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TORONTO, October 19 - The 2017-18 Woodbine Standardbred Fall-Winter meet got underway Thursday evening with an exciting 10-race harness racing card. The meet got off to an intriguing start, as two-year-old pacing filly Quite A Sight scored a 12-1 upset in the opening race for driver Randy Waples and breeder/owner/trainer Bob McIntosh. The daughter of Camluck stopped the timer in 1:54.4 to improve to two for three to start her career. Quite A Sight was not the only rookie to grab the opening night spotlight, as Wind Blast and You Said It brought the heat on Thursday. Mach Three gelding Wind Blast blew the doors off his rivals with a front-end score in 1:53 for Waples at 3-1. The Jack Darling trained rookie was able to knock almost a full-second off his previous mark of 1:53.4, which was established in his most recent outing on October 2 at Mohawk. Wind Blast, who competed earlier this season in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action, is now two for five and has banked $25,087 for Jack Darling Stables Ltd. The evening's seventh-race saw Well Said colt You Said It overcome an interference break early to rally and win in impressive fashion. The Ben Wallace trained rookie was knocked off-stride by a breaking rival an eighth of a mile into the race and had to reset for driver Doug McNair in eighth. You Said It would move to the outside nearing the half and ended up fourth-over and eighth in the field turning for home. You Said It unleashed a :27 final-quarter to zoom late and score a victory by a neck in 1:55.2. It was the first win in 11 outings for the son of Well Said, who was purchased privately in August by Brad Grant. Driver Sylvain Filion led the way Thursday by each picking up three victories, including a 29-1 upset with five-year-old claiming pacer Er Quinn in the finale. Leading trainer Richard Moreau wasted no time adding to his strong numbers, as he sent out two winners on Thursday. Horseplayers were ready to jump in and play on opening night at Woodbine. The Pick-5 pool attracted $66,088 and paid $1,345.50 for a $0.20 winning ticket, while the Early Pick-4 had a pool of $56,660 and returned $138.65 for a $1 ticket. Live racing continues Friday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Quite A Sight Wind Blast You Said It Er Quinn Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 19 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced that per-race handle for the recently concluded harness racing meet at Mohawk Racetrack was up eight per cent. The 2017 Mohawk meet, which began on April 13, featured 127 race cards, 17 less than 2016, and had an "all-sources" wagering total of $202,145,413. The average per-race handle during the 2017 Mohawk meet was $152,908.78, up $12,279.27 from the 2016 meet. Support from U.S. horseplayers saw a per-race increase during the 2017 season, as they wagered an average of $94,231.14 per-race, up 9.8% from 2016. The nightly Pick-5 wager rose to new heights in popularity during the meet, as the first-race multi-leg wager had an average pool size of $73,437. The Jackpot Hi-5 wager continued to be a staple of the Mohawk wagering menu. A mandatory payout on October 14, featuring a record carryover of $978,779, saw $2.3 million wagered into the pool. Several top racing and community events were highlights for the 2017 season at Mohawk. On Tuesday, June 13, Woodbine Entertainment announced a $10 million investment and new branding for Mohawk Racetrack. Mohawk will become the home of year-round harness racing beginning in April of 2018 under the name Woodbine, Mohawk Park. The $10 million investment will upgrade the facility in multiple areas with the intent on continuing to be a leader in World Class Horse Racing. The 34th Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, June 17 once again attracted strong wagering and a large crowd to the Campbellville oval. Fear The Dragon captured the $1 million race for three-year-old pacers, while country star Kira Isabella rocked the house with a pre-race concert. The RCMP Musical Ride made a stop at Mohawk on August 1 and 2 for the first-time ever. Near-capacity crowds packed the Mohawk grandstand to watch the legendary Musical Ride performance in celebration of Canada 150. The Canadian Pacing Derby on September 2, Maple Leaf Trot and Canadian Trotting Classic on September 16 and Metro Pace on September 23 brought the finest pacers and trotters to Mohawk for a sensational month of Grand Circuit racing. Doug McNair of Guelph, Ontario led all drivers during the Mohawk meet in wins with 155, while Trevor Henry of Arthur, Ontario was the top earning driver at $3.8 million. Trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, Ontario was the top conditioner for the 2017 season, as his stable recorded 78 wins and earned $1.4 million. Brad Grant of Milton, Ontario led all owners in victories with 30, while Serge Godin's Determination stable of Montreal, Quebec led all owners in earnings with $839,604. Live Standardbred racing now shifts to Woodbine Racetrack for the Fall-Winter meet starting Thursday, October 19. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, August 28 - Woodbine Entertainment is pleased to announce the appointment of Jessica Buckley to the position of President, Woodbine, Mohawk Park, effective September 5, 2017. In June, Woodbine Entertainment announced a move to year-round Standardbred racing on the Mohawk Park site commencing in spring of 2018, along with more than $10 million in upgrades to winterize and modernize the facilities. Ms. Buckley has been with the company in her current role as Vice President, Community Relations and Corporate Affairs, for the past two years in addition to previous leadership roles within the racing industry in the United States. Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson praised Buckley's abilities to collaborate with the many different stakeholders associated with the organization and her passion for horse racing. "I have great confidence in Jessica's ability to collaborate with industry stakeholders," said Mr. Lawson. "She has diverse experience in horse racing and a passion for the business. Her leadership will complement our current and future operations to further Woodbine's reputation as a world-class Standardbred racing industry leader." Ms. Buckley has worked in the industry for 23 years but has a life-long love and contiguity to horse racing as the source of her energy for the sport. "This is a very exciting time for Woodbine Entertainment and the future of Standardbred racing at Mohawk Park," said Ms. Buckley. "The move to year-round racing and the facility upgrades will create an even richer experience for our guests and horsepeople. Shortly, we will welcome a new gaming service provider and complete the master plan for the site's 434 acres. I look forward to working with our horsepeople and community to create a bright future." Mohawk Park has hosted Standardbred racing since 1963. John Siscos    

A $10-million investment to bring year-round harness racing to Mohawk Racetrack has been met with mixed emotions in the local standardbred community. This according to Ontario Harness Horse Association general manager Brian Tropea. “I think the feeling’s split. On the one hand there’s the convenience of travel, but what does it mean when we’ll have no presence at the largest market in Canada (Woodbine),” he told the Champion, responding to Tuesday’s announcement of the major upgrades set for the Campbellville track, where harness racing will be held exclusively following construction that’s scheduled to be complete by next spring. “I think it’ll be detrimental to the growth of the industry.” Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson sees things differently. “This has been well thought out for 24 to 30 months and we’re extremely comfortable with our decision. Milton’s the fastest-growing community in Canada. The population increase is off the chart,” he said, adding that 75 per cent of wagering is now done online. “We’ve done our homework. Anyone with concerns about the Toronto market don’t have access to our numbers.” Lawson said the ‘critical threshold’ in the plan was the OLG’s commitment to providing a new gaming partner at Mohawk for the next 21 years. “That was a game changer for us.” Said seasoned local trainer Ben Wallace, “I’ll miss being in the central core of Toronto, but I think this is a plus for everyone. I just hope the commitment is as flamboyant as it could be.” On Tuesday, Woodbine Entertainment announced plans to winterize the grandstand, paddock and maintenance facilities at Mohawk. However, “Investment in the Milton track is not limited to the construction projects and plant upgrades,” said Woodbine Entertainment in a release. The company also unveiled a new corporate branding with plans to unify its racetracks under one brand, Woodine. “The Woodbine track will retain its name while Mohawk will become Woodbine at Mohawk Park, set to be implemented when harness racing returns to the site full-time in May 2018,” said the company. While Milton-area horse people will no doubt see a financial benefit in terms of travel and shipping expenses once year-round racing begins at a soon-to-be-winterized Mohawk, Wallace said those costs are nothing compared to what his New York-based colleagues deal with. “Try going from south New Jersey to somewhere like Yonkers. We’re in horse paradise here.” Tropea describes Mohawk as the superior facility for standardbred racing — with fans much closer to the action. However, he questioned if people will be lining the fence in the winter, even with the upgrades planned. He suggested the announcement has more to do with benefiting the thoroughbred industry at Woodbine, where a full casino could be built and supporting transit put in place — further bolstering the Toronto track as the premiere destination in Ontario. Tropea also expressed concerns about changes to racing’s revenue sharing agreement — with a split of the breeds. Currently Mohawk offers live racing from April to October, with its biggest card — the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup, set for tonight (Saturday). by Steve LeBlanc Reprinted with permission of the Inside Halton site

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 16 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) is pleased to announce that Lou Lamoriello, General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, will be making the winner's circle presentation for this Saturday's $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack. A native of Rhode Island, Lamoriello became exposed to harness racing during his 28 years as the General Manager of the New Jersey Devils. During his time in the Garden State, Lamoriello led the Devils organization to three Stanley Cups, five conference titles and nine division titles. In July of 2015, Lamoriello was named the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and recently led the organization to a playoff appearance. Lamoriello was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009. The $1 million North America Cup features the continent's finest three-year-old pacers and is Canada's richest harness race. This year's event marks the 34th edition of the North America Cup. Lamoriello, who recently attended the North America Cup eliminations, will present the prestigious trophy to the connections of the winning horse along with Michael Hall, Director of Business Development for PepsiCo. The Pepsi North America Cup is carded as Race 12 on Saturday's 15-race card. Live racing begins at 6:30 p.m., with the North America Cup scheduled for approximately 10:40 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, May 23 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced that 44 harness racing three-year-old pacers will be eligible to enter this year's Pepsi North America Cup. The final sustaining payment for Canada's richest harness race was due May 15 and the connections of 44 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings selected to make the final payment. The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup will take place on Saturday, June 17 at Mohawk Racetrack. The eliminations will take place a week prior on Saturday, June 10. A total of 53 three-year-olds were eligible heading into the May 15 payment. Originally, 60 horses were nominated in February to this year's Pepsi North America Cup. The list of 44 eligible three-year-olds is headlined by Downbytheseaside and Huntsville. The top two pacing colts heading into the season have both made noise early on in their three-year-old campaigns. Brian Brown's Downbytheseaside is two for two to start the season with comfortable victories in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) division and the elimination of the Art Rooney. Huntsville, who won last year's Dan Patch Award for his division, has also made two starts this season. The Ray Schnittker trainee won his three-year-old debut by a stunning ten lengths in a PASS division on May 6, before finishing second to Brown trainee and Cup eligible Fear The Dragon on May 21. The list of eligible three-year-olds also includes Metro Pace winner Beyond Delight, Champlain division winner Ideal Wheel, New York Sires Stakes standout Miso Fast and Battle of Waterloo winner Sports Column. This year's Pepsi North America Cup will be the 34th edition and it promises to be the biggest. Admission to the Pepsi North America Cup, including concert featuring country star Kira Isabella, is $10 and tickets can be purchased here. Below is the full list of eligible three-year-olds to this year's Pepsi North America Cup. AIR STRIKE - Always A Virgin AMERICAN SPORTSMAN - Somebeachsomewhere ARSENAL SEELSTER - Artistic Fella BEACH HOUSE - Somebeachsomewhere BECKHAMS Z TAM - Always A Virgin BETTOR'S WESTERN - Bettor's Delight BEYOND DELIGHT - Bettor's Delight BLOOD LINE - Somebeachsomewhere CALVIN K - Classic Card Shark CLASSIC PRO - Shadow Play DARLING'S DRAGON - Dragon Again DIAL THE BOSSMAN - Artistic Fella DOWNBYTHESEASIDE - Somebeachsomewhere DRAGNET ALERT - Dragon Again EDDARD HANOVER - Dragon Again FEAR THE DRAGON - Dragon Again FILIBUSTER HANOVER - Somebeachsomewhere HENRY THE DRAGON - Custard The Dragon HUNTSVILLE - Somebeachsomewhere HURRICANEBEACH - Somebeachsomewhere IDEAL WHEEL - American Ideal LAWRENCETOWN BEACH - Somebeachsomewhere MAC ATTACK - Somebeachsomewhere MAC'S JACKPOT - Somebeachsomewhere MAJOR MOE - Art Major MC MACH - Mach Three MISO FAST - Roll With Joe NORMANDY BEACH - Somebeachsomewhere OCEAN COLONY - Somebeachsomewhere ODDS ON DELRAY - Somebeachsomewhere OZONE BLUE CHIP - Bettor's Delight PERFECTLY CLOSE - Ponder PHOTOBOMBR HANOVER - Somebeachsomewhere R J P - Somebeachsomewhere RICHARD HILL - Mach Three SANTAFE'S COACH - Bettor's Delight SOME ATTITUDE - Somebeachsomewhere SPORTS COLUMN - Sportswriter STEALTH BOMBER - Rocknroll Hanover STREAKAVANA - Big Jim THREE MORE SMILES - Mach Three TWIN B COWBOY - Roll With Joe  WESTERN HILL - Western Ideal WHO SAID NOT TO - Well Said Number of eligible horses: 44 Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 25 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today released the latest update of eligible harness racing horses for this year's Pepsi North America Cup. Following the April 15 sustaining payment, 53 three-year-old pacers remain eligible to the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, to be raced on Saturday, June 17 at Mohawk Racetrack. Eliminations will take place on Saturday, June 10. The latest sustaining payment saw just three horses drop out after 56 three-year-olds were kept eligible following the first sustaining payment. Originally, 60 three-year-old pacers were nominated to this year's race. The list of 53 eligible pacers is led by last year's rookie sensations Downbytheseaside and Huntsville. Downbytheseaside, who is trained by Brian Brown, qualified for the first time this season on April 19 at Miami Valley Racing in Ohio and won in 1:53.4. The son of Somebeachsomewhere is entered to qualify again at Miami Valley on Wednesday afternoon. Huntsville, the 2016 Dan Patch Award winner, turned in his first qualifying mile of the season on April 22 at The Meadowlands. The Ray Schnittker trainee paced a :26.2 final-quarter to power by a pair of rivals in the stretch for a 1:53.2 victory. With many of the Pepsi North America Cup eligibles starting to appear on the racetrack, the connections of the 53 three-year-olds will have charted performances to assess in advance of the final Pepsi North America Cup sustaining payment, which is due on May 15. Below is the up to date list of eligible horses to this year's Pepsi North America Cup. AIR STRIKE - Always A Virgin AMERICAN SPORTSMAN - Somebeachsomewhere ARSENAL SEELSTER - Artistic Fella ART SCENE - American Ideal BEACH HOUSE - Somebeachsomewhere BECKHAMS Z TAM - Always A Virgin BETTORS DREAM - Bettor's Delight BETTOR'S WESTERN - Bettor's Delight BEYOND DELIGHT - Bettor's Delight BLOOD LINE - Somebeachsomewhere CALVIN K - Classic Card Shark CLASSIC PRO - Shadow Play DARLING'S DRAGON - Dragon Again DIAL THE BOSSMAN - Artistic Fella DOWNBYTHESEASIDE - Somebeachsomewhere DRAGNET ALERT - Dragon Again EDDARD HANOVER - Dragon Again FEAR THE DRAGON - Dragon Again FILIBUSTER HANOVER - Somebeachsomewhere HENRY THE DRAGON - Custard The Dragon HUNTSVILLE - Somebeachsomewhere HURRICANEBEACH - Somebeachsomewhere IDEAL WHEEL - American Ideal LAWRENCETOWNBEACH - Somebeachsomewhere LINDYTHEFOURTEENTH - Somebeachsomewhere MAC ATTACK - Somebeachsomewhere MAC'S JACKPOT - Somebeachsomewhere MAJOR MOE - Art Major MC MACH - Mach Three MISO FAST - Roll With Joe MR VARSITY - Roll With Joe NORMANDYBEACH - Somebeachsomewhere OCEAN COLONY - Somebeachsomewhere ODDS ON DELRAY - Somebeachsomewhere OZONE BLUE CHIP - Bettor's Delight PERFECTLY CLOSE - Ponder PHOTOBOMBR HANOVER - Somebeachsomewhere R J P - Somebeachsomewhere RICHARD HILL - Mach Three ROCK IT SCOTT - Roll With Joe ROCK THIS WAY - Rocknroll Hanover SANTAFE'S COACH - Bettor's Delight SOME ATTITUDE - Somebeachsomewhere SPORTS COLUMN - Sportswriter STEALTH BOMBER - Rocknroll Hanover STREAKAVANA - Big Jim TALBOT ROMEO - Roll With Joe  THREE MORE SMILES - Mach Three TWIN B COWBOY - Roll With Joe  WESTERN HILL - Western Ideal WHO SAID NOT TO - Well Said WINDSONG NAPOLEON - Art Major YOUNG DRUNK PUNK - Bettor's Delight   Sustaining Payment #2 - 53 horses Sustaining Payment #1 - 56 horses Nominated - 60 horses   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, April 25, 2017 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today unveiled the completed master plan for the Woodbine Racetrack lands. Woodbine's privately owned 684-acre site will be transformed in the years to come into "a city within a within a city" and seek to be a future urban heart of northwest Toronto.   The vision for the plan is for Woodbine to continue to be the ultimate destination for horse racing and gaming, while integrating new expanded entertainment and cultural offerings, food and dining, hotel, shopping, office space, post-secondary education, recreation, health, wellness, and urban residential living.   The "city within a city" concept is strategically designed to unlock the value of the undeveloped land, generating long-term revenues that will sustainably support WEG's horse racing operations, and thousands of farming jobs in rural communities across Ontario.   "At the core of the project is the beauty of the horse," said Jim Lawson, CEO, WEG. "With over 2,000 thoroughbred horses stabled on site, approximately 200 acres will continue be devoted to horse racing operations at the centre of this unique development. The master plan sets out a detailed roadmap that will create thousands of new local jobs in the community, introduce new fans to the sport of horse racing and be a transformative project for the City of Toronto in the years to come."   The catalyst for the first phase of development is an expanded gaming district complete with integrated entertainment, hospitality and related amenities. The first phase will attract approximately 12 to 15 million people per year; more than double the current number of visitors. Additionally, this transformation will create significant jobs and economic development in the northwest corner of Toronto.   Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is currently seeking a private sector service provider to operate the Slots at Woodbine Racetrack site and to propose an expanded entertainment development, consistent with the City of Toronto's conditions. OLG expects to name a private sector provider in late Summer 2017.   The master plan and development strategy was developed with LiveWorkLearnPlay (LWLP), WEG's lead real estate development advisor. LWLP have led the planning and master development of towns, cities and large-scale mixed-use projects across North America and beyond. The master planning design process incorporated a dynamic group of industry-leading professionals, led by SWA Group, an international master planning, landscape architecture, and urban design firm, in collaboration with BCV Architects and Nelson Nygaard. A team of local experts lead by IBI Group and Walker Nott Dragicevic additionally supported the process.   "The Woodbine Racetrack site represents a unique legacy opportunity to develop a place that can offer enduring social and economic value to the city and region, while ensuring the sustainability of the horse racing industry," said Richard Martz, Partner & Principal of LWLP. "WEG's ambitious planning and development strategy has been designed to effectively respond to that context and opportunity."   This dynamic, large-scale, city-building project will be comprised of multiple seamlessly integrated districts.   Garth Essery, Vice President, Property Development, WEG, presented the plan Tuesday while speaking on a panel about Transformative Placemaking at the Urban Land Institute's Toronto Symposium.   "After almost two years of strategizing, researching, planning and designing, we are excited to share our exciting master plan for Woodbine's unique 684-acre property - a site larger than Toronto's downtown business district and with enormous potential given its history and location," said Essery.   Also on the panel were representatives from prominent northwest Toronto landmarks Humber College and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Toronto Pearson International Airport.   The discussion centred on the plans and approach each group is employing as they work to urbanize their lands to create community vibrancy.   Link to an Woodbine development image   About Woodbine Entertainment Group -   With roots dating back to 1881, Woodbine Entertainment Group is the largest horse racing operator in Canada, showcasing world-renowned horse racing at Woodbine Racetrack (Toronto), home of the iconic Queen's Plate, and Mohawk Racetrack (Milton), host of the storied Pepsi North America Cup. At 684 acres, the Woodbine Racetrack site is the largest, contiguously owned parcel of land remaining largely undeveloped in the City of Toronto. It is comparable in size to Toronto's downtown core stretching from Spadina Ave. to Church St. and from the waterfront north to Queen St. Woodbine Entertainment is designated as a Caring Company with Imagine Canada, and gives back through the WEGcares Community Investment Program.   John Siscos Woodbine Entertainment Group

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 13 - The next round of harness racing sustaining payments for Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and Alliance stakes events are due this Saturday (April 15). The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup attracted 60 nominees in February and 56 of the nominated three-year-old pacers were kept eligible by their connections following the March sustaining payment. The Pepsi North America Cup is scheduled for Saturday, June 17 at Mohawk Racetrack. The full list of WEG stakes requiring a April 15th sustaining payment is available below. Pepsi North America Cup (Pace: 3-Year-Olds) Canadian Pacing Derby (Pace: 3-Year-Olds and Up) Canadian Trotting Classic (Trot: 3-Year-Olds) Maple Leaf Trot (Trot: 3-Year-Olds and Up) Fan Hanover (Pace: 3-Year-Old Fillies) Elegantimage (Trot: 3-Year-Old Fillies) Casual Breeze (Trot: 3-Year-Old Fillies) Goodtimes (Trot: 3-Year-Olds) Somebeachsomewhere (Pace: 3-Year-Olds) Metro Pace (Pace: 2-Year-Olds) Shes A Great Lady (Pace: 2-Year-Old Fillies) William Wellwood Memorial (Trot: 2-Year-Olds) Peaceful Way (Trot: 2-Year-Old Fillies) Nassagaweya (Pace: 2-Year-Olds) Eternal Camnation (Pace: 2-Year-Old Fillies) Roses Are Red (Pace: Mares) Milton (Pace: Mares) Armbro Flight (Trot: Mares)   The following Alliance stakes require an April 15th sustaining payment. Battle of Waterloo (Pace: 2-Year-Olds) Battle of the Belles (Pace: 2-Year-Old Fillies) Confederation Cup (Pace: 4-Year-Olds)   A sustaining payments is also due Saturday for the 2017 WEG/SBOA Filly Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-olds. To view full information regarding each stakes event and payments, click here. To make sustaining payments online, click here. If sending payments by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than April 15, 2017 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. Any questions or concerns regarding stakes payments can be directed to the Mohawk Race Office, 905-854-7805.   Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 11 - It's easy to forget harness racing driver Doug McNair is only 27. The young reinsman has been a regular face on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit for several years and has been winning races since the day he hopped in a sulky. But this winter, McNair took his game to new heights and accomplished a feat that not many drivers in their 20's have been able to do. Capture a driving title at Woodbine "It's huge," McNair shared about winning the driving title for the Woodbine Fall-Winter meet. "I remember being a kid and wanting to race here and to win the driver's title is huge, especially at a young age." McNair, a winner of over 2,600 races in his young career, led all drivers in victories and earnings during the recently concluded Woodbine meet. The Guelph, Ontario resident finished the meet with 126 wins, 37 more than his nearest rival. Coming into the Woodbine portion of the season off a solid summer meet at Mohawk, which saw him win 125 races, McNair was poised to post good numbers, but even he didn't expect to jump right to the top. "No, I didn't think I would be rolling like I am, it just started as soon as we got back (to Woodbine)," McNair said. "You got to have the horses and I got lucky that I got the horses this winter. Any top guy will tell you that you can't win races unless you have the horses." Driving for power is always a key to success, but a driver still needs to make the most of the opportunity. That's exactly what McNair did with the chance to drive for the circuit's top owner and trainers. "Brad Grant has really helped me out with a lot of Preferred horses and driving for top trainers Richard Moreau and Carmen Auciello this winter makes a big difference." McNair's top charge this winter has been the Grant owned, Moreau trained American Virgin, who's won the Preferred seven-times since the new year. Success in the top classes has pushed McNair to the top of the earnings category on the circuit, having driven the winner's of over $1.2 million this season. The 27-year-old's hot streak wasn't restricted to the WEG Circuit this winter, as he also took his talents to Ohio to capture Miami Valley's inaugural North American Driving Championship in January. "That set me off big time this year," McNair explained. "I went down there and wasn't expecting anything, was just going to have some fun and got lucky." While luck is a part of racing, McNair's confidence could easily be keyed as a factor for his ability to best 29 other drivers in the driving tournament at Miami Valley. McNair's driving style has always fit racing at Woodbine, but he feels it also translates well for the way harness racing has developed over the years. "You have to be aggressive (at Woodbine), it's always been more of a front-end place and Mohawk is kind of turning into that too," McNair said. "They're going so fast nowadays, going such big first half speed and coming home so fast, that it's tough to win from off the pace." With racing set to return to Mohawk on Thursday, McNair will attempt to hold onto his top spot throughout the summer meet. While the prospects of continuing to drive the top weekly warriors at WEG has McNair pumped for Mohawk, he is also eager for the return of the stakes horses. "Easy Lover Hanover is four now and he's got a few stakes this season and hopefully it turns out good like it did at the end of last year," McNair noted about last year's Progress Pace winner. "Solar Sister's five now so I mean four-year-old year is tough and she competed well. Hopefully she comes back good at five and obviously it would be great to have a few nice two-year-olds." McNair's Mohawk meet will start off in style, as he will be recognized for leading the Woodbine meet with a winner's circle presentation on Saturday evening. Getting off to a great start is important and McNair knows that all so well after starting 2017 with 27 wins in the month of January. Another flying start could lead to a second meet title for McNair this summer. "I've had the right horses and hopefully my career is just starting to take off." Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, March 13 – The first round of sustaining payments for Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and Alliance harness racing stakes events are due this Wednesday (March 15). The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup attracted 60 nominees in February and the connections of those three-year-old pacers are required to make a March 15th sustaining payment in order to remain eligible toCanada’s richest harness race on Saturday, June 17 at Mohawk Racetrack. The full list of WEG stakes requiring a March 15th sustaining payment is available below. Pepsi North America Cup (Pace: 3-Year-Olds) Canadian Pacing Derby (Pace: 3-Year-Olds and Up) Canadian Trotting Classic (Trot: 3-Year-Olds) Maple Leaf Trot (Trot: 3-Year-Olds and Up) Fan Hanover (Pace: 3-Year-Old Fillies) Elegantimage (Trot: 3-Year-Old Fillies) Casual Breeze (Trot: 3-Year-Old Fillies) Goodtimes (Trot: 3-Year-Olds) Somebeachsomewhere (Pace: 3-Year-Olds) Metro Pace (Pace: 2-Year-Olds) Shes A Great Lady (Pace: 2-Year-Old Fillies) William Wellwood Memorial (Trot: 2-Year-Olds) Peaceful Way (Trot: 2-Year-Old Fillies) Nassagaweya (Pace: 2-Year-Olds) Eternal Camnation (Pace: 2-Year-Old Fillies) Roses Are Red (Pace: Mares) Milton (Pace: Mares) Armbro Flight (Trot: Mares) The following Alliance stakes require a March 15th sustaining payment. Battle of Waterloo (Pace: 2-Year-Olds) Battle of the Belles (Pace: 2-Year-Old Fillies) Confederation Cup (Pace: 4-Year-Olds) Sustaining payments are also due Wednesday for the 2017 WEG/SBOA Filly Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-olds and the 2017 Champlain Stakes for two-year-olds of both sexes (foals of 2015). To view full information regarding each stakes event and payments, click here. To make sustaining payments online, click here. If sending payments by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than March 15, 2017 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. Any questions or concerns regarding stakes payments can be directed to the Mohawk Race Office, 905-854-7805. Mark McKelvie WEG Communications - Standardbred

CAMPBELLVILLE, March 7 - The lists of eligible harness racing horses for all Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and Alliance stakes in 2017 has been released by the Mohawk Race Office. Nominations for most stakes events were due on February 15 and with a sustaining payment quickly approaching on March 15, the full lists of nominees to each event are now available for public viewing. As announced last week, the Pepsi North America Cup attracted 60 nominees, up from 58 in 2016. Many events saw numbers hold steady, while several marquee events saw a jump in nominees. The $650,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-old trotters attracted 89 nominees, up from 78 in 2016. Dan Patch Award winner Walner is among the nominees to Canada's feature race for sophomore trotters. The son of Chapter Seven won seven of eight starts as a rookie and trotted a World Record mile of 1:51.3 at The Red Mile for trainer Linda Toscano. O'Brien Award winner Mass Production, Wellwood Memorial winner Seven And Seven and Valley Victory winner Snowstorm Hanover are also among the eligible trotters. 2016 Canadian Pacing Derby winner Wiggle It Jiggleit is eligible to defend his title, as he is one of 42 older pacers nominated to the 2017 event. George Teague's stable star won 15 of 24 starts in his four-year-old season to improve his career record to 38 wins in 51 starts. The $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot has attracted 45 nominees, up from 36 in 2016. Defending champion Resolve is on the list once again. The Ake Svanstedt trainee won a thrilling 2016 Maple Leaf Trot over superstar mare Hannelore Hanover, who is also nominated to this year's event. 2016 Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder will jump up to the older ranks this season and is eligible to the Maple Leaf Trot. The group of 45 nominees also includes a pair of European trotters. Tuonoblu Rex, a five-year-old son of Cantab Hall, and Pasithea Face, a five-year-old trotting mare by Muscle Hill, have both been nominated to the Maple Leaf Trot. Tuonoblu Rex is owned by Stable Why Not from the Netherlands. The son of Cantab Hall has won six of 14 career starts with his most recent start taking place in Germany during October. Pasithea Face is owned by CourantAB of Sweden and trained by Lutfi Kolgjini. The five-year-old trotting mare recently won her 2017 debut on February 25 to give her seven wins in 27 career starts. Nomination numbers for WEG's marquee two-year-old events saw increases for the colts, while the fillies held steady. The $700,000 Metro Pace for two-year-old pacing colts saw the biggest leap, as 205 rookies have been nominated to the 2017 event, up from 169 in 2016. The $350,000 William Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotting colts jumped from 162 nominees in 2016 to 174 nominees for this year's edition. The $500,000 Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies attracted 159 nominees for the 2017 edition, down just slightly from 162 in 2016. The $350,000 Peaceful Way for two-year-old trotting fillies saw neither an increase nor decrease in nominees, as 164 trotting fillies were nominated for the second consecutive year. The rest of the nomination totals for WEG stakes are listed below. Armbro Flight (Trotting Mares) - 31 Casual Breeze (3YO Trotting Fillies) - 83 Elegantimage (3YO Trotting Fillies) - 79 Eternal Camnation (2YO Pacing Fillies) - 142 Fan Hanover (3YO Pacing Fillies) - 69 Goodtimes (3YO Trotters) - 74 Milton (Pacing Mares) - 48 Nassagaweya (2YO Pacers) - 164 Roses Are Red (Pacing Mares) - 47 Somebeachsomewhere (3YO Pacers) - 52 To view the lists of eligible horses for each stakes event, click here. The first round of sustaining payments for these events is quickly approaching. Sustaining payments are due next Wednesday (March 15). For more information, click here. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, March 1 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced a mandatory payout date of Saturday, March 11 for the current Standardbred harness racing Jackpot Hi-5. Horseplayers will have three more opportunities to wager on the Woodbine Racetrack Jackpot Hi-5, which currently has a carryover of $476,469, before the wager is suspended following this Saturday's card (March 4th) in preparation for the mandatory payout. The current Jackpot Hi-5 carryover has been growing since January 7, which was the first card to offer Hi-5 wagering following a mandatory payout on December 23. The most recent mandatory payout (December 23) had more than $2 million of new money wagered into the pool, which featured a carryover of $548,396, to create a total pool of $2.6 million. A winning $0.20 ticket on the December 23 Jackpot Hi-5 returned $4,842.70. The December 23 mandatory payout was not the first time the total pool exceeded $2 million. A mandatory payout on October 24, 2015 at Woodbine generated a total pool of more than $2.2 million, with $1.6 million of new money wagered into the Hi-5 that evening. The $0.20 payout was $12,746.60 On August 30, 2014 at Mohawk, the Jackpot Hi-5 total pool was $2.5 million, while a mandatory payout on May 17, 2014 at Woodbine had a total pool of $2 million. The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order and features a $0.20 minimum wager with a 15 per cent takeout. More details regarding the mandatory payout on March 11 will be distributed following this Saturday's card. Post time for live racing Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Woodbine is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

TORONTO, February 6 - The deadline to nominate your harness racing horse to the Woodbine Entertainment Group's (WEG) lucrative stakes program in 2017 is quickly approaching. New in 2017, the closing date for nominations to all WEG and Alliance Stakes is February 15. In past years, nomination deadlines varied from event to event, but in an effort to make the process more convenient, WEG has implemented an across the board due date for all stakes. Under the new format, the following stakes now require nominations by February 15. Canadian Pacing Derby (Pace: 3-year-olds and up) Maple Leaf Trot (Trot: 3-year-olds and up) Metro Pace (Pace: 2-year-olds) Shes A Great Lady (Pace: 2-year-old fillies) William Wellwood Memorial (Trot: 2-year-olds) Peaceful Way (Trot: 2-year-old fillies) Nassagaweya (Pace: 2-year-olds) Eternal Camnation (Pace: 2-year-old fillies) Roses Are Red (Pace: Mares) Milton Stakes (Pace: Mares) Armbro Flight (Trot: Mares) Nominations are also due on February 15 for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers. North America's richest race for pacers will take place on Saturday, June 17 at Mohawk Racetrack. Other events to require nominations by February 15 include the $650,000 Canadian Trotting Classic (3-year-olds), $400,000 Elegantimage (3-year-old trotting fillies), $400,000 Fan Hanover (3-year-old pacing fillies), $265,000 Goodtimes (3-year-old trotters), $160,000 Casual Breeze (3-year-old trotting fillies) and the $130,000 Somebeachsomewhere (3-year-old pacers). Similar to recent years, WEG continues to handle all administration duties for Alliance racetrack stakes. Nominations are due on February 15 for Grand Rivers Raceway's Battle of Waterloo and Battle of the Belles (Ontario sired 2-year-old pacers), Flamboro Downs' Confederation Cup (4-year-old pacers), Clinton Raceway's Kin Pace (Ontario sired 3-year-old pacing fillies) and Hanover Raceway's Dream of Glory (Ontario sired 3-year-old trotters) and Balanced Image (Ontario sired 2-year-old trotters). The nomination form for the events closing on February 15 can be viewed by clicking here. Nomination fees for all events can be paid online by clicking here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than February 15, 2017 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. All inquires regarding the February 15 closing date can be directed to the Mohawk Race Office, 905-854-7805. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 5 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today revealed its $10 million-plus Standardbred stakes lineup for 2017. The 2017 stakes schedule is highlighted by the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup for harness racing three-year-old pacers on Saturday, June 17 at Mohawk Racetrack. Several changes have been made to the stakes calendar for 2017 to allow horsemen the opportunity to maximize opportunities both in Sires Stakes and Grand Circuit events. Beginning in 2017, the $700,000 Metro Pace and $500,000 Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacers will be moved from their usual position on Labour Day weekend to Saturday, September 23. The $350,000 William Wellwood and $350,000 Peaceful Way for two-year-old trotters also find new spots on the calendar and will take place on Monday, September 18. The $550,000 Canadian Pacing Derby remains in the Labour Day weekend slot and will be the feature event on Saturday, September 2, while the $650,000 Canadian Trotting Classic and $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot hold their same spot on the calendar on Saturday, September 16. Along with adjustments to the stakes calendar, WEG has also altered the stakes payment schedule for 2017. For many years, nominations have closed in both February and March for different events, but beginning in 2017 all nominations to WEG Stakes will now close on February 15, 2017. All nomination and sustaining payment details can be found in the 2017 Stakes Booklet, which can be viewed by clicking here. WEG will continue to distribute purse money to all finishers in major stakes events during the 2017 season. The winner of the finals will receive the traditional 50% of the total purse, while those finishing sixth through last will take home 1% of the purse. The horses finishing second through fifth will receive 50%-24%-16%-10% of the remaining purse. All Alliance stakes events will continue to be administrated by WEG during 2017. The entire 2017 Stakes Schedule can be viewed by clicking here. Stakes payments to WEG and Alliance events are payable to the Woodbine Entertainment Group. Payments can be made through the race office, by mail or online. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, November 29 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and Alliance would like to remind harness racing people that Winter Series nominations are due Thursday (December 1). Woodbine Racetrack is pleased to offer the Niagara and Valedictory Series for three-year-old pacers during December and the Blizzard and Snowshoe Series for three and four-year-old pacers during January. Each series features two preliminary legs and a final. The preliminary leg purses are guaranteed at $17,000, while each final will have $30,000 in added money. The nomination fee for each series is $200 CAD ($160 USD) and the nomination form can be viewed by clicking here. Nominations also close Thursday for the Alliance Holiday Claiming Series to be contested at Flamboro Downs and Western Fair. A total of six claiming series events will be contested over the month of December. The nomination fee for each series is $100 CAD ($75 USD) and the nomination form can be viewed by clicking here. Nomination fees can be paid for the Woodbine and Alliance series online by clicking here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than December 1, 2016 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended.

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