Day At The Track
Harness racing

Mohawk Park introduces Ontario Sired Spring Series

MILTON, ON -  January 28, 2020 - Woodbine Mohawk Park will play host to a new harness racing series for Ontario Sired three-year-old pacers and trotters this April and May. The Ontario Sired Spring Series will debut for three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2019. There will be an event for each three-year-old division, with each event consisting of two preliminary legs and a $40,000 added money final. The series starts on Thursday, April 16 with fillies competing, while the next night colts and geldings will contest their first leg. All four $40,000 added money finals will take place on Saturday, May 2. Nominations close Monday, March 16, 2020. To view the nomination form, click here. To make a payment online, click here. If sending payments by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than March 16, 2020 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Equine Guelph

Winners want Equine Welfare Courses

Guelph, ON Jan, 23, 2020 - Congratulations to the Ontario Racing Industry Tuition Award Winners and December draw winners! What a great way to start the New Year with new learning.    Thanks to two very generous families, honouring the memory of their loved ones with strong passion for the racing industry, future ambassadors of the sport may apply for tuition into two Equine Guelph 12-week online courses.    The Roger L'Heureux Memorial Equine Award for 2019 has been presented to Holly De Way and the Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award has been presented to Natalie Elliott.                   Holly, who started grooming Standardbreds in 2014, is keen to put the tuition courses towards achieving her diploma in Equine Studies at Equine Guelph. She has already completed six out of the ten courses required! “There is always something to challenge me about these animals and this industry and that just keeps me motivated to learn more,” says De Way.                               Natalie has been involved in the sport of Standardbred racing for over 15 years starting as a groom and working her way up to owner, breeder and now trainer. “I look forward to advancing my equine knowledge with this tuition award and to sharing that knowledge with future youth and new participants in the racing sector,” says Elliott.   Equine Guelph thanks the L’Heureux family, David L’Heureux and Crystal Fountains Inc., for establishing this memorial award in loving memory of Standardbred driver, trainer and groom Roger L’Heureux. Roger was the son of Ephraim L'Heureux, a Standardbred driver, who won the first Maple Leaf Trot at Woodbine in 1950.    Equine Guelph also thanks the Stocks family for setting up the Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award in memory of their beloved brother, son and uncle, Mr. Stuart Stocks. Stuart Stocks was born in Sheffield England in 1957. He struggled throughout his life with a multitude of medical issues, but had a dry sense of humour, zest for life and love for horses.    Since 2016, there have been eight recipients of these awards set up for Ontario Racing industry members.  See Equine Guelph Tuition Awards  for entry details on how to apply for these opportunities in 2020.    December Horse Portal course raffle winners: Kari Lukianow of Woodstock, ON and Kat Irvine of Blackfoot, AB, learned that there is great value in being an Equine Guelph monthly E-News subscriber. Not only do you stay up to date on all the Equine Guelph course offerings, special events, horse health and research features but in the month of December a free HorsePortal.ca online course was drawn for both one current subscriber and one new one. Thanks for joining us Kat! The monthly E-News is free; sign up today at EquineGuelph.ca      Hear what another Equine Guelph course winner has to say. Rina Reddy earned her course through her dedication as an EquiMania! volunteer and what she has learned is having an impact back in her homeland of India! Learn more about EquiMania! and its volunteer rewards program.      by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions

Face Time Bourbon, harness racing

Face Time Bourbon wins Prix d’Amerique

Vincennes, France – Following the outside cover of Davidson Du Pont, harness racing driver Bjorn Goop and Face Time Bourbon weaved their way around horses and was able to post a two-length triumph to win the 100th Grand Prix d’Amerique race at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes Sunday. It was the 19th victory in just 22 career starts for Face Time Bourbon. The five-year-old son of two-time Prix d’Amerique winner, Ready Cash, is now harness racing newest international trotting star. The race began with a Calvary charge for control of the early lead with horses racing three-wide for the first half mile of the 1.67-mile race (2,700 meters). Billie De Montfort (Gabriele Gelormini) held the early lead, then Excellent (Alexandre Abrivard) got to the front and Propulsion (Orjan Kihlstrom) was able to drop into the two-hole along the rail. And all the while there was Davidson Du Pont and driver Franck Ouvire parked out first-over and not giving up an inch. Meanwhile, Goop and Face Time Bourbon were following their cover second over. Excellent then went off-stride and that allowed Looking Superb (David Thomain) a brief time on the lead, but as they finally reached the top of the stretch, Davidson Du Pont, parked the mile, was in the lead, but Goop moved down along the rail and passed them by with Face Time Bourbon for the victory in 1’11’50. Davidson Du Pont held for the second place with the mare, Belina Josselyn (Jean-Michel Bazire), last year’s Prix d’Amerique winner, finishing third. Bold Eagle was never in the hunt and finished 10th in the field of 18 starters. Ringostarr Treb, making his final start before going to the stud barn, make a break and finished last. Trained by Sebastien Guarato, Face Time Bourbon is owned by Scuderia Bivans SLR. It was his sixth straight win. He went off at odds of 4.9-1 odds. Before the Prix d’Amerique race, everyone at the track was treated to an unbelievable show on the racetrack celebrating American soldiers coming to help France in World War I. The crowds were so packed that is was impossible to try and get on the track apron to watch the show. Luckily for most, it was broadcast on all three jumbo screens in the infield. It was a presentation that left many speechless, amazed and proud to be part of this special day’s events. On the track were the following: 100 children dressed in driver colors with helmets 100 Horse costume parade and dance 100 Harley-Davidson motorcycles parade, each with an American Flag 100 cheerleaders in USA outfits carrying Prix d’Amerique and American Flags Introduction of the 18 drivers in the Prix d’Amerique race, each driver came through the throngs of crowds, holding the hand of a child dressed in USA colors. Drivers giving Hi-Fives to fans, posing for selfies and then were escorted off the track on two-seater Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Before the Prix d’Amerique race there was an outstanding performance of horsemanship by the French Royal Lancers. They performed precision riding with both lances and sabers while their special band played. There was also a very strong undercard at Vincennes with seven Graded Stakes. Total purses for the day was over 1.6 million euros. Major sponsors of this year’s Prix d’Amerique included Case IH Agriculture, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, Lalique, RMC Sports Talk Radio, Gras Savoye, Lenotre Paris, FRM (Medicale), 20 Minutes and Printemps Nation. 100,000€ Prix Harley-Davidson This Groupe II stake was monte (racing under saddle) going 2700 meters (1.67 miles). It was a standing start and once the word go was given, jockey Mathie Mottier came charging from the far outside with Fame Music to take a commanding six length lead. As the field settled down, Flicka De Blary and jockey Camille Levesque went on the outside and had to settle for a pocket trip behind Fame Music as those two held a five-length lead over the field. Then as they came around the final turn, Fame Music went off-stride and was pulled to the inside of the track. That left Flicka De Blary and Levesque all alone in the lead and they held that lead through the stretch to win by six open lengths in 1”14’10. Flicka De Blary is a five-year-old mare by Sam Bourbon. She is trained by Thomas Levesque for the Levesque Stable. Flicka De Blary was the 2-1 favorite. 100,000€ Prix Case This Groupe II stake was another monte event but longer in distance at 2,850 meters (1.77 miles). The race belonged to Emir De Robomard and jockey Julien Raffestin who took the early lead away from Aribo Mix (Guillaume Martin) and then led the field nearly the entire race. As they charged down the stretch, Canan Prior and jockey Aurelien Desmarres kept gaining ground and collared Emir De Robomard at the wire to win by a half-length in 1’13’80. It was the 21st win for the eight-year-old son of Sancho Panca, who is owned and trained by Sylvain Desmarres. He went off at odds of 4-1. 100,000€ Prix RMC Sports Talk Another Grade II stake, only this race went behind the starting gate with 14 starters. Gotland (Eric Raffin) was first to leave the cut the mile until halfway through the race when Green Grass (Mathieu Mottier) came first-over, giving live cover to Gu D’Heripre (Franck Nivard). Then in a classic stretch drive to the wire, Gu D’Heripre was able to hold off a late charge by the race favorite, Gunilla D’Atout (Bjorn Goop), to win by a neck in 1’11’60. For Gu D’Heripre, a four-year-old son of Coktail Jet, it was a lifetime mark for trainer Philippe Billard and the D’Heripre Stable. He was the second choice in the race at odds of 4-1. TRACK NOTES: John Campbell, President and CEO of the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Society has been in Paris this week for the big race and was overheard saying that plans are in the works for Bold Eagle to come back to America and race. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Sintra

Preferred Grand Slam for Sintra

MILTON, January 25, 2020 – Sintra completed a perfect January with his fourth consecutive harness racing Preferred victory on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The winner of $1.1 million and driver Jody Jamieson were assigned post-seven in the $36,000 feature event, taking on six-rivals over a track rated ‘Good’. Nirvana Seelster shot out to the lead and cut the mile, posting fractions of :28.1, :58. And 1:26. Sintra was able to settle in third and Jamieson showed plenty of patience, not angling to the outside until just near the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Sintra powered to the lead and held off a push from Points North to secure his 28th career victory in 1:53.4. Points North finished second by three-quarters of a length, while Easy Lover Hanover and Islandspecialmajor completed the Superfecta. Trained by Dave Menary, Sintra is now four for four since returning from an injury that sidelined him for seven months. The 2017 Canadian Pacing Derby winner has now banked $72,000 this season for owners Michael Guerriero, Kelly Waxman, Nunzio Vena and Frank Cirillo. Sintra paid $2.20 to win. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Sintra Scott Young on achieving his 1,000th victory. Mark McKelvie  

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - With some Heffernan stickhandling in the final quarter, Hes Marvalous snuck through to knock off the Saturday afternoon harness racing preferred pace at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The $2,950 featured pace saw Winter Blast (Driven by Adam Merner) set the tempo through splits of 29, 59.1 and 1:29.4 over an off-track while eventual winner Hes Marvalous (Myles Heffernan Sr.) was locked in third on the rail. Heffernan found himself with a fresh horse in the final panel of the race and guided his charge to the outside off the final turn then elected to duck back down the inside in the stretch drive to win in 2:00.1. Winter Blast finished second while Pictonian Storm (Corey MacPherson) was third. Jackie Heffernan of Summerville owns the seven-year-old son of Delmarvalous while Myles Heffernan Jr., handles the training duties. Private Di supplied a colossal upset in the afternoon closer as Kenny Arsenault rallied his trainee from the back of the field to win by half-a-length in 2:01.4 while ending Killean Finale's (Ken Murphy) undefeated streak. Paying $54.40 to win while on top of an $862.80 triactor, Private Di is owned by Wade Peconi of Stanchel. The Jackie Matheson stable had a training triple on the 12-dash card as Daut Not had a maiden breaking score in 2:03.3 with Marc Campbell picking up the last-minute catch drive in the opener. Campbell and Matheson teamed up again in race 5 to deliver with The Time To Win in 2:04.3 then Woodmere Soul was a 2:04.1 victor in race 6 from the Matheson stable with Merner in the bike. Live racing continues next Saturday, Feb. 1, with the final card of the winter meet. For more information go to Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores  

MILTON, January 24, 2020 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform all harness racing people that training has been cancelled for Saturday morning due to expected heavy rain and snow. The cancellation will allow the Mohawk Park track crew to prepare the racing surface for Saturday evening's card of live racing. Post time Friday and Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

MILTON, January 24, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment would to issue a reminder to all interested parties of its upcoming stakes nomination deadline on February 18, with a focus on the Mohawk Million and its major two-year-old trotting events. The Mohawk Million follows a buy-in formula with nine slots available for purchase at a cost of $110,000. The tenth and final spot will be awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial. The William Wellwood Memorial has received a purse increase in 2020 with the final estimated at $610,000. Any two-year-old trotting fillies eligible to the Peaceful Way will be able to enter the William Wellwood Memorial by paying a $5,000 starting fee. The William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way will take place on Saturday, September 12. The Mohawk Million is scheduled for Saturday, September 26. The deadline to nominate to each event is Tuesday, February 18, 2020. The Mohawk Million requires a $55,000 nomination fee by February 18, 2020 to be eligible for a slot in the $1 million (USD) race. The other $55,000 is due June 1, 2020. If more than nine nominations are received, a draw will be held to determine the slot recipients. To view the full conditions for all Woodbine stakes, click here.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Good things don't last forever but 2020 has been very good to Killean Finale and she will look to continue that trend Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the harness racing Charlottetown Driving Park. The 12-dash Saturday card kicks off at 12:30 P.M., with the top pacing mares around facing off in the $2,500 final race. Killean Finale has yet to be defeated so far in 2020 with three-straight wins since the calendar turned for driver Ken Murphy, trainer Clifford Murphy and owners Dr. Mary McNiven and Pacemaker Stable of Nine Mile Creek. The seven-year-old daughter of Sportswriter will have her work cut out for her from post 6, after drawing inside every start this year. Collective Wisdom has been razor sharp as well with a string of top three-finishes but is saddled with post 8 this week. Charlottetown native Drew Neill is visiting this weekend from his Ontario base and will pick up the catch drive for trainer Jackie Matheson. To watch a replay of Killean Finale as a yearling in 2014 click on this link. Race analyst Les MacIsaac is looking at another entrant as the spoiler with post 5 starter Tell Me Why and the combo and driver Corey MacPherson and trainer Joe MacDonald of Breadalbane. "Longshot players may want to have a look at Tell Me Why," MacIsaac said. "This mare has a great finishing kick and if Corey can work her into the right position she's a potential sleeper." Also in the field are Outrageous Spirit (Driven by Gordie Hennessey), Charlottes Western (David Dowling), Private Di (Kenny Arsenault), Paythelinebluechip (Marc Campbell) and Indywheelbarrow (Adam Merner). The $2,950 preferred pace hits the track in race 11 with Winter Blast (Jason Hughes) and Creepin (Dowling) set to spar again this week after the latter was scratched from action last Saturday. Winter Blast has rail control in the six-horse field while Creepin leaves from the far outside. Pictonian Storm nearly lit up the tote board at this level last week and retains the services of MacPherson from post 3. The final card of the winter meet is Saturday February 1st. For race programs, live broadcast and 2020 race dates go to redshores.ca By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

MILTON, January 21, 2020 - Fresh off a career-best season, harness racing driver Bob McClure will appear at the 18th annual Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction on Tuesday, February 4 at RattleSnake Point Golf Club. A finalist for Driver of the Year at the upcoming O'Brien Awards, McClure will join sports celebrities Eric Lindros, Alvin Williams, Jack Armstrong, Tessa Bonhomme and Tyler McGregor as the stars for the 18th annual Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction. McClure posted the highest earnings of his career in 2019, driving the winners of $5.9 million. He reached the top of the sport in August when he steered Forbidden Trade to an upset victory in the $1 million Hambletonian. Bob McClure and Forbidden Trade in September at Woodbine Mohawk Park (Michael Burns Photo) The Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction is presented by the Milton Chamber of Commerce and proceeds go towards the Chamber Scholarship Program, which funds local students in their post-secondary education. The evening's program includes an autograph session with the celebrities, a cocktail reception, gourmet meal, silent and live auction. Auction items include golf packages, spa packages and exclusive sports memorabilia. The finale of the evening will be an opportunity to hear stories and learn more from the sports celebrities, as they join Master of Ceremonies Ken Reid of Rogers Sportsnet on stage. Woodbine Entertainment is a member of the Milton Chamber of Commerce and proud sponsor of the event. Tickets for the 18th annual Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction can be purchased by visiting the official event page.   Mark McKelvie        

New South Wales harness racing has been rocked with the revelation the State's top training partnership is relocating to the United States. Record-breaking husband and wife partnership Shane and Lauren Tritton have decided to pursue their future careers in the New York region - a choice they say is prompted, in part, by the state of the industry in Australia. The couple shared their decision with family and friends this week and have advised key owners of their plans. "This decision has been made for many reasons, both business and personal, and to leave such a successful stable located in the world class facility (Menangle) is not without hesitation," Team Tritton said. "We would love to be staying in Australia for the rest of our careers, but the reality is the viability of a trainer and driver in harness racing in Australia is too volatile," they said. "We believe that in life we should always strive to reach our full ability, and the challenges of reinventing our stable in America will allow our techniques and understanding of this sport we both love to grow and prosper." Shane Tritton's father Peter has been operating successfully in the USA for many years. A number of the couple's key owners have elected to follow the stable and send their horses to the USA. "We're very grateful and proud they are willing to take this leap with us," the couple said. Team Tritton Stable at Menangle Park will continue with business as usual as the team prepares for the relocation. But the couple also sounded a clear "call to action" for the sport's governing bodies. "On a final note, we hope that those in control of harness racing can see they need to do more to make this great sport of harness racing bigger and better," they said. "In the past decade (it) has lost its viability to support participants who rely on it. "We have tried to stress this to those in charge without any reaction or concern for the issues that every trainer or driver in the country faces every week. "Please take notice those in charge need to do better for everyone in this industry who rely on it to survive. This is a sport and it should be fun - surviving isn't fun."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The six-year-old Crazed horse went through the ring as Hip #126, and it didn’t take long before Lindy The Great attracted the $450,000 bid. Lindy The Great was consigned by Preferred Equine Inc. and was purchased by horseman Rene Allard of Matamoras, Pennsylvania. Lindy The Great has made 47 starts thus far in his career and has notched 14 wins, six second-place finishes and a trio of third-place efforts. His career purse earnings currently sit at $680,667 and he boasts a mark of 1:51.1, which was taken over Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2019 (he was also clocked in 1:49.3 while finishing fourth at the Red Mile in 2018). To read the full article click here. To view the results from the sale, click here.  

Harness racing at Red Shores in Summerside and Charlottetown saw significant gains across the board in 2019. The live wager saw a 10 per cent increase in 2019 compared to 2018 with $392,236 in new wagering dollars for a total $4.28 million in all sources wager. The 2019 increases were thanks to bumps in on-track wager as well as a 15 per cent increase from 2018 in the off-track wager. When the wager increases, the percentage to the purse pool also increases. Racing experience manager Adam Walsh pointed to the hard-working individuals in the racing community for making 2019 a banner year with 100 race dates. Lee Drake, manager of marketing and brands, said guest experience is the No. 1 focus at Red Shores and a key reason the business continues to grow in every facet. “We work hard on getting new people to our properties through strong partnerships and relationships in tourism, meetings and conventions and the corporate community,” Drake said.  “We have beautiful clean properties with a professional staff and it’s all about the experience whether it’s racing, dining or the casino,” he added. “We have really stepped up our social media presence which also drives new business as well.” The starting gate approaches the start during a recent harness racing card at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway Red Shores’ two signature events also saw gains in 2019 with the Gold Cup and Saucer program pulling in $307,134 from all wagering sources, putting that handle second all-time in Island racing to the Gold Cup and Saucer card in 1994. The 2019 Governor’s Plate card was the second-highest grossing program in the history of the Summerside Raceway with $96,651 wagered on the card, narrowly putting it behind the $99,994 record handle of 1996.  Walsh said the difference in outside competition from those record wagers in the 1990s to today’s climate should not be overlooked.  “There is quite a difference in the landscape today compared to 10 or 25 years ago, but we are focused on growing those numbers,” he said. The Red Shores race day broadcast network had 2.6 million viewers, including 1.9 million in Atlantic Canada. The 2020 winter racing season is coming to a close at Red Shores in the coming weeks, but the action will be back at the Charlottetown track on Saturday, May 2, for the summer racing meet with the Kentucky Derby theme. Governor’s Plate week is July 5-11 while Old Home Week is Aug. 13-22 featuring The Guardian Gold Cup & Saucer. Red Shores is owned by Atlantic Lottery. Compiled by Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores. 

MILTON, January 20, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced the 2020 schedule for its harness racing industry-leading Standardbred stakes program at Woodbine Mohawk Park. More than $20 million in stakes races will be contested over the Mohawk Park racing surface in 2020, including $12 million-plus in Woodbine administrated events. The 2020 stakes season is headlined by a pair of $1 million events (Pepsi North America Cup and Mohawk Million). The 37th Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers is scheduled for Saturday, June 20, while the inaugural Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters is slated for Saturday, September 26. Woodbine Mohawk Park will be the only Standardbred track in North America to host multiple million-dollar races in 2020. The Pepsi North America Cup card (June 20) will again feature five additional marquee stakes to go with the nation's most prestigious race for Standardbreds. The $425,000 Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies, $370,000 Roses Are Red for pacing fillies and mares, $260,000 Goodtimes for three-year-old trotters, $250,000 Armbro Flight for trotting fillies and mares and $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational make up the stacked undercard. Total purses for the evening will exceed $2.5 million. Mohawk Park will provide the setting for harness racing's largest showcase of elite two-year-old talent on Saturday, September 26. The $1 million (USD) Mohawk Million, $850,000 Metro Pace and $550,000 Shes A Great Lady will feature the finest two-year-old trotters and pacers competing in the sport's richest races for rookies. The Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters follows a buy-in formula, with nine of ten slots in the race available for purchase ($110,000). The tenth and final spot in the Mohawk Million will be awarded to the winner of the $400,000 William Wellwood Memorial, which will be contested on Saturday, September 12. The earlier date for this year's Wellwood provides a clear week prior to the Mohawk Million. New in 2020, Woodbine Entertainment has changed the format of the $650,000 Maple Leaf Trot and the $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby to remove eliminations and instead proceed to directly to the rich final with the highest lifetime earners (limited to 10) competing on Saturday, September 5. The $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic and $350,000 Elegantimage follow the same format of highest earners competing for the second consecutive season. They are scheduled for Saturday, September 19. In total, the month of September will feature more than $7 million in stakes races. Woodbine Mohawk Park will again play host to legs of the Miss Versatility and Graduate Series in 2020. The Miss Versatility for older trotting mares takes place on Friday, May 29, while the Graduate Series for four-year-old pacers and trotters will be held on Saturday, June 6. The province's best will compete all-season at Mohawk Park building up to the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals and Grassroots Championships. The Grassroots Championships are scheduled for Saturday, October 3, while the Super Finals will be held on Saturday, October 17. Woodbine will again distribute money to all finishers in major stakes finals during the 2020 season. The winner of the finals will receive the traditional 50% of the total purse, while those finishing sixth through last will take home 1% of the purse. The horses finishing second through fifth will receive 50%-24%-16%-10% of the remaining purse. Nominations for all Woodbine Standardbred Stakes close on Tuesday, February 18. Woodbine continues to administrate stakes for Ontario Racetracks in 2020, 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. To view the 2020 Woodbine Standardbred Stakes schedule, click here. Mark McKelvie

Leamington Raceway is one of the most kid-friendly harness racing tracks you will find in Ontario, Canada with its welcoming family atmosphere.  When Lakeshore Horse Racing Association started operating Leamington Raceway in 2013 for their race meet, one of their main priorities was to make it a family destination, so all ages could enjoy an exciting afternoon at the races. After losing Windsor Raceway, a local anchor in the industry, the group decided the way to bring back some sustainability was to encourage youth participation in the industry for the future, and a family atmosphere with entertainment helps to achieve that.  This racetrack usually sees an average of 50-75 kids on a usual race day, with totals in the hundreds on special event days. One of Leamington’s most successful event days is the annual Kids’ Day held on the Sunday of Labour Day weekend. This past Kids’ Day, there were over 30 bicycles given away to some of the lucky kids in the crowd who came to the races that day. This event has always been a big hit since its start in 2013, with a popular giveaway of bikes and other prizes. Another exciting part is our t-shirt toss, which gathers younger fans all around with excitement on their faces.  Kids’ Day is also highlighted by the much-anticipated Hands on Horses Program run by the Ontario Harness Horse Association, which gives rides behind a retired racehorse, giving a very cool up-close feeling of what it’s like in the sulky. We are very fortunate to have this program come two race days a year and put on this amazing experience for everyone to enjoy.   On the Sunday before Halloween, there is always a costume contest and the best costumes receive prizes. The same goes on the Derby Hat Day, with there being a category for kids. On a regular weekly basis, youth are still a focus as Leamington offers a “kid zone” underneath the grandstand which features colouring and crafts for the kids to do, and an opportunity to meet a retired racehorse named Lenny behind the grandstand. While young fans are at the track there are plenty of options they can order from the canteen, as there is a kids’ menu available including healthy options as well as freezies, ice cream, popsicles and more.  Another unique point worth mentioning is how Lakeshore Horse Racing Association gives opportunities to youth by providing jobs that provide great experience in customer service and working in the backstretch, as well as volunteer hours for school. I was fortunate to receive an opportunity to call my first harness race at the age of 12 on Kids’ Day, which sparked my passion to want to become an announcer. That opportunity, along with a few more years in the backstretch, led to my being promoted to become the on-track host at the age of 15. This position has helped to create more interest in the sport by youth, as they can relate to one of their peers in this role.          You can find Leamingon Raceway Raceway on many different social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so all ages can access their info. The 2020 season is going to be even more exciting for horsepeople and the fans: The season kicks off on Sunday August 9th, with racing every Sunday until October 25th and a special card of racing on Monday September 9th. Post time for all race dates is 1:30 p.m.  By Nathan Bain, USHWA Youth Member  

Standardbred Canada reports that continuing on the comeback trail came Sintra with his third-consecutive victory from a six-month layoff in the $36,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park Saturday (Jan. 18). With Bob McClure sitting in the sulky, Sintra floated into fifth while Nirvana Seelster set the pace to the quarter in :26.4. Youaremycandygirl, sitting in the pocket, then circled to the front and took the field past the half in :55. McClure moved Sintra off the pegs heading into the final turn and caught cover from East End flushing first over towards three-quarters in 1:23. Into the stretch McClure fanned wide of cover and charged Sintra past his competition to hit the finish in 1:50.4, three lengths better than Points North closing for second. East End held third. A seven-year-old gelding by Mach Three, Sintra won his 27th race from 60 starts, earning $1,162,436. Dave Menary conditions the $3.60 winner for owners Michael Guerriero, Kelly Waxman, Nunzio Vena and Frank Cirillo. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

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MILTON, ON -  January 28, 2020 - Woodbine Mohawk Park will play host to a new harness racing series for Ontario Sired three-year-old pacers and trotters this April and May. The Ontario Sired Spring Series will debut for three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2019. There will be an event for each three-year-old division, with each event consisting of two preliminary legs and a $40,000 added money final. The series starts on Thursday, April 16 with fillies competing, while the next night colts and geldings will contest their first leg. All four $40,000 added money finals will take place on Saturday, May 2. Nominations close Monday, March 16, 2020. To view the nomination form, click here. To make a payment online, click here. If sending payments by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than March 16, 2020 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  
Guelph, ON Jan, 23, 2020 - Congratulations to the Ontario Racing Industry Tuition Award Winners and December draw winners! What a great way to start the New Year with new learning.    Thanks to two very generous families, honouring the memory of their loved ones with strong passion for the racing industry, future ambassadors of the sport may apply for tuition into two Equine Guelph 12-week online courses.    The Roger L'Heureux Memorial Equine Award for 2019 has been presented to Holly De Way and the Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award has been presented to Natalie Elliott.                   Holly, who started grooming Standardbreds in 2014, is keen to put the tuition courses towards achieving her diploma in Equine Studies at Equine Guelph. She has already completed six out of the ten courses required! “There is always something to challenge me about these animals and this industry and that just keeps me motivated to learn more,” says De Way.                               Natalie has been involved in the sport of Standardbred racing for over 15 years starting as a groom and working her way up to owner, breeder and now trainer. “I look forward to advancing my equine knowledge with this tuition award and to sharing that knowledge with future youth and new participants in the racing sector,” says Elliott.   Equine Guelph thanks the L’Heureux family, David L’Heureux and Crystal Fountains Inc., for establishing this memorial award in loving memory of Standardbred driver, trainer and groom Roger L’Heureux. Roger was the son of Ephraim L'Heureux, a Standardbred driver, who won the first Maple Leaf Trot at Woodbine in 1950.    Equine Guelph also thanks the Stocks family for setting up the Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award in memory of their beloved brother, son and uncle, Mr. Stuart Stocks. Stuart Stocks was born in Sheffield England in 1957. He struggled throughout his life with a multitude of medical issues, but had a dry sense of humour, zest for life and love for horses.    Since 2016, there have been eight recipients of these awards set up for Ontario Racing industry members.  See Equine Guelph Tuition Awards  for entry details on how to apply for these opportunities in 2020.    December Horse Portal course raffle winners: Kari Lukianow of Woodstock, ON and Kat Irvine of Blackfoot, AB, learned that there is great value in being an Equine Guelph monthly E-News subscriber. Not only do you stay up to date on all the Equine Guelph course offerings, special events, horse health and research features but in the month of December a free HorsePortal.ca online course was drawn for both one current subscriber and one new one. Thanks for joining us Kat! The monthly E-News is free; sign up today at EquineGuelph.ca      Hear what another Equine Guelph course winner has to say. Rina Reddy earned her course through her dedication as an EquiMania! volunteer and what she has learned is having an impact back in her homeland of India! Learn more about EquiMania! and its volunteer rewards program.      by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions
Vincennes, France – Following the outside cover of Davidson Du Pont, harness racing driver Bjorn Goop and Face Time Bourbon weaved their way around horses and was able to post a two-length triumph to win the 100th Grand Prix d’Amerique race at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes Sunday. It was the 19th victory in just 22 career starts for Face Time Bourbon. The five-year-old son of two-time Prix d’Amerique winner, Ready Cash, is now harness racing newest international trotting star. The race began with a Calvary charge for control of the early lead with horses racing three-wide for the first half mile of the 1.67-mile race (2,700 meters). Billie De Montfort (Gabriele Gelormini) held the early lead, then Excellent (Alexandre Abrivard) got to the front and Propulsion (Orjan Kihlstrom) was able to drop into the two-hole along the rail. And all the while there was Davidson Du Pont and driver Franck Ouvire parked out first-over and not giving up an inch. Meanwhile, Goop and Face Time Bourbon were following their cover second over. Excellent then went off-stride and that allowed Looking Superb (David Thomain) a brief time on the lead, but as they finally reached the top of the stretch, Davidson Du Pont, parked the mile, was in the lead, but Goop moved down along the rail and passed them by with Face Time Bourbon for the victory in 1’11’50. Davidson Du Pont held for the second place with the mare, Belina Josselyn (Jean-Michel Bazire), last year’s Prix d’Amerique winner, finishing third. Bold Eagle was never in the hunt and finished 10th in the field of 18 starters. Ringostarr Treb, making his final start before going to the stud barn, make a break and finished last. Trained by Sebastien Guarato, Face Time Bourbon is owned by Scuderia Bivans SLR. It was his sixth straight win. He went off at odds of 4.9-1 odds. Before the Prix d’Amerique race, everyone at the track was treated to an unbelievable show on the racetrack celebrating American soldiers coming to help France in World War I. The crowds were so packed that is was impossible to try and get on the track apron to watch the show. Luckily for most, it was broadcast on all three jumbo screens in the infield. It was a presentation that left many speechless, amazed and proud to be part of this special day’s events. On the track were the following: 100 children dressed in driver colors with helmets 100 Horse costume parade and dance 100 Harley-Davidson motorcycles parade, each with an American Flag 100 cheerleaders in USA outfits carrying Prix d’Amerique and American Flags Introduction of the 18 drivers in the Prix d’Amerique race, each driver came through the throngs of crowds, holding the hand of a child dressed in USA colors. Drivers giving Hi-Fives to fans, posing for selfies and then were escorted off the track on two-seater Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Before the Prix d’Amerique race there was an outstanding performance of horsemanship by the French Royal Lancers. They performed precision riding with both lances and sabers while their special band played. There was also a very strong undercard at Vincennes with seven Graded Stakes. Total purses for the day was over 1.6 million euros. Major sponsors of this year’s Prix d’Amerique included Case IH Agriculture, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, Lalique, RMC Sports Talk Radio, Gras Savoye, Lenotre Paris, FRM (Medicale), 20 Minutes and Printemps Nation. 100,000€ Prix Harley-Davidson This Groupe II stake was monte (racing under saddle) going 2700 meters (1.67 miles). It was a standing start and once the word go was given, jockey Mathie Mottier came charging from the far outside with Fame Music to take a commanding six length lead. As the field settled down, Flicka De Blary and jockey Camille Levesque went on the outside and had to settle for a pocket trip behind Fame Music as those two held a five-length lead over the field. Then as they came around the final turn, Fame Music went off-stride and was pulled to the inside of the track. That left Flicka De Blary and Levesque all alone in the lead and they held that lead through the stretch to win by six open lengths in 1”14’10. Flicka De Blary is a five-year-old mare by Sam Bourbon. She is trained by Thomas Levesque for the Levesque Stable. Flicka De Blary was the 2-1 favorite. 100,000€ Prix Case This Groupe II stake was another monte event but longer in distance at 2,850 meters (1.77 miles). The race belonged to Emir De Robomard and jockey Julien Raffestin who took the early lead away from Aribo Mix (Guillaume Martin) and then led the field nearly the entire race. As they charged down the stretch, Canan Prior and jockey Aurelien Desmarres kept gaining ground and collared Emir De Robomard at the wire to win by a half-length in 1’13’80. It was the 21st win for the eight-year-old son of Sancho Panca, who is owned and trained by Sylvain Desmarres. He went off at odds of 4-1. 100,000€ Prix RMC Sports Talk Another Grade II stake, only this race went behind the starting gate with 14 starters. Gotland (Eric Raffin) was first to leave the cut the mile until halfway through the race when Green Grass (Mathieu Mottier) came first-over, giving live cover to Gu D’Heripre (Franck Nivard). Then in a classic stretch drive to the wire, Gu D’Heripre was able to hold off a late charge by the race favorite, Gunilla D’Atout (Bjorn Goop), to win by a neck in 1’11’60. For Gu D’Heripre, a four-year-old son of Coktail Jet, it was a lifetime mark for trainer Philippe Billard and the D’Heripre Stable. He was the second choice in the race at odds of 4-1. TRACK NOTES: John Campbell, President and CEO of the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Society has been in Paris this week for the big race and was overheard saying that plans are in the works for Bold Eagle to come back to America and race. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink
MILTON, January 25, 2020 – Sintra completed a perfect January with his fourth consecutive harness racing Preferred victory on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The winner of $1.1 million and driver Jody Jamieson were assigned post-seven in the $36,000 feature event, taking on six-rivals over a track rated ‘Good’. Nirvana Seelster shot out to the lead and cut the mile, posting fractions of :28.1, :58. And 1:26. Sintra was able to settle in third and Jamieson showed plenty of patience, not angling to the outside until just near the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Sintra powered to the lead and held off a push from Points North to secure his 28th career victory in 1:53.4. Points North finished second by three-quarters of a length, while Easy Lover Hanover and Islandspecialmajor completed the Superfecta. Trained by Dave Menary, Sintra is now four for four since returning from an injury that sidelined him for seven months. The 2017 Canadian Pacing Derby winner has now banked $72,000 this season for owners Michael Guerriero, Kelly Waxman, Nunzio Vena and Frank Cirillo. Sintra paid $2.20 to win. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Sintra Scott Young on achieving his 1,000th victory. Mark McKelvie  
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