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Effective today, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced that horses not currently in isolation can now exit Woodbine Racetrack. There have been no EHV-1 transmissions outside of Barn 12 in the past 14 days. One horse in Barn 10 had tested positive and was isolated. All of the remaining horses in Barn 10 tested negative multiple times over the past 14 days. The restrictions on these horses have been lifted. Yesterday all horses in Barn 12 tested negative for the first time. The negative results in Barn 12 are an encouraging sign that mitigation strategies appear to have been effective in isolating this neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Testing of Barn 12 horses will continue. These horses and others in isolation still have movement restrictions in place, which the AGCO will review on an ongoing basis. New significant developments will be reported in future Notices, as needed. EHV-1 cannot be spread to humans and is unrelated to the current COVID-19 pandemic.   For more information Dr. Adam Chambers Senior Manager of Veterinary Services (289) 237-3922

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) received new test results that suggest the containment and mitigation measures continue to contain the neuropathogeniclogical form of EHV-1 to a single barn at Woodbine Racetrack. As a result, the AGCO has lifted all the restrictions on training for Barns 33 and 35, as well as the non-isolated horses in Barn 11. Two horses in Barn 11 remain in isolation. Restrictions on training of horses residing in other barns remain in place (please refer to May 21 Notice). All horses in Barn 10 were re-tested and results all came back negative. In addition, all horses in Barn 12 were re-tested and two additional horses tested positive, bringing the total to 27. All the remaining horses in Barn 12 tested negative. As per the containment protocol, the horses that tested positive have been removed to isolation and Barn 12 remains in lock down. Assuming no other horses display clinical signs, the plan at this time is to re-test all horses in Barn 12 on Monday, May 25. Horses from Barn 10 will be re-tested on Friday May 29. The AGCO is continuing to monitor the situation closely and further developments will be reported. EHV-1 cannot be spread to humans and is unrelated to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For more information Dr. Adam Chambers Senior Manager of Veterinary Services (289) 237-3922

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 7, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment announced today changes to its senior leadership team as part of a strategic re-alignment that positions the organization to best fulfil its mission in leading the growth and sustainability of the horse racing industry in Ontario. "Our industry and business have changed significantly over the last few years and this re-alignment of our senior leadership team is the right structure to take advantage of our opportunities and tackle our challenges," said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. "Our sole mandate at Woodbine is to grow and sustain the horse racing industry in our province. We are entirely focused on that mission and these changes reflect our commitment in achieving that goal." The strategic re-alignment involves several senior executives taking on new roles and responsibilities across Woodbine, Woodbine Mohawk Park, and Ontario Racing Management. Joe Aschaiek, previously the Senior Vice President, Finance is now the Chief Financial Officer and will continue to lead all areas of finance for Woodbine Entertainment and play a significant role in driving the organization's strategic imperatives while reporting directly to Lawson. Jonathan Zammit, who has served as the Vice President of Thoroughbred Racing for the last three years, will transition to Vice President, Racing Finance / Associate Executive Director for Ontario Racing Management (ORM) where he will utilize his expertise in strategic finance and experience in horse racing and purse management to maximize wagering handle and optimize race cards working alongside key stakeholders. Zammit, who will report to Aschaiek, will also work alongside Katherine Curry, Executive Director of ORM, to support the entire provincial horse racing industry with respect to the Long-Term Funding Agreement and other strategic financial matters. Jessica Buckley, who was most recently President, Woodbine Mohawk Park and has held several different positions throughout her career in the US and at Woodbine including in wagering, broadcast, government relations and stakeholder relations, is now the Senior Vice President of Standardbred Racing and Thoroughbred Racing. With an extensive background in horse racing that spans more than two decades, Buckley will lead both breeds of world-class racing and report to Lawson, while both the Standardbred and Thoroughbred Racing Operations will report directly into her. Spencer Parazader, who joined Woodbine Entertainment in 2019 and has significant experience in the gaming industry, will take on the role of General Manager for Woodbine Mohawk Park and report into Chief Operating Officer Tom Via. Bill McLinchey will continue in his role of Director of Standardbred Racing reporting to Buckley. "As we enter into a new decade, we remain very optimistic about the horse racing industry, but also recognize that we are not without challenges," said Lawson. "These changes to our senior leadership, along with working closely with our many stakeholders, will ensure a bright future for the great sport of horse racing for decades to come." by Jamie Dykstra, for Woodbine Entertainment  

TORONTO, ON - August 6, 2019 - Horse racing industry leaders John Hayes (Independent Chair, Ontario Racing), Stephen Rigby (President and Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.), Jean Major (Chief Executive Officer, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) and Jim Lawson (Chief Executive Officer, Woodbine Entertainment) will take part in a panel discussion on important issues facing the Ontario horse racing industry this Friday, August 9 at Woodbine Racetrack. Moderated by host Jason Portuondo, the panelists will cover topics and issues central to securing a sustainable future for horse racing in Ontario. The panel will also answer attendee questions, which can be submitted in advance to The event will take place in the newly opened Trackside Clubhouse (previously known as the Standardbred Paddock) at Woodbine Racetrack. Doors open at 1 p.m. and the panel discussion will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Members of the horse racing industry have been invited to this event. Due to limited capacity, attendees are strongly encouraged to RSVP as soon as possible to secure a seat: Media are welcome to attend and must RSVP by contacting Jamie Dykstra, Director of Communications at Woodbine Entertainment, at or 647-400-6235. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, May 2, 2019 - Stakes season at Woodbine Mohawk Park is just around the corner and harness racing fans will get an opportunity to whet their appetite with this Saturday's edition of the $34,000 Preferred Pace. Millionaire pacer Sintra (PP5, Jody Jamieson ) increased his current win streak to six with an impressive 1:50.1 score in last week's Preferred, his first start since late-February. The six-year-old gelding has been rolling in the Preferred this season, but with a new month comes new challengers. Stars Jimmy Freight, last year's O'Brien Award winner, and Dr J Hanover, the fastest Standardbred in Canadian racing history, join Sintra and four other rivals to make up this week's edition of the $34,000 Preferred. Richard Moreau trainee Jimmy Freight (PP1, Louis Philippe Roy) will be making his four-year-old debut in Saturday's contest and comes in off a sharp 1:52.4 qualifying effort last Thursday. The Ontario Sires Stakes champion is prepping for next weekend's Confederation Cup eliminations. Jimmy Freight is no stranger to facing older company, having faced aged competitors on multiple occasions last season. The son of Sportswriter grabbed headlines with a third-place effort in last year's Mohawk Gold Cup, which was part of an incredible season that saw him win 11 of 21 starts and earn $834,489 for owner Adriano Sorella. Dr J Hanover (PP2, Doug McNair) comes to town after battling in the Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway. The Tony Alagna trainee most recently captured a $50,000 Levy Eligible contest on April 20 for his first win in seven starts this season. Dr J Hanover - Winning a leg of the Graduate at Mohawk Park on June 3, 2017   - New Image Media Now six-years-old, Dr J Hanover scored six wins and made $227,980 in 23 starts last season, which included appearances in the Canadian Pacing Derby and TVG Open. He races for owners Brad Grant, Robert LeBlanc, Steven Wienick and ISFT. Saturday's Preferred also includes recent winners Traceur Hanover (PP3, Chris Christoforou) and Physicallyinclined (PP7, Jonathan Drury). The field is rounded out by Go West Go Fast (PP4, Sylvain Filion) and P L Jackson (Travis Cullen). The Preferred is carded as Race 6 on Saturday's 11-race card. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Woodbine Mohawk Park has horseplayers covered this Saturday for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby. Fans can watch and wager on all the action from Churchill Downs by visiting the main floor simulcast area. Carrels in the Racebook have been sold out for two weeks, but plenty of seating and screens are available throughout the facility. Trackside Bar will be opening early at 4 p.m. for food and drink service ahead of the Derby and Saturday evening's live racing program. For more information, follow @WoodbineSB on Facebook and Twitter.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

Columbus, OH - On Saturday night (April 6), will host a Last Chance World Harness Handicapping Championship Super-Qualifier with up to six spots gaining entry to the $150,000 (est.) WHHC final one week later on Saturday (April 13) at the Meadowlands. The WHHC has a guaranteed first-place prize of $40,000. WHHC entries are $1,300, with $1,000 going to the prize and $300 to each player's real-money bankroll. This Saturday's WHHC Last Chance Super-Qualifier has an entry fee of $300, with one in five players qualifying for the WHHC. Players can also attempt to qualify for the Last Chance Super-Qualifier for only $33 or $86 earlier on Friday (April 5) or Saturday night. The qualifying schedule this week includes: Thursday: Woodbine Mohawk Park Friday: The Meadowlands, Woodbine Mohawk Park Saturday: The Meadowlands, Woodbine Mohawk Park DerbyWars hosts online qualifiers for the WHHC every night. Complete qualifier information can be found at this link. A list of players who qualified for WHHC on DerbyWars can be found here. More WHHC information can be found at this link. For information on how to become a WHHC partner outlet or sponsor, contact Rachel Ryan, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment ( or 201.842.5015. For online qualifying information, or to have your track participate in online qualifiers, contact   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association

MILTON, March 28, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform all horsepeople of a new temporary entrance to the race paddock. The ongoing construction of the new addition to the race paddock has caused the closure of the regular north entrance. During the closure, horsepeople will unload just inside the current trailer parking lot and walk their horses around to enter through the southwest door at the urine stalls. Temporary fencing will be installed along the roadway to create a safe walkway. Trucks and trailers will continue to park in their current space. Woodbine encourages everyone to drive slowly and with caution when in the area of the paddock and construction.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park        

If Jimmy Takter was disappointed by Lazarus's shock defeat in Canada yesterday he was hiding it well. The champion former Kiwi pacer had to settle for second in a C$34,000 ($40,000) free-for-all at Woodbine in Toronto, closing from fourth to second at the top of the straight but easily beaten by Nirvana Seelster. Nirvana Seelster could manage only eighth in the Canadian Pacing Derby that Lazarus finished second in two weeks so after winning fresh up in North America three starts ago, Lazarus could appear to be tracking in the wrong direction. But Takter, the Hall of Fame trainer entrusted with the millionaire stallion, says he was happy enough with the performance in the 1:48.2 mile. "Obviously we would have liked to win but it is not that easy against these horses over a fast mile," said Takter. "We found out he had a virus after the Canadian Derby so he missed some work coming into this race which is why we decided to drive him further back rather than sending him down the road [leading]. "So for him to come from fourth to run second and pace his last half mile in 53.2 seconds was good. "And he will improve with that. All the mile races he can have will help." Lazarus will now head to the US$175,000 ($267,000) Hoosier Park Derby in Indiana on Friday (Saturday afternoon NZ time), the track where he won the Dan Patch in his first US start last month. The irony for Lazarus is had he started out with a performance like yesterday's in his first North American start, progressed to a second in the Canadian Derby and won the Dan Patch he would now be rated the best pacer in North America. But the expectations created by his magic mile fresh up in the Dan Patch last month mean that anything but a Lazarus win will be judged a failure by most racing fans. The six-year-old gets the chance to win them back over before the week is out. Safely through the Hoosier Park race Lazarus is still a chance to head to the super fast Red Mile in Kentucky in three weeks to chase a career best time.   Michael Guerin

TORONTO, April 26 - On Thursday, April 26, 2018, Toronto City Council approved expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack by a vote of 26 to 15. City Council based its decision to support expanded gaming and an integrated entertainment complex on the nearly 700-acre site in north Toronto based on a City Manager's report which detailed the successful commitment or resolution of 21 conditions. City Council set the 21 conditions in 2015 when expanded gaming was conditionally approved.   Expanded gaming on the site will be a catalyst for future development, which may now begin in earnest.   "We are pleased that council chose to support jobs, development and the vitality that expanded gaming will bring to this portion of the city," said Jim Lawson, CEO Woodbine Entertainment. "We look forward to co-creating an exciting future on this site with our partners OGGTA."   Since assuming control of gaming operations from OLG in January, OGGTA, a partnership between Great Canadian Gaming and Brookfield Business Partners, have begun to transform gaming on the site. Combined with exciting Woodbine initiatives such as the installation of an inner turf course, a company-wide brand refresh, and the upcoming Queen's Plate Festival featuring country-superstar Brad Paisley, signals a compelling future for horse racing in Toronto.   Keith McCalmont   Woodbine Entertainment Communications Manager O: 416-675-3993 x 2667 C: 416-356-3192 @TripleDeadHeat              

TORONTO, April 9, 2018 - The era of harness racing at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario wrapped up Monday evening after 24 years. A 10-race card was contested on the final night with the $34,000 Preferred Trot headlining the card. Six-year-old gelding Big Rich went coast to coast for his second consecutive Preferred score. The Richard Moreau trainee was steered to his third win of the season by Louis Philippe Roy. Big Rich posted solid fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:23.4 before trotting home in :29.1 to win by a length and a half. Moreau's other participant, B Yoyo, rallied to finished second, while longshot Cue Hall was third. Owned by 9099 3833 Quebec Inc and Frank Spagnolo, Big Rich has banked $73,700 in nine starts this season and Monday's triumph was the 21st of his career, pushing him to $436,728 in career earnings. The clocking of 1:53 established a new career-mark for Big Rich. The Moreau trainee paid $3.80 to win. Parkhill Nonstop and trainer/driver Pat Hudon became the answer to a trivia question when they won the final Standardbred race ever at Woodbine. The four-year-old gelded trotter capitalized off a perfect two-hole steer from Hudon to win by 5¼ lengths in a career-best 1:57. Parkhill Nonstop was one of the most familiar faces of the final Woodbine Standardbred meet. The Hudon trainee raced 18-times from October 26 to April 9. Earlier in the evening, horsepeople gathered outside the paddock for a final photo at the Toronto track. Live Standardbred racing now moves to its new permanent home, Woodbine Mohawk Park, in Campbellville. The 2018 meet begins Thursday evening. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Driver Roger Mayotte became the answer to a trivia question when he won the first Standardbred race at Woodbine Racetrack with four-year-old harness racing pacer Boastful on January 1, 1994. A new trivia answer will be established Monday evening (April 9) when the final Standardbred race at Woodbine is complete. From New Year's Day 1994 to Monday's finale, thousands and thousands of Standardbred races have been contested at Woodbine. The memories of million-dollar classics, Breeders Crown championships and stunning performances will live on forever. It seems now more than ever society is fascinated with lists. The countdown of greatest races in Woodbine history could lead to a month-long debate and it's only natural every horseperson, customer and employee would have their own favourite moment. One list that can never be debated is based on numbers. Which driver and trainer won the most races at Woodbine Racetrack? Standardbred Canada's database is fully stocked with stats dating back to the 1994 opener, allowing a quick search to reveal the answers. While names have come and gone over the years at Woodbine, a strong core of drivers and trainers have been permanent fixtures at the Toronto oval for years. The all-time leaders are two individuals who immediately stick out when thinking of Woodbine harness racing. Driver Randy Waples and trainer Kevin McMaster will go down as the all-time leaders for wins at Woodbine. Waples, who won 2,605 races at Woodbine, is one of the sport's most colourful personalities and an individual with several great moments at the Toronto track. Despite coming from a famous racing family and having Ron Waples as his father, Randy Waples battled to earn everything he's accomplished. "I thought I would be up near the top, but at the top, no I didn't," Waples said when delivered the news. "I thought it was either going to be Chris (Christoforou) or Steve (Condren)." Waples guesses weren't far off. Christoforou will finish second all-time at 2,469 wins, while Condren ranks seventh with 1,575 wins. When pondering his top Woodbine moments, Waples immediately went back to his first major victories in the sport. "I think I have to go back to the Liberty Balance Breeders Crown (2001), just because it meant so much at that time," Waples said. "The first big win I ever had here was in the (1997) Canadian Pacing Derby (with) Strong Clan. That was my very first huge classic win, but that Breeders Crown one was pretty sweet and freaking out and stuff like that." Always one to put on a show, Waples 'freak out' on the Woodbine turf course after winning with Liberty Balance will likely go down as the greatest celebration in track history. Those two wins took Waples to new heights, but his all-time favourite Woodbine moment is San Pail's classic triumph in the 2011 Breeders Crown. "Those two are very important, but the best to me is the 'Pail' race when 'Pail' took on the world. "That was amazing. I've never heard any crowd like that. A little bit 'Somebeach' in the North America Cup you could kind of get the same tingle, but not like here and not like that and then the whole Grandstand comes out for its picture. That's pretty amazing." Waples has been one of the most recognizable faces at Woodbine for more than two decades. While the driving colony has had its fair share of turnover in 24 years, Waples routinely takes time to think about the ride he's been on with his fellow veteran drivers and a group that can be described as the "heart and soul" of Toronto harness racing. "Even the guys that aren't here like the Bill Gale's, (Doug) Brown and (Dave) Wall, like these are all the guys that I broke in with," Waples reflected. "Even the guys you weren't real good friends with, but you really respected their driving ability like (Tony) Kerwood or (Mike) Saftic or like Paul (MacDonell), who is really the be all and end all on the track and off." Waples driving career took off in 1996 when he drove in 1,197 races (774 more than 1995) and won 150 races. The numbers only continued to climb from that point on to include his first Woodbine Driver of the Year title in 1998, multiple six-win nights and setting a track record for most wins in a month. A three-time O'Brien Award Driver of the Year recipient, Waples captured the prestigious trophy in 1998, 2001 and 2010. Kevin McMaster became a familiar face at Woodbine in 1997 and by 1999 was smashing the single-season wins record by posting an unheard of 212 victories. The Nova Scotia native had three consecutive 200-win seasons from 1999 to 2001 and six consecutive 100-win seasons from 1999 to 2005. McMaster earned an O'Brien Award as Canada's Trainer of the Year in 2000 and was a dominant force at Woodbine. His stable routinely posted multi-win nights with their biggest being a six-win evening on January 8, 2001. The dominance of Canada's top harness track was never something McMaster imagined when he moved to Ontario. "When I first came up here I thought I just wanted to make a living," McMaster said. "If I could work for somebody and have three horses on the side that was my goal and it's great for me it turned out this way." McMaster blew his goals out of the water to go down as the only trainer in track history with over 1,000 wins. Many of his victories came in claiming and overnight events, but he also had his chance to step up and compete on the track's biggest stage. "The biggest thrill was winning the elimination of the (2004) North America Cup (with Panspacificfllight) and then finishing third," McMaster said. "I raced a lot of claimers and that, but to race in the North America Cup was quite a thrill." For all the ups and downs harness racing can bring, McMaster and Waples have claimed titles that can never be taken away. The era of Woodbine harness racing would have looked drastically different without the impact both made on the track. The big book of harness racing at Woodbine Racetrack officially closes Monday evening. Post time for the farewell is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, April 7, 2018 - The final Saturday night card of harness racing at Woodbine Racetrack was a great night for reflecting and celebrating 24 years of Standardbred action at the Airport oval. The 10-race card saw a pair of fitting results and the all-time leading driver and trainer in track history recognized. One of the coolest moments in 24 years of harness racing at Woodbine occurred Saturday when Roger Mayotte won his final drive at the Toronto track more than 24 years after winning the first harness race in Woodbine history. Sitting behind the gritty veteran pacer Machal Jordan, Mayotte showed patience in steering 3/5 favourite Machal Jordan to a stretch rallying victory in the $15,000 fourth-race. Machal Jordan was Mayotte's lone drive on Saturday's card and his final drive in a harness race at Woodbine. The victory was fitting for Mayotte, as he won the first-race on January 1, 1994 with then four-year-old pacer Boastful. Regarded as one of the most respected horsepeople to race at Woodbine, Mayotte will go down as one of only a few drivers to win races in all 24 years of racing. A pair of Mayotte's most notable victories at Woodbine came behind the fan-favourite pacer Escape The Wind in the 2005 and 2007 Gold Cup. Mayotte also won the first Maple Leaf Trot at Woodbine in 1994 with Earl. Roger Mayotte winning his final drive at the Toronto track Woodbine Entertainment took time Saturday to recognize the driver and trainer with the most wins in the history of the track. Randy Waples will go down as the winningest reinsman in Woodbine history with 2,605 wins, while Kevin McMaster is the all-time leading trainer having sent out 1,009 winners. The all-time leaders were presented with watches for their accomplishment in a special winner's circle presentation. Reflecting on his success, Waples pointed to a brief period early in his career that saw him gain experience on a big track ahead of his days as a top reinsman at Woodbine. "I kind of lucked out because my dad (Ron Waples) sent me to Minnesota for three months and that was a mile track," Waples recalled. "I kind of got my feet wet on the big track, so by the time I came here I kind of had a bit of an idea of the way to do it. "Seven-eighths of a mile, big track racing for whatever reason it really suited me and my style and I got lucky." McMaster, who started his career in his home province of Nova Scotia, noted he never dreamed his career would lead him to being the winningest trainer in Woodbine history. "When I first came up here I thought I just wanted to make a living," McMaster said following Saturday's presentation. "If I could work for somebody and have three horses on the side that was my goal and great for me it turned out this way." Saturday's card also featured the final edition of the $34,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine. Bill Budd trainee Nirvana Seelster and driver Trevor Henry captured their second consecutive Preferred with a coast to coast 1:51.2 score. The seven-year-old gelding has been outstanding in 2018, now winning four of his last five starts and having won five of 11 overall. 'Nirvana', who has hit the board in 10 of 12 this season, has quickly banked $117,320 in 2018 to bring his career earnings to $929,914 for owner Bruce Davy. Saturday's score was the 37th lifetime win for the gelded son of Camluck. A connection between Nirvana Seelster and the first-card of live harness racing at Woodbine (January 1, 1994) can be found in trainer Budd, who raced trotter G G Alex on the debut card more than 24 years ago. The then six-year-old trotter finished second on that New Year's afternoon for Budd. It wouldn't have been a Saturday night at Woodbine in 2018 without big performances from leading driver Louis Philippe Roy and leading trainer Richard Moreau. Roy and Moreau teamed up to win four of Saturday's 10-races. The victories came with eight-year-old trotter Pop I ($5.50), seven-year-old claiming trotter Class Me Nice ($5.80), nine-year-old trotter Hldontghttoyurdrms ($6.90) and four-year-old pacer Modern Reflection ($2.20) The final harness racing card in Woodbine Racetrack history will take place Monday evening. Post time for the 10-race card is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

After almost 150 years in city, last harness racing card will be run Monday at Woodbine before permanent move to the renovated Mohawk Park The era of standardbred racing in Toronto, which began nearly 150 years ago on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition, comes to an end Monday when the last harness race will be run at Woodbine. With Woodbine Entertainment removing the 25-year-old standardbred track this month in favour of a second grass course for the thoroughbreds, harness racing will permanently move to the renovated Mohawk Park, which has been rechristened Woodbine Mohawk Park. Mohawk, located just off Hwy. 401 in Campbellville, has been the summer location for harness racing since 1963. The standardbreds were brought to Woodbine in 1994 following the closing of east end Toronto’s Greenwood, which had hosted them since 1874 following the closure of the Thorncliffe racetrack. By moving harness racing to Mohawk permanently, Woodbine aims to boost the sport’s popularity by drawing on plans to grow the area as an entertainment district in conjunction with the Town of Milton and the track’s casino operators, Great Canadian Gaming and Clairvest Group. “Our goal is to make Woodbine Mohawk Park an incredible entertainment experience for the Milton area,” said Jessica Buckley, president of Woodbine Mohawk Park, as the rebranded facility is now to be known. “People are looking for things to do (in the area) and the town is very supportive.” When Mohawk has its celebratory reopening Thursday, visitors, racing fans and horsepeople will see the progress of the $10-million renovations to the grandstand, paddock plus a new restaurant, the Mohawk Harvest Kitchen. There are 430 acres at Mohawk that could soon be used for additional businesses. Standardbred racing’s departure from the Toronto market has been met with mixed opinions from horsepeople and fans. By Jennifer Morrison Reprinted with permission of The Star

MILTON, March 22, 2018 - A nice buzz was felt around Woodbine, Mohawk Park on Thursday morning for the track's first harness racing qualifying session of 2018. A total of eight qualifying races were contested over a 'Fast' track with the temperature sitting just above the freezing mark. The most notable winner on Thursday morning was seven-year-old Preferred trotter Windsun Revenge. The Jeff Durham trainee went coast to coast for a 6½ length victory in 1:56.2. Windsun Revenge was qualifying for the second consecutive week after being off since last September's Maple Leaf Trot. Paul MacDonell guided the winner of over $468,503 to the qualifying score. The Jeff Durham trainee is a big fan of Mohawk Park, as he scored all four of his victories in 2017 at the Campbellville oval. Windsun Revenge has been made eligible to this year's Maple Leaf Trot. Half of Thursday's eight qualifiers were for three-year-old competitors. Sophomore trotting filly Asa Ready To Glide, who competed in a pair of Grand Circuit events last season, won her 2018 debut qualifier in 2:00.1 for Per Henriksen and Ann Karin Larsen. A daughter of Yankee Glide, Asa Ready To Glide won two of five starts as a rookie. She is eligible to several stakes in 2018, including the Elegantimage Stakes. To view the full results from Thursday's qualifying session, click here. The change of season and nearing of the 2018 Woodbine, Mohawk Park racing season will likely mean strong turnouts for qualifiers over the next several weeks. Qualifiers are scheduled to take place each Thursday morning at the Campbellville oval for the next four-weeks. The qualifying schedule is tentatively set to increase to two-days a week (Mondays and Fridays) beginning April 23. The opening night of racing at Woodbine, Mohawk Park is scheduled for Thursday, April 12. Mark McKelvie  

TORONTO, March 19, 2018 - Martin Lachance trainee Wild And Crazy Guy upset six harness racing rivals at odds of 43-1 in Monday's $34,000 Preferred Trot at Woodbine Racetrack. The seven-year-old gelding was the longest shot in the field and was winless in his previous seven outings heading into Monday's feature event. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Wild And Crazy left strong to get away second behind a fired up B Yoyo, who posted a snappy :26.3 opener. Odds On Amethyst, the 3/2 favourite, was sent first-up from fourth in the second-quarter by trainer/driver Pat Hudon. B Yoyo, who got a breather of :30.3 in the second split, was immediately confronted by Odds On Amethyst after the half. The Hudon trainee stepped around B Yoyo and trotted up a storm on the far turn to reach three-quarters in 1:24.4. In the stretch, Odds On Amethyst appeared to have victory in sight, but Filion angled Wild And Crazy Guy off the pylons from third and gave him a target. The Lachance trainee tracked down Odds On Amethyst in deep stretch and prevailed by half a length in 1:53.3. Big Rich rallied from sixth at three-quarters to finish third, while Dunbar Hall was fourth. B Yoyo dropped back to finish sixth. Wild And Crazy Guy came into Monday's contest off a third-place finish last week in a $22,000 overnight. The Lachance trainee is now two for nine in 2018. Monday's victory was the first-career Preferred score for Wild And Crazy Guy. The seven-year-old gelding now has 29 career victories and lifetime earnings of $435,554 for owners Y Jean Brunet and Ted Gewertz. A $2 win ticket on Wild And Crazy Guy returned $88.30. Wild And Crazy Guy Live racing resumes Thursday at Woodbine. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, March 15, 2018 - No harness racing driver has won more races in Canada over the past two seasons than Bob McClure and Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack saw the young reinsman reach a career-milestone. McClure, 27, steered Princess Jewels to victory in the evening's tenth race to record his 2,000th career driving victory.   A resident of Elora, Ontario, McClure has been racking up the wins and driving titles at tracks throughout Ontario over the last few seasons.   In 2016, McClure won a nation's best 576-races and was named a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada's Driver of the Year.   McClure once again topped 500 wins in 2017 with 508 trips to the winner's circle. He also posted a career-high for earnings by driving the winners of over $3.1 million during the 2017 campaign.   The current Woodbine Fall-Winter meet has been a breakout of sorts for McClure, as he has focused more attention on driving regularly at Canada's top harness track.   McClure has amassed 38 wins during the Woodbine Winter-Fall meet and ranks among the track's top-10 drivers.   Woodbine Entertainment would like to congratulate Bob McClure on reaching 2,000 career wins.   Woodbine Communications Office

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