In the world of harness racing, there is plenty of excitement and daily thrills to be had at any track. One track tucked away in South West Ontario is Flamboro Downs, (located in Hamilton, Ontario). "From the starting gate to the finishing line, Flamboro Downs presents a unique and entertaining outing for individuals and groups alike. Parking and admission is always FREE."... Is the promotional phrase used on the Flamboro Downs website. It is quite unique indeed. At Flamboro Downs there is a decent and very respectable colony of drivers, many who are a breakout horse away from becoming a household name. One name fans of the racing world should get to know is J Harris. When I asked J Harris what the J stood for, maybe Jay or James? J replied "it stands for J, the letter J". J Harris, yes his first name is the letter J, how cool is that? I have never met anyone with an initial for a first name, perhaps I need to get out more often. J considers himself a regular guy and when discussing horse racing, you are quick to learn how much respect J has for horses. Many are drawn by the speed and thrill to horse racing or the fact it's a family business, but with J you hear the respect he holds for the animals he works with when he is describing his reasoning for being in the horse racing industry. "The horses...," answers J when asked about what draws him to the industry, "...they are completely majestic. I love being around them and they just got me. It's their eyes; you can look at them and make a connection. They are muscle machines with grace." J, a third generation horseman, worked with his father who always kept him busy in and around the family stables as a young person. "I started working with (horses) once I was old enough to get out of bed," J said/ ."He got me out to the barn early." J's father is a successful trainer who J says "had a lot of success with fillies and mares." With J's dad having Great Success when he was young, J was able to be around winning connections from an early age. Back then, J admits he loved being at the winner's circle and being a part of the winning picture. Almost a decade into his career, J who is 29, admits it has been a slow grind, but that will not hold him back. Last year J won the driver's title at Hanover Raceway, (located in Hanover, Ontario) and hopes to rank among the top 10 in the driver standings at Flamboro Downs. One of J's fondest memories is his first win, but more so because it was with a family owned horse. "It took me 22 races to get my first win," J explained, "It was a home bred my parents had.... My mom happened to be at the racetrack that night and she balled her eyes out. It was the right horse to win with." The name of the horse, Maxx Factor. J is a low key person who prefers to take it easy and unwind at home after the races. "Lately I've been focusing on racing and going to the gym. I don't go out much and if I do it's to the movies." says J. "I'm big into movies and I rent every new release that comes out. I like action and comedy (movies), but I will take action over comedy. Anything that is a true story I am guaranteed to love." As for what are J's favorite movies, J lists "Days of Thunder, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Butler, it's an awesome movie. I watched the movie Rush and it was motivational, seeing one guy throw it all away and one guy striving for it all." As for the night life, well that is not who J is and he flat out says, "I'm sick of it, I grew up." J has raced at Flamboro Downs, Hanover Raceway, Clinton Raceway, Western Fair Raceway, Grand River Raceway, Mohawk and Woodbine Racetrack. "Mainly I focus on Grand River and Flamboro. Flamboro is my home track, I live closest to it and I seem to get a lot of support (at Flamboro), it's been a great track to me. Grand River has a great atmosphere and they do great job with the public. I drive an hour and twenty minutes there (because) it's a great track." As for what the future holds for J and the horse racing industry in the next 10 years, J bluntly says, "I don't see it. In 5 years time we are going to have to make hard decisions whether to stay in (the industry) or not. I think it's going to dwindle down to less than what people think it will be and I think there is only going to be a select few people who can afford to continue with horse racing in Ontario." "It's going to be tough for new owners to go to 'B' tracks in Ontario because they are racing for less money. Anyone who wants to race horses at Woodbine will have a great shot. They go for decent money and I think new owners can make it work. I think Woodbine will keep their horse's value up." Other spots J believes the horse industry has room for growth outside of Ontario and Canada is Ohio State and New York State, in particular, Yonkers Raceway due to the influx of money for purses. Outside of driving, J does train horses and the idea of being a full time trainer is quite appealing to him. "If I can find the owners to do it, I would make a successful go at it." There are plenty of reasons to believe J will be successful regardless of what transpires with the horse racing in the next few years. J is a 'go-getter' who takes whatever may happen in stride and he's not afraid, calm and collected are the two words that come to mind. Good things happen to good people, and it is people, like J, with positive attitudes who persevere through the thick and thin. If J had a man cave it would be a movie theatre and knowing J's love for movies I am sure there will be plenty of fresh popcorn and comfortable seats. J explains there "will be a (huge) TV and a bar, probably a pool table as well. I think I would want the whole movie (experience). I would want the nice comfy lazy boys and a huge TV for the screen." His backup plan would be owning a Cineplex! Be sure to check out J Harris and the rest of the drivers at Flamboro Downs. It's a lot of fun with a great group of people. by Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com
Grand River Raceway hosted its fifth annual backstretch Open House on Saturday, October 19. Despite dark skies and showers, 156 people of all ages attended for a rare glimpse of horse racing behind-the-scenes. More than $150 was raised at the door for the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. A full tour of the Open House stations included: a tour of the judges' stand and announcer's booth with track announcer Gary Guy; the basics of breeding, owning, training, driving and caring for racehorses; a tour of the paddock, testing areas, starting car and track maintenance vehicles; and the unique opportunity to drive a racehorse. Grand River Raceway extends its sincere appreciation to people who volunteered their time to help with this event, and provided horsepower, including: staff of the Hands On Horses Program (Stacey Reinsma, Natalie Elliott, Ken Ellis), Brian Tropea of the Ontario Harness Horse Association, Kristen Cobb, Kyle Bossence, Paula McGuire, Ken Middleton, Ben Holliday, John Newell, Bob McClure, Caroline Holliday, Gary Guy, Joe Currie, Tom Williams and Debi O'Brien Moran. The Grand River Raceway event is the final Open House of the season presented in cooperation with the Hands On Horse Program and the Ontario Harness Horse Association. Earlier events were staged at The Raceway at Western Fair District, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway. For information about similar upcoming events, visit www.handsonhorsesprogram.com The Hands On Horses Program returns to Grand River Raceway for the track's 2013 season finale on Wednesday, October 30, when fans can win a spin around the track in a double-seated jog cart between the races. For more information about this event: http://grandriverraceway.com/final-race-night-2013/ To view photos from the Grand River Raceway Open House: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.602883986439651.1073741834.127947220599999&type=1&l=7b7fe3528f by Kelly Spencer for Grand River Raceway
Over 80 horses entered the box for the 4th and final card of the 2013 Lakeshore Horse Racing Association meet, at the Leamington Fair Grounds. Organizers are extremely pleased with the turnout and support from local horsemen and businesses. In fact, all 40 of the live race sponsorships for the meet were sold out in less than a week. The 4 day meet has included several extracurricular activities, including Guest National Anthem Singers, Riders Under Saddle, Parade Marshall horses, the “So you think you can drive” and “I Love Canadian Harness Racing” groups. Family Day this Sunday is jam packed with activities including an Off Kilter Equine demonstration, a petting zoo, meet and greet with Hall of Famers Dave Wall and Bob McIntosh, World Champion driver Jody Jamieson, and Doug Mcintosh. One lucky fan will also win a 50 inch Panasonic TV courtesy of Ernies TV in Kingsville, and the group encourages people to bring a non-perishable food item to the races for the local Salvation Army Food Drive. Leamington’s final live race program for 2013 goes this Sunday afternoon at 1:00pm. Gord Dougan
Premier Kathleen Wynne says her government will spend up to 400 million dollars over the next five years to help the struggling industry. A panel appointed by the Liberals after they cancelled the slots at racetracks program made the recommendation in a report released on Friday. The funding would cover purses and the costs of live racing. The panel also calls for a Standardbred racing alliance to operate a "world class racing circuit'' with eight tracks -- Hanover, Clinton, Grand River, Western Fair, Flamboro, Georgian, Mohawk and Woodbine. However, it says it doesn't support a full race calendar at Fort Erie's track but endorses the current 30-day calendar at Ajax Downs. Reaction to report is mostly positive from the Harness Racing industry. General Manager at Hanover Raceway Gord Dougan is glad his track is part of that eight-track alliance. He also points out the funding would be 80 million dollars a year, starting next April, compared to the 60 million that race tracks received this past year. One negative is the amount of race days. Dougan says it appears they will have only 15 dates for racing compared with 20 last year, and 32 days in 2012. Hanover Mayor Kathi Maskell is also reacting positively to the report, stating “the recommendations of the Transition Panel and inclusion of Hanover Raceway in the racing alliance is fantastic news for the industry, the regional economy and livelihood of hundreds of people in this area alone, and certainly for the Town of Hanover”. The Progressive Conservatives say the damage has already been done in rural Ontario, where farms have gone bankrupt and people have lost their jobs. To view details of the plan click link below. Ontario Horse Racing Plan (reprinted with permission from www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca)
CAMPBELLVILLE, October 11 - Julie Walker has made a name for herself this season while racing on the Woodbine Entertainment Circuit. The talented young conditioner has put up career numbers with 16 wins from 76 starts with just shy of $250,000 in seasonal earnings. On top of that, the 31-year-old has an impressive .340 Udrs. "Its been one of those years where everything has fallen into place," Walker said. "We have a nice group of young horses that have raced very well this summer. We don't have a big stable and I prefer it that way. I'd take quality over quantity any day." Walker's terrific season was highlighted by rookie Massive Muscles, who banked $106,250 in earnings. The son of Muscle Mass finished most recently finished second in the $200,000 OSS Super Final with Walker's boyfriend, J.B. Renaud in the bike. Walker and Renaud share ownership of the youngster who boasts a 2-3-0 record from six starts. "He was just one of those horses who continued to improve with each start," Walker said. "My father (Paul) trained him down until around February then sent him to me and I finished him off. He's one of those horses that always trained well and I guess we got lucky with him." Not bad for a mere $2,500 purchase at the 2012 Harrisburg Yearling Sale from breeder Karen Carroll. "Whenever I go to the sale, I try and find families that I'm familiar with," Walker said. "I knew his family because my father trained Dillavec ($121,814) and this horse's dam is a brother to him. I guess he was a little coarse, but his video was flawless." Walker and Renaud were at it again this past Thursday evening at Mohawk as Sixth Man lit up the tote board at odds of 62-1. The trotting son of Duke Of York captured the non-winners of two event in a new lifetime best, while paying $127.70 to win providing Renaud with his first driving win on the WEG Circuit. Walker, a native of Owen Sound, was fostered into the business by her father, Paul, who is a well-respected horseman and her mother, Brenda, who is a past Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) Commissioner. "I'm a pretty lucky person to have the guidance I've received over the years from both my parents," Walker said. "My father is someone who I look up to and often seek advice from. He's a terrific trainer and taught me the fundamentals of the business." Walker will condition roughly 10 horses this winter at Shamrock Training Center. "That's right about the number where I'm comfortable," Walker said. "That way every horse is given that attention to detail and nothing goes unmissed. It's been a great summer and hopefully it continues into the winter months." Walker, who has a deep passion for the support, also volunteers her time to assist in the Racing Under Saddle (RUS) events in Ontario. The non-wagering event features a talented group of riders accompanied by trotters traditionally seen in harness racing in a one-mile dash. "It's something that I have seen become very successful in Europe when I visited and it's great to see that we are starting to do it," Walker said. "It's a way to promote the sport and I enjoy being apart of it. Hopefully it has a future." The event has been showcased at Mohawk Racetrack, Hanover Raceway, Grand River Raceway, Hiawatha Horse Park and Western Fair Raceway. "The tracks this year have been terrific at supporting the event and I think the fans really appreciated it as well. We have seen some terrific crowds come out to see it, so it's obviously an attraction to fans." Walker, who has banked over $675,000 in purses as a trainer, is one victory shy of her 50th trip to the winner's circle. Another first is soon in store for the young talented conditioner who has a deep love and passion for the sport of harness racing. by Greg Gangle for WEG
Some of the trophy presentations closing night at Hanover Raceway. Jim Watt of Clinton receives to Ray and Lue Leifso the annual non-driving trainer award from Marion Leifso. Master of Ceremony, Fred Wallace , interviews Tyler Durst of Clinton who received with Owner of the Year Award along with trainer Heather Toll of Dungannon. by Gord Dougan for Hanover Raceway
Fans who attend closing day this Saturday can enter a drawing for our daily and season ending $3,000 dollar travel voucher courtesy of Hanover Travel and Cruises, Nolitours and Transat Holidays, there will alsobe 2 for 1 ice cream on sale, Season ending driver, trainer and horse award winners announced,and 12 great races starting at 7:30 pm. General Manager Gord Dougan says attendance and wagering were up in 2013 as were our special events, including Riders under saddle, live bands on the rooftop, mini-horses, and our prize giveaways for customers. Hanover Raceway is scheduled to provide 18 live race days in 2014 under its agreement with OMAFRA likely starting on the first Saturday in May. by Gord Dougan for Hanover Raceway
Steve Condren made his first visit to Hanover in close to a decade but he remembered where the finish line was, as the WEG driver won two of the five Ontario Sires Stakes Divisions on the evening. Condren’s first win was in the opener driving 2 year old Lenny Mac. The Kadabra daughter got a pocket trip to the quarterpole behind Balanced Image final qualifier, Charstruck and Luc Blais in 29.1, but took over the lead before a half in 1:00.1, and led past three quarters in 1:31.2 and won by 4 lengths in 2:01.4. Condren also won his final start of the night with Chelseas Chance in Race 9. Both fillies were Kadabra daughters and both were owned by Bob Mcintosh stables of Windsor. Mcintosh shares ownership of Lenny Mac with Earl Hill Jr of Oshweken, and Chelseas Chance with CSX Stables of Liberty Centre, Ohio. Other OSS winners were Rutherford Lass for driver Wayne Henry and owners Henry Stables of Arthur and the estate of Daniel McCann of Parkhill in 2:01.3, Bit of Magic for driver Trevor Henry and owner Herbert Martin of Oshweken, and Just Call Me Lady was a winner for driver Trevor Ritchie and owners Blake Macintosh of Cambridge, Anne Campbell and Stephen Waldman of North York. Hanover Raceway gave away dinner for 4 to the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Finals at Mohawk to Ray Stanley of Hanover, and Jean McCauley of Holland Centre won 1 of 2 season ending prizes, a 2500 dollar home renovation courtesy of Hanover Rona. Hanover Raceway closes its 2013 season next Saturday with its season ending awards for horse, driver and trainer of the year, as well as its final major prize draws. 2 people will win 1 of 2 lazy-boy chairs courtesy of 92.3 The Dock and Smittys fine furniture and someone will win a 3,000 dollar vacation voucher courtesy of Hanover Travel and Cruises, Nolitours and Transat Holidays. Post time for the final race card of the season is 7:15pm. Gord Dougan
HANOVER, ON — All 10 of the top point getters in the two-year-old trotting filly division are heading to Hanover Raceway for Saturday’s regular season finale, so the task facing those sitting below the current 96 point cut off is a tough one. Among the fillies hoping to make the leap into the top 10 on Saturday is Balanced Image Elimination winner Jayport Princess. The Kadabra daughter currently sits fourteenth in the standings with 60 points, recording one second, two thirds, one fourth and one sixth in the first five Grassroots legs. The Chris Beaver trainee’s only victory came in her Aug. 24 Balanced Image Elimination, where she delivered a dominant gate-to-wire performance in 2:02. In last weekend’s final Jayport Princess drew the outside Post 7 and made a break in the hustle away from the starting gate, finishing a disappointing sixth. Saturday will mark the filly’s third straight start over the Hanover oval and Jayport Princess will be back on the outer half of the starting gate, landing Post 6 in the third $18,000 Grassroots division. Delaware, OH resident Beaver shares ownership on the winner of $13,260 with Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON and Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, ON. Among the fillies aiming to keep Jayport Princess out of the winner’s circle on Saturday are fifth ranked Diamonds For Life, who will start from Post 5, and tenth ranked Supreme Monarch, who gets Post 7. The two-year-old trotting fillies will square off in Races 1, 3, 4, 7, and 9 on Hanover Raceway’s Saturday, Sept. 7 program, which gets under way at 7:30 pm. In addition to the exciting on-track action, Hanover fans will also have an opportunity to visit with some of the Ontario Sires Stakes program’s top drivers and win dinner for four at the season ending Super Finals at Mohawk Racetrack. For complete entries please go to http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e0907hnvrn.dat by Sandra Snyder
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Trainer Gregg McNair captured his first Johnston Cup award last season, and the Guelph resident is on track to repeat as the Ontario Sires Stakes’ leading trainer in 2013. Twenty different pacers and nine trotters have contributed to McNair’s second superlative season, which sees him leading the trainer standings by 67 points just past the halfway mark. Two of those pacers are currently ranked first and second in the two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots standings and Momara and Can Art will be looking to maintain their standing when the fillies arrive at Mohawk Racetrack on Labour Day Monday, Sept. 2. Division leader Momara will be first out of the barn on Monday for the McNair contingent, which also includes Regally Ready and Eagle Molly. The Lis Mara daughter has been near flawless in Grassroots action, recording three wins and one second, but she faces a stiff test Monday starting from the outside Post 10 in the first $18,000 division. McNair’s son Doug, also of Guelph, will steer all four fillies, piloting Momara on behalf of his father, Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, and Don MacDonald and David Kryway of Amherstburg. All four of the McNair trainees will start on the outer half of the gate and second-ranked Can Art landed Post 9 in the third race. The daughter of Artistic Fella and former Ontario Sires Stakes winner Canadette is owned by breeder Robert Chapple of Chatham and has two wins and one fourth to her credit through three Grassroots starts. Regally Ready will also start from Post 9, looking for her first Grassroots win in the fifth race. The Royal Mattjesty daughter has been close, recording a pair of seconds, but has yet to land owners Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA in the winner’s circle. The final member of team McNair, Eagle Molly, will start from Post 8 in the last division. The Eagle Luck lass, bred and owned by McNair and Ian Fleming of Londesborough, has just one start under her belt and will be looking to improve on the fifth-place result she earned at Hanover Raceway on Aug. 17. The two-year-old pacing fillies will wage their second last regular season battle in Races 1, 2, 3, 5, and 12 on Mohawk Racetrack’s holiday Monday program, which also features the Simcoe Stakes for the three-year-old pacing fillies and trotting fillies. At least half the field in each $216,429 Simcoe Stake is Ontario-sired, including trotting superstar Bee A Magician from Post 11 in the sixth race. For complete entries please click here
Riina Rekila, the Finland raised veterinarian and accomplished standardbred trainer/driver, won tonight’s Monte Special on Hanover Raceway’s “All Trot Night”. Rekila reined veteran Harlequin (12g Balanced Image-Wellesley Doll-Dream Of Glory) to a narrow come-from-behind score in 2:04h. The winning team was away fifth in the six horse contest, before steadily moving forward where a :29.3 final panel secured the win over a game Charlie Tuna. Rekila has extended her patient driving style to the monte sport with great effectiveness, having won earlier in the month at Clinton Raceway, also aboard Harlequin. by Thomas H. Hicks
It was another good night on the track for 2013 Johnston Cup leading trainer Gregg McNair when seven divisions of two-year old pacing fillies rolled into Hanover Raceway. The Guelph, Ontario resident formerly of Walkerton, scored two grassroots division victories with Momara and Can Art in races five and nine respectively. 2013 Battle of the Belles runner-up Momara wired the field as the overwhelming post-time favorite. The daughter of Lis Mara cruised to an easy victory in 1:57.3 with Stuart Sowerby in the race bike. Momara now has four wins in six lifetime starts for earnings nearing the $50,000 mark. Sowerby was steering once again when McNair sent out Can Art in race nine. The Artistic Fella filly was a gate-to-wire winner in 1:58.3, as she was able to fend off all challengers in the stretch. The win was her second in six races. McNair also had a second place finish from Regally Ready in race seven, while Sowerby scored an OSS hat trick by adding a win with Gram Rules for Blake McIntosh in race three. Hanover was lucky to have Hall of Famer Clint Galbraith formerly of Tara on hand, as he visited with Peter and Jean Thibideau before heading to Clinton to compete in their Legends Day of Racing program. Galbraith trained and drove arguably the best horse of the last century in Niatross who was just this past week, was enshrined in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Niatross was the first pacer to earn over 2 million dollars and was named the hosre of the year in 1979 and 1980. Niatross was named the Horse of the year in both Canada and the United States during 2 year old campaign where we won all 13 of his races and won 37 of his 39 career starts. Hanover Raceway returns with All-Trot Night on Saturday, August 24th. The eleventh edition of the track’s all trotting card will feature eliminations for the Balanced Image stakes for two-year olds, the 39th annual Walker Memorial, and a RUS Ontario exhibition race. Hanover Raceway is also participating in the Bring A Friend to the Races Challenge, as fans who bring someone new to the races, will both be entered in a draw for special behind the scenes prizing. Fans who come early will get a chance to meet the RUS riders and several regular drivers including Jay Harris and Stuart Sowerby in a meet and greet session under the grandstand at 6:30pm. Post time next Saturday for the 11th annual ALL TROT DAY is 7:30pm.
HANOVER, ON - Two-year-old pacing fillies will be the stars of the show at Hanover Raceway on Saturday, Aug. 17 and Shes A Hotmama is hoping for a sizzling mile over her local oval. Through the first three Grassroots events Shes A Hotmama has posted a fifth in the July 2 season opener at Georgian Downs, a win in the July 9 event at Georgian Downs and a second in the July 22 test at Mohawk Racetrack, putting her in a tie for fourth spot in the division standings with 80 points. The daughter of Major Hottie and Maman Secret Love will make her bid for another top result from Post 7 in the first $12,857 division. Kathleen Charlton of Clifford and Larocque Racing Stb. Inc. of Thornhill share ownership of Shes A Hotmama and Clifford resident Stephen Charlton trains the filly, who has tallied $10,542 in her brief career. Among the fillies hoping to keep Shes A Hotmama out of the winner's circle are Catwoman, who is hot on her heels in the point standings with 74. Catwoman will start from Post 4 in the first division for trainer Murray Brethour of Sunderland and his partners Douglas Millard of Woodstock and David Heffering of Port Perry. In the third division Mattjestic Light will make her Grassroots debut for Sauble Hill Farms of Tara and Nasussito Racing Inc. of Ayr. Sauble Hill principal Larry Hall conditions the Royal Mattjesty daughter, who was a winner at Hanover on July 27, touring the half-mile oval in 1:59.4. Garrett Rooney guided Mattjestic Light to the win and will be back in the race bike from Post 5 on Saturday. The two-year-old pacing fillies will engage in their Grassroots battles in Races 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10 on Saturday evening, with Hanover Raceway's first race going in behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm. For complete entries. Sandra Snyder
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — August has already been an exceptional month for trainer Carmen Auciello and the Stouffville resident is hoping there is a bit of excitement left to come as he readies five starters for Saturday night’s Mid-Summer Challenge event at Mohawk Racetrack. On August 3 the trainer celebrated his biggest stakes victory to date when three-year-old trotting gelding Enough About You captured the Dream Of Glory Final at Hanover Raceway. The Mutineer son dominated the field in both his elimination and the final, clocking a 1:59.1 score off the front end in the elimination and coming from the back to post a seven and one-quarter length 1:57.3 victory in the final. “He was very impressive in his last two races,” says Auciello, adding that the gelding had been battling sickness for much of July. “This is a horse that raced in 1:54.2 back in June, and if he can trot back to that, he has a good shot in there (Saturday).” Enough About You will start at Post 1 in the $150,000 sophomore trotting colt Mid-Summer Challenge, drawing into the main event when some of the colts ahead of him in the point standings opted not to enter. Auciello and owners Wheelhouse Racing Stable of Mississauga were delighted with the draw and are looking forward to seeing how the colt, currently ranked thirteenth in the division, measures up in a head-to-head battle against the cream of the crop. “We plan to keep him in the Gold for the rest of the year, and these are the horses he has to beat if he’s going to do any damage and make the Super Final,” says Auciello of the fifth race field. “It’s tough, very tough, but he’s got a chance at some money.” The gelding’s stablemate Brenway Dixie will battle in the three-year-old trotting filly Challenge and while Auciello is conceding top spot to world champion Bee A Magician, who will start from Post 10, he is hoping the filly can earn a share of the $150,000 pie from Post 3. “Nobody is going to beat Bee A Magician,” says Auciello. “But she’s got as good a shot as anybody to finish second, third, fourth if she’s on top of her game.” Denarben Stables of Thornhill and the trainer’s father Rocco Auciello of Stouffville purchased Brenway Dixie in mid-June and the Oaklea Julian daughter immediately paid off her $30,000 purchase price by finishing third and second in the first two Gold Series legs. The filly made an error in her most recent start, an Aug. 3 overnight at Mohawk, but Auciello expects her to be back on track for Saturday’s test, slated for Race 2. One race later Auciello trainees will occupy the centre of the starting gate in the three-year-old pacing filly Mid-Summer Consolation as Kamkar Kutie, Mach Away and In The Wheelhouse landed Posts 3, 4, and 5, respectively. All three fillies were affected by the virus that felled Enough About You, but the trainer is hoping they can bounce back in time for the $50,000 Consolation. “I had a virus go through my barn like I’ve never had before. One older horse didn’t get sick, but every single two and three-year-old got it,” he explains. “I think (these fillies) are probably over it now, but they didn’t bounce back as good as I thought they would. “All three are competitive in there if they’re healthy and they get a trip,” he adds. Jeffrey Goldenthal of Toronto bred and owns No Pan Intended daughter Kamkar Kutie, who posted a 1:54.3 win at Mohawk on July 11, but struggled to a ninth-place result in her July 26 start at the Campbellville oval. Mach Three daughter Mach Away finished seventh in her Aug. 2 prep at Mohawk for Denarben Stables and Rocco Auciello, and Stonebridge Regal daughter In The Wheelhouse was eighth in her Aug. 2 test for Wheelhouse Racing Stable. In addition to the three races Auciello trainees will participate in, Mohawk Racetrack will feature the $50,000 three-year-old trotting filly Consolation in Race 1, the $150,000 sophomore pacing filly Challenge in Race 6, and the $150,000 sophomore pacing colt Challenge in Race 9. Post time for Saturday’s Mid-Summer Challenge event, the final one on the 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes calendar, is 7:25 pm.
Hanover Raceway will host two events this weekend, aimed at giving racing fans an inside look at the sport of harness racing. On Saturday night, the Ontario Harness Horse Association will be running their popular "So You Think You Can Drive" promotion. During the evening of racing fans will have an opportunity to win a chance to drive a real Standardbred racehorse, accompanied by a professional driver on a double-seated jog cart. The event has been running for a number of years, and is a truly hands-on, unique experience for fans to get the feel for driving a racehorse. Then on Sunday, Hanover Raceway will host their annual open house from 12 noon until 3:00 pm. Track management invites all fans to come out to the Hanover backstretch for a behind-the-scenes view of the world of harness racing. Fans will have an opportunity to drive a racehorse, as well as learn the fundamentals of the sport including details on the rules, drug testing, equipment, and training. General manager Gord Dougan encourages all to come out, stating "this is a as close as you can get to the action." Guests will get to visit 3 information stations including rides on a jog cart, and there will be a free hot dog bar-b-q for guests. The racing season continues Saturday night at Hanover Raceway. Post time is 7:30 pm. by Gord Dougan
Three eliminations for the $70,000+ Dream of Glory Trot were contested at Hanover Raceway Saturday night. The field for the Dream of Glory final is now set, and eight horses will headline the biggest night of the year at the Hanover oval on August 3rd. In race three, Enough About You went off as the post-time favourite and had it all his way from the outset of the race. Driver Travis Henry who was making his first steer of the three-year old Mutineer gelding rated an easy mile to win in 1:59.1. After the race, Henry noted that he had talked with regular pilot Anthony Macdonald earlier in the week and simply “did what [he] was told.” Enough About You won by two-and-a-quarter lengths over Muscle On Broadway and Ross Battin who also qualified for the final. Henry also noted that the Dream of Glory final will be the richest race of his young career and he’s looking forward to being a part of it. The win was the fourth lifetime score for Enough About You, who was coming off a sixth place finish in the Canadian Breeders Championship a week prior. Carmen Auciello trains for the Wheelhouse Racing Stable in Mississauga, Ontario. Another CBC finalist El Diablo Rojo engineered a wire-to-wire win in the second Dream of Glory elimination. Bruce Richardson was in the bike for trainer Mike Bishop and owner Karen Carroll, and Richardson was able to hold off a challenge from Bop Too The Top and Matt Bax. El Diablo Rojo trotted the mile in 2:00.0. After the race, Richardson said “depending on the post we draw, then I’ll figure out what trip to look for. If we draw on the inside, maybe the top will work out again, but we’ll see.” El Diablo Rojo ended up drawing the rail for next week’s final. The third elimination was contested after a lengthy rain delay soaked the track. Eat Pray Trot fired out to an early lead from post 7 with Garrett Rooney steering. However, by the three-quarter station Bax had grinded his way to the top with Her Name Is Lola. The Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series filly took control heading for home and held off late challenges from both Eat Pray Trot and a fast-closing Standing My Ground. Two-time Dream of Glory winning trainer John Bax conditions Her Name is Lola for Parkill Stud Farm, Gaelic Stable, and Don Allensen. Bax will send out both Her Name Is Lola and Bop To The Top in the final. The field for the $71,200 Dream of Glory Final is as follows: 1 – El Diablo Rojo 2 – Katla 3 – Muscle On Broadway 4 – Eat Pray Trot 5 – Standing My Ground 6 – Her Name Is Lola 7 – Bop To The Top 8 – Enough About You AE1. PC Momma Mia AE2. Northern Nandi Off the track, Jim McCrae of Sauble Beach was the luckiest fan in attendance winning a 55 inch Panasonic Smart TV and Blueray package courtesy of 92.3 The Dock, and Modern Appliances of Hanover. McCrae said he’s a regular to Hanover Raceway and joked he’s going to need a lesson to learn all the great features the TV has to offer. Dream of Glory day festivities will include a Bar-b-q and Live band, Mini-horse race, Rides in a Clydesdale Carriage for the post parades, a Match Race between the 2012 champion Summer Indian (1:51.1) and 2011 champ Traverse Seelster (1:51.2), the 70,000 dollar Dream of Glory final, and a Mascot Race before the huge BEM fireworks display. There will also be draws for accommodations and golf at Cobble Beach, tickets to Music in the Fields, and a draw for a plane trip for 6 via Brucelandair to either Killarney or Niagra Falls. Post time for Dream of Glory Night is 6:30 p.m and doors open at 5:00. Gord Dougan