JULY 17, 2016 - When Shanghai Sugar won her Grassroots division at Clinton Raceway on Sunday, Travis Henry and his partners experienced a moment of dÃ©jÃ vu. Last season Henry, Craig Wood and Glen Wark watched their two-year-old pacing filly Tempus Seelster win her July 19 Grassroots division at Georgian Downs and then go on to win her Battle of the Belles elimination at Grand River Raceway one week later. Shanghai Sugar's schedule is the same, and her connections are hoping she can match her stablemate's success. "It's exciting because last year we had kind of the same thing. We bought Tempus Seelster for $10,000 out of the London Sale and she took us on a bit of a ride, she won her Battle of the Belles elim and then she was sick in the Final actually," explained Henry. "So my partner Craig Wood said 'Battle of the Belles take two, I guess.' Hopefully we can get a better result." So far, Shanghai Sugar has followed the same path as Tempus Seelster. Acquired for just $9,000 from the Canadian Open Yearling Sale last fall, the daughter of Shanghai Phil and $563,299 winner Fast Lane Cruizin was Henry's best youngster all winter. "I started with three, and she was the best one out of them all," said the Brantford resident, who conditions the filly for Craig Wood of Waterdown, Glen Wark of St. Catharines and his mother Linda Henry of Brantford, ON. "She just was like an old racehorse the whole time. She loves her work and she has a really great attitude about everything she does." Henry and Shanghai Sugar lined up at Post 5 in the first of three $18,000 Grassroots divisions at Clinton Raceway on Sunday and were sitting fourth when Lady Sherri reached the quarter pole in :30.4. With the favourites stacked up behind him, Henry opted to send Shanghai Sugar up the outside and the filly was sitting second at the 1:01.1 half. After reeling in Lady Sherri, Shanghai Sugar sailed on to a 1:31 three-quarters and then accelerated down the stretch to a four and one-half length victory in 2:00. Odysseus and Lady Sherri paced into second and third. "I tried to quiet her down from her (July 1) qualifier because she was really aggressive, and you don't really want them like that," said Henry of the first-time starter. "So I added the hood with cups so she could kind of see behind her a little bit, and I put ear plugs in her. "When I popped the ear plugs (today), she kind of just dropped into another gear. She was really good," he added. The Battle of the Belles eliminations are Monday, July 25, with the final slated for Monday, Aug.1. Sandwiched in between is Henry's wedding to Maddi McNiven, who is the daughter of Rob and Tammy McNiven of Embro's Twinbrook Farms and an equine massage therapist based in Cambridge, ON. "That's on the 31st, and Industry Day's on the first, so we're hoping we're racing the day after our wedding, but we'll see," said Henry. The other Grassroots winners at Clinton Raceway on Sunday were Treasures Pearl and OK Jewel. Already the owner of a Grassroots trophy earned in the July 8 opener at Mohawk Racetrack, Treasures Pearl was the favourite in the second division. In spite of a field shorted to four when Mach On and Casimir QT were forced to withdraw due to sickness, the fillies delivered a lively battle, maintaining pressure on pacesetter Shewearsthepants through fractions of :30.2, 1:00 and 1:30.4. Finding a clear path in the stretch Treasures Pearl and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton sprinted to a one-half length victory in 1:59.4. The Joy Luck Club was awarded second and Shewearsthepants was demoted to third as a result of interference in the stretch. The win put Treasures Pearl firmly atop the two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots standings with 100 points. The Sportswriter daughter is trained by Ron Adams of LaSalle for owner-breeder Donald Leschied of South Woodslee, ON. The filly is the first foal from $209,445 winner St Lads Treasure. First time starter OK Jewel and driver Bob McClure also used a late sprint to claim the third Grassroots trophy. The filly reeled in pacesetter and fan favourite P L Kaleidoscope and Menagerie to score the one-half length victory in 2:00.3. Elora resident McClure engineered the win for trainer Tim Jacobson of Midhurst, ON and owner Seaspray Stables Ltd. of Nanaimo, BC. The filly is a Mach Three daughter of $332,983 winner Whitesand Jewel. Shanghai Sugar and OK Jewel will go looking for their second Grassroots trophy, and Treasures Pearl will be after her third, when the two-year-old pacing fillies make their third Ontario Sires Stakes start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 11. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Clinton Raceway on Sunday, August 21 when the half-mile oval hosts the three-year-old trotting colts in their fourth Grassroots outing. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
The top local horseman for Friday night at the harness racing meeeting at Grand River Raceway was Travis Henry. Travis was aboard Winem (WIN- Em) in the 5th race. Travis also takes care of the training duties for Winem. The win was Winem's third of the season and Travis' 88th driving win along with his 18th training win. Travis is a native of Brantford and is a regular on the local harness racing scene as Travis has amassed over 600 drives this season. Grand River Raceway features live harness racing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights all summer. Complete schedule info at www.grandriverraceway.com . Scott McNair
My best friend and I are more than just best friends; we are more like sisters. Like any two best friends we are two peas in a pod. We laugh together, we are inseparable, she protects and looks after me, and I do the same for her. We spend late nights with each other, laughing and taking silly pictures. She is my biggest source of inspiration, when I look at her I see my better half. She dries my tears when I cry, and she always finds a way to make me smile. She makes my bad day’s better and good days great! I do not know what I would without her. Her name is Sydney Seelster, but I call her “Pinky”. When I got Pinky for Christmas in 2012, I never expected my life to change in all the ways that it did. Not only did I get a horse that Christmas, I got my best friend. Since that day the two of us have been on some crazy adventures. It has been the journey of a lifetime and I could not imagine what my life would be like today if I did not have her. I have been blessed to meet so many wonderful people and do some amazing things because of her. In the barn Pinky takes care of me as much as I take care of her. When she is in the crossties and I am brushing her she never spooks, never steps to one side or the other, she just stands there. She is patient and she understands that I take longer to do it than my dad does. One day I asked my dad if I could help give Pinky a bath. In theory it was a good idea, but there was more water on me than I originally anticipated. The reason for me being so wet was Pinky spitting water back at me and shaking after she was done. I may have been a little wet but my heart was warm and I had a huge smile on my face. I could not stop laughing! She was just being goofy. It was as though Pinky was giving me a bath. Sitting in front of Pinky’s stall is a time where I too can relax. It feels as though time slows down. I could sit there for hours without a care. Although Pinky cannot answer in words when I talk to her, her positive energy and actions speak louder than words ever could and like any two best friends the facial expression says it all. When my mom or dad puts Pinky’s stall guard up, Pinky will sometimes share her hay and water with me. She will push some hay towards my feet and Pinky will offer me some water. She will take a mouth full of water from her bucket and holding over my lap. I tell her to swallow, but I know what is coming... Splash! Pinky spits her mouth full of water on my lap. I guess she just wants to make sure I am hydrated and not hungry. Jogging Pinky is something I will never be able to do enough. When I jog Pinky, she is always perfect, she never miss behaves and Pinky knows when I am jogging her or when someone else is. Together we have had the opportunity to jog on the track alongside some of harness racing’s best trainers and drivers. She makes me look good but still gives me many opportunities to learn from the pros! The people that Pinky and I have been able to meet have all been very kind to us both horse people and fans! Our friends on Facebook named us ‘Team Pink’, which I think is special and fantastic! Along the way people have been so kind and generous to give Pinky and I everything we need to go race! We were given a pretty pink jogger and pink accessories. Pinky and have I matching apparel made by a friend of ours and Pinky has a Team Pinky blanket and I have a matching sweater! The people in the paddock have been nothing but helpful and kind hearted. I remember there was a night when we had to scratch Pinky after she warmed up. I was a little scared. She was acting strange and I was not sure what was happening or what to do. When it was announced Pinky was scratched many people came running to see what was the matter and trying to help us figure out what the problem was. Their kindness helped me to feel more at ease too. Racing Pinky is always fun! To us, it is like two best friends going for a night out. I bring a camera so we can take silly selfies, snacks for when we get hungry and we position ourselves to see as much action as possible. Our friends stop by and chat with us throughout the night too! When Pinky heads behind the gate and the gate lets her go I cheer her on with all my strength and with all the air in my lungs. I have stood in snow banks, in biting winds to watch Pinky race but it is always worth it. Every time she races she tries with her whole heart and every ounce of strength she has. Standing in snow banks for Pinky has never bothered me because she is my best friend and I would anything for her. No matter how Pinky finishes I could never be more proud of her than I already am. When we win, us girls celebrate by eating apples and carrots. When we do not win, we still celebrate how well we did and how my girl came home safe and sound with apples and carrots. Sydney Seelster and I share clothes like any two best friends, but not exactly, because Pinky and I are two very different sizes but that does not stop us! Pinky lets me try on her accessories and I let her borrow my clothes to make the perfect Halloween costume! I have this baseball cap that I used to wear, and when I got Pinky I always wore it to the barn. Pinky decided to make it her own. Pinky would pull on the bill or sometimes she would it knock it off. Once it’s off I put would put it on again and Pinky would the same do the same thing again and again. To her it’s a game and I would laugh! Pinky would also grab the very of it top and pull it off. I never got tired of putting my hat back on. We both have fun and joking around. Before Pinky made it her own hat it was just a pink baseball cap and now it is a misshapen baseball cap covered in carrot juice, that smells like apples and stained of dirt and horse slobber. To me that baseball cap is covered in a million memories. That hat will forever hold a special place in my heart and I never want it to be clean again. Pinky is extremely protective over me whether we are in the barn or at the races. She is the best bodyguard I could ask for! When we are in the paddock Pinky will literally stand guard over me. Pinky will stand so is close to me and if someone walks towards us, she will take a step so that I am under her neck, and she will put her neck over me. She just wants to make sure that I am safe. Hugging can also be quite the challenge, and if Pinky had it her way I would never get any hugs from anyone. When someone comes up to me to give me a hug, Pinky will put her head in between me and the other person, so that they have a harder time reaching me to give a hug. To me, it is almost like Pinky is saying ‘if you want to hug her, you’ll have to go through me first!’ Not only do Pinky and I share food and clothes and accessories but we also the same name and almost the same birthday! Sydney Seelster was born on May 22, 2008 and I was born May 21, 2000. It’s like we were meant to be! With our birthdays being only a day apart, knowing what I wanted for my birthday became very easy! All I wanted and still want is stuff for Pinky or things that Pinky and I both could use. Celebrating our birthdays became easy too! I always wanted and want to go to the track for my birthday, and the last couple years Pinky has either raced her birthday or mine. Being away from Pinky is hard, although I may not see every day; she is always in my heart. The hardest part is when I go to overnight camp for 10 days. Ten days without my best friend is hard, but visiting her is always the last thing I do. Before the drive to camp with my parents, I stop at the barn to say goodbye to Pinky. But before I get out, I sit in the front sit of our car, staring at the front of the barn with a box Kleenex on my lap and I cry. I know Pinky will be here when I get back but that never makes it easier. I think of all the sunny days in the barn with her gentle breathing in my ear that will not happen, all the silly pictures that won’t be taken, the time that I won’t be sitting trackside to watch my dad jog her, and those are 10 days that I might have gone out to the barn to see her and I might have been able to jog her one of those 10 days. It breaks my heart to think of all these special little moments I am going to miss while I am at camp. I think of all the fun and exciting things I will be doing at camp and she will not be there to experience it with me. I finally conjure up enough strength to go into the barn and say goodbye and give her a few carrots. I fight back tears while I explain to Pinky where I am going, and some of the exciting things I will be doing, and I promise to tell her all about it when I return. For the rest of the time I sit quietly in front of her getting those precious moments of her breathing in my ear, and before I know it I am on the road heading to camp! For those 10 days, whenever I do something I have Pinky on my mind! And every night before I lay my head down to sleep, I think of her, and I tell myself, with another day done, it is one more day of adventure that I have to tell Pinky when I get home. After spending 10 days at camp, the first thing I want to do more than anything else is to see my girl Pinky, and that is exactly what I do! On the way home my parents and I stop at the barn so I can see Pinky! I am overjoyed. I tell her how much I have missed her and about my adventures. I guess she missed me just as much as I missed her. She is all sweet with me for the first 10 minutes. After that I reach up to stroke her neck and she makes sure I cannot touch her neck by stretching her neck out high above me. I think she is mad because I went away without her. The next time I see Pinky she is back to giving me her hay and cuddling with me, and I know we are back to being best friends. When Pinky and I are in the barn and a song I know comes on the radio, and I break out into dance, Pinky just looks at me like ‘what the heck are you doing? Stop! There are people here, and you are embarrassing me and yourself! Stop! I break up into laughter and I cannot stop. Together Pinky and I have filmed two video features, one for Woodbine Entertainment Group and it was shown during the 2013 North America Cup broadcast on the Score. The video went on to win an O’Brien and a Dan Patch Award. The other video was for Accessibility in Action, a television program that showcases people with disabilities overcoming them and loving life. In both Pinky and I were co-stars and I could not have asked for a better a better friend to share the spotlight with. The love and support Pinky and I have received is nothing short of a blessing and for all of it I am truly grateful. From the beginning our friends have helped and supported us and it has made of journey and our story even more special. When I am having a bad day, I think of her and all of our adventures and then I feel better. She can always make me smile! She is a part of me and is a big part of who I am. She is my best friend and I will always love her. She is everything to me and there is not a day goes by that I do not think about her. She is the best friend I could ever ask for and I know she will never tell any of my secrets. Sydney Weaver is 14 years old and resides in Acton, Ontario, Canada. She has been involved with harness racing for years, grooms horses, jogs them on the track, owns a racehorse and has already won major youth writing awards. Sydney also has Cerebral Palsy, but has never let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals.
The three-year-old trotting fillies completed their Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots regular season Thursday at Flamboro Downs in five $18,000 divisions. The fastest division was dominated by Stormont Kate and Bruce Richardson who got the girls by the opening marker in :29, the half in :59.2 and three-quarters in 1:28.3 and were home easily in 1:58.2. Chelseas Chance was second followed by Torches Star. Richardson, of Arthur, Ontario, owns and trains the winner, a daughter of Kadabra who was recording her fourth win this year. Stormont Kate is the second foal from a half-sister to $912,000 winner Lord Stormont. KD Bella was the early leader in the first division, getting the field by the first quarter in :29.2, the half in :59.2 and three-quarters in 1:28.4. As the field was half-way through the final turn KD Bella went offstride allowing Viva Bayama to inherit the lead but Flexible Woman closed hard through the stretch to win in 1:59.3 for Steve Byron. Viva Bayama was a neck behind in second while Magic Factory was a close third. John Bax trains the winner, a daughter of Federal Flex he co-owns with breeder Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Ontario. This was the third win of the year for Flexible Woman. The second division saw Erin Hall and Travis Henry in the lead early and that pair trotted by the opening quarter in :28.2 and the half in :59.2. Serendipitious took over the lead by the 1:29.2 three-quarters but was overtaken in deep stretch by Mystical Wishes who hit the wire first in 1:59. Serendipitious held for second while Ja El Diamond was third. A daughter of Muscle Mass trained by Tony Alagna for owners Mystical Marker Farms and Peggy Hood of Indiana, Mystical Wishes was notching her seventh win in 12 starts this year. Lenny Mac and Scott Coulter went to the top first in the third division, and never gave up that position through fractions of :30.1, 1:01.1, 1:30.2 and was home easily in 2:00. Osprey Impact took second while Do The Wheelhouse finished third. Trainer Bob McIntosh bred and co-owns the winner, a daughter of Kadabra, with Earl Hill of Ohsweken, Ontario. This was Lenny Mac’s third win of her sophomore campaign. The final split was controlled the entire mile by Northern Secret who was by the first panel in :28.4, the half in :59.2, the three-quarters in 1:29.1 and was home first in 1:59.1. Doweeypuffandhow was second followed by Wawona. Mario Baillargeon was up behind the winner, trained by his brother Ben who co-owns with Nunzio Vena of Bolton and Santo Veno of Brampton, Ontario. The Angus Hall miss earned a new life record with tonight’s effort, her second win this year. This was the final Grassroots event for this group. The top point earners will now face off in the Semi-Finals on September 20 at Mohawk. To view the complete results from tonight’s races, please clickFlamboro Results - September 11. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Warrawee Promesse and trainer/driver Wayne Henry romped to an open length victory in the $78,800 Dream Of Glory Trot for Ontario-sired three-year-old trotting colts and fillies on Sunday evening at Hanover Raceway. The Henry family swept the top three spots with Wayne driving Warrawee Promesse to the 1:58 victory over brother Trevor aboard Aventure and nephew Travis with Erin Hall. Leaving from post five, Warrawee Promesse worked his way to the lead over Erin Hall through the :28.4 opening quarter. He continued to lead past the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:28 while beginning to draw away from the rest of the field. Meanwhile, Kremlin and Billy Davis Jr. advanced first over, but stalled on the outside prompting 4-5 favourite Aventure to rally wide from the backfield in his pursuit of the leader. However, Warrawee Promesse had opened up nearly five lengths on top turning for home and could not be caught. "I left out of there and it took me a little while [to make the lead]," said Henry after the race. "I didn't want to rush him too much because he's been known to run in this first turn before. Once he made the front, he was pretty much on his own." Warrawee Promesse now boasts three consecutive wins in seven starts this year with his sophomore earnings soaring to $51,940. The Windsong Espoir gelding is owned by the Henry Stable of Arthur, Ont. and Fred Brayford of Alliston, Ont. Warrawee Promesse paid $6.30 to win as the 2-1 second choice. Track Record Set In Ontario Sires Stakes Coming into Sunday evening’s program at Hanover Raceway, the track record for a three-year-old pacing gelding was 1:55.1, established by Bandexter on July 17, 2010. Well, after the five $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots dashes that took place over the half-mile oval, the mark had been lowered to 1:53.4, and it belonged to a trio of geldings. The first gelding to smash the track record was Shadow Place (Trevor Henry) in the second section. Shadow Place came first-over past the :27.3 opening quarter and then battled on the outside of High Flier (Stu Sowerby) through the half in :56.1 and the three-quarters in 1:23.4. High Flier fought the good fight into the lane and continued to keep Shadow Place at bay, but in deep stretch Shadow Place finally forged his way past. The race wasn’t over, though, as Lucky King (James MacDonald), who had followed from second-over, lunged at Shadow Place at the wire, but in the win photo it was revealed that Shadow Place had just held on, defeating Lucky King by a nose. High Flier was third, beaten a length. Richard Moreau trains Shadow Place, a son of Shadow Play, for Quebec owners 9174 7998 Quebec Inc. of St-Janvier-Mirabel, Les Ecuries Bruce of Piedmont, and Henri Hebert Jr. of Papineauville. Shadow Place has now won twice from six tries this year, and he has four career victories. He has put away $23,440 in 2014 and $51,522 lifetime. Shadios (Billy Davis Jr.) then equaled the new 1:53.4 track record for a sophomore pacing gelding in the fourth Grassroots flight. Fresh off a fast 1:50.3 victory in Grassroots action last time out at Georgian Downs, Shadios led through fractions of :27.3, :56.4 and 1:25.1 en route to a one and three-quarter length decision over Waco Bruiser (Travis Henry). Some Major Beach (Jody Jamieson) collected third. Tony Alagna trains Shadios, also sired by Shadow Play, for Great Britain-based owner Tom Hill. Shadios has won four times from seven starts this year, and he has five career triumphs. He has earned $35,860 in his sophomore campaign and $50,150 in his life. The time of 1:53.4 also flashed up on the clock following the Grassroots nightcap. This time it was Titus Seelster(Sylvain Filion) who added his name to the record book after nosing out Blacktree (Trevor Henry) at the wire after showing the way through stations of :27.1, :57.3 and 1:25.1. Finishing in third was Arrived Late (James MacDonald). Stephane Larocque trains the victorious son of Artistic Fella for Quebec owners Brian Paquet of Quebec City and Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil. Titus Seelster, making his sixth trip behind the gate this year, broke through for the initial win of his season, and it was his second lifetime tally. He has banked $16,027 this year and $56,152 lifetime. The other Grassroots races were won by: --Little Ben (sired by Jeremes Jet), who halted the clock in 1:54.2 for driver Trevor Henry, trainer Richard Moreau, and owners Luc Ouellette Incorporated and Anita Ouellette of Campbellville, Ont. --Reasonable Force (Shadow Play), who was a 1:55.1 victor for driver James MacDonald, trainer Tony Montini, and owners Doug Dunbar of London, Ont. and Robert Leblanc of White Plains, New York. Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action for the three-year-old male pacers will resume on August 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Georgian Downs rolled out the red carpet on Saturday night for the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series with five $18,000 dashes going behind the gate. When the dust had cleared, it was Shadios who shined brightest, turning in a career-best 1:50.3 clocking in the fourth Grassroots flight. With Billy Davis Jr. in the bike, Shadios sat in second while Warrawee Phoenix (Scott Coulter) rattled off fast fractions of :26.4, :53.4, and 1:22.2. Davis Jr. already had his charge out of the pocket at three-quarters and he took control entering the far turn. From there, Shadios set sail for the wire, which he reached five lengths to the good over runner-up Regal Babe (Mike Saftic). Twin B Spy (Robert Shepherd) finished in third. Tony Alagna trains Shadios, a Shadow Play gelding, for Great Britain-based owner Tom Hill. Shadios has won three times from six starts this year and he has four career victories. He has earned $26,860 in 2014 and $41,150 in his life. Davis Jr. also won the Grassroots opener with Some Major Beach, the Major In Art half-brother to the great Somebeachsomewhere. Making his first start for trainer Dave Menary, Some Major Beach worked out a second-over trip and then converted it into a 1:52.4 victory. He defeated Major Homer (Travis Henry) by two and three-quarters lengths with Allstar Seelster (Mike Saftic) back in third. Muscara Racing Trust of Ivyland, Pennsylvania, Robert Watson of Ashfield, Australia and Martinez Equine of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania own Some Major Beach. This was his second career win from 17 tries and he has banked $154,226. The other three divisions were all won by driver Scott Coulter. He guided Andreios Kardia to a 1:53.1 decision in the second split; Regal Son to a 1:54.1 tally in the third division; and Lucky King to a 1:53.1 triumph in the Grassroots nightcap. Andreios Kardia, a gelding by Badlands Hanover, is trained by Jeff Madill for owner/breeder Ina Madill of Innisfil, Ont. Unraced as a freshman, Andreios Kardia is four-for-16 this year with $55,350 in the bank. Regal Son, a Stonebridge Regal colt, is trained by Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ont, who also bred Regal Son with long-time partner C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio. Gordon Wright of Charlotte, Michigan is also part of the ownership contingent. Regal Son is a four-time winner in his racing career and he has earned over $55,550. Andrew McCabe sent out Camluck colt Lucky King for owner Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, Ont. This was the first Ontario Sires Stakes win this year for Lucky King, who won last year’s Grassroots Championship for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. He has six career victories and he has stashed away $91,053 for his connections. The next event for the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series is slated for August 3 at Hanover Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Following three straight second-place finishes in the $11,000 Preferred 2 Trot at Flamboro Downs, Cimeronken made it back to the winner's circle with a career-best effort in Saturday's feature race. Driven by Travis Henry, Cimeronken went wire-to-wire in 1:56.4, winning by more than a length over slight favourite Winkys Pride (Scott Coulter) and first over challenger Tornado Tim (Daniel O'Brian). His three previous wins this year occurred at Flamboro and Western Fair Raceway while competing at the Preferred 3 level. With 11 top-three finishes in 15 starts this year, Cimeronken has banked $34,760 in purses. To read the rest of this story click here.
Trotting mare Winkys Pride turned in a track record-equalling performance and horseman Dan O'Brian celebrated a career milestone in a pair of Preferreds featured at Flamboro Downs on Saturday evening. Driven by Scott Coulter, six-year-old chestnut mare Winkys Pride ($16.50) matched Indys Kylee's 1:56.1 track record for aged trotting mares in the $11,000 Preferred 2. The daughter of Amigo Hall-Winkys Smile was a wire-to-wire winner (:27.1, :57, 1:26.1, 1:56.1) for owner/trainer Robert Hummel of Puslinch, Ont. Cimeronken (Travis Henry) finished over one length behind off a pocket trip while Out Of The Hat (J.R. Plante) rounded out the top three finishers five lengths behind. To read the rest of this story click here.
2014 has not been very kind to Travis Henry, who both trains and drives horses in the harness racing industry. Travis drives horses at both the Western Fair Raceway, (London, ON) and at Flamboro Downs, (Hamilton, ON) and due to extreme weather many race cards were cancelled at Flamboro Downs due to unsafe track conditions. Travis says his drives have been cut down to 15 a week from 30 a week compared to this time last year. The harshest part is how the year began for Travis, with the passing of his father Paul Henry. Paul was well known and very well respected within the harness racing industry and one could only imagine what Travis has been dealing with. "I have uncles who have done their best to help me out" Travis explains. "I have great friends and family who help me out. I keep going on and do the best I can." Travis is forever grateful for everything his dad taught and told him, to help encourage him to be the best. "I always know he wanted the best for me and I want to do the best for him." When Travis' dad Paul, was training horses Travis would focus his time and energy on driving. "He always told me if I want to be a driver, always watch the best drivers." As expected with anyone, losing a parent is difficult, to put it lightly. Travis is dealing with the loss but in his own words, he feels the new reality hasn't taken over yet. "I don't think the full effect has hit me just yet, because he was away the last two years in Florida. I am used to him being away but I would always call him and ask him 'what should I do?' if I was driving or looking to get a horse." "It's tough, I can't make that call anymore and I have to rely on friends and family, when I can't make that call anymore." It is hard and heart wrenching to know how important it was to Travis to speak with his dad regularly. To have the person who helped guide you suddenly disappear is unimaginable. These feelings cannot be put into words and the only way to relate is to have sadly gone through what Travis is experiencing. Travis thanks his girlfriend Maddie for being there for him during this time of need and tries to spend as much time with her possible. Travis, 25, does have a plan to succeed in harness racing. Yes his drives have been reduced, but Travis has expanded his talents by training horses. Currently Travis has 8 horses in his care. "As things started to get slow, I started looking to get horses and got a couple owners together to get some horses and (the owners) have all been really good..." says Travis. "I planned for this because I knew what was going to happen. I don't think it got as bad as everybody thought it was going to be... nobody knows what the future will be. I was actually planning on moving to Buffalo when all this (meaning the cut back by the Ontario Government), happened. Things kind of worked out for me and I ended up staying." With the plan the Liberals have today, it does sound positive but Travis has an interesting opinion about racetrack owners. Expressing racetracks should be owned and run by people who have their roots from horse racing. "...they understand the business. I drive at Georgian (located in Innisfil, ON), a lot. I see the grandstand is full with people, but if they want to bring their kids, there is nothing for the kids to do." "Grand River is owned by a horse person." Travis says. "They do stuff for family and kids between races. The grandstand is always full and that's how it should be." Some racetracks in Travis' opinion only care about the slot machines and the revenue generated from the slots. If the track owners had a choice, Travis feels they would give up on horse racing and only focus on the casino money, especially at the smaller racetracks. Looking forward Travis is working to have a strong and successful stable as well becoming more successful when driving at the races. In Travis' stable he has "one 3 year old, two 4 year olds and the rest are aged horses." Out of all his horses, Travis really likes Shesbadtothebone and believes this is the horse of highest caliber in his barn and has her set to race in a week or two. When Travis isn't working with horses or at home, he enjoys going the Ranch, which is a bar in Guelph but admits he doesn't get out too much anymore due to time constraints. "It is still the one bar we all go to if we are going out" says Travis. Travis follows hockey and says the Washington Capitals are the team he cheers on and his favorite player is 'Ovie' also know as Alexander Ovechkin. "I'm a big Ovie fan and I get bugged about it all the time" Travis says. Prior to cheering for the Capitals, Travis was a big fan of the Colorado Avalanche dynasty which starred players like Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Ray Bourque and Patrick Roy to name a few. One day, with all his hard work, Travis may have a dynamic stable and all he learnt from his dad and uncles will shine bright like the morning sun. By: Roderick Balgobin, www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova
A nasty-looking, two-horse spill involving drivers Travis Henry and Bruce Richardson occurred late in the mile in Thursday’s first race at Flamboro Downs. Mckenna Sister appeared to leap over a pylon that had blown onto the track around the final turn, and she fell right into the path of Designer (Bruce Richardson) who couldn’t avoid the fallen foe. Both drivers were ejected from their bikes and booked off their remaining drives. Travis Henry was taken to nearby hospital, where he was later released. Henry stated on his Facebook page "I am very lucky to be home right now with a bad headache and a bruised and a sore neck. Richardson, who landed on his back, booked off the remainder of his drives after suffering a sore hand and knee. There was no update from track officials on the condition of the horses involved in the accident. To view results for Tuesday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Flamboro Downs. Reprinted with permission from www.standardbredcanada.ca
Three eliminations for the $70,000+ Dream of Glory Trot were contested at Hanover Raceway Saturday night. The field for the Dream of Glory final is now set, and eight horses will headline the biggest night of the year at the Hanover oval on August 3rd. In race three, Enough About You went off as the post-time favourite and had it all his way from the outset of the race. Driver Travis Henry who was making his first steer of the three-year old Mutineer gelding rated an easy mile to win in 1:59.1. After the race, Henry noted that he had talked with regular pilot Anthony Macdonald earlier in the week and simply “did what [he] was told.” Enough About You won by two-and-a-quarter lengths over Muscle On Broadway and Ross Battin who also qualified for the final. Henry also noted that the Dream of Glory final will be the richest race of his young career and he’s looking forward to being a part of it. The win was the fourth lifetime score for Enough About You, who was coming off a sixth place finish in the Canadian Breeders Championship a week prior. Carmen Auciello trains for the Wheelhouse Racing Stable in Mississauga, Ontario. Another CBC finalist El Diablo Rojo engineered a wire-to-wire win in the second Dream of Glory elimination. Bruce Richardson was in the bike for trainer Mike Bishop and owner Karen Carroll, and Richardson was able to hold off a challenge from Bop Too The Top and Matt Bax. El Diablo Rojo trotted the mile in 2:00.0. After the race, Richardson said “depending on the post we draw, then I’ll figure out what trip to look for. If we draw on the inside, maybe the top will work out again, but we’ll see.” El Diablo Rojo ended up drawing the rail for next week’s final. The third elimination was contested after a lengthy rain delay soaked the track. Eat Pray Trot fired out to an early lead from post 7 with Garrett Rooney steering. However, by the three-quarter station Bax had grinded his way to the top with Her Name Is Lola. The Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series filly took control heading for home and held off late challenges from both Eat Pray Trot and a fast-closing Standing My Ground. Two-time Dream of Glory winning trainer John Bax conditions Her Name is Lola for Parkill Stud Farm, Gaelic Stable, and Don Allensen. Bax will send out both Her Name Is Lola and Bop To The Top in the final. The field for the $71,200 Dream of Glory Final is as follows: 1 – El Diablo Rojo 2 – Katla 3 – Muscle On Broadway 4 – Eat Pray Trot 5 – Standing My Ground 6 – Her Name Is Lola 7 – Bop To The Top 8 – Enough About You AE1. PC Momma Mia AE2. Northern Nandi Off the track, Jim McCrae of Sauble Beach was the luckiest fan in attendance winning a 55 inch Panasonic Smart TV and Blueray package courtesy of 92.3 The Dock, and Modern Appliances of Hanover. McCrae said he’s a regular to Hanover Raceway and joked he’s going to need a lesson to learn all the great features the TV has to offer. Dream of Glory day festivities will include a Bar-b-q and Live band, Mini-horse race, Rides in a Clydesdale Carriage for the post parades, a Match Race between the 2012 champion Summer Indian (1:51.1) and 2011 champ Traverse Seelster (1:51.2), the 70,000 dollar Dream of Glory final, and a Mascot Race before the huge BEM fireworks display. There will also be draws for accommodations and golf at Cobble Beach, tickets to Music in the Fields, and a draw for a plane trip for 6 via Brucelandair to either Killarney or Niagra Falls. Post time for Dream of Glory Night is 6:30 p.m and doors open at 5:00. Gord Dougan
Henry and Holliday steal the show on Ladies' Night. There was plenty of great harness racing action on Saturday night, as Hanover Raceway hosted Ladies' Night.
Dundas (Ontario) harness racing trainer Isaac Waxman has conditioned some pretty nice horses in his time - including 261 career winners who have banked more than $2 million - but now just over six years into his career the 24-year-old believes he's found his fastest horse yet.
With the surname Henry - Travis Henry was always destined for a career in harness racing. From the moment he jogged his first horse at the age of seven, Henry junior was injected with the racing bug - and now some 15 years later he is well ensconced in the sport having driven 58 career winners in just one-and-a-half seasons.