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Due to the expansion of the Hanover Slots and construction of a new restaurant and washrooms for live racing, the Hanover Raceway simulcast and restaurant were closed at the end of March. Approvals have now been given to host an off-track simulcast at the Hanover Curling Club starting Sunday April 13th at noon. The simulcast will be open Thursdays and Mondays from 6-11pm and on Friday, Saturday and Sundays from Noon to 11:00pm.  Closed Tuesday and Wednesdays. Limited food and beverage services will be provided at the curling club located at 247 12th street in Hanover. The Curling Club is located 1 block north of the Main Street in Hanover, across from the Hanover Legion, and the current plan is to remain open until the new Simulcast is open for wagering in June. by Gord Dougan, for Hanover Raceway

The harness racing community is vast and full of tremendous people. Just when you think you've met all of the greatest people possible, you are pleasantly surprised by another decent, down to earth and humble individual. Harness racing has to be one of the classiest sports out of all, including all the major sports. Garrett Rooney is a humble and respectful person who has been driving horses for the past ten years. Garrett mainly drives at Hanover Raceway, Clinton Raceway and Grand River Raceway through the summer racing season. During the winter months as the majority of tracks close, Garrett spends his time working with horses at the farm. Currently, Garrett is working 6 days a week with Trevor Henry and his stable of horses. In previous years, during the winter racing season, Garrett would drive more at tracks like Western Fair Raceway. However with all the turmoil caused by the provincial government resulting in fewer horses and less races due to cut backs, Garrett has not been able to drive as much as he would of like to. "You get the top 15 drivers at the track every day; you are going to get shuffled to the back of the bus. Some trainers I worked with had 5 or more horses, now they have one or two and take the winter off." From a young age, Garrett knew he wanted to drive horses and through high school, whenever he wasn't at class, he was at the farm learning and working hard. Garrett's dad (Merv) was a mechanic and his mom (Brenda) was a bank manager, but lucky for Garrett, his family friends were the Henry's and Richardson's so making the idea of working with horses possible and ideal. "My dad coached both Trevor Henry and Bruce Richardson in minor league hockey." Garrett says. "Our families have always been close. My grandfather (Bob Morrison) and uncle (Art Morrison) had horses too." Bruce Richardson's dad, Brian drove horses for Garrett's grandfather. Garrett trained his first horse when he was only 16 and the name of that horse, For Your Approval. "He won 3 or 4 races at Woodbine for me. He was doing alright for us and we didn't buy him for much either. We lost him in a $15,000 claimer, but we only bought him for $2500 so that wasn't too bad." Garrett's first drive was roughly ten years ago aboard a horse for Trevor Henry at Hanover Raceway, (Hanover, ON). "I qualified the horse and Trevor told me, this can be my first drive. My first win was in Hanover to, the horses name was Second Chances." To win a race with a horse of that name is quite cool. Some of the names Standardbred horses are given are so creative and fun. At times whimsical. "I started getting into horses when I was around 12 years old. It started out as a summer job and I got more and more into it. Then it became something I wanted to do" explains Garrett. The idea of entering into a different career never crossed Garrett's mind. "I never thought of doing anything else, when I was a kid I'd always go to the races with my parents, and I'd say I want to drive horses for a living... it's something I've always liked and wanted to do." Garrett's outlook is very positive, he's hoping to train more horses and one day have a stable to call his own. Garrett is currently training a 2-year-old trotter named Federal and hopes to have him race in the Ontario Sire Stakes series. As well, even though Garrett has been driving horses for ten years, he'd like to drive more often where and when he can. "It's kind of changed, now a driver text and messages trainers for drives, it's more PR work. You can be more aggressive that way to pick up drives. Before you'd just go to the track and pick up qualifiers and make your connections there." Garrett says. "Now you have to be your own agent, but you don't want to step on anyone's toes." Now that is respect for your colleagues. We all work to be number one in anything we set out to achieve, but knowing where to draw the line is something not everyone understands, but Garrett does. "My parents always supported me, for sure" says Garrett. "I have two older brothers (Darryl & Brad) and we all played hockey, sometimes we'd all be playing hockey on the same night and there's only two parents and three different places to go to and my mom didn't have a drivers license. They always got us to the rink or wherever we were going." "Now mom and dad, there isn't a Saturday night in Hanover they do not miss when I'm driving there." Garrett says, "It gives them something to do.... I'm not sure what they would do if I wasn't doing this, I'd think they would get pretty bored." In his ten years of driving horses, there was one drive that Garrett will never forget. "I'll always remember the one drive I had with this one horse. I kind of got locked in with him along the rail and he was a big strong horse and I couldn't hang on. I was all over the guy in front of me and my arms were pretty well rubber. I couldn't hold him and had to get him out so I jerked him out and interfered and crashed and banged into everyone." "I will always remember that" says Garrett. "It was a scary feeling and having nowhere to go. No one was hurt and I didn't really hit anybody, kind of more just pushed some guys out of the way so I could get out of the way... that was a real learning moment for me." Garrett is grateful to Trevor Henry and the entire Henry family for teaching him so much about the sport of harness racing. Bruce Richardson is another person Garrett is grateful for always being there for him. "You learn a lot from those guys and their experiences." Garrett acknowledges. Asking Garrett what he would do if he could do anything with a week away from horse racing and money was not an issue, Garrett said he would like to visit Las Vegas as he's never been there. Garrett would love to get into some card games while in Vegas. That's one thing Garrett enjoys, playing card games, whether it be poker, euchre, crib or gin, you name the game and he's in. Hanover Raceway will be opening up for the 2014 season on Saturday June 7th with a post time of 7:15pm. Be sure to see Garrett in action and grab an autograph. By: Roderick Balgobin www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova

It was no April Fools' Day prank as today the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) announced its decision in regard to the race-date applications for the nine Standardbred racetracks in the province. The ORC has announced the approved race dates for Woodbine Racetrack, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Rideau Carleton Raceway, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway. On Monday, March 31, the ORC released the proposed race dates for the period: April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, for almost all of the province’s racetracks. To view a list of the proposed race dates, click here. The ORC's release regarding approved dates explains that the live race date schedules for other racetracks will be announced as their agreements are finalized. The ORC release appears below. ORC approves Ontario Race Dates for 2014 and beyond Notice of Director’s decision regarding 2014 Race Dates The Director of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) today announced the decision regarding the schedule of live race dates for 2014 for certain racetracks. Following the successful conclusion of agreements, the following racetracks were in a position to commit to their race date schedule for the remainder of 2014: Woodbine Mohawk Western Fair Flamboro Downs Georgian Downs Grand River Rideau Carleton Clinton Hanover The live race date schedules for other racetracks will be announced as their agreements are finalized. Agreements were possible due to government’s commitment to provide funds to horse racing to support the industry`s efforts to grow its business. This five-year commitment has allowed for the negotiation of long term agreements which secure this schedule of race dates for each of the next five years. The Director confirms and approves the schedule of race dates for the 2014 as follows: APPLICANT – 1st quarter (prior approved) – Remaining dates – Total dates Woodbine Racetrack Standardbred (Premier) – 37 – 71 – 108 Thoroughbred (Premier) – 0 – 133 – 133 Mohawk Racetrack Standardbred (Premier) – 0 – 102 – 102 Western Fair Standardbred (Signature) – 38 – 87 – 125 Flamboro Downs Standardbred (Signature) – 52 – 94 – 146 Georgian Downs Standardbred (Signature) - 0 – 40 – 40 Grand River Raceway Standardbred (Signature) - 0 – 48 – 48 Rideau Carleton Raceway Standardbred (Signature) - 14 – 78 – 92 Clinton Raceway Standardbred (Grassroots) - 0 – 15 – 15 Hanover Raceway Standardbred (Grassroots) - 0 – 16 – 16 In accordance with Policy Directive 3-2007, all other race date calendars are approved, but are subject to change where a racetrack operator or other interested party makes an application to vary the approved dates, which will be considered based on the strengths of the business plans submitted and the industry funding available. The Director has been moving forward to implement the components of the five-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan (HRPP), as approved by the Ontario government. Announcements have been made awarding Woodbine Entertainment Group as the single teletheatre operator under a procurement process that is now complete. Revenue earned from the teletheatre network will be used for the benefit of the Centralized Racetracks, which include Woodbine, Mohawk, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Western Fair, Grand River, Clinton, Hanover and Ajax Downs. Additionally announcements have been made designating WEG as the single telephone account betting operator, where revenue earned will be used for the benefit of the Centralized Racetracks. Operation of regional racetracks and the related purses will be funded through a mix of on-track wagering and Horse Racing Partnership Funding Program funds. Please be advised that you or any other aggrieved party have the right to appeal the Director’s decision to the Commission. From Steve Lehman, Executive Director for the Ontario Racing Commission

NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS We are pleased to announce that, in co-operation with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Hanover Raceway will be expanding and renovating the restaurant, simulcast and washrooms areas of the facility. The gaming floor at the Slots at Hanover Raceway will also be expanded. In order to complete the renovations by June 1st, 2014, Hanover Raceway will temporarily close the Restaurant and Simulcast Areas at the end of March 2014. A temporary location for Simulcast will be announced shortly. We anticipate that the renovations will be completed in time for the beginning of the live racing season, which is scheduled to begin on Saturday, June 7th at 7:15 pm. We know that our customers will enjoy the newly expanded, restaurant, simulcast, gaming floor and other renovated facilities. We thank you for your understanding and we look forward to providing you with a more comfortable and enjoyable experience at the newly renovated Hanover Raceway. Gord Dougan GM Hanover Raceway

The Ontario Horse Racing division of the Ontario Racing Commission has provided the Premier of Ontario and the province's Minister of Agriculture & Food, Kathleen Wynne with this update on the progress in implementing the five-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan. While the announcement does not include a racing calendar, it does officially announce the Ontario alliance tracks. The Honourable Kathleen Wynne Minister of Agriculture and Food Government of Ontario Dear Minister, I am pleased to provide a further update on progress in implementing the Ontario Horse Racing Partnership Plan. Under your direction, the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) and its business development division – Ontario Horse Racing (OHR) – have been tasked with building a racing calendar for Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Quarter Horses. The Partnership Plan supports Ontario’s proud legacy of Standardbred racing and the thousands of jobs across the province with three distinct components; - Traditional summer grassroots racing in rural Ontario. - A long racing season at Rideau-Carleton Raceway. - A year round circuit of top quality racing at eight core tracks. While a robust Standardbred racing industry requires all three components, the cornerstone of the program is year-round, world-class racing that will attract a global audience and increase its fan base and wagering revenues. To ensure a circuit of high quality racing is coordinated for the benefit of horsepersons and horseplayers, I am pleased to inform you that eight racetracks - Clinton Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Hanover Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District and Woodbine Racetrack - have united in a world-leading alliance. This innovative and cooperative racing alliance has collectively determined there is greater benefit for the industry as a whole in working together to capitalize and succeed in presenting Ontario Standardbred racing to a global audience. We have recently completed an agreement with the alliance tracks and are now ready to engage in discussions with horsepersons groups as the final step in preparation for an exciting season of racing featuring guaranteed purses and some of Ontario’s finest racehorses. Partnerships are all about people and we continue to benefit from the passion, commitment and expertise of the Ontario racing community as we implement the Partnership Plan. John Snobelen From the Ontario Racing Commission

Longtime racing official Ken Middleton, Sr. passed away Thursday, March 6 at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. He was 67.   The resident of Bobcaygeon, Ontario, who began his career in the racing industry as a teenager in the mailroom at the Ontario Jockey Club, held a number of racing-related positions. He was the Toronto Sun's handicapper for racing from the Ontario Jockey Club before moving on to be the racing secretary at Kawartha Downs.   He later became the racing secretary and general manager at Elmira Raceway, and was a driving force behind the introduction of full-card simulcast wagering and the creation of the ever-popular Industry Day. He also worked as the racing secretary and general manager at Hanover Raceway before spending more than the last decade as the author of the Horseplayers' Journal for the Standardbred program at Woodbine and Mohawk Racetrack.   Middleton, who was born in Toronto, Ontario, is survived by his dear wife Judy (Lacey) Middleton; sons Keith (Tania) and Ken, Jr. (Stacey) of Cambridge, Ontario; and was the loving poppy of grandchildren Justin and Kendal. He was predeceased by his father (Ernie, Sr.), mother (Eleanor), brother (Ernie, Jr.) and sister (Jackie).   Those wishing to make online condolences to the family can do so by clicking here.  

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    

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