Day At The Track

The 2021 Standardbred Improvement Program (SIP), based upon the recommendations of the industry representative Standardbred Advisory Group, has been approved by the Ontario Racing Board of Directors. The 2021 program total, which includes participation fees, is projected to be $18.043 million, with projected Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) purses of $14.620 million and total reward incentives totalling $2.630 million. The $18.043 million program includes the $4.5 million that is contributed through the Enhanced Horse Improvement Program (E-HIP). Of note, OSS Grassroots legs will carry a purse of $19,000 per division. Grassroots semifinals are $20,000 per division and finals are set at $50,000 per division, but the latter number could increase based on certain financial factors over the season. OSS Gold events feature a purse of $190,000, while Gold Super Finals will have a purse of $225,000 per event. The Ontario Racing Prospect Series divisional races will feature a purse of $6,500 per division with finals worth $15,000. The SIP program, which continues to be one of the most successful of its kind in North America, consistently produces Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred Standardbreds that compete and win against the best in the world. “Despite several difficult challenges faced by the industry, we are still able to offer a lucrative, world-class program, that provides strong purses for owners and participants, as well as exceptional breeder-based awards,” said John Hayes, Independent Chair, Ontario Racing. “Although OSS purses have been adjusted slightly as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic – and we are subject to further risk if live racing is shut down again as OSS purses are funded through Ontario-based wagering – we look forward to another exciting season of racing across the province, which will once again feature some of the very best Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred horses.” This year’s OSS season is slated to get underway with a three-year-old colt pace on May 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. For a full schedule of OSS events, as well as important news and updates, visit the OSS website. 2021 Standardbred Improvement Program Details: GOLD SERIES Gold Legs - SIP contribution of $190,000 per leg (divided by the number of divisions) PLUS Starting Fees, which will be added directly to the purse - The purse for legs with a single division will be announced at a later date Super Finals - $225,000 each Age-Sex-Gait class - The Starting Fee for a Gold Leg is $800 - There is no Starting Fee for Gold Super Finals GRASSROOTS SERIES Grassroots Divisions - Purse of $19,000 per division PLUS Starting Fees, which will be added directly to the purse Semi-Finals - $20,000 per Semi-final (two per Age-Sex-Gait class) Championships - $50,000 each Age-Sex-Gait-class - The Starting Fee for Grassroots Divisions is $350 - There is no Starting Fee for Grassroots Semi-Finals or Championships PROSPECT SERIES Prospect Series Legs - Purse of $6,500 per division PLUS Starting Fees, which will be added directly to the purse Prospect Series Finals - $15,000 each Age-Sex-Gait class - The Starting Fee for a Prospect Series Leg is $100 - There is no Starting Fee for Prospect Series Finals From Ontario Racing

Paperback Thriller confidently brushed to the front and capture the Handicap Open Pace for harness racing fillies and mares at Fraser Downs on Wednesday, Mar. 31.   Brandon Campbell dropped Paperback Thriller into the two-hole through the opening quarter in :29.3 before sweeping to the front by three-eighths. They continued to lead unopposed in middle splits of :58.2 and 1:26.4.   Paperback thriller was solid and finished the job, withstanding a charge from the heavily favoured Cusdmagicdragon (Kelly Hoerdt) and cruising to a three-quarter-length victory in 1:54.4. Cusdmagicdragon got up for place, and Rockin Mystery (Rod Therres) was third. The winner paid $11.50.   PAPERBACK THRILLER REPLAY     That was Paperback Thriller's first win of the season. The six-year-old Mystery Chase mare has won 20 of her 94 lifetime starts and earned just shy of $150,000. Jim Marino trains for Raymond Henry of Calgary.   Also on the card, Hoerdt had a natural hat trick with wins aboard Night Stick (1:54.2) in the fourth, Chase Me Forever (1:54.4) in the fifth, and Im Too Sexy (1:56.4) in the sixth.   Fraser Downs' next card will consist of nine dashes and is scheduled for Friday, Apr. 2.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barndsale, for Harnesslink

Brady Bunch led throughout the Wednesday, Mar. 31 harness racing Preferred 2 Trot at The Raceway at Western Fair and won fairly comfortably. Bob McClure procured the early lead for Brady Bunch, sending the gelding out best in a :28.2 opening panel. McClure gave the horse a handy breather to the half in :59.2. Odds-on favourite Veyron (J Bradley Harris) pursued the first-over path and hurried the leader going to three-quarters in 1:27.3. Brady Bunch had ample trot remaining in the stretch and won by a length and a half in 1:58. Veyron sustained his bid to take second, and Willyorwonthe (Colin Kelly) had to settle for third after being trapped on the rail. The winner paid $7.10. BRADY BUNCH REPLAY   Brady Bunch is now 9-for-30 lifetime with more than $210,000 earned. Jacques Dupont trains the five-year-old Muscle Mass gelding for Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc of Sainte-Julie, Mario Bourgea of Stanbridge East, Gestion C Levesque 2005 Inc of St-Hyacinthe, and Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy. Coulter went on to take a triple on the evening. Also on the card, trainer Kenneth Mathieson took his first career win as Life Is Better scored in the fifth race. Scott Coulter drove the five-year-old Betterthancheddar stallion to a 1:57.4 victory. LIFE IS BETTER REPLAY   Mathieson, a resident of Hamilton, co-owns with Henry Banakiewicz of Jerseyville. Lawmen Reign (1:59.4) won the Seniors Pace at the hands of Ross Battin, giving the reinsman and trainer his first driving and conditioning win of the year. The Raceway at Western Fair will return on Thursday, Apr. 1 with 11 races starting at 5:50 p.m. EDT. The Saturday, Apr. 3 card will most likely be the track's last for at least four weeks, as the province of Ontario will enter a month-long lockdown on that date due to a rise in Covid-19 cases. This will also almost certainly result in the closure of all other Ontario racetracks. For full race results, click here. by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Brent MacGrath of Nova Scotia, the renowned owner and trainer of the legendary World Champion pacer, Somebeachsomewhere, is this week's guest on the Harness Racing Alumni Show.   MacGrath tells some exciting stories to Freddie, Trade, and Bob about how he developed his $40,000 yearling purchase into a world champion, who is now a Hall of Fame racehorse and one of our sports leading stallions. This is an extremely informative broadcast, don't miss it.   From the Harness Racing Alumni Show    

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

As previously announced, effective April 6, 2021, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will implement a number of rule changes to the Thoroughbred and Standardbred Rules of Racing, following consultation with horseperson representatives and racetrack management staff from across Ontario. The rule changes are to both the Standardbred and Thoroughbred Rules of Racing (Thoroughbred Rule changes apply to Quarter Horse racing except where noted). For a description of the changes to each breed's set of Rules, please see: Information Bulletin: Thoroughbred Rule Revisions (Winter 2021) Information Bulletin: Standardbred Rule Revisions (Winter 2021) Please note that while the information in these bulletins provides a summary for your convenience, it remains the responsibility of all licensees to read and follow the up-to-date Rules as published online. As part of its commitment to integrity, fairness and the welfare of racing participants, the AGCO continually monitors and evaluates the impact of all changes to the Rules. For More Information Refer to the Race Day Contact List to connect with AGCO racing staff at an open racetrack To inquire about submitting or registering colours, please contact the Association race office at the racetrack(s) where you intend to race Contact AGCO anytime via the iAGCO online portal From the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario   

Big Sir was awarded the victory in The Raceway at Western Fair's harness racing feature on Tuesday, Mar. 30 after Shadow Tail drifted into his path and stopped his late charge.   Driver Doug McNair slotted the heavily favoured Big Sir into the pocket through the first turn, quickly abandoning his bid for leadership. Shadow Tail (Austin Sorrie) led the way through opening splits of 27.1 and 57.3. Podium Seelster advanced first up going through the third panel timed in 1:26.2, and Big Sir swung around him coming into the final turn.   McNair lunged his gelding to the outside, and the horse took off with the newfound racetrack, bearing down on the leader. Shadow Tail drifted out in the stretch and hooked wheels with the oncoming challenger, causing the two to maintain position crossing the finish line.   Shadow Tail went over the wire first, but officials ruled he caused interference to Big Sir and placed him second. Big Sir received the victory. Heza Handy Man came up the rail for show. The winner paid $2.70.   BIG SIR REPLAY     Big Sir is now 11-for-30 lifetime with more than $65,000 in earnings. Tony Montini trains the four-year-old by Big Jim for Albina Montini of Acton, Kwong Sum Low of Etobicoke, William Rogers of Aurora, and Rick Rier of Hanover.   Also on the card, the three-year-old State Treasurer colt Hollys Treasure broke his maiden despite being parked for the entire mile and was a 25-1 longshot. Driver Bruce Richardson sent him out quickly and battled with Hes A Littleterror (George Ketros) throughout the contest, eventually pacing him into submission and surviving a late move from Sunseeker (Lorne House).   HOLLYS TREASURE REPLAY     Colonel Schneider of Arthur owns, and Cassidy Schneider trains.   Trainer Ashley Duford took her first win of the year with Jooner (2:02) in the fifth. Madalyn Henry accomplished the same feat with Windemere McSeek (1:59) in the sixth, as did Otis Hall in the 10th with Sauble Attack (1:57).   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Clinton, ON — Clinton Raceway is pleased to welcome Tony Elliott as its assistant general manager. The 21-year-old Walkerton native joined Hanover Raceway for their 2020 season as the assistant to the general manager, as well as the racing broadcast team at The Raceway at Western Fair District in October 2020. In his position at Hanover Raceway, he helped plan and implement their advertising and social media campaigns, worked with the GM on over-hauling their broadcasting product and was their on-air analyst between races. “Tony is a rising star in our industry and is intelligent, hard working and has a passion for the harness racing business. I gave him a lot of responsibility last season and he handled it all very well, ” said Hanover Raceway general manager Steve Fitzsimmons. Elliott is a current horse owner and was raised around the business. His father, Glenn, once worked for harness racing Hall of Famer Bud Fritz, and his uncle, Steve, was the groom of the famed Ontario Sires Stakes champion mare Silver Reign. “Tony loves the game and is quite keen to help it grow, that’s just not something we see everyday in this industry; we are happy to have Tony on board,” said Ian Fleming, general manager, Clinton Raceway. by Christi DeJong, for Clinton Raceway

LONDON, ON - Management at The Raceway at Western Fair District would like to update all harness racing horsepeople on the most up-to-date racing schedule, post times and qualifiers at the half-mile oval. With the Hamilton Region having entered the Grey-Lockdown category as of Sunday, March 28 at 11:59 p.m., Flamboro Downs is not permitted to host live racing. Therefore The Raceway will be conducting live racing each Thursday and Saturday in addition to its regular schedule. Live racing will be conducted Monday through Saturday at The Raceway, going forward, until April 30. All post times will be at 5:50 p.m. Qualifiers and training will be conducted each Thursday morning. Training will be available from 7 am until 9 am. Qualifiers and schoolers will commence at 9 am. Training will not be permitted following the last schooling session. by Greg Gangle, for The Raceway  

Ontario Racing announced today (March 30) that previously scheduled Sunday cards of racing for Flamboro Downs will move to Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sunday evenings during the month of April, starting April 4. Additionally, The Raceway at Western Fair District will host the April 3, 10, 17 and 24 Saturday race cards, as well as the April 8, 15, 22 and 29 Thursday race cards, previously scheduled for Flamboro Downs on those dates (both are pending final approval). With the Hamilton Region having entered the Grey-Lockdown category as of Sunday, March 28 at 11:59 p.m., Flamboro Downs is not permitted to host live racing. Following discussions with all appropriate parties and pending final regulatory approval, the cards slated for Sundays at Flamboro Downs in April will now take place on the same day at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a post time of 7:00 p.m. The draw for transferred races at Woodbine Mohawk Park, to be conducted by its Race Office, will take place on Thursdays. The entry box closes at 10:30 a.m. Also, following discussions with all appropriate parties and pending final regulatory approval, the cards slated for Thursdays and Saturdays at Flamboro Downs in April will now take place on the same days at The Raceway at Western Fair District, each with a post time of 5:50 p.m. The draw for the transferred races will take place on Mondays and Tuesdays, respectively. The entry box closes at 10:00 a.m. The process for entries and draws for the moved Flamboro race cards will remain consistent. All horsepeople competing on Sunday Woodbine Mohawk Park race cards in Milton, Ontario, and Thursday and Saturday race cards in London, Ontario, are required to complete the racetrack’s COVID-19 screening test prior to arriving at the racetrack. Full live racing schedules and race handicapping resources, including free programs, are available at the Woodbine Mohawk Park and Western Fair websites. Horseplayers can watch and wager on the live racing cards through HPIbet. Ontario Racing would like to acknowledge all the parties involved, including the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA), for their immediate action and support. From Ontario Racing

MILTON, ON - March 30, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to remind harness racing horsepeople of Thursday's deadline for nominations to several late-closing events at tracks across Ontario. Nominations are due Thursday (April 1) for the Ontario Sired Spring Series (Mohawk Park), City of London Series (Western Fair) and Mark Austin Memorial Pacing Series (Dresden Raceway). The Ontario Sired Spring Series at Woodbine Mohawk Park is for Ontario sired three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2020. The Spring Series consists of two preliminary legs and a $40,000 added money final. The Spring Series for fillies starts on Thursday, April 15, while the Spring Series for colts and gelding starts on Friday, April 16. All four Spring Series events will conclude on Saturday, May 1. The nomination fee for the Ontario Sired Spring Series is $300. To view the nomination form for the Ontario Sired Spring Series, click here. The City of London Series at Western Fair is for Ontario sired four-year-olds and younger. The Ciry of London features an event for all divisions, male and female, pacers and trotters. Non-winners of $10,000 lifetime as of midnight February 28, 2021 are eligible. The City of London consists of eliminations and a final. The eliminations will go for a purse of $8,000 each and all finals will have $20,000 in added money. The finals for the City of London will take place on Friday, May 28, with eliminations the week prior. The nomination fee for the City of London is $200. To view the nomination form for the City of London, click here. The Mark Austin Memorial Pacing Series at Dresden Raceway is open to maiden pacers, non-winners of one race or $5,000 (F&M $6,000) lifetime as of midnight March 31, 2021. The series consists of two $5,000 preliminary legs and a $12,000 added money final. The Mark Austin Memorial Pacing Series starts on Sunday, June 6 and concludes on Sunday, June 20. The nomination fee for the Mark Austin Memorial Pacing Series is $100. To view the nomination form for the Mark Austin Memorial Pacing Series, click here. Full information for all stakes and other racing related items can be found by visiting www.Woodbine.com/Mohawk/Horsepeople/. Woodbine Entertainment encourages all horsepeople 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 1, 2021 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

After three unsuccessful attempts to start the year, Oney Hall found his spot and won the top harness racing condition at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, Mar. 29.   Trevor Henry temporarily settled him into third through the opening quarter of 28.4 before quickly pulling out and going forward to take the lead in the Monday feature. Henry managed a 58 half and 1:27 three-quarters for Oney Hall as they looked to kick home.   Pocket-sitter Bautista (Louis-Philippe Roy) broke stride turning for home, giving the leader an easy path to victory. Oney Hall opened up a three-length gap in the stretch and outlasted a late surge from All Wrapped Up (Jody Jamieson) to win by a half-length in 1:55.2.   All Wrapped Up was second best, and Dream Nation was third. A correct $2 win ticket paid $4.20.   ONEY HALL REPLAY     Oney Hall has won 14 races from 49 attempts and earned more than $150,000 lifetime for Alan Leavitt of Lexington. Robert MacIntosh trains the five-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding.   Also on the card, Alan Fair trained his first winner of the meet, conditioning Jackson Storm to a 2:00 victory in the opener. Jackson Storm, a three-year-old Kadabra gelding, broke his maiden in the effort with Chris Christoforou aboard. Kenneth Switzer celebrated his first 2021 win after The Kings Queen's (1:55.2) win with Doug McNair at the controls in the third.   Classy Carol, a three-year-old Royalty for Life filly, broke the $50,000 earnings barrier and lowered her career mark to 1:56.4 as she won the fourth; she's trained by John Bax and was driven by Paul Macdonell. Bottomoftheninth broke her maiden with a 1:55.3 victory in the seventh at the hands of Jamieson; she's a three-year-old Hes Watching filly trained by Melissa Lamoreux for Jefferson Davis of Burlington.   No Plan Intended, a Grassroots series finalist in 2020, notched his third win from three to start the season in the ninth dash. He's a three-year-old Up The Credit gelding owned by the coalition of Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, Thomas Kyron of Toronto, George Harrison of Preston, and Brian Paquet of Quebec and trained by Jamieson. Jody Jamieson drove.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Harness racing driver Colin Kelly captured four of The Raceway at Western Fair's 11 races on Monday, Mar. 29, including the feature.   In the Preferred 2 Handicap Pace, Kelly executed a second-over trip for Pedro Hanover which the pair converted into victory.   Pedro Hanover left alertly, tucking into the third spot on the rail which quickly became fourth after Mercenary (Tyler Borth) drove on to the lead. Kelly remained unmoving through the quarter in 28 and half in 57.1, pulling out going into the third turn.   Easton Beach (George Ketros) moved simultaneously, giving Pedro Hanover perfect cover. The former paced strongly down the backside and claimed the lead before three-quarters in 1:27. Kelly dropped to the rail turning for home but pulled his charge back to the outside in the lane and out-finished Easton Beach to win by a length in 1:56.4.   Easton Beach was second, and Outlawgrabbingears (Paul Davies) marched from second-to-last for show. The winner was a mild upset, paying $12.90.   PEDRO HANOVER REPLAY     Pedro Hanover is now 13-for-49 lifetime with more than $460,000 in earnings and is three-for-four in 2021. The six-year-old Somebeachsomewhere stallion is trained by Corey Giles for Brad Gray of Dundas.   Kelly also drove winners Coco Beach De Vie (1:58.2) in the second race, Firebby A (1:57.4) in the eighth, and Jake Loewen (1:56.3) in the 10th.   Also on the card, trainer Isaac Waxman trained his first winner of the year in Fcee N (1:59.3) in the fifth, as did William Hamm in the sixth with Insincerity (1:59.4).   The Raceway at Western Fair will resume racing on Tuesday, Mar. 30 with an 11-race card beginning at 5:50 p.m. EDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2021 ballot. Due to Covid-19 restrictions resulting in the Hall not yet fully honouring the Class of 2020, the Board of Directors determined it best 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 public health guidelines permit. The Board also decided additional inductees will be added in 2022 and 2023 to compensate for the smaller class of 2021. A total of 18 people and horses comprised of nine Standardbred and nine Thoroughbred candidates have been selected to appear on the voting ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will determine the one individual to be inducted in each category, with the results to be announced on Tuesday, April 13th. The three categories selected by the Standardbred Nominating Committee to appear on the CHRHF 2021 Standardbred ballots are: Builder, Driver and Female Horse. Categories and finalist names in each are presented below in alphabetical order. In the Standardbred Builder category, the candidates are Jim Bullock, Al Libfeld, and Dr. Lloyd McKibbin. Erin, Ontario resident Jim Bullock has made major contributions to the Canadian harness racing industry as an owner, breeder, stallion syndicator, race track administrator and organization leader during a career spanning over 30 years. He purchased Glengate Farm in 1992 and stood three stallions who have since been inducted to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame by virtue of their immeasurable impact on the Canadian harness racing landscape - Balanced Image, Angus Hall and Apaches Fame. 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 while producing the likes of millionaires Art Official and JL Cruze. Bullock served as a director of Woodbine Entertainment Group, and was the President of the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association for nine years. Beyond racing, he served as Chair of the Board of Governors at Ryerson University. Al Libfeld's first exposure to horse racing came through Marvin Katz and later on they would become business partners. Libfeld made his first foray into Standardbred ownership with the purchase of the Albatross yearling Keystone Hera in 1988 with Katz. From that point on, the successful homebuilder, whose Tribute Communities is one of the most prominent in Ontario, was hooked, focussing his efforts on breeding and owning primarily trotters. He considers his horses and racing a passion. In addition to his partnership with Marvin Katz, Libfeld has bred and owned a number of horses on his own including Define the World ($1,740,839; 1:51.4), 2008 O'Brien Award winner in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt/Gelding division; and his dam Venice Holiday. The late Dr. Lloyd McKibbin is considered a pioneer in the advancement of Equine Veterinary Medicine. He was an innovator, teacher, and author as well as a very hands-on veterinarian. He focussed on Acupuncture, Cryosurgery and Laser Therapy, mentoring other veterinarians to follow in his path, many of whom went on to open their own successful practices with some who continue to work as veterinarians today. His books Horse Owners Handbook and Cryoanalgesia for Horses continue to be used as reference manuals. Horse owners travelled from far and wide to his small, unassuming clinic in Wheatley, Ont., for treatment using the ground-breaking methods he employed, all the while acting in the best interest of his equine patients. Among the numerous horses aided by Dr. McKibbin was CHRHF 2020 Inductee Rambling Willie who spent time under "Doc's" care. It was the relationship Willie's owners had with Dr. McKibbin that provided the opportunity for the much-lauded horse to appear at Dresden Raceway. The 2021 Standardbred Driver ballot features Mary Clare "Clare" MacDonald, Ed Tracey and Randy Waples. A native of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Mary Clare "Clare" MacDonald is Canada's winningest female harness driver in victories (1,498) and purse earnings ($4,769,982). Her stats, all achieved while racing in the Atlantic provinces, rank her second among female drivers in North America, behind US Hall of Fame member, the late Bea Farber-Erdman. A second-generation horseperson, MacDonald's driving career began at age 17 with 19 wins in her first year. Since that time, in a career spanning over 40 years, she has surpassed $100,000 in annual earnings as a driver 25 times. Horses driven and/or trained by MacDonald have set track records at five tracks, and she also holds the honour of being the first driver to complete a sub-2:00 trotting mile in Atlantic Canada. In addition to training and driving, MacDonald has served terms as a Standardbred Canada Director and was a member of the Rules Working Group for the Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission. Weyburn, Saskatchewan-born Ed Tracey received his driving license at age 15. After getting his start in three-heats-a-day race meets in his home province, his passion for harness racing took him to six Canadian provinces and numerous states in the U.S. Over a span of 55 years, Tracey had 3,168 driving victories and more than $7,500,000 in purse earnings. The pinnacle of his career came in 1978 when he won the ice racing championship on Ottawa's Rideau Canal. The late Ed Tracey was named Alberta Horseman of the Year in 1978 and in 1998 he was awarded the Dr. Clara Christie Award for his contribution to Alberta's harness racing industry. Randy Waples' career took off in 1996 when he won 150 races in 1,197 starts and he hasn't looked back since. He is now the all-time leading money-winning driver of races held on Canadian soil, and sports more than 6,600 wins and $131 million in purse earnings. The three-time O'Brien Award Driver of the Year honouree is the all-time leader for wins at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. His stakes victories include the 2012 North America Cup with Thinking Out Loud, three Maple Leaf Trot wins with San Pail as well as Breeders Crown Championship wins with San Pail and Dreamfair Eternal, both members of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He also has many other stakes victories on his resume including four Battle of Waterloo wins and was the leading driver in Ontario Sires Stakes earnings in 2001, 2002 and 2010. The Standardbred Female Horse category features Great Memories, Pure Ivory and West Of LA Great Memories, by Apaches Fame out of the Armbro Emerson mare Save The Memories, was bred by Glengate Farms and is now owned by Ontario Standardbred nursery Warrawee Farm. Among Great Memories' offspring are two World Champions: Warrawee Needy, and Warrawee Ubeaut. Warrawee Needy was a winner of 29 races and more than $1.25 million. He took a mark of 1:49.4 at age two, was faster still at three (1:48.4) and at four was the fastest in the world (1:46.4). Warrawee Ubeaut, won the 2018 Breeders Crown for two-year-old pacing fillies, has a lifetime mark of 1:48.3 and earned $646,995 in 12 starts in her first year on the track. At the age of three Warrawee Ubeaut continued her winning ways earning $1 million, matching her lifetime mark and winning 12 of 19 starts, including the Breeders Crown for three-year-old pacing fillies. Her win in the Jugette Final equalled the world record for a three-year-old pacing filly over a half mile track. In total, Great Memories' racing age progeny have earned over $4.2 million, with four offspring - Warrawee Needy, Warrawee Ubeaut, Warrawee Vital and Big Bay Point -- breaking the 1:50 barrier. Trotting mare Pure Ivory, by Striking Sahbra has been successful both on the track and as a broodmare. Bred by Diane Ingham and the late Harry Rutherford, and owned throughout her racing career by Jerry Van Boekel, Christina Maxwell, Steve Condren and Rutherford, Pure Ivory's stats include earnings of $1.44 million and a lifetime mark of 1:53.1. The two-time O'Brien Award recipient (2005 & 2006), trained by Bradley Maxwell won 22 stakes races during her career, including Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals at age two and three, the Canadian Breeders Championship, and divisions of the Simcoe and Champlain Stakes. Currently owned by Steve Stewart of Paris, KY, as a broodmare, Pure Ivory produced the 2019 Hambletonian Champion Forbidden Trade, who was a divisional O'Brien Award winner at two and three, Canada's Horse of the Year in 2019, and amassed career earnings in excess of $1.48 million. Following a race career at ages two and three, during which she earned $257,150, West Of LA became a top-performing broodmare. Bred and owned, in partnership by Robert McIntosh Stables, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., and trained by CHRHF Honoured Member Robert McIntosh, this daughter of Western Hanover, out of the Cam Fella mare Los Angeles, is the dam of horses with earnings in excess of $4.3 million, including two horses with earnings of more than $1.7 million each. Her Somebeachsomewhere son Somewhere In LA boasts $1.87 million in earnings with a lifetime mark of 1:48.4. Her daughter L A Delight, by Bettors Delight won the O'Brien Award for Two-Year-Old Pacing Fillies in 2015 and followed that up with an O'Brien in the Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly category in 2106. Her resume includes 26 wins in a 66 race career, a lifetime mark of 1:49.1 and earnings of $1.78 million. The three categories selected by the Thoroughbred Nominating Committee for the 2021 Thoroughbred ballot are Builder, Male Horse, and Veteran Horse. (Categories and finalist names in each are presented below in alphabetical order.) A Thoroughbred Builder ballot comprised of Charles E. Fipke, Sam Lima, and Vicki Pappas, is offered for voter consideration. Edmonton, Alberta-born Charles E. Fipke, a successful Canadian geologist and prospector who was involved in the discovery of the Ekati Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories, has been involved in the Canadian Thoroughbred Industry for close to forty years. Among his accomplishments, he bred and owned three Sovereign Award-winners including 2008 Champion Three-Year-Old Male and winner of the 2008 Queen's Plate, Not Bourbon; 2010 Champion Older Female, Impossible Time; and 2003 Champion Male Turf Horse Perfect Soul, who went on to become a successful sire. Also, Mr. Fipke bred and owned a number of other successful racehorses including winner of the 2011 Breeder's Cup Filly and Mare Turf (GI), Perfect Shirl. Charles Fipke is one of the most successful Canadians campaigning in major races in the United States. In addition to Perfect Soul and Perfect Shirl, Fipke's other Grade 1 winners there included; champion Forever Unbridled, Bee Jersey, Lemons Forever, Seeking the Soul, Jersey Town and Tale of Ekati. Fipke also enjoyed recent Grade 1 success at home when his Lady Speightspeare captured the 2020 Natalma. The late Sam Lima's involvement in racing included many decades as an owner, a promoter of the sport and in the many positions he held with the HBPA, where he was a leader and advocate for the services and resources available to track workers, not only while they were in the industry, but following their time on the backstretch. Sam founded and was the driving force for nearly 60 years behind the highly popular Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club which benefited thousands of racing fans by educating them about the finer details of the game through regular interaction with racing's many stars. Sam was also the first Chairman of the Fort Erie Advisory Board from 1985-1994 and advocated diligently for the continuation of racing at Fort Erie. In 1992, Sam played an important role in establishing a simulcasting policy that still remains today. Mr. Lima, who passed away in 2019 was recognized in 2018 by the Jockey Club of Canada with a special Sovereign Award for his lifetime contributions. Montreal-born Victoria (Vicki) Pappas, a longtime owner, breeder and trainer retired from her career at Woodbine that included a period of time spent as a simulcast broadcaster, so she could solely focus her time and energy on the development of the LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society (LTRS). Since its formation in 1999, LTRS has re-homed over 600 thoroughbred racehorses donated by owners and trainers who support the charity's mandate, policies and the vision of its founder. Seventeen years after being granted charitable status, LTRS opened the stable doors to its own facility in Hillsburgh, Ontario where retired thoroughbreds are prepared for adoption to their forever homes. The 2021 Thoroughbred Male Horse ballot includes Fatal Bullet, Heart to Heart and Joshua Tree. Fatal Bullet, Bred by Adena Springs, owned by Danny Dion's Bear Stables and trained by Reade Baker, was one of Canada's fastest sprinters in recent decades. He was voted Canada's Horse of the Year in 2008 on the strength of being named Canada's Outstanding Sprinter that year. He captured 12 career races including five stakes and earned $1,377,256.00 in total. Winning his first career start as a juvenile in 2007, his three-year-old year included three early-season wins at Woodbine, followed by track-record performances at Woodbine in the Bold Venture Stakes, Presque Isle in the Tom Ridge Stakes and at Turfway Park, earning a trip to the Grade 1 Breeder's Cup Sprint where he placed second behind heavily favoured Midnight Lute in the quickest running of the race to date in 1.07.08, which projects Fatal Bullet to having earned the second-fastest time in the history of the race. Heart to Heart a $25,000 CTHS yearling sale purchase in 2012 by owner Terry Hamilton turned out to be a lucrative decision, with the horse earning over $2 million (US) in a high-profile seven-year racing career, the majority of which under the tutelage of Brian Lynch, with 15 wins, and racking upgraded stakes wins at ages 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. In 2014 he was named Sovereign Award Champion 3-Year-Old, winning 4 of 8 races, including two Grade 3 scores at Churchill Downs. While Heart to Heart never won in his homeland, he did score twice at the highest level in the United States capturing the Gr 1 Maker's 46 Mile Stakes and the Gr 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes. Irish-bred Joshua Tree's career statistics feature earnings of $3,851,594 in 37 starts (7-7-4). Three of those wins came at Woodbine in the Pattison Canadian International Stakes (G1) in 2010, 2011, and 2013, an unprecedented accomplishment. Other graded stakes wins for this world travelling son of Montjeu include the Qatar International Invitation Cup (G1) in 2011, the Judamonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) at Ascot in 2009 and the Darley Prix Kergorly (G2) in 2009. In the Thoroughbred Veteran Category, voters will select from Formal Gold, Mt Sassafras and Not Too Shy Ontario-bred Formal Gold remains the fastest Canadian-bred in terms of speed figures, even though his final year of racing occurred in 1997. Bred by Mr. & Mrs Rodes Kelly, trained by William W. Perry and owned by John D. Murphy, Sr., this son of Black Tie Affair, received an Equibase Rating of 136, one of the highest in history. Formal Gold was also ranked among the top handicap horses of 1997 with gate-to-wire efforts in two Grade 1 victories; the Woodward Stakes in September of that year after winning the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream in February, defeating HOY and US Hall of Fame horse Skip Away in both races. At stud, he ranked among the top 1% as sire of 2-yr-old winners from starters at 45% and sired progeny with global earnings of nearly $16 million (US), including 19 stakes winners. Bred by Aubrey Minshall and owned throughout his career by Minshall Farms, Mt. Sassafras, was a winner of $1.3 million with a race record of 8-7-14 in 47 starts under the training of Barbara Minshall. The multiple graded stakes winner's victories included the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G1) in 1997, the Dominion Day (G2) in 1999 as well as the Eclipse Handicap (G3) in 1996. Mt. Sassafras was named the Sovereign Award Champion Older Horse and Horse of the Year in 1996. He is fondly remembered for his courageous pace-setting effort in the 1996 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Woodbine where he lost the lead only late to be a tight fourth behind the outstanding trio of Alphabet Soup, Louis Quatorze and Cigar. When Mt Sassafras won the 1997 Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Handicap he defeated multiple champion Skip Away. Nearctic daughter Not Too Shy was bred and owned by the late Conn Smythe. During a race career spanning from 1968-1971 that included 55 starts, 19 of which came in her sophomore year, she accumulated a total of 23 wins, 8 seconds and 10 thirds, establishing herself as one of the top stakes-winning fillies of her era. Her resume includes wins in the Fury, Wonder Where, Maple Leaf and Duchess Stakes. Three times Not Too Shy defeated CHRHF Honoured Member Cool Mood, to redeem herself following a hard-fought battle and close second-place finish in the 1969 Canadian Oaks. Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com by Linda Rainey, for the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

TROT INSIDER has reported that Hall of Fame trotting sire Kadabra was laid to rest this past weekend at the age of 22. After sustaining an injury to his right hock in November 2020, personnel at Tara Hills Stud — where Kadabra stood — retired the stallion from breeding duty. "Kadabra leaves a great legacy and influence on the Standardbred breed, not only in Ontario, but industry wide," said David Heffering of Tara Hills Stud in a statement on his retirement this past January. "Over the course of a 17-year stallion career, Kadabra has cemented his place as one of the all-time great trotting stallions with progeny earnings of over $101 million. Champion fillies and colts included Bee A Magician, Emoticon Hanover, Daylon Magician, Flanagan Memory, Caprice Hill, Forbidden Trade, Poof Shes Gone, Will Take Charge, and many more. "It has been a great honour for us to have cared for and managed Kadabra throughout his stallion career. Thank you for your support over the years." The Illinois-bred son of Primrose Lane and Quillo enjoyed outstanding success on the racetrack, winning 10 of 14 races as a two-year-old before an unforgettable sophomore season which saw him win another 11 races and bank nearly $1.6 million. After winning the Stanley Dancer and the American-National in the summer of his three-year-old campaign, Kadabra strung together four wins in as many tries north of the 49th parallel, registering clean sweeps in the 2002 Canadian Trotting Classic and Breeders Crown. Wins in the Arther Cutler Memorial and Titan Cup highlighted his brief four-year-old season, which brought a 25-win, $2.1 million showing on the racetrack to its conclusion. And though mightily successful on the racetrack, it was through his career a stallion that Kadabra marked himself as a true game changer in Canadian harness racing. All told, Kadabra sired over 1,300 horses, with 926 having made the races, 147 taking marks of 1:55 or faster, and eight earning at least $1 million in their respective racing careers. His dominance on the racetrack and in the breeding shed alike earned him the highest distinction in Canadian horse racing possible: a place in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, to which he was inducted in 2012. After his induction into the Hall, Kadabra's offspring continued to cement his legacy. His top performers include quadruple millionaire Bee A Magician, who won a Breeders Crown in 2013 and collected O'Brien Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2015; two-time Breeders Crown winner Emoticon Hanover; and 2019 Hambletonian and Somebeachsomewhere Horse of the Year winner Forbidden Trade.   From Trot Insider

Racemup claimed the early lead and converted it to a harness racing victory in the Rideau Carleton Raceway Preferred Pace on Sunday, Mar. 28.     Marie-Claude Auger sent her gelding away quickest of the leaving pack, reaching the top in a quarter of 27.1 and parking out Vanilla Malted (Clarke Steacy) in doing so. Racemup cruised to a half in 57.2 but was besieged by Vanilla Malted going to three-quarters in 1:26.   Vanilla Malted retreated turning for home, and the leader opened up four lengths on the field. 3/5 favourite National Debt (Pascal Berube) surged late, but the remaining racetrack was insufficient. Racemup survived for a 1:55.4 victory. National Debt was a head short in second, and Avatar J (Guy Gagnon) came from the backfield for show.   RACEMUP REPLAY     Racemup is now 23-for-96 lifetime with just shy of $235,000 in earnings. Victor Puddy trains the six-year-old son of Whatayasay for Gordon McDonald and Christopher Boland of Ottawa.   Mr Contestant came from well back in the co-feature Preferred Trot in a fast-closing victory.   Early leader Wildwild Men (Richard Simard) flew off the car and maintained full power, creating a seven-length cushion from the rest of the field. Stephane Brosseau dropped Mr Contestant into sixth and was more than 15 lengths off the front going by the quarter in 28.2.    He moved the gelding to the outside and began to chip away at the lead going by the half in 58.4. He made headway on the cover of Undercover Strike (Gagnon), reducing the gap to under five lengths at the three-quarters in 1:28.4.   Wildwild Men stayed on well, but Mr Contestant found another gear in the stretch and went by his cover, pocket-sitter Crossfit (Auger), and the leader to win by a half-length in 2:00.1. Crossfit got up for second, and Wildwild Men held third.   MR CONTESTANT REPLAY     Mr Contestant, a six-year-old gelding by Winning Mister, surpassed the $200,000 mark in career earnings with the win; it also brought his lifetime tally to 17-for-95. John Macmillan co-owns and trains for partner 2099551 Ontario Inc.    For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink