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

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

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

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

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

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

There were few surprises at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday night as the top two-year-old trotting colts and geldings padded their point totals in the last Grassroots event of the regular season. After finishing second twice and third once, Cousin Peter finally found the winner's circle in the first $18,450 Grassroots division. Starting from Post 1 driver Louis Philippe Roy settled Cousin Peter in the pocket behind Priceless Ruler and followed the pacesetter through fractions of :28.4, :59.3 and 1:29.4. In the stretch Roy slid Cousin Peter into an open lane and the colt reeled in Priceless Ruler and first-up challenger Magical Journey to score a neck victory in 1:59.2. Fan favourite Magical Journey was second and Priceless Ruler settled for third. "He's a horse that doesn't really look fluid when you sit behind him, but he wants to try and has a big heart that makes him forget his little issues," said Roy. "I might be wrong, but he's a horse that I expect to improve a lot between two and three years old." Roy steers the Johnny William son for trainer Richard Moreau and owners Sergis Racing Stable LLC of Canton, NY and Saverino Spagnolo of Ottawa, Ontario. With a total of 122 points the consistent Cousin Peter finished the season in third spot and will be among the favourites in the Sept. 20 Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The second division saw point leader Royale Elite get a pocket trip behind Archway, who led the field to fractions of :29.4, 1:02.1 and 1:33.2. Coming off the final turn driver James MacDonald tipped Royale Elite out from behind the pacesetter and the colt powered home to a two length win in 2:02.4. Archway finished second and fan favourite Judge Ken recovered from an early break in stride to be third. "The trip worked out great; no stress," said trainer Mark Steacy. "We'll keep to the same schedule for next week and hope to stay sound and healthy." Wednesday's win was Royale Elite's fourth in Grassroots action. He was also victorious at Georgian Downs, Hiawatha Horse Park and Woodbine Mohawk Park. His only loss came at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the July 31 event where he finished third behind two colts that are ranked among the top 10 Gold Series competitors. With his near perfect record, Royale Elite leads his peers into the post-season with 212 points. Steacy trains Royale Elite for owner-breeders Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec and the conditioner's concerns about keeping the Royalty For Life son healthy are more than just lip service. His stablemate Rap Royalty, ranked fifth in the standings, was scratched out of Wednesday's first division due to sickness. "We're hoping Rap can rebound to race next week," noted Steacy, who currently leads all trainers in the Ontario Sires Stakes standings in pursuit of his third straight Johnston Cup title. The final division saw LA Magic record his first victory in just his second lifetime start. The Kadabra son and driver Jody Jamieson stormed away from Post 2 and never looked back, reeling off fractions of :29.2, 1:00.3 and 1:30.3 on their way to a one and one-half length win in 2:01.2. Lightly rated Fitzgibbons trotted into second, leaving fan favourite A Royal Line the third-place spoils. "I've schooled him and qualified him and he is naturally gifted with a flawless gait," said Jamieson. "I really thought he could ambush them off the gate tonight and win, and that's exactly what he did." Jamieson crafted the win for trainer Duane Marfisi and owner Gary Morritt of London, Ontario. With a fifth-place result in his Sept. 3 debut, LA Magic finishes the season with a total of 55 points and heads into the Semi-Final tied for ninth spot, but Jamieson is expecting him to be a serious player. "He'll be the freshest horse in the Semis next week," pointed out the driver. "Hopefully he'll use the light schedule to his advantage." The top 20 points earners with at least two starts in the Grassroots program will advance to next week's Semi-Final. The top five finishers from each $20,000 Semi-Final will earn a berth in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 29. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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  

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