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London, June 5, 2015 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District wrapped up its 2014/15 harness racing season – the first as part of Ontario’s new Standardbred Racing Alliance - in record fashion this past Friday night. The Molson Pace night program produced an all-time wagering record of $610,000 for the 12-race program, which was up more than 50% from last year’s total of $404,000. Wagering on the race itself rose sharply from $132,000 in 2014 to $196,000 on this year’s contest. On-site live wagering saw a healthy $126,000 put through the windows, up 26% year over year. State Treasurer made history by becoming the first ever to capture three straight titles in the event since it became the Molson Pace back in 1992. His 1:51 clocking was a stakes record and just one-fifth off of the overall track record at the London oval. Overall wagering and per race wagering at The Raceway were both up close to 20% over last year’s totals. “We made a significant change with our post times this season, switching from a mid-afternoon product to a night time product with a 6:15 p.m. post during the week,” explained Racing Manager Greg Blanchard. “We thought the timing was right to make the change and it’s encouraging to see the numbers support that. I’d like to thank the customers and horse people that supported us once again throughout the season and we look forward to some exciting announcements ahead of the upcoming season.” The Raceway remains open all summer long, seven-days-a-week, for simulcasting and live racing is set to return on Tuesday, October 6.   Greg Blanchard Racing Manager

LONDON, Ontario . . .  State Treasurer became the first three peat winner of the signature race at The Raceway at Western Fair District, the $150,000 Molson Pace, and became the harness racing sport’s latest millionaire, in front of a huge crowd tonight at the London half-mile oval. Favourite All Bets Off, fresh off his Confederation Cup victory, was the most fleet of foot early to led the talented field by the :26.2 opening marker for Matt Kakaley. Just past that point Chris Christoforou pulled the right line on reigning champ State Treasurer and he was at the leader’s wheel at the :55.3 half and was neck and neck with All Bets Off at the three quarters in 1:23.1. Down the lane it became a three horse battle with Evenin Of Pleasure and Sylvain Filion added to the mix but at the wire reached in 1:51 it was State Treasurer with the narrow victory over All Bets Off and Evenin Of Pleasure. PH Supercam and Lets Drink On It collected the final two cheques. The winner’s share of the purse puts State Treasurer over the one million dollar mark in life earnings for owners Sally MacDonald of PEI and Paul MacDonald of Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Ian Moore trains the six-year-old son of Real Desire who was a mere $6,500 purchase as a yearling. “It’s fantastic, I was lucky enough to sit behind him for two of those (Molson Pace victories),” said Christoforou. “He just proved how great a horse he is. The trip he went, first up like that, to go to war with that horse (All Best Off), it was unbelievable, it was spectacular.” With respect to the trip tonight, Christoforou, Canada’s reigning driver of the year, noted: “My biggest concern was I didn’t want to get pinned in with him, because he can be a real handful at times. At the Meadowlands he was almost in an accident when he tried to run over horses in front of him. If he gets boxed in he doesn’t like it so I just wanted to make sure I had some clearance at some point around that first turn and it worked out. After that I let him do the rest. “I know him, you have to drive him a certain way, he doesn’t like to be argued with. He likes to do things his own way but you can reason with him a little bit if you take a little bit of a hold on him but not too much. It’s all in small measures. You never see me make a big, huge move with him because it usually does not work out well.” Not only did the race work out well for State Treasurer, the Molson Pace winner now for three straight years, but also for The Raceway which now takes a hiatus from racing until October. It was an overall record handle for Molson Pace night, $610,000, up from $404,000 last year. The Pace race itself produced a record single-race handle of $196,000 and the live on-site handle was $125,000, up from $100,000 last year. Undercard The Molson Pace undercard was absolutely jam packed with very competitive stakes events with four City Of London Finals and three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old pacing colts. City Of London – Trotting Mares The evening kicked off with the $41,000 City Of London final for mare trotters. Favourite Magic Dancing grabbed the early lead for the track’s leading driver Alfie Carroll and that filly hit the opening quarter in :28. Brinkers Dream came up to challenge at that point but she was repelled by the leader who hit the half in :57.2. Magic Dancing continued on top by the three-quarters in 1:27.4 and could not be caught down the lane to win in 1:59.4. Brinkers Dream was second followed by Tyrone Zoey. It was the eighth win in nine starts this year for the three-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Vic Puddy for owner Percy Elkins of Milton, Ontario. City Of London – Pacing Males The $44,400 COL Final for the male pacers saw heavy favourite Naturescape hit the opening quarter in :28 for Billy Davis Jr. He went on by the half in a sedate :58.2 and sped up to reach the third quarter in 1:26.1. No one could touch him down the stretch as he opened up to win by open lengths in 1:54.3. Alexas Prayer and St Lads Flirt collected the next two cheques. Gregg McNair trains the winner, a sophomore son of Art Colony owned by Wayne MacRae of Nova Scotia and Bloomingwood Farms of Harriston, Ontario. Tonight’s effort was his second victory in four tries in 2015 and a new lifetime best. City Of London – Trotting Males Rory made full use of leaving from the rail, getting the early advantage for Paul MacKenzie in the $40,400 COL finale for male trotters. They trotted past the :29.3 first quarter but were passed before the half by Ja El Storm who was comfortably on top by that marker in :59.4 and hit the three-quarters in 1:29.2  with favourite Muscle Mack and Ryan Holliday coming to call. Those two three-year-olds pulled away from the rest of the field and Muscle Mack trotted away to win in 1:58.3.  Ja El Storm had to settle for second while Chuck In Charge was third. The winner, a gelding by Muscle Mass, is owned by Ronald Corbett of St. Jacobs, Ontario, and trained by David Holliday.  It was Muscle Mack’s fifth win in six starts this year. City Of London – Pacing Mares The $44,600 COL final for the distaff pacers provided the closest finish. Bad Mood took over the lead by the :28.1 first marker but she was covered up by Pinky Tuscadero well before the :57.4 half. That sophomore hit the three-quarters in 1:27 for Bruce Richardson and was caught at the wire by longshot Bad Mood in a very close 1:57.2. Pinky Tuscardero had to be content with second and Southwind Geisha was third. Bad Mood is owned by breeders Jeff and Lori Thomson of Chesley, Ontario and Jeff handles the training. A three-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover, the filly now has two wins and two seconds in four starts this year and paid $61.30 to win. Ontario Sires Stakes Robert Hill flew off the wings from post seven to grab early control in the first division but he was passed before the :27.4 opening quarter by Go Daddy Go and John Campbell. A striking chestnut colt, Go Daddy Go hit the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:25.4. Sportsmanship attempted to challenge but went offstride before the final turn allowing Go Daddy Go open road and he was a down the road winner in 1:53.1. Moonwriter took second with Dialamara third. It was the first start this year for the Ponder colt, a winner of $398,000 last year, owned by trainer/breeder Bob McIntosh along with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Ontario, and new partner Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania which stands his sire, a former champion for McIntosh. In the second division it was Windsong Leo taking over the lead by the :28 opening panel. He hit the half in :58 for Jody Jamieson. The speed picked up through the 1:26.3 third quarter and Windsong Leo was still on top by the 1:54.1 finish. Bob Ben And John took second while Win One Soon was third. It was the seventh straight win for the Jeremes Jet colt trained by Daniel O’Brian for Everette Hanson of New Brunswick. The colt was unraced last year at two. In the third and final split Sportskeeper and Chris Christoforou led their rivals by the first quarter in :27.2. They continued on top by the :57 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters. In the drive to the wire Physicallyinclined was closing hard on the leader but Sportskeeper managed to hold him off in the very tight 1:53 finish. J Js Delivery was third. The time represented a new track record for three-year-old pacing geldings. A homebred son of Sportswriter for trainer Casie Coleman and longtime partner Merlin Howse of Langton, Ontario, Sportskeeper was notching his first win in two attempts this year. Greg Blanchard

London, May 28, 2015 -- As Molson Pace night fast approaches in London, some horses themselves were out promoting the harness racing event on Thursday afternoon at downtown Victoria Park. The Raceway marketing department held a Miss Molson Pace (equine version) during the noon hour while several park goers and nearby office workers got to meet the participants and vote for their favourite. It was Raceway regular Big Diva who was crowned the winner with another local favourite, Mother Hen, finishing in the runner up spot. Honourable mention went to Catch A Lucky Star, who will be the guest horse outside the main entrance on Molson night, and Ping (the pony) and Tucker (the mini). “It was a lot of fun and I think people were really surprised and excited to see live horses in the park while they were there eating lunch, or strolling through,” said the Raceway’s Marketing Co-ordinator Sarah Imrie. “It was a perfect afternoon and a great way to get the message out about Molson Pace night. A huge thanks to all our horse people who helped out.” The $150,000 Molson Pace will go as the final race on Friday night’s 12-race program, considered one of the strongest in the track’s history. There will be a lot happening on track and for complete details visit www.molsonpace.com. Greg Blanchard WFD Media Relations  

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2015 - Everything went according to plan for driver Trevor Henry and three-year-old trotting colt Olympic Son as the duo captured the first Gold Series Leg of the 2015 season at the harness racing meeting at The Raceway at Western Fair District on Wednesday evening. Starting from Post 3 in the $52,500 contest, Henry sent Olympic Son directly to the front and the colt cruised along unchallenged to a two and one half length victory in 1:58.2. Luck O The Irish and fan favourite Covert Operative finished second and third. "I kind of wanted to be on the front with him," said Henry of the Majestic Son colt. "I know he's good on a half - I won at Hanover with him last year - so that's kind of where I wanted to be." A two-time winner at the Grassroots level last season, Olympic Son is trained by Paul Reid for owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The second division saw local favourite El Diablo Hall match the 1:58.2 clocking, sailing under the wire four and one-half lengths ahead of Namesmuscle and Concept. El Diablo Hall is trained by Anthony Montini for London's Dale Hunter, Rick Podolinsky of Alvinston, Albina Montini of Acton and Paul Giammichele of Burlington. The win marked the first start of the season for Windsong Espoir son El Diablo Hall, who was the Grassroots Final runner-up at two. Lightly rated Winning Wizard and driver Paul MacDonell conjured up a win in the third division, reeling in the favourites down the stretch to claim the 1:57.1 victory. Favourite Hemi Seelster finished one-quarter length back in second with Alacrity rounding out the top three. Richard "Nifty" Norman conditions Winning Wizard and Neven Botica of Perth, Australia owns the gelded son of Kadabra, who was making his first appearance in an Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle. Fan favourite Rubber Duck took home the final Gold Series trophy of the evening, halting the teletimer at 1:57.3 in his Ontario Sires Stakes debut. Platoon Seelster and Jayport All Muscle completed the triactor. Sylvain Filion engineered the win for trainer Julie Walker and owners Blair and Erna Corbeil of Beaumont, AB. The 1:57.3 win established a new personal best for the son of Muscle Mass. The three-year-old trotting colts make their second Gold Series stop at Mohawk Racetrack on June 30, while Ontario Sires Stakes action races back to The Raceway at Western Fair District this Friday, May 29. As part of Friday's Molson Pace night, Ontario's exciting three-year-old pacing colts will warm up the crowd in three $70,000 Gold Series divisions before the country's top aged pacers take the track in the evening's $150,000 finale. In addition to the outstanding racing - highlighted on the large trackside video board - fans can enter to win prizes, try their luck at four guaranteed pool wagers, and join the Molson Party on the Patio. Post time for Friday's festivities is 7:15 pm. Ontario Horse Racing - Check site here - www.ontariohorseracing.caF

London, May 27, 2015 -- Michigan-based harness racing trainer Dale Decker has never been to The Raceway at The Western Fair District, but he’ll have a not-so-secret weapon on his side when his star five-year-old Night Pro goes to the gate Friday night from post four in the $150,000 Molson Pace. Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. will be in Night Pro’s sulky. “He’s the leading dash driver in the country the last two years,” said Decker. Make that the leading dash-winning driver in North America. Wrenn, Jr., 28, won the 2014 continental title with 847 wins and the 2013 crown with 714 victories. This year, Wrenn, Jr. currently sits a close second behind Aaron Merriman in North America with 330 wins. In just eight years in the bike, Wrenn, Jr. has already surpassed 2,500 career victories, most of that over the last four seasons. The Ohio-based driver has made just one career start at The Raceway at The Western Fair District — a fourth-place finish driving Rock Bottom in an overnight in January of 2011. Decker said he had to do a little convincing to get Wrenn, Jr. to give up his full slate of drives Friday at Scioto Downs in Columbus, OH to come to London, but thinks racing in the Molson Pace could be a good stepping stone to bigger races for the driver. “He’s kind of got to make a decision if he wants to try to venture into the Grand Circuit ranks or just stay local,” Decker said. Night Pro has proven to be a horse worth following on the stakes trail. In three years of racing, the son of former Ontario-based star Pro Bono Best out of Midnight Jewel has amassed over $500,000 in earnings and sports a startling record of consistency with 29 wins in 49 starts. The pacer has finished no worse than third in 84 per cent of his starts. “He’s a true racehorse,” Decker said. “He’s the best one I’ve had, by far.” Decker also owns and raised Night Pro, the 5-1 fourth choice in the Molson Pace, behind Confederation Cup winner All Bets Off (post 1, 8-5), two-time defending Molson Pace champ State Treasurer (post 8, 2-1) and Duc Dorleans (post 6, 9-2). The Molson Pace is race 12 in a promotion-packed night of racing at Western Fair. The first race post time is 7:15 p.m. Last year, Night Pro regularly held his own racing against such star older pacers as Foiled Again, Sweet Lou, Clear Vision and Bettors Edge. He posted a record of 12-3-3 in 24 starts and earned over $230,000 racing in stakes in the Midwestern United States, close to Decker’s base close to Toledo, OH. “I try to stay more local to where I’m at, within about a four-hour ship. Horse racing, even though I wish it was my full-time occupation, it’s not. So, time is limited,” said Decker, a residential home builder by trade. “Besides, (Night Pro’s) not the best shipper in the world, either. He’ll be sweating when I get (to Western Fair).” Decker was the one that was sweating when he took Night Pro to the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale in 2010 to be sold on behalf of breeder Linda Marckel. Night Pro is the second foal out of Midnight Jewel. Her first foal, Starzzz Of Jewel, sold for $40,000. When it came time for Night Pro to sell, there was little interest. “I was in a state of shock at the sale,” Decker said. “I had no idea what I was doing. I’m not kidding you. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. The bidding stalled at $4,500. That’s when I jumped in… I did have the money to buy him. So, it wasn’t an issue. But I had plenty of horses and I was just trying to make (his breeder) some money. I ended up with him.” The cost was $14,000. “I had no idea I was going to end up with him because I didn’t want another horse. I already had a barn full. I didn’t want to spend $14,000 either, because I’d have to go home and explain that to my wife,” Decker said. “She wouldn’t let me sell him now.” Though Night Pro is a bigger horse, Decker said The Raceway’s tight half-mile oval doesn’t concern him because his farm track is smaller than a half and Night Pro, “gets around here just fine… He’s pretty universal. That’s what’s nice about him. He can race any way and he can race on any size track.” Fans will be able to enjoy all 12 races on the Friday card on a large infield video tote board that will feature an enhanced broadcasting coverage all night. The Molson Pace card will offer betting patrons a cornucopia of wagering options. There’s a $7,500 guarantee on the early Pick 4 and the Super Hi-5, a $10,000 guarantee on the late Pick 4 and Super Hi-5 and a $2,500 guarantee on the Pick 3 offered in races one through three. Other promotions include scratch and win programs giving patrons a one-in-six chance to win a prize, a guest horse outside the main entrance to greet fans, a raft of prizes and giveaways courtesy of Molson and the OLG and, throughout the night, fans can even take a spin around the track in a double-seated jog cart with the Wanna Ride team. For more information, please visit: www.molsonpace.com. Greg Blanchard

Harness Racing This Week: Molson Pace, The Raceway at Western Fair District, London, Ontario; and Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at two locations this weekend. Action begins on Friday (May 29) at The Raceway at Western Fair District with the C$150,000 Molson Pace for free for all pacers. In addition to the appearance of two-time defending champion State Treasurer, who will start from the trailing post eight, recent Confederation Cup winner All Bets Off is in the field and has drawn the rail. Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $117,724 Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies) on Saturday (May 30). Elimination winners In The Arsenal and Sonofa Sizzle lead the field in the Art Rooney Pace. Complete entries for the Yonkers races can be found by clicking on this link. Western Fair entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Maxie Lee Memorial for older trotters, the Jerry Taylor Memorial for older pacers and the Betsy Ross for pacing mares at Harrah's Philadelphia. Father Patrick, who was a division champion at ages 2 and 3, made his 4-year-old debut a winning one by capturing Sunday's (May 24) $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational by two lengths over Bee A Magician in 1:52.1. Lindy's Tru Grit finished third. Father Patrick's time equaled the track record for a 4-year-old male trotter. "If everything stays perfect I think he's going to be very dominant," said trainer Jimmy Takter, whose past stars include Horse of the Year Award winners Moni Maker and Malabar Man. "I really do. I've been around greatness, and I think he's going to be a horse people talk about for many, many years." Father Patrick and Bee A Magician were among four horses to go for the lead on the first turn and Father Patrick got to the front before the group neared the second turn. The opening quarter was :27.1, followed by a half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:24.2. Bee A Magician tried to launch a challenge coming off the final turn, but Father Patrick yielded no ground. "He did it so easy too," winning driver Yannick Gingras said after the race. "The earplugs are still in; I never really called on him. I let him trot the last eighth (of a mile). "Bee A Magician got the right trip, but with those kinds of fractions maybe I got a little bit of a jump on her. But she's a great horse and I was definitely worried around the turn when Brian (driver Sears) pulled because I knew she would give me a run. But he just showed what kind of horse he is." Father Patrick has won 23 of 29 career races and earned $2.51 million for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group. Takter also visited the winner's circle following the inaugural $150,000 Jerry Taylor Invitational for older male pacers, which was won by his Great Vintage (David Miller) by three-quarters of a length over Dancin Yankee in 1:50.2. Mach It So finished third. A 7-year-old son of American Ideal out of the mare Art's Vintage, Great Vintage is 2-for-2 this season. He has won 28 of 95 career races and earned $793,108. Takter trains Great Vintage for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Goran Anderberg and Goran Falk. Radar Contact (John Campbell) won the $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers by a neck over Anndrovette, who won last year's race. Ooh Bad Shark was third. Radar Contact went to the front in the opening quarter-mile and never looked back, holding off multiple Dan Patch Award-winner Anndrovette at the wire. A 7-year-old daughter of Dontgetinmyway out of the mare Topville Cyberwave, Radar Contact has won six of 16 races this year and finished worse than second only twice. For her career, she has 31 victories in 97 starts and $877,006 in purses. Radar Contact is trained by Noel Daley for owners Charles Stillings and Dean Ehrgott. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Daniel Dube - 152; 2. Yannick Gingras - 146; 3. Jason Bartlett - 123; 4. Brian Sears - 118; 5. Tim Tetrick - 102. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 230; 2. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 186; 3. Rene Allard - 130; 4t. Mark Silva - 50; 4t. Jimmy Takter - 50. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 164.5; 2. Burke Racing - 61.75; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 53.55; 4. Allard Racing - 41.6; 5. Jeff Snyder - 37.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at four different racetracks next weekend. The Meadows will host 3-year-old filly trotters (Friday, June 5) and 3-year-old colt trotters (Saturday, June 6) in the Currier & Ives. Also on Saturday, Scioto Downs will host the Charlie Hill for free for all trotters, Mohawk will feature the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old colt pacers and Meadowlands Racetrack will contest the second leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters. Paul Ramlow

London, May 25, 2015 --The post position draw for this year’s  harness racing $150,000 Molson Pace was conducted earlier this evening at The Raceway in London during the pre-game show. Local CTV Sports Anchor, Brent Lale, joined the broadcast team in studio to perform the duties. Defending champion State Treasurer will start from the trailing post eight behind recent Confederation Cup winner All Bets Off who drew the coveted rail position. All Bets Off will be handled by Matt Kakaley while Chris Christoforou will once again be up behind State Treasurer. The remaining starters, along with drivers, in position order include; All Bets Off (p.p. 1, Matt Kakaley), Lucan Hanover (p.p. 2, Trevor Henry), P H Super Cam (p.p. 3, Jason Bartlett), Night Pro (p.p. 4, Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), Evenin Of Pleasure (p.p. 5 Sylvain Filion), Duc Dorleans (p.p. 6, Daniel Dube)  Lets Drink On It (p.p. 7, Billy Davis Jr.) State Treasurer (p.p. 8, Chris Christoforou) The Molson Pace will go as the final race on this Friday night’s 12-race program at the London oval. The powerful undercard will feature Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions, a quartet of City of London Series finals and classes for Preferred pacers. For more details on this year’s event, visit www.molsonpace.com.  

London, May 19, 2015 -- Defending champion State Treasurer will be back in the Forest City next Friday night, May 29, in search of an unprecedented third straight Molson Pace title as the harness racing field for this year’s $150,000 Invitational takes shape. The six-year-old son of Real Desire scored his first win of the season this past Saturday at Mohawk in authoritative fashion in 1:49.4 and will be given this week off in preparation. State Treasurer would surpass the $1 million mark in career earnings with a top-two finish in this year’s Molson. Joining him in this year’s event will be All Bets Off who is fresh off a sizzling 1:51.3 victory in the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs and fellow Cup elimination winner, Lets Drink On It, who suffered a tough, parked out trip in the final and finished out of the money. American invader and millionaire, P H Super Cam, will be making his second appearance in the Molson Pace and will be joined by a pair of new faces in Polak A from the Tony Osullivan stable and $500,000 winner Night Pro, who has won five of eight this year in Indiana including a 1:49.2 tally in mid April at Hoosier Park. “The race office has put together another stellar group,” said Racing Manager Greg Blanchard. “I like the mix that we have...some big names, some four-year-olds who have acclimated and some new faces that have very impressive credentials. We’ll keep a close eye on this weekend’s action before filling out the final couple of spots.” The post draw for the Molson Pace will be held this Monday evening on the pre-game show just prior to live racing at approximately 6:00 p.m. The Raceway has a big night planned on track and fans will be able to watch the action outside on the large video board that is being brought in for the evening. For complete details on what is planned and to stay up to date on this year’s event, visit www.molsonpace.com. This Friday night, The Raceway will host more City of London Series eliminations with the trotters taking center stage. It is also HPIBET night at The Raceway where fans will have a chance to win a VIP package to this year’s Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk and all sorts of HPIBET prizes that will be given away throughout the night. First post for this Friday, and Molson Pace night, will be 7:15 p.m. Greg Blanchard

Natasha House was presented with the 2014 Caretaker of the Year Award at this year's harness racing "Raceway Awards Banquet" by Hugh Mitchell and Don McCallum of Western Fair District. Natasha House went shopping for a racehorse last week at The Raceway at Western Fair District... She ended up with Sandburg Hanover after multiple claims were entered on the horse at the $5,000 claiming level.  “He was an early Birthday present for myself,” House said – who will celebrate her Birthday this coming Sunday, May 24th. “And now he’s given me an even better early Birthday gift – my first training win!” Sandburg Hanover would face tougher foes on Monday evening, at The Raceway, but he was given 8/5 respect by the betting public and his competition would never seriously challenge him, from start to finish, as driver Lorne House would guide him to a 1:55.2 score. “He’s meant to be a good one. He’s the nicest stud to be around – just like a puppy dog... Lorne has always liked him too and when the opportunity was there to claim him – I didn’t hesitate,” stated Natasha. Sandburg Hanover now has a nine-race win streak dating back to August 30th of last year. Conditioned then by Kevin McMaster – the wins started at Sarnia and continued at Hanover and Kawartha before his season ended on October 11th. Miroslaw Czupa purchased the horse from McMaster during the off-seaon and then had the horse return for his season debut on May 6that The Raceway. An eye-popping 1:55.3 win at the $5,000 claiming level would spark multiple claims when Sandburg Hanover was entered back for the same price the following week. Five claims were entered on the great looking stallion son of American Ideal on May 11th at The Raceway. “We had talked to the former owner/trainer (Czupa) about purchasing the horse and he was very excited to see him go to us. We’re going to make sure he has a great home going forward,” she continued. Natasha’s first career training win comes seven years after she first obtained a training licence. “I had a licence in the Spring of 2008 and decided to get back to training again this year,” she explains. “I’ve been around racing my whole life, so this first training win is pretty exciting for me!” Natasha and husband Lorne look after a stable of nine horses. Eight trotters and one single pacer now in Sandburg Hanover. “I do enjoy the trotters,” Natasha stated. “But we’re hoping to keep this pacer around for a long time. He won’t be in a claimer next time out – that I can tell you,” she added. If not in a claimer then where does this red hot horse, with the long running win streak, go?  “He’ll likely be entered at the Preferred level now,” she said. “Maybe there’ll be a race we can enter him in for Molson Pace night (May 29th)... That would be exciting!” she continued. “For now we’ll just see how he comes out of this race and give him a few days off in the paddock. He has his issues and he’s the kind of horse we’ll have to manage well, but we’re good with that – he’s worth it!” Shannon Doyle Email:  sdoyle@westernfairdistrict.com Web:    www.westernfairdistrict.com The Raceway @ Western Fair District

London, May 12, 2015 -- Camluck left an indelible mark on the standardbred breed, but the impact the super harness racing sire had on Seelster Farms is immeasurable. "Camluck made Seelster Farms. Without a hesitation I say that. Without him we wouldn't be where we are today. He put us on the map," said Ann Straatman, the reproduction manager at the Lucan, Ont. farm where the 28-year-old stallion stood for 25 years before being retired from active duty in October of 2014. Friday night, Camluck will become the first horse and 35th inductee overall to the Wall of Fame at The Raceway at The Western Fair District in London, Ont. "Being the first horse ever is quite an honour. It caught me off guard, but he had a big impact on Western Fair," said trainer Bob McIntosh, the man who trained Camluck and was one of the owners of the pacer that spring-boarded from a million-dollar racing career to become the number one stallion in harness racing history in North America by total progeny earnings. Camluck's progeny have earned just shy of $220 million in total. The late, great Western Hanover is second on the list. His offspring have earned approximately $211 million combined. Camluck was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2003. Straatman said Camluck not only was the most fertile stallion Seelster has ever stood, he also consistently passed on his "drive and intelligence" to his progeny. "He is, by far, the smartest horse we've ever had, and that's a lot of horses," Straatman said. "There isn't a smarter horse than he is. He's that smart. He puts that attitude into his foals. We notice it with his yearlings when we go to video them. They video terribly... They won't be chased. They're too smart to be chased. They'll turn around and look at you and wonder, 'What are you chasing me for?' It is absolutely an intelligence that comes right from (Camluck)." McIntosh said he trained a lot of horses sired by Camluck and a common trait was their ability to race tough. "I think most of them, even when they aren't 100 per cent, suck it up and give 110 per cent. That's rare amongst sires," McIntosh said. "Another thing, too, I noticed about them. When you breed to some sires, if you don't get a stakes horse, you don't even have a horse. Camluck sired horses of any class. You could get a good hard-hitting racehorse or you could get a stakes horse. You didn't have to worry about getting a filly or getting a colt, because they were both good." Camluck will join Seelster Farms' late owner Chris Van Bussel on The Raceway's Wall of Fame. Van Bussel was inducted in 2004. "I was glad that Chris Van Bussel had (Camluck)," McIntosh said. "I can remember having a meeting to send (Camluck to Seelster) and Chris was just a real gentleman. His handshake was as good as a contract. He was one of the nicest, most honourable men I've ever met." Friday's Wall of Fame Night card begins at 7:15 p.m. and will also feature the first race in this year's Racing Under Saddle (RUS) series in Ontario. Fans will have a chance to watch and wager on the event as well as meet and greet the riders. The RUS series is in its second full season in Ontario and has been growing in popularity. Visit rusontario.com for more details. There will also be a number of fan promotions throughout the night and a pair of mini races scheduled as part of the fun. Though, honouring Camluck will be the main event. "It is such an honour to be recognized," Straatman said, "especially at our home track." Straatman said Camluck's "nose is a little out of joint" that he doesn't get to breed anymore, but otherwise, the senior equine is "fantastic", "in good health" and is enjoying living out his days in his private paddock with special lawn as pristine as one might find on a golf course. "Whatever Camluck wants, Camluck gets," Straatman said. By Dave Briggs for The Raceway  

London, April 28, 2015 -- Canada’s first major harness racing event of the season for older pacers, The $150,000 Molson Pace, is just over a month away and the folks at The Raceway in London are finalizing plans for the big night on Friday, May 29th. The Molson Pace was changed back to an Invitational format in 2013 and the past two seasons has produced some of the strongest fields ever for the event.  And, in both years, it’s been the Ian Moore-trained State Treasurer who has emerged victorious. The six-year-old son of Real Desire, who recovered from a miscue at the start to win last year’s event, qualified recently in Florida in 1:51 and is expected back in London in search of the three-peat. Modern Legend, who started his career in the 2011 Middlesex Series in London, is also expected to receive in an invite along with the winner of the Confederation Cup which will be held two weeks prior to the Molson, on Sunday, May 17th at Flamboro Downs. Other potential starters for this year’s contest include local horses Apprentice Hanover and Nickle Bag along with several horses who competed in this year’s recently-concluded Levy Series at Yonkers.  The sport’s richest pacer and ageless wonder Foiled Again could also be on hand for a record seventh appearance. The Raceway will also host the first leg of the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series for three-year-old colt pacers that night along with a quartet of City of London Series Finals for trotters and pacers. It is the richest single night of the season at the Forest City oval with approximately $500,000 in purses up for grabs. Aside from the great racing, fans can expect a fun-filled night according to the track’s Marketing Co-ordinator Sarah Imrie. “We have so much planned this year. More prizes giveaways than ever before thanks to Molsons, the OLG and the Raceway,” promises Imrie. “The list is being finalized now, and I am sure fans will be overwhelmed with what we have planned.   "The great part about coming to Southwestern Ontario's premier sporting event, is that a family can come and have a great night out for little or no cost, plus have a chance of going home with some great prizes and memories of a truly outstanding evening.  It is a tradition that continues to grow and grow". On the wagering side, highlights include $7,500 Guaranteed Pools on both the early Pick-4 and early Super Hi-5 and $10,000 Guaranteed Pools on both the late Pick-4 and late Super Hi-5. Both wagers, along with the Pick-3 are offered at a low 15% takeout rate. Fans are urged to stay tuned to www.westernfairdistrict.com for more details as the date for this year’s Molson Pace draws closer. Greg Blanchard Racing Manager

Harness racing owner /trainer Ross Battin appealed recently against the 90 day suspension of Youths Awesome after it tested positive to the Class 2 Ractopamine.   The decision of the commission in respect of that appeal is listed below.      IN THE MATTER OF THE RACING COMMISSION ACT, 2000, S.O. 2000, C.20 AND IN THE MATTER OF THE REQUEST FOR HEARING OF ROSS BATTIN ______________________________________________________________________     AGREED STATEMENT OF FACTS     The licensee Ross Battin and the Counsel for the Administration of the Ontario Racing Commission agree to the following facts:     1.  Ross Battin (“Battin”), (licence number B44657) is licensed by the Ontario Racing Commission (“ORC”) as a, Owner/Driver/Trainer.   2.  On February 9, 2015, the horse Youths Awesome (tattoo number 1HL24) trained and co-owned by Battin, participated in the 8th race at Western Fair Raceway and finished first. A urine specimen was then collected for screening.   3.  On February 18, 2015, a Certificate of Positive Analysis was released by Maxxam Laboratories indicating that the urine specimen obtained from the horse Youths Awesome tested positive for the Class 2 drug Ractopamine.   4.  Following the receipt of the Certificate, on February 20, 2015, the judges at Western Fair Raceway issued the Ruling SB 46419 pursuant to Standardbred Rules 11.10.01(2) and 20.01.01(i)(2), suspending the horse Youths Awesome for 90 clear days until May 20, 2015.   5.  On the same date, by Ruling SB 46418, Battin was suspended for an indefinite period pending the outcome of the investigation relating to the cause of the Ractopamine positive testing of his horse, pursuant to Standardbred Rule 9.08.01(b)(ii).   6.  On February 23, 2015, Battin filed a request for stay and appealed the Rulings SB 46418 and 46419 of February 20, 2015.   7.  On February 25, 2015, by Ruling SB 10/2015 and Ruling SB 11/2015, the Executive Director of the ORC denied the stay of the 90 days suspension of the horse, and of the indefinite suspension of Battin, respectively.   8.  Following the investigation, the judges at Western Fair Raceway rendered Ruling SB 46421 on March 4, 2015, reinstated Battin’s licence, setting a probation period of two years with conditions upon reinstatement.   9.  Battin is now seeking to appeal the Director’s Ruling 10/2015 denying the stay of the 90 days suspension of the horse Youths Awesome.   Joint Recommendation With Respect to Penalty   10.       The ORC Administration and Battin jointly submit for the Panel’s consideration that the following disposition is appropriate in these circumstances:   i.      The 90 days suspension of his horse Youths Awesome be stayed pursuant to Rule 24.01 of Standardbred Racing without prejudice, with the following conditions:   a.   During the stayed suspension period of 90 days,  the horse Youths Awesome shall not test positive for Ractopamine or other prohibited drug;    b.   During the stay of the 90 days suspension, Battin delivers proof that the horse Youths Awesome provided a clear/negative sample, prior to race.   ii.      Any breach of the conditions will result in an immediate reinstatement of the 90 days suspension of the horse and any such further sanctions at the discretion of the Deputy Director.   The effects of Ractopamine   Dated at Toronto, Ontario, this 25th day of March, 2015    

London, April 19, 2015 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District will have its 2015 Wall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday, May 15th and, for the first time, the prestigious honour will go to a horse rather than a human recipient. The incomparable Camluck, who has long resided at Seelster Farms in nearby Lucan, will be honoured during a ceremony that night in recognition of his remarkable contributions both on the race track and as a sire. The son of legendary Cam Fella became one of the fastest horses of his generation by virtue of his 1:48.4 time trial effort in 1992 at Lexington’s Red Mile. Over the course of his brilliant racing career, he earned more than $1 million while facing one of the very best older pacing crops of all-time that included the likes of Artsplace, Staying Together, Cambest, Silver Almahurst and Odds Against just to name a few. However, it was in the breeding shed, where Camluck made his greatest impact and stamped himself as one of the greatest pacing stallions in harness racing history. From 2332 foals, Camluck produced just shy of 1,600 race winners and he retired recently with overall offspring earnings of $218,771,118. His average earnings per starter was $118,768 and he produced 28 starters who banked more than $1 million and 62 performers who took a record of 1:50 or better. Wall of Fame Night will also feature the kick off race in this year’s Racing Under Saddle (RUS) series in Ontario. Fans will have a chance to watch and wager on the event as well as meet and greet with the riders and take part in the different promotions offered that night. The RUS series, sanctioned by the Ontario Racing Commission in 2014, is in its second full season in Ontario and has been growing in popularity.  Visit www.rusontario.com for more details. There will also be a pair of mini races scheduled that same night – one galloping and one gaited – as part of the fun. The Raceway’s signature event, the $150,000 Molson Pace, is slated for Friday, May 29th. Defending champion State Treasurer has recently qualified and is expected back in search of a first-ever Molson three-peat.  The Molson Pace will once again be contested as an Invitational and more details on potential starters, along with the various promotions being planned, will be announced soon. Greg Blanchard  

London, March 12, 2015 -- Officials at The Raceway in London have announced that Friday morning's qualifying session has been cancelled to give the track crew time to prepare for Friday nights live harness racing program which is scheduled for 7:15 pm. The track was forced to cancel programs this past Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday due to the warmer temperatures which caused extreme thawing in the racing surface. Greg Blanchard Raceway Manager

London, March 10, 2015 -- Based on a dramatic improvement in the track and a favourable weather forecast this afternoon and evening in London, officials at The Raceway at Western Fair District have announced that tonight's live harness racing program is a go. The 12-race card gets underway at 6:15 p.m. A pair of $7,500 Guaranteed Pick-4 pools will be offered up. Free programs and live streaming video available at www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard

London, March 3 -- Due to forecasted treacherous weather for this afternoon and into this evening in the London area, The Raceway at Western Fair District has canceled live racing for tonight. Live racing is scheduled to resume on Wednesday evening at 6:15 PM. Greg Blanchard 

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