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Horse Racing New Brunswick, in partnership with the Woodstock Driving Club and it's sponsors present a seven-dash harness racing program at Connell Park in Woodstock, New Brunswick on Friday evening starting at 7:00 P.M.   Racing is a long standing tradition at the half-mile oval and part of Old Home week celebrations at the New Brunswick track. Horse Racing New Brunswick and the Woodstock organizers are expecting a large and enthusiast fan base on Friday night.   Friday night's featured event will be the Kelti Burnett Memorial pace which carries with it an attractive purse of $ 6000 thanks to the sponsors of the prestigious race. Corey Ford, one of New Brunswick's leading dealerships, along with the McCain family are sponsoring the nights events.   Now to the field of pacers assembled for the premier event of the night. Representing the Downey Stables are two pacers who have been a sold combination the last few weeks in New Brunswick.   Fall Bliss, driven by Dr. Mitchell Downey leads the charge from the coveted rail position. He is the provinces top pacer this season and will face a fierce challenge not only from his stable mate City Of The Year for Mike Downey but invitees from Prince Edward Island.   Downey's charge Fall Bliss is coming off four consecutive wins. He will have his hands full with P.E.I pacers Forever Paradise and Jeb who ship in for the event chasing the lucrative purse along with Machinthesand with catch-driver Todd Trites,   Horse Racing New Brunswick, it's President Kathy McLean Harvey and organizers would like to thank everyone who made this week's racing at Connell Park in Woodstock a success, and helped to carry on another tradition in the provinces racing history.   Scott Waddell

Ramblinglily, one of Atlantic Canada's premier pacing mares came to Woodstock, New Brunswick on Monday afternoon and returned a harness racing winner for co-owner Allan Jones in the sulky.   Horse Racing New Brunswick in partnership with the Woodstock Jockey Club hosted a six-dash program on the civic holiday.   Leaving from post-five, the mare was on top early and never looked back as she turned away the first-up challenger, City Of The Year ( Dr. Mitchell Downey ) to score her 43rd career victory.   Norman Leger shares ownership in the mare who stopped the tele-timer in 1:59.2 for the victory. Momara rallied nicely for third in the $ 1350 top-class.   Racing will continue on Friday night with the Kelti Burnett Memorial invitational for $ 5000 and the Eagles Nest Jr. Invitational for $ 2000.   Scott Waddell    

The ongoing battle between Fredericton Exhibition Limited (FREX) and Horse Racing New Brunswick (HRNB) is directly affecting more than the two warring sides — harness racing stable users are feeling helpless over the developing situation. “The horsemen have been somewhat caught in the middle,” said Sam Hodgin, President of the NB Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association. The battle really turned sour last month when FREX decided property taxes for the year must paid up front, rather than monthly in previous years. When HRNB didn’t pay, FREX took action, locking HRNB out of their offices. The move was quickly taken back due to not providing 30 days notice. “We were able to get them to get their taxes in line,” FREX Executive Director Mike Vokey said. “This is the first year that that’s happened since I’ve been here.” “The organization is three years behind in their financial so we can’t look at it and really understand what the costs are and where the revenues are going,” Vokey said. “We know there’s a cost to running races but we provide the facility … for only a dollar. The only obligations they have really come down to running a full season of racing, paying the property taxes and looking after the property.” On Tuesday one of the Exhibition’s eleven water meters was shut off temporarily, taking HRNB by surprise. The metres used for track maintenance and not consumption by the horses. FREX says they were shut off for a routine check, and that a a lack of communication is to blame for the confusion, as they needed to check the meters to ensure all water bills were being paid, but weren’t able to meet with HRNB’s President. “We could’ve sped up the process if we would’ve met in person,” Vokey said. While Vokey and HRNB work out their differences, horse owners say they’re caught in the crossfire. “They’re both working hard to try to run their own business,” Hodgin said. “But the horsemen are the ones right now that are kind of — we really don’t have any say in it, but we’re the ones being affected by losing our race dates.” The originally planned HRNB scheduled would have seen 10 races in Fredericton, the same amount as last year. Saint John would be bumped from a single race to 10, with three more taking place in Woodstock. However, according to the posted schedule, HRNB is now only hosting three races in Fredericton this year — a drop that isn’t welcome for those looking to race in the New Brunswick capital. “I’m just hoping that the two sides, Fredericton Exhibition and Horse Racing New Brunswick realize that the only way that we’re going to go forward is to work together,” Hodgin said. “Not try to take from one another.” HRNB didn’t respond to Global News’ request to comment on the situation. By Jeremy Keefe Reprinted with permission of the Globalnews.ca site

The locks on Winners Lounge and the offices of Horse Racing New Brunswick were changed overnight by Fredericton Exhibition Ltd. Roberta Nixon said after Winners closed around 3 a.m. on Tuesday, the bar's manager was contacted by its alarm company and told alarms were sounding. The bar manager returned to Winners to find Fredericton police, security, Mike Vokey, the Fredericton Exhibition's executive director, and a locksmith. "They've locked us out," said Nixon. who is the executive director of Horse Racing New Brunswick. "We cannot access our bar, our simulcast, our Coasters, or our head office and all of our business operations." Lease breaches Vokey said the exhibition's board of directors voted to take the action after numerous lease breaches by Horse Racing New Brunswick. Nixon said as of Sunday, her organization "didn't owe them a penny." Nixon said property taxes of about $36,000 were due on Sunday and when a cheque for that amount was delivered to Vokey on Monday, he refused to accept it without opening it. Vokey said the attempted late payment of property taxes is one of the lease breaches involved. "It was due on the 15th and they were told to have it in on the Friday to make sure it was in by the 15th and that didn't take place," Vokey said. Vokey said by the time the attempted cheque delivery was made on Monday afternoon, the exhibition's board of directors had already decided to take the action that unfolded early Tuesday morning. VLTs shut down Winners is a popular Coasters lounge with 25 video lottery terminals owned by the Atlantic Lottery Corp. In a good two-week period, Nixon said, the VLTs provide Horse Racing New Brunswick with about $15,000 as its share of the revenue from the machines. It is not clear when Winners Lounge will reopen. Vokey said the plan will "kind of develop on its own" in the near future. "I think the Exhibition's hope would be it continues and the VLTs remain there and the property continues under some new management," he said. "It is possible HRNB could come to the table and negotiate a new lease for it, but it would be a lease that is different and more substantial and protected the interests of the Exhibition." Fredericton Exhibition Ltd. "is prepared to" take over operating Winners Lounge, said Vokey. "It was certainly not a goal that we've ever talked about," he said. Atlantic Lottery spokeswoman Christine Manore said the corporation is aware of the situation. "This is between the retailer and the landlord," said Manore. "At this time, Atlantic Lottery is evaluating the situation." Only 3 race dates Vokey said the lease agreement also states there is to be a "full schedule" of harness racing at Fredericton Raceway, but this year only three race dates are scheduled for Fredericton. "That's an important term because we provide that space for harness racing," said Vokey. "It's provided for $1 a year. "In exchange for getting it for a dollar, they have certain conditions they are expected to meet." Nixon said "because of money" the number of harness racing dates in the province this year was reduced to 16 from 21, with Fredericton getting three of those dates.  Nixon said Horse Racing New Brunswick has about $150,000 in operational costs on the Fredericton Exhibition grounds, including the $36,000 in property taxes. "We pay all of the power, the water, sewer, all of the maintenance and repair, all the groundskeeping, all the snowplowing." By Alan White, CBC News Reprinted with permission of the cbc.ca/news site

There's been a buzz recently around the racetracks in New Brunswick as another harness racing season is just around the corner in the picturesque province. Horsemen have been very fortunate this season with the co-operation by mother nature as we experienced a much less bolder winter than we had last season. With still no support from the provincial government, the horsemen remain focused and optimistic for the upcoming season. This means that not as many days were missed by both returning race horses as well as stake hopefuls prepping for the 2016 lucrative stakes season. Speaking to Debbie Mahar, she reports that Saint John has been a bee-hive of activity and also states that the track in Saint John is having maintenance done on it this weekend to improve the track for the coming spring training season and for racing preparations. Tentatively, the 2016 racing season in New Brunswick is set to begin on Monday, May 23rd with an annual holiday card at Canada's oldest racetrack, Fredericton Raceway. Qualifying dates are expected to be announced shortly by Horse Racing New Brunswick. by Scott Waddell, for the HRNB  

After twenty programs of harness racing in New Brunswick, the winner has been announced in Horse Racing New Brunswick's handicapping challenge.   Adam Saunders walked away the overall winner with a total of $344.00 over the twenty cards of racing conducted at both Exhibition Park and Fredericton Raceway.   Sponsored by Horse Player Interactive, Horse Racing New Brunswick and the Ontario Sires Stakes ( Woodbine Entertainment), Saunders wins $ 1000.00 in cash plus an Ontario Sires Stakes super final jacket.   Saunders decided to take the cash prize in lieu of the trip that was the grand prize thanks to our sponsors.   Horse Racing New Brunswick would like to thank Klaus Ebner of Woodbine Entertainment and Lisa Hocking - Ontario Horse Racing for their contributions and support of this joint effort.   Below are the final tallies for competitors over the twenty-weeks of handicapping. H.R.N.B sends out a big thank-you to all of the competitors who took part.   Adam Saunders 344.00 Kayden Buchanan 319.00 Rose Doyle 306.70 Brad MacPherson 244.80 Jenn Ritchie 183.20 Bruce Smith 114.85 Dale Spence Sr 111.20 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers 31.00   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

Officials with Horse Racing New Brunswick (HRNB) are pleased to announce that the Atlantic Sires Stakes program will return to the province in 2015. This will end a one year hiatus from the program. "The board of directors realizes the tremendous need for the Atlantic Sires Stakes to be in New Brunswick," said Dr. Mitchell Downey, HRNB's President. "It was a difficult decision this year not to be involved, but we were simply limited financially. It was paramount that racing continue in some fashion until September 22." That was the date New Brunswickers went to the polls and selected a new Liberal Government under Brian Gallant. "Under the previous government our efforts to educate them on the value of Standardbred racing as whole proved fruitless, let alone the spinoffs of the Sires Stakes events," says Downey. "We plan on asking the incoming government for full contribution to the program as fulfilled by our partners in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. The timing is very tight with the new government not being sworn in until October 7 so we likely won't get an answer in time for the Atlantic Classic Sale on October 10 in Crapaud. Nonetheless, whether it's a full slate of stakes events or half, the Atlantic Sires Stakes will return in 2015. We feel it's important for our members to know that there will be stakes events." Downey says HRNB has been working hard over the last few years to build as many bridges with all levels of government on the value of racing and breeding Standardbreds. "We engaged the incoming government quite some time ago when they were in opposition and the outgoing Premier's Office closed the door on us. They have been very receptive and we look forward to sitting down with them in the near future." From Horse Racing New Brunswick

After an overpowering win last week in the afternoon's top-class, five-year-old J Rs Hurricane will be looking to repeat in this week's top conditioned harness racing event.   Lonny Stokes, no stranger to driving the son of Mach Three will be holding the lines of the pacer from post-four in the five horse top-class.   Man In Pink will once again have the advantage of the rail position for driver Mark Haig. Dance Hanover will have post-two for catch-driver Mike Barrieau for the Ultimate Stables of Moncton.   American Captain will leave from post-four for veteran driver and trainer Mike Campbell. Wave That Banner from the Eric Wilson stable will have the outside post-five. Starters will face-off for a purse of $ 1500.   This Saturday will also feature the final leg of Horse Racing New Brunswick's handicapping contest. Week twenty ( 20 ) will be contested and an overall winner announced next week.   Post time for Saturday's matinee card is slated for 2:00 P.M.   Scott Waddell

Results are in from week nineteen ( 19 ) for Harness Racing New Brunswick's season long handicapping contest.   This week will feature the 20th and FINAL LEG of the contest and the top-three going into this Saturday's final leg at E.P.R all have a legitimate chance to take the top prize.   This weeks $ 50.00 prize winner who checked in with $ 53.40 on Saturday was second place competitor Kayden Buchanan. Please see complete standings below.   It appears that strategy could play a huge part in the final leg this Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Totals After Week 19   Adam Saunders       325.70 Kayden Buchanan   307.40 Rose Doyle              298.20 Brad MacPherson    244.80 Jenn Ritchie             183.20 Bruce Smith           114.85 Dale Spence Sr        94.80 Wayne Hubbard       45.30 Roy Flowers             31.00   Scott Waddell

Mother nature provided a picture perfect autumn day on Saturday in Saint John as Horse Racing New Brunswick presented a seven dash program.   With the ideal conditions, one of New Brunswick's top overnight pacers toured the half-mile oval in a sizzling 1:58 mile for catch-driver Gilles Barriedau. J Rs Hurricane moved into double digit wins with his 10th of the season.   Barrieau set sail early on the lead for owner Jean Charles Belliveau, Scoudouc, N.B and carved out fractions of 29, 59.1, 1:28.3 with a final panel of :29.2 to score by an even ten-lengths.   It was the second win of the afternoon for Barrieau as he also drove veteran pacer Victory George to victory for owner Jeff Lewis.   Skippy and Rose Valley finished in a dead-heat for second. J Rs Hurricane is a handsome son of the great Mach Three. Another New Brunswick owned pacer also was sharp on Saturday as four-year-old Ramblinglily and Allan Jones connected for a 1:59.2 win.   Racing will return to the Port City of New Brunswick on Saturday, October 4th at 2:00 P.M.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

Horse Racing New Brunswick presents a live card of harness racing at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John on Saturday with post time at 2:00 P.M.   Seven races will be contested including the afternoon's featured event for a purse of $1500. Race seven will have a small field but a competive group of pacers.   Man In Pink will have the benefit of post-one for New Brunswick's leading driver in 2014, Mark Haig. He was a winner a few starts back in a seasons best mile of 1:56.3.   Rick Armstrong, a member of this year's Atlantic Breeders Crown family recognition from the province of New Brunswick will guide Coral Snake from post-two. He is co-owned with his son Luke.   ROF Peruvian High will score from three for Gilles Barrieau who sits second in driving average in the country. Ramblinglily who took a new mark of 1:56 at Red Shores recently will bust the gate from post four. Rounding out the field is American Captain who will have Mike Campbell steering from post five.   Post time goes at 2:00 P.M.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

Horse Racing New Brunswick have provided an update on their year-long handicapping challenge after Saturday's card at Fredericton Raceway.   Adam Saunders has two reasons to celebrate as he is the weekly winner of a H.P.I prize and still leads the contest after eighteen weeks with $ 308.50. He leads second-place capper Kayden Buchanan while Rose Doyle rounds out the top-three.   Week nineteen will take place this coming Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John. Congrats to Adam and best of luck in the next leg of the contest.   Totals After Week 18   Adam Saunders 308.50 Kayden Buchanan 254.00 Rose Doyle 251.00 Brad MacPherson 236.80 Jenn Ritchie 183.20 Bruce Smith 114.85 Dale Spence Sr 94.80 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers 31.00   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

Saturday afternoon at Fredericton Raceway is a day that harness racing driver young Kent Beattie will remember for a lifetime.   In his fifteenth career drive, the promising rookie captured his first career victory at his hometown track.   Provoke Me, owned by Gary Beattie of Fredericton, was making his final start of his career as the nine-year-old veteran did all the work on a front-end winning performance.   Time of the mile was 2:02.2 as the pacer drove on to a two and a half-length win to best Royal Putnam and OK Elegant.   Fastest mile of the day was turned in by Joseph Michael who despite less than ideal conditions on the blustery Saturday afternoon, scored in 1:56.3. Todd Trites drove the local owned pacer as one of his two wins on the program.   Racing wrapped up for 2014 racing season at the capital city track and Horse Racing New Brunswick extends thanks to all who made the year a success despite many challenges.   Next card of racing will be contested on Saturday, September 27th at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John.   Scott Waddell

Week seventeen is in the books after this past Saturday's race program at Exhibition Park Raceway for the season long handicapping challenge.   Leading the way is Adam Saunders who continues to lead the contest and has now totalled $ 284.90. Kayden Buchanan maintains his spot in second place with $ 236.00.   Rounding out the top trio is Rose Doyle who checks in this week with $ 232.70. Week eighteen will be featured this coming Saturday as Horse Racing New Brunswick will host the season finale at Fredericton on September 20th at 2:00 P.M.   Complete standings are listed below:   Adam Saunders 284.90 Kayden Buchanan 236.00 Rose Doyle 232.70 Brad MacPherson 226.40 Jenn Ritchie 180.50 Bruce Smith 114.85 Dale Spence Sr 94.80 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers 31.00   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

Todd Trites made the most of his five driving opportunities at Exhibition Park Raceway on Saturday as he won three of his five drives on the afternoon card.   Just before departing to Red Shores for Saturday nights card, he didn't waste anytime as he scored in race one, then took the final two races on the afternoon card.   Included in his wins were the top-class and supporting class of the day. Joseph Michael won easily in the main event as he cruised to a 1:58.4 win for trainee Eric Wilson. Andrea D Dolan,Lower Cambridge and Valerie G Phelan, Geary, N.B share ownership in the seven-year-old pacer.   Wave That Banner and Trites took the supporting class for trainer Wilson in 2:00.3 to sweep the afternoon's top races. Valerie G Phelan and Eric C Wilson, Geary own the pacer. Todd's other win was with Grimsby in 2:02.2 in the first race.   Racing action will now switch to Fredericton Raceway as Horse Racing New Brunswick will host that track's final race card of the season.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB            

Veteran pacer Man In Pink, a son of Camluck will look to continue his impressive season in New Brunswick this Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Mark Haig, one of the most consistent drivers in the province, will drive for owner Gordon White in the top-class offering a purse of $ 1500. Haig goes into Saturday's card with twenty-one wins and a .398 driving average.   Man In Pink comes off an eye popping win this past Saturday at Fredericton Raceway as he scored a 1:56.3 win and recorded his 29th career win. He will have post four in the five horse field.   Joseph Michael, a third place finisher in the prestigious Joe & Jennie Chippin Memorial on Saturday will have the challenge of the outside post-five for driver Todd Trites.   Other starters are Magical Alex, American Captain and J Rs Hurricane. Racing will start at E.P.R at 2:00 P.M presented by Horse Racing New Brunswick. There will be a total of seven races on the afternoon.   Week 16 standings in HRNB Handicapping tourny   Week sixteen proved to be another challenge for those partaking in the year-long handicapping challenge presented by Horse Racing New Brunswick.   Two players, Adam Saunders and Rose Doyle shared the top honours with just $ 10.40 earned in the three selected dashes. They will split a $ 25.00 prize from Horse Player Interactive.   Overall, Adam Saunders leads the way with $ 268.60 good enough for first place. Rose Doyle made a move and now sits in second place with $ 216.40 with Kayden Buchanan rounding out the top-three.   Week seventeen will take place this Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway. Below are the complete standings after the sixteenth week.   Adam Saunders 268.60 Rose Doyle 216.40 Kayden Buchanan 208.20 Brad MacPherson 207.10 Jenn Ritchie 164.90 Bruce Smith 105.50 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers  31.00 Dale Spence Sr 18.60   Overall winner will receive a trip for two to Toronto. Best of luck to those playing along this week.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB                        

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