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London, May 28, 2020 -- The return of horses behind the starting gate will bring renewed excitement to the Ontario harness racing industry this weekend. But, it will also be bittersweet as this was to be the weekend of the Camluck Classic, presented by Seelster Farms - the annual Closing Night event at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The event has been cancelled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, however COSA TV will pay tribute the longstanding event during its Facebook Live broadcast this Sunday night. Hosts Greg Blanchard, Greg Gangle and Shannon 'Sugar' Doyle, will relive some of the greatest editions of the race which was formerly called the Labatt Pace and then Molson Pace before being renamed the Camluck Classic in 2018. The race was renamed in honour of the late, great Camluck who became the most prolific pacing stallion in Canadian history during his time at Lucan, Ontario's Seelster Farms. He will be remembered in a special feature during the broadcast. Sunday's show will also feature a pair of simulated 'virtual' Camluck Classic races put together by Ryan Clements' - one comprised of past champions and the other made up of possible starters from this year's crop. There will also be trivia during the show with commemorative Camluck Classic baseball caps to be given away as prizing. To tune into the broadcast, visit the COSA TV and Raceway at Western Fair District Facebook pages or watch through the Standardbred Canada website. Greg Blanchard

KITCHENER, ON - This Friday (May 29) marks the fourth and final edition of Barncat Trivia, and Anthony Haughan is hunting for a clean sweep of the harness racing tournament. Since its launch on May 8, more than 500 players have competed against fellow harness racing enthusiasts in these live virtual contests where 60 all-original multiple-choice questions are presented over three games (rounds). The contest is free to play. An online show corresponds with each trivia event featuring a game host and special guests. Haughan joins this week's half-time show after trivia game one (approx. 7:20 p.m. EST). The Cambridge, ON trainer/driver has won all three legs of Barncat Trivia and comes into the finale with 13,239 points. (Runners-up Justin Fisher and Nick Salvi have 12,275 points and 12,247 points respectively.) Haughan and partner Meg Crone operate an 11-horse barn at Classy Lane Stables in Puslinch, ON. He joins the show after trivia game #1 to chat about his boundless appetite for racing and how Irish winters in the '80s stocked his memory bank with harness racing history and factoids. Friday's game and live show begin at 7:00 p.m. EST and can be accessed at This week's trivia categories are: Epic Rivalries, Winning Colours, Breeders Crown, Big Time Owners, Yowzas Yearlings, and Odds & Ends. Although the current tournament concludes on Friday, new players can still join this week's game. This week's top scorer wins $25.99 in game play for the mobile apps Catch Driver or Off And Pacing. The top overall scorer of the tournament wins a $100 gift card for the vendor of their choice. The tournament is made possible with the generous support of sponsors, including:   • Catch Driver • Clinton Raceway • Central Ontario Standardbred Association • Grand River Raceway • Hambletonian Society • Hanover Raceway • MadBarn • Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment • Off And Pacing • Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association • Tara Hills Stud • • TROT Magazine • Woodbine Mohawk Park Website: Explainer Video: Tournament Hashtags: #barncattrivia #playbarncat Facebook: @barncattrivia Twitter: @barncattrivia Contact: Kelly Spencer Co-Owner, True Nature Communications Inc.  Cell: 519-465-7908 >>> Explorers tell the best stories and the best stories win hearts.

Columbus, OH — The U.S. Trotting Association, in conjunction with Off And Pacing, continues their harness racing series of simulated stakes races on Friday (May 29) with the Camluck Classic from virtual The Raceway at Western Fair District. The Camluck Classic, originally scheduled to take place on Friday (May 29), was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shannon “Sugar” Doyle, the announcer at The Raceway at Western Fair District, will provide the call for the virtual race. The simulated race can be viewed via the USTA Facebook page at this link, with the live stream starting at 10 a.m. 2020 Camluck Classic Simulated Race PP-Horse-Driver 1. The Downtown Bus-Doug McNair 2. Sintra-Jody Jamieson 3. This Is The Plan-Yannick Gingras 4. Bettor’s Wish-Dexter Dunn 5. American History-Andrew McCarthy 6. Dorsoduro Hanover-Matt Kakaley 7. Century Farroh-Sylvain Filion 8. Easy Lover Hanover-Louis Philippe-Roy from the USTA Communications Department

Industry Notice - Return to Racing: Additional Temporary Amendments to the Rules of Racing On May 20, 2020, the Registrar announced a number of Temporary Rule Amendments to address pre-racing activities associated with the return to racing. These amendments were based on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario's (AGCO) active review of Ontario's horse racing rules and regulations, and industry input, to ensure responsible measures are taken to help contain the spread of COVID-19. As a result of these efforts, and pursuant to the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015 and the Rules of Racing, the Registrar will temporarily amend a number of additional rules to accommodate the return to racing and ease industry burden, while also ensuring welfare for equine and human athletes and other racing participants. The AGCO will closely monitor the impacts of these temporary changes to determine how long they should remain in effect and to ensure they are meeting their desired outcomes. The AGCO will be flexible if any of the measures identified require further amendment, in order to uphold the health and safety of horse racing participants and racehorses. Standard for All Associations Regarding their Plans to Re-Open Administration Directive No. 1 - 2020 Association Re-Opening Plan requires that each Association establish, implement, and maintain a COVID-19 pandemic re-opening plan, and that it be made available to the public. As part of this standard, Associations are required to submit their plans to the Registrar at least 2 business days prior to the anticipated site opening for live racing. It also indicates that an Association may not open a site for live racing until the Registrar has provided the Association with approval to do so. The COVID-19 pandemic re-opening plans should be sent to the AGCO by email to Tyler Durand at Standardbred Rule Amendments: See Understanding the AGCO's Temporary Amendments to the Qualifying Rules for Standardbred Horses for more on information on the qualifying amendments announced on May 20.  

“I really never saw myself broadcasting,” says Michigan native Jessica Otten. “When I was younger I always wanted to be a teacher… Why? I have no idea…” Now 23 and living in Hightstown, New Jersey, this third-generation horse person has gone from living on a farm to living in a town - which she says has been a big adjustment, but she does live close to quite a few training centers which helps. “I’ve always loved the horses,” she says. “They’ve been such a huge part of my life ever since I was a baby. When I got my driver’s license I was more excited to be shipping horses to the track, by myself, than I was going to pick up my friends… I honestly spent more time with the horses - than I did hanging out with my friends… I guess I just enjoyed being in the barn or going with my dad (Peter Otten) to the races more than anything else.” “In high school I backed away a little bit, with the horses, when my dad moved to Canada to race - so we didn’t have any horses on our farm. I became more involved with school functions and was on the Student Council. I know a lot of people who didn’t care much for high school, but I’d go back in heartbeat. There was nothing better than a home football game, at Roundhouse Stadium, with my friends and a bonfire to follow on a Friday night… I come from a small town so everybody knew everybody and we just always had fun. This year marks me being out of high school for five years now and if you would have told be back then - that I’d be working at The Meadowlands - I’d have laughed in your face and said ‘Yeah right!’” “Racing has always been a huge passion of mine… Bringing my friends and teachers to the track and showing them how cool my dad’s job was - that was my favourite thing to do,” says Otten. “I always enjoyed helping out at the tracks, in Michigan, if there were large groups of people for paddock tours, starting car rides, winner’s circle pictures and stuff like that. A lot of people in my life - outside of the horse business - never fully understood what my family did… When I’d say we had horses - they always assumed we had riding horses. Or if I said I take care of horses, they assumed I just brushed horses.” Social media has come a long way in recent years… The Facebook and Twitter platforms have become a great tool for marketing the sport. “When Facebook introduced the ‘Facebook Live’ feature - I did a series on Facebook of my entire night at the track,” explains Otten. “It was like taking my Facebook friends along with me while I paddocked a horse from start to finish and so many people were intrigued. And many didn’t even know what harness racing was and that honestly shocked me. From there I went on to interviewing people, at the track, to highlight the different roles people had in the business. And then I teamed up with Northville Downs and did some ‘Facebook Live’ segments on their page and even started posting on their Twitter account as well. I’d reach out to horsemen and get their thoughts on their horses racing that night and that all went over really well.” It’d be December 1, 2015, when Jessica would debut on The Raceway’s pregame show - talking horses and making selections - possibly a stepping stone for what may have been waiting in the wings… “I was at the Little Brown Jug, in 2016, and Mike Carter (Post Time with Mike & Mike) would call me to ask if I’d like to join them for the Breeders Crown at The Meadowlands… I remember it like yesterday and I remember agreeing to go - even before I knew the details,” she said laughing. “It was a bit nerve racking, but I really enjoyed doing all the winner’s circle and paddock interviews that weekend - interacting with the big names in the business - I had a blast! And when I got back to school, the following Monday, I ended up changing my major to marketing and the rest is history…” she says. “After that broadcast, with Post Time with Mike & Mike, I travelled with them full-time, for the next two years, covering events like the Molson Pace/Camluck Classic, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and other major racing events. I am so appreciative of everything Mike and Mike have taught me and have done for me.” Things can happen quickly in this business and sometimes it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time… “In 2018 I was in Lexington, taking care of horses, when Jason Settlemoir contacted me about doing TV at The Meadowlands - I remember reading the message and I was like ‘Is this real life?’… And before I knew it I was working at The Meadowlands, on the weekend, doing paddock interviews. I don’t know why, but being on camera made me so nervous,” she says. “I got to work with experienced and knowledgeable guys like Dave Brower, Dave Little and Ken Warkentin - who were so welcoming when I first started - they helped so much…” Jessica’s newest job title, within The Meadowlands, is Marketing Coordinator… ”So in addition, to doing TV, I work alongside Rachel Ryan and help out with the big events. We run the social media platforms together - posting about our events, our dining, menus, promos and the races. I spend a lot of time on the computer and my phone - scheduling posts, seeing what horses are racing, noting milestones - anything that’s of interest, about our sport, goes on social media, because let’s face it - that’s where people spend a lot of their time now and not everybody can make it out to the track. I think it’s even more important now, than ever, with tracks having to race without crowds. Whether it’s a video of a horse warming up, a picture of them in the paddock, a fun fact, anything really - the more people see - the better - in my opinion…” So what may the future hold for this young broadcaster? “I don’t have a degree in marketing or broadcasting yet, but I am a big hockey fan and yes I’ll admit I’m a Red Wings fan too… I guess if I absolutely could not do something in harness racing - then maybe I’d try to do something with hockey. I do enjoy football too, but my dad and sister both played hockey - so I grew up watching a lot of it… But it’s the horses I love - so I’d rather just stay within harness racing if I could.” With some harness tracks opening up and many more to do so in early June - The Meadowlands may not be too far behind. “Right now I’m home, in Michigan, spending time with my family and helping out in the barn - so I’m keeping busy,” says Otten. “But once we get the OK to race, I’ll head back to New Jersey and hope to pick up where I left off.”  Shannon Doyle

MILTON, May 26, 2020 - Fans, horseplayers and harness racing participants will be able to catch all the upcoming qualifiers at Woodbine Mohawk Park on a variety of platforms starting Thursday (May 28). Woodbine Entertainment will be live streaming the qualifiers from Mohawk Park on its YouTube channel and official website at HPItv customers that subscribe to the HPItv Canada channel will also be able to watch the qualifiers live. Woodbine Mohawk Park will play host to qualifiers on Thursday (May 28), Friday (May 29), Monday (June 1) and Tuesday (June 2). Post Time each morning is 9:30 a.m. Mark McKelvie will announce the qualifiers Thursday, which will start streaming approximately 10-15 minutes prior to 9:30 a.m. Program pages for the upcoming qualifiers can be downloaded below. Qualifiers - Thursday, May 28 Qualifiers - Friday, May 29 Qualifiers - Monday, June 1 Qualifiers - Tuesday, June 2 Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications & Content O: 416-675-7223 x4305 C: 905-864-9110            

MILTON, May 26, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment today released its Phase One protocols applicable for all harness racing operations at Woodbine Mohawk Park, including race nights, qualifiers and training. All racing participants and staff are required to familiarize with and practice the protocols. Woodbine Mohawk Park opens for training on Wednesday, May 27. The first qualifying day is Thursday, May 28. Live racing resumes on Friday, June 5. All live racing, qualifiers and training will be held without spectators. Woodbine Mohawk Park - Protocols Applicable to all operations including Race Nights, Qualifiers and Training Mornings - Phase 1 Effective May 27, 2020 We are working hard to keep our racing participants safe and healthy. Please help us all keep racing operations going safely by following the protocols set out in this document. Every essential staff person and racing participant must follow the safest practices on-site and off-site: please try to limit exposure outside of the racetrack, stay 6 feet/2m away from others, recommended to wear a mask outside the home if possible, do not touch your face, and wash hands/sanitize frequently. The health of our horse people is of paramount importance, but the group that post the greatest risk to continue racing, are the drivers and the Start Car driver and Starter. Please handle these groups with great care and respect and encourage others to do so too. Always wear your mask, keep your hands sanitized, and wear gloves when coming into contact with frequently touched areas such as water taps, crossties and stall door latches. As per Government guidelines the Woodbine Mohawk Park site will be closed to all spectators. Owners and Media are not permitted at this time. Only Essential Personnel will be granted access. General Rules of Paddock Operation: The Paddock shall be disinfected after each racing, qualifying & training day. Sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the Paddock. Entry into the Paddock shall be limited to Essential Personnel only. Non-essential personnel will not be granted access to the site. Every person entering the Paddock shall undergo screening and temperature checks at the Security Check Point. This will be the ONLY point of entry for all Woodbine Staff, Regulatory Officials and Racing Participants. All Communications should be carried out electronically where possible to limit in person contact. There shall be no loitering in or around the entrance to the paddock, as all COVID-19 protocols on physical distancing shall be adhered to. The Paddock Kitchen shall remain closed. All essential personnel must bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages until further notice. There will be no microwave in the Paddock. Racing participants are encouraged to bring their own supply of drinking water during the extreme warm temperatures. Masks (or face covering nose and mouth) are mandatory at all times for Racing Participants. It is strongly recommended Racing Participants also wear gloves when coming into contact with frequently touched areas such as water taps, cross ties and door latches. Essential Paddock Personnel Includes: Paddock Judge, Horse Identifier, Saddle Pad Attendant, Parking Lot Attendant, Outrider, two Starting Car Persons, Security, Blacksmith, Veterinarians, TC02 Tech, Test barn Techs, Property Services Labourer, Trainers, Grooms, Drivers, Judges, Official Racetrack Photographer.Owners are not permitted at this time as per Provincial guidelines for sports without spectators. Only Trainers with an entry will be permitted, unless entering a claim that night.No one under the age of 16 shall be permitted onsite until further notice.Only the Paddock Judge & Equipment Inspector will have access to the Paddock Office.The Grandstand will remain closed, other than the Race Office and Bookkeeper. There are NO food or beverage operations in the Grandstand until further notice.Grandstand washrooms are closed. Paddock facilities will be cleaned as per protocols. Hand cleaning and sanitization stations have been added to all key areas. Race Night Operations: Post times to be communicated from Race Office. Races will be spaced at 25 minute intervals. All horses must report to the Paddock as per their 1 hour retention time. Physical Distancing: Racing participants are instructed to get in and get out quickly and efficiently. Horses in the old portion of the Paddock shall be placed in every other stall to ensure physical distancing is being practiced. Horses racing out of the new paddock expansion shall be placed in stalls side by side, as these stalls are much wider, and the wall between stalls raises over 8ft high. Handlers of all horses must ensure they are keeping the appropriate distance from the handler of the horse beside them and wear a face mask and gloves at all times. Horses shall only be allowed to go 1 warm up trip. Trainers wishing to go 2 warm trips must go 1st warm-up at home/training center. There shall be no extra warm up people in the paddock. Trainers must warm up their own horses. Each horse racing shall have a maximum of 1 handler. Trainers racing multiple horses must have grooms taking care of multiple horses. All horses and their handlers must leave the paddock half an hour following their race, unless the handler is tending to horses in a later race. Horses who have been post race tested may leave the Paddock 45 minutes following their race. The Drivers locker room, lounge and showers shall remain closed at this time. Drivers are to wear face masks and gloves at all times, except when driving during the race. While waiting between races, drivers should maintain physical distancing protocols. Upon the driver's last race of the day, he/she should leave the paddock immediately after notifying the Paddock Judge. Lasix and CPMA Test Barn Procedures: Lasix shall be administered in the 2 stalls at the southwest corner of the old Paddock. These stalls will be fenced off, so that non-lasix horses do not have access to these stalls. Trainers shall unload their horses at the southwest door, and their horse will be administered its Lasix. Once it receives its Lasix the horse shall be taken back to Barn 8. There shall be no loitering in or at the entrance of Barn 8. All Handlers must either be outside in an open area practicing physical distancing or waiting in their vehicle until it is time for their horse to report to the Paddock. Post Race testing: Following each race, 2 horses shall be tested. Blood shall be drawn on all test horses after 30 minutes if the horse is unable to provide a urine sample. A Woodbine Security guard shall be stationed outside of the test area to ensure all horses and their handlers are entering and exiting the test area in an appropriate fashion. The Security guard will also supply anyone entering the test barn a new mask and gloves. Physical distancing to be practiced at all times. when entering the test barn with a horse. Attend the opposite side of the horse, from the technician. Remain vigilant and respectful of the Racing Forensic Technicians at all times.Hands sanitized on the way in and way out.Masks and gloves mandatory Start Car: All Start Car Driver, and Starter will wear medical masks at all times.The Start Car shall be sanitized and cleaned daily.   Racing Offices and Bookkeeper Racing Finance: Race Office Staff must ensure physical distancing is practiced. An extreme push shall be made to have trainers make their entries online. No more than 1 person shall be at the counter at 1 time. All others must wait outside of office doors with appropriate distance between each person. There shall be Plexi glass or plastic sheet between employees and horsepeople at counter. Bookkeepers Office shall only have 1 person in addition to the Bookkeeper at any time. All Others must wait outside office doors with appropriate distance between each person. There shall be a Plexi-glass window around desk. Bookkeeper will only be open for business during LIVE racing hours only. The protocols above apply to all Qualifying Races. Training Mornings - Wednesday and Saturdays 7:00 am - 1:00 pm Training slots will be limited to 50 horses per 2 hour block. Trainers must sign-up in advance online using the online sign-up tool on a first come first serve basis. Contact Dylan Allain, Assistant Race Secretary with any questions All protocols listed in the document are in effect for Morning Training hours.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment

May 26, 2020 - Drivers Corey Callahan, J. Harris and Travis Henry will be the special harness racing guests of COSA TV's Facebook Live broadcast this Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Callahan has become a fixture in many of North America's Grand Circuit races in recent years and is closing in rapidly on $100 million in career earnings. Harris and Henry have both risen through Ontario's Signature driving ranks and come from two of the province's most well-known racing families. Viewers can have their say by submitting questions in advance through the COSA TV Facebook page or during the live broadcast. The show can also be viewed on Standardbred Canada's website. Fans are reminded that the new Scratch N Win promotion, brought to you by COSA and Ontario Racing (OR), has been launched. The game is available free every day and to find out more visit Central Ontario Standardbred Association

Guelph, ON - May 27, 2020 - How would equine industry members describe the welfare status of Canadian horses? Which horses do they believe are the most at risk? And what do they believe threatens horse welfare? These are just some of the questions a research team at the University of Guelph set out to answer. In 2015, Master’s student, Lindsay Nakonechny, with the support of supervisor Dr. Katrina Merkies and PhD student Cordelie DuBois, created a survey to find out what adult members of the Canadian equine industry think about horse welfare. The online survey results revealed that participants largely agree on some of the top perceived threats to horse welfare, but also uncovered a few surprises.   Almost one hundred percent of survey participants agreed that there were welfare issues in the Canadian equine industry, citing unwanted horses, inappropriate training methods, and unknowledgeable owners as some of the key issues within the industry. The majority of participants also highlighted ineffective legislation and the incapacity of law enforcement to protect horses as important.   When examining which groups of horses were perceived to be “at risk”, however, opinions were much more divided. Welfare issues connected to auctions or feedlot horses were less divided. Horses intended for slaughter and horses with owners who lack knowledge, were also suggested as affected groups by survey participants.   Lack of knowledge continued to emerge as a re-occurring survey theme. This, along with financial difficulties was considered one of the biggest challenges to “good” equine welfare. This supports the need for educational programs and targeted knowledge transfer. Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph could not agree more. “What this survey tells us is there is a need to work together with strong support from the industry to extend the reach of welfare education,” says Ecker. “Improved information outreach to the industry incorporating human behaviour change approaches are vital if we are to have an impact on improving equine welfare.”   Close to 1,000 participants from multiple disciplines across Canada took the survey and self-identified as at least somewhat knowledgeable regarding horse care. Of the five options regarding horse care knowledge, participants were most familiar with body condition scoring (BCS; 78.6%,). Surprisingly, under 55% were aware of the national document: the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines (NFACC). Participants were even less familiar with the American Association of Equine Practitioners Lameness Scale (35.6%), the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare (29.7%), and Equitation Science (20.4%).   Alongside examining the participants’ views on equine welfare within the industry, researchers also examined what factors, such as a person’s gender or view on their horse’s ability to feel emotions, most often affected their answers. Researchers found that whether a person considered their horse to be livestock or a companion animal, as well as what discipline they were involved in, most often influenced their perception of welfare issues. People who considered horses livestock, for example, were less likely to believe that horses at auction or on feedlots were an “at risk” group.   Additionally, eight scenarios were included in the survey, each outlining a scenario in which horse welfare could be compromised. Those ranked the most welfare-compromising involved horses being pastured without water during the wintertime and a horse given a sedative prior to training. While participants of this survey almost unanimously indicated that they believed horses could feel a variety of emotional states, this belief was not always reflected in their ranking of the scenarios. Several scenarios described situations in which horses could be suffering the effects of boredom or frustration (e.g. a horse on extended stall rest), but these scenarios were not considered as welfare-compromising as others. The intersection between what individuals think horses are capable of feeling and how this translates into practice (i.e. what situations cause horses to feel emotions such as boredom or pain) is an interesting one, and a challenge to all educators looking to bridge the gap between “knowing” and “understanding.”   To learn more about the survey questions, the diversity of the survey participant’s answers, and how they related to their involvement in the equine industry, read the full publication:   Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit   Story by: Equine Guelph

MILTON, May 25, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced new dates for several harness racing stakes to be held this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   The stakes rescheduling only impacts events that were originally slated for May or June. All other races remain the same on the 2020 stakes calendar. As previously announced, the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers has been rescheduled to Saturday, August 29. The Fan Hanover (3-Year-Old Filly Pace), Roses Are Red (Mare Pace) and Armbro Flight (Mare Trot) have all been rescheduled to join the Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, August 29. Eliminations (if necessary) for all four events will take place on Saturday, August 22. The Goodtimes for three-year-old trotting colts has been rescheduled to Saturday, September 5. Eliminations (if necessary) will be held on Friday, August 28. The Somebeachsomewhere for three-year-old pacers has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 12. The final event to be rescheduled is the SBOA Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies. The SBOA will now take place on Saturday, November 14 with eliminations (if necessary) scheduled for Saturday, November 7. Woodbine Mohawk Park will no longer play host to a leg of The Meadowlands administrated Miss Versatility Series (originally scheduled May 29) or Graduate Series (originally scheduled June 6) in 2020. The Meadowlands has confirmed with Woodbine their intentions to reschedule the Mohawk Park leg of the Miss Versatility for later this season at the New Jersey track, while the Graduate Series leg has been cancelled due to scheduling constraints. Live Racing, without spectators, is scheduled to resume on Friday, June 5 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The revised 2020 stakes schedule for Woodbine Mohawk Park. Stake Previous Date New Date SBOA 3FT Elims Saturday, May 9 Saturday, November 7 SBOA 3FP Elims Saturday, May 9 Saturday, November 7 SBOA 3FT Final Saturday, May 16 Saturday, November 14 SBOA 3FP Final Saturday, May 16 Saturday, November 14 North America Cup Elims Saturday, June 13 Saturday, August 22 Armbro Flight Elims Friday, June 12 Saturday, August 22 Fan Hanover Elims Saturday, June 13 Saturday, August 22 Roses Are Red Elims Saturday, June 13 Saturday, August 22 North America Cup Final Saturday, June 20 Saturday, August 29 Armbro Flight Final Saturday, June 20 Saturday, August 29 Fan Hanover Final Saturday, June 20 Saturday, August 29 Roses Are Red Final Saturday, June 20 Saturday, August 29 Goodtimes Elims Friday, June 12 Friday, August 28 Goodtimes Final Saturday, June 20 Saturday, September 5 Somebeachsomewhere Saturday, June 6 Saturday, September 12 Mark McKelvie        

Officials with Nova Scotia Harness Racing Industry Association are pleased to announce that harness racing will commence at the Nova Scotia tracks in June. Safety and the well being of our patrons is top priority. The announcement May 20 , 2020 by Premier McNeil for all "business that was not directly closed under the health protection order and is able to start operating as long as they meet the general requirement" was welcoming news for the three tracks. Truro Raceway, Inverness Raceway and Northside Downs will be enforcing Covid-19 restrictions for all workers and race participants. Public Health measures that will be enforced include social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment. No spectators will be allowed on the properties during live racing events until further notice. Fans will be able to wager from the safety of their homes through the online betting platform Nova Scotia Premier McNeil along with Dr. Strang has done a tremendous job in keeping COVID-19 under control in our Province. We would like to thank the Honorable Keith Colwell, Department of Agriculture for supporting our proposal to open the tracks. Like all jurisdictions, there are several changes to how live racing will be conducted. No fans will be permitted at the racetracks until further notice and all trainers will have to submit groom rosters ahead of race dates. Social distancing and use of personal protective equipment will be enforced along with guidelines set forth by public health, racing forensics, CPMA and Standardbred Canada. The guidelines for Back to Racing, including protocols for the tracks to follow while training and conducting live racing will be made available on each tracks website. Qualifying dates for Truro Raceway, Northside Downs, and Inverness Raceway will be announced in the coming days.  

As the countdown to racing continues, there are many questions that still exist for horsepeople in Ontario as the harness racing community will have to adjust to a new normal. On tonight's (May 24) episode of COSA TV host Greg Blanchard interviewed horseman and COSA Director Mark Horner, General Manager and Race Secretary Ian Fleming and Jamie Martin, Grand River Raceway’s Director of Operations. Together the trio discussed new racetrack protocols, the importance of increasing racetrack handle and how the industry will have to adapt to a new normal of racing. Questions from viewers were also answered as well as trivia questions for fans and viewers to win a prize courtesy of COSA. First to take the stand was Jamie Martin, who discussed recent expansions at the Elora oval. “Last fall we started a $6 million expansion project of our backstretch, it was supposed to be finished on the 1st of June but construction has been halted due to the shutdowns. Normally we have our facility ready and open for training a month out to our opening race night. We added a 7,000 sq. ft. building in between the paddock and the grandstand, this will hold our offices and our simulcast. We also added a 5,000 sq. ft. addition to the back of the paddock that will include a maintenance shop and an open space for additional ship-in stalls. Because of all this construction is why we are not open and ready for training yet. Our track is in good shape and ready for opening.” Horseman Mark Horner discussed how he has managed his stable throughout the pandemic -- a similar approach that most horsemen have taken. “We did back them off a bit, but schedules remained pretty on track. I didn’t train my three-year-olds as much, I backed them up to about one trip a week and when things looked like we were going to get back up and going around the first of May then we started to up the training. We trained a few in the race bike yesterday and everyone is going good -- next week when we are ready to qualify, we will be ready to go.” A representative for horsemen, Horner also discussed the atmosphere throughout the industry during this unprecedented time and how participants are preparing to handle the new protocols put in place. “I’ve talked to a variety of horsemen that race either on the WEG Circuit or the ‘B’ tracks, for the most part the horsemen understand what COSA has gone through and are appreciative of what Ontario Racing has been able to do to provide relief for the horsemen. It’s very important that horsemen follow social distancing, racing is now going to be an in and out process, there will be no hanging around the paddock area, there will be no Lasix except for at Woodbine Mohawk Park. This will be a work in progress but a major part of getting through this pandemic successfully lies in a collaborative effort of racetracks and horsepeople. We need to show that we can wear masks, those who refuse too, will be removed from the paddock.” Following the same suit of adjusting to a new normal, Ian Fleming touched base on adjusting to a new normal of racing without spectators -- an adjustment that Clinton Raceway, a track with a strong community connection, is prepared to face. “It’s not ideal, we have people here from the community every day watching horses jog and train and to tell them in two weeks that they cannot come here and watch these horses race is very hard. I’ve talked to all of them and they understand why they are not able to come and watch the races but it’s going to be very strange. It’s also tough for the local groups that come to the track to fundraise. No matter where you go, it’s going to be strange. For now, we will just have to see how things play out.” Fleming also discussed that although the race office will be taking entries, trainers are still advised to make use of Standardbred Canada’s self-serve online entries. Fleming also credited the system and noted he believes it will be quite helpful in the future. Jamie Martin informed viewers that Grand River Raceway fans will have access to HD streaming since fans will not be able to watch racing live. High-definition video will be available through Grand River Raceway’s website and HPI TV. Martin also noted that in-house handicapping contests will be moved online and that the racetrack still plans to engage fans with their product as much as possible. Switching roles from a director to an owner/trainer/breeder, Horner provided an update on a few sensational mares that have called his stable home. “Pinky Tuscadero is in foal to All Bets Off, she had a big heart and was a very nice mare to race around the small tracks.” From a similar perspective, Horner also touched on how yearling sales will be impacted by COVID-19 -- more specifically the London Selected Yearling Sale. “We have been working very hard exploring different options as to how to conduct the sale, we have put every possible option on the table from a virtual sale and how it would look and have also looked at what other sales are going to do. Ann Straatman is working very hard on how we can successfully have our sale, but no decisions have been made yet. “I don’t think that after spending $1 million on turning the [Western Fair] Agriplex where the sale is conducted into a hospital, that they will be wanting to take it down anytime soon so I think we will have to take a serious look at taking care of the breeders and consignors and consider a virtual sale.” The very informative episode was produced by CUJO Entertainment and featured a mass amount of valuable information for owners, trainers, drivers and all those involved in the industry. The episode is available for viewing below.  Central Ontario Standardbred Association

Toronto, ON — Ontario Racing has released the revised schedules for the upcoming harness racing stakes season. The Ontario Sires Stakes will kick off on June 26 with the first leg of the Grassroots Series for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Woodbine Mohawk Park while the Prospect Series will commence with the 3-year-old pacing fillies on June 20 at Hanover Raceway. by Allison Glynn, OSS Program Coordinator

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) received new test results that suggest the containment and mitigation measures continue to contain the neuropathogeniclogical form of EHV-1 to a single barn at Woodbine Racetrack. As a result, the AGCO has lifted all the restrictions on training for Barns 33 and 35, as well as the non-isolated horses in Barn 11. Two horses in Barn 11 remain in isolation. Restrictions on training of horses residing in other barns remain in place (please refer to May 21 Notice). All horses in Barn 10 were re-tested and results all came back negative. In addition, all horses in Barn 12 were re-tested and two additional horses tested positive, bringing the total to 27. All the remaining horses in Barn 12 tested negative. As per the containment protocol, the horses that tested positive have been removed to isolation and Barn 12 remains in lock down. Assuming no other horses display clinical signs, the plan at this time is to re-test all horses in Barn 12 on Monday, May 25. Horses from Barn 10 will be re-tested on Friday May 29. The AGCO is continuing to monitor the situation closely and further developments will be reported. EHV-1 cannot be spread to humans and is unrelated to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For more information Dr. Adam Chambers Senior Manager of Veterinary Services (289) 237-3922

When the three-year-old filly Blockjorg divebombed her rivals in the Group 2 harness racing $50,000 Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night (May 22) she credited her sire He’s Watching with his first Group winner from his first crop, now just three-year-olds, in Australia.  Blockjorg, who finished an unlucky second in the Diamond Classic as a two-year-old, has shown up as a very smart filly winning the fastest heat 10 days earlier, and it was a strong field she beat at Gloucester Park. She has now won five races with eight placings from 24 starts for $78,621 in stakes. To watch the video replay click on this link Blockjorg, who was bred and is raced by the Clarina Racing Syndicate, is the third foal of Toobee Three, a lightly raced daughter of the No Nukes sire Legacy Of Power. He’s Watching 1:46.8 ($1.1 million), a world champion two-year-old and Meadowlands Pace winner, has left 13 individual three-year-old winners from his first crop this season. Besides Blockjorg, he is also the sire of the George Croxford Tribute winner Private Eye (1:54.6), the Melton winner Born To Be Watched (1:54.6), Raksjameson NZ, who is unbeaten in WA, and the Menangle winner Experia (1:54.4). From his second Australian crop He’s Watching is the sire of the brilliant youngster Watchmedazzle, who has won twice at Shepparton, as well as several metropolitan placegetters. In North America, He’s Watching was one of the leading two-year-old sires in last year’s rich Ontario Sires Stake program, siring the quinella pair Tattoo Artist and Examiner Hanover in the $225,000 OSS Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. This was also the first and oldest crop by He's Watching in Canada. He’s Watching is now standing at the Tipperary Equine stud, Young, of one of NSW’s leading studmasters Luke Primmer. Now is your chance to buy a He's Watching weanling at the NZB Standardbred All Age Sale currently running and ending in three days at the  Auction. There are eight weanlings for sale and here they are; Lot 15 - He's Watching / Millview Sarah Lot 41 - He's Watching / Samantha Chloe Lot 55 - He's Watching / Tempest Bromac Lot 76 - He's Watching / Alta Michaela Lot 92 - He's Watching / Chevelle Star Lot 100 - He's Watching / Darkofthemoon Lot 116 - He's Watching / Georgia's Belle Lot 120 - He's Watching / Hip Pocket Peter Wharton  

MILTON, ON - May 23, 2020 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to notify all harness racing drivers and trainers that when Qualifiers resume on Thursday, May 28, the driver/trainer changes rooms, showers and lounge will be closed until further notice as an important COVID-19 safety precaution and physical distancing protocol. Drivers and trainers are asked to contact Megan Walker at or (416)-709-6793 to schedule a time to pick up their suits and other items on Monday, May 25, Tuesday, May 26 or Wednesday, May 27 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Only drivers and trainers who have scheduled a time will be permitted to pick up their suits and other items. Woodbine Mohawk Park will be releasing its qualifying and race night paddock protocols next week in advance of the resumption of Qualifiers on Thursday. Training to commence at Woodbine Mohawk Park with strict physical distancing protocols Training at Woodbine Mohawk Park with strict physical distancing protocols in place will be available from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday (May 27), and Saturday (May 30). Training hours will be allotted by signing up on a first come first serve basis.  Sign-ups will start at 3 p.m. on Monday (May 25).  Trainers are limited to no more than 10 horses per day. A limit of 50 horses are permitted in the paddock during a training time slot. Training time slots will be in 2.5 hour increments (6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., 12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.).   All paddock COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place for training hours, including the requirement to have all personnel wearing a face mask. Only trainers and essential licensed personnel over the age of 16 will be permitted through the security checkpoint. To sign-up for training which opens at 3 p.m. on Monday, click here. Jamie Dykstra Woodbine Entertainment

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