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ELORA, ON - A race card worth $500K and a forecast of sunny skies will deliver one of the hottest afternoons in Canadian harness racing during Grand River Raceway's 29th Industry Day celebration on Monday, August 5. Industry Day kicks off its festivities and broadcast at 12:00 p.m. EST with first race going to post at 12:30 p.m. EST. Fans and families planning to attend the event should note that parking and admission are free. Activities will include a free kids' zone from 12:00 - 4:00 featuring a petting zoo, bouncy castles and face painting. A summer prize pack (valued at $2,000) and a $250 dollar betting voucher will also be up for grabs. The Central Ontario Standardbred Association will sponsor a Caretakers That Care Competition in which $1,500 in prize money will be won by Industry Day caretakers, recognizing their commitment and dedication to the sport's equine stars. A 50/50 draw will be offered by the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, and the Drive A Racehorse crew will provide free guided trips around the racetrack in double-seated jog carts, between the races, for a limited number of lucky guests. The much-loved Drivers' Edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes will headline the half-time show after race 5. Eleven races will be featured on the Industry Day card with purses amounting to $540,850. The 11-race card includes five divisions of Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) for three-year-old colt pacers. The $157,500 Battle Of The Belles and the $239,000 Battle Of Waterloo each showcase nine of the province's best Ontario-sired rookie pacing fillies and colts. The finalists earned their berths in elimination races contested on July 29 at the Elora, ON half-miller. Featured in this year's Battle Of Waterloo is elimination winner Beach Blanket Book who leaves from post 4. Trainer Blake MacIntosh will look to score his second Battle Of Waterloo victory since winning with another son of Sportswriter, Sports Column, in 2016. Beach Blanket Book won his elimination with a sweep of the field in a maiden breaking score in 1:56.4. The colt is owned by Mac and Heim Stables as well as Hutt Racing Stable who also teamed up with Blake MacIntosh in 2016 as partners on Sports Column. Second Battle Of Waterloo elimination winner Aneto will leave from the trailing position 9 for trainer Tim Gillespie and owner Synerco Ventures Inc. The Bettors Delight colt (one of three offspring of Bettors Delight in this field) also broke his maiden with his elimination win and was a coast-to-coast winner in 1:55.4 with driver Bob McClure. The 22nd Battle of Waterloo also features trainers of past Battle champions such as Carl Jamieson who endeavours to score his sixth Battle Of Waterloo title with Sports Obsession leaving from post 5. Local trainers Scott McEneny and Ian Moore are seeking their second Battle title with Better B Swift (post 7) who was second in his elimination for McEneny and Denali Seelster (post 3) who finished fourth in his elimination. Young teamster Teesha Symes will send out Mach Three colt Wind Blown from the coveted rail position (post 1). He was second by a head to Aneto after a gritty first-up journey in his elimination race. If Wind Blown finds the winners circle for Symes, she would be the first female trainer, and the youngest (at 30) to win the Battle Of Waterloo. The victory would also give J Harris his first Battle Of Waterloo driving title. Wind Blown would also add his name to the list of Mach Three offspring that have won this race, joining Machapelo, Three Of Clubs and the immortal Somebeachsomewhere. The 11th annual Battle Of The Belles will feature Alicorn, a daughter of Bettors Delight, from post 4. Alicorn, matched the track record for two-year-old fillies with her elimination win in 1:54.2 and also holds the record for the fastest divisional mile in OSS history with her recent Gold Series win in 1:51 over Woodbine-Mohawk Park. With Louis Philippe Roy in the bike, Alicorn was missionized early with a bold first-up move before the half mile marker against Sound Idea (with Sylvain Filion). Alicorn then drew off from the field to a margin of three-and-a-quarter lengths for owners Windermere Stable LLC and Robert Muscara. Trainer Chantal Mitchell will also seek Battle redemption after finishing second to Bronx Seelster with Bettors Wish in last year's Battle Of Waterloo. The Battle Of The Belles will also feature elimination winner Queso Relleno with driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Blake MacIntosh from post 3. Jamieson shoots for his fourth Battle Of The Belles title with Queso Relleno who broke her maiden in an elimination race victory where she breezed by the field in 1:55.4. MacIntosh co-owns the daughter of Betterthancheddar with Hutt Racing Stable, Sue Vernon Smith, and The Flanagan Sisters. MacIntosh will also send out Betterbeasecret from post 7 in the final. The local father-and-son duo of Gregg McNair and Doug McNair (both of Guelph, ON) will send out Karma Seelster from post 8 in the Battle Of The Belles final. She won the third of three elimination races on Monday night. Karma Seelster, who holds the highest yearling price of any horse in the Battle Of Waterloo or Battle Of The Belles ($127,000) is a sister to Kokanee Seelster, Kendall Seelster and Kylie Seelster and is one of three daughters of Sportswriter in the field. Karma Seelster would give sire Sportswriter his fourth Battle Of The Belles winner. For Team McNair, it would be their second Battle Of The Belles title. Also featured in the field for the Battle Of The Belles is Temagami Seelster, who leaves from post 2 and was second in her elimination to Queso Relleno. Temagami Seelster, driven by J Harris is trained by 2018 Battle Of Waterloo winning trainer, Wayne McGean. Trainer Amanda Fine, who celebrated her first training win in early July will send out elimination runner-up Highland Salsa from post 5, who impressively fought a closing Karma Seelster down the stretch. The five OSS divisions will feature Silas Seelster and Missile Seelster - the winner and runner-up (respectively) in the City Of London Series raced earlier this year at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Both are campaigned by trainer Ian Moore. 2018 Battle Of Waterloo finalists Prestige Seelster, Better Moonon Over, Fast N First and Sports Teen will also return to Industry Day for sophomore OSS Grassroots action. Leading OSS Grassroots starter Sugartown will also race on Industry Day, hunting for his third OSS Grassroots win of the season for trainer Richard Moreau and driver Louis Philippe Roy. Post time for Industry Day on August 5 is 12:30 p.m. EST. The broadcast and festivities kick off at 12:00 p.m. EST. Complete event details are available here. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway  

Elora, ON, July 31, 2019 -- The highly anticipated Industry Day program is set for this Monday afternoon at Elora's Grand River Raceway and for those who can't make it out to the track, the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) will present the $157,000 Battle Of The Belles and $239,000 Battle Of Waterloo on Facebook Live. The one-hour broadcast produced by CUJO Entertainment will be aired on the Grand River Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Raceway at Western Fair District and Harness Racing Update (HRU) Facebook pages. It will also be shown on the Standardbred Canada website as well as the CUJO Entertainment Twitter page. Greg Blanchard, Mark McKelvie and Jaimi MacDonald will host the action. The show will include a feature on Industry Day which has become one of the most important dates on the Ontario racing calendar. The Facebook Live broadcast is the last in a series of four shows this season sponsored by COSA which also included the Confederation Cup, Camluck Classic and Legends Day programs. Monday's 11-race program boasts a strong undercard featuring Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Fans are reminded of the special first race post time of 12:30 p.m. From the Central Ontario Standardbred Association ​ 

ELORA, ON - Despite uncertain weather looming over the Elora, ON oval, the talent was certain and impressive from freshman colts and fillies aiming for a spot in the $239,000 Battle Of Waterloo and the $157,500 Battle Of The Belles finals to be contested next Monday August, 5 during Grand River Raceway's 29th Industry Event. Battle Of Waterloo Thirteen of the nation's finest two-year-old colts battled for a spot in the track's coveted event with the top four from each division and one fifth place finisher advancing. The first Battle Of Waterloo elimination saw Blake MacIntosh trainee Beach Blanket Book and driver James MacDonald blaze by the field to win by a head in 1:56.4. The elimination victory also doubles as a maiden breaker for the two-year-old Sportswriter colt who is owned by Hutt Racing Stable and Mac And Heim Stables. With Beach Blanket Book being the only Battle Of Waterloo starter for MacIntosh, the St. George, ON resident -- who is coming off a record year -- will look to score his second Battle Of Waterloo title since winning with Sports Column in 2016. Beach Blanket Book will leave from post 4 in the final. Better B Swift finished second to Beach Blanket Book. The Scott McEneny trainee was driven by Sylvain Filion and dueled early with race favourite Denali Seelster (Doug McNair / Ian Moore). Upon clearing before the first quarter pole, a rough gaited Denali Seelster was out for the re-take. Denali Seelster then fronted the field to the top of the stretch where he was passed by Beach Blanket Book, Better B Swift and Sports Obsession (Jody Jamieson / Carl Jamieson). Both Scott McEneny and Ian Moore will vie for their second Battle Of Waterloo victory (McEneny won with Simple Kinda Man in 2017 and Moore won with Wellthereyougo in 2009) while Hall Of Famer Carl Jamieson will seek his sixth Battle Of Waterloo victory. Better B Swift will need to bring some swift skills to the table as he will leave from the outside post 7, while Sports Obsession and team Jamieson will battle from post 5. Denali Seelster will leave from post 3. Betterthancheddar colt Mr Cheeseman scored the final ticket to the big dance for driver Bob McClure and trainer Scott McNiven. The pacer was randomly drawn from the fifth-place finishers and will leave from post 6. A victory in the Battle Of Waterloo would serve as the first Battle title for both McClure and McNiven. In an exciting drive to the wire in the second division, Aneto and Bob McClure were able to fend off Wind Blown and J Harris. Aneto, trained by Tim Gillespie for Synerco Ventures Inc. was a $44,000 yearling and is yet another son of Bettors Delight to seek Battle glory. In a coast to coast mission, Aneto led the field from the word go to fractions of 28.4, 58.4, 1:26.4 with a mile time of 1:55.4 to hold off Wind Blown by a head. The elimination win is also the colt's maiden breaking victory. Aneto will leave from post 9 in the final. Wind Blown is trained by Teesha Symes and was an impressive runner-up finisher after a first-up journey. A win in the Battle Of Waterloo would give the dynamic duo of Symes and Harris a first Battle win for each of them and would make Symes the first female trainer to ever win the Battle Of Waterloo. The Battle Of Waterloo has been won by multiple sons of the late Mach Three including Machapelo, Three Of Clubs and the immortal Somebeachsomewhere. Leaving from post 1, Wind Blown could add his name to the list of Mach Three grandchildren to capture the Battle of Waterloo. Betterbuckleup will also advance to the final for driver James MacDonald and trainer Eric Adams who will leave from post 2. Tabloid Writer will start from post 8 for the brotherly tandem of Mario and Ben Baillargeon. Battle of the Belles Twenty-two rookie freshman fillies contested three eliminations to determine the contenders for the Battle Of The Belles. The top three from each division will advance to the final. The fastest freshman of the season thus far, Alicorn, was victorious in the first of three Battle Of The Belles eliminations. Driven by Louis Philippe Roy (hunting for his first Battle Of The Belles victory) Alicorn is trained by Chantal Mitchell who is looking for Battle redemption after finishing second with Bettors Wish in the 2018 edition of the Battle Of Waterloo. The daughter of Bettors Delight was missionized early with a first-up move before the half mile marker against Sound Idea (Sylvain Filion) who recorded the opening quarter in 27.2. Alicorn then fronted the field to fractions of 55.2, 1:25.2 to a mile time 1:54.2 where she won by a margin of three-and-a-quarter lengths. In addition to an Ontario Sires Stakes record she set earlier this month at Woodbine-Mohawk Park, Alicorn also matched the Grand River Raceway track record for two-year-old fillies set by Right On Molly in 2012. Owned by Windermere Stable Llc and Robert K Muscara, Alicorn will aspire to give her connections their first Belles victory from post 4 in the final. The rest of the first elimination was rounded out by Sound Idea, driven by Sylvain Filion and trained by John Balzer. She will leave from post 6 in the final. Preeminence, driven by Paul MacDonnell for trainer Marcel Barrieau will start from post 1. Also advancing to the Battle of the Belles final is Blake MacIntosh trainee Queso Relleno who was fantastic in her elimination with a sizzling sweep of the field with Jody Jamieson aboard. MacIntosh co-owns the daughter of Betterthancheddar with Hutt Racing Stable, Sue Vernon Smith and The Flanagan Sisters. She was a $26,000 yearling purchase for the group. Queso Relleno scored her maiden victory in the second elimination division in 1:55.4 and will leave from post 3 in the final. Joining Queso Relleno in the Battle of the Belles final will be Temagami Seelster (J Harris / Wayne McGean) who will leave from post 2 and race favourite All Day Sunshine (Sylvain Filion / Richard Moreau) who will start from post 9. Trainer Wayne McGean seeks his second Battle title after winning with Bronx Seelster in last year's Battle Of Waterloo. Harris, Moreau and Filion are all looking to score their first Belles title. It wouldn't be Industry Day without an entry from the local father and son duo of Doug and Gregg McNair who have been victorious in the Battle Of Waterloo and the Battle of the Belles with stable stars such as Trail Boss, Three of Clubs, Magnum J and Lady Shadow. This year, the team will send out Karma Seelster, the winner of the third and final elimination. Karma Seelster let the early action unfold before coming on to mark her first lifetime victory in 1:56.2 (after heavy rainfall degraded the track from a fast to good speed rating). Karma Seelster comes from the royal lineage of Kendall Seelster, Kokanee Seelster and Kylie Seelster and was a $127,000 yearling. She is owned by Eileen and Keith Waples and their daughter Karen Hauver and will eyeball a Battle Of The Belles victory for her connections from post 8. Finishing second to Karma Seelster and advancing to the final is the Amanda Fine trainee Highland Salsa, driven by J Harris. Highland Salsa will leave from post 5 for her young teamster. Trainer Blake MacIntosh will have another shot of capturing the Battle Of The Belles title with Bettorbeasecret, driven by Robert Shepherd. She will leave from post 7. With more local talent being featured in both the Battle of Waterloo and the Battle of the Belles, Industry Day 2019 could foresee many firsts for both veteran trainers and up-and-coming talent. Post time for Industry Day on August 5 is 12:30 p.m. EST The broadcast and festivities kick off at 12:00 p.m. EST. Complete event details are available here. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway

ELORA, ON - A total of five elimination dashes contested on Monday, July 29 will determine the harness racing finalists for Grand River Raceway's two feature races during its 29th Industry Day event. BATTLE OF WATERLOO Thirteen rookie pacing colts and geldings will compete in two $15,000 elimination divisions to earn a berth in the 22nd annual Battle Of Waterloo. The top four finishers and one of the fifth-place finishers (as drawn by lot) will advance to the $238,940 final. The first elimination division is carded as Race 2. Denali Seelster will start from the rail. He's a winner of $27,000 in two career starts in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series. But the Sunshine Beach colt is still hunting for his maiden win. He won both of his qualifying starts over Woodbine-Mohawk Park but broke stride in his first pari-mutuel start. On July 15 he finished second by a length in his own time of 1:52.2. Dr. Ian Moore trains Denali Seelster for Ratchford Stable who paid $34,000 for him as a yearling. Moore won the Battle Of Waterloo in 2009 with Wellthereyougo. Trainer Scott McEneny won the 2017 Battle Of Waterloo with Simple Kinda Man and looks to earn a berth in this year's final with Better B Swift starting from post position four in the first division. He's the most recent winner in the field of six with a half-length maiden victory on July 23 at Woodbine-Mohawk Park in 1:53.4. The Bettors Delight colt was a $27,000 yearling buy for McEneny who co-owns with Teresa Davidson, Martwest Racing Stable and Cora Marshall. He's a winner of $13,962 in two starts. The second division will be contested by seven pacers. Bettorbuckleup is the most expensive and the richest of the bunch. The Eric Adams trainee was an $85,000 yearling purchase for owner Millar Farms. He has banked $34,500 in three starts and was most recently second by four lengths in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event at Woodbine-Mohawk Park, pacing his mile in 1:53. He starts from post six on Monday night.   BATTLE OF THE BELLES Elimination dashes for the 11th annual Battle Of The Belles spotlight 22 two-year-old pacing fillies in three $10,000 divisions. They must finish in the top three to earn a berth in the $157,257 final. Alicorn is sure to attract much attention from post three in the first elimination division (Race 1) as last week's record-breaker at Woodbine-Mohawk Park. The Bettors Delight daughter set a new Ontario Sires Stakes record and a North American season's record with a jaw-dropping one-and-three-quarter length maiden win in 1:51 with Louis Philippe Roy in the $106,400 Gold event. Chantal Mitchell trains Alicorn for owners Windermere Stable and Robert Muscara, who paid $30,000 for her last fall. She has banked $62,795 in three starts. All Day Sunshine leaves from post three in division two (Race 4) and is already a rags-to-riches story in just four career starts. The Sunshine Beach miss has earned $60,551 but was a humble $6,000 yearling sale purchase. Richard Moreau trains the filly for owners Dan Lagace, Anthony Timmins, Billy Joe Timmins and Brad Gray. Her most recent of two wins was in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event on July 8 in 1:53 over Woodbine-Mohawk Park. Local trainer Gregg McNair (of Guelph, ON) is seeking his second Battle Of The Belles victory and Karma Seelster is his most pronounced shot at earning a spot in the final. The Sportswriter daughter starts from post position two in the third and final division (Race 8). At $127,000, the regally bred filly was the second-highest priced horse in the 2018 London Selected Yearling Sale. She is a Sportswriter sister to Ontario Sires Stakes record holder Kendall Seelster, a (current) winner of $813,000. Karma Seelster is owned by Hall Of Famer Keith Waples, his wife Eileen and daughter Karen Hauver. Gregg McNair trains the filly. She's a winner of $35,368. Martinis Place is the richest of the field with $71,466 banked in just two starts and a mark of 1:53 taken at Woodbine-Mohawk Park in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event on July 19. John Pentland trains the Betterthancheddar filly for co-owner Ellie Bale. Post time for July 29 is 6:30 p.m. EST. Post positions for the finals of the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles will be drawn after Race 9. Both finals will be contested on Monday, August 5. Post time for #industryday29 is 12:30 p.m. Festivities and the broadcast begin at 12:00 noon. Complete event details are available here. Kelly Spencer Co-Owner, True Nature Communications Inc.

ELORA, JULY 3, 2019 - Grand River Raceway fans were treated to a trio of impressive harness racing performances by Ontario's top three-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday night, starting with a commanding track record effort by Bright Eyes M in the first $73,066 Gold Series division. Driver Stephen Byron pointed Bright Eyes M at the front from Post 3 and, after hopping over a few shadows on the ground, the pair took command heading by the :28.1 opening quarter. Once they reached the front Byron and Bright Eyes M simply extended their lead with every stride; it was one and one-half lengths at the :57.4 half, three lengths at the 1:26.3 three-quarters, five lengths at the top of the stretch and seven and one-quarter lengths at the 1:55.4 finish. Haveoneforme and HP Bruxelles finished second and third behind the fan favourite. The 1:55.4 clocking shaved one-fifth of a second off the former track record of 1:56, set by On A Sunny Day in a 2017 Gold Series event. "I was not sure how things would go, but she was impressive," said trainer John Bax, who conditions the Kadabra daughter for Menhammar Stuteri AB of Paris, KY. There was a moment in the first turn where Bax thought things were not going to turn out well as Bright Eyes M jumped over shadows on the racetrack. After she crossed the finish line racing officials reviewed the filly's path around the first turn to ensure that she had not caused interference to the other competitors, eventually determining that there was no violation. "A horse, I suppose, that wasn't good gaited would have run, but she just, you could see her head drop and her ears went up and she winged over it," said Campbellville, ON resident Bax. "She did it a couple times." Her second straight win in Gold Series action gives Bright Eyes M sole possession of top spot in the three-year-old trotting filly standings with 100 points, 25 ahead of rival Haveoneforme. The second division saw Teddys Littleangel return to the Gold Series winner's circle with a front-end effort from Post 4 that saw her battle to a neck victory over Mattys Smilin, stopping the teletimer at 1:57.4. Angelic Speed was seven lengths behind the duelling leaders in third. A two-time Gold Series winner last season, Archangel daughter Teddys Littleangel had been winless through six starts heading into Wednesday's test. Doug McNair of Guelph crafted the win for trainer Ted MacDonnell of Allenford and owner-breeder Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke. The final $73,866 division saw last year's Super Final champion HP Titania Runner find her way back to the winner's circle after a frustrating start to the sophomore campaign. Starting from the trailing Post 9, driver Louis-Philippe Roy charted a come-from-behind path for the filly, sitting sixth at the :28.3 quarter, moving up the outer lane into fourth by the :59.2 half and circling out three-wide to get within striking distance of pacesetter and fan favourite Angies Luckeylady by the 1:28.1 three-quarters. As HP Titania Runner threatened, Angies Luckeylady went off stride, allowing the reigning champ to trot home to a one and one-half length win in 1:57.2. Pocket-sitter Sams Arsenal was second and Blue Magic completed the top three. "She's got a little more aggressive, earlier in the season, than she was last year, and that didn't help her with a few breaking issues she had," said driver Louis-Philippe Roy about HP Titania Runner's early season woes, which saw her make a break in the June 3 Gold Series event. "Tonight she was trotting solid. Rene Bourassa and his team did a great job on her; I just had to wait until the good moment to move her." Guelph resident Roy crafted the win for trainer Rene Bourassa of Fergus, ON and owner-breeders Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC. Her connections will be hoping HP Titania Runner delivers another solid effort when the three-year-old trotting fillies gather at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 18 for their third Gold Series event. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, July 24 with the second Gold Series event for the two-year-old trotting fillies. Complete results for Wednesday's program can be found at   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit:   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Par

ELORA, ON - Dashpig won't share the racetrack with any racehorses on Friday night at Grand River Raceway, but he will share the spotlight. The 2018 champion of last year's Ren's Pets Wiener Dog Races will defend his title against 17 Dachshunds during the fifth edition of the fan-favourite event on July 5. In all, the night offers 10 horse races and four wiener dog races. Post time for the first horse race is 6:30 p.m. Dashpig will start from post three in the third and final heat to be contested after horse race #5 (approximately 8:00 p.m.). Mustard, the 2017 champion, will start alongside Dashpig in the same heat from post two. The top three finishers from each 6-dog dash will advance to the championship after horse race #7 (approximately 8:45 p.m.) All races are 20 meters in length. The event is supported by title sponsor Ren's Pets and Elements Casino Grand River. Prizes for the top dogs total more than $500. 2018 Race champ Dash (owned by owned by Katie Sudds and Brian Hardy of Tavistock, ON.) The event attracts one of the largest crowds of the racing season at Grand River Raceway. There are several food and beverage options onsite including food trucks from Spanky's BBQ, Frannie's Chuck Wagon and Ish & Chips. The Captain's Quarters Dining Room overlooking the racetrack is sold-out for the evening. Regular Friday race night activities include The NEIGHbourhood which runs free for kids under the Homestretch Tent from 6:30 - 8:30 and includes horse-related crafts, a photo with the winning horse of a race, and a barn tour. 107.5 DAVE ROCKS will broadcast live from 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. Parking and admission are always free for the races at Grand River Raceway. Wiener lovers who can't make it to the track can catch the live streaming video of the broadcast beginning at 6:05 p.m. See the Grand River Raceway website for complete event details, including photos and bios of each dog competing in the races. Video: Wiener Dog Races Promo Video Video: 2018 Wiener Dog Races   Kelly Spencer Co-Owner, True Nature Communications Inc.

ELORA, ON - Back by popular demand, one of the biggest events of the live harness racing season at Grand River Raceway features four-legged warriors of a markedly different kind. The fifth annual Ren's Pets Wiener Dog Races at Grand River Raceway is set for Friday, July 5. Dachshund registration is now open and limited to 30 spots at $50 per dog. Advance registration is required. Parking and admission is free for the general public. There are several food and beverage options onsite including food trucks from Spanky's BBQ, Frannie's Chuck Wagon and Ish & Chips. The Captain's Quarters Dining Room overlooking the racetrack is already sold-out for the evening. In all, the evening offers spectators four dog races and 10 horse races. The horse races begin at 6:30 p.m. on July 5. The three qualifying heats of wiener dog races will be contested consecutively starting at 8:00 p.m. The top three finishers from each dash will advance to the race final at 8:45 p.m. All races are 20 meters in length. 2018 Ren’s Pets Wiener Dog Races at Grand River Raceway All participating dogs will receive a swag bag compliments of the event sponsors. All winners of the qualifying race heats receive a small gift. The runner-up and third-place finisher in the race final receive a $50 gift. The champion of the race final wins a trophy and more than $300 in prizes. All dogs will be profiled in the evening's race program and on the TV broadcast. See the Grand River Raceway website for complete event details, rules and online dog registration. Jenna Knox at (519) 846-5455 ext. 247      

JUNE 5, 2019 - Three-year-old trotting colt Esa's path to the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle was a winding one, but the harness racing youngster finally made it with a 1:58.4 effort in the first $22,800 Grassroots division at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening. Sold for $145,000 at the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, the regally bred youngster encountered his first trial soon after arriving at trainer Jimmy Takter's New Jersey farm. "The first day he got to Jimmy Takter's farm he went through four or five fences and he ended up in the next village. They had to stich his face, all kinds of trouble," said Guelph, ON resident Ben Baillargeon, who took over training duties on Esa last fall. "Then he got sick all year last year and by the time I got him last year - he was finally healthy - Jimmy said race him a few times and see what he's made off." Esa would race a total of eight times at two, two for Takter in July and six more for Baillargeon in October and November, recording one win and five thirds. The son of E L Titan and Christiana Hanover made his sophomore debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 27, finishing seventh in a field chock full of Gold Series horses, so rather than joining those colts in the Goodtimes Stake eliminations this Friday Baillargeon opted to send Esa to Wednesday's Grassroots test on the Elora half-mile. The decision proved fruitful as Esa and driver Mario Baillargeon of Acton, ON left smartly from Post 6, traded places at the front with fan favourite LA Magic through the first half and then took command of the race, cruising home to a two and one-quarter length victory over the rain soaked oval. LA Magic settled for second and Warrawee Usain was three more lengths back in third. "Last week I was pleased with his first race. He raced real good. I was expecting a good race today and that was a very good mile over there today, 1:58.4, and he did it handy with the plugs in," said Baillargeon, who trains the colt for Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ, John Fielding of Toronto, ON, R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, ON and Hatfield Stables of Columbus, OH. "I don't know how good he'll get, but there's a lot more in him than he did today, because he did it handy." Driver Sylvain Filion piloted the winners of the last two Grassroots divisions, using a front-end strategy with both heavy favourites. Starting from Post 2 in the third division with Encarnacion, Filion sent the Archangel son straight to the front and the pair never had to look over their shoulders, romping home to a six and one-quarter length victory in 2:01.1. The Great Farini trotted into second and Titan M Up completed the top three. "He's a real nice horse. He's real handy and he can leave the gate like a rocket. I knew if I could get on the front without rushing him too much I had a really good chance of winning that race," said Filion, who drives Encarnacion for trainer Rod Boyd of Cambridge and numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. "And it's funny, for a big horse, he gets around the turns like nothing. He's really big and rugged, but he seems to like the half-mile." The Milton, ON resident picked up his second Grassroots win of the night, and third overall, with Raising Royalty. The pair took command before the halfway marker and cruised home to a two and one-half length victory in 1:59.4. King For Life, owned by trainer-driver Bruce Richardson of Fergus and his partners Peter Irwin of Ayton and Joseph Coffey of Orangeville, ON, finished two and one-half lengths back in second, just ahead of Super T. "He's been very nice so far this year. Last year he showed a lot of potential but he had a hard time keeping it together," said Filion of Raising Royalty. "He's matured a lot and he's much better now. He still has his little things he needs to work on, but he's got tons of speed and he's way handier than last year." Wednesday's win was the fourth in four sophomore starts for Raising Royalty, who also swept his elimination and the final of the City of London Trotting Series at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Stephen Bossence of London trains the Royalty For Life son for Stephen Palermo of Etobicoke, ON. The other division went to E L Titan son Gold Edition, who was steered to a 1:58.3 score over Priceless Ruler and Herbs Journey by Alfie Carroll of Iona Station, ON. Carroll crafted the win for trainer Blair Burgess and his wife Karin Olsson Burgess of Campbellville, ON and their co-owner Stirling Fisher of Waterloo, ON. The three-year-old trotting colts will make their second Grassroots start of the season at Clinton Raceway on June 23. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on July 3 with the second Gold Series event for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Complete results from Wednesday night's program are available at     OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit:   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

JUNE 4, 2019 - Ontario's three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will be the stars of Grand River Raceway's opening night, this Wednesday, June 5, competing in four $22,800 harness racing divisions. Trainer-driver Dagfin Henriksen will send The Great Farini after a share of the purse in the third division and the Guelph, ON resident is hoping the colt extends the consistent run that has seen him finish in the top three in seven of 10 lifetime starts. "He never raced last year; he grew so much we just turned him out. He came around this year real nice and he developed into a fairly nice racehorse," said Henriksen, who shares ownership of The Great Farini with Barry McClennan of Cavan, ON. "He's been pretty much on the board almost every start and he's getting better and learning. He just started out this year, but he's starting to get the hang of it I think." The colt heads into Wednesday's test looking to atone for an early miscue in the City of London Trotting Series Final at The Raceway at Western Fair District on May 31, where he was sent off as the favourite after an impressive runner-up effort from the outside Post 7 in his May 24 elimination. That result was the second straight race in which The Great Farini had demonstrated an ability to hustle off the starting gate from an outside post and the colt will have to put that skill to work again on Wednesday as he starts from Post 8 in the fourth race. "Sometimes you draw better, sometimes you draw worse," said the pragmatic Henriksen. "He can leave good and get off the gate, so I think he'll be able to get a good position in the race." Henriksen expects to make regular trips to the popular Elora, ON oval this summer from his base at the First Line Training Centre outside of Guelph. The native of Norway is currently training 16 horses, including a group of two and three-year-olds he hopes to race in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. "I like racing at Grand River, it's a nice track," said Henriksen. "And some horses can't go on the 'A' track, they just can't handle the bigger track and you bring them to the small tracks, and Grand River is definitely a good option for me because it's not far away." The Great Farini and his peers will show off their skills in Races 1, 2, 4 and 7 on Wednesday night, with the first division getting under way at 6:30 pm. A complete program for Wednesday's opening night is available at and fans unable to get to Grand River Raceway can watch the trotters compete at In addition to Wednesday's opening night event, Grand River Raceway will also host three additional Grassroots events and four Gold Series Legs this season. A complete schedule is attached below and can also be found at   Grand River Raceway Race Date Post Time Age/Sex/Gait Race Type           Wednesday, June 5 6:30 pm 3-year-old Colt Trot Grassroots Series           Wednesday, July 3 6:30 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Gold Leg           Wednesday, July 24 6:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Trot Gold Leg           Monday, Aug. 5 12:30 pm 3-year-old Colt Pace Grassroots Series           Wednesday, Aug. 14 6:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Pace Gold Leg           Wednesday, Sept. 4 6:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Trot Grassroots Series           Monday, Sept. 9 6:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Pace Grassroots Series           Monday, Sept. 23 6:30 pm 2-year-old Colt Trot Gold Leg OSS Program Information   For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit:   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park      

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway's 16th harness racing season kicks off Wednesday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. Opening night launches with Grand River Raceway's popular Local Biz Night event where 120 guests from 22 local businesses will be wined and dined for the evening. Local Biz Night guests will be also be paired with a horse from Race #7. Guests will meet their horses in the barn and cheer them home to the finish line. The race card also includes four Grassroots divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts. Fun & Frivolity Friday Race Night returns this year with the fan-favourite Drive A Racehorse event included most Friday race nights. Guests of all ages can sign-up the night-of at the Tarmac Booth to experience the thrill of driving a racehorse (accompanied by a professional) on the racetrack. All Fun & Frivolity Friday Race Nights also include a live trackside broadcast with 107.5 DAVE ROCKS, an extended Tarmac Show between the races and The Neighbourhood kids' activity area in the new Homestretch Tent. Visitors to Grand River Raceway will notice some changes to the facility as Elements Casino undergoes renovations. The Guest Care Counter, as well as betting windows and TV monitors for viewing the races, have been temporarily relocated to the new 3,200 sq. ft. First Turn Tent, located beside the Lighthouse Restaurant. During this time, temporary signage and site maps have been installed to help guests find their way around the facility. Beginning this fall, Grand River Raceway will also be undergoing renovations of its own. The $4 million project will include an expanded Lighthouse Restaurant and Ship In barn that will house a new simulcast lounge, expanded kitchen and event space, administration offices, and a maintenance shop. Renovations are expected to begin in October and be completed by June, 2020. Renovation designs for $4 million expansion, slated to begin October 2019 "We are thrilled to begin another season of racing here at Grand River," said Jamie Martin, Director Of Operations. "We look forward to sharing our exciting future plans for the facility with our guests." Live harness racing is featured on most Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights from June 5 through September 27. Details about dinner reservations for the $20.99 Race Night Buffet can be found online. Other special racing events include the fifth annual Ren's Pets Wiener Dog Races (July 5) and the 29th Industry Day horse racing celebration featuring the Battle Of Waterloo (August 5). Grand River Raceway's 10-race program for June 5 will be available here (by June 3) and streaming video will be available starting at 6:00 p.m. Parking and admission are always free. Kelly Spencer

January 29, 2019 - A group of Ontario's signature race tracks - Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway and The Raceway at Western Fair District - have jointly announced a new ownership integrity stakes condition which will take effect on February 15, 2019 and will apply to some of the province's most high profile races. Those races include the Confederation Cup, Earl Rowe Memorial, Battle of Waterloo, Battle of the Belles and Camluck Classic, all administered by the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) which implemented a similar stakes condition on January 1st of this year. The new stakes condition, which has received the approval of both the AGCO and COSA, is listed below in its entirety: The Tracks Any owner who participates in an added money or invitational event with a purse greater than $50,000 and administered by Woodbine Entertainment Group on behalf of Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, The Raceway at Western Fair District, and/or Grand River Raceway with a trainer who has an outstanding Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test under appeal in any jurisdiction, shall be ineligible to participate as an owner in any of the below added money or invitational events for 12 months following the trainer's conviction, if such trainer is later found guilty relating to the Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test. (The above condition is only applicable to a positive test occurring on or after February 15, 2019.) The Races Confederation Cup conducted at Flamboro Downs Earl Rowe conducted at Georgian Downs Camluck Classic conducted at the Raceway at Western Fair District Battle of Waterloo conducted at Grand River Raceway Battle of the Belles conducted at Grand River Raceway by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment          

ELORA, ON - After 22 years leading the marketing efforts for Grand River Raceway and its predecessor Elmira Raceway, Kelly Spencer is stepping aside to develop her own communications agency. Spencer joined Elmira Raceway in 1996 as the Marketing & Communications Manager. She was part of the small management team which introduced the simulcasting of the track's signal in 1997, the creation of the Battle Of Waterloo as part of the track's annual Industry Day event, and the establishment of Grand River Raceway in 2003. Both tracks have won numerous awards for innovation during her tenure, including the Lloyd Chisholm Award (presented by the Ontario Sires Stakes, for meritorious service to the industry) and an esteemed Business Excellence win in 2016 from the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, recognizing Grand River Raceway's contribution to the local tourism and hospitality industry. Spencer was also an individual recipient of the Lloyd Chisholm Award and of the Golden Pen Award, awarded by the Standardbred Media and Marketing Association (SMMA) for outstanding contributions to harness racing publicity and marketing. "I am immensely proud of the work we've accomplished at both Elmira Raceway and Grand River Raceway," said Spencer. "We're often praised within the industry for being innovative and leaders in guest service. But there are a lot of moving parts that foster the work culture which makes those achievements possible: the leadership needs to tolerate the inevitable fumbles that come with earnest efforts to try new things and different approaches," she said. "Our team has the longstanding backing of our Board Of Directors (of the Grand River Agricultural Society) and enduring guidance from former General Manager Dr. Ted Clarke and current Director Of Operations Jamie Martin. "The decision to leave Grand River Raceway has been very difficult to reconcile," said Spencer. "But it's really just a matter of mathematics. I have several side projects that I'm really jazzed about and they're requiring more of my time. I'm at the crossroads of time management and need to deviate from the usual path, otherwise, I'll always wonder what was around that bend." Spencer will continue to work with Grand River Raceway as the track becomes a client of her new venture, True Nature Communications. "While are disappointed with Kelly's decision to leave Grand River Raceway, we wish her all the best with her exciting new venture," said Jamie Martin. "We thank her for her incredible efforts in helping to make Grand River Raceway what it is today, and are pleased to continue working with her as a client of her new agency." Spencer's departure is set for mid-January. From Grand River Raceway

LONDON, ON - Sept 27 -- One of the most recognizable names on Ontario's B track circuit this season is Colin Kelly. The 25-year-old native has enjoyed a career year with over $1.2 million in earnings and 183 wins. The young reinsman began his driving career in his home province of Nova Scotia at age 19 before making his way onto the Ontario Circuit just a few years ago. As a matter of fact, it's just Kelly's second full year in the province and he was recently named Grand River Raceway's leading driver for the recently-concluded meet. "I've had a great season and very fortunate with the quality of horses I've been able to drive," Kelly said. "Obviously my success comes from the trainers and owners putting me on good horses and giving me the confidence. It's translated quite well." Kelly admits that he didn't predict his early success. "It's actually taken off faster than I originally thought. I've had to adapt to the Ontario circuit and make the necessary adjustments," he said. "It comes with experience and just trying to put horses in the right spots and take advantage of certain situations." The Guelph resident has his sights on bigger goals going forward. "I think any driver wants to advance himself onto the WEG Circuit and hopefully that time comes eventually," he said. "Obviously I'd love to go there right now for a drive or two, but for now, I'm more than happy with the work that I'm getting. It's been a great ride." Kelly hopes his success continues on Monday when The Raceway at Western Fair District begins its season. "London has been good to me this year. I always enjoy going there," he said. "I was able to pick up a lot of work earlier in the year while racing there and that translated into more work at Flamboro, Grand River and Georgian Downs. I'm looking forward to heading back to London for the fall." The Raceway will begin in another exciting season of live racing beginning on Monday (Oct. 1). The weekly Fall schedule features racing every Monday and Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. and Friday nights at 6:55 p.m. The popular wagering menu will once again feature a trio of guarantee wagers. The Pick-3 will consist of a $2,500 guarantee, while a pair of $5,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pools and a pair of Super Hi-5 wagers will be offered; all are 15 percent takeout wagers. The Super Hi-5 races will be contested at 1-1/16 miles. Customers can also enjoy a fantastic promotion at the Top Of The Fair restaurant. Every Friday in October two can dine for the price of one -- just $39.99. Grand Opening festivities are slated for next Friday, October 5th featuring the Dachshund Dash wiener dog races, draws and giveaways (including a 40' Flat Screen TV) and food specials throughout the night. For more details on the upcoming meet visit To make reservations at the Top Of The Fair, email or call 519.438.7203 (ext. 252). From Western Fair Media Department

By virtue of four wins in tournament races, Doug McNair claimed the 2018 National Driving Championship (NDC), presented by Standardbred Canada, on Wednesday night (Sept. 26) at Grand River Raceway. This was reported by Standardbred Canada/. A winner of over 3,000 races and close to $50 million in purse earnings, McNair has enjoyed recent success on both sides of the 49th, most notably with Tony Alagna trainee Stay Hungry, winner of this year's Cane Pace and Messenger after capturing the Breeders Crown last year. The Guelph, Ont. resident was also the primary driver of 2013 Shes A Great Lady winner Precocious Beauty and was Canada's Driver of the Year in 2017. "It's a big thrill," said McNair of earning the NDC title not even a week after his bid for a Triple Crown with Stay Hungry came up short in the Little Brown Jug. "Racing's got a lot of highs and lows. When you have a bad day, it makes these days a whole lot better." McNair, who was an eleventh-hour replacement for Louis-Philippe Roy in the NDC, won aboard Dry Creek Image ($32.20), Jdcyril ($9.80), Donald Doc ($12.10) and Lumiere ($2.90), and also recorded two second-place finishes and one third-place finish in the eight-race tournament. His early dominance guaranteed him the title with two races to go, and his 92 tournament points out of a possible 120 outpaced runner-up Stephane Brosseau (62) and third-place finisher Kelly Hoerdt (51). “When that horse from the eight-hole won parked the whole way, I figured I had a good shot since a lot of my better ones were later on, I thought," McNair continued. McNair will represent Canada alongside 2017 World Driving Champion James MacDonald in the 2019 World Driving Championship, to be held in Sweden next May. "I think we're gonna have a whole lot of fun; it's going to be a great time," McNair concluded. A race-by-race recap follows: Race 2: Despite being parked the entire journey, GMC Trooper ($35.00) and Kelly Hoerdt sprung a 16-1 upset to open the competition. The four-year-old Daylon Frontier gelding left for early second-over position, was left uncovered as Hashtag Hughie (Redmond Doucet) worked clear at the end of a :27.3 first quarter, and then overcame the breeze to duel Hashtag Hughie down before edging away at head-stretch for a 1:58.3 score. Invitation Todream (Doug McNair) split rivals out of traffic to finish second, while Badlands Badboy (Guy Gagnon) chased off the winner's cover to take third. Trainer George Large co-owns GMC Trooper with Michael Doersam; the pair also bred the two-time winner. Race 3: Not only did Dry Creek Image ($32.20) and Doug McNair overcome the outside post 8 and a sustained first-over grind, but they also battled back in the lane after being headed by runner-up Apple Tart Hanover (Redmond Doucet) to narrowly claim the second of eight NDC races. The four-year-old Rockin Image mare was left uncovered five-sixteenths in as Lady Everlong (Guy Gagnon) cleared amid a contested early pace, and she worked on to apply pressure at the :57.4 half-mile station. Dry Creek Image dueled to a narrow lead with five-sixteenths to go, but had to brace for the three-wide challenge of Apple Tart Hanover, who angled off third-over cover to make her sweeping bid. While Apple Tart Hanover claimed the lead at head-stretch and started to extend to a length, Dry Creek Image battled back to just nose out her outside rival in 1:59.3. Rousey Ronda (Kelly Hoerdt) circled belatedly down the grandstand side to take third. "I knew I had the best horse in the race, but the trip didn't work out at all," said McNair. "Down the lane, I thought I was going to be second. From the eight-hole, you just try to get as many points as you can, but the win certainly helps." Trainer Daniel Martin co-owns eight-time winner Dry Creek Image with Gilles Tremblay. Race 4: Jdcyril ($9.80) and Doug McNair defied a presser-stalker bias and stole the third NDC race on the front, rating a comfortable :59 middle half en route to a 1:56.4 score. The four-year-old Carlspur gelding cleared Prince Adiran (Stephane Brosseau) on his way to a :27.4 first quarter, and then immediately backed down the pace through the middle stages of the race before sprinting away at the eighth pole. Prince Adiran held second, while Melanies Magic (Redmond Doucet) rallied three-wide off failing cover to save third. Randy Van Meer trains seven-time winner Jdcyril for Donna Van Leer. Race 5: A sweeping last-to-first push from Donald Doc ($12.10) gave Doug McNair a third straight win in the NDC and a hefty lead at the turn. After Sheldonthepsychic (Jamie Gray) controlled early fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:26.4, McNair pointed the five-year-old Big Band John gelding four-wide into the final turn, and the pair made ground immediately. "In the last turn, I figured I had a decent shot," McNair said after the race. In fact, Donald Doc was able to chase down Face Of War (Stephane Brosseau), who circled from third-over to take the lead nearing head-stretch. Donald Doc lunged to just reach at the winning post in 1:57. Face Of War was second, while Little Clayt (Kelly Hoerdt) was third off a ground-saving tirp. "I've just got to pick away at it, and I figure I'll be successful," McNair continued. "The more you win, the better you drive." Trainer Don Beatson co-owns 11-time winner Donald Doc with Cole England and Ken Beatson. Race 6: A pillar-to-post effort from odds-on favourite Mollie McGeoch ($3.70) gave Maritimer Gilles Barrieau his first win of the tournament. "She was the best one that I've driven tonight so far," Barrieau said of the four-year-old Badlands Hanover mare. "I was looking forward to her coming up, because things haven't been that great." Mollie McGeoch and Barrieau protected the lead from the pole and seated Im Rylan (Trevor Henry) into the pocket through a :27.2 quarter. The two-mare breakaway held separation over a struggling second flight through middle fractions of :57.2 and 1:26.4 and, despite late deceleration to the end of a 1:58 mile, crossed the line one-two. Eataams Trauma (Doug McNair) rallied mildly to just nab Cold Creek Lacey (Stephane Brosseau) for third. Bud Sinclair trains four-time winner Mollie McGeoch for Linda Richardson and Lindsey Sinclair. The win lifted Barrieau from sixth into a share of third with Brosseau, but McNair maintains a 26-point lead over Kelly Hoerdt. Race 7: Larjon Legacy ($15.40) and Guy Gagnon split leavers to secure the lead, controlled a comfortable middle half, and turned aside steady first-over pressure from So Bananas (Kelly Hoerdt) on the final turn en route to a 1:58.1 victory. After edging clear of So Bananas, the three-year-old Mister Big Filly held her ground to the winning post to hold off Falls Creek (Doug McNair) by half a length. The runner-up finish was enough to put McNair out of reach of Hoerdt, who faded to also-ran status. Greg Campbell owns and trains six-time winner Larjon Legacy. Race 8: Lumiere ($2.90) gave Doug McNair his fourth win in the NDC, battling back in the stretch after being headed by Little Turk (Stephane Brosseau) to take the penultimate leg of the tournament in 1:58.1. The nine-year-old Lis Mara gelding had no trouble clearing Highland Bogart (Redmond Doucet) into the first turn and hung Stonebridge Bettor (Kelly Hoerdt) out through early fractions of :28.2 and :59.1. After his first-over challenger stalled with three-eighths to go, Lumiere braced for the bold three-wide challenge of Little Turk. The pair passed three-quarters in 1:29, and Little Turk worked to a narrow lead on the final turn. Off the home corner, Lumiere dug back in and reached to win by a widening length. Little Turk was second, while Highland Bogart (Redmond Doucet) chased from the pocket for third. "I thought I had an average card, to be honest," McNair said of his thoughts coming into the night's tournament. "Once he made it there, I didn't want to give it up to anybody." McNair's lead expanded to 40 points with a race to go, while Brosseau passed Kelly Hoerdt for second by way of his runner-up finish in the race. Patrick Shepherd trains 35-time winner Lumiere for Carl Kuepfer. Race 9: April Bandit ($10.80) and Stephane Brosseau parlayed a pocket trip to take the final NDC race in 1:58. After drafting behind So Long Sugar (Guy Gagnon) through splits of :28, :57.4 and 1:27.3, Brosseau moved the nine-year-old Real Artist mare off the pegs at the top of the stretch. The pair edged away to prevail in the final 40 yards, while Mighty Mouse (Kelly Hoerdt) saved ground and hooked wide in the stretch to take third. "I'm very happy about it," said Brosseau of his runner-up finish in the NDC. "To be beaten by Doug McNair, I don't think it's a bad thing. Being second with all these good drivers is surely a nice feeling. It doesn't matter the age, you try to improve yourself. I really like the way I'm driving right now; it's fun. I want to always do better, and I think there's a couple years left where I can be as good as I am now." Steve Coulter owns and trains April Bandit, now a 28-time winner. The final NDC standings are as follows: 1. Doug McNair - 92 2. Stephane Brosseau - 62 3. Kelly Hoerdt - 51 4. Guy Gagnon - 43 5. Gilles Barrieau - 40 6. Redmond Doucet - 38 7. Trevor Henry - 29 8. Jamie Gray - 21 The National Driving Championship was an eight-race event and drivers earn points based upon their finishing positions. Drivers were able to have input into the horses they will be driving as a hockey pool style “draft” was conducted Friday for them to choose their horses in each race before the post position draw was made. Eight drivers from across the country qualified in four regional events co-ordinated by Standardbred Canada and congregated in Elora, Ont. for the event. To view Wednesday's harness racing results, click the following link: Wednesday Results – Grand River Raceway.

Canadian harness racing history was rewritten at Grand River Raceway for the second time this season as Ontario's top two-year-old trotting colts and geldings gathered at the Elora oval for Gold Series action on Monday evening. Five of the six top-ranked trotters in the division squared off in the second $64,800 Gold division and delivered a performance worthy of the pre-race hype. Fan favourite Dream Nation went straight to the front from Post 1 and led the field of six to a :28.3 opening quarter. Coming off the second turn driver Bob McClure moved Forbidden Trade into the outer lane from fourth and the pair pressed Dream Nation through a :59.1 half and a 1:27.3 three-quarters. Matching strides turning for home, Dream Nation and Forbidden Trade battled all the way to the wire with Forbidden Trade getting a neck in front in 1:56.4. Southwind Avenger finished third. The 1:56.4 mile was a track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record for Forbidden Trade. The previous OSS and Canadian record for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on a half-mile track was 1:57.4, set by Daylon Magician at Flamboro Downs in 2010. In August two-year-old pacing colt Stag Party also lowered the track, OSS and Canadian record in a Gold Series event at Grand River. "I was very impressed tonight, the way he did that, you know, first over. He never quit," said trainer Luc Blais. "He trained good this week, and I had a good feeling for tonight, but I knew we had a big division, there were lots of good horses in that race." Bob McClure piloted the son of Kadabra and former OSS star Pure Ivory to the win for Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec. In seven lifetime starts Forbidden Trade, a $110,000 yearling purchase, now has five wins, three of them in Gold Series action, and sits atop the division standings with 158 points. "He's been that good all year," said McClure. "I thought he was one of the best colts, if not the best, all year. He hasn't done much wrong this year. Every week he's coming late, coming late, coming late, and I don't think I've seen him get tired yet." Elora resident McClure was back in the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle after the third $65,600 division with Only For Justice, who went straight to the front from Post 4 and never relinquished the lead on the way to a 1:57.3 personal best. Fan favourite Fingals Wave and Gold Edition were seven lengths back in second and third. Dany Fontaine trains Only For Justice for owner-breeder Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. The win was the Justice Hall son's third straight, coming on the heels of a pair of victories in the second leg and final of the Quebec Breeders Cup at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres. With breaks in two of his three previous Gold Series starts, Only For Justice has accumulated 58 points and currently sits ninth in the point race. The top 10 point earners will advance to the $225,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 13. "He wants to race. He gets around a half so handy and he can leave the gate so fast, this place is his bread and butter," said McClure. "He's a very fast horse though. He deserves to be in the Super Final for sure." The trotting colts set the speed bar high right from the start Monday as Knight Angel and driver Sylvain Filion equalled the previous two-year-old trotting colt and gelding record with a 1:58.1 effort in the first $65600 division. Fan favourite Royal Rob took early command and led the field to a :29.2 quarter and 1:00 half before feeling the pressure from Knight Angel. The colts duelled through a 1:29.1 three-quarters before Knight Angel dug in to catch the leader by a neck in the stretch. While Your Up was four lengths back in third. Freelton resident Shane Arsenault trains Knight Angel for his partners Justin Fisher of Cambridge, Gary Leeming of Simcoe and Guiseppe Mascia of Mississauga, Ontario. The win was the first in six starts for the son of Archangel and Dream Taker, who struggled with breaks throughout the early stages of his career. With one win and two seconds in Gold action, Knight Angel moved into fourth spot in the standings with one regular season event remaining. The two-year-old trotting colts will make their fifth and final regular season Gold Series appearance at Woodbine Mohawk Park on October 4. Grand River Raceway wraps up its 2018 season this Wednesday, Sept. 26 with the National Driving Championship. Post time for Wednesday's program is 6:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

ELORA, ON - Harness racing driver Colin Kelly and trainer Patrick Shepherd were recognized as the top performers of 2018 at Grand River Raceway on Monday night. Both Kelly and Shepherd are celebrating their first titles at the Elora, ON track. Kelly, 25, is enjoying a career-best season. In 2018, he has driven horses to purse earnings of $1.2 million and notched 182 wins, which lists him 7th in the nation. He's currently ranked in the season's top five at four other Ontario tracks. At Grand River Raceway specifically, he has 54 wins from 250 starts and $286,581 in purses. He is a career winner of 477 races and $2.1 million. Patrick Shepherd sent forward 21 winners from 99 starts at Grand River Raceway this season for earnings of $96,446. This year is a career best for Shepherd, ranking second for wins (149) and fifth for UTR (.336) in the Canadian standings. He's also currently the season leader at Flamboro Downs and was second in the trainer standings at Georgian Downs. Grand River Raceway hosted three Ontario Sires Stakes divisions of two-year-old trotting colts on Monday night, where a new record-setter emerged in race five. Sent off at 5-1, Forbidden Trade powered home to win by a neck over race favourite Dream Nation in 1:56.4. The mark bests the former track record of 1:58.1 and the all-time Canadian record (also an Ontario Sires Stakes record) of 1:57.4 set in 2010 by Daylon Magician at Flamboro Downs. Forbidden Trade is a two-year-old son of Kadabra out of millionaire champion Pure Ivory. He was a $110,000 yearling purchase for Determination of Montreal, QC and has now earned $115,000 with five wins from seven starts. He is trained by Luc Blais. Grand River Raceway's 2018 live harness racing season concludes on Wednesday when the track hosts the National Driving Championship. Post time is 6:30 p.m. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway

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