Day At The Track
Anna Tucciarone, harness racing

Teenager living the horse ownership dream

The photos, dozens of horse images that hang on the 17-year-old's bedroom walls, take on more meaning with each new day. Every time Anna Tucciarone opens the door, turns on the light, and sees the harness racing photos, any stresses in her life, big or small, immediately wash away. "There haven't been a lot of things to look forward to because of the pandemic," started the soft-spoken high school student from Mississauga, Ontario. "But the horses, they always bring you up if you are feeling down." Some of the horses she speaks of are in fact, her horses. Along with her father Jon, Tucciarone currently owns shares of eight Standardbred racehorses through TheStable.ca, a fractional ownership group created by Anthony MacDonald and his wife Amy in 2015. Her interest was sparked four years ago when her father shared a photo of the yearling he purchased shares in through TheStable.ca. A longtime racing fan, Jon had often thought of joining the ownership ranks over the years. "I've been going to the races for over 40 years. I love it. It's a long history for me. My uncle used to own horses. I had always wanted to be owner and one day I came across TheStable.ca one day. It was easy to get involved and it wasn't expensive. And it just makes things so exciting, the thrill of going to the races and watching a horse that is yours." Anna's early recollections of going to the races differ greatly from those of her father's. "When I was a kid, I didn't like going because I was so young and I would get so bored. I'd give my dad a hard time. But that's all changed." Father and daughter are now fixtures at southwestern Ontario racetracks. Although the pandemic has limited the opportunity to watch their horses in person over the past 13-plus months, they've found alternatives to keep track of their respective pacers and trotters. "I wish I had a horse racing every night," said Jon. "With COVID, it's tough not going. We watch the races on TV, and for now, that will have to be the way we enjoy it together. But whenever you're there in person, if you are having a bad day or going through a tough time, that all goes away." He's also seen it, first-hand, in his daughter. "It's wonderful to see her love for the horses. Whether it's going to the training centre or to the racetrack, she always wants to go and I always want to go. We go together and we can talk about horse racing and our horses. She's always in the barn when I'm out watching them train. You can see just how much these horses mean to her." Anna's forged a deep bond with two horses in particular. Stonebridge Symba, a 5-year-old son of Yankee Glide, became a game changer for the teenager. "I can say the first horse I fell in love with was Stonebridge Symba. He was the first horse that won for me. My eyes were watering when he won. It was something so special. He has changed my whole life." The bay trotter provided Anna, among many things, clarity when it came to her post-school aspirations. After struggling to land on what she wanted to do outside of the classroom, she has finally found her calling. "Before I decided to own horses, I didn't know what I wanted to be. But after I started owning horses, I found what I wanted to pursue in life. Right now, my goal is to become a groom. After that, I'm not really sure. I'm just happy I was able to find something that I love." Her friends and teachers are certainly aware of her passion for racehorses. She's even managed to incorporate her endearment for Standardbreds into her homework. "It's easy to fall in love with the horses. I talk about Stonebridge Symba and all of them in school and I also talk about them to my teachers. I've even done some school projects on my horses, talking about why people should become owners. My friends think it's really cool that I own horses." Canadian Titan, a 4-year-old trotting daughter of E L Titan, has also had a profound effect on Anna's life. The bay mare was the last horse she saw on her first-ever visit to the stables. "I remember going through the barn, one-by-one, looking at all the horses, and she was at the end. She had her head out of the stall and she was puffing out her lips. I just loved seeing that. I ended up becoming one of her owners last year. It was the most wonderful feeling. I made a Power Point presentation on why I wanted to buy her and showed my dad. That night, we got a share of her. It felt great to finally say that I was one of her owners. "When she was racing before I owned her, we'd still go to watch her, just to support her. The first winner's circle moment I had was with Canadian Titan. We didn't own her at the time, but I loved watching her race and I followed her career. I really enjoy owning her and my other horses, and I really love having that connection to them with my dad." Horse talk between father and daughter is a daily occurrence. Often, it's multiple conversations throughout the course of a day, chats ranging from the latest updates on their respective horses, to commentary while watching videos of past wins, or the time they can stand railside again to watch the races. "It's wonderful to share this," offered Jon. "I went to the races with my father and my uncles. It was always a family thing. Once I bought my yearling, Anna started following along and she wanted to come with me. I never forced her to go... she fell in love with it on her own. It's something that we can share together, something we can relate to. So now, it's a family thing again." Whenever spectators are allowed back at the races, Jon and Anna will be ready. For now, their usual front-row spot will be in a decidedly different setting. "We watch them race online or on TV, but we just want to see them racing when we can stand there and cheer them on," said Jon. "I can't wait for that day to come." Neither can Anna. Whether it's when she's working at her part-time job cleaning a local parking lot, finding a way to include horses in her latest school assignment, or posting images of them on social media, the horses she owns are always top of mind for the Grade 12 student. "If I'm having a tough day, I know the one thing that can change it." Happiness for Anna Tucciarone is always just an open door away. "It's just memories, those photos, something to look at where I'll think, 'That was such a great day.' And when I do, it puts the biggest smile on my face every time." by Chris Lomon, for Ontario Racing  

Brandon Campbell, harness racing

Chase The Ace repeats in Open

Chase The Ace took the Filly and Mares Open Pace at the Fraser Downs harness racing circuit for the second straight week with a three-wide swoop.   Brandon Campbell tucked the mare into the four-hole early and followed through the quarter in :28.4 and half in :56.3. Campbell pulled the horse out behind cover, which immediately stalled, and then went three-wide as the field approached three-quarters in 1:24.   Chase The Ace then vanquished pocket-sitter Cusdmagicdragon (Kelly Hoerdt) and Rocket Mystery (Rod Therres) in the lane to win by a length and three quarters in 1:52.3.   CHASE THE ACE REPLAY     Chase The Ace, sent off at 3/5, shattered her lifetime best by two and four-fifths seconds with the win. The daughter of Armbro Baylor also increased her tally to 15 wins from 45 starts and improved her bankroll to more than $80,000. Campbell also trains for Jodi Loftus of Calgary.   Campbell won five of the evening's 12 dashes, surpassing Hoerdt in the drivers' standings with just one card to go in the meet. Hoerdt won three. Campbell now has 30 wins to Hoerdt's 29. Scott Knight and Rod Therres are tied for third with seven victories apiece.   Fraser Downs will return with 10 races on Apr. 16 for its final program until September. The action will kick off at 8 p.m. PDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Equine Guelph.JPG

Coughing? Take action now!

Guelph, ON - April, 14, 2021 - Prevention of airway problems is the best way to protect your horse, but when not successful, what is next?   Early intervention is paramount when dealing with the irreversible disease, equine asthma, commonly referred to as heaves, RAO or IAD. Equine asthma starts off with a hypersensitivity reaction to particles in the air (e.g., dust, mould). These particles cause inflammation in the airways and restrict airflow.   Heaves is now called severe equine asthma as the horse will struggle to breathe even at rest. Heave Line - the heave line develops along the lower edge of the ribcage as the horse has to work harder to breathe, due to inflammation and airway obstruction. The chest muscles must work harder during each breath taken by the horse.   If you wait until a heave line appears, the disease has already progressed to advanced stages.   It is important that horse owners never ignore a cough in their horse. It should be investigated and diagnosed without delay. There is much that can be done on the management side to prevent further damage, as a global paper on equine asthma attests.   Intervention is recommended at the first sign of coughing, and more so if the cough is repetitive or persistent. Triggered by the microscopic particles that cause airway inflammation, common signs of equine asthma include coughing, nasal discharge, exercise intolerance and breathing difficulties. Equine asthma can affect horses at any age in any discipline of riding.   According to Renaud Leguillette, DVM, DACVIM, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, feeding horses from a round hay bale can potentially double the risk of developing equine asthma! Horses are picky eaters and do not hesitate to bury their heads deep in the round bale to look for the most desirable hay first. In doing so they inhale all sorts of dust, mould and particulates.   Many stabled horses are exposed to exponentially more inhalable irritants than horses kept outside. Pasture board is often the best option for horses suffering from equine asthma – minus the round bales of course. Every precaution to reduce dust in the environment should be taken. Low dust bedding, turning horses out before sweeping, cleaning stalls regularly to keep ammonia levels low and clearing out any mould under stall mats are just some of the effective measures that can be taken. Maintaining arena footing to minimize dust, making sure the barn is well ventilated and feeding steamed hay and soaked concentrates are all environmental factors within the farm owner's control.   If asthma is suspected, the veterinarian will be looking closely at the horse’s environment to determine what is causing the irritation in the lungs. They will be looking at all potential causes which could include: dusty environments, smoke inhalation, pollen or other allergens and particles in the pasture or hay.   One cannot jump to conclusions at the first sign of a cough. The vet will need to rule out upper airway diseases and bacterial or viral infections. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is the gold standard diagnostic test for asthma. Corticosteroids administered with or without a bronchodilator may be prescribed to help the horse recover from bouts of equine asthma, but environmental improvement is the key to long-term management. Always bring in the veterinarian to check a horse that repeatedly coughs. It is vital to prevent the debilitating progression of asthma.   by Jackie Bellamy-Zions, for Equine Guelph  

Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario,Harness racing

AGCO licensing moved online

AGCO horse racing licensing applications and renewals have moved online. All AGCO transactions, including adding a horse to the Exercise Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage (EIPH) program in Ontario, must be completed through the iAGCO online portal at www.agco.ca/iAGCO. For more information, see How Do I Get Licensed? Industry participants are reminded that new and renewal licensing applications and submissions are no longer approved immediately upon application. Applications should be made in advance of the licence being required to ensure there is adequate time to complete the appropriate due diligence process. AGCO Customer Service is available by phone Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876 (toll free in Ontario). You can also submit questions anytime online through iAGCO Email a Licensing Agent at racinglicensing@agco.ca AGCO Licensing Offices are open on most live race days, or other times as indicated on the AGCO Licensing Office Hours web page Helpful Resources The iAGCO Guide for Horse Racing supports new users of iAGCO as they begin using online services for all their AGCO horseracing transactions. It includes a Helpful Resources section with links to: Horse Racing Licence Guide: Individuals and Administrative Tip Sheet: How to Renew Your Horse Racing-Related Licences Regulatory Submission - EIPH Program - Add or Remove Horse From the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

Mike Tanev of Toronto, CA has been a longtime harness racing fan, owner and an activist for the Standardbred industry in Canada. He has been calling upon industry officials and government representatives to allow racing to resume during both lockdowns in Ontario. He has a vast understanding of the Covid-19 situation as he has two sons, Brandon and Chris Tanev, playing in the NHL, who are allowed to play during the lockdown and go through protocols every day for Covid-19. When it comes to expressing his opinion, watch out as Tanev’s bark is worse than his bite. Especially when it comes to the second shutdown of harness racing in Ontario. “It is just ridiculous what is going on,” Tanev said at the start of the interview. "I did an interview with a reporter from the Toronto Sun Tuesday and I asked him 'tell me what businesses are now closed during this lockdown in Ontario.' He thought about and I then told him, gyms, barbers, hair salons, nail places and the racetracks. Every other business in Ontario is open in one form or another." “And of all these places,” Tanev stated, “the safest place to be is the racetracks because before the lockdown they had proper protocols in place and not one reported case of Covid-19 during the entire time they were racing." “It is an absolute joke that racing is not allowed in Ontario,” Tanev added. Tanev also slammed Woodbine and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA). “They (COSA) ran their televised podcast Sunday,” Tanev said. “And the first thing out of the mouth of hosts Greg Blanchard and Mark McKelvie, who I had respected very much as top people in our industry until this show. They started off talking about without any racing now they would have plenty of time for golfing. These guys are the voice of harness racing and at such a crucial time they are joking about going golfing while there are thousands of horse people whose livelihood are being taken away from them. It was an absolute joke for them to start off the show that way. “It just threw me overboard,” Tanev said. “I thought we were getting some headway. Jim Lawson of WEG called me Friday and I thought we had a great discussion on going forward full blast to get harness racing back going. He told me he was 'taking off the gloves' and instead, he announces that the Thoroughbred meet will be put on hold. “Then he (Lawson) announces that hopefully we will be able to race after the lockdown,” Tanev said. “Well, the way the Canadian government is handling the Covid crisis so poorly, that this lockdown could continue for another month. It’s just brutal the way this has all been handled.” Tanev has also been on the phone with COSA President, Hall of Famer Bill O’Donnell. “I talk with Bill sometimes three times a day,” Tanev said. “I talked with him this morning (Monday) and asked why I’m not on the COSA TV program? I’m one of the few owners in Ontario that gives a s—t. The vast majority of owners are silent. They are not going out and talking with the media, not going out and talking to their government officials. The Toronto Sun reporter asked me for the names of other owners. I told him what’s the use of giving you names, these owners don’t say a word. “Since the first lockdown,” Tanev complained, “I’m the only one that has gone out and spoke with the media, with COSA, with Jim Lawson, with government officials.” There has also been a drove of horses leaving Ontario to race in the United States and that alone could cause big problems even if racing is allowed to start up again. “These owners and trainers know we are in trouble,” Tanev explained. “And I guess they are smart to send their horses to race in the USA. At least they have a chance to earn some money back to pay for all the bills. Horses have to be cared for seven days a week, racing or not. I would be curious to know how many horses have left Ontario to race in the USA. At least 500 or more I would think at this juncture.” Tanev also talked about a recent meeting with all the top sports organizations in Ontario and government officials. “Lawson was telling me last Friday,” Tanev said. “That there was this major meeting with all the major sports teams’ executives about getting the exceptions to continue to play the high-level professional sports. Well, guess what, they did not invite horse racing! The Ontario government did not think that horse racing is not a major sporting event in the province? “Well, we’re a professional sport,” Tanev said about horse racing. “A high-level professional sport. If we had been invited to that meeting, we well could still be racing live today. “Right now,” Tanev explained. “The only team that’s playing in Toronto is the hockey team because we have a separate Canadian division.” “Racing in North America had done so well with little or no Covid cases for months,” Tanev said. “We have developed protocols that have worked so well. But we need to get this across to the government officials and the only way to do that is for everyone in the industry to open their mouths, write or call their government officials and tell them like it is. “A lot of people look at me like I have three heads,” Tanev laughed. “They call me a loud mouth. But they fail to realize I have two kids who play in the NHL. I know what they have to go through daily with Covid protocols. “Owners have to get off their duffs,” Tanev ranted. “And become outspoken and demand that we can start racing again. I told Lawson that what needs to be done right away to for everyone to send a legal letter. Not a law suit, just a legal letter from a top law firm in Toronto, explain all the protocols and why racing should be allowed to start up again. The government must respond to a legal letter. We need to get their attention in a big way.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

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

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to name three people and three horses to be inducted as the Hall’s Class of 2021.  As previously announced, the Board of Directors agreed to reduce the number of inductees for the Class of 2021 to three per breed. This will allow for the 2020 and 2021 inductees to be properly recognized together, once a gala event may be hosted. The Hall determined additional inductees will be added in 2022 and 2023 to offset the smaller class of 2021. The Standardbred Election Committee inductee selections for 2021 include Builder Jim Bullock, Driver Randy Waples, and Female horse Great Memories.   Erin, Ontario resident Jim Bullock has made immense contributions to the Canadian harness racing industry over the past 30 plus years as an owner, breeder, stallion syndicator, race track administrator and organization leader.  Following his purchase of Glengate Farms in 1992, he stood three stallions that are now members of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame -- Balanced Image, Angus Hall and Apaches Fame, and each stallion has had immeasurable impact on the Canadian harness racing landscape. While Bullock has suspended the stallion division of Glengate, he continues to be active as a breeder with a broodmare band of approximately 30 top quality, trotting-bred mares, built largely by retiring some of his most successful race horses including Gramola, Juanitas Fury, Pepi Lavec and Oaklea Odessa.  Bullock’s Glengate Farms can also lay claim to being co-breeder of double millionaire Art Official, world champion JL Cruze who went on to make over $1.6 million and CHRHF inductee Odies Fame.  It also seems rather fitting that Glengate Farms-bred Great Memories is also included in the CHRHF Class of 2021.  Jim has worked with leading organizations in the industry such as the Woodbine Entertainment Group as a director and the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association where he served as the organization’s president for more than nine years. Jim also played a significant role in the SBOA New Owner Mentoring program, created to introduce and educate new owners to the industry.   In 2013 he was recognized by the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association with the Van Bussel Award for exemplary service and the Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award for meritorious service.  Although 2021 Driver Inductee Randy Waples was born with harness racing in his blood, he still needed to earn what he accomplished as a driver.  After spending close to 10 years honing his craft at tracks throughout Ontario, the trajectory of his career changed in 1996 when he won 150 races in 1,197 starts in what would be the first of 22 consecutive years as a driver with earnings reaching into the millions.  The three-time O’Brien Award as Canada’s Driver of the Year, Waples also has a long list of stakes victories on his resume including the 2012 North America Cup with Thinking Out Loud, three Maple Leaf Trot wins with San Pail (CHRHF Class of 2016), as well as Breeders Crown Championship wins with San Pail and Dreamfair Eternal (CHRHF Class of 2014) and two wins in the Canadian Pacing Derby with Strong Clan (1997) and State Treasurer (2016). Other notable accomplishments include four Battle of Waterloo wins and leading driver in Ontario Sires Stakes earnings in 2001, 2002 and 2010.   In April 2018 when harness racing moved from Woodbine to permanently reside at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Waples was declared the all-time leader in wins at the Toronto facility with 2,605 victories.  Nationally Waples is the all-time leading money-winning driver of races held in Canada, sporting more than 6,600 wins and $131 million in purse earnings. While the majority of Waples career has been spent on Canadian soil, his name was also added to U.S. record books when he won the Kentucky Sire Stakes Final at The Red Mile in 2000 with Real Desire, for trainer Blair Burgess (CHRHF Class of 2017), in a time of 1:50.4, a world record at the time for two-year-old pacing colts.  The 2021 Standardbred Female Horse Inductee Great Memories is a daughter of CHRHF 2000 Inductee Apaches Fame and out of Armbro Emerson daughter Save The Memories.  Purchased as a yearling by Kenneth Fraser and Duane Marfisi, who also trained the filly, Great Memories’ race career was cut short due to an injury at age three..  Bred by fellow CHRHF Class of 2021 inductee Jim Bullock at his Glengate Farm in Campbellville, she now resides a few kilometres up the road in Rockwood and is owned by Ontario Standardbred nursery Warrawee Farm.   Among Great Memories’ offspring are two world champions:  Warrawee Needy and Warrawee Ubeaut. A winner of 29 races and more than $1.25 million, Warrawee Needy was freakishly fast at two (1:49.4s),  faster still at three (1:48.4s) and the fastest in the world at four (1:46.4) for trainer and CHRHF Inductee Carl Jamieson.  Named the 2011 O'Brien Award winner for two-year-old pacing colts/geldings, Warrawee Needy was virtually unstoppable as a freshman, ending his nine-win rookie season by capturing the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack.  At age three, Warrawee Needy duplicated his stakes-winning and record-setting ways. After setting an OSS speed record of 1:49.4 at two, he also set the record for three-year-olds with a 1:48.4 performance as a sophomore.  At four, he won an Aquarius Series leg, his US Pacing Championship elimination and his William Haughton Memorial elimination at the Meadowlands Racetrack in world record time. In her first season on the racetrack in 2018, Warrawee Ubeaut won seven of 12 races and earned a division-leading $646,995 en route to divisional honours in the U.S.  Her wins included the $600,000 Breeders Crown and $207,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes.  In addition, her 1:48.3 victory in a $61,250 division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile made her the fastest two-year-old pacer (regardless of sex) in harness racing history.  At age three Warrawee Ubeaut continued to impress matching her lifetime mark, again at Lexington, and winning 12 of 19 starts for earnings of $1,066,415, including an eight-race win streak. Notable wins included the Breeders Crown, the Jugette elimination and final and in doing so equalled the world record for a three-year-old pacing filly over a half-mile track.  Her 2019 efforts were rewarded with a Dan Patch Award for her age category. As a four-year-old, Warrawee Ubeaut added the Roses Are Red title to her resume and lifted her earnings to nearly $2 million by season’s end. Great Memories’ 10 racing age progeny have earned more than $4.2 million with four horses, Warrawee Needy, Warrawee Ubeaut, Warrawee Vital and Big Bay Point --breaking the 1:50 barrier and two surpassing the $1 million earnings mark. The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame congratulates all of this year’s inductees and their connections.   For more information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, please visit www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com.  From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  

TORONTO -  April 12, 2021 - Ontario Racing is pleased to announce that Standardbred horsepeople now have the opportunity to access certain purse funds that remain available under the Funding Agreement with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) as a result of the suspension of live harness racing in the province as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aforementioned funds were already committed to the industry through the Funding Agreement for Live Horse Racing between Ontario Racing and OLG. "We are pleased to be able to provide these equine benefit payments," said John Hayes, Chair, Ontario Racing. "Horse racing, like so many other industries, continues to be severely impacted by the pandemic. The Ontario Racing team, OLG, and industry representatives, remain dedicated to assisting horsepeople and horses across the province. We are grateful for your ongoing support throughout these challenging times." In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario Racing created a task force, as it did during the spring lockdown in 2020, to address the financial impacts to Standardbred horse racing in Ontario. Eligibility Requirements: For horsepeople to be eligible for financial payments for the month of April pursuant to this program, the Standardbred COVID-19 Task Force has determined that horses must meet the criteria outlined below to be eligible to receive an equine benefit payment. Horses Drawn into Race Cancellation Payment - $300 per horse: Horses entered to race Saturday April 3, 2021 and Sunday April 4, 2021 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Western Fair, and Rideau Carleton will be awarded the standard $300 cancellation fee. These races were previously drawn. April Training Benefit Payment - $1,000 per horse: 1. Any horse stabled in Ontario with a charted line in Ontario in 2021 and is not currently racing or training/stabled outside of Ontario without returning to Ontario prior to April 5 shall receive $1,000 in relief funding. No application required. 2. The following horses that are preparing to race and are currently stabled in Ontario for the month of April may be eligible to apply for $1,000 in relief funding: Unraced in 2021 3- & 4-year-olds Any horse who started in Ontario between September 1 - December 23, 2020 that was stabled in Ontario at the time of the start and remained in Ontario until December 23, 2020 All horses under both criteria must remain in Ontario for the month of April to receive funding and make their first start in Ontario once live racing resumes in Ontario. If a horse qualifies under both criteria, the horse is eligible for only a single $1,000 payment. Application form: The Standardbred Equine Benefit application for this payment can be found here (Application Form Link). The deadline to submit your application to Ontario Racing is Friday, April 23, 2021. All mailed applications must be postmarked by Friday, April 23, 2021 in order to be eligible. Please email or mail completed applications to: Attn: Sarrah Young - syoung@ontarioracing.com Ontario Racing Management 555 Rexdale Boulevard Toronto, ON M9W 5L2 Important Notes: All payments received must be used for the care and maintenance of Standardbred horses Once racing resumes in Ontario, horses who have received benefits under this program MUST make their first start at an Ontario Standardbred racetrack Ontario Racing reserves the right to request additional information to ensure all criteria has been met. Those receiving benefit payments under the program could be subject to an audit by Ontario Racing. Failure to meet the criteria will result in all amounts being repaid to Ontario Racing. All decisions are at the discretion of Ontario Racing and are ABSOLUTE and FINAL Horses are currently under the care of an AGCO licensed trainer at the time the application is submitted From Ontario Racing  

Officials at harness racing circuit Flamboro Downs today (Apr. 12) announced the cancellation of the 2021 Confederation Cup due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The race for four-year-old pacers was scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 23. This will mark the second consecutive year the Confederation Cup has been cancelled due to COVID-19.    All nomination fees and sustaining payments submitted for this year’s Confederation Cup will be refunded.    Live harness racing is currently suspended at Flamboro Downs and all tracks across Ontario due to the provincewide stay-at-home order.  Officials with Flamboro indicated that they are currently in discussions to add an invitational for four-year-olds at Georgian Downs during its summer meet. From Standardbred Canada

The Government of Ontario has now moved to Phase 2 of its COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan which provides eligibility to essential frontline workers who cannot work from home, which includes agriculture and farm workers. Moreover, the vaccination plan is also now prioritizing residents living in hot spots, which includes Woodbine Racetrack. To see if you live in a hot spot, please click here. We encourage everyone to please educate yourself on the vaccines and the vaccination roll-out plan. By booking an appointment to become vaccinated NOW, you protect yourself, your family, our Horse People communities, and our collective ability to conduct live racing without further interruptions due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Once live racing resumes, continuing to race without further interruptions is dependent on limiting any spread of the virus throughout our industry. Whether in horse racing or other industries, vaccines are an important safety to measure to further protect yourself and others from COVID-19. As mentioned on the Government of Ontario's website, "When a large percentage of the population becomes immune to COVID-19, the spread of the virus will slow down or stop." Horse people and racetracks throughout Ontario did a tremendous job of minimizing the on-site spread of COVID-19 in 2020. Together, with the aid of vaccines and by continuing to follow all safety measures, let's make 2021 even safer so we can all continue to do what we love. by Jamie Dykstra, for Woodbine Entertainment  

In the midst of a downpour, Armycaptin Hanover emerged best of a three-across finish in the Fraser Downs Open Pace harness racing feature on Apr. 9 to complete a last-to-first stunner.   Scott Knight withheld the gelding from the gate and sent him to last of six early as Kneedeep N Custard (Kelly Hoerdt) and Just A Start (Brandon Campbell) fought for the lead through a :27.3 first quarter. The latter won that duel before the half in :54.4.   Armycaptin Hanover started rolling at that point, moving second-over on the backside behind the cover of Dontpokethedragon (William Tainsh), who bested him in the previous week's open. Dontpokethedragon and Just A Start threw down going past three-quarters in 1:24 as Armycaptin Hanover loomed in third.   Just A Start appeared to get away from the first-over challenger, but he tired in the stretch and both Dontpokethedragon and Armycaptin Hanover laid siege coming to the wire. The trio hit the finish line together in a tight photo, but it was Armycaptin Hanover who crossed it first in 1:53.4. Dontpokethedragon got up for place, and Just A Start was a game third.   ARMYCAPTIN HANOVER REPLAY     Armycaptin Hanover, a five-year-old son of Captaintreacherous, has now made $72,559 and has a record of 13-for-54. Hoerdt trains and co-owns with Blair Corbeil of Beaumont. That victory was the horse's first of the season. He paid $11.60 to win.   Campbell clawed two back in the race for the drivers' title. He scored five wins on the night to Hoerdt's three. Hoerdt now has only one win over his rival, with the score sitting at 26-25. Knight is third with seven.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Management at the Quebec Jockey Club has announced that the harness racing qualifiers scheduled for Saturday, April 10 have been cancelled at the Hippodrome 3R. "We have not yet received permission from the Quebec government to start racing due to Covid-19," said Director of Racing Murielle Thomassin. "Fortunately, we scheduled three weeks of qualifying racing in April, just in case we could not get underway this weekend." The Hippodrome 3R is scheduled to start its 2021 racing season on Sunday, May 2. "We are hopeful that we will get permission to race soon," Thomassin added. "We raced last year from June to November without any Covid cases. We have all the protocols in place again for this year. For more information, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

APRIL 8, 2021 - Ontario Sires Stakes sustaining payments of $600 ($480 USD) for two-year-olds are due April 15, 2021. Due to the current racing shutdown, Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) staff members are working limited hours and may not be able to respond to calls and messages regarding telephone payments before the April 15 deadline. As a result, owners are encouraged to mail their payments before April 15. To confirm the receipt of a payment please send it by registered mail, Priority Post or courier (addresses below) rather than calling the OSS office. Those who prefer to pay by credit card over the telephone should: 1) Call well in advance of the April 15 deadline. 2) Clearly leave a name and telephone number if staff members are unable to answer. 3) Telephone messages regarding credit card payments received before the April 15 deadline will be considered on-time payments even if the deadline has passed before staff members are able to return the call. Please allow 10 to 14 days for your payment to be processed and be aware that payments made through the SC Stakes Online portal are not processed until the April 15 deadline has passed. As payments are processed the list of horses sustained will be posted to the OSS website at https://oss.ontarioracing.com/participants/#!osshorses/2021/N. Yearling nominations of $100 ($80 USD) are due May 15. Nomination forms were mailed in early April and can be found on the OSS website at https://oss.ontarioracing.com/yearling-nomination/. The Ontario Sires Stakes staff appreciates your patience during this time. For further enquiries please contact ossprogram@ontarioracing.com or 905-854-7808. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com From the Ontario Sires Stakes    

Chase The Ace captured the Handicap Open Pace for harness racing fillies and mares at a muddy Fraser Downs on Apr. 7, 2021 while making her 2021 debut.   Driver Brandon Campbell tucked her into third through a first quarter in :29.3. They remained inside as consistent open contender Cusdmagicdragon (Kelly Hoerdt) carved out fractions of :58.3 and 1:27.1 on the front end.   Campbell triggered Chase The Ace's move coming around the final turn, and the pair easily stepped around the top two. She won by four and a half lengths in 1:55.4 going away. Rockin Mystery (Rod Therres) reached up for second over Cusdmagicdragon, who finished third.   CHASE THE ACE REPLAY     Chase The Ace has now won 14 of her 44 lifetime tries and earned more than $75,000. Campbell also trains the five-year-old Armbro Baylor mare for Jodi Loftus of Calgary. The horse went eight-for-23 last season and made just shy of $50,000.   Hoerdt and Campbell renewed their battle for the top of the drivers' standings, winning five and three races, respectively. Hoerdt holds a three-win advantage over Campbell after the Apr. 7 program. Scott Knight won two to improve his tally to six on the evening and jump Therres for third place.   Hoerdt also trained five winners and leads Jim Marino in the trainers' table by 11.   Fraser Downs will be back on Friday, Apr. 9 with 10 races starting at 8 p.m. PDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

MILTON, ON - April 7, 2021 - As a result of the Provincial State of Emergency declared today by the Government of Ontario, which includes a province-wide 28-day stay-at-home order effective Thursday, April 8 at 12:01 a.m., Woodbine Entertainment announced that training at Woodbine Mohawk Park will be suspended immediately. Training will be offered again after the stay-at-home order is lifted or when there is clarity on when live racing will be permitted to resume. Woodbine Entertainment also confirmed that it is continuing its efforts with government officials and local health authorities to be permitted to safely operate live racing during a lockdown situation which would allow the Standardbred Racing season at Woodbine Mohawk Park to resume after the stay-at-home order is lifted on May 6. "This is very difficult news to share with our Woodbine Mohawk Park community," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "Since the beginning of the pandemic in Ontario more than a year ago, we have supported the Government of Ontario every step of the way and will continue to do so. "However, if we do not receive permission to safely operate live racing during a lockdown situation after the stay-at-home is lifted, our industry and business could be greatly impacted as more and more trainers will be sending their horses to the United States where there are plenty of racing opportunities. This situation has the potential to have a devastating and long-lasting impact on the standardbred industry in Ontario." Woodbine Entertainment will continue to provide regular updates to keep horse people informed of the latest developments regarding training and live racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

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The photos, dozens of horse images that hang on the 17-year-old's bedroom walls, take on more meaning with each new day. Every time Anna Tucciarone opens the door, turns on the light, and sees the harness racing photos, any stresses in her life, big or small, immediately wash away. "There haven't been a lot of things to look forward to because of the pandemic," started the soft-spoken high school student from Mississauga, Ontario. "But the horses, they always bring you up if you are feeling down." Some of the horses she speaks of are in fact, her horses. Along with her father Jon, Tucciarone currently owns shares of eight Standardbred racehorses through TheStable.ca, a fractional ownership group created by Anthony MacDonald and his wife Amy in 2015. Her interest was sparked four years ago when her father shared a photo of the yearling he purchased shares in through TheStable.ca. A longtime racing fan, Jon had often thought of joining the ownership ranks over the years. "I've been going to the races for over 40 years. I love it. It's a long history for me. My uncle used to own horses. I had always wanted to be owner and one day I came across TheStable.ca one day. It was easy to get involved and it wasn't expensive. And it just makes things so exciting, the thrill of going to the races and watching a horse that is yours." Anna's early recollections of going to the races differ greatly from those of her father's. "When I was a kid, I didn't like going because I was so young and I would get so bored. I'd give my dad a hard time. But that's all changed." Father and daughter are now fixtures at southwestern Ontario racetracks. Although the pandemic has limited the opportunity to watch their horses in person over the past 13-plus months, they've found alternatives to keep track of their respective pacers and trotters. "I wish I had a horse racing every night," said Jon. "With COVID, it's tough not going. We watch the races on TV, and for now, that will have to be the way we enjoy it together. But whenever you're there in person, if you are having a bad day or going through a tough time, that all goes away." He's also seen it, first-hand, in his daughter. "It's wonderful to see her love for the horses. Whether it's going to the training centre or to the racetrack, she always wants to go and I always want to go. We go together and we can talk about horse racing and our horses. She's always in the barn when I'm out watching them train. You can see just how much these horses mean to her." Anna's forged a deep bond with two horses in particular. Stonebridge Symba, a 5-year-old son of Yankee Glide, became a game changer for the teenager. "I can say the first horse I fell in love with was Stonebridge Symba. He was the first horse that won for me. My eyes were watering when he won. It was something so special. He has changed my whole life." The bay trotter provided Anna, among many things, clarity when it came to her post-school aspirations. After struggling to land on what she wanted to do outside of the classroom, she has finally found her calling. "Before I decided to own horses, I didn't know what I wanted to be. But after I started owning horses, I found what I wanted to pursue in life. Right now, my goal is to become a groom. After that, I'm not really sure. I'm just happy I was able to find something that I love." Her friends and teachers are certainly aware of her passion for racehorses. She's even managed to incorporate her endearment for Standardbreds into her homework. "It's easy to fall in love with the horses. I talk about Stonebridge Symba and all of them in school and I also talk about them to my teachers. I've even done some school projects on my horses, talking about why people should become owners. My friends think it's really cool that I own horses." Canadian Titan, a 4-year-old trotting daughter of E L Titan, has also had a profound effect on Anna's life. The bay mare was the last horse she saw on her first-ever visit to the stables. "I remember going through the barn, one-by-one, looking at all the horses, and she was at the end. She had her head out of the stall and she was puffing out her lips. I just loved seeing that. I ended up becoming one of her owners last year. It was the most wonderful feeling. I made a Power Point presentation on why I wanted to buy her and showed my dad. That night, we got a share of her. It felt great to finally say that I was one of her owners. "When she was racing before I owned her, we'd still go to watch her, just to support her. The first winner's circle moment I had was with Canadian Titan. We didn't own her at the time, but I loved watching her race and I followed her career. I really enjoy owning her and my other horses, and I really love having that connection to them with my dad." Horse talk between father and daughter is a daily occurrence. Often, it's multiple conversations throughout the course of a day, chats ranging from the latest updates on their respective horses, to commentary while watching videos of past wins, or the time they can stand railside again to watch the races. "It's wonderful to share this," offered Jon. "I went to the races with my father and my uncles. It was always a family thing. Once I bought my yearling, Anna started following along and she wanted to come with me. I never forced her to go... she fell in love with it on her own. It's something that we can share together, something we can relate to. So now, it's a family thing again." Whenever spectators are allowed back at the races, Jon and Anna will be ready. For now, their usual front-row spot will be in a decidedly different setting. "We watch them race online or on TV, but we just want to see them racing when we can stand there and cheer them on," said Jon. "I can't wait for that day to come." Neither can Anna. Whether it's when she's working at her part-time job cleaning a local parking lot, finding a way to include horses in her latest school assignment, or posting images of them on social media, the horses she owns are always top of mind for the Grade 12 student. "If I'm having a tough day, I know the one thing that can change it." Happiness for Anna Tucciarone is always just an open door away. "It's just memories, those photos, something to look at where I'll think, 'That was such a great day.' And when I do, it puts the biggest smile on my face every time." by Chris Lomon, for Ontario Racing  
Chase The Ace took the Filly and Mares Open Pace at the Fraser Downs harness racing circuit for the second straight week with a three-wide swoop.   Brandon Campbell tucked the mare into the four-hole early and followed through the quarter in :28.4 and half in :56.3. Campbell pulled the horse out behind cover, which immediately stalled, and then went three-wide as the field approached three-quarters in 1:24.   Chase The Ace then vanquished pocket-sitter Cusdmagicdragon (Kelly Hoerdt) and Rocket Mystery (Rod Therres) in the lane to win by a length and three quarters in 1:52.3.   CHASE THE ACE REPLAY     Chase The Ace, sent off at 3/5, shattered her lifetime best by two and four-fifths seconds with the win. The daughter of Armbro Baylor also increased her tally to 15 wins from 45 starts and improved her bankroll to more than $80,000. Campbell also trains for Jodi Loftus of Calgary.   Campbell won five of the evening's 12 dashes, surpassing Hoerdt in the drivers' standings with just one card to go in the meet. Hoerdt won three. Campbell now has 30 wins to Hoerdt's 29. Scott Knight and Rod Therres are tied for third with seven victories apiece.   Fraser Downs will return with 10 races on Apr. 16 for its final program until September. The action will kick off at 8 p.m. PDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink
Guelph, ON - April, 14, 2021 - Prevention of airway problems is the best way to protect your horse, but when not successful, what is next?   Early intervention is paramount when dealing with the irreversible disease, equine asthma, commonly referred to as heaves, RAO or IAD. Equine asthma starts off with a hypersensitivity reaction to particles in the air (e.g., dust, mould). These particles cause inflammation in the airways and restrict airflow.   Heaves is now called severe equine asthma as the horse will struggle to breathe even at rest. Heave Line - the heave line develops along the lower edge of the ribcage as the horse has to work harder to breathe, due to inflammation and airway obstruction. The chest muscles must work harder during each breath taken by the horse.   If you wait until a heave line appears, the disease has already progressed to advanced stages.   It is important that horse owners never ignore a cough in their horse. It should be investigated and diagnosed without delay. There is much that can be done on the management side to prevent further damage, as a global paper on equine asthma attests.   Intervention is recommended at the first sign of coughing, and more so if the cough is repetitive or persistent. Triggered by the microscopic particles that cause airway inflammation, common signs of equine asthma include coughing, nasal discharge, exercise intolerance and breathing difficulties. Equine asthma can affect horses at any age in any discipline of riding.   According to Renaud Leguillette, DVM, DACVIM, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, feeding horses from a round hay bale can potentially double the risk of developing equine asthma! Horses are picky eaters and do not hesitate to bury their heads deep in the round bale to look for the most desirable hay first. In doing so they inhale all sorts of dust, mould and particulates.   Many stabled horses are exposed to exponentially more inhalable irritants than horses kept outside. Pasture board is often the best option for horses suffering from equine asthma – minus the round bales of course. Every precaution to reduce dust in the environment should be taken. Low dust bedding, turning horses out before sweeping, cleaning stalls regularly to keep ammonia levels low and clearing out any mould under stall mats are just some of the effective measures that can be taken. Maintaining arena footing to minimize dust, making sure the barn is well ventilated and feeding steamed hay and soaked concentrates are all environmental factors within the farm owner's control.   If asthma is suspected, the veterinarian will be looking closely at the horse’s environment to determine what is causing the irritation in the lungs. They will be looking at all potential causes which could include: dusty environments, smoke inhalation, pollen or other allergens and particles in the pasture or hay.   One cannot jump to conclusions at the first sign of a cough. The vet will need to rule out upper airway diseases and bacterial or viral infections. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is the gold standard diagnostic test for asthma. Corticosteroids administered with or without a bronchodilator may be prescribed to help the horse recover from bouts of equine asthma, but environmental improvement is the key to long-term management. Always bring in the veterinarian to check a horse that repeatedly coughs. It is vital to prevent the debilitating progression of asthma.   by Jackie Bellamy-Zions, for Equine Guelph  
AGCO horse racing licensing applications and renewals have moved online. All AGCO transactions, including adding a horse to the Exercise Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage (EIPH) program in Ontario, must be completed through the iAGCO online portal at www.agco.ca/iAGCO. For more information, see How Do I Get Licensed? Industry participants are reminded that new and renewal licensing applications and submissions are no longer approved immediately upon application. Applications should be made in advance of the licence being required to ensure there is adequate time to complete the appropriate due diligence process. AGCO Customer Service is available by phone Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876 (toll free in Ontario). You can also submit questions anytime online through iAGCO Email a Licensing Agent at racinglicensing@agco.ca AGCO Licensing Offices are open on most live race days, or other times as indicated on the AGCO Licensing Office Hours web page Helpful Resources The iAGCO Guide for Horse Racing supports new users of iAGCO as they begin using online services for all their AGCO horseracing transactions. It includes a Helpful Resources section with links to: Horse Racing Licence Guide: Individuals and Administrative Tip Sheet: How to Renew Your Horse Racing-Related Licences Regulatory Submission - EIPH Program - Add or Remove Horse From the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
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