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Clinton Raceway closed out its 2018 season with an outstanding afternoon of racing on Sunday featuring the 38th annual Charity Driver's Challenge and four Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. Contested over the first eight races, the Charity Driver's Challenge was a fierce battle between Jody Jamieson, Doug McNair and Bob McClure. Heading into the final leg of the challenge McNair was leading with 160 points, McClure sat second with 137 and Jamieson was in third with 128 points. With a gritty first-over effort aboard Grande Seelster, Jamieson claimed the victory and with it his sixth Clinton Charity Driver's Challenge title. "To win number six today was a bit of a shock really. Some of the top young drivers in the country were here today, so you never know how it will play out," said Jamieson, who hails from Moffat, Ontario. "Fortunately, I had the best horses today and made it look quite easy." The participating drivers and Clinton Raceway fans raised just over $5,000 for the Tanner Steffler Foundation, which aims to support Huron County youth aged 12 to 24, and their families, with issues surrounding mental health and addiction, with the long-term goal of building a treatment and wellness facility within the county. All eight drivers - Natasha Day, Jonathan Drury, Ryan Holliday, Jamieson, James MacDonald, McClure, McNair and Scott Wray - were enthusiastic participants in the annual event, both for the friendly rivalry and the cause they were supporting. "I was leading until the last race and then got beat by Jody," said McNair. "But it was all for a good cause. It is important for people to realise that everyone and anyone can have mental health challenges, and no one should feel like they are different because of it, or be unable to find help." Once the challenge had come to an end Jamieson, McNair and McClure continued their dominant performances in the Grassroots events, with each reinsman piloting one two-year-old pacing filly to victory. McClure kicked things off with Lady Driver, delivering an impressive performance from Post 7 that saw them battle up the outer lane to a head victory in 1:59. Pacesetter and fan favourite Twin B Friendly settled for second and Hard Eight was third. "She's a nice little filly," said McClure, who piloted Lady Driver to the win for trainer Mike Keeling. "She's great gaited and that makes her very handy on the small tracks." The win was the first of the season for Sportswriter daughter Lady Driver, who is owned by CTC Stable of Chestnut Ridge, NY, and David Hamm and Michael Hall of Dagsboro, DE. Jonathan Drury interrupted the Jamieson-McNair-McClure show with a victory in the second $18,800 Grassroots division, guiding favourite Clearly Better to her first Grassroots victory in 2:00.3. From Post 2 the Betterthancheddar daughter controlled all the fractions and bested Better Now and Three Rocks by one and one-half lengths. Cambridge resident Blake MacIntosh conditions Clearly Better for his partners Stuart McIntosh of Essex, Ontario and Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Jamieson was back in the winner's circle following the third Grassroots division with Jack Darling trainee Free Exchange. The fan favourites took command going by the quarter and sailed home to a one and one-half length victory in 1:59. Loves Delight was second and Turn Back Time completed the top three. "Free Exchange is getting stronger with each start," said Jamieson. "She is definitely one of the best Grassrooters around and I'm glad Jack has stuck with me to drive her." The win was Free Exchange's first Grassroots victory and her second lifetime. Exeter native Darling, who now calls Cambridge home, owns and trains the Betterthancheddar daughter. McNair wrapped up the program, and the Clinton Raceway season, in thrilling fashion, steering Sports Flix to a track record effort for his father Gregg McNair of Guelph and owner James Fraleigh of Dresden, Ontario. The Sportswriter daughter came from off the pace, swinging out three-wide at the three-quarter pole, and powered down the stretch to a four and one-half length victory in 1:57. Karans Choice was second and Aumydarlin was third. "She raced really good, that's a big mile up here," said the reinsman. The clocking took one-fifth of a second off the 1:57.1 standard established by Bourbon Seelster in an August 2015 Grassroots event. Sports Flix now has two Grassroots victories to her credit and sits atop the two-year-old pacing filly division with 117 points as they head into the fifth and final regular season Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 10. In addition the Charity Driver's Challenge and Ontario Sires Stakes action, Clinton Raceway also hosted its first-ever Weiner Dog Race and the victorious canine was Zinc from Post 8. The six-year-old Zinc was cheered on to his victory by handlers Maggie and John. Racing will return to Clinton Raceway in 2019 with more Ontario Sires Stakes action, family friendly events and community fundraising activities. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

AUGUST 5, 2018 - Doug McNair delivered a dominant performance at Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon, capturing two of four Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts and four overnight events. The reinsman captured Race 2 with aged pacing gelding Stronski, Race 5 with aged trotting mare Pocket Popper and then made his first appearance in the Grassroots winner's circle with Pokerface Bluechip. Starting from Post 4 the pair landed fourth as Phantom Seelster led the field to a :29 opening quarter. Heading for the :58.4 half McNair sent Pokerface Bluechip into the outer lane behind Teen Idol, but was forced out three-wide when that horse started to stall going by the 1:27.2 three-quarters. Pokerface Bluechip dug hard through the stretch and got a nose in front of the pacesetter to claim the 1:56 victory. Fan favourite Casimir Richie P was a head back in third. "He dug pretty tough to win. It's tough to win on this track off the pace, especially when you've got to go around somebody down the backside," said McNair. "He raced really good. I wasn't sure what to expect from him, but he did everything right, good mile too." The Guelph, Ontario resident engineered the win for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, Gestion Jam Audet Inc. of Portneuf, Paul Lehoux of Sainte-Marie and Gestion C Levesque 2005inc of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. The mile was a new personal best for Pokerface Bluechip and marked his first-ever Grassroots victory. The Shadow Play gelding finished second in both the June 29 and July 22 Grassroots events and now has 100 points in the race for a berth in the Sept. 21 Grassroots Semi-final. McNair then captured the seventh race, the Ross Jewitt Memorial Pace, with aged pacing mare Queenofhearts and capped off his day with back-to-back victories in Race 9, with sophomore pacing colt Dashmira, and Race 10, with Grassroots competitor Montys Play. Taking full advantage of Post 1, McNair fired heavy favourite Montys Play off the gate and led the field through fractions of :29.1, 58.4 and 1:27.4 on the way to a one-length victory in 1:57. Howmac Dancer finished second and Treasure Writer rounded out the top three. "He kind of got lucky you know, he drew into the right division where they didn't go 1:55," admitted McNair. "But he's a nice gaited little guy, he snapped off the gate good today. He won pretty handy, so I was happy with him." The driver's father, Gregg McNair, trains Montys Play for Wayne MacRae of Fall River, Nova Scotia, Bloomingwood Farms Ltd. of Harriston, Ontario and Gilles Barrieau of Saint John, New Brunswick. In his only other Grassroots start, at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 1, the Shadow Play son had finished second, giving him a total of 75 points with one event remaining before the Semi-final. In addition to his victories, McNair also finished second in the other two Grassroots divisions and second in one overnight event. In 10 drives his only off-the-board finish was a fourth. "I figured I had a couple of nice ones when I got here, but things have got to go right to win that many races," said the driver. "There was probably a lot of luck on my side today, especially, one caught a shoe at the three-quarter pole, I think it was my fifth win, and near went on his head and then come back pacing and won the race. You know you're lucky when that's happening." The driver also credited some of his success on the 'Huron Perth Lakers Day at the Races' program to the Clinton Raceway track maintenance staff. "Everything was pretty smooth up here today," said the 28-year-old. "They always get the track good up here, that's one thing about the guys, the surface is great." The other two $18,450 Grassroots divisions were captured by Hudson Phil and Luka Shenko. Hudson Phil stalked fan favourite Bo Mach from the pocket and swooped around the pacesetter in the stretch to score a 1:55.4 victory. McNair and Bo Mach settled for second and Gideon Seelster was third. James MacDonald piloted Shanghai Phil son Hudson Phil to his third Grassroots victory for trainer Mark Steacy and owner-breeders Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. With 150 points Hudson Phil sits atop the division standings. As McNair did with Montys Play, driver Louis Philippe Roy sent Luka Shenko straight from Post 1 to the lead and never looked back, sailing under the wire one-half length the best in 1:55. Fan favourites McNair and Gold Rush settled for second and Wind Blast was third. Roy crafted the win for trainer Richard Moreau and owners Litwin Racing Team of Westmount, Quebec. The win was the Sportswriter son's first in Grassroots action and matched the Clinton Raceway track record for sophomore pacing colts. Gelding Modern Xhibit holds the overall three-year-old record, touring the half-mile oval in 1:53.4 in a 2012 Grassroots contest. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their last regular season Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on September 7. Clinton Raceway will wrap up its 2018 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Sunday, September 2 with the fourth Grassroots test for the two-year-old pacing fillies, part of the 38th annual Charity Drivers' Challenge. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JULY 8, 2018 - The three-year-old fillies were flying around Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon, sending track records toppling throughout the $144,350 Kin Pace program. Setting the tone for the afternoon in the first race, and first Grassroots division, trotter Ezee Tiguan and driver-trainer Lyle MacArthur held off a fast-closing Stormont Charlotte to reach the wire in a track record 2:00.3. P L Layla was four lengths back in third. The victory was a satisfying one for fan favourites MacArthur and Ezee Tiguan, who were caught at the wire in the June 7 season opener and had to settle for second. St. George Brant resident MacArthur conditions the Angus Hall miss for Linda Wellwood of St. George Brant and Tammy Aspden of Caistor Centre, Ontario. The record fell for a second time after the third $14,450 division, captured by Melanie G in 2:00. In rein to Louis Philippe Roy, the fan's top choice cruised along on the front end, finishing three lengths ahead of Power And Grace and Shotgun Sally. "She is a nice size filly, a bit aggressive. The inside post for sure helped," said trainer Richard Moreau of Melanie G, who lined up at Post 3. "We have been working on her front gait and it seems like it worked out," the Puslinch resident continued, adding that his success with Melanie G is at least in part due to the mentorship of trotting specialist Per Henriksen. "He didn't suggest anything specific on this horse, but he has shared so much knowledge with me over the years I have known him." Moreau conditions Angus Hall daughter Melanie G for Mary Anne Lauzon and breeder Dr. Ruth Irving of Russell, Ontario. Sunday's track record effort was the filly's first lifetime victory. Two races later Clinton Raceway fans were once again applying their erasers to the track record page as Gotta Pay To Play rocketed around the half-mile oval to an eight and one-half length victory in 1:59.3. Frick and Dalliance Seelster battled into second and third behind the fan favourite. Driver-trainer Wayne Henry piloted Gotta Pay To Play to her second straight victory for his Henry Stable of Arthur, Ontario. A Gold Series winner at two, the Windsong Espoir daughter seems to be back on track after a lacklustre start to her sophomore season. "She had to have an operation on her throat; it seems to have worked," Henry explained. "She's a real good half-miler. She can trot a turn as fast as a straight-away." The other Grassroots division went to Miller Time, who was able to ease down the stretch to a 16 length victory after her main rivals broke stride around the final turn. The Windsong Espoir daughter and Travis Henry hit the wire in 2:01.3, well ahead of fan favourite Magics Lucky Charm and Trevor Henry and Agent Thirteen and Wayne Henry. "She can trot a half and she's honest, she doesn't make breaks, so that's pretty much her forte," said trainer Mark Etsell. "She tries and she's honest, two aspects you really like in a trotter." The win was Miller Time's third of the season for Rockwood resident Etsell and his partner Chaun Tan of Cambridge, Ontario. The afternoon's rich finale, the $60,900 Kin Pace Final, saw the record setting continue as heavy favourite Write Me A Song reeled off a gate-to-wire score in 1:54.3. Katniss S BG tucked in behind Write Me A Song at the start and crossed the wire one and three-quarter lengths behind the winner. Askmysecretary, who, like Write Me A Song, won her elimination last weekend, finished four more lengths back in third. "Everything went well. It was a little tighter this week, but when you've got a final like that you're going to go a big mile, it was a big effort," said owner-trainer Jack Darling of the record setting mile. Campbellville resident Mike Saftic piloted the three-year-old pacing filly to the win, subbing for regular reinsman Jody Jamieson whose transportation arrangements fell through on Friday. "He had this plan, it's his son's birthday party today, but he had a guy that was going to fly him to Clinton just for her race and then fly him back for the party, and then something happened that he couldn't get the plane," explained Exeter native Darling, who currently resides in Cambridge, Ontario. "So I got Mike Saftic last night to come take over. It was lucky because Mike had driven her, I think, two or three starts ago (June 23) so he knew her. It worked out well." Sportswriter daughter Write Me A Song will make her next start in the July 20 Gold Series event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Clinton Raceway on Sunday, August 5 with the fourth Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing colts. Complete results for the July 8 Kin Pace program are available at From the Ontatio Sire Stakes     -30-       Photo attached 1: Gotta Pay To Play and Wayne Henry rewrote the three-year-old trotting filly track record winning their $14,450 Grassroots division at Clinton Raceway in 1:59.3 on Sunday, July 8. (AG Photography)       Photo attached 2: Write Me A Song captured the $60,900 Kin Pace Final in a track record 1:54.3 on Sunday, July 8. Mike Saftic piloted the three-year-old pacing filly to the win for Exeter native Jack Darling who owns and trains the Sportswriter daughter. (AG Photography)               OSS Program Information   For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit:   OSS Program Administration   Ontario Racing   10 Carlson Court, Suite 400, Toronto, ON M9W 6L2   416-213-1800       Follow the OSS on Social Media!   @ONTSSNews   You may unsubscribe at any time by clicking here.   Upon request, this document will be provided in an accessible format.   Vous pouvez vous désabonner à tout moment en cliquant ici.   Sur demande, ce document sera fournie dans un format accessible.          

JULY 5, 2018 - Windsong Ophelia may not be a typical three-year-old trotting filly, but trainer Bud Sinclair is hoping the quirky youngster can earn a share of the $144,350 in purse money up for grabs at Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon. The filly will start from Post 6 in the first of four $14,000-plus Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions, and when she trots up behind the gate it will be the last step in a very specific race-day routine. "You've got to do everything the same, every day, or it just mentally doesn't work for her," explains Stratford, Ontario resident Sinclair. "As soon as we get her off the trailer we have to go out and warm her up one trip right away, and that seems to get her to mellow out. If she's got to stand around too long it doesn't work either," he continued. "We're in early so that should help her; we don't have to be there super early, and it's afternoon racing, so I'm hoping that maybe helps her nerves a bit too." Sinclair and his staff spent most of the winter developing the highly specific daily routines that keep Windsong Ophelia in a mindset conducive to racing and to date she has delivered one win, two seconds and two thirds in nine starts, earning owner Jerry VanBoekel of Woodstock, Ontario a total of $11,970. "You've got to get her mentally prepared for everything, and then once you do that, so far things have been working," noted Sinclair. "Hopefully it stays that way." Fergus, Ontario resident Bruce Richardson will steer Cornaro Dasolo daughter Windsong Ophelia from Post 6 in the first race on the Sunday afternoon program, which will be capped off by the $60,900 Kin Pace Final. Coming off an impressive 1:55.3 clocking in her Kin Pace elimination last Sunday, July 1, Write Me A Song is the early favourite to claim the 2018 Kin Pace title. The filly and driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat, Ontario led from start to finish in their elimination and will line up at Post 4 in Sunday's eleventh race. "She should be tough to beat if all goes well in Clinton. That was pretty impressive last week, I just hope she can do it again," said Jack Darling, who owns and trains the long-legged daughter of Sportswriter. "She gets around the turns pretty good, they're pretty tight for her, but she seemed to handle it okay." If Write Me A Song can deliver a victory, the filly will be joined in the winner's circle by a sizeable fan club. Darling grew up in the Exeter area and his family are planning to be on hand for Sunday's final. "I came from right down the road," said Darling, who now makes his home in Cambridge. "I've got some brothers from Exeter, so they'll be out to Clinton on Sunday." Raced just four times at two due to a season-ending injury, Write Me A Song has rapidly made up for lost time in her sophomore campaign. In nine starts she has posted five wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $80,500. Competing on the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series circuit, she has delivered one second and one third in two starts against the province's top fillies. "She's a good-sized filly, but very athletic, likes to do her work," noted Darling. ""She's very fast and she was, she could get a little bit speed crazy, but her last couple starts we've rigged her up a little differently and she's been a lot better." Grassroots regular Askmysecretary won the other Kin Pace elimination on July 1 with a 1:59.1 effort, also going gate-to-wire. The Mach Three daughter and driver Doug McNair of Guelph will start from the trailing Post 8 in Sunday's final for trainer Ted MacDonnell of Allenford and his partners Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke and Tony Lawrence of Hanover, Ontario. Sunday's program gets under way at 1:30 pm with the Grassroots contests slated as Races 1, 3, 5, and 7 and the Kin Pace going to post in Race 11. Complete entries for the program can be found at In addition to Sunday's contest, Clinton Raceway will also host Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots events on August 5 and September 2. A complete schedule is attached below and can also be found at From the Ontario SIre Stakes           -30-       Photo attached: Exeter native Jack Darling owns and trains Write Me A Song, the early favourite in Sunday's $60,900 Kin Pace Final at Clinton Raceway. (New Image Media photo)           Clinton Raceway   Race Date   Post Time   Age/Sex/Gait   Race Type   Event #   Sunday, July 8   1:30 pm   3-year-old Filly Trot   Grassroots Series   2 (of 5)   Sunday, August 5   1:30 pm   3-year-old Colt Pace   Grassroots Series   4 (of 5)   Sunday, September 2   1:30 pm   2-year-old Filly Pace   Grassroots Series   4 (of 5)               OSS Program Information   For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit:   For background information and/or contact details for local Ontario Sires Stakes participants, feature stories, and photographs to complement your local coverage contact Sandra Snyder at 519-572-0167 or       OSS Program Administration   Ontario Racing   10 Carlson Court, Suite 400, Toronto, ON M9W 6L2   416-213-1800       Follow the OSS on Social Media!   @ONTSSNews   You may unsubscribe at any time by clicking here.   Upon request, this document will be provided in an accessible format.   Vous pouvez vous désabonner à tout moment en cliquant ici.   Sur demande, ce document sera fournie dans un format accessible.              

MILTON, ON - May 31, 2018 - Woodbine Entertainment has release details for a group of summer series, presented by Sharpe Farm Supplies Limited, to be raced at four-different tracks across Ontario. Clinton Raceway, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway and Hanover Raceway will all host events in the Sharpe's Summer Series. The group of series will be raced during the months of June and July. The Sharpe's Summer Series consists of six-different events, all featuring two preliminary legs and an added money final. Here are the details for the six events: Event A (TROT): Horses & Geldings, 4-year-olds & younger, Non-Winners of a Race or $5,000 (Ont. Sired $7,500) lifetime as of midnight May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Georgian Downs. Event B (TROT): Fillies & Mares, 4-year-olds & younger, Non-Winners of a Race or $5,000 (Ont. Sired $7,500) lifetime as of midnight May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Georgian Downs. Event C (PACE): Horses & Geldings, Claiming $15,000 for Non-Winners of $30,000 lifetime as of midnight, May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Grand River Raceway. Event D (PACE): Fillies & Mares, Claiming $15,000 for Non-Winners of $30,000 lifetime as of midnight, May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Grand River Raceway. Event E (PACE): Horses & Geldings, Non-Winners of a Race or $5,000 (Ont. Sired $7,500) lifetime as of midnight May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Hanover Raceway. Event F (PACE): Fillies & Mares, Non-Winners of a Race or $5,000 (Ont. Sired $7,500) lifetime as of midnight May 31st, 2018. To be raced at Clinton Raceway. The nomination fee for each event is $100 ($80 USD) and nominations close Friday, June 15. For more information about all stakes events administrated by Woodbine, click here. Payments can be made online by clicking here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than June 15, 2018 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

AUGUST 27, 2017 - Clinton Raceway hosted its last Ontario Sires Stakes event of the season on Sunday afternoon and harness racing reinsman Tyler Moore captured two freshman pacing colt Grassroots divisions and added a pair of overnight wins to his tally for the driving grand slam. "I was kind of hoping I would win one or two races today - like I always want when I go to Clinton - and enjoy the afternoon, I love it, going there," said Moore, who has been near the top of the Clinton driving standings all summer. "And sometimes you get these great moments where you have a big day like this. Like two Grassroots wins is one thing, but to win two more on the same day, that really made me happy and made for a great afternoon." Moore kicked off his successful afternoon with an overnight win behind Sporty Diva in the second race and captured the first of his two Grassroots wins one race later. Starting from Post 6 with Atomic Seelster, Moore opted to power off the gate and was matching strides with favourite Pokerface Bluechip at the :29.3 opening quarter. Clearing to the front, Atomic Seelster paced through fractions of :59 and 1:28.3 and then pulled away in the stretch to a two and one-half length victory in 1:58.3. Dam Lucky finished second and Pokerface Bluechip settled for third. "Dad was pretty high on him as a baby when he was training him down. He was one of his best, and he just kind of started to stall coming to the end of it," said Moore, who crafted the win for his father, trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Puslinch, ON. "I drove him two weeks ago (Aug. 16) at Grand River, and he really needed that trip. I went nice, cheap and easy fractions and he kicked right home. He went home a winner that day and he would have felt a lot better for that, so today I just kind of aired him out, and you know Clinton's a real small, tight half-mile track, especially for a two-year-old out of the six-hole, and he handled it really well. I thought he was great." Dr. Moore and his partners in the Shadow One Stable of Puslinch, Shawn Murphy of Charlottetown, PEI and Darcy Murphy of Rothesay, NB share ownership of Atomic Seelster, who was a $100,000 purchase from the Forest City Yearling Sale. Sunday's win was the Shadow Play son's second straight in Grassroots action following two starts in the Gold Series, where he finished third and eighth, and the elimination and consolation of Grand River Raceway's Battle of Waterloo, where he was fourth and third. "He is a sweetheart to drive, he's perfect gaited, he's a very nice horse. He will make a really good racehorse one day," added Moore. "Today he went a big mile, he was parked near to the quarter-pole and the heavy favourite sat on his back the whole mile and couldn't even get to him." After a second overnight win with Thrift Shop in the eighth race, Moore was back in the bike for the last of the four $18,800 Grassroots divisions. Opting for a similar approach, Moore sent Lucky Michael from Post 5 to the front and the pair cruised through fractions of :30, 1:00 and 1:29.2 on their way to a one length victory in 1:58. Fan favourite and division point leader Family Sports was second and On The Take was three more lengths back in third. "I had some high hopes on him today, especially once he was leaving out of the gate, because he was getting out of there really well and he literally, he just made front real easy, and he sat right back in my lap like he should, and when I asked on him he was there," said the Campbellville, ON resident. "To be honest I think he was just as impressive as the other horse." Moore says while his father's early expectations of Atomic Seelster were lofty, they were significantly less so for Lucky Michael, who was always closer to the back of the pack than the front during the winter training sessions. However, since making his debut in the Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on July 10 the son of Camluck has posted one win, one second, one third and one fourth in Grassroots action and clocked a personal best 1:56 in an overnight event at Mohawk on July 27. "He's a big horse and with age and maturity, that should help, and he will get a lot better. Who knows how much better he will be, but I can see him getting to be a top horse one day, because he's just a baby and they learn so much in such a quick time, and he's so dopey and kind of just mellow-headed," said Moore, who drives the colt for owner-breeder Jeffrey Snyder of New York, NY. "Like today, he was just wandering over the track, just doing his thing, and then when I wanted him to go he just picked right up and was gone." The other two Grassroots divisions were captured by Louis-Philippe Roy, who guided Zen Da Ballykeel to a 2:00 score in the second division and St Lads Neptune to a 1:58 win in the third. The win was the first lifetime for Zen Da Ballykeel, who is trained by Richard Moreau of Puslinch for owner-breeder Ballykeel Racing Inc. of Tillsonburg, ON. The son of Mach Three bested Blue Moose by a head, with Wild West a length behind the duelling the leaders in third. Sunday was the first Grassroots appearance for St Lads Neptune, but the Mach Three son is no stranger to the winner's circle, having won his first two starts for trainer Carl Jamieson of Rockwood and his partner Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON. The gelding hit the wire two and one-half lengths ahead of Sizzling Summer and Notabadgame. In addition to the Grassroots action, the Vanastra Curling Club was trackside on Sunday conducting a 50/50 draw, silent auction and barbecue. The club raised a total of $4,200 thanks to the generosity of Clinton Raceway fans. The two-year-old pacing colts and gelding will make their fifth Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 4. Clinton Raceway wraps up its 2017 harness racing season next Sunday, Sept. 3 with the annual Charity Drivers Challenge where Tyler Moore and fellow Clinton regular Ryan Holliday will take on six of Canada's top drivers in a benefit for the Clinton, Brussels and Seaforth branches of the Royal Canadian Legion. Post time for Sunday's event is 1:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

JULY 30, 2017 - Harness racing fans turned out in droves on Sunday afternoon to celebrate Clinton Raceway's Legends Day and the final drive of Ailsa Craig native John Campbell. "Good crowd today, the weather cooperated, it's great, great for the industry," said Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh. "John deserves it." The autograph session with Campbell and his fellow legends Bill O'Donnell, Doug Brown, Steve Condren, Mike Lachance, Dave Miller, Dave Wall, Ron Waples, Bud Fritz and Keith Waples, was scheduled from 1 to 2 pm, but stretched on well past 3 pm as fans waited their turn to greet the legendary horsemen and bid farewell to both Campbell and O'Donnell. The pair hung up their driving suits in the afternoon's final race, the $15,000 Legends Trot, which went to Ontario Sired mare Lady Caterina, driven by Steve Condren. "I didn't know John made a break, so I feel a lot better now that he made a break," said Condren, to laughter from the large crowd gathered around the winner's circle. The reinsman piloted Lady Caterina to the 1:58.1 win for trainer Alan Fair and owner Elizabeth Fair of Ancaster, ON. Given the last opportunity at the microphone Campbell thanked the fans, the owners and trainers he worked with over his storied career, and most of all his family. The winner of over $300 million then reflected on his career. "It's funny how things work out, I made a break and finished last in my first race, 45 years later I finished last and made a break here at Clinton, but it's been okay in the middle," said Campbell to applause and laughter. "Anybody here that knows me knows what an influence my dad (Jack Campbell) was, and he always told me don't ever say never, it's a really long time. So with that caveat I'll say, in all probability, this will be my last drive," said Campbell, bringing his legendary driving career to an official, if qualified, close. While the legends greeted their autograph seeking fans, Ontario's two-year-old trotting fillies provided the on-track entertainment, competing in a trio of $18,450 Grassroots events. The fastest winner of the three divisions was Bob McIntosh trainee Kant Afford It, who cruised along on the front end to a 2:05 triumph, four and one-half lengths ahead of Melanie G and Dalliance Seelster. Elora, ON resident Bob McClure piloted the fan favourite to her first lifetime victory for Windsor, ON resident McIntosh and his partner C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH, who also bred the daughter of Kadabra and Urge To Splurge. "I was pretty confident. She trains on my half-mile track at home so I knew she was good in the turns, she's solid, so I had a good feeling," admitted McIntosh. "She's a big strong filly, she's really big and really growthy, so I think she'll get better and better. At the conclusion of the Legends Day festivities, which saw fans and supporters raise over $57,000 for the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation, McIntosh said he and his wife Patty were having dinner with Campbell and his family. The Hall of Famers have been friends since their earliest days in the business. "Since we were kids in London, at Western Fair, back in the 60s, I'm dating myself," said McIntosh with a laugh. The other Grassroots divisions went to Frick and Sheza Chunkymonkey, who stopped the Clinton teletimer in 2:06 and 2:08.4 respectively, off front-end efforts. Arthur resident Trevor Henry piloted Frick to her first lifetime win for trainer Gary Oliver and his partners Oliver Delmaple Holdings Ltd. and Dawn Hass of Cobourg, ON. Bonnie Breeze and Stand For Justice finished one and one-quarter lengths back in second and third. "She does everything right, unbelievable," said Oliver, noting that the daughter of Johnny William and B Cor Tanya has been a pleasure to work with since arriving in his barn when she was a weanling. "And now we're having fun." Trainer Travis Henry piloted Sheza Chunkymonkey to her first victory for his wife Maddi Henry and their partners Princeton Farms Inc., all of Embro, ON. The daughter of Majestic Son and Stonebridge Amanda reached the wire one length ahead of Justice Rules and Carnegie Hall. "We saw her at Harrisburg, well Maddi McNiven, now Henry, picked her out," said Princeton Farms' Jesse Belore. "Training down all winter, we had a few bumps, but she pulled through today. "As long as she stayed trotting, that's what we were hoping for. It's nerve wracking here," Belore added. The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 10. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Clinton Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 27 with the fourth Grassroots event for the two-year-old pacing colts. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

JULY 28, 2017 - Three Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions of two-year-old trotting fillies will serve as the warm-up act on Clinton Raceway's highly anticipated Legends Day harness racing program this Sunday, July 30. Driver Bob McClure will steer one filly in each of the $18,450 Grassroots divisions and will also compete in five other races, but the young reinsman admits the event he is most looking forward to is the program finale, the $15,000 Legends Trot featuring eight of the greatest drivers to ever grace a race bike. "I took myself off Georgian. I wanted to be there to celebrate, not only John Campbell's last drive, but Bill O'Donnell's last drive. All those drivers, as far as intelligence on the racetrack, they're a class above everybody. Just to watch those drivers in one race, it's really exciting to me," said McClure. "So yeah, I took the night off, and I'm going to go down and enjoy it. I think I'm going to look like an idiot running around getting them all to sign my program for me, but you only get one opportunity so I'm going to do it." In between the 1 to 2 pm autograph session with Campbell, O'Donnell, Doug Brown, Steve Condren, Mike Lachance, Dave Miller, Dave Wall and Ron Waples, who will participate in the Legends Trot, and Bud Fritz and Keith Waples, who have retired from active driving duty, and the Legends Trot, McClure will be calling on his own driving smarts, hoping to guide one of his Grassroots mounts to the Clinton winner's circle. The Elora, ON resident will steer Mackenzie O from Post 2 in the first race, Justice Rules from Post 2 in the second and Kant Afford It from Post 4 in the third. McClure has one start behind Mackenzie O, in her first qualifier, and has never driven Justice Rules, but the reinsman is confident that both fillies will be ready for action in their Grassroots debuts. "She qualified just okay," said McClure of Mackenzie O, "But the best thing about her, she's very good gaited so - getting around Clinton with a two-year-old trotter, that's half the battle - hopefully that gives her an upper hand. Anyway, Ben doesn't like racing them unless they're ready so I'm sure she'll be in much better form on Sunday." Guelph, ON resident Ben Baillargeon conditions the daughter of Angus Hall for his partners Santo Vena of Brampton, ON, Nunzio Vena of Bolton, ON and Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff, QC. The filly comes into Sunday's first race off a trio of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack. Justice Hall daughter Justice Rules has two starts under her belt at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres, where she finished third and fifth for trainer Dany Fontaine of Terrebonne, QC and owner-breeder Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. "All I know is every horse I've ever driven for Dany is ready," noted McClure. "She has had some trouble making breaks and he is very capable of correcting any issues they have. He's a really good horseman, especially with trotters." In the third division McClure will steer Kant Afford It, and the driver is hoping they can atone for a loss in the second Grassroots event at Georgian Downs on July 16. "In Georgian there was a lot of stuff happening off the gate, and I wanted to take care of her so I eased her off, and all I ended up doing was getting myself in a whole lot of traffic," McClure recalled. "She never should have been beat in that Grassroots at Georgian, she should have definitely won, I just did not have her in positon at all. So, as long as she can handle the turns, handle the track, I would say she is the one to beat in there, because she's built like a three-year-old and her attitude is like a racehorse. I think she's the best two-year-old trotter I've driven to this point." Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON conditions Kant Afford It for his partners C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The partners also bred the daughter of Kadabra, who was guided through her qualifiers and first Grassroots test by Hall of Famer and Legends Trot reinsman Steve Condren. In addition to the on track action, which gets under way at 1:30 pm, Clinton Raceway has a full slate of trackside activities for fans. The gates open at 11:30 am and there will be a variety of activities for the smallest fans, a CosyCan photo booth, silent auction, 50/50 draw, and a Legends Trot sign contest. A booklet commemorating John Campbell's driving career is free with a program purchase or $5 on its own, and John Campbell t-shirts are also just $5. The afternoon will wrap up with a Pineridge Chicken Barbecue from 4 to 5:30 pm, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the event's charity partner, the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation. Full details, including parking information, are available at "I hear they closed the road off behind the racetrack and put bleachers up, so they must be expecting a huge crowd, and rightly so because it's going to be a great show," said McClure. "There's nowhere better to host something like this than Clinton." OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

Clinton, ON --- Driver Doug Brown has won eight Canadian Driver of the Year awards, a stack of driver titles on the Toronto harness racing circuit and earned a berth in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, yet he thinks fellow Hall of Famer John Campbell stands above all others. “There’s just no question that he’s just been the greatest driver ever. It’s just fantastic to see what he’s done over the 40 years he’s been doing it,” Brown said, before comparing Campbell to a hockey legend. “I often compare him to Bobby Orr -- both on and off the track or ice. They’re very similar and I’ve got so much respect for them.” Brown, 61, has won nearly 8,500 races and $87 million. He said he’s delighted to be part of Campbell’s final career drive on July 30 at Clinton Raceway during Legends Day, but he’s not planning to make it easy for Campbell to go out a winner. “I’m sure we’re all hoping he wins his last drive, but it’s not going to stop anybody from trying to win themselves,” Brown said, chuckling. Campbell, a career winner of more than 10,000 races and $300 million, tops the sport in earnings by a wide margin. On July 1, he became the president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society, which owns and operates a number of major stakes races, including the Hambletonian and Breeders Crown series. In the C$15,000 Legends Day Trot, Brown and Campbell will also be taking on Hall of Famers Bill O’Donnell (5,445, $90 million) -- who is also retiring after the race -- as well as Mike Lachance (10,422, $190 million), Steve Condren (6,850 wins and $106 million), Ron Waples (6,923 wins, $74 million), David Miller (12,205 wins, $216 million) and Dave Wall (7,201, $58 million). The race is part of the ninth edition of the track’s biennial Legends Day, which is raising money for the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation. Combined, the eight legends have earned more than $1.15 billion and won nearly 69,000 races. Fellow legends Bud Fritz and 93-year-old Keith Waples -- both of whom are retired from driving -- will also be on hand for the autograph session. Brown said he has a blast at Legends Day and is pleasantly surprised at the fan reaction. “Getting together with all of those (fellow legends) for a few hours is pretty fun. You get to tell old stories, but the crowd is the main thing. That place is just packed and it makes you wonder how they can come back every two years, the same people, but they are there,” Brown said. Brown’s road to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame began in Oshawa, Ontario at his father Stan’s knee. Doug eagerly absorbed his father’s lessons and was just 17 when he earned his driver’s license. He quickly picked up his first win with a horse named Out Ahead at Kawartha Downs. While he called the Peterborough track home, he made his mark in the big city as top dog on Toronto’s old Ontario Jockey Club circuit in the 1980s and 1990s. Despite once having a fan throw a beer bottle at him at Greenwood Raceway in downtown Toronto (the bottle bounced, harmlessly, off his helmet), Doug has fond memories of Greenwood Raceway. “It was incredible. People were lined up getting in and that’s back when you had to pay to get in. As huge as that grandstand was, it was nearly full night after night,” Brown said. “When we went to Woodbine, I said after the first three or four days to one of the other guys, ‘You know what, I never thought I’d miss people yelling at me, but…’ At Woodbine, they were so far away you couldn’t hear them. “Most of the guys that raced back then, everyone misses Greenwood because it was downtown. People could walk to it, take a streetcar. It was just an incredible place.” For 10 consecutive years from 1988-1997, Doug held a firm grip on the OJC’s driver standings where he averaged 345.5 wins per year over the stretch. He was the circuit’s first driver to break the 400-win plateau, accomplishing it twice in back-to-back seasons with 411 (1994) and 417 (in 1995). It was no easy feat considering the depth of competition. Night after night, Doug battled with such luminaries as fellow Legends Day drivers Condren and Wall, as well as Paul MacDonell, Roger Mayotte and Mike Saftic. Doug was the king of the pre-slots era. He was the first OJC driver to top both $4 million (1989) and $5 million (1995) in a single season. Four of Doug’s eight Canadian Driver of the Year awards came in a row from 1993-1996. Seven of those awards came between 1989 and 1996. Over 40 years in the sulky, Doug has won five Breeders Crowns with Town Pro (twice), Headline Hanover, Topnotcher and Digger Almahurst; the Metro Pace (Historic, 1993); Maple Leaf Trot (Plesac, 2001); Yonkers Trot (Lord Stormont, 1997); World Trotting Derby (Lord Stormont, 1997); Cane Pace (Topnotcher, 1989); Roses Are Red (Shady Daisy, 1992); and Confederation Cup three times (BJ Scoot, 1988; Topnotcher, 1989; and Survivor Gold, 1992). In 1995, he drove Canada’s first sub-1:50 mile with Ball And Chain, when he upset Pacific Rocket and Ellamony in 1:49.4 at Woodbine. Doug was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame in 2006. He is a member of the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame and was selected as the Harness Horse Youth Foundation’s recipient of the 1998 Service to Youth Award. In 1997, he was the winner of the prestigious Messenger Award from Harness Tracks of America for outstanding accomplishment and meritorious service to the sport. Yet, despite all of that, he said what he cherishes most from his career is the long-time relationship with Hall of Fame trainer Stew Firlotte. “Probably the biggest thing in my career was being hooked up with Stew Firlotte for close to 35 years. That just doesn’t happen. When the catch driver (era) came around, we were getting hired and fired and hired back and fired again, but with Stew it was more like a father-son, best friend thing. He and Joanne are godparents to one of our kids. I really value the dedication between the two of us. “I’d just love to see (Firlotte’s) record, as far as getting 2-year-olds to the races. His percentages must have been just incredible, because I hardly remember any of them that didn’t make the races. He was just a great horseman. Our relationship was probably the proudest moment for me; we just had so much fun together.” For more information about Legends Day, please visit Clinton Raceway     

Uncooperative weather through early summer hasn’t stopped the fans and supporters from coming out to Clinton Raceway to take in an afternoon of harness racing, or support the local groups and clubs taking part in the Day at the Races fundraising program. Sunday afternoon was no different, it rained, was overcast and not the most beautiful day, but the Goderich and District Collegiate Institute was able to raise just under $1000 for their robotics club. The crowd on hand bet just over $27,000 and on track, Natasha Day, Bruce Richardson and Tyler Moore all scored driving doubles on the ten race card. Standardbred Canada’s Bring a Friend event saw many new faces on track, and Dale Howe brought his group out to the Winner’s Circle following race seven for a souvenir picture. The very first showdown of the Hillbilly Horses took place following race nine, and four employee’s of Blackburn Radio took to the track to bounce their way to the finish line. Susan Chapman, Tanya Merner, Julie B and Lauren Dietrich were vying for the $200 donation to the charity of their choice. Clinton Raceway and Blackburn Radio ponied up $100 each to donate. It was a tight race from the word go, but Tanya managed to sneak out the win at the wire, with the donation being made to the Head and Neck unit at the London Health Sciences Centre. Live harness racing return Sunday July 23, with the second annual Vic Hayter Memorial Trot. Visit for more information. by Jessica Carnochan Reprinted with permission of the site

JULY 9, 2017 - An outstanding afternoon of harness racing wrapped up the Kinsmen and Kinette Club's PlucKinFest at Clinton Raceway on Sunday, starting with four Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts. Three of the four Grassroots winners lined up behind the outside Post 7, and Many A Man kicked off the parade of right rail winners in the first $18,800 division. Driver Bob McClure eased Many A Man away from the gate and the pair were sitting last as Gotagetmesomathat took the field of eight to a :29.2 opening quarter. Heading for the :59.3 half McClure sent Many A Man up the outside and the colt made steady progress through the 1:30.2 three-quarters before shifting into high gear in the stretch and accelerating home to the 2:01 victory. Masster Blue finished one and one-quarter lengths back in second and Uknow What To Do was two lengths back in third. "I seen he had some breaking issues so I was really careful, but he was really impressive because not many horses can go last to first in Clinton," said McClure. "He was really tough." The Elora, ON resident crafted Many A Man's first sophomore victory for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON and his partners C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. The homebred son of Manofmanymissions was a five time Ontario Sires Stakes winner at two, including the Grassroots championship, but had made breaks in three of four starts heading into Sunday's test. The second Grassroots division saw another winner come from the outside Post 7 as fan favourite Yo Yo Mass stalked Speedycrest through fractions of :30, 1:00 and 1:30.3 before slipping out of the pocket and sailing home a one length winner in 2:00.3. Speedycrest settled for second and Airborne Seelster overcame an early break to finish third. "I raced against him in the last Gold and thought he was an alright horse. He proved today he is a legit horse," noted Trevor Henry, who crafted the Muscle Mass son's first Grassroots, and second lifetime, win. "You can ask him to do anything and he responds." Campbellville resident Kyle Reibeling trains Yo Yo Mass for his partner, and the gelding's breeder, Nancy Grimble of Newcastle, ON. Division point leader Rose Run Speedster delivered the only Grassroots victory that did not start at Post 7, going gate-to-wire from Post 4 in the third division. The Windsong Espoir son and driver Louis-Philippe Roy loafed through fractions of :31.2, 1:03.3 and 1:34 on their way to a five length victory in 2:03.1. Gym Rat overcame a series of breaks to finish second, edging Addycor Royal into third. Rene Allard of Matamoras, PA trains Rose Run Speedster for his partner the Rose Run Speedster Stable of Guelph, ON. The colt is now flawless in three Grassroots starts and sits atop the division standings with 150 points. Warrawee Shipshape delivered the third Post 7 victory in impressive fashion, firing off the gate and leading the field through fractions of :29.3, :59 and 1:30.3 before trotting under the wire in 2:00.2. Santini finished one length back in second and Jayport Buddy was two more lengths back in third. "They do a good job on this track so it helps," said trainer-driver Pat Hudon of Warrawee Shipshape's Post 7 victory. "Some track surfaces are not so good for trotters, but this track is." The win was the Muscle Mass son's second in Grassroots action this season, but his first under Hudon's tutelage. The Rockwood, ON resident and his partner, numbered company 8113564 Canada Ltd. of Sherwood Park, AB, acquired Warrawee Shipshape from Eddie Green on June 12, but missed the July 1 Grassroots event at Hiawatha Horse Park because the gelding was under the weather. "He just wasn't 100 per cent and with that long of a trip, there was no sense," said Hudon of the decision to delay Warrawee Shipshape's provincial debut for his new owners. "We figured it was better to scratch and race next week." One race after Warrawee Shipshape's victory Clinton fans welcomed eight of Ontario's top three-year-old pacing fillies onto the racetrack for the $61,200 Kin Pace Final and fan favourite The Joy Luck Club demonstrated that she was 100 per cent healthy with a gate-to-wire victory from Post 6. The daughter of Camluck and Oh The Joy sprinted away from the gate and cruised through fractions of :29, :58 and 1:27 before sprinting home to a five and one half length win in 1:55.3. Elimination winner Stonebridge Sundae finished second and Roselily completed the top three. "She's perfect gaited for a half, but she had some sickness issues the last three starts," said driver Doug McNair of Guelph, ON. "Dad did a good job having her healthy for today." McNair engineered the filly's tenth win of the season for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and his partners R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington and Mark Horner of St. Marys. Horner also bred the filly and had handled training duties on the winner of $95,277 up until last week's Kin Pace Eliminations. "Mark's done a good job with her," noted Doug McNair. "She raced great." The McNairs, Horner and R A W Equine received the Kin Pace trophy from former Toronto Blue Jays star Jesse Barfield, who was on hand for photographs and autographs throughout the afternoon. In addition to the outstanding racing, the large Clinton Raceway crowd - who wagered a total of $36,152 on the program - was treated to a variety of giveaways and special trackside activities, including a draw for a Pineridge Backyard BBQ Bash for 20 people won by Darrell Gorvett from Elora, ON. The Huron Heat Female Hockey Association was the racetrack's fundraising partner on Sunday and the organisation netted over $2,500 from their barbecue, bake sale and 50/50 draw. Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action returns to Clinton Raceway on Sunday, July 30 when the two-year-old trotting fillies will be driven by some of harness racing's greatest horsemen, including Ailsa Craig native John Campbell, who will make his final appearance in the race bike on Legends Day. Post time for the July 30 program is 1:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: OSS Program Administration   Ontario Racing

Clinton, ON --- They once dominated harness racing like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson did basketball and Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux ruled hockey. Now Hall of Famers Bill O’Donnell and John Campbell will both hang up their colors for good after a final drive against each other on July 30 in the C$15,000 Legends Day Trot at Clinton Raceway. O’Donnell said it was an idea first hatched in Las Vegas in February during the Dan Patch Awards honoring the best in the sport in the United States from the previous year. “We were down in Vegas for the Dan Patch. John and I and Dave Miller were standing there and John said, ‘Dave’s coming to Legends Day’ and I said, ‘Good, he can take my place. I don’t want to (drive) anymore.’ So John said, ‘Let’s do it together, our last drives,’” O’Donnell said. Considering O’Donnell has only had a handful of drives in the last five years -- most of those for fan events -- he said he isn’t bothered by the fact Campbell, who is still driving regularly, is getting most of the attention for making his last drive at Clinton. “I don’t mind it. I made $98 million on (Campbell’s) coattails,” O’Donnell said, laughing, adding that he’s been trying to officially call it quits for a few years and came close in 2013 after winning the $10,000 Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot for Hall of Fame drivers at the Goshen, N.Y. Historic Track that is located behind the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. “After I won there that one year I said, ‘That’s it, I’m all done,’ but then they call because they have trouble getting eight guys (for the race). (Museum trustee) Ebby Gerry has called and it’s hard to say no to him, but I’ll break it to him this year (at Goshen) that this is it,” O’Donnell said. In the 1980s, when the sport was flourishing at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey and the concept of hired-gun catch-drivers was in its infancy, O’Donnell and Campbell battled at the top of the sport like few drivers had before them and few have since. It was during that era that O’Donnell earned the nickname The Magic Man for his wizardry in the race bike. “Billy at his best was better than any driver I have ever seen,” Campbell said in 2001, the year Legends Day debuted. Legends Day, which this year is raising money for the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation, has been held every two years since and will celebrate its ninth edition this year. O’Donnell has never missed it. “It’s just refreshing to see everyone is there for harness racing. These are fans,” O’Donnell said of Legends Day. “It’s a great day. You get to see people you haven’t seen for a long time.” O’Donnell, 69, has 5,743 career wins and has earned C$99 million on the track. He is one of eight of the world’s greatest harness drivers contesting the Legends Day Trot on the card along with Campbell (11,049 career wins and C$303 million), Ron Waples (6,923 wins, C$75 million), David Miller (12,100 wins, C$215 million), Mike Lachance (10,421, C$190 million), Steve Condren (6,845, C$114 million), Dave Wall (7,200, C$60 million) and Doug Brown (8,427, C$89 million). Combined, the eight legends have earned more than C$1.15 billion and won nearly 69,000 races. Fellow legends Bud Fritz and 93-year-old Keith Waples -- both of whom are retired from driving -- will also be on hand for an autograph session. O’Donnell said it’s nice the legends get along so well off the track. “We’ve always been comrades. The racing was competitive on the track, but we all get along, pretty much, in that age group,” O’Donnell said. O’Donnell was inducted into the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1990 -- the same year Campbell was also enshrined in Goshen, N.Y. -- Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1996. He was born in Springhill, Nova Scotia, a mining town of some 5,000 that is also the birthplace of Canada’s “Songbird,” Anne Murray. O’Donnell’s father, Henry -- better known as “Henny” -- was a coal miner and a part-time horseman. In 1958, when Bill was 10, the Springhill Mine Disaster claimed the lives of 75 men and led to the closure of the mine. That forced Henny to transfer to a mine in Cape Breton. Though the family moved, they still stayed in the harness racing game. Bill was exposed to the horses by his father and his uncle, Art Porter, from whom Bill took his blue, orange and white colors. In the summer of 1965, when he was 17, Bill moved to Toronto and worked as a groom for Ron Feagan. He went home to Nova Scotia for the school year before returning to Toronto in the summer of 1966 to work for Bill Wellwood. In 1967, O’Donnell went back to Nova Scotia, worked there a few years and then headed for New England as an assistant trainer for New Brunswick native and former Legends Day honoree Jim Doherty, who died in 2015. Bill stayed in New England for seven or eight years before poor purses forced him to pack up and move to Saratoga in New York. Only a few years passed before Bill moved to the Meadowlands in 1980. He stayed for two decades. The date of Aug. 16, 1984, still stands as Bill’s single greatest day in the business. That morning he set a world record driving trotting filly Fancy Crown at Springfield, Ill. Then Bill hopped on a plane back to Jersey where he won the Woodrow Wilson with Nihilator for a purse of more than $2.16 million, to this day still the richest harness purse in history. To top it off, he also won three of the four sizable Wilson consolation events. The win with Nihilator is widely considered the key moment harness racing changed from a sport of trainer/drivers to one in which trainers hired catch-drivers better skilled at getting the most out of horses. Legendary horseman Billy Haughton took himself off Nihilator -- arguably his greatest horse -- because he thought Bill O’Donnell would have more success. That same year, Bill set a record for driver earnings of $9,059,184. The next year, Bill became the sport’s first $10 million man while driving both Nihilator and 3-year-old champion colt trotter Prakas to single-season money-winning records. Prakas won the Hambletonian. Nihilator was the U.S. Horse of the Year. The brilliant son of Niatross won 23 of 25 starts, capturing every major stake offered and setting a then world record of 1:49.3 at The Meadowlands. Bill earned the reputation of excelling with trotters, even though he drove the fastest pacer ever -- Cambest -- in a 1:46.1 time trial in 1993 that stood for 23 years as the sport’s fastest mile until broken by Always Be Miki in 2016. Among the numerous Horse of the Year or divisional champions that Bill steered to victory are Little Brown Jug and Cane Pace champion Barberry Spur; Governor’s Cup and Presidential Pace winner Redskin; Camtastic, Valley Victory, Sweet Reflection, Cayster, Delinquent Account and Canadian Pacing Derby winners Artsplace and Staying Together, who also won the Breeders Crown. Bill said fans at Clinton Raceway often ask him about the horses he’s driven and Staying Together, owned by Robert Hamather of nearby Exeter, Ontario, comes up more than most. Today, Bill lives in Guelph, Ontario and is the president of the Central Ontario Standardbred Association that represents the horsepeople racing on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit. He said he is honored to hang up his colors at Clinton and be there when Campbell does the same. “I think it will be a big deal,” Bill said. “That’s where John started. That’s his area.” Clinton Raceway

It was a harness racing challenge in the truest form of the word. Down to the last race. A win by Trevor Henry on Charmbro Curiosity in race eight had him within three points of the winner, Doug McNair. McNair finished with a scratch , awarding him 10 points to take the challenge with a total of 146 points, over Trevor Henry's 143.    The 2016 Driver's Challenge Championship, marks the second win for McNair, his first in the Challenge coming in 2012. Final standings is the challenge were as follows,   Doug McNair 146 Trevor Henry 143 Bob McClure 125 Ryan Holliday 115 Jody Jamieson 100 Alfie Carroll 87 James MacDonald 70 Nick Steward 33   Driver's Nick Steward and Ryan Holliday also tied as Clinton Raceways Top Dash Winning Drivers with 21 wins in the 2016 season. Clinton resident Jim Watt was presented on track with the 2016 training title, with 11 wins on the season. (See photo)   Over the last 35 years the Clinton event has helped to raise over $290,000 for various charities. For the second year, the beneficiary has been the Royal Canadian Legion and through the generous donation of drivers fees, a 50/50, silent auction and Chicken BBQ another approx $6000 was added to that total this year.   The 12 race card ended with four divisions of Ontario Sires Stakes, three year old filly pacers.   The season closer was the best the Huron County oval has seen all season, a record attendance, and a handle of over $57,000 was a great way to end the 2016 live season.     Jessica Carnochan

SEPT. 4, 2016 - Clinton Raceway wrapped up its 2016 season with the 36th annual Driver's Challenge and the last regular season Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots event for the harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies. Although he did not win one of the four Grassroots divisions, driver Doug McNair earned the second Challenge title of his career, edging out rival Trevor Henry by three points. McNair's best Grassroots finish came in the first $18,000 division, when he guided Heavenly Bet to a runner-up effort behind Icthelight Hanover. Starting from Post 3, driver Jody Jamieson sent fan favourite Icthelight Hanover straight to the front and the filly rolled along through fractions of :28.3, :58.2 and 1:28 before hitting the wire two lengths on top in 1:57. Guelph, ON resident McNair and Heavenly Bet were second and Dancin Inthe Nude was third for driver James MacDonald. "That was the first time I've ever driven her, so it was a nice ride," said Moffat, ON resident Jamieson. "She handled the track real good and simply jogged." Jamieson piloted the daughter of Big Jim and Ifyoucouldcwhati C to her first sophomore Grassroots win for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and Determination of Montreal, QC. The win will give Icthelight Hanover an opportunity to extend her three-year-old Ontario Sires Stakes campaign through the Sept. 16 Grassroots Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack. The second Grassroots division went to fan favourite Maxim Seelster and driver Bob McClure, who also employed front-end tactics to secure the 1:57 victory. Local filly Top Royal, owned by trainer Heather Toll of Seaforth and Brydown Farms Inc. of Clinton, finished one and three-quarter lengths back in second with Phil Hudon in the race bike and McNair was third with More Than Many. "She was really very push button. She couldn't have had anything else go her way, she just had everything absolutely in her favour," said McClure, who crafted the Big Jim daughter's second Grassroots win for trainer Rene Bourassa of Fergus and M & S Stable Inc. of Rockwood, ON. "Also I think a bunch of them at the back got roughed up, but she had lots left coming to the wire, for sure." McClure enjoyed the Driver's Challenge, in spite of the fact that he did not take home the title. "It was a lot of fun; we all had a lot of fun. I think Doug cheated," said the Elora, ON resident with a laugh. "They had a big crowd too." A third front-end effort and another 1:57 result came in the next division for driver Phil Hudon and Glorious Delight. The filly cruised home two and one-half lengths ahead of McClure and Bettys Bay and McNair and Northern Prima. "I didn't know much about her so I took a shot leaving and landed front, had good fractions and everything worked out," said Guelph resident Hudon. "She seemed like a nice filly." Hudon piloted Glorious Delight to her second Grassroots victory for trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON and owner-breeder Emerald Highlands Farm of Mount Vernon, OH. Like Icthelight Hanover and Maxim Seelster, the Bettors Delight daughter will finish among the top 20 point earners and advance to the post season. The final Grassroots winner, Selling The Dream will also appear in the Sept. 16 Semi-final. In rein to Challenge runner-up Trevor Henry, Selling The Dream sat behind pacesetter Killean Finale through fractions of :27.3, :57 and 1:27 and then sprinted down the stretch to a head victory in 1:56. Killean Finale and Jason Ryan settled for second and James MacDonald piloted Trilife to third. Dean Wall conditions Badlands Hanover daughter Selling The Dream for Donald and Sheila Murray of Kincardine, ON. A Grassroots winner at two, Sunday's win was the filly's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action this season. The top 20 point earners from the six regular season Grassroots events will now begin preparations for the Sept. 16 Semi-finals. The top five finishers from each Semi-final earn a berth in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 24. Ontario Racing

CLINTON, Ontario . . . Eight of the best harness racing drivers in Canada will be at Clinton Raceway on the track's final program for the 2016 season, Sunday September 4. They will compete in the 36th Clinton Drivers' Championship, an annual fundraiser which has raised in excess of $290,000 since its inception in 1981.   "The charities we're supporting with the drivers' competition this year are the four area Legions, Clinton, Seaforth, Goderich and Brussels," explained Ian Fleming, the track's General Manager. "The Legions are an important aspect of every community and I think it's good for racing to support them."   "I'm always happy to win," said Trevor Henry after winning his third Drivers' Championship at Clinton last year, "but the real winners here are the veterans and the local legions that are working to support them. I know we're all happy to come out and drive to support them."   Henry, who currently sits second among all drivers in Canada this year for money won with $3.2 million in purses to date, will be looking to defend his title this year. Clinton's top driver for many years, Henry went over the 6,000 mark in races won earlier in 2016.   Should Henry win the 2016 Drivers' Championship he'll tie with Dave Wall and Jody Jamieson for the most wins in the competition at four. Jamieson, who is perennially in the top 10 drivers in Canada in money and races won, will be looking for his fifth Championship trophy. Named Canada's Driver of the Year three times in his career, Jody has 7,400 wins and $116 million earned to date.   Jamieson and Henry will be joined by two other talented WEG drivers, Doug McNair and James MacDonald and they'll square off against the top two drivers at Clinton, Nick Steward and Ryan Holliday, along with Canada's top two drivers in terms of races won so far this year, Alfie Carroll and Bob McClure.   Steward and Holliday have both made 80 starts at Clinton's half-mile oval so far this year raking up 19 and 17 trips to the winner's circle respectively. Steward is on track for a career year with a total of 161 wins so far in 2016 for just under a million in purse earnings. He's just four wins shy of 1,500 lifetime wins. Holliday meanwhile just achieved a career milestone of $5 million in purses in his career.   Carroll and McClure are two of the country's busiest (and winningest) drivers. Carroll has competed in 1,737 races so far this year while McClure has sat behind 1,423 horses in races to date in 2016. Their hard work has been rewarded as they have more wins than any of their rivals this year. Carroll has 375 trips to the winner's circle while McClure has 305. The third place driver is distanced with 215 victories.   In addition, the pair are the top two drivers at three of Ontario's racetracks - Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway and Flamboro Downs. When Western Fair's meet ended in May Carroll was their number one driver followed by Steward and McClure.   All of the drivers participating will be donating their fees to the fundraiser which will also be boosted by a silent auction, draws and a BBQ chicken dinner. The card also includes Ontario Sires Stakes races for three-year-old pacing fillies.   The final card of racing at Clinton Raceway for 2016 promises to be a great one with the country's leading drivers in attendance, very talented stakes horses performing and a fundraiser for a very worthwhile cause. First race post is 1:30 p.m.   Jessica Carnochan

AUGUST 21, 2016 - Driver Phil Hudon captured a pair of Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions at Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon, guiding three-year-old trotting geldings Tough Get Going and Magic Missions to victory on the half-mile oval's 70th anniversary harness racing card. Starting from Post 6 in the third $18,000 Grassroots division with Tough Get Going, Hudon fired the trotter to the front, reaching the quarter in :29. The pair led the field of seven to a :59 half and a 1:30 three-quarters and then held on in the stretch to score a one-half length victory in 2:01.4. Willyorwonthe finished second and fan favourite Bow Ties N Bourbon recovered from an early break in stride to be third. "He raced great," said Hudon of his first trip behind Tough Get Going. "Just went to the front, trotted nice and was able to hold of Bill Megens' trotter (Willyorwonthe). He seems like a nice a trotter." James McEachern conditions Tough Get Going for Asa Farm of Norwood and Gary Smith of Ennismore, ON. Sunday's win was the Kadabra gelding's first in Grassroots action this season and boosted his sophomore record to two wins, one second and one third in 10 starts for earnings of $14,377. In the fourth division Hudon and Magic Missions left from Post 2 and landed on the rail behind early pacesetter Holiday Party. As Holiday Party was pressed through fractions of :29, :58 and 1:29.4, Hudon and Magic Missions waited patiently for their opportunity, which came as the colts squared up in the stretch. Hudon eased Magic Missions into an open lane and the gelding powered by the leader to a three-quarter length victory in 2:00, the fastest mile of the five Grassroots divisions. Holiday Party settled for second and Wildwild Men overcame an early error to grab the third-place finisher's share. "Magic Missions seems to be getting better each start," noted Hudon. "He's still green and the trip worked out perfectly; they raced up front and I sat the two-hole and was able to get out and win by a little bit." Hudon drives Magic Missions for trainer Bill Budd of Waterdown and his partners Macks Stable and Joe Carnovale of Stoney Creek, ON. The Manofmanymissions gelding has made just six starts this season and Sunday's effort marked his first lifetime win. Budd added trotting hopples to Magic Missions' equipment bag after his first two sophomore starts, and the gelding has not missed a cheque since the addition. "The hopples helped Magic," said Hudon. "They just steady him a little bit, for sure." With their victories, both Tough Get Going and Magic Missions jumped up the point standings and have a shot at the Grassroots Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 16. The three-year-old trotting colts have two more regular season starts remaining, Aug. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack and Sept. 7 at Grand River Raceway, where they can pad their point tallies. Gonna Fly took the first division at Clinton on Sunday and moved into second spot in the division standings with 125 points earned through two wins and one second in the first three regular season events. Iona Station, ON resident Alfie Carroll piloted the Kadabra colt to the 2:01 victory that saw him reel in the leaders through the final quarter and roll home to a four and one-half length victory over favourite Midnight Toker and Ulysses Bi. Windsor resident Bob McIntosh conditions Gonna Fly for his partner Earl Hill, Jr. of Ohsweken, ON. In nine sophomore starts the colt now has three wins and two seconds for earnings of $35,900. The second division went to Dynamic Edge and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr., who led through fractions of :30.1, 1:02 and 1:32 and then battled down the stretch to a head victory in 2:02. Defi Normand and V For Victory finished second and third. Campbellville resident Christoforou crafted the win for trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph and his partner, numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. The win was the first of the season for the Muscle Mass gelding, who was the runner-up in the Grassroots Championship at two. The final Grassroots division went to Rose Run Rudi, who got a perfect pocket trip behind pacesetter Terrain Seelster, and then accelerated down the stretch to a two and one-quarter length victory in 2:03.4. Terrain Seelster had to settle for second and Galaxy completed the top three. Thornton resident Steve Byron engineered the win for trainer David Byron of Thornton and his partners James Cantelon of Thornton, David Cantelon of Bolton and Craig Wallwin of Barrie, ON. Through 10 starts the Manofmanymissions gelding has two wins, one of them in Grassroots action, one second and one third for earnings of $25,744. In addition to the five Grassroots divisions, Clinton Raceway marked its 70th anniversary with a cake and a commemorative race. Two original members of the Clinton Turf Club, Bruce Dupee and Harold (Hoot) Gibbings, were on hand to present an anniversary cooler to Race 6 winner Toureg Seelster and his connections exactly 70 years to the day after harness racing first made its debut in Clinton. Lorne House of Ingersoll guided Toureg Seelster to the 2:00 victory for trainer Peter Brickman and owner Erin Swainson Brickman of Sebringville, ON. Also participating in the 70th anniversary celebrations were members of the Huron Heat Female Hockey Association. Through a 50/50 draw, bake sale and Pork Chop BBQ the organization was able to raise just over $4,600 for team jerseys for their first season. Two Sundays remain on Clinton Raceway's 2016 schedule and the Ontario Sires Stakes will help wrap things up at the half-mile oval on Sept. 4. The three-year-old pacing fillies will make their final Grassroots regular season stop as part of the racetrack's 36th annual Driver's Charity Challenge in support of the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. For more information visit Ontario Racing

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