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
London, February 22, 2015 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District in London honoured its top harness racing performers for 2014 during their annual awards night on Saturday. Among the highlights was driver Alfie Carroll taking home his first trophy as Driver of the Year, Kendal Gustav being selected as overall Horse of the Year and Natasha House being voted Caretaker of the Year. Two other awards were announced the night of the ceremony and they include Lisa Thompson who was selected as Horsewoman of the Year and the Dave Wall Outstanding Service Award which went to longtime London horseman Larry Fitzsimmons. Here is a complete look at this year's Raceway award winners: Older Pacing Horse - Kendal Gustav Older Pacing Mare - Twilight Seelster Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt - Good Side Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly - Delta Grace Tone Older Trotting Horse - Moonbeam Hall Older Trotting Mare - Thundering Ovation Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt - M C Wood Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly - Sonny With A Chance Claiming Pacer - Cat Four Claiming Trotter (Tied) - Strike A Light and Weskey Driver - Alfie Carroll Owner - Keith Cassell Dave Wall Outstanding Service Award - Larry Fitzsimmons Caretaker - Natasha House Horse of the Year - Kendal Gustav Horsewoman of the Year - Lisa Thompson Greg Blanchard
London, February 2, 2015 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District wishes to advise harness racing people and customers that live racing is on as scheduled this evening. The 11-race program will get underway at 6:15 p.m. and it is also Pub Night at the Top Of The Fair dining room. The Raceway features a pair of $5,000 Guaranteed Pool Pick-4 wagers on the card, both with a low 15% takeout rate. The average pick-4 pool for the month of January was more than $10,000 with the average .20 cent payout returning more than $630. Free programs and live streaming video for tonight's card are available at www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard
London, January 26, 2015 --The Monday harness racing program at The Raceway at Western Fair District produced another large carryover in the late Super Hi-5 of more than $6,700 which means the London oval will be offering an instant guarantee of $15,000 on the early Super Hi-5 on Tuesday night's program. It was the longest shot on the board, Give Em Heck (31-1) and driver Ryan Holliday, who scored the upset in Monday's finale at The Raceway, triggering the large carryover into the Tuesday card. The Raceway offered a $15,000 guarantee on Monday's early Super Hi-5 pool and it was Lee Ave, at odds of 9-5, who topped the winning combination which returned a whopping $20,603.35 for a $1 ticket. The early Super Hi-5 is slated for race 7 on Tuesday's program which gets underway at 6:15 p.m. The Raceway will also feature a pair of $5,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pools as well and both the Pick-4 and Super Hi-5 are offered at a low 15% takeout rate. Free programs and free live streaming video are available at www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard Raceway Manager
London, January 25, 2015 -- Harness racing fans of the Super Hi-5 wager at The Raceway will have another massive pool to go after on Monday night's program. The late Super Hi-5 on Friday night did not produce a winning ticket, triggering a big carryover of more than $7,200. The Raceway will offer an instant guarantee on the gross pool for Monday night's early Super Hi-5 of $15,000. The early Super Hi-5 is offered on race 7 and asks fans to select the first five finishers in order. If no one correctly selects all five, then the pool gets carried over to the next Super Hi-5 race. The popular wager has produced some huge payouts of late, including a record return of $15,182.00 on a single .20 cent winning ticket in Friday's early Super Hi-5. Free programs and Free live streaming video are available at www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard
Pulling off a 20-1 upset, Winzel prevailed by a nose over Thundering Ovation in the $11,000 Preferred 2 Handicap Trot on Wednesday evening's harness racing card at The Raceway at the Western Fair District. Driven by Nick Steward, the 10-year-old Royal Strength gelding earned his 40th career win in 2:01.3 while the pacesetting mare had to settle for second-place honours after winning her last two starts at the Preferred 3 level. Thundering Ovation led the field of eight through fractions of :29.2, 1:01 and 1:30.4 over an off track beforeWinzel rallied off the cover of Tornado Tim and got up in the final stride to steal the glory. House Of Cash finished nearly four lengths behind in third. To view the rest of this story click here. Woodbine Super Jackpot at $104,000 With frigid temperatures now the norm, it’s only fitting that Woodbine Racetrack’s Jackpot Hi 5 carryover has ‘snowballed’ to a six-digit figure going into Thursday evening’s card of racing. The precise carryover number is $104,179.14 after multiple winning combinations shared in a portion of the pool during Monday’s 10-race program. Monday’s final race went to the odds-on favourite, #6 Evasive Card Shark, with #2 Shippen Out (50-1), #3 OK Gladiator (8-1), #5 Whos In The Mist (7-1) and #8 Mister Accumulator (12-1) rounding out the top-five finishers. That combination kicked back a return of $4,236.70 for a $1-based wager. For a free, printable program page for Thursday's card of racing, courtesy of TrackIT, click here.
London, January 12, 2015 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District will hold its annual awards night on Saturday, February 21 at the Carousel Room at The Raceway. The Raceway's top performers for 2014 will be honoured in a variety of categories. Awards for the three-year-olds and older horses are based on the top money earners who made a minimum of six starts at The Raceway in 2014. The claiming awards are based on the most number of claiming wins at The Raceway in 2014. The Owner of the Year award, sponsored by Standardbred Canada, goes to the owner who finished in the top 10 for money winnings and had the highest number of starts during the season. The Caretaker of the Year award will be handed out for the second consecutive year. To qualify, caretakers must be nominated by Tuesday, January 13th. To nominate someone, send an email with your reason why to one of the following: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The Raceway will also honour its Overall Horse of the Year the night of the event. Tickets will go on sale next week and will be available in both the race office and the promotions department. For more information, contact 519-438-7203 (ext. 380). The 2014 award winners are as follows: Older Pacing Horse - Kendal Gustav Older Pacing Mare - Twilight Seelster Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt - Good Side Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly - Delta Grace Tone Older Trotting Horse - Moonbeam Hall Older Trotting Mare - Thundering Ovation Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt - M C Wood Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly - Sonny With A Chance Claiming Pacer - Cat Four Claiming Trotter (Tied) - Strike A Light and Weskey Driver - Alfie Carroll Trainer - Vic Puddy Owner - Keith Cassell Dave Wall Outstanding Service Award - TBA Caretaker - TBA Horse of the Year - TBA From the Western Fair Media Department
London, January 9, 2015 -- Horse people are advised that this morning's qualifying session at the raceway in London has been canceled. Today's qualifying session will be carried over to Monday morning at 11 a.m. Live racing is scheduled tonight with a 7:15 pm first post. From The Raceway Media Department
London, January 7, 2014 - The Raceway at Western Fair District has cancelled its Wednesday night program due to the combination of snow squall conditions and extreme cold temperatures in the London area. Heavy snowfall and blowing snow hit the region overnight leading to several cancellations and road closures. The forecast is calling for more of the same into Wednesday evening. The track will be open for simulcasting today with live racing set to resume this Friday night with a first post of 7:15 p.m. From The Raceway Media Department
For the second week-in-a-row Kendal Gustav proved to be a cut above the others thanks to his Tuesday evening triumph in the $11,000 Horses & Geldings Preferred 2 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The productive pacer from the Scott McNiven outfit went to the front and didn’t look back en route to his latest triumph. Lorne House hustled Kendal Gustav through fractions of :28.4, 1:00.3 and 1:30.1 over a track rated ‘good’ with a two-second variant before roaring home in :28.4 for the one-length score over For A Bettor Time in 1:59. Third prize was earned by Stoney Durkin. McNiven shares ownership on the six-year-old son of Life Sign-City Of Dreams with Tom Brodhurst of London and Shirley Griffin of St. Thomas, Ontario. It was the 29th lifetime tally for the gelding who went 11-for-39 last season. He banked more than $61,000 last year and to date has potted in excess of $187,000. To view the rest of this story click here. Training canceled at The Raceway The Raceway at Western Fair District wishes to advise horse people that the track will be closed on Wednesday morning for training due to some substantial snowfall expected overnight and into the morning. The first Wednesday program of the season is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Track management will assess weather conditions and the forecast Wednesday morning and will advise by 12 noon the status of Wednesday night’s program. Dali to stand at Kendal Hills Equine Officials with Kendal Hills Equine have announced that Dali p,3,1:48.2f ($1,436,363) will stand at its Campbellcroft, Ont. nursery for the 2015 breeding season. Dali (Real Artist – Armbro Tea, by Matts Scooter) showed magnificent early speed at age two, punctuated by his dominant wins in the 2007 Niatross and Woodrow Wilson stakes. Even though he showed amazing speed right at the beginning of his career, Dali still had a high-octane motor right through to the end of this three-year-old campaign in 2008. That speed was on display yet again in the 2008 Matron Stakes final when he scorched Dover Downs’ five-eighths mile oval in a then-world-record 1:48.2. To view the rest of this story click here. Quebec's Rene Grand'Maison passes Longtime horseman Rene Grand'Maison of Rosemere, Quebec passed away on Sunday, January 2 at the age of 94. Well known by the harness racing community in Quebec and eastern Ontario, Grand'Maison was active until the age of 74 and drove in a schooling race at the age of 72 at Hippodrome de Montreal in the 1990s. Husband of the late Annette Villeneuve and predeceased by daughter Laurette. He is survived by his children: Lyne (Philippe Lissardi), Michel (Sylvie Racine), Andrée (Jean-Pierre Magnan), François (Chantal Legault), Claude (Chantal Dufresne), grandchildren: Guy Alexander, Marie-Eve Marie-Michelle, Julian Martin, Morgan Frédérique, and Claude Mathieu; his grandchildren: Samuel, Travis, Emile, Marley, Charlie and Tyler; Réjeanne his sister, his brother Leonard (Gilberte) and Germain and other relatives and friends. To view the rest of this story click here.
The Ontario Racing Commission has announced via a notice to the industry that it has approved applications for variance to the 2015 race date schedule made by The WFA Raceway Corporation for The Raceway at Western Fair District (Western Fair) and Grand River Agricultural Society for Grand River Raceway (Grand River). Via release, the ORC announced that its director approved the following changes: GRAND RIVER Add • Wednesday, September 30(Post time 6:30 p.m.) WESTERN FAIR Delete • Friday, October 2 • Monday, October 5 WESTERN FAIR Revised Post Times • All Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays – Post Time: 6:15 p.m. (change from 4:05 p.m.) • All Fridays – Post Time: 7:15 p.m. (change from 7:05 p.m.) In addition, a correction has been issued for the 2015 race date schedule at Clinton Raceway (Clinton). The corrected version of Clinton’s approved 2015 calendar – along with the Grand River and Western Fair schedules – can be accessed by clicking here. From the Ontario Racing Commission
London, December 30, 2014 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District will wrap up what has been a successful month with its annual New Year's Eve racing program on Wednesday night - the final program of the 2014 season in London. The 12-race program will once again feature the Auld Lang Syne Trot and Pace which are open to horses that last competed in a $5,000 claimer, with the oldest entrants receiving preference. The night will also feature a 'Heart of Harness Racing' calendar giveaway with program purchase (while supplies last) as well as prize giveaways, a Raceway t-shirt toss and special editions of the Fun Wheel and Deal or No Deal. On the wagering side, the early pick-4 will offer a $7,500 guaranteed pool while the late one has been bumped up to $10,000. It is also the last night for the Horseplayer Interactive (HPI) promotion where customers who wager $50 on The Raceway are entered for a chance to win one of 15 draws of a $150 deposit in their account. "We start a little bit later on New Year's Eve," said Racing Manager Greg Blanchard of the 8:00 p.m. start time. "We look to end the card just a little bit before midnight and give customers a chance to ring in the New Year with us afterwards. There will be something for everyone and this has become one of the most anticipated nights on our racing calendar." Alfie Carroll and Vic Puddy will look to end off the season on a high note as they will capture their first driver and trainer title respectively at The Raceway. Carroll had three more wins on Tuesday night to put further distance between him and Trevor Henry in the driver's race while Puddy added two more wins to his meet-leading total. Both will be in action on Wednesday night. Customers have been showing their support at the windows for the month of December with the London oval on pace to easily surpass its single-month wagering record. The handle has topped $500,000 on four different occasions, including a $700,000 night on December 23rd, and fans can expect large pools once again on the New Year's Eve. For more information and to download free race programs for Wednesday night's card, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. From the press box at The Raceway
London, December 23, 2014 -- The final program prior to the Christmas break at the Raceway at Western Fair District proved to be a lucrative one as the London oval recorded what is believed to be a record single-night handle of $700,685. Fuelled by a favourable schedule, a strong program and a pair of $7,500 guaranteed Pick-4 pools, fans responded in a big way as they looked to take home some last minute holiday cash. "It was a huge night for us and a great way to wrap things up before our Christmas break," said Racing Manager Greg Blanchard in regards to the 14-race program. "For tracks like ours it's big when we can capitalize on our opportunities and it's terrific to see customers respond to our product on night's like this. We've still got plenty of racing planned for the rest of this month, so hopefully we can maintain the strong numbers." The next program at The Raceway comes up this Friday (Boxing Day), with a pair of 14-race programs scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday and then the annual New Year's Eve program on December 31st. Fans are reminded that special post times of 1:15 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. will be in effect for Boxing Day and New Year's Eve respectively. From the Raceway Media Department