Search Results
1 to 16 of 2156
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 25 - The conditions might have been a bit chilly, but Etruscan Hanover was sizzling Saturday night to a Don Mills harness racing stakes record at Mohawk Raceway. A field of eight four- and five-year-old trotters took to the track Saturday evening for the $44,400 final of the Don Mills Trotting Series. The series finale appeared to be a competitive contest on paper, but Etruscan Hanover would turn the final into his own personal showcase. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Etruscan Hanover sprinted off the gate to the front and posted a speedy opening-quarter of :26.4. The fast first-quarter would be a sign of things to come, as Etruscan Hanover carved out fractions of :55.1 and 1:24 to bring the field into the stretch. Bourbon Bay, the 4/5 favourite, appeared to be getting a nice two-hole trip in behind the leader, but would be not match for Etruscan Hanover in the lane. Etruscan Hanover and Baillargeon trotted home in :28.2 to score a 3 ¼ length victory over Bourbon Bay and established a new Don Mills stakes record of 1:52.2. Exemplar finished third, while Wild And Crazy Guy was fourth. A five-year-old son of Donato Hanover, Etruscan Hanover is trained by Ben Baillargeon, who shares ownership with Santo & Nunzio Vena and Claude Hamel. The gelding trotter has had breaking issues throughout his career, but continually posts successful results when he minds his manners. Etruscan Hanover now has a record of three wins from nine starts this season. The Don Mills final triumph is the tenth career victory for the Baillargeon trainee and increases his bankroll to over $87,000. The stakes record clocking of 1:52.2 knocks more than three-seconds off Etruscan Hanover's previous career-mark. A $2 win ticket on Etruscan Hanover returned $6.80. In order to be eligible to the Don Mills series, the four- and five-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2014. Etruscan Hanover J Js Delivery on time in Diplomat opener J Js Delivery shot up the rail late to pull off a 23/1 upset in the first leg of The Diplomat Saturday night at Mohawk. A field of nine three-year-old pacing colts and geldings lined up Saturday for the first round of The Diplomat series. J Js Delivery and driver James MacDonald were the quickest off the gate and posted a solid opening-quarter of :26.1. American Rock, the Youthful series winner and 9/5 second-choice, was parked around the first turn and would overtake the lead as the field rolled into the backstretch. The Wayfaring Man, the 3/2 favourite, came charging first up from fourth around the final turn to tango with the leader down to the three-quarter pole in 1:25.1. In the stretch, Good Friday Three came off the cover of The Wayfaring Man to pace by the leaders and appeared to be on his way to victory. However, MacDonald would find room up the rail in deep stretch to allow J Js Delivery to charge through and score a  length victory over Good Friday Three in 1:52.2. Star Cover come on late to finish third, while The Wayfaring Man and American Rock had to settle for fourth and fifth, respectively. A son of Jeremes Jet, J Js Delivery was making his second start for new trainer Dave Menary Saturday night. The three-year-old gelding is now two-for-two out of the Menary barn and has a record of three wins from five starts in 2015. J Js Delivery, who is owned by Robert Hamather, now has five career victories and earnings of $66,686. The clocking of 1:52.2 drops more than a full-second off of the gelding's previous career-mark. J Js Delivery paid $49.50 to win. J Js Delivery In order to be eligible to The Diplomat, the sophomore pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2014. The second leg of The Diplomat will take place next Saturday (May 2). Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 24 - Moonlit Dance and harness racing driver James MacDonald made a bold statement with a 1:52 victory in the opening leg of the Princess Series Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Just a single $20,000 division, featuring a field of eleven, was needed for the first leg of the three-week Princess Series for three-year-old pacing fillies. Moonlit Dance, the 9/5 favourite, turned in a razor-sharp performance to strike first in the series-opener. Driven by MacDonald, Moonlit Dance got away early in fourth and would be right lined to the outside in the second-quarter. The daughter of Art Major would eventually clear to the front before the final turn and took the field down to the three-quarter pole in a speedy 1:23.4. In the stretch, Moonlit Dance quickly created several lengths of separation on her rivals and cruised home in :28.1 to score her first victory of the season by four-lengths. Maplelea paced a :26.4 final-quarter to come from tenth at the three-quarter pole to finish second, while Twin B Honour finished third. Moonlit Dance is trained by Tony O'Sullivan for owner David Goodrow Stable. The sophomore pacing filly came into Friday night's race having finished second in all three of her starts this season. The 1:52 victory is the second victory of her career and establishes a new career-mark. Moonlit Dance's career bankroll now sits at $44,354. She returned $5.80 to win. In order to be eligible to the Princess Series, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2014. The second leg of the Princess will take place next Friday (May 1) and series action continues Saturday night at Mohawk with the first leg of the Diplomat for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 27 - The second leg of the harness racing Celias Counsel series Thursday night at Mohawk saw a repeat winner and a filly break her maiden. A pair $15,000 divisions were contested Thursday evening in the second round of the three-week Celias Counsel series for three-year-old trotting fillies. In the first division, Hape and trainer/driver Jack Moiseyev returned to the winner's circle for the second leg in a row with a 1:57.3 victory. A daughter of Pilgrims Taj, Hape came first up from third in the second-quarter and cleared to the front before the final turn. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:27.4, Hape drew away from her rivals in the stretch to score a four-length victory. Giona finished second, while Allies Gift took third. Hape is now two for two in 2015 and has an opportunity next week to sweep the Celias Counsel series. The sophomore trotting filly is owned by Joanne Colville and Nancy MacNevin. Hape's career record now sits at four wins from 12 starts for earnings of over $42,000. The clocking of 1:57.3 missed her lifetime mark by just a fifth of a second. Hape returned $6.20 to win. In the second division, Tymal Signature broke her maiden with a 1:57.3 triumph. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Tymal Signature would be situated in the two-hole around the final turn. After leader Ladyone reached the three-quarter pole in 1:26.3, Baillargeon brought his filly off the cones and trotted right on by to score a 2 ¼ length victory. Ladyone just held on to finish second over Flexceptional. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Tymal Signature is trained by Mark Etsell, who shares ownership with Robert Newton and Steve Organ. The three-year-old trotting filly entered Thursday's second leg off a second-place finish in the opening round a week ago. Tymal Signature's first victory comes in her ninth start of the season and 11th of her career. The Etsell trainee now has a career bankroll of over $24,000. Tymal Signature paid $11.40 to win. In order to be eligible to the Celias Counsel series, the three-year-old trotting fillies had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2014. The top-ten money earners from the first two rounds of the series will contest the Celias Counsel final next Thursday (April 30). Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 20 - Three-year-old trotters were on display Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack in a trio of Tie Silk harness racing series first leg divisions. A group of 23 sophomore trotting colts and geldings were split into three $15,000 divisions for the first round of the Tie Silk. The trotters not only had to battle with each other Monday evening, but also heavy winds blowing in their face down the lane. In the first division, the Pennsylvania invader Great Magic was victorious in 1:58.3. Driven by Trevor Henry, Great Magic grabbed the early lead and would face his first challenger down the backstretch in the form of Raising Richard and trainer/driver Eddie Green. Raising Richard would be unable to get by the leader and would eventually make a break nearing the three-quarter pole. After putting away the first up challenger, Great Magic open up several lengths on his rivals in the lane and trotted on to a 3 ¼ length victory. Guscrest got up for second, while Amityville Lindy overcame a pair of breaks to finish third. A son of Kadabra, Great Magic shipped up north from the Meadows for the Tie Silk and into the care of trainer Paul Reid for owner Robert Key. The sophomore trotter came into Monday evening's contest with three wins in his last four starts. Great Magic, who did not win a race in two starts as a rookie, now has a 2015 record of four wins from nine starts. His earnings now exceed $44,000. Great Magic paid $6.40 to win. Tarot and driver Randy Waples scored a 1:56.4 victory as the 7/5 favourite in the evening's second division. A son of Taurus Dream, Tarot trotted out to the early lead, while Arrakis was to his outside around the opening turn. Waples would make a give and go move by allowing Arrakis to clear in the second-quarter, but circled back to the lead with Tarot. The favourite would look strong around the final turn and reach the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2. In the stretch, Tarot was under no pressure and trotted home to win by a comfortable two lengths over Hemi Seelster. In Secret, the 9/5 second choice, finished third. Tarot, who is trained by Dave Tyrrell for owner Michael Casalino Jr, failed to win a race in 11 starts last season, but the gelding's luck has turned right around this year. The Tyrrell trainee now has five wins from 9 starts and earnings of over $46,000 in 2015. A $2 win ticket on Tarot returned $4.80. In the third and final division, Waples would pick up his second Tie Silk victory of the night with 1/9 shot Covert Operative. The heavy favourite got away in third and would trot along in that position until about the midway point. Covert Operative and Waples came first up around the final turn to challenge the leader Duh Bubbees. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:29.3, the two trotters would come off the final turn and battle it out down the stretch. Duh Bubbees tried his best to fend off the heavy choice in the lane, but Covert Operative would ultimately overtake the lead and prevail by a length in 1:59.2 Its Huw You Know, the longest shot on the board at 45/1, finished third. A son of Deweycheatumnhowe, Covert Operative is trained by Per Henrisken for owners Andrea Lea Racingstables Inc. and Asa Farm. The gelding trotter came into Monday night's Tie Silk opening leg with two wins from three starts this season. Covert Operative now has a career bankroll of $32,650. The Henriksen trainee paid $2.30 to win. In order to be eligible to the Tie Silk series, the three-year-old colt and gelding trotters had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2014. The second leg of the Tie Silk will take place next Monday night (April 27). Changes to Mohawk qualifying schedule The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to inform harness racing people of upcoming changes to the Mohawk qualifying schedule. Beginning on Monday, April 27, two qualifying sessions will be held each week at Mohawk Racetrack. Qualifiers will take place every Monday and Friday until the end of May. Starting in June, the qualifying schedule will shift to Tuesdays and Fridays. Two-year-old baby races will be added to the qualifying lineup beginning on Saturday, June 6. Baby races will take place each Saturday, except June 20, until July 4. Post time for all qualifying sessions is 10 a.m. Below is a list of upcoming qualifying dates at Mohawk. Thursday, April 23 - 10 a.m. Monday, April 27 - 10 a.m. Friday, May 1 - 10 a.m. Monday, May 4 - 10 a.m. Friday, May 8 - 10 a.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILE, April 18 - The photo finish camera got put to work to decide a highly entertaining second leg of the harness racing Don Mills Trotting Series Saturday night at Mohawk. A field of 11 four and five-year-old trotters battled it out in the lone $20,000 division and all eyes were on the 2/5 favourite Bourbon Bay. The heavy-favourite came into Saturday's Don Mills second leg off a victory in round one and was undefeated in six starts this season on the WEG circuit. However, that undefeated streak would come to an end Saturday, as Exemplar at odds of 23/1 got up just in time to nail Bourbon Bay at the wire and prevail by the narrowest of margins. Driven by Mike Saftic, Bourbon Bay showed early speed to grab his usual position on the front-end. Down the backstretch, Wild And Crazy Guy, the other first leg winner, came up to engage the favourite and would eventually overtake the lead through a solid opening-half of :55.4. Around the final turn, Exemplar and driver Trevor Henry came off the rail from their position in fourth to make a move on the outside, while Bourbon Bay came out of the two-hole nearing the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Bourbon Bay had retaken the lead and tried to take off from his rivals. Exemplar didn't appear to be a big threat towards the leader halfway down the lane, but the 23/1 longshot dug deep and trotted up the middle to nail Bourbon Bay at the wire in 1:53.3. The photo finish camera confirmed that Exemplar had prevailed by a nose to hand Bourbon Bay his first loss on the WEG circuit. Etruscan Hanover finished second, while Sheer Flex was fourth. A five-year-old son of Andover Hall, Exemplar, who finished third in an opening leg division, is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Andrea Lea Racingstables Inc. and Asa Farm. The 1:53.3 victory is a new career-mark for Exemplar and is the ninth win of his career. The gelding now has a 2015 record of three wins from 11 starts and earnings of $34,400. Exemplar's career bankroll now sits at over $121,000. The Moreau trainee returned $48.50 to win. The Don Mills Trotting Series will come to a close next Saturday with the $44,400 final. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 13 - Cast No Shadow and Maplelea came into Monday night's $36,200 Blossom Series final at Mohawk with a shot at a series sweep, but Doctor Terror and harness racing driver Jody Jamieson had other plans. A compact field of six three-year-old pacing fillies lined up Monday for the final of the Blossom over a 'sloppy' surface at Mohawk. Cast No Shadow, who was undefeated in five starts this season coming into the final, was sent off as the 1/2 favourite, while Maplelea, who entered the final on a five-race win streak, went off at odds of 3/1. Both fillies scored impressive victories in the preliminary rounds and were going for the series sweep Monday night. However, the Blake MacIntosh trainee Doctor Terror would not allow the brooms to come out and came away with the series final victory at odds of 9/2. Driven by Jamieson, Doctor Terror sprinted out to the early lead and would give way to Cast No Shadow in the second-quarter for a two-hole trip. The favourite would set fractions of :58.2 and 1:27.3 to bring the field into the stretch. Maplelea, who paced along sixth, had her chances take a hit around the final turn, as her cover stalled on the way to the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Doctor Terror came off the rail and would grind down Cast No Shadow to overtake the lead. Moonlit Dance came charging on the far outside in deep stretch, but Doctor Terror held her off to win by a head in 1:57.2. Cast No Shadow finished third, while Maplelea got up for fourth. A daughter of Western Terror, Doctor Terror has made all three of her starts this season in the Blossom Series. Along with a victory and a pair of runner-up finishes, Doctor Terror walks away from the Blossom with a total of $25,600 in earnings. Last season, Doctor Terror won a Grand Circuit event at the Delaware County Fairgrounds and banked over $110,000. She is owned by Blake MacIntosh and Stuart McIntosh. Doctor Terror returned $11.80 to win. In order to be eligible to the Blossom Series, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of three-races of $15,000 in 2014. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 11 - American Rock with Jody Jamieson turned in a gritty harness racing effort to win the $37,000 Youthful Series final Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A solid group of ten three-year-old pacing colts and geldings lined up Saturday evening for the final of the three-week Youthful series. Legion Of Boom, the 4/5 favourite, came into the final on a three-race win streak and had a chance at a series sweep. The action was hot right from the start, as the first-quarter saw a trio of horses battle around the opening turn. Dialamara, who was three-wide, would come away with the lead as the field entered the backstretch. American Rock, who got away fourth, came charging first up in the second-quarter to engage Dialamara in a duel. American Rock would eventually clear to the lead at the mid-way point, but not after a rock-solid half-mile clocking of :55.1. Around the final turn, Team Captain was pressing at the leader first up, while Legion Of Boom was placed second-over. American Rock posted a third-quarter of :28.1 to reach the three-quarter pole in 1:23.2. In the stretch, American Rock dug deep and would not allow his rivals to get by, as he reached the wire first in a career-best 1:52. Dialamara came up the rail to finish second by a length and a quarter, while Pantheon Hanover made a rally on the far outside to finish third. Team Captain, who was beat less than two-lengths, and Legion Of Boom had to settle for fourth and fifth, respectively. A son of Rocknroll Hanover, American Rock is trained by Ben Wallace for owner Brad Grant. The sophomore pacing colt came into Saturday's final off a 1:54.1 victory in last week's second leg and had finished second by only a head in an opening leg division on March 28. American Rock, who did not race as a two-year-old, now has a record of five wins from eight starts and earnings $57,250. The Wallace trainee returned $7.10 to win. In order to be eligible to the Youthful series, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of three-races or $15,000 in 2014. American Rock Favourites dominate round one of Don Mills The first leg of the Don Mills Trotting Series Saturday night at Mohawk was dominated by the chalk. A group of 13 four- and five-year-old trotters were split into two $20,000 first round divisions. In the first division, Wild And Crazy Guy picked up his third win from his last four starts in 1:56. Sent off as the 3/5 favourite, Wild And Crazy Guy and driver Mario Baillargeon got away fourth in the early stages. A second-quarter move gave Wild And Crazy Guy control of the lead and he never looked back. The public's choice finished up his mile with a :28.2 final-quarter to win by a length and three-quarters over Windsun Revenge. Exemplar finished third, while Ramas Last Son took fourth. A four-year-old gelding son of Crazed, Wild And Crazy Guy is trained by Martin Lachance for owners Jean Brunet & Ted Gewertz and now has three wins from 12 starts in 2015. Saturday evening's victory gives the four-year-old 12 career victories and pushes his bankroll over $164,000. Wild And Crazy Guy paid $3.30 to win. Wild And Crazy Guy In the second division, Bourbon Bay and driver Mike Saftic lived up to their 1/5 billing and scored a dominant 1:54.1 victory. A four-year-old gelding son of Sand Vic, Bourbon Bay swept the General Brock series back in February at Woodbine and was returning north of the border Saturday off a Weiss Series division victory at Pocono on March 31. The heavy-favourite was sent straight to the lead by Saftic and it was lights out from there. Bourbon Bay set fractions of :28.2, :57 and 1:25.1 before trotting home easily in :29 to win by 2 ¾ lengths over Seawind Pascale. Sheer Flex finished more than 12 lengths behind the winner in third, while A J Destiny finished fourth. The clocking of 1:54.1 is a new career-mark for Bourbon Bay, who now has eight wins from 11 starts in 2015. The four-year-old is trained north of the border by Mike Sinclair for lessee John Cummings Jr of Nichols, New York and increased his career bankroll to over $117,000 with the victory Saturday. Bourbon Bay paid $2.40 to win. Bourbon Bay In order to be eligible to the Don Mills, the trotters had to be non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2014. The second leg of the Don Mills Trotting Series will take place next Saturday (April 18). Mark McKelvie

There are some athletes, who are to their sport — like jam is to peanut butter. They come together like eggs to bacon. They blend. They become one, an osmosis in the world of sweat — like Jordan and basketball; a puck and Gretzky, baseball with The Babe. One without the other is intellectually indigestible. So, it is, that harness racing has always had its Filion and a Waples. Or two. Jody Jamieson is a multiple O’Brien Award winner and John Campbell is regarded with a reverence rarely heard this side of a Gordie Howe conversation. Some, such as Sylvain Filion, who leads the drivers’ standings with Canada’s top harness circuit moving to Mohawk Thursday from Woodbine, continue to hold the standard high for the old world order. But, look close enough, and it is evident that standardbred racing is also coming into a new age. The twitter generation is making its move. A younger, perhaps bolder more aggressive, and evidently a talented wave of young drivers has taken a foothold in the industry. Perhaps never before has so much young blood lined up horses behind a starting gate. “I think it has changed quite a bit,” says Doug McNair, who at age 25, sits second in the driver’s standings behind only Filion. “Even if you go back just a few years, most guys had to be in their 30s before they could race (on the Woodbine/Mohawk circuit) full-time. Me, Jon Drury, and a couple others, all came in about the same time and I think it’s good for the sport. “When you have the younger drivers well, they tend to hang out with a younger crowd and I think it might get more younger people ... a new generation of people coming out to the track.” There is certainly a new generation taking over on the track. With the switch-over to Mohawk, three of the five top drivers have yet to see a 30th candle lit on their birthday cake. Drury, from Rockwood, Ont., is fifth with 37 wins. McNair, has 62 wins in 332 starts, just six behind Filion. James MacDonald, who at age 28 recorded his 1,000th lifetime win last season, sits in third spot with 44 wins. “I think I’ve got a lot of good years ahead. Most of the better, older drivers didn’t get to their best until their mid-30s,” said MacDonald, who grew up in a racing family in Prince Edward Island. “A younger group is starting to break through ... a few of us have gotten noticed.” Noticed is a modest way of putting it. McNair surpassed the 2,000-win mark last year and ranked as the top Ontario Sires Stakes driver. In 2008, at age 18, he became the youngest driver in harness-racing history to win a $300,000 purse in the Battle of Waterloo. Horses, he has always realized, would be his life. His father Gregg, one of Canada’s top conditioners with over $31 million in career earnings, got him started in the sport. “I was only five or six years old maybe when it happened, but there’s a picture in my bedroom of me sitting on a bike in the winner’s circle after (Filion) won a race with one of my dad’s horses. Now I’m 25 and I’m getting a chance to go out there every night with some of these guys. How great is that. Sure, I have my bad days sometimes and I’m not happy when I leave the track — but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing,” said Doug, “lots of four- and five-year-old kids dream of going to the NHL. I always dreamt of going to the track and racing.” Like McNair, Drury and MacDonald both grew up in racing families. Unlike McNair, Drury and MacDonald had to find, or rediscover, their passion for racing after some alternative adolescent diversions. “I played hockey, I played baseball. You name it, I played it,” said MacDonald, who enjoyed his job at the track canteen in Charlottetown, but rarely hung out at the family or track barns. Both his parents worked at the local track, the family was into the breeding business and his brothers Mark and Anthony were already on track to successful careers as drivers. “My brothers were always obsessed with the horses. I wasn’t,” said MacDonald. After graduating Grade 12, he worked a summer in Campbellville for his brother Anthony but, “I didn’t enjoy it that much to be honest” and he returned to college in P.E.I. Everything changed the following summer when he went back to Campbellville and his brother put him on a bike. “I don’t really know what changed. Maybe I was older. Maybe it was just I knew people and had more friends but I loved it.” And, the game, it turned out, loved him back. Last year, he drove Muscle Babe to a stakes-record performance in the $178,287 Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association final for three-year-old filly trotters in an impressive 1:54. His purse earnings this season already top $800,000. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. Even if I’m having a bad night and I go to the gate I still believe I’ve got the best job in the world.” Drury could be building racetracks rather than racing on them. While he also grew up in a racing family — his father Barry worked at Mohawk, still trains horses and once worked for the legendary Ron Waples as an assistant trainer at the old Meadowlands — he toyed with the idea of becoming an architect. “I really enjoyed it, and woodworking in high school. I thought about going to university but I ended up finishing high school and ... well, racing kind of took over. I guess it was just in my blood.” He started at a small track in Woodstock, his father gave him a leg up with a few horses. “Mostly it’s about opportunity. You have to get a chance to drive some decent horses ... when people see you winning at the smaller places they start to be more willing to let you go to the big tracks,” said Drury. A move to Kawartha Downs a few years later and teaming up with top trainers Corey Johnson and Carmen Auciello was the birth of his “Made It” moment. “I was a regular driver there (Kawartha Downs) and they started using me and we developed a relationship and it just snowballed from there,” said Drury, who also raced at Pocono for Auciello. “It was a great experience. I think it really helped me to be to where I am at today. It’s a different style of racing (at the Poconos), it taught me a lot and I think its made me a better driver now.” Since then he has become an integral part in the development of O’Brien Award winner Vegas Vacation, guiding the colt to victory in his first lifetime start at Mohawk Racetrack. Ultimate goals: For MacDonald? “You try not to look at the standings but you do ... It would be to win a drivers title at WEG,” he said. “To me the biggest thrill is still to have a full card against the best drivers that I grew up idolizing. We’re young ... at this age you’re eager to prove (yourself). We want to win and be like the guys who’ve been in this sport a long time.” Thursday, McNair has six races on the opening card at Mohawk in a season in which he is off to his best career start, and one he hopes will culminate with his ultimate dream: The O’Brien Trophy (awarded annually to Canadian harness-racing’s best and brightest) and a driving championship. “I picked up some good horses to start the year and it just seems to have snowballed from there,” said McNair. “In 2013 I got nominated, along with Filion, for driver of the year. He was always one of the guys I idolized when I was a kid. When that happened I felt like I belonged.” They have taken different paths to get to where they belong, but standardbred’s young guns are arriving at the finish line together. Said Drury: “When you’re racing at Woodbine and Mohawk you’re obviously doing something right. Just knowing I’m racing with the best is kind of a special feeling ... In the past, owners have always gone with the experienced guys. It’s nice to see some of the younger guys get a shot, with good horses, because I do think it’s good for the sport. By Bill Lankhof for the Toronto Sun Reprinted with the permission of the Toronto Sun

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 8 - The 2015 Mohawk Racetrack meet is set to get underway this Thursday, April 9 for a 52nd season of live harness racing. The 118-date meet of North America's premier harness racing will feature racing every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tuesdays will be added to the lineup beginning June 2 for the balance of the meet. First-race post time each night is 7:25 p.m. "Back to Mohawk makes for an exciting time," said veteran driver Paul MacDonell. "It's spring in the air and everyone is showing optimism with young horses and everything that's coming up. It's an exciting time." The 2015 meet will once again be highlighted by the 32nd edition of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, June 20. The 'Cup' undercard will be made up of the Fan Hanover, Goodtimes, Roses Are Red Stakes and the Mohawk Gold Cup. A special post time of 6:30 p.m. will be in place for Pepsi North America Cup night. This year's meet will see the return of the popular Mohawk Fireworks and Family Fun Night during the Victoria Day long weekend on Saturday, May 16. Post time on fireworks night will be 6:45 p.m. The high-profile stakes calendar will once again bring the finest pacers and trotters to Mohawk throughout the entire season. The Metro Pace, Canadian Pacing Derby and Shes A Great Lady Stakes will headline a spectacular evening of harness racing on Saturday, September 5 while the Maple Leaf Trot and Canadian Trotting Classic will makeup an 'All-Star' evening of trotting events on Saturday, September 19. Along with the world-class harness racing, horseplayers will notice a brand new wager added to the betting menu when racing returns to Mohawk. The new Standardbred Jackpot Pick-6 wager will require horseplayers to select the winner of the final six-races each night. If there are multiple winning tickets, 50 per cent of that evening's pool will be carried over to the following card. The other half will be paid out in consolation payouts to those Jackpot Pick-6 tickets which contain the highest number of winners. If only one horseplayer successful hits the Pick-6, they will take home the entire 'Jackpot'. The Jackpot Pick-6 carries a $0.20 minimum bet and a 15 percent takeout. Along with the special post times on signature event evenings, an early post time of 7:05 p.m. will be in place on Saturday, May 2. Fans can stay up to date on news, promotions and events all-season long by visiting www.MohawkRacetrack.com and the Mohawk Facebook and Twitter pages. Mark McKelvie

The connections of 63 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings have made the first sustaining payment to remain eligible to this year's Pepsi North America Cup. The $1 million showcase, to be contested on Saturday, June 20 at Mohawk Racetrack, is Canada's richest harness race. Headlining the top-notch group of sophomore pacers is O'Brien and Dan Patch Award winner Artspeak. The Tony Alagna-trainee put together a fantastic rookie campaign last season, that saw the son of Western Ideal capture the Metro Pace and Governors Cup Artspeak is only the third horse (Artsplace and Jeremes Jet) to win the Metro Pace and Governors Cup in the same season, however he could become the first to go on and win the Pepsi North America Cup the following season. O'Brien Award finalist Go Daddy Go, multiple stakes-winner In The Arsenal and winter-series standout Wiggle It Jiggleit are just a few of the notables that remain eligible to this year's 'Cup.' As excitement builds towards the 31st edition of Canada's richest harness race, the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) has unveiled the official event logo for the 2015 edition of the Pepsi North America Cup. All members of the WEG creative team had an opportunity to create a logo with a committee making the final selection of this year's event logo. The selected logo pays homage to both sides of the border by incorporating a pattern of the maple leaf and stars along with the colours of Canada, the United States and the title sponsor, Pepsi. "The symbols of the star and leaf helps support the rivalries theme of the Pepsi North America Cup," said Ken McConnachie, Creative Director for WEG "The chosen logo is bold with a sports-team type feel. The new logo can work in all sizes and applications, from print to broadcasting." The 31st edition logo will be used on merchandise, advertising and in other material leading up to the big race on June 20. A full list of the 63 horses that remain eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup can be viewed below. ALLBEEF N NOBULL AMERICANPRIMETIME AMORA BEACH ARQUE HANOVER ARTSPEAK ASAP HANOVER AZOREAN ART BERKLEY BETTING EXCHANGE BRING ON THE BEACH CAMTURO ROCK CORSICA HALL DEALT A WINNER DERBY DALE DRACHAN HANOVER DUDES THE MAN EDWARD TEACH FIRST CLASS HORSE FREEDOMFORMYSOUL GALLIC BEACH GO DADDY GO GOOD FRIDAY THREE HARFO HANOVER HURRIKANE ALI IF YOU WANT FIRE IN THE ARSENAL JO PAS WELL SAID JOE HILL LYONS AGAIN LYONS GEOFFJNR LYONS LEVI LEWIS MAXDADDY BLUE CHIP MIKES POWERHOUSE MITT JAGGER MOHEGAN BLUE CHIP MULLET BLUE CHIP ONEISALONELYNUMBER PAPARAZZI HANOVER PENJI HANOVER PHYSICALLYINCLINED PIERCE HANOVER RANDYS PLAN REVENGE SHARK REVEREND HANOVER RICH WISDOM ROCK N ROLL WORLD ROCK THE NITE ROCKIN IN HEAVEN ROCKNTOUCH SICILY SOMWHEREONTHEBEACH SPLIT THE HOUSE SPORTS BETTOR SPORTS IMAGE STOVER THE SPY THE WAYFARING MAN TRACEUR HANOVER TRADING UP WAKIZASHI HANOVER WELL WELL WELL WIGGLE IT JIGGLEIT YANKEE BOUNTY   ​Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

TORONTO, March 26 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced that the mandatory payout for the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 is set for Saturday, April 4, the second-to-last card of the Woodbine harness racing meet. Harness racing moves to Mohawk for 118 dates, beginning Thursday, April 9. In preparation for the event, the final opportunity to wager on the Jackpot Hi-5 before the mandatory payout date will be Monday, March 30. The carryover will continue to build through that date, provided there is not a single winner. The wager will then be suspended for the Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3 cards of racing, allowing customers to prepare for the mandatory payout prize. The Jackpot Hi 5, which currently boasts a carryover of $726,120.53, requires horseplayers to select the first five finishers in exact order on the last race of the card. The Jackpot proviso means that the entire pool pays out only when there is one winning ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order. The Jackpot Hi-5, which has not been won since December 8, 2014, has become a popular part of the WEG wagering profile since it launched in 2013. WEG has offered mandatory payout events, with carryover, with much success. On August 30, 2014, the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 at Mohawk generated a total pool of $2,522,851. Each 20-cent payout returned $1,347.36 that evening. The 'Hi-5' on May 17, 2014 at Woodbine also generated a large total pool of $2,002,026. That night, the $0.20 cent payout was worth $8,759.15. On a card where there is not a mandatory payout, and not just one winning ticket, half of the wagering pool is carried over and offered on the next racing card. The other half is paid out in consolation payouts to those Jackpot Hi 5 tickets which have the correct order of finish. If there are no winners of the wager, the entire pool, minus takeout, carries over. The Jackpot Hi 5, which offers a 20-cent minimum and a low takeout of 15%, has proven to be popular among core and new racing fans. This past Monday night, $56,794 was wagered into the Jackpot Hi 5 pool. For fans and horseplayers wanting further details on WEG's Jackpot Hi 5, including details, strategy and carryover info visit www.WoodbineEntertainment.com/JackpotHi5. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, March 24 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to inform horsepeople that this week's qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack will now be held on Friday morning. Originally scheduled for Thursday morning, the first qualifying session of the season at Mohawk has been pushed back to Friday at 10 a.m. due to projected rain in the forecast over the next couple of days. Entries for Friday's qualifying session are due tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, March 6 - A strong list of 72 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings have been nominated to the 32nd edition of the harness racing Pepsi North America Cup. The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, the richest race in Canadian harness racing, will be contested on Saturday, June 20 at Mohawk Racetrack. Headlining this year's group of nominees is the Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winner Artspeak. The Tony Alagna trainee won eight of ten starts last year, including the $667,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk, en route to being named top freshmen pacing colt in Canada and the United States. Artspeak compiled earnings of just over $805,000 last season, while taking a speed-mark of 1:50.2 at Mohawk. Also on the list of nominees is O'Brien Award finalist Go Daddy Go. Trained by Bob McIntosh, Go Daddy Go banked just under $400,000 in his two-year-old campaign and never finished out of the money in 14 appearances. Other notables nominated to this year's 'Cup' include, the undefeated Ontario Sires Stakes champion Reverend Hanover, Matron Stakes winner In The Arsenal and winter series standout Wiggle It Jiggleit. Sustaining payments to this year's Pepsi North America Cup are due on March 16, April 15 and May 15. Eliminations for the 'Cup' are set for Saturday, June 13. The complete list of nominees to the 32nd edition of the Pepsi North America Cup are listed below. ALLBEEF N NOBULL AMERICAN LEGEND AMERICAN ROCK AMERICANPRIMETIME AMORA BEACH ARQUE HANOVER ARTSPEAK ASAP HANOVER AZOREAN ART BERKLEY BETTING EXCHANGE BRING ON THE BEACH CAMTURO ROCK CORSICA HALL DEALT A WINNER DERBY DALE DRACHAN HANOVER DUDES THE MAN EDWARD TEACH ELWELL FIRST CLASS HORSE FREEDOMFORMYSOUL GALLIC BEACH GIOVANNI GO DADDY GO GOOD FRIDAY THREE HARFO HANOVER HURRIKANE ALI IF YOU WANT FIRE IN THE ARSENAL JET BLACK CADILLAC JO PAS WELL SAID JOE HILL LYONS AGAIN LYONS GEOFFJNR LYONS JIMMYDEAN LYONS LEVI LEWIS MAXDADDY BLUE CHIP MIGRATE BLUE CHIP MIKES POWERHOUSE MITT JAGGER MOHEGAN BLUE CHIP MULLET BLUE CHIP ONEISALONELYNUMBER PAPARAZZI HANOVER PENJI HANOVER PHYSICALLYINCLINED PIERCE HANOVER RANDYS PLAN REVENGE SHARK REVEREND HANOVER RICH WISDOM ROCK N ROLL WORLD ROCK THE NITE ROCKIN IN HEAVEN ROCKNTOUCH SICILY SOME POWER SOMWHEREONTHEBEACH SPLIT THE HOUSE SPORTS BETTOR SPORTS IMAGE STOVER THE SPY THE WAYFARING MAN TRACEUR HANOVER TRADING UP WAKIZASHI HANOVER WELL WELL WELL WIGGLE IT JIGGLEIT WINDSONG LIGHTNING YANKEE BOUNTY Nominations have also been made for a pair of stakes events set for Pepsi North America Cup night. Horse of the Year Jk Shesalady leads a group of 82 three-year-old pacing fillies nominated to the $455,000 (estimated) Fan Hanover Stakes, while 69 three-year-old trotters have been nominated to the $270,000 (estimated) Goodtimes Stakes The nominees are also in for two prominent trotting events in September. A total of 79 three-year-old trotters have been nominated to the $685,000 (estimated) Canadian Trotting Classic on September 19 at Mohawk. Headlining the list of nominees is O'Brien Award winner Habitat and Dan Patch Award winner Pinkman. Also on 'Trotting Classic' night, the $410,000 (estimated) Elegantimage Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies will take place. A group of 75 sophomore trotting fillies, featuring World Champion Mission Brief, have been made eligible to the Elegantimage. To view the full list of nominees to these stakes events and several others, click here. The first sustaining payment to each stake event is due March 16. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 15, 2015 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced that President and CEO, Nick Eaves, will be leaving the company on March 31, 2015.   Eaves took on the role of CEO in 2010, with a mandate to establish a new and stable foundation for WEG, its role in the horse racing industry, and its future. With this now in place, this is the right time for the Company to transition to new, long-term leadership.   Eaves has worked at WEG for over 20 years, as President since 2006, and CEO since 2010. In that time, he has led the organization through significant change and helped create opportunities for continued development and future growth. This is due, in large part, to the five year Horse Racing Partnership Plan with the Province, under which WEG now leads the Standardbred Alliance and operates all off-track operations across the Province for the benefit of the industry.   Additionally, WEG and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) have made significant progress in negotiating a new, long-term partnership, which truly integrates horse racing and gaming at WEG facilities.   "As I look back on the last 20 years, I am very proud to have been part of a team that was able to accomplish so many great things for WEG and in our industry," said Eaves. "Looking forward, I have confidence that the organization is pointed in the right direction and know the current leadership team will continue to grow and improve on the model we have developed. I want to thank all of my WEG colleagues for their hard work and collaboration over the years."   Following the end of Eaves' term at the end of March 2015, WEG Chairman, Jim Lawson, will lead the company on an interim basis. The Board will consider all options as it determines the best candidate to permanently fill the position.   "Nick has been with WEG for over two decades and in that time has been a big part of its evolution and success," said Jim Lawson. "The Board and I want to thank Nick for his dedication, passion, and commitment, and wish him all the best as he embarks on the next stage of his life and career."   Lawson continued, "As we look forward, now that we have stability we must work to achieve long-term sustainability for WEG and the horse racing and breeding industry and we will continue to put all of our resources towards that end."   by John Siscos, for Woodbine Entertainment  

TORONTO, January 9 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced the date for the 2015 Pepsi North America Cup and the rest of its $18 million-plus Standardbred stakes schedule. The 32nd edition of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup for the finest three-year-old pacers in North America will take place on Saturday, June 20 at Mohawk. The eliminations for Canada's richest harness race will be contested a week prior on June 13. The Pepsi North America Cup, WEG's signature stakes event, was first staged in 1984 and throughout its more than 30-year history has been captured by the likes of Precious Bunny, Gallo Blue Chip, Rocknroll Hanover and Somebeachsomewhere. The race will once again feature a stellar undercard of several top stakes events. The $455,000 Fan Hanover Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, the $330,000 Roses Are Red Stakes for older pacing mares, the $270,000 Goodtimes Stakes for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters, the $265,000 Armbro Flight Stakes for older trotting mares and the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup for older pacers round out an impressive stakes card on Pepsi North America Cup night. Returning by popular demand, WEG will once again be offering purse money to all finishers in the Pepsi North America Cup and other major stakes finals. The winner of the finals will receive the traditional 50% of the total purse, while those finishing sixth through last will take home 1% of the purse. The horses finishing second through fifth will receive 50%-24%-16%-10% respectively, of the remaining purse. The 2015 stakes calendar is also highlighted by the return of the Breeders Crown to Woodbine. The 12 championship events for each division in harness racing will take place on Saturday, October 24 and will be returning to the Toronto oval for the first time since 2012. Breeders Crown night will be the richest card of harness racing contested anywhere in 2015 with close to $6 million in purse money on the line. WEG has hosted 155 Breeders Crown races since the championships were established in 1984, more than any other host. Mohawk will once again be the battle ground for several of harness racing's most notable Grand Circuit events. The annual Labour Day weekend extravaganza featuring the $665,000 Metro Pace for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings and the $635,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers and will take place on Saturday, September 5. The 'Pacing Derby' and Metro Card will also feature the $480,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies. The Labour Day weekend card will offer purses of over $2 million. The $685,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-old trotters will take its usual spot in mid-September on Saturday, September 19. Over the last several years, the Maple Leaf Trot had been staged in July, but will now be paired with the 'Trotting Classic' in September for an 'All-Star' trotting card. The 63rd edition of the race carries a purse of $600,000. The Canadian Trotting Classic and Maple Leaf Trot card will also feature the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings and the $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. Once again in 2015, WEG will continue to handle administrative duties for all Standardbred Alliance track stakes events. Payments to all WEG and Alliance stakes are payable and should be mailed to the Woodbine Entertainment Group or can be made online at www.woodbineentertainment.com/sbpayments The full 2015 Standardbred stakes events booklet is available at http://bit.ly/1zZNTSt by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications  

TORONTO, January 8 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced that wagering on Woodbine's 2014 Standardbred racing season was up sharply over 2013. Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks hosted a total of 208 race dates in 2014, registering an all-sources betting total of $309,767,299, a 6.05 percent increase over the 2013 figure of $292,088,583 from 195 cards. The per-race handle showed a 3.56 per cent rise in 2014. An average wagering mark of $132,266 from 2,342 races was recorded last year, while $127,716 was bet per dash from 2,287 races contested during 2013. "We had a strong 2014," said Jamie Martin, WEG's Executive Vice-President of Racing. "Our customers saw tremendous value in the product offered at both Woodbine and Mohawk and responded in their wagering and overall interest in the WEG Standardbred racing program." Total purses paid over the entire 2014 year totalled $56,927,842, an increase of 7.4% over the $53,005,732 figure paid over the full 2013 calendar. The daily purses paid in 2014 was $273,691. The largest handle figure in the 51-year history of Mohawk Racetrack, $5,006,896, was recorded on August 30, the night of the Canadian Pacing Derby/Metro Pace. The total was the third highest in the history of the WEG Standardbred racing circuit. The Pepsi North America Cup, won by JK Endofanera, featured the highest handle, $3,437,037, for a 'Cup' card since the race moved to Mohawk in 2007. The Jackpot Hi-5 wager was in the spotlight during the 2014 season. On Saturday, May 17 at Woodbine, over $1.3 million was wagered into the Jackpot Hi-5 pool that featured a carryover of more than $656,000, bringing the total pool to over $2 million. That figure would be topped on August 30 at Mohawk, when more than $2 million was wagered into the pool that had a carryover of $647,000. "We've seen an enthusiastic response to our Jackpot Hi-5 bet," Martin said. "Both core and casual racing fans are willing to handicap one race in their own manner for the chance at lucrative payout. It's a legitimate area of wagering growth." WEG kicked off its 2015 221-date campaign this past Saturday evening and will offer four nights of racing all winter on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications

1 to 16 of 2156
1 2 3 4 5 Next »