Day At The Track
Billings drivers at Grand River Raceway

Billings winners at Grand River Raceway

The granddaddy of all amateur harness racing organizations, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, moved north of the border on Friday night, June 23, for two contests at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ontario. The first, a trot, saw Sherwin "the Magician" Edwards rein Willyorwonthe to a 1:58.4 triumph while the second, a pace, went to Shane "the Freelton Flash" Arsenault and Lulu's Boy in a 1:58.2 clocking. Being that the Billings races were in Canada most of the participating drivers were Canadian except for Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and "Buffalo Bob" Davis. In his contest Sherwin Edwards sent Willyorwonthe to the lead from the three-hole and quickly gained command and in doing so he played hardball with Natasha "Lady" Day who was up behind the betting favorite Hldontghtoyurdrms. Edwards parked her through fractions of :28.1; :58.1 and 1:28.2 until Ms. Day's trotter began to get leg weary after they passed the third stanza. However, Willyorwonthe still had on his trotting shoes and began to draw clear of the competition. When the field straightened for home Shane Arsenault and Lexis DJ who were traveling along with cover, took aim at the leader after enjoying a two-hole journey. But Edwards' trotter was up to the task and he rebuffed the challenge and charged home a 1-3/4 length victor over Lexis DJ. Hldontghttoyurdreams held on for the show dough. The winner, an altered 4-year-old son of Angus Hall, is owned and trained by William Megens. He returned a $6.60 mutuel to his backers. In the pacing contest, Shane Arsenault aped Sherwin Edwards' journey in the first event and sent Lulu's Boy down the road and they made every pole a winning one. Although pressured in the deep stretch Arsenault's pacer dug in and held off a late charge by Bet on Art and driver by Dave "Modern Legend" Drew. Every Girl's Desire, with Brent Hollingsworth is the pilot's seat, rambled home two lengths behind the winner in third place. The veteran 10 year-old Art Major Gelding is owned by Louis Sorella and Gene Miller and trained by Robert Fellows. He paid $9/90 for win. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Charlottetown Driving Park

Red Shores weekend - Harness Racing

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The finest harness racing pacers dotting the Eastern Seaboard of Canada will face off Saturday evening in memory of Cecil Ladner at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 11-dash card kicks off at 6 P.M. Saturday with the $5,000 Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational lining up in the evening finale. Ladner was a pivotal organizer and supporter of Island racing up until his death in 2005, when he was serving on the board of Harness Racing P.E.I. The lifelong horseman owned a number of top competitors including stakes winner Rouge Baron, Gold Cup And Saucer finalist Back From The Past and hard hitting overnight horses like Legend Killean, Dunachton Nukes and GOK. Saturday, the fastest standardbreds East of Quebec will put their noses on the starting gate in his honour and it is anyone's race to win. Mr Irresistible was a decisive winner in last Saturday's preferred pace with a 1:55.1 victory over a sloppy track with a two-second variant with Charlottetown's leading driver Marc Campbell in the seat. Campbell will drive the five-year-old son of Mister Big again this week and gets rail control as the favorite for trainer Jennifer Trainor and owner Danny Birt of Stratford. Goliath Reigns has post 2 at 6-1 odds after shipping in from competition at Truro Raceway for trainer Dawn Ellis and driver Todd Trites after winning in 1:56.2 over the Nova Scotia half-mile oval on June 11. Post 3 has Nogreatmischief with 12-1 odds for co-owner, trainer and driver Walter Cheverie of Nine Mile Creek and co-owner John Thompson of Charlottetown. The Bettor's Delight pacer has not made a start since October but was a qualifying winner in 1:58 recently in Charlottetown. Junebugs Baby has post 4 at 8-1 with Myles Heffernan driving for owner Jackie Heffernan of Glace Bay, N.S., after finishing second in 1:56.2 in his latest start. Post 5 belongs to the other Nova Scotia ship-in with Bernard McCallum training and driving His Boy Elroy at 10-1 odds for owner Dan MacRae of Baddeck, N.S., with his latest effort a winning one in 1:57 over the Truro Raceway. The richest pacer in the field is a newcomer to Charlottetown with Invictus Hanover making his second start on red soil and drawing post 6 for trainer-driver Jason Hughes and owner Foxyhall Racing of Wallace, N.S. The son of Yankee Cruiser is at 7-2 morning line odds as he looks to add to his $305,000 bankroll. Post 7 belongs to a pacer that makes front no matter where he leaves. Adkins Hanover has Brett MacDonald making the trip from Rideau Carleton Raceway outside Ottawa to sit behind the pacer in the absence of regular pilot Corey MacPherson. Adkins Hanover has been laying down devastating fractions in recent weeks for trainer Trevor Hicken and owner Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile., QC, but hasn't seen the winner's circle since May 13. The far outside post 8 goes to a six-year-old pacer that surprised the top class on June 10 with an upset victory after a two-hole ride. Give Em Heck is unlikely to get as nice a trip from the outside of the starting gate this week for driver Gilles Barrieau, trainer Jackie Matheson and owner Colin Sheppard of Spaniards Bay, N.L. Check out redshores.ca for race programs, live video and promotional information including the ongoing $100,000 Dash For Cash. Sunday Showdown For Mando Fun, Eagle Jolt Mando Fun will search for revenge on Eagle Jolt Sunday afternoon at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. First race post time is 1 P.M. for the 12-dash card with Mando Fun drawing post 5 in the race 11 $2,400 feature with Dale Spence in the bike for co-ownert and trainer Paul Biggar of Tyne Valley and co-owner Donald Callbeck of Kensington. Eagle Jolt has the outside in the field of six with Ryan Desroche getting the catch driving call with regular driver and trainer Marc Campbell competing in Nova Scotia on Sunday afternoon. Eagle Jolt was victorious in last week's Prince County feature event while snapping the two-race win streak of Mando Fun. Narragansett is sure to have a say in the outcome again this week with Jason Hughes training and driving for owner Foxyhall Racing of Wallace, N.S. Machinthesand has rail control for Ken Murphy, while D Bs Rosco has post 2 for Walter Cheverie and Mach It Big leaves from post 4 with Brian Andrew in the bike. The back-up pace lines up in race 10 for a $1,800 purse with Rash B Havior favoured from post 2 for driver Murphy and owner-trainer Mike Peters of Emyvale. The seven-year-old son of Lis Mara has 24 lifetime victories to his credit and faces off with the red-hot Sandinista, who has post 3 for driver Cheverie and trainer Clair Sweet, riding a three-race win streak. Good Friday Three has rail control in race 7 after he came up short in his East Coast debut, finishing third on June 4 at Summerside, and not raced since. The time off could be just what was needed for the five-year-old son of Mach Three since he has all ready shown he has the speed to argue with any class on the Island with a 1:55 victory over Western Fair Raceway in London, Ont., earlier this year. Jason Hughes picks up the catch-driver for trainer Wade Sorrie and owner Walter Simmons of Summerside in Sunday's $1,600 contest. George (Cheverie) and Coastocoastshark (Murphy) are among the top entries in that race. Check out Redshores.ca for race program, live video and promotional information including the ongoing $100,000 Dash For Cash. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

Canadian racing celebrates 250th Anniversary.jpg

Canadian racing celebrates 250th Anniversary

As Canada celebrates 150 years of confederation on July 1st, Canada’s horse racing industry is recognizing an even greater milestone, the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada with 23 racetracks in 8 provinces taking part in a national celebration over the July 1st weekend. From British Columbia to Prince Edward Island, tracks holding races between June 30th and July 2nd will raise flags, hold commemorative miles and honour the people, horses and history from their local communities to mark the 250th Anniversary.  The July 1st weekend initiative is part of a year-long celebration led by the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in conjunction with Standardbred Canada and Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society. “This anniversary provides the opportunity for the entire horse racing industry across the country to speak with one voice about our incredible history,” said Linda Rainey, Managing Director of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.  “There aren’t many things in our country that are 250 years old and horse racing has reached that milestone. It is a story anyone who has ever been involved with horse racing can be proud of.” It all began, July 1, 1767, exactly 100 years before our country’s confederation, when a race took place on The Plains of Abraham in Quebec City.  Gazette de Quebec recounted the race as follows:  “The horse race for a purse of forty dollars was held on Wednesday, first of the month, on the Hill of Abraham.  It was easily won by Captain Prescott’s mare Modesty, much to the discomfiture of those who, purporting to know about such things, had wagered against her and were thereby parted from their money.”  From that day forward horse racing has been part of the fabric of the country.  From coast to coast, generation after generation, people from all walks of life have participated in and enjoyed the sport, whether on grass-root tracks, agricultural fairs, on frozen rivers dotting the countryside, or in today’s modern facilities.  Earlier this year a national initiative was launched to complete “250 Miles for 250 Years”, with a goal of accumulating 250 commemorative miles honouring the communities, horses and people who have participated in the sport over the past 250 years. Many of those commemorative miles will be held over this official anniversary weekend.  Everyone attending the celebrations is encouraged to share their experience via social media using the #cdnhorseracing250 Participating tracks include: British Columbia Hastings Racecourse – Vancouver (July 1) Alberta Century Downs (July 1) Millerville (July 1) Northlands Park – Edmonton (July 1) Manitoba Assiniboia Downs – Winnipeg (July 1) Ontario Clinton Raceway (July 2) Dresden (July 1) Fort Erie (July 2) Georgian Downs (July 1) Grand River (June 30) Hanover (July 1) Hiawatha  - Sarnia (July 1) Kawartha Downs (July 1) Mohawk (July 1) Rideau Carleton (July 2) Woodbine (July 1) Quebec Hippodrome 3R – Trois Riviere (July 2) Nova Scotia Inverness (July 2) Northside Downs – North Sydney (July 1) Truro (June 30) New Brunswick Exhibition Park Raceway – Saint John (July 1) PEI Red Shores – Charlottetown (July 2) Summerside – (July 1)   Funding for the  250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada initiatives has been provided by:  Standardbred Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, HBPA Ontario, Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Alberta Standardbred Horse Association, Harness Racing BC, The Jockey Club as well as individual donations.  To support the 250th Anniversary Fund visit:  Sponsorships and Donations.  For additional information about the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada and the celebrations planned go to www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com or via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram #cdnhorseracing250 Linda Rainey, Managing Director Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  

Doc Semalu

Four wins for Filion on emotional day

JUNE 22, 2017 - Thursday, June 22 was an emotional day for harness racing driver Sylvain Filion. In the early morning hours the Milton, ON resident learned that his uncle, the legendary horseman Herve Filion, had passed away after a prolonged illness. Hours later Sylvain Filion was at Mohawk Racetrack, where he was scheduled to drive in nine of 10 races. In the first race he finished last, but he was the runner-up in the second and before the night was over he would record four victories, including one Grassroots triumph with three-year-old colt pacer Doc Semalu. "It was a pretty emotional day for me," admitted Filion at the end of the 10-race program. "I knew it was coming, we knew he was very sick, but it's always a shock when you hear that, you know." Filion's victories came in the fourth race with Toxicity, a three-year-old pacing gelding co-owned by his father Yves' Bayama Farms, in the sixth race with three-year-old trotting filly Royal Witch, in the seventh race with Grassroots competitor Doc Semalu, also co-owned by Bayama Farms, and in the ninth race with seven-year-old pacing gelding Crocadile Canyon. In addition to the four victories, Filion also recorded three runner-up finishes. Of the four victories, Filion's Grassroots triumph was particularly impressive, coming from Post 10 in Doc Semalu's first Ontario Sires Stakes start of the season. The pair was able to find a spot on the rail in fifth and held that position through fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24.3 before finding space coming off the final turn. Manoeuvered into an open lane in the stretch, Doc Semalu sprinted home to a three-quarter length victory over Dream Of Luck and Master The View in a personal best 1:54. "He's got a few issues, but he's got lots of go in him, and we were lucky enough to find a spot there closer to the front and everything opened up in the lane," said Filion. "It worked out good for us. He showed some grit." The win was the Mach Three son's second straight, the first coming at Rideau Carleton Raceway on June 15 with Yves Filion in the race bike. Stephane Larocque trains Doc Semalu for the elder Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC and Zoom And Fish Stable Inc. of Mont-Royal, QC. Doc Semalu Filion came close to making it five victories with Tremendous Play in the final $19,500 Grassroots division. After battling for the lead through the first two quarters the Shadow Play son did not have enough in reserve to secure the victory in the stretch, yielding to a fast closing Oak Island. Fan favourite Lindy The Kid also went by Tremendous Play, but caused interference while on a break and was placed back to seventh, elevating Tremendous Play to second and Bills Fella to third. "I thought he raced really, really good," said Filion of Tremendous Play, who is trained by Rockwood, ON resident Benoit Baillargeon for Claude Gendreau Stable Inc. of Buffalo Grove, IL. "He raced tough tonight, real tough." Oak Island was piloted to the three and one-half length victory by Elora, ON resident Bob McClure. The 1:53.2 victory was the Vintage Master colt's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, and also marked trainer Justin Darling's first win in the provincial program. The Cambridge, ON resident conditions Oak Island for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Oak Island The other Grassroots trophy went home with Nascar Seelster, who got a head in front of Mach Déjà Vu and favourite Southwind General at the wire. Milton resident Randy Waples crafted the come-from-behind 1:53.1 score for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Mardon Stables of Loretto and James Walker of Port Perry, ON. Like Doc Semalu and Oak Island, Thursday marked Mach Three son Nascar Seelster's debut in the Grassroots winner's circle. All three colts will have an opportunity to add to their trophy collection in the third Grassroots event on July 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Nascar Seelster Filion's successful evening was a fitting tribute to his uncle Herve, whose talent and prodigious work ethic saw him finish many days with multiple wins, often at more than one racetrack. Inducted into both the Canadian and US Harness Racing Hall of Fames, Angers, QC native Herve Filion won an impressive 16 seasonal dash titles and was the world's leading money-winning driver seven times during a career that spanned six decades and 15,180 victories. Knowing that his uncle was at peace, free of pain, and that he would soon gather with family to share memories and offer support allowed Filion to concentrate on his evening's work, but at the end of the program the third-generation horseman was simply looking forward to heading home. "I'm just happy this night is over, you know," he said on his way back to Milton. "I'll go kiss my daughter." Mohawk Racetrack will host its seventh Ontario Sires Stakes event on Tuesday, June 27 with the three-year-old trotting colts preparing to battle in their second Gold Series event. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - It is time to face reality: the Marc Campbell stable is the next thing to unbeatable and he proved it again in harness racing track record fashion Thursday night at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Freddie obliterated the overall track trotting record in this week's $1,850 edition of the Open trot with a 1:56.3 victory for trainer-driver Campbell and owner Three Wisemen Stable of Charlottetown. Morosita Bi (Jason Hughes) laid down the opening fractions of 28.3 and 58.1 before Freddie and the 'King' of Island racing used a first over attack to clear to the lead up the backside and put down a 1:27.3 third quarter. A 29 flat closer added up to a 1:56.3 victory giving Freddie a time faster than all the pacing races on the 12-dash card while wiping Osprey Impact's name and 1:57.2 clocking in 2016 off the track record sign. It is the third time Campbell set the overall track trotting record as he had previously held it with Est Non Ila Dulcis and Real Housewife. Osprey Impact (Walter Cheverie) was second best in Thursday's track record mile while Holy Molie Maggie (Gilles Barrieau) finished third. It was one of three wins on the card for Campbell as the only other horse he raced from his own stable, Pappy Go Go, was a winner in the back-up trotting class in 2:00.2 to establish himself as top dog in three-year-old Atlantic trotting stakes coming up in July, while Howmac Missy was a catch driving win in 1:58.1 for the Island's leading reinsman. The feature pace went to Jeb in 1:57.1 over Likely To Win (Adam Merner) and Mozartsplace (Barrieau). Hughes trains and drives Jeb for owners Robi Hughes and Blair and Eric MacLauclan, all of Stratford. Live racing continues Saturday at 6 P.M. at Red Shores Charlottetown with the Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational while Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway has a live card on Sunday afternoon with a 1 P.M. start time. The Future Stars of the 2017 season line up Friday night with two-year-old qualifying races at Red Shores Summerside starting at 6 P.M. and Red Shores Charlottetown will hold a card of two-year-old qualifying races Saturday morning kicking off at 11 A.M. The $100,000 Dash for Cash promotion is back this weekend for customers at Island tracks For more information and results go to www.redshores.ca By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

ELORA, ON - After more than 30 years of tireless work in the Ontario harness racing industry, Dr. Ted Clarke is retiring from his post as the General Manager of Grand River Raceway in Elora, ON. Clarke will continue in his role until the end of September 2017. The Grand River Agricultural Society (owner/operator of Grand River Raceway) will hire a new Director Of Operations and the search will begin within the next month. Recognized by his peers as an innovator in the horse racing industry and highly regarded for his thoughtful insights, Clarke's strong and steady leadership established Grand River Raceway in 2003 and its reputation as an award-winning racing and entertainment destination. Before Grand River Raceway, the retired veterinarian led numerous initiatives to put the track's predecessor, Elmira Raceway, on the path to stability, including the inauguration of its Industry Day Celebration, the Battle of Waterloo (a race for Ontario-sired horses), and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network. In 2014, Clarke was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame in the Builder's Category. "We are in a time of significant change that will demand commitment and the flexibility to develop new solutions to the challenges that come with change," Clarke explained. "I will be 70 in July and to be frank, it's time for someone more prepared to make the necessary commitment to lead the Grand River Agricultural Society and the Grand River Raceway into the future. "I have been blessed with the loyalty and support of an outstanding group of co-workers at the racetrack - some since the days of Elmira Raceway. The Board of the Grand River Agricultural Society has supported me through good times and bad, and I must say a special thanks to those present and former board members who carried the load of moving the Raceway from Elmira to Elora. "To the horsemen and horsewomen who have supported Grand River with entries, ideas, participation in our promotional events, been goodwill ambassadors, and provided much needed constructive criticism, I say a heartfelt thanks. "I must acknowledge the significant role of the regulators who supported the change to common pool wagering on simulcast signals, a teletheatre network, and mixing of live racing with a simulcast signal, all of which kept racing alive in Elmira in the 1990s. "Finally, I am most grateful for the continuing support of our customers, and for their advice," said Clarke. Under Clarke's direction, Grand River Raceway has won several awards, including last year's prestigious Business Excellence Award for Hospitality & Tourism from the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Of Commerce. "Ted has been at the helm of the success of our operations, both past and present, for nearly three decades," said Paul Walker, President of the Grand River Agricultural Society. "Through thick and thin, he has remained committed to our organization and the Ontario horse racing industry as a whole. He's a visionary and a thoughtful advocate, and we have all benefited from his fierce loyalty," said Walker. "Ted's contributions to our business and the greater community are vast and unrivalled. The impact of his efforts will continue to shape our success far into his well-deserved retirement." Kelly Spencer

Charlottetown, PE - Red Shores Summerside and Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park will feature the Future Stars of Harness Racing on Friday June 23rd at Red Shores Summerside at 6pm while Charlottetown will play host to the young talent on Saturday June 24, 2016 at 11:00 am. The two-year-old horses will strut their stuff on the racetrack while customers of all ages can enjoy hot dogs and beverages on the trackside tarmac. Trainers can enter their horses until Thursday June 22 at 12pm at the race office or by calling 902.629.6634. Come see the Future Stars of Racing Friday June 23rd at Red Shores Summerside at 6pm and Saturday June 24th at 11:00am at Red Shores at the CDP. By Lee Drake

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - All eyes will be on Likely To Win Thursday night after he scored an upset harness racing victory in last week's top Thursday pace at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park all. First race post time is 6:30 P.M. for the 12-dash card with Likely To Win leaving from post 4 in the race 11 featured pace for driver Adam Merner, trainer Melissa Rennie and owners Blenise Young and Lester Campbell of Nova Scotia and Jeffrey Campbell of Alberta. The seven-year-old son of Western Terror left from post 1 last week and skimmed the pylons for the upset but will need some more trip luck to knock off this week's competition. Mozartsplace is installed as the morning line choice from post 1 in the $2,100 event with Gilles Barrieau in the bike for trainer Jackie Matheson, while Elm Grove Kaboom has yet to finish worse than third this season and gets post 6 for trainer-driver Earl Smith. Race analyst Les MacIsaac thinks Elm Grove Kaboom can overcome his outside position to land in the winner's circle. "Despite being first up before the half last week he was still right there at the end and produced his sixth top three finish from seven starts this year," MacIsaac said of Elm Grove Kaboom. "If he can pick up some cover instead of providing it tonight he could be the one to knock off." Other entries include Three Truths (Mark Bradley), Jeb (Jason Hughes), Simon Said (Marc Campbell), Starcastic (Brian MacPhee) and Oh To Be Me (Gary Chappell). The Open trotters meet again this week in race 9 with Morosita Bi drawing the rail and looking for redemption after finishing second and subsequently being place seventh last week for interference. The quick footed daughter of Equinox Bi has trainer-driver Hughes for owner Foxyhall Racing of Nova Scotia. Osprey Impacy was a decisive winner last week and gets post 3 for the $1,850 showdown with Walter Cheverie in the bike while Freddie finished out of the top three for the first time this season last week and gets post 5 for trainer-driver Campbell on Thursday night. The top notch field also includes Frill Seeker (Kenny Arsenault), Suicide Shift (Steven Shepherd), Wedgewood (Chappell) and Zip The Lip (MacPhee). Race 6 is the Auto Parts Plus And Bumper To Bumper Pace with The Big Bite making a major drop in class to draw post 5 for driver Arsenault and faces off with Painted Pony (Campbell) and Darth Bader (Ed Harvey) in the $1,400 event. Catch the action live at the track or check out Redshores.ca for live video, race programs and promotional information including the ongoing $100,000 Dash For Cash. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

The horsemen at Fraser Downs have made great strides since several standardbred owners and trainers came forward earlier this year to express concerns that the 40-year Cloverdale industry was in trouble. The severe winter weather cancelled several race dates, cutting into a live racing schedule that has been getting shorter every year. In 2010, Fraser Downs had 87 live racing days a year. In 2015, there were 62. This year, winter storms – and the havoc they played on the condition of the track – led to the cancellation of nine race days in total. For more: Fraser Downs horsemen predict end is near Letter: Casino couldn’t care less if Horsemen survive The rough weather and the resulting issues opened a dialogue between Harness Racing BC (HRBC) and Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) concerning maintenance and the race calendar. Last week, it was announced that the horsemen would get four race dates added to October, to help make up for the cancellation, and that the track maintenance issues – such as the fence surrounding the track, which is rotting through in some places – would be addressed before the start of the fall season. Carla Robin, executive director of Harness Racing BC (HRBC) said that the horsemen were now negotiating for additional race days in September. “GPEB (Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch) is behind us on that too because they know the standardbreds can race a longer season than the thoroughbreds,” said Robin. “We need a minimum of eight months (of racing) to have a really sustainable industry.” “Take a look at what’s happening back east in Ontario,” she said. Woodbine Entertainment Group, which operates Woodbine Race Track and Mohawk Raceway has recently decided to take standardbred racing out of Woodbine and run standardbred racing 12 months of the year at Mohawk. “Now, why would you be [running] an industry at Mohawk for 12 months of the year if it isn’t good for the economy?” said Robin. “You’d just let them race six months. But Ontario says, ‘No. The standardbred industry is a great industry and it has a lot of economic generation into the community.’” “People here would love to have the 10 months of racing, like we used to have,” she said. “But if we had a minimum of eight, then we’d have people who are really willing to invest in the industry in the longer term, breed more horses, etc.” “At this point there is no discussion about adding more days,” said Darren MacDonald, director of Racing Operations BC, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. “The four race dates were added to give the horsemen a chance to make up the days that were missed last winter. HRBC created some incentive programs to try and attract more horses which gave us more confidence in running three days a week,” said MacDonald. For more: Negotiations ongoing at Fraser Downs racetrack HRBC’s additional incentives aim to bring more horsemen, and more horses, to Fraser Downs. A starting incentive is in place for the fall season to encourage racers to stay the full season and see what it’s like to race at Fraser Downs. There will be a 10 per cent purse increase as well. “With our incentives, and increasing the purses, those are things to get people here, hang onto their horses and race them here until such time as we can get more racing,” said Robin. Robin added that the shorter racing season has a negative impact on the local economy. “The farmers suffer, the hay suppliers, feed, grain, you name it,” she said. “The front side (of Elements Casino) will be closed for five months. There’s no jobs there for that time.” MacDonald said that it wasn’t the shorter season that impacted the casino and business in the area, but rather the extreme winter weather that Cloverdale experienced this past year. “The overwhelming factor impacting all of our business lines – including casino gaming – was the unusually bad weather we all experienced. Just getting to the site, for both our team members and guests, was a huge challenge, and thus, all of our business lines were negatively impacted,” he said. The four added race dates to October will fall on Tuesday, which MacDonald said would gain the races at Fraser Downs the most attention from wagerers across North America. “In today’s horse racing industry, the most critical factor for success of a product is large wagering pools, and that only happens if those races are simulcast across North America for wagering purposes,” said MacDonald. “Our goal was to find a day where there was very little other racing product available in North America, to try and maximize the size of those wagering pools. Tuesday was the day where we thought our racing would get the most exposure,” said MacDonald. Getting back on track Track maintenance issues, which The Reporter first reported in “Horsemenpredict end is near” on Feb. 22, are also being addressed. “Great Canadian is going to replace the fence and they’ve said they’ll have it done by the end of July,” said Robin. Serious track training for young horses is done during the summer months, so a construction schedule is being worked out, but Robin expects to see it finished before the fall season starts. The track will be resurfaced in certain areas, and Robin said that GCGC has bought a new tractor and new equipment for spreading the stone. Robin also said that a worker has also been hired to fix the stalls in the barns. “As we came out of the poor weather the track was much improved and very good at the end of the racing season,” said MacDonald. “Some new equipment has been purchased to assist with track maintenance going forward.” “We are in the final stages of sourcing out a builder for the new fence, and will be planning on having it done in time for the start of the season,” said MacDonald. In some places, the wood of the outside rail surrounding the track has rotted completely through, as seen here in this Feb. 22 photo. (Sam Anderson) By Samantha Anderson Reprinted with permission of The Surrey Now-Leader

TORONTO, ON, June 21 - The 41st Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala Fundraising Dinner on August 9th promises to be an extra special evening of celebration as ten new members join the best of Canadian Horse Racing.  The evening will also celebrate the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada, including a nod to 2017 Legends Honouree Modesty.  The horse who win the first race on record, July 1, 1767 on the Plains of Abraham. The gala will include the induction of Standardbred honourees Blair Burgess, Dr. Gordon Gilbertson, Elegantimage, Happy Lady and Mach Three as well as Thoroughbred honourees, Harold Barroby, Eugene Melnyk, Curtis Stock, Quiet Resolve and South Ocean. Held at the Mississauga Convention Centre, co-hosting duties will be shared by Jim Bannon, CHRHF member and Woodbine Entertainment Group Thoroughbred Racing Analyst along with Greg Blanchard, racing commentator and Raceway Manager at the Raceway at Western Fair.  The Gala event will feature a cocktail reception, a fantastic line up of silent and live auction items, a four course gourmet dinner and the Induction Ceremony. The CHRHF Planning Committee, under the leadership of Auction Chair Pam Frostad, is putting together an impressive list of live and silent auction items including sporting event tickets, racing related memorabilia and other surprises. Auction donations are welcomed and appreciated.  All proceeds from the auction will go directly toward helping the Hall of Fame recognize the achievements of those that have built and established the roots of horse racing in Canada. The reception and silent auction will commence at 5:30 p.m., followed by a four course dinner, live auction and induction ceremonies at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are $175 per person, with a charitable receipt for $50 per ticket or $1,700 for a table sponsorship which includes 8 tickets, a $300.00 donation to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and a total of $700 charitable receipts.  Tickets may be purchased by visiting the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Online Store at http://shop.horseracinghalloffame.com/ or by contacting Linda Rainey 416-417-9404 or linda.rainey@horseracinghalloffame.com.  Opportunities to advertise in the souvenir induction program, event sponsorship packages and auction contributions are also available.   Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Clinton, ON --- They once dominated harness racing like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson did basketball and Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux ruled hockey. Now Hall of Famers Bill O’Donnell and John Campbell will both hang up their colors for good after a final drive against each other on July 30 in the C$15,000 Legends Day Trot at Clinton Raceway. O’Donnell said it was an idea first hatched in Las Vegas in February during the Dan Patch Awards honoring the best in the sport in the United States from the previous year. “We were down in Vegas for the Dan Patch. John and I and Dave Miller were standing there and John said, ‘Dave’s coming to Legends Day’ and I said, ‘Good, he can take my place. I don’t want to (drive) anymore.’ So John said, ‘Let’s do it together, our last drives,’” O’Donnell said. Considering O’Donnell has only had a handful of drives in the last five years -- most of those for fan events -- he said he isn’t bothered by the fact Campbell, who is still driving regularly, is getting most of the attention for making his last drive at Clinton. “I don’t mind it. I made $98 million on (Campbell’s) coattails,” O’Donnell said, laughing, adding that he’s been trying to officially call it quits for a few years and came close in 2013 after winning the $10,000 Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot for Hall of Fame drivers at the Goshen, N.Y. Historic Track that is located behind the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. “After I won there that one year I said, ‘That’s it, I’m all done,’ but then they call because they have trouble getting eight guys (for the race). (Museum trustee) Ebby Gerry has called and it’s hard to say no to him, but I’ll break it to him this year (at Goshen) that this is it,” O’Donnell said. In the 1980s, when the sport was flourishing at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey and the concept of hired-gun catch-drivers was in its infancy, O’Donnell and Campbell battled at the top of the sport like few drivers had before them and few have since. It was during that era that O’Donnell earned the nickname The Magic Man for his wizardry in the race bike. “Billy at his best was better than any driver I have ever seen,” Campbell said in 2001, the year Legends Day debuted. Legends Day, which this year is raising money for the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation, has been held every two years since and will celebrate its ninth edition this year. O’Donnell has never missed it. “It’s just refreshing to see everyone is there for harness racing. These are fans,” O’Donnell said of Legends Day. “It’s a great day. You get to see people you haven’t seen for a long time.” O’Donnell, 69, has 5,743 career wins and has earned C$99 million on the track. He is one of eight of the world’s greatest harness drivers contesting the Legends Day Trot on the card along with Campbell (11,049 career wins and C$303 million), Ron Waples (6,923 wins, C$75 million), David Miller (12,100 wins, C$215 million), Mike Lachance (10,421, C$190 million), Steve Condren (6,845, C$114 million), Dave Wall (7,200, C$60 million) and Doug Brown (8,427, C$89 million). Combined, the eight legends have earned more than C$1.15 billion and won nearly 69,000 races. Fellow legends Bud Fritz and 93-year-old Keith Waples -- both of whom are retired from driving -- will also be on hand for an autograph session. O’Donnell said it’s nice the legends get along so well off the track. “We’ve always been comrades. The racing was competitive on the track, but we all get along, pretty much, in that age group,” O’Donnell said. O’Donnell was inducted into the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1990 -- the same year Campbell was also enshrined in Goshen, N.Y. -- Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1996. He was born in Springhill, Nova Scotia, a mining town of some 5,000 that is also the birthplace of Canada’s “Songbird,” Anne Murray. O’Donnell’s father, Henry -- better known as “Henny” -- was a coal miner and a part-time horseman. In 1958, when Bill was 10, the Springhill Mine Disaster claimed the lives of 75 men and led to the closure of the mine. That forced Henny to transfer to a mine in Cape Breton. Though the family moved, they still stayed in the harness racing game. Bill was exposed to the horses by his father and his uncle, Art Porter, from whom Bill took his blue, orange and white colors. In the summer of 1965, when he was 17, Bill moved to Toronto and worked as a groom for Ron Feagan. He went home to Nova Scotia for the school year before returning to Toronto in the summer of 1966 to work for Bill Wellwood. In 1967, O’Donnell went back to Nova Scotia, worked there a few years and then headed for New England as an assistant trainer for New Brunswick native and former Legends Day honoree Jim Doherty, who died in 2015. Bill stayed in New England for seven or eight years before poor purses forced him to pack up and move to Saratoga in New York. Only a few years passed before Bill moved to the Meadowlands in 1980. He stayed for two decades. The date of Aug. 16, 1984, still stands as Bill’s single greatest day in the business. That morning he set a world record driving trotting filly Fancy Crown at Springfield, Ill. Then Bill hopped on a plane back to Jersey where he won the Woodrow Wilson with Nihilator for a purse of more than $2.16 million, to this day still the richest harness purse in history. To top it off, he also won three of the four sizable Wilson consolation events. The win with Nihilator is widely considered the key moment harness racing changed from a sport of trainer/drivers to one in which trainers hired catch-drivers better skilled at getting the most out of horses. Legendary horseman Billy Haughton took himself off Nihilator -- arguably his greatest horse -- because he thought Bill O’Donnell would have more success. That same year, Bill set a record for driver earnings of $9,059,184. The next year, Bill became the sport’s first $10 million man while driving both Nihilator and 3-year-old champion colt trotter Prakas to single-season money-winning records. Prakas won the Hambletonian. Nihilator was the U.S. Horse of the Year. The brilliant son of Niatross won 23 of 25 starts, capturing every major stake offered and setting a then world record of 1:49.3 at The Meadowlands. Bill earned the reputation of excelling with trotters, even though he drove the fastest pacer ever -- Cambest -- in a 1:46.1 time trial in 1993 that stood for 23 years as the sport’s fastest mile until broken by Always Be Miki in 2016. Among the numerous Horse of the Year or divisional champions that Bill steered to victory are Little Brown Jug and Cane Pace champion Barberry Spur; Governor’s Cup and Presidential Pace winner Redskin; Camtastic, Valley Victory, Sweet Reflection, Cayster, Delinquent Account and Canadian Pacing Derby winners Artsplace and Staying Together, who also won the Breeders Crown. Bill said fans at Clinton Raceway often ask him about the horses he’s driven and Staying Together, owned by Robert Hamather of nearby Exeter, Ontario, comes up more than most. Today, Bill lives in Guelph, Ontario and is the president of the Central Ontario Standardbred Association that represents the horsepeople racing on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit. He said he is honored to hang up his colors at Clinton and be there when Campbell does the same. “I think it will be a big deal,” Bill said. “That’s where John started. That’s his area.” Clinton Raceway

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 20 - Winning five-races in a night at Mohawk Racetrack is no easy task, but for the second consecutive evening, a harness racing driver was able to do just that. James MacDonald made five trips to the winner's circle on Tuesday's 10-race card. The Guelph, Ontario resident teamed up with trainer Mark Steacy for three of his five victories. The duo of MacDonald and Steacy scored their victories with a pair of three-year-old trotting fillies (Ticket To Seattle and Majestic Kat) and six-year-old trotter Harper Blue Chip, who's first victory of the season boosts his career earnings to $933,012. MacDonald's two other victories on the evening came with six-year-old pacer E L Wild Spirit and six-year-old trotter O Narutac Perfetto. MacDonald's five wins were recorded from nine drives on Tuesday's program. This season at Mohawk, MacDonald has recorded 31 victories and driven the winner's of over $500,000. His totals numbers for 2017 currently sit at 64 wins and earnings of $1.1 million. MacDonald is the second driver this week to post a five-win night, as Trevor Henry scored a handful of victories on Monday evening's card at Mohawk. The three-win night for Steacy gives him 11 wins this season at Mohawk and vaults him up to sixth in the trainer standings. Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - The Invitational Trot at the Hippodrome 3R has been the toughest race to win this season and once again it was a newcomer that won the top trot Tuesday evening. This week the honors went to Denis Filion's Theregoesthegroom, who was able to take advantage of a misshape in the backstretch and turn it into a neck triumph. The sixth race feature saw Rocky Boy and driver Marc Belanger fly out to the early lead with last week's return winner, Commissioner Daley and trainer/driver Guy Gagnon grabbing the two-hole spot as they went to the opening quarter in a speedy :28.1. They raced Indian-style until the half mile marker in :57.4 as Caroluzzo and driver Stephane Gendron started up first-over from fifth place but was not gaining ground on the leader. But as Rocky Boy approached the three-quarter pole, he made an uncharacteristic break and driver Marc Belanger has to take him to the outside and out of the race. Guy Gagnon was moving to the outside with Commissioner Daley and was blind switched by both Theregoesthegroom and Filion on the outside and on the inside, it was Four Starz Speed and driver/trainer Kevin Maguire shooting up along the cones and taking the lead as they passed the three-quarters in 1:28.3. Then in a dramatic stretch drive, Theregoesthegroom battled head and head with Four Starz Speed with Theregoesthegroom getting up at the wire by a long neck in 1:59.4. Caroluzzo was third. It was only the second start and first win of the season for Theregoesthegroom, a five-year-old stallion by Muscle Mass, who is co-owned by Denis Filion with Sonia Moderie and Jules Sigler. He paid $12.00 to win. Live racing resumes at H3R on Sunday afternoon, first race post time at 12:30 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 19 - Carrying momentum over from last week, Trevor Henry posted five driving victories on Monday evening's 10-race harness racing card at Mohawk Racetrack. The Arthur, Ontario resident led all Mohawk drivers during the week of June 11-17 with eight victories and is well on his way to another strong week after his five-win night Monday. Henry started things off by capturing the first-race with four-year-old pacing mare Wild Dorthy at odds of 12-1 for trainer Matt Harvey. His second victory was registered in the third-race with Kyle Reibeling's three-year-old trotter Yo Yo Mass. Continuing with the trend of winning the odd number races, Henry scored victories in the fifth-race with Jamie Copley trainee and five-year-old pacer Sports Lightning and the seventh-race with Victor Puddy trained four-year-old pacer Bank Shot Hanover. Henry completed his five-win evening in the ninth-race by guiding Puddy trainee and six-year-old pacer Next Thing Smoken to a blowout victory. While young guns Louis Philippe Roy and Doug McNair have been dominating the driver standings this season, Henry has led all drivers during the last month at Mohawk with 31 wins since May 19. Roy, who was held winless Monday, leads all Mohawk drivers with 59 victories, while Henry now sits second with 46 wins. McNair holds the third spot with 42. Live racing continues Tuesday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

JUNE 19, 2017 - Father-son harness racing duo Gregg and Doug McNair picked up one win and one second in four Grassroots divisions at Grand River Raceway on Monday evening. The Guelph, ON residents kicked things off with a runner-up finish in the first $18,800 division, as fan favourite Shewearsthepants was nabbed at the wire by Manhattan Play. The three-year-old pacing fillies stopped the Grand River teletimer at 1:54.1 off fractions of :28.3, :56.4 and 1:25.2 posted by Doug McNair and Shewearsthepants. Casino Classic was three and three-quarter lengths back in third. Shadow Play daughter Manhattan Play was driven to her second straight Grassroots win by Campbellville resident Mike Saftic for trainer Nicky Comegna of Cambridge and owner Bruno Comegna of Burlington, ON. "She raced good," said Gregg McNair of Big Jim daughter Shewearsthepants. "She kind of got caught on the front end there, not her best spot, but that's a good filly that beat her. She's a nice mare, that mare (Manhattan Play). I like her; I've seen her race a few times." The McNairs scored their victory in the third Grassroots division as Loves Angel cruised home a four and three-quarter length winner in a personal best 1:55.1. Starting from Post 3, Doug McNair hustled Loves Angel off the gate and the Big Jim daughter led the field to a :28.2 opening quarter. Yielding to C Mary heading for the :56.3 half, McNair and Loves Angel sat behind the pacesetter through a 1:26 three-quarters and then powered out of the pocket in the stretch and sailed home to the win. "She's been a pretty nice filly, a bit surprising I think. She's come along better than I thought she was going to be," said McNair about Loves Angel. "She's a good bred little mare, never grew up very much, but looks like she's competitive with them anyways. "She had a nice little burst there when he moved her," added the trainer, who shares ownership of the filly with Jim Newton of Thornhill, ON and Kenneth Newton of Biggar, SK. The victory was the first this season for Loves Angel and also marked her first appearance in the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle. Gottalovemyshadow earned her third straight victory and second Grassroots trophy of the season with an impressive 1:53.3 score in the second division. From Post 1 the fan favourite controlled the pace, ringing up fractions of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:25.2 en route to a two and three-quarter length victory over Stellenbosch and Fading Shadow. The mile was just two-fifths of a second shy of the 1:53.1 Grand River Raceway track record for sophomore pacing fillies held by Seaside Rory and L A Delight. Moffat resident Jack Moiseyev conditions Gottalovemyshadow for Joanne Colville of Moffat, Nancy MacNevin of Essex and Emma Christoforou of Moffat, ON. In six lifetime starts the chestnut daughter of Shadow Play boasts a record of three wins and one third for earnings of $31,530. The final Grassroots division, contested in a driving rain, went to Check Mach and Guelph resident Scott Young, who sprinted by pacesetter and fan favourite Kloof Street in the stretch. The pair reached the wire one-half length on top in 1:57.1, a personal best for Check Mach. B Fifteen rounded out the top three while the McNair stable's third entry, Cams Lucky Star, finished out of the money in sixth. Young engineered the win from Post 1 for trainer Jerry Duford of Rockwood and his partner in Home Stretch Holdings Inc., Joanne Wray, along with Lloyd and Barbara Tylee of Grimsby, ON. The victory was the Mach Three daughter's first in Ontario Sires Stakes competition and her third of the season. "With the rail it was either cut it or sit the two-hole behind Travis (Cullen and Kloof Street), so when the option came to follow the favourite I said, 'Well, it works, I should be second'," said Young, who notched his first OSS victory of the season with the effort. "And, you know, she tightened up in the last turn, and when I moved her she paced by, so I was very happy with her." The three-year-old pacing fillies will continue their Grassroots rivalry on July 21 at Mohawk Racetrack, while the Gold Series fillies arrive at Grand River Raceway next Monday, June 26 for the second event on their calendar. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

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The granddaddy of all amateur harness racing organizations, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, moved north of the border on Friday night, June 23, for two contests at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ontario. The first, a trot, saw Sherwin "the Magician" Edwards rein Willyorwonthe to a 1:58.4 triumph while the second, a pace, went to Shane "the Freelton Flash" Arsenault and Lulu's Boy in a 1:58.2 clocking. Being that the Billings races were in Canada most of the participating drivers were Canadian except for Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and "Buffalo Bob" Davis. In his contest Sherwin Edwards sent Willyorwonthe to the lead from the three-hole and quickly gained command and in doing so he played hardball with Natasha "Lady" Day who was up behind the betting favorite Hldontghtoyurdrms. Edwards parked her through fractions of :28.1; :58.1 and 1:28.2 until Ms. Day's trotter began to get leg weary after they passed the third stanza. However, Willyorwonthe still had on his trotting shoes and began to draw clear of the competition. When the field straightened for home Shane Arsenault and Lexis DJ who were traveling along with cover, took aim at the leader after enjoying a two-hole journey. But Edwards' trotter was up to the task and he rebuffed the challenge and charged home a 1-3/4 length victor over Lexis DJ. Hldontghttoyurdreams held on for the show dough. The winner, an altered 4-year-old son of Angus Hall, is owned and trained by William Megens. He returned a $6.60 mutuel to his backers. In the pacing contest, Shane Arsenault aped Sherwin Edwards' journey in the first event and sent Lulu's Boy down the road and they made every pole a winning one. Although pressured in the deep stretch Arsenault's pacer dug in and held off a late charge by Bet on Art and driver by Dave "Modern Legend" Drew. Every Girl's Desire, with Brent Hollingsworth is the pilot's seat, rambled home two lengths behind the winner in third place. The veteran 10 year-old Art Major Gelding is owned by Louis Sorella and Gene Miller and trained by Robert Fellows. He paid $9/90 for win. by John Manzi for the Billings Series
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The finest harness racing pacers dotting the Eastern Seaboard of Canada will face off Saturday evening in memory of Cecil Ladner at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 11-dash card kicks off at 6 P.M. Saturday with the $5,000 Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational lining up in the evening finale. Ladner was a pivotal organizer and supporter of Island racing up until his death in 2005, when he was serving on the board of Harness Racing P.E.I. The lifelong horseman owned a number of top competitors including stakes winner Rouge Baron, Gold Cup And Saucer finalist Back From The Past and hard hitting overnight horses like Legend Killean, Dunachton Nukes and GOK. Saturday, the fastest standardbreds East of Quebec will put their noses on the starting gate in his honour and it is anyone's race to win. Mr Irresistible was a decisive winner in last Saturday's preferred pace with a 1:55.1 victory over a sloppy track with a two-second variant with Charlottetown's leading driver Marc Campbell in the seat. Campbell will drive the five-year-old son of Mister Big again this week and gets rail control as the favorite for trainer Jennifer Trainor and owner Danny Birt of Stratford. Goliath Reigns has post 2 at 6-1 odds after shipping in from competition at Truro Raceway for trainer Dawn Ellis and driver Todd Trites after winning in 1:56.2 over the Nova Scotia half-mile oval on June 11. Post 3 has Nogreatmischief with 12-1 odds for co-owner, trainer and driver Walter Cheverie of Nine Mile Creek and co-owner John Thompson of Charlottetown. The Bettor's Delight pacer has not made a start since October but was a qualifying winner in 1:58 recently in Charlottetown. Junebugs Baby has post 4 at 8-1 with Myles Heffernan driving for owner Jackie Heffernan of Glace Bay, N.S., after finishing second in 1:56.2 in his latest start. Post 5 belongs to the other Nova Scotia ship-in with Bernard McCallum training and driving His Boy Elroy at 10-1 odds for owner Dan MacRae of Baddeck, N.S., with his latest effort a winning one in 1:57 over the Truro Raceway. The richest pacer in the field is a newcomer to Charlottetown with Invictus Hanover making his second start on red soil and drawing post 6 for trainer-driver Jason Hughes and owner Foxyhall Racing of Wallace, N.S. The son of Yankee Cruiser is at 7-2 morning line odds as he looks to add to his $305,000 bankroll. Post 7 belongs to a pacer that makes front no matter where he leaves. Adkins Hanover has Brett MacDonald making the trip from Rideau Carleton Raceway outside Ottawa to sit behind the pacer in the absence of regular pilot Corey MacPherson. Adkins Hanover has been laying down devastating fractions in recent weeks for trainer Trevor Hicken and owner Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile., QC, but hasn't seen the winner's circle since May 13. The far outside post 8 goes to a six-year-old pacer that surprised the top class on June 10 with an upset victory after a two-hole ride. Give Em Heck is unlikely to get as nice a trip from the outside of the starting gate this week for driver Gilles Barrieau, trainer Jackie Matheson and owner Colin Sheppard of Spaniards Bay, N.L. Check out redshores.ca for race programs, live video and promotional information including the ongoing $100,000 Dash For Cash. Sunday Showdown For Mando Fun, Eagle Jolt Mando Fun will search for revenge on Eagle Jolt Sunday afternoon at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. First race post time is 1 P.M. for the 12-dash card with Mando Fun drawing post 5 in the race 11 $2,400 feature with Dale Spence in the bike for co-ownert and trainer Paul Biggar of Tyne Valley and co-owner Donald Callbeck of Kensington. Eagle Jolt has the outside in the field of six with Ryan Desroche getting the catch driving call with regular driver and trainer Marc Campbell competing in Nova Scotia on Sunday afternoon. Eagle Jolt was victorious in last week's Prince County feature event while snapping the two-race win streak of Mando Fun. Narragansett is sure to have a say in the outcome again this week with Jason Hughes training and driving for owner Foxyhall Racing of Wallace, N.S. Machinthesand has rail control for Ken Murphy, while D Bs Rosco has post 2 for Walter Cheverie and Mach It Big leaves from post 4 with Brian Andrew in the bike. The back-up pace lines up in race 10 for a $1,800 purse with Rash B Havior favoured from post 2 for driver Murphy and owner-trainer Mike Peters of Emyvale. The seven-year-old son of Lis Mara has 24 lifetime victories to his credit and faces off with the red-hot Sandinista, who has post 3 for driver Cheverie and trainer Clair Sweet, riding a three-race win streak. Good Friday Three has rail control in race 7 after he came up short in his East Coast debut, finishing third on June 4 at Summerside, and not raced since. The time off could be just what was needed for the five-year-old son of Mach Three since he has all ready shown he has the speed to argue with any class on the Island with a 1:55 victory over Western Fair Raceway in London, Ont., earlier this year. Jason Hughes picks up the catch-driver for trainer Wade Sorrie and owner Walter Simmons of Summerside in Sunday's $1,600 contest. George (Cheverie) and Coastocoastshark (Murphy) are among the top entries in that race. Check out Redshores.ca for race program, live video and promotional information including the ongoing $100,000 Dash For Cash. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores
As Canada celebrates 150 years of confederation on July 1st, Canada’s horse racing industry is recognizing an even greater milestone, the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada with 23 racetracks in 8 provinces taking part in a national celebration over the July 1st weekend. From British Columbia to Prince Edward Island, tracks holding races between June 30th and July 2nd will raise flags, hold commemorative miles and honour the people, horses and history from their local communities to mark the 250th Anniversary.  The July 1st weekend initiative is part of a year-long celebration led by the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in conjunction with Standardbred Canada and Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society. “This anniversary provides the opportunity for the entire horse racing industry across the country to speak with one voice about our incredible history,” said Linda Rainey, Managing Director of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.  “There aren’t many things in our country that are 250 years old and horse racing has reached that milestone. It is a story anyone who has ever been involved with horse racing can be proud of.” It all began, July 1, 1767, exactly 100 years before our country’s confederation, when a race took place on The Plains of Abraham in Quebec City.  Gazette de Quebec recounted the race as follows:  “The horse race for a purse of forty dollars was held on Wednesday, first of the month, on the Hill of Abraham.  It was easily won by Captain Prescott’s mare Modesty, much to the discomfiture of those who, purporting to know about such things, had wagered against her and were thereby parted from their money.”  From that day forward horse racing has been part of the fabric of the country.  From coast to coast, generation after generation, people from all walks of life have participated in and enjoyed the sport, whether on grass-root tracks, agricultural fairs, on frozen rivers dotting the countryside, or in today’s modern facilities.  Earlier this year a national initiative was launched to complete “250 Miles for 250 Years”, with a goal of accumulating 250 commemorative miles honouring the communities, horses and people who have participated in the sport over the past 250 years. Many of those commemorative miles will be held over this official anniversary weekend.  Everyone attending the celebrations is encouraged to share their experience via social media using the #cdnhorseracing250 Participating tracks include: British Columbia Hastings Racecourse – Vancouver (July 1) Alberta Century Downs (July 1) Millerville (July 1) Northlands Park – Edmonton (July 1) Manitoba Assiniboia Downs – Winnipeg (July 1) Ontario Clinton Raceway (July 2) Dresden (July 1) Fort Erie (July 2) Georgian Downs (July 1) Grand River (June 30) Hanover (July 1) Hiawatha  - Sarnia (July 1) Kawartha Downs (July 1) Mohawk (July 1) Rideau Carleton (July 2) Woodbine (July 1) Quebec Hippodrome 3R – Trois Riviere (July 2) Nova Scotia Inverness (July 2) Northside Downs – North Sydney (July 1) Truro (June 30) New Brunswick Exhibition Park Raceway – Saint John (July 1) PEI Red Shores – Charlottetown (July 2) Summerside – (July 1)   Funding for the  250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada initiatives has been provided by:  Standardbred Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, HBPA Ontario, Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Alberta Standardbred Horse Association, Harness Racing BC, The Jockey Club as well as individual donations.  To support the 250th Anniversary Fund visit:  Sponsorships and Donations.  For additional information about the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada and the celebrations planned go to www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com or via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram #cdnhorseracing250 Linda Rainey, Managing Director Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  
JUNE 22, 2017 - Thursday, June 22 was an emotional day for harness racing driver Sylvain Filion. In the early morning hours the Milton, ON resident learned that his uncle, the legendary horseman Herve Filion, had passed away after a prolonged illness. Hours later Sylvain Filion was at Mohawk Racetrack, where he was scheduled to drive in nine of 10 races. In the first race he finished last, but he was the runner-up in the second and before the night was over he would record four victories, including one Grassroots triumph with three-year-old colt pacer Doc Semalu. "It was a pretty emotional day for me," admitted Filion at the end of the 10-race program. "I knew it was coming, we knew he was very sick, but it's always a shock when you hear that, you know." Filion's victories came in the fourth race with Toxicity, a three-year-old pacing gelding co-owned by his father Yves' Bayama Farms, in the sixth race with three-year-old trotting filly Royal Witch, in the seventh race with Grassroots competitor Doc Semalu, also co-owned by Bayama Farms, and in the ninth race with seven-year-old pacing gelding Crocadile Canyon. In addition to the four victories, Filion also recorded three runner-up finishes. Of the four victories, Filion's Grassroots triumph was particularly impressive, coming from Post 10 in Doc Semalu's first Ontario Sires Stakes start of the season. The pair was able to find a spot on the rail in fifth and held that position through fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24.3 before finding space coming off the final turn. Manoeuvered into an open lane in the stretch, Doc Semalu sprinted home to a three-quarter length victory over Dream Of Luck and Master The View in a personal best 1:54. "He's got a few issues, but he's got lots of go in him, and we were lucky enough to find a spot there closer to the front and everything opened up in the lane," said Filion. "It worked out good for us. He showed some grit." The win was the Mach Three son's second straight, the first coming at Rideau Carleton Raceway on June 15 with Yves Filion in the race bike. Stephane Larocque trains Doc Semalu for the elder Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC and Zoom And Fish Stable Inc. of Mont-Royal, QC. Doc Semalu Filion came close to making it five victories with Tremendous Play in the final $19,500 Grassroots division. After battling for the lead through the first two quarters the Shadow Play son did not have enough in reserve to secure the victory in the stretch, yielding to a fast closing Oak Island. Fan favourite Lindy The Kid also went by Tremendous Play, but caused interference while on a break and was placed back to seventh, elevating Tremendous Play to second and Bills Fella to third. "I thought he raced really, really good," said Filion of Tremendous Play, who is trained by Rockwood, ON resident Benoit Baillargeon for Claude Gendreau Stable Inc. of Buffalo Grove, IL. "He raced tough tonight, real tough." Oak Island was piloted to the three and one-half length victory by Elora, ON resident Bob McClure. The 1:53.2 victory was the Vintage Master colt's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, and also marked trainer Justin Darling's first win in the provincial program. The Cambridge, ON resident conditions Oak Island for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Oak Island The other Grassroots trophy went home with Nascar Seelster, who got a head in front of Mach Déjà Vu and favourite Southwind General at the wire. Milton resident Randy Waples crafted the come-from-behind 1:53.1 score for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Mardon Stables of Loretto and James Walker of Port Perry, ON. Like Doc Semalu and Oak Island, Thursday marked Mach Three son Nascar Seelster's debut in the Grassroots winner's circle. All three colts will have an opportunity to add to their trophy collection in the third Grassroots event on July 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Nascar Seelster Filion's successful evening was a fitting tribute to his uncle Herve, whose talent and prodigious work ethic saw him finish many days with multiple wins, often at more than one racetrack. Inducted into both the Canadian and US Harness Racing Hall of Fames, Angers, QC native Herve Filion won an impressive 16 seasonal dash titles and was the world's leading money-winning driver seven times during a career that spanned six decades and 15,180 victories. Knowing that his uncle was at peace, free of pain, and that he would soon gather with family to share memories and offer support allowed Filion to concentrate on his evening's work, but at the end of the program the third-generation horseman was simply looking forward to heading home. "I'm just happy this night is over, you know," he said on his way back to Milton. "I'll go kiss my daughter." Mohawk Racetrack will host its seventh Ontario Sires Stakes event on Tuesday, June 27 with the three-year-old trotting colts preparing to battle in their second Gold Series event. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing
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