Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 30

ROCKWOOD, SEPT. 30, 2019 – After a summer in which harness racing Ontario sired horses captured the Meadowlands Pace, Hambletonian, William Wellwood Memorial and Metro Pace finals, the Ontario Sired yearlings available at the Lexington, London and Harrisburg sales will once again be hot commodities. Just over 600 Ontario Sired yearlings will parade through sales rings in the coming weeks, with more than 110 available at the Lexington Selected Sale between Oct. 1 and 5, just over 300 at the London Selected Sale Oct. 19 and 20 and the remainder at the Harrisburg Black Book Sale Nov. 4 through 8. In addition to the Ontario Sires Stakes program’s leading sires, Bettors Delight and Kadabra, buyers will find yearlings by 26 other stallions at the three sales. In addition to established stallions, buyers can look forward to the first crops from pacing stallions Control The Moment, Physicallyinclined and State Treasurer and trotting stallion Il Sogno Dream. Trotting stallion Crazed will also debut his first Ontario Sired crop this fall. “I am very much looking forward to this fall's sales, starting with the opening session of Lexington tonight,” said Walter Parkinson, president of the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association. “The Ontario Sires Stakes has seen a lot of dominant performers this past season, with many of them stepping up and defeating the best that North America has to offer in Grand Circuit stakes action.” Buyers selecting Ontario Sired yearlings will have an opportunity to race in the lucrative 2020 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program. Complete details about the OSS program are available at http://www.ontariosiresstakes.com. Along with three-year-old pacing colt Best In Show (Bettors Delight – Put On A Show), three-year-old trotting colt Forbidden Trade (Kadabra – Pure Ivory), two-year-old trotting colt HP Royal Theo (Royalty For Life – Mikas Mazurka) and undefeated two-year-old pacing colt Tall Dark Stranger’s (Bettors Delight – Precocious Beauty) Grand Circuit victories, Ontario Sired horses have enjoyed broad success in open stake events this summer. Two-year-old pacing filly Alicorn (Bettors Delight – Mythical) won the Eternal Camnation and her Shes A Great Lady elimination and three-year-old pacing colt Bettors Wish (Bettors Delight – Lifetime Star) won the Art Rooney Pace, Kentucky Sires Stakes Final, Carl Milstein Memorial and his North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and Messenger eliminations. Also competing in the three-year-old pacing colt division, Century Farroh (Mach Three – Beachy Girl) won the Simcoe Stake, Jennas Beach Boy and his Somebeachsomewhere division. “Clearly, whether you are looking for your next OSS champion or dreaming of winning coveted Grand Circuit races, Ontario Sired yearlings have what it takes to get you there,” said Parkinson. To view pedigree pages and videos for the Ontario Sired yearlings on offer this fall please visit: Lexington Selected Yearling Sale (Oct. 1 to 5) — http://lexingtonselected.com London Selected Yearling Sale (Oct. 19 and 20) — http://www.londonselectedyearlingsale.com Harrisburg Black Book Sale (Nov. 4 to 8) — http://theblackbook.com (SBOA/Sandra Snyder)

The Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association online stallion auction is now underway, with bidding closing on February 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Interested parties can access the auction from the SBOA website, or check it out at sboaonlinestallionauction.com/stallion-auction. Sixteen of Ontario’s top stallions have been donated to the auction. These stallions are: Artspeak, Archangel, Angus Hall, Betterthancheddar, Big Jim, Control The Moment, Daylon Magician, Holiday Road, Justice Hall, Prestidigitator, Royalty For Life, Sportswriter, State Treasurer, Sunshine Beach, Thinking Out Loud, and Wheeling N Dealin. At the conclusion of the auction, the successful bidder, is responsible for filling out a breeding contract and making a $250.00 deposit to the SBOA. The final bid price on the service fee plus HST, minus the $250.00 deposit, is due in 2019 when the successful bidder’s mare has a foal. The SBOA would like to thank all those that donated service fees and also thank the bidders for their support. (with files from SBOA)

CAMPBELLVILLE, May 13 - Ontario sired three-year-old fillies stepped into the harness racing spotlight Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack for the eliminations of the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (S.B.O.A.) Stakes. A total of four $25,000 eliminatiere contested on Saturday's 11-race card. A group of 18 pacing fillies and 16 trotting fillies were split into their respective eliminations. Driver Louis Philippe Roy and trainer Casie Coleman teamed up to sweep the eliminations for pacing fillies. The first elimination saw Windy Sport make a big statement in her third start of the season, as the Sportswriter filly went gate-to-wire for a career-best 4½ lengths victory in 1:51.3 victory. Dancing Shadows K finished second, while Stonebridge Sundae was third. The final two spots in next week's final were grabbed by Gottalovemyshadow and Soi Owned by West Wins Stable and Calhoun Racing Ltd, Windy Sport cruised home in :27.2 for driver Roy to score her first win of the season and third overall. Saturday's victory increases the pacing filly's career earnings to over $158,000. Windy Sport paid $6.00 to win. Windy Sport Fade came through with a career-best 1:53.3 score in the second elimination to complete the sweep for Roy and Coleman. The Shadow Play filly got away third for driver Roy, who chose to come first-up into a slow opening-half of :58. Fade cleared to command entering the turn and proceeded to pace a :28 third-quarter followed by a :27.3 final-quarter to win by a length and three-quarters. Talbot Chanel finished second, while Dudesalady was third. The final two spots in the final were secured by Action Majesty and Blameitonthenight. Racing for the same connections as Windy Sport, Fade now has one win in three starts this season after winning once in eight as a rookie. The Coleman trainee's career earnings now sit at over $159,000. Fade paid $4 to win. Fade Over on the trotting side, Magic Presto took care of business at 1/9 in the first elimination for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Richard 'Nifty' Norman. The Kadabra trotting filly got away third for Henry and sat along the pylons until nearing the half. Magic Presto marched first-up to poke a head in front at three-quarters in 1:27.2. In the stretch, the heavy-favourite trotted home strong in :27.4 to score a 2 ½ length victory in 1:55.1. Royal Witch finished second, while Tymal Reign was third. Holiday Promise and Expose Yourself rounded out the top-five finishers to advance to the S.B.O.A final. Owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David Mc Duffee and Little E LLC, Magic Presto was making her second start of the season Saturday after finishing third last week at The Meadowlands. As a rookie, the Kadabra filly banked $393,049, thanks in large part to her triumph in the Goldsmith Maid at Woodbine. Magic Presto, who is now a five-time winner, paid $2.10 to win. Magic Presto Unlike the first elimination, the second split did not got as expected and featured a 10-1 upset. Mrstery Bear converted off a perfect two-hole trip from driver Billy Davis for a career-best 1:55.4 victory. The Gaetan Hebert trainee was coming off a maiden-breaking score last week and now has two wins in four starts this season. Gravitator rallied from well-back to finish second, while Paradise Image held on for third after leading throughout most of the mile. Stuck In My Spanks and Anikadabra rounded out the top-five. A daughter of Majestic Son, Mrstery Bear did not earn a cheque in four starts as a rookie. This season, the trotting filly has won two of four and banked over $20,000 for owner Hebert. A $2 win ticket on Mrstery Bear returned $22.30. Mrstery Bear Following the conclusion of the eliminations, the post positions for next week's S.B.O.A. finals were drawn. The final for pacing fillies will go for a purse of $132,130, while the trotting fillies will battle for $130,130. Next Saturday's (May 20) finals will be part of the annual Mohawk Fireworks and Family Fun Night. An early post time of 6:30 p.m. will be in effect next Saturday. The draws for the S.B.O.A finals can be viewed below. S.B.O.A. Pacing Fillies - Purse: $132,130 1. Soiree Seelster 2. Talbot Chanel 3. Fade 4. Windy Sport 5. Blameitonthenight 6. Dancing Shadows K 7. Stonebridge Sundae 8. Gottalovemyshadow 9. Dudesalady 10. Action Majesty AE: Manhattan Play   S.B.O.A. Trotting Fillies - Purse: $130,130 1. Stuck In My Spanks 2. Paradise Image 3. Magic Presto 4. Mrstery Bear 5. Expose Yourself 6. Gravitator 7. Royal Witch 8. Anikadabra 9. Tymal Reign 10. Holiday Promise AE: Sweet Of My Heart   WEG sustaining payments and nominations due Monday CAMPBELLVILLE, May 13 – Sustaining payments and nominations for numerous Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) andAlliance stakes/series are due this Monday (May 15). The May 15th payment is the final round of sustaining payments for all major WEG Stakes, including the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. A total of 53 three-year-old pacers are eligible to make the final sustaining payment for Canada’s richest harness race. The full list of WEG stakes requiring a May 15th sustaining payment is available below. Pepsi North America Cup (Pace: 3-Year-Olds) Canadian Pacing Derby (Pace: 3-Year-Olds and Up) Canadian Trotting Classic (Trot: 3-Year-Olds) Maple Leaf Trot (Trot: 3-Year-Olds and Up) Fan Hanover (Pace: 3-Year-Old Fillies) Elegantimage (Trot: 3-Year-Old Fillies) Casual Breeze (Trot: 3-Year-Old Fillies) Goodtimes (Trot: 3-Year-Olds) Somebeachsomewhere (Pace: 3-Year-Olds) Metro Pace (Pace: 2-Year-Olds) Shes A Great Lady (Pace: 2-Year-Old Fillies) William Wellwood Memorial (Trot: 2-Year-Olds) Peaceful Way (Trot: 2-Year-Old Fillies) Nassagaweya (Pace: 2-Year-Olds) Eternal Camnation (Pace: 2-Year-Old Fillies) Roses Are Red (Pace: Mares) Milton (Pace: Mares) Armbro Flight (Trot: Mares) Nominations are also due May 15th for the annual two-year-old summer series at Mohawk. The Dream Maker, Whenuwishuponastar, Define The World and Pure Ivory are signature events in the summer months at Mohawk and have been the learning ground for many top two-year-olds. The May 15th payment also includes yearling nominations for the 2018 Champlain Stakes, 2019 Simcoe Stakes and 2019 S.B.O.A. Stakes. For more information, click here. A sustaining payment is also due May 15th for the following Alliance events to be raced at Grand River Raceway. Battle of Waterloo (Pace: 2-Year-Olds) Battle of the Belles (Pace: 2-Year-Old Fillies) To view full information regarding each stakes event and payments, click here. To make sustaining payments online, click here. If sending payments by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than May 15, 2017 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. Any questions or concerns regarding stakes payments can be directed to the Mohawk Race Office, 905-854-7805. Mark McKelvie WEG Communications - Standardbred

Here’s a great way to spend some time with your Mom, wife, sister, that special lady in your life, or the entire family on Mother’s Day.  Why not take a drive to a Standardbred breeding farm to visit the harness racing mares and foals! On Sunday, May 14, High Stakes Farm in Moffat, Mac Lilley Farms in Dutton, and Seelster Farms in Lucan, Ont. will all be opening their farms to the general public for a special Mother’s Day Open House. The farms will showcase their mares, foals, stallions and facilities, and in collaboration with the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA) and Standardbred Canada’s ‘I Love Canadian Harness Racing’ Fan Club, will educate visitors about Standardbred breeding and harness racing. This marks the sixth consecutive year that the SBOA and SC have partnered to host this event. The Open House provides a great opportunity for people who don’t normally have a chance to visit a horse farm to connect with the horses and the people in the Standardbred industry. This event is free to the general public. High Stakes Farm will be opening their gates from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 pm. The Open House at High Stakes is an officially recognized fundraiser for the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society (OSAS). Mac Lilley Farms will host their event from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  In addition to showcasing their mares and foals, the Hands On Horses Team from the Ontario Harness Horse Assocation (OHHA) will be providing rides in jog carts around the racetrack.  The Glencoe 4-H horse club members will be passing out cupcakes and drinks to the guests. Mac Lilley Farms will also promote the 250th anniversary of horse racing in Canada with a ‘commemorative mile’ and information display. Seelster Farms will be opening their farm from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. The Open House at Seelster Farms is an officially recognized fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society, with voluntary donations being graciously accepted on their behalf.  The farm will have over 30 mares and foals available for viewing along with the farm's eight stallions. The addresses for each of the participating farms are as follows: High Stakes Farm 9685 First Line Moffat, ON L0P 1J0 (5 minutes from Mohawk Racetrack & 15 minutes from downtown Milton) Mac Lilley Farms 28322 Chalmers Line Dutton, Ontario. NOL IJO Phone # 519-762-3423 Seelster Farms 33618 Roman Line, R.R. # 3 Lucan, ON N0M 2J0 (15 minutes from London)   Kathy Wade Vlaar Manager of Industry Marketing

With the continued strength of the Ontario Sires Stakes program and the $2 million Owners’ Bonus beginning in 2017, Ontario Sired harness racing colts and fillies will once again be hot commodities at the fall yearling sales. Between the Grassroots Series and Gold Series, the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program will pay out an estimated $13 million in 2017. In 2016 horses in each Grassroots division raced for $18,000, while Gold Series competitors in each leg split $210,000 between divisions. Post season action will see the Grassroots contenders compete in $20,000 Semi-finals and a $50,000 Championship for each age-sex-gait category, while the Gold Series Super Finals go postward for $250,000. “The OSS program continues to offer owners a great avenue to maximize the earning potential of their OSS eligible two and three-year-olds,” said Walter Parkinson, president of the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association. “The incentive to buy Ontario Sired and/or Ontario Bred yearlings has never been better,” Parkinson continued. “Without leaving the province to race, owners will be eligible to earn a pro rata portion of a $2 million Owners’ Bonus, based on their earnings in overnight races.” Starting in 2017 owners of Ontario Sired or Ontario Bred two and three-year-olds will share in the $2 million purse bonus. Owners of horses that are both Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred will receive double the bonus. In addition to the clear benefits of racing in Ontario, throughout 2016 Ontario Sired horses once again demonstrated their ability to compete on the North American stage. Three-year-old pacing colt Betting Line captured his Somebeachsomewhere division, the North America Cup, Carl Milstein Memorial and Battle of the Brandywine, in addition to four Gold Series legs, and three-year-old pacing filly L A Delight won the Nadia Lobell. Three-year-old trotting fillies Caprice Hill and Emoticon Hanover swept their Casual Breeze and Simcoe divisions, while Celebrity Eventsy won her Hambletonian Oaks elimination and the Moni Maker, and Flowers N Songs captured the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial. The 2016 aged pacing mare division has been dominated by Ontario Sires Stakes graduates Lady Shadow and Solar Sister. Lady Shadow claimed victory in the Golden Girls and Lady Liberty, while Solar Sister captured the Sam ‘Chip’ Noble III Memorial Pace and the Artiscape. Both mares, in addition to Betting Line, Caprice Hill and L A Delight, surpassed the million dollar mark in earnings in 2016. “Ontario Sired horses continue to excel in Grand Circuit action on both sides of the border,” said Parkinson, “Continually proving the quality of the Ontario Sired product.” Buyers hoping to acquire one of next season’s Ontario Sired superstars can find them at the following yearling sales: The Canadian Yearling Sale: Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 Forest City Yearling Sale: Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale: October 4 to 8, 2016 The Black Book – Harrisburg: November 7 to 11, 2016   Shape the future, become an SBOA Director All those interested in helping the SBOA work toward a healthy and sustainable Standardbred breeding industry are invited to submit a nomination for the position of director. The SBOA Board is comprised of 12 members, with four directors elected each year for a term of three years. All voting members are eligible for nomination as a director, with elections taking place at the Annual Meeting in January 2017. Complete details and nomination forms are available at www.standardbredbreeders.com or from any current director and must be received at Box 371, Rockwood, ON N0B 2K0 no later than 5:00 pm on December 1, 2016. (SBOA/Sandra Snyder)

Ontario sired sophomore fillies were the main attraction Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack and harness racing upsets was the theme of the night. The Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (S.B.O.A) Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies featured award winners in both the pacing and trotting divisions. O'Brien Award winner L A Delight was seeking her 13th consecutive victory in the $173,329 S.B.O.A Filly Pace Final, but Good Will Hanover stole the show. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Good Will Hanover went to the front and never looked back en route to a career-best 1:50 victory. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee posted fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:22.4. L A Delight got away fourth from post-four for driver Randy Waples, but was forced to come first up entering the final turn. The heavy 2/5 favourite never really got close to Good Will Hanover and had to settle for a fourth-place finish. Mayhem Seelster, who blasted out from the nine-hole to get away third, finished three-quarters of a length behind the winner in second, while Lay Lady Lay was third. Good Will Hanover won her elimination last week in 1:51.1, which was over a second faster than L A Delight's 1:52.2 victory last Saturday. The Dr. Moore trainee went off at odds of 6/1. "Our filly had a lot of speed last year and again this year, but she has a little bit of a mental type issue and it takes a lot to calm her down," said Moore, who noted he has two caretakers looking after his filly. "They've done a heck of a job with her keeping her calm, we had to walk her a lot and that of sort of thing, but she did very well and it's certainly worth it." A daughter of Big Jim, Good Will Hanover won four of seven starts last year and now has two wins in three starts as a sophomore. Moore didn't have any instructions for Christoforou, but the race didn't play out the way he envisioned. "When (Christoforou) drives them once, he pretty well gets a feel for them and knows what he wants to do," Moore said. "I thought maybe (L A Delight) might go to the front and we may be in the two-hole is what I was thinking, but it didn't shape up that way." Owned by Glb Stable of Lakeview, Nova Scotia, Good Will Hanover now has career-earnings of $263,759. Dr. Moore noted that the S.B.O.A Stakes champion will be pointed towards the upcoming Fan Hanover stakes. Good Will Hanover paid $14.10 to win. Flowers N Songs trotted up a storm to split the favourites late and win the $174,329 S.B.O.A Filly Trot Final. Most eyes were focused heavily on O'Brien Award winner Caprice Hill, who entered the Filly Trot final off a 1:53.1 elimination victory and was made the heavy 1/5 favourite. The Tony Alagna trainee got away fourth for driver Waples, but was almost 10 lengths behind the leader at the opening-quarter. Major Muscle posted a snappy :26.4 first-quarter, but the lead was short-lived. Celebrity Eventsy, the other elimination winner, trotted up from third to first moving to the half for driver Sylvain Filion. After a :55.3 half, Waples sent Caprice Hill first up to challenge Celebrity Eventsy, who reached the third-marker in 1:24.2. In the stretch, Caprice Hill closed in Celebrity Eventsy searching for the victory, but neither filly had nearly as much trot as Flowers N Songs. The Paul Reid trainee stayed along the pylons in mid-pack until the stretch, when driver Doug McNair found clear room and the 23-1 longshot blasted through to trot a tremendous final-eighth for the victory in 1:53. Caprice Hill finished 2¾ lengths back in second, while Celebrity Eventsy was third. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Flowers N Songs finished second in her elimination, 3½ lengths behind Celebrity Eventsy. The Robert Key homebred has been tremendous this season with six victories and five runner-up finishes from 12 starts. Unraced at two, Flowers N Songs now has career earnings of over $147,000. Her clocking of 1:53 knocked more than three-seconds off her previous career-best. A $2 win ticket on the Reid trainee returned $48.90. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Bob McIntosh is a little embarrassed to admit even he didn’t fully realize how much he had earned in Ontario Bred Rewards with his star homebred pacing filly L A Delight in her rookie harness racing season in 2015. “To tell the truth, I didn’t even know all these things were available. I was as shocked as anybody when I got the cheque,” said the Hall of Fame trainer from LaSalle, ON. L A Delight earned $704,335 on the track and collected an additional $179,959 in Ontario Bred Rewards throughout the season the daughter of Bettor's Delight is Ontario Sired and McIntosh paid the $50 to enroll her dam, West Of L A, in the Ontario Resident Mare Program. (Those living outside of Ontario please note: the resident mare program is open to horse owners anywhere in the world. The ‘resident’ part refers to the mare needing to reside in Ontario for a minimum of 180 days, including the date of foaling, to remain eligible). Since West Of L A was enrolled in the Program and remained in Ontario for at least 180 days, L A Delight qualifies as being Ontario Bred. She is also Ontario Sired because Bettor's Delight stood in the province the year L A Delight was conceived. He is standing at Winbak Canada in the Toronto area for 2016. McIntosh and his partners — C S X Stables of Ohio and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON — first earned $99,113 rewards because L A Delight is Ontario Bred. That amount is 15 per cent of $660,755, which is the combined total of the $256,500 she earned in Ontario Sires Stakes competition and the $404,255 she made in selected open stakes. Since L A Delight is both Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred, she earned an additional $80,846 in bonus money because she qualified for the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA) Enhanced Breeders’ Program that split $1 million on a pro-rata basis between all eligible horses. In 2015, that bonus amounted to over 12 per cent of what each horse earned in Ontario Sires Stakes and selected open stakes. McIntosh owns some 50 broodmares, making his one of the largest Standardbred bands in Ontario. Asked whether nearly $180,000 in bonus money was critical to his bottom line, he said, “It sure is… It pays a lot of bills on the ones that don’t produce those types. It’s a major incentive.” The trainer said L A Delight returned to his farm on Jan. 9 after spending a few months turned out at Carter Duer’s Peninsula Farm in Kentucky. “She looks good. She grew a bit. She’s a good-looking filly,” said McIntosh who has a huge number of young horses in training for 2016, many of them homebreds. “I have 69 horses here in training and 35 of them are two-year-olds,” McIntosh said. Today, he’s giving thanks that a large number of those are eligible to Ontario’s lucrative Resident Mare Program. To learn more about Ontario’s breeding programs please click here. For more information please contact: Dave Briggs Standardbred Communications Ontario Horse Racing standardbrednews@ontariohorseracing.ca   Please visit: www.ontariohorseracing.ca

As part of the Enhanced Breeders Rewards for Standardbreds in 2015, the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA) is pleased to allocate $1 million in breeder’s incentives to be paid out on a pro rata basis — as determined by the advertised service fee of the Ontario Sire (recorded with the OSS for the 2014 breeding season) — for all foals registered by December 31, 2015 that are both Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred. The SBOA has designed the Tier 1 Breeder’s Incentives to reward the owners/lessees of eligible Ontario Resident Mares that chose to invest in and support the Ontario Standardbred breeding industry during the 2014 breeding season by breeding to an Ontario Sire. The subsequent foals from these 2014 matings, being foals of 2015, will meet the criteria of being both Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred. By choosing to breed to an Ontario Sire in 2014, the owners/lessees of eligibleOntario Resident Mares have committed to producing a quality Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred product that will be eligible to sell as yearlings in 2016 and race in the Ontario Sires Stakes program as 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds in 2017 and 2018. Important Reminders for Participation in the Tier 1 Breeder’s Incentives: To qualify as an Ontario Resident Mare, the mare must be enrolled with and meet of the criteria of the Standardbred Improvement Program each year prior to her foaling date. An annual enrolment fee of $50 is applicable. New in 2015, the enrolment fee for any mare enrolled as an Ontario Resident Mare with the Standardbred Improvement Program after her foaling date will be $300, payable by September 1st of the foaling year. Complete details of the Ontario Resident Mare Program can be found in the Program Criteria Book (www.ontariohorseracing.ca) All 2015 foals that are both Ontario Bred and Ontario Sired must be fully registered with either Standardbred Canada or the USTA by December 31, 2015in order to share in their pro-rata portion of the $1 million breeder’s incentive. No exceptions will be provided for late registrations. The SBOA will be distributing the Tier 1 Breeder’s Incentives to all owners/lessees of eligible Ontario Resident Mares whose 2015 foals meet the program requirements in early 2016.

There will be an extra buzz at Ontario harness racing tracks this summer as the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association renews the highly successful New Owner Mentoring Program. For an investment of $4,500 nine people will have the unparalleled opportunity to be mentored by Hall of Fame horseman Bill O’Donnell and trainer Dustin Jones as they select an Ontario-sired yearling from the fall sales and train it through the winter in preparation for the 2016 racing season. “We’ll educate them about the ground-up stuff, the grassroots stuff,” explains O’Donnell. “They might be fans that go to the races, but haven’t seen this side before.” In addition to his years of expertise, O’Donnell will also contribute $4,500 to the partnership, and the SBOA will boost the group’s initial operating fund to $60,000 through a $15,000 forgivable loan. “That will allow the group to buy their yearling — and it has to be an Ontario-sired yearling sold at an Ontario sale — and then the first year is covered for training and staking and whatever,” explains SBOA Vice President Tammy McNiven. Horses from the first 11 new owner groups ranged from Grassroots performers to Gold Final winners, earning from $27,000 to $500,000, but one yearling did not make it to the races and McNiven emphasizes that there are no guarantees. “It’s not something where we say you are going to get your money back,” she notes. “It’s a learning experience.” Several graduates of the New Owner Mentoring Program have put their education to work purchasing additional racehorses or breeding stock, including Adriano Sorella. A part of the 2008 Ten Most Wanted Stable — whose M G Home Run earned $142,183 under the tutelage of trainer Casie Coleman and mentor Rick Kostoff — Sorella went on to co-own 2013 Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation. “We have had some success stories over the years,” says McNiven. “We hope we can get people interested, get some new people involved.” Detailed information and application forms for the 2015 New Owner Mentoring Program are available on the SBOA website www.standardbredbreeders.com, or by contacting McNiven at 519-475-4276 or tbf@xplornet.com. Enhanced breeders reward program for 2015 After a series of productive meetings with the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) and Ontario Horse Racing (OHR), the SBOA was pleased to sign an agreement enhancing the current breeders reward program by approximately $3 million per year from 2015 to 2018. In addition to the current Ontario Bred and Ontario Sired rewards, the enhanced program will reward breeders across four levels of participation. The first tier provides rewards to the owners/lessees of eligible Ontario Resident Mares who invested directly in the Ontario Standardbred breeding industry by breeding to an Ontario Sire in 2014. Approximately $1 million in breeder’s incentives will be paid out on a pro rata basis — as determined by the advertised service fee of the Ontario Sire (recorded with the OSS for the 2014 breeding season) — for all foals registered by December 31, 2015 that are both Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred. The first foals eligible for this incentive are the foals of 2015 produced from matings between Ontario Resident Mares and Ontario Sires. Tier 2 sees an approximate $1 million increase to the Standardbred Improvement Program’s Ontario Bred rewards. The rewards will be paid on a pro-rata basis to the owners/lessees of eligible Ontario Resident Mares with purse-winning offspring, which are both Ontario Bred and Ontario Sired, racing in Ontario Sires Sakes races and selected open stake races in Ontario. These rewards will commence with the 2015 stake season. Also beginning in 2015, the third tier will reward the breeders of the top three Ontario Bred performers in each of the eight divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes. A $50,000 reward will be split (First - $25,000; Second - $15,000; Third - $10,000) among the owners/lessees of the eligible Ontario Resident Mares that produce the top three money earners in each division. Finally, the fourth tier will see $100,000 paid to the owner/syndicate of the top Ontario Sires Stakes stallions based on progeny earnings in each of the following OSS categories: 2-year-old trotters; 2-year-old pacers; 3-year-old trotters; 3-year-old pacers. The leading stallions from the 2015 OSS season will be the first group eligible for these rewards.  To qualify for the rewards stallions must currently reside in Ontario. To benefit from the enhanced program, breeders need to enroll their broodmares in the Ontario Resident Mare Program in 2015. To qualify as an Ontario Resident Mare, the mare must be enrolled with the Program each year and meet all eligibility requirements outlined in the Program Criteria booklet produced by the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC).  Further information on the Ontario Resident Mare Program is available at www.ontariohorseracing.ca. Additional information about the enhanced breeder’s reward program can be found at www.standardbredbreeders.com. (SBOA/Sandra Snyder)

The Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA) is pleased to announce that it has officially signed an agreement with the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) for a $12 million enhancement of the current breeders rewards program.  After a number of productive discussions and meetings with representatives from the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) and Ontario Horse Racing (OHR), Ontario’s Harness Racing Breeding industry now has an enhanced program in place that will further reward excellence and encourage breeders to invest in Ontario.  The Board of the SBOA would like to thank Jeff Leal, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for his support in reaching this agreement.  "I'm pleased that the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association has signed this new agreement to enhance the current breeders rewards program. Horse racing is an important part of the fabric of communities across Ontario and this new agreement will continue to build confidence and support the growth and development of the industry going forward," said Minister Leal. In addition to Minister Leal, the SBOA would also like to thank Elmer Buchanan, Chair of the ORC, and Steve Lehman, Executive Director of the ORC, for working with the SBOA to create a comprehensive enhanced Standardbred breeders rewards program. The SBOA has established a 4-tier program for these enhanced breeders rewards, which will be paid out at approximately $3 million a year in 2015-2018.  An outline of this dynamic program is included below: Tier 1 - Breeder's Incentives - $1 million Incentives will be paid to the owners/lessees of eligible Ontario Resident Mares that produce registered foals that are both Ontario Bred and Ontario Sired and that are nominated to the Breeder’s Incentive program.  Further details and conditions regarding this incentive will be available in the coming weeks.  The first foals eligible for this incentive will be the foals of 2015. Tier 2 - Increase to the Standardbred Improvement Program's Ontario Bred Rewards - $1 Million These rewards will be paid on a pro-rata basis to the owners/lessees of eligible Ontario Resident Mares with purse-winning offspring, which are both Ontario Bred and Ontario Sired, racing in Ontario Sires Stakes races and selected open stakes races in Ontario.  These rewards will commence with the 2015 stakes season. Tier 3 - Leading Divisional Performer Breeder Rewards - $400,000 A $50,000 reward will be split amongst the owners/lessees of the eligible Ontario Resident Mares that produce the top three Ontario Bred performers in each of the eight divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes, based on earnings in Ontario Sires Stakes races, in the following manner: 1st - $25,000 2nd - $15,000 3rd - $10,000 The top performers from the 2015 stakes season will be the first group eligible for these rewards. Tier 4 - Stallion Rewards - $400,000 A $100,000 reward will be paid to the top Ontario Sires Stakes stallions based on progeny earnings in the Ontario Sires Stakes in each of the four following categories: 2-year-old trotters 2-year-old pacers 3-year-old trotters 3-year-old pacers These rewards will be payable to the stallion owner/syndicates.  Further details and conditions regarding these rewards will be available in the coming weeks.  The leading stallions from the 2015 stakes season will be the first group eligible for these rewards. The enhanced breeders rewards program has been designed to promote the breeding and racing of quality Standardbreds that are both Ontario Bred and Ontario Sired.  In order to fully participate in this innovative program, breeders are encouraged to enroll their broodmares in the Ontario Resident Mare Program in 2015.  To qualify as an Ontario Resident Mare, the mare must be enrolled with the Program each year and meet all eligibility requirements as outlined in the Program Criteria booklet that is produced by the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC).  Further information on the Ontario Resident Mare Program can be obtained from the website of the ORC ontarioracingcommission.ca. Additionally, the owners/lessees of mares that were enrolled in the Ontario Resident Mare Program for the 2014 foaling season must return a signed Declaration of Compliance form to Standardbred Canada before the 2014 foal can be designated as ‘Ontario Bred.’ Seelster Farms

The Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association's Annual Awards Banquet will take place on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre. Located at 601 Scottsdale Drive, the Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre once again offers a well-appointed central location for this year’s event. The Annual Banquet showcases the accomplishments of the breeders of the outstanding Ontario Sires Stakes performers of 2014. The evening will also recognize the achievements and contributions of some of the industry’s most dedicated individuals. This year’s recipient of the Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award is Jack Darling. Jack’s continued meritorious service to the harness racing industry is significant. In 2014, Jack spearheaded the fundraising efforts for establishing a fund for the family of the late Mark Austin. In addition, Jack was instrumental in initiating a fundraising effort to support telecasts of the Meadowlands Pace and the Little Brown Jug. The recipient of this year’s Chris Van Bussel Memorial Award is Dean Leifso. Dean has contributed greatly to the Ontario and Canadian Standardbred breeding industry having served as President of the International Trotting Association and Chair of Standardbred Canada. He has also served as a director of Standardbred Canada and Equine Canada. The achievements of the father/son duo Gregg and Doug McNair will be recognized. In 2014, Gregg was the winner of the Johnston Cup, which is awarded yearly to the leading trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes. This will be the third consecutive year that Gregg has held this title. As the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes in 2014, Doug McNair is the recipient of the Lampman Cup. The accomplishments of Ontario’s outstanding broodmares will also be recognized with the Masterfeeds Award. Sanfrancine, a 16-year-old daughter of Artsplace is the recipient of the pacing broodmare award. Owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, Sanfrancine’s leading performer in 2014 was the outstanding two-year-old Ponder colt Go Daddy Go p, 2, 1:51.1 –’14 ($398,216), a winner of the Battle Of Waterloo Stake and eliminations of the Breeders Crown and the Metro Pace. On the trotting broodmare side, the accomplishments of Gramolas Image, a 16-year-old daughter of Balanced Image, will be recognized. Owned by Doug Millard Farms, Gramolas Image is the dam of the top two-year-old Kadabra filly Juanitas Fury 2, 1:57.1s –’14 ($300,154). A winner of two OSS Gold events last season, Juanitas Fury was also stakes placed in both the Peaceful Way Stakes and the Goldsmith Maid Stakes. An impressive line-up of Ontario’s leading stallions has been assembled for this year’s Stallion Auction. A full listing of stallions can be viewed online on the SBOA's website. In addition, the ever-popular Silent Auction is sure to have something for everyone. The evening will begin with Cocktails at 5:30 pm, followed by the Annual General Meeting at 6:00 pm and Dinner at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $50 each and can be reserved from Aimee Adams at aimee@sboa.info or by calling (519) 833-2861. From the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association

Although he is still relatively new as an owner, Lindsey Rankin understands how rare it is to find a top racehorse. So he is trying to enjoy the ride with Lady Shadow to the fullest. Lady Shadow is among 22 horses in Wednesday's $298,100 Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. The field was divided into three eliminations, from which the top three in each will advance to the same-day final. The winner of 10 of 18 career races, Lady Shadow competes in the first elimination. She drew post No. 2 for the son-and-father team of driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair and is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Beach Gal, who is coming off a third-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, is the 5-2 favorite in the second elimination. She starts from post four for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Dave Menary. Gettingreadytoroll, who has won three in a row including the Simcoe Stakes and Miss New Jersey, is the 5-2 choice in the third division. She will start from post two with Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. Lady Shadow has earned $426,753 in her career, racing to this point only in Ontario. "We've only been in it for five years, but I think she's probably our once-in-a-lifetime horse," said Rankin, a Michigan resident who owns Lady Shadow with his wife, Connie. "So we're going to try to enjoy it. It would be nice to make the final. We have family and friends coming to see her. "She's got a lot of ability. She's a really nice filly. She's got a big heart. It's been a lot of fun." Lady Shadow won five of eight races last year, including the Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway, and finished second by a neck in the Ontario Sire Stakes championship. So far this season, Lady Shadow has won five of 10 starts, including the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association final and two preliminary divisions of the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series. She won her elimination for the Canadian Breeders Championship by more than eight lengths in a career-best 1:49.2 on July 12 at Mohawk, but went off stride at the start of the final on a sloppy track and finished sixth. But even with the miscue, which left her trailing the early leaders by 27 lengths after the first quarter and 21 lengths at the halfway point, she missed by just 1-3/4 lengths. "We're not really sure what happened," Rankin said. "Doug said she was fumbly gaited and just started to run. Once he set her, she was fine, but he wasn't real sure what that was all about. She did that once earlier this year too. She's kind of a hot head sometimes. She's settled down as the season has gone on, but at the beginning of the year she was a lot to handle. "She's got a lot of speed, but sometimes she's hard to rate. She likes to be put up in the front, in contention, from the get-go." Rankin owned horses for three years beginning in 1979, but got out of the sport because of the demands of running a business that supplies graphic design equipment. Five years ago, he asked his then 11-year-old daughter Abby if she wanted to get a horse, and when the young girl's eyes lit up, he was back in the game. "Now we're kind of hooked back into it," said the now-retired Rankin, who owns six horses. He bought Lady Shadow for $19,000 at the Forest City Sale in Ontario. The filly is a daughter of 2008 Little Brown Jug winner Shadow Play out of the mare Lady Camella. The dam's family includes 1962 Little Brown Jug winner Lehigh Hanover as well as famed trotter Peter Volo. "I liked a lot about her; her conformation," Rankin said. "She's always been high strung. We had a lot of issues with her when she was a yearling. She was always trying to do something stupid, but we got through it all. "We've been real happy with her this year. She paces a half-mile track just as well as she does a big track, so we think she deserves a shot." Below are the elimination fields for the Jugette in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds. Elim One: 1. Shell Bell, Kurt Sugg, Kurt Sugg, 12-1; 2. Lady Shadow, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair, 5-2; 3. Color's A Virgin, Trace Tetrick, Brian Brown, 4-1; 4. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1; 5. Ali Blue, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-1; 6. Beach Body, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes, 10-1; 7. Also Encouraging, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 7-2. Elim Two: 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 4-1; 2. Allstar Rating, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 7-2; 3. Somethinincredible, Ron Pierce, Bob McIntosh, 8-1; 4. Beach Gal, Tim Tetrick, Dave Menary, 5-2; 5. Fits Well, Scott Zeron, Brian Brown, 12-1; 6. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 10-1; 7. A La Notte Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 8-1; 8. Sectionline Aqua, Brett Miller, Steve Bauder, 5-1. Elim Three: 1. Cut A Deal, Jim Pantaleano, Nick Surick, 12-1; 2. Gettingreadytoroll, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 3. Beautiful Lady, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 5-1; 4. Someislandsomwhere, Ron Pierce, Casie Coleman, 6-1; 5. Candy's A Virgin, Trace Tetrick, Brian Brown, 4-1; 6. Sandbetweenurtoes, Brett Miller, Larry Remmen, 7-2; 7. Beach Story, David Miller, Kelvin Harrison, 8-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

On Wednesday night the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inducted its class of 2014 and welcomed its newest members both horses and individuals. Albatross, Dreamfair Eternal and Rocknroll Hanover are the Standardbreds that made up part of the 2014 class. Joining these Standardbreds in the Hall Of Fame are the late Robert Murphy (breeder/owner); Dr. Ted Clarke, in the builder category; trainer/driver Wally Hennessey, and communicator Bill Galvin. Apelia, Cool Mood and Wando are the Thoroughbreds that make up part of the 2014 class. Trainer Horatio Luro, jockey Robert Landry and breeders William ‘Bill’ Graham and Arthur Stollery are also 2014 inductees on the Thoroughbred side. The Induction Ceremony was held at the Mississauga Convention Centre in Ontario. Male Horse Category: Rocknroll Hanover – bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc, Hanover, Pennsylvania. Owned by Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey. RocknRoll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his racing career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey. Career highlights included victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three-year-olds, the Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers and the North America Cup for three-year-olds He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013. To date, the son of Western Ideal, out of Hall of Fame mare Rich N Elegant, has sired winners of $60.7-million, including eight million-dollar-plus winners. "My job was to bring the best out in my horses and he made it easy, said Sarah Lauren Scott, Rocknroll Hanover's caretaker. "He brought out the best in all of his connections. He was a once in a lifetime horse and his legacy will live on." Female Horse Category: Dreamfair Eternal – bred by Mary and John Lamers, and owned by John Lamers, Ingersoll, Ontario. Dreamfair Eternalretired from racing in 2012 after a seven-year career that included 56 victories, and every major stakes event on the older pacing mare schedule, earnings of over $2.5-million and Horse of the Year honours in Canada in 2010. During that year, she racked up wins in the final of the Masters Series, an elimination of the Roses are Red Stakes, elimination and final of the Milton Stakes, the elimination and final of the Forest City Pace and the Breeders Crown. The daughter of Camluck was bred by John and Mary Lamers and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario. Patrick Fletcher trained her for most of her career. "This is certainly a great honour for myself and my family. 'Eternal' is a large part of our family," said owner John Lamers. "‎I want to thank Pat and Karan Fletcher for the amazing job they've done with Dreamfair Eternal over her racing career. ‎ "‎She's an outstanding race mare and she's equally as good a mother," noting that Lamers has a filly sired by fellow Hall Of Famer Somebeachsomewhere on the ground that might have a "bit better conformation" than her Mom. Lamers hoped that the filly has just as good of a career.‎‎ Veteran Horse Category: Albatross – bred by John E Wilcutts, Aberdeen, North Carolina; Charles A Kenney, Lexington, Kentucky; Elizabeth B Peters, Wilmington Delaware; and Mark Lydon, Abington, Massachusetts. Owned by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc, Hanover, Pennsylvania; George Segal, Versailles, Kentucky; Castleton Farm, Lexington, Kentucky; Hal S Jones, Montgomery, New York. A champion on the track and in the breeding shed,  Albatross was a major influence on the Standardbred breed. He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million. Two of his major stakes wins in Canada included the Prix d’Ete and Canadian Pacing Derby. He retired as both the fastest and richest horse in the history of the breed. As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million, including Niatross, who is considered by many to be the greatest pacer of the 20th Century, and Fan Hanover, who is the only filly to ever win the Little Brown Jug. "This is a very distinct honour for me," said Hanover Shoe Farms' Murray Brown, who was around Albatross his entire life‎. Brown considers Albatross "probably the greatest two-year-old of any breed that's ever lived," recalling how he'd have to race against aged horses in his freshman year. "It's unheard of for a two-year-old to race against aged horses. He did it with regularity."‎ Noting that Albatross was the first sire of any breed to sire progeny with more than $100 million in earnings, Brown called Albatross "the perfect horse" and stated that "his name is a fixture in the breed and will continue to be. ‎" Wally Hennessey, 58, born in Prince Edward Island and now a resident of Coconut Grove, Florida, has more than 8,500 victories to his credit and has banked earnings in excess of $57 million. During the early stages of his career, Hennessey re-wrote the record books, setting new standards in both wins and earnings. In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown. Throughout his career, Hennessey has been remarkably consistent, winning at least 200 races in each of the last 25 years, and driving horses to earnings in excess of $1 million for 24 straight years. In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. "To be inducted takes hard work and dedication from many," said Hennessey. "I was blessed to grow up with four great brothers and sisters. They were very supportive and competitive and loving. We were all on each other's team. "Not to point out one person, but my brother Dan has been with me my whole career. Without Dan I definitely would not be standing here. I had a father I was so proud of. I never wanted to let him down. He was so talented. I learned my early lessons from my father. My greatest influence could not be here. My mom, I wish she was here, but she could not travel to be here. Without her love and what she taught me, I would not be here. To my wife Barb and daughter Christie -- you're my greatest supporters and Barb you hung in with me and that was hard to do. And my daughter is my inspiration." "It's been a journey one could only dream about and I'm so glad dreams do come true." Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry. Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth. Prior to Grand River’s opening, Dr. Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network. He was honoured for his innovative thinking and leadership with the Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award in 1999 from the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association. "‎The fact of the matter is, with the industry being in the state it's in, it's important to remember the things that got us to where we are," said Clarke, imploring the industry to pull from the same end of the rope going forward.  The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, was one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, and was known by his popular ‘Red Star’ moniker. First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners. He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009. In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada. Murphy had a great impact on harness racing in BC with both his breeding and training centres, but that impact extended across the continent as his horses raced all over North America. William ‘Bill’ Galvin, a native of Arnprior, Ontario and now a resident of Mississauga, Ontario, made a tremendous impact on horse racing in the country as a Canadian horse racing historian, poet, author, publisher, educator, horseman, humanitarian, publicist and former Thoroughbred racing official. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing. He led a charge to bring harness racing on ice to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans. He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the well-being of horse racing during his career. He was also the executive editor of Trot Magazine and a member of the Advisory board for the School of Equine Studies at Toronto's Humber College of Applied Arts. "What a special and memorable occasion this is tonight," said Galvin. "I congratulate you all and thank each and every one responsible for this tremendous honour. "This evening is especially memorable with the presence of Dr. John Findlay, who presented to me. I received my an introduction to horse racing in the standardbred sport as a very young lad in Arnprior, Ontario. Those early days at Madawaska Farms with Dr. John Findlay would define and shape my career.  "Tonight, my life comes full circle from those unforgettable country fairs in the Ottawa Valley, to the glory day of Canadian harness racing in the 1980s, to the pinnacle of my career tonight at the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, with the man who introduced me to the sport‎ - Dr. John Findlay." By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com with files from the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  

Before Adriano Sorella entered the arena of harness racing, Adriano was a part owner in Thoroughbred racing. What drew Adriano to Standardbreds was the fact that Standardbreds race more often. "I hung out at Mohawk Racetrack (Campbellville, ON) and really liked it. I got involved in the SBOA (Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association) program that gets new owners in and pretty much from there its history." Adriano explains. "I love the sport... I actually think it's turning around and if people focus more on the positives than the negatives it can be a lot better." Eight years ago Adriano was working away as a plumber in high-rises. This wasn't what Adriano was about or even who he was. Sometimes doing what is right for oneself can be the hardest choice to make. However, with the right support and determination, anything can happen. "I hated going to work" states Adriano. "Working on the 20th floor and the wind is cutting through like crazy. There are no windows yet and you're on a six or eight foot ladder putting together cast iron pipes and the wind is blowing in your ears. "It was totally wrong for me. "You got to find what you love and do just that.... People always worry about money, I get it," says Adriano. "If you give fifty percent to a job you hate, you're just going to bring that home and you're going to end up fighting with your wife or girlfriend or family. If you give a hundred percent to what you love, you're going to end up giving more than that because you're going to want to prove you can do what you love and be successful at it. It's a passion and not a job." "I believe if you love it, it will happen" states Adriano. "Eight years ago I was living in a basement apartment and didn't have much." Adriano says. "I was pretty much broke and I turned it all around. It wasn't just because of harness racing but the business I got into and it exploded for me." Adriano turned from plumbing to advertising. At the time Adriano had a handicapping website and he was always able to find advertisers to help fund his site so Adriano decided to step it up. "I ended up finding a recruiter who was awesome." Adriano explains. "He ended up landing me a job with this company. So this company (The Infinity Network), I worked for them for 4 years, they moved their offices from LA to Toronto and within six months they seen my abilities, called me into the boardroom and my position changed." "I took over all their ad sales and it blew up from there." Adriano credits The Infinity Network CEO Adam Small for helping him structure his pay and contract so he could buy a house. "The company totally took care of me" says Adriano. It didn't take long for Adriano to buy his home. Once Adriano had his house, he was looking to expand his horizons. "Within a year I had so much revenue coming in from ad sales and commission earnings, I got into horse racing." "I look at it now and the reason I want to help people is because I took a shot and it worked out. I want to help people if I can, hopefully it will make it easier for them. "At Christmas time, I looked for a family that could use some money and I randomly picked a family. I didn't even know the people." Adriano says. "I wired them money for Christmas and the girl sends me messages saying 'you totally changed my life, I can't believe someone would do something like that for somebody they didn't even know'. Sometimes you need that little push. I'm trying to help where I can. "I would rather focus on what things can be instead of how it was because it's done and gone. If you focus on the negatives you will end up in a rut." Adriano says. "If you surround yourself with the good people in the industry, the people who are always thinking positive.... You can be successful." Adriano says. "There's a quote and I always say it, 'if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.' I want to be with people smarter than me, I know what I can do and I want to be with people with different abilities" When Adriano first started out, the first two horses he bought didn't return a profit. Luckily the third horse he bought was Vegas Vacation. "In his 2-year-old campaign... he showed us the potential of being a great race horse" says Adriano. "That's what happened as a 3-year-old, he turned into a millionaire. You have to be able to see that and if you truly believe in what you're doing, you're doing it right, you're smart enough to do it then keep doing it. Don't give up! You only have yourself to blame if you give up. "I always do what I want to do. I know some people don't like that and it turns some people's crank the wrong way.... I'm having fun and I want people to join in and share." Adriano says. "I want people to have a positive spin on racing. "Do you know how many times people tell me to tone it down?" Adriano asks. "I have a watch collection and I love my cars. That's because eight years ago I had zero. Zero!" Adriano offers some great ideas on how race tracks can attract more customers, especially the younger generation. "People come in for one product and then they end up buying another" explains Adriano. "That's the trick. "I look at Poconos in the US and they have big time restaurants in there." Adriano says. "They have Ruth's Chris Steakhouse right in there, why are we not doing anything like that? If we have a game plan, the government is willing to help us. Why not remodel some of these racetracks and bring in outside vendors like restaurants. If anyone wants to eat, they'll say 'why don't we go over to Mohawk Racetrack? They have the Keg.' All of a sudden you're creating a shopping mall idea but you also have racing there. Incorporate racing into those products." That's a great point! Even if Ontario race tracks offered Tim Horton's coffee that would be a delightful first step. "Have restaurants lease property from the race tracks" says Adriano. "You need to have a proper plan and pitch it to the right people. It's right there for you, maybe even have mobile betting with people walking around the restaurant taking bets. I saw it at the Poconos, they do it there and it's successful to me. "It's the reason they stick Tim Hortons at Esso gas stations, its right there" explains Adriano. "Why did Esso gas stations get away from their own kind of coffee? They know it's a product that is successful and you're killing two birds with one stone. Pitch it to the government where the government is not just handing out money. They are investing in a product that will offer a return on the money." Since Adriano became an owner in harness racing, it's easy to imagine how many awesome memories he must have. Vegas Vacation alone probably offers a book full. "It's been a great experience so far" says Adriano. "You go in buying your first set of babies and end up with a horse like Vegas Vacation and winning the Little Brown Jugs was such a thrill. That was life changing for me. Winning those trophies... and being the best of the best at the time is what makes me want to keep investing in Standardbreds." When it comes to investing, Adriano believes strongly about investing in people and one person that caught Adriano's attention is Sydney Weaver. The 13-year-old is a licensed groom, horse owner, writer and public speaker with Cerebral Palsy who is an inspiration to many including Adriano. "They did a story with her and in the interview Sydney said 'I know it's only a $6,000 race horse but to me it's a million dollar race horse.' You got to remember she's a kid. I have a daughter that's 14 who is basically Sydney's age. "I remember what it was like having a 10 claimer and all of a sudden I have a million dollar race horse. It got to me; I understand that relationship between an owner and a horse." Adriano explains. "When she said it was a million dollar horse, it just got to me." When Sydney's horse Pinky aka Sydney Seelster was claimed earlier this year at Flamboro Downs, Adriano was set to claim the horse back for her. "Guy Gagnon got a lot of backlash and he could have walked away and I'm sure he didn't know (the story)... but instead he gave the horse back and showed there are good people out there." Adriano continues "I was prepared to claim the horse myself for them, we were getting it all set up to do that and then when I saw what was going on I thought what else can I do to help?" That's when Adriano decided to buy Sydney a custom made jogging bike. "I noticed she had a special seat made, like a NASCAR seat so she could get on and jog her horse." Adriano explains. "I was flipping through pictures and saw her jog carts were a green one and a black one.... I thought wouldn't it be cool to get her a pink one!" "So I called up Casie (Coleman) and she's in Florida and asked who do you buy your joggers from?" Adriano continues, "Casie told me who was the best... so I called up the company and told them what I wanted. The sales rep said if you buy it, we'll take care of the custom paint job. So I bought it and they shipped it. The rest is history. "I still think I'm a nobody in this business" says Adriano. When I heard that comment I nearly fell of my chair. To think someone who gives back to the community considers himself a nobody was heart breaking. Regardless of Adriano's last statement, it's clear to see he matters to a lot of people. In harness racing and beyond! Roderick Balgobin's column will appear weekly on Harnesslink. You can contact him at rod.balgobin @supernovasportsclub.com or Twitter: ScSupernova

TORONTO, May 12 – Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to issue a final reminder to owners/trainers that several stakes payments are due on or before Thursday, May 15, 2014 After a one-year absence, four two-year-old stakes events are returning to the Mohawk stakes calendar. ‪The Dream Maker and Whenuwishuponastar, for two-year-old colt and filly pacers, will return in July. ‪On the two-year-old trotting side, the Define The World (formerly Bridger) and Pure Ivory (formerly In Free) will also re-appear in August. Nominations are also due for a pair of sophomore events, the Summertime and Town Pro. ‪There are numerous sustaining payments that are due for the circuit’s major stakes events, including the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, $685,000 Metro Stakes, etc. ‪Payments must also be kept up on the 2015 Champlain Stakes, Champlain Filly Stakes (for two-year-olds) along with the Simcoe Stakes, Simcoe Filly Stakes and WEG 2016 SBOA Stakes (Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association). The start of the 102-date Mohawk meet is scheduled for Thursday, May 22. To make an online payment, please click the following link: https://www.woodbineentertainment.com/Woodbine/Horsepeople/Standardbred/SBNominationForm.aspx To view the nomination form, please click the following link: http://www.woodbineentertainment.com/Woodbine/Racing/Standardbred/Pages/StakesNominations.aspx ‪Envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than the said due date or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO, April 28 - After a one-year absence, four two-year-old stakes events ‬are returning to the Mohawk stakes calendar. ‪The Dream Maker and Whenuwishuponastar, for two-year-old colt and filly pacers, will return in July.‬   ‪On the two-year-old trotting side, the Define The World (formerly Bridger) and Pure Ivory (formerly In Free) will also re-appear in August.‬ Nominations are also due for a pair of sophomore events, the Summertime and Town Pro. ‪There are numerous sustaining payments that are due for the circuit’s major stakes events, including the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, $685,000 Metro Stakes, etc. ‪Payments must also be kept up on the 2015 Champlain Stakes, Champlain Filly Stakes (for two-year-olds) along with the Simcoe Stakes, Simcoe Filly Stakes and WEG 2016 SBOA Stakes (Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association).‬ All nominations and sustaining payments are due on Thursday, May 15. The start of the 102-date Mohawk meet is scheduled for Thursday, May 22. ‪Envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than the said due date or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended.‬ ‪To make an online payment, please click the link below:‬  ‪ ‬ https://www.woodbineentertainment.com/Woodbine/Horsepeople/Standardbred/SBNominationForm.aspx ‪To view the nomination form, please click the link below:‬  ‪ http://www.woodbineentertainment.com/Woodbine/Racing/Standardbred/Pages/StakesNominations.aspx by Greg Gangle, for WEG

1 to 16 of 30