Calipari climbed the class ladder Monday evening looking to double up for trainer Rod Boyd, who watched the suddenly-streaking square-gaiter rally for a 5-1 upset in the $34,000 Preferred Trot at Mohawk Racetrack. In the midst of a downpour, the six-year-old son of Ken Warkentin-Sheena Hall rallied from out of the clouds – storm clouds, that is – to win by a half-length margin for driver Phil Hudon who timed his move just right with the gelding. Calipari got away last in the field of seven, and he remained seventh all the way to the three-quarter pole. Doubledown Gass, as per tradition, whacked out panels of :27 and :55.4 before coming under heavy fire from Dancehall Mistress in the third quarter. That mare picked the wrong dance partner to tango with, however, as she quickly faded out the picture. To view the rest of this story click here. The Raceway feature to Kendal Gustav Kendal Gustav did most of the heavy lifting for driver Lorne House en route to a comfortable score in Monday’s $7,000 Preferred 3 for pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District. House hustled Kendal Gustav to the top and had the field chasing him past the quarter pole in :27. Cluster Hanover popped the pocket shortly past the opening panel and took over the lead without a tussle. He led the field to the half in :56.4, before being overtaken in the backstretch by Kendal Gustav. House and Kendal Gustav sizzled by the three-quarter pole in 1:26.3 before using a :30.1 closing quarter to win by 1-3/4 lengths over Lawmen Reign in 1:56.4. Third prize went to race favourite Account Rollover. To view the rest of this story click here. Post time change Sunday at 3R Officials with the Quebec Jockey Club have announced that there is post-time change for an upcoming card of racing at Hippodrome 3R. First-race post time for the Hippodrome 3R’s card this Sunday, October 12 will now be 2 p.m. Qualifying races will be held at 1 p.m.
The new harness meet began at The Raceway at the Western Fair District on Friday and Miss Coco Luck was the star of the opening night feature race. Trainer Jack Parsons kicked off the 2014-15 meet sweeping the early Daily Double with Robert Robinson's Tymal Patriot ($16.40), in rein to Mike Horner, and Samuel Taylor's Miss Mach ($23.90), driven by Lorne House. Both Mach Three pacers scored their first wins of the year in front-stepping fashion. Miss Coco Luck ($6.60) later won the featured $7,500 Preferred 3 Handicap for filly and mare pacers in 1:57.4 over the 'good' track with Alfie Carroll aboard for trainer Blake MacIntosh. The four-year-old homebred Camluck mare sent her earnings over the $100,000 mark with her eighth career win for owners Dan and Kim Sergeant of Straffordville, Ont. To view the rest of this story click here. Rock Allstar wins another at Frasier Downs Rock Allstar turned in a career-best 1:52.2 performance over a fast track on Friday night to earn his second straight Open Pace victory at Fraser Downs A winner in his previous Open start on Sept. 19 with a qualifying tune up last Friday (both miles over an off track), Rock Allstar was sent postward as the 7-5 favourite in the $10,500 ninth race feature and didn't disappoint his backers at the betting windows. Leaving from post three, Rock Allstar out-sprinted insider Cantbeatacheetah around the first turn and led the rest of the way to record his 30th career win and shave more than a full second off his lifetime mark. Cantbeatacheetah pulled the pocket down the homestretch, but was only able to get within three-quarters of a length of the pacesetter. Blue Star Admiral came on for third. To view the rest of this story click here.
London, September 26, 2014 -- A long list of Opening Night promotions will be on tap Friday, Oct. 3 when The Raceway at The Western Fair District in London, Ont. opens its 2014-15 live harness racing season. Fans can take a spin around the half-mile oval in a double-seated jog cart with the Wanna Ride team, take part in a Survivor Handicapping Challenge, catch the Racing Under Saddle 2014 finale, take advantage of special Opening Night pricing in the Top of the Fair restaurant and even get their first bet for free thanks to the First Bet Is On Us promotion. There will also be prize giveaways and the track's regular Friday promotions such as Deal or no Deal, The Fun Wheel and Trivia. Raceway Manager Greg Blanchard said he can't wait to get the meet started. "We've gone through a turbulent couple of years, but I think we've weathered the storm well and we're really excited to be back in action this year," Blanchard said. The Raceway at The Western Fair District will race on Mondays and Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. and Fridays at 7:05 p.m. this fall and will add Wednesdays to the schedule in the new year. Track announcer Shannon "Sugar" Doyle is back calling the action at The Raceway. He moved to London at the start of the 2013-14 meet after calling races in Alberta for many years. "I'm looking forward to it," Doyle said. "Coming into last season it was a whole new venue, new horses and names and drivers and everything else. Everything was new. I've got a handle on it now going into this meet and I'm feeling good. I know what to expect this time around. I'm hoping to be sharp right out of the gate." New this year is a Pick-3 wager on the first three races of every card in addition to two, Pick-4 wagers guaranteed at $5,000 apiece and two Super Hi-5 bets. All of those wagers have a takeout rate of 15 per cent. At the start of its 2012-13 meet, Western Fair became the first Ontario track to introduce the Super Hi-5 bet, a wager that has proven popular there, at Toronto's Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and elsewhere. "Last year on at least a couple of occasions we generated pools in excess of $30,000 of new money. For a track of our size that's a big pool. With that new money, a couple of times we had total pools of $40,000 and $50,000. So, when we get that carryover, it generates a lot of excitement and a lot of buzz," Blanchard said, adding WEG did a lot of the legal legwork to get the Super Hi-5 wager - which WEG calls the Jackpot Hi-5 - approved in the first place. WEG launched the bet in October of 2013. As for other improvements to The Raceway at The Western Fair District, Blanchard said fans will receive a warm welcome in the lobby thanks to an improved customer service area designed to be a strong initial point of contact with patrons, including the addition of a betting terminal right next to the customer service desk. Gone is the old infield tote board and concrete stage, which was replaced by a winner's circle near the end of the 2013-14 meet. "Initially, we'll have large flat-screened TVs placed outside in the grandstand so people can access odds," Blanchard said. "We have two digital countdown clocks so people will be able to track minutes to post." Betting customers making their first trip to the track since the last live meet ended in May will also see a marked improvement in The Raceway at The Western Fair District's tote system. As a member of the eight-track Ontario Standardbred Alliance, the London track received an upgrade in June to the same AmTote system used by WEG. "We were overdue for an upgrade to a newer operating system. When we became part of the Alliance, by default we received an upgrade," Blanchard said. "We're getting good feedback early on from our customers on that." He said there have been other advantages to being part of the Standardbred Alliance, especially with WEG at the helm. "Woodbine's been great to help all of our tracks promote our events. When we did the Molson Pace they did a lot of promotion throughout their various platforms. On Opening Night they're going to be heavily involved again and one of the initiatives is the First Bet Is On Us program. They've done that at Grand River on their big day, they did it at Georgian recently. It's really popular and it's really slick, so that's going to be a nice addition for Opening Night." Overall, Blanchard said he's hoping for a safe meet for the track's participants and growth in both handle and attendance on the business side. "We'd like to see some new faces out at the track this year. That's one of the goals, certainly, of the Alliance," Blanchard said. By Dave Briggs, for The Raceway
The Director of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has approved the applications for 2014/2015 race date amendments made by The Raceway at Western Fair District (Western Fair) and Flamboro Downs (Flamboro) – with the support of the Standardbred Alliance. The Director has approved the following: Western Fair Revised Dates Delete: Wednesday October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19, 26, December 3, 10, 17 Total 12 dates Add: Friday January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27 Total 13 dates Post time 7:05 pm Flamboro Revised Dates Delete: Wednesday October 1, January 7, 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11, 18, 25, March 4, 11, 18, 25 Total 13 dates Add: Thursday January 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26 From the Ontario Racing Commission
London, September 25, 2014 - The Raceway at The Western Fair District will kick off its live racing season on Friday, October 3. The London oval will host racing three days a week this Fall, every Monday and Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. and Friday at 7:05 p.m. The race offices wishes to advise horse people that the weekly draw schedule will be as follows: Draw Tuesday morning for Friday Double Draw Thursday for Monday and Tuesday The entry box closes at 10:00 a.m. and driver changes will be finalized by 9:00 a.m. the following morning. Qualifying races will be held each Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. and entries will be accepted until Thursday morning by 9:00 a.m. The first qualifying races will be held on Friday, October 3. The race office opens each day at 7:00 a.m. and the number to call is (519)-482-5270. Condition sheets for The Raceway are now posted online here http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/conditions From the press box at The Raceway
On Monday, September 15, the Ontario Horse Racing Commission announced that Flamboro Downs and The Raceway at Western Fair District – with the support of the Standardbred Alliance – are requesting approval for a race-date variance for the 2014/15 race date schedule of each racetrack. The ORC announced via release that it is circulating the applications for an amendment to the approved race date schedule and will receive comments on the applications from interested industry participants before making its decision on the application. Copies of the applications and business cases to support these changes are accessible via the links which appear below. • Request for Race Date Variance for Flamboro Downs • Request for Race Date Variance for Western Fair • Request for Race Date Variance for The Alliance • Western Fair request to revise Race Date Calendar • Flamboro request to revise Race Date Calendar The application from Western Fair is as follows: WESTERN FAIR – REVISED DATES Delete Wednesday, October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Wednesday, November 5, 12, 19, 26 Wednesday, December 3, 10, 17 (Total – 12 dates) Add Friday, January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Friday, February 6, 13, 20, 27 Friday, March 6, 13, 20, 27 (Total – 13 dates) Post time – 7:05 p.m. The application from Flamboro is as follows: FLAMBORO DOWNS – REVISED DATES Delete Wednesday, October 1 Wednesday, January 7, 14, 21, 28 Wednesday, February 4, 11, 18, 25 Wednesday, March 4, 11, 18, 25 (Total – 13 dates) Add Friday, December 12, 19 Thursday, January 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Thursday, February 5, 12, 19, 26 Thursday, March 5, 12, 19, 26 (Total – 15 dates) Post time – 6:00 p.m. Input, comments or concerns must be received by September 23, 014 o be considered and can be forwarded to the Ontario Racing Commission as follows: Fax 416-13-7827 Email firstname.lastname@example.org From the Ontario Racing Commission
The director of the Ontario Racing Commission has approved applications from the Lakeshore Horse Racing Association and The Raceway at Western Fair District. Lakeshore requested approval for an extended meet at Leamington Raceway for a total of 13 race days. Western Fair requested to change the post time from October through December 2014. According to a release from the ORC, the director has approved the following: LAKESHORE (DATES) September 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28, 2014 – Post Time 1:30 p.m. WESTERN FAIR (POST TIME) Mondays and Tuesdays, from October 6, 2014 to December 30, 2014 – Change from 4:05 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. (With files from the ORC)
Racing Under Saddle is an innovative new concept in harness racing in Canada, and the schedule for the racing under saddle season has been finalized and will be an exciting season for riders, horses, the bettor, and the general public at large. The Ontario Racing Commission has approved wagering with Standardbred Canada setting the standards for equipment and riders. There will be ten scheduled races at seven tracks from July 1 at Mohawk Racetrack to October 1 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The first race will be held at Mohawk Racetrack on July 1 and the invitational trot will be carded as “Trot For The Cure” in conjunction with a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. After a stop in Clinton for a Sunday afternoon tilt on July 13, which will be the first RUS event that bettors will be able to wager on, comes the first signature event of the RUS season. On July 26 there will be the first half of Norway versus Canada as part the eliminations of the Balanced Image at Hanover Raceway with the second half being held at Grand River Raceway on August 1. Three days later, as part of the Battle Of Waterloo, RUS Ontario will hold an international race featuring riders from Norway, Sweden, Finland, the United States and host Canada. This event will strive to be an annual event in Canada growing with world popularity. On July 19, Georgian Downs will play host to RUS, and on August 29 Mohawk will play host to a second RUS invitational trot, as a prelude to the Canadian Trotting Classic card on September 13. The last invitational trot will be hosted at Mohawk Racetrack. Flamboro Downs will play host to RUS on September 20 and The Raceway at Western Fair District will close out the season with a race on its opening night card on October 1. RUS would like to thank the management at all Ontario tracks for the support and cooperation shown to racing under saddle for this inaugural season as an entity of the Ontario racing scene. Please come out and support racing under saddle and enjoy the excitement of Ontario racing. For further information on sponsorships of races or riders, please contact Julie Walker at (519) 379-7244 or by e-mail at email@example.com. For the website click here. From RUS Ontario
This Week: Currier & Ives filly division, The Meadows, Washington, Pa; Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, North America Cup, Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Charlie Hill Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; and Hanover Stakes (3-year-old colt and filly trot), Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this week. Action begins on Wednesday (June 4) at The Meadows with three divisions in the $93,860 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. Mohawk Racetrack will host Grand Circuit racing on Friday (June 6) with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 7) card at Mohawk features a trio of C$50,000 eliminations for the North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Roses Are Red for pacing mares and the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Scioto Downs will offer its second Grand Circuit stake of the season on Saturday, with the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for open trotters, while Balmoral Park will host a pair of Grand Circuit events on Saturday with the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old colt trotters and the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the Meadows, Scioto Downs and Balmoral Park races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Molson Pace for older pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District, the Art Rooney at Yonkers Raceway and the Roll With Joe at Tioga Downs. State Treasurer (#1) gets up on the outside to narrowly defeat Apprentice Hanover (#4) and Foiled Again (#7) in the Molson Pace. In one of the most exciting editions of The Raceway at Western Fair District's signature race, the $138,000 Molson Pace, last year's winner State Treasurer defended his title despite a terrible start and an inquiry on May 30 at the London half-mile track. Driver Chris Christoforou had State Treasurer three wide down the backside and picked up the cover of Apprentice Hanover and Jody Jamieson heading into the stretch. It was a great race to the finish with State Treasurer getting up on the outside to win by a neck in 1:51.4. Apprentice Hanover was a close second followed by the always game Foiled Again, just a half-length back in third. The winning connections, trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald, had to wait out an inquiry regarding the start before the race was declared official. "I sweated a little bit last year too, but this is a little different this year," noted Moore. "He's a real good little horse, he tries his heart out and he showed that tonight for sure." Odds-on favorite All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, $2.60) was both anxious and effective on May 31, winning the $300,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. All Bets Off was a 1:52.2 winner in the Art Rooney Pace. All Bets Off collared leader Maxi Bon early in the lane, then held off a rallying Some Playa by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:52.2. Maxi Bon held third. All Bets Off, a son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stables and Rosemary Shelswell, is now three-for-four this season with earnings of $180,250. "Oh, yeah, I was worried," Kakaley said. "I thought giving up the lead (to Stevensville) was the right thing to do. Then I saw Danny's (Dube, with Maxi Bon) coming fast and I knew I was in trouble. I was lucky to get out. If I don't, I'm shuffled out, and probably last. "He's (All Bets Off) handy enough for the half-mile, but I think he can carry his speed to bigger tracks, too. Every start (All Bets Off) has been on his toes. Give Ronnie (Burke) and his crew an A-plus. I'm just fortunate to have the drive." Utilizing a powerful push clear in the far turn, Sweet Lou could not be caught in the $160,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace at Tioga Downs on June 1, turning in an impressive 1:48.3 victory. The 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser floated forward to track Bolt The Duer in the early stages, brushing to the front after a :26.2 first quarter and keeping the pace solid en route to a :53.4 half-mile. On the backstretch, Ron Pierce pushed clear with Sweet Lou, putting four lengths on the field in a :26.3 third quarter. Approaching the final 200 yards, it seemed the pace may have been too taxing, as Sweet Lou was all-out through the stretch and Heston Blue Chip found room to chase after being locked in. Sweet Lou dug in late, staving off Heston Blue Chip to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths. Bolt The Duer stayed on to be third. Ron Burke trains Sweet Lou for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, 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 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 291; 2. Tim Tetrick - 255; 3. George Brennan - 164.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 143: 5. Brian Sears - 121. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 485.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 155; 3. Joe Holloway - 117; 4. Jimmy Takter - 95; 5. Julie Miller- 80. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 128.5; 2. Burke Racing - 111.05; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 103.55; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 60; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at Mohawk and the Meadowlands next weekend. Mohawk will host its five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 14), while the Meadowlands will card the Meadowlands Maturity for 4-year-old open pacers and a leg of the TVG Free For All series for open trotters on Friday (June 13). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
London, June 2, 2014 -- An outstanding field and great weather this past Friday night helped spur Molson Pace night wagering numbers at The Raceway in London to their highest levels in more than a decade. The overall handle of $407,000 was up 24% over last year. Meanwhile, wagering on the Molson Pace itself jumped from $98,000 to $117,000, marking an increase of almost 20% over the 2013 totals. "It was very encouraging to see and was a great way to cap off the meet," said Racing Manager Greg Blanchard. "There seemed to be a lot of buzz around the event this year and I think the main reason was the quality of the field that was assembled. The atmosphere was electric here by the time the Molson Pace went to the gate and the race did not disappoint." The London oval is now dark for live racing until Wednesday, October 1. The track will be open 7 days a week throughout the summer offering simulcast racing from across North America. There have been several changes at the track in recent weeks and those will continue this month with the conversion of the tote system over to AmTote as part of Ontario's new Standardbred Alliance. Customers will now be able to wager on a state-of-the-art platform and will also now be able to use their HorsePlayer Interactive (HPI) account for wagering, deposits and withdrawals at any of the Alliance locations and earn rewards on every betting dollar. The conversion is expected to be completed by Tuesday, June 3. From the Media Department Western Fair
In one of the most dramatic come backs of the year in harness racing, State Treasurer, the 7/5 betting favorite, went off-stride at the start of the $150,000 Molson Pace at Western Fair but was able to rebound for driver Chris Christoforou, sweep three-wide from near last place on the final turn and win by a head. It was the second straight Molson Pace victory for State Treasurer and the five-year-old stallion by Real Desire posted his fourth straight win in 2014 for trainer Dr. Ian Smith and owners Sally MacDonald of Souris, PEI and Paul MacDonald, Regina, SK. The feature race began with world record holder Dancin Yankee (Brett Miller) shooting to the early lead as State Treasurer and Christoforou made a break and had to pull out of the race momentarily, regroup and start back after the field in dead last place. With Bettor’s Edge (Trevor Henry) sitting in second, Dancin Yankee led the field to the opening quarter mile in a speedy :26.1 but was collared and pasted by world champion Foiled Again and driver Yannick Gingras. The momentum picked up at the half mile pole in :54.4 as Bandolito and driver Mark MacDonald came first-over to challenge Foiled Again but they not catch up to the leader as Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) was stalking the leaders second-over. At the three-quarters in 1:23, Bandolito began to tire and Apprentice Hanover was three-wide trying to loop everyone and who was following them? None other than State Treasurer and Christoforou. Around the final turn State Treasurer fanned three-wide as Apprentice Hanover was able to collar Foiled Again but as they came to the wire, State Treasurer was on the move and won by a head in 1:51.4. Apprentice Hanover was a game second with Foiled Again close for third and Dancin Yankee fourth. Sent off as the 7/5 wagering favorite, State Treasurer paid $4.90 to win. “It feels real good for sure,” Said trainer Dr. Ian Moore about winning the Molson Pace for the second time. “He was good last year too. It wasn’t that big a problem leaving. He was on the bit pretty good. He is a good little horse and tries his hardest.” “There was a tremendous amount of worry around the first turn,” Christoforou said. “With a smaller track its harder to get around early on. I was sitting behind the right horse and I had the best horse. I think he proved that tonight. “I was hoping on the last turn going three-wide that I could get on Jody’s back (Apprentice Hanover) and it worked out good,” Christoforou explained, “That way he was not three-wide all the way around the turn. I know my horse drifts out a little in the stretch so I don’t have to steer him much to get around so I just started driving him before we hit the stretch. He kinda swooped his way by and put his head in front and I am real proud of him. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
LONDON, Ontario . . . Mark MacDonald, one of harness racing's most talented drivers, made his return to The Raceway at Western Fair District where he made his start and was leading driver for several seasons, and captured two of the four City Of London finals tonight, part of the Molson Pace undercard. The third and fastest City Of London final, a $38,200 contest for pacing distaffers, had tons of action with MacDonald, now a regular on the New York circuit, scoring a victory. As the race got underway Trevor Henry and Face To Face overtook Miss Brandi K by the :27.3 opening panel. She hit the half in :55.3 with pressure from favourite Milliondollar Babe who was neck and neck with the leader down the backside but they were both overtaken by Lyons Katrina and MacDonald, whoâ€™d been stalking second over, and were absolutely flying by the 1:25.4 three-quarters. Lyons Katrina slowed in the stretch but held on to win in 1:57.1. Played By Anangel was a close second followed by Miss Brandi K. It was first lifetime win for Lyons Katrina, a three-year-old daughter of Major In Art owned by Geoffrey Lyons of Burford, Ontario and trained by James Morrison. Bred by Bill Loyens of London, Ontario, the filly is the second foal from $457,000 winner Milliondollarsmile, her first being $482,000 winner Windsong Jack. The fourth and final City Of London final, the $39,000 test for pacing horses, saw MacDonald and Fortune Playboy cutting the pace early as he hit the opening quarter in :27.3. He had pressure from Teranadawn at the :57.2 half but rebuffed that challenge and hit the three-quarters in 1:26 and held his position through the wire in 1:57.3. Hussys Blu Boy was second with Decroft Havaball third. Fortune Playboy, a four-year-old gelding by Rambaran, was recording his seventh win in 10 starts this year for trainer Patrick Shepherd and owner Holland Racing Stable of Niagara On The Lake, Ontario. In the $35,600 final for male trotters it ended up being a four horse race thanks to a late scratch and several breakers in the early going. That allowed Trevor Henry and Shadywood Kid easy access to the front end early and they never relinquished it. The three-year-old gelding by Pegasus Spur tripped off splits of :29, 1:00.2 and 1:30.4 and was a comfortable winner in 2:01.3 over Crime Novel and Kdazzle. Henry, the leader driver at The Raceway, co-owns the winner with John MacLeod who bred the Shadywood Kid with Henry's father Ross. Trained by Shannon Henry, Shadywood Kid was recording his first lifetime win in his 11th attempt. An exciting photo finish took place in the $34,800 final for mare trotters which saw Ja El Diamond setting the early tempo for Steve Byron through fractions of :29.3, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1. Heroine Seelster sat the pocket the entire mile and was trapped in that spot until late going when she finally found racing room and trotted up quickly but was just a nose short at the wire in 2:02.1. Oaklea Wand was third. Pat Hunt trains the winner, a three-year-old daughter of Angus Hall owned by Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Ontario. Unraced last year at two, Ja El Diamond now has three wins in six starts this year for $31,000 in earnings. From the Raceway Media Department
London, May 29, 2014 -- A familiar face, and former leading driver at The Raceway at Western Fair District, is coming back to London for the Molson Pace. Mark MacDonald has been one of North America's top pilots for many years, but this is one race he has yet to win. "I've been in The Pace with some very nice horses," he said. "Tigerama set the track record there (1:50.4 in 2008) in his elimination, but he drew the outside post in the Final and things didn't work out." "I finished second with Dr No to Our Lucky Killean (2006) and I've been there with Sand Olls Dexter (2004) and others... Having lived in London and driven there lots - it's just one of those marquee events that a guy like me would love to win." There's a 'tank' of a horse from south of the border that goes by the name of Bandolito, co-owned, trained and driven, for the most part, by Daryl Bier. He's a son of Ponder and MacDonald has yet to sit behind this 'tank', but he's very familiar with the Ponder family. "I know them well," he stated. "I've driven Ponder and I've driven his stakes champ son's Thinking Out Loud and Bolt The Duer - they're both world class and I think Bandolito is ready for his coming out party too. He hasn't beaten the big boys yet, but The Pace would be a nice spot to start." Bandolito is a lightly raced 4-year-old with just 19 career starts, but he has 13 wins, a mark of 1:48 F and he's banked over $250,000. Charles Dombeck, Dave Bier and brother Daryl all share in ownership and they've recruited MacDonald to pilot this speed demon is this year's edition of the $150,000 Molson Pace taking place Friday, May 30. "I was at Yonkers watching a race from Dover Downs, in April, and I was like 'Who is this pacing out of his harness?'" Turns out it was Bandolito, with Daryl Bier in the bike, cruising to a gate-to-wire 1:48.2 win - his 3rd quarter in 26.2 and final quarter in 25.4 - that's a final half in 52.1 after cutting it! So it is evident that Bandolito has tremendous speed over the five-eighths ovals, but how will he respond to his first test over the half-miler? "He's a very slick pacer and he doesn't wear a boot," said MacDonald. "His speed is just crazy... The half mile track should be just fine for this guy." Some say Bandolito rolls along on the lead like the late Riyadh. A front-end, half-mile track specialist who took on the best there was back in the early to mid 90's. "We'll see how he draws and go from there," added MacDonald. "I know he'll be a serious contender... I know he's ready for the big boys in London... They'll need their 'A+ Game' to beat him!" A confident Mark MacDonald will join London track announcer Shannon 'Sugar' Doyle on Friday's Molson Pace pre-game show to discuss his return to the London oval and offer more insights into this year's Molson 'Dark Horse'. First post on Friday night is 7:05 p.m. and fans will receive a commemorative Foiled Again post card with program purchase. There will also be contests, giveaways, the Molson 'Party on the Patio' and much more happening throughout the night. Full-card coverage will be available on HPItv. On the Wagering side, the early Super Hi-5 will offer an 'Instant Guarantee' of $15,000 while the late Super Hi-5 (Molson Pace) has a $10,000 guaranteed pool. Both Pick-4 wagers offer guaranteed pools - the early at $7,500 and late at $10,000. For more information, including free programs and live streaming video, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. by Greg Blanchard, for The Raceway
The Raceway at Western Fair is pulling out all the stops on Friday for their special Molson Pace Night of harness racing with more than $530,000 in purses headlined by the $150,000 Molson Pace. The weather forecast for Friday’s 12-race program is clear skies and temperatures in the 50’s (10 Celsius) which will make for near perfect race conditions. In addition to the Molson Pace featuring many of the best older pacers in the sport, the track is also hosting four $52,500 Gold Divisions of the Ontario Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and four finals of the City of London Series for trotters and pacers. In total, nine of the twelve races on the program are major stakes events. With such an outstanding race program, any number of track records could fall by the wayside at the Western Fair half mile oval. With the exception of perhaps Captaintreacherous and Vegas Vacation, the 12th race Molson Pace is a star-studded field of world class performers including two world record holders in Foiled Again and Dancin Yankee. The 3-1 morning line favorite is State Treasurer and rightly so. The local horse is trained by Dr. Ian Moore and has been on a tear at Mohawk and Woodbine, coming into the race with three straight win for driver Chris Christoforou and last week ripped off a 1:48.3 lifetime mark. Foiled Again at 4-1 is the class of the field, in fact he is the class of all of harness racing with $6.2 million in career earnings, 80 lifetime wins and comes into the race off a brief layoff but as a tune-up for this race he won a qualifier at the Meadowlands in 1:51.2 over none other than Captaintreacherous. Dancin Yankee is the nation’s speedster this year with an impressive eight wins including a world record 1:47.2 triumph in his last start at Pocono Downs. He has won three of his last four starts and has the gate speed needed to set himself in perfect scoring position. Rounding out the field are Bettor’s Edge, Bandolito, another local favorite in Apprentice Hanover, $567,000 Levy Pace Final winner P H Supercam and Captive Audience. The Molson Pace is the last race on the Western Fair program Friday evening but with such a superb undercard it will be the icing on the cake for every die hard harness racing fan. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
Western Fair Raceway's leading driver Trevor Henry won both of the Preferred 3 pacing events on Wednesday night's harness racing card in London, Ont. Henry steered favourites Rock N Go and Rave On to victories in the $7,000 co-features for horses and geldings. Rock N Go ($3.40) was a wire-to-wire winner in 1:56.3, drawing away by seven lengths down the stretch. Bestofthebunch was second-best tonight for driver Nick Steward while Czar Seelster and Brad Forward finished third. To read the rest of this story click here.
This Week: Molson Pace, The Raceway at Western Fair District, London, Ontraio; Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Somebeachsomewhere, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Roll With Joe, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this weekend. Action begins on Friday (May 30) 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 defending champion, State Treasurer, who will start from the rail, two-time winner Foiled Again drew the outside post seven in the eight-horse field and will be making his sixth appearance in London's signature race. Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $124,744 Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies) on Saturday (May 31). Elimination winners Stevensville and All Bets Off lead the field in the Art Rooney Pace, while the Lismore is led by Southwind Silence and Tyra, who captured last weekend's pair of eliminations. Also on Saturday, Mohawk Racetrack will host a trio of C$75,000 divisions in the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old pacing colts. The Grand Circuit action concludes on Sunday (June 1) as Tioga Downs will host the $200,000 (est.) Roll With Joe for free for all pacers. Complete entries for the Yonkers and Tioga races can be found by clicking on this link. Western Fair and Mohawk 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 trotters and the Betsy Ross for Market Share won the $250,000 Maxie Lee by two lengths over Sevruga in 1:50.2. The time established the record for history's fastest on a five-eighths-mile track, which previously was 1:50.3 and shared by Sevruga and Uncle Peter. Sent off as the 1-5 favorite, Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick settled into fourth place behind Sevruga, Arch Madness, and Daylon Magician in the early part of the race. Market Share moved into second place on the backstretch before challenging Sevruga for the top spot on the final turn. Sevruga finished second followed by DW's NY Yank and Arch Maness. "Nowadays, when you win a stakes race it's either a stakes record or a world record," trainer Linda Toscano said. "The horses are faster, the equipment is better; you just have to go (speed wise) where you have to go to win. These are good horses, all of them." Market Share, a 5-year-old who won for the second time in three starts this season, is owned by Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable and Bill Augustine. Gutnick, a Philadelphia native, won the 2012 Maxie Lee with Chapter Seven. Two races later on the card, Anndrovette and Tetrick won the $250,000 Betsy Ross for older female pacers by two lengths over Rocklamation in 1:50.2. Anndrovette won the $250,000 Betsy Ross for older female pacers by two lengths over Rocklamation in 1:50.2. Anndrovette took the lead from Monkey On My Wheel as the field headed to the halfway point and never looked back. Rocklamation made a late charge from the rear of the pack, but finished second. Jerseylicious was third, followed by Monkey On My Wheel. Sent off at odds of 5-1, Anndrovette paid $13.40 to win. Morning line favorite Shebestingin was scratched. It was Anndrovette's second win in seven starts this season and first since winning a leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway on April 4. She was fourth in the Matchmaker final on April 26. Anndrovette, who captured the 2011 Betsy Ross, is owned by Bamond Racing and Joe Davino. The 7-year-old mare, a three-time Dan Patch Award winner, has won 37 of 95 career races and $2.77 million. She is trained by P.J. Fraley. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, 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 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 286; 2. Tim Tetrick - 225; 3. George Brennan - 144.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 113: 5. Brian Sears - 101. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 410.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 155; 3. Joe Holloway - 97; 4. Jimmy Takter - 95; 5. Julie Miller - 80. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 128.5; 2. Burke Racing - 96.85; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 94.35; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 40; 5. Brad Grant - 39.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at four different racetracks next weekend. The Meadows will host 3-year-old filly trotters with the Currier & Ives on Wednesday (June 4). Mohawk will feature three sets of eliminations for 3-year-olds, plus the Armbro Flight and Roses Are Red for older mares. The Goodtimes eliminations for colt trotters and the Armbro Flight eliminations for mare trotters will take place on Friday (June 6), while on Saturday (June 7) the track will host elims in the North America Cup (colt pacers), Fan Hanover (filly pacers) and Roses Are Red (mare pacers). Also on Saturday, Scioto Downs will host the Charlie Hill for free for all trotters and Balmoral Park will offer Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit