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The Next Generation, a race held at Eldorado Scioto Downs for 2-year-old Ohio breds requiring a $10,000 nomination, has filled all four harness racing divisions. First raced in 2020 for pacers, trotting divisions were added for 2021. All events will be raced over the 4th of July weekend and each will go for $150,000. "Even with how the pandemic affected us all in 2020, we were happy with how the inaugural Next Generation was received," said Eldorado Scioto Downs Director of Racing Jason Roth. "It was natural to add trotting divisions for this year." The concept, similar to the Mohawk Million, required nominators to pay $10,000 to claim a spot in any of the events. Owners and trainers could purchase one spot in each division, with payment due by March 15, but do not need to declare a horse to race until the draw for the race(s). Nominations totaled nine in each division and were led with Greg Luther (Black Magic Racing) and Weaver Bruscemi each purchasing a spot in all four divisions. TheStable.ca purchased spots in three divisions while Fiddlers Creek Stable, Foulk Stables, Hutchison Harness, Jason Shumway and Rosy Weaver each took a spot in two divisions. "When Jason approached me about the idea last year, I thought it was a great concept," said Chad Foulk, who was instrumental in spreading the word about the event in 2020. "When it gets closer to the race, if you don't have a horse for the spot you bought, you can sell it to someone else, which gives great flexibility." Trotters will face off on Friday, July 2, while the pacers will race on Saturday, July 3. The box closes for both Friday and Saturday cards on Tuesdays with a double draw at 2pm. The Scioto Downs race meet commences on Tuesday, May 4. Qualifiers will first be held on April 28 at 12 noon and opening day at 4:15 p.m., and will continue on Tuesdays at 4:15 p.m. until mid-June when they move to Monday afternoons with all the 2-year-olds starting to qualify. Racing continues through Saturday, September 18. Information about the upcoming meet, including a list of buyers for The Next Generation and eligibiles for the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot & Ohio State Fair races, can be found on the Scioto Downs website. From Eldorado Scioto Downs

MILTON, ON - March 4, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment today proudly revealed the names of the slot owners for the second edition of the Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters on Saturday, September 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A total of nine slots were available for purchase at the cost of $100,000 (CAD) each for entry in the $1-million (CAD) Mohawk Million. The deadline to purchase a slot passed on February 15 with all slots sold. The tenth and final slot will be awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial on September 11. The slot owners for the 2021 Mohawk Million are listed below: Brad Grant Crawford Farms Determination (two slots) EquineX (two slots) Gino Toscani (two slots) Steve Heimbecker The owners of the slots are not required to declare a two-year-old trotter for the race until entry time and the slot is an entity that may be sold, traded or subject to lease. Each slot owner was required to submit $50,000 per slot by the February 15 deadline. The remaining $50,000 is due by June 1. The Mohawk Million will take place along with the $850,000 Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers on September 25, putting the sport's two richest races for freshmen on the same card. The $540,000 Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies will also take place on the Mohawk Million card, which will feature total purses of more than $2.6 million. Fans can track the march to the Mohawk Million by following @WoodbineSB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The official hashtag of harness racing's richest race for two-year-olds is #MohawkMillion. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment            

MILTON, ON - February 18, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced that all slots for the 2021 Mohawk Million have officially been sold and the $1 million race for two-year-old trotters will be contested on Saturday, September 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The deadline to purchase one of nine slots in the Mohawk Million was February 15 and Woodbine has received purchase contracts to fill all slots. A $50,000 (CAD) payment was required by the February 15 deadline and all the slot purchasers will now have until June 1 to submit the remaining $50,000 (CAD) of the $100,000 slot fee. "We are very excited to announce that the second edition of the Mohawk Million is officially moving forward," said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. "The Mohawk Million is a race that impacts many avenues of our industry and brings notoriety to our sport. "On behalf of our entire team at Woodbine, I'd like to extend a special thank you to the owners that have purchased slots and are helping support a race that raises the prominence of our world class sport. I'd also like to acknowledge and thank Jessica Buckley, Bill McLinchey and our entire team for persevering in pulling this event together in spite of these challenging times." The names of the nine slot owners for the 2021 Mohawk Million will be unveiled by the end of the month. Woodbine Mohawk Park continues to compile a list of all the horses nominated to its 2021 stakes from the recent February 15 deadline. The tenth and final slot in the Mohawk Million will be awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial on Saturday, September 11. The Mohawk Million card on September 25 will be Canada's richest night of racing for 2021 with over $2.6 million in purses. The rising stars of harness racing will be the focus of Mohawk Million night, as the $850,000 Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers and $540,000 Shes A Great Lady are part of the rich evening. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment          

MILTON, ON - February 4, 2021 - The deadline to purchase a slot in the Mohawk Million, harness racing's richest race for two-year-olds, is quickly approaching on Monday, February 15. The Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters follows a "buy-in" formula with nine slots available for purchase, each priced at $100,000 CAD. The million-dollar race is scheduled for Saturday, September 25. "We're hopeful that the Mohawk Million can continue to grow in 2021 and build a legacy in our sport," said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. "A race like the Mohawk Million has a large impact on all parts of our industry, including our racetrack, owners, breeders, sales and fans. "We appreciate the support of our key industry stakeholders to help growing a World Class racing event." The Mohawk Million is one of only three million-dollar races in North American harness racing and purchasing a slot will guarantee a spot in the prestigious race. Each slot is considered an entity that may be sold, traded or leased. The slot holder does not have to declare a horse for the Mohawk Million until the week of the race. The inaugural Mohawk Million was captured by Venerate, a son of French Stallion Love You. Venerate, who was recently named a Dan Patch Award winner, held off O'Brien Award winning filly Donna Soprano for the million-dollar race victory. The deadline to purchase a slot in February 15 and a $50,000 nomination fee is required when submitting a slot contract for the Mohawk Million. The remaining $50,000 is then due by June 1, 2021. Any requests for information or purchases of a slot can be directed to Bill McLinchey, Director of Standardbred Racing, at bmclinchey@woodbine.com. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON - October 27, 2020 - After a successful inaugural edition, Woodbine Entertainment today confirmed that the Mohawk Million for two-year-old harness racing trotters will return in 2021. "We were very pleased with the support and execution of the inaugural Mohawk Million," said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. "It is important for us to continue evolving and based on the results of the first Mohawk Million we're confident that we can start to build a legacy for this race that can have an immediate impact on many aspects of our industry." The 2021 Mohawk Million will continue to follow a "buy-in" formula with a few minor changes made to the conditions. A total of nine slots will be available for purchase, with the cost of each slot reduced from $110,000 USD to $100,000 CAD. The tenth and final slot will again be awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial. The purse for the 2021 Mohawk Million will be $1 million CAD. Team Determination, who raced Donna Soprano and On A Streak in the inaugural Mohawk Million, has confirmed their intent to purchase a slot for the 2021 race. "We are very pleased to support this initiative as it contributes to elevate our industry standards," said Team Determination in a statement to Woodbine Entertainment. "It encourages all of us, as industry stakeholders, to lead the way in Canadian horse breeding to achieve World Class level." The deadline to purchase a slot is February 15, 2021 and $50,000 (CAD) will be required with the submission of a slot contract. The remaining $50,000 (CAD) is due June 1, 2021. The inaugural Mohawk Million was recently contested on September 26. Venerate, a son of French stallion Love You, won the inaugural edition for owners Pinkse Stables and Andy Miller Stable. The connections of the Julie Miller trained trotter negotiated a private deal to race Venerate in the slot of owner Brad Grant. The date for the 2021 Mohawk Million will be confirmed and announced later this year. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Exciting Love You two-year-old colt Venerate overpowered his rivals to capture the $Can1,320,000 Mohawk Million, the richest trotting race ever held in Canada, at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night (September 26). Starting from the back row, the colt settled down third last before moving up to fifth at three-quarter pole. Angled four deep in the home stretch, Venerate let down with a brilliant finishing flourish to score by three-quarters of a length. Time for the flying mile was 1:53.4. Venerate became the richest two-year-old trotter in North America this year with earnings of $683,766, the result of four wins and two placings in seven starts. Love You sired a winning double at Addington, New Zealand on Friday night (September 25) with the three-year-olds Leaf Stride and Wanna Play With Me. Leaf Stride made it two for two with a last-stride win in the Haras Des Trotteurs Sires’ Stakes prelude, while Wanna Play With Me notched her third success from six starts. Quaker Jet, the richest son of Love You, was represented by his ninth winner from his first Australian crop of  24 foals when the three-year-old filly Imamaorijet overcame a difficult draw and a wide passage to salute at Kilmore. Imamaorijet was bred by Haras Des Trotteurs principal Pat Driscoll out of the Inter Dominion winning mare Sumthingaboutmaori. Meanwhile, Orlando Vici’s second crop son Red White An Bloom maintained his devastating form with a crushing win at Maryborough, his third from his last four attempts. In Europe, the French trotting champion Bold Eagle sired the winners of the two biggest races for three-year-old trotters in Sweden and the winner of the Norwegian Criterium. Brambling, a colt by Bold Eagle, led throughout in the $910,000 Svensk Travkriterium, run at Solvalla on Saturday (September 26), rating a slick 1:57.3 over 1.6 miles, with Henry Flyer Susi (also by Bold Eagle), third. Brambling is out of a mare by Muscle Hill. On the same card, the Bold Eagle filly Eagle Eye Sherry sprinted sharply after enjoying a pocket trip to capture the Svensk Travkriterium $635,000 Oaks. The mile rate for the 1.3 miles was 1:57.3. Eagle Eye Sherry is from a Credit winner mare. Bold Eagle was also represented by another two feature race winners in Europe on the weekend in High Flyer, who took out the Norwegian Criterium at Bjerke, making it five wins from seven starts, and Aetos Kronos, who won the Grand Prix de l’uet at Solvalla, Sweden. The frozen semen of Love You, Bold Eagle, Orlando Vici and Quaker Jet is available to breeders in Australia and New Zealand from Haras Des Trotteurs, Ballarat (Vic.).   by Peter Wharton

MILTON, September 26, 2020 – Venerate and harness racing driver Andrew McCarthy powered off cover at the head of the stretch to win the $1,320,000 Mohawk Million on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.  A full field of ten rookie trotters, including three fillies, met in the inaugural Mohawk Million, a “buy-in” race with nine slots available for the purchase of $110,000 each and a final slot awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial.  Racing in the slot of Brad Grant, Marvin Katz and partners, Venerate overcame a second-tier start with a perfect steer from McCarthy to win in 1:53.2. The Julie Miller trainee got away eighth and was able to follow the favourite Donna Soprano, eventually muscling by the previously undefeated filly to win by three-quarters of a lengh.  “I was hoping I’d get out of there a little closer, but after scoring him down I knew I couldn’t make him accelerate too fast, so I just wanted to get out of there upright,” said McCarthy. “He’s a very strong horse, I’ve seen that, I didn’t really care how far back I got, just figured I’d have to get through that first turn and then worry about where I’m going from there.  “The speed was pretty tough early, so it worked out where I could end up getting a pretty good trip, but when I looked up at the eighth-pole I was a long away back.”  The opening stages of the race saw several horses leaving hard, causing a four-wide push into the first-turn. Altar cut a :27 opening-quarter before handing the lead over to Wellwood winner On A Streak, who was four-wide entering the turn. Race-favourite Donna Soprano got away sixth, while Venerate was eighth.  On A Streak led to the half in 56.1 just as Insta Glam came with a powerful rush to claim the top spot going into the final-turn. Donna Soprano got her cue to go just before the half, as did Venerate and McCarthy seeing an opportunity to follow the favourite.  Insta Glam trotted a strong third-quarter to get the field to that station in 1:24 with a few lengths of separation.  In the stretch, Donna Soprano and Venerate trotted by Insta Glam to set up a battle of their own. The filly Donna Soprano tried to hold on, but the colt Venerate was too much to handle, powering by to victory.  “I’m so thankful for Andy and Julie and Pinske Stable,” said McCarthy. “And to Brad (Grant) for deciding to use me on this horse, I’m so thankful.”  On A Streak finished third, while Insta Glam was fourth.  A son of French stallion Love You, Venerate is owned by Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable. The connections negotiated a private deal with slot owner Brad Grant, Marvin Katz and partners to take a shot at the Mohawk Million.  “It makes me look pretty smart I guess,” laughed Grant. “We really believed in this race when we bought our slot. What Woodbine has done is something new and I think it’s great, it had a buzz to it all year long.”  Venerate is now four for seven and adds the winner’s share of the $1,320,000 purse to his previously earned $188,766.   The victory for driver McCarthy gives him a sweep of harness racing’s two richest races in 2020. McCarthy won the $1 million Hambletonian on August 8 at The Meadowlands in New Jersey.   “It feels amazing just to be involved in a race like this,” said McCarthy. “It’s important to hold races like this, it draws a lot of attention and hopefully it hangs around for next year.” The inaugural Mohawk Million was the richest standardbred race contested in Canada since the 2012 Pepsi North America Cup. The inaugural race headlined a $2.8 million card, which included the $720,000 Metro Pace, $455,000 Shes A Great Lady and $215,000 Milton.  A $2 win ticket on Venerate returned $6.80.    Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications & Content

Harness racing traner Luc Blais will have two horses in Saturday's inaugural Mohawk Million for 2-year-old trotters at Woodbine Mohawk Park, so he is understandably excited about the event. But the trainer knows he is not alone in being pumped up about Canada's richest race since 2012. The Mohawk Million is the first million-dollar buy-in race in harness racing history. Nine spots in the 10-horse field were available for purchase for $110,000 (U.S.), with the final slot in the race given to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial. Blais-trained On A Streak won the Wellwood to earn his place in the Mohawk Million. The colt is owned by Serge Godin's Determination stable, which also had purchased a spot in the race. Donna Soprano, the Blais-Determination tandem's undefeated filly, was selected by her connections to fill that spot. "It's very exciting," Blais said. "At the beginning, you've got a slot, but you don't know what horse will be there. Now, we're in. We are lucky, our horses have been racing well. You need luck in this game, and I think everything is going well right now. I hope it keeps going in that direction. "But we all feel the same this week. We all feel excited. This is something new and I think people are interested to see it. That is good for the game." The Mohawk Million carries a Canadian purse of $1.32 million, which converts to $1 million U.S. dollars. The winner of the race will receive the traditional 50-percent purse payout and all starters will receive at least one percent of the purse. Donna Soprano, undefeated in five races this year, will start the Mohawk Million from post three with regular driver Bob McClure. Her victories include the Peaceful Way Stakes, a division of the Champlain Stakes, and the Pure Ivory Series final. She has won every race by a minimum of one length and average of nearly three lengths. "I think she has a lot of character," Blais said. "She was not easy to bring here, but we figured her out, the way she wanted things. Every start is better and better, and she is more handy on the racetrack. Her last couple starts, she looks like a real professional. She acts like a special horse." Donna Soprano is a daughter of Donato Hanover out of the O'Brien Award winning mare Windsong Soprano. She was purchased for $190,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. She has earned $210,820 this season. Blais and Determination selected Donna Soprano for the Mohawk Million over stablemate Macho Martini, a colt who won his first seven races before finishing third in the Wellwood Memorial and then suffering interference and going off stride in the stretch of an Ontario Sire Stakes Gold division. "It was a good problem," Blais said about having to make a choice. "Macho Martini already has nine starts this year and he raced very big in the Wellwood. He had a rough mile. Donna has only five starts and she looks very hot right now." On A Streak, a son of Cantab Hall out of Habit's Best, is a half-brother to O'Brien Award winner Habitat and was purchased for $155,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. He got his first win in the Wellwood, where he bested previously undefeated Southwind Tyrion by a head. A week earlier in their Wellwood elimination, On A Streak suffered a nose defeat to Southwind Tyrion. "He was second that day, but he raced big," Blais said. "I was not really surprised (when he won the Wellwood). He is getting better and better every start. It seems he is more mature and he knows what to do now, more than in the beginning. He is a nice horse, a very strong horse. He just needed a little maturity and now I think he's there." On A Streak will start the Mohawk Million from post seven with driver Scott Young. The Mohawk Million is race 10 on Saturday's card. Post time is approximately 10:45 p.m. (EDT). The full field for the Mohawk Million is listed below: Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Slot Owner 1. Iznogoud AM S (Doug McNair/Marcus Melander) - Courant Inc. 2. Warrawee Whisper (Jonathan Drury/Shawn Steacy) - Glengate Farms 3. Donna Soprano (Bob McClure/Luc Blais) - Determination 4. Full Of Muscles (Trevor Henry/Brad Maxwell) - Dreamland Farms 5. Altar (Jody Jamieson/Per Engblom) - Diamond Creek Racing 6. Tokyo Seelster (Sylvain Filion/Richard Moreau) - Jeffrey Snyder 7. On A Streak (Scott Young/Luc Blais) - Wellwood Winner 8. Bravado Fashion (Louis-Philippe Roy/Jim Campbell) - Fashion Farms 9. Insta Glam (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter) - John Fielding 10. Venerate (Andrew McCarthy/Julie Miller) - Brad Grant In addition to the Mohawk Million, Saturday's card at Mohawk includes the She's A Great Lady final for 2-year-old filly pacers, Milton Stakes final for pacing mares, and Metro Pace final for 2-year-old male pacers. For more about the Mohawk Million and Saturday's stakes, click here. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

SMYRNA, DE -- The latest harness racing episode of The Extra Mile, a new biweekly news-magazine podcast centered around Standardbred racing, became available for streaming and download on Wednesday (Sept. 23).   The third episode avails listeners a preview of Thursday's (Sept. 24) Little Brown Jug, along with an inside look at the inaugural Mohawk Million, slated for Saturday (Sept. 26) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Harness racing media veteran James Witherite presents the biweekly podcast, which features guests Jim Campbell, Carmen Auciello and Mark McKelvie.   Listeners can access the current episode of The Extra Mile at this link or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts, and can follow The Extra Mile on Twitter at @DHNExtraMile.   From the DHN Media Group

MILTON, ON - September 21, 2020 - The harness racing field for the inaugural Mohawk Million is set with each of the nine slot owners declaring a horse to race in their slot prior to Monday's noon deadline. The $1 million (USD) race for two-year-old trotters will take place this Saturday (September 26) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a full field of 10 lining up. The Mohawk Million follows a buy-in formula with nine slots in the race sold earlier this year for $110,000 (USD) each. The tenth and final slot was awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial, On A Streak. Each of the nine slots sold were considered an entity that could be sold, traded or leased. All nine slot owners have retained their slots with several opting to privately negotiate a deal to have a horse they do not own compete in their slot. The field for the Mohawk Million is listed below by slot owner name. Slot Owner: Brad Grant Horse: Venerate Owner: Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable Inc. Trainer: Julie Miller Slot Owner: Courant Inc. Horse: Iznogoud AM S Owner: Courant Inc. Trainer: Marcus Melander Slot Owner: Determination Horse: Donna Soprano (Filly) Owner: Determination Trainer: Luc Blais Slot Owner: Diamond Creek Racing Horse: Altar (Filly) Owner: Diamond Creek Racing Trainer: Per Engblom Slot Owner: Dreamland Farms Horse: Full Of Muscles Owner: Farhi Standardbreds Corp. Trainer: Brad Maxwell Slot Owner: Fashion Farms Horse: Bravado Fashion Owner: Fashion Farms LLC. Trainer: Jim Campbell Slot Owner: Glengate Farms Horse: Warrawee Whisper Owner: Mark Steacy, Natasha Rivest, Stephen Klunowski and Dr. Michael Wilson Trainer: Shawn Steacy Slot Owner: Jeffrey Snyder Horse: Tokyo Seelster Owner: Michael Sergi, Sam Sergi and Braveheart Racing Trainer: Richard Moreau Slot Owner: John Fielding Horse: Insta Glam (Filly) Owner: Goran Falk and Christina Takter Trainer: Nancy Takter Wellwood Winner Slot Horse: On A Streak Owner: Determination Trainer: Luc Blais The post-position draw for the Mohawk Million will take place this evening at 6:20 p.m. The draw will be part of the Woodbine Racing Live simulcast show prior to Monday evening's card of live racing. Mark McKelvie will host this evening's Mohawk Million coverage on Woodbine Racing Live. This evening's festivities include a message from Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, a closer look at each horse in the field and the post-position draw with Scott McKelvie, Race Secretary for Mohawk Park. The draw can be seen live on multiple platforms, including Woodbine Mohawk Park's website, Facebook, HPIbet, HPItv and all distributors carrying Woodbine's simulcast signal. The $1 million Mohawk Park is the main event of Canada's richest night of harness racing. The Mohawk Million card also includes the $720,000 Metro Pace, $455,000 Shes A Great Lady and $215,000 Milton Stakes. Post time for Saturday's rich card is 7 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment          

MILTON, ON - September 17, 2020 - The march to the Mohawk Million is entering the final stage with slot owners required to finalize the two-year-old harness racing trotter that will race in their slot by Monday (September 21) at Noon. The Mohawk Million for $1 million (USD) will be the richest Standardbred race contested in Canada since 2012. The event for rookie trotters will headline a $2.5 million-plus card on Saturday, September 26 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Mohawk Million had nine slots available for purchase at a cost $110,000 (USD) each. The tenth and final slot in the race was awarded to the winner of last Saturday's William Wellwood Memorial, On A Streak. The winner of the race will receive the traditional 50 per cent of the purse. All starters will receive at least one per cent of the purse. The purse distribution breakdown is listed below: 1st: $500,000 2nd: $225,000 3rd: $108,000 4th: $72,000 5th: $45,000 6th-10th: $10,000 Each slot is an entity that may be sold, traded or subject to lease. The slot owners must declare a horse to race in their slot by Monday (September 21) at Noon. The nine slot owners are listed below: Brad Grant Courant Inc. (Anders Strom) Determination (Serge Godin) Diamond Creek Racing (Adam Bowden) Dreamland Farms (Gina Ghent) Fashion Farms (Jules Siegel) Glengate Farms (Jim Bullock) Jeffrey Snyder John Fielding The Mohawk Million card will also feature the $720,000 Metro Pace, $455,000 Shes A Great Lady and $215,000 Milton Stakes. Eliminations for those three events take place this Saturday (September 19). by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

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