Scott Young put the pedal to the metal right from the word ‘Go’ with Justasmalltowngirl in Tuesday’s $7,000 Preferred 3 for trotters at Georgian Downs, and the mare kept on trucking en route to a narrow score. The five-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Armbro Exuberant sliced out splits of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27.1 before using a :29.4 closing quarter to win by a quarter of a length in 1:57. Justasmalltowngirl edged out Euro Classic, who was eventually placed fifth for causing interference to another foe in the late stages of the mile. Will To Do was third-placed-second while Thor Seelster finished fourth-placed-third. To view the rest of this story click here.
Michelle Miller rode Kash Now to victory in Tuesday's New York State Monte Series event at Waterloo, NY. The ten-year-old El Paso Kash-Nowerlandmspauline-Sir Taurus mare, trained by Michael Miller, scored in 2:12h to defeat Striking Mystery and Jennifer Lowrey. The winner now has combined sulky/monte earnings of $42,728. Separately, the July 19 monte race scheduled for Georgian Downs has been cancelled based on RUS Ontario and Georgian Downs' Ian Fleming agreement to delay until more riders, trainers and horses can become qualified. More qualifiers are planned including Friday at Mohawk. www.monteamerica.com by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com
Five RUS ladies and their trotters descended on the Huron County oval Sunday afternoon to partake in the very first Racing Under Saddle Wagering Event in North American RUS history. It was a gate to wire victory for rider Sarah E Town and five year old mare Radical Dreamer, clocking a time of 2:04.4 but only after a photo to determine the winner. Dayplanner, trained by Julie Walker, and ridden by Marit Valstad was a close second, with Twin B Excalibur and rider Evelyn Harms rounding out the triactor. "What a huge privilege it was to win this race" states Town, "I want to make a mention that second place finisher Marit Valstad won with this horse last week at Mohawk and had another great race this week". Town is looking forward to the rest of the season riding with RUS. The next scheduled Racing Under Saddle event is set for Georgian Downs on July 19. Ex Blue Jay Kelly Gruber was also on hand to greet racing and baseball fans of all ages as part of a fundraiser for the Clinton Minor Baseball Association. Two tickets were auctioned off to the highest bidder (Shannon Henry) to any destination that Air Canada flies. LH Hollys Cam in the fifth took home the lions share of the purse for owner Lois Anderson of Clinton, trainer Robert Anderson and driven to the wire by Ryan Holliday. Ontario Sires Stakes action makes its first appearance at Clinton Raceway for the 2014 season on Sunday July 20, with two year old filly pacers, and celebrates it's 40th Anniversary. Fill'er Up at Clinton Raceway with free coolie cups, anniversary cake, the chance to win $50 gas cards after each OSS race on the day's card, as well as OSS T-shirts and hats all afternoon on the Super Sunday Show! Post time 1:30pm by Jessica Carnochan, for Clinton Raceway
Two-year-old colt and gelding trotters were in the spotlight on Saturday night at Georgian Downs as five $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series divisions for freshman colt and gelding trotters went behind the starting gate. Hemi Seelster (Steve Byron) was the fastest of the five winners as he trotted a :29.1 final quarter to rally from sixth at three-quarters to a 2:00.4 decision in the third division. He defeated Win The Day (Trevor Henry) by three-quarters of a length with Tarot (Riina Rekila) back in third. It was the first win in two starts for Hemi Seelster, who is trained by John Bax for his Parkhill Stud Farm, Matthew Bax, and Goin To The Show Stable of Peterborough along with John Houston of Cobourg, Ontario. Sired by Holiday Road, Hemi Seelster was bred by Seelster Farms Inc. of Lucan, Ontario, and sold for $19,000 at last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale. His dam is Hollywood Beauty, who is by Angus Hall. To view the rest of this story click here.
Mopey Corey prevailed in a three-across finish in Sunday's featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Handicap Trot at Georgian Downs. Driver Bob McClure moved 8-1 shot Mopey Copey from the pocket and collared pacesetter Justasmalltowngirl (Scott Young) at the wire in 1:56.1 with Money Maven (Daniel O'Brian) sprinting into the win photo. The eight-year-old Southwind Lustre gelding earned his 30th career win (and sixth this year). Sent postward as the second longest shot on the board, he returned $19.60 to his backers at the betting windows. Thomas Riley trains the winner for Amanda Riley of Roseneath, Ont. Fantastic Flirt, one of two mares in the field and the longest shot in the race, pulled off a 25-1 upset in the $7,000 Preferred 3 as she rallied home from the backfield to win in a new lifetime mark of 1:57.1 for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Brenda Lane. The six-year-old CR Excalibur mare paid $53.50 to win.
Despite being subjected to a first-over trip in Tuesday’s $7,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3 at Georgian Downs, Call It Courage dug down deep and narrowly came away with a 24-1 upset score for driver Scott Coulter. Call It Courage, who started from Post 4, got away fifth while Sweet Bet shot to the top and sliced out an opening split clocked in :28.1. Call It Courage went on the attack in the second quarter, and she was a little more than length away from Sweet Bet at the half in :57.4. Those two battled in the backstretch, and there wasn’t much separating them at the three-quarter pole in 1:26.1. Call It Courage used a :29.4 closing quarter to win by a neck over Back Yard Baby in 1:56.1. Third-place finisher, One Last Bono, was beaten the same margin. To view the rest of the story click here.
A three-win performance during Sunday evening’s 11-race card at Georgian Downs propelled driver James MacDonald into harness racing’s 1,000-wins club. MacDonald made his first trip of the evening to the winner’s circle in Race 6 with Windshield (1:57.3), and he returned to victory lane in Race 8 with Captain Webber N (1:55.2). Sitting at 999 wins going into Race 10, MacDonald then clicked with Brocks Fortune (1:52.1) to achieve the milestone win. To view the rest of this story click here.
Racing Under Saddle is an innovative new concept in harness racing in Canada, and the schedule for the racing under saddle season has been finalized and will be an exciting season for riders, horses, the bettor, and the general public at large. The Ontario Racing Commission has approved wagering with Standardbred Canada setting the standards for equipment and riders. There will be ten scheduled races at seven tracks from July 1 at Mohawk Racetrack to October 1 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The first race will be held at Mohawk Racetrack on July 1 and the invitational trot will be carded as “Trot For The Cure” in conjunction with a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. After a stop in Clinton for a Sunday afternoon tilt on July 13, which will be the first RUS event that bettors will be able to wager on, comes the first signature event of the RUS season. On July 26 there will be the first half of Norway versus Canada as part the eliminations of the Balanced Image at Hanover Raceway with the second half being held at Grand River Raceway on August 1. Three days later, as part of the Battle Of Waterloo, RUS Ontario will hold an international race featuring riders from Norway, Sweden, Finland, the United States and host Canada. This event will strive to be an annual event in Canada growing with world popularity. On July 19, Georgian Downs will play host to RUS, and on August 29 Mohawk will play host to a second RUS invitational trot, as a prelude to the Canadian Trotting Classic card on September 13. The last invitational trot will be hosted at Mohawk Racetrack. Flamboro Downs will play host to RUS on September 20 and The Raceway at Western Fair District will close out the season with a race on its opening night card on October 1. RUS would like to thank the management at all Ontario tracks for the support and cooperation shown to racing under saddle for this inaugural season as an entity of the Ontario racing scene. Please come out and support racing under saddle and enjoy the excitement of Ontario racing. For further information on sponsorships of races or riders, please contact Julie Walker at (519) 379-7244 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For the website click here. From RUS Ontario
A tripped-out Turbo Donato put the pedal to the metal in the late stages of Saturday’s $11,000 Preferred 2 for trotters at Georgian Downs, and he held on to win by three-quarters of a length for Team Baillargeon. With Mario Baillargeon at the helm, Turbo Donato worked into the two-hole early and tracked Cimeronken through fractions of :27.3, :56.4 and 1:26.2 before going on the offensive. Baillargeon right lined the Ben Baillargeon trainee in the final quarter of the contest and the four-year-old son of Donato Hanover-Sun Sentinel fired home in :29.4 and posted the1:56.2 victory by three-quarters of a length over Cimeronken. Aisling was a lapped-on third. Sent off as the 3-2 favourite, Turbo Donato prevailed for the partnership of Ben Baillargeon, Craig Turner, Santo Vena and Nunzio Vena. Together they watched the trotter improve this year’s record to 3-2-2 from 17 trips to the track with the win. The lion’s share of the purse bumped his earnings to $74,670. To read the rest of the story click here.
Driver James MacDonald dominated Sunday's harness racing card at Georgian Downs, winning five of the 11 dashes to take over the top spot on the track's early season leaderboard. MacDonald's winning crusade began in the second race with the Kyle Reibeling-trained Normstrikesfame ($2.30). He won every other race up to the featured eighth race with Preferred 3 pacer Highland Bogart($24.40), who was shuffled to last and sprinted a :28.1 final frame to score the upset win in 1:53.4 for trainerValerie Till. His other wins were with Bad Boy Matt ($4.40) in the fourth for conditioner Tony O'Sullivan and Black Diamond Star ($16) in the sixth for trainer Derick Anderson. To read the rest of the story click here.
Medoland Lindeylou and Stolen Goods were highly thought of by the betting public Tuesday evening at Georgian Downs, and both passed their Preferred tests with flying colours. Sent off at odds of 4-5, Medoland Lindeylou wired up the foes she faced in the $7,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3 in a time of 1:54.4. Trevor Henry rolled the three-year-old daughter of Stonebridge Regal-Jodie Lynne Tup to the lead from Post 3 and she successfully sliced out splits of :27, :57.4 and 1:25.4 before using a :29-second kicker to defeat Gracie Montana and Firstclassflight. Richard Moreau trains the youngster for Ohioans Tamara Hoovler, Dr. Robert Hutchison and Dr. Randy Hutchison. It was the homebred’s first win of the season from six trips postward, and the lion’s share of the loot lifted her overall earnings to $72,776. To read the rest of the story click here.
David Snowden's homebred pacer Rock Me Amastreos pulled off a 9-1 upset in the featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Pace at Georgian Downs on Sunday night as he defeated co-favourites World Away and Nothingbutmach by more than three lengths. World Away fired off the gate from post five over insider Nothingbutmach during a :26.4 opening panel and proceeded to the half in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.2. Meanwhile, Rock Me Amastreos ($21.10) was advancing first over from fourth and took over command into the stretch en route to his 25th career win in 1:52 flat. The victory was the fourth on the card for driver James MacDonald. To read the rest of the story click here.
Trevor Henry wasted no time in hustling Calgary Seelster to the lead in Tuesday’s $7,000 Preferred 3 at Georgian Downs, and it proved to be the winning approach for the Andrew McCabe trainee. Calgary Seelster pushed out from his pole position starting spot and successfully chopped out fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:25.4 before sprinting home in :28.3 en route to the 1:54.2 decision. It was three-quarters of a length back to runner-up Pouvoir Duharas, with Smokin Bear rounding out the top three. To read the rest of this story click here.
TORONTO, May 30 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced another advancement in enhancing the fan and horseplayer experience at racetracks across Ontario. AmTote, the betting tote machines already prevalent at Woodbine and Mohawk, will be deployed at all racetracks in the Standardbred Alliance across the province. The AmTote devices, which offers cutting edge bet taking technology, will be installed this Sunday, June 1 at Georgian Downs in Innisfil, June 3 at Western Fair in London, June 7 at Hanover Raceway and June 10 at Flamboro Downs. "A key objective of the Standardbred Alliance is to offer a high-quality, consistent wagering experience across all the Alliance racetracks and the Champions Off Track Betting network," said Greg Martin, WEG's Vice-President of Wagering and Technology. "By adding the AmTote machines, racing fans can now bet and cash at Hanover or Georgian the same way they can at Mohawk." Racing fans will also now be able to use their HorsePlayer Interactive (HPI) account for wagering, deposits and withdrawals at any of the Alliance locations and earn rewards on every betting dollar. "Offering an integrated wagering experience for customers at all of these locations is a critical initiative in growing wagering on horse races across the province, a stated goal of Woodbine Entertainment and the Standardbred Alliance," said Martin. "Extending HPI Rewards and other features throughout Ontario will benefit racing's loyal customers." The Standardbred Alliance, led by Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG), is a consortium of eight Ontario racetracks. Launched April 1, the members represent a three-tier racing hierarchy, 'Grass Roots' (Clinton, Hanover), 'Signature' (Flamboro, Georgian, Grand River and Western Fair) and 'Premier' (Mohawk and Woodbine). It was created to deliver standardbred racing and wagering opportunities with a focus on ease-of-access to existing customers, consistent and co-ordinated racing opportunities and guaranteed purses for its participants. In addition, the Alliance will deliver more efficient racetrack operations through the consolidation of services and purchasing and a coordinated approach to attracting new customers to Ontario standardbred racing. by John Siscos, for WEG
The Ontario Horse Racing division of the Ontario Racing Commission has provided the Premier of Ontario and the province's Minister of Agriculture & Food, Kathleen Wynne with this update on the progress in implementing the five-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan. While the announcement does not include a racing calendar, it does officially announce the Ontario alliance tracks. The Honourable Kathleen Wynne Minister of Agriculture and Food Government of Ontario Dear Minister, I am pleased to provide a further update on progress in implementing the Ontario Horse Racing Partnership Plan. Under your direction, the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) and its business development division – Ontario Horse Racing (OHR) – have been tasked with building a racing calendar for Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Quarter Horses. The Partnership Plan supports Ontario’s proud legacy of Standardbred racing and the thousands of jobs across the province with three distinct components; - Traditional summer grassroots racing in rural Ontario. - A long racing season at Rideau-Carleton Raceway. - A year round circuit of top quality racing at eight core tracks. While a robust Standardbred racing industry requires all three components, the cornerstone of the program is year-round, world-class racing that will attract a global audience and increase its fan base and wagering revenues. To ensure a circuit of high quality racing is coordinated for the benefit of horsepersons and horseplayers, I am pleased to inform you that eight racetracks - Clinton Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Hanover Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District and Woodbine Racetrack - have united in a world-leading alliance. This innovative and cooperative racing alliance has collectively determined there is greater benefit for the industry as a whole in working together to capitalize and succeed in presenting Ontario Standardbred racing to a global audience. We have recently completed an agreement with the alliance tracks and are now ready to engage in discussions with horsepersons groups as the final step in preparation for an exciting season of racing featuring guaranteed purses and some of Ontario’s finest racehorses. Partnerships are all about people and we continue to benefit from the passion, commitment and expertise of the Ontario racing community as we implement the Partnership Plan. John Snobelen From the Ontario Racing Commission
The Director of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) today announced the decision on a number of additional applications seeking variances to the assigned dates for 2014. In addition to previous applications from Woodbine Entertainment Group for Woodbine Standardbred, Western Fair Association and Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) for Flamboro, dealt with by the Director in previous notices, applications to vary race dates were received from Rideau Carleton Raceway Holdings Ltd. and GCGC for Georgian Downs. The Director confirms and approves the schedule of race dates for the 1st quarter of 2014 as follows: Number of Race Dates approved for 1st Quarter Woodbine Racetrack 37 Premier Cards Western Fair 38 Signature Cards Flamboro Downs 52 Signature Cards Georgian Downs 0 Signature Cards (Approved to cancel 4 race date in early January) Rideau Carleton 14 Signature Cards (Approved for Sundays, January 12 through March 30, adding Thursdays starting March 20) Kawartha Downs Limited has advised the ORC that it will not be applying for a 2014 Licence to Operate a Racetrack. Therefore all race dates approved for Kawartha Downs have been cancelled. Additionally, as a result, the 2014 Home Market Areas for Telephone Account Betting formerly approved for Kawartha have been conditionally approved for Woodbine Racetrack, with all net revenues to be held in trust. Winrac Development Inc. did not submit a complete application for licence and therefore, all race dates approved for Dresden Raceway have been cancelled. Additionally, as a result, the 2014 Home Market Areas for Telephone Account Betting formerly approved for Dresden Raceway have been conditionally approved for Woodbine Racetrack, with all net revenues to be held in trust. Any teletheatres licences currently approved under Dresden Raceway’s 2013 Licence to Operate a Racetrack have not been issued for 2014. In accordance with Policy Directive 3-2007, all other race date calendars are approved based on previous approvals, but are subject to change where a racetrack operator or other interested party makes an application to vary the approved dates, which will be considered based on the strengths of the business plans submitted and the industry funding available. The Director is moving forward to implement the components of the 5 year Horse Racing Partnership (HRP) Plan, as recommended by the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel in its final report of October 2013. As part of that implementation, the Director is currently considering options related to a single operator of teletheatres and telephone account betting in the province, as recommended in the HRP. Decisions regarding implementation will be communicated in the coming weeks to ensure that such changes will come into effect April 1, 2014.