Day At The Track
Charlottetown Driving Park, Harness Racing

Chocolate Swirl reaches up

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - With a hard brush up the passing lane, Chocolate Swirl received the lion's share in the $2,850 preferred pace Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Jason Hughes supplied the steer for leading trainer Jennifer Doyle to stop the clock in 1:56.4 over Bugsy Maguire (Driven by Marc Campbell) and stablemate Winter Blast (Ken Murphy). Doyle co-owns Chocolate Swirl with partner Danny Birt of Earnscliffe. Larjon Legacy prevailed in a hotly contested stretch drive battle in the race 9 Fillies and Mares Open pace. The $2,800 event saw driver David Dowling take a two-hole ride with Larjon Legacy and fight past pacesetter Roselily (Hughes) to win in 1:56. Bo Ford trains the winning six-year-old daughter of Mister Big for owners Arnold Myers, Sterling Maclure and Luke Beck of Charlottetown. Gilles Barrieau was the hot reinsman of the day as he took control of the Red Shores Charlottetown driving standings with five winners on the program. Barrieau scored with Atufflittleguy (2:00.1) from the Kenny Arsenault barn, Bettim Jenny (2:00.1) for Jeff Lilley, Collective Wisdom (1:59) for trainer Ron Matheson, Here Comes Red (1:58.2) for conditioner Wade Sorrie and Southwind Ion (1:57.4) for a training double for Doyle. Sorrie had two wins from his stable as Pictonian Storm was victorious in the Super Hi-5 finale scoring in 1:57.2 with Campbell at the controls. Live racing continues Saturday (Jan. 30) at 12:30 P.M. For race replays and more go to Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

Bugsy Maguire, Harness racing

Bugsy Maguire returns

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – It has been over half-a-year since Bugsy Maguire’s biggest harness racing career moment but he returns to the fray in the preferred pace Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.  The 13-dash Saturday presentation starts off at 12:30 P.M. with the preferred pace going to the gate in race 12 for a $2,850 pot.  Bugsy Maguire put together a story book moment in winning the 2020 Governor’s Plate Final in July at Red Shores Summerside with Brodie MacPhee in the bike but suffered an injury shortly after and was absent for the remainder of the season. The seven-year-old son of Bettors Delight has qualified the past two weeks with qualifying driver Jaycob Sweet in the bike for trainer Wade Sorrie. But for Saturday’s pari-mutuel event, Sorrie will call upon leading driver Marc Campbell to steer for owner Walter Simmons of Summerside.  Chocolate Swirl knocked off the top group last week and has post 4 on Saturday with Jason Hughes at the controls of the Jennifer Doyle trainee. Hunger Pangs controls the rail from the Jeff Holmes stable with Mark Bradley supplying the drive. The ultra-competitive field also includes Winter Blast (Ken Murphy) and Rockin Indy (Corey MacPherson).  Peter MacPhee with the Post Time Picks places his trust in post 5 starter Bugsy Maguire. “Bugsy Maguire had the most memorable victory on PEI in 2020 winning the Governor’s Plate back in July,” MacPhee said. “He hasn’t raced since then but does have a couple of qualifiers under his belt and adds Campbell so we think they get to the wire first.”  The Fillies and Mares Open pace lines up in race 9 for a $2,800 purse. Woodmere Skyroller is assigned post 6 in the field after winning this class the last two weeks for driver Gilles Barrieau, trainer Kevin MacLean and owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford. The champion daughter of Rollwithitharry is undefeated so far in 2021 and will look for career win number 18 on Saturday.  The race 13 finale will again host the Super Hi-5 wager where the winning ticket must have the first five finishers in the correct order. Mantario is the morning line favourite from the Doyle barn. Kenny Arsenault will be in the bike of the post 4 starter.  Catch all the action on the worldwide broadcast at Redshores.ca and wager online at HPIBet.com.    By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores 

Woodbine

Why shouldn't racing be allowed in Ontario?

Prevented from making a living, horse racing people in Ontario feel as though they’ve been kicked in the groin by the Ontario government, and then kneed in the face after the province allowed NHL hockey to start up this month. The horse racing crowd believes that what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander, the argument being that if NHL hockey is allowed to resume, horse racing should be as well — particularly given the remarkable record Woodbine Entertainment achieved in keeping the COVID-19 virus at bay at both Woodbine Racetrack during the 2020 thoroughbred season and at Woodbine Mohawk Park during the standardbred meet. However, despite the horse racing industry rising to the occasion in terms of protecting people from COVID-19, the Ontario government shut down thoroughbred racing three weeks early in December and cancelled the Mohawk winter standardbred schedule last month — throwing thousands of horse racing people out of work and creating major financial hardships for owners and trainers. Meanwhile, the NHL started the 2021 season just last week and already a number of games have been postponed after some players were put on the COVID-19 protocol list. Mike Tanev has a foot in both worlds. Two of his sons — Brandon and Chris — play in the NHL. He’s also a harness racing owner. The Scarborough resident totally supports the idea that if NHL hockey is allowed in Ontario, so should horse racing. Both professional sports bring in millions in revenue to the province and employ thousands of workers. But Tanev believes that it’s counter-productive for horse racing people to just sit back and whine that the NHL is getting preferential treatment. Instead of crying and pointing fingers, Tanev said horse racing should follow the example of the NHL and approach the province and ask exactly what is needed to get the green light to resume racing. Each Canadian NHL team negotiated with its respective provincial health ministry in order to get a deal to resume playing — including an offer to pay for COVID-19 testing. During the 2021 season, NHL players will undergo daily temperature checks, and they will self-administer them not more than two hours before entering their club’s facilities. Players and other club personnel were tested daily during training camp and will be for the first four weeks of the regular season. After that, the league will reevaluate to see whether clubs should test every other day. “We don’t have to whack the Ontario government over the head with the NHL,” Tanev said. “The province has allowed the NHL to play because the NHL has strict protocols in place, like player testing on a daily basis, which the teams are paying for. If horse racing followed the exact same protocols that the NHL is doing then there should be no reason that horse racing should be allowed. “I just don’t want to hear, ‘They’re playing, so we should be able to race,’ ” added Tanev, who is in the automobile sales business. “If we’re going to pay (for testing) out of our own money, the government has absolutely no reason to say no. And Woodbine Entertainment has absolutely no reason to say no to conducting testing because it would not be coming out of their bottom line.” Tanev said a fellow harness racing owner came up with a plan that would see the owners of the top five horses in each race pay out a percentage of the purse money to go towards testing. “(The NHL) opened the door for us. We need to step inside the door and run with the ball,” said Tanev, adding that he believes WE has to work harder — or at least amp on its lobbying efforts — to get racing back. WE CEO Jim Lawson has said that he has been in constant contact with government officials at both the provincial and federal levels, via social media. Lawson did conduct a media blitz recently demanding answers as to why the Ontario government has allowed one professional sport (NHL) to resume while shutting down another (horse racing). He is also encouraging everyone involved in horse racing to contact their local MPP’s. “My goal here is not to in any way damage the NHL; my goal is not to suggest that the lockdown in any way is not the right thing or important to do,” Lawson told Trot Insider. “My goal is really to say, ‘If you’re going to do this, let’s be fair and let’s consider the horse racing industry, where we have done things right.’ When you think of it, our track record is — first of all, it’s remarkable that we operated seven months at Mohawk without COVID, and that’s generally five nights a week. But secondly, when you think of hockey, they don’t have that track record at all. They operated in a bubble for the playoffs, and by its very nature — of the sport and by the travel that’s required the way it’s structured — it’s definitely more risky than what we’re proposing. “The National Hockey League has 30, 40 people per team flying across provinces, flying into hotels, travelling, going to restaurants and hotels. It’s pretty high-risk stuff,” Lawson continued. “As it relates to the actual play, the players are getting negative tests regularly, they’re testing all essential personnel, to which I say, ‘We’re prepared to do that. We’re prepared to get our drivers tested three or four times a week, or get our essential personnel tested. So, what’s the difference? Why are you giving preference to one sport?’ ” Lawson and Tanev both made the point that while the Ontario government has rightfully ruled that the caring for races horses is essential during the a lockdown, it makes no sense that racing is not. The people caring for the horses are the same people who are at the track when racing is happening. By Steve Buffery Reprinted with permission of The Toronto Sun

Woodbine schedule for lucrative 2021 stakes

Woodbine schedule for lucrative 2021 stakes

MILTON, January 21, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment today unveiled the tentative schedule for the 2021 harness racing stakes season at Woodbine Mohawk Park. More than $20 million in stakes races, including over $12 million in Woodbine administrated events, will be contested at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2021. "While we continue to advocate for the safe return of live Standardbred Racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, we are preparing for an exciting 2021 Standardbred meet," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "With a proven track record and industry-leading health and safety protocols already in place, we are confident that when it is safe and permitted to resume horse racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, we will be well positioned to restart the industry and the thousands of jobs it supports." Currently, horse racing (without spectators) is not permitted until at least February 10 in Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions. However, Woodbine Entertainment has published this 2021 stakes schedule (subject to the latest government restrictions) to provide horse people with the information required to prepare for the season. Typically kicking off in May, the 2021 Woodbine Mohawk Park stakes season is headlined by the million-dollar Pepsi North America Cup and Mohawk Million races. The 38th Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers will take place on Saturday, June 19 and is the headline event on a stacked Grand Circuit card of racing. The eliminations for the $1 million contest take place a week prior on Saturday, June 12. The Pepsi North America Cup card will also include the $450,000 Fan Hanover (three-year-old pacing fillies), $330,000 Roses Are Red (pacing mares), $250,000 Armbro Flight (trotting mares), $250,000 Goodtimes (three-year-old trotters) and $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup (invitational pace). The second edition of the Mohawk Million is scheduled for Saturday, September 25. The $1 million race for two-year-old trotters continues to follow a "buy-in" format with nine slots available for purchase. Each slot available for purchase in the Mohawk Million is priced at $100,000 (CAD). The tenth and final slot will be awarded to the winner of the $610,000 William Wellwood Memorial on Saturday, September 11. The deadline to purchase a slot is February 15, 2021. The Mohawk Million card on September 25 is scheduled to be the richest card of the season. The lineup for the night also includes the prestigious $850,000 Metro Pace (two-year-old pacers), $540,000 Shes A Great Lady (two-year-old pacing fillies) and $250,000 Milton (pacing mares). The month of September is loaded with rich stakes events each Saturday, starting with the $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot on September 4 and closing with Mohawk Million night on September 25. The $610,000 Wellwood Memorial (two-year-old trotters) and $400,000 Peaceful Way (two-year-old trotting fillies) take place on September 11, while the $600,000 Canadian Trotting Classic (three-year-old trotters) and $375,000 Elegantimage (three-year-old trotting fillies) are scheduled for September 18. The traditional Champlain and Simcoe Stakes are sprinkled throughout the end of August and early September. Other notable Grand Circuit races include the Somebeachsomewhere (three-year-old pacers) on Saturday, June 5, Nassagaweya (two-year-old pacers) and Eternal Camnation (two-year-old pacing fillies) on Saturday, August 28, and Casual Breeze (three-year-old trotting fillies) on Friday, September 3. Woodbine Mohawk Park will also host a leg of the Miss Versatility (trotting mares) on Friday, May 28, and Graduate Series (four-year-olds) on Saturday, June 5. Both events are administrated by The Meadowlands. The Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals and Grassroots Championships will again be held at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2021. Final dates for the Ontario Sires Stakes season will be released at a later date. Nominations for all Woodbine Standardbred Stakes close on Monday, February 15. Conditions and payment details can be found in the 2021 Woodbine Stakes Booklet. Woodbine continues to administrate stakes for Ontario Racetracks in 2021, including Grand River Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway. Stakes payments for all Woodbine administrated events can be made payable to Woodbine Entertainment. Payments can be made through the Race Office, by mail or online. The entire 2021 stakes schedule for Woodbine Mohawk Park is available here. Mark McKelvie

Guelph, ON Jan, 19, 2021 - Nothing can drain the colour from a harness racing owner’s face quicker than hearing the word COLIC! Winter is an important season to focus on colic prevention and ward off water woes that can lead to impaction in the equine gut.    Equine Guelph has many resources to reduce your horse’s risk of colic, including a FREE interactive online healthcare tool, the Colic Risk Rater (www.equineguelph.ca/colictool). The importance of access to clean, fresh water 24 hours a day, to keep everything flowing smoothly, cannot be overstated and is one of the top 12 tips discussed among management practices. For an even deeper dive into digestive health – take the next offering of Equine Guelph’s online course, Gut Health and Colic Prevention, Feb 8 – 19 on the HorsePortal.ca. Both resources are generously sponsored by CapriCMW Insurance Services Ltd.   What you need to know about horses and H2O   Never assume they are drinking! Just because water is available does not mean your horse is drinking enough. Horses should drink about 37 to 45 litres of water per day in order to stay healthy, and they will often drink less water when it is icy cold, particularly if there are any dental issues. It is also a misnomer to believe all horses will break through a thin layer of ice to access their water source. A heater is the best option, not only for the fussy drinker but also to ensure troughs do not freeze over during overnight hours or on frigid days. A study out of Penn State University has shown that increasing water temperature from just above freezing to 4-18° Celsius will increase the amount of water consumed by up to 40%. Make sure the heater is properly installed and check it is in good repair and operating safely. If you see horses standing by a trough but not drinking, be sure to check there is no electric current due to a malfunctioning heating element.   Dehydration: This is a serious issue which increases the risk of impaction colic. Monitor the horse for any signs of dehydration. Discuss how you can do this with your veterinarian. A “skin pinch” on the shoulder of the horse is a useful tool to assess hydration by seeing if there is any delay in the skin flattening back down (this is called skin tenting). Slowed skin response may indicate a degree of dehydration.   Salt: If your horse is not drinking an adequate amount, in addition to monitoring them for dehydration, consider providing free choice loose salt for the horse to take in what they need.   More water at feed time: You can add water to concentrate ration and/or soak the hay for 10 minutes prior to feeding as this will bring more water into the gut. You may also wish to discuss with your vet or equine nutritionist the use of soaked and shredded beet pulp as an addition to the diet for getting more water into the digestive system. Adding a bran mash once a week was once a popular practice, but the sudden introduction of a different feed is actually another colic risk factor. Adding water to their regular feed is recommended. Being consistent and making feed changes slowly is another one of the top 12 tips in the Colic Risk Rater tool (www.equineguelph.ca/colictool).   24/7 access to water: Horses are trickle feeders and their digestive systems operate optimally when forage is always available. This means water must be available at all times to aid in digestion and avoid blockages. In winter water needs may increase as a result of the increased hay being consumed, which is also much dryer than moisture rich pasture. Always make sure there is lots of fresh, clean water provided 24 hours a day.    Snow is not a substitute for water! Ten inches of snow equals one inch of water. If 2 inches of snow fell, a horse would need to consume over four football fields worth to get enough water.   More recommended and required practices for watering horses are listed in the National Code of Practice for the care and Handling of Equines including: checking automatic watering systems daily to ensure they are dispensing water properly and testing water quality at least annually, unless it is from a previously tested water supply safe for human consumption.   Mike King, of CapriCMW, is a dedicated horseman who believes in the importance of education for horse owners. He addresses why it was so important for his organization to partner with Equine Guelph on colic prevention programs, “Given our decades of experience in insuring horses from coast to coast, we know that colic is one of the highest risk factors for death in the Canadian herd. We can think of no better risk management tool to prevent colic than education.”   This winter, take action to further your knowledge on colic prevention   Learn more about best practices to reduce your horse’s risk of colic by taking 15 minutes to assess your risk with the free Colic Risk Rater healthcare tool (www.equineguelph.ca/colictool), and then sign up for the next offering of Equine Guelph’s online course, Gut Health and Colic Prevention, Feb 8 – 19 on the HorsePortal.ca.   by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions, Equine Guelph  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The 2021 Prix d'Ete Grand Circuit race normally held in August at the Hippodrome 3R racetrack in Quebec, has been canceled for 2021. The Quebec Jockey Club made the announcement today, citing that due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of being able to have spectators at the racetrack starting this fall, it was in the best interest to cancel the race for 2021. The race was also cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. "Preparing for such a big event in these difficult times is unrealistic," said Murielle Thomassin, Director of Racing at H3R. "But I am confident next year will be brighter and a much different story." One of the richest races in North America restricted to just four-year-old's, the Prix d'Ete dates back to 1966 at Blue Bonnets Raceway in Montreal. Over the years many world champions won the prestigious race. The stakes race ended when Blue Bonnets closed in 1992 and was revived by the Quebec Jockey Club in 2014. The Hippodrome 3R is scheduled to start the 2021 harness racing meet on Sunday, May 2. For more information, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Harness racing fans, harnesslink community, we have some important and exciting news to share with you. The current iteration of our website is now over ten years old and while it has done it's job incredibly well, the time has come for an upgrade.  Due to a number of technological changes, our current website has started to experience several problems behind the scenes which need to be solved. This has also fortunately given us the chance to review our current design as website design has changed a lot over the last ten years.  Our new website will be coming sometime in the next few weeks and should bring with it a faster, cleaner, more modern design. We know that change is hard but we also hope that you will keep an open mind and enjoy our new look when it is launched. Here's to the next chapter! John and the Harnesslink team Here is a picture of our original Website dated 2002

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Arc Light handed Marc Campbell an Atlantic record on Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park as the youngest harness racing driver to ever hit 2,500 victories on the East Coast. The 36-year-old Winsloe reinsman found the milestone win in race 10 of the day with his own trainee, Arc Light, in a 1:59.3 mile for owner Crossroads Racing Stable of Stratford. Driver David Dowling was the hot flavour of the day with three wins on the 14-dash program. Dowling scored a pair of wins from the Earl Watts barn with Galterio Hanover (2:02.3) for a maiden breaking score and with Howmac Missy (2:01.3). Dowling's other win came via a parked out performance with Babbling (2:00.4) for trainer Mike Dowling for the horse's second straight win since coming to P.E.I. Gilles Barrieau teamed up with Woodmere Skyroller for a repeat performance in the $2,900 Fillies and Mares Open class in 1:58.2 for trainer Kevin MacLean. Roselily (Driven by Jason Hughes) was second with Larjon Legacy (Dowling) third. Chocolate Swirl circled the field in the $2,650 pacing feature in race 13, stopping the clock in 1:57.1 for driver Jason Hughes and trainer Jennifer Doyle. Hunger Pangs (Mark Bradley) was a hard fought second while Smart Official (Dowling) completed the triactor ticket. Three Truths (Kenny Arsenault) found the wire first in the race 14 Super Hi-5 race which saw a $669.60 winning payout. Live racing continues next Saturday (Jan. 23) at 12:30 P.M. For race replays and more go to Redshores.ca.   By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Perennial leading harness racing driver Marc Campbell returns to action Saturday afternoon and will look to be a big part of the first Super High-5 race at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The afternoon program kicks off at 12:30 P.M. with Eagle Jolt and Campbell the morning line favourite in the race 14 finale featuring the first ever Super High-5 wager at Red Shores. The Super Hi-5 will involve picking the first five finishers in race 14, with Red Shores guaranteeing a minimum $1000.00 pool. In the absence of a correct winning ticket on Saturday, the closest combination will pay out a percentage of the pool and the remaining money will roll over to next week with a mandatory payout on the entire pool on the season ending Feb. 6 program. Eagle Jolt is now in his retirement year, having turned 14 on the regulatory Jan. 1 birthday for all standardbreds. Owned by Marie MacDonald of Stratford and Natasha Campbell of Winsloe, Eagle Jolt finds himself dropping down in class on Saturday to hit post 2 in the $1,900 event. Three Truths pulled off a shocking victory in his latest outing and gets post 7 in the class with Kenny Arsenault in the bike for trainer Paul Doyle. Shadow Of A Daut is third choice in the program for the combination of driver Steven Shepherd and trainer Earl Watts from post 3. Peter MacPhee with the Post Time Picks places Eagle Jolt on top of his Super High-5 wager. "Hard to believe when the calendar flipped to 2021 Eagle Jolt turned 14," MacPhee said. "He's been on the fringes in his last few but has a ton of back class and with Marc returning they could reach up and win today." Also in that event are Silverhilllightnin (To be driven by Lenny Myers), Theycallmedude (Ken Murphy), Desired Treasure (Gordie Hennessey), Selkirk Echo (Gilles Barrieau), and Zack The Men (David Dowling). Woodmere Skyroller will look to repeat in the race 9 Open Mares pace leaving from post 5 in the $2,900 event. Barrieau is in the bike for trainer Kevin MacLean and owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford. Other top entries are Woodmere Chella (Corey MacPherson) and Filly Forty Seven (Campbell). Race 8 has Doc Darryl the top choice with a three-race win streak on the line for driver Murphy, trainer Clifford Murphy and owner Morgan Sheppard of Brackley Beach. The four-year-old son of Sunshine Beach has been undefeated since coming to P.E.I. as a maiden in Decemeber but has to deal with post 7 on Saturday. Catch all the action on the worldwide broadcast at Redshores.ca and wager online at HPIBet.com.   By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

Port Perry, OH — David Heffering of Tara Hills Stud has announced that Kadabra has been retired from stallion duty. “It is with great sadness that we announce Kadabra’s retirement from stud duty,” said Heffering. “Kadabra leaves a great legacy and influence on the Standardbred breed, not only in Ontario, but industry wide. “Over the course of a 17-year stallion career, Kadabra has cemented his place as one of the all-time great trotting stallions with progeny earnings of over C$101 million. “Champion fillies and colts included Bee A Magician, Emoticon Hanover, Daylon Magician, Flanagan Memory, Caprice Hill, Forbidden Trade, Poof She’s Gone, Will Take Charge, and many more. “It has been a great honor for us to have cared for and managed Kadabra throughout his stallion career. Thank you for your support over the years.” Canadian Trotting Classic Final 2002 -Kadabra Tara Hills Stud

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Taking a textbook two-hole ride, Woodmere Skyroller surged forward to capture the harness racing fillies and mares Open pace Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The Atlantic Champion pacing mare sat the two-hole in her $2,900 assignment while watching pacesetter Woodmere Chella (Driven by Corey MacPherson) go through splits of 29.1, 1:00.1 and 1:30. Driver Gilles Barrieau then pointed Woodmere Skyroller out of her two-hole ride in the stretch drive to win by a length in 1:59. Woodmere Chella was second while Filly Forty Seven (Jason Hughes) was third. The four-year-old daughter of Rollwithitharry is trained by Kevin MacLean for Reg MacPherson of Stratford. Screen Test prevailed in the race 13 pacing feature with a hard first-over brush to strike the lead in the final panel and will by half-a-length in 1:57 over Revenant (Adam Merner) and Winter Blast (Ken Murphy). MacPherson drives the Ron Gass trained Screen Test for the Kickin Horse Stable of York and William Andrew of Calgary. Merner scored three wins on the program including Miss Sangria (1:59.3) and Gringo Star (2:00.4) from his own barn. Merner's other victory was with the Kevin Peters trained Outrageous Spirit in 2:02.1. David Dowling made three trips to the historic winner's circle with Paythelinebluechip (2:02.1) from the Jay Noye barn, Babbling (2:04.1) in his Island debut for brother Mike Dowling and Mantario (2:01) for trainer Jenn Doyle. In line to Barrieau, Pacific Delight was victorious in the race 5 Chef Of The Year - Andrew Smith pace stopping the clock in 2:02.1 over the sloppy surface. Total wager was $114,020. Live racing continues Saturday Jan. 16 at 12:30 P.M. For more information go to Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores  

The first known 2021 foal sired by McWicked has arrived and it is a filly! The foal was born on January 7th at 8:20 a.m. and her dam is Bestfriendforever. Both mare and foal are reported to be doing well. “This is a very nice filly,” said Dino Vasos. “She is plain but beautiful. She is very alert and has good conformation.” McWicked, p, 2, 1:52f; 3, 1:47.3f; 1:46.2 ($5,103,271), stood his first season in Ontario in 2020. He is a 2020 Canadian Racing Hall of Fame Inductee and retired as the richest pacing stallion ever. His many accolades include being 2018 Horse of the Year in the U.S. and in Canada. Bestfriendforever is a Stakes-placed 1/2-sister to Tipitina, p, 1:51.3f ($434,795). “We are breeding to McWicked again in 2021,” said Vasos. “We would like to say thank you to Winbak Farm for standing a great stallion.” In 2020, McWicked served full books in Ontario and in Australia. For more information on McWicked, please visit www.winbakfarm.com or contact Pat Woods, Winbak Farm of Ontario Manager, at 905.838.2145 or pat.woods@winbakfarm.com.

Guelph, ON Jan. 5, 2020 - Make 2021 a year where you see green' not just in your hayloft and pastures come springtime, but also in your profits! The first half of the Equine Financial Futures webinar series are now posted as replays, focusing on current challenges like boosting your financial health now, balancing the books and understanding debt. On January 18, 2021, this Monday night series will resume for four consecutive weeks, discussing future planning such as building wealth through investing in yourself and your business, retirement income and exit strategies.   As if building your business and wealth was not enough - YOU COULD WIN!!!   The partners of this important webinar series have put together a prize package which will be won by one of the registrants of the January and February webinars. The raffle prize will include an online HorsePortal.ca short course, an Ogilvy saddle pad (jumper or dressage) and hat from Ontario Equestrian. The winning participant will also receive a baseline financial plan developed by Sean Jones of Sunlife Financial.    Registration for webinars 4 – 7 of this seven part series is open!   A bit about Sean   Sean Jones is not only an advisor for Sun Life Financial, he is also an avid equestrian and former facility owner and understands the challenges equine professionals face.   Sean's role at Sun Life involves advising and educating clients on all aspects of financial planning including owning a home, starting a family, education planning, managing your career and preparing for retirement. Sean develops economical, efficient and client-driven plans that are manageable and tailored to meet individual goals.   'The moment this pandemic hit, some of the first people I thought about were the lesson barn owners,' says Sean.'They operate on such tight margins, that a couple weeks of missed lesson revenue can have serious, unrecoverable impacts on their balance sheets. Some have had to sell off assets to make ends meet. Your financial future is too important to leave up to chance,' says Jones. 'Planning today can help your business remain stable during difficult times and look ahead for ways to maximize your growth potential.'   Catch up on replays of the first 3 webinars:   Creating Your Financial Roadmap Five steps to boost your financial health now Balancing your financials and understanding debt   Don't miss the final four webinars and the raffle draw!   Beginning Monday Jan 18, 2021 the webinar series will resume and run every Monday evening 7:30-8:30 EST    Your health AND wealth – how they correlate for your business – Jan. 18, 2020 ·      Building wealth – investing in yourself and your business – Jan. 25, 2021 ·      Advanced retirement income – planning your exit strategy – Feb. 1, 2021 ·      Financial considerations for women in the equine industry – Feb. 8, 2021   Replays and registration details are available at https://thehorseportal.ca/webinars/.   Each live webinar will be approximately one hour long, including a question and answer period at the end. Many thanks to Sean Jones at Sun Life Financial for donating his time and expertise and thanks to Ontario Equestrian for lending support and the Zoom platform to make this series possible. Get ready to build your wealth at the next live webinar, January 18, 2021.   Jackie Bellamy-Zions Communications Equine Guelph Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 519.824.4120 ext. 54756 jbellamy@uoguelph.ca  

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The 2021 season kicked off in grand fashion with an action packed Tuesday evening harness racing program at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Benefitting from an early tussle, Winter Blast circled up to win the $2,600 featured pace on the 11-dash program to close out a training triple for conditioner Jennifer Doyle. With No other tracks racing in the nation currently, the triple marks Doyle as the leading dash winning trainer in Canada. The Earnscliffe horsewoman and driver Ken Murphy teamed up to win with Winter Blast in 1:58.4 after front-runner Creepin (Driven by David Dowling) took on race favourite Rockin Indy (Corey MacPherson) and parked him to a cut throat 56.3 half-mile station. Winter Blast circled from last to win the race by two-lengths over second-place Sports Royalty (Gilles Barrieau) and Creepin holding on to third. Doyle also celebrated a win in the $2,350 Open trot with Glider Man (Kenny Arsenault) in a 2:00.2 score. Her other win was with Chocolate Swirl (Jason Hughes) who dead-heated for first with Revenant (Adam Merner) in 1:56.1 to remain undefeated since relocating East. Doyle owns all three trainees with partner Danny Birt. The dead heat score with Revenant was one of two wins for trainer-driver Merner as he also visited the historic winner's circle with Disneyman in a 1:57.4 score. The night saw an occurrence for the harness racing record books as Bettim Vicky was a winner in 2:00.2 in race 7 while her son U Bettim Watching was a victor earlier in the program in a 2:02.1 score. Both horses had Gilles Barrieau in the bike for trainer Jeff Lilley of Miltonvale Park, who also bred both horses. In the opening dash of the night Barrieau drove Pacific Delight to victory in 2:00 from the Ron Matheson barn for a triple in the race bike. Live racing continues Saturday Jan. 9, with a 12:30 P.M. opening post time. The day features the Chef of the Year - Andrew Smith Pace. Go to Redshores.ca for race replays and more. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores  

While The Raceway is dark, we’ll be looking for some shining lights as we step on into 2021’s harness racing season.  To stay busy, within racing, we’ve been posting picks for my favourite ’south of the border’ half-mile oval Northfield Park - based in Cleveland, Ohio. You can find those picks + many more cappers’ selections for North American horse racing tracks at www.atbforum.com. Speaking of favourite ‘south of the border’ ovals - you may want to check out the current Cal Expo harness racing meet - racing Saturday and Sunday evenings at 4:55 PST (7:55 EST)… Catching the eyes of many, in recent weeks, has been Canadian young gun Jacob Cutting. Cutting, at only 19, was aboard 6 winners this past Sunday, January 3 at the Sacramento, California track. His most impressive driving wins - from watching with these eyes - would have to be in Race 7 with race fave River Lassena and in Race 8’s top class event with Allmyx’sliventexas. “River Lassena is a really green horse,” says Cutting. “She’s got a lot of learning to do yet.” The filly would sit mid-field throughout and then be shuffled near the back as they turned for home. Angled widest of all, for the stretch-drive, River Lassena would kick in with one final push near the wire to win the six-across finish in exciting fashion. “She definitely wants to do it,” continued Cutting. “I think she’ll eventually mature into a nice race horse.”  And how about that top class victory? “Allmyx’sliventexas was quite the ride!” exclaims Cutting. “He’s just pure class honestly and a real pleasure to drive. It’s nice getting the opportunity to drive a class horse like him. Bobby (Johnson) and his crew do a great job keeping him at his best. That win is - for sure - a highlight for me… It’ll be a win I’ll definitely remember!” Allmyx’sliventexas was winning his fourth in a row at Cal Expo. Assigned the outside post position 10 - Cutting would just float the big horse out and then secure an inside lane after the quarter mile to sit third-to-last through hot early fractions… Fourth-over in the flow at the half-mile now and Cutting noticeably has his mount braver than most - he patiently waits until turning for home and then with a five-wide launch - “He blows away the field!” roars track announcer Gary Seibel.     Those race replays are well worth the viewing… If you’d like to catch this young Canadian driving talent doing his thing go to www.calxharness.com/live-racing-video-replays/ for January 3, 2021 - Race’s 7 and 8… You won’t be disappointed.   Jacob Cutting Bullets - Began driving in 2019 - From 681 career starts - 101 - 87 - 85 - $465,428 earned - .260 UDRS - From 24 starts in 2021 - 8 - 3 - 3 - $21,943 earned - .444 UDRS  Catch you all again soon! Sugar Doyle The Raceway at Western Fair District While The Raceway Is Dark... | The Raceway | Western Fair District  

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CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - With a hard brush up the passing lane, Chocolate Swirl received the lion's share in the $2,850 preferred pace Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Jason Hughes supplied the steer for leading trainer Jennifer Doyle to stop the clock in 1:56.4 over Bugsy Maguire (Driven by Marc Campbell) and stablemate Winter Blast (Ken Murphy). Doyle co-owns Chocolate Swirl with partner Danny Birt of Earnscliffe. Larjon Legacy prevailed in a hotly contested stretch drive battle in the race 9 Fillies and Mares Open pace. The $2,800 event saw driver David Dowling take a two-hole ride with Larjon Legacy and fight past pacesetter Roselily (Hughes) to win in 1:56. Bo Ford trains the winning six-year-old daughter of Mister Big for owners Arnold Myers, Sterling Maclure and Luke Beck of Charlottetown. Gilles Barrieau was the hot reinsman of the day as he took control of the Red Shores Charlottetown driving standings with five winners on the program. Barrieau scored with Atufflittleguy (2:00.1) from the Kenny Arsenault barn, Bettim Jenny (2:00.1) for Jeff Lilley, Collective Wisdom (1:59) for trainer Ron Matheson, Here Comes Red (1:58.2) for conditioner Wade Sorrie and Southwind Ion (1:57.4) for a training double for Doyle. Sorrie had two wins from his stable as Pictonian Storm was victorious in the Super Hi-5 finale scoring in 1:57.2 with Campbell at the controls. Live racing continues Saturday (Jan. 30) at 12:30 P.M. For race replays and more go to Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – It has been over half-a-year since Bugsy Maguire’s biggest harness racing career moment but he returns to the fray in the preferred pace Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.  The 13-dash Saturday presentation starts off at 12:30 P.M. with the preferred pace going to the gate in race 12 for a $2,850 pot.  Bugsy Maguire put together a story book moment in winning the 2020 Governor’s Plate Final in July at Red Shores Summerside with Brodie MacPhee in the bike but suffered an injury shortly after and was absent for the remainder of the season. The seven-year-old son of Bettors Delight has qualified the past two weeks with qualifying driver Jaycob Sweet in the bike for trainer Wade Sorrie. But for Saturday’s pari-mutuel event, Sorrie will call upon leading driver Marc Campbell to steer for owner Walter Simmons of Summerside.  Chocolate Swirl knocked off the top group last week and has post 4 on Saturday with Jason Hughes at the controls of the Jennifer Doyle trainee. Hunger Pangs controls the rail from the Jeff Holmes stable with Mark Bradley supplying the drive. The ultra-competitive field also includes Winter Blast (Ken Murphy) and Rockin Indy (Corey MacPherson).  Peter MacPhee with the Post Time Picks places his trust in post 5 starter Bugsy Maguire. “Bugsy Maguire had the most memorable victory on PEI in 2020 winning the Governor’s Plate back in July,” MacPhee said. “He hasn’t raced since then but does have a couple of qualifiers under his belt and adds Campbell so we think they get to the wire first.”  The Fillies and Mares Open pace lines up in race 9 for a $2,800 purse. Woodmere Skyroller is assigned post 6 in the field after winning this class the last two weeks for driver Gilles Barrieau, trainer Kevin MacLean and owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford. The champion daughter of Rollwithitharry is undefeated so far in 2021 and will look for career win number 18 on Saturday.  The race 13 finale will again host the Super Hi-5 wager where the winning ticket must have the first five finishers in the correct order. Mantario is the morning line favourite from the Doyle barn. Kenny Arsenault will be in the bike of the post 4 starter.  Catch all the action on the worldwide broadcast at Redshores.ca and wager online at HPIBet.com.    By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores 
Prevented from making a living, horse racing people in Ontario feel as though they’ve been kicked in the groin by the Ontario government, and then kneed in the face after the province allowed NHL hockey to start up this month. The horse racing crowd believes that what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander, the argument being that if NHL hockey is allowed to resume, horse racing should be as well — particularly given the remarkable record Woodbine Entertainment achieved in keeping the COVID-19 virus at bay at both Woodbine Racetrack during the 2020 thoroughbred season and at Woodbine Mohawk Park during the standardbred meet. However, despite the horse racing industry rising to the occasion in terms of protecting people from COVID-19, the Ontario government shut down thoroughbred racing three weeks early in December and cancelled the Mohawk winter standardbred schedule last month — throwing thousands of horse racing people out of work and creating major financial hardships for owners and trainers. Meanwhile, the NHL started the 2021 season just last week and already a number of games have been postponed after some players were put on the COVID-19 protocol list. Mike Tanev has a foot in both worlds. Two of his sons — Brandon and Chris — play in the NHL. He’s also a harness racing owner. The Scarborough resident totally supports the idea that if NHL hockey is allowed in Ontario, so should horse racing. Both professional sports bring in millions in revenue to the province and employ thousands of workers. But Tanev believes that it’s counter-productive for horse racing people to just sit back and whine that the NHL is getting preferential treatment. Instead of crying and pointing fingers, Tanev said horse racing should follow the example of the NHL and approach the province and ask exactly what is needed to get the green light to resume racing. Each Canadian NHL team negotiated with its respective provincial health ministry in order to get a deal to resume playing — including an offer to pay for COVID-19 testing. During the 2021 season, NHL players will undergo daily temperature checks, and they will self-administer them not more than two hours before entering their club’s facilities. Players and other club personnel were tested daily during training camp and will be for the first four weeks of the regular season. After that, the league will reevaluate to see whether clubs should test every other day. “We don’t have to whack the Ontario government over the head with the NHL,” Tanev said. “The province has allowed the NHL to play because the NHL has strict protocols in place, like player testing on a daily basis, which the teams are paying for. If horse racing followed the exact same protocols that the NHL is doing then there should be no reason that horse racing should be allowed. “I just don’t want to hear, ‘They’re playing, so we should be able to race,’ ” added Tanev, who is in the automobile sales business. “If we’re going to pay (for testing) out of our own money, the government has absolutely no reason to say no. And Woodbine Entertainment has absolutely no reason to say no to conducting testing because it would not be coming out of their bottom line.” Tanev said a fellow harness racing owner came up with a plan that would see the owners of the top five horses in each race pay out a percentage of the purse money to go towards testing. “(The NHL) opened the door for us. We need to step inside the door and run with the ball,” said Tanev, adding that he believes WE has to work harder — or at least amp on its lobbying efforts — to get racing back. WE CEO Jim Lawson has said that he has been in constant contact with government officials at both the provincial and federal levels, via social media. Lawson did conduct a media blitz recently demanding answers as to why the Ontario government has allowed one professional sport (NHL) to resume while shutting down another (horse racing). He is also encouraging everyone involved in horse racing to contact their local MPP’s. “My goal here is not to in any way damage the NHL; my goal is not to suggest that the lockdown in any way is not the right thing or important to do,” Lawson told Trot Insider. “My goal is really to say, ‘If you’re going to do this, let’s be fair and let’s consider the horse racing industry, where we have done things right.’ When you think of it, our track record is — first of all, it’s remarkable that we operated seven months at Mohawk without COVID, and that’s generally five nights a week. But secondly, when you think of hockey, they don’t have that track record at all. They operated in a bubble for the playoffs, and by its very nature — of the sport and by the travel that’s required the way it’s structured — it’s definitely more risky than what we’re proposing. “The National Hockey League has 30, 40 people per team flying across provinces, flying into hotels, travelling, going to restaurants and hotels. It’s pretty high-risk stuff,” Lawson continued. “As it relates to the actual play, the players are getting negative tests regularly, they’re testing all essential personnel, to which I say, ‘We’re prepared to do that. We’re prepared to get our drivers tested three or four times a week, or get our essential personnel tested. So, what’s the difference? Why are you giving preference to one sport?’ ” Lawson and Tanev both made the point that while the Ontario government has rightfully ruled that the caring for races horses is essential during the a lockdown, it makes no sense that racing is not. The people caring for the horses are the same people who are at the track when racing is happening. By Steve Buffery Reprinted with permission of The Toronto Sun
MILTON, January 21, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment today unveiled the tentative schedule for the 2021 harness racing stakes season at Woodbine Mohawk Park. More than $20 million in stakes races, including over $12 million in Woodbine administrated events, will be contested at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2021. "While we continue to advocate for the safe return of live Standardbred Racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, we are preparing for an exciting 2021 Standardbred meet," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "With a proven track record and industry-leading health and safety protocols already in place, we are confident that when it is safe and permitted to resume horse racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, we will be well positioned to restart the industry and the thousands of jobs it supports." Currently, horse racing (without spectators) is not permitted until at least February 10 in Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions. However, Woodbine Entertainment has published this 2021 stakes schedule (subject to the latest government restrictions) to provide horse people with the information required to prepare for the season. Typically kicking off in May, the 2021 Woodbine Mohawk Park stakes season is headlined by the million-dollar Pepsi North America Cup and Mohawk Million races. The 38th Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers will take place on Saturday, June 19 and is the headline event on a stacked Grand Circuit card of racing. The eliminations for the $1 million contest take place a week prior on Saturday, June 12. The Pepsi North America Cup card will also include the $450,000 Fan Hanover (three-year-old pacing fillies), $330,000 Roses Are Red (pacing mares), $250,000 Armbro Flight (trotting mares), $250,000 Goodtimes (three-year-old trotters) and $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup (invitational pace). The second edition of the Mohawk Million is scheduled for Saturday, September 25. The $1 million race for two-year-old trotters continues to follow a "buy-in" format with nine slots available for purchase. Each slot available for purchase in the Mohawk Million is priced at $100,000 (CAD). The tenth and final slot will be awarded to the winner of the $610,000 William Wellwood Memorial on Saturday, September 11. The deadline to purchase a slot is February 15, 2021. The Mohawk Million card on September 25 is scheduled to be the richest card of the season. The lineup for the night also includes the prestigious $850,000 Metro Pace (two-year-old pacers), $540,000 Shes A Great Lady (two-year-old pacing fillies) and $250,000 Milton (pacing mares). The month of September is loaded with rich stakes events each Saturday, starting with the $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot on September 4 and closing with Mohawk Million night on September 25. The $610,000 Wellwood Memorial (two-year-old trotters) and $400,000 Peaceful Way (two-year-old trotting fillies) take place on September 11, while the $600,000 Canadian Trotting Classic (three-year-old trotters) and $375,000 Elegantimage (three-year-old trotting fillies) are scheduled for September 18. The traditional Champlain and Simcoe Stakes are sprinkled throughout the end of August and early September. Other notable Grand Circuit races include the Somebeachsomewhere (three-year-old pacers) on Saturday, June 5, Nassagaweya (two-year-old pacers) and Eternal Camnation (two-year-old pacing fillies) on Saturday, August 28, and Casual Breeze (three-year-old trotting fillies) on Friday, September 3. Woodbine Mohawk Park will also host a leg of the Miss Versatility (trotting mares) on Friday, May 28, and Graduate Series (four-year-olds) on Saturday, June 5. Both events are administrated by The Meadowlands. The Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals and Grassroots Championships will again be held at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2021. Final dates for the Ontario Sires Stakes season will be released at a later date. Nominations for all Woodbine Standardbred Stakes close on Monday, February 15. Conditions and payment details can be found in the 2021 Woodbine Stakes Booklet. Woodbine continues to administrate stakes for Ontario Racetracks in 2021, including Grand River Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway. Stakes payments for all Woodbine administrated events can be made payable to Woodbine Entertainment. Payments can be made through the Race Office, by mail or online. The entire 2021 stakes schedule for Woodbine Mohawk Park is available here. Mark McKelvie
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