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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Standardbred harness racing across North America shut down, at Standardbred Canada it was decided that due to printing and mailing issues brought on by the pandemic, TROT Magazine would not print a May issue. We brought to you instead a digital ‘Twos In Training Report’ that was read more than 16,000 times, and we thank you for your patronage. This month, for our June 1st publication, although racing in many parts of Canada and the U.S. has either begun again, or is scheduled to in the next few days, many things are still shut down across both countries, to the extent that it was decided we would move ahead with one more digital publication before looking to print a hardcopy of TROT for July 1st. So here it is, Standardbred Canada’s ‘The List Issue’ brought to you by your friends at TROT Magazine.  In This Issue: Delve into racing’s plethora of statistics and read our issue full of unique and interesting lists. Interesting lists of owners, breeders, horses, trainers, drivers... Interesting lists of two-year-olds, three-year-olds, aged horses... Interesting lists of leading sires and dams... Interesting lists of Breeders Crown leaders... Also read about what 15 of Canada's leading drivers missed most during racing's shutdown. Enter the first ever COSA Fantasy Stable Contest and the 7th annual TROT Magazine Fantasy Stable Contest. Vote on our special interactive poll question. Click on the cover (below) and enjoy our special 104 page digital production, designed especially for you, as you stay home and do your part in making our world a safer place.  Click Here For The LIST Issue Online Publication

We're pleased to announce that along with Hoofbid - the new app that is revolutionizing the way to buy and sell harness racing horses online - Standardbred Canada has added new content to our TWOS IN TRAINING REPORT, brought to you by TROT Magazine. Revisit the publication now to read our new 'Million Dollar Babies' interview (on pages 8/9) with Tony Alagna and Marcus Melander, in regard to the only two Standardbred yearlings (Maverick & Damien) to ever sell in North America for $1 million or more.  We've also included links to two new videos, so you can see these 'Million Dollar Babies' in action (one at work and one at play).   FIRST AUCTION: Sunday, May 17th at 7pm (EST).   In This Issue: With almost 10,000 reads, Standardbred Canada's digital Twos In Training Report has been very well received throughout the industry.  Hear from 20 of Canada's leading trainers as they discuss 99 of the brightest, up-and-coming, two-year-old Standardbreds in Canada, by as many as 35 of North America's top sires!  Read what the people who run three of Canada's biggest stallion farms had to say about breeding, racing, and this year's yearling sales, and how all are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Enter the 1st ever COSA Fantasy Stable Contest and the 7th annual TROT Magazine Fantasy Stable Contest. View the video of the Canadian Standardbred that went viral on Facebook with almost 2,000,000 views worldwide!  Click on the cover (Above) or the link button below and enjoy our special 76 page digital production, designed especially for you, as you stay home and do your part in making our world a safer place. Click Here For The Twos In Training Report Standardbred Canada

In this harness racing Issue: Hear from 20 of Canada's leading trainers as they discuss 99 of the brightest, up-and-coming, two-year-old Standardbreds in Canada, by as many as 35 of North America's top sires!  Read what the people who run three of Canada's biggest stallion farms had to say about breeding, racing, and this year's yearling sales, and how all are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Enter the 1st ever COSA Fantasy Stable Contest and the 7th annual TROT Magazine Fantasy Stable Contest. Vote on our special interactive poll question and view the video of the Canadian Standardbred that went viral on Facebook with almost 2,000,000 views worldwide!  Click on the cover (Above) or the link button below and enjoy our special 76 page digital production, designed especially for you, as you stay home and do your part in making our world a safer place. Click Here For The Twos In Training Report Standardbred Canada

Mississauga, ON — Sunday evening (April 5) saw another Central Ontario Standardbred Association TV episode featuring host Greg Blanchard and three of this generation’s most accomplished and respected hartness racing catch drivers — Yannick Gingras, Matt Kakaley and Tim Tetrick. The interview was streamed on COSA TV’s Facebook Page and was produced by Curtis MacDonald’s CUJO Entertainment. The trio of drivers answered questions from fans, revisited memorable moments and filled the harness racing world in on what they are doing during dark days of racing as racing continues to be suspended across North America due to the COVID-19 outbreak. To read more and watch the episode, click here. From Standardbred Canada

Standardbred Canada reports that harness racing trainer Richard Moreau recorded four victories on the 10-race card at Woodbine Mohawk Park Saturday (Feb. 22), one of which came with Wheels On Fire in the $36,000 Preferred Pace. Driver Louis-Philippe Roy landed Wheels On Fire on the front from post 7 in the evening’s feature and faced little challenge. Through opening splits of :27.3 and :57.1, Wheels On Fire cruised on the helm before accelerating the pace towards three-quarters in 1:24.2. At that point Easy Lover Hanover gave first-over pursuit to the pacesetter circling into the stretch but finished two lengths short of victory in a 1:51.2 mile. Pocket-sitter Matticulous Gb finished third. A five-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere, Wheels On Fire won his 17th race from 45 starts, earning $246,983. William Donovan owns the $3.90 winner. Following his win in the feature, Moreau a few races later scored a natural hat trick starting in Race 6 with U Need Stones ($4.20) wiring his competition. Wins from Legion Seelster ($6.10) and Sylph Hanover ($6.70) completed Moreau’s grand slam. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Standardbred Canada reports that So Much More, sent off as the 7-5 favourite, fired off cover to land first at the finish in the $36,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday (Feb. 15). Kendall Seelster led the field to a :27.2 first quarter with Easy Lover Hanover sitting in the pocket. Driver James MacDonald lagged So Much More off the gate and sat seventh around the first turn, but caught cover to race third over into a :56.1 half. Fixed Idea led the overland charge around the final turn, drawing on near-equal terms with Kendall Seelster past three-quarters in 1:23.1 and taking a narrow lead into the stretch. MacDonald angled So Much More off cover and dashed down the centre of the track to the lead in the final stages, winning by a length over pocket-popper Easy Lover Hanover. Fixed Idea settled for third. A four-year-old mare by Big Jim, So Much More won her 22nd race from 40 starts, surpassing $300,000 in earnings. Trainer Don Beatson co-owns the $4.90 winner with Kenneth Beatson and Cole England. Trainer Richard Moreau claimed victory five times during the 11-race card. He began with back-to-back victories midway through the card, with Blu Crew ($6.00) winning in near wire-to-wire fashion and Legion Seelster ($3.30) winning in wire-to-wire fashion. Two races later, Sylph Hanover ($15.50) won in near gate-to-wire style while Wheels On Fire ($5.30) capped Moreau’s evening with a first-over grind to victory. The finale on the program, giving Moreau his fifth win on the night, featured a mandatory payout to the Jackpot Hi-5. Moreau trainee Peace Out Posse ($30.20) ripped off cover to win, with Play Jet Ray finishing second, 66-1 shot Ramblingamblinman closing for third, Foot Soldier finishing fourth and Freddy Bear rounding the ticket. With over $300,000 bet into a $150,000 carryover, the ticket combo of 9-4-2-8-3 returned $41,354.03 on a $.20 ticket. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Standardbred Canada reports that race favourite Northern Royale swept to command after the opening quarter and closed out the Wine & Roses Trotting Series a winner during the Valentine's Day harness racing card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Northern Royale left sharply from post six in the $33,000 series finale for driver Sylvain Filion before 52-1 shot Kinderunbelievable, firing to her outside, crossed in front through a :27.4 opening quarter. The favourite then looped the longshot leaver down the backstretch and posted middle splits of :56.4 and 1:26.3 en route to a three-length victory in 1:55.4. Second-place went to 3-1 second choice Club Belvedere (James MacDonald), who made a bold rush out of the four-hole in tandem with Northern Royale's winning move during the second quarter and dropped into the pocket to follow the rest of the way. Delilah Seelster (Bob McClure), the longest shot on the board, was last at the half and closed late to finish third at nearly 75-1. Northern Royale, who endured a parked out trip to win the January 30 first leg, was just a head shy of a series sweep as rival Club Belvedere had collared her in their last match up on February 6. Sent postward as the favourite in the finale, she paid $3.30 to win as the 3-5 bettors' choice. Northern Royale's bankroll swelledd to six figures as she improved her career record to 9-5-1 from 26 starts. Julie Walker trains the four-year-old Royalty For Life-Dover Miss mare for owners Brenda Walker, Barry Klages and Nancy Holmes. The series was for three and four-year-old fillies and mares that were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2019. To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Mohawk Park.

On Saturday, February 1, Standardbred Canada announced the winners for the 2019 O’Brien Award at the 31st edition of the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala held at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale hotel in Mississauga, Ont. The O’Brien Awards honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season and are named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Richard Moreau of Puslinch, Ont., took home an unprecedented seventh consecutive title as Canada’s Trainer of the Year.  Campbellville-based trainer Luc Blais, the runner-up in that category, had a major coup as his trainee Forbidden Trade took divisional honours in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt category as well as the most coveted award of the evening, the Somebeachsomewhere Horse of the Year. Louis-Philippe Roy of Guelph, Ont., won his second consecutive title as Driver of the Year, while Gilles Barrieau of Saint John, New Brunswick, was honoured with the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship.  The partnership of Al Libfeld & Marvin Katz was recognized as the top Canadian breeders with the Armstrong Breeder of the Year Award. Last year, Richard Moreau trained 285 winners and trained horses to more than $4.5 million in earnings. He topped the trainer standings in earnings and wins in Canada, and at Woodbine Mohawk Park. He trained O’Brien finalist Double A Mint and the talented older pacing horse Jimmy Freight, a winner of more than $436,000.  One of Jimmy Freight’s top performances last year was his Gold Cup victory on June 15 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.  Other top performers from the Moreau Stable included top pacing mare Sandbetweenurtoes, a winner of more than $127,000, older trotter B Yoyo, a winner of more than $197,000 and two-year-old pacing colt YS Mathis, a winner of more than $256,000. Moreau has surpassed $2 million in purse earnings for the past 10 consecutive years and banked more than $1 million for 20 consecutive years. Five years ago, Louis-Philippe Roy was driving at the Quebec Fairs and his ascent up the driving ranks is almost unprecedented as the native of Mont-Joli, Que. won his second consecutive Driver of the Year trophy.  Roy’s win was the result of another stellar year that included 293 wins and more than $6.2 million in purse earnings, which put him second best in the country. He’s surpassed $5 million in earnings for the past three seasons and for the past three years he’s shared his good fortune by donating a full card’s earnings to a food bank in his hometown. Roy was the regular driver for two O’Brien Award winners -- two-year-old pacing filly Alicorn and two-year-old trotting colt HP Royal Theo. The partnership of Al Libfeld & Marvin Katz has evolved into one of the harness racing’s most respected breeding enterprises and they continue to be at or near the top of the charts for Canadian breeders. The 2019 season  was no exception and for the fourth time in the past five years, they were recognized for their continuing contributions with the Armstrong Breeder of the Year Award.   To read the rest of the story, click here.

Standardbred Canada reports that round one of the Snowshoe Series went postward Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with three divisions on tap for three- and four-year-old male pacers. The betting public hammered away at Bettor B Going, and the 1-9 favourite came through for his army of pari-mutuel supporters. The four-year-old son of Bettors Delight-JK Letitgo got away third for driver Chris Christoforou while Side Hill Gouger shot to the lead and carved out an opening panel clocked in :28.2. As soon as the field straightened into the backstretch Christoforou called on Bettor B Going to brush to the front. The Wilford Perrault pupil cleared to the engine in an effortless manner, and from there he went on to post middle splits of :58 and 1:27.2. A :27-second closing quarter earned Bettor B Going to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Side Hill Gouger in 1:54.2. Excavator was third. Grant and Joanne Curnow of Pefferlaw, Ont. share ownership on the six-time winner who pushed his overall cash stash to $63,239 with the victory. American Risk pulled off a mild upset in the second division thanks to his gate-to-wire triumph over race favourite Conboyville. Bob McClure hustled American Risk to the lead from Post 1, and together they fronted the field through fractions of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:25.4. Conboyville applied first-over pressure on the leader at the mid-way point of the final turn, but American Risk used a :27.3 closing quarter to prevail over that foe by a half-length margin. Blu Crew rallied to grab third prize. The mile for American Risk was a career-best clocking of 1:53.2. Melissa Lamoureux trains the four-year-old son of American Ideal-Kissing Bandit for 8113564 Canada Ltd of Sherwood Park, AB and Jeff Boyd of Cambridge, Ont. The victory was the third straight score for the gelding who is now a six-time winner with earnings in excess of $48,000. Warrawee Vital used last second heroics to come through as the heavy favourite in the third – and final – division. Trevor Henry rallied the Rob Fellows trainee to the narrow triumph over longshot Bernie. Warrawee Vital got away fifth while Lyons Coppertop and Bernie battled to the quarter pole in :28.4. Bernie eventually cleared to the top, and he went on to carve out middle fractions of :58 and 1:26.1. Warrawee Vital commenced a rally going into the final turn, and despite spotting the leader a number of lengths he managed to use a :26.2 closing quarter to get up for the neck decision over Bernie in 1:54. D Gs Shallwedance was third. Blair Corbeil, Yolanda Fellows and M&S Racing Stable share ownership on the three-year-old son of Captaintreacherous-Great Memories. The colt is 2-for-2 to start the season and 3-for-4 in his career. The $9,000 payday bumped his overall bankroll to $25,500. To view results for Friday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Friday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Standardbred Canada today reports that data from Standardbred Canada and the United States Trotting Association indicates that pari-mutuel wagering on harness racing posted an increase North America-wide in 2019. Numbers indicate that total wagering on Canadian racing surpassed $491.4 million in 2019, up more than 8.3 per cent from the $453.7 million total in 2018. The number of races with pari-mutuel wagering stood at 11,671 for the year, providing a per race handle of $42,303, up 9.39 per cent from 2018's per race handle of $38,672. Total purses across Canada were also up in 2019. Combined purses offered reached $119.7 million, up from the $106.6 million offered in 2018. The total wagering on harness racing at U.S. tracks in 2019 surpassed $1.42 billion, a 3.53 percent increase compared to 2018 according to statistics provided by the U.S. Trotting Association. During the past year, the $1,424,886,558 wagered on pari-mutuel harness racing stateside was up from the 2018 total of $1,376,360,696. Despite a 1.3 percent drop in race days, the average handle per race was up 4.45 per cent. The $39,991 average handle per race bested the $38,253 average posted in 2018. In addition, there was an 2.36 per cent increase in total purses awarded nationally with $439.5 million distributed in 2019 versus $429.4 million in 2018. (Please note: Includes U.S. and Canadian common and separate pool wagers on races contested in the U.S. Data source: United Tote (US) and Standardbred Canada.)

The ballots have been tabulated and on Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2019 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. There are two finalists in each of the categories which includes 12 divisional horse categories and five people awards. Horse of the Year will be one of the divisional champions. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 1, 2020, at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale hotel in Mississauga, Ont. This will mark the 31st edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Richard Moreau will be looking to add a record seventh O’Brien trophy to his mantle in the Trainer of the Year Category and is up against Luc Blais, a first-time nominee. Luc Blais is enjoying a career best season, training horses to 57 victories and more than $2.5 million in earnings including three O’Brien finalists -- Hambletonian Champion Forbidden Trade, Older Trotting Mare Emoticon Hanover and Two Year Old Trotting Colt Port Perry. Richard Moreau of Puslinch, Ont. has earned six consecutive titles as Canada’s Trainer of the Year. To date in 2019, he has sent 280 winners postward and trained horses to over $4.4 million in earnings including O’Brien finalist Double A Mint and hard-hitting older pacing pacing horse Jimmy Freight. He currently tops the trainer standings in Canadian earnings. For the second consecutive year, Bob McClure and Louis-Philippe Roy are the Driver of the Year finalists. Bob McClure of Rockwood, Ont., is en route to a career-best season in the earnings column with more than $5.8 million and 222 trips to the winner’s circle. McClure, who was a finalist in this category in 2018 and 2016, was the regular driver for three O’Brien finalists -- Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt Forbidden Trade, Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt Port Perry and Older Trotting Mare Emoticon Hanover. Louis-Philippe Roy, of Guelph, Ont., last year’s Driver of the Year and Future Star winner in 2016, has driven 291 winners and horses to more than $6.1 million in earnings. He was the regular reinsman for three O’Brien finalists -- Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly Alicorn, Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt HP Royal Theo and Older Pacing Mare Double A Mint. Gilles Barrieau is looking for his second title in the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Category, and is up against first-time nominee Mario Baillargeon. Mario Baillargeon was one of the top drivers on the Woodbine circuit from 1997 through 2015. In 2019 he turned his hand to full-time training duties for thestable.ca and posted solid results with 17 wins, more than $237,000 in earnings and a UTRS of .263. On the driving side he drove 38 winners and banked over $850,000 in earnings for a UDRS of .225. In 2005, Gilles Barrieau of Saint John, N.B. won his first O’Brien in the Horsemanship Category. For the next 14 years, he recorded impressive stats in both the driving and training columns. To date this season, he’s trained 40 winners and horses to more than $178,000 in purse earnings and boasts a UTRS of .575. On the driving side, he has 151 winners and over $435,000 in earnings, giving him a .401 UDRS. Alicorn and Reflect With Me are the nominees in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly division. Alicorn boasted 11 top-three finishes in her 13-race campaign which included four Ontario Sires Stakes victories. The daughter of Bettors Delight scored her richest payday with a runner-up finish in the Shes A Great Lady, and her richest victory was in the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final. The Captaintreacherous filly Reflect With Me had 10 top-three finishes and banked more than $628,000 in her 11-race season culminating in a Breeders Crown Championship. She also posted victories in the Whenuwishuponastar, Champlain and Eternal Camnation Stakes. The regally-bred Tall Dark Stranger and Capt Midnight are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt division. The Captaintreacherous colt Capt Midnight won six of 10 races during his rookie campaign and topped $385,000 in earnings while posting victories in the Dream Maker, Nassagaweya, Champlain, a Metro elimination, and the International Stallion Stake. Tall Dark Stranger, a son of O'Brien Award winners Bettors Delight and Precocious Beauty, won eight of nine races and more than $936,000 in earnings. Stakes victories included a leg of the Dream Maker, two Ontario Sires Stakes legs, a sweep of the Metro, the International Stallion Stake and the Breeders Crown Championship. In the Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly division, Ontario-breds Boadicea and Sunny Dee will compete for O’Brien honours. Boadicea, a daughter of Big Jim, won eight races, including four victories in Ontario Sires Stakes events and more than $417,000 in earnings. Her sophomore season culminated in an Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final victory. While unraced as a two-year-old, Sunny Dee was all systems go in her sophomore year as the Sunshine Beach filly racked up 21 top-three finishes in 23 races including 13 wins. Her bankroll eclipsed $601,000 with several stakes victories including a sweep of the SBOA, two Ontario Sires Stakes events, and the USS Indianapolis Memorial. Captain Crunch, a son of Captaintreacherous and the Mach Three colt Century Farroh are the Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt finalists. Captain Crunch won six of 10 races and more than $1 million in earnings. His stakes wins included The North America Cup, Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, Meadowlands Pace elimination, Cane Pace and an elimination of the Progress Pace. Century Farroh won 12 of 16 races and almost $720,000 in earnings. Five of those victories were in Ontario Sires Stakes events with other victories including the North America Cup Consolation, Simcoe Stakes and the Jenna's Beach Boy at Hoosier Park. Two daughters of Bettors Delight, Caviart Ally and Double A Mint, are finalists in the Older Pacing Mare category. A finalist in 2018, Caviart Ally had another impressive season in 2019, never finishing worse than third while banking almost $760,000. She added many stakes victories to her impressive resume including the Milton, Allerage, Breeders Crown and the TVG. Double A Mint was a consistent campaigner at Woodbine Mohawk Park racing 31 times and recording top-three finishes in 23 of those races. She banked more than $262,000 while racing from January through December. McWicked is back to defend Older Pacing Horse honours and is up against Lather Up. Both of these horses recently retired to stud duty but provided many thrills to their connections on the racetrack this past season. Lather Up won eight of 12 races and more than $815,000 in earnings while taking victories in two legs and the final of the Graduate in a World Record time of 1:46, Ben Franklin elimination, William Haughton Memorial, Sam McKee Memorial and the Dan Patch. The four-year-old son of Im Gorgeous ended his career with a runner-up finish in the Canadian Pacing Derby. McWicked won six of 17 starts and more than $1 million in earnings this season with victories in the Gerrity, Roll With Joe, the Jim Ewart Memorial, and the Dan Rooney Invitational. Lifetime, the eight-year-old son of McArdle sports more than $5 million in earnings, making him the richest stallion in harness racing history. On the trotting side, a pair of Hanover Shoe Farm fillies, Dip Me Hanover and Wine Rack Hanover, will compete for Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly honours. Dip Me Hanover won two of 12 starts and more than $307,000 in her rookie season, which included a sweep of the Peaceful Way at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Wine Rack Hanover scored three victories in her freshman season, all in Ontario Sires Stakes events during her 12-race campaign while bankrolling more than $233,000. In the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division, HP Royal Theo and Port Perry are the finalists. HP Royal Theo, a gelded son of Royalty For Life, won three of nine races and more than $286,000 in earnings. His richest payday came in the William Wellwood Memorial Final this past summer at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Kadabra colt Port Perry posted top-two finishes in seven of his nine races and earned more than $303,000. His two victories both came in Ontario Sires Stakes events. Evident Beauty and Only Take Cash were two of North America’s top trotting sophomore fillies this season and are the finalists in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Evident Beauty won 10 of 18 races and more than $617,000 in earnings. The Trixton filly’s biggest win of the season came in the Elegantimage Stake where she overcame the outside post position 10 to get up for a neck victory. She also added wins in two divisions and the final of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, the Del Miller, a Casual Breeze division, and the Moni Maker to her impressive resume. Only Take Cash was a model of consistency this season, scoring top-three finishes in 12 of her 13 races and earning more than $511,000. A wire-to-wire effort in the Ohio Sires Stakes Final was the Cash Hall filly’s richest payday of the season. She also scored wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, and two Ohio Sires Stakes events. On August 3, Forbidden Trade joined an elite group of trotters when he won the $1 million Hambletonian Final. The victory combined with four Ontario Sires Stakes wins and more than $1 million in season’s earnings has earned the son of Kadabra a nomination in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt category. The Muscle Hill colt Pilot Discretion, a winner of four races including the Goodtimes elimination and final and more than $475,000 in earnings is the other finalist. Atlanta will attempt to usurp Emoticon Hanover’s title in the Older Trotting Mare category on the strength of a solid season which included eight wins and more than $871,000 in earnings. The Chapter Seven mare’s victories included two legs and the final of the Graduate, a sweep of the Armbro Flight, and the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot. Emoticon Hanover, a six-year-old daughter of Kadabra, won five of 21 races and more than $378,000 while racking up victories in the Miss Versatility and the TVG Trot for mares. In the Older Trotting Horse category, Musical Rhythm and Lindy The Great are the finalists. Musical Rhythm had seven wins and more than $206,000 in earnings, all at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Lindy The Great won six races and nearly $269,000 in earnings. The son of Crazed put together a five-race win streak that kicked off at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 12 and continued through to a victory in the Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park on September 20. This year marks the seventh for the Future Star Award, with Dave Kelly of Rocky View County, Alta., and Austin Sorrie, a native of Montague, P.E.I. as the finalists. Kelly drove 101 winners and horses to almost $640,000 in purse earnings while training 50 winners and horses to $261,000 in earnings, competing at Century Downs, Century Mile and The Track On 2. Sorrie, who moved from P.E.I. to Ontario to compete on the B Track circuit, has driven 76 winners and horses to more than $390,000 in earnings while training five winners and horses to more than $47,000 in purses. On December 7, he scored his first victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park, driving pacer Bugsy Maguire to victory. The partnership of Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, and Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. are finalists in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year Category. Libfeld-Katz have won this award on three previous occasions while McIntosh Stables Inc. have four bronzes to their credit. In 2019, horses bred by Libfeld-Katz won 39 races and earned more than $2 million. These 14 starters, which included millionaire Greenshoe, Soul Strong, O Narutac Perfetto and Bautista, averaged more than $148,000 in earnings per starter. Horses bred by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. earned more than $2.8 million in 2019, led by Sunny Dee, a winner of over $601,000. Only Take Cash, Quite A Sight and Thats Incredible were other top performers that contributed to the 167 wins and $40,792 average earnings per starter. One of the winners in the divisional categories will be awarded the Horse of the Year title. The 2019 O’Brien Award finalists were announced live on the SC wesbite on Wednesday (Dec. 18) by 2019 O'Brien Awards hosts Ken Middleton and Jason Portuondo. A complete list of finalists follows. 2019 O’BRIEN AWARD FINALISTS PACERS TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER Alicorn Owned by Windermere Stable LLC, New York, NY Robert K Muscara, Ivyland, PA Reflect With Me Owned by Brittany Farms LLC, Versailles, KY Bradley J. Grant, Milton, ON TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT PACER Capt Midnight Owned by Marvin Katz, Toronto, ON Kenneth E. Jacobs, Baldwinsville, NY Bradley J. Grant, Milton, ON Capt Midnight Racing, Boynton Beach, FL Tall Dark Stranger Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Syracuse, NY Marvin Katz, Toronto, ON Caviart Farms, Vienna, VA Howard A. Taylor, Philadelphia, PA THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER Boadicea Owned by C E Lawrence Stable Inc., G A Lawrence Stable Inc., Blenheim, ON Sunny Dee Owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON C S X Stables, Liberty Center, OH Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., Leamington, ON THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT PACER Captain Crunch Owned by 3 Brothers Stables, New York, NY Christina Takter, East Windsor, NJ Rojan Stables, Wilmington, DE Caviart Farms, Vienna, VA Century Farroh Owned by Ratchford Stable NS, North Sydney, NS OLDER PACING MARE Caviart Ally Owned by Caviart Farms, Vienna, VA Double A Mint Owned by Adriano Sorella, Guelph, ON OLDER PACING HORSE Lather Up Owned by Gary L. & Barbara N. Iles, Harrington, DE George Teague, Harrington, DE Taylor Made Stallions, Nicholasville, KY McWicked Owned by S S G Stables, North Boston, NY TROTTERS TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER Dip Me Hanover Owned by Camelot Stable Inc., Freehold, NJ Dreamville Stable, Cambridge, ON Randi Farms LLC, Brookville, NY Wine Rack Hanover Owned by Pinske Stables, Plato, MN Bridgette S. Jablonsky, Hanover, PA TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT TROTTER HP Royal Theo Onned by Claude Hamel, Ayer’s Cliff, QC Michel Damphousse, Louiseville, QC Port Perry Owned by Determination, Montreal, QC THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER Evident Beauty Owned by Mel Hartman, Ottawa, ON Little E LLC, New York, NY R A W Equine Inc., Burlington, ON Only Take Cash Owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Dave A. Boyle, Bowmanville, ON Mardon Stables, Loretto, ON THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT TROTTER Forbidden Trade Owned by Determination, Montreal, QC Pilot Discretion Owned by Robert J. Leblanc, Austin, TX David Anderson, Aurora, ON John A. Fodera, Staten Island, NY OLDER TROTTING MARE Atlanta Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Syracuse, NY Bradley J. Grant, Milton, ON Howard A. Taylor, Philadelphia, PA Emoticon Hanover Owned by Determination, Montreal, QC OLDER TROTTING HORSE Lindy The Great Owned by K R Breeding LLC, Enfield, CT Robert A Rudolph, Vineland, NJ Musical Rhythm Owned by Santo Vena, Brampton, ON Nunzio Vena, Bolton, ON Claude Hamel, Ayer’s Cliff, QC Benoit Baillargeon, Guelph, ON PEOPLE AWARDS FUTURE STAR AWARD Dave Kelly, Rocky View County, AB Austin Sorrie, Guelph, ON O’BRIEN AWARD OF HORSEMANSHIP Mario Baillargeon, Acton, ON Gilles Barrieau, Saint John, NB ARMSTRONG BREEDER OF THE YEAR Al Libfeld / Marvin Katz, Pickering, ON / Toronto, ON Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON DRIVER OF THE YEAR Bob McClure, Rockwood, ON Louis-Philippe Roy, Guelph, ON TRAINER OF THE YEAR Luc Blais, Campbellville, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON

Standardbred Canada reports that through a swift first-over grind Nirvana Seelster downed his competition to win the $30,000 featured harness racing pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, Dec. 14. Pointomygranson cleared command from Classic Pro passing a :27.1 first quarter but faced pressure as Nirvana Seelster raced parked uncovered into the backside. The eight-year-old Camluck gelding eventually crossed over to the pegs after a :54 half and gained separation on his tiring rivals. By three-quarters in 1:22.1, Nirvana Seelster owned a two-and-three-quarter length advantage. The Bill Budd trainee strolled through the stretch to a two-and-a-quarter length win over Ellis Park, rallying off cover for second with Physicallyinclined following in suit for third. Owned by Bruce Davy, Nirvana Seelster won his third race from 29 starts this season and his 44th from 219 overall, earning $1,221,964. Sylvain Filion steered the $11.30 winner. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Standardbred Canada reports that harness racing driver Tim Tetrick picked up a win aboard a different kind of trotter during the Arctic Horse Race competition on Saturday (Dec. 14) in Rovaniemi, Finland. The only North American driver competing in the first ever Arctic Horse Race challenge, Tetrick guided Finnhorse Pikku-Ryti to victory in the first leg of driving competition at Mäntyvaara. "It's very special because of the tradition the Finnish horse has. To finally get to sit behind one...I warmed it up and it felt great. I really didn't know how fast I was going but he felt nice, very much a professional and he got the job done. "These horses are so special to me...the places they've been able to take me and I finally got to drive a Finnish-blood, that's awesome." When asked trackside if he was cold in his first trip to the Arctic Circle, Tetrick quickly dismissed the concerns regarding the temperature. "I'm not cold, I'm nervous and I'm excited! Excited! EXCITED!" said Tetrick with a smile. "That's what racing does to me, I get excited about it. I can do it 4,000 times a year and I still love it. Every day I wake up, I love horses and the people have treated me just absolutely wonderful since I've been here and it's been an honour to be here." While in Rovaniemi, the town that's known as the official home of Santa Claus, Tetrick was spotted talking to the jolly old elf and he revealed it had nothing to do with driving strategy. "The kids...We talked making sure he'd be there Christmas Eve for my family." While Tetrick started the day with a few off-the-board finishes, he did notch a third-place score in the second leg of the challenge and completed the three-race competition with 27 points to finish third just behind top local reinsmen Antii Teivainen (29) and Jorma Kontio (29). Teivainen won the second leg to break the tie with Kontio. "I think everyone felt sorry for me and let me win that one. I've been driving aggressive. I got parked and the one made a break but it's a first time for me on the snow and ice so it's taken me a little bit to get used to it. I give the people that race here a lot of credit."

Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce that Ken Middleton and Jason Portuondo will take the stage to co-host the 2019 O’Brien Awards on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga, Ont. This will mark the 17th consecutive year that Middleton has been an integral part of the O’Brien Awards as a co-host. When he’s not calling the races as Woodbine Mohawk Park’s regular track announcer, he can be found in the barn, training and caring for his horses. Jason Portuondo is back to join Middleton for the fourth consecutive year. Portuondo was the on-air analyst for Woodbine Entertainment’s simulcast coverage of Standardbred racing from Woodbine Mohawk Park until October this year when he moved to the Thoroughbred broadcast team. Middleton and Portuondo will also be doing the honours of announcing the O’Brien Award Finalists in a broadcast that will be live streamed to standardbredcanada.ca on Wednesday, December 18 at 2:00 p.m. (EST) This will be the first time that Standardbred Canada has announced the finalists in a live broadcast format. Given that both of the emcees have some history in hosting the O’Brien Awards, we talked to them to find out some of their O’Brien favourites and get their input on menu, band, and more. Check out the video below!

Standardbred Canada (SC) is pleased to announce that a National Driving Championship (NDC) will be hosted in 2020 and the winner will have the opportunity to represent Canada in the 2021 World Driving Championship. The location of the 2021 WDC has yet to be confirmed. James MacDonald, World Driving Champion in 2017, and Doug McNair, winner of the 2018 National Driving Championship, represented Canada in the 2019 World Driving Championship held in Sweden in May of this year. Rick Ebbinge of The Netherlands was the winner, marking the first WDC title for his country, while McNair just missed the podium with a solid fourth place finish and MacDonald finished in ninth. In 2020, a regional driving championship will be hosted in each of Standardbred Canada’s four regions, and the top two drivers from each of those events will have the opportunity to compete in the National event. All championships are one-day events, consisting of eight races with drivers earning points based on their official finishing position. SC has used this Driving Championship format since 2007 to determine Canada’s representatives to the World Driving Championship which takes place every other year in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference. Past winners of the NDC title include Brandon Campbell (2016), Jody Jamieson (2014 & 2011), Brad Forward (2009), and Gilles Barrieau (2007). Canada has won the WDC on five occasions. Herve Filion won the inaugural edition in 1970 and the next winner was his nephew, Sylvain Filion who won the 1999 event. Jody Jamieson is the only Canadian driver to have two titles on his resume, winning in 2001 and 2011. In 2017 Canada hosted the WDC and James MacDonald was crowned the Champion. A Request For Proposals for host tracks has been issued and the selected host tracks will be announced in mid January.

As reported by Standardbred Canada, the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame welcomed its Class of 2019 at the Induction Gala on Wednesday, August 7 at the Mississauga Convention Centre. Six people and four horses were elected from an extremely deep ballot of candidates, featuring international stars of the industry, two horses bred in Québec, a female trainer and individuals representing British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.   Standardbred inductees include Builder Ian Fleming, Driver Trevor Ritchie and Trainer Jimmy Takter, along with horses Tricky Tooshie and Angus Hall. Ian Fleming’s career in the horse racing industry began as race secretary at his home track in Clinton, Ont. That evolved into managing the racetrack and from there he went on to create a centralized race office for several Ontario tracks in the 1990s, which now services racetracks across the province. Fleming was also the Racing & Gaming Manager at Western Fair Raceway for a number of years. His business prowess is based on cultivating relationships, and his deep knowledge and understanding of the mechanics of racing and wagering is world-renowned. Fleming has helped every Ontario racetrack and many international organizations to shape and strengthen harness racing, and also volunteers his time in administrative capacities, as he sits on the Board of Directors for Standardbred Canada and the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. In addition to his racing-related responsibilities, Fleming continues to find ways to give back to the industry and his community through fundraising initiatives such as the bi-annual Legends Day at Clinton Raceway. The 2017 edition of Legends Day hosted harness racing fans from across North America to witness John Campbell’s final career race. Fleming was also an important part of the fundraising efforts following the Classy Lane Fire. "I'm quite proud of the recognition," said Fleming, who succinctly grouped those he needed to thank into three groups: his family, those who have worked with and for him over the years, and the horsepeople -- even those that he hasn't necessarily seen eye-to-eye with over the years, because those people haven't always been wrong. Fleming concluded by thanking CHRHOF executive director Linda Rainey for everything she does for the Hall. Before retiring from driving in 2014, Acton, Ont. based Trevor Ritchie won many of North America’s premier races, including the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Prix d'Ete, Provincial Cup, Metro Pace, Canadian Pacing Derby, Trotting Classic Final for mares, and Champlain Stakes. During his career he had 3,710 driving wins and drove horses to over $70 million in purse earnings. The year 2000 was a career best for Ritchie, as he won the Hambletonian with Yankee Paco, the first Canadian-sired horse to win that event. Later that year he won three Breeders Crown Championships, which tied him with John Campbell as being the only other driver in history at the time to accomplish that feat, and he was voted Canada’s Driver of the Year. Other top horses driven by Ritchie included Quite A Sensation, Frugal Gourmet, Road Machine, Armbro Agile, Peaceful Way, Majestic Son, Banker Hall, and Rotation. Ritchie’s quiet demeanour, immense talent, and great respect for his clients and fellow competitors served him well throughout his near 40-year driving career. "You didn't give me the memo that this was a roast!" chirped Ritchie before offering congratulations to the other inductees. "I'm very proud and very humbled at being inducted tonight. It's really surreal knowing that my name will be joining all the other greats in this exclusive club." "I want to thank all of the hard-working and dedicated trainers and the owners that trusted me to drive their horses," continued Ritchie before paying homage to his mentor Bill Herbert, who was inducted into the Hall some four decades ago. "He was the greatest horseman I have ever met. I considered Bill to be like my second father, and I'm pretty sure Bill considered me to be like his second son. Bill taught me how to be a horseman, he taught me how to be a better person, and I'm sure I would not be here tonight if Bill Herbert was not part of my life." Swedish-born, U.S.-based Standardbred trainer Jimmy Takter has seen tremendous success on Canadian soil. With 1,325 starts in Canada, he has visited the winner’s circle 266 times and collected purse earnings of more than $34.2 million. Takter has won 103 stakes races on the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit. Horses trained by Takter have won a total of 19 O’Brien Awards, including at least one O’Brien Award in 15 of the 19 years between his first award in 1999 with Moni Maker and his most recent with The Ice Dutchess in 2018. Despite being based in New Jersey, Takter was Canada’s leading trainer by earnings in 2015 with over $4.2 million made in Canada and has ranked among the nation’s top 10 conditioners six times since 2011, including second-place finishes in 2014 ($2,643,455) and 2016 ($2,263,361) Takter has also trained for a long list of prominent Canadian owners, including five members of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame: John Fielding, Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, Charles Armstrong (CHRHF), Dr. Glen Brown (CHRHF), Herb Liverman, Bob Anderson (CHRHF), David Anderson, David Willmot (CHRHF), Lou Camara, John Florens and Peter Heffering (CHRHF). "First, I want to thank everyone for all the support we've received over the years," said Takter. "It's been a long journey and I've been extremely fortunate. "I love the passion they have for the horse in Canada," Takter continued. "When I came over here 37 years ago, my father said, 'Don't forget the love of the horse.' I couldn't have done it without you guys." Tricky Tooshie was bred and owned during her racing career by Laurent Bergevin of Québec. Trainers included her co-breeder Jean L. Deblois, followed by Rick Zeron and then Linda Bedard. As a two-year-old she raced in Québec where she dominated the Québec Sires Stakes, was the divisional leader and won the $197,000 Coupe des Eleveurs final at Blue Bonnets in a track record 1:55.1. As a sophomore she once again dominated her division in Québec. After a second-place finish in her first start, she then reeled off 15 consecutive wins including the $177,000 Coupe des Eleveurs and several Québec Sires Stakes. She won 15 of 17 races at six different tracks, almost $300,000 in purses and was a finalist in her division for an O’Brien Award. In seven years of racing she made 142 starts for a 44-29-24 record, posted a mark of 1:52.1 at Woodbine Racetrack and earned $1,005,566, becoming the first Canadian-sired mare to reach $1 million in earnings. As a broodmare, 11 of her 13 foals made it to the races to earn over $3 million for average earnings per starter of $284,441. Her richest foal was True North Hanover, a winner of $732,912. "Tooshie and I had a connection; she was my girl and I was hers," said Bedard. "We both moved to Ontario from Québec at the same time to face tough competition. We also retired from racing at the same time to move on to our second careers." "She went on to be a great broodmare, passing on her determination to her offspring at Hanover Shoe Farms, where she still lives today at 29 years old in a field with the retired mares." "I went to visit Tooshie last month; I hadn't seen her in 20 years," continued Bedard, recounting a recent reunion with her Hall of Fame trainee. "When I saw her, I was about 30 feet away from her, and I said 'Hello, Mommy,' what I used to say to her every morning for five years. I did not expect her to remember me, but she did. She was and still is a very smart mare. "I told her she was getting into the Hall this year, in a place where she surely belongs." As a racehorse, Angus Hall earned $830,654 from 26 lifetime starts and took a mark of 1:54.3. In 26 lifetime starts over two racing seasons, the regally-bred son of Garland Lobell-Amour Angus, bred by Québec's Ferme Angus, won eight races and finished in the top three in all but four outings. He was the first trotter to break the 1:55 barrier as a two-year-old, winning in 1:54.4 at Colonial Downs. Angus Hall has sired over 1,700 horses during a stallion career spanning 18 years, with 71.5 per cent of his foals having race careers. His offspring have earned over $102 million, and include six millionaires: 2008 CHRHF inductee Peaceful Way, Majestic Son, Elusive Desire, Winning Mister, Frenchfrysnvinegar and Laddie. His contribution to trotting bloodlines continues through top broodmares whose offspring have earned over $45 million. "I represent the many that Angus Hall has graced with his presence," said Winbak Farm's Pat Woods. "Angus has done everything he was asked to do and he will leave a legacy in this industry." To read more click here.

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