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AUGUST 26, 2018 - Driver Chris Christoforou swept the three-year-old trotting filly Grassroots event at Grand River Raceway on Monday evening, capturing all three divisions, two for trainer Lyle MacArthur and the other for his father, Chris Christoforou, Sr. The Campbellville resident kicked off his successful evening with MacArthur trainee Zorgwijk Sophia in the second race. Starting from Post 7 the pair fired away from the starting gate and were rolling up on early leader Hay Darlene soon after the :28.3 opening quarter. Once they reached the front, Christoforou and Zorgwijk Sophia cruised through a :58.2 half and 1:29.1 three-quarters before opening up to a three and one-half length victory in 1:59. Hay Darlene followed the fan favourites to a second-place finish and Dalliance Seelster was third. "I was concerned having the seven-hole, but was lucky to float out and find a spot on the rail close to the front," said Christoforou. "Coming to the quarter I decided to remove her and she cleared easily. From there she was basically on cruise control and won handily." The victory was the Majestic Son daughter's first in Grassroots action, but extended a recent win streak to four. She has been on a roll at Woodbine Mohawk Park this month, posting wins on August 2, 13 and 20, including a personal best 1:56.2 in her August 13 victory. "She's actually surprised me a little bit lately, because she's getting a little stronger and she's finishing her miles better," said MacArthur, who trains Zorgwijk Sophia for Linda Wellwood of St. George Brant and Tammy Aspden of Caistor Centre, Ontario. "She win a Gold last year, but she just got lucky, she was in with some good trotting fillies and they all made breaks. I always thought she was probably a Grassrooter, but she didn't start off this year that good. She just didn't seem like she had much pop to her, but the last while she's started to bounce back." With one win, one second, one sixth and one seventh in the first four Grassroots events Zorgwijk Sophia currently has 80 points, putting her in fifth spot in the division standings with one regular season event remaining. Stablemate Ezee Tiguan also got a confident steer from Christoforou in the second $18,800 division. Powering away from Post 7 they rang up fractions of :29.2, 1:00.2, and 1:31.2 on the way to a two and three-quarter length victory in 2:00.4. Pocket-sitter Miller Time was second while fan favourite Stormont Charlotte settled for third after making an early break in stride. "She has great gate speed," said Christoforou. "She can be a bit headstrong and wanted to keep going when she cleared, but thankfully, after some gentle persuasion, she came back to me and rated nicely from there. She loves the half-mile track." Monday's victory was Ezee Tiguan's second in Grassroots action and puts her firmly in control of the division standings with 133 points. Linda Wellwood and Tammy Aspden also own the daughter of Angus Hall, who MacArthur admits has not reached the heights he envisioned for her earlier in the season. "Halfway through the year I thought she was a way better horse than Sophia, but Sophia has kind of caught up and Ezee really didn't step ahead," said the trainer. "I really thought she'd get to be a 1:55 trotter, like over Mohawk, and she just didn't step up that extra." Both Ezee Tiguan and Zorgwijk Sophia may be absent from the fifth and final regular season Grassroots event on September 6 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, as MacArthur is considering taking one run at the Gold Series fillies when they head to the half-mile oval at The Raceway at Western Fair District on October 2. "They both are going to have a shot at making the final I think, for the Grassroots, so I am looking at that for sure, the Semi-Final and then the Final. But I am debating whether to skip the last Grassroots and maybe go in the last Gold at London, which is on a half-mile racetrack," explained MacArthur. "Some of the big trotting mares don't get around the track very good and some of them won't even go there, so I am debating about doing that. Maybe skip the last Grassroots and take a shot in the Gold with the pair of them." Christoforou finished off his Grassroots hat trick with Hopes Solo in the last $19,150 division, going gate-to-wire from Post 1. The heavy favourites cruised home one and one-half lengths ahead of Melanie G in 2:01. Impressively Done was five lengths behind the leader in third. "All the credit for Hopes Solo has to go to my wife Camilla," said the driver. "She is a flighty filly with a few quirks and Camilla worked with her all winter and spring, through to the summer, and the filly has excelled because of her hard work. "She had the rail, left well, got the lead and never looked back," he continued. "It was an uneventful trip and I was grateful for that. She won handily and, more importantly, behaved herself. Hopefully she'll continue to be productive for the rest of the season." The win was Hopes Solo's first in Grassroots action and her second straight; she logged her first lifetime victory in overnight action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 20. Chris Christoforou, Sr. conditions the Cornaro Dasolo daughter for Carolyn Polillo of Brantford. With one win and one second for 75 points, Hopes Solo is also poised to advance to the September 21 Semi-Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The top 20 point earners will advance to the $20,000 Semi-Finals, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final moving on to the $50,000 Final, also at Woodbine Mohawk Park, on September 29. Next on Grand River Raceway's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, who will wrap up their Grassroots regular season over the Elora oval on Wednesday, September 12. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

AUGUST 15, 2018 - On Wednesday evening the top two-year-old pacing colts and fillies in Ontario made Grand River Raceway their stage for the second straight week, and Stag Party wrote his name in lights with a commanding track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record performance in the second Gold division. Starting from the advantageous Post 1, Stag Party moved smartly off the gate and parked Battle of Waterloo champion Bronx Seelster through a :26.3 quarter. When Bronx Seelster finally backed into the pocket driver David Miller took his foot off the gas and Stag Party cruised to a :55.4 half and a 1:24.3 three-quarters. In the stretch Miller asked the fan favourite to pick up the tempo once again, and Stag Party drew away to a five length victory in 1:52.3. Bronx Seelster finished second and Stag Party's stablemate in the Casie Coleman barn was third. "I wasn't expecting to break the track record with him, but I thought he'd be pretty good," said Coleman. "I wasn't expecting that kind of a mile, but he did it well in hand and Dave hardly had to speak to him much finishing, so I was real happy with him." The 1:52.3 mile shaved two-fifths of a second off the 1:53 track and Canadian record set by two-year-old pacing colt Tarpon Hanover in the 2012 Battle of Waterloo Final and took a full second off the 1:53.3 Ontario Sires Stakes record for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings on a half-mile track established by Warrawee Needy at Flamboro Downs in 2011. Coleman conditions the son of Bettors Delight and My Lady Day for her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, John Fielding of Toronto, Mac Nichol of Burlington and McKinlay & Fielding of Toronto, Ontario. The partners acquired the colt for $125,000 at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale and have watched him record three wins and one second through his first four starts, banking $113,900. Stag Party will make his next start in the August 25 Nassagaweya Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park and, as long as he continues to impress his connections, will follow that up with several more starts against the best young horses in North America. "He's got the four big ones at Mohawk next, the Nassagaweya, Champlain and the Metro, so he'll be gearing up for those ones next," said Cambridge resident Coleman. "I might have to dodge a couple of those Ontario Sires Stakes, just with how busy his schedule is going to be. I'll play it by ear when we get up closer to it." Miller made the trip to Grand River specifically to drive Stag Party, to get a feel for the colt before they head into the open stake events, and the New Jersey resident was pleased with the youngster. "I was really impressed with him. I told them, when I got off the bike, I said I'll be there when he races next week. That's a pretty good stamp of approval," said Miller with a chuckle. "He left the gate very well and his manners were good and I'm excited about him. I baby raced probably 500 babies this year and I had to go all the way to Canada to get one like that." The other $96,400 pacing colt Gold division was captured by Battle of Waterloo runner-up Bettors Wish, who cruised home to a two and one-half length victory in 1:55. Keystone Concrete finished second and Coleman trainee Better Up was promoted from fourth to third when his stablemate Sporty Mcsportster, in rein to Miller, suffered interference in the stretch from eventual third-place finisher Sports Teen. As a result, Sports Teen was placed from third down to sixth, behind Sporty Mcsportster. Guelph resident Paul MacDonell piloted fan favourite Bettors Wish to his second Gold win for trainer Chantal Mitchell and owners Chris Ryder of Allentown, New Jersey, Bella Racing Ltd. of Delaware, Ohio, Fair Island Farm Inc. of Versailles, Kentucky and Kenneth Solomon of Coral Springs, Florida. The Bettors Delight son was a $20,000 purchase from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and has posted four wins, one second, one third and earnings of $185,438 in his first six starts. Trainer Dave Menary and driver Jody Jamieson swept the $97,200 pacing filly divisions with Battle of the Belles champion Quebec Blue Cup and runner-up Ideation Hanover. Both fillies controlled the tempo from start to finish, with Ideation Hanover cruising from Post 1 to a 1:55 victory in the first split. Kylie Seelster finished one length behind the fan favourite in second and Menary trainee Blossom Onthebeach was third. Menary Racing Inc. of Rockton, Michael Guerriero of Brampton and Alan Alber of Thornhill, Ontario share ownership of Ideation Hanover. The Bettors Delight daughter was a $50,000 acquisition from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale and boasts a record of two wins, two seconds, one third and $101,600 through five starts. Quebec Blue Chip romped to her third straight victory over the Grand River oval, pacing under the wire seven lengths ahead of favourite Sweet Young Thing and Crisp Mane in 1:56. Menary Racing Inc., Michael Guerriero, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown and Bruce Norris of Caledon East own the Sportswriter daughter, who was a $40,000 purchase from Harrisburg. Through six starts she now has four wins, one second and one third for earnings of $167,488. "I kind of figured both fillies would be on the front, and that's the way it worked," said Menary, who will also give the fillies a chance to test their skills against the best in North American in the upcoming Eternal Camnation Stake at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 25. "In the last couple weeks I think they've earned the opportunity," said the horseman. "Hopefully they can carry this, translate it to the bigger track." The two-year-old pacing colts and fillies will return to Gold Series action on September 28 at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the fourth of five regular season events. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Grand River Raceway on Monday, August 27 with the fourth Grassroots event for the three-year-old trotting fillies. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway marked its 28th annual Industry Day Horse Racing Celebration on August 6. The event featured 11 races totaling $565,855 in purses, including the track's biggest races, the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles. 21st annual Battle Of Waterloo Nine of the best freshman two-year-old colts headed to battle this afternoon at Grand River Raceway. Amidst rain showers and overcast weather, Bronx Seelster parted the skies to win the $262,000 Battle Of Waterloo. Having drawn the trailing position of post nine, Bronx Seelster and Trevor Henry followed Prestige Seelster (Bob McClure) off the wings and landed fourth behind Wager On Me (Jody Jamieson) and Twin B Watching (Doug McNair). Wager On Me put up quarter fractions in a quick :27.1 as Twin B Watching pocket-pulled to lead the field to the half in :55.1 as Bronx Seelster came with the first-up attack to clear and lead his foes to the three-quarters in 1:24.1 with Bettors Wish (Paul MacDonnell) in pursuit. Stride for stride to the head of the stretch, Bronx Seelster and Bettors Wish dueled to the finish line with Bronx Seelster putting a neck in front of Bettors Wish to win in 1:53.1, narrowly missing Tarpon Hanover's 1:53 track record set in 2012. Wayne McGean trains the two-year-old son of Big Jim and celebrates his first Battle Of Waterloo victory with a colt who has now surpassed $225,000 in six starts. The $22,000 yearling has now returned his yearling price 10 times over for owners Capers 3 Stables of Sydney, NS. The victory was also the third win of the card and the first Battle Of Waterloo score for driver Trevor Henry. 10th annual Battle Of The Belles Trainer Dave Menary scored his third Battle Of The Belles title in a favored victory with Quebec Blue Chip and driver Jody Jamieson. The Sportswriter daughter fronted the field through fractions of :28, :57.2, and 1:26.2 for a mile time of 1:55.1 in the $163,840 race. Menary also trains the runner-up in the race, Ideation Hanover (James MacDonald). Powerful Chris (Bob McClure) was an elimination division winner last week and put forth a persistent first-up battle against front-facing Quebec Blue Chip, but faded to fifth in the later going. Track Records The 28th Industry Day undercard also featured two track record performances. Neon Moon set a new best for three-year-old pacing fillies during the second of four Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions, coasting to a five-length victory in 1:52.4 for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Jack Darling. The score bumps aside the 1:53.1 record set in 2013. At 8-1, Cousin Mary and Trevor Henry also lowered the aged pacing mares' track record to 1:53 after holding off Butter Milk Hanover and Bob McClure in race six. The clocking replaces five ties of the former 1:53.2 mark which was first established in 2013. OHHA Best Of Show The Best Of Show competition sponsored, by the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA), awarded $1,500 to the caretakers of horses racing on the Industry Day card. Fifteen prizes of $100 were presented to the top five in each of the following categories: Best Of Show Head-To-Toe; Horse & Groom; Above & Beyond (braids, sparkles, etc.). The winners were: Al Shelton, Emelia Svensson, Jennifer Harding, Steven Samis, Karen Laarman, Kathryn Gilfoy, Katie Graham, Kendal Middleton, Kim O' Reilly, Korina McLean, Lisa Mutter, Marie Brooking, Mary Lou Gingras, Robert Alliett, Steve Quinn and Susie McNair. Young Guns Race Six harness racing proteges took to the racetrack with their ponies (and accompanying drivers) in the Young Guns Race. Quinton was the race winner in the five-horse race, driven by Eric Lachance with help from his mother Marielle Enberg. Bouncy Pony Stakes Grand River Raceway's current leading driver, Colin Kelly, posted the biggest upset of the afternoon, defeating multiple Bouncy Pony Stakes champion James MacDonald in the 14th edition of the Industry Day fan favourite. MacDonald and fellow competitors J. Harris and Bob McClure cooled off the victor with a surprise tub of ice water during his trophy presentation. Garage Sale The Industry Day Garage Sale raised a total of $774.00 for the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame, Standardbred Showcase and Racing Under Saddle Ontario. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway

AUGUST 6, 2018 - Ontario's talented three-year-old pacing fillies were part of Grand River Raceway's annual Industry Day celebrations on Monday and Neon Moon set the tone for the afternoon's festivities with a track record effort in the first $18,800 Grassroots division. From Post 5 driver Jody Jamieson sent Neon Moon straight to the lead and the fan favourite reeled off fractions of :26.4, 55.4 and 1:24.1 before opening up to a five length victory in 1:52.4. Hello Love and Askmysecretary finished second and third. The mile took two-fifths of a second off the former sophomore pacing filly track record, first set by Seaside Rory in 2012 and equalled by L A Delight in 2016. "She was really sharp going into the race, but you just, on a half-mile track you just kind of hold your breath a bit," said trainer Jack Darling, who also owns the daughter of Sportswriter. Monday's victory was Neon Moon's second straight, but her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action this season. In her first two Grassroots starts she finished third. A four-time Grassroots winner at two, Neon Moon may have earned herself a shot at the Gold Series fillies with the track record performance. "She's been racing Grassroots, but she's just kind of borderline Gold, so we might give her a shot," noted Cambridge, Ontario resident Darling. In the second division fan favourite Katniss S BG overcame the outside Post 8 to earn her second straight Grassroots victory. In rein to Louis Philippe Roy, Katniss S BG left sharply and was able to settle in behind the fans' second choice Falls Creek as she rolled through fractions of :27.2, 58.2 and 1:27.1. In the stretch Roy asked the Mach Three daughter for another gear and Katniss S BG sprinted by the pacesetter to record a half-length victory in 1:55.4. Falls Creek settled for second and Princess Abie W was third. "I wanted to leave, not to be too far away with her, and then I see Robert was on the lead. I thought he was going to try and have my cover and follow me, but I knew he was also the second best, like the one to beat, so I was even more happy just to get in behind him, following him," said Roy. "So Post 8 before the race was a little bit of a concern, but it ended up having the perfect trip. "I thought maybe he could have stretched me a little bit then sit behind me, and he might have a shot at beating me, but the way it turned out was perfect for me," the driver added. Roy piloted Katniss S BG to the win for trainer Richard Moreau and owner-breeders Sylvain Descheneaux and Gaston Bibeau of Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. It was the filly's third straight victory and her fourth in 10 starts this season. Lifelong Dream earned her first-ever Grassroots victory in the third division with a come-from-behind effort from Post 5. After leading the charge on pacesetter Cardiff in the outer lane, Lifelong Dream dug in down the stretch to score a head victory in 1:54.1. Machnhope was second and Sharks Summrshandy was third. Dean Nixon trains Lifelong Dream for owner-breeder Greg Merlo of Glencoe, Ontario and the horseman was delighted to see the filly record her first Grassroots win after a pair of runner-up finishes. "She's kind like of a little dream come true for him. He's always just had his own horses that have raced on the B tracks and this is the first time he's had a horse that was capable of racing in stakes competition," Nixon explained. "When we first got her, she's very small and I didn't think much of her. I wasn't overly optimistic and she's just been a pleasant surprise. "We give her time between starts, we don't over race her, and he doesn't mind that, he wants what is in her best interests all the time," the horseman continued. "I'm really happy that these people have been so fortunate, that this little horse has produced so well. It's a little dream come true for them and it's nice to be a part of that." Bob McClure piloted Lifelong Dream to the win, the filly's second in 13 sophomore starts. In the last Grassroots division driver Trevor Henry copied McClure's come-from-behind tactics with Cabowabocuttie, easing away from Post 7, powering up the outer lane and battling hard in the stretch for a one-half length victory in 1:56.2. Pacesetter and fan favourite Sunday Afternoon settled for second and I Shadow U was third. "When I seen we had the seven-hole I thought oh dear, but she overcome it," said owner Bill Manes of Rockwood, Ontario. "She tries; small but mighty." Gerald Lilley conditions Big Jim daughter Cabowabocuttie, who started her season at the Gold Series level, logging one third and one ninth. Monday's victory was her second straight, and her third on the season. The fillies served as the opening act for the $163,840 Battle of the Belles and the $262,315 Battle of Waterloo finals. Quebec Blue Chip delivered a commanding front-end effort to capture the two-year-old pacing filly event, stopping the teletimer at 1:55.1 for driver Jody Jamieson, trainer Dave Menary and owners Menary Racing Inc. of Rockton, Michael Guerriero of Brampton, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown and Bruce Norris of Caledon East, Ontario. The filly's stablemate Ideation Hanover was second and Village Joules was third. Two-year-old pacing colt Bronx Seelster captured the Battle of Waterloo with a gritty effort that saw him fight back in the stretch when rival Bettors Wish got a head in front. The fan favourite hit the wire a neck in front of Bettors Wish in 1:53.1 with Sports Teen third. Arthur, Ontario resident Trevor Henry piloted the Big Jim son to his fourth straight win for trainer Wayne McGean and owners Capers 3 Stable of Sydney, Nova Scotia. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON - A total of seven elimination dashes on July 30 decided the finalists for Grand River Raceway's feature races on its 28th Industry Day event (August 6 at 12:30). Battle of Waterloo From three divisions of the nation's best freshman colts, nine have advanced to this Monday's $262,000 final of the Battle of Waterloo. Leaving from post number six will be Bettors Wish, a Bettors Delight colt who not only won his elimination, but demolished the current Canadian season record for two-year-old pacing colts on a half-mile track, winning in 1:54.3. Having already tripled his yearling price of $20,000, trainer Chantal Mitchell will seek her first Battle victory. If Bettors Wish was able to succeed in next week's final, Mitchell would also be the first female trainer to hold victory of the Battle Of Waterloo. Winning his elimination dash by a head, Bettors Wish was able to fend off a closing Sports Teen who will leave from post four for trainer Paul Reid, also seeking his first Battle Of Waterloo win. The Battle of Waterloo Final will also see Bronx Seelster, the maritime invader who has been ultra-impressive since moving west. Trainer Wayne McGean will send out the Big Jim colt from post nine as McGean seeks his first Battle of Waterloo victory. Bronx Seelster was missionized early by driver Trevor Henry from post seven while the tandem posted fractions of 27.2, 58.1, 1:27.1 for a mile time of 1:55.1 in a length and a quarter victory over Wager On Me who also advances to the final for the father-son duo of Jody and Carl Jamieson and will leave from post three. Heading into the final as the richest horse in the field with $94,000 banked in five starts, Bronx Seelster will have to overcome the trailing position as he starts behind Prestige Seelster (Post 1) who was second in his elimination to Blake MacIntosh trainee Better Moonon Over. MacIntosh, who won the Battle of Waterloo in 2016 with Sports Column, will look to build on a career year as he preps three colts for the final. Better Moonon Over (Post 7 in the final) won his elimination in 1:55.1 for driver Chris Christoforou who also guided MacIntosh's 2016 winner. MacIntosh will also send out Da Delightful (Post 5) and Fast N First (Post 8). Battle of Belles Through four eliminations, 33 fillies had to finish no worse than second in order to be guaranteed a spot in the $163,840 final. Trainer Dave Menary will send out two fillies, both winners of their elimination divisions, as he chases his third Battle of the Belles title. Ideation Hanover, a Bettors Delight filly who was purchased for $50,000 as a yearling, lowered the current Canadian record for two-year-old fillies on a half-mile track when she won by four lengths in 1:55. She draws post five in the final. Menary will also send out Quebec Blue Chip. The Sportswriter filly was a $40,000 yearling. She won her elimination race by five lengths in 1:55.4. Quebec Blue Chip will leave from post three in the final. Undefeated in her career thus far, Powerful Chris, will have to overcome post eight for trainer John Pentland. In the history of the Battle Of The Belles, no horse has ever won from post 8, however, Powerful Chris was able to conquer a tough first-up trip to win by a neck over Kylie Seelster who leaves from post two in the final for another father and son duo looking to score their second Battle Of The Belles title, Gregg and Doug McNair. Blake MacIntosh, who sends out three colts in the Battle Of Waterloo final, will also send forth Belles elimination winner Clearly Better, a Better Than Cheddar filly who took her elimination in 1:55.4 for driver Jonathan Drury. She will leave from Post 7 in the final. Post 9 will be the starting position of Village Joules, whose sister Village Janus won the Battle Of The Belles in 2010 for trainer Rod Therres, a co-owner in this filly. Below are the fields for the finals. Post position/Horse/Driver in Elim/Trainer $262,000 Battle Of Waterloo Post 1: Prestige Seelster  Bob McClure / Marcel Barrieau Post 2: Twin B Watching  Jody Jamieson / David Menary Post 3: Wager On Me   Jody Jamieson / Carl Jamieson Post 4: Sports Teen   Louis Philippe Roy / Paul Reid Post 5: DA Delightful   Chris Christoforou / Blake MacIntosh Post 6: Bettors Wish   Paul MacDonell / Chantal Mitchell Post 7: Better MoonOn Over   Chris Christoforou / Blake MacIntosh Post 8: Fast N First   James MacDonald / Blake MacIntosh Post 9: Bronx Seelster   Trevor Henry / Wayne McGean $163,840 Battle Of The Belles Post 1: ShesOneHotWriter   Sylvain Fillion / Eric Adams Post 2: Kylie Seelster   Doug McNair / Gregg McNair Post 3: Quebec Blue Chip   Jody Jamieson / David Menary Post 4: Green Point  Doug McNair / Eric Adams Post 5: Ideation Hanover   Jody Jamieson / David Menary Post 6: Rella Tivity   Jonathan Drury / Andrew McCabe Post 7: Clearly Better   Jonathan Drury / Blake MacIntosh Post 8: Powerful Chris   Bob McClure / John Pentland Post 9: Village Joules  Sylvain Fillion / Anthony Beaton Post time for #industryday28 on August 6 is 12:30 p.m. Festivities and the broadcast begin at 12:00 noon. Complete event details are available here. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway

ELORA, ON - A total of seven elimination dashes on Monday (July 30) will determine the finalists for Grand River Raceway's feature races on its 28th Industry Day event (August 6 at 12:30). BATTLE OF WATERLOO Twenty freshmen colts and geldings will compete in three elimination divisions to earn a berth in the 21st annual Battle Of Waterloo. The top 3 finishers from each elimination race will advance to the $262,000 final. In Race 1, Chantal Mitchell trainee Bettors Wish will look to transfer his quick speed established at Woodbine Mohawk Park to Grand River's half mile oval. Bettors Wish, a son of Bettors Delight - Lifetime Star, has already recouped his yearling price three times over, having banked $64,560 in two lifetime starts. The first elimination race has also attracted the likes of Shadowofthenorth, a winner in his first career start in 1:57 at Mohawk, and Mo Bettor, the second of three Bettors Delight colts in the dash. Mo Bettor is the only horse in the field that has already raced over a half mile track. That 1:58.4 score at Grand River Raceway on June 25 is a current Canadian season's best. He is owned by a group within the fractional ownership outfit which includes NHL alumni Doug Gilmour and Rick Vaive. The next two eliminations feature impressive looking colts that have shipped in from the Maritime Provinces. Boys Turn, trained by Rheal Bourgeois and Bronx Seelster for trainer Wayne McGean. Bronx Seelster has already won two Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold events, the quickest in a speedy 1:52 with a closing kick of 26.3. Trevor Henry will pilot the Big Jim colt who, like Bettors Wish, has paid for his yearling price four times over. Blake MacIntosh, who won the Battle Of Waterloo with Sports Column in 2016, will have three chances to make the final as he sends out Sports Hero, Better Moonon Over and Fast N First. Carl Jamieson - a five-time winner of the Battle Of Waterloo - and Dave Menary (a winner in 2010 and 2012) also have starters in this prelude to Grand River Raceway's most coveted event. BATTLE OF THE BELLES Elimination dashes for the 10th annual Battle Of The Belles spotlight 33 freshmen fillies spread across four divisions seeking a spot in the $163,840 final. To get there, they need to finish in the top two. One of the four third-place finishers will be drawn by lot to round out the field of nine. Race 7 feature one of the best two-year-old fillies in the country as Powerful Chris sets to race over a half mile surface for the first time in her career. The Betterthancheddar daughter was ultra-impressive in last week's 1:52.1 OSS Gold division with a last quarter in 26.4 for trainer John Pentland and driver Bob McClure. She is undefeated in both career starts. Among the 33 contenders are four fillies who have already won OSS Grassroots divisions: Buckingham (trainer Kevin McMaster), Bens Jenna (Ron Adams), Kylie Seelster (Gregg McNair), Blossum Onthebeach (Dave Menary) and Jessicas Legacy (Tony Beaton). Dave Menary, who has won the Battle Of The Belles twice, will have four opportunities to make the final. He sends out elimination starters Blossom Onthebeach, Summer Charm, Ideation Hanover and Quebec Blue Chip. Local trainer Gregg McNair (of Guelph, ON) also seeks his second Battle Of The Belles victory. Zeynep is 8-1 in the first division. Kylie Seelster starts from post position one in the fourth division. The regally bred filly is a sister to Kendall Seelster which recently broke the long standing Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1.50.1 for three-year-old fillies when she cruised to victory in 1:49.4. Post time for July 30 is 6:30 p.m. EST. Post positions for the finals of the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles will be drawn live on the track's broadcast after Race 8. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway's 28th annual Industry Day event on August 6 is a celebration of the people and horses of the harness racing industry. Many of these people tend to acquire a lot of horse things. Loads of art, clothing, clocks, books, mugs, trophies, vases, blankets, figurines, and a whole range of collectibles - all adorned in horses - are at this very moment creating domestic friction in households across the province. For those looking to (or being prompted to) thin out their collections, the Industry Day Garage Sale will connect donors with buyers on one of the best afternoons in Canadian harness racing. All sales will benefit the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame, Standardbred Showcase and Racing Under Saddle Ontario. Grand River Raceway will manage the collection of items. Volunteers from the four organizations will staff the event, equally sharing 100% of all sales. The Industry Day Garage Sale will run from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Paddock Annex. Also included in the sale is a silent auction featuring three stunning prints on canvas, signed by photographer Dave Landry. The award-winning shooter will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame on August 8 and will be part of a lineup of guest commentators on the Industry Day broadcast. Items will be accepted until August 5. To donate items, call (519) 846-5455 ext. 238 or email Industry Day features 11 races including the $220,000 (est) Battle Of Waterloo, $140,000 (est) Battle Of The Belles and an Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots event for three-year-old pacing fillies. A $5 all-access pass for the Kids' Zone includes pony rides, petting zoo, bouncy castles and facepainting. Prize draws include a $500 credit for fractional racehorse ownership with and a Beautiful Summer prize pack of beauty products valued at $1,500. Former Battle Of Waterloo champ Button Up will greet fans from 12:00 - 2:00 and lead the post parade for this year's edition of the race. The halftime show will include the annual Drivers' Edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes, where James MacDonald will defend his title as "the best Bouncy Pony Stakes driver of all time." Festivities and the broadcast begin at 12:00 p.m. Post time for the first race is 12:30 p.m. Complete event details: by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway hosted two finals of the Sharpe's Summer Series on July 16. The series, sponsored by Sharpe Farm Supplies Ltd., has been showcased at five tracks throughout the province. Since being transferred to the Patrick Shepherd stable, Lady London and regular driver Robert Shepherd have been leaders in the mare's condition claiming ranks of the B-Track circuit. Posting a 4-1-0 average in 5 starts for the Shepherd tandem, Lady London now adds the $14,400 Sharpe's Feed Series Final to her resume. With front runner Broadway Pebbles breaking stride in addition to having the rail advantage, Lady London was able to find the front with ease and cut the mile out to fractions of 27.3, 56.3, 1:25.4 with a mile time of 1:55.2, a new lifetime mark for the 5 year old Big Jim - Maddam Luck mare. Owned by Carl Kuepfer of Newton, Ontario, Lady London has banked in $31,685 lifetime earnings with a 51-5-2-3 record. In the second $13,800 Final, front end speed prevailed again with Carolina Magic hanging on by a head for the win against condition claiming horses and geldings, fending off a fast-closing Puddin Pie. The three-year-old gelding, driven by Scott Young, went off at odds of 3-2 and posted fractions of 28, 58.1, 1:26.3 to a mile time of 1:56.3 which is a new lifetime mark for the Art Major - Put On A Display colt. Trained by veteran Ben Wallace for owners Birnam Wood Farms and Wallace Standardbreds Inc, Carolina Magic now has $38,317 and a 21-3-6-1 record. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway

ELORA, ON - In his bio, 15 pound Dashpig was described as "brave as a wolf dog". The mighty Dachshund churned that courage into victory, holding on to win the fourth annual Ren's Pets Wiener Dog Races at Grand River Raceway on July 6. The four-year-old nosed out defending champion Mustard and a quick charging Jerry in the field of nine. Dashpig is owned by Katie Sudds and Brian Hardy of Tavistock, ON. They won a custom designed trophy (of a golden wiener dog), $100 in gift cards from Ren's Pets, and a gift basket valued at $200 compliments of Elements Casino Grand River. The finalists earned their spots in the championship by finishing in the top three of three elimination races. In all, 30 wiener dogs delighted an enthusiastic crowd which packed the Elora, ON track. While Finnegan didn't make the cut for the race final, he did clean up in the Costume Contest. "Maui Wowie" was the theme of his tropical getup, landing owner Robbin Pinkney an inflatable trophy, $100 in gift cards from Ren's Pets, and a gift basket valued at $200 compliments of Elements Casino Grand River. Bella (dressed as an angel) and Lola (dressed as a bride) rounded out the top three, winning gift baskets compliments of Legendary Canine. Live horse racing continues most Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights at Grand River Raceway through September. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway  

ELORA, ON - Mustard won't share the racetrack with any racehorses on Friday night at Grand River Raceway, but he will share the spotlight. The 2017 champion of last year's Ren's Pets Wiener Dog Races will defend his title against 29 Dachshunds during the fourth edition of the fan-favourite event on July 6. 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. Mustard will start from post six in the second of three heats to be contested after horse race #5 (approximately 8:00 p.m.). Tank, the 2016 champion, finished second to Mustard in last year's final. Tank is owned by harness racing driver James MacDonald and his wife Jenna, and will race against Mustard in the same heat from post position #9. The top three finishers from each 10-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, Elements Casino Grand River, Big Country Raw and Legendary Canine. Prizes for the top dogs total more than $500. The dog action kicks off with an all-breeds Costume Contest after horse race #3 (approximately 7:15 p.m.). The event attracts one of the largest crowds of the racing season at Grand River Raceway. Organizers have ramped up dining options, adding three food trucks and a licensed BBQ patio to its existing three restaurants and Tarmac BBQ area. A new 10' x 18' video screen in the infield will also enhance the racing experience for guests. Regular Friday race night activities include The NEIGHbourhood which runs free for kids under the Tarmac 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 Dog lovers who can't make it to the track can catch the live streaming video of the broadcast beginning at 6:00 p.m. See the Grand River Raceway website for complete event details, including photos and bios of each dog competing in the races. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway    

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway is situated in Centre Wellington, widely considered one of the most beautiful and serene municipalities in the nation. The township is comprised of addresses beginning with one of two postal codes: N0B and N1M. This summer, the residents of Centre Wellington will head to the track, bearing their postal codes with pride as they compete for $3,000 in prizes and bragging rights as the champions of Centre Wellington Derby Nights. The track will host a trio of these events: June 29, July 27 and August 31. The feature race of each evening will be designated as the Centre Wellington Derby and the eight horses in the race will be randomly assigned to a postal code. The Centre Wellingtonians representing each postal code are registered for a draw following the race where 10 residents representing the winning horse will share a $1,000 cash prize. Each event also features BBQ specials ($2 hamburgers and hotdogs, $1 pop), 30 opportunities for people of all ages to drive a racehorse with the Hands On Horses Program, and free kids' activities and a barn tour in The NEIGHbourhood. There will be 10 races starting at 6:30 p.m., including Racing Under Saddle. Admission and parking are always free. Centre Wellington residents must be 18+ to participate in the draw, and present proof of residence at the Registration Table between 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on event days. Proof of residency includes photo ID with postal code listed, or photo ID accompanied by an addressed letter showing postal code. Centre Wellington Derby Nights at Grand River Raceway are presented by the Grand River Agricultural Society. Questions? or (519) 846-5455 ext. 238 by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway  

ELORA, ON - The Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS) has announced the recipients of this year's Community Mini Grant program supporting projects related to agriculture and the environment. Eleven grants totaling $5,000 were awarded in amounts ranging from $500 to $1,000. The grants were awarded on June 12 at Grand River Raceway. The recipients and projects are summarized below: 1. Fergus Medieval Faire: $500 towards the costs of birds of prey/falconer show at the free community Medieval Faire. 2. Habitat for Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph: $1,000 towards development of a community garden for the CityView Village build. 3. Youth Outdoors Day: $1,000 towards the purchase of new event tents. 4. Western Ontario 4-H Beef Invitational: $500 to supply the exhibitor breakfast and division prizes. 5. The Elora Swan Program: $1,000 for repairs and upgrades to the swan compound, and to stain the main building and hut. 6. Brisbane Public School, Erin: $1,000 to assist with labour and equipment expenses for the installation of natural elements in the primary play area. 7. The Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland Games: $1,000 towards program costs of the Highland Cattle & Sheep and Sheep Shearing educational heritage programs at the Scottish Festival. 8. Township of Centre Wellington (in collaboration with Fergus Scottish Festival, Elora Festival, Riverfest Elora, and Fergus Fall Fair): $1,000 to purchase a graphically designed tent to house the water cart for increased visibility and protection from the elements. 9. G2G Rail Trail Inc.: $1,000 for the purchase and installation of agricultural interpretive signage along the trail. 10. Waterloo 4-H Beef Club: $1,000 to purchase show equipment. 11. St. Joseph Catholic School, Fergus: $1,000 to purchase a rain barrel, mature plants, seeds, and child sized gardening tools for their Allison Brunt Memorial Butterfly Garden. The GRAS operates Grand River Raceway in Elora, ON. The GRAS is a not-for-profit corporation, incorporated under the Agricultural and Horticultural Societies Act of Ontario and governed by a volunteer board of directors reporting to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The GRAS mandate is to encourage awareness of agriculture and to promote improvements in the quality of life of persons living in an agricultural community. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway  

MONTICELLO, NY- The CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series is truly an international competition aided by the fact that on Monday, June 18 some of the Canadian members convened in Ontario, Canada at Grand River Raceway to compete in a trotting contest on the betting card and despite finishing with broken equipment Majestic Mystic was hustled home a five-length winner for "Fabulous Freddie" Bourgault. For the Quebec native it was his first winning drive in Ontario. Sent off as second choice in the eight-horse field Bourgault was content to find a spot in fourth position along the pylons when the wings of the gate folded. But when the pace of the race slowed as the field headed to the halfway point Bougault was out and going and when they passed the third stanza Majestic Mystic had command, albeit by just a head, over the pacesetter Happy Holidays, driven by "Gentle Ben" Hollingsworth). When the field straightened for paydirt Majestic Mystic began to ease away from his competition and finish some five lengths in front of Overcomebyvictory,("Sir Issac" Waxman) in a time of 2:00.4. Third under the wire was Extrapolate in rein to Shane "The Freelton Flash" Arsenault. The winner, a 9-year-old Majestic Son gelding, is owned by Mary Ketros and trained by George Ketros. Sent off at odds of over 3-1 Majestic Mystic paid $9.10 for win. by John Manzi, for the Billings Amateur Driving Series  

ELORA, ON - A large crowd under clear skies kicked off the 15th race season at Grand River Raceway on Friday (June 1). Scott Wray piloted the inaugural winner, Celestial Lady, in a one-length score over Miller Time and Cape Coral. Celestial Lady is trained by Darell Vleeming for owner John Landuyt of Chatham, ON. The Fun & Frivolity Friday Race Night lineup included guest announcer Mike Farwell, host of The Mike Farwell Show and the voice of the Kitchener Rangers on 570 NEWS. Farwell runs an annual fundraising campaign called Farwell4 Hire, during which he does odd jobs in exchange for a donation to Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Farwell4Hire has raised over $183,000 in the past four years and is shooting for $100,000 in this year's campaign which wraps up on June 2. As part of his paid duties, Farwell jogged eventual race six winner Master Saver alongside driver Anthony MacDonald, then joined track announcer Gary Guy to call race seven. Grand River Raceway donated $500 to his campaign and track guests donated another $350. Alfie Carroll closed the Opening Night card with a three-length win aboard Drake in the Preferred Trot in 1:56.3. It was the six-year-old gelding's fifth win of the season for trainer/co-owner Justin Robson. Live harness racing continues Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights from June 1 through September 26. Other special racing events include Ren's Pets Depot Wiener Dog Races (July 6), the Industry Day horse racing celebration featuring the Battle Of Waterloo (August 6) and the National Driving Championship (September 26). by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway  

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway's 15th race season kicks off Friday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. In addition to several facility renovations, the on-track experience will be further enhanced by a new 10' x 18' video screen installed beside the remodeled tote board in the infield. The Fun & Frivolity Friday Race Night lineup includes guest announcer Mike Farwell, host of The Mike Farwell Show and the voice of the Kitchener Rangers on 570 NEWS. Farwell runs an annual fundraising campaign called Farwell4 Hire, during which he does odd jobs in exchange for a donation to Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Farwell4Hire has raised over $183,000 in the past four years and is shooting for $100,000 in the campaign which ends June 2. After jogging a horse prior to race three, Farwell will join track announcer Gary Guy's to call race seven. In addition to the track's $500 payment, the campaign will also receive all $5 donations for kids' colour-then-wash-then-colour t-shirts available in The NEIGHbourhood. The free kids' program runs each Friday race night from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. and includes horse crafts, a photo with the winning horse of race four and a guided barn tour. All Fun & Frivolity Friday Race Nights also include a live trackside broadcast with 107.5 DAVE ROCKS, and an extended Tarmac Show between the races. While the $19.99 Race Night Buffet in the Captain's Quarters (overlooking the racetrack) is sold-out for June 1, the facility offers additional dining options in The Lighthouse Restaurant and The Getaway Restaurant. Reservations are not required for either of these eateries. The Tarmac BBQ is also open on live race nights. To place future reservations for the $19.99 Race Night Buffet, call (519) 846-5455 ext. 247 or email Live harness racing is featured on most Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights from June 1 through September 26. Other special racing events include Ren's Pets Depot Wiener Dog Races (July 6), the Industry Day horse racing celebration featuring the Battle Of Waterloo (August 6) and the National Driving Championship (September 26). Grand River Raceway's 10-race program for June 1 is available here and streaming video will be available starting at 6:00 p.m. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway  

MILTON, ON - May 31, 2018 - Woodbine Entertainment has release details for a group of summer series, presented by Sharpe Farm Supplies Limited, to be raced at four-different tracks across Ontario. Clinton Raceway, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway and Hanover Raceway will all host events in the Sharpe's Summer Series. The group of series will be raced during the months of June and July. The Sharpe's Summer Series consists of six-different events, all featuring two preliminary legs and an added money final. Here are the details for the six events: Event A (TROT): Horses & Geldings, 4-year-olds & younger, Non-Winners of a Race or $5,000 (Ont. Sired $7,500) lifetime as of midnight May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Georgian Downs. Event B (TROT): Fillies & Mares, 4-year-olds & younger, Non-Winners of a Race or $5,000 (Ont. Sired $7,500) lifetime as of midnight May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Georgian Downs. Event C (PACE): Horses & Geldings, Claiming $15,000 for Non-Winners of $30,000 lifetime as of midnight, May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Grand River Raceway. Event D (PACE): Fillies & Mares, Claiming $15,000 for Non-Winners of $30,000 lifetime as of midnight, May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Grand River Raceway. Event E (PACE): Horses & Geldings, Non-Winners of a Race or $5,000 (Ont. Sired $7,500) lifetime as of midnight May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Hanover Raceway. Event F (PACE): Fillies & Mares, Non-Winners of a Race or $5,000 (Ont. Sired $7,500) lifetime as of midnight May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Clinton Raceway. The nomination fee for each event is $100 ($80 USD) and nominations close Friday, June 15. For more information about all stakes events administrated by Woodbine, click here. Payments can be made online by clicking here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than June 15, 2018 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

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