Day At The Track
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June 2, 2020 -- COSA TV returns to the Facebook Live platform again on Wednesday night with Hall of Fame harness racing driver Wally Hennessey and one of Canada's top trainers, Tony O'Sullivan, joining as special guests. Hennessey was to appear on an earlier broadcast from his home in South Florida but was a late scratch due to internet issues that hit his neighborhood that night. The Prince Edward Island native has since relocated to his summer base in Tioga, New York, and was in the midst of another incredible season before the onset of COVID-19. O'Sullivan is a New Zealand native who moved to the United States in the mid-90's before eventually finding his way to Canada and opening up his own public stable in 2004. Since then, he has consistently been one of the nation's leading conditioners and his been a fixture both locally and on the Grand Circuit. The pair will join host Greg Blanchard on the broadcast which starts at 7:30 p.m. The show can be seen on both the COSA Facebook channel and on the Standardbred Canada website.   Greg Blanchard

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' Farmgames.com - 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

May 23, 2020 -- The return of live harness racing in Ontario will be the topic of discussion during this Sunday night's Facebook Live edition of COSA TV. Grand River Raceway's Director of Operations Jamie Martin will be part of the lineup as well as Clinton Raceway's GM Ian Fleming who also serves as race secretary for several provincial racetracks from Clinton's centralized race office. Rounding out the guests will be Mark Horner who operates one of the largest stables in Southwestern Ontario and is a past chair of Standardbred Canada. The trio will join host Greg Blanchard beginning at 7:30 p.m. As always, questions can be submitted ahead of time or during the show by visiting the COSA TV Facebook Page. The show will also be aired on the Standardbred Canada website. Greg Blanchard Central Ontario Standardbred Association

May 19, 2020 - A double Hall of Fame driver, a trainer of multiple world class pacers and one of the top female drivers in harness racing will be the special guests of COSA TV’s Facebook Live show this Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Prince Edward Island native Wally Hennessey is one of the latest additions to harness racing’s 10,000-win club and has a spot in both the U.S. and Canadian Horse Racing Halls Of Fame. Wally Hennessey – courtesy Dave Landry Native Islander, Dr. Ian Moore, has conditioned some of the best pacers in the sport in recent years including Little Brown Jug champion Shadow Play and multiple stakes winners State Treasurer and Percy Blue Chip, just to name a few. Ian Moore – courtesy Mario Glynn Natasha Day is a native of Australia who now calls Ontario home. She has worked for Canada’s perennial leading trainer Richard Moreau for several seasons and has become a driving regular at many of Ontario’s Signature race tracks. The trio will join host Greg Blanchard on the broadcast. Viewers can submit questions ahead of time or during the show on the COSA Facebook Page and can also tune in via Standardbred Canada’s website. Greg Blanchard

May 15, 2020 -- This was to the be the weekend of the Confederation Cup final at Flamboro Downs but due to COVID-19 the race has been pushed back to later in the harness racing season. To mark the event, COSA TV will present a Confederation Cup edition of its Facebook Live show this Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. Ken Warkentin and Ken Middleton - two of the best announcers in the business, who started their careers at Flamboro Downs - will join Greg Blanchard for the broadcast. The Confederation Cup was the brainchild of the legendary Charles Juravinski who built the half-mile oval in the mid 1970's and many of harness racing's greatest pacers have competed in that time. Governor Skipper, driven by John Chapman, was the winner of the inaugural edition in 1977. Sunday's show will also feature a virtual Camluck Classic race featuring eight of the greatest past champions. The Farm Games team, headed by Ryan Clements, has developed the simulated race which will be aired live during the broadcast. The star studded field will include: Cam Fella - Pat Crowe Matts Scooter - Mike Lachance Somebeachsomewhere - Paul MacDonell Art Major - John Campbell American Ideal - Mark MacDonald Abercrombie - Glen Garnsey On The Road Again - Buddy Gilmour Jate Lobell - Mark Omara Viewers can submit questions ahead of time or during the show on the COSA TV Facebook page where they will also have the chance to play along with virtual trivia and take part in poll questions. In addition to the COSA TV Facebook page, the show can be seen by visiting the Standardbred Canada website. Greg Blanchard

London, May 12, 2020 -- A pair of prominent Ontario harness racing owners will be the special guests of COSA TV’s Facebook Live broadcast Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Adriano Sorella, owner of top class pacers Jimmy Freight and Double A Mint in recent years, will join RAW Equine’s Rob Giles whose operation over the years has boasted standout performers such as Metro Pace winner Rover Hanover, Sunfire Blue Chip and The Joy Luck Club to name a few. The pair will be joined by Illinois owner Jeff Davis who has recently teamed up with Sorella to unveil a new online horse auction and sales platform called Hoofbid. They will discuss the new initiative along with other projects during the broadcast. As always, viewers will have a chance to ask questions, take part in the weekly poll question and play along with racing related trivia. The show will be aired on the COSA Facebook page as well as the Standardbred Canada website. Greg Blanchard

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 www.cosaonline.com. Greg Blanchard  

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 www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard

April 25, 2020 - COSA TV will host another Facebook Live broadcast on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. (ET) (11.30 am Monday NZ time) featuring three harness racing fixtures of the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown series of races. Gary Seibel and Dave Brower have teamed up for CBS's network coverage of The Hambletonian for the past number of years while Moira Fanning, long time Director of Publicity, has been getting settled into her new role as the C.O.O. of the Hambletonian Society which administers the Hambletonian, Breeders Crown and many other high profile stakes races. The trio will join Greg Blanchard to discuss the history of both races while also looking back at some of the most memorable moments over the years. Viewers will be able to comment and ask questions of the guests during the show and take part in a new poll question along with trivia. The show will be available on the COSA Facebook page as well as Standardbred Canada's website. Central Ontario Standardbred Association GREG BLANCHARD

April 17, 2020 -- Three of the most recognized faces in Canadian harness racing will join Greg Blanchard this Sunday night for another COSA TV Facebook Live broadcast beginning at 7:30 p.m. (ET). Chad Rozema, Jason Portuondo and Mark McKelvie are all seasoned broadcasters with the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and are lifelong fans of the sport. They will recount some of their most memorable races and moments in the business. RocknRoll Hanover's Metro Pace win, McWicked's victory in the Canadian Pacing Derby and Wiggle It Jiggle It's memorable Little Brown Jug score are just some of the races that the group will revisit. An added component to this week's show will be harness racing trivia. Viewers will have a chance to win a COSA gift card by answering in the comments section where they can also ask questions. The show will be aired live on the COSA Facebook page as well as the Standardbred Canada website. GREG BLANCHARD

April 14, 2020 -- What does a Canuck, an Aussie and Kiwi all have in common? They will all be part of COSA TV's next Facebook Live broadcast this Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. (ET) which is Thursday at 11:30am NZ time and 9:30am for Australia. Doug McNair, Dexter Dunn and Andrew McCarthy will join Greg Blanchard on the show to discuss the path they have each taken to become three of the sport's elite harness racing reinsmen. McNair, who was the youngest driver to reach 1,000 wins back in 2010, added an O'Brien Award as Canada's Driver Of The Year in 2017. Australian native Andrew McCarthy has slowly worked his way up the North American standings over the last 12 years and is coming off a career-best season for wins and purse money. Dunn, in his first full season of driving since moving from New Zealand in 2019, guided the winners of more than $12.6 million and was selected as the HTA's Driver Of The Year in the U.S. Fans can submit questions in advance of the show or during the Facebook Live broadcast which will be shown on COSA's Facebook page and on the Standardbred Canada website.   Greg Blanchard  

COSA TV will be hosting another Facebook Live broadcast this Sunday night featuring special harness racing guests David Miller, Mark MacDonald and Blake MacIntosh. Miller is the second-highest money-winning driver in history with $242 million to his credit and sits fifth by wins with 12,915 trips to the winner's circle. MacDonald, a two-time O'Brien Award winner as Canada's Driver Of The Year, is poised to join the $100 million club. MacIntosh operates a high-end stable that splits its time between Ontario and New York. He is coming off a career-best season in 2019 win 102 wins and almost $2.8 million in earnings. MacDonald and MacIntosh have ties which go back to their early days at Windsor Raceway while Miller and MacIntosh teamed up to win the 2018 Little Brown Jug with Courtly Choice. Sunday's show will air live at 7:30 p.m. on the Facebook platform which gives fans the chance to interact with the guests and leave comments or questions. For more information visit COSA’s Facebook page or their website at www.cosaonline.com. Greg Blanchard

London, Ontario: The Raceway at Western Fair District is proud to be hosting its third annual ‘Veterans’ Classic’ night this Friday - a special night of horse racing and celebration at the Western Fair District which honours our military. The event has continued to grow and this year will feature over 30 military displays as well as a barbecue from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Free “Lest We Forget” bracelets will be given out to the first 200 people to visit the military displays which will be set up in the East Annex of the grandstand. The evening will also include a military opening ceremony, the 1st Hussars Cavalry skill at arms demo along with a Red Knight flyover. These events will be followed by the closing ceremonies and the start of live racing where the Raceway will be honouring the military between races. Pipe bands will be on hand through-out the evening to entertain everyone. The event will support the Poppy Fund and Parkwood Veterans through fundraising efforts. Those attending are encouraged to wear red to honour our military. Doors will open on Friday night at 4:30 p.m. The opening ceremonies will follow at 5:00 p.m. with live racing beginning at 6:55 p.m. For complete details, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. by Greg Blanchard, for The Raceway    

London, ON - September 25, 2019 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District is now less than two weeks away from kicking off its 2019/20 live harness racing season and one of those anxiously awaiting its return is defending driving champion Scott Coulter. The Brantford resident has long been one of the most recognizable figures on Ontario's ''Signature' Track circuit and has amassed impressive career totals that include 5,000-plus wins and more than $34 million in purse earnings. In 2018, Coulter captured his first driving title at The Raceway and he is anxious to get back at it when racing resumes at the London oval on Friday, October 4th. "I've had a great summer and looking forward to the fall," Coulter said. "I wasn't as hard on myself or the roads as I didn't take many trips to Georgian Downs. I took a different approach with less work and more family time. That being said I'm fresh for the fall and ready to go." Coulter attributes much of the success he has had in London in recent years to the terrific support he received from owners and trainers. "I've had a lot of luck racing at London over the years," said the veteran driver. "I have a lot of great clients and horsepower always helps. I'm looking forward to having more success." Coulter says he quickly noticed the High Definition upgrade which was collectively implemented at racetracks across Ontario this season - upgrades that were made possible through the OR/OLG capital funding platform. "I can't think of any sport that warrants HD more than harness racing," Coulter said. "I've seen the positive effects thus far at Grand River, Flamboro and Georgian Downs. It's a great initiative and I think all the horse people thoroughly enjoy the new technology." The Raceway will kick off live racing beginning on Friday (Oct. 1). The weekly fall schedule features racing every Monday and Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. and Friday nights at 6:55 p.m. The popular wagering menu will once again feature a trio of guaranteed wagers. The Pick-3 will feature a $2,500 guarantee with a new $.60 cent minimum, while a pair of $5,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pools and a pair of Super Hi-5 wagers will be offered - all 15 percent takeout wagers. The Super Hi-5 races will be contested at the distance of one and one-sixteenth miles. Customers can also experience the newly renovated Top Of The Fair restaurant. To celebrate, The Raceway is offering a 'Two Can Dine For $59.99' promotion during the entire month of October." To make reservations at the Top Of The Fair, email topofthefair@westernfairdistrict.com or call 519-438-7203 (Ext. 252). For complete details, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. by Greg Blanchard, for The Raceway  

Elora, ON, July 31, 2019 -- The highly anticipated Industry Day program is set for this Monday afternoon at Elora's Grand River Raceway and for those who can't make it out to the track, the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) will present the $157,000 Battle Of The Belles and $239,000 Battle Of Waterloo on Facebook Live. The one-hour broadcast produced by CUJO Entertainment will be aired on the Grand River Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Raceway at Western Fair District and Harness Racing Update (HRU) Facebook pages. It will also be shown on the Standardbred Canada website as well as the CUJO Entertainment Twitter page. Greg Blanchard, Mark McKelvie and Jaimi MacDonald will host the action. The show will include a feature on Industry Day which has become one of the most important dates on the Ontario racing calendar. The Facebook Live broadcast is the last in a series of four shows this season sponsored by COSA which also included the Confederation Cup, Camluck Classic and Legends Day programs. Monday's 11-race program boasts a strong undercard featuring Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Fans are reminded of the special first race post time of 12:30 p.m. From the Central Ontario Standardbred Association ‚Äč 

London, June 6, 2019 - The Raceway at Western Fair District recently wrapped up its 2018-19 live racing season and with that some personnel changes have been announced. Director of Racing, Greg Blanchard, will be taking on a new role with the Western Fair Association as Director of Marketing and Communications. Greg Gangle now takes on the role of Raceway Manager under new Director of Racing and Grandstand Operations, Rob Lumsden. Gangle has been with The Raceway for three seasons, serving as Assistant Racing Manager during that time. Prior to that, he had spent seven years at the Woodbine Entertainment Group in both the media communications department and as part of the broadcast team. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity. Working with Greg Blanchard and our team over the past few years has helped grow my skill set and develop into this role. I'm thankful to the entire organization for the opportunity and will embrace the challenge ahead," said Gangle. Lumsden has been with the Western Fair Association for 17 years in various roles including Director of Operations, Director of Shows and Events, and Sports Centre Facility Manager. "I am excited to take on this new challenge and am looking forward to working with Greg and the team as well as our local horse people," said Lumsden. "The Raceway has a long tradition and is a very important part of the provincial racing industry and to our association. We're committed to maintaining that." Blanchard will continue to assist the Raceway team in dealing with industry associations and on strategic initiatives. "I am looking forward to the challenge of a new role with the Association," he said. "This provides a great opportunity for Greg and I know that between himself and Rob the Raceway will be in excellent hands from both an operational and facilities standpoint. We are excited about the future of not only The Raceway but the Western Fair District as a whole." A couple of large projects are already underway at The Raceway including a complete upgrade of the broadcast department to HD as well as a major facelift at the Top Of The Fair restaurant. Fans will notice the changes when racing resumes at the London oval on Friday, October 4th.   Greg Blanchard

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