Day At The Track

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The front end prophecy held true again in the preferred pace Saturday night at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park with the top driver of the harness racing program at the lines. Euchred teamed up with Gilles Barrieau to capture the front end in the Saturday night $2,500 feature, letting Adkins Hanover (Driven by Corey MacPherson) go to the lead briefly heading to the first quarter then retake the lead. Euchred laid out fractions of 27.4, 57.2 and 1:26.3 while being unchallenged before stopping the clock in 1:55.2. Terry Gallant trains the son of Shadow Play for owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S. Mr Irresistible (Jason Hughes) was second with Czar Seelster (Kenny Arsenault) finishing third. The preferred victory was one of four trips to the winner's circle for driver Barrieau on the 10-dash Saturday evening program. Barrieau and Gallant also clicked with Silverhill Spike for his maiden victory in 2:00.4, while Barrieau's other two wins came from his own stable with Woodmere Chella in 2:00.4 and Tangled Mind in 1:58.3. Cartoon Daddy won the back-up pace in line to Corey MacPherson in 1:56.2 for trainer Rachel Andrew of Milton and owners William Andrew of Calgary and Brian Andrew of Milton. The $2,000 event had Zero Rate (Arsenault) finish second and Maritime Breeder's champion Ashes To Ashes (Barrieau) finish third in his four-year-old debut. Live racing continues Thursday evening at Red Shores Charlottetown with a 6:30 P.M. start time. To view race replays and find other information go to www.Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

Kawartha Downs will run an 18-date harness racing schedule in 2018 but beyond that there is only uncertainty. Orazio Valente, general manager of the Fraserville track, agreed to open the track after a two-hour meeting with area horse people on Saturday afternoon. The season will begin on May 26 and run for 18 consecutive Saturday nights beginning at 7 p.m. "We have decided to race for this season," said Valente at a press conference following the meeting. "I have the full commitment of the local community that we will make this year the best year ever despite all the difficulties and financial shortcomings that come with it." The track has one year left on a $1,062,000 annual agreement with the province to fund purses and operating costs. Kawartha has no agreement with the province after Shorelines Slots leaves for a new casino in Peterborough this fall. Last week, the province finalized a 19-year funding agreement with 12 of 15 Ontario tracks. KD is one of the three not to sign as Valente says it doesn't cover expenses involved in maintaining facility currently covered by its casino lease. The track, which had the second highest live handle among Ontario harness tracks, applied for 40 race dates to generate more income opportunities but was granted 18, the same as 2017. Valente says it would take an additional $1 million to $2 million to make the facility viable. He wanted guarantees from the province on how they'd make up the shortfall before the writ was dropped last week on a June 7 election. He said he got none. A second issue for KD, Valente said, is Great Canadian Gaming appears unwilling to hire KD's 150 casino employees for the new casino. "I know there are a lot of news reports saying the new casino will bring up to 150 jobs with it. The part that gets lost in the news media is that there are 150 jobs here at Kawartha that will be lost," he said. "I ask Great Canadian Gaming to reconsider." Valente said he was told the 19-year deal would only proceed if all 15 tracks agreed to it. Now it's going ahead with 12. "Kawartha Downs and all the tracks which did not sign have become non-member tracks," said Valente. "The language inserted into this agreement is such that it becomes next to impossible for non-member tracks to exist in the long term." Non-member tracks are not privy to an additional $5 million for three years to assist tracks losing their casinos, to enhance purses or fund capital projects. Non-member tracks have until April 2019 to sign on. Valente said the track's only hope is for a change in government. "There is no future for horse racing at Kawartha Downs under a Liberal government," he said. The Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA), which represents local horse people, also refused to sign the agreement. OHHA general manager Brian Tropea said the province relied on the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) for industry input on the agreement and didn't consult grassroots tracks. The result is a deal that doesn't work for three of Ontario's four regional tracks and their horse people. He said the province will earn more than $1 billion annually from a casino at Woodbine. He's disappointed they couldn't find an additional $1 million to assist Kawartha Downs. "We're terribly disappointed in how the Liberal government has handled this thing from start to finish," said Tropea. "I'm more disappointed in the people who purport to represent horse people that signed off on a long-term agreement that doesn't do anything for the horse people. It handcuffs the industry and restricts any opportunity for growth." Tropea said most of the tracks that signed are part of a WEG alliance. The three that did not aren't affiliated with WEG. "They're giving us enough to cover our basic costs of racing but they're not looking at all the infrastructure costs that keep this place open. Anybody who signed that deal either didn't read it or didn't understand it or didn't seek legal opinion on it." Mike.Davies@peterboroughdaily.com Reprinted with parmission of The Peterborough Examiner

Trois-Rivieres, QC - When the trotter Jamigo and driver Daniel Laflamme take to the racetrack Sunday in the 7th race Invitational-Handicap at the Hippodrome 3R, they will bring a long-time relationship behind the starting gate. Jamigo is a ten-year-old gelded son of Amigo Hall and has raced every year of his career, most of that time under the tutelage of Laflamme of Terrebonne. "I had noticed that Jamigo was racing very well in London, Ontario," Laflamme said. "But I thought he was just an ordinary horse. When I knew that he was for sale I thought he might be a good horse for racing at the Hippodrome 3R, so we bought him." Over the years Jamigo has had numerous trainers and owners, but eventually Laflamme, along with his wife and trainer, Manon Lamothel, now own him outright. "He is a nice horse to train and take care of." Laflamme explained. "The special side of him is his heart. He always gives the maximum effort he can." Last year was Jamigo's best season of his career as he posted seven wins, the fastest a 1:57.2 mile in winning the Invitational Gold Trot at the Hippodrome 3R, just one-fifth of a second shy of tying his lifetime record. In his return to the Hippodrome 3R on opening day April 29, Jamigo and Laflamme ended up being parked out first-over from the half mile, finally clearing to the lead at the three-quarters and then winning by one and one-quarter lengths in 2:03.3 on a sloppy track that had a three second allowance. How will Jamigo do this Sunday against some tough trotters? "I think he is ready to face the best on Sunday," Laflamme said. "But winning is another story we shall see." In the seventh race feature, Jamigo will face some formattable foes in Holiday Party and Rocky Boy. Holiday Party is the race favorite and goes from post eight for driver Francis Picard. He has one win this season, but that was a lifetime mark of 1:55.2 taken at Woodbine earlier this season. Just last week he was second in the Invitational-Handicap Trot, race timed in 1:58.1. Rocky Boy is in good form for driver Marc Bellanger and goes from post five. Last week the eight-year-old gelding by Rocky Balboa was third to Torches Angel's 1:57.4 mile, finished third behind Holiday Party. Other contenders include Four Starzz Speed (post seven), Tuscans Memory (post 2) and return winner Ado Duharas (post four). Track Notes: The Hippodrome 3R's leading dash winning champion from last year, Stephane Brosseau, is already leading all drivers after the first two race days with seven wins. He will have plenty of opportunities to expand on that lead as he has a drive in all ten races on Sunday. Owner/breeder Dr. John Bradberry has said that his champion three-year-old pacer from last year, Wildriverbumblebee, who remains eligible to the $200,000 Prix D'Ete, looks ready to make his first qualifier of the year at the Hippodrome 3R next Saturday. First race post time Sunday is 12:50 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club          

GUELPH, ON -- The harness racing program is now available for TheStable.ca's annual Spring Open House on Sunday, May 13 at Tomiko Training Centre (near Puslinch, ON).   The program includes a schedule of the training races starting at 10:00 a.m., plus full pedigrees for each horse, and prices for horses which have shares available for purchase.   The PDF program is available HERE.   The Open House is free to attend and all ages are welcome. An RSVP is requested but not necessary. Lunch will be available onsite.   The event runs 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and guests are invited to drop-in at their leisure. Fifty-four of The Stable's two-year-old horses will train in nine sets on the racetrack. The races will be captured by drone camera and streamed on The Stable's website.   The broadcast begins at 10:00 a.m. on TheStable.ca and will include interviews, feature stories about the horses, driver interviews and commentary from show hosts Fred MacDonald and Hall Of Famer Bill O'Donnell.   Throughout the day, guests can meet the horses, plus clients and staff of The Stable. Shares are available for some of the horses, and purchases can be made on-site. Clients can purchase as little as one share, which currently run as low as $95 (plus tax). A fixed monthly fee of $23.85 (plus tax) per share covers the horse's daily care and training.   Prizes for guests and current members of The Stable include five one-percent shares in a horse in The Stable.   All current members of The Stable are automatically eligible to win one of two shares in three-year-old pacing filly Book The Bet. Three shares of Curious Winner, a two-year-old Ohio-bred colt, will be awarded to guests at the Open House.   A new highly coveted prize comes from award-winning equine photographer Dave Landry, who will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame in August. Landry is also a member of The Stable. He will capture an image of the winning horse owner with their horse and The Stable will have the portrait reproduced as a 16x20 print on canvas.   Two Mother's Day draws will be conducted for guests at the event. The Stable member Diane Bryant has assembled and graciously donated two gift baskets full of skin care products, makeup, makeup brushes, body care and a fragrance.   All draws will be conducted live on the broadcast after Set 8 in the program (approximately 2:00 p.m.).   The Open House will also include a fundraising component for the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society and Racing Under Saddle Ontario.   "TheStable.ca is committed to supporting our racing community and this year we're partnering with TFB & Associates Importers Ltd. in Markham, ON to bring premium Fever-Tree drinks to everyone attending the Open House and to raise money for both of these important harness racing organizations," said The Stable's co-founder Anthony MacDonald. "The Stable will also match these sales dollar-for-dollar."   There are currently 103 horses and 426 active racehorse owners from 10 countries in The Stable. Trainers Anthony and Amy MacDonald launched the award-winning venture in 2015 as a fractional ownership stable -- a model which welcomes newcomers to horse ownership with a very modest and low-risk investment, and completely accessible and transparent operations.   For more information, contact Anthony at anthony@thestable.ca or (519) 400-4263.   EVENT SNAPSHOT • The Stable’s annual Spring Open House • Sunday, May 13, 2018 • Drop-in any time between 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. • Tomiko Training Centre 210 Campbellville Rd, Campbellville • Free admission but RSVP appreciated. Children welcome. • Supervised access to the horses available all day • Complimentary hot drinks and snacks. Lunch available. • Questions? Anthony anthony@thestable.ca or (519) 400-4263 • Website www.thestable.ca • Facebook www.facebook.com/thestablecanada   Other media about The Stable.ca: • The Sun article and video • Prime Time Sports   Kelly Spencer TheStable.ca    

London, May 11, 2018 -- Bridge Street, a longtime fan favourite at The Raceway at Western Fair District, was inducted into the harness racing track's prestigious Wall of Fame during an emotional ceremony on Friday night. The now 21-year-old led the post parade for the Wall of Fame race on Friday with co-owner and longtime trainer Scott McNiven in the bike. Scott's wife Kim, the regular caretaker for Bridge Street, was in tears as she led the gelding back into the winner's circle for the induction ceremony. Also on hand were fellow co-owners Tom Brodhurst and Shirley Griffin along with several friends and family. A large crowd lined the fence to get a look at Bridge Street who amazed them with his impressive physical appearance and charismatic personality. Bridge Street was a fierce competitor on the race track who possessed an innate will to win. In total, the son of Armbro Emerson captured 58 wins during his 361-race career that spanned 11 years. The former $10,000 yearling purchase amassed more than $676,000 along the way. Fans are reminded that there is a special matinee program scheduled for Mother's Day, this Sunday afternoon, with first post at 1:15 p.m. The $150,000 Camluck Classic is now just two weeks away. The field of eight will be finalized this week. The Raceway has a huge night planned and full details are available at www.camluckclassic.ca. Greg Blanchard

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The front end is sure to be hotly contested in the Saturday night featured harness racing event at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 6 P.M. for the 10-dash card with the $2,500 preferred pace lining up in race 9. The front end has been the key to victory in the first pair of preferred races of the summer racing season and Euchred gets rail control this week for the combination of driver Gilles Barrieau and trainer Terry Gallant. The six-year-old son of Shadow Play is owned by Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S., with him putting together a win and second in this class so far in 2018. Keep Coming is known for front end tactics and gets post 2 for driver Adam Merner, while the fast leaving Adkins Hanover (Driven by Corey MacPherson) has post 5 and Czar Seelster is saddled with the outside post 6 after controlling the front last week en route to a 1:55.3 victory. Race analyst Les MacIsaac places his fortune on post 5 starter Adkins Hanover, who is racing with hopples this week after making a pair of breaks in his first start of the season. "Adkins Hanover has great gate speed and he'll be looking to atone for that miscue on opening night," MacIsaac said. "If he can set up shop on the front end without being used too hard there could be nothing but open road ahead." Other entries are Mr Irresistible (Jason Hughes) and Elm Grove Kaboom (Marc Campbell). The back-up pace lines up in race 6 for a $2,000 purse with Cartoon Daddy putting his two-race win streak on the line from post 2. Corey MacPherson picks up the catch drive behind the Rachel Andrew trainee for owners William Andrew of Calgary and Brian Andrew of Milton. Adam Merner drove the Art Major stallion to his first two victories of the season but elects to drive Likely To Win off the rail for trainer Melissa Rennie. Maritime Breeder's champion Ashes To Ashes starts off his four-year-old season from post 5 in the class for driver Barrieau and trainer Jackie Matheson with Zero Rate (Arsenault) and Allstar Seelster (Norris Rogers) rounding out the field. For more information including race programs, live video and promotional plays go to www.redshores.ca By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

The site for a casino in Ontario’s Chatham-Kent area has been officially approved in a unanimous council vote. The Cascades Casino which will be operated by Gateway Casino and Entertainment is expected to start construction in the near future with a provisional opening date slated from mid-2019. Chatham-Kent mayor Randy Hope said: “It’s about us getting the site plan approval, getting the Government of Ontario to give the final sanction and then they can get in the ground. If we’re lucky, within ten months we’ll be welcoming a new casino with 200 jobs, plus the spin- off jobs, plus the new revenues coming into the municipality.” The proposed gaming venture will reportedly count more than 300 slots and 10 table games, alongside two restaurants and a raft of other amenities. He added his belief that Gateway “really wants to be apart of a community, feel blended in, [and] make sure it’s not only a casino, but it’s also family venue with the restaurants and other things, they want to be apart of a family and a community. I mean we’re proud that we’re the first one of the new builds that are going on. “We’re going to continue to build those relationships. We’re going to continue to build a relationship with Dresden to deal with the harness racing and promote harness racing and get it back on the map where it should be. This needs to be a win for everybody,” finished Hope. Reprinted with permission of The Casino Review

MILTON, May 11, 2018 - The big names continued to hit up Woodbine Mohawk Park for harness racing qualifying action on Friday morning. A total of nine qualifiers were contested over a 'Fast' track with the temperature just in the double digits (Celsius) and a slight breeze. Double millionaire McWicked returned to Ontario and posted a big 1:50.3 mile in the morning's first-qualifier. The seven-year-old did the work himself on the front end, posting fractions of :28.1, :56.2 and 1:24.2, before sprinting home in :26.1. Bob McClure steered the 22-time winner and earner of over $2.3 million to victory for trainer Casie Coleman. McWicked, who won seven of 27 last year and banked nearly $600,000, was qualifying for the second-time this season. His first qualifier came on April 24 at Pompano Park. Moving to star sophomore pacers, a talented group of three-year-old pacing fillies met in the morning's final-qualifier. Coleman trainee Alexis Faith and driver Doug McNair went coast-to-coast on the front to win her third qualifier of the season in 1:53.3. The daughter of American Ideal paced a :26.3 final-quarter to secure the win. Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion Percy Bluechip also paced a :26.3 final-quarter to move up from third and finish three-lengths back in second. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee was qualifying for the third-time this season, but for the first-time in Ontario, as her prior two appearances came at Southern Oaks Training Center in Florida. A daughter of Shadow Play, Percy Bluechip used Friday's qualifier as a tune-up for next Saturday's (May 19) SBOA Stakes, as eliminations were not necessary this weekend with only nine-horses entered. Paul Reid trainee Kendall Seelster finished fourth in the same qualifier. The daughter of Shadow Play was qualifying for the first-time this season and never left the pylons, pacing her own mile in 1:55.1 (final-quarter :26.4). Kendall Seelster and Percy Bluechip became rivals last season with several OSS battles and Grand Circuit matchups. Kendall Seelster won four of 11 and banked $453,985 with her best-finishes being a win in the Champlain and second in the $500,000 Shes A Great Lady. Percy Bluechip went five for nine during her rookie season and banked $440,795. Her most notable victory came in the $225,000 OSS Super Final. Not to be overlooked, Shadow Play filly Play The Bell was also a winner on Friday morning. The Coleman trained three-year-old was a wire-to-wire winner in 1:54.1. Similar to Percy Bluechip, Play The Bell was also prepping for next Saturday's $115,792 SBOA Stakes. The Ontario sired filly won three of 11 starts last season and made $192,761. Her most notable victory came in the Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway. Switching to trotters, Tom Durand trainee Seven And Seven made his four-year-old debut and scored a 1:56.2 victory (last-quarter :28.2). The 2016 William Wellwood Memorial winner went two for 12 during his three-year-old campaign, banking $120,248. Seven And Seven enters the older ranks with six-wins and $347,016 in career earnings. The next qualifying session at Woodbine Mohawk Park will take place Monday morning (May 14) at 10 a.m. Here is the full list of Friday's winners. To view the charted lines, click here. Q1 (Pace): McWicked - Bob McClure/Casie Coleman - 1:50.3 Q2 (Trot): Veyron - T. Durand/T. Durand - 1:59.4 Q3 (Pace): Circle The Page - T. Henry/V. Puddy - 1:55.2 Q4 (Trot): Seven And Seven - T. Durand/T. Durand - 1:56.2 Q5 (Pace): Play The Bell - B. McClure/C. Coleman - 1:54.1 Q6 (Trot): Fly Fly Selena - D. Brown/D. Jones - 1:58.4 Q7 (Pace): Topville Olympian - J. Jamieson/D. Menary - 1:55.2 Q8 (Trot): Venus Duharas - M. Baillargeon/B. Baillargeon - 2:00 Q9 (Pace): Alexis Faith - D. McNair/C. Coleman - 1:53.3 Mark McKelvie

A tribute to Lazarus has been put together and shown on New Zealand's premier harness racing television weekly show 'The Box Seat' May the 9th 2018. You can watch the video below; Here is a behind the scenes feature video taken on Lazarus on the morning of the 22nd of February 2017 the day that Lazarus won the Victorian Cup. Harness Racing New Zealand produced this Good Luck Lazarus video;  

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Winter Blast acquired the lead early and never let it go in the Thursday night harness racing feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Jason Hughes supplied the winning steer from post 1 in the $2,100 featured event stopping the clock in 1:56.1. Winter Blast is trained by Jennifer Doyle for owner Danny Birt of Stratford. The grey son of Sand Shooter left from the rail and cut the mile with fractions of 29.1, 58.3 and 1:27.1 before cruising to a three-and-three-quarter length win over Tobinator (Driven by Corey MacPherson) and Confident Fella (Marc Campbell). It was a career moment for 18-year-old driver Austin Sorrie as he captured his first lifetime victory aboard Thebestofme from his own stable in 2:02.1. Thebestofme is owned by Megan Lewis of St. Peter's Bay and Mallory Lewis of Sherwood. Campbell had a trio of trips to the winner's circle extending his lead over the Red Shores Charlottetown driving standings at 18 wins so far in 2018. Campbell won with Keepcalmdanceon in 2:00.1 from his own stable, Maybeitsmaybelline in 1:59.3 for trainer Tom Weatherbie of Charlottetown and Izzies Angel in 2:00.2 for Terry Gallant of Summerside. Julep Hanover posted an upset in the top mare's pace of the evening, winning the $2,000 class at 11-1 odds. Wade Myers of Charlottetown owns, trains and drives the nine-year-old daughter of Western Ideal. Time of the mile was 1:59.2 with second going to One Hot Camshaft (Ken Murphy) with Brodys Leona (MacPherson) third. For more information including race replays go to www.Redshores.ca. Live racing continues Saturday evening at 6 P.M. at Red Shores Charlottetown. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

Guelph, ON, May 10, 2018 - Ah Spring; when countless materials are covered in shedding horse hair including your clothes, car, perhaps even your couch if you don’t change out of barn clothes immediately when you get home. But what if you are not covered in your horses shedding coat? Delayed shedding or regional hypertrichosis can be early warning signs of Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID) – a metabolic condition that suppresses the immune system when high cortisol levels increase blood sugar levels.  Look for abnormal hair coat including patches of long hair on the legs, wavy hair on the neck, changes in coat colour or shedding patterns and unusual whisker growth.  Equine Guelph’s Senior Horse Challenge healthcare tool contains useful resources to practice identifying metabolic issues.   Did you know horses seen for laminitis have frequently been found to have PPID or Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)? Laminitis can be a sign of both metabolic issues yet it is often treated without identifying the underlying cause.   There is a fair bit of confusion in the horse world over mixing up PPID and EMS as they share many of the same clinical signs. Horses with PPID may also have some of the features of EMS. Equine Metabolic Syndrome had many previous names: peripheral Cushing’s Syndrome, pseudo Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, and insulin resistance syndrome.   Horses with EMS do not display hypertrichosis (excessive hair growth) or delayed shedding. New research studies are investigating changes in gut microflora as another possible early warning sign of EMS. PPID cases are more common in horses over 15 where EMS tends to be seen in horses over 5 years of age. Laminitis and obesity are often the first clues in identifying both disorders. Working with a veterinarian who can perform diagnostics is necessary to conclude which disorder you are dealing with and determine the best treatment options. Early warning signs can be subtle and of course early diagnosis is important.   “Every year Boehringer Ingelheim sponsors a PPID testing campaign in partnership with Animal Health Laboratory in Guelph,” says Guillaume Cloutier, DVM, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. “In 2017, out of the 442 horses that were tested, 273 (62%) had a positive result for PPID.”   To learn more about detecting early warning signs for metabolic issues and other important factors in maintaining health as your horse ages, visit Equine Guelph’s Senior Horse Challenge Healthcare Tool, kindly sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.   by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions

Toronto, May 9, 2018 - Ontario Racing Management (ORM) welcomes senior industry leaders, Katherine Curry and John Siscos to the organization. Ms. Curry becomes the organization's first Executive Director, while Mr. Siscos assumes the newly established role of Director, Marketing, Communications and Stakeholder Relations.   As Executive Director, Ms. Curry will oversee all day-to-day operations of the organization, including the transparent administration of funding, and purse management. She comes to ORM after three years as Woodbine Entertainment's Vice President, Legal and Compliance. In that role, Ms. Curry focused on regulatory compliance, risk management and corporate governance, as well as general commercial issues. Previous to her time with Woodbine Entertainment, Ms. Curry performed similar roles with Productivity Media Inc., The TDL Group Corp., and others.   Mr. Siscos brings a wealth of progressively senior leadership experience garnered throughout his career with Woodbine Entertainment. Heading communications at Woodbine Entertainment since 2013, Mr. Siscos is uniquely aware of and connected to all industry issues and personnel.   "Katherine and John are ideal people to lead ORM," said Hugh Mitchell, Board of Directors, Ontario Racing. "John is on a first-name basis with many of our industry's most prominent stakeholders both in Ontario and beyond; while Katherine's leadership has already led to the successful merger of Ontario Racing and the Standardbred Alliance, in addition to finalizing the historic fundraising agreement."   ORM is a wholly owned, Woodbine Entertainment subsidiary that will implement the Ontario Racing Board of Directors approved business plan.     Woodbine Communications contact: Keith McCalmont Communications Manager 416-675-3993 x2667 kmccalmont@woodbineentertainment.com   ORM Contact John Siscos O: 416-675-3993 x 2229 C: 416-802-4842    

HAMILTON, May 9, 2018 - A talented group of 15 harness racing four-year-old pacers will convene on Flamboro Downs this Sunday (May 15) for the eliminations of the Confederation Cup. The top four-finishers from each $20,000 elimination, plus a fifth-place finisher drawn by lot, will qualify for the 40th Confederation Cup on Sunday, May 20. The purse for the final is $182,500. The first elimination features a field of seven and is led by O'Brien Award winner Classic Pro (PP2, Trevor Henry), who is making his 2018 Canadian debut. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee won his season debut on April 15 at Pompano Park. Classic Pro captured four of 14 starts last season, but his best performances may have come in defeat. The son of Shadow Play finished fourth in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup and third in The Meadowlands Pace, which helped him bank $293,645 during his sophomore campaign. The highest earner in Sunday's first elimination is Funknwaffles (PP1, Corey Callahan) for trainer John Butenschoen. The gelded son of American Ideal was last season's New York Sires Stakes champion and Little Brown Jug runner-up. Funknwaffles, a career-winner of $856,813, made his season debut last Saturday at The Meadowlands, finishing fourth in a leg of the Graduate Series. The second split is headlined by Little Brown Jug champion Filibuster Hanover (PP2, Yannick Gingras). The Ron Burke trainee comes into his Confederation Cup elimination off a win in his season debut last Saturday at The Meadowlands. Filibuster Hanover won five of 20 starts last season and banked $730,104. Burke, who won the 2016 edition with Rockin Ron, will send out four starters in Sunday's eliminations. Maroma Beach (PP 2, Louis Philippe Roy) and Eddard Hanover (PP6, Louis Philippe Roy) in the first split join Rock N Tony (PP8, Yannick Gingras) and Filibuster Hanover in the second division to make up the Burke quartet. Trainer Jimmy Takter is back in the Confederation Cup and looking for a repeat of last year's victory with Western Fame. The Hall of Fame trainer will send out Blood Line (PP1) in the evening's second elimination and has gone back to what worked in last year's edition by using driver Trevor Henry. Blood Line scored just one win in 19 starts last season, but did hit the board in nine of those starts, earning $169,819 throughout the course of the season. The Confederation Cup eliminations have been carded as Races 10 and 11 on Sunday evening's program. Post time for the eliminations card is 6 p.m. The 40th Confederation Cup takes place Sunday, May 20 and Flamboro Downs has a night of fun planned for all ages. Activities onsite for Confederation Cup night includes an appearance from several members of Canada's Olympic Women's Hockey Team, driver Paul MacDonell signing photos of the late-great Somebeachsomewhere, strolling entertainment acts, live music, a Rodney Dangerfield impersonator, sampling stations and industry booths. A sport memorabilia auction will also take place with all proceeds going to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. An exhibition race featuring miniature horses and the opportunity to drive a racehorse with the Wanna Drive team is also part of the entertainment on Cup night. The Confederation Cup undercard will include the start of the 2018 Ontario Sires Stakes season with three-year-old pacing colts and geldings battling in Gold Series action. Flamboro Downs is also teaming up with TheStable.ca to give away 10 shares of a racehorse. A total of five shares will be given away through radio contests leading up to Confederation Cup night, while the other five will be won by fans onsite for the big race. Fans attending this year's Confederation Cup are encouraged to follow Flamboro Downs on Twitter and Facebook for opportunities to win a VIP experience. Post time for Confederation Cup night on Sunday, May 20 is 6 p.m. Here are the fields for Sunday's (May 13) Confederation Cup eliminations. Race 10 - Confederation Cup, Elimination #1 1. Funknwaffles by American Ideal (Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen) 2. Maroma Beach by Somebeachsomewhere (Louis Philippe Roy - Ron Burke) 3. Classic Pro by Shadow Play (Trevor Henry - Dr. Ian Moore) 4. Hurricane Beach by Somebeachsomewhere (Bob McClure - Luc Blais) 5. Western Joe by Western Ideal (Scott Zeron - Christopher Choate) 6. Eddard Hanover by Dragon Again (Louis Philippe Roy - Ron Burke) 7. Bags To Riches by Roddy Bags Again (TBA - Jason Skinner) Race 11 - Confederation Cup, Elimination #2 1. Blood Line by Somebeachsomewhere (Trevor Henry - Jimmy Takter) 2. Filibuster Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere (Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke) 3. Art Scene by American Ideal (Louis Philippe Roy - Joe Pereira) 4. Red John  by Mach Three (Phil Hudon - Victor Puddy) 5. Daiymir by Mr Wiggles (Montrell Teague - Clyde Francis) 6. Boogie Shuffle by Well Said (Randy Waples - Murray Brethour) 7. Odds On Delray by Somebeachsomewhere (Doug McNair - Tony Alagna) 8. Rock N Tony by Rockin Image (Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke) Mark McKelvie

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A pair of champion pacing mares will square off Thursday night at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park in the first mid-week harness racing program of the season. The Thursday evening card gets underway at 6:30 P.M. with 10 dashes on tap including a $2,000 class in the finale featuring seven hard hitting pacing mares. Former Maritime Champion Malabrigo is saddled with the outside post 7 in the event for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and co-owners Darryl and Gordon MacLean and Natasha Campbell of Winsloe and co-owner Meghan MacDonald of Charlottetown. The nine-year-old daughter of Western Paradise was second on the opening card of the season after a nearly six-year hiatus from racing. She will have more handy competition Thursday evening including 2017 Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares Series champion Brodys Leona with Corey MacPherson at the controls from post 6 for trainer Kerry Taylor. One Hot Camshaft has also stepped up her game considerably so far in her five-year-old season snapping together a two-race win streak to be undefeated in 2018. Ken Murphy has steered the daughter of Camshaft Hanover to a pair of 1:57.4 romps this season at Charlottetown for Tyne Valley horseman Frank Hansen. Race analyst Les MacIsaac views the red hot Hansen trained One Hot Camshaft as the one to beat in the deep field. "One Hot Camshaft earned a new speed badge two starts back, tied it last week and barely broke a sweat either time," MacIsaac said. "This is her toughest opposition to date but her form might just be good enough to overcome it." Other entries include Julep Hanover (Driven by Wade Myers), Good Luck Kathy (Earl Smith), Hurricane Hill (Adam Merner) and Outrageous Spirit (Gordie Hennessey). A field of six top pacers battle in race 9 on the card with Tobinator the morning line choice in the $2,100 event from post 5 for driver MacPherson, trainer Trevor Hicken and owner William Hicken of Montague. Other top entries include Confident Fella (Campbell) and Winter Blast (Jason Hughes). Pictonian Storm has post 3 in the race with rookie driver Austin Sorrie behind his own trainee as the 18-year-old searches for his first career victory in the race bike. Sorrie has three drives on the program. For free race programs, top picks and live broadcast go to www.redshores.ca By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

The Youth Literary Derby will officially get under way during the month of May when budding poets and writers in the provincial education system will converge on 20 Standardbred breeding farms across the province, and Ontario Standardbred breeders are buzzing at the prospect.   "I have seen the pure excitement and wonder the first time a child sees a mare and foal, and the experience often triggers the beginning of a lifelong love and relationship with horses," said Larry Drysdale, Manager of Winbak Farms in Caledon, Ont. Drysdale echoes the sage words of an unknown horseman from centuries past: "Like a magnet the horse grabs the heart of a man . . . an allure that never lets go." Ann Straatman, Manager of Seelster Farms in Lucan agrees. "For some of the participants this is the first time they are seeing a horse, let alone a newborn foal up close. The students are inspired by the colts and fillies and the teachers are thrilled to be able to help mold that enthusiasm into a composition, or poem. This is a real opportunity for everyone to create a lifelong bond with Standardbred horses."   There will be more than 1400 Standardbred foals born at Ontario nurseries in 2018 and their greeting to visiting Derby hopefuls will be "Hey, look us over." They will challenge students to express their perceptions of them and their natural beauty, agility, intelligence and warm friendship in prose and in verse. John Fielding, one of the sports premier Standardbred owners, breeders and a member of the Board of Directors of Woodbine Entertainment Group, found a special bond with horses that has endured with him through many decades. " This Derby is a fantastic entry for young horse enthusiasts who have already started their bond with these marvelous animals. The extraordinary relationship that I have with these special animals has spanned a lifetime and I believe that this Derby will not only maintain a young horse lover's passion for the Standardbred horse, but hopefully further nurture and grow these feelings between our youth and the Standardbred horse." St. Catharines, Ont., Standardbred owner and breeder, Tom Rankin, thinks the Youth Literary Derby is an ideal way for introducing the sport to a wider audience. " The more knowledge people have of the breed and the sport, the better, and I think this contest is a great idea and a tremendous public relations opportunity", said Rankin, who is the sponsor of the Derby program. Two Mother's Day open houses for the public take place on Sunday, May 13th . Dave Heffering's Tara Hills Stud in Port Perry, Ont., will open its gates to the public from 1:00- 4:00 pm and Mac Lilley Farms in Dutton, Ont. will host horse lovers from 1:00- 4:00pm. Both events are sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA), Standardbred Canada and the "I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club. The Youth Literary Derby kicks off its opening day festivities at Seelster Farms on Thursday, May 10th where joyful moments of discovery of newborn foals await 100 students on their tour of the Dutton, Ont., breeding farm and nursery. Entries for the Youth Literary Derby must be submitted by midnight of June 15, 2018. For complete contest details visit www.YouthLiteraryDerby.ca For additional information contact bill galvin: billgalvin2000@rogers.com   Bill Galvin

Guelph, ON, First released by Ontario Racing April 16, 2018 - There’s no doubt Cameron Lago has charted a successful course in the Standardbred industry, thanks to an unmistakable passion for the harness racing sport and an exceptional educational experience through Equine Guelph.   “I started my appreciation for horses when I was about 9-10, when I attended the OHHA Youth camp at Flamboro Downs,” recalled the 20-year-old. “My love for horses and racing kind of all started with that. I’ve been hooked on it ever since.”   Lago admits that might be somewhat of an understatement.   “Yes, it probably is,” he said with a laugh. “My grandfather has had a couple of broodmares around as part of his retirement project, so he and I kind of kick-started things here on our farm after I attended the youth camp. Ever since then, we’ve just continued to grow, slowly, but surely, getting involved in the horse racing industry, overall just building our broodmares.   “We currently have four broodmares at home here,” continued Lago. “I’m working in partnership with my grandfather for the moment, slowly starting to buy into some of them. Buying new mares is the goal for myself over the next couple of years, to expand my own herd and get more involved in the breeding side. I have a passion for it – the genetics – and I want to pursue that.”   His fascination with and appreciation for Standardbreds continues to grow.   It’s what eventually drew Lago to Equine Guelph, specifically, the vast array of online educational courses that are offered. He applied for and won the Stuart Stocks Memorial Tuition Award (Equine Guelph Tuition Awards) through Equine Guelph in 2016.   “I was thrilled to be chosen,” he said. “I knew there was some tough competition. I think education within the industry will continue to grow. It’s extremely important.”   His association with Equine Guelph turned out to be twice as nice one year later.   Lago, who was part of the 2016 Wannadrive team, a Hands on Horses Program, also received two online courses through Equine Guelph (valued at $549 each) after being selected as the recipient of the inaugural Roger L’Heureux Award in 2017. Certificates were available in Equine Science, Equine Welfare and Equine Business.   “Getting to take the Equine Genetics and Equine Exercise Physiology in 2017 was an amazing experience,” said Lago, who is set to take the Health & Disease course out of the University of Guelph this May. “My main motive behind it all was to gain more experience. Horses, at one point, they were an unknown to me. I was going to Agricultural school (Business and Livestock Production) at the time in Olds, Alberta. There wasn’t much focus on racehorses, of course, so I wanted to further my education in that, so by taking these courses through Guelph, it’s really helped me in so many ways and helped me increase my knowledge of racehorses. It’s opened a lot of doors.”   He’s hoping other young people get the same opportunities.   “I want to keep giving to this industry to the fullest extent,” offered Lago. “By doing interviews, talking to people, it’s just tremendous because it really shows off the sport. Any positive publicity that harness racing can get is great. The sport has a lot of room for growth and I believe there are a lot of positive outlooks for the industry.”   An industry that Lago believes offers a little bit of everything, with the exception of tedium. Why would he encourage people to consider a horseracing life?   I would say it’s thrilling, that you’re always doing something new every day and you never know what your day will be like,” said Lago. “When you go into a barn, someone always has a story and someone always teaches you something. Working with the equine athletes is something in itself. I’ve really come to appreciate them even more after taking these Guelph courses. It’s fueled my passion even more. To work with them every day, it’s a privilege. You get hooked.   “I would encourage anyone to apply with Equine Guelph because there is so much to learn about these amazing athletes. They’re very complex animals, so to better care for them and understand them is so important. Whether they are racing or they’re a broodmare, they all have a purpose. I would highly encourage anyone to get connected with Equine Guelph and Ontario Racing. There’s a lot to learn from one another.”   Cameron Lago would certainly know.   Story by: Chris Lomon