Harness racing is a worldwide industry which is getting more and more international as time goes on. Stallions move between hemispheres and bloodlines are getting to look the same no matter where in the world you are. The World Trotting Conference brings together all the administrators from around the world to try to smooth some of problems with horses moving between countries and different systems. One issue which they seem to ignore repeatedly is the one with regards to money won in different countries and how it is counted in the overall scheme of things. In Canada and Australia, a dollar won anywhere in the world is counted as a dollar won when assessing a horse's lifetime earnings. In America and New Zealand, every dollar earned outside of the country is converted back to the local currency equivalent in dollar terms. With so many horses moving back and forth between Canada and America and also between Australia and New Zealand it can either inflate or deflate a horses earnings which to us here at Harnesslink is just absolutely ridiculous. It can also alter siring charts as we saw last year in the two year old ranks in North America. In Canada where they count every dollar won as one dollar, Sportswriter topped the charts for two year olds with a lead of $125,000 over his nearest rival Art Major. In America where they convert money won outside America to American dollars at the exchange rate on the day the money is won, Art Major finished $26,000 dollars in front of Sportswriter. We are of no doubt that Sportswriter was the leading money earning two year sire in North America in 2014 and we recognize him as such in all our articles. When we quote any money won either by a sire or individual in a story, the figures we use are always sourced via Trackit from the Canadian Harness Racing Site as Trackit is the only database with a true money won system in our opinion In our view the American system is an absolute joke and is done primarily to protect the stallion owners based in America from those upstarts across the border whose stallions just happen to earn more money in a season. The same anomaly occurs between Australia and New Zealand. Harness Racing Australia to its credit counts every dollar won anywhere in the world as one dollar earned for all its lifetime records for horses. New Zealand on the other hand converts all money won overseas back to New Zealand dollars on the day the money is won overseas. That results in inflated lifetime earnings for a lot of New Zealand horses who spend big parts of their racing careers in Australia. In some cases it has turned horses into millionaires when in reality they are still a fair way off the magical seven figure mark in actual earnings. We will highlight a couple here just to show the difference it can make. Take our latest millionaire in Stent who according to Harness Racing New Zealand has earned $1,010,053 to date where in actual dollars earned the figure is $984,460. Another horse to have his earnings inflated was Vulcan who was lucky in that when he raced in Australia the New Zealand dollars was worth in the high seventy cents range in relation to the Australian dollar. So why Harness Racing New Zealand records Vulcan as having earned $1,006,002, in actual dollars won, his earnings stand at $898,855. Now these are two absolute champions and should be respected as such but the system has let them down badly in our view. Let us have a look at a horse that raced extensively in both hemispheres in Tupelo Rose. Tupelo Rose's earnings as recorded on the four countries data bases we have mentioned in this article. * Harness Racing New Zealand - $1,146,603 * Harness Racing Australia - $879,867 * Standardbred Canada - $586,785 * United States Trotting Association - $578,671 As you can see the current system has left us with four different figures. Which one is the correct one is a hard question to answer but we would lean towards the Australian as probably being closest to the truth in this instance. As the above example shows the current system between these four countries is open to ridicule and rightly so in our opinion. We need some commonality on these important statistics and all four countries on the same page. A dollar earned anywhere in these four countries should be treated as a dollar earned by the governing bodies by each of the four countries. Until that happens you should treat all claims with regards to money won and sires stakes earnings coming out of America and New Zealand with a high degree of skepticism. JC
TORONTO, October 15 - The Mohawk summer meet has come to a close and fall has officially arrived as live harness racing returns to Woodbine this Thursday, October 16. The Fall/Winter meet will feature four-nights-a-week of racing, Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Broadcast upgrades and the return of a state-of-the-art tracking tool will change the way fans and horseplayers watch the races from Woodbine. Beginning with Thursday's opening card, the Woodbine Standardbred simulcast feed will be produced in High Definition (HD) in a production control room on the fourth floor of the Woodbine grandstand. Customers on site will be able to view the races in HD (1080p; 16:9 aspect ratio). Fans south of the border will be able to view the races in HD as TVG, the premier horse racing TV channel in the United States, will be carrying the Woodbine 1080p HD signal. As for the product on the track, driver Jody Jamieson believes the track dimensions at Woodbine allow for more upsets. "A lot of the time the best horse wins at Mohawk, but at Woodbine the turns are different, a little smaller then that big last turn at Mohawk that allows horses to get into the race," said Jamieson, "At Woodbine, the best horse can be kind of marred in traffic and get himself beat a little more often then at Mohawk." Jamieson is also a big fan of the track surface at Woodbine, which will offer purses of approximately $200,000 a night, and the speed it offers. "I love racing at Woodbine...I think the track is a faster track and maybe one of the fastest tracks in the world to race good horses on." As for an adjustment period between switching from Mohawk to Woodbine, Jamieson said it doesn't take long. "I adapt to it right away and I think most guys adapt right away to the racing style and hopefully the bettors appreciate it." While not installed for opening night, fans will also soon enjoy the return of Trakus to the Woodbine Standardbred broadcast. Trakus, the automated racehorse tracking system, is being relaunched to provide Standardbred horseplayers with the best data around. The reintroduction of Trakus to Standardbred racing will offer horseplayers the most accurate charts and information in harness racing. Trakus compiles information on each horse at every point of the race through wireless communication to a tag placed inside the saddle pad. Horesplayers will now know exactly where each horse is during the race, through the Trakus technology incorporated into the live simulcast feed. The opening weekend at Woodbine will feature the return of the Fall Four Stakes. Last contested at Woodbine in 2010, the Fall Four Stakes brings the top two-year-olds in harness racing to Toronto to contest the Governors Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid. Eliminations for the events will take place this Friday and Saturday and the finals will take place as part of a $2 million card on Saturday, October 25. Post-time for each night of live racing is 7:25 p.m. except on two special occasions. Post-time on Saturday, November 1 will be 7:55 p.m., while the special afternoon Boxing Day card on Friday, December 26 will feature a post-time of 1 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
A slate of eight qualifying races went forward Friday morning at Mohawk Racetrack, and O’Brien Award winner Precocious Beauty was front and centre early on. The multiple stakes-winning daughter of Art Major continued to prep for her three-year-old campaign in Race 3 for trainer Gregg McNair and his son, driver Doug McNair. Precocious Beauty lined up in Post 7 and was parked forth at the quarter-mile pole, which was clicked off by Palm Beach Hanover (driven by Jody Jamieson) in :29.2. Precocious Beauty cleared to the lead in the second panel and went on to stop the half-mile clock in :58.2. She had a one and three-quarter-length lead by the time she breezed past three quarters in 1:26.4. Precocious Beauty was four lengths the best by the time she hit the head of the lane. Completing her mile with a :27.3 final quarter, Precocious Beauty hit the wire first in 1:54.2, six lengths ahead of Palm Beach Hanover. To read the rest of this story click here.
Fraser Downs' biggest weekend of harness racing in 2014 kicked off with the $200,000 British Columbia Sires Stakes Finals on Friday night. A BCSS champion at two, sophomore pacing filly Run And Tell defended her divisional title with a 1:57.4 score in the $75,000 final for trainer Debra McCarthy and owner/breeder Mark Anderson of Willows, California. Driver Kevin Anderson sent the Power Of Art-Muddy Waters filly from third to first after a :28.4 opening panel and cruised through middle splits of :58.1 and 1:28.4 before holding off pocket-sitter T Squared (Rick White) in the passing lane by a neck for her first win this year. Run And Tell paid $3.30 to win as the favourite. Early leaver Go To The Windows (Dennis Johnston) finished over two lengths behind in third. To read the rest of the story click here.
The field for the 2014 Ontario Regional Driving Championship scheduled for Friday, May 9 at The Raceway at Western Fair District in London, Ont. has been confirmed. The participating drivers are: • Alfie Carroll • Scott Coulter • Billy Davis Jr. • Trevor Henry • Jody Jamieson • James MacDonald • Doug McNair • J.R. Plante The top two drivers from the eight-race competition will join six other drivers at the 2014 National Driving Championship scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. Several drivers declined invitations to take part due to other commitments, including Sylvain Filion, Canada’s Driver of the Year for 2013, Randy Waples and Scott Zeron. To read the rest of the story click here.
Twin B Wrangler went to the front and didn’t look back en route to a narrow triumph in Monday’s $11,000 Preferred 2 for pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Alfie Carroll hustled Twin B Wrangler through fractions of :27.4, :57 and 1:25.3 before using a :30.2 closing quarter to prevail by a neck over race favourite Leafs And Wings in 1:56. Ja El Pocketrocket was third. Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, Ontario owns and Victor Puddy trains the five-year-old son of Mach Three-Stryper. To date, the pacer has managed to stash away career earnings of $120,290. Monday’s card also featured a set of Preferred-3 events – one for trotters and one for pacers. To read the rest of the story click here.
My Man Charley scored a wire-to-wire victory in Sunday's featured Preferred 3 Pace at Flamboro Downs for Canada's current 2014 win leaders, Alfie Carroll and Victor Puddy. Carroll and Puddy teamed up to take the evening's eighth race as favourite My Man Charley ($3.20) kept first over challenger Hoboken Hanover at bay to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.3. Astute finished two and three-quarter lengths behind off a pocket trip. To read the rest of the story click here.
Rose Valley, last year’s three-year-old pacing filly sensation trained by Mike Campbell, was named the 2013 Fredericton Raceway Horse of the Year in ceremonies held Saturday evening at the Fredericton Horsemen’s Association annual awards banquet. Rose Valley, who is owned by Dawn and Ted Bremner of Jemseg, N.B., was also given the award for top sophomore filly after completing one of the best seasons ever by a Fredericton-based mare. The daughter of Brandons Cowboy was a multiple stakes winner last year, winning seven races and earning over $40,000 on the circuit, the highlight being a record-setting 1:56 mile in Charlottetown during their Old Home Week. Rose Valley won both of her starts in Fredericton, including a division of the Bill Quigg Memorial Stake during FREX 2013. Rose Valley, being named Horse of the Year, capped off a phenomenal evening for Campbell, who also took home training honours for American Captain, who was recognized as the top four-year-old. Campbell was also inducted into the Fredericton Raceway Wall of Fame, celebrating a 45-year horse racing career that began at the downtown oval in 1969. He joined Mike Downey, Fredericton Raceway’s all-time dash winning and money earning driver, owner Ashley Sloat and distinguished equines Knightly Glib and Northern Raucous, on the Wall. Other award winners during the evening included Queens Or Better (Aged Mare), Flying Cowboy (Three-Year-Old Colt), Lanny (Most Improved), Manraysonjo (Aged Horse) and Seven Signs (Unsung Hero). Chantall Basson was named Groom of the Year and veteran horseman Chester Eatmon Jr. was given the Pioneer Award for his many years in horse racing at Fredericton. Brian Embleton was the top trainer and Gilles Barrieau was the top driver. From the Federicton Horsemen's Association
North America's 2014 win leader Rockin Rambaran continued his current streak on Sunday night at Rideau Carleton Raceway for trainer and owner Luc Loyer. Rockin Rambaran ($2.60) front-stepped his way to a 1:57.4 victory -- his seventh in a row -- in the evening's ninth race with Guy Gagnon in the sulky. With his ninth of the year, the four-year-old Rambaran gelding emerged from a five-way tie to take sole ownership of the top spot in the North American win standings. To read the rest of the story click here.
Undefeated pacing filly Kayla Grace made her sophomore debut on Saturday night at Michigan's Northville Downs and earned her 13th consecutive victory. Kayla Grace ($2.80) opened the evening's harness racing card with an eight and three-quarter length triumph in 1:57.4. Brad Kramer sent the Hes All That-A Maze Of Grace filly wire-to-wire for trainer Marie St. Charles. She is owned by Ed and Cheryl Sayfie's E C S Racing LLC and Kevin St. Charles. To read the rest of the story click here.
Favourite Cougar Hall earned his second consecutive win over the game Machal Jordan in the featured $34,000 Preferred Pace on Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Driven by Jack Moiseyev, Cougar Hall matched his 1:51.4 season's mark that he established while winning the top class by half a length over Machal Jordan last Saturday. In this evening's Preferred, J J Shark (Sylvain Filion) forced the leaving post eight starter Lucky Terror (Jonathan Drury) to settle for the pocket spot during a :26.3 first quarter battle. Dali (Luc Ouellette) got away third with 6-5 favourite Cougar Hall following in fourth. As the field headed into the backstretch, Dali moved underway from third and took over the lead before hitting the half-mile marker in :55.3. The stallion was then confronted by Cougar Hall, who cleared to command past the 1:23.4 third quarter station and began to open up multiple lengths on the field to secure the victory. The late-closing Machal Jordan (Roger Mayotte) narrowed the winning margin to one and a quarter lengths. In Commando (Chris Christoforou), a half-length winner over Cougar Hall in his last outing two weeks ago, finished third. Cougar Hall now has four wins in six starts during his four-year-old campaign and a seasonal bankroll totalling $60,100. The grey son of Somebeachsomewhere is owned by trainer Jeff Gillis, Gerald Stay, Mac Nichol, Thomas Kyron and Carl Jamieson. Cougar Hall paid $4.40 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG
The betting public didn`t have a lot of faith in Amigo De Grande going into Thursday`s $34,000 Preferred Trot at Woodbine Racetrack, but that didn`t stop the Carmen Auciello pupil from racking up his third straight win versus some of the nation`s top trotters. The majority of the money landed on Hldontghytoyurdrms, who was six days removed from his dazzling win in the final of the Horse & Groom Series at The Meadowlands. He was parked past the quarter pole in :25.4 by Cool Guy, who eventually gave way to the 4-5 favourite. Hldontghytoyurdrms led the way past the half-mile marker in :55.3 before coming under attack from Amigo De Grande around the final turn. Amigo De Grande and Anthony MacDonald took over command at the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2 before using a :29-second closing panel to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Hldontghytoyurdrms. Cool Guy tagged along to finish third. To read the rest of the story click here.
Driver Phil Hudon opened Wednesday's harness racing card at Flamboro Downs winning the first three races, including the featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Trot with the streaking mare Thundering Ovation. Hudon ended the day with four wins. Firing off the gate from post five in the second race feature, Hudon and Thundering Ovation led a field scratched down to six through fractions of :28.2, :58.4 and 1:28 en route to a dominant 1:58.1 triumph. The victory was the third in a row for the five-year-old daughter of Thunder Road and a new North American season's record. Her current streak began in a Preferred 3 event at Western Fair Raceway on Mar. 3 and continued with another win in last Wednesday's Preferred 2 at Flamboro. To read the rest of the story click here.
A five-win performance during Tuesday’s 12-race card at The Raceway at Western Fair District helped driver Alfie Carroll open up a few lengths on the competition in the quest for the Canadian dash title. Recently feted for notching his 1,000th win, Carroll kicked off the card winning with Traumatized in 2:00.4. He returned to victory lane in Race 3 with Aberarder Smitty in 2:01.4 and tacked on triumphs with Forever La Night (2:00.2) in Race 6, Vegas Strip Three (1:59.1) in Race 8 and Cat Four (1:58.1) in Race 12. The resident of Iona Station, Ontario pushed this year’s win total to 90 while lifting his seasonal earnings to $421,513. Trevor Henry holds down second spot in the Canadian standings with 77wins, while James MacDonald finds himself sitting third with 73 scores. To read the rest of the story click here.
Heavy 3-5 favourite Amigo De Grande went back-to-back in Woodbine Racetrack's $34,000 Preferred Trot after holding off second choice Slip Into Glide by a neck on Monday night. Driven by Anthony MacDonald, Amigo De Grande left from post six and worked to the lead over Cool Guy and insider Watkins towards the first turn. He continued to lead the eight-horse field past the quarter in :27.1 and half-mile mark in :56.3 before Slip Into Glide began his first over attack from fifth under the guidance of Mario Baillargeon. To read rest of story click here.
Moving up in class with ease, the Victor Puddy-trained Twin B Wrangler cruised gate-to-wire in the featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Pace on Monday at The Raceway at the Western Fair District. A winner in the Preferred 3 last Monday night, Twin B Wrangler ($10) and driver Alfie Carroll left from post one in this evening's ninth race feature and carved out fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:25.3 en route to the one and a half length victory in 1:55.3. Mach It Big and Robert Shepherd followed in second while Leafs And Wings (Scott Wray) rounded out the top three finishers. The five-year-old Mach Three gelding now has two wins in four London starts this year for owner Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, Ont. The win was his 10th lifetime and bumped his bankroll to $113,910. To read rest of story click here.