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Grand River Raceway has announced that the racetrack will open for training beginning Friday May 7th. The paddock and racetrack will be open for training every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from 8am to 12noon. At this time, trainers do not need to sign up in advance as we do not anticipate demand will be such that it would create an unsafe environment in the paddock.  All paddock COVID-19 protocols will be in place during training hours, including the requirement to ensure all attendees wear a mask. Only trainers and essential licenced individuals will be permitted at the facility. All individuals planning to attend, must complete the COVID-19 Screening Form before arriving at Grand River Raceway. The Screening Form, along with protocols, can be found on our website under COVID Screening & Protocols. From Grand River Raceway              

MILTON, ON - April 14, 2021 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to issue a reminder to all harness racing owners, trainers and horse people of Thursday's (April 15) stakes payment deadline for the 2021 season. Sustaining payments are due for all of Woodbine's 2021 major stakes, including the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. Click here to view the eligible horses following the March 15 deadline. The full list of stakes requiring an April 15 sustaining payment is available below: Pepsi North America Cup (3-Year-Old Pace) - $1 Million Armbro Flight (Filly & Mare Trot) - $250,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (Open Pace) - $600,000 Canadian Trotting Classic (3-Year-Old Trot) - $600,000 Casual Breeze (3-Year-Old Filly Trot) - $180,000 Elegantimage (3-Year-Old Filly Trot) - $375,000 Eternal Camnation (2-Year-Old Filly Pace) - $240,000 Fan Hanover (3-Year-Old Filly Pace) - $450,000 Goodtimes (3-Year-Old Trot) - $250,000 Maple Leaf Trot (Open Trot) - $600,000 Metro Pace (2-Year-Old Pace) - $850,000 Milton (Filly & Mare Pace) - $250,000 Nassagaweya (2-Year-Old Pace) - $220,000 Peaceful Way (2-Year-Old Filly Trot) - $400,000 Roses Are Red (Filly & Mare Pace) - $330,000 Shes A Great Lady (2-Year-Old Filly Pace) - $540,000 Somebeachsomewhere (3-Year-Old Pace) - $190,000 William Wellwood Memorial (2-Year-Old Trot) - $610,000 Woodbine Entertainment continues to handle administration duties for stakes races contested at tracks across Ontario. The following events require a sustaining payment for April 15: Grand River Raceway Battle of Waterloo (Ontario Sired 2-Year-Old Pace) - $240,000 Battle of the Belles (Ontario Sired 2-Year-Old Filly Pace) - $160,000 Earlier this week, Flamboro Downs announced the cancellation of the 2021 Confederation Cup. Woodbine Entertainment will be issuing refunds for all nomination and sustaining fees submitted for the Confederation Cup. Full information for all stakes and other racing related items can be found by visiting Woodbine Entertainment encourages all horse people to submit payments online by visiting If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than April 15, 2021 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

The GrandWay Events Centre will be opening its doors for the very first time to welcome guests to the Simulcast Bar and Lounge on Wednesday, March 24. In light of the recent announcement from Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health moving the region to an Orange zone, the Lounge will be allowed to host 50 patrons indoors. Strict Covid-19 protocols will still remain and guests will be required to sit in family groups, providing contact information for everyone in their party. "It has been a long time coming but we are finally ready and able to share our new space with guests," shares Jamie Martin, Director of Operations at the Grand River Raceway. "We are very proud of the building and the opportunity it provides to both community members and Horse Racing fans. We have been planning for this day for some time and look forward to providing an enjoyable and safe experience in our new space." The GrandWay Events Centre is the latest in facilities at the Grand River Raceway. Owned and operated by Grand River Agricultural Society, the event centre provides a series of welcoming spaces for weddings, parties and corporate events. Home also to the GrandWay Lounge which will broadcast simulcast racing and sporting events 7 days a week from noon until 10pm. In the short term, guests will be able to social distance and enjoy racing and sports, with bar service until 9pm in accordance with government policy. The GrandWay Kitchen will open in a few weeks serving a pub menu during opening hours. “We are excited to offer a simple but delicious bar menu, incorporating some of Chef Emma's race night favourites, along with some new dishes featuring local ingredients," says Katie Giddy, Director of Hospitality, Sales and Marketing at The GrandWay. She adds, "We have taken GRAS's passion and commitment to local agriculture and included locally grown produce in all of our menus." At this time, the team at The GrandWay is also open for future event bookings and tours of the location by appointment. For further information please visit or reach out to the team at 519-846-5455 ext 288. by Katie Giddy, for Grand River Raceway  

ELORA, ON — Nominations for Grand River Raceway’s, Battle of Waterloo and Battle of the Belles must be locked in by February 15th.  The 24th annual Battle of Waterloo (ON-sired two-year-old open pace) will be contested for an estimated $240,000 on Monday, August 2nd, 2021. In 2020, the race went to Bettor Sun, granting father-son/trainer-driver duo Gregg McNair and Doug McNair their 4th Battle of Waterloo title.  The 13th annual Battle of the Belles (ON-sired two-year-old pacing fillies) will be contested for an estimated $160,000. In 2020, Scarlett Hanover set a Canadian season record for rookie pacing fillies over a half-mile track with her victory in 1:54:3. This was a first time Belles victory for driver Ed Hensley and trainer Ashleigh Hensley. New formatting was recently announced for both events in 2021. If eliminations are required the week prior (Monday, July 26th), elimination winners will draw for post positions number one (#1) through five (#5) in the final. All other finalists will be placed in an open draw for the remaining post positions.  While both races (including the eliminations) will be contested at Grand River Raceway, the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) will handle the stakes administration. As noted on the nomination forms, all payments must be made payable to, and sent to, WEG. Download nomination forms and complete conditions for the Battle of Waterloo and Battle of the Belles here (page 27 & 28). by Jenna Knox, for Grand River Raceway  

ELORA, SEPT. 25, 2020 – A perfect fall night greeted the top Prospect Series horses as they gathered at Grand River Raceway on Friday, Sept. 25 for eight $15,000 Finals. Local reinsman Bruce Richardson piloted the first Prospect Series champion, guiding A La Mode Seelster to a front-end harness racing victory in the two-year-old pacing filly Final for trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph and owner Murray Cox of Rockwood, ON. “She made front kind of easy and got things her way, and when I asked her going into the last turn she responded and win kind of handily,” said Fergus resident Richardson, who was making his first appearance in A La Mode Seelster’s race bike. “He thought she’d be decent in there, thought she’d race good, so that’s what we were hoping for.” The win was the first of the season for Sunshine Beach daughter A La Mode Seelster, who finished one length ahead of fan favourite Carnival Heart. Unfortunately Carnival Heart caused interference to three of her peers heading for the halfway marker so she was set back to sixth and Lets Roar and Century Havana were promoted to second and third. Arthur, ON  residents Wayne and George Henry teamed up to win the two-year-old trotting colt Final with Arch We Lucky, who also went gate-to-wire, cruising home four and three-quarter lengths ahead of Kiss My Mass and Willywin. Wayne Henry drives and George Henry trains the Archangel son for Arthur resident William Checkley. Sauble Attack and Anthony Haughan emerged victorious from the two-year-old pacing colt Final, stalking fan favourite Kodiak Seelster through fractions of :28.4, :59 and 1:28.3 before sprinting down the stretch to a three-quarter length win in 1:57.2. Kodiak Seelster settled for second and Dubai Seelster was third. “He has been growing a lot this summer and fall, and he has been progressing. His last few starts he’s been getting stronger every week and I thought he looked pretty strong tonight,” said trainer Otis Hall. “Everybody is happy, my parents are happy, and my family is happy and the driver was happy with him, just everybody is happy, and the horse himself is happy.” The Ayr resident bred and owns Sauble Attack, through his Nasussito Racing Inc., in partnership with his parents Larry and Marilyn Hall’s Sauble Hill Farms of Tara, ON. His children, Scott and Melanie Hall, are the Bettors Delight gelding’s primary caretakers. Like Sauble Attack, Radical J J scored her second straight win in the two-year-old trotting filly Final. The Muscle Mass daughter and driver Scott Young led the field through fractions of :29.3, 1:00.2 and 1:30.4 and then opened up a five length gap in the stretch, stopping the clock at 2:01.1. One Smart Cookie finished second and Somewhat Sacy was third. “She raced her best race tonight,” said Young. “She’s been racing well all year, but I was happy for the filly that she got the Final to end the year.” The Guelph resident piloted Radical J J to the win for trainer Shawn Steacy of Brantford and owners David Reid of Sydenham, A K Malik Stable of Ottawa, Carmen Chrysdale of Mississauga and Bruno Dipoce of Wasaga Beach, ON. Driver Travis Henry piloted two Prospect Series Final winners, with the first coming in the three-year-old pacing filly contest. Starting from Post 3 with Land of Paradise, Henry was part of a six filly stampede into the first turn as the finalists vied for early position. Land of Paradise reached the front coming off the first turn, but was quickly overtaken by favourite Watch My Speed who led the way to a :26.4 opening quarter, :56.3 half and 1:26.3 three-quarters. Land Of Paradise stepped out in the stretch and battled to one-half length win over Hallsglensmavis in 1:57.3. Southwind Bayou completed the top three. “She’s been plugging away all year. She’s really green, she just a slow learner I guess,” said Henry. “She has races where you can see that it kind of clicks in her brain, and then she’ll have races where she doesn’t even seem like she knows what she’s doing out there. Tonight obviously it clicked and she was good.” Putnam resident Scott McNiven trains the Badlands Hanover daughter for his co-owners Thomas Brodhurst of London, Bradley McNiven of Embro and Shirley Griffin of St. Thomas, ON. Henry’s second Prospect Series Final victory came in the three-year-old trotting colt contest with Muscle Mass son Northern Flame, who got a head in front of pacesetter Hall Of Secrets at the 2:01 finish. Traveller finished third. “Travis didn’t make it from Mohawk, so he asked if I would drive him,” said Henry, who was a last minute replacement for Travis Cullen. “He said, ‘Don’t look at the program, he should be good tonight.’ And he said, ‘He’s honest and he’s got a lot of go’. There was a ton of early speed and they were battling out to the half pretty good, so I got a second-over trip and it just kind of worked out good.” The Embro resident engineered the win for trainer Jodie Cullen and owner Gestion J Y Blais Inc. of Montreal, QC. Driver Ryan DesRoche got his first Ontario-based stakes final victory in the three-year-old trotting filly division, guiding Muscles Aplenty to a 2:00.1 personal best for trainer Bill Shaw and owners Patricia Gibb of London and Jay Kressler of Kitchener, ON. Favourite Wheely Twicky was two and one-quarter lengths back in second and Credit Celebrity was third. “I knew if we could get away on the right foot that she was just as good as any of them in there,” said DesRoche, who had the Angus Hall daughter on the front before the quarter. “I kind of opened up a few lengths on the backside with her just because I knew she can get a little feeble late, so if I could open up enough on them I knew that she’d finish trotting the mile strong enough that they couldn’t get to her. And it worked out well.” In rein to Grand River Raceway’s leading driver Scott Coulter, Yannick Seelster clocked the fastest mile of the night in the three-year-old pacing colt Final, ringing up fractions of :27, :56.4 and 1:26.3 on his way to a 1:56 personal best. Favourite Dreaming Out Loud was one and one-half lengths back in second and Modern Writer was third. “He’s been racing well. Scott’s (Coulter) done a really good job with him, so I thought off the rail he’d have a pretty good shot, but there was a couple other decent ones in there, so I didn’t know,” said trainer Ted MacDonnell. “But he raced really well. He’s been kind of a slow learner and he still is just learning, but he’s putting the pieces together now.” Allenford resident MacDonnell shares ownership of the Big Jim gelding with Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, ON. Complete results from Friday’s program are available at Grand River Raceway Results.   Prospect Series Administration  Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway closed the book on its 2020 harness racing season on September 25, celebrating a 25 per cent bump in handle. All source wagering on Grand River Raceway's live racing for the 2020 meet was $12,953,560 for a daily average of $269,866, an increase of 25 per cent over last season. The average nightly handle was the highest in the history of Grand River Raceway. In 2019, 48 race dates were conducted and $10,382,493 was wagered. A total of 489 races were conducted this year, one less than last year. Total purses paid for all races at Grand River Raceway were $4,747,114 - down marginally from the 2019 season. Scott Coulter won the title as the leading driver at Grand River Raceway. The Brantford, ON resident won 47 races in 271 starts. A long time participant at Grand River Raceway, Coulter has over 5,300 victories and an excess of $35 million in purse earnings throughout a career that began in 1995. Trainer Richard Moreau recorded 17 wins and trained horses to purse earnings of $112,396 to win the dash title in 2020. During the summer, Moreau eclipsed 6,000 wins and $60 million in career purse earnings. He has been named Canada's Trainer of the Year in each of the last seven years. 'In late Spring, with the COVID-19 lockdowns still in place, I did not expect to race a full season, let alone break an all source wagering record. The grooms, trainers, drivers and Grand River Raceway staff were excellent at maintaining pandemic protocols throughout the meet. I want to thank customers throughout North America for supporting our meet with their wagering dollars.' - James Martin, Director of Operations, Grand River Raceway. Dates for Grand River Raceway's 2021 race season will be released in the new year. The facility is in the process of re-opening for simulcast wagering. For information on re-opening plans, refer to From Grand River Raceway        

ELORA, ON - SEPT. 22, 2020 - Grand River Raceway wraps up its 2020 harness racing season with eight $15,000 Prospect Series Finals on Friday, Sept. 25 and local trainers Chris Matthews and Don Lindsey are hoping their colts can finish off the season on a winning note. Kodiak Seelster leads the freshmen pacing colts into the final with 100 points from two Prospect Series wins, both of them from Post 1, and Matthews and the Sunshine Beach colt will be back at the rail in Friday's sixth race. "He's horrible on the front. I don't think he even won a training trip all year on the front end," said Matthews with a laugh. "But he had the rail that start at Grand River (Aug. 21) and on the half I figured you better use your post to your advantage, and he just barely held on that night. Then at Flamboro (Sept. 15) he made front and he actually was a lot better on the front in that race. So he's maybe figuring it out." Guelph resident Matthews trains and drives Kodiak Seelster for his co-owners Desmond Scott of Orangeville, Jeff Bryan of Amaranth and Todd Williams of Guelph, ON. The group acquired Kodiak Seelster from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale, offering up $29,000 for the half-brother to $1 million winner Kendall Seelster and $416,632 winner Karma Seelster. "I bought him out of the ring to be honest with you. I said, 'Holy geez, we really can't let that colt go that cheap'. I think I bid once on him and then we hit him one more time and we owned him. I didn't think we'd be able to afford him, but you know what, we're happy with him," said Matthews, who worked with Karma Seelster as part of trainer Gregg McNair's staff. "It's a tough year for colts so thank God for the Prospect Series. He can get a little experience and get a little money on his card." Kodiak Seelster started his season at the Grassroots level, finishing fourth in the July 20 leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but a lackluster effort in an Aug. 13 overnight event at the Milton oval prompted Matthews and his partners to try the Prospect Series. "He was always really nice gaited, nicest gaited colt I've ever trained down. He always paced the turns great training down. We even paid the payment for the Jug, because I said if there's one thing he's going to be good at is on a half," said Matthews. "So he threw in a bit of a stinker at Mohawk and I said well, the Prospect is at Grand River and I wanted to try him on the half, so I told my partners, let's try him there and see how he handles it, and he liked it. So we'll see what happens Friday, hopefully we got lucky with the post and we can get lucky the win." Like Kodiak Seelster, Don Lindsey trainee Hall Of Secrets heads into the three-year-old trotting colt final off a win in the last regular season leg. The Angus Hall son and driver David Boughton cruised to a front end victory at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 13 and will be looking for their third win of the season from Post 3 in Race 11 on Friday. "He was very good his last start. He's been inconsistent this summer," said Fergus, ON resident Lindsey. "He's showed some really good miles and he's showed some not spectacular performances. I thought when we shut him down last year that he would fill out and be a big strong horse and be a little better than he turned out to be. He seems to be getting a little better lately, but he started off the year just a little behind where we thought he might be." Hall Of Secrets finished the regular season in second spot in the standings with 108 points, 92 behind leader Los Ballykeelamigo who went undefeated in four Prospect Series starts. Los Ballykeelamigo and driver Scott Young will start from Post 5 in Friday's final, and Lindsey is hoping Boughton can use that to his advantage. "I'm very happy that we drew inside the Ballykeel horse, he's definitely the one to beat," said Lindsey. "I imagine Dave can work something out if we're inside. He showed a good turn of foot last time, so I imagine he can race him either way." The trainer's father Paul Lindsey of Fergus, ON owns Hall Of Secrets, who was a $15,000 purchase out of the 2018 London Selected Yearling Sale. Post time for Grand River Raceway's 2020 finale is 6:30 pm and the Prospect Series divisions will wrap up the Friday, Sept. 25 program in Races 4 through 11. Attendance is limited to 100 registered guests (click here for registration information), but fans can download a program and watch all the action on the Grand River Raceway live stream. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON - SEPT. 4, 2020 - Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras had a perfect night in Ontario Sires Stakes action at Grand River Raceway on Friday, Sept. 4, steering the winners of all three $72,267 Gold Series divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. Gingras kicked off his driving hat trick with Twin B Sunkissed. Starting from Post 3, Twin B Sunkissed left smartly and then yielded to Game Of Shadows heading by the :27.4 quarter. Game Of Shadows continued to lead at the :57.2 half, but was under pressure from Voelz Delight by the 1:26 three-quarters. Circling the duelling leaders at the top of the stretch, Twin B Sunkissed battled Voelz Delight down the stretch and was able to get a head in front at the 1:54.3 finish. Game Of Shadows settled for third. "She actually raced really good. I'd never sat behind her, and I was really happy," said Gingras, who was making his first appearance in the Sunshine Beach daughter's race bike. "The trip worked out obviously, but I think she performed really good. It was a good mile here tonight." Embro, ON resident Frances Dumouchel trains Twin B Sunkissed for his co-owners Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy and 9174 7998 Quebec Inc. of St-Janvier-Mirabel, QC. The win was the filly's first in six career starts. In her two previous Gold Series appearances the filly had finished fifth and sixth, which gives her a total of 58 points and a spot in the top 10 heading into the last Gold Series leg. The top 10 point earners at the end of the regular season will advance to the $250,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 17. Gingras was back in the winner's circle after the second division with lightly rated City By The Bay. Also starting from Post 3, Gingras settled City By The Bay in fourth and watched fan favourite Postscript put up a :28 opening quarter. Heading for the :57.3 half, the reinsman tipped City By The Bay out behind Nightlife Seelster and tracked that filly as she challenged the pacesetter through the 1:26.3 three-quarters. Coming off the final turn Gingras gave City By The Bay a clear look at the wire and the filly powered down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:56. Shiatzu Seelster and Shes A Sassy Beach finished second and third. "I raced her last week and she really didn't give me, I think, her best effort, but they changed the bridle on her and then I think maybe the smaller track probably played in her favour as well," said Gingras, who calls New Jersey home, but is currently in Ontario for six weeks of stakes action. "She had a good trip, but she really exploded home. I was really happy with how she raced tonight. Last week she didn't have that, but tonight she had a real good kick." Ashleigh Hensley trains City By The Bay for Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA, William Switala and James Martin of Clarence Center, NY and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA. The win was the Bettors Delight daughter's first after finishing fourth, second and seventh in the first three legs, giving her 85 points and a share of fourth in the standings. The final division saw Gingras partner up with Battle Of The Belles champion Scarlett Hanover and the filly once again delivered a dominant performance over the Grand River half-mile. Starting from Post 7, Scarlett Hanover had to dodge a breaking Alumni Seelster on her way to the front, but still reached the quarter in :28.2. From there it was all Scarlett Hanover as she rang up a :59 half and a 1:27.1 three-quarters before pulling away to a five length victory in 1:54.4. Fan favourite Best Head West had to settle for second and Sportsdrink completed the top three. "This one was really, really good, she won super easy. I mean she was really the one I thought that had a good chance to do some good tonight, and she showed up for sure," said Gingras. "She gets around this track so good and she won really easy." A stablemate to City By The Bay in the Ashleigh Hensley barn, Scarlett Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA, Frank Baldachino of Clarksburg, NJ, J And T Silva - Purnel & Libby of Delray Beach, FL and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA. The Bettors Delight daughter has a flawless record of three wins in three appearances at Grand River Raceway. Her first Gold Series win boosted Scarlett Hanover into third spot in the standings with 88 points. The filly finished fourth, second and fifth in the first three legs. The two-year-old pacing fillies will wrap up their Gold Series regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 5. Complete results from Friday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. Current point standings can be found on the Ontario Sires Stakes Leaderboard. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON — Grand River Raceway heads into the final month of the 2020 race season with plenty of momentum, due to support from wagering from customers throughout North America. Through the end of August, all source wagering on Grand River Raceway cards was $9,998,731 an increase of 21% over the same number of dates in 2019. With the total number of races slightly less this year, 380 races v 387 races in 2019, the average per race handle was $26,312. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, most wagering is occurring remotely, as a limited number of guests have been permitted at the racetrack as of July 27th. With 10 dates remaining on the 2020 calendar, note that as racing continues Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, there is no racing Labour Day September 7th. The Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series for 2 year old pacing fillies is this coming Friday September 4th. On September 18th, the Prospect Series for 3 year old pacing colts will be ontrack. The Prospect Series finals for all 8 divisions will be on closing night, Friday September 25th. Qualifying races will move to Wednesdays at 2pm beginning September 2nd.   Grand River Raceway will also be hosting a live stream of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, September 5th. General Public can register for tarmac access for this day at Grand River Raceway is currently allowing 100 guests on the tarmac during live races. Attendees are still required to follow strict physical distancing requirements. The grandstand and main building remain closed. Pre-registration is required via Eventbrite Grand River Raceway- Events & Entertainment, and registration links can be found at From Grand River Raceway    

MILTON, AUG. 28, 2020 - With the first half of the Prospect Series season in the books, competition is heating up for a spot in the harness racing finals at Grand River Raceway on Friday, Sept. 25. Radical J J currently has an eight point lead atop the two-year-old trotting filly division after a win at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, Aug. 26. The daughter of Muscle Mass is trained by Shawn Steacy, who said the Prospect Series has offered a positive introduction to racing for the late-blooming youngster. "She was a little slow getting started this year for us," said Steacy, who conditions the filly for David Reid of Sydenham, A K Malik Stable of Ottawa, Carmen Chrysdale of Mississauga and Bruno Dipoce of Wasaga Beach, ON. "So that's kind of why we got her started just in the Prospect Series rather than the Ontario Sires Stakes right off the get go." Although there have been a limited number of starters in the two-year-old trotting filly division through the first four legs, Steacy expects to see a few more heading to Flamboro Downs for the regular season finale on Sunday, Sept. 13. "With the last legs coming up, you might see, rather than just getting five, six horse fields, you might get a couple eight horse fields going in the last leg or two," said the Brantford resident, who leads all trainers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. "It's a good tool, I think, overall. I think (Ontario Racing) did a good thing by putting that in play." The Steacy stable also scored a second-place finish at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday with Teacup Hanover. With 25 points from her runner-up result and five points from entering a leg that did not fill, the Crazed daughter has a total of 30 points, 28 behind her division leading stablemate. Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC, Robert Macmillan of Waterloo, ON, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, AB and Dale Larson of Kent City, MI share ownership of Teacup Hanover, who has also made three starts at the Grassroots level. The top nine point earners from each division will battle for a purse of $15,000 in the Prospect Series Finals on Sept. 25. Horses are only required to have entered one Prospect Series leg to be eligible for the Final, but those that have participated at more than one level, like Teacup Hanover, can only compete in one Final, either Prospect Series or Grassroots. Complete information about the program and current point standings can be found on the Ontario Racing Prospect Series page. Prospect Series September Schedule: TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS: Sunday, Sept. 6 - Leamington Raceway Tuesday, Sept. 15 - Flamboro Downs TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS: Sunday, Sept. 13 - Leamington Raceway TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES: Saturday, Sept. 5 - Kawartha Downs Saturday, Sept. 12 - Hiawatha Horse Park TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES: Sunday, Sept. 13 - Flamboro Downs THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS: Sunday, Sept. 6 - Leamington Raceway Friday, Sept. 18 - Grand River Raceway THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS: Sunday, Sept. 6 - Flamboro Downs Sunday, Sept. 13 - Flamboro Downs THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES: Thursday, Sept. 3 - Flamboro Downs THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES: Thursday, Sept. 17 - Flamboro Downs ALL DIVISIONS, SERIES FINALS: Friday, Sept. 25 - Grand River Raceway Prospect Series Administration Ontario Racing

ELORA, AUG. 19, 2020 - Harness racing fans that tuned into the Grand River Raceway program on Wednesday, Aug. 19 were treated to not one, not two, but three record setting performances by Ontario's top two-year-old trotting fillies and three-year-old trotting colts. Fox Valley Liza kicked off the speed show in the first $107,200 two-year-old trotting filly Gold Series division. Starting from Post 1 the fan favourite settled in fourth as Blackout Riley led the field to a :29 opening quarter. Around the second turn driver Sylvain Filion sent Fox Valley Liza after the lead and the filly had taken command by the :58.4 half. Rubys Are Nice mounted a challenge heading by the 1:28 three-quarters, but Filion was unconcerned and in the stretch Fox Valley Liza drew away to a five and one-half length victory in 1:57.4. You Will Be Queen finished second and Pixies Lady was elevated to third due to errors by two of her peers. The mile bettered the Grand River Raceway track record by one second and equalled the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) and Canadian record set by Devils Advocate at Flamboro Downs in 2015. "She raced real good, she raced tough," said trainer Ben Baillargeon. "She made a big move at the quarter mile and she held on tight with the plugs in. She raced real good." Baillargeon conditions the Muscle Mass daughter for Anthony Lombardi of Morris, IL, Henshaut Stable of Montgomery, IN and George Golemes of Oak Brook, IL. The win was Fox Valley Liza's second in Gold Series action; she was also victorious in the July 12 season opener at Georgian Downs. "She won easy the first Gold at Georgian and Sylvain said she was very fast and then we got side-tracked for a little bit. I raced her in the Pure Ivory (July 23), she run at the gate, the next Gold (July 31) she was a little sick and she was very grabby, she finished fifth," said Baillargeon. "We treated her up and last week (Aug. 11) she had the nine-hole and she got in all kinds of road trouble and she still trotted her last half in :56. Doug McNair did a real good job for me, he babysat her and I even told Doug tonight, I said, 'Thank you for not hurting my filly last week'. She was real strong last week and so we were, I was anxious to race her tonight. I liked my chances." Fox Valley Liza's tenure in the Grand River Raceway record books was brief however, as Imextraspecial and Trevor Henry stormed to the lead from Post 1 and never looked back, rolling to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:57.3. Fan favourite Up And Ready settled for second and Fuzzy Angel was four lengths back in third. The mile gave Imextraspecial the track, OSS and Canadian record for a two-year-old trotting filly on a half-mile track. "The track was hard and fast tonight," said Henry. "She raced great, got off the gate extra great. She handles the turns so well. Paul (Walker) has done a great job with her, all I've got to do is keep her out of trouble." Henry drives the Muscle Mass daughter for trainer Paul Walker of Owen Sound and owner Keith Coulter of Mono, ON. The win was Imextraspecial's third in OSS action, with the other two coming in the Grassroots program. In the evening's finale, nine of the province's best three-year-old trotting colts squared up to the gate for a $157,200 Gold Series division and, from Post 1, Sylvain Filion and Hayek simply said catch me if you can. The pair fired off the wings and, pressed by Moon Bridge, rang up a :27.3 quarter and a :56 half. As Moon Bridge started to fade Hot Wheelz took up the challenge and pushed Hayek through a 1:25 three-quarters. The pressure did not trouble the co-favourites however and Hayek pulled away to a four and one-quarter length victory in a spectacular 1:53.3. Hot Wheelz finished second and the other co-favourite, Pemberton, was third from the outside Post 8. The mile was the fastest ever recorded by a trotter, of any age, on a half-mile track in Canada. It lowered the Grand River Raceway all-age record and the OSS thee-year-old trotting colt record by almost a full second. "He's not an easy horse, but he's very fast. Tonight he was pretty wound up when I warmed him up and we had the rail, and when he came out of the turn he charged that gate and I said, 'Go gate, get out of the way'. I closed my eyes going into the first turn," said Ben Baillargeon with a chuckle. "He was pretty handy. Sylvain said he wasn't all out though. They come after him all the mile. Bob (McClure with Moon Bridge) come and then Jody (Jamieson with Hot Wheelz) came, they all come and he fought them all." The Guelph resident shares ownership of Hayek with Teresa Davidson of Milton, Santo Vena of Brampton and Nunzio Vena of Bolton, ON. The win was the E L Titan gelding's second in Gold Series action and his fourth of the season. So long as they remain happy and healthy Hayek and his stablemate HP Royal Theo, who made a break in the first turn and finished at the back of the field, will make their next start in the Aug. 28 Goodtimes eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "Theo, he run last year here in the first turn and he did the same thing this year. He just seems like he's not comfortable, so we're going to put an 'X' on that race and we're going to focus on the Goodtimes next week, that's all you can do. We're going to regroup a little bit with Theo and the other one, well I'm just going to try and control his speed," said Baillargeon. "I would like to see him race in a hole in the future, but listen, for $150,000 tonight, come and get me." The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Gold Series start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 21, while the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings resume their Gold Series rivalry at the Milton, ON oval on Sept. 28. On Sept. 4 Grand River Raceway will welcome the two-year-old pacing fillies back to Elora for their fourth Gold Series event. Complete results from Wednesday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results.   Video: Race 4 – Fox Valley Liza; Race 7 – Imextraspecial; Race 11 – Hayek   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

The afternoon harness racing card is set for Grand River Raceway’s 30th annual Industry Day event on August 3. The lineup boasts purses of $669,663 with nine stake races, featuring the track’s marquee dashes — the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles — and sophomore pacing fillies in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS). 23rd annual Battle Of Waterloo The Battle Of Waterloo is the tenth and final dash of the day. Elimination winner Bettor Sun drew the rail in the $200,964 contest for freshman Ontario-sired pacing colts.  A 35-1 champ in his maiden-breaking effort, Bettor Sun’s 1:54.1 finish with Doug McNair set a Canadian season record for two-year-old pacing geldings over a half-mile oval. Gregg McNair trains the Sunshine Beach colt for breeder/owner Willow Oak Ranch.  The runner-up by a head in that elimination dash was betting favourite Springbridge Duel. He starts from the second tier (post nine) in the final. Trained by Casie Coleman Herlihy, the son of Big Jim is owned by West Wins Stable, Steve Heimbecker and Mark Kantrowitz and is the richest of the field with $110,150 banked in three starts, including two OSS Gold wins. The other elimination race winner, Candy Trader, starts from post seven. His second consecutive victory for trainer Anthony Beaton came in rein to Sylvain Filion when the pacer popped out from the rail to rush by stretch leader Avion Seelster (post six in the final), winning by a neck in 1:55.2. This mile was also a Canadian season record for two-year-old pacing colts over a half-miler. Past winners of the Battle Of Waterloo contending in this year’s final include: Blake MacIntosh, trainer of Armor Seelster (post three) who won the race with Sports Column in 2016; and the McNair father-son duo won with Magnum J in 2017, Three Of Clubs in 2013, and Trail Boss in 2008. 12th annual Battle Of The Belles Andra Day was an impressive four-length winner in her elimination division, capturing her third consecutive win for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. The in 1:55 clocking set a Canadian season record for rookie pacing fillies over a half-mile track.  She did it all after leaving from the far outside (post eight), which is where she starts again for the $128,149 final. The Shadow Play filly is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing. Scarlett Hanover wired the field to capture her maiden win in her elimination division. With Ed Hensley in the bike, the pair clocked the mile in 1:55.3. She’ll start from the second tier (post nine) in Monday’s big dance.  Ashleigh Hensley trains the Bettors Delight daughter, a $45,000 yearling purchase and winner of $37,781 in three career starts for owners Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Trainer Anthony Beaton was third in the 2018 edition of the Battle Of The Belles with Village Joules and has two fillies in contention this year. Ring Of Kerry (Betterthancheddar) and Turning The Table (Bettors Delight) leave from posts one and two, respectively. Gregg McNair won last year’s edition of the Battle Of The Belles with Karma Seelster. In 2013, he won this race (with Lady Shadow) and the Battle Of Waterloo (with Three Of Clubs). This year he campaigns Siri Blue Chip, a runner-up in her elimination division. She leaves from post three in the final. OSS undercard The day starts with a bang at 12:30 p.m. with the first of two OSS Gold races, this one headlined by current division leader Sex Appeal and last year’s freshman division champ (and O’Brien Award winner) Alicorn. Undefeated in both OSS Gold starts this year, Sex Appeal drew the rail for Monday’s $105,600 contest with Trevor Henry for trainer Bob McIntosh who shares ownership of the homebred daughter of Bettors Delight with Al McIntosh. She has finished first or second in all six season starts for earnings of $115,583. Her last OSS victory at Woodbine-Mohawk Park established a new career mark and Canadian season record of 1:50.2. Starting the race to Sex Appeal’s right from post two, Alicorn is currently tied for third in the OSS standings and jogged in a seven-length qualifying win over the Elora, ON track last week in 1:55.2 (a Canadian season record over a half-mile track). Trained by Chantal Mitchell and driven by Louis Philippe Roy, the Bettors Delight filly is a current track record holder at Grand River Raceway. In 2019, she matched the 1:54.2 clocking for rookie pacing fillies during her elimination win in the Battle Of The Belles. Alicorn was second in that final, beaten a half-length by 27-1 shot Karma Seelster. She too is back in Elora for this 2020 Industry Day opener, leaving from post four with Doug McNair for trainer Gregg McNair. The second OSS Gold division is carded as Race 7 and includes all of the fillies currently holding division standings from second through sixth. Rod Boyd trainee Rose Run Victoria is the most recent OSS Gold winner of the bunch. She set a new career best of 1:51.2 two weeks ago over Woodbine-Mohawk Park and leaves from post two with Robert Shepherd in Monday’s outing. Five divisions of three-year-old pacing fillies in the OSS Grassroots division round out the action-packed card. WAGERING & BROADCAST DETAILS The 10-race Industry Day card kicks off at 12:30 p.m. EST  The Early Pick 4 (starts in Race 3) and the Late Pick 4 (starts in Race 7) both feature guaranteed pools of $7,500 each. Race programs and live streaming video in HD are available for all cards at and wagering is available through COSA-TV (managed by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association) will present exclusive Industry Day coverage in a live two-hour special hosted on its social media platforms. The show is hosted by Greg Blanchard, Mark McKelvie and Jaimi MacDonald and will include coverage of the Battle of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles, feature stories about the contenders and prizing opportunities for viewers.    SPECTATORS Grand River Raceway is currently allowing 100 guests on the tarmac during live races. Attendees are still required to follow strict physical distancing requirements. The grandstand and main building remain closed. Attendance is restricted to AGCO licensees and pre-registration is required. Tickets are available through Eventbrite at Tickets for owners of horses racing on August 3rd will be made available July 29 at 12:00pm, AGCO Licensees on July 31 at 12:00pm, and General Admission, if tickets remain, on August 3rd at 9:00am. Owners and their guests of the finalists in the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles will be given first opportunity to secure tarmac attendance. From Grand River Raceway  

ELORA, ON - Muscle Mass daughters swept a trio of $23,150 two-year-old trotting filly Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots harness racing divisions at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, July 29, with Imextraspecial, Tipsy In Dixie and Top Of The Bar reaching the winner's circle. Imextraspecial kicked the evening off with an effortless gate-to-wire victory, her second in Grassroots action, for driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, trainer Paul Walker of Owen Sound and owner Keith Coulter of Mono, ON. Starting from Post 2, the fan favourite rolled through fractions of :30.1, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1 on her way to a personal best 2:00. HP Mama B finished second and All Muscle N Sass was seven more lengths back in third. "I've never been able to just put a handle on her. Although she won at Mohawk (July 13), I wasn't totally impressed with her. Tonight was a better race; she put in a better performance," said Walker. "She looked well in hand actually. She's got us thinking now whether we'll move into the Gold for a race and see what she can do." Coulter offered up $95,000 to purchase Imextraspecial from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale, with the assistance of Walker's brother Larry. Walker was initially asked to take the filly to his winter base in Georgia to train, but when he returned to Ontario the engagement was extended. "First of all he asked me to take her to Georgia, break her in and train her, and then he said well you might as well keep her then too," said Walker with a chuckle. "That's fine, we don't take too many outside horses now, but you don't often get somebody handing you one that's that kind of calibre. She's been good to work with, I mean really she's quite professional in every way. That part I really like about her, so we're hoping that she's maybe going to come and reach expectations yet." The second division saw Tipsy In Dixie and driver James MacDonald emulate the example set by Imextraspecial and Henry. Also starting as favourites from Post 2, MacDonald sent Tipsy In Dixie to the front where she rang up fractions of :29.4, 1:01.3 and 1:31.3 and then cruised home to a two and three-quarter length victory in 2:01.3. Mag N Lady and Salome finished second and third. "She's a nice little filly. She qualified good and she's just great gaited, so I knew coming here it would suit her. And she trained down on a half so I knew that wouldn't be a problem," said MacDonald, who drove Tipsy In Dixie to a second-place result in the Grassroots season opener. "Harry (Poulton) had her good, she just coasted to the lead and I never really had to open her up much. It's a good win for her." Tipsy In Dixie is trained by Harry Poulton of Milton for fractional ownership group TheStable Tipsy In Dixie, based in Guelph, ON, and a few of her delighted owners were there to greet her when she arrived in the winner's circle. A total of 100 owners were permitted in the outdoor area alongside the racetrack for the first time on Monday, July 27 and members were quick to get their names on the list for Tipsy In Dixie's second start. "It's great to see some owners in the grandstand and hear them cheering and stuff for their horses," said Guelph resident MacDonald. "There's always a good row when a Stable horse goes by, that's for sure." Top Of The Bar captured the final division with a late rush that saw her get a head in front of pacesetting favourite Fortune Tellers K for the 2:03.2 win. Liminary Hanover completed the top three. Trainer Mark Etsell of Rockwood drove Top Of The Bar to her first lifetime win for his co-owners Robert Newton of Walkerton, Graham Hopkins of Chesley and Peter Porter of Port Dover, ON. The filly, a $25,000 purchase from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, finished third to Imextraspecial in the July 13 Grassroots leg. "I had her sister, Tymal Tempest, so I kind of knew what the family was like. This one is a lot nicer than the other; Tymal Tempest was a terror, just nasty. She could go, but she was handful," said Etsell of Top Of The Bar's half-sister, who earned $146,847 in her career. "She's not an aggressive filly like some Muscle Mass's, she's pretty laid back, pretty lazy, but she's willing and she's good gaited. I think she'll get nothing but better, but she just does what she has to do and that's fine with her." The freshman trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots appearance at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 17, while those that opt to step up to the Gold Series will be back at Grand River Raceway on August 19. Complete results from Wednesday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Grand River Raceway on Monday, Aug. 3 as the three-year-old pacing fillies compete in five Grassroots and two Gold Series divisions on the Elora oval's annual Industry Day program, which is highlighted by the $128,149 Battle Of The Belles Final for two-year-old pacing fillies and the $200,964 Battle Of Waterloo Final for two-year-old pacing colts. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON — Finalists were decided Monday night for Grand River Raceway’s two harness racing feature pacing races highlighting the track’s 30th Industry Day event on August 3. Canadian season records (for rookie pacers over a half-mile track) were set in the first of two divisions for the Battle Of Waterloo and in both divisions for the Battle Of The Belles.  BATTLE OF WATERLOO ELIMS Bettor Sun and Doug McNair left from post five to capture the lead in the first elimination dash (Race 3) and was overtaken by the 1-9 favourite Springbridge Duel with Bob McClure by the half-mile marker. But Bettor Sun, a longshot whopper at 35-1, managed to eclipse the pair in the stretch with a maiden-breaking charge in 1:54.1 for breeder/owner Willow Oak Ranch. Gregg McNair trains the Sunshine Beach colt. Springbridge Duel was the runner-up by a length. Trained by Casie Coleman Herlihy, the son of Big Jim was a $40,000 yearling acquisition for West Wins Stable, Steve Heimbecker and Mark Kantrowitz.  Socrates Blue Chip was third with Jody Jamieson and Armor Seelster with Louis Philippe Roy rounded out the top four. Candy Trader scored his second straight win for trainer Anthony Beaton in the second elimination division (Race 6). In rein to Sylvain Filion, the pacer popped out from the rail to rush by stretch leader Avion Seelster (Jody Jamieson), winning by a neck in 1:55.2. Beaton conditions the Bettors Delight gelding for Steve Heimbecker, Larry Menary, Michael Guerriero and Ben Murdy. The partners paid $72,000 for Candy Trader as a yearling. Candy Trader drew post seven for next week’s final, but Beaton wasn’t fussing about it.  “The outside may be a good spot for him,” he said. “He likes a helmet to follow.” The pacer is Beaton’s first-ever starter in the Battle Of Waterloo. (He also has a pair of fillies advancing to the Battle Of The Belles.) “He’s done everything right so far. I think we’ll be hearing more from him this season.” The division’s runner-up, Avion Seelster is owned and trained by Jack Darling. The Sportswriter son was an $80,000 yearling purchase and a winner in his first career start at Woodbine-Mohawk Park. Cantstoplying was third with Louis Philippe Roy for Nick Gallucci. No Bettor Joy rounded out the top four finishers with Bob McClure for Nicky Comegna Field for the 23rd annual Battle Of Waterloo ($200,964) POST/HORSE/TRAINER/DRIVER IN ELIM/FINISH IN ELIM   1. Watch My Beverage/Gregg McNair/Doug McNair/5 2. Bettor Sun/Gregg McNair/Doug McNair/1 (in 1:54.1) 3. Armor Seelster/Blake MacIntosh/Louis Philippe Roy/4 4. Cantstoplying/Nick Gallucci/Louis Philippe Roy/3 5. Socrates Blue Chip/Jeff Gillis/Jody Jamieson/3 6. Avion Seelster/Jack Darling/Jody Jamieson/2  7. Candy Trader/Anthony Beaton/Sylvain Filion/1 (in 1:55.2) 8. No Bettor Joy/Nicky Comegna/Bob McClure/4 9. Springbridge Duel/Casie Coleman Herlihy/Bob McClure/2 AE1: Take Control/Daniel Lagace/Trevor Henry/5 The McNair father-son do have won The Battle Of Waterloo on three occasions: with Magnum J in 2017; Three Of Clubs in 2013; Trail Boss in 2008. Blake MacIntosh won the race with Sports Column in 2016.  BATTLE OF THE BELLES ELIMS Race favourite Scarlett Hanover controlled the field from start to finish enroute to her maiden win in the first elimination division (Race 4). With Ed Hensley in the bike, the pair clocked the mile in 1:55.3. Ashleigh Hensley trains the Bettors Delight daughter, a $45,000 yearling purchase and winner of $37,781 in three career starts for owners Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Back two lengths, Siri Blue Chip was the runner-up with Doug McNair for trainer Gregg McNair. Nick Gallucci trainee Cyclone Sister finished third with Bob McClure and Shiatzu Seelster rounded out the top four.  Leaving from post eight in the second division (Race 7), Andra Day seized control of the field by the three-quarter marker to record her third consecutive win for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. Piloted by Doug McNair, the Shadow Play filly was two lengths the best in 1:55. She’s owned by Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing. City By The Bay (#6) was positioned as the runner-up, but made a break in the stretch. Sports Check snapped up the spot with Louis Philippe Roy for trainer Blake MacIntosh and owners Frugal Not Cheap Stable and Daniel Plouffe. Anthony Beaton trainees Ring Of Kerry (Sylvain Filion) and Turning The Table (Jody Jamieson) were third and fourth, respectively.   Field for the 12th annual Battle Of The Belles ($128,149) POST/HORSE/TRAINER/DRIVER IN ELIM/FINISH IN ELIM   1. Ring Of Kerry/Anthony Beaton/Sylvain Filion/3 2. Turning The Table/Anthony Beaton/Jody Jamieson/4 3. Siri Blue Chip/Gregg McNair/Doug McNair/2 4. Sports Check/Blake MacIntosh/Louis Philippe Roy/2 5. Shiatzu Seelster/Richard Moreau/Louis Philippe Roy/4 6 Spittin Chicklets/Bruce MacDonald/Colin Kelly/5 7. Cyclone Seelster/Nick Gallucci/Bob McClure/3 8. Andra Day/Dr. Ian Moore/Doug McNair/1 (in 1:55) 9. Scarlett Hanover/Asheligh Hensley/Ed Hensley/1 (in 1:55.3) AE1: Shes A Sassy Beach/Ken Middleton Jr/Randy Waples/5 Gregg and Doug McNair won last year’s edition of the Battle Of The Belles with Karma Seelster. In 2013, they won this race (with Lady Shadow) and the Battle Of Waterloo (with Three Of Clubs).   Anthony Beaton, who finished third in the 2018 edition of the race, drew both of the inside posts. “Hopefully we get away one-two!” he said.   “Ring Of Kerry is a bit hot under the collar. We’re trying to get her to relax, but she’s a work in progress. Turning The Table seems to be getting better and better each time we race her. I think the two-hole will suit her fine.” INDUSTRY DAY The 10-race Industry Day card kicks off at 12:30 p.m. EST and also includes both Grassroots and Gold series divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies in the Ontario Sires Stakes. Race programs and live streaming video in HD are available for all cards at and wagering is available through COSA-TV (managed by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association) will present exclusive Industry Day coverage in a live two-hour special hosted on its social media platforms. The show is hosted by Greg Blanchard, Mark McKelvie and Jaimi MacDonald and will include coverage of the Battle of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles, feature stories about the contenders and prizing opportunities for viewers.    SPECTATORS Grand River Raceway is currently allowing 100 guests on the tarmac during live races. Attendees are still required to follow strict physical distancing requirements. The grandstand and main building remain closed. Attendance is restricted to AGCO licensees and pre-registration is required.  Connections of the finalists in the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles can reach out directly with their access requirements for Industry Day by emailing  Remaining Industry Day Registrations will not be available until July 29, following the release of the Industry Day Race Card.  EIPH REMINDER The track kindly reminds the trainers of horses entering sophomore OSS Gold and Grassroots events that the EIPH program has not been offered at GRR this season and will not be offered on Industry Day. From Grand River Raceway

ELORA, ON - JULY 17, 2020 - CL Sportsextreme, Cyclone Sister and Sportsfire solidified their standing at the top of the two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots harness racing division with convincing victories at Grand River Raceway on Friday, July 17. CL Sportsextreme kicked off the second leg of the freshman fillies' Grassroots season with a 1:57 victory from Post 9 that impressed driver Bob McClure. The Sportswriter daughter sat third through the :28.3 opening quarter, but was aiming for the front by the :58.4 half. After cruising through a 1:27.3 three-quarters, CL Sportsextreme pulled away from her peers to hit the wire three lengths ahead of Shiatzu Seelster and Spittin Chicklets. "I was surprised how slick gaited she was, but I was pretty happy with the way the trip worked out too," said McClure of the fan favourite. "She's a real handy little filly and she was nice, because the nine-hole is not an easy spot to get a baby away from, and she snapped out of there and then made a move to the front, and from there it was kind of an armchair ride." McClure drove CL Sportsextreme to her second Grassroots victory for trainer Dany Fontaine and owner-breeder Ecuries C. LeBlanc Inc. of Saint-Eustache, QC. In the second $23,150 division McClure employed a near identical strategy with Cyclone Sister, who was fourth at the :29 quarter, moving to the lead past the :58.3 half, comfortably in front by the 1:27 three-quarters and well ahead at the 1:55.4 finish. Barefootnpregnant finished seven lengths back in second and Feisty Betty was another length and three-quarters back in third. "Obviously, the trip, you couldn't plan that much better for a one to nine shot," said McClure. "She's a little flighty about her head, so I wanted to get her at least three-eighths of a mile on a helmet and teach her, kind of educate her a little bit, but I knew once I moved her, she's so fast, she hits high gear in a hurry. So I knew I'd make the front, it was just whether I could make it there easily and relax her once she did get settled onto the front end, and she did. She settled down and she came a big last quarter and she still had a lot left; should be a lot of fun this summer with her." Nick Gallucci conditions the homebred daughter of Shadow Play for Millar Farms of Stouffville, ON and the trainer said, as long as she bounces back well from Friday's effort, Cyclone Sister's next start will come back at Grand River Raceway in the July 27 Battle Of The Belles eliminations. "That was kind of like a tune-up today, so we'll see how she comes out of it and hopefully have her entered for next Monday," said Gallucci. "She's always showed a lot of speed, just a couple tendencies we've had to keep an eye on, but for the most part we never really had any complaints about her. She always showed a lot of ability." Like CL Sportsextreme, Friday's victory was Cyclone Sister's second in the Grassroots program. The other filly to repeat as a Grassroots winner on Friday was Sportsfire, who took a tour in the outer lane to secure her 1:57.3 victory. The fan favourite sprinted home to a three-quarter length victory over French Shaker and Halleyslittlecomet. Anthony Haughan drove the Sportswriter daughter to the victory for trainer Dan Lagace and owner-breeder Fred Brayford of Alliston, ON. "I don't usually take horses late when I come back from Florida, but I have another horse with Fred so I said, 'Yeah I'll take her', and now we're kind of glad we did," said Lagace. "We picked her up on a Friday and the Saturday Fred and a friend of his came to see her, and I thought I'll just brush her out free-legged. I came off and I said, 'Fred, she seems like she's got some talent, but she was very, very hot and it's tough to beat good horses when you're this aggressive'. But my son Brady's been going with her a lot and he's got her settled down and driving really, really nice." Sportsfire clocked the fastest mile in the July 10 Grassroots leg, circling Woodbine Mohawk Park in 1:53.2, and while some of her peers made the leap up to the Gold Series for Leg 2, Lagace felt it would be better for the filly to stick with the Grassroots. "After last week some of the horses that finished second and third, they moved up to the Gold, but I had talked to Fred and I said, 'You know, I think this filly's got some good talent, but she's growing lots'. I said, 'I think if we stick to the Grassroots and give her time to grow up and mature, I think she'll do you really, really good', and he did what was right for her and agreed to it." The other two divisions saw Annies Legacy and Amini record their first Grassroots victories. Annies Legacy and driver Paul Mackenzie did most of the work on the front end on the way to a one-half length victory in 1:56. Favourite Miss Shannon Beach was second and Celia Bayama was third. Robert Fellows trains the Control The Moment daughter for Leonard Rosene of London, ON, who purchased the filly for $26,000 at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. Amini went gate-to-wire from Post 6 for driver Jean Rene Plante in the last $23,150 division. The Sportswriter daughter stopped the teletimer at 1:56.4, one and three-quarter lengths ahead of The Kings Queen. Drinks All Round was well back in third. Isaac Waxman trains the $8,000 purchase from the London Yearling Sale for Tessa Waxman of Ridgeville and David Morgan of Hamilton, ON. The two-year-old pacing fillies make their third Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 14. Complete results from Friday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. Next on Grand River Raceway's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule is the second Grassroots leg for the two-year-old trotting fillies, on Wednesday, July 29. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON - JULY 1, 2020 - After sweeping the three-year-old trotting colt Gold Series season opener, trainer Ben Baillargeon turned his attention to the Grassroots Series at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening and delivered two more victories. The Guelph resident kicked off the Canada Day program with a victory as No Time To Play and driver Sylvain Filion rolled through fractions of :28.3, :58.2 and 1:29.1 on their way to a 1:59.1 score in the first $22,800 division. Hetalkstoangels finished three and one-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite in second and Mr Arch rounded out the top three. "He's still very green, very dumb, and you can quote me on that too. I told Sylvain, 'Be careful when you come on the track I don't know if he'll go straight or turn'. The trot is there 100 per cent, the trot is there, he trots nice, but his mind wanders around," said Baillargeon. "I didn't know how to rig him tonight when I came here, and I changed the rigging after I warmed him up. I said, 'Well, if we get through the first turn then we're okay'. I think he's got everything to be a very nice horse down the road you know, like a four-year-old. He's got the speed, he trotted 1:55.4 his second lifetime start." Wednesday's outing was just No Time To Play's third lifetime start. He made his debut in an overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 9, finishing fourth, then delivered a second-place effort on June 16. Baillargeon trains the son of Kadabra for Ecuries Daniel Plouffe Inc. of Bromont, Jean Dessureault of Candiac and Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff, QC. Eight races later Baillargeon and Filion capped off the evening with their second victory. Like his stablemate, Ongoing Royalty controlled the tempo from start to finish, posting fractions of :29.2, 1:00 and 1:29.1 before hitting the wire three lengths the best in 1:59.1. Dart Guy finished second and King Of Hearts was three more lengths back in third. "A friend of mine (Sylvio Ravary) owns him, we were raised together, and he said Ben I have this colt and he might be okay and this and that. They sent him to me about five, six weeks ago. They had him trained on the farm track in Quebec in 2:06," said Baillargeon. "He raced real good tonight. He's still a very green colt, but a good gaited colt and willing to do it, so that's nice." Les Cedres, QC resident Sylvio Ravary shares ownership of the Royalty For Life son with Andre Desrochers of St-Hughes, QC. While No Time To Play and Ongoing Royalty were making their Ontario Sires Stakes debuts on Wednesday, the other three division winners were regulars on the Grassroots circuit last season. The second division winner, Ripped And Ready, was a Grassroots winner at two and qualified for the Semi-finals. Grand River fans sent the colt off as their top choice and driver Guy Gagnon engineered a front-end effort that saw Ripped And Ready hold off a charging Fit Bitt in the stretch to record a 1:58 victory. Franks Angel rounded out the top three. Thierry Vandenplas trains Muscle Mass son Ripped And Ready for owner-breeder Dr. Ruth Irving of Russell, ON. The winner of the third split, Awesomedabra, was a two-time Grassroots winner as a freshman, with one of those wins coming in the Semi-finals. On Wednesday the Kadabra son had to overcome a mid-race miscue and lay down a :28.4 last quarter to get a head in front of Pot Stock at the 1:59 finish. Titans Dream finished one length back in third. "Unfortunately he made a break going to the half on a loose part of the track, luckily he was strong enough to overcome it," said Chris Christoforou, who drove the gelding to the win for owner-trainer Gary Lance of Port Perry, ON. "He got back into contention at the head of the stretch - he got out wide in the lane where the footing was better - and had enough to get his head in front at the wire. He raced very good." Unlike Ripped And Ready and Awesomedabra, Remember Titans never found his way to the winner's circle in his freshman campaign, but the E L Titan son was consistent enough to make it all the way to the Grassroots Championship. On Wednesday, he finally visited the winner's circle with a front-end effort in the fourth $23,150 division. Crossfit Mouse was three lengths back when Remember Titans halted the teletimer at 1:58 and The Reins Of Titan was another length and one-half back in third. "Until tonight he was the best maiden in Canada I think," said trainer Shawn Steacy with a chuckle. "He's just a solid trotter. Until tonight he didn't have a nose for winning, that's all. But ultra-consistent, can get around any size track and kind of will do as much as what any horse around him will do. I'm hoping that he starts to like this winning thing, hopefully it becomes a habit." Steacy trains Remember Titans for Landmark 12 Racing Stable of Lansdowne, A K Malik Stable of Ottawa, ON and Dale Larson of Kent City, MI. James MacDonald piloted the colt to his first lifetime win. The three-year-old trotting colts will make their second Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 16. On Friday, June 17 Grand River Raceway will host its second Ontario Sires Stakes event of the 2020 season, welcoming the two-year-old pacing fillies to Elora for their second Grassroots leg. Complete results for Wednesday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

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