ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway staged its final race night of the 48-day harness racing meet on September 29. Despite fewer races and fewer cards, the average bet per race jumped 17.8 percent in 2014 compared to 2013. Total wagering on Grand River Raceway is up 6.7 percent from just under $6.5 million in 2013 to $6.9 million this year, based on the first 48 race dates of 2013. Leona Ruddock of Kitchener, ON was the grand prize winner in the finale of the track's handicapping contest. The Grand River regular beat 109 fellow handicappers to claim a spot in the $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship at The Meadowlands Racetrack in April 2015. Ruddock scored a bankroll of $92.90 with hypothetical $2 win and place bets on races two through seven. A 23-1 whopper in race six solidified Ruddock's win when trotter Lady Is A Pirate and Tyler Borth lit up the toteboard with a three-quarter length score in a new season's best of 2:00.2. Finishing second through fifth in the contest and winning a $50 HorsePlayer Interactive cash card were John Dametto, Stuart Perry, Thomas Lane and Larry Lougheed. Live racing returns to Grand River Raceway on June 1, 2015. Kelly Spencer
Trainer Keith Cullen enjoyed a perfect night at the the track on Saturday with his starters going three-for-three during Hiawatha Horse Park's 10-race card. Cullen's trainees won three straight races mid-card using the same racing strategy. Royal Sir ($9.60) kicked off the stable streak winning the fourth race for $3,000 claiming colts and geldings in 1:56 with Jeff Mayhew working out the winning pocket trip. In the next race, Marvelous Mario ($4.20) and Tyler Borth prevailed in 1:54 off a pocket trip of their own, although the pacer was claimed from Cullen for $6,000 in the race. Coffee Black ($6) also converted off a two-hole trip to win the following $4,000 claiming trot in 2:00.2 with Alfie Carroll aboard. To view the rest of this story click here.
Harness racing driver Tyler Borth is only 21 and aside from driving Tyler trains horses and is in the transition of taking over the family business from his dad (Bill Borth), which comprises of a farm and a stable of horses. "He's been very successful in the business" says Tyler. "My dad is getting older and ready to retire so he's handing everything over to me. Some young trainers have their horses at training centers where I fortunate to have my horses at my dad's farm which saves a lot of money." "My dad is a very good blacksmith... he takes his time and gets a nice healthy foot on a horse. They stay sound longer because they have a nice platform they can land on." Tyler adds how much his dad helps with his quality work. "I recently had an Olympus Hanover horse I bought at the mixed sale and he had some bad feet. I gave him some time off and then qualified him and he only missed the top three a couple of times. I think he made $13,000 and then got claimed for $9,750 plus tax." "I haven't been a bookkeeper before, but I am getting better." Tyler says with a laugh. "I am starting to watch my money more... especially since my dad is putting is business over to me." "My dad was never huge in the business but he always dug down and worked harder. Now he's at an age where he's 65 and retiring." "He still shoes them all" notes Tyler. "He's a very good blacksmith and that's why we've had success. We only have trotters and we go to sales looking for horses with bad feet because my dad can fix that, especially a young trotter whose feet are hurting." Tyler is also taking over responsibility for the breeding on the family farm. "My dad's always had the odd broodmare, he had a good horse named Yentls Image and that was probably my dad's best horse and he ended up standing stud." The first horse Tyler owned was a mare named Lucrative Lady. Tyler with his dad bought her as a 3-year-old for $1,400 and Lucrative Lady went on to garner over $55,000 in purse winnings over three years. "She's retired here and just had a Majestic Son colt last week." Tyler says. "He's actually out in the field with her right now." Under Tyler's care are three race horses plus two 2-year-olds that are both gelded. "We are big believers that we turn out all our horses together and especially if they do not have the breeding to be a world champion. Plus they're a lot calmer to deal with." Would Tyler get into shoeing once his dad was fully out of the game, shoeing is something which Tyler was never really interested in. "Shoeing is very very important and that is what has helped my dad in life. Yes I should learn it" says Tyler "but I never found it interesting. I would like to be a fulltime catch driver and always own horses." That is why whenever Tyler is watching harness racing which he does as often as possible; he is always constantly assessing what the top drivers are doing. Especially with horses at longer odds, Tyler really enjoys seeing how a top driver can help a horse exceed expectations. His mom is Karen Sparling and his brother is fellow harness driver Robert Sparling Jr. "We always cheer for one another" when asked if Tyler has a brotherly rival with Robert. "I always expect him to do better than me because he's been doing it a lot longer." Right now Tyler only drives at The Raceway at Western Fair, (London, ON) and in the summer months Tyler usually heads to Hiawatha Horse Park in Sarnia, ON to compete. Something rare that happened to Tyler was driving General Manager in a time of 1:56:3 and finishing in a dead heat as winner at Hiawatha Horse Park. And the other horse in the dead heat? It was Jmpridesmrtypants driven by Tyler's brother Robert Sparling Jr. and the finishing time were new lifetime bests! What are the odds of a dead heat finish with your brother and setting a record doing so? "What makes feel the happiest at the track is when I know I did my best job every race I was in. I drove smart a left a little in the horse for next week. " Tyler adds he feels bad when he doesn't finish well with a favorite, whether he got locked or was parked Tyler feels disappointed in himself. "I do my best and always try to leave enough so the horse can race next week. I do my best to drive smart." "I've been into horses since I was a kid" says Tyler. "Ask anyone in the business and they love it, it's a bug you catch and I've had it since I was a little kid.... I'd get off the school bus at my mom's and then call my dad to pick me up so I can help him with the horses all the time." "When I get up in the morning I can be in the barn all day, I love it." Tyler says. Tyler is a true outdoorsman as he enjoys hunting deer with his crossbow and going out on his four wheeler with his buddies. It's all about being outdoors soaking in all nature has to offer. Tyler is a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, so we know he hasn't been watching much hockey this spring. However Tyler adds he's always smiling! "I don't like going to the track and being pouty or in a bad mood. I think when you're happy, things go a lot smoother." "I am at a pretty good spot in my life right now." Tyler adds, "My dad is very supportive of me, my mom is very supportive of me and I've never had to worry thanks to them." Somebeachsomewhere is Tyler's all time favorite horse and believes had he come back and raced as an older horse, Somebeachsomewhere could have won in 1:45. In regards to which current horse he favors, that horse is Foiled Again. "What a warrior" says Tyler about foiled Again. By: Roderick Balgobin www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova
The trip was sweet and the end result was even sweeter for Kendal Gustav who erupted for a 22-1 upset in Monday’s $11,000 Preferred 2 for pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Lorne House carved out a second over trip for Kendal Gustav in the featured event, and the gelding did the rest en route to an easy score in the eight-horse affair. Kendal Gustav got away fifth before slipping to the outside and grabbing cover for the back-half of the contest. Clic K steamrolled through solid panels of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:26 before coming to a walk by the time the field turned for home. Smokin Bear was first-over and driving at that leader in the final half of the mile, and hot on hisheels was the eventual winner. Kendal Gustav kicked home in :30 en route to winning by 2-1/2 lengths over Rays San in 1:56.2. Smokin Bear managed to hold on for third prize. Trainer Scott McNiven co-owns the five-year-old son of Life Sign-City Of Dreams with Tom Brodhurst and Shirley Griffin, and collectively they’ve watched the gelding racked up 19 lifetime wins while stashing away close to $130,000 in career earnings. Just two races earlier it was Slots Of Fun turning in a front-stepping score in the $7,350 Preferred 3 for horse and gelding pacers. Driver/co-owner Alfie Carroll hustled the six-year-old son of Grinfromeartoear-High Pressure through panels of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:29.2 before sprinting home in :29.3 to win by a half-length margin over Leafs And Wings in 1:59. Stoney Durkin, who was eighth at the head of the lane, came on strong to finish third. Richard Carroll trains the 18-time winner, who is now 2-for-3 this season. He boosted his overall cash stash to $115,223 with the win. Savthelstdancforme captured the $7,000 Preferred 3 for trotters for the second week in-a-row, and he did so with authority for catch-driver Tyler Borth. The eight-year-old son of Striking Sahbra-Iam Worthy Too chopped out fractions of :29.2, 1:00.2 and 1:30 before coasting home in :30.3 to win by three lengths over Windsun Fireball in 2:00.3. Sonny Vale came first-over and finished a distant third. Ashley Duford trains the 14-time winner for Dennis Duford of Dresden, Ontario. The trotter has managed to bank $122,887 to date. To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Harness racing driver Tyler Borth celebrated his first driving victory on Friday at The Raceway at The Western Fair District when he guided Region Hall to a narrow victory in the evening's third race.