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ELORA, ON - SEPT. 9, 2019 - Driver Trevor Henry and trainer Bob McIntosh teamed up to win two of five Grassroots harness racing divisions at Grand River Raceway on Monday evening. Henry and McIntosh captured the first $23,150 two-year-old pacing filly division with Miss L A, who powered up the outer lane to take on early leader Tuggingoncredit and then dug in down the stretch to hold off fan favourite Queso Relleno and Trizzle Trazzle. Miss L A won her Grassroots debut by half a length in 1:56.4. "She's a great big filly. She's kind of like a six foot six kid in Grade 8, and I look for her to be much better next year, but she's improving every start, so who knows what might happen this fall," said McIntosh of the daughter of Bettors Delight and West Of L A. "She's a big filly - she's going to be over 16 hands - and kind of rangy. Once she gets muscle on that frame, then she's going to be serious. I hope so anyway." "She definitely will be better next year, but if she can get some points in the next one (Grassroots), she will definitely be tough in the Semis," added Arthur, On resident Henry, who padded his lead in the Lampman Cup race for the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program with Monday's driving double. McIntosh shares ownership of Miss L A with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and Deo Volente Farms LLC and Cool Cat Racing Inc. of Flemington, NJ. The Hall of Fame horseman also bred Miss L A and her illustrious siblings; Somewhere in L A and L A Delight, who have both amassed $1.7 million in their racing careers, and current three-year-old Ontario Sires Stakes star Sunny Dee. "She's different than the rest of her siblings," noted the Windsor, ON resident. "It's hard to think of what she's going to do, because she's got a big motor, I just think she'll be a better three-year-old." After settling for second with So Delightful in the second division, won by Coco Beach De Vie and driver Jody Jamieson in 1:57, Henry and McIntosh were back in the winner's circle with Even Louder. Starting from Post 1 Henry sent Even Louder straight to the front and controlled the tempo through fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:26 on their way to a 1:57 personal best. Fan favourite Ms Brampton Beast was one length back in second and Chasethecloudsaway rounded out the top three. "The thing with that filly, she's maybe not the fastest filly in Canada, but she's the most honest filly. And Trevor gave her a hell of a drive, because he had them all kind of where he wanted them at the three-quarter pole. That was a great drive," said McIntosh, who bred and owns the daughter of Thinking Out Loud. "When he hit the half in :56 I went 'Whoa', but he got the next quarter in 30 seconds and he had them all stacked up and where he wanted them," the trainer continued. "She's the most honest filly you'd ever draw a line over, she's really good that way and super gaited, good mannered, but great drive too." Mach My Kiss and driver Doug McNair delivered the quickest mile of the five Grassroots divisions, tracking Mystic Shadow through fractions of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before zipping up the passing lane to a one-half length victory in 1:55. Mystic Shadow settled for second and Wiggle Delight was six lengths behind the leaders in third. Monday's outing was Mach My Kiss's debut at the Grassroots level after three starts with the Gold Series fillies and trainer Robert Fellows is hoping the Mach Three daughter can deliver another strong effort in the last regular season Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 20 to finish among the top 20 point earners and advance to the post season. "She did nothing wrong all the way down, trained good, and then I started her in the Gold and that teased me, because she finished third in the first one and I left her there for a couple," said Fellows. "Now I've got to hope I can get some points in the last two here, just to try and salvage her year. She's a nice little filly." The Rockwood, ON resident trains Mach My Kiss for his wife Yolanda Fellows and Erna Corbeil of Beaumont, AB. Jody Jamieson piloted Coco Beach De Vie to her 1:57 win in the second division for trainer Daryl Roberts and owners Walter and Ruth Ann Parkinson of Lucan and Rachel Roberts of Dorchester, ON. The win was the Sunshine Beach daughter's first and Jamieson said she is finally delivering on the promise she showed when he drove her in qualifying action in June. "Daryl has been really patient with her," said Jamieson. "She was real quick in June and needed most of July to learn to handle the speed. Tonight she raced tough and rewarded Daryl for his patience." The other Grassroots division went to Siochan, who captured her first lifetime victory with a 1:55.2 effort for driver Paul MacKenzie and owner-trainer Deb O'Brian Moran of Carlisle, ON. Lady Natasha finished one and three-quarter lengths back in second and Century Gianna was well back in third. Grand River Raceway will wrap up its 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Monday, Sept. 23 with the fourth Gold Series event for the two-year-old trotting colts. Complete results from Monday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0909grvrn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

ELORA, ON - SEPT. 4, 2019 - Scorched Romance kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening, cruising to a three and three-quarter length victory in the first of five $22,800 Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies. "She's been coming up to a good mile like that," said driver Paul MacDonell. "She's been knocking at the door pretty much every week, so I expected a good race out of her tonight." Starting from Post 4 MacDonell and Scorched Romance landed in third as Validation led the field of eight to a :29 quarter. Heading for the :59.4 half the reinsman moved Scorched Romance to the outside and the fan favourites started to advance on the leaders. Scorched Romance had taken command by the 1:30.2 three-quarters and from there she simply pulled away from her peers, reaching the wire in 2:01. Peppas Angel finished second and Validation was third. "I had lots left there, she was trotting really strong at the wire even though she went kind of a tough trip," noted Guelph, ON resident MacDonell. "There's not much to her really, she's pretty automatic. Makes my job easy, that's for sure." MacDonell piloted the Kadabra daughter to her first lifetime win for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL. Driver James MacDonald won the next two divisions, piloting both Th Present and Moana to victory from Post 4. Making his first appearance in Th Present's race bike, MacDonald eased the Royalty For Life daughter away from the starting gate and watched from fifth as Queen M and fan favourite Aphrodite Duke battled to a :29.14 opening quarter. Still fifth as Aphrodite Duke trotted by the :59.1 half, MacDonald tipped Th Present out three-wide around a stalled Expelliarmus heading by the 1:30.1 three-quarters and the filly kept on rolling, catching Aphrodite Duke and then holding off Chelseas Magic to claim a head victory in 2:00.4. Chelseas Magic was second and Aphrodite Duke finished two lengths back in third.   Cambridge, ON resident Marcel Barrieau trains Th Present for his partner Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longeuil, QC. The filly was also a narrow winner in the July 14 Grassroots opener at Georgian Downs. With Moana, MacDonald went straight to the front and stole fractions of :30.1, 1:02.3 and 1:32.1 before kicking home to a 2:01.3 victory. Zakarina was one and one-half lengths back in second and Jayport Echo was for more lengths behind in third. MacDonald drives the Muscle Mass daughter for trainer Shawn Steacy of Guelph and fractional ownership group Landmark 12 of Lansdowne, numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The win was Moana's first in four lifetime starts. "Th Present raced great. I just wanted to be careful with her leaving the gate, because I saw she had made some breaks, but she was all business tonight and when I showed her some racetrack, she knew what to do with it," said Guelph resident MacDonald. "Moana just crushed tonight. I was able to get her to the front easy, get easy fractions, and she was full of trot when I needed her." Zebs Flur also got her first lifetime win in the fourth $23,150 division. Starting from the advantageous Post 1, driver Stephen Byron went straight to the front and never looked back, cruising through fractions of :29.1, :59.3 and 1:30 on the way to a 2:00.1 victory. Fan favourite Canadian Titan was two lengths back in second and Emily Antoinette was seven more lengths back in third. "I was pretty happy with her. I was hoping for those results actually. I thought she was due," said trainer John Bax. "She's game, she really wants to, I love her attitude." Bax trains the Muscle Mass daughter for his Bax Stable of Campbellville, Don Allensen of Wyoming and Goin To The Show Stable of Peterborough, ON. The last division went to Yen and driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON, who got away third from Post 3 and watched Muscles Aplenty ring up a :29.1 quarter before swinging to the outside heading for the 1:00 half and taking control. One and one-half lengths ahead of her peers by the 1:29.3 three-quarters, fan favourite Yen hit the wire two and one-half lengths the best in 2:00. Enjoyin My Life was second and Kads Kiss was third. "It's always been there, she just, she's figuring it out," said trainer Julie Walker. "She's always had the head for it. All the drivers say her big quality is how smart she is." Walker trains the E L Titan filly for owner-breeder Overseas Farms Ltd. of Cambridge and the Carlisle, ON resident said there was never any pressure on Yen, who has not been worse than third in her four Grassroots appearances and was also victorious at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 30. "She is a late foal (early June) and we always had that in our head, that she didn't have to race at two, or we didn't have to race her early, but every time we trained her she did her job and just kept going," explained Walker. "That's kind of why we're still in the Grassroots." The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their last regular season Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 19. From there the top 20 point earners will advance to the Sept. 27 Semi-Finals, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final moving on to the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 5. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Grand River Raceway on Monday, Sept. 9 with the fourth Grassroots Leg for the two-year-old pacing fillies. Complete results for Wednesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0904grvrn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

ELORA, ON - The Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS) has awarded 16 scholarships and bursaries to local students totaling $40,000. The presentations were made on August 26 at Grand River Raceway in Elora, ON, where recipients and their families were treated to dinner and an evening of horse racing alongside GRAS board members. The scholarship/bursary program is designed to provide financial assistance for students residing in Wellington and Perth Counties, and the Region of Waterloo, who are entering, or currently enrolled in college or university agriculture-related programs. This year's awards were $2,500 per recipient. Since its inception in 2006, the GRAS program has awarded $176,500 to 102 students. The 2019 recipients are: Anuja Shrestha of Guelph, attending University of Guelph Michelle Thompson of Kitchener, attending University of Guelph Jade Muileboom of Guelph, attending University of Guelph Mercedes Ready-Campbell of Guelph, attending University of Guelph Bethany Harwood of Cambridge, attending University of Guelph Meghan Martin of Elmira, attending University of Guelph Brianna Lirette of Guelph, attending University of Guelph (Ontario Agricultural College) Emily Smart of Moorefield, attending Lakehead University Cristin McCarty-Van Straaten, attending University of Guelph (Ontario Agricultural College) Kate Martin of Wallenstein, attending University of Guelph Katie McCurdy of St. Mary's, attending University of Guelph Derrick Knill of Bornholm, attending University of Guelph Emma Starratt of Fergus, attending University of Guelph Quinn Wilson of Harriston, attending University of Guelph Hayleigh Royce of Listowel, attending Lakehead College Madison Armstrong of Clifford, attending University of Guelph (Ridgetown) "This is my first time being selected to be rewarded with the GRAS scholarship," said Madison Armstrong a first-year student at the University Of Guelph's Ridgetown campus. "I am truly grateful for this opportunity. The awarded money will go towards furthering my education through theory and practices on campus such as Spring Expo, 4-H clubs, and international trips to view all types of agriculture and horticulture." "I'm heading into my first year at the University of Guelph for the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, planning to major in Animal Science," said recipient Kate Martin. "This is my first year winning the GRAS scholarship, and I am so honoured. Receiving this scholarship gives me the chance to keep volunteering in the agriculture community while I am going to school. It allows me to stay involved and learn more about the industry." Michelle Thompson is a three-time recipient of a GRAS scholarship and working towards a PhD in Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph. "The GRAS Scholarships are incredibly valuable for encouraging students in agricultural and environmental fields. The scholarship makes a huge difference in reducing financial stresses while in school, and really helps me to focus fully on my research. I am immensely thankful for the support." Brie Lirette is enrolled in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Ontario Veterinary College (Class of 2023). "I have dedicated much of my life to getting into vet school. Once I got in, I thought that all stress would be lifted - was I ever wrong," said Lirette. "Now I am experiencing many new stressors, one of which is money! The financial contributions of the scholarship will lighten my debts and will allow me to excel in school and focus on my passion for animal health and welfare." The Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS) is the operator of Grand River Raceway in Elora. The GRAS is a not-for-profit society, incorporated under the Agricultural Societies Act of Ontario and operated by a volunteer board of directors. It is part of the GRAS mandate to encourage an awareness of agriculture and to promote improvements in the quality of life of persons living in an agricultural community. For more information about the GRAS Scholarship/Bursary program: https://grandriveragsociety.com/giving/ by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway  

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway has added fireworks to its harness racing Community Night celebration on Friday, August 30. The family-friendly festivities are free of charge and kick off with the first of 10 horse races at 6:30 p.m. The fireworks display will begin at approximately 10:30 p.m. (30 minutes following the last horse race). BBQ specials ($2 hamburgers and hotdogs, $1 pop) will be available at two locations on the tarmac. Cash draws totaling $1,000 will be conducted for guests from the local community whose postal code begins with NOB or N1M. Proof of residency is required and draw participants must be 18 or older and present to win. Community Night also boasts the track's usual array of Friday race night offerings, including free kids' activities in The NEIGHbourhood (located in the First Turn Tent) and the chance for guests of all ages to drive a racehorse in a double-seated jog cart, accompanied by a pro. This opportunity is limited to seven spots and guests must sign-up at the tarmac booth beside the racetrack. Community Nights are presented by the track's parent organization, the Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS). During the event, GRAS will honour local resident Paul Kelly who has dedicated his life to preserving the bee population. Kelly will be onsite and available for questions and discussion about his work from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The fireworks display on Community Night will be coordinated by The Weinstein Group Inc. of Fergus, ON in partnership with Pyro World. The show will feature a massive display of fireworks choreographed to a collection of feel-good summertime songs. For complete event details: https://grandriverraceway.com/events/centre-wellington-derby-nights/ by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway    

The only truly American international amateur driving program, the CKG Billings harness driving series, moved north of the border to Canada on Friday night, August 16 for a harness racing pacing event at Grand River Raceway and it turned into a laugher when Dabunka romped to an incredible 15-length triumph with Chris Long at the controls. Sent off as the odds-on favorite in the odds-on favorite in the eight-horse field Dabunka navigated the mile distance in a stunning 1:55.3. When the starter said "go" Long hustled his charge to the lead from the two-hole and played catch me if you can. And nobody could. The veteran pacer zipped through the first two stanzas in 28 and :57 with only a one length lead over Eas Ideal (F. Bourgault). But when Dabunka headed up the backside he was in high gear and opened up seven lengths on the field as he passed the three quarters in 1:26.1. But as the 8-year old Mattnamaras Band gelding rounded the final turn he had 10 lengths on his competition which was opened to 15 lengths at the wire. Lautner Seelster rallied to finish second for Julie Walker while Issac Waxman took home the show dough with Remus Blue Chip. Dabunka notched his fifth seasonal victory and paid $3.80 for win. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

ELORA,ON -  Battle Of The Belles champion Karma Seelster returned to Grand River Raceway for Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series action on Wednesday, Aug. 14 and picked up her third straight win at the Elora oval. With Post 4 in the second $72,267 Gold division, driver Doug McNair fired Karma Seelster off the starting gate and led the field of two-year-old pacing fillies to a :28.3 opening quarter. From there the fan favourites rolled along to a :58.1 half and 1:27.2 three-quarters before cruising down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length win in 1:56.3. Temagami Seelster got up for second, edging pocket-sitter Got Power into third. "She was good again. She got a lot easier trip than last week (Aug. 5 Belles Final)," said Guelph resident Doug McNair, who piloted the filly to all three wins. "She's great gaited and she's handy off the wings, so that really helps for this track. She got to pick up some pretty good money the last couple weeks here." The driver's father Gregg McNair, who also calls rural Guelph home, trains Karma Seelster for Hall of Fame horseman Keith Waples, his wife Eileen Waples and their daughter Karen Hauver of Durham, ON. The Waples family purchased the half-sister to $824,150 winner Kendall Seelster for $127,000 from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale and in her first five starts she has banked $155,251. "A bunch of the owners were out there. I'm not sure if it was grandkids, but they were cheering for her and stuff before, so that was a lot of fun," added the driver, who stopped by the rail before the race so Karma Seelster could acknowledge her fans. "They had a fan club there." The fans cheered Karma Seelster on to her first win in Gold Series action which, added to the second and third she recorded in her first two provincial starts, puts her in second spot in the two-year-old pacing filly standings with 87 points. Driver Bob McClure won the other two Gold Series divisions, the first boosting Off The Press into top spot in the standings and the second earning P L Notorious her first Ontario Sires Stakes victory. Starting from the advantageous Post 1 in the first division, McClure allowed fan favourite Sound Idea to take early control and settled Off The Press in second. Sound Idea carried on through fractions of :28, :57.4 and 1:26.1 while Off The Press watched comfortably from the pocket. In the stretch McClure sent Off The Press up the inside and the filly powered home to a one and one-half length victory in 1:55.3. Sound Idea settled for second and Keystone Kalimba was third. "Bobby gave her a great trip," said Paul Reid, who trains Off The Press for owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. "He's a good young driver. It's always good when you can get somebody that's hot, it definitely helps the game. And it's always nice to see one that we had all winter do well. We've had luck in the past couple of years with picking up horses when we got up here that did well for us, but it's nice to have one that's good for Bob Key." Off The Press finished a disappointing seventh in the Battle Of The Belles elimination won by Karma Seelster, but Reid said the Sportswriter daughter came up sick after the race. After a bit of rest and a round of antibiotics the filly rebounded and a training mile over the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval assured Reid that she would be ready for Wednesday's test. "She trained back good there last weekend, I took her into Mohawk and trained her and she trained real well so I was pretty confident coming in that she was back to herself, but you still never know what everybody else is going to be up to," said the horseman, who is based in Florida through the winter. "There's plenty of racing, there's no doubt, so to miss one here and there is not the end of the world," he added. In addition to the remaining regular season Gold events on Aug. 30 and Sept. 30, and the Oct. 12 Super Final, Off The Press is eligible to all of the open stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the coming weeks - the Eternal Camnation on August 24, Champlain Stakes on Sept. 7 and Shes A Great Lady eliminations and final on Sept. 14 and 21. In the last division McClure once again lined up at Post 1 with P L Notorious and the Rockwood resident sent the fan favourite straight to the front. P L Notorious sailed through fractions of :28.3, :58.3 and 1:27 and then held off Rose Run Vantage for a three-quarter length win in 1:55.4. Lady Natasha rounded out the top three. "She is a big, fast filly with a really nice gait," said McClure of the Sunshine Beach daughter. "And she continues to get smarter." Rod Hughes of Dunsford trains P L Notorious for owner-breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON. Wednesday's win was the filly's first in Gold Series action after a fifth and a sixth-place result in the first two legs. She was also a winner in overnight action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 5. Complete results for Wednesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0814grvrn.dat. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Grand River Raceway on Monday, Sept. 4 with the fourth Grassroots Leg for the two-year-old trotting fillies. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON -- Grand River Raceway marked its 29th annual Industry Day celebration on August 5. The afternoon featured 11 races totaling $540,850 in purses, including the track's feature dashes, the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles. It was a homecoming of sorts for two families who have previously dominated these jewel races in the Elora, ON track's marquee event. 22nd annual Battle Of Waterloo Nine rookie two-year-old pacing colts vied for glory in the 22nd edition of the $239,000 Battle Of Waterloo. Trainer Carl Jamieson and his son, driver Jody Jamieson, teamed up to win with Sports Obsession, their 7-1 starter from post five. Jamieson maneuvered traffic trouble past the halfway marker when Bettorbuckleup and Beach Blanket Book hooked wheels and were taken out of contention. Soon after, the winning pair cleared to the lead and remained on top to clinch the win. The 1:54 score was the Sportswriter son's second career win in five starts. Betting favourite Wind Blown with J Harris was second for trainer Teesha Symes. Aneto with Bob McClure rounded out the top three. Carl Jamieson co-owns Sports Obsession with George Harrison. "I told everyone that the horse had a good shot. We just needed a little luck," said Jamieson. Carl Jamieson trained and drove the first-ever Battle Of Waterloo winner Distinctiv Skeeter in 1998. He also piloted and trained CT Rocket in 2000 and went on to win three more editions with son Jody in the bike in 2002, 2004 and 2006. Neither has won the race since. "Dad and I did it again," Jody Jamieson beamed. "I think it was a special omen today, us teaming up again in the Battle of Waterloo after those victories in the past." 11th annual Battle Of The Belles A field of talented two-year-old pacing fillies contested the 11th edition of the $157,500 Battle Of The Belles. Doug McNair and Karma Seelster capitalized on early action to capture the win at 27-1 in 1:54.4, which matches the stake record set by Play The Bell in 2017. Karma Seelster scored her maiden win in her elimination division last week but drew the outside starting post (#8) in the final. She took to the top as heavy-favourite Alicorn (post four) and Louis Philippe Roy made a break at the first quarter. Alicorn matched the divisional track record in her elimination win last week in 1:54.2. She also holds an OSS speed record earned earlier this year. After her miscue, Roy quickly regrouped Alicorn and she came on strong to finish second for trainer Chantal Mitchell. Temagami Seelster and J Harris were third. This was the second Battle Of The Belles title for the father-son duo of driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair, both of Guelph, ON. The pair won the 2013 edition with Lady Shadow. They also paired up to win the Batlle Of Waterloo in 2008, 2013 and 2015. "I haven't been in the winner's circle for a while for one of these races," said Doug McNair. "I remember when I was 18 standing here. Time flies. It feels pretty good to be here today. And nice to get one for Keith (Waples)." Hall Of Fame horseman Keith Waples co-owns the Sportswriter filly with his wife Eileen and their daughter Karen Hauver. Karma Seelster was a $127,000 yearling purchase in 2018 at the London Select Sale. "We had a little trouble with her gait this winter (in Florida) but she has really come along since we've been back in Ontario," said Gregg McNair. "It's great to win at Grand River Raceway. It's our home track and we're here quite a bit in the spring training these horses down and I really like it here," he said. Undercard The Industry Day undercard included five divisions of Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) for three-year-old colt pacers. Division leader Sugartown sweetened his hold on the year-end Grassroots title. The Sportswriter son held off Fast N First (James MacDonald) to win his third sophomore OSS race (and sixth season win) by a neck in 1:53.1 with Louis Philippe Roy for trainer Richard Moreau. That 1:53.1 clocking was the quickest of OSS action on Industry Day and matched the first division of the day when Travis Cullen steered Dreamfair Moxy to his sixth career win for owner John Lamers and trainer Jodie Cullen. The final division featured HP Napoleon in his fourth consecutive win from nine starts this season. Mario Baillargeon drove the Big Jim gelding for brother Ben Baillargeon to a three-quarter-length finish in 1:54.3. The quickest mile of the afternoon went to Ghost Dance in the Preferred pace (Race 9). Bob McClure piloted the Nick Gallucci student to a front-end win by 13 lengths in 1:51.1 for owner Millar Farms. It was the first win of the season for the four-year-old gelding. He has banked $166,000 in career earnings. Record Handle Today's handle of $488,696 is a new Industry Day record, besting the previous record of $481,239 set in 2016. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway   • Video: Battle of Waterloo       • Video: Battle Of Belles           Attached Photos: • Doug McNair winning with Karma Seelster in the $157,500 Battle Of The Belles (Emma Ongman/AG Photography)     • Sports Obsession captures the $239,00 Battle Of Waterloo with Jody Jamieson (Emma Ongman/AG Photography)         FFI: Contact Jenna Knox at (519) 846-5455 ext. 247 or jknox@grandriverraceway.com               --   Kelly Spencer Co-Owner, True Nature Communications Inc.   kelly@truenaturecommunications.com   Cell: 519-465-7908   www.truenaturecommunications.com   >>> Explorers tell the best stories and the best stories win hearts.      

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 https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0703grvrn.dat.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Par www.ontarioracing.com

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 https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0605grvrn.dat.     OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   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 https://grandriverraceway.com/horse-racing/programs/ and fans unable to get to Grand River Raceway can watch the trotters compete at https://grandriverraceway.com/horse-racing/streaming-video/. 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 http://www.ontariosiresstakes.com/schedule/schedule_loc.html#GRVR.   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: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park      

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