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Saturday's Hanover Raceway card includes Ontario's second-ever monte/RUS race with pari-mutuel wagering. Seven women from Canada and Norway will compete in race three on the card. Among the competing trotters will be Radical Dreamer, a monte recent winner at Clinton Raceway in 2:04.4h. The five-year-old son of Majestic Son-Paidindreams-Royal Strenght is owned by Ron O'Neill of Cambridge and Doug Millard of Woodstock and will be ridden by Marit Valstad. He is a career winner of US$89,791 (sulky and monte) with 12 career victories and a record of 3, 1:58.4f. Race 3 - Hanover Raceway July 26, 2014 Trot, purse C$2,200 (EX, TR) RACING UNDER SADDLE (CANADIAN/NORWEGIAN CHALLENGE) Post time: 07:51 P.M. Horses Entered: 7 (Horse, Rider, Trainer, ML Odds) 1 Callie Magoo, G Berg, J Braid, 7/1 2 Radical Dreamer, M Valstad, R O'Neill, 9/5 3 King Trut, S Town, P Shepherd, 9/2 4 Charlie Tuna, B Kennedy, J Yake, 10/1 5 Tragically Shipp, A Aursand, L Watson, 3/1 6 Dayplanner, V Amundsen, J Walker, 2/1 7 Hetties Honey, A Humphris, M Macri, 7/2 Hanover Raceway will also play host to 'Wanna Drive?' on Saturday evening. Fans will get a chance to drive a racehorse around the Hanover oval between races thanks to the Hands On Horses Program. byThomas H. Hicks, for Monte America      

After crossing Canada in April and May of 2014, Bike 7650 will end its fundraising goal as a part of Clinton Raceway's Family day event, Sunday August 10 from 1:30-4:00pm. The brother and sister duo from Londesboro ON, set out from Vancouver, B.C. on Sunday April 13, 2014 and made the 45 day trek across Canada, covering 7650kms in a variety of weather all in the name of Canadian Tire's Jumpstart Program. The goal was to raise one dollar for every kilometer biked, never did they imagine they would end up raising in excess of $38,000, giving kids in this area a sporting chance. The event coincides with Clinton Raceway's Family and Fan Appreciation day. There will be plenty of activities during the live race card. Will and Claire will be on site for a meet and greet and to say "Thank You" to all of those who have contributed to their success. A Jumpstart representative will say a few words of thanks, and local Canadian Tire owners will be on hand to show their appreciation as well. Piller's will be giving out free hot dogs, along with face painting, a bouncy castle, mascot race and more. Part of the day will include a Loonie Raffle for both a girls and boys bike. Tickets are just $1 each and all monies raised will be added to Bike 7650's fundraising efforts. Post time for the days live race card is 1:30pm with events wrapping up at 4:00pm. by Jessica Carnochan, for Clinton Raceway  

Not even Mother Nature's fury could keep fans from attending Georgian Downs' Family Day experience last weekend. Despite dark clouds and a few raindrops fans lined up to enjoy miniature pony racing, bouncy castles, mini golf and rides around the track with a standardbred racehorse. In fact, the sign-up list to hop in the double-seated jog cart for a tour of the oval was filled in less than a half hour. People came from all over to take part in the fun, including one family that came straight from a Blue Jays game earlier that day. "We were rushing checking the time hoping that we wouldn't miss our chance to ride behind a racehorse," said Stacey Marchand. When asked if it was worth the rush she said, "Yes! It was great, but it goes by a lot quicker than you think - probably because you don't want the ride to end." Al Whiteside, a newcomer to the track, learned of the event via a radio promotion. "I won my chance to ride with a horse on the radio and my friend's wife tried to trade me my ride for concert tickets because she loves horses that much," said Whiteside. Over forty racing fans - young and old - enjoyed the adrenaline rush of sitting behind a racehorse for the first time, and for each of them it was an experience they won't soon forget. For your chance to drive a racehorse here are events coming up at a track near you: Saturday, July 26 - Hanover Raceway (Hanover) Saturday, August 2 - Hiawatha Horse Park (Sarnia) Friday, August 8 - Grand River Raceway (Elora) Sunday, August 10 - Dresden Raceway (Dresden) Friday, August 29 - Grand River Raceway (Elora) Saturday, August 31 - Clinton Raceway (Clinton) For photos from Georgian Downs' Family Day event, by Stacey Reinsma, for Hands On Horses Program      

Harness racing father and son trainer and driver teams combined to win the final two $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies this afternoon at Clinton Raceway. Both duos won their respective events with a daughter of Mach Three, the fastest of which was Wicked Speed. With Scott Young in the sulky for trainer, co-owner and dad Bob Young, the diminutive lass went gate to wire in :30, 1:00, 1:30.2 and stopped the clock in 1:59 over Brilliant Idea and Hurricane Trina. It was the second straight win in as many lifetime starts for Wicked Speed who made her debut in an overnight at Clinton last Sunday where she won by five lengths to earn $2,000. That effort combined with today’s winnings find the filly paid for as she cost $10,000 at last year’s Lexington Select Sale for Bob Young of Guelph, Ontario and partner Marsha Sugarman of Status Stables, Ma. Young noted that the filly’s price was likely as a result of her stature. “She’s grown quite a bit since we got her and I think she’ll grow more by the time she’s three. She has a big, powerful rear end on her. She wears a fairly long hopple, 57 1/2 inches and no boots. “She’s done everything right from day one. She’s got tons of brains and likes her work,” he praised. Doug McNair was at the lines for dad Gregg in the fourth division with Mach Denali who managed to win by more than two lengths despite suffering interference just past the three-quarters when the lead filly made a break. Mach Denali was home in 2:01 over Jinglewriter and Ok Heartbeat. Gregg McNair, also of Guelph, shares ownership of the filly with Tony Lawrence and William Brown of Hanover and Paul Kidd from Guelph. This was the first lifetime win for the filly in three tries. Doug McNair also piloted the fastest winner on this afternoon’s card, Kastie Snoops who tripped the timer in 1:58.4. Tony O’Sullivan trains the Sportswriter filly, a half-sister to $573,000 winner Dalhousie Dave, for owner/breeder John Fielding of Toronto. The other two divisions were captured by Stonebridge Quest (Camluck) and Trevor Henry in 2:00.4 and Chase The Shadows (Shadow Play) with Ryan Holliday up in 1:59. The next Grassroots test for this group will be at Mohawk on August 11. To view the complete results from today’s card, please click Clinton Results - July 20. Ontario Sire Stakes

Five RUS ladies and their trotters descended on the Huron County oval Sunday afternoon to partake in the very first Racing Under Saddle Wagering Event in North American RUS history. It was a gate to wire victory for rider Sarah E Town and five year old mare Radical Dreamer, clocking a time of 2:04.4 but only after a photo to determine the winner. Dayplanner, trained by Julie Walker, and ridden by Marit Valstad was a close second, with Twin B Excalibur and rider Evelyn Harms rounding out the triactor. "What a huge privilege it was to win this race" states Town, "I want to make a mention that second place finisher Marit Valstad won with this horse last week at Mohawk and had another great race this week". Town is looking forward to the rest of the season riding with RUS. The next scheduled Racing Under Saddle event is set for Georgian Downs on July 19. Ex Blue Jay Kelly Gruber was also on hand to greet racing and baseball fans of all ages as part of a fundraiser for the Clinton Minor Baseball Association. Two tickets were auctioned off to the highest bidder (Shannon Henry) to any destination that Air Canada flies. LH Hollys Cam in the fifth took home the lions share of the purse for owner Lois Anderson of Clinton, trainer Robert Anderson and driven to the wire by Ryan Holliday. Ontario Sires Stakes action makes its first appearance at Clinton Raceway for the 2014 season on Sunday July 20, with two year old filly pacers, and celebrates it's 40th Anniversary. Fill'er Up at Clinton Raceway with free coolie cups, anniversary cake, the chance to win $50 gas cards after each OSS race on the day's card, as well as OSS T-shirts and hats all afternoon on the Super Sunday Show! Post time 1:30pm by Jessica Carnochan, for Clinton Raceway  

On Saturday July 12, at new Meadowlands, Orange Bigi (6f SJ's Caviar-Emerald City-Donerail) qualified in 2:01 for Sofia Fredlund and trainer Joe Hanney. The same day, at Saratoga Harness, a monte/RUS exhibition was staged that drew an eight horse field. The top two finishers were a nose apart in the 2:04.4h contest with Jessie Say More (4g Jailhouse Jessie-Need We Say More-Super Ben Joe) securing the victory for Michelle Crawford and trainer Frank Davis. Tymal Oh So Nice with Heather Reese aboard was second with Admirable Hanover and Jennifer Conner third, ten lengths back. Action continues Sunday July 13th at Ocean Downs with a three horse field battling for a $6,000 purse. The field consists of CJ's Crown (Caroline Green), Flowing James (Tara Hynes) and Truth In Action (Karen Isbell). In Ontario, at Clinton Raceway, their monte event is the first on the regular card with pari-mutuel wagering. Five trotters will contest this event for a purse of $2,200 and it's race #2 on the afternoon program. The field includes Charlie Tuna (B. Kennedy), Twin B Excalibur (E. Harms), Dayplanner (M. Valstad), Radical Dreamer (S. Town) and Shipps Xceptional (J. Fenwick). On Monday July 14 the NY RUS Series continues at Waterloo. Race #5 is a three-horse monte event for a purse of $530 with the field consisting of Kash Now (Michelle Miller), Striking Mystery (Jennifer Lowrey) and John-michael (tba). Rapid Strategy (9g King Conch-Rapid Sahbra-Master Willie) with owner/trainer Lindsey Blackler aboard in this 2:08k score July 5 at Goshen Historic Track on Hall of Fame day. Admirable Hanover and Jennifer Conner finished second. by Thomas H. Hicks, for  

The three-year-old pacing filly Her Own Land and driver James MacDonald kicked off the Kin Pace elimination round on Sunday afternoon with a 1:55 track record performance at Clinton Raceway. MacDonald also drove Skippin By to victory lane in another $8,000 elimination while driver Doug McNair doubled up with a pair of homebred fillies Can Art and Born To Dream. With the inside post advantage in the afternoon's opener, favourite Her Own Land set up shop on the front end and carved out panels of :27.4, :57.4 and 1:26.2 before holding off the late-rallying Shadows Wonder (Trevor Henry) for the half-length victory. Haute Couture (Alfie Carroll) finished seven and a half lengths behind in third. Fresh off a career-best 1:54 victory in her last start in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots at Mohawk Racetrack on June 19, Her Own Land now has two wins in six starts this year. She is trained by David Menary and owned by Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Her Own Land was just a $2,000 Canadian Yearling Sale purchase, who now boasts $27,660 in purses and is the favourite heading into next weekend's $65,800 stake final. To view the rest of the story click here.

Clinton Raceway presented its fans with a 10-race program on Sunday afternoon, and driver Trevor Henry dominated the card thanks to five trips to victory lane. Henry, a resident of Arthur, Ontario, clicked with Eyes Of A Fool (2:01.2) in Race 2 to get the ball rolling, and he returned to take the checkered flag in Race 4 with P L Dangerous (1:56.4). Henry He came right back to take Race 6 with Twin B Gangster (2:02.4), and followed it up with a triumph in Race 8 with Pacific Oak (1:55). Henry did his final happy dance in Race 9 with Ricky Bobby (1:59). To view the rest of this story click here.

Hot, Hot, Hot that was the word of the day at Clinton Raceway this Sunday. Plenty of live racing action on track, and winning off track for the large crowd on hand as the fourth week of Clinton Raceway's 2014 live season got under way. Father's and their children of all ages, from all over South-western Ontario made their way to Clinton on another beautiful sunny day. The Super Sunday Show had give-aways between each race to keep them entertained, and the horses didn't disappoint with great on track action. Race two was a battle at the wire between the five, Decroft Havaball, and six Talkin Foolish. It was Decroft Havaball that managed the win for Clinton Trainer Randy Marriage for owner Clarence Dekens of Clinton, and driven to victory by Trevor Henry Ninette B, for Jane Kerr of Goderich (trained by Denis Kerr) and Kittykittybangbang, for Lema Chapple of Wingham rounded out the triactor in the fourth race on the days card, while fourth post Torches Angel trained by Peter Hamilton and owned by Catherine McClure of Clinton managed a second place finish is the second last race of the day. The final race on the card, was a battle in the stretch as Live For Today, owned by Catherine & Darcy McClure of Clinton, and trained by Darcy edged out a second place Albergetty. An on track attendance of over 550 and handle just shy of $24,000 was recorded. The fun and racing continues at Clinton Raceway Sunday June 22 with the ever popular miniature exhibition horse race on track, with a meet and greet with the horses. Live race post time 1:30pm. All the details can be found at by Jessica Carnochan, for Hanover Raceway  

There will be live harness racing as scheduled this Sunday June 1 at 1:30pm at Clinton Raceway.   The 160th Annual Clinton Spring Fair comes to town June 5-8, resulting in no live racing on Sunday June 8.   Live racing will return Sunday June 15 at 1:30pm.   visit for complete season details.   by Jessica Carnochan, for Clinton Raceway  

It couldn't have been a better day for the races this past Sunday at Clinton Raceway. The 2014 live season has gotten off to a great start with great weather, and great racing at the Huron County oval. The camera crew was busy with a slew of photo finishes, making for an exciting afternoon on the betting front. Big payoffs in the triactor pool were great for the handicapping contest that was run during the weekly Super Sunday Show. Race one had a triactor of local horses with a first place finish for owner/trainer Kevin Campbell of Goderich with Nics Regal Lass, a second place for Carlynda Hanover, owned by Jim Watt of Clinton, and trained by Jamie Wilson. Rounding out the tri was In La La Love, owned by Lois and Verdun Vanstone and trained by Verdun of Goderich. The first dead heat of the season was contested in race two of the day, Cat Four and Jackstan were inseparable at the wire. Ella Mint had a gate to wire finish of 1:59 in race 4 with a new lifetime best for owner/trainer Colonel Schneider Jr from Arthur On, driven to victory by Bruce Richardson. It was a challenge at the half, but Live For Today managed to sneak in at the wire for the win in race five. Owned by Catherine and Darcy McClure, trained by Darcy, and driven by Bruce Richardson. Standardbred Canada and I love Canadian Harness Racing members were treated to a great pork bbq lunch trackside and three lucky winner's walked away with great prizes! Alex Strathdee is off to the Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk with three friends, Scott Bell is headed to the Molson Pace at the Raceway in the Western Fair District and Jerry Porter will be returning to Clinton for the 34th Annual Charity Driver's Challenge on August 31. Live harness racing returns to Clinton Raceway Sunday June 8, with a 50 plus day at the races! Guests can register in advance for this great afternoon of racing by calling Jessica Carnochan 519.955.6820 or email post time is 1:30pm all summer long! by Jessica Carnochan, for Clinton Raceway

Race fans were treated to another fantastic opening day at Clinton Raceway! The weather was great, and the crowds were out in full force for the first of the 15 Sunday's in the 2014 live harness season. The winning was hot both on and off the track. Race fans had the chance to win a 55" Samsung TV, courtesy of Groves TV & Appliance in Clinton. The lucky winner, Ilene Scott, of Port Elgin, chose her horse (Fit For Will) because her husbands name is Will - it worked! Illene took home the grand prize. Central Huron Secondary School was on site, raising funds for their 2014 challenge day fundraiser in the fall of 2014. A great success, raising over $1000 for the event in November. "We've made some significant changes to the grandstand" states Ian Fleming, track General Manager. "It's become even fan friendlier". New paint, new TV's, opening up the food and bar area, new stairs to the grandstand and a new customer service area are just a few of the changes made this spring. There are more to come in the next month, new pavement in the parking lot and the addition of bucket seats in the grandstand are on the agenda. The Super Sunday Show was back on track-side, with the addition of some new games, and lots of fun between the races to keep fans entertained. Live harness racing returns to the Huron County Oval Sunday May 24 with the Standardbred Canada Appreciation day, the chance to win three great prizes to the Molson Pace in London, The Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk and the 34th Annual Charity Driver's Challenge at Clinton Raceway. The event includes a pork bbq, program and betting voucher for only $10 (Standardbred Canada/I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club Members). Register in advance for this great event by calling 519.955.6820. Live race post time is 1:30pm All Summer Long by Jessica Carnochan, for Clinton Raceway  

The excitement in harness racing starts to build as the starting car drives into position and the gates fan out engaging the horses to approach. During that time, the Starter announces to the drivers to approach and the race is about to kick off! Brad Pittock of The Raceway at Western Fair, (located in London, ON) is the Starter who prides himself on fairness and always keeping in mind safety at all times. Whenever the starting car moves into position, Brad like all starters faces the field and is also the eyes for the driver of the starting car, notifying him of any horses nearby if and when the cars has to make any turns. Brad watches as each horse approaches ensuring everyone is aware of the timing. The starter must also control the tempo using a joystick as an accelerator, (which is connected to the driver's foot accelerator), to increase the starting car's velocity while on his left side there is a switch to open and close the gates. "I operate the speed of the car around the turn" explains Brad. "It is pretty much like a golf swing, you continue to pick up speed around the turn and ideally when you get to the start, you're flowing away from (the field). You don't want to bring them up to the start and just take off... this way the horses can come out on their best foot and follow through." Yes there is a driver in the front seat who steers, but it's the Starter who must ensure there is fairness by maintaining a gradual rise in speed so all horses leave the gate together. The Starter keeps an eye out for any broken equipment and is in constant communication with the judges pending any inquiries after the race and if a horse is required to go to the test barn after each race. The Starter must relay all information clearly to the horsemen, so everyone is aware and not caught off guard. Communication is of vital importance as any hiccup not only affects the horses and horsemen, but the betting public as well. Brad announces through his microphone to the drivers at one minute intervals starting when there is three minutes to post. "I say three minutes, two minutes, one minute and when we get to the middle of the track that is the official call (to post). There is a horn and a light, what I will do is hit the horn and turn on the light and that is called by the rule book the 'official call' and then I will see the horses coming my way." Brad says. "Generally if there is a scratch in the race, when they're coming up I will give a verbal (announcement) as to what the scratches are." Brad notes, "they're very aware, but if a driver is in every race, he may not know (there is a scratch). A 'scratch' means a horses has been pulled out of the race after the program has been released. A horse can be scratched for various reasons, primarily the reason is due to the horse being sick or the racetrack Veterinarian doesn't feel the horse is fit enough to race. "I've had my starter's license for 14 years" says Brad. "I originally started in Hanover and I've also filled in at Flamboro Downs. I've also worked at Woodstock and at Grand River when Grand River first started. I've been here (at Western Fair) for the last eight years and I work at Clinton Raceway as well." By doing so, Brad has a year round job as a starter as Western Fair races from September to May and Clinton Raceway conducts live racing from June through August. Brad also trains two horses on the side. Brad went to Seneca College for the Harness Horse Industry Operation program that was taught by well known trainer Benjamin Wallace. "I also worked down in the States for a few years for a buddy who (learned) his trade under Linda Tuscano." Brad explains. "I've also worked for a couple different barns training horses and then had a public stable. More recently, probably the last twelve years I've just had a couple horses myself and do the starting for a living." Brad's personality suits his career as he's always conscientious about others and their well being. "I want to be able to give everybody an opportunity to make a living with their horses" says Brad and this is his motivation for every race. Aside from looking out for everyone's interest, Brad took the Starter's role as a means to make a living as well as training horses. Brad taking care of his own needs helps facilitate the needs of others in an honest and moral way. "You want to make sure the public has a fair and equitable opportunity for their dollar and give them a good chance. Also with my horse background I know how tough it is to make a living owning horses and training horses... it is a strength for me to be conscientious for others to make a living." Every track Brad works at has a different driver. So being able to work cohesively with as many people possible is a major aspect for Brad to ensure everything from his standpoint runs in a fluid manner. "It's a partnership for sure" says Brad. Every race needs someone like Brad, someone who cares for everyone! Brad enjoys taking fans in the starting car for a great experience, a view unlike any other. To see the horses, nostrils flaring in eager anticipation, going into full step as the starting car pulls away is second to none. The only people with a better view are the harness drivers themselves. At Western Fair, the car pulls away going into the first turn and sitting to Brad's right give you a full view action of the horses battling for position going into the turn and you are able to get a full view on the back end as the horses come out of the first turn. Even better, with Western Fair being a half mile track, as the starting car sits in the far side away from the grandstand, you're able to witness the thrill of the drivers making moves to the outside as they gear up for the final 1/2 mile coming out of the third turn. This is where key decision making comes into play by the drivers and ultimately having a major factor in outcome. If you're interested in riding along in the starting car, be sure to check with the Racing Manager at Western Fair, Greg Blanchard. If and when it is possible, Greg would be sure to have you enjoy the experience of a lifetime along with Brad. The ride does get bumpy so be sure to hold on! By: Roderick Balgobin  Twitter: ScSupernova

The harness racing community is vast and full of tremendous people. Just when you think you've met all of the greatest people possible, you are pleasantly surprised by another decent, down to earth and humble individual. Harness racing has to be one of the classiest sports out of all, including all the major sports. Garrett Rooney is a humble and respectful person who has been driving horses for the past ten years. Garrett mainly drives at Hanover Raceway, Clinton Raceway and Grand River Raceway through the summer racing season. During the winter months as the majority of tracks close, Garrett spends his time working with horses at the farm. Currently, Garrett is working 6 days a week with Trevor Henry and his stable of horses. In previous years, during the winter racing season, Garrett would drive more at tracks like Western Fair Raceway. However with all the turmoil caused by the provincial government resulting in fewer horses and less races due to cut backs, Garrett has not been able to drive as much as he would of like to. "You get the top 15 drivers at the track every day; you are going to get shuffled to the back of the bus. Some trainers I worked with had 5 or more horses, now they have one or two and take the winter off." From a young age, Garrett knew he wanted to drive horses and through high school, whenever he wasn't at class, he was at the farm learning and working hard. Garrett's dad (Merv) was a mechanic and his mom (Brenda) was a bank manager, but lucky for Garrett, his family friends were the Henry's and Richardson's so making the idea of working with horses possible and ideal. "My dad coached both Trevor Henry and Bruce Richardson in minor league hockey." Garrett says. "Our families have always been close. My grandfather (Bob Morrison) and uncle (Art Morrison) had horses too." Bruce Richardson's dad, Brian drove horses for Garrett's grandfather. Garrett trained his first horse when he was only 16 and the name of that horse, For Your Approval. "He won 3 or 4 races at Woodbine for me. He was doing alright for us and we didn't buy him for much either. We lost him in a $15,000 claimer, but we only bought him for $2500 so that wasn't too bad." Garrett's first drive was roughly ten years ago aboard a horse for Trevor Henry at Hanover Raceway, (Hanover, ON). "I qualified the horse and Trevor told me, this can be my first drive. My first win was in Hanover to, the horses name was Second Chances." To win a race with a horse of that name is quite cool. Some of the names Standardbred horses are given are so creative and fun. At times whimsical. "I started getting into horses when I was around 12 years old. It started out as a summer job and I got more and more into it. Then it became something I wanted to do" explains Garrett. The idea of entering into a different career never crossed Garrett's mind. "I never thought of doing anything else, when I was a kid I'd always go to the races with my parents, and I'd say I want to drive horses for a living... it's something I've always liked and wanted to do." Garrett's outlook is very positive, he's hoping to train more horses and one day have a stable to call his own. Garrett is currently training a 2-year-old trotter named Federal and hopes to have him race in the Ontario Sire Stakes series. As well, even though Garrett has been driving horses for ten years, he'd like to drive more often where and when he can. "It's kind of changed, now a driver text and messages trainers for drives, it's more PR work. You can be more aggressive that way to pick up drives. Before you'd just go to the track and pick up qualifiers and make your connections there." Garrett says. "Now you have to be your own agent, but you don't want to step on anyone's toes." Now that is respect for your colleagues. We all work to be number one in anything we set out to achieve, but knowing where to draw the line is something not everyone understands, but Garrett does. "My parents always supported me, for sure" says Garrett. "I have two older brothers (Darryl & Brad) and we all played hockey, sometimes we'd all be playing hockey on the same night and there's only two parents and three different places to go to and my mom didn't have a drivers license. They always got us to the rink or wherever we were going." "Now mom and dad, there isn't a Saturday night in Hanover they do not miss when I'm driving there." Garrett says, "It gives them something to do.... I'm not sure what they would do if I wasn't doing this, I'd think they would get pretty bored." In his ten years of driving horses, there was one drive that Garrett will never forget. "I'll always remember the one drive I had with this one horse. I kind of got locked in with him along the rail and he was a big strong horse and I couldn't hang on. I was all over the guy in front of me and my arms were pretty well rubber. I couldn't hold him and had to get him out so I jerked him out and interfered and crashed and banged into everyone." "I will always remember that" says Garrett. "It was a scary feeling and having nowhere to go. No one was hurt and I didn't really hit anybody, kind of more just pushed some guys out of the way so I could get out of the way... that was a real learning moment for me." Garrett is grateful to Trevor Henry and the entire Henry family for teaching him so much about the sport of harness racing. Bruce Richardson is another person Garrett is grateful for always being there for him. "You learn a lot from those guys and their experiences." Garrett acknowledges. Asking Garrett what he would do if he could do anything with a week away from horse racing and money was not an issue, Garrett said he would like to visit Las Vegas as he's never been there. Garrett would love to get into some card games while in Vegas. That's one thing Garrett enjoys, playing card games, whether it be poker, euchre, crib or gin, you name the game and he's in. Hanover Raceway will be opening up for the 2014 season on Saturday June 7th with a post time of 7:15pm. Be sure to see Garrett in action and grab an autograph. By: Roderick Balgobin Twitter: ScSupernova

It was no April Fools' Day prank as today the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) announced its decision in regard to the race-date applications for the nine Standardbred racetracks in the province. The ORC has announced the approved race dates for Woodbine Racetrack, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Rideau Carleton Raceway, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway. On Monday, March 31, the ORC released the proposed race dates for the period: April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, for almost all of the province’s racetracks. To view a list of the proposed race dates, click here. The ORC's release regarding approved dates explains that the live race date schedules for other racetracks will be announced as their agreements are finalized. The ORC release appears below. ORC approves Ontario Race Dates for 2014 and beyond Notice of Director’s decision regarding 2014 Race Dates The Director of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) today announced the decision regarding the schedule of live race dates for 2014 for certain racetracks. Following the successful conclusion of agreements, the following racetracks were in a position to commit to their race date schedule for the remainder of 2014: Woodbine Mohawk Western Fair Flamboro Downs Georgian Downs Grand River Rideau Carleton Clinton Hanover The live race date schedules for other racetracks will be announced as their agreements are finalized. Agreements were possible due to government’s commitment to provide funds to horse racing to support the industry`s efforts to grow its business. This five-year commitment has allowed for the negotiation of long term agreements which secure this schedule of race dates for each of the next five years. The Director confirms and approves the schedule of race dates for the 2014 as follows: APPLICANT – 1st quarter (prior approved) – Remaining dates – Total dates Woodbine Racetrack Standardbred (Premier) – 37 – 71 – 108 Thoroughbred (Premier) – 0 – 133 – 133 Mohawk Racetrack Standardbred (Premier) – 0 – 102 – 102 Western Fair Standardbred (Signature) – 38 – 87 – 125 Flamboro Downs Standardbred (Signature) – 52 – 94 – 146 Georgian Downs Standardbred (Signature) - 0 – 40 – 40 Grand River Raceway Standardbred (Signature) - 0 – 48 – 48 Rideau Carleton Raceway Standardbred (Signature) - 14 – 78 – 92 Clinton Raceway Standardbred (Grassroots) - 0 – 15 – 15 Hanover Raceway Standardbred (Grassroots) - 0 – 16 – 16 In accordance with Policy Directive 3-2007, all other race date calendars are approved, but are subject to change where a racetrack operator or other interested party makes an application to vary the approved dates, which will be considered based on the strengths of the business plans submitted and the industry funding available. The Director has been moving forward to implement the components of the five-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan (HRPP), as approved by the Ontario government. Announcements have been made awarding Woodbine Entertainment Group as the single teletheatre operator under a procurement process that is now complete. Revenue earned from the teletheatre network will be used for the benefit of the Centralized Racetracks, which include Woodbine, Mohawk, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Western Fair, Grand River, Clinton, Hanover and Ajax Downs. Additionally announcements have been made designating WEG as the single telephone account betting operator, where revenue earned will be used for the benefit of the Centralized Racetracks. Operation of regional racetracks and the related purses will be funded through a mix of on-track wagering and Horse Racing Partnership Funding Program funds. Please be advised that you or any other aggrieved party have the right to appeal the Director’s decision to the Commission. From Steve Lehman, Executive Director for the Ontario Racing Commission

The Ontario Horse Racing division of the Ontario Racing Commission has provided the Premier of Ontario and the province's Minister of Agriculture & Food, Kathleen Wynne with this update on the progress in implementing the five-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan. While the announcement does not include a racing calendar, it does officially announce the Ontario alliance tracks. The Honourable Kathleen Wynne Minister of Agriculture and Food Government of Ontario Dear Minister, I am pleased to provide a further update on progress in implementing the Ontario Horse Racing Partnership Plan. Under your direction, the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) and its business development division – Ontario Horse Racing (OHR) – have been tasked with building a racing calendar for Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Quarter Horses. The Partnership Plan supports Ontario’s proud legacy of Standardbred racing and the thousands of jobs across the province with three distinct components; - Traditional summer grassroots racing in rural Ontario. - A long racing season at Rideau-Carleton Raceway. - A year round circuit of top quality racing at eight core tracks. While a robust Standardbred racing industry requires all three components, the cornerstone of the program is year-round, world-class racing that will attract a global audience and increase its fan base and wagering revenues. To ensure a circuit of high quality racing is coordinated for the benefit of horsepersons and horseplayers, I am pleased to inform you that eight racetracks - Clinton Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Hanover Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District and Woodbine Racetrack - have united in a world-leading alliance. This innovative and cooperative racing alliance has collectively determined there is greater benefit for the industry as a whole in working together to capitalize and succeed in presenting Ontario Standardbred racing to a global audience. We have recently completed an agreement with the alliance tracks and are now ready to engage in discussions with horsepersons groups as the final step in preparation for an exciting season of racing featuring guaranteed purses and some of Ontario’s finest racehorses. Partnerships are all about people and we continue to benefit from the passion, commitment and expertise of the Ontario racing community as we implement the Partnership Plan. John Snobelen From the Ontario Racing Commission

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