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TORONTO, March 9, 2018 - Just a month after capturing his fifth consecutive O'Brien Award, harness racing trainer Richard Moreau reached an impressive career milestone on Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Moreau, 53, entered Friday's card just $10,120 shy of $50 million in career earnings with five students set to compete. Nine-year-old pacing mare Barockey started the night off in style for Team Moreau with a victory in the $18,000 third-race to pull Moreau to within $1,120 of the milestone. After the next two Moreau trainees missed earning a cheque, seven-year-old pacing mare Bad Night Mare earned $1,440 with a fourth-place finish in the $18,000 ninth-race to push her conditioner over the career milestone. Five-year-old pacing mare Every Time was the final Moreau trainee to compete Friday and she earned $800 with a fourth-place finish to start the march towards $100 million. Moreau's stable has earned over $2 million in eight consecutive seasons, while also topping $1 million in every year since 2000. The Puslinch, Ontario resident has also led all Woodbine Circuit trainers in wins in each of the last three seasons. The five-time O'Brien Award winner has topped 200 wins in seven of the last eight seasons. Moreau's career-best season for wins and earnings came in 2012 when his trainees posted 344 wins and earned $3.6 million. The Moreau barn has been as consistent as any operation in the sport and to no surprise the trend has continued in 2018. Woodbine's leading trainer has seen his students accumulate more than $800,000 in earnings in just over two months of racing. Woodbine Entertainment would like to congratulate Richard Moreau on surpassing $50 million in career earnings. Mark McKelvie

MILTON, February 13, 2018 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to remind all harness racing owners and trainers that time is quickly running out to submit nominations for this year's stakes. Nominations for all Woodbine major stakes in 2018 are due this Thursday (February 15). The 2018 Woodbine Stakes program features purses exceeding $10 million and is headlined by the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup (three-year-old pacers) on Saturday, June 16. Other notable dates include the $615,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot on September 1, $685,000 Canadian Trotting Classic on September 15 and $815,000 Metro Pace on September 23. The entire 2018 stakes schedule is available by clicking here. Conditions and guidelines for all Woodbine stakes can be found in the 2018 Stakes Booklet. Nominations can be paid online by clicking here. A sustaining payment is also due Thursday for the 2018 Simcoe Stakes and SBOA Stakes (foals of 2015). A reminder regarding these sustaining payments can be viewed by clicking here. Woodbine continues to handle stakes administration duties for Ontario Racetracks. Nominations close Thursday for the Confederation Cup (Flamboro Downs), Battle of Waterloo/Belles (Grand River Raceway), Balanced Image/Dream Of Glory (Hanover Raceway) and Kin Pace (Clinton Raceway). Nominations to all of these events are made payable to Woodbine Entertainment. If sending nominations or sustaining payments by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than February 15, 2018 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. Mark McKelvie        

TORONTO, February 12, 2018 - Just a single ticket was able to correctly hit the harness racing Jackpot Hi-5 in Monday's final race at Woodbine Racetrack for a score of $70,141.11 (USD). Seven-year-old gelding Jefferson Tare and driver James MacDonald came through in Monday's final race, an $8,000 to $10,000 claiming event for pacers, at odds of 5/2. The winner was followed across the wire by a quartet of longshots, including a 99-1 shot in third, to round out the top-five finishers. Race-favourite Mybrothergeorge (even-money) finished ninth. Only one Hi-5 ticket wagered Monday had the combination of 6-2-8-3-10 to takedown the entire Jackpot of $70,141.11 (USD). The winning ticket cost $4,300.80 (USD) and was wagered by a customer in the Arlington Hub. The ticket was constructed as follows: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9/1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10/ALL/ALL/ALL Here are the top-five finishers from Monday's Jackpot Hi-5 race. 1st: #6 Jefferson Tare (James MacDonald) 5/2 2nd: #2 HP Black Shadow (Sylvain Filion) 17/1 3rd: #8 Casimir Nunzio (Richard Simard) 99/1 4th: #3 Clever Thing (Bob McClure) 13/1 5th: #10 Mcsinner Man (Jonathan Drury) 89/1 The carryover entering Monday evening's card was $68,165.65 and horseplayers wagered $23,778 into the Jackpot Hi-5 pool. The Jackpot Hi-5 wager requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order. The wager features a $0.20 minimum and a low takeout of 15 per cent. The Hi-5 will now start from scratch on Thursday evening's card of racing. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Woodbine qualifiers moved to Friday Woodbine Racetrack would like to inform all horsepeople of a date change for this week’s qualifying session. Due to mild temperatures in the forecast for Thursday, this week’s qualifiers at Woodbine have been moved to Friday (February 16) at 4 p.m. The entry box for Friday’s qualifiers will still close on Wednesday morning (February 14) at 10:30 a.m. Mark McKelvie        

TORONTO, February 2, 2018 - Brooms were needed Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack, as JK Pridenjoy and Circle The Page completed sweeps of the harness racing Snowshoe and Blizzard Series. Each series finale featured a field of 10 with the Snowshoe pacers battling for $41,400 and the pacing ladies in the Blizzard going for $31,900. Nick Surick trainee JK Pridenjoy gained a little redemption for a tenth-place finish in last month's Valedictory Series by winning Friday's Snowshoe in 1:54.4. Driven by Doug McNair, JK Pridenjoy charged out to grab the early lead and posted an opening-panel of :27. Winless pacer Gerardo, who came in off back-to-back runner-up finishes and was the public's choice, was parked around the first turn and had to work to secure the lead before posting a half of :56.3. Artofficial Flavor came first up in the third-quarter from fifth to confront Gerardo. The public's choice led by a neck at three-quarters in 1:25.4, while JK Pridenjoy was behind the leader at the rail. In the stretch, McNair was able to angle JK Pridenjoy off the pylons and into some open room. The Surick trainee would power by rivals and come through to win by half a length over a rallying Abbeydorney. Artofficial Flavor finished third, while In Spades got fourth over Gerardo. A four-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven, JK Pridenjoy is now four for five this season to bring his career win total to six. The Surick trainee has quickly banked $43,300 this season to raise his career earnings to $75,367. Owned by JL Benson Stables Inc, JK Pridenjoy's trip to Woodbine was successful on multiple fronts, as the four-year-old banked $37,700 over three-weeks and lowered his lifetime best to 1:52.4 with his second-round victory. A $2 win ticket on JK Pridenjoy returned $6. JK Pridenjoy Circle The Page fought off Bettim Jackie to complete a sweep of the Blizzard. Driven by Jonathan Drury, Circle The Page got away fifth and came first-up in the second-quarter. Bettim Jackie carried the lead by the quarter in :27 and the half in :57.1 before surrendering the lead to the eventual winner. After reaching three-quarters in 1:25.4, Circle The Page led into the lane and would have to dig in to fight off a gritty Bettim Jackie to win by a neck in 1:54.4. Katies Gal finished third, while Big Chute was fourth. A daughter of Real Artist, Circle The Page was shipped up to Woodbine from The Meadows and by regular trainer and co-owner John Sullivan to local trainer Victor Puddy. The four-year-old pacing mare is now three for three at Woodbine and four for four in 2018. Owned by Sullivan and Michael Marocco, Circle The Page has now banked $40,862 this season to bring her career earnings to $83,194. Friday's victory was the eighth overall for the four-year-old, who has been one of the hottest pacers in the sport this winter. Circle The Page has now won five of her last six starts and hasn't finished outside the top-two in 11 consecutive starts. A $2 win ticket on Circle The Page returned $4.40. For full results click on the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Circle The Page The Snowshoe and Blizzard Series were open to three and four-year-old pacers that were non-winners of two-races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2017. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, February 1, 2018 - After two-weeks of competitive and intriguing harness racing action, the Snowshoe and Blizzard Series finals will take place this Friday (February 2) at Woodbine Racetrack. Each final will feature a field of 10 with the Snowshoe (3 and 4-year-old pacers) going for a purse of $41,400 and the Blizzard (3 and 4-year-old pacing fillies and mares) for a purse of $39,400. Both series were open to three and four-year-old pacers who were non-winners of two-races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2017. This year's Snowshoe Series has generated good buzz through the opening two-weeks, as a total of 32 pacers competed in the preliminary legs. The large turnout made for great racing during the preliminary legs with top results necessary to qualify for the final. JK Pridenjoy will be seeking a series sweep for trainer Nick Surick. The four-year-old gelding built off his round one victory by capturing his second leg division in a career-best of 1:52.4. The second leg victory was notable for JK Pridenjoy, as he defeated a pair of first-leg winners (Burn Out Hanover, Tremendous Play) to boost his record to a solid three for four in 2018. JK Pridenjoy will be competing in his second Woodbine Winter Series final of the meet. The Surick trainee raced in the Valedictory on Boxing Day and left hard from post-ten, ultimately fading to finish tenth. The son of Rock N Roll Heaven will be looking for a little redemption and will start from post-seven with driver Doug McNair. Friday's final will feature five other starters who won a preliminary leg division. Burn Out Hanover (PP4, Jody Jamieson), Tremendous Play (PP6, Mario Baillargeon) and Abbeydorney (PP8, James MacDonald) were victorious in round one, while Artofficial Flavor (PP2, Bob McClure) and Gillys Boy (PP5, Sylvain Filion) visited the winner's circle in round two. Burn Out Hanover is one of two three-year-olds in the final. The Jack Darling trainee had a four-race win streak snapped when he finished fifth in his second leg division. The other sophomore in the field is Gerardo (PP3, Louis Philippe Roy), who finished second in both his first and second leg divisions. The Richard Moreau trainee is winless in 11 outings, but has hit the board in seven of those starts. Completing the field is Star Clipper (PP1, Ed Hensley), In Spades (PP9, Trevor Henry) and Casimir Quasimodo (PP10, Jonathan Drury). One of the notable past champion's of the Snowshoe Series is Modern Legend, who won the 2012 edition. The Dave Drew trainee went on to win the 2014 Canadian Pacing Derby and finished his career with $1 million in earnings. The Snowshoe Series final is carded as Race 7 on Friday's card. A series sweep is also a possibility in the Blizzard final, as Circle The Page will look to go three for three at Woodbine. The four-year-old pacing mare was sent up from the Meadows by co-owner John Sullivan to trainer Victor Puddy to compete in the Winter Series. Circle The Page arrived at Woodbine on a nice roll and now enters the Blizzard final having won four of her last five starts, while also finishing first or second in 10 straight outings. Jonathan Drury will again sit behind the daughter of Real Artist, who last week lowered her career-mark to 1:52.4. Eric Adams trainee Franschoek (PP10, Mike Saftic) and Moreau student Bettim Jackie (PP3, Louis Philippe Roy) were also victorious during the preliminary rounds. Four-year-old Franschoek, who won a first leg division, nearly went all the way in her second round split, but just couldn't hold off Circle The Page and lost by a neck. Bettim Jackie is one of four sophomores in the Blizzard Series final. She impressively came first up to win her second leg division in a career-best 1:53.2. The Blizzard Series final is carded as Race 5. Friday evening's 10-race card gets underway at 7:10 p.m. and a free program can be downloaded by clicking here. Below are the full fields for the Snowshoe and Blizzard Series finals. $41,400 Snowshoe Series (Race 7) 1. Star Clipper by Allamerican Native (Ed Hensley/Renaldo Morales) 15-1 2. Artofficial Flavor by Art Official (Bob McClure/Dean Nixon) 8-1 3. Gerardo by Rockin Image (Louis Philippe Roy/Richard Moreau) 3-1 4. Burn Out Hanover by Well Said (Jody Jamieson/Jack Darling) 5-1 5. Gillys Boy by Cams Card Shark (Sylvain Filion/Murray Brethour) 8-1 6. Tremendous Play by Shadow Play  (Mario Baillargeon/Ben Baillargeon) 6-1 7. JK Pridenjoy by Rock N roll Heaven (Doug McNair/Nick Surick) 7-2 8. Abbeydorney by Rock N roll Heaven (James MacDonald/Scott Friend) 12-1 9. In Spades by Bettor's Delight (Trevor Henry/Chad Milner) 12-1 10. Casimir Quasimodo by Astronomical (Jonathan Drury/Kody Massey) 15-1 AE: My Teen Idol  by Mr Big (Chris Christoforou/Rod Boyd) 15-1   $39,400 Blizzard Series (Race 5) 1. Glancewithme by Art Major (Trevor Henry/Mike Bishop) 8-1 2. The Time To Win by Western Ideal (Jody Jamieson/Andy Gardner) 15-1 3. Bettim Jackie by Andrecli Hanover (Louis Philippe Roy/Richard Moreau) 3-1 4. Classy Chris by Art Major (Sylvain Filion/Murray Brethour) 12-1 5. Promise Blue Chip by Rock N Roll Heaven (Phil Hudon/Amy MacDonald) 15-1 6. Katies Gal by Camluck (Doug McNair/Ted MacDonnell) 8-1 7. Village Jamie  by Mach Three (Michael Whelan/Corey Giles) 10-1 8. Circle The Page by Real Artist  (Jonathan Drury/Victor Puddy) 5-2 9. Big Chute by Mach Three (James MacDonald/Murray Brethour) 8-1 10. Franschoek by Bettor's Delight (Mike Saftic/Eric Adams) 6-1 AE: Manhattan Again by Dragon Again (Bob McClure/Dean Nixon) 12-1 Mark McKelvie    

TORONTO, January 26, 2018 - Winter Series harness racing action rolled on Friday evening at Woodbine Racetrack with the second leg of the Snowshoe Series. After four divisions in round one, a trio of $17,000 divisions were contested Friday in the second-week of the three-week event. The opening division of the evening saw three of last week's division winners (Burn Out Hanover, JK Pridenjoy, Tremendous Play) meeting up in a field of seven. JK Pridenjoy was able to capitalize off a two-hole trip to score a career-best victory of 1:52.4. Driven by Doug McNair, JK Pridenjoy was able to follow Burn Out Hanover, who was searching for a fifth consecutive victory. The three-year-old with the big win streak posted panels :27, :56.4 and 1:25.2 to lead into the lane, but couldn't go all the way. JK Pridenjoy grabbed the lead and would hold off Gerardo to win by a neck. Tremendous Play finished third, while Burn Out Hanover was beat two lengths, finishing fifth. Owned by JL Benson Stables Inc and Bert Hochsprung, JK Pridenjoy is now three for four in 2018 for $22,600 in earnings. Friday's victory was the fifth overall for the four-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven. JK Pridenjoy paid $8.90 to win. JK Pridenjoy Artofficial Flavor took the second division in 1:53.1 for the team of Bob McClure and Dean Nixon. The four-year-old gelding circled from second to first in the second-quarter and went on to post fractions of :57.3 and 1:25.4 before kicking home in :27.2 to win by nearly two-lengths. Casimir Quasimodo finished second, while St Lads Captain was third. Owned by Dean Nixon, Jeralene Roland, Michael Gillis and Justin Nixon, Artofficial Flavor is now one for two this season. The four-year-old by Art Official went seven for 21 last season and has now banked $56,5000 lifetime. Artofficial Flavor paid $10.20 to win. Artofficial Flavor Murray Brethour trainee Gillys Boy captured the third division in 1:53. The four-year-old Cams Card Shark gelding and driver Sylvain Filion got away fourth and were on the move in the second-quarter to eventually get around a pair of rivals and grab the lead before five-eighths. Gillys Boy led by three-lengths at three-quarters in 1:24.4 and proceeded to pace home in :28.1 to win by a length and a half over Star Clipper. Montys Play was third, while Topville Chrome was fourth. Owned by Brethour, Harley Harkness and Matthew Harrison, Gillys Boy is now one for three this season to go with a three-year-old record of two wins in 14 starts. The four-year-old increased his career earnings to $38,100 with Friday's score. Gillys Boy paid $7.30 to win. Gillys Boy Three and four-year-old pacers, who were non-winners of two-races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2017, were eligible for nomination. The $41,400 series final will take place next Friday, February 2. A total of six preliminary leg winners could potential lineup in next week's final. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

MILTON, January 26, 2018 - Woodbine Entertainment today revealed its full $10 million-plus harness racing stakes lineup for 2018. The 2018 stakes schedule is highlighted by the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers on Saturday, June 16. This year's Pepsi North America Cup will be the 35th edition of Canada's richest harness race. It will also be the 12th edition held at the newly renamed Woodbine, Mohawk Park. The Pepsi North America Cup undercard will feature the $440,000 Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies, $365,000 Roses Are Red for pacing mares, $255,000 Armbro Flight for trotting mares, $250,000 Goodtimes for three-year-old trotters and $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational pace. On the heels of a successful 2017, the 2018 stakes schedule features just one notable date change. The $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot has been moved from mid-September to Labour Day Weekend. Canada's most storied trotting race joins the $615,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, Canada's oldest stakes race, on Saturday, September 1. The Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot kicks off the richest month of the season, as over $5.7 million will be up for grabs during September. The sport's top two- and three-year-old trotters will be on display on Saturday, September 15 for the $685,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, $385,000 Elegantimage, $400,000 William Wellwood Memorial and $375,000 Peaceful Way. Rookie pacers will be in the spotlight on Saturday, September 22 for the $815,000 Metro Pace and $500,000 Shes A Great Lady. The annual Grand Circuit week, featuring the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes for two- and three-year-olds, will take place from August 30 to September 8. Woodbine, MohawkPark will again play host to a leg of both the Miss Versatility and Graduate Series in 2018. The Miss Versatility for trotting mares will visit on Monday, May 21, while the Graduate Series for four-year-olds visits on Saturday, June 2 to join a card featuring the $140,000 Somebeachsomewhere for three-year-old pacers. The Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Championships and Super Finals will again be held at Woodbine, Mohawk Park in 2018. The Grassroots Finals are slated for Saturday, September 29, while the Super Finals will take place on Saturday, October 13. Nominations for all Woodbine stakes close on Thursday, February 15. Conditions and payment details can all be found in the 2018 Woodbine Stakes Booklet. Woodbine will again distribute money to all finishers in major stakes events during the 2018 season. The winner of the finals will receive the traditional 50% of the total purse, while those finishing sixth through last will take home 1% of the purse. The horses finishing second through fifth will receive 50%-24%-16%-10% of the remaining purse. Woodbine continues to administrate stakes for Ontario Racetracks, including Grand River Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway. Details of their 2018 stakes can be found in the Stakes Booklet. The entire 2018 Woodbine Stakes Schedule can be viewed by clicking here. Stakes payments for all Woodbine administrated events can be made payable to Woodbine Entertainment. Payments can be made through the Race Office, by mail or online. All Woodbine major stakes may be subject to conditions imposed by the Standardbred Racing Integrity and Accountability Initiative (SRIAI). Final details regarding SRIAI conditions will be made public once finalized. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 25, 2018 - Round two of the harness racing Blizzard Series took place Thursday evening at Woodbine Racetrack and last week's round one winners put on a great display in one of two $17,000 divisions. Circle The Page was able to edge fellow first-leg winner Franschoek by a neck in a career-best 1:52.4. Driven by Jonathan Drury, Circle The Page got away fourth in a field of seven and would eventually angle out at the half to come first up on the far turn. Franschoek shot to the lead and hung up fractions of :27, :56.1 and 1:24.3 to lead by a length turning for home. In the stretch, the two first-leg winners dueled right to the wire with Circle The Page ultimately coming out on top. Big Chute finished third, while Promise Blue Chip grabbed fourth. A four-year-old daughter of Real Artist, Circle The Page is now two for two at Woodbine and will have an opportunity for a series sweep. She is now three for three in 2018 and seven for 26 lifetime for earnings of $62,394. Circle The Page is currently racing for trainer Victor Puddy and is owned by regular trainer John Sullivan and Michael Marocco. She paid $3.90 to win. Circle The Page The evening's first division saw Bettim Jackie score a three-length victory in 1:53.2. Driven by Louis Philippe Roy, Bettim Jackie got away fifth and was moved at the half to follow the cover of Glancewithme heading into the far turn. Glancewithme cleared to the lead at three-quarters in 1:24.4 to lead into the lane. In the stretch, Bettim Jackie surged by Glancewithme in the final-eighth of the mile to score a decisive victory. Glancewithme held on for second, while Village Jamie grabbed third and The Time To Win fourth. Trained by Richard Moreau, Bettim Jackie finished fourth in last week's first-leg, but was placed eighth for interference. The three-year-old daughter of Andreoli Hanover is now one for three this year and five for 14 overall. Bettim Jackie has banked $12,500 this season to bring her career earnings to $24,046 for owners Jeff Lilley, Blair MacLauchlan and Danny Purcell. She paid $9.70 to win. Bettim Jackie Sophomore and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares, who were non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime, were eligible for nomination to the Blizzard Series. The Blizzard Series final is scheduled to take place next Friday (February 2). The top-ten earners from the preliminary legs to enter will compete in the $39,400 series finale. Live racing continues Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A trio of Snowshoe Series second-leg divisions will highlight the 11-race program. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 20, 2018 - A horseplayer wagering on Woodbine Racetrack through Western Fair hit the harness racing Jackpot Hi-5 Saturday for a $56,495.71 score. Five-year-old pacer Fancourt and driver Randy Waples struck for an 8-1 upset in Saturday's final-race at the Toronto oval. The public's top-choice Blatantly Best finished second, but was followed in the top-five by a trio of longshots, including Shadow Place at 43-1. Horseplayers wagered $14,636 into the Hi-5 pool Saturday to join a carryover total of $44,054.34. The winning horseplayer, who was playing at Western Fair, wagered just $2.40 on Saturday's Jackpot Hi-5. The actual winning ticket cost $0.80 and was structured 1,2/1,2/7,8/,7,8/5. Below is the official top-five from Saturday's Jackpot Hi-5 race. 1st: #1 Fancourt (Randy Waples) 8-1 2nd: #2 Blatantly Best (Doug McNair) 3-2 3rd: #7 Shadow Place (Chris Christoforou) 43-1 4th: #8 Rockin In Heaven (Phil Hudon) 19-1 5th: #5 Aslan (Sylvain Filion) 8-1 The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order. The wager features a $0.20 minimum wager and low 15 per cent takeout. The Hi-5 will now start from scratch on Monday's 10-race program. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 18, 2018 - Circle The Page and Franschoek drew first blood in Thursday evening's opening round of the harness racing Blizzard Series at Woodbine Racetrack. A group of 18 three and four-year-old pacing ladies were split into two $17,000 divisions. Meadows invader Circle The Page came up the inside to win the first split in 1:54.2. Sent up to Victor Puddy by co-owner John Sullivan, Circle The Page stepped out to the early lead before surrendering it to Katies Gal in the second-quarter. The new leader showed the way by three-quarters in 1:26. In the stretch, Katies Gal drifted off the pylons which allowed driver Jonathan Drury to shoot through with Circle The Page for the victory. Katies Gal held on for second, while Big Chute was third and Glancewithme was fourth. A four-year-old daughter of Real Artist, Circle The Page is now two for two in 2018 and has won three of her last four starts. Thursday's score was her sixth career score and she has now banked over $55,000 for owners Sullivan and Michael Marocco. Circle The Page paid $6.30 to win. Circle The Page The second division went to Franschoek and driver Mike Saftic. The duo were parked by the quarter, but once securing the lead, never looked back en route to a 1:55.2 score. The Eric Adams trainee posted fractions of :27, :56.2 and 1:26 before pacing home in :29.2 and holding off Village Jamie by half a length. Youvegotawaywithme finished third, while Classy Chris was fourth. A four-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight, Franschoek now has three career victories for owner Millar Farms. Thursday's score is her first in two starts this January after winning just once in 24 starts last season. Franschoek has now earned over $70,000. She paid $13.80 to win. Franschoek Non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2017 were eligible for nomination to the Blizzard. The second round of the series will take place next Thursday (January 25) with the final scheduled for Friday, February 2. Live racing continues Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack with four opening-round divisions of the Snowshoe Series highlighting a 10-race card. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

TORONTO, January 18, 2018 - Winter Series harness racing action resumes this week at Woodbine Racetrack with strong numbers for the start of the Blizzard and Snowshoe. A group of 19 three and four-year-old pacing ladies will compete in two $17,000 divisions of the Blizzard on Thursday, while 33 three and four-year-old male pacers have been separated into four $17,000 divisions of the Snowshoe for Friday. The conditions for each series are the same as Non-Winners of Two Races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2017 were eligible for nomination. The opening round of the Blizzard appears to be quite competitive with two nine-horse splits taking place. The first division is led by Meadows invader Circle The Page, who will start from post-eight with driver Jonathan Drury. A four-year-old daughter of Real Artist, Circle The Page has been sent up to trainer Victor Puddy by co-owner/trainer John Sullivan. She makes her Woodbine debut having won two of her last three starts and finishing in the top-two in eight consecutive outings. Circle The Page leads the field in career earnings with $46,494. Ted Macdonell trainee Katies Gal has the most wins in the field with six career visits to the winner's circle. The four-year-old daughter of Camluck went five for 14 in 2017 to go along with a single victory during her two-year-old season. Katies Gal will team up with Woodbine's top driver Doug McNair to start from post-six. The second division features another competitive group with Eric Adams trainee Franschoek (post-seven) listed as the 3-1 morning line choice. The four-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight leads the field in earnings with $61,930 earned her career. Her most recent victory was a career-best effort of 1:54.4, when she won a Non-Winners of Two event at Woodbine on December 22. Mike Saftic has driven Franschoek in nine of her last 10 starts and the duo have not missed a cheque, while also posting four top-three finishes. An intriguing filly to watch in the second split is three-year-old JK Lockherup, who will start from post-three. The daughter of American Ideal is making just her fifth career start and is coming in off a maiden-breaking score last Thursday at Woodbine. JK Lockherup is owned by 3 Brothers Stable and trainer Nancy Johansson, who sent the pacing filly up to Ben Baillargeon to race at Woodbine. The Bettors Delight filly made two starts south of the border in December before being sent to Baillargeon. Mario Baillargeon drove JK Lockherup to victory last week and will once again get the call in the sulky. The Blizzard Series divisions have been carded as Races 4 and 6 on Thursday's program. The Snowshoe Series will takeover on Friday evening with four divisions scheduled for the 10-race program. Friday's first division will feature a field of eight and Bruce Goit trainee Lyons William is the 9-5 morning line choice. The four-year-old son of Big Jim has won three of his last four starts coming into the Snowshoe, including a 1:55 score on January 8 at Woodbine. He came into 2018 off a three-year-old season that saw him win four of 12 starts and earn over $22,000. Lyons William will start from the rail with driver Paul MacDonell. The eight-horse second Snowshoe division should be a battle between four-year-old Artofficial Flavor and three-year-old Burn Out Hanover. Trained by Dean Nixon, Artofficial Flavor started his career last season in Iowa at fair tracks before being acquired by Nixon and company in October. The son of Art Official has won three of nine starts for Nixon, including a career-best 1:51.4 score in his Mohawk debut on October 9. Artofficial Flavor most recently finished fifth in the Valedictory Series final. He enters the Snowshoe with seven wins and $46,640 earned in 21 career starts. Jack Darling trainee Burn Out Hanover enters the Snowshoe on a three-race win streak. The three-year-old gelded son of Well Said won five of 14 starts during his rookie season and carried that momentum over to post a victory in his 2018 debut a week ago. Burn Out Hanover has hit the board in 10 of 15 starts and banked $55,310. Bob McClure will drive Artofficial Flavor (3-1), while Jody Jamieson steers Burn Out Hanover (5-2). Friday's third division will be the first to feature a field of nine, but once again the rail starter promises to be a big factor. Chad Milner trainee In Spades is the 3-1 morning line favourite and has the rail starting spot. The four-year-old gelded son of Bettors Delight has won three of his last five starts and has finished in the top-two in all five. In Spades comes into the Snowshoe with five wins, 16 top-three finishes and $51,630 earned in 26 career starts. Milner will use driver McClure behind the four-year-old for the second consecutive start. The final division of the evening will see the return of JK Pridenjoy to Woodbine for more Winter Series action. The Nick Surick trainee came to Woodbine in December to race in the Valedictory Series and posted a third and second-place finish in the preliminary legs before being roughed up in the final and finishing tenth. A four-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven, JK Pridenjoy has since made two starts at Yonkers, including a six-length score on January 8. The Surick trainee will be coming to Woodbine on short-rest, as he last raced on Monday at Yonkers. JK Pridenjoy will be driven by McNair and is the 8-5 morning line favourite. The Snowshoe Series divisions are carded as Races 1, 3, 4 and 6 on Friday's card. Both the Blizzard and Snowshoe Series will feature two preliminary legs before wrapping up with their series finals scheduled for Friday, February 2. Free programs for Friday and Saturday's cards are available by clicking here. Post time each evening is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie  

MILTON, January 15, 2018 - James MacDonald, the 2017 Harness Racing World Driving Champion, has been announced as a special guest for the upcoming Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction. The 16th annual Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction is coordinated by the Milton Chamber of Commerce and will be held on February 6 at Rattlesnake Point Golf Club. A top-five driver at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks, MacDonald represented Canada and captured the 2017 World Driving Champion this past August. The Guelph, Ontario resident is now in his 10th season of driving and has won 1,745 races and driven the winners of over $23 million. MacDonald joins an impressive list of celebrity athletes attending the event, including Hockey Hall of Fame members Yvan Cournoyer, Geraldine Heaney and Billy Smith, Toronto Maple Leaf legend Ron Ellis, NHL great Dennis Maruk and Canadian Olympic wrestler Korey Jarvis. Ken Reid of Rogers Sportsnet will host the evening's festivities. The Sports Celebrity Dinner & Auction has become one of Milton's most talked about events, raising the profile of the Milton Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Scholarship Fund. The Sports Celebrity Dinner & Auction brings together sports heroes and sports enthusiasts alike. Organized by a volunteer committee of Chamber members, the evening's program includes an autograph signing session, a cocktail reception, a gourmet meal and a silent and live auction. Bidding on the live auction items, which in past years has featured golf packages, spa packages, autographed jerseys and sports memorabilia, is one of the highlights of the evening. The festivities conclude with the celebrity athletes gathering on stage for a question and answer session led by Reid. Proceeds from the event go towards the Chamber Scholarship Fund, which helps fund post-secondary education for local high school students. Woodbine Entertainment is a proud sponsor of the Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction. Tickets are $175 and can be purchased by clicking here. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 3, 2017 - Following a brief break, live harness racing resumes Saturday evening (January 6) at Woodbine Racetrack for the first card of 2018. A new post time of 7:10 p.m. will be in effect when racing resumes on Saturday. The opening card of the 2018 season will feature 12-races and all the signature wagers of the Woodbine Standardbred product, including the $50,000 Pick-5, $50,000 Early Pick-4 and the Jackpot Hi-5. The Pick-5, which starts each evening on the first-race, became the most popular wager on the menu during 2017. The average Pick-5 pool during the month of December (15 cards) was $82,952. The Pick-5 pool topped $100,000 twice during the final month of 2017. The new season carries with it a reset for all the stats and standings. Many drivers and trainers will be looking to make an immediate dent in the standings on Saturday evening. Doug McNair, last season's leading driver, is listed in eight of Saturday's 12-races. McNair will be teaming up with leading trainer Richard Moreau for three of those races. Moreau's barn will be very active on Saturday, as they will send out 10 starters on the opening-card of 2018. The feature race for Saturday's season-opening card will be the $27,000 10th race (Non-Winners of $34,000 last five starts). A field of seven older pacers will clash in Saturday's top class, with five of the pacers (Fine Diamond, American Virgin, Jins Shark, Prescotts Hope and Nirvana Seelster) having a victory in the Woodbine Preferred on their record. Following Saturday's season-opening card, live Standardbred racing will continue each Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Woodbine. To view the overnight sheet and program proof for Saturday's card, click here. Horseplayers and fans can download free programs for each card by clicking here (Saturday's program available Thursday afternoon). Post time Saturday is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, December 26, 2017 - The 2017 Woodbine Standardbred racing season wrapped up Tuesday afternoon with a special 12-race harness racing matinee card. The finals of the Valedictory and Niagara Series highlighted the final card of 2017. An 18-day break between starts was no issue for Jazzy Image in the $34,400 Niagara Series final. The Aaron Lambert trained three-year-old pacing filly got away mid-pack with driver Trevor Henry and came first up in the third-quarter to pull to within a length turning for home. In the stretch, Jazzy Image was able to out duel the leader Cloud Diva to win by a length in 1:54.4. Purchased privately in November by Trent Stohler Stable Inc, Jazzy Image shipped up to Woodbine and captured an opening leg division of the Niagara on December 8, but did not compete in the second round on December 15. The daughter of Rockin Image is now five for 31 this season with $63,285 earned. Jazzy Image paid $7 to win. Sophomore pacing fillies, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2017, were eligible to the Niagara. Tony O'Sullivan trainee Windsun Gotham, who won a first leg division, braved the elements and came first up to win the $34,000 Valedictory final in 1:54.1. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Windsun Gotham got away mid-pack and waited patiently while things shook out up front. The O'Sullivan trainee was moved first up at the half and grinded up to the wheel of leader Brave World at three-quarters. In the stretch, Windsun Gotham powered to the lead and was able to hold off an inside charging Homey Joe to win by a neck. Better B Rolling, who was going for a series sweep, got a second-over trip and finished third. Owned by Thomas Pollack and O'Sullivan Racing Inc, Windsun Gotham is now six for 19 in 2017 after making just one start as a two-year-old. The gelded son of American Ideal pushed his career earnings to $78,122 with Tuesday's score. The O'Sullivan trainee paid $12.20 to win. Sophomore pacing colts and geldings, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2017, were eligible to the Valedictory. There was no drama on the final day when it came to the driver, trainer and owner titles for the season. Doug McNair, 27, captured his first Woodbine Entertainment driving title by leading all reinsmen in victories during 2017. The Guelph, Ontario resident finished the season with 294 wins, $5.5 million in earnings and was the top driver during the Woodbine Winter meet and Mohawk Summer meet. Louis Philippe Roy finished second in the driver standings with 275 wins. For the third consecutive season, Richard Moreau was the leading conditioner in 2017 at Woodbine and Mohawk. The Puslinch, Ontario resident won 167 races and sent out the winners of over $2.9 million this season on the Woodbine Circuit. Carmen Auciello finished second in the trainer standings with 91 wins. McNair and Moreau teamed up to win three-races on Tuesday's card. Brad Grant led all owners in victories for the second consecutive season. The Milton, Ontario resident had 60 victories during 2017 at Woodbine and Mohawk, many of which he teamed up with McNair and Moreau. Grant also led all owners in earnings, as his horses banked over $1.2 million in 2017. Grant, McNair and Moreau were recognized for their exceptional campaigns with a special presentation during Tuesday afternoon's card. Also on Tuesday, trainer Isaac Waxman picked up his 500th career victory in the afternoon's fourth-race with claiming pacer Prince Giovanni. Waxman entered the afternoon just two wins shy of the milestone and picked up a victory early in the day at Western Fair before scoring his 500th at Woodbine. Live Standardbred racing at Woodbine is now on a 10-day break. The Standardbreds will get back to action for their first card of 2018 on Saturday, January 6. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment          

TORONTO, December 22, 2017 - A long-time tradition, Woodbine Racetrack will play host to its final Boxing Day matinee of live harness racing on Tuesday (December 26). With Standardbred racing set to transition to its new year-round home at Mohawk Park in April, Tuesday's Boxing Day card at Woodbine will have a little extra meaning. The tradition of the Boxing Day matinee in Toronto dates back many years from Greenwood to Woodbine and is filled with a rich history. "It was one of the most anticipated cards each year," recalls Scott McKelvie, Woodbine Standardbred Race Secretary. "Boxing Day at the track was the place to be and the wagering and attendance numbers proved it." For many years, a lack of entertainment options on the day following Christmas allowed harness racing in the city to benefit from having its doors open. A Boxing Day memory that sticks out to McKelvie was the 1981 card at Greenwood, which featured a two-year-old named Cam Fella winning the Valedictory Series. More than 14,000 people were in attendance that day and caught a glimpse of the horse that would go on to be dubbed "The Pacing Machine". Boxing Day racing not only meant a lot to fans and horseplayers, but also those that were competing on the track. McKelvie noted that horsepeople showed plenty of enthusiasm for the Boxing Day card, knowing the large attendance and big dollars it would attract. "At one point it was our biggest day of the year and did better numbers than our biggest stakes." Wagering numbers on Boxing Day have held strong over the years, but the numbers prior to the simulcast era are impressive. Handles of over $2 million was regular for Boxing Day and that carried over to Woodbine when harness racing moved to the Rexdale oval in 1994. The Woodbine Boxing Day cards have had their fair share of top performers find the winner's circle, including millionaires D M Dilinger (1996), Our Lucky Killean (2004, 2010), Snazzy Millie (2005), Armbro Animate (2005), Tigerama (2005), Abbey Road C (2007), Chick N Tell (2008), San Pail (2008, 2009), Alexie Mattosie (2009), Voelz Hanover (2010) and Mister Herbie (2011). This year's Boxing Day card will feature a 12-race program, highlighted by the finals of the Niagara for sophomore pacing fillies (Race 5) and Valedictory Series for sophomore pacing colts and geldings (Race 9). The current versions of these series have been used as launching pads to success in four-year-old seasons and beyond by many past winners. Mares Preferred competitor Witch Dali is a notable graduate of the Niagara. The now-six-year-old entered the 2014 Niagara Series with just over $40,000 in career earnings. She proceeded to sweep the series and has since gone on to increase her career earnings to nearly $500,000. Full-fields of 10 will compete in the Niagara and Valedictory finals on Tuesday. While Tuesday's card will be the final Boxing Day matinee at Woodbine, the tradition of afternoon racing on December 26 is expected to continue when year-round Standardbred racing moves to Woodbine, Mohawk Park in April. Post time for Tuesday's Boxing Day card is 1 p.m. Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment,

TORONTO, December 16, 2017 - Brave World and Better B Rolling will have plenty of momentum heading into the Valedictory Series final following harness racing victories in Saturday's second leg at Woodbine Racetrack. A pair of $17,000 divisions were contested in the second-week of the series for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2017. Brave World and driver Trevor Henry took Saturday's first division at odds of 5-1. The Bill Budd trainee converted off a two-hole ride to score his seventh victory of the season in a career-best 1:53. Jk Pridenjoy showed the way, posting fractions of :26, :55 and 1:24.4, but was outdueled to the line by Brave World, who defeated the early leader by a neck. Windsun Gotham, who won a first leg division, finished third as the public's choice. Owned by Wheelhouse Racing, Brave World is now seven for 26 this season after going winless in 11 starts last season. The gelded son of Royal Mattjesty has banked $52,726 this season to bring his career earnings to $62,296. Brave World paid $12.90 to win. Brave World Better B Rolling will have an opportunity for a series sweep after a 1:53.4 score in the second split. Driven by Louis Philippe Roy, Better B Rolling fired out from post-three, but was parked around the first-bend by Penzance Hanover. The heavy 1-5 favourite made the lead in the second-quarter and reached the half in :56. Hurrikane Kingkong came first-up in the third-quarter, which forced a :28.2 third-split from Better B Rolling. In the stretch, Better B Rolling would dig in and hold off a rally from Homey Joe to win by about a length. Penzance Hanover finished third. A gelded son of Roll With Joe, Better B Rolling is now nine for 12 this season and has earned $65,150 in his first season of racing. The sophomore is owned by W Donovan and trained by Ciaran Morrison. Better B Rolling paid $2.60 to win. Better B Rolling The final of the Valedictory Series will take place on Boxing Day (December 26). Also on Saturday, four-year-old pacer Easy Lover Hanover extended his current win streak to five with a narrow 1:51.2 score. Easy Lover Hanover came first up and grabbed the lead just after the half of :54.4. 'Easy Lover' would fight off rivals in the lane and prevailed in a three-horse photo by just a head over Prescotts Hope and Champagne Phil. Jody Jamieson got the call to steer Easy Lover Hanover on Saturday. The Ben Wallace trainee has been on a roll in the final months of 2017 and is now eight for 23 this season. Owned by Brad Grant, Easy Lover Hanover has banked $198,487 this season to bring his career totals to 24 wins and over $550,000 earned. He paid $2.70 to win. Easy Lover Hanover Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie        

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