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AUGUST 18, 2018 - Scott Young had the keys to the Kawartha Downs winner's circle on Saturday, steering a trio of three-year-old pacing fillies to Grassroots victory. The reinsman kicked off his Grassroots hat trick in the first race with Machnhope. Starting from Post 5 Young eased Machnhope away from the starting gate and was sitting sixth when fan favourite Katniss S BG hit the quarter in :27. As Katniss S BG continued through a :56 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters, Young and Machnhope were rolling up the outside behind Lifelong Dream and made the turn for home just one and one-half lengths behind the leader. A sharp late kick powered Machnhope down the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:54.1. Lifelong Dream finished second and Katniss S BG settled for third. "They just told me she likes to close up, so I was fortunate enough a bunch of them were leaving so I just landed away fifth and followed Scotty Coulter (with Lifelong Dream)," said Young. "Scotty took me right to the head of the lane with Dean Nixon's filly, and when I came off Scotty's back at the head of the lane she was full of pace and she kicked home good for me." Young piloted Machnhope to her second Grassroots win of the season for trainer Bill Robinson and owners CMR Farms of Hagersville, David Serwatuk of Hamilton and BC Reichheld Stables of Caledonia, Ontario. Through 12 sophomore starts the Mach Three daughter now boasts a record of three wins, one second and two thirds for earnings of $39,510. Young teamed up with trainer Mark Steacy to take the next two $18,450 divisions with Hello Love and Lady Bubbles. Starting from Post 4 with fan favourite Hello Love, the reinsman employed the same tactics that earned him the win in the first division. After sitting fifth through the opening quarter Young tipped Hello Love to the outside behind Mike Saftic and Sunday Afternoon, who reached the front before the three-quarters. With a clear path to the wire Hello Love shifted into overdrive and sailed away from her peers to a five and one-quarter length victory in 1:52.2, just one-fifth of a second shy of the Kawartha Downs track record for three-year-old pacing fillies. Sunday Afternoon finished second and Shadow World was hot on her heels in third. "Hello Love is a beautiful filly, a pleasure to drive, did everything I asked," said Young. "The trip couldn't have worked out any better with her either. I was following Mike (Saftic), and then Mike actually cleared the leader so I didn't even have to worry about moving three-wide or anything. When I kicked the plugs turning for home, I'm sure if I was to chase her she could have went a lot more." The win was the second in Grassroots action and the fifth of the season for Hello Love, who also has one second and one third through 10 starts for earnings of $50,732. The Shadow Play daughter is owned by Landmark 10 Racing Stable of Kingston, Ontario, J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, New York, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta and Conrad Leber of Montreal, Quebec. Young completed the hat trick in the third division with Lady Bubbles, who took command before the half and never looked back, pacing under the wire two lengths ahead of I Shadow U. Color Envy rounded out the top three. "I was fortunate enough I won a Grassroots with her at Grand River last year as a two-year-old and that was the last time I drove Bubbles," noted the Guelph, Ontario resident. "I left out tonight and landed third and they were starting to tap the brakes pretty good going into the first turn so I, you know being favourite on the board makes life a little easier, so when I did the quarter-pole move he was looking for me. I heard the half pop up in :57 and I said, she should be tough from here, and she was very, very strong as well." Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec bred and owns the daughter of Sportswriter, who now has three Grassroots wins and sole ownership of top spot in the division standings with one regular season event remaining. The only blemish on the filly's Grassroots record came in the August 6 event when she was unable to complete the race due to broken equipment. In addition to his trio of Grassroots victories, Young also piloted five-year-old pacing gelding Big Sport to a win in the seventh race, giving him four wins on the night. "I've had four before and I've had one five before, but (this is) the first hat trick in a Grassroots I've ever had," said Young who had only won two Grassroots events this season prior to Saturday's hat trick. "Mark Steacy has been very, very good to me and I appreciate all the work he gives me, and his owners. They've given me opportunity and I can't thank them enough." The last Grassroots division went to fan favourite Azure Seelster, who went gate-to-wire in 1:53.1. Cardiff finished three and one-quarter lengths back in second and Catshark was two more lengths back in third. Guy Gagnon piloted the Shadow Play daughter to the win for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, 2745 5815 Quebec Inc. and Sylvain Descheneaux of Sorel-Tracy and Paul Andre Lehoux of Sainte-Marie, Quebec. The three-year-old pacing fillies will make their fifth, and final, regular season start at Flamboro Downs on September 4. The top 20 point earners will advance to two $20,000 Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park on September 21, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final moving on to the $50,000 Championship on September 29. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

Guy Gagnon from Gatineau, Quebec, finished at the top of the driver standings to win the 2018 Eastern Ontario / Quebec Regional Driving Championship at Kawartha Downs, near Peterborough, Ontario on Saturday night (June 30) and advances to the National Driving Championship at Grand River Raceway on September 26. Gagnon, a winner of 4,979 races and over $23 million in purse money during his career, finished the competition with 49 points.  In runner up position, and also advancing is Stephane Brosseau, of L’Assomption, Quebec with 41 points. The competition came down to the last race with the six races won by six different drivers.  Gagnon and Brosseau finished 1-2 in the final RDC race and that’s where they landed on the leaderboard. Gagnon and Brosseau will join other six drivers, including Ontario finalists Trevor Henry and Louis-Philippe Roy, Western finalists Kelly Hoerdt and Jamie Gray, and Atlantic finalists Gilles Barrieau and Redmond Doucet at the 2018 National Driving Championship at Grand River Raceway on September 26. The winner of the 2018 NDC will have the opportunity to represent Canada in the World Driving Championship (WDC), and join 2017 World Driving Champion, James MacDonald, in the 2019 WDC in Sweden. Here are the final standings: Guy Gagnon - 49 Stephane Brosseau – 41 Stephane Gendron- 36 Nick Boyd - 33 Reg Gassien -32 Brett MacDonald -31 Jonathan Lachance -29 Richard Simard - 25 Race-by-race recaps of the evening’s six championship races follow. The races were carded as races 1 and 3 and five through eight. RDC Race 1: Driver Nick Boyd blew away the opening race field, winning in a wire-to-wire romp with Gramps in 1:54. Boyd sent the Jennas Beach Boy gelding to the front, putting up fractions of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:24.3 all while being chased by Brett MacDonald and Sup Hanover for second, while Jayda Nicole with Reg Gassien finished third.  “It was pretty simple,” Boyd said of the result after the race. “I had what turned out to be the best horse tonight and he got the job done.”  RDC Race 2: No Panic and Reg Gassien popped pocket on pacesetter Dads Filly (Guy Gagnon) to win in 1:56.4. Ima Holy Terror (Richard Simard)came first over at the half and led the chasing pack to take third with Rocket Gal (Brett MacDonald) rallying for fourth. RDC Race 3: Jonathan Lachance powered to the lead with Lyons William approaching the half, maintained control and kicked clear of his rivals to a 1:53.3 victory over Statement (Stephane Brosseau) and Jetset Charmer (Richard Simard). RDC Race 4: With Burlington (Guy Gagnon) commandeering the field heading to the half and setting a quick tempo on the lead, Judy The Beauty and Stephane Gendron capitalized on the swift fractions and rallied through the center of the track to win in 1:58. Majestic Maggie (Nicholas Boyd), from second over, claimed third. RDC Race 5:  Stephane Brosseau swept off cover with Every Girls Desire</a> turning for the wire and kicked clear to win in 1:##. Badstormanyport (Brett MacDonald), who set the pace, held onto second while Four For Orr (Nicholas Boyd) off a pocket trip held third. RDC Race 6: Guy Gagnon solidified his spot atop the championship standings, catapulting Ok Diablo to the front and to score in 1:56 over Big Sport (Stephane Brosseau) tracking his move in second and Amble Over Hanover (Stephane Gendron), who helped set a quick pace with Its Machademic (Brett MacDonald), holding third.   “I knew if I could get a fast half I’d be okay,” Gagnon said following the race. “Because, as a horse, he likes to finish strong.” by Kathy Wade Vlaar, for Standardbred Canada  

Kawartha Downs will run an 18-date harness racing schedule in 2018 but beyond that there is only uncertainty. Orazio Valente, general manager of the Fraserville track, agreed to open the track after a two-hour meeting with area horse people on Saturday afternoon. The season will begin on May 26 and run for 18 consecutive Saturday nights beginning at 7 p.m. "We have decided to race for this season," said Valente at a press conference following the meeting. "I have the full commitment of the local community that we will make this year the best year ever despite all the difficulties and financial shortcomings that come with it." The track has one year left on a $1,062,000 annual agreement with the province to fund purses and operating costs. Kawartha has no agreement with the province after Shorelines Slots leaves for a new casino in Peterborough this fall. Last week, the province finalized a 19-year funding agreement with 12 of 15 Ontario tracks. KD is one of the three not to sign as Valente says it doesn't cover expenses involved in maintaining facility currently covered by its casino lease. The track, which had the second highest live handle among Ontario harness tracks, applied for 40 race dates to generate more income opportunities but was granted 18, the same as 2017. Valente says it would take an additional $1 million to $2 million to make the facility viable. He wanted guarantees from the province on how they'd make up the shortfall before the writ was dropped last week on a June 7 election. He said he got none. A second issue for KD, Valente said, is Great Canadian Gaming appears unwilling to hire KD's 150 casino employees for the new casino. "I know there are a lot of news reports saying the new casino will bring up to 150 jobs with it. The part that gets lost in the news media is that there are 150 jobs here at Kawartha that will be lost," he said. "I ask Great Canadian Gaming to reconsider." Valente said he was told the 19-year deal would only proceed if all 15 tracks agreed to it. Now it's going ahead with 12. "Kawartha Downs and all the tracks which did not sign have become non-member tracks," said Valente. "The language inserted into this agreement is such that it becomes next to impossible for non-member tracks to exist in the long term." Non-member tracks are not privy to an additional $5 million for three years to assist tracks losing their casinos, to enhance purses or fund capital projects. Non-member tracks have until April 2019 to sign on. Valente said the track's only hope is for a change in government. "There is no future for horse racing at Kawartha Downs under a Liberal government," he said. The Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA), which represents local horse people, also refused to sign the agreement. OHHA general manager Brian Tropea said the province relied on the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) for industry input on the agreement and didn't consult grassroots tracks. The result is a deal that doesn't work for three of Ontario's four regional tracks and their horse people. He said the province will earn more than $1 billion annually from a casino at Woodbine. He's disappointed they couldn't find an additional $1 million to assist Kawartha Downs. "We're terribly disappointed in how the Liberal government has handled this thing from start to finish," said Tropea. "I'm more disappointed in the people who purport to represent horse people that signed off on a long-term agreement that doesn't do anything for the horse people. It handcuffs the industry and restricts any opportunity for growth." Tropea said most of the tracks that signed are part of a WEG alliance. The three that did not aren't affiliated with WEG. "They're giving us enough to cover our basic costs of racing but they're not looking at all the infrastructure costs that keep this place open. Anybody who signed that deal either didn't read it or didn't understand it or didn't seek legal opinion on it." Mike.Davies@peterboroughdaily.com Reprinted with parmission of The Peterborough Examiner

The future of Kawartha Downs, is still undecided. The harness racing racetrack is losing its Shoreline Slots at the end of the year and 85 per cent or more of the racetrack’s revenue is going with it. The track also applied to expand its race dates to 40 from 18 last year, but the Ontario Racing Commission rejected that application. The Ontario government has committed to funding $105 million over 19 years for the horse racing industry, and as far as Kawartha Downs goes, they are still in the dark as to how much they will receive. CHEX News spoke with the general manager, Orazio Valente, who says he is optimistic for a favourable outcome. He says he is currently in the midst of it all, including a long-term funding agreement and the pieces are slowly coming together. READ MORE: Kawartha Downs still in the dark as to how much money it will get from the province “I am optimistic but realistic,” said Valente. The mayor of the township of Cavan Monaghan, Scott McFadden, says this was inevitable. “I’m hopeful that there will be harness racing obviously at Kawartha Downs and tracks across rural Ontario but it doesn’t look good. Essentially, with the core funding of us being pulled out of racetracks across Ontario moved to urban centres, this is inevitably what’s going to happen when there is no funding,” said McFadden. READ MORE: Ontario government pledges millions for horse-racing in 19-year agreement The OLG will determine how much money each track in Ontario will receive. The original open date for Kawartha Downs was set for May 26. As of right now, Valente is waiting for a decision and if he doesn’t get the answers he is looking for from the province, the racetrack may have to close. By Niki Anastasakis Reprinted with permission of Global News

On Friday (March 23), the Ontario government announced long-term funding of $105 million a year over 19 years to support the province’s horse racing sector. There will also be additional supports for smaller racetracks and those experiencing financial shortfalls, such as Kawartha Downs in Fraserville in Cavan Monaghan Township. “This new, collaborative agreement will provide owners, breeders, and racetrack operators with the support they need to ensure stability and success for the long term,” said Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The funding, to start in April 2019, will be administered by Ontario Racing, a non-profit horse racing industry association. There are 15 racetracks in Ontario — more than any other North American jurisdiction. In the announcement, the Ontario government also said it would continue the Enhanced Horse Improvement Program and introduce a new Racetrack Sustainability Innovation Fund, providing up to $6 million over three years, beginning this year, to help regional racetracks innovate, diversify. and expand revenue sources. The new funding may help Kawartha Downs, whose financial viability has been in question even since the April 2016 announcement that Shorelines Casinos would be relocating its 450 slot machines from Kawartha Downs to a new casino in the south end of Peterborough. According to Kawartha Downs general manager Orazio Valente, the slots make up 85 per cent of Kawartha Downs’ revenue. In February, Valente called a media conference for a “major announcement regarding the future of Kawartha Downs,” leading some to speculate he would be announcing the end of harness racing after the 2018 season. However, Valente cancelled the media conference at the last minute because of an unspecified “major development,” which may have been the pending announcement of provincial funding. Reprinted with permission of Kawarthanow.com

A press conference outlining plans for the future of Kawartha Downs was cancelled at the last minute on Thursday morning. Officials with the harness racing track in Fraserville said a “major development” within the last 24 hours is unfolding but wouldn’t elaborate, only saying it would mean good news. Cavan Monaghan Township Mayor Scott McFadden also would not comment. The cancellation caught some area harness racers by surprise as they were eager to learn about the viability of the facility which opened in July 1972 along on Highway 28, about 18 kilometres south of Peterborough. Last fall, the Ontario Racing Association rejected an application for funding to double the length of the racing season at Kawartha Downs. Track officials argue they will be losing significant revenue once the Shoreline Slots relocates to the new casino in Peterborough which is expected to open later this year. They fear without additional races, the track’s future could be jeopardized.   By Greg Davis and Mark Giunta   Reprinted with permission of Global News  

Peterborough County council will review a request to lobby the province for more harness racing dates for Kawartha Downs in Fraserville, Ont. Cavan Monaghan Township Mayor Scott McFadden is asking for support to make harness racing in his municipality viable. Recently, the Ontario Racing Association denied Kawartha Downs’ request to hold 40 races next season instead of 18. The facility will be losing its slot machines when the new Shorelines Casino opens in Peterborough late next year. Kawartha Downs wanted extra horse race dates to make up for the projected 85 per cent drop in revenue. “With 85 per cent of their revenues currently coming through the slots for the Kawartha downs facility, leaving them at 18 race dates is essentially going to cause great hardship when it comes to ensuring long-term sustainability of harness racing at Kawartha Downs,” said McFadden. County council will consider McFadden’s request to write to the ORA and Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal to reconsider the decision. County Warden Joe Taylor said the issue will be further discussed at the Dec. 6 meeting. Council is also getting ready for budget deliberations and on Wednesday heard from several organizations seeking support including Fairhaven Longterm Care Centre in Peterborough which is seeking an additional $25,000, even though measures were taken this year to save tens of thousands of dollars. The County and City of Peterborough provide funding for the facility. “The ministry has very bluntly said they do not fund inflation. Period,” said Fairhaven’s executive director Lionel Towns. “We’ve combined two senior management positions; we deleted a senior management position. We’ve decreased consultants to next to nil.” Another plea to open the purse strings came from the Peterborough Family Health Team. It has acquired six new physicians and needs almost $15,000 more for its recruitment budget. “Unlike specialists who may work in a hospital environment and are paid a salary, our physicians are not paid a salary,” said executive director Lori Richey. And public works says it needs close to $825,000 more to keep up its 2018 infrastructure program fixing roads and bridges. By Greg Davis Reprinted with permission of Global News

FRASERVILLE - Tuesday will go down as a "sad day" for harness racing and Kawartha Downs after officials learned an application to double the length of its season next year to offset an 85 per cent loss of revenue from the moving Shoreline Slots was denied, general manager Orazio Valente said. The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) informed him late Tuesday afternoon that funding for the requested increase to 40 horse racing dates in 52 weeks, up from 18 cards in 2017, is not available within the current framework. That framework is the underlying issue, Valente said. It never contemplated the situation Kawartha Downs is now in - a position other Ontario racetracks that have slots will soon be in as well. "The framework has to change ... you can't have a place that received 85 per cent of its funding from rental ... and take it out and hope the void is filled. That doesn't happen," he said. "What happens to the funding formula when a casino decides to relocate away from the horsetrack? That's the problem we are facing right now." The 2018 season will be crucial for Kawartha Downs since the Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs are expected to close around October 2018 once the Shorelines Casino Peterborough opens at The Parkway and Crawford Drive. The disappointment of Tuesday's news is shared equally by fans, trainers and about 150 staff who work at the facility - many of them have been employed there since it opened in 1972. "You can appreciate that there has been a lot of uncertainty for our employees that is shared by everyone," said Valente, who pointed out how employees remained professional and optimistic while waiting to learn the decision. The application was about viability, he said, adding that a successful application "would have been a start," but others "stars would have to align" as well. The provincial government has said it supports horse racing and now it is time for officials to "show their true intentions," Valente said. As for the next step, he said Kawartha Downs officials will try to engage various government agencies - including Ontario Lottery and Gaming, which decides race purses - to determine if there is "will ... and ability" to come up with funding. "Otherwise, we are going to have to put in place contingency plans," said Valente, who took over as general manager earlier this year when the Fraserville track went into receivership. Late last month, Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister and Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal said four other Ontario tracks face the same dilemma and that he was seeking a solution. "We're looking at options right now to see what we can do to keep those race tracks whole beyond 2019, 2020 and 2021," he told The Examiner. "The leasing dollars generated are a key part of the financial model and we need to look at options as to how we might be able to backfill that amount of money." Leal said off-track betting is one option being discussed. He said he'd like to explore the option of Shorelines Casino keeping some slot machines at the track. Another option is for the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation to create a special category for race tracks without a casino to significantly lower their tax rates. A 40-date season would have meant races every Saturday night from March to December, up from the May to September season of the past few years but less than the twice-weekly year-round season the track had when it received a cut of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming revenues from the Slots at Kawartha Downs before the provincial government eliminated the revenue sharing deal in 2013. -- with files from Mike Davies, Examiner Sports Director By Jason Bain, The Peterborough Examiner Reprinted with permission of The Peterborough Examiner

FRASERVILLE - Kawartha Downs has become one of Ontario's more successful harness racing tracks the past three years but a dark cloud looms on the horizon. Orazio Valente, who took over as general manager earlier this year when the Fraserville track was placed into receivership, said attendance and wagering are among the best in the province. They've averaged more than 1,000 spectators over the 17 race nights this season entering Saturday's final card. That's more than the province's largest tracks at Woodbine and Mohawk average on a regular night; excluding special events. The KD handle is averaging in the neighborhood of $40,000, which Valente says is exceeded by only Woodbine and Mohawk. Yet, when Great Canadian Gaming closes the Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs in October 2018 to enter its new Shorelines Casino Peterborough facility at The Parkway and Crawford Drive, Valente says the track will lose the rent paid by the casino which is 85 per cent of Kawartha's revenue. He said six per cent comes from Ontario Lottery and Gaming funding for purses and some operating expenses and the remaining nine per cent from wagering and food and beverage sales. "Under the current financial arrangement with the OLG and the government I can tell you, quite honestly, it will be fiscally impossible to provide horse racing at Kawartha Downs beyond the 2018 season. If all else stays the same. That's just an economic reality," Valente said. A lot of discussion is going on with all the stakeholders to find a remedy, he said. "Everyone is aware of the dire situation," he said. Valente said the government originally tied casinos to race tracks to get a footing in the province. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement as the casinos helped fund the tracks. But he says the government gave casino operators permission to move away from the tracks with no contingency plan for those tracks. It's a shame, Valente said, because a lot of work has gone into the track to improve the facility and fans have flocked in numbers not seen in many years. "By all accounts we've had a good season," Valente said. "Kawartha Downs has the highest attendance of any Ontario race track on a normal race night. Kawartha Downs is only second to the WEG (Woodbine Entertainment Group), which is Woodbine and Mohawk, for on-track handle. We do have something special going on at Kawartha Downs." The Downs has applied for 40 race dates in 2018 in an attempt to generate more revenue, Valente said. Races would run from March to December. A shortage of horses, he said, prevents them from running more than one card per week. Jeff Leal, Peterborough MPP and Ontario's agriculture, food and rural affairs minister, said four other Ontario tracks face the same dilemma. He said he's engaged in finding a solution. "We're looking at options right now to see what we can do to keep those race tracks whole beyond 2019, 2020 and 2021," said Leal. "The leasing dollars generated are a key part of the financial model and we need to look at options as to how we might be able to backfill that amount of money." Leal said off-track betting is one option being discussed. He said he'd like to explore the option of Shorelines Casino keeping some slot machines at the track. Another option is for the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation to create a special category for race tracks without a casino to significantly lower their tax rates. "I'm fully engaged in this because I have a great commitment to horse racing in the province of Ontario and the impact it has on rural communities," Leal said. He said he knows this is a pressing issue with the new casino in Peterborough opening next fall. "I'm very cognizant of the calendar," Leal said. First start for Lima Oh So Sweet Lima Oh So Sweet, a new member of the Murray Brethour stable, will make her first lifetime start at Kawartha Downs Saturday night, the final race card of the track's 2017 season. A three-year-old daughter of Credit Winner, Lima Oh So Sweet is owned by Mark Harder, a leading New Jersey based trainer for many years along with Rick Phillips of New York. Harder had trained the filly in the US until earlier this month when she was shipped to Murray to race in Ontario. Many race fans will remember Lima Oh So Sweet’s dam, the Angus Hall mare Oh Sweet Baby who was a force to be reckoned with during her two- and three-year-old seasons in the Ontario Sires Stakes program as well as on the Grand Circuit. The winner of the OSS Super Final at the conclusion of her two-year-old season, Oh Sweet Baby was trained by Ben Baillargeon and driven by his brother Mario. Lima Oh So Sweet is the first foal from Oh Sweet Baby who retired with earnings of more than $660,000. Rick Webb has been tapped to drive the sophomore in the second race where she’ll leave from post five. The card features the annual Shorelines Drivers’ Championship starring Kawartha’s top nine drivers from the 2017 season in races three through seven. Draws and giveaways will be conducted throughout the evening as the track celebrates another successful season of racing. Post time is 7 p.m By Mike Davies, Peterborough Examiner Reprinted with permission of The Peterborough Examiner

FRASERVILLE - Kawartha Downs will host its only Racing Under Saddle race this year on Saturday night when Kamikaze Lindy attempts to record his third consecutive harness racing victory. What makes this attempt unique is the fact he has scored his most recent wins in a different fashion. The first, at Mohawk on Sept. 4, was in the traditional style of harness racing with a driver and sulky behind him. The second occurred two weeks ago at Hiawartha Horse Park when he won the RUS race there while being ridden. The five-year-old trotter will attempt his second straight RUS win in Saturday's third race at Kawartha where he'll square off against four other rivals including stablemate Lets Leavem. Both horses are trained by Shane Arsenault who also owns Kamikaze Lindy who will be ridden by Heather Reese. Lets Leavem will be ridden by his owner Sarah Town. The five RUS riders, Sarah, Heather, Marielle Enberg, Maggie Jones and Natalie Elliott will be available to meet and greet with fans in the grandstand following race five. This is the second last race card at Kawartha Downs for 2017. Post time is 7 p.m. KAWARTHA DOWNS GRADED ENTRIES Saturday, Sept. 23 post time 7 p.m. FIRST - PACE, $4,500 (DD, EX, TR) 1. Supersport (N Boyd) 6. Nothing But Bad (J Gillespie) 5. Master Negotiator (R Gassien) 4. Tugs Escape (B Macdonald) 3. Mini Putt (M Wade) 7. Thatsjusthowiroll (D Gassien) 9. Scintillator (S Johnson) 2. Magnify Bliss (J Woodward) 8. Inkerman Rocket (A Kerwood) SECOND - PACE, $5,000 (EX, TR) 6. Four For Orr (R Gassien) 4. Lo Lo Lo Logan (R Webb) 1. St Lads Captain (D Gassien) 8. Iamsam Samiam (J Thomson) 3. Joys Blazingsevens (N Boyd) 7. Imtoobadtobecute (M Wade) 5. Santanna Tony (J Woodward) 9. Pop N Liam (J Turcotte) 2. Rocket Gal (A Kerwood) ae. Diamonds Dance (N Boyd) THIRD - TROT, $4,500 (EX, TR) 1. Lets Leavem (S Town) 2. Kamikaze Lindy (H Reese) 5. Majestic Mystic (N Elliott) 4. Pukka (M Jones) 3. Precious Phoebe (T Enberg) FOURTH - PACE, $4,500 (EX, TR) 6. Liplock (N Boyd) 4. Cold Creek Lacey (J Gillespie) 2. Jo Big (K Benn) 1. True Companion (B Macdonald) 7. Emily Beach (R Doyle) 9. Dolly Dali (J Woodward) 3. Tea Bag (S Gassien) 5. Show Some Machsie (R Gassien) 8. Britches Say What (J Thomson) FIFTH - TROT, $4,100 (EX, TR) 2. Ill Stay Here (B Macdonald) 6. Warken On Air (R Webb) 9. Illusionsndreams (R Gassien) 4. L H Sonofthetimes (J Thomson) 1. Legionsofangels (N Boyd) 5. Quiet Moment (D Graham) 7. Autodynamic (W Hie) 3. Howmac Gypsy (J Woodward) 8. Peeling Out (R Doyle) SIXTH - PACE, $4,000 (EX, TR) 2. Bittersweet Dreams (B Macdonald) 3. Sophie Blu (R Webb) 6. D G Nickabocker (A Kerwood) 4. Rockin Sockem (D Gassien) 9. Hiclass Hanover (R Doyle) 7. Art Of The Deal (J Gillespie) 1. Hazuseenmybucket (N Boyd) 8. Lilys Penelope (J Turcotte) 5. Ima Holy Terror (J Thomson) SEVENTH - PACE, $4,400 (EX, TR) 2. Uf Bettors Hanover (B Macdonald) 3. Kiss Me Or Not (N Boyd) 1. Oakrock Eldorado (R Gassien) 4. Hey Grin (A Kerwood) 5. May To For (R Webb) 6. Harttattack (D Gassien) 7. Galagher Seelster (J Thomson) 8. Dana Salaam (B Collins) 9. Duneside Sport (G Ketros) EIGHTH - PACE, $4,800 (EX, TR) 2. Lock N Reload (R Webb) 3. Emma Ivy (B Macdonald) 5. Jetset Charmer (S Johnson) 9. Real Wicked (R Doyle) 7. Regally Magnified (J Turcotte) 4. Windsun Falls (J Gillespie) 1. Wildcat Jet (J Thomson) 6. Windsong Leopold (N Boyd) 8. Let There Be Rock (A Kerwood) ae. Bet Till Dawn (R Gassien) NINTH - PACE, $4,000 (EX, LD, TR) 7. Big Moment (R Doyle) 6. Putnams New Year (B Macdonald) 1. Who Dey (N Boyd) 8. A Boy Named Suuzz (W Hie) 2. Thundering Bay (D Clancy) 5. Better Art (J Gillespie) 3. Casimir Oppee (R Webb) 4. Stir And Serve (G Ketros) TENTH - TROT, $5,000 (EX, SF, TR) 5. Millers Song (N Boyd) 4. Shestherealthing (R Webb) 1. Rare Ruby (M Harvey) 3. Anutherdynamic (K Jones) 6. Zebs Abbey (J Gillespie) 2. Peace Keeper (P Henriksen) 7. Muscle Museum (B Macdonald) 9. Magic Moss (R Gassien) 8. Muscle Lane (W Hie) Reprinted with permission of The Peterborough Examiner

Fraserville, ON --- On an emotional evening at Kawartha Downs, Nick Boyd’s mood following the sixth race was ecstatic as he recorded a milestone in his harness racing driving career, win number 100. “To most it’s a very insignificant feat, but for a kid who grew up in a family with just a hobby racing stable, it’s a nice milestone to reach,” said Nick after he guided Kiss Me Or Not to the victory in the sixth race on Saturday night's (Sept. 9) card. Nick also made sure to thank Gord Brown, the leading driver at Kawartha for many years who is now retired and the track’s race analyst. “Gord gave me my first drive in a qualifier here back when he and (wife) Joy had a small stable,” remembered Nick who is always a great ambassador for racing at KD, giving the fans an opportunity to connect with his winning horses every time he returns to the winner’s circle following a victory. For the past few weeks he’s been wearing a Go Pro on his chest to show fans how racing looks from his perspective. Saturday night’s card was Kawartha Downs’ annual Memorial program and all nine of the races honored someone who made an impact at KD before their passing. Celebrated were Roger Hie, Tom Millson, Charles Ibey, Ivan Johnson, Brenna Leigh Seeley, Ruby Brown, Nellie and Leona Wright, Wayne Dowson and Doreen and Eric Brock. The Honorable Jeff Leal, the Minister of Agriculture and Dan Gall, President and CEO of Standardbred Canada, were both in attendance where on track both Reg Gassien and Rick Webb enjoyed driving triples. Next week is dark at Kawartha Downs on Saturday, but racing returns for the final two cards of the 2017 season on Sept. 23, featuring Racing Under Saddle, and Sept. 30 with our Shorelines Drivers’ Championship and Appreciation Night. Kawartha Downs 

Fraserville, ON --- For any horse person, winning the signature race at your home track is pretty special. For Russell Bax, winning the Goodtimes Invitational at Kawartha Downs carries even more weight as the race’s namesake was a trotter campaigned to a harness racing Hall of Fame career by his brother John Bax. Russell’s entrant in Saturday night’s $10,000 contest, Ramas Last Son, also happens to be the defending champion having won the Goodtimes last year. “It's always nice to have a title to defend,” said Russell with a chuckle. “It’s the Goodtimes. When you have an opportunity to race in an event that's related to your family and at my home track, I make an effort to support it. If I have a horse good enough, I will make sure I enter. It was nice to win a race named after a horse that meant so much to my brother John. Our family has been around Kawartha for a long time, and regardless of how we finish this year, it’s always nice to have everyone home for the event.” A 6-year-old gelding by Majestic Son, Ramas Last Son has drawn post four in the Goodtimes which is carded as race eight on the Kawartha Downs’ program with Rick Webb tapped to drive. “Rammer has a loyal following at Kawartha. I purchased him privately from Ed Peconi when he took time off from training to have shoulder surgery. Ed made him a nice horse and I have been fortunate to keep him going. When I have an opportunity to bring him back here, I try to take advantage of it,” noted Bax whose trip to Kawartha is far closer than Mohawk where the horse has been racing. Russell and John aren’t the only Bax brothers involved in racing and Russell is quick to give brother Carl a nod when speaking about Ramas Last Son. “Rammer has been very good to me, but a lot of the credit to goes to my brother Carl who looks after the blacksmithing. Carl rarely misses watching a race and quickly spots any corrections that need to be made. He’s the brains and I’m the grunt,” Bax praised. The Goodtimes anchors Kawartha Downs’ Titans of Trotting evening which celebrates the careers of three extremely talented trotters who started their careers at Kawartha Downs and ended them with induction into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame - Goodtimes, San Pail and Billyjojimbob. The connections of all three horses will be on hand prior to the start of the races to sign free posters for fans. The track will also host races for San Pail and Billyjojimbob as well as the OLG’s Thrill of Winning Race. Post time is 7 p.m. Kawartha Downs   

AUGUST 12, 2017 - Dagfin Henriksen returned to Kawartha Downs on Saturday evening and guided his harness racing two-year-old trotter North And South to an Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots victory, the gelding's second of the season. Sent off as the second choice by Kawartha Downs fans, who strongly favoured the trotters with local connections, North And South got away sixth from Post 9 and avoided some early confusion caused when Irish Master made a miscue that pushed favourite Stormont Ventnor into the middle of the racetrack. Closing to fourth by the halfway marker, North And South had taken command by the three-quarters and sailed home a two and three-quarter length winner in a personal best 1:59.1. Stormont Ventnor, with Kawartha's top reinsman Reg Gassien of Lindsay in the race bike, recovered from his first quarter shuffle to finish second and third choice Chief Justice, trained by former Peterborough, ON resident John Bax, was third. "Nine-hole, you kind of have to plan as you go a little bit, and when the horse run out of the first turn there was a little bit of a confused first quarter, and then there was a big gap," said Henriksen. "I was just trying to close the gap and when he closed the gap he just swelled up, so I just moved him when I had to. It worked out perfect." Henriksen, a former resident of Peterborough who started his training and driving career at Kawartha Downs, shares ownership of North And South with Dr. Brett Anderson of Port Hope, ON and Kyle Anderson of Edmonton, AB. The partners anted up $10,000 to acquire North And South from last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale and through four starts the son of Southwind Lustre and Queen Nora has earned $18,975. "He raced really good. When I moved him he just fired right up. It was fun," said Henriksen, who now calls Cambridge, ON home. "He's learning the right way and does everything the right way." The victory bumped the gelding to the top of the division standings with 102 points, which should assure him of a berth in the Sept. 30 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack, but Henriksen was happy to just enjoy Saturday's win without looking too far into the future. "It's nice to win here. It's always been fun to win here," said the horseman. "The crowd's always cheering me on, everybody knows me; it's good." Veteran trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev also enjoyed an enthusiastic reception from Kawartha Downs' fans when he guided Charlie Ona Harley into the winner's circle after the second Grassroots division. The pair was part of a three-horse charge to the wire that required a photograph to determine that Charlie Ona Harley got a head in front of Nobodynosjustice and pacesetter Radical Attempt in the 1:59.2 mile. "Usually, you know he acted like a two-year-old, but tonight he got behind the gate and he just was a different horse," said Moiseyev. "I was happy with him." Saturday was Charlie Ona Harley's debut, both in the Grassroots and as a gelding. The son of Glidemaster and Carnac started the Ontario Sires Stakes season at the Gold Series level, finishing fifth in the July 9 season opener at Georgian Downs, but his behaviour that night caused Moiseyev and owners Joanne Colville of Moffat and Nancy MacNevin of Essex, ON to make the decision to transform him from a colt to a gelding. "He was so bad in the paddock that night, he was trying to hurt people, so we just gelded him," explained Moffat resident Moiseyev. "He really calmed right down after about 10 days, now he's all business." With Saturday's win Charlie Ona Harley moved into ninth spot in the division standings and both he and North And South will have an opportunity to pad their point totals in the fifth event for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Sept. 2 at Flamboro Downs. Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal was on hand for Kawartha Downs' Ontario Sires Stakes event Saturday and the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs made the trophy presentations to the winning connections of North And South and Charlie Ona Harley. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

AUGUST 11, 2017 - Stormont Ventnor and North And South will be lined up one in front of the other in the first $19,150 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots division at Kawartha Downs on Saturday night and the connections of both two-year-old trotting geldings are hoping their insider knowledge of the Peterborough harness racing oval lands them in the winner's circle. "I schooled him there - it's the closest track for us -and qualified him there myself," said trainer Kevin Benn of Stormont Ventnor, who toured the five-eighths oval in a July 8 qualifying event. "The rail isn't always the best for a trotter, I don't think, but he's got a capable driver and he knows the track so he should be okay." Stormont Ventnor will start from Post 1 with Kawartha's leading driver Reg Gassien of Lindsay, ON in the race bike. Lined up behind the pair at Post 9 will be North And South, with trainer-driver Dagfin Henriksen at the helm. "He's never had the nine-hole; it will be new for him, so just get him off from the start and see how he handles it. I think he'll be all right, he's pretty handy," said Henriksen, who called Peterborough home during the early stages of his career. "I had my start down there, so it's kind of my home track still. I'm comfortable down there for sure." Through the first three regular season events, not much separates the trotters in the point standings either. With a win in the July 18 event and a seventh in the Aug. 3 test, both at Mohawk Racetrack, North And South currently sits in sixth spot with 52 points. A pair of runner-up finishes in the same events has Stormont Ventnor sitting in a two-way tie for seventh with 50 points. The top 10 point earners through six regular season events will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 30. "He's been decent, he's been good," said Napanee, ON resident Benn of Stormont Ventnor. "I had his brother last year as a three-year-old, (Stormont) Dundas, and he was just an honest horse, he never made any breaks. This horse seems to be faster than him though, so that's a good thing. So, you know, we'll keep him healthy and sound and hope for the best." Saturday's start will be Stormont Ventnor's third. The son of Justice Hall and Lady Grenville, bred and owned by Eric Baker of Long Sault, ON, has just the two Grassroots starts under his belt, while North And South also has an appearance in the Gold Series. After a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk in June, North And South made his debut in the July 9 Gold Series season opener at Georgian Downs, finishing seventh. The move to the Grassroots for the July 18 event resulted in a win and Henriksen was not dissatisfied with the Southwind Lustre son's effort in the Aug.3 event, in spite of the seventh-place result. "I drove him from the back and the flow didn't really move much. He had a good last quarter, so he raced good, but didn't have the race luck we needed that day," said the trainer. "That's how it is with the young ones I find. You need a little bit of race luck when you teach them to race." Henriksen, who now calls Cambridge, ON home, shares ownership of North And South with Dr. Brett Anderson of Port Hope, ON and Kyle Anderson of Edmonton, AB. The partners purchased the half-brother to $165,000 winner Cracker Zack for $10,000 from last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale and have recouped $9,400 to date. Both trotters will be keeping an eye on Chief Justice from Post 2, who currently sits second in the point standings with a pair of seconds and one third in the first three Grassroots events. Former Peterborough resident John Bax trains the Justice Hall colt for Midnight Sun Partners of Delray Beach, FL and Stephen Byron will be in the race bike. Bax and Byron also have the top ranked entry in the second division, sending division point leader Delcrest Holiday after his second Grassroots win from Post 8. Bax, who now resides in Campbellville, shares ownership of the Holiday Road gelding with Gaelic Stable of Sharon, Ken Bax of Cavan Monaghan and John Houston of Cobourg, ON. In addition to the on track Ontario Sires Stakes action, Kawartha Downs fans will have an opportunity to win OSS ball caps and Ontario Racing flip-flops throughout the evening. The youngest fans will enjoy the Kawartha Downs Kids' Activity Centre, which sees one lucky youngster join the winner's circle celebrations following Race 5, making a presentation and taking home a commemorative photograph. And, as always, fans are encouraged to drop their non-winning wagering tickets into the second chance ballot box, with draws held after the third, sixth and ninth races. The first race on Kawartha Downs' Saturday evening program goes behind the starting gate at 7 pm and the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings will square off in Races 2 and 7. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

It was a historic night at Kawartha Downs when harness racing legendary race announcer Frank Salive called his 150,000th race in front of a packed house Saturday night in Fraserville. A strong crowd was on hand and watched as Jetset Charmer won the fourth race for Justin Turcotte who joined his fellow horse people in the winner’s circle to congratulate Salive on his remarkable accomplishment. Following the presentation Kawartha’s Gord Brown interviewed Salive who was touched by the ceremony attached to the milestone. “I want to thank everyone here at Kawartha Downs for this privilege. I hope I have thousands more races left. “This is so special for me to be here as one of my first broadcasting assignments was right here at Kawartha Downs. These milestones put things in perspective, but none of it would be possible without the breeders, owners, pari-mutuel tellers, wait staff, horse people, everyone who makes it all come together. “I thank God for this career and all of you for your support and encouragement for so many years,” said Salive, a former Peterborough Petes' goalie. Racing returns to Kawartha next Saturday with the annual family fun night with bouncy castle, balloon animals, face painting and draws throughout the night for the youngsters and young at heart. Post time is 7 p.m. Reprinted with permission of The Peterborough Examiner    

The general manager at Kawartha Downs says they’re still figuring out uses for the site once the casino moves out. While the site is being cleared for Peterborough’s new casino, questions loom about what’s happening to the old building for Shorelines Slots. Kawartha Downs general manager Orazio Valente says he's still planning what to do with the building in Fraserville. He adds no one has approached Kawartha Downs about “alternate uses” for the site which has a racetrack, restaurant and large slots area, plus offices. Valente says he’s hoping to announce something in the autumn but he’s not ready to say anything yet. “We’re starting to form contingency plans,” he explains. “There’s not much I can probably share with you now.” The gaming and racing centre opened on July 22, 1972 and has been home to slot machines, harness racing, as well a paved speedway for cars. The current building was added to the site in the late 1990s. At the gaming site at 3:30 p.m. on a weekday, nearly every other machine was occupied. The main room was still filled with 500 slots machines, with many of the gamblers being seniors. In April 2016, Shorelines announced it was planning to move from its location in Cavan Monaghan Township to a new facility in Peterborough on Crawford Drive. Allan Seabrooke, the city’s chief administrative officer, says work has begun at the new site and the ground is currently being cleared. A groundbreaking ceremony is likely to occur in August. He says the anticipated opening date is planned for the third quarter of 2018. “It really depends on weather and how long it takes to construct the building itself,” he adds. by Taylor Clysdale Taylor Clysdale covers municipal, provincial and federal politics for Peterborough This Week.You can follow him on Twitter @TaylorClysdale and reach him at tclysdale@mykawartha.com. Reprinted with permission of MyKawatha.com site

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