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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, 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 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 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: 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  

London, May 19, 2015 -- Defending champion State Treasurer will be back in the Forest City next Friday night, May 29, in search of an unprecedented third straight Molson Pace title as the harness racing field for this year’s $150,000 Invitational takes shape. The six-year-old son of Real Desire scored his first win of the season this past Saturday at Mohawk in authoritative fashion in 1:49.4 and will be given this week off in preparation. State Treasurer would surpass the $1 million mark in career earnings with a top-two finish in this year’s Molson. Joining him in this year’s event will be All Bets Off who is fresh off a sizzling 1:51.3 victory in the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs and fellow Cup elimination winner, Lets Drink On It, who suffered a tough, parked out trip in the final and finished out of the money. American invader and millionaire, P H Super Cam, will be making his second appearance in the Molson Pace and will be joined by a pair of new faces in Polak A from the Tony Osullivan stable and $500,000 winner Night Pro, who has won five of eight this year in Indiana including a 1:49.2 tally in mid April at Hoosier Park. “The race office has put together another stellar group,” said Racing Manager Greg Blanchard. “I like the mix that we have...some big names, some four-year-olds who have acclimated and some new faces that have very impressive credentials. We’ll keep a close eye on this weekend’s action before filling out the final couple of spots.” The post draw for the Molson Pace will be held this Monday evening on the pre-game show just prior to live racing at approximately 6:00 p.m. The Raceway has a big night planned on track and fans will be able to watch the action outside on the large video board that is being brought in for the evening. For complete details on what is planned and to stay up to date on this year’s event, visit This Friday night, The Raceway will host more City of London Series eliminations with the trotters taking center stage. It is also HPIBET night at The Raceway where fans will have a chance to win a VIP package to this year’s Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk and all sorts of HPIBET prizes that will be given away throughout the night. First post for this Friday, and Molson Pace night, will be 7:15 p.m. Greg Blanchard

London, April 28, 2015 -- Canada’s first major harness racing event of the season for older pacers, The $150,000 Molson Pace, is just over a month away and the folks at The Raceway in London are finalizing plans for the big night on Friday, May 29th. The Molson Pace was changed back to an Invitational format in 2013 and the past two seasons has produced some of the strongest fields ever for the event.  And, in both years, it’s been the Ian Moore-trained State Treasurer who has emerged victorious. The six-year-old son of Real Desire, who recovered from a miscue at the start to win last year’s event, qualified recently in Florida in 1:51 and is expected back in London in search of the three-peat. Modern Legend, who started his career in the 2011 Middlesex Series in London, is also expected to receive in an invite along with the winner of the Confederation Cup which will be held two weeks prior to the Molson, on Sunday, May 17th at Flamboro Downs. Other potential starters for this year’s contest include local horses Apprentice Hanover and Nickle Bag along with several horses who competed in this year’s recently-concluded Levy Series at Yonkers.  The sport’s richest pacer and ageless wonder Foiled Again could also be on hand for a record seventh appearance. The Raceway will also host the first leg of the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series for three-year-old colt pacers that night along with a quartet of City of London Series Finals for trotters and pacers. It is the richest single night of the season at the Forest City oval with approximately $500,000 in purses up for grabs. Aside from the great racing, fans can expect a fun-filled night according to the track’s Marketing Co-ordinator Sarah Imrie. “We have so much planned this year. More prizes giveaways than ever before thanks to Molsons, the OLG and the Raceway,” promises Imrie. “The list is being finalized now, and I am sure fans will be overwhelmed with what we have planned.   "The great part about coming to Southwestern Ontario's premier sporting event, is that a family can come and have a great night out for little or no cost, plus have a chance of going home with some great prizes and memories of a truly outstanding evening.  It is a tradition that continues to grow and grow". On the wagering side, highlights include $7,500 Guaranteed Pools on both the early Pick-4 and early Super Hi-5 and $10,000 Guaranteed Pools on both the late Pick-4 and late Super Hi-5. Both wagers, along with the Pick-3 are offered at a low 15% takeout rate. Fans are urged to stay tuned to for more details as the date for this year’s Molson Pace draws closer. Greg Blanchard Racing Manager

London, September 26, 2014 -- A long list of Opening Night promotions will be on tap Friday, Oct. 3 when The Raceway at The Western Fair District in London, Ont. opens its 2014-15 live harness racing season. Fans can take a spin around the half-mile oval in a double-seated jog cart with the Wanna Ride team, take part in a Survivor Handicapping Challenge, catch the Racing Under Saddle 2014 finale, take advantage of special Opening Night pricing in the Top of the Fair restaurant and even get their first bet for free thanks to the First Bet Is On Us promotion. There will also be prize giveaways and the track's regular Friday promotions such as Deal or no Deal, The Fun Wheel and Trivia. Raceway Manager Greg Blanchard said he can't wait to get the meet started. "We've gone through a turbulent couple of years, but I think we've weathered the storm well and we're really excited to be back in action this year," Blanchard said. The Raceway at The Western Fair District will race on Mondays and Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. and Fridays at 7:05 p.m. this fall and will add Wednesdays to the schedule in the new year. Track announcer Shannon "Sugar" Doyle is back calling the action at The Raceway. He moved to London at the start of the 2013-14 meet after calling races in Alberta for many years. "I'm looking forward to it," Doyle said. "Coming into last season it was a whole new venue, new horses and names and drivers and everything else. Everything was new. I've got a handle on it now going into this meet and I'm feeling good. I know what to expect this time around. I'm hoping to be sharp right out of the gate." New this year is a Pick-3 wager on the first three races of every card in addition to two, Pick-4 wagers guaranteed at $5,000 apiece and two Super Hi-5 bets. All of those wagers have a takeout rate of 15 per cent. At the start of its 2012-13 meet, Western Fair became the first Ontario track to introduce the Super Hi-5 bet, a wager that has proven popular there, at Toronto's Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and elsewhere. "Last year on at least a couple of occasions we generated pools in excess of $30,000 of new money. For a track of our size that's a big pool. With that new money, a couple of times we had total pools of $40,000 and $50,000. So, when we get that carryover, it generates a lot of excitement and a lot of buzz," Blanchard said, adding WEG did a lot of the legal legwork to get the Super Hi-5 wager - which WEG calls the Jackpot Hi-5 - approved in the first place. WEG launched the bet in October of 2013. As for other improvements to The Raceway at The Western Fair District, Blanchard said fans will receive a warm welcome in the lobby thanks to an improved customer service area designed to be a strong initial point of contact with patrons, including the addition of a betting terminal right next to the customer service desk. Gone is the old infield tote board and concrete stage, which was replaced by a winner's circle near the end of the 2013-14 meet. "Initially, we'll have large flat-screened TVs placed outside in the grandstand so people can access odds," Blanchard said. "We have two digital countdown clocks so people will be able to track minutes to post." Betting customers making their first trip to the track since the last live meet ended in May will also see a marked improvement in The Raceway at The Western Fair District's tote system. As a member of the eight-track Ontario Standardbred Alliance, the London track received an upgrade in June to the same AmTote system used by WEG. "We were overdue for an upgrade to a newer operating system. When we became part of the Alliance, by default we received an upgrade," Blanchard said. "We're getting good feedback early on from our customers on that." He said there have been other advantages to being part of the Standardbred Alliance, especially with WEG at the helm. "Woodbine's been great to help all of our tracks promote our events. When we did the Molson Pace they did a lot of promotion throughout their various platforms. On Opening Night they're going to be heavily involved again and one of the initiatives is the First Bet Is On Us program. They've done that at Grand River on their big day, they did it at Georgian recently. It's really popular and it's really slick, so that's going to be a nice addition for Opening Night." Overall, Blanchard said he's hoping for a safe meet for the track's participants and growth in both handle and attendance on the business side. "We'd like to see some new faces out at the track this year. That's one of the goals, certainly, of the Alliance," Blanchard said. By Dave Briggs, for The Raceway

TORONTO, August 14 - It's been over four months since the launch of the Standardbred Alliance in Ontario on April 1 and wagering on Standardbred horse races at these tracks is already seeing a sharp increase compared to the same period last year.   From April 1 through August 9, "all-sources" wagering on Standardbred Alliance racing is $148,227,950, an encouraging 8.92 per cent rise over the $136,083,298 bet through the equivalent period in 2013.   The numbers are promising on a per race basis as well. Last year, an average of $57,347 was bet per race (2373 races). After April 1, in 2014, an average of $60,280 per race (2459 races) was recorded, also a strong 5.11 per cent increase. Number of races is up 3.6 per cent over last year.   "There's plenty of work to do, but so far the alliance concept is proving to accomplish what it had intended," said Jamie Martin, Executive Vice-President of Racing at Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and Chair of the Standardbred Alliance board. "It's helped to create some positive momentum for the industry, plus a platform for the core standardbred tracks to be partners in this new era. Racing fans are responding well at Mohawk and the other Alliance tracks under the new model with wagering up strongly both per race and overall."   Grand River Raceway, in Elora, is seeing double-digit wagering increases both per race and overall.   "We have experienced an increase in wagering of 16.56 per cent per race, leading to a 10.58 per cent rise overall on our live racing product," said Dr. Ted Clarke, General Manager of Grand River Raceway. "Total wagering on our Industry Day on August 4 was the highest since 2005. The positive wagering results and attendance indicate the fan base and interest are solid."   The Standardbred Alliance, led by Woodbine Entertainment Group, is a consortium of eight Ontario racetracks. Launched April 1, the members represent a three-tier racing hierarchy, 'Grass Roots' (Clinton, Hanover), 'Signature' (Flamboro, Georgian, Grand River and Western Fair) and 'Premier' (Mohawk and Woodbine).   The tracks have worked together to implement operational efficiencies, co-ordinate a year-round racing calendar, develop a program of racing that is attractive to foreign and domestic customers, and establish consistent purses.   The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) is buoyed by the wagering rise through the early months of the Standardbred Alliance concept.   "We're glad to see wagering is up," said Sue Leslie, President of OHRIA. "Fans are continuing to embrace this wonderful sport and it's gaining new ones. The next step is to have racing fully integrated into the province's gaming strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of the model."   Highlights of the season so far include State Treasurer's win at the Molson Pace at Western Fair, JK Endofanera's win in the Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk, Shadows Wonder's victory in Clinton's Kin Pace, Go Daddy Go's score in the Battle of Waterloo at Grand River and Warrawee Promesse's tally in the Dream of Glory at Hanover.   The Georgian Downs meet is in full swing, with the Earl Rowe Memorial Cup Trot set for August 23, while the start of the final part of the 2014 Flamboro Downs meet is scheduled for September 2.   Several major stakes are set for the latter half of season on the WEG circuit, including the Metro Pace at Mohawk on August 30, the Canadian Trotting Classic on September 13, while the 'Fall Four' (Goldsmith Maid, Three Diamonds, Governor's Cup and Valley Victory) is set for Woodbine on October 25.   by John Siscos, for WEG  

ANDERSON, Ind.—August 5, 2014—A field of nine will be sent post-ward in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 8. In what may be the most accomplished field ever assembled, the 21st installment of Hoosier Park’s signature event will highlight the 14-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m.  The race will be part of a special weekend tagged as “Dan Patch Festival Weekend” and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The evening will also be complimented by Indiana Sires Stakes finals, sending the purse money to be distributed throughout the evening over the $500,000 mark.  The 2014 Dan Patch field boasts combined career purse earnings over $10 million and includes four millionaires, three previous Dan Patch winning drivers, two Hall of Fame drivers, and one Hall of Fame trainer. Bettor’s Edge, Heston Blue Chip, Sweet Lou, and Thinking Out Loud will make their way to Indiana boasting career earnings over the $1 million mark. Ricky Macomber Jr., who visited the Dan Patch winner’s circle in 2000 and 2002, will drive Bettor’s Edge from post seven while Peter Wrenn, who won the 2012 installment of the Dan Patch, will start from post three behind Night Pro.  Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce, who was victorious in the 2005 Dan Patch Invitational with Maltese Artist, has been enlisted to drive the 4-5 morning line favorite, Sweet Lou from post five for North America’s leading money-winning trainer, Ron Burke. With over $2.9 million in career earnings, the five-year-old horse is the richest horse in the field and is currently riding an eight race win streak, most recently victorious in 1:47.2 in the US Pacing Championship at the Meadowlands.  Harness racings’ all time leading money winning driver and Hall of Famer, John Campbell, will make his way to Hoosier Park to compete in his second Dan Patch Invitational and has been enlisted to drive Thinking Out Loud for Hall of Fame trainer, Robert McIntosh from post two. Throughout his career, Thinking Out Loud has amassed more than $1.5 million with a record of 44-14-7-10.  Also joining the stellar cast of entrants as a main contender for the 2014 Dan Patch title is State Treasurer, with Jody Jamieson at the lines from post eight. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee has been tabbed as the 4-1 morning line second choice. A winner of over $750,000 lifetime, the five-year-old horse recently set a 1:48.1 Canadian seasons record at Mohawk and is the 2014 Molson Pace Champion.  Night Pro will play the role of local favorite from three for trainer Dale Decker. Night Pro, a former Indiana Sires Stakes champion, enters Saturday’s race after posting seven consecutive wins in the Invitational pace at Hoosier Park. The four-year-old gelding has won 22 of 30 career starts and has amassed over $350,000 in career earnings.  The 2014 Dan Patch field, in post-position order with named driver and trainer includes: 1.      Dancin Yankee           Tr: Amber Buter         Dr: Tyler Buter     8-1 2.      Thinking Out Loud      Tr: Robert McIntosh  Dr: John Campbell   6-1                 3.      Night Pro                   Tr: Dale Decker        Dr: Peter Wrenn      20-1 4.      Carol’s Comet           Tr: Ron Potter          Dr: Aaron Merriman 15-1 5.      Sweet Lou                 Tr: Ron Burke          Dr: Ron Pierce    4-5        6.      Heston Blue Chip      Tr: Linda Toscano   Dr: Corey Callahan  15-1 7.      Bettor’s Edge           Tr: Ron Burke     Dr: Ricky Macomber Jr.  10-1 8.      State Treasurer        Tr: Ian Moore      Dr: Jody Jamieson        4-1 9.      Our Lucky Chip     Tr: Jason Miller     Dr: Trace Tetrick    30-1  Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagers offered for the Dan Patch Invitational card. A $25,000 Guaranteed Dan Patch Superfecta pool will be available as part of the Strategic Wagering Program. The wager will have a minimum bet of 10 cents and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association. Slated as the twelfth race on the card, estimated post time for Hoosier Park’s signature event is 9:30 p.m.  A $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 will also be made available to racing fans in races seven through nine as part of the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge. The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East driving for “Team East”.    In what is being called the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”, Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park’s summer concert series line-up.   Emily Gaskin Racing Commentator, Publicist and Marketing Specialist

Hippodrome 3R, in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, will be hosting the richest event for four-year-old pacers in North American harness racing on Sunday afternoon, September 21, the Prix d’Ete, reviving Quebec’s most famous historical stakes race The Quebec Jockey Club has modernized the race by changing eligibility from three-year-olds to four-year-olds for the revival. There will be a $250,000 in total purses for the Prix D’Ete with the main race, for the top seasonal money winners declaring in, going for a purse of $200,000 and if entries warrant there will also be a $50,000 consolation race. This is the first of several looks at the current crop of four-year-olds eligible to the Prix d’Ete, which will rank them one through five as current abilities and promising futures foretell. Many of the horses eligible for the Prix D'Ete are racing this weekend at tracks throughout North America. #1 Apprentice Hanover - He is trained by Ben Wallace and is owned by Brad Grant.  Apprentice Hanover has been one of the top horses in the older ranks for the first half of 2014, earning $313,660. He has won five Preferred events at Woodbine, had one win and hit the board in all five of his Levy Series starts at Yonkers, including missing by just a neck from last at the head of the stretch in the $567,000 Levy Final. He also just missing by a neck in the Molson Pace at Western Fair Raceway (these two tracks are, like the Hippodrome 3R, half-mile tracks). “Apprentice” just returned to the races this past Saturday after a month’s freshening, missing less than four lengths in a 1:48.3 mile. #2 Mach It So - He is trained by P.J. Fraley and is owned by Bamond Racing. This is another horse who had a lot of success in the Levy Series – well, at least in the prelims, where he won three legs, was second in two others but in the final, he was unlucky enough to draw the outside post eight, and he was outside most of the mile. Has earned $123,250 already this year. #3 Sunshine Beach - Trained by Mark Steacy and owned by Hudson Standardbreds, Conrad Leber, and Diane Bertrand. While Sunshine Beach won nearly $1 million last year and beat Captaintreacherous in one of the most dramatic races of the year in 2013, he is not having a very good start to his 2014 race season. That is, purse earnings are not very good. He has made four starts against the best pacers in the world and has only two fifth place finishes, but then again, he has paced in 1:49.4 or less with :27 second or less last quarters in all of his starts. We are sure he will return to his winning ways soon. #4 Captive Audience – Trained by Corey Johnson and owned by Debbie Element and Mac Nichol of Ontario. After a great start to the 2014 race season where he won four straight races, Captive Audience too has hit somewhat of a cold streak. He was third in his Ben Franklin elimination division and just like Sunshine Beach, has been pacing in less than 1:49.3 with :26.4 last quarter miles but not earning much racing against the best pacers in the world. #5 Duc Dorleans - Trainer Jacques Dupont and owned by Gestion Levesque 2005, Les Ecuries Dorleans, and Marie Helene Dupont), is the true local hero for the Prix D’Ete. He is the all-age track record holder at the Hippodrome 3R with his 1:52.4 triumph here last year, and this year he wrote the track record for older pacing horses at 1:53.1.   The “Duc” equaled his lifetime best of 1:49.3 at Mohawk last month, and was third in the top class at Mohawk this past Saturday. There’s every reason to believe that these four-year-olds will put on a great show at 3R come September 21, and it’s very likely to be a fast show, too: Already this season the all-time track trot mark of 1:56 has been equaled by Michelangelo, and in all 10 divisional standards at the Hippodrome 3R, the track record has been rewritten or equaled. Make your plans now to reserve your seat at the Hippodrome 3R as September 21 will be coming up very fast. We will have updates on the Prix D’Ete contenders every other week. For more information about the Hippodrome 3R please visit From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Quebec-owned Evenin Of Pleasure pulled off an 80-1 shocker in C$100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational Pace for the local O'Brien Award winning team of driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Richard Moreau on North America Cup Night at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ont. Evening Of Pleasure scored the biggest win of his career in 1:49.2 for owner Gestion Jean Yves Blais of Montreal. The field was scratched down to nine with Warrawee Needy sick and Bettors Edge (Ron Pierce) hustled off the gate from the outside to carve out panels of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:22.4. Meanwhile, the sport's richest pacer Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) and 3-2 favorite and Molson Pace champion State Treasurer (Chris Christoforou) followed in second and third with the later moving first up into the final turn and the former pulling the pocket down the stretch. However, it was Evenin Of Pleasure who slipped up the pylons to prevail in the final strides. Foiled Again was second and Bettors Edge was third over State Treasurer. The 4-year-old son of Dragon Again out of Armbro Amour, who has been racing among the conditioned ranks on the WEG circuit, returned a whopping $164.30 to win. The win was his eighth lifetime and his career bankroll soared to C$233,997.   Courtesy of

Springhill, N.S. native Teesha Symes has been around race horses her whole life. Now 25, she finds herself looking after the top aged pacer, in Canada, for trainer Dr. Ian Moore.  “Three days after I was born we made a stop at the local track - on the way home from the hospital - and ever since then I’ve been around the horses,“ said Symes. The daughter of Charles (Chuck) and Shirley has been all over the continent working with horses and she’s had her hands on some good ones over the years. “I spent about six months working with Shadow Play back in 2008,” she says. “I’ve also looked after Royal Becquet (2009 Gold Cup and Saucer starter), Mr Perseverance (2013 Paul Bunyan Invitational winner in Bangor) and now I’m enjoying my time with State Treasurer (two-time winner of the Molson Pace in London).” State Treasurer, owned by Sally MacDonald of Souris, PE and Paul MacDonald of Regina, SK, has got to be the number one-ranked aged pacer in Canada, right now, with his four straight wins - including his latest victory - a stunning last-to-first swoop, of the field, after making a bobble at the start of the $150,000 Molson Pace. “After he made that break at the start - I found it hard to even watch the race... Especially at the half when he was still sitting last,” Symes explains. “Then he began to pick them off and I made my way closer to the TV to get a better look. For him to get up to win that race was just awesome and to do it beating Foiled Again was just mind-blowing!”   Teesha recalls the second-place finish by Shadow Play to Somebeachsomewhere, in The 2008 Messenger at Yonkers, as one of her most favourite moments in racing. “That race was just so exciting... It was so close and it was a real thrill for me to be a part of that. ” It’s a horse by the name of Anybunny that will forever hold a special place in Teesha’s heart. “He was my favourite,” she says proudly. “I used to kill for the ‘BOOM’ call (Vance Cameron’s Boom! Just like that...) when racing on P.E.I... Sadly we had to put him down last season. He was sixteen then and he just wasn’t going to make it another winter.” Symes spent last summer working with her Dad in Bangor before heading to Dr. Ian Moore’s Florida operation in late October. Now in Ontario, working full-time for Moore, a normal day for Teesha consists of getting up around 5:30 am and heading to the barn - where the work normally finishes up around noon. “We’ve got an awesome team here and Ian is great to work for.” Working as a groom Symes likes to play it day by day. “It’s a lot of hoping for the best and living for the moment,” she says. “I’ve been lucky to have been mentored by my Dad,” she continued. “Guys like Mark Ford, Heath Campbell and Ian have been very good to me along the way too... Ian asked me the other day where he could get two of me, so it’s a nice feeling to get a compliment like that.” So what’s it like to look after the best aged pacer in Canada? “That question makes me nervous,” she replies. “I do my best to look after him like the other horses, but maybe he does get an extra piece of licorice or a few extra carrots now and then.” Another special horse out of the Moore camp this season is the P.E.I.-owned pacing colt Silverhill Shadow. And he’s special for Symes in a unique way too. “My Dad bought his mom (Ruthie Jane) from the Amish back in 2009. We raced her a few times in Charlottetown, PE and then sold her to Casey Gavin - who then bred her to Shadow Play. And from that came Silverhill Shadow.” Teesha likes her basketball, softball and hockey and had once worked with correctional services and the jail in Amhert, N.S., but her heart is and always has been with the horses. ”Growing up working next to Dad... Working with the horses is what I know and it’s what I love. It’s not even work for me...” So any advice to pass along to an aspiring groom? “I’d say work hard and always do your best,” she says. “Sure there are going to be some long days, but this job is so worth it.”   by Shannon "Sugar" Doyle, for Western Fair District

This Week: Currier & Ives filly division, The Meadows, Washington, Pa; Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, North America Cup, Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Charlie Hill Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; and Hanover Stakes (3-year-old colt and filly trot), Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this week. Action begins on Wednesday (June 4) at The Meadows with three divisions in the $93,860 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. Mohawk Racetrack will host Grand Circuit racing on Friday (June 6) with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 7) card at Mohawk features a trio of C$50,000 eliminations for the North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Roses Are Red for pacing mares and the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Scioto Downs will offer its second Grand Circuit stake of the season on Saturday, with the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for open trotters, while Balmoral Park will host a pair of Grand Circuit events on Saturday with the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old colt trotters and the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the Meadows, Scioto Downs and Balmoral Park races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Molson Pace for older pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District, the Art Rooney at Yonkers Raceway and the Roll With Joe at Tioga Downs. State Treasurer (#1) gets up on the outside to narrowly defeat Apprentice Hanover (#4) and Foiled Again (#7) in the Molson Pace. In one of the most exciting editions of The Raceway at Western Fair District's signature race, the $138,000 Molson Pace, last year's winner State Treasurer defended his title despite a terrible start and an inquiry on May 30 at the London half-mile track. Driver Chris Christoforou had State Treasurer three wide down the backside and picked up the cover of Apprentice Hanover and Jody Jamieson heading into the stretch. It was a great race to the finish with State Treasurer getting up on the outside to win by a neck in 1:51.4. Apprentice Hanover was a close second followed by the always game Foiled Again, just a half-length back in third. The winning connections, trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald, had to wait out an inquiry regarding the start before the race was declared official. "I sweated a little bit last year too, but this is a little different this year," noted Moore. "He's a real good little horse, he tries his heart out and he showed that tonight for sure." Odds-on favorite All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, $2.60) was both anxious and effective on May 31, winning the $300,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. All Bets Off was a 1:52.2 winner in the Art Rooney Pace. All Bets Off collared leader Maxi Bon early in the lane, then held off a rallying Some Playa by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:52.2. Maxi Bon held third. All Bets Off, a son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stables and Rosemary Shelswell, is now three-for-four this season with earnings of $180,250. "Oh, yeah, I was worried," Kakaley said. "I thought giving up the lead (to Stevensville) was the right thing to do. Then I saw Danny's (Dube, with Maxi Bon) coming fast and I knew I was in trouble. I was lucky to get out. If I don't, I'm shuffled out, and probably last. "He's (All Bets Off) handy enough for the half-mile, but I think he can carry his speed to bigger tracks, too. Every start (All Bets Off) has been on his toes. Give Ronnie (Burke) and his crew an A-plus. I'm just fortunate to have the drive." Utilizing a powerful push clear in the far turn, Sweet Lou could not be caught in the $160,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace at Tioga Downs on June 1, turning in an impressive 1:48.3 victory. The 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser floated forward to track Bolt The Duer in the early stages, brushing to the front after a :26.2 first quarter and keeping the pace solid en route to a :53.4 half-mile. On the backstretch, Ron Pierce pushed clear with Sweet Lou, putting four lengths on the field in a :26.3 third quarter. Approaching the final 200 yards, it seemed the pace may have been too taxing, as Sweet Lou was all-out through the stretch and Heston Blue Chip found room to chase after being locked in. Sweet Lou dug in late, staving off Heston Blue Chip to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths. Bolt The Duer stayed on to be third. Ron Burke trains Sweet Lou for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, 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 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 291; 2. Tim Tetrick - 255; 3. George Brennan - 164.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 143: 5. Brian Sears - 121. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 485.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 155; 3. Joe Holloway - 117; 4. Jimmy Takter - 95; 5. Julie Miller- 80. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 128.5; 2. Burke Racing - 111.05; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 103.55; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 60; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at Mohawk and the Meadowlands next weekend. Mohawk will host its five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 14), while the Meadowlands will card the Meadowlands Maturity for 4-year-old open pacers and a leg of the TVG Free For All series for open trotters on Friday (June 13). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

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