American In Paris has taken the Meadowlands by storm. A 4-year-old female pacer, American In Paris is 6-for-6 this season, with all her victories coming at the Big M. Her two most recent triumphs were in the preliminary rounds of the Artistic Vision Series, which concludes Saturday with a $55,800 final. American In Paris will start the final from post two with driver Jim Morrill Jr. at the lines for trainer/co-owner Ron Burke. Art Ideal, another Burke mare, leaves from post seven in the seven-horse field. She finished second in both her preliminary legs. Saturday's card also features the $63,000 Whata Baron Series final for male pacers. Captive Audience, who is unbeaten in three races this year, drew post three for trainer Corey Johnson. Wake Up Peter, who also won both his preliminary rounds, starts from post seven for trainer Larry Remmen. American In Paris won five of six races as a 2-year-old, then won five of 16 last season at age 3. She was winless in her final six starts last season, but turned the corner this year with the addition of Lasix. She won the second round of the Artistic Vision Series in a career-best 1:50. "She had a few issues last year," said co-owner Mark Weaver. "This year, I think the key is we added Lasix; maybe we should have had her on it sooner. "Earlier this year, she almost raced like a thoroughbred, with two or three weeks between starts. It's hard to be in top condition when you do that, so I thought we still hadn't seen the best of her. She's pretty good. I'm not saying she could beat the top horses, but I'm not saying she couldn't." American In Paris is a daughter of stallion American Ideal out of the mare Sendingforth. She was purchased originally for $4,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale by Iowa's Nolan Van Otterloo. She finished second in her first start and then won twice before being purchased by Burke, Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. "We've bought horses from (the Van Otterloos) before and it's been a good connection for us," Weaver said. "They have a pretty good knack at buying some underpriced horses and usually at least one of them hits." Although Weaver thinks American In Paris might be able to compete against the division's best, she probably will have few chances this year. "She's not staked, but she's only (age) 4, so that might not be a bad thing," Weaver said. "We usually don't stake the 4-year-olds too heavily. We'll probably pick our spots; there's enough money to be made, hopefully, in some of the invitationals and opens. "Depending how she does, we could shut her down a little early and may stake her up for her 5-year-old year." As for the immediate challenge of fending off six rivals in the Artistic Vision final, Weaver likes American In Paris' chances. Other contenders include Josh Parker's JK Letitgo, who has won seven of nine races this year, and Chris Ryder's Road Bet, who won a preliminary leg in the series. "She's in a good spot," Weaver said about American In Paris. "There are some pretty nice horses in there, but the way she's been racing, I think she'll be pretty tough to beat." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
The field for the 2014 Ontario Regional Driving Championship scheduled for Friday, May 9 at The Raceway at Western Fair District in London, Ont. has been confirmed. The participating drivers are: • Alfie Carroll • Scott Coulter • Billy Davis Jr. • Trevor Henry • Jody Jamieson • James MacDonald • Doug McNair • J.R. Plante The top two drivers from the eight-race competition will join six other drivers at the 2014 National Driving Championship scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. Several drivers declined invitations to take part due to other commitments, including Sylvain Filion, Canada’s Driver of the Year for 2013, Randy Waples and Scott Zeron. To read the rest of the story click here.
TORONTO, April 14 - After failing to find the winner's circle in both preliminary legs, Reasonable Force found his best stride when it counted the most as he captured this year's edition of the $36,200 Youthful Series final Monday at Woodbine. In doing so, the Doug McNair-driven sophomore returned $33.00 to his backers. McNair and Reasonable Force were in no hurry off the gate as Account Rollover (Randy Waples) cleared to the lead past the opening station in :27.1. Account Rollover, who found the wire in the first leg of the series, continued to lead his nine rivals past the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:24.4. McNair began the first-over attack around the final turn and was within striking distance of the tempo-setter turning for home. Down the stretch, McNair asked his charge for more pace and the three-time winner responded with a two length win. Post time favourite Andreios Kardia (Steve Byron) finished second, with Dragon Seelster (Paul Macdonell) finishing third. Trained by Tony Montini for owners Doug Dunbar and Steve LeBlanc, Reasonable Force lifted his career earnings to $44,840. The son of Shadow Play now has a 2-2-1 record from eight starts this season. Also on Monday's program, the second round of the Lifetime Dream series continued with two $18,000 divisions. Rose Run Oriana (Randy Waples) kicked-off the 10-race programme with a 1:54.2 score in the first division. The daughter of Trainforthefuture enjoyed a new career best in the debut for trainer Corey Johnson. Waples led gate-to-wire with the 15-time winner through panels of :28, :57 and 1:25.3, before fending off 3/5 favourite Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) in deep stretch to win by one and a half lengths. Samira Hanover (Paul Macdonell) finished third. Owned by Rolling Hills Racing Stables, Rose Run Oriana will look for the series sweep next week as her bankroll increased to $134,717. She paid $4.90 to win. One race later, Her Name Is Lola (Phil Hudon) enjoyed her fifth career score at odds of 3-1. The daughter of Majestic Son laid parked on the outside at the quarter in :28.2, before clearing to the lead before the half in :57.2. From there, the trotting miss led her five rivals past in 1:26.1 before fending off a late challenge from Frisky Magic (Randy Waples) to win by a nose. Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Trained by Russell Bax for Baxmar Holsteins Ltd, Her Name Is Lola increased her bankroll to $85,560. She paid $8.70 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG
The drivers for the 2014 Western Regional Driving Championship have been solidified with John Chappell securing the last spot in the competition after this weekend's harness racing cards at Fraser Downs. Heading into the weekend, just two wins separated Chappell, Scott Knight and David Hudon for the third spot in the local win standings. Scoring a pair of victories on Sunday's card and pushing his meet total to 50, Chappell managed to maintain the slight edge over his rivals. With two wins of his own over the weekend, Knight pushed his total to 49. Hudon had one victory on Friday putting his total at 47. Chappell steered Soft Spoken out of traffic down the stretch to a maiden-breaking victory in Sunday's second race for trainer/owner Allan Dawn. The four-year-old gelding won by just a neck over favourite Hosisahos in 1:59.1. To read the rest of the story click here.
TORONTO, April 12 - Dragon Seelster, a three-year-old son of Dragon Again, will seek his second career tally in Monday's $36,200 Youthful Series final at Woodbine. Trained and driven by Paul Macdonell, Dragon Seelster has had a credible to season to date in six appearances. The bay has crafted a 1-2-3 record this year along with $21,750 in earnings. "He's certainly been racing very well and most important is that he's been consistent," said MacDonell. "He's a beautiful horse to be around and he seems to be making a good showing of himself." The bay was a $19,000 yearling purchase for owner Dave Hudson along with former NHLer and head coach of the London Knights, Dale Hunter. Dallas Seelster, bred in Ontario by Seelster Farms, went winless as a rookie for previous trainer Charlie Norris while racing in Pennsylvania. He capped off his freshman campaign with $11,410 in earnings from five starts. This season, however, has been the turning point for the youngster. "I got him in February and to be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect from him," the Guelph resident said. "He's not the biggest horse and I wasn't sure how much speed was there. What I can say is that what he lacks in size, he makes up in determination. He's a gutsy horse and there's no quit in him." Heading into the final of the Youthful Series, MacDonell has his eye on a specific route for his pupil. "He's a trip kind of horse," he said. "He's better following horses and that's likely what's going to happen in the final. Post eight doesn't help us much either. Last week I put him on the front and he got a little lost." Following the Youthful Series, MacDonell will be getting his student ready for another up and coming series at the Rexdale oval. "The Diplomat begins in a couple of weeks, so that is What's Next for him," said MacDonell, the 2008 O'Brien Award winner as Driver of the Year. "I'm not sure what the plan is with him long term, but for now we'll take it week by week. He continues to improve and developing into a very useful racehorse." The Youthful Series final is slated as Race 7 on Monday's 10-race card. First post time is set for 7:25 p.m. The field will line up as follows: 1. Reasonable Force 2. Highland Tartan 3. Royal Reception 4. Andreios Kardia 5. Kuchar 6. Glory Beach 7. Regal Son 8. Dragon Seelster 9. Twomickeytrip 10. Account Rollover by Greg Gangle, for WEG
KAROOLA trainer Dick Eaves has been enjoying his fair share of success lately and it continued at Devonport on Monday night. Eaves prepared Another Jasper to score a narrow but impressive win in the SEA FM Stakes for C1 pacers over 2297 metres. The pace was hot early with Peace Corps and Modern McKenzie both determined to lead with Peace Corps eventually securing the front position while Another Jasper's driver Troy Hillier was content to allow his charge to settle rearward and travel sweetly in his comfort zone. When Hillier called on Another Jasper to extend in the back straight the last time the gelding responded well and went on to score by a neck from Boutique Art with Bunjil Boy three metres away third. Another Jasper, owned and bred by Bill Fawdry and his daughter Tamra Fawdry, has won two and been placed three times from his 13 starts this season with both of his wins coming on the Devonport circuit. By Peter Staples
TORONTO , April 7 - Sophomore pacing colts and geldings were showcased Monday evening at Woodbine in the second round of the Youthful Series. Andreios Kardia, driven by Steve Byron, captured the first of two divisions in 1:55.4 over a 'Good' track. Byron was in no hurry at the start as Regal Son (Randy Waples) made his way to the front to lead the field of six past the first quarter in :27.2. As the talented pacers headed towards the half, Paul Macdonell elected to send second-choice Dragon Seelster to the front before the half in :58. Kuchar (Jody Jamieson) began the first-over attack around the final turn, giving live cover to 4-5 favourite Andreios Kardia. Kuchar and Dragon Seelster matched strides past three-quarters in 1:27.3, but down the lane Byron showed Andreios Kardia open racetrack and the son of Badlands Hanover exploded in deep stretch to capture his third career victory. Trained by James Madill for owner Ina Madill, Andreios Kardia increased his bankroll to $28,480. With the track down-graded to 'Sloppy,' Highland Tartan and James MacDonald captured the second division as the favourite in 1:56.2. MacDonald elected to sit in the two-hole in the early going as Reasonable Force (Jody Jamieson) made their way to the front past the opening quarter in :27.1. Highland Tartan was then angled to the outside and crossed over to command to lead past the middle-half in :59.1 and 1:29.1. As the field turned for home, Reasonable Force angled out of the pocket, but could only reach the leaders saddle pad as Highland Tartan prevailed in deep stretch to score the narrow win. Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) enjoyed a ground saving trip to finish third. Trained and co-owned by Marty Fine along with Mary Clark, Highland Tartan enjoyed his second career victory as his lifetime earnings now sits at $15,200. The son of Major In Art paid $4.90 to win. The Youthful Series is for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers, who are non-winners of three races of $15,000 in 2013. by Greg Gangle, for WEG
A number of factors make the entire harness racing trotting sector particularly vulnerable to economic fluctuations. This story first appeared April 5 in the Helsinki Times by Minttu-Maaria Partanen; Aleksi Teivainen and Marianne Pykäläinen. Breeding numbers have already tumbled below the levels of the 1990s recession as the economic down-turn continues to pummel the Finnish trotting sector. The lingering economic uncertainty has also reduced betting on harness racing and the number of races organised in the country. In particular, the financial standing of regional trotting tracks has eroded. "Economic fluctuations affect the trotting sector. That has always been the case," reminds Pekka Soini, the managing director at the Finnish Trotting and Breeding Association (Hippos). Yet, since 2008 virtually every indicator of the trotting sector has taken a tumble due to the economic situation. The number of races organised has declined, as has the number of active racehorses and drivers. Similarly, the number of privately-owned racehorses has fallen by over 20 per cent over the said six-year period. "The trotting sector relies on private ownership. For most, however, owning a racehorse is a hobby. During tough times, they will cut back on it," explains Soini. Regardless, the managing director is not particularly concerned. "The changes are part of typical economic fluctuations. We must adapt to the situation." Meanwhile, the breeding of thoroughbred mares has fallen sharply – by over 35 per cent – and already threatens the sustainability of breeding activities in Finland. Last year, only 1,897 mares were bred – fewer than during the worst year of the 1990s recession."We are still in a remediable situation. If the breeding numbers continue to decline in the years to come, breeding activities in Finland will not recover without special support measures," underlines Minna Mäenpää, the director of breeding at Hippos. For the indigenous Finnhorse, the situation is even more precarious. Last year, the number of Finnhorse mares bred fell below the nadir reached in the depths of the 1990s recession. Roughly 80 per cent of the Finnhorse population are racehorses. "I'm extremely concerned about the situation of the Finnhorse. It is a breed that does not exist elsewhere. You cannot compensate for the decline by importing. Domestic breeding therefore determines the future of the breed," highlights Mäenpää. Betting on harness racing, however, has not fallen as steeply as the other indicators, only by roughly eight per cent from the peak year of 2008. Fintoto, the body responsible for developing horse betting operations, is nonetheless keeping a close watch on the entire sector, managing director Markku Breider says. "Without horses, there won't be a single trotting race. The footing of domestic betting operations will erode, if no horses take part in the races," he explains. "Last year was okay, but the start of this year has been below par. The sums used on betting have decreased," Breider adds. Studies show that 80 per cent of the people who bet on harness racing are middle or working class-men, who have been hit particularly by the recent belt-tightening efforts and structural changes. As a result, the financial standing of some regional trotting tracks has deteriorated rapidly. "As revenue from betting falls, the revenue of the tracks falls. With the tracks still forking out the same prizes, it's obvious that the situation has exacerbated," says Sanna Heino, the managing director of Hevostalous Oy, which manages the finances of the major trotting tracks in Finland. Fintoto decided in February to temporarily lift the minimum prize requirements of daily trotting races, allowing trotting tracks to determine their purses independently. "That was the fastest way to alleviate the financial situation of tracks in dire straits," Breider says. Hippos, in turn, is set to review the structures of the entire trotting sector this spring in a bid to identify possible savings targets. Soini promises that the association will do its utmost to avoid the closures of trotting tracks. "Do we need to have over 20 separate organisations responsible for the management of the trotting tracks? What tracks organise races in the winter, what in the summer?" he speculates.
Two harness racing horses died on impact Thursday night at Flamboro Downs after they collided in a tragic accident. The accident occurred in the 12th and final race for the evening. It was a $3,800 pace for $5,000 claimers. As the field went into the first turn, Buckbuckbuck Mach, driven by James MacDonald, was in third place and made a break, stuck in his toes and was immediately run into from behind by Stonebridge Wish, driven by Scott Coulter. Both drivers were unseated and Buckbuckbuck Mach fell to the track and broke off his race bike. The drivers were able to get their feet and walked off into the infield. But Buckbuckbuck Mach had the misfortune to get back up and started to run the wrong way on the track. As the field past the opening quarter mile and headed around the second turn, Buckbuckbuck Mach was at a full gallop the wrong way of the track, had ducked in towards the rail, avoided three horses, but then ran head first into A Sudden Twist, driven by Alfie Carroll. The end result was that both horses died immediately on impact and luckily Alfie Carroll was able to escape serious injury. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
TORONTO, March 26 - Kyle Reibeling's Missevil has certainly made her impact this season while racing at Woodbine Racetrack - and the talented filly could be in for a prosperous payday in the coming weeks. The swift pacer has banked $30,100 this season from five starts, including three wins and a second-place finish for owners Mike Timpano and Frank Cirillo. The daughter of Armbro Deuce-Impudent will begin from post six in the second of two $15,000 Blossom Series divisions, Friday at Woodbine. The rich $30,000 (added) final will take place on Monday, April 11. "We have the six-hole in a six horse race, so that doesn't bother me and we won't be sitting 21-lengths back like last week," Reibeling said. "It's a good series and a nice fit for her. The filly that beat her last week is in there, which makes for another great race." Missevil qualified just once last year as a rookie before calling it a season and Reibeling took over conditioning the bay this past winter. "I got her when she was training back this winter when I returned from Sudbury," he said. "I don't think it was a surprise to anyone that worked with her in the past that she has the speed and desire." So far this season, Missevil has developed an off-the-pace racing style, which is by the design of her veteran conditioner. "She can get real hot," Reibeling said. "When we first schooled her, she was a little erratic so we made some changes to calm her down, but whether she had the speed or not was something I wasn't worried about. "It just seems like the plan is to race her from behind and teach her," Reibeling continued. "We're obviously thinking long term with her and we are going to do right by her." Reibeling, who is approaching $2 million in purse earnings as a conditioner, admires one key attribute about his stable star. "Her will", he said. "She just has that tremendous will to win. She's not the biggest horse and probably not the fastest horse out there, but I don't think there's any other horse around that I've ever worked with - maybe L H Stryker- that has that killer instinct and will to win like she does. She's small but has that little engine that could." Driver James MacDonald has been aboard Missevil in each of her five starts this season and Reibeling sees that as a perfect fit. "James has done an excellent job with her and I couldn't ask for more," he said. "He's listened and done right by the filly and he's drove her with a lot of respect. James deserves a lot of credit." As for the future of the Missevil, Reibeling remains optimistic about a successful summer with his speedy pacer. "We're going to stick to the OSS and just race around here. We're confident that she can be a Gold filly this season and there is enough money in the province for us to tackle. We're going to take it week-by-week, but hopefully we have a lot of fun this summer." The Blossom Series is for three-year-old fillies, who are non-winners of three races or $15,000 in 2013. The pair of divisions will kick off the 11-race programme on Friday in races one and two. They will line up as follows: Race 1 1. Rock N Roll Xample 2. Deuces For Charity 3. Outtathewheelhouse 4. Polk Dot Hanover 5. Noble Jilly 6. An Angel Shes Not 7. Mach Some Noise Race 2 1. Premio Loco 2. Wildcat Magic 3. Somebaysomwhere 4. Gushing Royalty 5. Violet Bayama 6. Missevil By Greg Gangle, for WEG
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2014 ballot. A total of 36 horses and people, including 18 Standardbred racing candidates and 18 Thoroughbred racing candidates have been selected to appear on this year’s ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will declare the winners in their respective categories. Results will be announced Tuesday, April 8. On the Standardbred ballots representing this year’s six voting categories are as follows: Male horse category, Blissfull Hall, J M Vangogh and Rocknroll Hanover In 1999, Blissfull Hall captured harness racing’s elusive Pacing Triple Crown. Owned by Ecuries Daniel Plouffe, Inc. of Bromont, QC, this champion was trained by Ben Wallace with Ron Pierce as regular driver. A 31 race career over two seasons amassed a record of 19-4-6, a mark of 1:49.2 and earnings of $1.4 million before embarking on a successful career as a stallion. J M Vangogh, purchased as a yearling for $4,500 by Paul Chambers of Harrington, Delaware, made a remarkable recovery from an accident in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final as a two year old to earn $2.28 million in 206 starts over 8 seasons and the nickname “The Comeback Kid”. Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his race career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, ON; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC. Career highlights include victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three year olds, the Metro Pace and the North America Cup. He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013. Female horse category: B Cor Tamara, Dreamfair Eternal and J Cs Nathalie Before embarking on her second career as a broodmare, B Cor Tamara enjoyed a productive racing career, earning more than $185,000. Bred and owned by Peter Core of Dresden, ON, the daughter of Dream Of Glory was the dam of 19 foals, including star trotter B Cor Pete, and granddam of two champion juveniles, Banker Hall and Broadway Hall. Her offspring have earned in excess of $2.7 million. Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a career spanning seven years, 56 victories, including every stake event on the older pacing mare schedule, earning over $2.5 million and being named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010. The daughter of Camluck was bred, raised and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON with Patrick Fletcher receiving training credit. As a broodmare, J Cs Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON -- pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal. Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a mark of 1:49.3. Dreamfair Eternal, a winner of 56 races and over $2.5 million in purse earnings was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010. The trainer-driver category: Yves Filion, William Gale, and Wally Hennessey. Yves Filion, 67 of Saint-Andre-D’argent, Quebec was one of his province’s premier trainer-drivers for close to 30 years driving in almost 18,000 races with 4,362 wins and $26.5 million in earnings. Training credits include 248 winners and horses earning in excess of $3.4 million. Pacing colts Runnymede Lobell and Goliath Bayama each became millionaires with Filion responsible for both training and driving. William Gale, 65 of Woodstock, Ontario, was one of Canada’s leading drivers for a period that spanned the 70s, 80s and 90s. Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons. During his career, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million. Wally Hennessey, 56, of Prince Edward Island, has more than 8,200 victories to his name and has banked earnings in excess of $55 million. In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown. In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. Candidates in the builders’ category: Dr. Ted Clarke, John B. Ferguson and Robert Murphy. Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry. Highly regarded for his thoughtful insights, Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth. Before Grand River, Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network. John B. Ferguson may be best known for his time in the National Hockey League, but his passion for Canadian horse racing was drawn from early years spent with his father and grandfather at old Hastings Park in Vancouver, BC. In addition to his role as a very active owner and breeder, Ferguson also took a role in track management. He was hired by Blue Bonnets in Montreal and after leaving hockey became the President of Windsor Raceway. He was also one of driving forces behind the formation of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, BC, one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, was known by his popular Red Star moniker. First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners. He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009. In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada. Outstanding Standardbreds: Albatross, Artsplace, and Happy Lady Albatross was voted US Harness Horse of the Year in 1971 and 1972. He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million. As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million. Artsplace was the1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following an undefeated four-year-old season. He was a two-year-old world record holder winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida, soundly defeating champion Die Laughing. He won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million during his racing career which saw him race many times in Canada before becoming a world class sire. Happy Lady, a daughter of Most Happy Fella, raced in 1977 and 1978 for owners Myra Masterson of St. Catharines, ON and Linda Lockey of Ridgeville. Though her race career was brief, she won $528,825 in purse earnings and attained a mark of 1:55.2. Trained and driven by the late Jim Rankin, she was almost flawless in her juvenile campaign, winning 15 of 16 races. As a sophomore she won 19 of 24 starts. Communicators category selections: Harry Eisen, Bill Galvin and Frank Salive. The late Harry Eisen spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario. As a lifelong journalist, he spent many years exposing the sport to the public, including the majority of his 40 years at the London Free Press. Eisen who once said he saw his first harness race when he was “three or four years old”, sold tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a boy. He was inducted into Western Fair’s Wall of Fame in 1980. As a publicist, promoter and author, Bill Galvin, a native of Arnprior, ON made a tremendous impact on horse racing in Canada. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing. He led a charge to bring ice horse racing to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans. He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the health of horse racing during his career. Leamington, ON native Frank Salive was known for over 35 years as “The Voice” of Canadian harness racing. During his career it is estimated he called over 100,000 races, becoming a fan and industry favourite for his knowledgeable and informative calls and silky voice. Frank’s career as a track announcer began at Sudbury Downs in the late 70’s and continued at tracks throughout Ontario, includin fourteen years at Ontario Jockey Club/Woodbine Entertainment Group harness tracks and concluding at Pompano Park, Florida. Salive was also a regular writer for the Canadian Sportsman for several years. From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
Just when we thought it was going to get a little easier to get a handle on formlines, so the V75 shows you just why this is the best multi-race betting system in the world. While we got 2 legs home, we sat by as favourite after favourite got rolled as Sanity didn’t prevail and outsiders including a $50/1 longshot and two paying in the high teens came in. And the lucky punter who chose the seven winning horses correctly walked off with 613,588.60 EUR ($845,437). And just to make it a little tougher, this week the V75 shifts to Norway for one of those occasional joint V75s, this one coinciding with a Norway versus Sweden apprentice drivers challenge. The Norwegian breeding programme is nowhere near as strong as Sweden’s and so the racing in one of Europe’s richest nations is heavily influenced by imports from not only its bigger neighbour but also Italy and the United States. Several prominent Danish trainers such as Bo Westerdaard, Flemming Jensen and Jeppe Juel also make a living racing their second-string horses between Denmark and Norway while the top ones foot it in Sweden. And like Finland, coldblood trotters make up nearly half of the racing stock, which adds another bit of spice into the handicapping stew – although there is only one coldblood race in the V75. So what is the strategy? Does the horses for courses theory favour local runners or do, Swedish raiders have the tougher racing so are basically dropping back in grade here? They certainly cleaned up in France which should be much tougher. Or shall we go with the early tote, which to be frank hasn’t been that reliable lately as a guide to the “smart” money. Decisions, decisions. At least the French racing has a bit more familiarity to it, we've been following most of these horses over winter. Anyhoo here goes. V75-1 Silver division 2140m: The Swedish-breds Your Highness (12), Jaguar Broline (1), Stormysky (3) and Burning Line Gral (6) are the logical picks. Looking for an outsider, and there is a US-bred locally trained runner with three wins in her last five starts who might figure, so I’ve taken Cantabharmony (5). Selection 12-1-3-6-5 V75-2 Klass I 1640m: Ulf Ohlen’s Pedro Bi (1) has had three Sovalla wins in his last five starts while Flemming Jensen’s Roxy Hill (2) won at Aby last start. From these draws, they look the two to beat. As Elvis had it, 1 for the money and 2 for the show. Selection 1 (2) V75-3 Dack Partner Bil-Vulkan loppet (mares) 2140m: Italian-bred Nalda Nof (5) has won group two races in Italy and Norway and been placed in the same class in France where she was trained for a while. Now with Marcus Lindgren in Halmstad, she looks a class above these, this is her second start back from a decent spell and has the brilliant Swedish driver Bjorn Goop in the cart. That makes her an anchor. Selection 5 V75-4 Östfoldpokalen 2140m: Coldblood race where Gylden Balder (13) and Timian Scott (15) are the heavy early favourites. They’ll do me in the dartboard selection of the mix. Selection 13 (15) V75-5 Klass II 2640m: A lot of recent winners in this, so it’s a matter of sifting through who they beat and where. Flemming Jensen has another consistent performer here in Solo Nolo (12) off the wide second draw, Reims Gasti (5) has three recent Solvalla wins, while Spirit (2) has won three races in a row, at Aby, Sweden and two in Denmark. This is wide open, with many chances but we’ll stick with these three. Selection 12-5-2 V75-6 Steinlagers Hederslopp (Gold) 1640m: This has been a tough meeting to find bankers, but I was really impressed with Francais du Gull (1) last time out. He might not be in the class of Mr Picolet or Beanie MM, the last two winners of this race, but from this draw he should get to the front, and he is definitely good enough to win from there. Selection: 1 V75-7 Bronze division 2140m: Another toughie with More Than Enough (1), KLM Buymethemoon (6), Huge Star (10) who all have strong Swedish form looking the strongest suspects. We need an outsider somewhere and Vacqueryas (8) is due a change of form, and this might be an easier race than he has been in for a while. Selection 1-6-10-8 R4 Prix Louis Forcinal (Group 2) monte 2700m: This looks a match race between the two best monte horses of their generations, Ulysse (8) and Vision Intense (9). Normally I would choose the older horse over the younger and the stallion over the mare, which in both cases favour Ulysse, but Vision Intense is something special and mares hold their own under saddle more than in the bike. So it’s Vision Intense for me. R8 Prix Robert Auvray (Group 2) 2850m: A very competitive race with plenty of form to consider. Jean Etienne Dubois’ Villeroi (8) has won his last two starts, but is trailing the early favouritism to Viking de Val (9) while the Jean-Michel Bazire factor is behind the 4 horse Varade d’Hermine’s short price (5/2). Jean Phillippe Dubois has three entries but I’m leaning towards Voltigeur de Myrt (10), the Criterium des 4 Ans winner who was a gallant sixth in the Prix de Selection in a joint equal fastest time under handicap, (1.11.1 or 1.54.2MR/2200m) which was his new record. That indicates to me a horse at the top of his game, and there are no others in this field that fronted in that prestigious group one. So Voltigeur de Myrt for me. TOTAL COMBINATIONS 60 – Cost $5, +1 alternate $10, + 2 alternate $20 Also here are my win wagers from Momarken and Vincennes. SINGLE WAGERS $2 MOMARKEN Race 5 Your Highness (12), Race 6 Pedro Bi (1) Race 7 Nalda Nof (5) Race 8 Gylden Balder (13) Race 9 Solo Nolo (12) Race 10 Francais du Gull (1) Race 11 Vacqueryas (8) VINCENNES Race 4 Vision Intense (9) Race 8 Voltigeur de Myrt (10)
It was posted today on the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey website that a letter from Chris McErlean of Freehold Raceway to Tom Luchento, president of the SBOANJ received recently stated as follows: I have been informed by our legal counsel involved with our insurance company that any claim submitted for payment for damages of equipment involved in the January 10 accident at Freehold has been approved and payments are being made. There may be further claims out there but they have not been submitted and there have been claims on other items apart from racing equipment that are being handled separately. This letter is in reference to the starting gate accident that took out seven horses and drivers at the start of the fifth race on January 10, 2014 as the starting gate slid out of control and down along the rail into the field of horses. From the SBOANJ
Following industry consultation, at its meeting on 20 February 2014, the Board of Harness Racing New Zealand approved the changes to Rule 505 in relation to Drivers’ Betting. They key changes agreed to were: • That drivers not be able to bet on races in which they are engaged; • That drivers not be able to bet on-course while dressed in their driving apparel. A copy of the Official Notice setting out the amendments is attached. These new Rules will take effect from 1 April 2014, having been formally gazetted on 13 March 2014 Harness Racing New Zealand
Top trotter The Fiery Ginga, who forged himself into the hearts of New Zealand racing fans with his toughness and pure grit, is unlikely to race again after fracturing a sesamoid. The now seven-year-old son of CR Commando burst on to the racing scene as an early two-year-old and was quick to hit the headlines and show his toughness, finishing second two days in a row in March of 2009. In total, the trotter affectionately known as 'The Ginga' has raced on 121 occasions, for 27 wins, 24 seconds, 16 thirds, and stakes of $359,729. The Fiery Ginga', who was scratched from the $100,000 Grand Prix and Melton on Saturday, will now be boxed for a month at the Victoria property of Noel Shinn before returning to New Zealand, where he will then be boxed for a further two months. '' I will try him again in six months but any sign of a problem and he will be finished.'' Said his trainer Alan Clark The Fiery Ginga last raced in New Zealand on the 16th of February where he overcame a 50 metre handicap to easily beat a field of 11 at Invercargill. Karanga Red Fantasy remains unbeaten Karanga Red Fantasy has had three starts for three different drivers, but that hasn’t stopped her from greeting the judge on each and every occasion. After wins on the West Coast for drivers Gavin Smith and Todd Woodward, it was junior reinsman Craig Ferguson who got his turn today, steering the four-year-old Red River Hanover mare to success in a heat of the ‘Youth versus Experience’ Drivers Series at Waikouaiti. Starting from a 10 metre handicap, the mare made a good beginning and was quickly up vying for the lead, before a nifty bit of driving saw Craig Ferguson drop her into the trail. She then boomed up the inside in the home stretch to win nicely by 2 & ¾ lengths. Because the race was part of an Invited Drivers Series the win came penalty-free, meaning the Bob Forrester trained four-year-old will remain a C2. So, while the mare has had three different drivers so far in her short career, something tells me it won’t be long until someone cements themselves to the seat. Other impressive winners on the card included trotters Queen Kenny and Valmagne, who were both handled by Maurice McKendry, while two-year-old Springbank Eden, a $127,500 purchase at last year’s Yearling Sales, was also a winner. By Mitchell Robertson
DOVER, Del. ---- Bestofthebunch and Thetruthaboutdavid, both were beaten favorites last time out, head separate Delaware $9,500 3,4&5-Year-Old Male pace divisions on Sunday, March 16 at Dover Downs. After winning two of three 2014 starts, Bestofthebunch, who was beaten by a neck last week and in both of his recent starts, must overcome starting for post 8 in the nine-horse field of younger horses. Ron Pierce will drive for trainer Trish Foulk and owner Foulk Stables. Two of the gelding's rivals won last time out; Jeff Franklin and LeBlanc Racing's Reindance with Ross Wolfenden, the only other three-year-old in the lineup, and Brenda Teague's Sink The McBismark, handled by Montrell Teague. Trainer Lauren Allen's Public Enemy, reined by Vic Kirby, heads the opposition. In the other 3,4&5-year-old section, George Teague's Thetruthaboutdavid (M.Teague), a two-time winner this year and beaten favorite last start, drew the rail, with his expected stiffest opponents starting alongside; Louis Catana's Pantheon Seelster (Jonathan Roberts), Lauren Allen's On The Horizon (Wolfenden) and William Moffett Inc.'s Leyden (Allan Davis), from posts 2,3 and 4 respectively. Driver Jack Parker and Carol Parker's Suits and Arty Foster Jr.'s Champion's Club (Trace Tetrick) have upset credentials. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs