Since returning to the races following a bout of sickness in late October, Milliondollarspree has been on a winning spree for trainer Ross Hardy. The pacing mare has racked up three wins in her last four trips to the track, and that includes her gate-to-wire score in Tuesday’s $7,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Trevor Henry hustled Milliondollarspree to the lead from Post 3, and after parking past the quarter pole in :27.2 she led the group through sensible middle panels of :57.3 and 1:27.4. A :31.2 closing frame is all took for her to win by three-quarters of a length over Angel On The Wing in a time of 1:59.1 over a track rated ‘good’ with a three-second variant. The show dough was earned by Racey Miss. To view the rest of this story click here. Sunfire Blue Chip to Tara Hills Stud It has been announced that the royally bred and supremely talented Sunfire Blue Chip p, 2, 1:52.4f, 3, 1:48.3f will join the stallion roster at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ont. Sunfire Blue Chip, a four-year-old son of American Ideal, retires with $917,374 in earnings and several stakes titles to his credit, including this year’s revitalized Prix d’Ete in Quebec. As a sophomore, the Jimmy Takter-trained horse captured the Adios elimination and final, an elimination of the Messenger (second, by a head, in the final), the Tattersalls, Empire Breeders Classic elimination (second in final), Hempt elim (third, by a half length in final) among other victories. Sunfire Blue Chip hails from one of the sport’s most well-bred families. He is the second foal of the Cams Card Shark mare Shot Togo Bluechip, his full brother is $1.7 million winner Heston Blue Chip p, 3, 1:48f. Their half-sister sold at last month’s Harrisburg sale for $160,000. To view the rest of this story click here.
Fans that backed rookie pacer Weapons Dealer in Race 2 during the Monday evening program at Woodbine Racetrack likely needed a hand - or a wheelbarrow - to help tote home their winnings. The overlooked son of Western Ideal-Scootin Belle turned a two-hole trip into a pari-mutuel explosion for the tandem of driver Trevor Henry and trainer Isaac Waxman. Weapons Dealer got away in the two-hole behind the 1-5 favourite, Sports Warning, and those two held their positions through panels of :28, :58.2 and 1:26.4. Sports Warning rolled into a break coming out of the final turn, however, and that changed the whole complexion of the race. Weapons Dealer inherited the lead in the lane, and he wound up winning by a pair of lengths over His Boy Elroy in 1:54.3. Sports Warning regained his composure and re-rallied to finish third. To view the rest of this story click here. Raceway Preferreds to "Gustav" & "Winzel" A set of Preferred 3 events went postward Monday evening at The Raceway at Western Fair District, with Kendal Gustav and Winzel winning their respective assignments. Kendal Gustav shot to the front from Post 2 and rolled to an easy victory in his $7,400 affair for driver Lorne House. The public’s top choice, who closed at odds of 6-5, carved out splits of :27, :58 and 1:26.4 before sealing the deal with a :29.2 closing panel. He was 2-1/2 lengths better than Pacific Oak in 1:56.1. Lawmen Reign rounded out the top three finishers. Trainer Scott McNiven co-owns the five-year-old son of Life Sign-City Of Dreams with Tom Brodhurst of London and Shirley Griffin of St. Thomas, Ontario. The partnership has watched the gelding go 10-for-37 this season and 27-for-112 in his career. The lion’s share of Monday’s purse lifted his overall cash stash to $177,749. To view the rest of this story click here.
London, December 12, 2014 -- Staff of The Raceway at Western Fair District and some local horse people have teamed up this holiday season to help spread some Christmas cheer and show their support for the Salvation Army's Hamper program which provides food and toys to the less fortunate in the city of London. The group joined a large number of volunteers on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 10th and helped sort toys which will be distributed to families just prior to Christmas. "Western Fair District always strives to make a difference in the communities we serve and with the Salvation Army Hamper Program setting up on our grounds, it made perfect sense for us to give what we could to help out," said Marketing Coordinator Sarah Imrie. "Many of the staff and friends of the Raceway jumped at the chance to donate their time and energy to help this great cause and I'm very proud to work beside them." Another group of Raceway volunteers will be assisting on December 18th, just one day before the Hamper program ends for this year. Customers can donate a new, unwrapped toy in the lobby of the grandstand up until December 16th while horse people can drop their gifts off at the race office. "I was looking forward to this day. I get a lot out of volunteering and we had a great mix of people showing up to support the cause on behalf of The Raceway," said track announcer Shannon 'Sugar' Doyle. "It just gives one a great a feeling knowing that he or she may have played a role in making someone's Christmas just a little bit brighter." The Raceway will once again be a busy place this holiday season with all sorts of live racing scheduled, including special programs on December 26 (Boxing Day) at 1:15 p.m. and December 31 (New Year's Eve) at 8:00 p.m. For full details, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. From the Raceway at Western Fair
Waasmula converted off a perfect pocket trip to defeat the streaking American In Paris by a neck in the $30,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred Pace featured on Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Even-money favourite Waasmula and slight second choice American In Paris (Chris Christoforou) charged off the gate with the latter clearing before the first turn. Riding a three-race win streak in the Mares Preferred class, American In Paris led the field through fractions of :27, :56.3 and 1:24.1 before being collared in deep stretch by the Trevor Henry-driven Waasmula, who hit the wire in 1:51.4. Marlee B (Sylvain Filion) followed along third at the pylons throughout the mile to show. To view the rest of this story click here. Gate to wire for Emmasphere again at Northlands Emmasphere was a wire-to-wire winner again in Friday's featured $8,800 Fillies & Mares Open Pace at Northlands Park while Edmonton's leading trainer Travis Cullen won six of the evening's 10 races. Leaving from outside her six rivals, the Travis Cullen-trained Emmasphere and driver Philip Giesbrecht crossed over to command in the feature race and set fractions of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:25.3 en route to the 1:55.1 victory over the frozen track. Blue Star Beauty (J.F. Gagne) came on for second over the winner's stablemate, Feelin Flush (Cullen). A winner in her last start in the Mares Open on Nov. 21, Emmasphere paid $7.20 to repeat as the favourite. To view the rest of this story click here. Secretsoftheknight likes Raceway oval Woodbine regular Secretsoftheknight took a tour of the Western Fair District's half-mile raceway in London, Ont. on Friday night and came away a winner in the $7,000 Preferred 3 Pace for Canada's leading trainer Richard Moreau. Secretsoftheknight was caught three-wide early on before clearing to command through a speedy :26.4 first quarter. But once the favourite took the lead, he never looked back. He proceeded to the half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:26, and then held off longshot Bestofthebunch (Paul MacKenzie), who rallied off the cover of third-place finisher Stompin Tom Creek (Robert Shepherd). Secretsoftheknight prevailed by a quarter-length in 1:55.3 to notch his third win of the season from 32 starts. To view the rest of this story click here.
London, December 2, 2014 -- There will be plenty of reasons for fans to tune into The Raceway in London on Tuesday night - 15,000 reasons to be exact. Fuelled by a carryover of close to $5,700 into Tuesday's early Super Hi-5 wager, The Raceway is offering an instant guarantee of $15,000 on the gross pool. Whosurpapa posted a massive 78-1 ($158.10) upset in Monday's final race, sweeping the field in the backstretch and going on to 7-3/4 length win. Since no one correctly selected the winning combination with the longshot winner on top, it triggered the carryover into Tuesday's early Super Hi-5 in race 7. Survivor Tuesdays, a new free handicapping contest sponsored by Horseplayer Interactive (HPI), will also kick off Tuesday night. Contestants will make one selection (plus an alternate) on all 12 races and their pick must finish in the top three to advance (survive) to the next race. The last person (s) standing will receive a $100 deposit into their HPI account or Raceway merchandise. For full contest rules and for FREE program downloads for Tuesday's card, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. from the press box at The Raceway
It was a very tough night for the favourites during Monday’s 10-race card at Woodbine Racetrack. Just one of the public’s top choices managed to visit the winner’s circle, and that lone winner was St Lads Penny Lane ($5.00) in Race 4. The class-dropping daughter of Million Dollar Cam powered off cover in the lane and drew clear to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:54.2. Doug McNair mapped out the winning trip for the Larry Hall trainee who paid $5.00. Driver Jody Jamieson produced a driving triple during Monday’s 10-race card. He rallied Ozzy Ozzy (1:55.3 - $11.60) to a narrow win in Race 5 to get the ball rolling, and he tacked on wins with Vague Traces (1:56.1 - $22.10) in Race 7 followed by a score with ER Zach Attack (1:52.3 - $6.60) in Race 10. Trot Insider has learned that the fans of veteran trotter Equity that tuned into Woodbine Racetrack's card of racing on Monday (December 1) watched the veteran eight-year-old race for the final time in his career. Horseman Charalambos Christoforou, who also bred the bay, had let Trot Insider know that Equity’s tilt on Monday (Race 5, 8:45 p.m.) would be the last of his career, regardless of the outcome. “We will retire him tonight, wherever he finishes,” Christoforou said earlier on Monday. Heading into Monday’s action, Equity, who has made 103 trips to the starting gate in his career, has notched 28 wins, 18 second-place finishes and 16 thirds. He took his mark of 1:52.1 over Mohawk Racetrack at age five and has banked over $822,000 in career purse earnings. His biggest win came in the 2009 Canadian Breeders Championship at Mohawk Racetrack in the midst of an eight-race win streak. To view the rest of this story click here. Upset winners in Raceway Preferreds Nothingbutmach and Excellence were upset winners in their respective Preferred assignments during Monday’s 12-race card at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Excellence, who was sent off at odds of 3-1, pulled off the mini surprise in the $7,000 Preferred 3 for trotters. Robert Shepherd came first-over with the Ian Downey trainee, and the mare drew clear to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Incredable Frank in 2:00.2. Cimeronken, who supplied the field with splits of :29.3, 1:01 and 1:30.2, tired late and settled for third prize. Susan Downey of St. George Brant, Ontario owns the seven-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Noble Message. The victory was her ninth of the season and the 22nd of her career. The lion’s share of the purse bumped her lifetime bankroll to $194,660. To view the rest of this story click here.
London, November 28, 2014 -- The holiday racing season is underway at The Raceway in London and race fans are reminded of some important dates during the month of December at the London oval. The traditional Boxing Day program on December 26 will once again begin at 1:15 p.m. and The Raceway has slated an 8:00 p.m. first post for its New Year's Eve program on December 31. There are plenty of promotions and dining options available both days and, with free parking and admission, it's a great way for locals to come on out and enjoy the holiday festivities. The Raceway is planning to increase the wagering incentives during some of the key dates during what is traditionally a strong wagering month for the track. "In additional to Boxing Day and New Year's eve, the Tuesday programs on the 23rd and 30th should be strong and we're hoping to have a couple of additional races each of these nights to bolster the wagering opportunities," said Racing Manager Greg Blanchard. "We'll be bumping up the guarantees on our Pick-4 pools those nights as well and, in conjunction with Horseplayer Interactive (HPI), will be partnering on an exciting promotion involving our programs on the 23rd and 31st (New Year's Eve)." Seating at the Top of the Fair Dining Room is going fast for both Boxing Day and New Year's Eve. To make reservations, call 519-438-7203 (ext. 252) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Raceway's annual Toy Drive is also underway. Patrons can drop off a new, unwrapped gift in The Raceway lobby from now until December 16, with donations going to the Salvation Army Hamper Program for less fortunate children in the city. The launch of a new weekly Survivor Handicapping Challenge will take place next Tuesday evening. Survivor Tuesdays, sponsored by Horseplayer Interactive (HPI), will happen each Tuesday at The Raceway and will be free to play for customers on track and online. Pub Nights have been proving popular at The Raceway on Monday nights and a new promotional twist has been added over the holiday season. Each purchase of a meal enters customers for a chance to win a weekly Molson prize pack along with the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Toronto Maple Leafs/Tampa Bay Lightning game scheduled for March 31st in Toronto. For more information on all that's happening at The Raceway over the holiday season or to obtain Survivor Tuesdays contest rules visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. KEY DATES IN DECEMBER: Monday, Dec. 22 - 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23 - 6:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 26 - 1:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29 - 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30 - 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31 - 8:00 p.m. From the Press Box at The Raceway
Three-time O’Brien Award winning driver Randy Waples has told Trot Insider that he will be taking a short break from the race bike, effective immediately, and he will not be at Woodbine this evening (Monday, November 17). Waples, who has driven his charges to 6,129 victories and over $118-million in purse earnings, is taking the brief hiatus to rest up and overcome a few minor ailments he has been battling. “I’ve just been run down as of late and have been fighting some small issues as well as some battles with the flu,” said Waples, who was crowned Canada’s top driver in 1998, 2001 and 2010. To view the rest of this story click here. Apple Pie Angel failed to win in the first seven starts of her career, but she’s been unstoppable ever since. The three-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Darling Angel toted a four-race winning streak into her Monday evening assignment at Woodbine Racetrack, and she pushed her magic number to five thanks to a 1:55.1 victory in the card’s curtain closer. Apple Pie Angel was hustled to the lead from Post 7 by driver Chris Christoforou, who carved out panels of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:24.3 with the filly before using a :30.3 closing quarter to seal the deal by three-quarters of a length over A Fearless Affair. Third prize went to Deuces For Charity. The winning time was 1:55.1 for Apple Pie Angel. To view the rest of this story click here. Preferred Pace at the Raceway to Lawmen Reign Lawmen Reign was treated to a second-over trip in Monday’s $7,000 Preferred 3 at The Raceway at Western Fair District, and the pacer made the most of the opportunity. In rein to trainer Ross Battin, Lawmen Reign got away fourth before finding a friend to follow in the middle stages of the mile. Race favourite Apaches Cam, who supplied splits of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:27.4, came under attack on the way to the half by first-over prompter Pacific Oak. The battle took its toll on both pacers, and it left the door wide-open for the tripped-out Lawmen Reign. When Battin pulled the trigger, Lawmen Reign unleashed a :29.2 closing kick to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Machness in 1:57.3. Taking home third prize was Pacific Oak. To view the rest of this story click here.
Continuing her newfound winning momentum, Gracie Montana was sent wide for the stretch drive and delivered on her pari-mutuel promise in Friday night's featured $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open Pace at Fraser Downs. Gracie Montana followed along in fourth while Call Me Up led the six-horse field through fractions of :26.4, :57 and 1:25.2. Keep The Dream went first up down the backstretch, but failed to gain ground prompting even-money favourite Gracie Montana to fan three-high off her cover. She then out-sprinted her rivals down the lane to prevail by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.3. Cheyenne J finished second off a pocket trip as the longest shot on the board while Just One More came on for third. Making her fifth start from the Bill Davis stable, Gracie Montana earned her third straight victory (using the same off-the-pace tactics) and second at the Open level. The seven-year-old Camluck mare had gone winless in her previous 26 starts this year. To view the rest of this story click here. Gerry Hudon has four bagger at Northlands Live harness racing returned to Northlands Park on Friday night and trainer/driver Gerry Hudon got off to a perfect start at the meet as he won with all four of his starters in consecutive races during the eight-dash card. The Sturgeon County, Alberta horseman won races four through seven with American Passion completing the grand slam in the feature event, the $8,800 Mares Open Pace. American Passion romped to a five and a quarter length victory in 1:56.4 over the frozen track with temperatures dropping 14 degrees below zero. She paid $23.10 for the 10-1 upset win. Sing Like An Angel and Blue Star Beauty rounded out the top three finishers. To view the rest of this story click here. First training victory for Justin Darling Justin Darling sent out his first winner as a trainer on Friday night at The Raceway at the Western Fair District. Darling's first victory came courtesy of his own three-year-old pacer Keystone Dalton, who pulled off a 13-1 upset in the fifth race for $10,000 claimers. The Mach Three gelding took over the lead just past the half and drew away to win by nearly seven lengths in 1:57.1 over the "good" track. Darling, 33, is the son of respected horseman Jack Darling. The resident of Cambridge, Ont. works for his father's stable and was making just his second start with his own trainee. To view the rest of this story click here.
The trips to Western Fair in London aren’t as regular as they once were for driver Trevor Henry, but he still knows the oval like the back of his hand. Henry, who has spent a great deal of his time plying his trade on the WEG circuit this year, returned to the half-miler Tuesday evening and produced a five-win performance. He clicked in the opener with Suckitupbuttercup (1:58) and tacked on wins with Guiness Seelster (Race 5 – 2:00.2), Rutherford Lass (Race 6 – 2:03.2), Topanga Canyon (Race 8 – 1:58.4) and Hawaiian Drummond (Race 10 – 2:01). The Arthur, Ontario-based horseman leads the nation with 409 wins this season. The career winner of 5,537 has racked up purse earnings in excess of $35 million to date. To view the rest of this story click here.
London, October 22, 2014 -- The Raceway at the Western Fair District will host its 9th Annual Harness The Hope Night this Friday night with proceeds going to benefit the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Harness The Hope has become a staple at The Raceway and one of the major events that kicks off each racing season in London. It is the brainchild of Doreen Dustin, wife of local horseman Greg Dustin, who herself was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 24, 2005. "This is certainly very special to me and it's hard to believe that it's been nine years," she explained. "The reason we've continued this each year is because of the tremendous support we've received from the industry. And, every year we have women in our industry who are diagnosed and it keeps reminding us of the importance of this cause." Dustin chose to team up with the Breast Cancer Society of Canada just two years ago, pointing to that organization's commitment to helping women who are currently dealing with breast cancer. "That was very important to me, in addition to the ongoing research that the society is a part of," she said. "It may sound clichÃ©, but it really comes down to awareness and early detection. If breast cancer is detected early enough there is help out there and it greatly improves that person's chances of getting through it." The Raceway will be decked out in pink once again this Friday and some of the events include a special 50/50 draw and penny auction. Fans who wear pink to the track will also receive a ballot for mystery prize giveaways during the night and local radio station 98.1 FREE FM will be broadcasting live at the event. As an added attraction, Lindsey Kerr, a regular on the Ontario Racing Under Saddle (RUS) tour will be behind the mic to call the action for one of the 11 races that night. She made her announcing debut recently at Leamington Raceway. On the wagering side, the early Super Hi-5 in race 7 on Friday night has a carryover of just over $5,600 and will feature an instant guarantee of $10,000 on the pool. First post for the 11-race program is 7:15 p.m. and there is still limited seating available at the Top of the Fair Dining Room. Donations for this year's Harness The Hope Night can be made through the Breast Cancer Society of Canada at www.bscs.ca or can be made by cash or cheque on Friday night at The Raceway. by Greg Blanchard, for The Raceway
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