogging horses." Working night shift is a tough adjustment. Some people think it's easier than a day job, but for anyone who has worked night shifts; it's physically and mentally draining. Plus working night shifts makes one feel segregated from society at times. Looking forward, Taylor has a two-year-old named Casimir Ozzy, who she is hoping to get on the track soon. "I think he'll be really good, maybe not a preferred but pretty good." Taylor states. With Taylor learning more and more, she believes in time she will be getting higher into the claiming game. Taylor admits, if she has questions that can help her learn, she is not afraid to ask. "You have to work from the bottom to make your way up" says Taylor. "You need to work with 3 claimers to learn and understand. When you have a good horse, of course it's easier." Flat out, Taylor acknowledges she gets along better with Colts and Geldings opposed to Mares. "It could be a Mare thing where our attitudes might clash. I think it might be a 'who wants to be the boss' situation" laughs Taylor. "Colts and Geldings are much more laid back." Down the road, Taylor has full intentions of owning more horses and becoming a regular name in the racing program. Don't be surprised if you see her at the sales, stocking up! Taylor will be heading out to Hoosier Park in Indiana this weekend to watch her friends' horses race. Two years ago Taylor went to the Little Brown Jug and she has plans on going again this year. Taylor may be a spectator this year at the Jug but it won't be long until she is the trainer of horses competing in such races. If anyone has a 'can do' attitude, it is Taylor. Despite working 40 hours at a night shift job and working at the barn, she's always smiling and outgoing. Taylor sincerely thanks her friends and family who have helped and supported her. As well, Taylor thanks her dad for everything he has taught her about horses and it's because of him that she's training horses. Keep smiling! By Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com                

If jogging a racehorse is one of the items left on your bucket list, then here's your chance to cross it off your list.   The Hands On Horses Program will be making stops at four racetracks across the province this weekend offering free rides to harness racing fans.   Grand River Raceway will offer its fans the chance to climb aboard the double-seated jogger Friday, August 29, and then the Wanna Drive crew will ship to Georgian Downs to offer fans the same opportunity on Saturday, August 30.   The next stopp will be Clinton Raceway, which will wrap up its 2014 season Sunday, August 31 with a fun-filled matinee card of racing. Dresden Raceway will also finish its 2014 season in style, as the Wanna Drive event will be among the events offered on the matinee program on Monday, September 1.   Be sure to arrive early, as the Wanna Drive events are offered on a first come first served basis.   Here are the post times for each of the events:   Friday, August 29 - Grand River Raceway - 6:30 p.m. Saturday, August 30 - Georgian Downs - 7:15 p.m. Sunday, August 31 - Clinton Raceway - 1:30 p.m. Monday, September 1 - Dresden Raceway - 1:00 p.m.   For more information, visit HandsOnHorsesProgram.com.   Follow us on Twitter @HandsOnHorses   by Stacey Reinsma, for Hands On Horses Program

August 29, 2014 - Dresden Raceway is ready to end the 2014 racing season with back to back days of great racing and fun. Labour Day racing will be an exclamation point on a very successful campaign in 2014. Sunday will feature a 10 race card as well as Kid’s Day, featuring face painting, bouncy castles and lots of draws and fun for the kids. Monday will feature the revival of the Shelly Goodreau Memorial Pace. Goodreau grew up near Dresden and was one of North America’s premier harness drivers but was killed in a racing accident at Hollywood Park in California in 1982. The morning line favourite is LEAFS AND WINGS while the race is expected to be hotly contested by KENDAL GUSTAV and CALGARY SEELSTER. There will also be lots of draws and giveaways on Labour Day. Post time both days is 1p.m. and admission is always free. by Gary Patterson, for Dresden Raceway

The roar of a neighing horse is probably the last thing you'd expect to hear in the parking lot of a retirement community, but it didn't apply to The Village of Riverside Glen this past Monday morning. The retirement community in Guelph was paid a special visit by the Hands On Horses Program, which included the retired racehorse, 'Harry'. 'Harry', as always, loved the attention just as much as the residents loved the chance to meet the accomplished racehorse. 'Harry', whose real name is Killean Sweep, was a 23-time winner during a career that saw him rack up purse earnings in excess of $210,000. Local radio station CFRU 93.3 (cfru.ca) interviewed residents and collected their 'horse stories' from years gone by. 'Harry', who didn't want to miss his chance to be on air, put in his two cents worth with a neigh here and there, as well. The broadcast is scheduled to air Monday, September 1, 2014. Be sure to come visit us at any of our upcoming events this weekend Friday, August 29 - Grand River Raceway (Elora) Saturday, August 30 -Georgian Downs (Barrie) Sunday, August 31 - Clinton Raceway (Clinton) Monday, September 1 - Dresden Raceway (Dresden) For more information visit our website (http://handsonhorsesprogram.com/wp/) and for photos from the event visit our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.759776420750406.1073741854.127947220599999&type=1) by Stacey Reinsma for Hands On Horses Program

August 24, 2014 - Long-time horseman and former OHHA director Malcolm McPhail was honoured at Dresden Raceway Sunday and became the first person inducted into the Dresden Raceway Hall of Fame. McPhail was humble in accepting the award and was grateful to the track for recognizing him. The 82-year-old Dover Centre farmer has been in the industry for 42 years. Dresden Raceway also hosted Derby Day with over 50 patrons wearing hats emulating the Kentucky Derby. Prizes were doled out to the winning hats as vote don by the fans. Dresden BIA was also part of the race day as several BIA businesses gave out prizes in each race. The handle today was $20,100. Dresden’s total handle this season is $201,211, an average of $22,356. TRACK TIDBITS…Donnie Rankin Jr. and Joe Santarossa combined on a driving/training double Sunday as Rankin drove the Santarossa trained entries Must Be Paige and On Cloud Nine to victory…Must Be Paige is a full sister to On Cloud Nine…both sired by Badlands Hanover and out of the Camluck mare Bev's Raindrop…Goldies Bad Bad Girl is a half brother to Must Be Paige and On Cloud Nine...The two-year-old filly is sired by Badlands Hanover and out of the Camluck mare Goldies Cam...The number one horse won five races today at Dresden Raceway…Eight of 10 winners today at Dresden Raceway went wire-to-wire…The fastest mile of the day was the first race as Keson's Reign paced the mile in 1:58.3 for Scott Wray…The largest payout of the day was the 10th race triactor as the 3-4-1 combination paid $1,745.60. by Gary Patterson for Dresden Raceway  

August 22, 2014 - Dresden Raceway will be a hopping spot on Sunday afternoon as the local racetrack has something for everyone. Long-time horseman Malcom McPhail will be honoured at the track for his years of dedication not just to Dresden Raceway but the harness racing industry. Dresden Raceway will also be holding Derby Day as fans are asked to wear hats similar to the Kentucky Derby, “The bigger the better!” said Dresden Agricultural Society President Lucille Laprise, adding, “ we are giving prizes for the best hats.” The Dresden B.I.A will also be on hand giving prizes each race in addition to the prizes that the track gives away every week. Post time for the 10 race card is set for 1pm. by Gary Patterson for Dresden Raceway  

August 17, 2014 - M G Idole has found a new favourite harness racing track…Dresden Raceway. The six-year-old Million Dollar Cam mare won her fourth in a row at the Southwestern Ontario half mile track. Nick Steward, Dresden’s leading dash driver made his move early and made the front just after the quarter and never looked back pacing by the half in 1:00.4, three quarters in 1:30.1 before stepping off a last quarter in 29.1 for the victory in 1:59.2. Todd Kennedy of McGregor is the owner and trainer. Dresden continues to be a success story after an 11th hour drive to keep the doors open. Fans were treated to 200 dozen ears fresh, hot buttered corn on the cob today as well as several giveaways of pizza, prizes and t-shirts. Today’s handle was $21, 425 which is an increase of 111% over last year on the same date. Overall on the season wagering is up 74% over the same dates last year. TRACK TIDBITS…TRIPLE THREAT…Nick Steward and Alfie Carroll each picked up three winners on the day… DASHING YOUNG MAN…Steward is the leading Dash Winner at Dresden with 22 wins in eight days… JUNIOR SPEED...JUNIOR PRIDE was the fastest horse of the day pacing the mile in 1:57 flat… SHOW ME THE MONEY…The largest payout of the day was the 4-7-9 combination in the third race paying $602.00 Gary Patterson   

Dresden, August 13, 2014 -- The Dresden Raceway's new Hall of Fame will honour Malcolm MacPhail as its first inductee in a ceremony during the harness racing track's Aug. 24 Dresden Derby card. MacPhail, an 82-year-old farmer from Dover Centre, Ont., has been a fixture at Dresden Raceway since 1972 as an owner, trainer and long-term Ontario Harness Horse Association director, who also served two terms as the association's president. Some of his most important work may have come in August of 2013 when he steadfastly refused to vacate the Dresden barns when asked to do so by Winrac Development Inc., the Windsor-based company that managed the track at the time. "I said, 'I'm not moving out.' If the Agricultural Society and the horsemen had decided to close the place, then fine. But somebody in Windsor wasn't going to close it without me fighting over it," MacPhail said. "I think Winrac just figured we'd just pick up and leave. I just said I wasn't moving and that's all there was to it... Winrac was ready to get out of the barn part of the operation. They just wanted to shut it down and keep taking the money out of the slots and forget about the racetrack part and the grandstand. Something had to be done." Lucille Laprise, the president of the Dresden Agricultural Society said MacPhail's stand not only emboldened others still stabling at the track to stay, it directly influenced the Ag. Society's decision to return to operating the track for the first time since 1997. "We said, 'If he is that adamant about staying and if he's willing to fight the fight, then we should be side by side,'" Laprise said. Dresden Raceway is currently nearing the end of its 11-race 2014 meet that will conclude Sept. 1 with its traditional Labour Day card featuring the Shelly Goudreau Memorial. Raceway manager Greg Blanchard said attendance has been strong this summer and handle is up over 40 per cent over 2013. "We're just happy that now we have so many more horses in the barns," Laprise said. "The racetrack itself has improved. We've been doing some painting and some sprucing up and everything else. Everybody seems happy. That's the thing. People are encouraging and people from the community and all over come and they tap you on the shoulder and they say, 'Oh, we're so glad the Ag Society's taken this over. Anything we can do to help you, don't hesitate.'" When it came time to decide which person to honour with the first berth in the Dresden Raceway Hall of Fame, Laprise said it was a short discussion. "Malcolm has just been a really big influence on all of us over the years. He's been really pushing for us to take back the racing and bring it back to Dresden the way it's supposed to be," Laprise said. "It's just the right thing. He's the right man at this time." MacPhail's longtime friend and former OHHA colleague Dr. Ted Clarke, the general manager of Grand River Raceway, said MacPhail is "one of those people that is really committed to racing and supporting standardbred racing participants. He has demonstrated just a tenacious commitment to racing. He has the unique ability to be both very committed and also a realist, seeing things as they are and acting accordingly. He is fair minded, honest as the day is long and embodies those qualities that I certainly admire greatly in a person who takes a position and is prepared to hold to it and has the courage of his conviction to see things through." MacPhail joked he's being inducted, "because I've been around there the longest," but, in truth, he said he is touched by the honour despite his four decades of work to keep racing in Dresden being "just a matter of doing what had to be done. Somebody had to do it." A farmer since the age of 16, MacPhail's lifelong love of horses led him into the standardbred game in 1972 when he bought a load of hay at an auction in Dorchester. He sold some of the hay to horseman Bert Madill and took a half-share in a racehorse as payment. That horse was a dud, but MacPhail was hooked. His third horse was a J R Bret pacer named Hot Spurs Honour, who as a two-year-old in 1974 made approximately $28,000 in the inaugural year of the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program. MacPhail's next good one was a Blaze Pick colt named Young Blaze who made $211,206 lifetime and raced at the Meadowlands for three years. MacPhail owned the colt with his brother, Bob. Apart from helping his nephew, son and brother farm some 400 acres of cash crops, MacPhail still has three racehorses - one racing at Dresden, one racing at Mohawk and a third that's turned out at the moment. "It's been good to me, the horse business," MacPhail said. MacPhail will be honoured during the same Aug. 24 card in which the inaugural Dresden Derby will be staged and prizes will be awarded to the patrons with the best hats. On this weekend's Aug. 17 card, Dresden Raceway will have a free corn giveaway as part of its Dresden Business Improvement Association Day. The Aug. 31 card will be Kids Day, before the season draws to a close on Sept. 1. "I don't know how you can beat it," MacPhail said. "On a Sunday afternoon or on a Holiday Monday you can come out and watch a few races. It doesn't cost you anything to get in. If you want a hot dog or something, you buy it. If you want to bet a bit, you bet. It's just a little entertainment." By Dave Briggs for Dresden Raceway

Not even Mother Nature's fury could keep fans from attending Georgian Downs' Family Day experience last weekend. Despite dark clouds and a few raindrops fans lined up to enjoy miniature pony racing, bouncy castles, mini golf and rides around the track with a standardbred racehorse. In fact, the sign-up list to hop in the double-seated jog cart for a tour of the oval was filled in less than a half hour. People came from all over to take part in the fun, including one family that came straight from a Blue Jays game earlier that day. "We were rushing checking the time hoping that we wouldn't miss our chance to ride behind a racehorse," said Stacey Marchand. When asked if it was worth the rush she said, "Yes! It was great, but it goes by a lot quicker than you think - probably because you don't want the ride to end." Al Whiteside, a newcomer to the track, learned of the event via a radio promotion. "I won my chance to ride with a horse on the radio and my friend's wife tried to trade me my ride for concert tickets because she loves horses that much," said Whiteside. Over forty racing fans - young and old - enjoyed the adrenaline rush of sitting behind a racehorse for the first time, and for each of them it was an experience they won't soon forget. For your chance to drive a racehorse here are events coming up at a track near you: Saturday, July 26 - Hanover Raceway (Hanover) Saturday, August 2 - Hiawatha Horse Park (Sarnia) Friday, August 8 - Grand River Raceway (Elora) Sunday, August 10 - Dresden Raceway (Dresden) Friday, August 29 - Grand River Raceway (Elora) Saturday, August 31 - Clinton Raceway (Clinton) For photos from Georgian Downs' Family Day event, visitwww.handsonhorsesprogram.ca by Stacey Reinsma, for Hands On Horses Program      

JULY 20, 2014 (DRESDEN) – Nick Steward was once again the main man with the golden hands at Dresden Raceway as he knocked off four wins including the second in a row for Callmeinthemorning. Steward started the day driving Mack Baran to the winner’s circle for owners Dominic DeSantis of Windsor and Tom Jacobs of Kingsville. The 10-year-old Rambaran gelding is conditioned by Greg Price and paced in 1:59.1. Dresden’s dash leader then picked up first prize while driving Junior Pride in the third race. The four-year-old Banlands Hanover horse is owned by Betty Grove of London and trained by Larry Johnson. Junior Pride paced the mile in 1:58 flat. Steward scored the hat trick in the fifth race with Gracies Harmony. Al Steeves of London is the owner/trainer of the seven-year-old Hard Rocknroll mare. Gracies Harmony trotted the mile in 2:01 flat. Callmeinthemorning was the fourth winner of the day for Steward for her second win in a row at Dresden. The nine-year-old Western Hanover mare is owned and trained by Brittany Kennedy of Ingersoll. Callmeinthemorning paced the mile in 1:58 flat after being parked out for the first half of the mile. Just over 700 people today be $20,630.  TRACK TIDBITS…The largest payout of the day was the ninth race triactor. The 6-1-ALL combination paid $1,205.70…The fastest mile of the day was shared between Junior Pride and Callmeinthemorning…They both paced in 1:58 flat…Kesons Reign and Stimuls Spending both won their second in a row…Kilmartin Liberator made a breakthrough today, winning for the first time in two years… by Gary Patterson, for Dresden Raceway

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