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

Platoon Seelster made harness racing history on Wednesday evening at The Raceway in London when he equaled the fastest trotting mile in the track’s history. The four-year-old gelded son of Federal Flex took full advantage of post one in the $11,000 Preferred 2 Trot and jetted straight to command through a snappy :27.2 opening quarter. Driver Ryan Holliday was able to rate his speed to the tune of :30 seconds in the second quarter and hit the half in :58 seconds. Platoon Seelster faced first-over pressure in the third quarter but easily rebuffed the challenge through  three-quarters in 1:26.4. He then kicked home in :29.1 to stop the clock in 1:56, equaling the previous best clocking of 1:56 which was established by Brawn Seelster back in 2008. It was the sixth lifetime win for the former star of the Ontario Sires Stakes program who increased his career bankroll to more than $275,000 for owners Caroline Holliday of Mount Forest and Dennis Hannah of Harriston, Ontario. Greg Blanchard  

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

Three divisions of three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will kick off the 2016 Ontario Sires Stakes season Friday, May 27, on what promises to be a spectacular night of harness racing action at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The three $70,000 Gold Series divisions are part of the track's signature Molson Pace program, which features top flight racing, countless opportunities to win great prizes and a variety of ways to get close to the action. "It's a night where we want to make it a lot of fun and a great atmosphere on track, but the program itself, we want that to be the focal point and I think we've put another really strong card together," said Raceway Manager Greg Blanchard of the event, which features total purses of over $550,000. "And the OSS Golds for the colts, it's nice to really kick off the OSS season, especially in that division, on this night. These are great three-year-old colts that we're going to get to watch." One colt hoping to claim a share of the spotlight on Friday is War N Munn, who has dominated the early season stakes action on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit. The Stonebridge Regal son - bred by Arva, ON resident Angie Stiller - will be looking to add a Gold Series trophy to a collection that already includes the Count B, Diplomat and Youthful Series hardware. Jonathan Drury of Guelph, ON will steer War N Munn from Post 2 in the second OSS division for trainer Carmen Auciello of Stouffville, ON and owner George Munniksma of Washington, NJ. Among the colts hoping to keep War N Munn out of the Race 8 winner's circle are Voracity, a two-time Gold Series winner at two, and Semi Automatic, who earned one Gold Series trophy last season. Voracity will start from Post 3 for trainer Tony Alagna of Manalapan, NJ and his partners Brad Grant of Milton, ON and John Fodera of Staten Island, NY. Semi Automatic will be looking for his top gear from Post 5 for trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Puslinch, ON and his partners Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL and J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY. Fans can get in on the OSS winner's circle celebrations by casting their ballot in the "Be A Winner" contest. Finalists will be drawn to represent each colt in the "Be A Winner" contest race and each finalist will receive an OSS t-shirt, ball cap and a $15 win-place-show wager on their chosen colt. Finalists will watch the contest race from the trackside winner's circle area, and the winning colt's finalist will join in the post-race victory celebrations, receiving their own trophy, an OSS jacket and shirt, winner's circle photo and a $50 wagering voucher. An up-close view of the action will also be offered by the Wanna Drive program, which puts fans on the racetrack in a double-seated jog cart, and through the Molson Pace Infield Party contest, which will give a limited number of lucky fans an opportunity to watch the racing from the infield. "We are really working with a lot of our close partners on this night - HPI, OLG, the Alliance tracks, Standardbred Canada, the Ontario Sires Stakes - and of course Molson, our title sponsor, it's great to have that partnership continue," noted Blanchard. "It's nice because they all add a lot to the night. It enhances the whole experience." The first race of the evening will be called to the post at 7:05 pm, but an earlier arrival will allow fans to take in all the trackside activities. "I would say, if you want to sort of beat the crowd, anytime from 5:30 pm on," said Blanchard, adding that there will be a guest horse greeting fans and a special giveaway for early arrivals. The $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes divisions will be featured in Races 5, 8 and 9 and the $150,000 Molson Invitational Pace will bring the evening to a close in Race 12. Further details about Molson Pace Night can be found at OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing  

The first of 48 nights of live harness racing kicks off at Grand River Raceway on June 1. The track was awarded the 2016 Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Of Commerce, and the season lineup reflects its award-winning ambitions. During its 13th season, the Elora, ON oval will race Monday and Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. from June 1 through September 28. The track's signature Fun & Frivolity Friday Race Nights are featured from June 3 through September 2 at 6:30 p.m. There are two exceptions to the aforementioned schedule: no racing on Friday, August 26; and post time is 1:30 on Monday, August 1. Full schedule OPENING NIGHT CONTEST Racehorse ownership is in the cards for one contest winner when Grand River Raceway awards a $500 gift certificate to The on June 1. Entries will be considered via social media shares and retweets, emailed entries and on-track entries submitted on June 1. The is a fractional racehorse ownership stable owned by Anthony & Amy MacDonald of Guelph, ON. LOCAL BIZ NIGHT Opening Night also marks the seventh annual Local Biz Night, presented in cooperation with the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce. The event hosts more than 100 local businesspeople paired with a horse in the Local Biz Night Race. Prior to the dash, guests are treated to a cocktail reception hosted by the OLG Slots At Grand River Raceway, followed by dinner and a trip to the paddock to meet their horse. JUNE 1 - BETTING CONTESTS BEGIN Grand Betting Contest - Jackpot Edition The Grand Betting Contest will be offered each Monday and Wednesday race night (34 total) starting June 1. Each nightly contest challenges players to select the winner in five races. Players finishing second and third win $25 apiece. The night's highest point-earner will be featured on the Tarmac Show later that evening where they will choose from three boxes to win $50, $75 or a jackpot minimum of $100. The jackpot builds by $25 or $50 each night the winner selects a box other than the jackpot. Survivor Contest An online Survivor Contest, sponsored by HPIbet, will be offered each Wednesday race night beginning June 1. Entry is free and the winner will receive a $100 HPI account deposit. JUNE 3 - 3RD ANNUAL MEDIA RACE Barry Finn, editor of The Rider magazine, will return to defend his title against newcomers Darryl Law of 107.5 DAVE ROCKS and Lisa Richards of Magic 106.1 FM. Award-winning equine photographer Dave Landry rounds out the field in his driving debut. The media personalities will take to the track in double-seated race bikes, accompanied by a pro driver, to compete in a half-mile dash. Race fans will vote for the winner for a shot at a $50 betting voucher. FUN & FRIVOLITY FRIDAY NIGHTS The crew from 107.5 DAVE ROCKS returns to broadcast live from the tarmac from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every Friday race night all summer long. Kids will enjoy the NEIGHbourhood, a free interactive horse education program held under the Tarmac Tent from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Programming includes horse crafts, a guided barn tour, and photo opportunity in the Winners Circle with the winning horse of The NEIGHbourhood Race. JUNE 24 - ONTARIO REGIONAL DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIP Eight of the province's best drivers compete in an eight-race competition to earn a berth in the 2016 National Driving Championship. JULY 8 - REN'S PET DEPOT WIENER DOG RACES Back by popular demand, one of the biggest events of the season features 30 Dachshunds in a bid for glory. Enjoy 4 dog races and 10 horse races, and an Agility Course provided by Diamonds In The Ruff. There are no losers, only wieners on July 8 at Grand River Raceway. Dog registration opens June 6. INDUSTRY DAY CELEBRATION Grand River Raceway features its 26th anniversary Industry Day Celebration on Monday, August 1 at 1:30 p.m. The popular afternoon card features the 19th annual Battle Of Waterloo and the 8th annual Battle Of The Belles. Other special events at Grand River Raceway this race season include: National Bring A Friend Night (July 15), Great Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Of Commerce Night At The Races (July 20), Racing Under Saddle (August 1), the Horse Name Costume Game (August 19). The final Friday night of the season offers Wanna Drive (the opportunity to drive a racehorse between the races) and a miniature horse race. RACE NIGHT BUFFET Grand River Raceway's popular $17.99 buffet will be featured every race night in the newly renovated Captain's Quarters tiered dining room overlooking the racetrack. Some dates are already sold-out and others filling quickly with group bookings. Reservations are always highly recommended by calling (519) 846-5455 ext. 247. Post time for the season-opener on June 1 is 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit Kelly Spencer

Grand Circuit harness racing trotting mares capped off an eventful May long weekend Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The first leg of the Miss Versatility Series featured two $30,000 divisions. The series for older trotting mares stops at Mohawk twice, The Meadowlands and Tioga Downs before wrapping up with the final on Little Brown Jug Day at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. A scratch in each division left fields of seven to battle in first round splits. Four-year-old Jewels In Hock and driver John Campbell took care of business in the first division with a 1:54.2 victory by 4½ lengths. The Linda Toscano trainee took command of the race on the way to the half with a fourth to first move. After posting fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.2, Jewels In Hock kicked clear from her rivals and trotted home comfortably in :28 to win as the public's choice. White Becomes Her, the leader at the opening-quarter, finished second, while MissysGa Ga crossed the wire third. A daughter of Credit Winner, Jewels In Hock won 9 of 17 starts last season and was the New York Sires Stakes champion. She finished her sophomore season with over $353,000 in earnings. The four-year-old trotting mare picked up her first win in her second start of the season Monday. Owned by KJ Stables LLC, Jewels In Hock now has 12 career victories and over $382,000 in career earnings. The Toscano trainee paid $3.80 to win. Jewels In Hock In the second division, Rockin With Dewey just held off a late surge from Charmed Life to win in 1:53.3. The Ben Baillargeon trainee flashed some early speed for driver Mario Baillargeon and got away in the two-hole behind longshot Second Sister. There was little movement throughout the opening-half with Second Sister posting panels of :28.1 and :56.3. Baillargeon angled Rockin With Dewey out of the pocket nearing the three-quarter pole, while Charmed Life was moving up towards the front on the outside. In the stretch, Rockin With Dewey took the lead and was trotting up a storm. Charmed Life was sitting a few lengths back of the leader, but in the final strides closed in to make it a photo finish. At the wire, Rockin With Dewey came out on top by a narrow margin. Charmed Life now has four runner-up finishes in five starts this season. Elegant Serenity finished third. A six-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Rockin With Dewey now has two wins in five starts this season. She is owned by Ben Baillargeon and Diane Ingham. Rockin With Dewey has had success previously in the Miss Versatility. The Baillargeon trainee won two legs of the series last year. The six-year-old trotting mare now has 16 career victories and earnings of over $523,000. Rockin With Dewey paid $5.70 to win. Rockin With Dewey The next leg of the Miss Versatility Series is set for Canada Day (July 1) at Mohawk. Also on Monday, Flanagan Memory was a repeat winner in the $34,000 Preferred Trot. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Flanagan Memory came first up around the final turn to draw even with the leader Rubber Duck turning for home. The Rene Dion trainee marched by to take the lead in the lane and score a length and a half victory in 1:53.3. Intimidate got up to finish second, while Rubber Duck was third. A six-year-old son of Kadabra, Flanagan Memory now has two wins in three starts this season after winning two of 15 starts last year and banking $299,769. He paid $3.10 to win Monday evening. Flanagan Memory Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

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

It was a day of greats at Clinton Raceway, as the Huron County oval held it's opening card of the 2016 harness racing season. Great weather, great races and great prizes all lead to a record attendance and record handle. The 10 race card saw a wagering handle of just over $30,000. "This was the biggest opening day that Clinton has seen, almost ever" states Director of Marketing, Jessica Carnochan. "The weather was definitely in our favor, if people were on the fence, that was the deal maker". Super Sunday show fans were treated to new games between the races with lots of fun and prizes. Two lucky winners went home with a pair of tickets to see Carrie Underwood in London next week and a $500 garden package courtesy of Verbeeks Farm and Garden in Clinton. Central Huron Secondary School was able to raise just over $2800 during their trackside fundraiser. "We really appreciate the ability that Clinton Raceway has given us over the last years to fundraise, comments chair, and teacher at C.H.S.S. Leigh Melady. "The fans have continued to support us and we're great full for their generosity." Long time race caller, Frank Salive made his return to the mic for opening day, and will be back again when live racing resumes Sunday May 29 with a post time of 1:30pm. The day will belong to the Saugeen Maitland Women's Hockey Association and their Day at the Races fundraiser. A full calendar of events can be found at Jessica Carnochan  

A crowd of thousands packed Mohawk Racetrack Saturday night for Fireworks and Family Fun Night and got to enjoy an action-packed ten-race harness racing card. The eliminations for the S.B.O.A Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies highlighted the card and featured the return of a pair of divisional champions. A total of 21 three-year-old pacing fillies were split into two $25,000 eliminations. The second pacing elimination featured the return of O'Brien Award winner L A Delight and she did not disappoint. The Bob McIntosh trained filly left from post-nine and dropped in fifth in the early stages. Driven by Randy Waples, L A Delight came to the outside entering the far turn and eventually was situated second-over at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, L A Delight ripped off cover and marched by her rivals to win by a three-quarters of a length in 1:52.2. Thatsoveryverynice, who was third-over around the final turn, finished second, while Lady Marina battled hard after leading throughout the middle-half to finish third. Free Show and Noone To Depend On finished fourth and fifth to qualify for next week's final. A daughter of Bettor's Delight, L A Delight was making her season debut Saturday after winning 11 of 12 starts as a rookie. The McIntosh trainee won the Shes A Great Lady and OSS Super Final last season and finished with earnings of over $704,000. L A Delight paid $2.40 to win. L A Delight Good Will Hanover delivered an impressive performance to win the first elimination in a career-best 1:51.1. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee left hard to grab the early lead, but was overtaken in the second-quarter by Mayhem Seelster. Good Will Hanover stalked behind the leader and made her move in the stretch to surge by for driver Chris Christoforou to score the victory by a length and a quarter. Mayhem Seelster finished second, while Lay Lady Lay was third. The final two horses to qualify for the final were Tonightimlovingyou and Divas Image. A daughter of Big Jim, Good Will Hanover is trained by Moore for owners GLB Stable. Saturday's victory was her first win in two starts this season and fifth overall. Good Will Hanover pushed her career earnings to over $177,000 with the victory. She paid $12 to win. Good Will Hanover A group of 22 sophomore trotting fillies were split into two $25,000 eliminations. O'Brien Award winner Caprice Hill looked impressive in winning the first elimination in 1:53.1. The Tony Alagna trainee got away fifth from post-nine and was sent first-up by driver Randy Waples heading into the first turn. Danish Darby held a length-advantage over the first-up challenger at the three-quarter pole in 1:25. In the stretch, Caprice Hill cruised home in :28 to overtake the lead and secure the victory by a length and three-quarters in 1:53.1. Danish Darby finished second, while Tymal Tempest was third. P L Jill and Moonlight Cocktail rounded out the top-five to qualify for next week's final. A daughter of Kadabra, Caprice Hill is trained by Alagna for owner Tom Hill. The sophomore trotting filly was making her season debut after a stellar seven wins in ten starts as a rookie. Caprice Hill pushed her career earnings over $600,000 with Saturday's victory. She paid $3 to win. Caprice Hill Celebrity Eventsy was an easy winner in the second elimination. The Staffan Lind trainee took the lead in the second-quarter and never looked back en route to a 1:54.1 victory. Sylvain Filion guided Celebrity Eventsy to the 3½ length victory Saturday. She finished off her mile in :28.2 to secure the victory over runner-up Flowers N Songs. Jangone finished third, while Dottie and Major Muscle rounded out the top-five. A daughter of Manofmanymissions, Celebrity Eventsy was making her season debut Saturday after posting four wins in 10 starts last season. She is trained by Lind for owners Celebrity Farms LLC. Celebrity Eventsy has earned over $239,000 in 11 career starts. She paid $2.80 to win. Celebrity Eventsy Also on Saturday, the popular older pacer Shamballa not only posted his first victory of 2016, but also the nation's fastest mile of the year. The Rick Zeron trainee took the lead on the way to half and posted fractions of :54.1 and 1:21.1 before sizzling home in :27 to win by six-lengths in 1:48.1. Shamballa was making his second start of the season and competing in a $25,000 conditioned event. A six-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, Shamballa has become a popular horse on the WEG circuit due to his signature closing speed. The Zeron trainee opted to do all the work on the front-end Saturday and picked up his 21st career win. Shamballa pushed his career earnings over $500,000 with his first win of 2016. He banked over $358,000 last season. Shamballa Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Miss Versatility first leg ,featuring two divisions, highlight the 11-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Back by popular demand, Grand River Raceway will host its eighth annual backstretch Open House on Sunday, May 29. Guests are invited to drop-in any time from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a rare glimpse of harness racing behind-the-scenes. A full tour of the Open House's six main stations will last approximately one hour. The itinerary includes the unique opportunity to drive a racehorse. Standardbred racehorses and double-seated jog carts from the Hands On Horses Program provide the horsepower. Other interactive stations include a tour of the judges' stand and announcer's booth high atop the grandstand with track announcer Gary Guy. Back in the barn, visitors will learn the basics of breeding, owning, training, driving and caring for racehorses in sessions led by industry experts. Dr. Alison Moore's station will explore the high-performance racehorse by comparing it to human athletes. The will be on-hand to discuss their low-risk fractional racehorse ownership group. Machinery enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity to view and learn about the equipment and techniques required to maintain the track surface. The starting car will also be on display, and open for photo opportunities. Riders from Racing Under Saddle (RUS) Ontario will also be on-hand to provide demonstrations of these Trot Monté races - popular in Europe - being showcased at harness tracks throughout the province. No registration is required for the Open House. The event is suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The Open House will run rain or shine. Participants are urged to wear closed-toe shoes and casual, comfortable clothing. Admission is free, but participants are urged to make a $2 donation at the door to support the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. A BBQ lunch and beverages will be available for purchase between 11:30 - 2:00. The Grand River Raceway Open House is presented in cooperation with the Hands On Horse Program and the Ontario Harness Horse Association. Nearly 2,000 people have attended Grand River Raceway's Open House event in the past six years. For more information, visit or call (519) 846-5455 x238 or email Kelly Spencer

Just a week away from the start of the Ontario Sires Stakes season, three-year-old pacing colt Gerries Sport put his harness racing rivals on notice with a sizzling 1:49.2 performance Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Richard Moreau trained colt competed in a non-winners of three-races or $75,000 lifetime event Friday night, which featured three Pepsi North America Cup eligibles, Arsenic, Bettor Memories and Nocturnal Bluechip. Gerries Sport entered Friday's race with two victories in three starts this season. His only defeat was a gritty fourth-place effort in The Diplomat Series final on May 7. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Gerries Sport left from post-five and found a spot in third, while four-year-old Asap Hanover blasted to the front just ahead of Arsenic. There was little movement early on, as Asap Hanover posted solid fractions of :26.3 and :54.2. Approaching the three-quarter pole, Filion pulled on the right line to send Gerries Sport after the leader. The challenger pulled to within less than two-lengths of the lead at the third-marker, as Asap Hanover reached that station in 1:22.1. In the stretch, Gerries Sport powered by Asap Hanover to grab clear command with an eighth of a mile to go. The Moreau trainee cruised home confidently in :26.4 to win by two-lengths in 1:49.2. Asap Hanover finished second, while Arsenic was third in his season debut. Pepsi North America Cup eligibles Bettor Memories and Nocturnal Bluechip finished fifth and seventh, respectively. A son of Mach Three, Gerries Sport competed primarily in the OSS Grassroots as a two-year-old, but appears more than ready to tackle the Gold level this season. Moreau trains the sophomore pacing colt for owner Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, Quebec. Gerries Sport's third win in four starts this season brings his career record to six wins in 16 starts for earnings of $71,453. The son of Mach Three is now North America's fastest three-year-old of 2016. His clocking of 1:49.2 lowered the previous mark of 1:50.2 set by War N Munn in The Diplomat Final on May 7 at Mohawk. Gerries Sport paid $5.90 to win. Live racing continues Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack with a special post time of 6:45 p.m. in place for Fireworks and Family Fun Night. Mark McKelvie

Mohawk Racetrack's annual May long weekend Fireworks and Family Fun Night is set to return this Saturday evening. A fun-filled night of entertainment for all-ages will rock the Campbellville harness racing oval Saturday. Doors open to the Mohawk Grandstand at 5 p.m. and fans will be welcomed to the facility by live music from singer Gillian Nicola. The Brian McIntyre Trio will be performing throughout the evening on the outdoor stage located at the east-end of the Grandstand. Live racing will get underway 45 minutes earlier than usual, as a special Post Time of 6:45 p.m. is scheduled for Saturday evening. Fans will be able to enjoy ten-races of some of the world's finest harness racing. The final-race of the evening is scheduled for around 10 p.m. with the fantastic fireworks show set for approximately 10:30 p.m. An LED show will entertain fans between the final-race and the start of the fireworks. There will be an abundance of entertainment options for families throughout the evening, including an exotic animal demonstration, decorate a Horse Cookie craft station, carnival and arcade games, a photo booth, glitter tattoo station and balloon twisting clowns. The always popular strolling acts will be back and features an Acro-Contortion dancer, illusionist and stilt walker. A special kid's meal will be offered Saturday evening. The $5.99 meal includes a kid's pizza or hot dog, juice, chips and a Glow-In-The-Dark wristband. Racing fans will be able to enjoy live racing and coverage of Saturday's Preakness Stakes. The second-leg of the Triple Crown will be shown on the infield screen just prior to the evening's first race. As always, admission, parking and activities are free. For more information, visit Mark McKelvie

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

The Raceway at Western Fair District was saddened to learn of the passing of Wall of Fame member Norm Hardy of Lucan this past Monday, May 16 - just three weeks short of his 90th birthday. The Hardy name has been synonymous with harness racing in the London area and the legendary John Campbell, who grew up next to the Hardy clan, called Norm one of the pioneers of Ontario racing. Son Ken and grandson Glen both remain active in Ontario racing. Norm, along with his brother Jack, was inducted to The Raceway's prestigious Wall of Fame in 2000. More details will be posted when available. Please join The Raceway in offering sincere condolences to the Hardy family.                     Greg Blanchard Raceway Manager Tel: 519-438-7203,239Toll Free: 1-800-619-4629Fax: 519-438-2388Email:             900 King Street London ON N5W 2X6     Please consider the environment before printing this email message.     Disclaimer: This message contains confidential information. If you are not the recipient, you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

In the Billings Series first venture north of the border this season "Hurricane Hannah" Miller showed why she was named harness racing's National Amateur Driver of the Year during 2015 when she took Canada by storm winning both divisions of the CKG Billings trots at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday night, May 16th. The talented miss won the first event when she rallied to a 1:58.4 victory with Domitian Hall and followed that with a hard charging come-from-behind 1:59 triumph with Princess Crown in the other Billings split. After starting from post seven with the weak (5-2) betting favorite Miller and Domitian Hall left softly from the seven hole as she looked for a spot down along the pylons. But that never materialized so she slowly kept going forward and at the halfway point she was in fifth place on the limb, some five lengths off the leader, Lexis Rocky who was driven by "Dynamite Dave" Drew. As the field neared the third stanza "Racin' Jason" Sgrignouli moved Fashion Goddess out from behind Drew and Lexis Rocky and they got first call as the field headed into the final turn. But when they headed for paydirt Miller moved Domitian Hall three-deep and under mild urging the veteran trotter responded and they caught Lexis Rocky to score a neck victory. Fashion Goddess faded and finished third in the 1:58:4 mile. Domitian Hall is owned and trained by Michael Vanderkemp. He paid $7.40 for win. In the second division Hannah and Princess Crown started on the far outside from post nine and when the starting judge said "go" Hannah again floated out softly and was in seventh position as Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and JC's Jake led the field by the first quarter in :28.1. Still among the trailers, Princess Crown was seventh at the halfway point some seven lengths off Oldford's trotter. As the field passed the half "Yankee Joe" Lee moved Schrader Hanover off the pylons and Miller used that cover until she had to go three-deep on the final turn to get a shot at the leader. Heading into the homestretch Princess Crown was still some six lengths off the lead but one by one she began picking up horses and with a final surge Miller's charge nailed Oldford's JC's Jake at the wire to win by a head. Third went to Lets Leavem, driven by Dave Drew. Princess Crown, sent off at odds of over 14-1 paid $30.50 for win. She is owned by Paul Andre Lehoux and trained by Jacques Dupont. Miss Miller was contacted after her driving victories and she was understandably jubilant and when asked about her success, she said, " I am beyond thrilled! This was not my first time driving at Mohawk but it was my first time winning here. Yes, I did have outside posts but I used the long stretch to my advantage and was patient with both of horses. "The first horse was a very classy horse and my focus was to keep him flat. He was solid the whole mile and finished strong. The second race I was longer odds coming from the outside and I got away farther back but coming around the last turn she exploded and got up just in time. It was definitely a night to remember and I can't thank the trainers enough for letting me By John Manzi for the CKG Billings Series  

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

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