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Stephane Pouliot had the hot hands at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday night as he stole the show with fives winning drives (three-for-three from his stable) during the 11-race program. Pouliot set the tone for the night in capturing Sunday's first race aboard Sestina ($3.60) for Brian Gibson. His next victory came in the fourth race with his own trainee Guard Dog ($4.20) and he went back-to-back winning the fifth dash with Richard Sullivan's Thats The Life ($6.70). Pouliot completed his five-win night with two more winners from his barn, Marty Tyme ($3.80) in the seventh and Out Of The Hat ($2.30) in the ninth. One of the top trainer-drivers at Rideau, the Ottawa horseman has sent out 19 winners from his stable and has driven a total of 44 winners so far this year. To read the rest of the story click here.

The Ontario Racing Commission has released a Notice to the Industry announcing the decision to approve the schedule of 2014 race dates for Kawartha Downs and Dresden Raceway. This announcement brings the total of 2014 approved race dates to 939 across Quarter-Horse, Thoroughbred and Standardbred breeds. In addition the Director approved September 1 as a make-up date for Rideau Carleton Raceway (RCR). During the 2013-2014 period, RCR cancelled two race dates: January 14 and March 20, where no races were run due to unsafe track conditions. The Transfer Payment Agreement with government allows for one cancellation during the period of the contract, leaving one cancelled race date that RCR had to make-up. To read the rest of this story and view the race calendars click here.

Rideau Carleton Raceway's leading driver Guy Gagnon dominated Sunday evening's harness racing card steering home six winners out of his 10 drives. Among Gagnon's winners was Viper Select ($2.20) in the featured $6,500 Winners Over Handicap. The class-climbing pacer earned his third straight victory in front-end fashion, stopping the clock in 1:53.4. The nine-year-old Dauntless Bunny gelding is trained by Regent Guindon and owned by Denis Guindo of Carleton Place, Ont. The rest of the field spread across the track four lengths behind in a five-way finish for the runner-up honours. If I Remember won the battle for second-place while Thats Ideal completed the triactor. To read the rest of the story click here.

Michelangelo produced a fifth straight work of art, running his winning streak to five in a row in the $10,000 feature race at Vernon Downs on Friday night. That streak has now stretched over two different tracks, with Michelangelo winning three straight at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Canada before crossing the border and picking up two straight wins at Vernon Downs.   The betting favorite in the feature, House Money, actually set the pace on a very windy night at Vernon Downs. The first quarter-mile, which went with the wind, was trotted in 27.4. The field then turned into the backstretch and faced the gale, which resulted in a slower second quarter of 30 seconds flat. House Money continued to dictate the pace through three-quarters in 1:27.2.   It appeared that setting the pace in the blustery conditions took quite a toll on House Money, as the favorite was passed first by Michelangelo and then by A Penny Earned for second. House Money had to settle for third. Michelangelo's final time for the mile was 1:54.3. The favorite finishing out of the top two triggered an exacta payout of $100.00.   Michelangelo was driven to victory by Truman Gale. Gale kept Michelangelo tucked in behind the leader throughout the first three-quarters and perfectly timed his move to the front in the stretch.   Michelangelo is owned and trained by Chelsea Knapp of Brockville, Ontario, Canada. The complete order of finish for the field of five was Michelangelo, A Penny Earned, House Money, Pine Credit, and Sand Top Gun.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

After a narrow loss in last week’s top class at Rideau Carleton Raceway, Bestofbest Hanover took his game to another level and posted a decisive victory in Sunday’s $6,500 Not Listed Preferred for pacers. Thats The Life supplied the field with speed intervals of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:26.2, but he couldn’t last on the lead. Spartacus Jim applied first-over pressure on the leader in the final half of the mile, and tracking his live cover from second-over was Bestofbest Hanover. Owner/driver Melanie Plourde called on the classy campaigner to sprint over the final quarter, and a :28.3 closing quarter was more than enough for him to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Thats The Life in 1:55.3. Spartacus Jim held on for the third prize. To read the rest of the story click here.

North America's 2014 win leader Rockin Rambaran continued his current streak on Sunday night at Rideau Carleton Raceway for trainer and owner Luc Loyer. Rockin Rambaran ($2.60) front-stepped his way to a 1:57.4 victory -- his seventh in a row -- in the evening's ninth race with Guy Gagnon in the sulky. With his ninth of the year, the four-year-old Rambaran gelding emerged from a five-way tie to take sole ownership of the top spot in the North American win standings. To read the rest of the story click here.

Trainer Gary McDonald and his partners from the Three Gees Stable enjoyed another successful Sunday night of harness racing at Rideau Carleton Raceway. McDonald and team won four of the evening's 11 races. Three of his stable's five winners from last weekend's race card put forth repeat performances over a sloppy track. Pacing mare Cheap N Easy (Ted McDonald, $3.40) stepped up to give McDonald his first win of the night in the second race. Pacing mare Taras Jet (Dennis St. Pierre, $5.30) and trotter Luke But Dontouch (Ted McDonald, $3.40) then gave McDonald back-to-back wins in the fourth and fifth races and pacer Allamerican Extra (Ted McDonald, $5.50) later won the ninth race by a nose -- all picking up their second straight victories. To read the rest of the story click here.

Trainer Gary McDonald gave his 2014 win count a big boost on Sunday evening as he sent our five winners from his barn during the 12-race card at Rideau Carleton Raceway. McDonald opened the Sunday program by sweeping the early Daily Double as pacing mare Taras Jet ($3.50) romped to a four length victory in rein to Denis St. Pierre and trotter Love Is Strong ($8.40) recovered from an early miscue to prevail by more than two lengths. The winning duo combined for a $2 Daily Double payout of $17.10. Driven by Ted McDonald, Luke But Dontouch ($10.80) also trotted to victory lane in the fourth race and Woodbine invader Allamerican Extra ($5) won the sixth race pace in his debut for the McDonald stable. Pacer Hopetobefirst ($6.20) concluded McDonald's five-win night with a narrow score in the following dash. To read rest of story click here.

On Sunday, harness racing's social media world exploded with outrage when Sydney Weaver's prized Standardbred Sydney Seelster was claimed at Flamboro Downs. The brown lass had been racing well in 2014 having won three of her four starts heading into Sunday’s race and had yet to miss the board in all of her races. It was learned after Sunday’s race that Sydney Seelster had been claimed by trainer Guy Gagnon. The resident of Gatineau, Que. is off to a strong start in 2014, as his stable has sent out 12 starters and has recorded five wins and four seconds, good for $12,865 in purse earnings and an impressive .601 UTR. The pride and joy of former ‘I Love Canadian Harness Racing’ fan club’s ambassador, Weaver was heartbroken with the news of her prized horse being claimed. Sydney Seelster and Weaver made headlines in 2012 when the mare was bought for Weaver so she could pursue her dream to become the trainer of a Standardbred. Gagnon told Trot Insider that he did not know of the story of Weaver and her mare and upon hearing about the young owner, agreed to allow the horse to be claimed back. "I never heard of her story before; I'm not on Facebook, I'm not on Twitter, I'm not a 'computer guy' and I didn't know the story before last night." The father of two kids and a hockey coach for young boys, Gagnon clearly meant no harm in claiming the pacing mare from the young fan and felt bad for the situation. He merely saw a horse in for a claiming tag that he thought would race well at Rideau Carleton Raceway after recently having a horse claimed from his barn. After the races, fans of harness racing were irate with the situation and posted numerous messages on Facebook and Twitter -- much like Gagnon, without knowing the entire situation. With a plan now in place to allow Weaver to get Sydney Seelster back, Gagnon added that he would like to meet Weaver one day and hopes that the same predicament doesn't happen again, fearing that someone else will come along and simply see a horse in for a claiming price. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Driver Guy Gagnon stole the show on Sunday night at Rideau Carleton Raceway, dominating the 12-dash season opener with seven wins between races two and nine. The Gatineau, Que. horseman earned three wins with his own trainees Keeping Optimistic ($11.80), Xexy ($5.10) and Ivanhoe Diamant ($27.30). Gagnon teamed up with trainer Ronald MacDonald for a pair of victories aboard Sauble Liz ($12.10) and Lucky Taryn ($7.80). He also scored with Ronald McPhee trainee Rainbow Lilly ($6.30) and Zambuca Gass ($5.60) for conditioner Stephen Gassien. With 141 wins at the Ottawa oval last season, Gagnon ranked second on the local leaderboard behind Denis St. Pierre (160). Sunday's featured $6,400 Winners Over Handicap Pace was won by favourite Savannah Splendor ($3.30), who front-stepped his way to a three length victory in 1:58.3 over the snowy track with Gord Brown aboard for trainer Randy Van Meer and owners Donna Van Meer and Brian Evans of Bowmanville, Ont. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Rideau Carleton Raceway. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Four-year-old pacer Ok Ebury stole the spotlight on Sunday evening at Rideau Carleton Raceway winning the featured $6,400 Winners Over Handicap Pace in front-stepping fashion for driver Stephane Pouliot and owner/trainer Luc Loyer. Leaving from post two, Ok Ebury retook the lead over favourite D Gs Woodstock (Denis St. Pierre) past the :27.1 first quarter mark. Once in control, he raced by the half in :57.3 and three-quarters in 1:26.1 with Draconian (Gord Brown) looming first over before that rival eventually faded to seventh in the stretch. Ok Ebury then held off the closing Woodrock Nation (Kyle Forgie) for the three-quarter length victory in 1:56 flat over the 'good' surface. Keyed Entry (Truman Gale) came from last to show, one length behind. Ok Ebury returned $15.40 for the mild 6-1 upset. The win was the Modern Art ridgling's third this year and eighth all-time, pushing his bankroll to $109,398. In other racing action, sophomore pacing gelding Brother John kept his Rideau record perfect for owner/trainer Gary McDonald. Driven by Gord Brown, the son of Stonebridge Regal earned his sixth win in a row since shipping to the Ottawa oval in November. His Sunday score was his second fastest, clocked in 1:57.2. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Rideau Carleton Raceway Reprinted with permission by www;standardbredcanada.ca 

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.  

Sunday's harness racing card at Rideau Carleton Raceway became the Guy Gagnon show as the night came to a close with the Gatineau, Que. horseman winning five of the 12 races. Gagnon drove six-year-old pacer Time To Rocknroll ($4.20) to victory lane off the claim in the sixth race for trainer/owner William Gibson. He later guided four-year-old trotter Michelangelo ($3) to his third straight score in the ninth race for trainer John MacMillan. Gagnon also won the remaining three races with his own trainees. He steered eight-year-old pacer Trade Editor ($5.50) and nine-year-old trotter Ivanhoe Diamant ($5.60) to their ninth wins of the year while seven-year-old pacer Xexy ($5.40) picked up his fourth seasonal score in the finale. Gagnon currently ranks second in Rideau's 2013 driving standings with 136 wins to Dennis St. Pierre's 152. He also ranks among the top five trainers at the Ottawa oval, sitting fourth with 50 victories. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Rideau Carleton Raceway. Rprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca. 

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    

ORC Manager of Veterinary Services Dr. Adam Chambers confirms that testing is underway to determine the cause of death of the horse D J STAMKOS. The horse had raced at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Thursday November 21. As a precaution only, Barn B at Rideau Carleton will be placed under quarantine until such time as the test results become known, likely later this week. The precaution is in place to protect the spread of disease- IF that was indeed the cause of this horse's death. ORC Official Veterinarian Dr. Lynne Blackburn has established prudent biosecurity measures, including the setup of disinfection stations in Barn B. Dr. Blackburn also printed bilingual posters advising all horsepeople of the situation and procedure. Raceway officials are cooperating with the precautions. While the quarantine on Barn B horses remains in place, there will be racing on November 28. Entries will be accepted on horses from Barn B for Sunday racing with the understanding that any of those horses drawn in will only be allowed to race if the quarantine is lifted. We are monitoring the situation and will keep you up to date. For more information - or to speak with Dr. Chambers or Dr. Duncan - please call: 416 213-0520  

ORC issues Notice of Decision to Rideau Carleton Raceway on redirection of purse funds and additional dates On September 13, 2013, the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) issued a Notice of Decision to Rideau Carleton Raceway (RCR) in which the Director denied the application for the redirection of purse funds from the purse account that RCR holds "in trust for Belleville Area Horse People" to the purse account of RCR. As a result of the interrelation between the purse funding and the additional dates, the Director also did not approve the application for 14 additional Signature race dates. To view the Notice to the Industry, please use this link ORC Notice to Industry RCR The Notice is also available on the ORC web site www.ontarioracingcommission.ca Jacinth E. Chang Alloy Executive Assistant Ontario Racing Commission  

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