ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway's live harness racing season will consist of 48 dates in 2014. The recent announcement from the Ontario Racing Commission confirmed approved race dates for nine Standardbred tracks in the province. During its 11th season, the Elora, ON oval will race Monday and Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. from June 2 through September 29. The track's signature Fun & Frivolity Friday Race Nights are featured from June 6 through September 5 at 6:30 p.m. There are two exceptions to the aforementioned schedule: no racing on Friday, August 22; and post time is 1:30 on Monday, August 4. (Full schedule: http://grandriverraceway.com/live-racing-schedule ) Grand River Raceway is one of eight racetracks in the Standardbred Alliance - a newly formed structure within the Horse Racing Partnership Plan announced by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The Alliance members represent a three-tier racing hierarchy, 'Grass Roots' (Clinton, Hanover), 'Signature' (Flamboro, Georgian, Grand River and Western Fair) and 'Premier' (Mohawk and Woodbine). OPEN HOUSE The week prior to Opening Night of the live horse racing season, Grand River Raceway will host its sixth annual backstretch Open House. On Sunday, May 25, guests are invited to drop-in any time from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a rare glimpse of horse racing behind-the-scenes and the unique opportunity to drive a racehorse. Admission is free. OPENING NIGHT Opening Night on June 2 marks the fifth annual Local Biz Night, presented in cooperation with the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce. The event hosts more than 150 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. TAKEOUT RATES In 2013, Grand River Raceway made major reductions (totaling 23 percent) to its takeout rates. Those rates remain intact for this season, giving the half-miler one of the most attractive take-out structures in North America. FUN & FRIVOLITY FRIDAY NIGHTS The crew from 107.5 DAVE FM returns to broadcast live from the tarmac every Friday night all summer long. Kids will enjoy the NEIGHbourhood, an interactive horse education program held under the Tarmac Tent from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. INDUSTRY DAY CELEBRATION Grand River Raceway features its 24th annual Industry Day Celebration on Monday, August 4 at 1:30 p.m. The popular afternoon card features the 17th annual Battle Of Waterloo and the sixth annual Battle Of The Belles. RACE NIGHT BUFFET A newly formatted $16.99 buffet will be featured every race night in the Captain's Quarters tiered dining room overlooking the racetrack. Several dates in June are already 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 2 is 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.GrandRiverRaceway.com. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway
It was no April Fools' Day prank as today the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) announced its decision in regard to the race-date applications for the nine Standardbred racetracks in the province. The ORC has announced the approved race dates for Woodbine Racetrack, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Rideau Carleton Raceway, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway. On Monday, March 31, the ORC released the proposed race dates for the period: April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, for almost all of the province’s racetracks. To view a list of the proposed race dates, click here. The ORC's release regarding approved dates explains that the live race date schedules for other racetracks will be announced as their agreements are finalized. The ORC release appears below. ORC approves Ontario Race Dates for 2014 and beyond Notice of Director’s decision regarding 2014 Race Dates The Director of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) today announced the decision regarding the schedule of live race dates for 2014 for certain racetracks. Following the successful conclusion of agreements, the following racetracks were in a position to commit to their race date schedule for the remainder of 2014: Woodbine Mohawk Western Fair Flamboro Downs Georgian Downs Grand River Rideau Carleton Clinton Hanover The live race date schedules for other racetracks will be announced as their agreements are finalized. Agreements were possible due to government’s commitment to provide funds to horse racing to support the industry`s efforts to grow its business. This five-year commitment has allowed for the negotiation of long term agreements which secure this schedule of race dates for each of the next five years. The Director confirms and approves the schedule of race dates for the 2014 as follows: APPLICANT – 1st quarter (prior approved) – Remaining dates – Total dates Woodbine Racetrack Standardbred (Premier) – 37 – 71 – 108 Thoroughbred (Premier) – 0 – 133 – 133 Mohawk Racetrack Standardbred (Premier) – 0 – 102 – 102 Western Fair Standardbred (Signature) – 38 – 87 – 125 Flamboro Downs Standardbred (Signature) – 52 – 94 – 146 Georgian Downs Standardbred (Signature) - 0 – 40 – 40 Grand River Raceway Standardbred (Signature) - 0 – 48 – 48 Rideau Carleton Raceway Standardbred (Signature) - 14 – 78 – 92 Clinton Raceway Standardbred (Grassroots) - 0 – 15 – 15 Hanover Raceway Standardbred (Grassroots) - 0 – 16 – 16 In accordance with Policy Directive 3-2007, all other race date calendars are approved, but are subject to change where a racetrack operator or other interested party makes an application to vary the approved dates, which will be considered based on the strengths of the business plans submitted and the industry funding available. The Director has been moving forward to implement the components of the five-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan (HRPP), as approved by the Ontario government. Announcements have been made awarding Woodbine Entertainment Group as the single teletheatre operator under a procurement process that is now complete. Revenue earned from the teletheatre network will be used for the benefit of the Centralized Racetracks, which include Woodbine, Mohawk, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Western Fair, Grand River, Clinton, Hanover and Ajax Downs. Additionally announcements have been made designating WEG as the single telephone account betting operator, where revenue earned will be used for the benefit of the Centralized Racetracks. Operation of regional racetracks and the related purses will be funded through a mix of on-track wagering and Horse Racing Partnership Funding Program funds. Please be advised that you or any other aggrieved party have the right to appeal the Director’s decision to the Commission. From Steve Lehman, Executive Director for the Ontario Racing Commission
On Monday, March 31, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) issued a news release which states that the Province’s five-year plan will provide up to $500 million in support to Ontario’s world-class horse racing industry. The Horse Racing Partnership Plan comes into effect April 1. “This plan is the result of a true partnership. Everyone involved — government, industry, owners, breeders and track operators — have worked to put in place a shared vision,” said Kathleen Wynne, Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food. “I’m confident this plan will not only create a sustainable racing industry in Ontario, but will create jobs and provide more opportunities for success. Ontario is now the most innovative jurisdiction in North America for horse racing.” On Monday, the Ontario Racing Commission also released a pdf file of 2014 race dates that tracks across the province have applied for. To view the pdf file, click here. The contents of the OMAF release appear directly below. The release is followed by OMAF’s ‘backgrounder’ note regarding the Horse Racing Partnership Plan Horse Racing Partnership Plan Out of the Gate Government Commitment Delivering Results Ontario is delivering on its commitment to implement the Horse Racing Partnership Plan, which comes into effect April 1. The province’s enhanced five-year plan will provide up to $500 million to support its world-class horse racing industry and includes: Increasing purses and race dates across the province Enhancing support for the province’s racehorse breeders Integrating horse racing into the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s modernization plan Encouraging the creation of an alliance of innovative, leading standardbred tracks Increasing operational support for regional tracks The plan is providing the horse racing industry with the tools to develop new sources of revenue and to build business relationships that will support a sustainable industry in Ontario. Strengthening and supporting the province's horse racing industry is part of the Ontario government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths -- its people and strategic partnerships. QUOTES “This plan is the result of a true partnership. Everyone involved — government, industry, owners, breeders and track operators — have worked to put in place a shared vision. I’m confident this plan will not only create a sustainable racing industry in Ontario, but will create jobs and provide more opportunities for success. Ontario is now the most innovative jurisdiction in North America for horse racing.” — Kathleen Wynne, Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food “OHRIA is relieved that funding is in place to begin stabilizing the industry. I’d like to thank Premier Wynne for her direct involvement in making this happen. The thousands of jobs associated with the horseracing industry continue to be an important part of the social fabric of Ontario.” —Sue Leslie, President, Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association “Rideau Carleton Raceway is delighted that the Premier has fulfilled the promise to sustain racing across the province. The commitment to regional racetracks will ensure the continuance of the industry and competitive racing in Ottawa.” —Alex Lawryk, Spokesperson, Rideau Carleton “As a breeder I am extremely excited about the future of racing in Ontario and thankful for the enhanced support that will allow us to build upon the rich history of Ontario-bred horses.” —Scott Minshall, Minshall Farms, Hillsburgh, Ontario QUICK FACTS Ontario is one of the few places in Canada that offers thoroughbred, standardbred, and quarter horse racing. There are 16 racetracks operating in the province for the 2014 racing season. Woodbine offers both thoroughbred and standardbred racing, Fort Erie offers thoroughbred racing, and Ajax offers quarter horse racing. The remaining 13 tracks offer standardbred racing. Horse racing is a year-round sport in Ontario, with both live racing and simulcast racing brought in from other jurisdictions. The following are the contents of OMAF’s ‘backgrounder’ on the Horse Racing Partnership Plan. The Horse Racing Partnership Plan March 31, 2014 A successful and sustainable horse racing industry continues to have an important role to play in the economic and social life of this province, especially in rural Ontario. The Horse Racing Partnership Plan, which comes into effect April 1, 2014, is the government’s five-year plan to invest up to $500 million to support a world-class horse racing industry in the province. The plan reflects the hard work and genuine willingness of many in the horse racing industry to work together and build a new partnership with government. Standardbred Alliance of Tracks Critical to the success of the plan is the formation of an innovative, world-leading alliance of standardbred tracks including Woodbine, Mohawk, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Western Fair, Clinton, Hanover and Grand River. The alliance represents an unparalleled level of partnership and provides a solid foundation for Ontario Standardbred owners, breeders and horsepersons. The tracks will work 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. Additional Support for Regional Tracks The plan provides the appropriate public support to maintain a foundation for racing, but, more importantly, it provides the industry with opportunities for growth. By increasing funding for purses and operational support for regional tracks — Fort Erie, Ajax, Rideau-Carleton, Kawartha Downs, Sudbury Downs, Hiawatha, Dresden and Leamington — the government is giving operators the tools to develop new sources of revenue and build business relationships that will support a sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario. Integration of Horse Racing into the Province’s Gaming Strategy The government’s ongoing support of the horse racing industry is based on accountability, transparency and providing each sector of the industry — owners, breeders and racetrack operators — with the potential to be profitable. Integrating horse racing into the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's (OLG) modernization plan will help achieve those goals. Integration will include opportunities to develop new gaming products in partnership with OLG as well as consideration of horse racing in the land-based gaming modernization process. Supporting Ontario Racehorse Breeders The heart of the industry is the racehorse and Ontario has a proud history of breeding some of the world’s greatest. The enhanced Horse Improvement Program will provide incentives to recognize excellence for Ontario Bred and Sired horses racing in their home province. By continuing to support Ontario’s racehorse breeding sector, the plan will maximize the economic impact of racing in Ontario. Equine Health The plan has taken measures to ensure that racehorses are treated humanely both while they are racing and after retirement. Funding provided to Equine Guelph will assist with development of programs to address health and welfare issues of retired horses and overall horse and herd health concerns of the industry in Ontario. 2014 Race Dates Ontario has a rich history of horse racing — a history that will continue this season and for many years to come. The Ontario Racing Commission has the most up-to-date information on 2014 race dates. From the Ontario Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ontario Racing Commission
Dr. Adam Chambers of the Ontario Racing Commission has announced that the training time restrictions placed on horses stabled in Woodbine's Barn 10 are now removed, effective March 27, 2014. Horses from Barn 10 are now free to train during regular training hours. Horses temperatures should continue to be taken twice daily and monitored closely for clinical signs consistent with EHV-1 infection. Restrictions on the use of ponies remain. Increased biosecurity measures should still be in place at least until April 10. The infectious and serious nature of this disease prompted these measures and reinforced the need to protect Ontario's equine athletes. As a standard practice, participants are reminded of the importance of establishing appropriate biosecurity measures. From Dr. Adam Chambers, Manager of Veterinary Services
The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) announced that there has been a report of EHV-1 in a Thoroughbred that is residing in Barn 10 at Woodbine Racetrack, but that Standardbred racing is not affected by the situation. Today (March 18) ) the ORC issued the announcement on behalf of Dr. Adam Chambers, who is manager of Veterinary Services at the ORC. The contents of the release appear below. EQUINE HERPES CASE Restrictions in place. Training at Woodbine to continue; Standardbred racing not affected. There has been a report of EHV-1 in a five-year-old thoroughbred filly residing in Barn 10 at Woodbine Racetrack. The horse showed neurological signs on Thursday, March 13 but did not have a fever. The horse was removed from Woodbine to isolation on Saturday, March 15. The horse’s condition is stable. Results from tests available today showed non-neurotropic EHV-1 in blood but not nasal secretions. This is an unusual testing result and the horse has been retested. The risk of transmission to other horses may be low, as the infection is spread by nasal secretions. There have been no reports of any other sick horses in barn 10. Sporadic incidents of infection occur not infrequently and can be isolated incidents. The non-neurotropic form of EHV-1 identified from this horse differs from the neurotropic form identified from thoroughbreds at Woodbine in June of last year. Although the both types of EHV-1 can cause neurological disease the non-neurotropic strain is thought to be less likely to do so. EHV-1 has an incubation period of approximately 3 to 8 days, and may in some cases be as long as 14 days. Given these facts, the following measures will be in place, effective immediately: All horses must have their temperatures taken twice daily. Trainers with horses that have clinical signs consistent with EHV-1 infection (including fever (101.5 F/38.5 C or above), respiratory signs (cough, nasal discharge and/or neurological signs) must report these findings to their veterinarian immediately; Horses from Barn 10 will be allowed to train at the end of training hours; Only ponies housed in Barn 10 will be allowed to pony horses in Barn 10; Horsepeople are reminded to remain vigilant and institute appropriate biosecurity measures and should consult their veterinarians for advice. Standardbred horses are not stabled at Woodbine Racetrack. As well, the standardbred racing meet at Woodbine will not be impacted by these measures. To ensure best practices are in place to contain the disease, the ORC received input from experts from the University of Guelph and University of California at Davis, the office of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF). The ORC will also continue to work closely with Woodbine management, veterinarians and horse people. The ORC will monitor the situation and any further developments will be reported.
Talks are getting underway at Sudbury Downs to draw up a blueprint for the harness racing season ahead — but some are worried there aren't enough horses to make a go of it this year. This was reported today by CBC News in Canada. Horse racer and driver Paul MacLean said he is waiting to hear if there will be enough races at Sudbury Downs to make his participation financially feasible. Last year, the province cut the slots revenue that used to flow to racetracks in Ontario. Last season, only 22 races were held in Sudbury. There used to be more than 60. Paul Maclean, a Sudbury Downs harness driver, has sold 12 horses and is down to three. He estimates the number of race horses in the region is down almost half, compared to a year ago. (Megan Thomas/CBC) Maclean said he sold a dozen of his horses, and now he's down to just three. His resulting drop in earnings was especially hard in after he had recently made some major purchases. “Everything [was] new: [I bought a] new tractor trailer … [upgraded my] horses, new house, [then], all of a sudden, you get cut off at the knees by the Ontario government when they announce … their program is ending.” Maclean said if there are any fewer than 30 races this season, he probably won't continue. But he remains hopeful. “Sudbury is one of the … important tracks across Ontario that provide racing in the summer season and that traditionally is 20 race days per year.” Purse money 'available' The consultant with the Ontario Racing Commission who's in negotiations with Sudbury Downs said he's distributing the transitional funding — and Sudbury has some savings tucked away. “There's plenty of purse money available,” John Snobelen said. “The question is, again, how it would be used and what kind of horses would run and when and over what kind of season?” Sudbury is eligible for some transitional funding and can share in the $8 million being disbursed to other regional tracks in the province this year. Sudbury Downs owner Pat MacIsaac has declined to comment on the matter while the negotiations are underway.
Toronto, ON --- Ontario Horse Racing today released more details related to the C$80 million annual funding under the Horse Racing Partnership Funding Program. The details of the five-year government funding program were confirmed on Feb. 13, following the government’s approval of the HRPFP Order in Council. This announcement offers assurance to the racing industry that over the next five years race dates (around 900 live dates per year) will be stable and purse levels guaranteed. To view the full notice, click here. From the Ontario Racing Commission
The Ontario Racing Commission has announced that it has approved a request from Flamboro Downs to switch the first-race post times for 4 of the track’s upcoming programs of live racing. First-race post times for Flamboro’s March 1, 8, 15 and 29 programs of live racing had been 1 p.m. The ORC has approved Flamboro’s request to move the first-race post times for the aforementioned race dates to 6 p.m. From the Ontario Racing Commission
At its meeting of January 30, 2014, the Board of the Ontario Racing Commission approved the 2014 Horse Improvement Program (HIP) as recommended by the industry stakeholders and Program staff. Developed by the Thoroughbred and Standardbred Advisory Groups, the 2014 programs will offer significant incentives to breed and own horses in Ontario. For the most part, the upcoming season will mirror the 2013 programs, providing consistency along with some improvements. To view the full release, please use the link below: News Release - 2014 Horse Improvement Program Approved Wendy Hoogeveen Director, Industry Development and Support
The Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Program is on track to provide an exciting season of racing. Developed by the Standardbred Advisory Group and approved by the Ontario Racing Commission, the 2014 OSS program will offer over $16.6 million in purses and just over $2.1 million in Ontario Bred and Ontario Sired Rewards. To view the full release, please use the link below: News Release - 2014 Ontario Sires Stakes Program Announced Wendy Hoogeveen Director, Industry Development and Support
Provincial approach to purses essential to providing attractive product The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) is moving forward to implement a provincial approach to purses, consistent with the 5 year Horse Racing Partnership Plan, and as recommended by the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel. Among its recommendations - in an effort to provide customers with the most attractive product possible - the Panel acknowledged that the optimal use of purse money is essential to attract full, competitive fields. Notice to the Industry - ORC orders re-direction of Purse Account monies
With the drop in temperature, all members of the racing community need to be on the alert and take extra care of their horses in cold weather. The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has advised ORC Official Veterinarians and racing officials at all racetracks to remind participants to take the necessary steps to protect the animals. Dr. Adam Chambers, ORC Manager of Veterinary Services, suggests that any concerns about weather conditions impacting racing should be shared with horsepeople representatives, racing officials, track management and the Official Veterinarian. He pointed out that there is an established policy of allowing a trainer to scratch their horse should the trainer be concerned about the particular condition of the animal due to weather. The protection of the health and welfare of the horse is of paramount concern to the ORC and to members of the racing community. An effort to monitor the horse in weather extremes is in keeping with this mandate. To view the Notice click on link....Notice to the Industry - Care for race horses in cold weather
The Director of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) today announced the decision on a number of additional applications seeking variances to the assigned dates for 2014. In addition to previous applications from Woodbine Entertainment Group for Woodbine Standardbred, Western Fair Association and Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) for Flamboro, dealt with by the Director in previous notices, applications to vary race dates were received from Rideau Carleton Raceway Holdings Ltd. and GCGC for Georgian Downs. The Director confirms and approves the schedule of race dates for the 1st quarter of 2014 as follows: Number of Race Dates approved for 1st Quarter Woodbine Racetrack 37 Premier Cards Western Fair 38 Signature Cards Flamboro Downs 52 Signature Cards Georgian Downs 0 Signature Cards (Approved to cancel 4 race date in early January) Rideau Carleton 14 Signature Cards (Approved for Sundays, January 12 through March 30, adding Thursdays starting March 20) Kawartha Downs Limited has advised the ORC that it will not be applying for a 2014 Licence to Operate a Racetrack. Therefore all race dates approved for Kawartha Downs have been cancelled. Additionally, as a result, the 2014 Home Market Areas for Telephone Account Betting formerly approved for Kawartha have been conditionally approved for Woodbine Racetrack, with all net revenues to be held in trust. Winrac Development Inc. did not submit a complete application for licence and therefore, all race dates approved for Dresden Raceway have been cancelled. Additionally, as a result, the 2014 Home Market Areas for Telephone Account Betting formerly approved for Dresden Raceway have been conditionally approved for Woodbine Racetrack, with all net revenues to be held in trust. Any teletheatres licences currently approved under Dresden Raceway’s 2013 Licence to Operate a Racetrack have not been issued for 2014. In accordance with Policy Directive 3-2007, all other race date calendars are approved based on previous approvals, but are subject to change where a racetrack operator or other interested party makes an application to vary the approved dates, which will be considered based on the strengths of the business plans submitted and the industry funding available. The Director is moving forward to implement the components of the 5 year Horse Racing Partnership (HRP) Plan, as recommended by the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel in its final report of October 2013. As part of that implementation, the Director is currently considering options related to a single operator of teletheatres and telephone account betting in the province, as recommended in the HRP. Decisions regarding implementation will be communicated in the coming weeks to ensure that such changes will come into effect April 1, 2014.
The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has been advised that lawyers representing Jeffrey Brooks & Bulletproof Enterprises have filed an application for a Judicial Review of an ORC Ruling. As a result of the Judicial Review, the implementation of the Jeffrey Brooks & Bulletproof Enterprises ORC Ruling will not proceed until the Court renders its decision. To view the Notice, please use this link Notice to the Industry - Brooks & Bulletproof
The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has lifted the quarantine on Barn B at Rideau Carleton. According to ORC Manager of Veterinary Services Dr. Adam Chambers, testing has confirmed that the cause of death of horse D J STAMKOS was not of a contagious nature. As a result, horses from Barn B that were entered are now cleared to race on Sunday, December 1, 2013. The quarantine and other prudent biosecurity measures were introduced to protect the horses and limit the possible spread of disease. All racetracks are encouraged to follow such best practice. The ORC wishes to thank the management and horsepeople of Rideau Carleton for their cooperation. For more information - or to speak with Dr. Chambers or Dr. Duncan - please call: 416 213-0520
TORONTO, November 22 - The final four preliminary divisions of the Autumn Series for three-year-olds were featured on the 12-race programme Friday evening at Woodbine. Three-year-old colt and gelding trotters and sophomore pacing colts and geldings each clashed in a set of $15,000 divisions. After finishing second in the opening round, post time favourite Doubledown Gass (Reg Gassien) redeemed himself with a 1:56.3 victory. Gassien and Doubledown Gass led from start-to-finish through panels of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:25.3, before using a :30-second final quarter to seal the win. Lets Leavem (Chris Christoforou) finished second, with Popeda (Sylvain Filion) third. Gassien also trains, owns and bred the youngster, who enjoyed his fifth career tally. His bankroll now sits at $61,863. He paid $6.40 to win. One race later, Sir William celebrated his fifth career tally due to disqualification of Rock Of Cashel. Random Dynasty, driven by James MacDonald, was the quickest to the to lead past the opening quarter in :28.4 and the half in :59.3. Around the final turn, heavily-favoured Ozzy Ozzy (Jody Jamieson) began the first-over attack, but Rock Of Cashel angled out of the pocket before three-quarters in 1:29.1. Turning for home, Rock Of Cashel had command while Ozzy Ozzy appeared to be trotting by, but make a break in stride due to interference. Rock Of Cashel quickly regained the lead en route to the victory in 1:59. Following the win, the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) judges ruled that Rock Of Cashel interfered with Ozzy Ozzy. As a result, Rock Of Cashel was placed from first-to-fifth. That allowed, Sir William to be second-placed first for driver Sylvain Filion. The son of Muscle Mass increased his bankroll to $38,439 for trainer Gerard Demers and owner Robert Montgomery. He paid a handsome $58.60 to win. Later on the card, Ja El Pocketrocket (Doug McNair) won the first of the two pacing divisions. The son of Santanna Blue Chip came from off-the-pace through panels of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.1, before wearing down tempo-setter Lyonsparkhavenlake (Sylvain Filion) in deep stretch to score in 1:55.2. Tauranga (Chris Christoforou) finished second, with Lyonsparkhavenlake third. Trained by Barry Treen for owner Leonard Gamble, Ja El Pocketrocket enjoyed his seventh career victory as his bankroll now sits at $77,510. He paid $6.10 to win as the second choice. In the other split, Thorn In Your Side went gate-to-wire in 1:52.1. Driven by Anthony Macdonald, the son of Mach Three led through panels of :27, :55.3 and 1:23.1, before getting the jump on post time favourite Alexas Jackpot (Jody Jamieson) en route to the victory. Alexas Jackpot came from off the pace to finish second, with Sea Harrier (James MacDonald) third. Trained by Carmen Auciello for owner High Stakes Inc, Thorn In Your Side earned his ninth career victory as his bankroll grew to $80,977. He paid $6.70 as the second choice. All four Autumn Series finals for three-year-olds of both gaits and sexes will take place next Friday, November 29. Greg Gangle