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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — The horses will be off and harness racing on Thursday, June 4, at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP). The capital oval could be the only harness racing track in North America operating at that point due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. At least at the outset, there will be no fans in the grandstand or around the track while racing participants will have to adhere to a number of health protocols while racing. Those details are currently being worked out. Island owners and trainers have collected some new stock for the coming meet, including a possible challenger for top dog on the East Coast. Silver Beast has moved into the Loyalist Road stable of trainer Brittany Watts, and the four-year-old son of Betterthancheddar shows some serious speed to take on P.E.I.’s best. A 10-person conglomerate of Island owners purchased Silver Beast, a winner of five races from just 22 lifetime starts. The pacer has a lifetime best of 1:52.4 over Woodbine Mohawk Park in Ontario and has shown he can leave the gate hard, including a 26.2-opening quarter from the far outside Post 10 at Woodbine. His lone start on a half-mile track was a front-end mission in the Ontario Sires Stakes at Grand River Raceway where he was narrowly beaten in 1:53.4. Brandon Hanover (12 wins, $110,892 earned, lifetime mark of 1:52.1 at Woodbine) is a new addition for owners Wayne MacRae of Fall River, N.S., and Howmac Farms of North Wiltshire. The Big Jim five-year-old has paced in 1:54.4 over Flamboro Downs’ half-mile oval already this year. The maiden three-year-old World Wonder is a new addition for trainer Michael Gallant of Charlottetown. The Betterthancheddar three-year-old shows pacing in 1:55 over Woodbine last season. Beyondthesilence N (20 wins, $221,139, 1:53.2 at Yonkers Raceway) has been acquired by Chris Davies of York and Kent Livingston of Cornwall. The 11-year-old veteran son of Courage Under Fire was racing the $10,000-claiming ranks in New York. Time To Dance (nine wins, $58,563, 1:53.2 at Woodbine) was claimed during the winter by Brent Campbell of Charlottetown. The A Rocknroll Dance four-year-old has paced in 1:55.2 over Flamboro this year. The open pacing mares ranks look to be getting deeper this year, too. Berazzled (17 wins, $466,246, 1:50.2 at Philadelphia) has been picked up by Neal Moase of Warren Grove. The six-year-old Charley Barley mare was a winner in 1:57.3 over an off-track at Saratoga Raceway’s half-mile oval in New York this year. Dreamfire Zenfire (eight wins, $79,981, 1:53 at Woodbine) was been purchased by Ryan and Everett MacLeod of Souris and placed in the Marc Campbell stable. A winner in her last two outings, the Sunfire Blue Chip mare has only missed the top-two once in her last seven starts. Falls Creek (22 wins, $115,316, 1:54.1 at Georgian Downs) is now under the care of Bo Ford in Charlottetown. The Badlands Hanover five-year-old was a winner in 1:58.4 in the $7,000 claiming ranks at Rideau Carleton Raceway outside Ottawa in her latest. Southwind Ion (20 wins, $199,444, 1:51.3 Woodbine) is now owned by Jennifer Doyle and Danny Birt of Earnescliffe. The duo purchased the Sportswriter five-year-old from the Carmen Auciello Stable of Ontario, where she was racing the conditioned ranks at Woodbine. On the trot side, Glider Man (13 wins, $94,530, 1:56.4 at Woodbine) was also purchased by Doyle and Birt with his latest start a winning one in 1:58.2 at Flamboro for trainer Randy Van Meer. Supreme Monarch (eight wins, $120,477, 1:58.4 at Flamboro) is now owned by Jamie Whalen of Avondale. The nine-year-old trotting daughter of Federal Flex was timed in 1:59.3 in her latest start at Flamboro. Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. Reprinted with permission of the Journal Pioneer

CHARLOTTETOWN (P.E.I.) - Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park has released upcoming qualifying sessions. The dates include Saturday May 23rd Post Time 12:30pm, Thursday May 28th Post Time 6:00pm, Saturday May 30th Post Time 12:30pm, Sunday May 31st Post Time 12:30pm. For more information contact the race office at 902.629.6634. No fans or spectators will be allowed on the Red Shores property however the qualifiers will be carried live at Red Shores and the PEI Harness Racing Industry will be enforcing COVID-19 restrictions for all race participants, including physical distancing. The full list of policies and procedures, including protocols for the industry to follow while preparing for and conducting live racing, will be made available soon. By Lee Drake

MILTON, ON - May 6, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to inform all harness racing owners and trainers that stakes payments for May will proceed as a precautionary measure should live racing resume in June. The Stakes payments are due on Friday, May 15. April 15th's stake payments have been waived completely and the list of horses remaining eligible to our stakes after the March 15 payment can be found here. Payment for the May 15 Stakes Payment can be made here. A revised Standardbred Stakes schedule will be announced shortly. This will include the new date for the Pepsi North America Cup and the undercard Stakes, along with the qualifying schedule and first conditions sheets. The following stakes have payments due: Summer Series Nominations: MILLARD FARMS PURE IVORY DREAM MAKER WHENUWISHUPONASTAR Yearling Nominations: 2021 CHAMPLAIN OPEN 2021 CHAMPLAIN FILLY 2022 SIMCOE OPEN 2022 SIMCOE FILLY 2022 SBOA FILLY Sustaining Payments: PEPSI NORTH AMERICA CUP ARMBRO FLIGHT BATTLE OF THE BELLES BATTLE OF WATERLOO CANADIAN PACING DERBY CANADIAN TROTTING CLASSIC CASUAL BREEZE CHAMPLAIN FILLY CHAMPLAIN OPEN ELEGANTIMAGE ETERNAL CAMNATION FAN HANOVER GOODTIMES MAPLE LEAF TROT METRO PACE MILTON NASSAGAWEYA PEACEFUL WAY ROSES ARE RED SHES A GREAT LADY WILLIAM WELLWOOD MEMORIAL Jamie Dykstra Woodbine Entertainment Director, Communications & Content O: 416-675-3993 x 3531 C: 647-400-6235            

SYDNEY, N.S. — As a writing coach, Marjorie Simmins searched for a book that had everything in it, in terms of the essential elements of crafting a memoir, but she wasn’t able to find it. So, she decided to write it. “I wanted certain things — I wanted history in there, I wanted inspiration in there and I wanted a fair bit of how-to,” Simmins said in an interview. The result is “Memoir: Conversations and Craft,” released in March by Nimbus Publishing. It includes seven interviews with memoir authors Linden MacIntyre, Edmund Metatwabin, Donna Morrissey, Claire Mowat, Lawrence Hill, Diane Shoemperlen and Plum Johnson. Each interview is followed by a passage reflecting on the interviews and suggestions for writing exercises. Simmins described her own collection of memoirs penned by others “pretty gorgeous,” noting it requires culling from time to time to keep it to a manageable size. But she returned to some of her favourites in determining who she wanted to interview for her book. “The writers I chose, I thought, ‘Who would I want to talk to, who do I think would really have a lot to say about memoir?’” For example, in Port Hastings native, author and journalist Linden MacIntyre she noted he brings to the table humour, and people from across the country can appreciate his anecdotes which are both funny and filled with information. “I was fortunate that nobody said no,” Simmins said. “You don’t know, people are busy or don’t care to be part of a project, whatever it might be. Everybody said yes, everybody was enthusiastic and everybody was very honest in what they gave me. I found that very touching. “You can’t hide in a memoir and ideally you shouldn’t be hiding in how you talk about the memoir you’ve written. You have to be honest.” When asked if she continued to learn more about the craft of the memoir through conducting those interviews, Simmins noted that anything that is interesting is an endless learning experience. “You never know it all, and the day you think you know it all, you’d better stop,” she said. Marjorie Simmins, an award-winning author and journalist, living D'Escousse, had her third book, Simmins also acknowledged that the writers she interviewed sometimes offered contradictory advice, because what works for one writer doesn’t necessarily work for another. She believes that anyone picking up her book will find some advice that will work for them. “That’s the kind of moment that I see when I teach workshops that I really love, looking around the table and all of a sudden a person down the far end who has been having trouble getting their thoughts down on the page or whatever and they’ve come to the class for inspiration and, all of a sudden, you look at them and their eyes are just lit up like stars,” she said. Simmins said she also wanted to include "a fair bit of how-to,” including writing prompts and tips. “I made sure that my books had loads of writing prompts because that’s what people want,” she said. The events planned to launch the book — including two launches and a number of signings — have had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While she understands the realities of everyone having to significantly adjust their lives to deal with the current realities, she admits that it “did take the wind out of my sails.” However, on a positive note, having to change track has also meant that she is now ahead of schedule on her next book — “Somebeachsomewhere: A Harness Racing Legend from a One-Horse Stable,” scheduled for the spring of 2021, with Nimbus Publishing. She also believes there will be a timelessness to “Memoir: Conversations and Craft,” because it contains the sort of information that doesn’t change. “We want to know how to convey the stories of our lives,” Simmins said. To order a signed copy of “Memoir: Conversations and Craft,” go to the online bookstore or order from Nimbus publishing, Nancey King Reprinted with permission of The Chronicle Herald

May 5, 2020 - As optimism begins to grow for the return of live harness racing in the province of Ontario, the Woodbine Entertainment Group's CEO Jim Lawson along with COSA President Bill O'Donnell will discuss the situation on COSA TV's Facebook Live show Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. The pair will join host Greg Blanchard on the broadcast which will be aired on the COSA Facebook channel along with the Standardbred Canada website. In a recent article Lawson has stated that he is cautiously optimistic that racing could return as soon as early June. Of course that will be dependant on the direction of the Ontario government and local health authorities. Viewers will have a chance to submit questions prior to and during the broadcast and can do so through the COSA Facebook page. For more information, visit Greg Blanchard  

Mississauga, ON — It was announced on Tuesday (May 5) that Woodbine Entertainment, Ontario Racing and Racetracks of Canada have approached the Federal Government and have requested that Historical Horse Racing be legalized. In an announcement that has appeared on the Ontario Racing website, the three organizations have jointly stated that the legalization of Historical Horse Racing would provide much needed financial relief to the Canadian horse industry without requiring government funding. To read the full story, click here. from Standardbred Canada

TORONTO — Jim Lawson is cautiously optimistic there could be live horse racing as early as next month. Buoying the Woodbine Entertainment CEO's optimism is the Ontario government's gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions Monday, allowing some mostly seasonal businesses to re-open. The novel coronavirus pandemic forced the suspension of harness racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park in March and postponement of the April 18 start of Woodbine Racetrack's thoroughbred campaign, and subsequently the $1-million Queen's Plate. But Lawson sees the Ontario government's actions as a sign that racing could return in early June ahead of other sports entities because it could be done safely and without fans. While the pandemic forced all major sports to shut down, harness racing continued without spectators before being suspended. "The big proviso is we don't want to get ahead of ourselves, governmental and health authorities because that's the wrong thing to do," Lawson said. "But I do think if restrictions are eased, we've shown and exhibited already we're capable of doing this. "Not only did live racing occur at Mohawk without gatherings but with what we've achieved in our backstretch the last two months, we feel comfortable we can conduct safe racing. And when you combine safe racing with 15,000-20,000 people whose livelihoods really depend on this, we feel we're a good model to help kick-start the economy." While no racing has occurred at Woodbine Racetrack, Woodbine Entertainment has continued operating its backstretch providing daily care for approximately 1,100 horses. Access has been limited to essential personnel — no jockeys, agents, trainers or media are allowed — and those individuals must strictly adhere to guidelines entirely consistent with those established by government and health agencies. "We don't need stands and it's not like we have players rubbing against each other," Lawson said. "There's physical distancing by definition. "We've had 1,100 horses on the track every morning for two months now and we haven't had any cases, knock on wood." Some of the measures implemented by Woodbine include: — Horsemen returning from the U.S. spending 14 days in self-quarantine. — Temperature testing for essential personnel entering the premises. — The presence of EMS personnel. — Security guards conducting routine social-gathering patrols. — Strict cleaning and bleaching of equipment protocols. — The hiring of a physician from Etobicoke General Hospital as a consultant and member of Woodbine's COVID committee. "We're taking this very seriously," Lawson said. "I think we've gone a great job and government is watching and has been complimentary with how we've handled this." Lawson said the City of Toronto's COVID-19 task force conducted an inspection of Woodbine's backstretch Sunday. "They commented we were far ahead of many other businesses and we got a huge compliment on everything we've been doing," Lawson said. "We've had about 600 people (in backstretch) each day for over one month. "I think one key factor is that in starting, the additional personnel required is minimal, including for example the potential use of remote judges . . . all we really need to do is bring jockeys on and we're already physically making construction changes to our jockeys' room like in/out doors and separate cubicles. On the standardbred side we're ordering trailers to have physical distancing amongst the drivers." And Lawson said once thoroughbred racing is cleared to begin, the precautions wouldn't stop there. "Among other safety protocols we have developed, we'd likely have our jockeys wear masks from the time they board the horse until they get to the starting gate," he said. "We'll only have two people allowed in the paddock per horse, a groom and a trainer, to help saddle the jockey up. "There will be strict hygienic requirements in terms of washing and bleaching equipment while continuing to respect physical distancing. We're very confident based on the experience of other jurisdictions and our own experience so far in the backstretch that we can definitely do this." Lawson added Woodbine continues to work closely with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to amend the rules of racing "to allow us to proceed." "Things such as post parades and weights of jockeys," he said. "They've been co-operative and supportive which has been terrific." On April 1, Woodbine Entertainment announced the Plate, scheduled for June 27, had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While no firm rescheduled date has been established, Lawson is hopeful North America's longest continuously run stakes race could be held either in late August or sometime in September. "We'll see what physical distancing guidelines are then," he said. "We may be able to permit a limited number of spectators in late August or more likely mid-September." Also in question is when the $1-million Woodbine Mile turf event will be run. Lawson said Woodbine Entertainment has secured a deal with NBC Sports to broadcast the race, currently slated for Sept. 19. Dan Ralph Reprinted with permission of The Canadian Press

London, March 4, 2020 -- After much consideration, management at The Raceway at Western Fair District has made the decision to cancel the harness racing Camluck Classic Invitational which was scheduled for Friday, May 29. The $150,000 race is slated to return in 2021. The City of London Series, which had finals slated for the same night as the Camluck Classic, has been postponed and will be worked into the schedule when live racing resumes at The Raceway. The Camluck Classic is traditionally the final program of the meet at the London oval and as indicated by Ontario Racing, it is not anticipated that there will be any live racing in the province during the month of May. Stay up to date by visiting Greg Blanchard

Born and raised into the business, horse owner Amber Guse began her work in harness racing some 25 years ago… “Both my parents, Patti McGillivary and Bill Windsor, owned and trained,” she says. “I began working alongside Mom at the age of 7… I can still remember, back in the day, carrying the pales and blankets down the long path to the old paddock at Western Fair. It was around that time that I just fell in love with the horses.” On her first career win as a horse owner… “That came about 10 years ago, at Flamboro, with Hope Tobea Star and she was parked out most of the mile… She was far from a star, for me, but on that day she was the biggest star. There’s nothing better than meeting your own horse back in the winner circle!”  A top notch caretaker, for trainer Steve Bossence, Amber has worked for the Bossence barn over the last decade… “It all started when I moved my mare over to the training center where Steve was stabled. I then began helping out with his horses and the rest is history…” she says. “I’m very thankful for all the nice horses I’ve looked after, over the years, for Steve and his owner Stephen Palermo… They’ve certainly helped in making some of my dreams come true!”  Speaking of dreams - a top performer for Amber, at The Raceway, comes to mind… “My fave girl to race was always Distinctiv Dreamer,” she states. “She won me quite a few races there in London… My most favourite win, ever, was our first together… I bought her for just $1,500 (February 2013) and I really wasn’t expecting much, from her, in her first start - to be honest I was only hoping for a cheque… Well she had other plans and drew off, on the field, to win by 17 lengths and at that moment I knew we had something special. That girl was always game and just loved to win… She was the horse that made all my dreams come true!” Amber has also owned and raced (at The Raceway in recent years) Total Knockout, Stonebridge Loyal and her newest acquisition Golden Leader. Some special moments and memories from horses, that Amber has looked after, over the years… “I had the pleasure of looking after Ms Goliath while working for Jason Libby (2008). She got me my first O.S.S. Gold win and raced against some classy fillies that year - she was a special one! Strike a Light is also an extremely special guy. I have driven across the country to bring this boy home multiple times. We had many wins together and also took home awards in back-to-back seasons. He’s a super special guy - now enjoying his retirement life. And Nebraska Jack - he’s my heart horse… He’s the classiest, sassiest horse I’ve ever had the pleasure of looking after… I just love him!” Favourite wins, this past season, as a caretaker… “I would have to say our Preferred wins with Nebraska Jack (Aged Trotter of the Year at The Raceway 2019)… After claiming him for $12,000 and then watching him turn into this solid top class trotter - it’s been simply amazing! And Raising Royalty (3YO Trotting Colt of the Year at The Raceway 2019) winning the City of London Final was a pretty special moment for the whole team as well.”  On being the runner-up for an O’Brien Award for Caretaker of the Year 2019… “I don’t think I’ll ever forget that phone call… I just burst into tears… All I know is horses and I’ve worked so hard to get to where I’m at now. It was such an overwhelming feeling and at the same time - a feeling of accomplishment… There are so many amazing caretakers, in this business, that it was honestly just an honour to be noticed!”  A few weeks following the O’Brien Awards - the Annual Raceway Awards Banquet took place and Amber was recognized as a Caretaker of the Year nominee… “Being my second time to be recognized, for this award, was truly an honour… I was up against some wonderful caretakers that also put so much time and work into their horses… It was a great feeling to be a nominee!”  The Bossence barn happenings right now… “We have two babies in training currently. Publicity Seeker is going amazing - he has a great attitude and is loving his work thus far - we’re really excited to see what he grows into… We also have a gorgeous red filly - Royal Gossip - that has had a little time off due to being a big growthy filly. She’s just starting back again and so far is looking pretty good out there… And finally - our racehorses are pretty much good to go. We just need some races for them…” On this current downtime from racing… “There’s no such thing as downtime in my world,” she laughs. “I have 3 children - Emma (13), Brody (10) and Adelynn (4) - life can sometimes get crazy busy between working, racing and then raising a family… Thus far I think I’ve done a pretty great job juggling it all. I have some pretty talented, smart and caring kids - along with some happy horses - life is good!” Shannon ‘Sugar’ Doyle The Raceway at Western Fair District  

HOBBS - J.W. "Gary" - Entered into rest on April 3, 2020, under the care of Hospice Buffalo. Born April 8, 1944, in London, Ontario. Cherished son of Morley and Reta (nee Patton) Hobbs; loving husband of Victoria Obrochta; devoted father to Gary (Reagan) Hobbs and Josh (Jill) Obrochta; proud grandpa to several grandchildren; former spouse and friend of Barb Sullivan; Loyal friend to so many. Gary was a referee for local Junior Hockey and a member of NYSHOA. He also played Hockey on several Men's and Senior Men's Leagues before retiring his skates. He was a Sabres ticket holder for many seasons and proudly sang both National Anthems. He never felt too old to try or learn something new and even started guitar lessons at 67. His biggest passion in life was working with Standardbred Horses. He was a Driver and Trainer for Harness Racing and at one point was simultaneously ranked # 1, in both fields, according to the Universal Driver Training Rating System. He Raced Standardbred horses at multiple raceways across Canada and the United States and was well respected by all. He was a member of the WNY Harness Horsman's Association and the US Trotting Association. Gary always had a joke to tell or a good story to share, whether it be about his youth playing pond hockey, his brief stint as a boxer and racecar driver, his days as a field technician working for Com-Doc or his youth growing up in Canada. Gary was a "Proud Lefty" and true supporter of "Make America Great Again". He loved driving his truck and never passed up a chance to share a cup of Tim Hortons Coffee with a friend. There weren't many old classic country songs he couldn't sing along with word for word. He took pride in teaching Gary and Josh the value of life: to be Honest, Work Hard (Smart) and have Gratitude. He always preached to them about removing their hats inside, to keep their shoes shined, to stand up tall and keep their hands out of their pockets and how to tie a good knot in their ties. His retirement days were spent doing what he loved most, shooting pool or playing Euchre at the Orchard Park Senior Center, where he developed many close friendships. He enjoyed having lunch on Mondays with the guys at the car lot and stopping by the Tack Shop at the Hamburg Raceway, just to say Hello! Gary also loved visiting with his horse friends on a Saturday morning and engaging in "The Good Conversation". He enjoyed talking on the phone with his friends and loved spending quality time with his family often over an ice- cream cone. Gary always gave it his all and tried to inspire his family and friends to be their best self with his positive attitude. He was famous for saying "Drive On and Keep Your Stick On The Ice". A Celebration of Gary's Life will be held at a later time and date. Gary donated his body to the University at Buffalo Anatomical Gift program. With Love in our hearts and a smile on our lips, we will remember you always. Forever and Ever~ Amen.

May 2, 2020 -- The harness racing legendary Roger Huston, the long time voice of the Little Brown Jug, will join the Meadowlands' Jason Settlemoir and Raceway at Western Fair District's Greg Gangle on COSA TV's Facebook Live show Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. (ET). Huston, who retired from his full-time announcing duties at The Meadows in Pittsburgh this past October, has enjoyed many memorable moments from calling harness racing's premier pacing event over the past 52 years. He will talk Little Brown Jug memories and much more on the show. Settlemoir and Gangle are anxiously awaiting the return of racing to their respective venues and will join Huston along with host Greg Blanchard to discuss that and much more. Viewers will once again have the chance to ask questions and can do so ahead of time by submitting them through COSA's Facebook Page. They can also take part in the night's poll question and trivia where one winner will be drawn for a $25 COSA gift card. The Facebook Live show will be aired on both the COSA Facebook page and on the Standardbred Canada website. Cosa TV

CHARLOTTETOWN (P.E.I.) - Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park will resume hosting live harness racing, but without on track customers, on Thursday June 4. The safety and well-being of Islanders is our top priority. In consultation with the PEI Harness Racing Industry Association, public health officials and other stakeholders, Red Shores has developed a detailed plan to support the return of live standardbred horse racing on Prince Edward Island. This plan incorporates government and public health guidelines in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. No fans or spectators will be allowed on the Red Shores property during live racing events until further notice. Fans from across North America will be able to watch and wager from the safety of their homes through the Red Shores Race Day broadcast and online betting platforms such as Post time on June 4 will be 6 p.m. Red Shores and the PEI Harness Racing Industry will be enforcing COVID-19 restrictions for all race participants, including physical distancing and the use of personal protective equipment. The full list of policies and procedures, including protocols for the industry to follow while preparing for and conducting live racing, will be made available at Qualifying dates will be released soon. For further information contact: David MacKenzie Blaine MacPherson General Manager Chairman Red Shores PEI Harness Racing Industry Association  

The busiest time of the year is upon harness racing Woodmere Farms operator Bruce Wood in what will soon be an eight-year journey since taking over the farm from his late father. Hailing from Marshfield, Wally Wood started Woodmere Farms in the 1970s, expanding from his dairy operation. When Wally died in July 2012, Bruce stepped up to the plate to make sure the Woodmere name lived on. “I was a big fan of harness racing in my high school years but really didn’t have any involvement at Woodmere until Wally and I bought Wildride Hanover in 2011,” Wood said. “Probably all along, both Wally and I thought that my brother-in-law, David Cook, would continue on with horses at Woodmere. Unfortunately, he passed away before Wally. At that time, I knew that for Woodmere to have a fair shot, there needed to be an investment in genetics. So, we did that and were able to see a return on investment.” This time of year is peak season for Wood, both at Woodmere Farms and his dairy operation, East River Farms. With foals being born, mares to be pregnancy checked for next season and shipments to be sent to mares breeding to Woodmere stallions, Wood said it is a balancing act operating two busy farms at the same time. “With mares, foals, yearlings and stallions we’ll peak at about 50 horses very soon. Approximately 15 of those are mares that come to Woodmere for the breeding season. Typical breeding days consist of collecting stallions and taking care of semen ship outs. Then check on farm mares to take care of their repro needs, which may mean breeding, pregnancy checks or scheduling their next check.” Wood took over an established name in Maritime racing but has made significant changes to the group of horses at the farm with new stallions like Rollwithitharry, Stonebridge Terror and Arthur Blue Chip, as well as a number of talented well-bred race mares. “We have a set criteria and our new mares have to check most of the boxes,” Wood said. “We have a price point that we stick to. We enjoy finding these mares on the back end of their racing careers, racing in claimers.” Wood is the first chairman of the newly formed P.E.I. Standardbred Breeders’ Association and is happy with the work that has been done so far. “There was much to do in the first few months, and we had to prioritize,” Wood said. “We have a great diverse committee that’s engaged with the challenges that lie ahead. (We hope to build) a framework that’s inviting to both new and experienced breeders – a foundation that showcases sustainability and a return on investment in the breeding industry that has a positive economic impact and leaves a green footprint here on P.E.I.” The 2019 Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale saw the best ever performance from a consignor, as Woodmere sold 11 for a gross of $202,950, representing an unbelievable average of $18,450. The two least expensive Woodmere yearlings sold for well over the sale’s average at $13,000 each. “We credit the success to the confidence that buyers have in our horses,” Wood said. “We were fortunate enough to have yearlings by diverse stallions that were in demand and to be selling first foals out of a couple of new mares. Making choices for a sale two years in advance can be a challenge that can make or break a breeding farm. Everything lined up well for us in 2019.” Through all the long hours and investments that may or may not payoff, why does Wood keep breeding horses? “We enjoy following all the yearlings that have left the farm and watching them mature into racehorses. With that comes connections to the new owners and trainers. We also enjoy engaging the public and hoping that they can find the same enjoyment from the horses and harness racing that we have found.” By Nicholas Oakes Reprinted with permission of The Journal Pioneer

In this harness racing Issue: Hear from 20 of Canada's leading trainers as they discuss 99 of the brightest, up-and-coming, two-year-old Standardbreds in Canada, by as many as 35 of North America's top sires!  Read what the people who run three of Canada's biggest stallion farms had to say about breeding, racing, and this year's yearling sales, and how all are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Enter the 1st ever COSA Fantasy Stable Contest and the 7th annual TROT Magazine Fantasy Stable Contest. Vote on our special interactive poll question and view the video of the Canadian Standardbred that went viral on Facebook with almost 2,000,000 views worldwide!  Click on the cover (Above) or the link button below and enjoy our special 76 page digital production, designed especially for you, as you stay home and do your part in making our world a safer place. Click Here For The Twos In Training Report Standardbred Canada

KITCHENER, ON — Question: What are harness racing fans hungry for right now? Answer: The opportunity to play, win and compete against fellow horse racing enthusiasts. Barncat Trivia is a scrappy game connecting harness racing fans with fun, all-original questions delivered in four exciting live virtual events. This interactive, online game is free to play and designed to challenge players’ harness racing knowledge. Each live virtual event is 60 minutes and features 60 multiple-choice questions in three rounds. Up to 1,000 players can log into the sleek game portal each week to compete against participants from across the globe. Dynamic scoring awards the highest points to players who answer correctly in the shortest amount of time. Scores are tallied and stats are revealed in real time and they carry over seamlessly to the next week’s game. An online show corresponds with each trivia event featuring a game host and expert commentators. Barncat Trivia begins at 7:00 p.m. EST on May 8, 15, 22 and 29. Each game and live show can be accessed at The website also provides an email notification service to remind players of game times one day in advance and one hour in advance. The top overall scorer of the four-week tournament wins a $100 gift card for the vendor of their choice. Prizes of $25.99 in game play will be awarded for the mobile apps Catch Driver and Off And Pacing. These prizes will be awarded on social media and during game nights. 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 Barncat Trivia is produced by True Nature Communications Inc., a boutique marketing agency servicing several clients within the harness racing community. The agency is co-owned by Scott McNair and Kelly Spencer. Website: Explainer Video: Tournament Hashtags: #barncattrivia #playbarncat Facebook: @barncattrivia Twitter: @barncattrivia Contact: Kelly Spencer

ELORA – With horse racing shut down in Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grand River Raceway has no choice but to wait for government go-ahead before starting up for the season. Jamie Martin, director of operations at the raceway, is hopeful racing can start in late spring or early summer – but it won’t look the same as it has in the past. “We’re expecting to be open on June 3, but I think we’re probably a couple weeks away from hearing something more definitive,” he said in a phone interview on April 23. He is hopeful racing will resume sometime in June – if not, July. However, that doesn’t mean everyone will be able to flood the raceway to enjoy live horse racing. “We know it would be without spectators so we would just be providing … essential staff on site to conduct the races,” he said. What those changes look like are not yet clear, as raceways in Ontario wait for guidance from the province. “It could be a range from taking everybody’s temperature as they enter the restricted area,” Martin indicated, saying the race paddock is “a pretty hectic place on a race night. “You’ve got 80 horses in there and then people with each horse, so we’re going to have to implement some procedures.” He added, “We may have to drag the races out so there’s more time between races,” allowing the horses and caregivers time to move in and out of the paddock area while maintaining separation. The stringent requirements will need to be in place before racing begins, because, “first and foremost we need to protect the safety for the people that are working in there and we will do that,” Martin said. While the harness racing industry is waiting to start up again, Ontario Racing has made $1,000 a month available in April and May for each eligible horse aged three and up that was in training. “That’s taking the prize money that would have been paid out in those months and it’s sort of diverting it to all the horse owners and trainers to help them,” Martin explained. “It doesn’t cover the cost, but to help them maintain their horses in training and help look after them.” (For more information about eligibility requirements and submitting an application visit Though spectators will not be permitted when racing initially starts, betting will still take place. Many racetracks, like the Grand River Raceway, televise races and bettors will be able to do so remotely. “And actually, in our case, probably about 50% of the betting on our races actually occurs from the United States,” said Martin. Racing needs to start up again and get wagering going to help support the prize money and the stables and horses competing, he added. Another challenge for the Grand River Raceway is a halt in its construction process. The raceway had begun a $6-million renovation to add a 17,000-square-foot addition to the Lighthouse Restaurant building, doubling the banquet and kitchen space at the raceway and offering additional office space and boardrooms. The addition was scheduled for completion in June, prior to the start of the racing season, but now Martin is hoping for a an early summer completion. As for annual traditions like the Weiner Dog races in July and Industry Day in August, Martin said the raceway is waiting to make a decision until more is known. “We’re just sort of waiting to hear what we’re going to be permitted to do and not permitted to do,” he said. By Jaime Myslik Reprinted with permission of THe Wellington Advertiser

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