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Evenin Of Pleasure was sent off at odds of 35 to 1 in tonight’s harness racing $150,000 Molson Pace, the signature race of The Raceway at Western Fair District. Luckily the horse didn’t read the tote board. As the race got underway Mark MacDonald and Sunfire Blue Chip and Evenin Of Pleasure with Sylvain Filion up both vied for the early lead. Filion quickly decided to tuck in behind in second which proved the winning move. Sunfire Blue Chip, looking to give MacDonald his first Molson Pace win in 10 tries, rattled off fractions of :26.3, :55.2 and 1:23 but was caught in the stretch by the garden spot sitting Evenin Of Pleasure who hit the wire first in 1:50.3. The time established a new track record, shaving a tick off the previous mark set by MacDonald and Tigerama in 2008. Sunfire Blue Chip held for second after the impressive performance. McWicked claimed the show spot while All Bets Off and P H Supercam took the final two cheques. State Treasurer, vying for his fourth straight Molson title, hit some traffic trouble as the field paced through the backstretch the second time and finished sixth. “When I was able to get the two hole, I was hoping Mark would keep on going, which he did,” explained Filion minutes after the winner’s circle presentation. “My horse felt super good, around the last turn I knew he had a good shot and he gave all he could, he raced really well.  “Last time he raced (a sixth place finish in the Preferred at Mohawk on May 14) he came up real flat, they scoped him after the race and he wasn’t 100 per cent. You have to give credit to Richard (trainer Richard Moreau) he did some work and my God he was good tonight.” When asked if he was worried about race favourites, All Bets Off and State Treasurer, Filion responded: “I was just looking ahead of me and hoping I wouldn’t see them. I really don’t know what happened, all I know is we’re in the winner’s circle right now. It’s nice to see the crowd like this, it’s a great ambiance and I’m looking forward to coming back.” It was the first win in 2016 for Evenin Of Pleasure, a six-year-old son of Dragon Again owned by Gestion JY Blais Inc., of Montreal, Quebec.  Tonight’s effort put his lifetime earnings over the $600,000 mark. He paid $74.30 to win. Molson Pace Undercard Molson Pace night kicked off with four City of London Series finals starting with the $36,200 test for male trotters which saw On The Ridge wear down pacesetter Muscle Bound to win in 2:01.  Muscle Bound held for second while The Big Muscle took third. Trainer Garrett Rooney, who co-owns the three-year-old son of Kadabra with Angela Carroll of Iona, Ontario, also guided the horse to victory. Unraced last year at two, On The Ridge now has six wins in 13 outings this year for $49,000 earned. The $39,000 City Of London final for male pacers saw heavy favourite Irvine James leave hard from post seven for driver Mark Williams and they were in charge well before the opening quarter of :28.4 and never looked back to win in 1:58.1 over Mid Town Mickey and Sly Baran. It was the second straight win for the four-year-old gelding by Mach Three owned, trained and bred by William Kirkpatrick of Amherstburg, Ontario.   The girls were next in the spotlight with the trotting mares’ final worth $37,400 going to Shes All Muscle and The Raceway’s leading driver Alfie Carroll who led at every station and hit the wire first in 2:02.  Angel Assault closed well to take second while Burning Memories was third. Jamie Wilson trains the winner, a three-year-old filly by Muscle Mass for owner Chris Wilson of Dashwood, Ontario. The $40,600 Final for pacing mares saw a great battle between two three-year-old daughters of Mach Three, You Mach Me Crazy and Machioda with the former prevailing in the fastest of the City Of London tests, 1:56.3. Machioda held for second while Stonebridge Medusa took third. Trevor Henry, the leading driver at The Raceway for many years, and now the leading driver on the WEG circuit, orchestrated the win for trainer Andrew McCabe and owner Glenview Livestock of Wallenstein, Ontario. The jam packed race card also featured the two finals of the Alliance Claiming Series. In the first, for pacing horses, Red Leaf Morgan and Jody Jamieson scored in 1:57.1 over Lis Deo and Howdy Partner. James Watt trains the victor, a 12 year-old son of Artist Stena for owner Rebecca Williamson of Blyth, Ontario. The $13,500 Alliance final for mares was taken by Passion Quizrace and James MacDonald who went gate to wire in 1:56.1 to defeat a fast closing Andro Madi. Carsons Cashin was third. It was the fourth win this year for the 10 year-old Blissfull Hall daughter owned by Auciello Stables of Stouffville, Ontario and trained by Carmen Auciello. Tonight also kicked of the 2016 Ontario Sires Stakes season with three $70,000 Gold divisions for three-year-old pacing colts won by Magnum J, Print Media and Sintra. Greg Blanchard

As Molson Pace night fast approaches in London, some horses themselves were out helping to promote the harness racing event on Wednesday afternoon at downtown Victoria Park. The Raceway marketing department held its second annual Miss Molson Pace contest (equine version) during the noon hour while several park goers and nearby office workers got to meet the participants and vote for their favourite. It was Raceway fan favourite Mother Hen, runner-up in last year's contest, who was crowned the winner this time around. The other contestants included Hazy Lady, Shellace and Black Diamond Star. Miniature horse Oreo was the sign bearer for the afternoon. "The horses in the park were a big hit again this year," said The Raceway's Marketing Co-ordinator Sarah Imrie. "Most of the people there don't get a chance to get up that close to a horse and it's great to see their reactions. A big thanks to the City of London for accommodating us and to our wonderful horse people who always jump at the chance to help us out with promotions." The $150,000 Molson Pace will go as the final race on Friday night's 12-race program, considered one of the strongest in the track's history. The first race post time is 7:05 p.m. and for details on everything that is happening, visit www.molsonpace.com. Greg Blanchard Raceway Manager Email: gblanchard@westernfairdistrict.com

Harness racing driver Mark MacDonald calls his time in London, ON racing at The Raceway at The Western Fair District "maybe the best time of my life." MacDonald, who is now based in New York and is one of the top drivers at Yonkers Raceway, will return to Western Fair Friday to drive Sunfire Blue Chip in the $150,000 Molson Pace invitational for trainer Jimmy Takter. "London was the first place I bought a house. It was a condo, but it was like a house. I lived in apartments before that. I actually lived 10 minutes from Western Fair," said the 37-year-old Prince Edward Island native, who first made his name racing in Ontario from 1999 through 2011. "I had some stoplights then, not bridge traffic. It is definitely a different atmosphere (in New York) as opposed to up there, but Western Fair was great. I had a lot of fun there. I won a lot of races. It was the first time I got to race in all the (Ontario) Sires Stakes and was kind of the go-to guy." What hasn't been as much fun has been the Molson Pace. MacDonald has raced in it nine times and never won. "It's been my Achilles Heel. That race just keeps getting me. I almost won it a few times. Dr No, I thought I was home with him and Our Lucky Killean got me right at the wire (in 2006). I think I still have the track record at London with Tigerama (1:50.4 in 2008). He buzzed around there in the elimination and then drew the seven hole and got stung past the quarter. He was kind of a speed horse. The seven hole and a speed horse don't really mix there in London, unless the inside wing falls off or something. Anyway, he got stung and ended up fifth." MacDonald last raced in the Molson Pace in 2014 and was eighth with Bandolito. "Bandolito, I got a horrendous trip with him. I was out early and he didn't fire. He wasn't right then, either. He didn't race for about five or six months after that race," MacDonald said. "I've had some good horses in that race, but I've raced some horses that turned up sick and I've raced some horses that just got beat. I just never get to the wire first." MacDonald, a winner of nearly 5,700 career races and more than $84 million is a two-time O'Brien Award winner as Canada's Driver of the Year. He set a record for driving wins on Canadian soil with 739 in 2006 - since surpassed by Jody Jamieson. MacDonald will be driving against his younger brother, James MacDonald, in this year's Molson Pace. James will pilot P H Supercam from post seven. "James is a good little driver. He's doing a great job. I talk to him all the time and always try to help him as much as I can. But I won't be helping him out on Friday," Mark said, laughing. "Don't eat yellow snow. That's my tip for him." Mark said he likes his chances with Sunfire Blue Chip, especially drawing the inside post three. "He's a really good horse... A good half-mile horse," Mark said of the six-year-old stallion, a son of American Ideal out of Shot Togo Blue Chip who has earned just over $1 million. "He won the Prix d'Ete as a four-year-old at Three Rivers. He's a really fast horse, good gaited. He doesn't wear a boot. He's a typical Takter horse. He's really well-mannered, a nice horse to drive. Everything about him is nice. He just won in 1:51 a couple of weeks ago in Yonkers on kind of a tiring track. It was a good mile that night." Sunfire Blue Chip has a record of 4-3-2 this year in 16 starts and earnings of just over $80,000. "He was sharp in the Levy (Series at Yonkers). He raced in every leg in the Levy and he just had horrible luck with the draw. He was, literally, outside every week... We couldn't get a break with that horse. They actually took him out of the Levy one week and I took him to the front and he won in like :53.3... The Levy wasn't meant to be for him this year, but he always raced well. He showed up every week." Now Mark MacDonald hope Sunfire Blue Chip shows up with his best game on Friday so he can finally claim the Molson Pace in his 10th attempt. Post positions for the Molson Pace field are as follows: 1. State Treasurer - Chris Christoforou 2. Bettor Rock On N - Jody Jamieson 3. Sunfire Blue Chip - Mark MacDonald 4. Evenin Of Pleasure - Sylvain Filion 5. Machtu N - Trevor Henry 6. Mcwicked - Randy Waples 7. P H Supercam - James MacDonald 8. All Bets Off - Matt Kakaley The Molson Pace program will also feature the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers, a quartet of City of London Series finals, a pair of Alliance Claiming Series finals and an added-purse Junior Invitational Pace as part of the undercard. Total purses for the night will be more than $550,000. There will be a number of promotions on the night, including Scratch and Win program prizes, OSS 'Be A Winner Contest,' Party on the Patio, a Molson VIP infield event and much more. The wagering menu has been bolstered to include a $5,000 guaranteed early Pick-3, $10,000 guaranteed early Pick-4, $15,000 guaranteed late Pick-4 and the addition of a third Super Hi-5 - all low 15 per cent takeout wagers. For more information, visit molsonpace.com. Greg Blanchard

Harness racing trainer Dr. Ian Moore said winning a fourth straight Molson Pace with his pupil State Treasurer would be almost beyond comprehension. “It’s been fun just to win it once. A second was a bonus and the third was just unreal last year,” Moore said. “A fourth time would be unbelievable.” State Treasurer, the 2015 Horse of the Year in Canada owned by Sally and Allan MacDonald of Prince Edward Island and their nephew, Paul MacDonald of Toronto, has drawn the rail for Friday’s $150,000 invitational at The Raceway at The Western Fair District in London, ON. The pacer’s regular driver, Chris Christoforou, will be in the sulky. Moore, a PEI native who is based in Guelph, ON during the summer, acknowledged it won’t be easy for State Treasurer to become the first horse to win four Molson Pace titles in the race’s 44-year history. Race secretary Ian Fleming has assembled a crack field of eight tough older pacers, many coming in from the United States. The field has combined earnings of nearly $9 million. That includes the $1.96 million earned by State Treasurer, who is winless in his three 2016 starts since returning from wintering at Southern Oaks Training Center in Florida. “He hasn’t been quite as good his first few starts, obviously, this year,” Moore said. “It sort of was the same thing last year. It wasn’t until about the third start that he was good at Mohawk and I really think that the first three Saturdays that we’ve been back in Ontario since April 30th the (race nights) have all been very cold. In fact, 37 degrees Fahrenheit and wet snow the last time we raced. I think some of our horses had a little trouble acclimatizing to that.” Moore said State Treasurer had some mild sickness a few weeks ago and was given five days off after his last start — a fifth-place finish in the $34,000 preferred on May 14 at Mohawk Racetrack — but the seven-year-old son of Real Desire—Ideal Treasure seems fine this week and should be raring to go Friday in London. “He seems good in every other way. He’s been sound and everything and he’s steering well this year. We hope he’ll appreciate the return to London and away we go,” Moore said. “He obviously likes that track and has done well there in the past. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to roll for the fourth time.” State Treasurer is currently tied with Jambo Dancer for the most Molson Pace victories. Jambo Dancer also won the race three straight years, taking the title in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Post positions for the Molson Pace field are as follows: 1. State Treasurer – Chris Christoforou 2. Bettor Rock On N – Jody Jamieson 3. Sunfire Blue Chip – Mark MacDonald 4. Evenin Of Pleasure – Sylvain Filion 5. Machtu N – Trevor Henry 6. Mcwicked – Randy Waples 7. P H Supercam – James MacDonald 8. All Bets Off – Matt Kakaley The Molson Pace program will also feature the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers, a quartet of City of London Series finals, a pair of Alliance Claiming Series finals and an added-purse Junior Invitational Pace as part of the undercard. Total purses for the night will be more than $550,000. There will be a number of promotions on the night, including Scratch and Win program prizes, OSS ‘Be A Winner Contest,’ Party on the Patio, a Molson VIP infield event and much more. The wagering menu has been bolstered to include a $5,000 guaranteed early Pick-3, $10,000 guaranteed early Pick-4, $15,000 guaranteed late Pick-4 and the addition of a third Super Hi-5 – all low 15 per cent takeout wagers. For more information, visit molsonpace.com. Greg Blanchard

The post-position draw for this year's $150,000 Molson Pace was conducted during this evening's pre-game show at The Raceway in London and it was three-time defending harness racing champion State Treasurer drawing the coveted rail in his quest for an historic fourth consecutive title. The son of Real Desire may not be the intimidating presence he would have been at this time last year from post one. He has gone winless so far in three starts this season and his connections will be hoping that another trip to London will get his season back on track. Last year's runner-up, All Bets Off, drew the trailing post eight and is coming off a sparkling second-place finish behind Wiggle It Jiggle It in this past weekend's Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield Park. Here is a look at the entire field, along with their listed drivers, in post-position order: 1 State Treasurer - Chris Christoforou 2 Bettor Rock On N - Jody Jamieson 3 Sunfire Blue Chip - Mark MacDonald 4 Evenin Of Pleasure - Sylvain Filion 5 Machtu N - Trevor Henry 6 McWicked - Randy Waples 7 P H Super Cam - James MacDonald 8 All Bets Off - Matt Kakaley Friday night's program also includes OSS Gold divisions for three-year-old colt pacers, a quartet of City Of London Series Finals and a pair of Alliance Series Finals. First post for the 12-race card is 7:05 p.m. Greg Blanchard

The final piece to this year's Molson Pace puzzle has fallen into place with the announcement that $1.7 million career winner McWicked will join seven other outstanding harness racing rivals in the $150,000 event next Friday night at The Raceway in London. The five-year-old son of McArdle, who now hails in the Steve Elliott Stable, will come into the race fresh off a pair of winning qualifiers and one pari-mutuel start this season. He finished just five lengths back of Always B Miki and Mel Mara in last weekend's flashy 1:48.4 mile in the Open Pace at The Meadowlands. McWicked took his 1:47.3 record at age three in winning the $500,000 Hempt Memorial Final at Pocono Downs. That same season, he posted victories in the Adios, Breeders Crown and Progress Pace Final and was voted Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year in both Canada and the US. He has 15 wins and 35 on-the-board finishes to his credit in 44 career races. Rockin In Heaven, who was a recent fourth-place finisher in the Confederation, will be the 'also eligible' in the field in the event of a scratch. The combined earnings of this year's Molson Pace field is more than $9 million. "We are extremely happy with the field we've assembled considering we are in the midst of a very busy time in the season for older horses," said Racing Manager Greg Blanchard. "There are some familiar faces but some new ones in the mix this year. It's a very talented and well balanced field with plenty of half-mile prowess. It should produce not only a great race but a very enticing wagering proposition." The post position draw will take place this Monday on The Raceway's pre-game show which airs at 5:45 p.m. (E.T.) The Molson Pace undercard is a strong one, featuring four City of London Series Finals, a pair of Alliance Series finals and Gold divisions for three-year-old colt pacers in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS). Total purses for the night will be more than $500,000. As always, there will be lots happening on track that night including Scratch and Win program prizes, OSS 'Be A Winner Contest', Party On The Patio, Molson VIP Infield event and much more. The wagering menu has been bolstered to include a $5,000 guaranteed early Pick-3, $10,000 guaranteed early Pick-4, $15,000 guaranteed late Pick-4 and the addition of a third Super Hi-5 - all low 15% takeout wagers. For full details, visit www.molsonpace.com. Here is this year's Molson Pace field in alphabetical order: All Bets Off Bettor Rock On N Evenin Of Pleasure Machtu N McWicked P H Super Cam State Treasurer Sunfire Blue Chip AE: Rockin In Heaven Greg Blanchard    

The Raceway in London has announced that four more starters have been confirmed for this year's harness racing Molson Pace which is now just over a week and a half away on Friday, May 27. Among them will be a pair of millionaire performers in All Bets Off and Sunfire Blue Chip. The former was an ultra impressive winner this past weekend at Pocono where he rallied from last to first to score in 1:50.2 over a sloppy track. The five-year-old son of Bettor's Delight, who was runner-up in last year's Molson, was never better according to pilot Matt Kakaley and will come into this year's event with just shy of $2 million in career earnings to his credit. Like All Bets Off, Sunfire Blue Chip has proven himself a premier half-mile performer over the course of his career for conditioner Jimmy Takter. The smooth-gaited pacer, who won the 2014 Prix D'Ete at Trois Rivieres in 1:50.3, boasts 21 career victories including a sparkling 1:51.4 tally two back at Yonkers Raceway. Bettor Rock On N will also make the trek north of the border for his trainer - Ontario native Andrew Harris. The son of Bettor's Delight raced very well in the recently-concluded Levy Series at Yonkers where he had a pair of runner-up finishes. He has won three of 10 races overall this season including a 1:52.1 victory on May 7 at Yonkers against Preferred company. The mystery horse in this year's event is Machtu N, fresh off a scintillating 1:50.4 score versus Preferred rivals this past Saturday night at Yonkers. The Nick Surick-trained son of Mach Three has had just three starts in North America so far and has shown extreme talent with final quarters in :27.2 or faster in all three outings over the New York half-miler. The impressive quartet will join three-time defending champion State Treasurer along with Evenin Of Pleasure and P H Super Cam in this year's $150,000 Molson. One more spot remains available and the race office will finalize that this week. Stay up to date by visiting www.molsonpace.com. The Raceway wishes to remind customers that with the return to an 11-race format this week there will be a change to the wagering menu. The early Pick-4 will now starts in race 4 while the early Super Hi-5 will now be offered in race 7. The Late Pick-4 starts in race 8 with the Late Super Hi-5 now offered in race 11. Live racing resumes tonight at The Raceway with first post at 6:15 p.m. Greg Blanchard

The Molson Pace Invitational at The Raceway is just over two weeks away on Friday, May 27th and the race office is busy lining up what promises to be another stellar harness racing field. The three-time defending champion State Treasurer is the headliner and will be back in search of an unprecedented fourth consecutive Molson title. The seven-year-old son of Real Desire is coming off a career season in 2015 in which he was voted Canada's Horse of the Year. His other major wins last season, aside from the Molson, included the Mohawk Gold Cup, Roll With Joe, Dayton Derby, US Pacing Championship and the Canadian Pacing Derby. State Treasurer will be making his third start of the season this weekend at Mohawk and enters that event less than $45,000 away from the $2-million mark lifetime. P H Super Cam will be making a third straight Molson appearance. The hard-hitting nine-year-old has proven himself as one of the premier half-mile pacers in North America in recent years and boasts 48 career wins and a hefty bankroll of more than $1.3 million. He finished a blocked fourth in last year's edition, beaten just three-quarters of a length, and will be seeking redemption this time around. Evenin Of Pleasure was a close third in the 2015 edition of the Molson and will be looking to improve a couple of positions this time around. The six-year-old, who is a career winner of more than $500,000, is back in Canada after competing in the gruelling Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway where he had a pair of runner-up finishes, including one behind eventual series winner Bit Of A Legend N. The winner of this weekend's $244,000 Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs is another possibility, meanwhile the race office is awaiting confirmation from others who have received invites pending the outcome of some of this weekend's races throughout North America. More confirmed starters will be announced next week. The Molson Pace program will also feature the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers, a quartet of City of London Series finals, a pair of Alliance Claiming Series finals and an added-purse Junior Invitational Pace as part of the undercard. Total purses for the night will be more than $550,000. To stay up to date on the Molson Pace happenings, visit www.molsonpace.com. Greg Blanchard Raceway Manager Tel: 519-438-7203,239Toll Free: 1-800-619-4629Fax: 519-438-2388Email: gblanchard@westernfairdistrict.com  

The Raceway at Western Fair District is gearing up for what promises to be one of the biggest days in Canadian harness racing this season when it hosts the Molson Pace program on closing night, Friday, May 27. More than $500,000 in purses will be offered up on the 12-race program which will get underway at 7:05 p.m. The highlight will be the $150,000 Molson Pace Invitational featuring many of the sport's best older pacers. The headliner is expected to be Canada's reigning Horse of the Year, State Treasurer, who will be looking for an unprecedented fourth straight Molson title. He will meet reigning American Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggle It in an early-season test this Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The race office has been busy scouting the older pacing division in recent weeks and has started sending out invitations. Other confirmed starters will be announced in the coming days. For the second straight year, the Molson program will feature a powerful undercard which includes the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old colt pacers. It will provide fans with their first look at this year's crop of the province's finest glamour boys. The 2016 edition at The Raceway produced stellar performances from Go Daddy Go (1:53.1), Sportskeeper (1:53) and Windsong Leo (1:54.1). A quartet of City of London Series Finals will also be contested that night with more than $150,000 up for grabs for three-year-old colts and fillies on both the trot and pace. New this year will be a pair of $12,000 (added) Claiming Finals for $6,000 claiming pacers (both male and female) as part of the newly-formed Alliance Series of races as well as an added-purse Junior Invitational Pace. "It's certainly our biggest night of the season and we want to finish it off on a high note," said Racing Manager Greg Blanchard. "As always, we have a lot going on that night in terms of promotions but we want the racing on track to be the focal point. We're working hard to put on the best program possible and hope to have something for everyone." The wagering menu will also be bolstered with the addition of a third Super Hi-5 wager that night. There will be a trio of guaranteed pool wagers offered up as well including the early Pick-3 ($5,000), early Pick-4 ($10,000) and late Pick-4 ($15,000). All of these wagers come with a low 15% takeout rate. The Raceway also wishes to remind horseplayers that it will host a special matinee program of live racing this Saturday beginning at 1:15 p.m. as part of Kentucky Derby Day. Following live racing, fans can stick around and watch the network broadcast of the Kentucky Derby on The Raceway's new state-of-the-art infield video board. For more details on that, along with all of the upcoming events at The Raceway, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard  

London, ONT - April 19, 2016 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District is gearing up for what is going to be a very busy final month of racing at the London oval. A total of 17 race programs are slated in May, including a special matinee program on Saturday, May 7th (Kentucky Derby Day) with first post at 1:15 p.m. "It's the first time we've raced live on Derby Day and something we've discussed internally for the last two or three years," said racing Manager Greg Blanchard. "We always have a large crowd on hand that day and it's traditionally one of the largest wagering days of the year so we hope that translates into a large on-track crowd that afternoon." The Top of the Fair dining room will be open, featuring an 'All You Can Graze' southern menu for just $24.99 per person. The Derby's famous Mint Juleps will also be available. Seating is limited so reservations are recommended by calling (519)-438-7203 (ext. 252). The Derby Day program will also be held in conjunction with the annual SARI Therapeutic Riding Fundraiser held at The Raceway. Tickets to that event are $75 per person and available at www.westernfairdistrict.com, with all proceeds going towards this worthwhile cause. On Friday, May 13, The Raceway will also host its annual Wall of Fame Night. This year's inductee is the long-time, beloved track photographer Harry Holme. In addition that night, The Raceway in conjunction with Standardbred Canada will host an ownership 'Mini Tradeshow' aimed at introducing prospective new owners to various trainers and fractional ownership groups and answering any questions they may have about how to get involved. The highlight of the racing season is the Molson Pace and it will be held this year on Friday, May 27th with first post at 7:05 p.m. Last year's event drew a large crowd and produced a record $610,000 handle and plans are already well underway for this year's edition. "We are proud of how this race and this event has grown in stature," said Blanchard. "We expect State Treasurer will be back in search of a fourth straight title and there are some great horses out there that will be trying to knock him off the perch. It should be a tremendous race." The undercard will be strong, once again featuring the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Divisions for three-year-old colt pacers, a quartet of City of London Series Finals and a pair of Claiming Series finals as part of the new Alliance Series of races. The wagering menu will be beefed up with an additional Super Hi-5 that night and a number of guaranteed pool wagers. For more information on everything happening at The Raceway during the month of May, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. From The Raceway Media Department  

London, June 5, 2015 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District wrapped up its 2014/15 harness racing season – the first as part of Ontario’s new Standardbred Racing Alliance - in record fashion this past Friday night. The Molson Pace night program produced an all-time wagering record of $610,000 for the 12-race program, which was up more than 50% from last year’s total of $404,000. Wagering on the race itself rose sharply from $132,000 in 2014 to $196,000 on this year’s contest. On-site live wagering saw a healthy $126,000 put through the windows, up 26% year over year. State Treasurer made history by becoming the first ever to capture three straight titles in the event since it became the Molson Pace back in 1992. His 1:51 clocking was a stakes record and just one-fifth off of the overall track record at the London oval. Overall wagering and per race wagering at The Raceway were both up close to 20% over last year’s totals. “We made a significant change with our post times this season, switching from a mid-afternoon product to a night time product with a 6:15 p.m. post during the week,” explained Racing Manager Greg Blanchard. “We thought the timing was right to make the change and it’s encouraging to see the numbers support that. I’d like to thank the customers and horse people that supported us once again throughout the season and we look forward to some exciting announcements ahead of the upcoming season.” The Raceway remains open all summer long, seven-days-a-week, for simulcasting and live racing is set to return on Tuesday, October 6.   Greg Blanchard Racing Manager

LONDON, Ontario . . .  State Treasurer became the first three peat winner of the signature race at The Raceway at Western Fair District, the $150,000 Molson Pace, and became the harness racing sport’s latest millionaire, in front of a huge crowd tonight at the London half-mile oval. Favourite All Bets Off, fresh off his Confederation Cup victory, was the most fleet of foot early to led the talented field by the :26.2 opening marker for Matt Kakaley. Just past that point Chris Christoforou pulled the right line on reigning champ State Treasurer and he was at the leader’s wheel at the :55.3 half and was neck and neck with All Bets Off at the three quarters in 1:23.1. Down the lane it became a three horse battle with Evenin Of Pleasure and Sylvain Filion added to the mix but at the wire reached in 1:51 it was State Treasurer with the narrow victory over All Bets Off and Evenin Of Pleasure. PH Supercam and Lets Drink On It collected the final two cheques. The winner’s share of the purse puts State Treasurer over the one million dollar mark in life earnings for owners Sally MacDonald of PEI and Paul MacDonald of Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Ian Moore trains the six-year-old son of Real Desire who was a mere $6,500 purchase as a yearling. “It’s fantastic, I was lucky enough to sit behind him for two of those (Molson Pace victories),” said Christoforou. “He just proved how great a horse he is. The trip he went, first up like that, to go to war with that horse (All Best Off), it was unbelievable, it was spectacular.” With respect to the trip tonight, Christoforou, Canada’s reigning driver of the year, noted: “My biggest concern was I didn’t want to get pinned in with him, because he can be a real handful at times. At the Meadowlands he was almost in an accident when he tried to run over horses in front of him. If he gets boxed in he doesn’t like it so I just wanted to make sure I had some clearance at some point around that first turn and it worked out. After that I let him do the rest. “I know him, you have to drive him a certain way, he doesn’t like to be argued with. He likes to do things his own way but you can reason with him a little bit if you take a little bit of a hold on him but not too much. It’s all in small measures. You never see me make a big, huge move with him because it usually does not work out well.” Not only did the race work out well for State Treasurer, the Molson Pace winner now for three straight years, but also for The Raceway which now takes a hiatus from racing until October. It was an overall record handle for Molson Pace night, $610,000, up from $404,000 last year. The Pace race itself produced a record single-race handle of $196,000 and the live on-site handle was $125,000, up from $100,000 last year. Undercard The Molson Pace undercard was absolutely jam packed with very competitive stakes events with four City Of London Finals and three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old pacing colts. City Of London – Trotting Mares The evening kicked off with the $41,000 City Of London final for mare trotters. Favourite Magic Dancing grabbed the early lead for the track’s leading driver Alfie Carroll and that filly hit the opening quarter in :28. Brinkers Dream came up to challenge at that point but she was repelled by the leader who hit the half in :57.2. Magic Dancing continued on top by the three-quarters in 1:27.4 and could not be caught down the lane to win in 1:59.4. Brinkers Dream was second followed by Tyrone Zoey. It was the eighth win in nine starts this year for the three-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Vic Puddy for owner Percy Elkins of Milton, Ontario. City Of London – Pacing Males The $44,400 COL Final for the male pacers saw heavy favourite Naturescape hit the opening quarter in :28 for Billy Davis Jr. He went on by the half in a sedate :58.2 and sped up to reach the third quarter in 1:26.1. No one could touch him down the stretch as he opened up to win by open lengths in 1:54.3. Alexas Prayer and St Lads Flirt collected the next two cheques. Gregg McNair trains the winner, a sophomore son of Art Colony owned by Wayne MacRae of Nova Scotia and Bloomingwood Farms of Harriston, Ontario. Tonight’s effort was his second victory in four tries in 2015 and a new lifetime best. City Of London – Trotting Males Rory made full use of leaving from the rail, getting the early advantage for Paul MacKenzie in the $40,400 COL finale for male trotters. They trotted past the :29.3 first quarter but were passed before the half by Ja El Storm who was comfortably on top by that marker in :59.4 and hit the three-quarters in 1:29.2  with favourite Muscle Mack and Ryan Holliday coming to call. Those two three-year-olds pulled away from the rest of the field and Muscle Mack trotted away to win in 1:58.3.  Ja El Storm had to settle for second while Chuck In Charge was third. The winner, a gelding by Muscle Mass, is owned by Ronald Corbett of St. Jacobs, Ontario, and trained by David Holliday.  It was Muscle Mack’s fifth win in six starts this year. City Of London – Pacing Mares The $44,600 COL final for the distaff pacers provided the closest finish. Bad Mood took over the lead by the :28.1 first marker but she was covered up by Pinky Tuscadero well before the :57.4 half. That sophomore hit the three-quarters in 1:27 for Bruce Richardson and was caught at the wire by longshot Bad Mood in a very close 1:57.2. Pinky Tuscardero had to be content with second and Southwind Geisha was third. Bad Mood is owned by breeders Jeff and Lori Thomson of Chesley, Ontario and Jeff handles the training. A three-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover, the filly now has two wins and two seconds in four starts this year and paid $61.30 to win. Ontario Sires Stakes Robert Hill flew off the wings from post seven to grab early control in the first division but he was passed before the :27.4 opening quarter by Go Daddy Go and John Campbell. A striking chestnut colt, Go Daddy Go hit the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:25.4. Sportsmanship attempted to challenge but went offstride before the final turn allowing Go Daddy Go open road and he was a down the road winner in 1:53.1. Moonwriter took second with Dialamara third. It was the first start this year for the Ponder colt, a winner of $398,000 last year, owned by trainer/breeder Bob McIntosh along with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Ontario, and new partner Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania which stands his sire, a former champion for McIntosh. In the second division it was Windsong Leo taking over the lead by the :28 opening panel. He hit the half in :58 for Jody Jamieson. The speed picked up through the 1:26.3 third quarter and Windsong Leo was still on top by the 1:54.1 finish. Bob Ben And John took second while Win One Soon was third. It was the seventh straight win for the Jeremes Jet colt trained by Daniel O’Brian for Everette Hanson of New Brunswick. The colt was unraced last year at two. In the third and final split Sportskeeper and Chris Christoforou led their rivals by the first quarter in :27.2. They continued on top by the :57 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters. In the drive to the wire Physicallyinclined was closing hard on the leader but Sportskeeper managed to hold him off in the very tight 1:53 finish. J Js Delivery was third. The time represented a new track record for three-year-old pacing geldings. A homebred son of Sportswriter for trainer Casie Coleman and longtime partner Merlin Howse of Langton, Ontario, Sportskeeper was notching his first win in two attempts this year. Greg Blanchard

London, May 28, 2015 -- As Molson Pace night fast approaches in London, some horses themselves were out promoting the harness racing event on Thursday afternoon at downtown Victoria Park. The Raceway marketing department held a Miss Molson Pace (equine version) during the noon hour while several park goers and nearby office workers got to meet the participants and vote for their favourite. It was Raceway regular Big Diva who was crowned the winner with another local favourite, Mother Hen, finishing in the runner up spot. Honourable mention went to Catch A Lucky Star, who will be the guest horse outside the main entrance on Molson night, and Ping (the pony) and Tucker (the mini). “It was a lot of fun and I think people were really surprised and excited to see live horses in the park while they were there eating lunch, or strolling through,” said the Raceway’s Marketing Co-ordinator Sarah Imrie. “It was a perfect afternoon and a great way to get the message out about Molson Pace night. A huge thanks to all our horse people who helped out.” The $150,000 Molson Pace will go as the final race on Friday night’s 12-race program, considered one of the strongest in the track’s history. There will be a lot happening on track and for complete details visit www.molsonpace.com. Greg Blanchard WFD Media Relations  

London, May 27, 2015 -- Michigan-based harness racing trainer Dale Decker has never been to The Raceway at The Western Fair District, but he’ll have a not-so-secret weapon on his side when his star five-year-old Night Pro goes to the gate Friday night from post four in the $150,000 Molson Pace. Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. will be in Night Pro’s sulky. “He’s the leading dash driver in the country the last two years,” said Decker. Make that the leading dash-winning driver in North America. Wrenn, Jr., 28, won the 2014 continental title with 847 wins and the 2013 crown with 714 victories. This year, Wrenn, Jr. currently sits a close second behind Aaron Merriman in North America with 330 wins. In just eight years in the bike, Wrenn, Jr. has already surpassed 2,500 career victories, most of that over the last four seasons. The Ohio-based driver has made just one career start at The Raceway at The Western Fair District — a fourth-place finish driving Rock Bottom in an overnight in January of 2011. Decker said he had to do a little convincing to get Wrenn, Jr. to give up his full slate of drives Friday at Scioto Downs in Columbus, OH to come to London, but thinks racing in the Molson Pace could be a good stepping stone to bigger races for the driver. “He’s kind of got to make a decision if he wants to try to venture into the Grand Circuit ranks or just stay local,” Decker said. Night Pro has proven to be a horse worth following on the stakes trail. In three years of racing, the son of former Ontario-based star Pro Bono Best out of Midnight Jewel has amassed over $500,000 in earnings and sports a startling record of consistency with 29 wins in 49 starts. The pacer has finished no worse than third in 84 per cent of his starts. “He’s a true racehorse,” Decker said. “He’s the best one I’ve had, by far.” Decker also owns and raised Night Pro, the 5-1 fourth choice in the Molson Pace, behind Confederation Cup winner All Bets Off (post 1, 8-5), two-time defending Molson Pace champ State Treasurer (post 8, 2-1) and Duc Dorleans (post 6, 9-2). The Molson Pace is race 12 in a promotion-packed night of racing at Western Fair. The first race post time is 7:15 p.m. Last year, Night Pro regularly held his own racing against such star older pacers as Foiled Again, Sweet Lou, Clear Vision and Bettors Edge. He posted a record of 12-3-3 in 24 starts and earned over $230,000 racing in stakes in the Midwestern United States, close to Decker’s base close to Toledo, OH. “I try to stay more local to where I’m at, within about a four-hour ship. Horse racing, even though I wish it was my full-time occupation, it’s not. So, time is limited,” said Decker, a residential home builder by trade. “Besides, (Night Pro’s) not the best shipper in the world, either. He’ll be sweating when I get (to Western Fair).” Decker was the one that was sweating when he took Night Pro to the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale in 2010 to be sold on behalf of breeder Linda Marckel. Night Pro is the second foal out of Midnight Jewel. Her first foal, Starzzz Of Jewel, sold for $40,000. When it came time for Night Pro to sell, there was little interest. “I was in a state of shock at the sale,” Decker said. “I had no idea what I was doing. I’m not kidding you. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. The bidding stalled at $4,500. That’s when I jumped in… I did have the money to buy him. So, it wasn’t an issue. But I had plenty of horses and I was just trying to make (his breeder) some money. I ended up with him.” The cost was $14,000. “I had no idea I was going to end up with him because I didn’t want another horse. I already had a barn full. I didn’t want to spend $14,000 either, because I’d have to go home and explain that to my wife,” Decker said. “She wouldn’t let me sell him now.” Though Night Pro is a bigger horse, Decker said The Raceway’s tight half-mile oval doesn’t concern him because his farm track is smaller than a half and Night Pro, “gets around here just fine… He’s pretty universal. That’s what’s nice about him. He can race any way and he can race on any size track.” Fans will be able to enjoy all 12 races on the Friday card on a large infield video tote board that will feature an enhanced broadcasting coverage all night. The Molson Pace card will offer betting patrons a cornucopia of wagering options. There’s a $7,500 guarantee on the early Pick 4 and the Super Hi-5, a $10,000 guarantee on the late Pick 4 and Super Hi-5 and a $2,500 guarantee on the Pick 3 offered in races one through three. Other promotions include scratch and win programs giving patrons a one-in-six chance to win a prize, a guest horse outside the main entrance to greet fans, a raft of prizes and giveaways courtesy of Molson and the OLG and, throughout the night, fans can even take a spin around the track in a double-seated jog cart with the Wanna Ride team. For more information, please visit: www.molsonpace.com. Greg Blanchard

Harness Racing This Week: Molson Pace, The Raceway at Western Fair District, London, Ontario; and Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at two locations this weekend. Action begins on Friday (May 29) at The Raceway at Western Fair District with the C$150,000 Molson Pace for free for all pacers. In addition to the appearance of two-time defending champion State Treasurer, who will start from the trailing post eight, recent Confederation Cup winner All Bets Off is in the field and has drawn the rail. Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $117,724 Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies) on Saturday (May 30). Elimination winners In The Arsenal and Sonofa Sizzle lead the field in the Art Rooney Pace. Complete entries for the Yonkers races can be found by clicking on this link. Western Fair entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Maxie Lee Memorial for older trotters, the Jerry Taylor Memorial for older pacers and the Betsy Ross for pacing mares at Harrah's Philadelphia. Father Patrick, who was a division champion at ages 2 and 3, made his 4-year-old debut a winning one by capturing Sunday's (May 24) $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational by two lengths over Bee A Magician in 1:52.1. Lindy's Tru Grit finished third. Father Patrick's time equaled the track record for a 4-year-old male trotter. "If everything stays perfect I think he's going to be very dominant," said trainer Jimmy Takter, whose past stars include Horse of the Year Award winners Moni Maker and Malabar Man. "I really do. I've been around greatness, and I think he's going to be a horse people talk about for many, many years." Father Patrick and Bee A Magician were among four horses to go for the lead on the first turn and Father Patrick got to the front before the group neared the second turn. The opening quarter was :27.1, followed by a half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:24.2. Bee A Magician tried to launch a challenge coming off the final turn, but Father Patrick yielded no ground. "He did it so easy too," winning driver Yannick Gingras said after the race. "The earplugs are still in; I never really called on him. I let him trot the last eighth (of a mile). "Bee A Magician got the right trip, but with those kinds of fractions maybe I got a little bit of a jump on her. But she's a great horse and I was definitely worried around the turn when Brian (driver Sears) pulled because I knew she would give me a run. But he just showed what kind of horse he is." Father Patrick has won 23 of 29 career races and earned $2.51 million for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group. Takter also visited the winner's circle following the inaugural $150,000 Jerry Taylor Invitational for older male pacers, which was won by his Great Vintage (David Miller) by three-quarters of a length over Dancin Yankee in 1:50.2. Mach It So finished third. A 7-year-old son of American Ideal out of the mare Art's Vintage, Great Vintage is 2-for-2 this season. He has won 28 of 95 career races and earned $793,108. Takter trains Great Vintage for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Goran Anderberg and Goran Falk. Radar Contact (John Campbell) won the $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers by a neck over Anndrovette, who won last year's race. Ooh Bad Shark was third. Radar Contact went to the front in the opening quarter-mile and never looked back, holding off multiple Dan Patch Award-winner Anndrovette at the wire. A 7-year-old daughter of Dontgetinmyway out of the mare Topville Cyberwave, Radar Contact has won six of 16 races this year and finished worse than second only twice. For her career, she has 31 victories in 97 starts and $877,006 in purses. Radar Contact is trained by Noel Daley for owners Charles Stillings and Dean Ehrgott. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Daniel Dube - 152; 2. Yannick Gingras - 146; 3. Jason Bartlett - 123; 4. Brian Sears - 118; 5. Tim Tetrick - 102. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 230; 2. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 186; 3. Rene Allard - 130; 4t. Mark Silva - 50; 4t. Jimmy Takter - 50. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 164.5; 2. Burke Racing - 61.75; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 53.55; 4. Allard Racing - 41.6; 5. Jeff Snyder - 37.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at four different racetracks next weekend. The Meadows will host 3-year-old filly trotters (Friday, June 5) and 3-year-old colt trotters (Saturday, June 6) in the Currier & Ives. Also on Saturday, Scioto Downs will host the Charlie Hill for free for all trotters, Mohawk will feature the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old colt pacers and Meadowlands Racetrack will contest the second leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters. Paul Ramlow

London, May 25, 2015 --The post position draw for this year’s  harness racing $150,000 Molson Pace was conducted earlier this evening at The Raceway in London during the pre-game show. Local CTV Sports Anchor, Brent Lale, joined the broadcast team in studio to perform the duties. Defending champion State Treasurer will start from the trailing post eight behind recent Confederation Cup winner All Bets Off who drew the coveted rail position. All Bets Off will be handled by Matt Kakaley while Chris Christoforou will once again be up behind State Treasurer. The remaining starters, along with drivers, in position order include; All Bets Off (p.p. 1, Matt Kakaley), Lucan Hanover (p.p. 2, Trevor Henry), P H Super Cam (p.p. 3, Jason Bartlett), Night Pro (p.p. 4, Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), Evenin Of Pleasure (p.p. 5 Sylvain Filion), Duc Dorleans (p.p. 6, Daniel Dube)  Lets Drink On It (p.p. 7, Billy Davis Jr.) State Treasurer (p.p. 8, Chris Christoforou) The Molson Pace will go as the final race on this Friday night’s 12-race program at the London oval. The powerful undercard will feature Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions, a quartet of City of London Series finals and classes for Preferred pacers. For more details on this year’s event, visit www.molsonpace.com.  

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