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TORONTO, March 23 - It doesn't happen regularly, so fans and horseplayers are in for a treat when a double dose of harness racing 'Preferred' action highlights Saturday night's card at Woodbine Racetrack. The $34,000 Preferred pace (Race 6) and $30,000 Mares Preferred pace (Race 2) will give everyone a chance to see many of the top pacers on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit on the same night. American Virgin, a five-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin, will attempt to extend his current win streak to three in the Preferred. The Richard Moreau trainee has won the top class at Woodbine five-times this season. American Virgin has banked $106,080 this season to lead all Canadian-based horses in earnings. Doug McNair, the leading driver at Woodbine, will steer the 9/5 morning line choice from post-three. One of the newer faces on the WEG Circuit is New Zealand bred pacer Brilliant Strike N. The Tony O'Sullivan trained six-year-old will take his first crack at the top class from post-six. A son of Shadow Play, Brilliant Strike N scored his first win in the Northern Hemisphere last week by winning the class below the Preferred in 1:51.4. The O'Sullivan trainee will be making his fifth start on Canadian soil Saturday and will have the driving services of Sylvain Filion. Brilliant Strike N last start in New Zealand took place in late-November. Of the eight horses in Saturday's Preferred, six of them (Alexas Jackpot, American Virgin, Andreios Kardia, Jins Shark, Company Man and Nickle Bag) have won an edition of the Preferred in the last four-months. The $30,000 Mares Preferred will feature a field of seven leading ladies. Ron Adams trainee Bernadette has been arguably one of the hottest pacers this season at Woodbine and the four-year-old will look for her second consecutive Mares Preferred score. The Adams trainee made a backstretch move to the lead in last week's feature event and never looked back en route to a 1:52 victory. Bernadette has won four of nine starts this season, with last week's triumph her first in the Mares Preferred. Top driver McNair will once again drive Bernadette on Saturday, but the red-hot mare will have to fight off some classy veterans. Nine-year-old Waasmula has been a mainstay in this class for years and will be looking for her 32nd career victory Saturday. The Brent Vincent homebred surpassed $1 million in career earnings earlier this season and won an edition of the Mares Preferred last month. Trained by Bruce Goit and driven by regular reinsman Trevor Henry, Waasmula will start in the middle of the seven-horse field from post-four. The seven mares in Saturday's $30,000 event have combined for 15 wins this season. Saturday's card will mark the end of the 11th week of racing this year at Woodbine. Below is the list of Preferred and Mares Preferred winners from this season. 2017 Preferred Pace (Italics indicates racing on Saturday) January 7: Alexas Jackpot January 14: Modern Legend January 21: American Virgin January 28: Fine Diamond February 4: Jins Shark February 11: American Virgin February 18: Nickle Bag February 25: American Virgin March 4: American Virgin March 11: Company Man March 18: American Virgin   2017 Mares Preferred Pace (Bold indicates racing on Saturday) January 13: Ms Mac N Cheese January 21: Sandbetweenurtoes January 27: Sandbetweenurtoes February 3: Sandbetweenurtoes February 24: Waasmula March 3: Wrangler Magic March 10: Wrangler Magic March 17: Bernadette   Here are the fields for Saturday's feature races. Race 2: Mares Preferred - $30,000 1. Bernadette (Doug McNair - Ron Adams) 5/2 2. Victoria Semalu (Sylvain Filion - Richard Moreau) 6/1 3. P L Hurricane (Rick Zeron - Dave Brown) 7/2 4. Waasmula (Trevor Henry - Bruce Goit) 3/1 5. Exhilarated (Jonathan Drury - Carmen Auciello) 8/1 6. Rock N Roll Xample (Louis Philippe Roy - Rene Allard) 5/1 7. Request For Parole (Ed Hensley - Ashleigh Hensley) 10/1   Race 6: Preferred - $34,000 1. Alexas Jackpot (Louis Philippe Roy - Marty Fine) 7/2 2. J Js Delivery (James MacDonald - Robert McMillan) 10/1 3. American Virgin (Doug McNair - Richard Moreau) 9/5 4. Andreios Kardia (Jody Jamieson - Jeff Byron) 6/1 5. Jins Shark (Ed Hensley - Dave Menary) 15/1 6. Brilliant Strike N (Sylvain Filion - Tony O'Sullivan) 5/1 7. Company Man (Travis Cullen - Richard Moreau) 10/1 8. Nickle Bag (Trevor Henry - Bill Robinson) 9/2 Post time Saturday is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, March 12 - Machal Jordan and harness racing driver Roger Mayotte pulled off a 20/1 upset to win a thrilling Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout race Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of 12 older pacers battled in a $25,000 overnight event with horseplayers from all over taking a crack at scoring a piece of the massive Jackpot Hi-5 pool. Horseplayers wagered $1,406,112 of new money into the Jackpot Hi-5 pool, which was then combined with the carryover amount of $578,231 to make up the total pool for the mandatory payout. Machal Jordan capitalized off a perfect second-over steer from Mayotte to win in 1:52.3 at 20-1. A wild finish saw the top-five finishers only separated by three-quarters of a length. Erle Dale N, the 8/5 favourite, finished eighth, which combined with longshots mixed throughout the top-five finishers led to a massive payoff of $38,179.28 for a $0.20 winning ticket. The $1 winning ticket returned $190,896.40. Here are the top five finishers from Saturday's Jackpot Hi-5 race. 1st: #1 Machal Jordan (Roger Mayotte) - 20/1 2nd: #6 Dialamara (James MacDonald) - 4/1 3rd: #7 Half A Billion (Jody Jamieson) - 22/1 4th: #2 Casimir Overdrive (Jonathan Drury) - 18/1 5th: #4 Single White Sock (Sylvain Filion) - 18/1 The Jackpot Hi-5 wager requires horseplayers to correctly select the top-five finishers in order. The minimum wager is $0.20 and the takeout is 15 per cent. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, March 8 - Harness racing horseplayers can start studying immediately, as the draw is out for this Saturday's (March 11) Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout race at Woodbine Racetrack. A carryover of $578,231.58 is being brought into the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout, which is offered on Race 10 this Saturday. A 12 horse field has been put together for the Jackpot Hi-5 race. Overnight pacers meeting the conditions of Non-Winners of $10,500 last five or $18,000 last 10 will battle for an increased purse of $25,000. All starters in Saturday's Jackpot Hi-5 race will receive money. The winner of the race will receive 50 per cent of the purse, while horses finishing sixth through 12th will receive one per cent. The remainder of the purse will be split up as usual to the horses finishing second through fifth. The current Jackpot Hi-5 carryover has been growing since the last mandatory payout on December 23rd. On that evening, a carryover of $548,396 was brought into the mandatory payout and horseplayers wagered $2,081,441 of new money into the Jackpot Hi-5 pool. Gregg McNair trainee The Rev won the Jackpot Hi-5 race on December 23rd and once again will be competing in Saturday's mandatory payout race, starting from post position nine. Dialamara (PP6) and Half A Billion (PP7) join The Rev as the only three horses from the most recent mandatory payout race to compete in Saturday's event. A $0.20 winning ticket on the December 23rd mandatory payout returned $4,842.70. If previous mandatory payouts are any indication, a total pool well over $2 million is very likely on Saturday's mandatory payout. This Saturday will be the seventh major mandatory payout on WEG Standardbred racing since the Jackpot Hi-5 was introduced to the wagering menu in the fall of 2013. An average of $1.7 million in new money has been wagered on each of the previous six major mandatory payouts. The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order. The minimum wager is $0.20, while the takeout is 15 per cent. To view early program pages for Saturday's card, click here. Post time for Saturday's card at Woodbine is 7:30 p.m. Below is the field for Saturday's Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout race. Race 10 - Saturday, March 11 - Purse: $25,000 PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer 1. Machal Jordan (Roger Mayotte - Kenneth Switzer) 2. Casimir Overdrive (Doug McNair - Carmen Auciello) 3. Panedictine (Colin Kelly - Laurie Bako) 4. Single White Sock (James MacDonald - Ted MacDonnell) 5. Erle Dale N (Doug McNair - Ron Adams) 6. Dialamara (James MacDonald - Pat Fletcher) 7. Half A Billion (Louis Philippe Roy - Corey Giles) 8. Champagne Phil (Paul MacDonell - Dean Nixon) 9. The Rev (Doug McNair - Gregg McNair) 10. Mach On The Beach (Louis Philippe Roy - Richard Moreau) 11. Darcee N (Travis Cullen - Travis Cullen) 12. Bank Shot Hanover (Trevor Henry - Victor Puddy) Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, February - The classy pacing mare Waasmula found the winner's circle for the first time in 2017 and the 30th time of her harness racing career Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The nine-year-old daughter of Million Dollar Cam converted off a second-over trip from driver Trevor Henry to win this week's top class for pacing mares in 1:51.3. Friday's victory was extra special for Waasmula, as it was the Bruce Goit trainee's first win since surpassing $1 million in career earnings on January 27th at Woodbine. Bred and owned by Brent Vincent of Allenford, Ontario, Waasmula was making the 131st start of her career Friday and fourth of her nine-year-old season. Last year, she won seven of 28 starts while banking over $293,000. Waasmula has been competing regularly in the top classes for pacing mares on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit since 13 days after capturing the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for three-year-old pacing fillies back in November of 2011. The Vincent homebred's career totals now sit at 30 wins, $1,016,038 earned and a mark of 1:49.2. She paid $7.30 to win. In recognition of recently surpassing $1 million in career earnings, Waasmula and her connections were presented with a sign from the Woodbine Entertainment Group following her victory Friday. While Waasmula won the $25,000 feature race Friday, leading driver Doug McNair continued to add to his impressive early-season totals. The Guelph, Ontario resident picked up three more victories Friday to give him 47 this season at Woodbine. McNair now has a 26-win lead over nearest rival Louis Philippe Roy, who won two-races Friday. McNair will look to grow his lead on Saturday, as he is scheduled to drive in all 10-races. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, February 3 - A pair of Winter Series finals for three and four-year-old pacers headlined Friday evening's 10-race harness racing card at chilly Woodbine Racetrack. The $39,400 Snowshoe Series final featured a field of seven, while a group of ten fillies and mares competed in the $37,600 Blizzard Series final. Awesomeness lived up to his name by completing a dominant sweep of the Snowshoe Series Friday. The Ryan Maxwell trainee was fired off the wings of the gate by driver Doug McNair, but had to take a step back and sit second rounding the first turn, as Lyons Sands, who was also going for a sweep of the series, sprinted to the lead. Lyons Sands posted an opening-quarter of :27.2, but was quickly knocked back to second when McNair circled around to the lead with Awesomeness entering the backstretch. Awesomeness, who went off at odds of 1/9, posted middle-half fractions of :56.3 and 1:25. A stretch duel between the two red-hot pacers seemed likely, but Awesomeness quickly put those dreams to bed by pulling away from Lyons Sands at the top of the lane. Awesomeness powered home in :28 to win by five-lengths in 1:53. Lyons Sands held on for second, while Big Yellow was third and Clouseau Hanover was fourth. A four-year-old gelding, Awesomeness has quickly gained notoriety this winter by turning in stunning efforts regularly. The son of Mach Three made the first start of his career on October 4th at Mohawk, for then-trainer Dave Keyes, and finished seventh. Since his debut, Awesomeness has won eight of 13 starts and has never finished worse than second. Purchased privately in November by Martin Scharf, Awesomeness has banked $41,700 this season to bring his career earnings total to $104,300. A $2 win ticket on Awesomeness Friday returned $2.30. Awesomeness The Blizzard Series final was the opposite of the Snowshoe, as the pace-setter couldn't hold on late and a longshot stole the spotlight. Xelene Bayama held her own in preliminary round action, but picked the perfect time to step up and strike in Friday's $37,600 Blizzard final. Driven by Rick Zeron, Xelene Bayama got away seventh, as Jimbelina paced out to the lead and posted hot opening fractions of :26.4 and :55.2. An outer-flow was established early by the favourite I Deal In Kisses heading down the backstretch and this allowed Zeron to jump into a third-over spot heading towards the far turn. Jimbelina, who was 2-1, kept motoring around the far turn and reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3. The outer-flow stopped advancing on the final bend and Zeron was forced to go three-wide to stay within striking range of the leader. In the stretch, Jimbelina attempted to muscle out the victory, but Xelene Bayama was full of pace and charged by the leader in the final-sixteenth to win by a length and three-quarters in 1:54.3. Jimbelina just held on for second over Senseless Beauty, while Collective Wisdom was fourth. A four-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight, Xelene Bayama entered Friday's series finale off a fourth and third-place effort in the preliminary legs. The Stephane Larocque trainee had just a single victory in eight career starts before Friday. Owned by Bayama Farms Inc. and Zoom And Fish Stable Inc., Xelene Bayama earned $18,880 for her Blizzard Series victory, which brings her career earnings total to $31,235. Xelene Bayama paid $47.50 to win. Xelene Bayama Three and four-year-old pacers, who were non-winners of two-races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible for nomination to the Snowshoe and Blizzard Series. Also on Friday, Sandbetweenurtoes stretched her current win streak to three with a front-end score in the $30,000 Mares Preferred. The Richard Moreau trainee was sent to the front by driver Doug McNair and the duo never looked back en route to a 1:52.3 score. Sandbetweenurtoes has now won the last three editions of the top-level event for pacing mares. Owned by Brad Grant, Sandbetweenurtoes has three wins in four starts this season for earnings of $52,500. Her career totals now sit at 24 victories and $832,722 earned after Friday's triumph. Sandbetweenurtoes Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack with a 10-race card on deck. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 27 - Awesomeness and Lyons Sands were able to repeat in round two of the Snowshoe Series, while Waasmula became harness racing's newest millionaire with a fifth-place finish to a repeat-winning Sandbetweenurtoes in the $30,000 Mares Preferred Friday night at Woodbine. The second leg of the Snowshoe Series got things rolling on Friday's 11-race card. Awesomeness, who won his first leg division by more than seven-lengths, delivered another impressive gate-to-wire performance to take Friday's first $17,000 Snowshoe division by 5¼ lengths in 1:54.1. The Ryan Maxwell trainee was put on the front by driver Doug McNair and was never challenged, posting fractions of :28.2, :57.2 and 1:25.4, before pacing home in :28.2 for his second win of the season. Big Yellow finished second, while East End was third. A four-year-old gelded son of Mach Three, Awesomneness, who made his career debut in October, has been cleaning up this winter at Woodbine and now has seven wins in 13 starts. Owned by Martin Scharf, Awesomeness has banked $22,000 in three starts this season to bring his career earnings total to $84,600. The Maxwell trainee paid $2.20 to win. Awesomeness The second division was almost identical to last week's, as Lyons Sands went gate-to-wire with Senior K having to settle for second after a two-hole triple. Driven by J Harris, Lyons Sands blasted off the wings of the gate to grab command ahead of Senior K. The Bruce Goit trainee posted fractions of :27.1, :57 and 1:25.3 to lead the field into the lane. In the stretch, Senior K was angled off the pylons and took another crack at Lyons Sands, but just like last week, the leader did not surrender and crossed the wire first in 1:55. Senior K came up three-quarters of a length short, while Ohio Larry was third. A four-year-old gelding, Lyons Sands is now two for two in 2017 after winning nine of 13 last season. The son of Somebeachsomewhere is now an 11-time winner with career earnings of $61,090 for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound. Lyons Sands paid $5.90 to win. Lyons Sands Three and four-year-old pacers, who were non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible for nomination to the Snowshoe Series. The $39,400 Snowshoe Final will take place next Friday (February 3) and both Awesomeness and Lyons Sands will have an opportunity to complete a sweep of the series. Also on Friday, Sandbetweenurtoes captured the $30,000 Mares Preferred for the second-consecutive week, while Waasmula became harness racing's newest millionaire by picking up a fifth-place cheque. Richard Moreau trainee Sandbetweenurtoes had to fight off Sayitall BB in the stretch to secure a 1:52.3 front-end victory. The six-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was driven to her 23rd career victory Friday by Doug McNair. Owned by Brad Grant, Sandbetweenurtoes has quickly banked $37,500 this season to bring her career earnings to $817,722. Sandbetweenurtoes Despite not visiting the winner's circle, Waasmula's connections can celebrate after her fifth-place finish in the top-level event for pacing mares. The nine-year-old daughter of Million Dollar Cam earned $1,500 Friday to push her over $1 million in career earnings. Waasmula is owned and bred by Brent Vincent and trained by Bruce Goit. Her regular driver Trevor Henry was in the sulky to reach the milestone. Waasmula is a 29-time winner during her career with a mark of 1:49.2 taken at Mohawk. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 20 - Winter Series harness racing action continued on Friday's 11-race card at Woodbine Racetrack and once again Doug McNair was the first star of the night. McNair, who swept round one of the Blizzard Series Thursday, made four visits to the winner's circle on Friday's card, including in one of two divisions of the Snowshoe Series for three and four-year-old pacers. Awesomeness was sent straight to the front by McNair in the first $17,000 Snowshoe split and never looked back en route to an impressive 1:52 victory. The Ryan Maxwell trainee posted a snappy opening-quarter of :26.1 and after a middle-half of :58.4, fired home in :27 to win by 7½ lengths. Clouseau Hanover finished second, while Emptythetill was third. A gelded son of Mach Three, Awesomeness has been making some serious noise at Woodbine over the last couple months. The four-year-old didn't make his career debut until October and now has six wins in 12 starts, while only finishing outside the top-two once. Awesomeness, who was making his second start of the New Year Friday, was purchased privately by Martin Scharf in November and has won three of six starts since joining the Maxwell stable. His career earnings now sit at $76,100. The Maxwell trainee paid $3.60 to win. Awesomeness The second Snowshoe division saw McNair almost make it back-to-back series sweeping nights, but he and four-year-old gelding Senior K had to settle for a second-place finish. Lyons Sands went gate-to-wire to win the second split in 1:53.2. The Bruce Goit trainee was making his first start of 2017 and was guided to victory by driver J Harris. Lyons Sands posted fractions of :27.1, :57.1 and 1:25.3, before pacing home in :27.4 and fighting off Senior K to win by a neck. Ohio Larry finished third. A gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, Lyons Sands won 9 of 13 starts last season as a three-year-old and now has 10 career victories to his name. His career bankroll increased to $52,590 for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound with Friday's victory. Lyons Sands paid $13 to win. Lyons Sands Three and four-year-old pacers, who were non-winners of two-races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible for nomination to the Snowshoe Series. The second-round of the Snowshoe will take place next Friday (January 27). Following Friday's driving Grand Slam, McNair now has 15 wins, 11 runner-up finishes and seven third-place finishes in 57 starts to lead all drivers this season at Woodbine. McNair will look to continue his torrid start to 2017 on Saturday evening, as he is listed to drive in nine of the 11 scheduled races. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 19 - Harness racing driver Doug McNair has been off to a flying start in 2017 and Thursday night he continued his hot streak by sweeping round one of the Blizzard Series at Woodbine Racetrack. McNair guided Stonebridge Pearl and Senseless Beauty to victories to take both $17,000 first leg divisions of the Blizzard for three and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares. The first division of the evening saw all the attention go towards Niagara Series winner Jimbelina, but the heavy-favourite just couldn't go all the way over the "off-track". Sent to the front from post-ten by driver Sylvain Filion, Jimbelina cut out fractions of :27.1, :57 and 1:25.2. However, Stonebridge Pearl and McNair stalked the leader's every move from the pocket and were able to pounce in the lane. Stonebridge Pearl powered by Jimbelina in deep stretch to win by half a length in a career-best 1:55. Sparkle finished third, while Franschoek was fourth. A four-year-old daughter of Mach Three, Stonebridge Pearl made her first start of the New Year a winning effort Thursday after winning just once in 21 appearances in 2016. Owned by Mark Ford and trained locally by Gregg McNair, Stonebridge Pearl banked $26,100 last season and her Blizzard opening leg victory now gives her three career wins and a bankroll of $69,880. She paid $22 to win. Stonebridge Pearl The second division saw McNair once again crossing the wire first, but this time he did it with the public's choice. Senseless Beauty was pointed directly to the front right from the beginning by McNair and was able to clear Collective Wisdom for the lead just after the opening-quarter of :28. After posting middle-fractions of :57.1 and 1:27, Senseless Beauty was tested in the lane by Collective Wisdom from the two-hole, but the favourite was able to turn aside the challenger and score a two-length victory in 1:55.4. Kloof Street turned in a strong final-quarter to come all the way from ninth and last to finish second just ahead of Collective Wisdom. Xelene Bayama finished fourth. A four-year-old daughter of Vintage Master, Senseless Beauty was making just the fourth start of her career Thursday. The Tony O'Sullivan trainee raced twice as a rookie in August of 2015, but didn't make another start until last month. Owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham, Senseless Beauty has now won back to back starts at Woodbine and is on a three-race win streak after finishing second in her career debut. Thursday's victory increases her career earnings to $24,500. She paid $4.40 to win. Senseless Beauty Round two of the Blizzard Series will take place next Friday (January 26). Three and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares, who were non-winners of two-races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible to the Blizzard. Live racing continues Friday night at Woodbine with round one of the Snowshoe Series for three and four-year-old pacers headlining the 11-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 14 - Modern Legend became harness racing's newest millionaire with a 1:50.4 victory in Saturday's $34,000 Preferred at Woodbine Racetrack. The Dave Drew trainee was able to reach the career milestone by capitalizing off a second-over steer from driver James MacDonald. Modern Legend was able to power by American Virgin, who had led the field from the start, in the stretch to get the job done by a neck. Company Man finished third, while Nickle Bag was fourth. A nine-year-old son of Modern Art, Modern Legend has been a top performer for several years on the WEG Circuit and scored his biggest victory to date in the 2014 Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk Racetrack. Modern Legend recently returned from an 18-month layoff in December and the Drew trainee appears on the right path to returning to competition against the older pacing heavyweights. Saturday's victory gives Modern Legend, who has a career mark of 1:47.2, 23 wins from 71 career starts. He paid $5.80 to win. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, ON - January 12 - Due to deteriorating track conditions caused by rain and mild temperatures, the Woodbine Entertainment Group has cancelled tonight's (January 12) card of live harness racing at Woodbine Racetrack. Live racing will resume on Friday (January 13) evening at 7:30 p.m. with qualifiers scheduled to take place earlier in the day at 4 p.m. By Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications   

TORONTO, January 6 - After a short holiday break, the Standardbreds are set to get back to action and start a new harness racing season Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A strong 12-race card will launch the 2017 Woodbine Entertainment Group racing season Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. The feature event on the season-opening card is the $34,000 Preferred Pace, headlined by top older pacers Modern Legend and Nickle Bag. Modern Legend, the 2014 Canadian Pacing Derby champion, recently returned to the racetrack after an 18-month layoff. The Dave Drew trainee was able to get one start in before the end of the year and certainly made the most of it with a stunning 1:49.4 victory on December 17. Now a nine-year-old, Modern Legend will have an opportunity to reach a career milestone in Saturday's Preferred, as the Drew trainee sits just $13,675 away from $1 million in career earnings. James MacDonald will drive Modern Legend in Saturday's seven-horse Preferred and the duo will start from post position four. The $34,000 feature event is carded as Race 3. The driver and trainer standings restart from zero on Saturday evening, but Sylvain Filion and Richard Moreau have a good chance to jump back into their usual spots at the top of the leader board. Filion is listed to drive in all but one of Saturday's 12 races, while Moreau will send out 10 starters on the card. The dynamic duo will team up six-times throughout the night. Saturday's season-opening card features all the familiar wagering options, including the $40,000 Pick-5, $50,000 Early Pick-4 and the Jackpot Hi-5, which starts from scratch on the evening's final-race. Following Saturday's card, live racing will be held every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the Woodbine Winter meet. Post time each night is 7:30 p.m. Click here to download a program for Saturday's card.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 2 – The Mohawk Race Office would like to offer horsepeople an update on training and live racing at Woodbine Racetrack. The racing surface and paddock at Woodbine will not be available for training this Tuesday (January 3), but instead will be open on Wednesday (January 4) from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Live racing resumes at Woodbine this Saturday (January 7).  The Mohawk Race Office will reopen on Tuesday morning and the draw for Saturday will be held on Wednesday. Entry box closes at 10:30 a.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

TORONTO, December 26 - The Father-Son team of Gregg and Doug McNair were the stars of the show on Monday's abbreviated Boxing Day harness racing card at Woodbine Racetrack. Mild temperatures and consistent rain took a toll on the racing surface throughout the card, which forced officials to cancel the final three-races due to unsafe track conditions. However, the $35,400 Valedictory and $33,400 Niagara Series finals were both contested before the cancellation. Senior K delivered a gritty effort to win the Valedictory final for Team McNair. The three-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight shot off cover in the stretch and paced through the sloppy conditions to score a narrow victory by a head over Awesomeness in 1:54.3. Owned by Keith Waples, Senior K now has three wins in 13 starts this season and increased his 2016 earnings to $50,650 with the Valedictory score. He paid $13.80 to win. Senior K Senior K's Valedictory victory added to a big day for the McNair's. Gregg McNair sent out three horses on the card and all three visited the winner's circle, while Doug recorded a driving Grand Slam by capturing four of the nine races contested. The Niagara Series final for three-year-old pacing fillies saw Jimbelina complete a sweep of the series by scoring a four-length victory in Monday's $33,400 final. The Rene Bourassa trainee was fired out of the ten-hole and directly to the front by driver Sylvain Filion. It was lights out from there, as Jimbelina scooted around the sloppy oval for an easy 1:57 victory. Owned by Roland Trudel, Jimbelina is now a 10-time winner this season following her Niagara score. The Bourassa trainee improved her record to 10 wins in 19 starts and her seasonal earnings to $70,580 with Monday's score. Jimbelina paid $3.30 to win. Jimbelina Three-year-olds that were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016 were eligible for nomination to the Valedictory and Niagara Series. Monday's Boxing Day card was the final card of live racing at Woodbine for 2016. Live racing resumes Saturday, January 7at 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, December 23 - Harness racing horseplayers flooded to the windows and wagered more than $2 million into the Jackpot Hi-5 for the mandatory payout Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A significant carryover of $548,396 was brought into Friday's mandatory payout. Horseplayers threw their money down attempting to score a nice holiday payday and wagered $2,081,441 of new money into the Jackpot Hi-5, bringing the total pool, including carryover, to $2,629,837. Six-year-old pacer The Rev and driver Doug McNair crossed the wire first at odds of 3/1 to win the Jackpot Hi-5 race. A $0.20 winning ticket with the correct combination of 6-4-11-7-1 returned $4,842.70. The top-five finishers were: 1st: #6 The Rev (Doug McNair) 3/1 2nd: #4 Electric Western (Mario Baillargeon) 10/1 3rd: #11 Regal Son (Chris Christoforou) 8/1 4th: #7 Half A Billion (Jody Jamieson) 20/1 5th: #1 A Cool Card (James MacDonald) 23/1 The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order. The minimum wager is $0.20 and the takeout is 15 per cent. Friday's mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5 was the first offered since earlier this season on June 18th at Mohawk Racetrack. Outside of the Jackpot Hi-5, horseplayers were active throughout the entire Friday evening card. Multi-leg wagers were popular, as $75,216 was wagered on the Early Pick-4, $62,970 on the Pick-5 and $55,815 on the Late Pick-4. The total handle for Friday's 12-race card was $4,704,527. Live racing resumes at Woodbine on Boxing Day (Monday) with a 12-race matinee card beginning at 1 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, December 23 - Christmas spirit is in the air and so are dollar signs heading into this weekend's jam-packed harness racing action at Woodbine Racetrack. A deep 12-race card, featuring the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout, will start the Christmas weekend tonight at the Toronto oval, while a 12-race matinee card, featuring the Valedictory and Niagara Series, will wrap up the holiday weekend on Boxing Day (Monday). Horseplayers with some last minute shopping to do may have lots of extra coin to spend on Christmas Eve following tonight's Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout. A massive carryover of $548,396.96 is being brought into tonight's Jackpot Hi-5 and a total pool of $2 million is a possibility. A competitive field of 12 overnight pacers will battle in the Jackpot Hi-5 race. Travis Cullen trainee Paparazzi Hanover is the slight 4/1 morning line favourite from post position eight. Each horse in the Jackpot Hi-5 race will receive a share of the boosted $24,000 purse, as horses finishing sixth through 12th will receive 1%. While all eyes will be locked the Jackpot Hi-5, the $30,000 Mares Preferred will likely be the sight of a milestone. Brent Vincent's eight-year-old pacing mare Waasmula is less than $2,000 away from reaching $1 million in career earnings. The Bruce Goit trainee will be making her 127th career start Friday. Waasmula has been a staple of the WEG Mares Preferred in recent years and has made 108 starts on the WEG Circuit throughout her six-seasons on the track. The daughter of Million Dollar Cam is the 3-1 second-choice in Friday's feature race and will be leaving from post-eight with regular driver Trevor Henry. The Mares Preferred is carded as Race 10. Woodbine Racetrack will be dark on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but harness racing will return Monday afternoon for the annual Boxing Day matinee. The 12-race matinee card will be highlighted by the $35,400 Valedictory Series final and $33,400 Niagara Series final. The top-two choices in Monday's Valedictory final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will leave from opposite ends of the starting gate. Goit trainee Lyons Sands is the 3-1 morning line choice from post-one, while Ryan Maxwell student Awesomeness is 7-2 on the morning line from post-ten. Both Lyons Sands and Awesomeness captured second leg divisions of the Valedictory last Saturday. J Harris will drive Lyons Sands, while Randy Waples will be at the controls of Awesomeness. The first round of the Valedictory featured a pair of upset winners and both of those sophomores will need to repeat as underdogs to take the series finale. Dreamfair Mesa was a 7-1 winner in the opening leg and starts from post-six Monday, while Dragon Strikes, who was a 19-1 stunner in the first round, starts from post-eight. The Valedictory is carded as Race 5 on Monday. A series sweep is a possibility in the Niagara Series final for three-year-old pacing fillies, but Jimbelina will have to overcome post-ten in order to complete the task. The Rene Bourassa trainee scored impressive preliminary leg victories of 1:52.2 and 1:52.3. Jimbelina did not have the luck of the draw on her side for the final and driver Sylvain Filion will have to figure out a winning-trip from the ten-hole for the 9/5 morning-line choice. Hot Spot Hanover will be looking to change her fortune in the Niagara from post-four. The Mike Bishop trainee was a beaten-favourite in both preliminary legs, but did hit the board on both occasions. James MacDonald picks up the live catch-drive behind Hot Spot Hanover, as Filion sticks with Jimbelina. The Niagara Series final is carded as Race 9 on Monday. Also on Boxing Day, the Woodbine Entertainment Group will present its leading Driver, Trainer and Owner awards for 2016. Sylvain Filion has nearly a 50-win lead in the driver's category, while trainer Richard Moreau leads his category by more than 60 wins. Brad Grant is the leading owner of 2016 on the WEG Circuit with 49 wins. A winner's circle presentation will be made to Filion, Moreau and Grant during the Boxing Day card. Post time for tonight's Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout card is 7:30 p.m., while Monday's Boxing Day card will start at 1 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, December 21 - Christmas will come early for harness racing horseplayers on Friday evening at Woodbine Racetrack in the form of a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5. The Jackpot Hi-5, which requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order, has a carryover of $548,396.96 heading into Friday's mandatory payout. The current Jackpot Hi-5 carryover has been growing since early-October at Mohawk Racetrack. Horseplayers will have to get creative with their Hi-5 tickets, as the Race Office has put together a field of 12 overnight pacers for the mandatory event. The last mandatory payout offered on the WEG Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 was on June 18, 2016 at Mohawk. On that evening, more than $1.2 million of new money was wagered into the Hi-5 pool, bringing the total pool to $1,694,983. The $0.20 Jackpot Hi-5 payout on June 18 was $1,307.60. Mandatory payouts on the WEG Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 have generated total pools of more than $2 million on multiple occasions. 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. A $2 million total pool is a strong possibility on Friday's Jackpot Hi-5. The Jackpot Hi-5 has a $0.20 minimum and a low takeout of 15 per cent. The mandatory payout on the "Hi-5" is Race 12 on Friday's card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. A free program for Friday's card can be downloaded by clicking here.   Mark McKelvie

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