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Prevented from making a living, horse racing people in Ontario feel as though they’ve been kicked in the groin by the Ontario government, and then kneed in the face after the province allowed NHL hockey to start up this month. The horse racing crowd believes that what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander, the argument being that if NHL hockey is allowed to resume, horse racing should be as well — particularly given the remarkable record Woodbine Entertainment achieved in keeping the COVID-19 virus at bay at both Woodbine Racetrack during the 2020 thoroughbred season and at Woodbine Mohawk Park during the standardbred meet. However, despite the horse racing industry rising to the occasion in terms of protecting people from COVID-19, the Ontario government shut down thoroughbred racing three weeks early in December and cancelled the Mohawk winter standardbred schedule last month — throwing thousands of horse racing people out of work and creating major financial hardships for owners and trainers. Meanwhile, the NHL started the 2021 season just last week and already a number of games have been postponed after some players were put on the COVID-19 protocol list. Mike Tanev has a foot in both worlds. Two of his sons — Brandon and Chris — play in the NHL. He’s also a harness racing owner. The Scarborough resident totally supports the idea that if NHL hockey is allowed in Ontario, so should horse racing. Both professional sports bring in millions in revenue to the province and employ thousands of workers. But Tanev believes that it’s counter-productive for horse racing people to just sit back and whine that the NHL is getting preferential treatment. Instead of crying and pointing fingers, Tanev said horse racing should follow the example of the NHL and approach the province and ask exactly what is needed to get the green light to resume racing. Each Canadian NHL team negotiated with its respective provincial health ministry in order to get a deal to resume playing — including an offer to pay for COVID-19 testing. During the 2021 season, NHL players will undergo daily temperature checks, and they will self-administer them not more than two hours before entering their club’s facilities. Players and other club personnel were tested daily during training camp and will be for the first four weeks of the regular season. After that, the league will reevaluate to see whether clubs should test every other day. “We don’t have to whack the Ontario government over the head with the NHL,” Tanev said. “The province has allowed the NHL to play because the NHL has strict protocols in place, like player testing on a daily basis, which the teams are paying for. If horse racing followed the exact same protocols that the NHL is doing then there should be no reason that horse racing should be allowed. “I just don’t want to hear, ‘They’re playing, so we should be able to race,’ ” added Tanev, who is in the automobile sales business. “If we’re going to pay (for testing) out of our own money, the government has absolutely no reason to say no. And Woodbine Entertainment has absolutely no reason to say no to conducting testing because it would not be coming out of their bottom line.” Tanev said a fellow harness racing owner came up with a plan that would see the owners of the top five horses in each race pay out a percentage of the purse money to go towards testing. “(The NHL) opened the door for us. We need to step inside the door and run with the ball,” said Tanev, adding that he believes WE has to work harder — or at least amp on its lobbying efforts — to get racing back. WE CEO Jim Lawson has said that he has been in constant contact with government officials at both the provincial and federal levels, via social media. Lawson did conduct a media blitz recently demanding answers as to why the Ontario government has allowed one professional sport (NHL) to resume while shutting down another (horse racing). He is also encouraging everyone involved in horse racing to contact their local MPP’s. “My goal here is not to in any way damage the NHL; my goal is not to suggest that the lockdown in any way is not the right thing or important to do,” Lawson told Trot Insider. “My goal is really to say, ‘If you’re going to do this, let’s be fair and let’s consider the horse racing industry, where we have done things right.’ When you think of it, our track record is — first of all, it’s remarkable that we operated seven months at Mohawk without COVID, and that’s generally five nights a week. But secondly, when you think of hockey, they don’t have that track record at all. They operated in a bubble for the playoffs, and by its very nature — of the sport and by the travel that’s required the way it’s structured — it’s definitely more risky than what we’re proposing. “The National Hockey League has 30, 40 people per team flying across provinces, flying into hotels, travelling, going to restaurants and hotels. It’s pretty high-risk stuff,” Lawson continued. “As it relates to the actual play, the players are getting negative tests regularly, they’re testing all essential personnel, to which I say, ‘We’re prepared to do that. We’re prepared to get our drivers tested three or four times a week, or get our essential personnel tested. So, what’s the difference? Why are you giving preference to one sport?’ ” Lawson and Tanev both made the point that while the Ontario government has rightfully ruled that the caring for races horses is essential during the a lockdown, it makes no sense that racing is not. The people caring for the horses are the same people who are at the track when racing is happening. By Steve Buffery Reprinted with permission of The Toronto Sun

MILTON, December 23, 2020 – Woodbine Entertainment has announced the cancellation of this afternoons harness racing card at Woodbine Mohawk Park due to deteriorating track conditions caused by mild temperatures.  This evening’s 12-race card will proceed as scheduled. Post time is 7 p.m.    Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

Milton, ON – December 21, 2020 – Woodbine Entertainment announced today that live Standardbred Racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park will be temporarily suspended as a result of the Government of Ontario imposing a Provincewide Shutdown for at least 28 days starting on Saturday, December 26 at 12:01 a.m.  In an effort to provide horsepeople with additional harness racing opportunities prior to the mandated shutdown, Woodbine has received approval from the AGCO to add two cards of live racing to its schedule for this Wednesday, December 23. The doubleheader will begin with an afternoon card at 2 p.m. followed by an evening card at 7 p.m.  The afternoon card is the previously drawn Tuesday, December 22 card for Flamboro Downs.  “While we are disappointed that we must temporarily suspend live racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, we continue to be supportive of the Government’s efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “The safety of our employees, horsepeople, customers and communities will always be our highest priority. As we have demonstrated throughout the pandemic, we will continue to be leaders in health and safety and look forward to when we can safely resume live racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park that supports thousands of people in the region who depend on it.”  Standardbred racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park will be temporarily suspended following the two race cards scheduled for Wednesday, December 23.  As a result of the suspension of racing, Woodbine Mohawk Park will be closed and not available for training as of Thursday, December 24  Woodbine Entertainment will provide updates as necessary.    Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

LONDON…The 1st Annual Drivers’ Holiday Challenge, in support of Toys For Tots, hosted this evening at The Raceway at Western Fair District was an overwhelming success. The point-based challenge was contested over an 11-race card and featured top harness racing drivers from Woodbine Mohawk Park and The Raceway. The group of drivers on today’s card featured Woodbine Mohawk Park’s leading reinsmen Bob McClure, Doug McNair, Louis Phillippe Roy and Trevor Henry as well as top local teamster’s Marc St Louis Jr., Colin Kelly, Tyler Borth and Scott Wray. The battle went right down to the wire, with both Marc St Louis and Bob McClure sharing the victory with 87 points. Colin Kelly finished third with 84 points.   The real winners of the day were the children that are assisted by the Toys For Tots Charity. The drivers donated their fees for the day and The Raceway matched the drivers’ donation. More than $5,700 was raised to support children in need during the holiday season. The harness racing community was also out in full force with plenty of donations coming in supporting Toys For Tots. A special thanks to Shannon and Trevor Henry for organizing a toy drive to support this great initiative.   The Henry’s offered a $100 Keg Gift Card draw to participants who donated a new toy and selected a driver to win the competition. Well over 300 toys were donated which truly shows the kindness and generosity of the harness racing community. The winner was Katie Currie from Guelph, Ontario. The Raceway was also proud to have COSA TV, presented by CUJO Entertainment, providing live coverage of the event. The broadcast was available on the Standardbred Canada website as well as other social media platforms. Toys For Tots (Canada) is a Canadian charity based on local partnerships between Canadian Armed Forces, businesses, and concerned citizens whose sole focus as an organization is to provide toys for children who are in need. Toys For Tots works to address and prevent specific problems faced by families and their supporting charity organizations by providing toys to children who would otherwise go without during a major religious holiday and provide toys throughout the calendar year to local emergency and social agencies to distribute to children during catastrophic circumstances.     Greg Gangle

MILTON, December 19, 2020 – Horseplayers from all around took their shot at Saturday’s harness racing Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout at Woodbine Mohawk Park, wagering over $1.3 million in new money.  A total of $1,367,889 was wagered on Saturday’s Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory, joining a carryover of $335,940. The winning combination of 5-7-3-8-4 was popular, returning $808.73 for a $0.20 winning ticket.  Veteran pacer Rockin In Heaven moved to the lead in the second-quarter and never looked backed for 1:52.1 score in the Jackpot Hi-5 race. The eight-year-old went off as 9/5 favourite for driver J Harris and trainer Teesha Symes.  The top-five finishers from the Jackpot Hi-5 race are listed below:  1st: #5 Rockin In Heaven – 9/5 2nd: #7 Sams A Champ A – 5/1 3rd: #8 Dreamfair Moxy – 12/1 4th: #3 Rootin Tootin – 4/1 5th: #4 Heavenly Sound – 8/1  Saturday evening’s total handle for the 11-race card was $3.4 million.  Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m.    Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park  

MILTON, December 10, 2020 – Horseplayers experienced an eventful ride from start to finish on Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park thanks to big harness racing upsets and the Pick-5 wager.  The Early Pick-5 started the evening in its usual slot of Race 1 and set the tone for a night of upsets and big payouts that hooked horseplayers for the duration of the 10-race card.  After a pair of mild upsets and a 5/2 shot came through in the first three-races on the card, claiming pacer Mossies Art and driver Jonathan Drury threw the night for a spin by scoring an 86-1 upset victory.   After the shocking upset, just $0.40 in “live money” remained in the Pick-5 with one leg to go. The remaining money sat on 4/5 favourite Leader Tonight, who with a victory would allow the only two tickets left to cash for $49,000 each. The race-favourite was parked every step and finished fifth by a length, as Mission Three won at 13-1.  With no five of five winning tickets, a carryover of $98,641.20 from the Early Pick-5 was brought to the Late Pick-5.   Word spread quickly of the big carryover and horseplayers wagered $227,741 in “new money” on the Late Pick-5.  The Late Pick-5 started with a 2-1 winner, but then followed the trend of the evening with a 30-1 upset by claiming pacer Unprecedented and driver James MacDonald. The back and forth game continued with a 3-1 winner in the third leg followed by a 16-1 winner in the fourth leg.  The final race saw live tickets on seven of the 10 horses, meaning either a huge payout or double carryover.  Giddy Up Max and driver Sylvain Filion were sent off at odds of 3-1 and crushed their rivals by several lengths to cap off the Late Pick-5, which returned $82,084.70 for a $0.20 winning ticket.  Woodbine Entertainment recently received approval from the CPMA to offer a carryover on the Pick-5 should there be no five of five winning tickets. CPMA rules require the carryover to be offered on the next available Pick-5 wager.  Another significant payout on Thursday’s card was the Early Pick-4, which returned $31,779.97 for a $0.20 ticket. The Early Pick-4 was caught in the middle of the Early and Late Pick-5.  Filion led the way for drivers on Thursday’s card, posting a three-win evening. Drury was the only other driver to score multiple wins on the card with two. Richard Moreau was the only trainer to a pair of wins on the card.  Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Friday’s feature is the Leg One of the Valedictory Series for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The 11-race card starts with the $100,000 Early Pick-5 in Race 1. Post time is 7 p.m.    Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

Toronto, ON – December 8, 2020 – Woodbine Entertainment (Woodbine) announced today that it has retained the services of Collaborative Equities and its Managing Principal and prominent developer William Kohn Fleissig to lead its property development portfolio. In the capacity of Chief Development Officer and providing direct consultation to CEO Jim Lawson, Fleissig will work closely with Woodbine’s executive leadership team to strategically and responsibly redevelop its underutilized lands to expand its revenue streams and ensure the long-term sustainability of the horse racing industry in Ontario. Fleissig joins Woodbine as one of the most innovative land developers and community builders of the past 20 years. Recent highlights from his extensive portfolio include serving as the Managing Director, Treasure Island Development Group (TIDG) where he led the infrastructure development of a 400-acre, $6 billion new community in San Francisco, designated as the largest LEED-ND Platinum neighborhood in North America. Prior to joining TIDG in 2018, Fleissig was President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto, a tri-government backed organization tasked with revitalizing 2,000 acres of industrial lands adjacent to Toronto’s downtown core. “As a recognized global leader, Will’s experience and acumen will be instrumental in guiding Woodbine’s robust, ambitious and exciting property development portfolio,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “The development of the property surrounding our racetracks remains fundamental to our strategy in sustaining our business and the horse racing industry for decades to come. We are excited to have Will lead our efforts to help bring the most exciting development project in Canada to life.” Situated in Etobicoke, Woodbine Entertainment operates Thoroughbred Horse Racing at Woodbine Racetrack and hosts Casino Woodbine, which sits on 680 acres of property that is also owned by Woodbine Entertainment and is highly desirable and largely undeveloped land just minutes from Toronto Pearson Airport.  Woodbine Districts will continue to be the ultimate destination for horse racing and gaming, while integrating new expanded entertainment and cultural offerings, food and dining, hotel, shopping, employment, post-secondary education, recreation, health, wellness, and urban residential living. As part of the development plan, a world-class casino resort is currently being built by Ontario Gaming GTA LP in the northeast corner of the property while a Metrolinx Go Station is planned for the southeast corner. World-leading Standardbred racetrack, Woodbine Mohawk Park (also owned by Woodbine Entertainment), features nearly 400 acres of land located in Campbellville, Ontario at Hwy 401 and Guelph Line, which presents an opportunity for land development as well. In both cases, developing the land that surrounds the racetracks will unlock the value of the land to further create a sustainable future for horse racing in Ontario. “Through careful stewardship of its land assets, Woodbine can secure long-term benefits by developing a complete neighborhood district -- incorporating a mix of homes, commercial uses, community venues and public parks,” said Fleissig. “I look forward to leading the team to ensure we deliver vibrant, sustainable places for the community to enjoy while supporting the Ontario horse racing industry.” Additional examples of memorable places developed by Fleissig-led teams include the largest “zero net energy” community in the United States, a 130-acre West Village Campus at The University of California, Davis; along with Belmar, a 103-acre former shopping centre site that was redeveloped into a stunning new downtown in Lakewood, Colorado combining shopping, dining, entertainment, employment, residences, cultural venues and parks. Both the West Village Campus and Belmar received the prestigious Urban Land Institute Global Award of Excellence. Fleissig is also recognized as a thought leader in integrating transit and development, having served as a long-time board member of Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit Oriented Development. Fleissig, who spearheaded the $1.25 billion funding package for the Port Lands revitalization while at Waterfront Toronto, has previously collaborated with Metrolinx, the Province, the City of Toronto and Infrastructure Canada. With experience as a green builder, as a municipal planning head, and as a policy advisor to non-profit organizations, Fleissig has helped to shape the next generation of development and planning leaders through previous teaching positions at The University of Colorado’s Real Estate Center, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, School of Architecture and Planning Departments and at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Fleissig will begin his role as Chief Development Officer effective immediately.    Jamie Dykstra Woodbine Entertainment Director, Communications & Content  

LONDON... Officials at The Raceway at Western Fair District have announced that the track will be altering its post time for Friday, December 11 and 18th. The Raceway will shift the track's new post time to 4:45 p.m.     Greg Gangle  

MILTON, December 7, 2020 – Woodbine Mohawk Park’s Race Office would like to inform horsepeople that sign–up for training this Wednesday (December 9) at Mohawk Park opens today at 3 p.m.      This week’s training day will run from 7 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., with two training sessions open from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Each slot will allow for 60 horses, with a limit of 10 horses per trainer.             Training hours will be allotted by signing up on a first-come, first serve-basis. Registration will start today at 3:00 p.m.            The sign-up for training will close at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.                All paddock COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place for training hours, including the requirement to have all personnel wearing a face mask. Only trainers and essential licensed personnel over the age of 16 will be permitted through the Security check point.                   The link to sign–up for training is available here.    Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park  

MILTON, November 30, 2020 – Woodbine Mohawk Park’s Race Office would like to inform horsepeople that this week’s harness racing training day has been moved from Wednesday to Thursday due to inclement weather expected for the Mohawk area.  Sign-up for training this Thursday (December 3) at Mohawk Park opens today at 3 p.m. and will close on Wednesday (December 2) at Noon.        This week’s training day will run from 7 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., with two training sessions open from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Each slot will allow for 60 horses, with a limit of 10 horses per trainer.              Training hours will be allotted by signing up on a first-come, first serve-basis. Signups will start today at 3:00 p.m.                   All paddock COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place for training hours, including the requirement to have all personnel wearing a face mask. Only trainers and essential licensed personnel over the age of 16 will be permitted through the Security check point.            The link to sign–up for training is available here.    Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park  

MILTON, November 20, 2020 - Beyond Better and Northern Sultan rallied to harness racing victories in Friday evening's Harvest Series finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Harvest Series for three-year-old colts and geldings wrapped up with the $51,400 final for pacers and $50,500 final for trotters. Each final saw full fields of ten compete. Beyond Better capitalized on wicked fractions up front rally from fifth and seven lengths off at the head of the lane to score a career-best 1:52 win. Trevor Henry guided the Bob McIntosh trainee to his fifth win in 13 starts this season. Beach Demon did the heavy lifting early, posting sizzling fractions of :27.2, :54.2 and 1:22.2. The torrid pace did in Beach Demon, who gamely hung in for a fourth-place finish. Beyond Better sat fifth throughout and swept by rivals on the far outside with a :28.1 final-quarter to win by a length and a half. Delightful Terror sat fairly close to the hot tempo in third and split through to finish second. Heart On My Sleeve followed Beyond Better's path to a third-place finish. A gelded son of Bettors Delight, Beyond Better moves up to $71,810 in earnings for owners Robert McIntosh Stables, Dave Boyle and Mardon Stables. Unraced at age two, Beyond Better now has back-to-back victories to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes in the two starts prior. Beyond Better returned $5.80 to win. Northern Sultan and driver Chris Christoforou had a similar path to victory, coming from sixth at the top of the stretch for a career-best 1:55.3 victory. The Murray Brethour trainee came into Friday's final off a victory in round two, but was overlooked, scoring a 10-1 upset. Heavy-favourite Moon Bridge had a tough journey from post nine, spending just over the first half of the race parked before touching down on the lead. The public's top choice took the field down to three-quarters in 1:25.2 with pressure being applied. The back field came to life in the lane with Northern Sultan powering up to the victory of three-quarters of a length. Lexus Markus came from well-back in ninth to finish second, extending his unlucky streak of second-place finishes to four in a row. Magics Wizard rallied from seventh to finish third, while Moon Bridge had to settle for fourth. A homebred for Northfields Farm, Northern Sultan is now three for 11 on the season with $57,272 earned. The gelded son of Royalty For Life made just two starts as a rookie. Those that backed the Brethour trained Northern Sultan got back $22.40 for a $2 win ticket. The Harvest Series was open to Ontario sired three-year-olds that were non-winners of $30,000 in 2020 as of September 30, 2020. Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

MILTON, November 14, 2020 – Karma Seelster and Lmc Bumble Bee captured SBOA Stakes glory to wrap up the 2020 stakes season on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.  With the temperature sitting at the freezing mark, the SBOA’s saw full fields of ten Ontario sired fillies clash in the $138,518 pacing final and $141,518 trotting final.  Karma Seelster finally got her big win, shooting up the rail after a two-hole trip to win in 1:53 for driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair. The daughter of Sportswriter entered the evening with over $200,000 earned this season, despite having just found the winner’s circle twice in 14 starts.  “She finishes second, third quite a bit and I mean going for money like that it adds up,” said McNair of Karma Seelster. “It’s a little frustrating sometimes as a driver when you get a trip like that and sometimes she’ll shoot through and just kind of hang around and finish second and third, but she really put out tonight and raced great.”  Karma Seelster blasted to the front, posting a :27.2 opening-quarter. Rose Run Victory also flashed early speed and made the front early in the second-quarter after being parked around the first turn.   The middle-half saw little action, as Rose Run Victory got to the half in a comfortable :56.3 and three-quarters in 1:26. Lauras Love angled out from third to sit first-up on the far turn, while Rose Run Vantage followed that cover.  In the stretch, Karma Seelster found daylight up the rail and shot through to the lead, holding off Rose Run Vantage in the centre by a head in 1:53. Lauras Love finished third, while Rose Run Victory was fourth.  “I figured the way Hensley’s filly (Rose Run Victory) raced last week she was probably the one to follow and as soon as I made the front he was on the move right away,” said McNair. “In the last turn I just thought we were racing for second or third off those fractions, but things opened up and she raced great.”  Karma Seelster’s win is a family affair, as she is owned by Hall of Famer Keith Waples, his wife Eileen Waples and their daughter Karen Hauver. The pacing filly now has three wins and $277,570 earned this season to bring her career totals to seven wins and $539,775.  A $2 win ticket on Karma Seelster returned $5.70.  The SBOA Filly Trot final delivered a thrilling finish, with Lmc Bumble Bee capitalizing off some nifty stickhandling from driver James MacDonald to win at odds of 9-1.  “I was in an awful spot with nowhere to go,” said MacDonald about his position at three-quarters. “They kind of hooked wheels for a second in front of me and I got a seam to get out and at the top of the stretch I was just dying for some daylight because I had all kinds of trot.”  Lmc Bumble Bee hustled off the wings of the gate to lead into the first-turn just before Shape Shifter cleared to command at a :27.1 opening-quarter. Princesspartypants, who was parked around the first turn, got a rough ride in the second-quarter on her way to the top, finally clearing at a huge :55.2 half.  Race-favourite P L Notsonice was out and moving going to the half, taking over the top spot racing to three-quarters in 1:25.1.  Second-choice Susies Lady was left uncovered first-up, while Lmc Bumble Bee was pinned at the rail and shuffled back to seventh turning for home.  The stretch drive saw P L Notsonice and Susies Lady square off for a good chunk, but neither filly had enough in the tank to hold off the back field.   Jula Shes Magic and Yen were marching strong in the centre, but the strongest of all was Lmc Bumble Bee. The Nick Gallucci trainee and MacDonald were flying up behind rivals before diving down to the rail and maintaining momentum to pull off the thrilling victory by three-quarters of a length over Jula Shes Magic.  Yen grabbed third, while Susies Lady and P L Notsonice settled for fourth and fifth, respectively.  A daughter of Muscle Mass, Lmc Bumble Bee has found her best stride late in the season after some setbacks.  “When we trained her down, we thought she was the best trotting filly we had ever owned,” said owner Frank Cirillo, who shares ownership with his daughter Loredana. “She got two surgeries last year, she had two surgeries this year after the first Gold and we never thought she’d make it back, but (Nick) Gallucci did just an amazing job bringing her back, so it’s just unbelievable to be standing here right now.”  The Gallucci trained Lmc Bumble Bee is now four for nine with $121,975 earned on the season. Her clocking of 1:55 on Saturday established a new career best.  Lmc Bumble Bee will be racing in the upcoming Harvest Series, as she had little money on her card prior to October and met the eligibility. She paid $20 to win.  Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m.    Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications & Content

MILTON, November 10, 2020 – Ontario sired three-year-old fillies will cap off the 2020 stakes season at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a pair of SBOA Stakes finals this Saturday.  Full fields of ten will clash in the $141,518 trotting filly final and $138,518 pacing filly final. The SBOA Stakes were rescheduled to this Saturday from their usual position in May. Last Saturday’s card saw a pair of eliminations contested for each event and the elimination winners will look to carry that momentum into Saturday’s finals.  Susies Lady and P L Notsonice were the eliminations winners on the trotting side. Susies Lady dusted her rivals by nearly five lengths for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Susie Kerwood, while P L Notsonice overcame an outside starting spot to win for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Joseph Skowyra.  Just a fifth of a second separated the elimination winners, with Susies Lady the fastest at 1:55.1.  The elimination winners are two of five fillies returning from last month’s Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final. Shape Shifter, who has drawn post-nine in Saturday’s final, was part of a dead-heat for win in the Super Final at odds of 107-1.   Modern Mass is the other filly from the Super Final competing. She joins stablemate Princesspartypants as a one-two punch in Saturday’s final for trainer Roger Mayotte.  The $141,518 SBOA Filly Trot final is carded as Race 5 (8:40 p.m.).  The SBOA Filly Pace final is the latest clash between a strong group of sophomores that have waged war all season long. Rose Run Victory and Karma Seelster came through with winning performances in last weekend’s eliminations.  Rose Run Victory unleashed a vicious :26.3 kicker to sweep rivals in her elimination score. She’s now won two in a row since joining the Hensley barn where Ashleigh trains and her husband, Ed, drives.  Burke Racing is part of the new connections of Rose Run Victory, who is now three for 16 on the season.  Karma Seelster has danced all the big dances locally over the last couple of seasons. The Gregg McNair trainee converted off a two-hole trip from driver Doug McNair in her elimination to collect her second win in 14 starts this season.  A daughter of Sportswriter, Karma Seelster has earned $208,311 this season to bring her career earnings to $470,516.  The top earner in the field this season is Lauras Love, who has earned $315,231 in 19 starts for trainer John Pentland. She is one of the headliners along with O’Brien Award winner Alicorn.  The $138,518 SBOA Filly Pace final is carded as Race 7 (9:30 p.m.).  Saturday evening’s card will also feature a $36,000 Preferred Pace and $32,000 Mares Preferred Handicap Pace.  Star three-year-old Beaumond Hanover from the Jack Darling barn will leap up to take on Preferred rivals for the first time. The field also includes the return of 2017 Canadian Pacing Derby champion Sintra, who last raced in the Breeders Crown on October 31.  The Mares Preferred Handicap sees So Much More go back in against the ladies after posting a win and third-place finish in her last two starts against the boys in the Preferred. Lit De Rose will be looking to double up after she won the most recent Mares Preferred back on October 31.  Post time for Saturday’s 11-race card is 7 p.m. Early program pages for the card can be downloaded by clicking here.    Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

MILTON, November 7, 2020 - Ontario sired fillies were in the harness racing spotlight Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the eliminations of the SBOA Stakes. A total of four $25,000 elimination races, two for pacers and two for trotters, were part of Saturday's 12-race card. The top-five finishers in each elimination advanced to next week's finals. P L Notsonice had an adventurous journey to a 1:55.2 score in the first split for trotting fillies. The Joseph Skowyra trainee and driver Jonathan Drury were briefly four-wide in the second-quarter, eventually settling down on the lead at the half in :57.1. The early-battle did not lead to any in the back-half, as P L Notsonice cruised by three-quarters in 1:26 and trotted home in :29.2 to win by a length and three-quarters. Princesspartypants grabbed second, while Sonadora Deo and Shape Shifter rallied for third and fourth. The fifth-place finisher was Lmc Bumble Bee. A daughter of Kadabra, P L Notsonice is now five for 13 this season after going winless in seven starts as a rookie. Her seasonal earnings now jump to $97,759 and career earnings over $150,000 for owners Prince Less Acres and Renaldo Morales III. P L Notsonice paid $9.70 to win. Susies Lady took command in the second-quarter and trotted off to a 4 ½ length score in 1:55.1. Jody Jamieson steered the Susie Kerwood trainee to fourth win in 14 starts this season, trotting a :28.1 final-quarter to secure the comfortable victory. Chelseas Magic finished second, while Jula Shes Magic, also from the Kerwood barn, was third. Modern Mass and Yen completed the top-five. Susies Lady                        --New Image Media photo Susies Lady has now banked over $125,000 this season and sports career numbers of eight wins and $161,100 for owners M And L of Delaware LLC and Kerwood. She paid $4.20 to win. On the pacing side, Karma Seelster converted off a two-hole trip in the first elimination for driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair. The daughter of Sportswriter followed Rose Run Vantage into the lane and muscled by with a :28.2 final-quarter to win in 1:51.1. Lauras Love rallied from sixth to finish second, beat three-quarters of a length, while Rose Run Vantage was third. Betalady and Sound Idea rounded out the top-five. Karma Seelster                     --New Image Media photo Karma Seelster had just one win on the season entering Saturday, but was pushing $200,000 in seasonal earnings. The McNair trainees second win of the campaign is her sixth career victory and increases her earnings to $460,516 for owners Eileen & Keith Waples and Karen Hauver. A $2 win ticket on Karma Seelster returned $5.80. Rose Run Victory unleashed a vicious :26.3 final-quarter to rally from seventh and last to win the second elimination in a career best 1:52 for driver Ed Hensley. The Ashleigh Hensley trainee made up nearly seven lengths in the lane to surpass Beach Sports, who cut the mile, and prevail by a length and three-quarters. Alicorn finished third, while Queso Relleno and Preeminence also advanced to the final. A daughter of Shadow Play, Rose Run Victory recently entered the Hensley barn after being purchased by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Phillip Collura. The sophomore pacing filly is now two for two since the barn change and has increased her seasonal numbers to three wins and $44,470 earned in 16 starts. Rose Run Victory paid $7.60 to win. The SBOA finals will take place next Saturday (November 14). The pacing final will go for a purse of $138,518 and the trotting final for $141,518. The post positions for each final were drawn following Saturday's eliminations.   $138,518 - SBOA Filly Pace 1 Lauras Love 2 Beach Sports 3 Sound Idea 4 Rose Run Victory 5 Karma Seelster 6 Queso Relleno 7 Alicorn 8 Preeminence 9 Betalady 10 Rose Run Vantage AE: Mach My Kiss   $141,518 - SBOA Filly Trot 1 Modern Mass 2 Sonadora Deo 3 Jula Shes Magic 4 Susies Lady 5 P L Notsonice 6 Lmc Bumble Bee 7 Chelseas Magic 8 Princesspartypants 9 Shape Shifter 10 Yen AE: Intense Justice Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications & Content

MILTON, November 6, 2020 - A last to first rally with pacing mare Gias Surreal gave harness racing driver Trevor Henry career driving win 7,000 on Friday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Arthur, Ontario resident entered Friday's card three wins shy of the 7,000 mark and recorded the "Hat-Trick" victory in Race 11 in upset fashion, scoring at odds of 12-1. Gias Surreal will go down as winner 7,000 for Henry and it came in style. The four-year-old mare, who is trained by Don Lindsey, was seventh and last turning for home and unleashed a furious stretch rally to sweep by her rivals late and take this week's top class for pacing mares. Henry's other two victories on the card came with five-year-old trotting mare Shes Got Pizazz and five-year-old pacing mare Furiosa. A leading driver across Ontario for many years, Henry has been a top driver at Woodbine Entertainment over the last several seasons and currently ranks fifth for wins (149) at Mohawk Park in 2020. His career best season for wins was 533 in 2012, while his highest earning season was $5.9 million in 2017. Now a member of the 7,000 win club, Henry has driven the winners of $65 million over the course of his more than three-decade career. Woodbine Entertainment would like to congratulate Trevor Henry on his latest career milestone.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

MILTON, November 2, 2020 – The Harvest Series for Ontario sired two-year-old fillies concluded Monday with a pair of harness racing finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park.  A field of nine squared off in the $46,000 final for pacing fillies, while a compact group of six clashed in the $45,400 final for trotting fillies.  Ken Middleton trainee Shes A Sassy Beach and driver Sylvain Filion came out on top in the pacing fillies final to complete a series sweep.  Shes A Sassy Beach blasted off the wings of the gate into a strong headwind and was parked around the first turn as she pushed to the top, clearing to command just after a :27.1 opener. Dabarndawgswatchin, who was also searching for a series sweep, came after the lead in the second-quarter from fourth, touching down on the lead at the half in :55.4.  The 6-5 co-favourites raced one-two around the final turn with Dabarndawgswatchin reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3.  In the stretch, Shes A Sassy Beach angled to the outside and powered by to score a victory of two lengths in 1:55.2. Trouble Brewing rallied for second, while Dabarndawgswatchin was third. Shes Got It All was fourth.  Shes A Sassy Beach vaults her career numbers up to four wins and $65,683 earned. The Sunshine Beach filly is co-owned and bred by Mohawk Park Track Announcer Middleton and the late Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame member Bill Galvin.  A $2 win ticket on Shes A Sassy Beach returned $4.60.  A clear standout, Hawaii took care of business with a 1:59.2 score at odds of 1/9 for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Rick Zeron. The daughter of Justice Hall floated away casually, making the front entering the backstretch, and posted fractions of :59.2 and 1:29 before a :30.2 final-quarter into a stiff headwind.  Hawaii winning in 1:59.2                                     --New Image Media photo Fuzzy Angel, who led early, sat the two-hole and finished a length and a half back in second. Tealicious was third, while A Blue Blood was fourth.  Owned by Rick Zeron Stables, Hawaii’s sweep of the Harvest Series improves her rookie numbers to three wins and $76,325 earned in nine starts. Her second leg victory of 1:56.4 is her current career mark.  Hawaii paid $2.30 to win.  The Harvest Series was open to Ontario sired two-year-old fillies who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2020 as of September 30, 2020.  Live racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park resumes Thursday evening. The $48,100 and $45,100 finals for two-year-old colts headline an 11-race card. Post time is 7 p.m.    Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

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