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MILTON, ON - February 15, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to remind horsepeople, harness racing fans and horseplayers of a special post time for Saturday's (February 16) card of live racing. Post time for Saturday's 10-race card is 6:45 p.m. The earlier post time is for Mohawk Park's Frosty Fireworks & Family Fun Night, which features activities for all-ages, special food items and a spectacular fireworks show following the races. Horsepeople are reminded to double check the paddock and Lasix times for Saturday's card. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment          

MILTON, ON - February 8, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to issue a reminder to all owners and trainers of the new conditions for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage ahead of the February 15 deadline for nominations. The events for three-year-old trotters will no longer require eliminations, as the top ten (10) highest lifetime money-earners entered will contest the finals on Saturday, September 14 at Mohawk Park. Woodbine Entertainment will recognize Canadian and American earnings as equal. (Example: A horse with $100,000 earned in the US and a horse with $100,000 earned in Canada will be recognized as having the same earnings) Trotters entered that fall outside the top ten (10) in earnings will be eligible for a consolation. The consolation will be contested for 10 per cent of the event's purse pool (before entry fees) and requires a minimum of eight starters. If a declared trotter fails to be among the top ten (10) lifetime money earners and a consolation does not fill, or a trotter falls outside the top twenty (20) earners, all stakes payments will be refunded to the owner of the horse, provided the horse meets the current qualifying standards at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The estimated purse for the Canadian Trotting Classic is $665,000, while the Elegantimage is $350,000. To review the stakes conditions for all Woodbine administrated events, click here. Nominations are due no later than Friday, February 15. To make payments online, click here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than February 15, 2019 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

MILTON, ON - February 6, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform all horsepeople of a change to this week's qualifying and training schedule. Qualifiers originally scheduled for Thursday afternoon have been moved to Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. A total of five qualifying-races will be contested. The racing surface and paddock at Mohawk Park will not be open for training on Thursday morning to allow the track crew time to perform maintenance ahead of Thursday evening's card of racing. Post time for Thursday's card is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie Woodbine Communications  

MILTON, ON - February 4, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform all horsepeople that the track and paddock will not be open for training on Tuesday morning (February 5). The closure is to allow for the track crew to perform maintenance on the racing surface. The track and paddock are scheduled to reopen for training on Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment        

MILTON, ON - February 1, 2019 - Legal Bettor and Springbridgevision brought the heat Friday night to Woodbine Mohawk Park to win the finals of the Snowshoe and Blizzard Series. The $40,800 Snowshoe for three and four-year-old pacer and the $36,400 Blizzard for three and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares featured full fields of 10. Legal Bettor rallied from tenth and last at three-quarters to win the Snowshoe final in thrilling fashion for driver Travis Cullen and trainer Jodie Cullen. Fiesty Fireball led the field to the opening-quarter in :28.3 before Barbados circled from second to the top in the second-quarter and posted fractions of :57.4 and 1:26.2. Legal Bettor got away ninth and angled off the pylons nearing the half, but didn't gain much ground initially and ended up three-wide and last at the third-marker. In the stretch, Barbados attempted to get away from rivals and held a lead of just over two-lengths with an eighth of a mile remaining. Legal Bettor and Cullen unleashed a furious rally, tracking down and nailing Barbados at the wire to win by a neck in 1:55.4. R Bazingga finished third, while Between The Sheets was fourth. A four-year-old gelding, Legal Bettor came into Friday's final off a second-place finish in round two after an opening-leg victory. The Cullen trainee has now won two of five starts this season to bring his career numbers to five wins and $55,955 earned. Owned by Gestion J Y Blais Inc, Legal Bettor paid $7.60 to win. Sophomore pacing filly Springbridgevision completed her dominance of the Blizzard Series with a sweeping victory for driver James MacDonald and trainer Andrew Moore. Springbridgevision got away eighth and would sit close to last nearing the half while waiting for outer-flow to develop. Bidforahug made a second-quarter move to the top and led through middle-half panels of :57.4 and 1:27.4. Sand Artist pressured the leader first-up, while Springbridgevision was third-over and just three-lengths from the top turning for home. In the stretch, Springbridgevision shot to the top spot and had the jump on rival Lyonshedgeabet, who followed the winner around the final turn. Springbridgevision stopped the clock in 1:56.2 to win by half a length over Lyons Hedgeabet. Sand Artist was third, while Charms Little Sis was fourth. A daughter of Shadow Play, Springbridgevision is now undefeated in four starts this season and has won five of 11 career starts. The Blizzard final victory brings her career earnings to $51,933 for owners Andrew Moore, Allan Moore, Tommy Godfrey and Charles Farrell. A $2 win ticket on Springbridgevision returned $4.90. The Snowshoe and Blizzard Series were open to three and four-year-old pacers who were non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2018. Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

MILTON, ON - January 31, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform all horsepeople that tonight's card (January 31) of live racing will take place as scheduled. Post time for tonight's 10-race card is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKevile, for Woodbine Entertainment Group  

MILTON, January 24, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced a harness racing $6 million expansion project for the Standardbred Race Paddock at Woodbine Mohawk Park is now underway. The expansion project is part of Woodbine Entertainment's commitment to horse racing and Woodbine Mohawk Park as the year-round home of World Class Standardbred racing. "Our vision for Woodbine Mohawk Park is to be recognized as the leading Standardbred racetrack in North America," said Jessica Buckley, President of Woodbine Mohawk Park. "The paddock expansion is a big part of that vision as it will improve the experience for horsepeople on race days while also allowing us to host major events like the Breeders Crown." The expansion project will feature a new 22,000 square-foot addition built onto the current Standardbred paddock. The new addition will have 57 large box stalls, a new women's driver-trainer locker room to go with the recently updated men's locker room and a viewing area for fans. Additionally, the expansion will include on-site offices for the Central Ontario Standardbred Association for the convenience of the horsepeople. "We are thrilled to see ground broken on the paddock expansion after collaborating with Woodbine for several months on design concepts to meet the needs of our horsepeople," said Bill O'Donnell, President of the Central Ontario Standardbred Association. "The paddock is home for our horsepeople and the new expanded paddock will provide full comfort for our horses and all participants during year-round racing." The new paddock addition will also include expanded trailer parking following the completion of the project. The introduction of box stalls to the Standardbred paddock offers more room for horses compared to the current standing stalls and will eliminate shuttling between the paddock and backstretch for horses treated with Lasix. The new box stalls can also be used for retention and will have doors to segregate the extension from the main paddock. Work on the paddock expansion has started and is scheduled to be completed ahead of October's Breeders Crown at Mohawk Park. "This major investment is another demonstration of Woodbine Entertainment's commitment to growing the sport of horse racing throughout Ontario," said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. "With this project now underway, winter harness racing in full swing, and the Breeders Crown scheduled for next Fall, 2019 is going to be an exciting year at Mohawk Park." The $6 million paddock expansion is the latest investment from Woodbine Entertainment towards the Mohawk Park property now totaling $16 million. A $10 million investment was announced in June of 2017 and upgrades were completed earlier this year to enhance the facility for capabilities of hosting year-round live harness racing. About Woodbine Entertainment Woodbine Entertainment is the largest horse racing operator in Canada offering world-class horse racing at Woodbine Racetrack (Toronto) and Woodbine Mohawk Park (Milton) as well as operating off-track wagering (Champions teletheatre network) and remote wagering (HPIbet). Woodbine Mohawk Park operates year-round Standardbred racing and is the home of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup and host of the 2019 Breeders Crown. Along with live racing, Mohawk Park's privately owned 434-acre site will be transformed into a mixed-use future entertainment and community destination in support of Standardbred racing in Ontario. The projected development could include commercial, hospitality, office, and recreational aspects within the site, creating new employment opportunities in the Halton Region. Mark McKelvie

MILTON, January 19, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment has announced that tonight's harness racing card (January 19) of live Standardbred racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park has been cancelled due to snow and extreme cold temperatures. Live racing is scheduled to resume Monday evening (January 21) at Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 15, 2019 - The 2018 season was a very busy and exciting year on and off the track for Woodbine Entertainment. "Reflecting back on the year that was, it's remarkable to think of all that was accomplished and started in 2018," said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. "Our efforts have positioned us well to continue to tackle our challenges head on as we remain laser-focused on our sole mandate of sustaining and growing the horse racing industry in Ontario." Here's a look at the past 12 months: Off the Track Off the racetrack, Woodbine Entertainment made significant investment in the sport, executed its single breed strategy by moving harness racing to Mohawk Park exclusively, secured real estate opportunities that will sustain the horse racing industry for decades, continued its focus on people and culture at Woodbine Entertainment, unveiled a new logo and brand identity and so much more. Here are a few key highlights: In 2018, Woodbine transitioned all Standardbred racing to Woodbine Mohawk Park for year-round harness racing. The 2019 season, which just started on January 5, will mark the first time in its history that the Standardbred meet will be held exclusively at Mohawk Park. To accommodate year-round racing at Mohawk Park, Woodbine invested $10 million to winterize the facilities. It has also committed another $6 million to expand the paddock to improve the experience for horsepeople while also being able to host premier harness racing events like the 2019 Breeders Crown. In Toronto, Woodbine invested $9 million to install a state-of-the-art, 7-furlong inner turf track that will open in Spring 2019. For the second consecutive year, Woodbine Entertainment was certified as a Great Place to Work®. Woodbine also hired 713 new employees, more than double from the previous year. Woodbine welcomed new casino operation partners at both of its racetracks. At Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, construction has started to pave the way for the full construction project that will see a casino resort developed, which will include a brand-new gaming pavilion, a concert venue and trackside hotel on 33 acres of Woodbine property. In 2018, Woodbine Entertainment acted on its commitment to be industry leaders to ensure the long-term viability, sustainability and growth of horse racing in Ontario. One example of that was Woodbine Entertainment undertaking the need to operate Ontario Racing Management, the execution arm of Ontario Racing, which is the independent governing body of horse racing throughout the Province. This required an investment of nearly $5 million in 2018 and will require an ongoing financial commitment and dedicated resources moving forward. New Deals with Associations At the end of the 2018 Thoroughbred meet, the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario (HBPA) and Woodbine Entertainment jointly announced a new four-year agreement in principle that includes an additional $18 million in guaranteed purses and a minimum commitment of $4 million in capital investment in Thoroughbred racing over the course of the agreement. That was followed by an agreement in principle between the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) and Woodbine Entertainment on a new five-year racing deal that provides an additional $15 million in purses and commits a minimum of $5 million in capital investment in Standardbred racing over the course of the agreement. "Reaching new deals with both HBPA and COSA provides the industry, and especially breeders, with the certainty and confidence moving forward to invest in the breeding of horses in Ontario," said Lawson. "This is particularly important to our industry as increasing local horse supply and labour remain key factors in successfully growing horse racing at Woodbine and throughout the entire industry." Thoroughbred Racing and Wagering Despite the Thoroughbred season producing a record "all-sources" handle of $533,268,900, marking a 5.8 per cent increase over the previous year's total, home market wagering was down 3 per cent in 2018. The record handle was largely driven by strong growth of 9.2 per cent in the U.S. markets. There were 132 race cards in 2018 with one cancellation. That amounted to 1,257 races and an average field size of 8.25.The 2018 Thoroughbred meet was highlighted by record-breaking race days for its signature events, The Queen's Plate, Ricoh Woodbine Mile and Pattison Canadian International. Standardbred Racing and Wagering Woodbine's 2018 Standardbred season, contested between Woodbine Racetrack and Mohawk Park, produced a steady and industry-leading "all-sources" handle of $332,208,097.41.The 2018 season consisted of 219 cards and 2,282 races. The average per-race handle came in at $145,577.61.The average field size per race was 8.7. Woodbine Entertainment secured a deal with the Hambletonian Society to host the $6 million (USD) Breeders Crown at Mohawk Park in 2019. "Overall, our wagering metrics remain healthy, but we are not without our challenges," said Lawson. "We need to continue to invest and market our product to drive wagering here at home, while seizing the opportunity we are seeing South of the border with more and more horse players wagering on Woodbine races remotely. This is a testament to the quality of our product and brand." Opening day for the 2019 Thoroughbred racing season, consisting of 133 race dates, is scheduled for April 20. Standardbred racing resumed on January 5 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, which will host race cards four days a week with post times set for 7:10 p.m. each Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

MILTON, January 14, 2019 - P L Jill scored an impressive harness racing victory in her jump up to the $34,000 Preferred Trot on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The six-year-old mare came first-up on the far turn and kept on powering in the lane to defeat eight-talented rivals in 1:54.3 for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Ben Baillargeon. An early-battle saw Dancer Hall ignore the two-hole to move around to the lead going into the first-turn, while rival Dunbar Hall was close to the top on the outside with eyes for the lead. Dancer Hall posted a :28.2 opener before surrendering the lead to Dunbar Hall, who led the field up to the half in :57.1. P L Jill and Filion moved out from fourth at the half to start a first-up bid. Dunbar Hall held a narrow lead over P L Jill at three-quarters in 1:26.2 but made a break as he reached the third marker. After inheriting the lead turning for home, P L Jill took care of business with a :28 last-quarter to hold off runner-up Dancer Hall at the rail by half a length. Free Willy Hanover rallied from last with a :27 final-quarter to finish third, while B Yoyo was fourth. P L Jill was making the move up to the Preferred on Monday off a strong victory in a $22,000 event on January 7. The daughter of Kadabra was making her fifth start for trainer Baillargeon and collected her 17th career victory. The Baillargeon barn has now won the Preferred in consecutive weeks, as Musical Rhythm, who finished fifth to P L Jill on Monday, captured last week's edition. Owned by breeder Prince Lee Acres along with Jill Coleman and Alan Christensen, P L Jill's two for two start to 2019 brings her career earnings to $250,833. Her only other attempt at the Woodbine Preferred prior to Monday was a fifth-place finish on December 4, 2017. A $2 win ticket on P L Jill returned $9.60. P L Jill Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click this link - Monday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park. Replay available at (Race 8) Mark McKelvie

MILTON, January 12, 2018 – Kendall Seelster continued her dominance of the Mares Preferred at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a 1:53.2 harness racing victory Saturday evening. The now four-year-old daughter of Shadow Play converted off a perfect second-over trip from driver Sylvain Filion for her fourth consecutive score in the $30,000 top-class. Exhilarated was the quickest away and led the field of seven to the opening-quarter in :28.1. Request For Parole made a second-quarter move to the lead from fourth and led the field by the half in :58.1. P L Hurricane angled out at the half from third to commit first-up, which provided cover for Kendall Seelster from fifth. Request For Parole led by just under a length at three-quarters in 1:26. In the stretch, Kendall Seelster powered off cover and charged home in :27 to secure her fourth win in a row. Double A Mint rallied from sixth at the head of the lane to edge out Just Her Luck for second, while P L Hurricane was fourth. Kendall Seelster moved up to the Preferred-level in late-October and capped off her sophomore campaign with several victories over aged rivals. The Rod Boyd trainee is now undefeated in two starts this season after winning nine of 23 and earning $283,465 in 2018. Saturday’s victory brings Kendall Seelster’s career stats to 15 wins and $767,450 earned for owners 1187422 Ontario Inc. She paid $2.60 to win. Kendall Seelster Along with Saturday’s $30,000 feature, millionaire pacer Sintra collected his second consecutive win after a layoff with a strong 1:52.1 victory in a $27,000 event. The six-year-old gelding sat second-over turning for home and powered by rivals in the lane for driver Jody Jamieson. Trained by Dave Menary, Sintra returned to the races last week for the first-time in over three-months and won in 1:53.1. The 2017 Canadian Pacing Derby champion was moving up to face tougher company Saturday, including a trio exiting the Preferred, and prevailed for his 20th career victory. Sintra is owned by Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc. Sintra Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.   Mark McKelvie - Woodbine Communications

MILTON, January 11, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) jointly announced today the agreement in principle of a new five-year harness racing deal that includes an investment in capital upgrades and an increase in purses, further solidifying Woodbine Mohawk Park as one of the leaders in total purses paid for Standardbred racetracks in North America. "The future is bright for Standardbred racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park. We are thrilled to come to terms on a new agreement with COSA representing Woodbine's continued partnership with horse people in the Province," said Jessica Buckley, President, Woodbine Mohawk Park. "We value our partnership with COSA and have successfully collaborated on multiple projects this year, including this new agreement." The new deal is highlighted by $15 million in additional purse money to be distributed over the course of the contract. Woodbine Entertainment has also committed to $1 million in capital upgrades to Woodbine Mohawk Park annually over the five-year period, a further demonstration of its commitment to the Standardbred horse racing industry in Ontario. "This new five-year deal is part of our commitment to Standardbred Racing, and the vision to grow year-round racing at our World Class facility in Milton," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "This long term deal gives Standardbred breeders and owners the opportunity to plan and invest with confidence." "COSA is pleased to come to terms on a new five-year deal with Woodbine, providing purse growth each year for the next five years for our members," said Bill O'Donnell, President of COSA. "We have developed a strong working relationship with Woodbine and will continue to work closely with them to reach goals for both sides during this new contract." Woodbine Mohawk Park reopened for the 2019 racing season on January 5. A total of 221 live race dates are scheduled for the upcoming season, highlighted by the Pepsi North America Cup and the 2019 Breeders' Crown. Mark McKelvie

MILTON, January 10, 2019 - Reinsman Bob McClure put on a show Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park by driving six-winners on the 10-race harness racing card. The Elora, Ontario resident had a drive in all 10 of Thursday's races and made a statement early by sweeping the opening three-races on the card before earning his next three victories in the sixth-race and the 'Late-Double'. Adding to the impressive evening, McClure teamed up with six different trainers for his six-win performance. McClure's first win came with Barry Bird trained three-year-old gelding R U Talkin ($3.20). He then completed his sweep of the evening's first 'Pick-3' with four-year-old gelded trotter P L Louigi ($13.60) for Matt Dupuis and five-year-old pacing mare Sauble Bonnie ($3.30) for trainer Otis Hall. The combination of McClure and Marty Fine has had success over the last few months and the duo connected in the sixth-race with sophomore pacing colt Just Wave Goodbye ($4.90). McClure wrapped up his huge night by sweeping the 'Late-Double' with four-year-old gelded pacer Arukidinme Cabbie ($7.90) for trainer Tony O'Sullivan and eight-year-old gelded pacer Avalanche Hanover ($7.10) for conditioner Richard Moreau. Poised for a huge 2019, McClure is a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada's Driver of the Year in 2018 after winning 328-races and posting a career-high $5.3 million in earnings. McClure will look to carry the momentum gained from Thursday's dominance into Friday evening's card. He is scheduled to drive in nine of the evening's 10-races. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Replays available at   Mark McKelvie

MILTON, January 7, 2018 - Muscial Rhythm pulled off a 12-1 upset in Monday's $34,000 Preferred Trot at Woodbine Mohawk Park to complete a 'Grand Slam' for harness racing trainer Ben Baillargeon. Freezing rain had no impact on Baillargeon trainees, as four of his five starters on Monday's 10-race card visited the winner's circle. Those that supported the veteran trainer's horses at the windows had a large night, with three of the four going off at odds of 9-1 or higher. Musical Rhythm captured Monday's feature contest by tracking race-favourite Dunbar Hall second-over around the far turn and out battling the previous top-class winner in the lane for a victory of half a length in 1:54.1. The victory gives the gritty seven-year-old 30 for his career and pushes his career earnings to $698,928 for owners Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon. Musical Rhythm returned $26.10 to win. Musical Rhythm Four-year-old trotter Bautista ($21.60) got the night rolling for Baillargeon in the second-race by picking up his first win in his third start for the barn. Six-year-old pacer Major Legacy ($39.10) collected the second win for Baillargeon by narrowly holding on in the evening's fifth-race. The 'Hat-Trick' for Baillargeon came in the evening's sixth-race with six-year-old trotting mare P L Jill ($4.50) taking care of business as the public's top choice. Sylvain Filion steered Bautista and P L Jill to victory, while Mario Baillargeon drove Major Legacy and Musical Rhythm. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. To view Monday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Monday Results - Mohawk Park. Replays available at Mark McKelvie    

MILTON, January 3, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park is set to begin its inaugural full-year of live harness racing with a 10-race card set for this Saturday (January 5). The 2019 live racing season at Woodbine Mohawk Park will feature 221-race dates and is headlined by the 36th Pepsi North America Cup on June 15 and the Breeders Crown on October 25 and 26. The Milton, Ontario oval, which opened in April of 1963, became the permanent home of Woodbine Standardbred racing in April of 2018. The first card of 2019 features a $34,000 Preferred Pace (Race 9) and $30,000 Mares Preferred Pace (Race 3). Easy Lover Hanover finished 2018 as the hottest horse at Mohawk Park, winning five in a row to close out the year. The Ben Wallace trained six-year-old gelding collected four of his five straight wins at the Preferred level to finish the season with nine wins and $228,940 earned in 27 starts. Woodbine's leading owner Brad Grant owns Easy Lover Hanover. Jody Jamieson will drive the 2-1 morning-line choice from post-five in a field of eight. As for the ladies, Kendall Seelster finished her three-year-old season in style by winning the final two editions of the $30,000 Mares Preferred against older rivals. The Rod Boyd trainee officially joins the aged ranks this Saturday and is the 2-1 morning line choice in a field of nine for the Mares Preferred. Owned by 1187422 Ontario Inc, Kendall Seelster posted nine wins and earned $283,465 in 23 starts last season. The Ontario Sires Stakes graduate enters her four-year-old season with 13 wins and $737,450 in career earnings. Sylvain Filion will sit behind Kendall Seelster in Saturday's co-main event. Woodbine's leading trainer Richard Moreau will look to immediately reclaim the top spot in the Trainer Standings by sending out 13 starters on Saturday's 10-race card. Moreau sends out a pair of starters in each of the Preferred contests, with Double A Mint and Sandbetweenurtoes in the mares event and geldings Phantom Seelster and Isitfridayyet competing in the $34,000 Preferred. Moreau's barn posted 208 wins and earned $3.7 million in 2018. Louis Philippe Roy led all Woodbine drivers in 2018 with 288 wins and $5.5 million in earnings. The O'Brien Award finalist for Canada's Driver of the Year has been taking time off during the holidays and will not be competing on Saturday's first card of the year. Live racing takes place every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The racing calendar increases to five-nights-a-week at the start of June with Tuesday evenings added until the start of October. Post time is 7:10 p.m. For more information and the full racing calendar, visit Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications C: 905-864-9110            

MILTON, December 26, 2018 - The 2018 Woodbine Standardbred season concluded Wednesday afternoon with an 11-race harness racing card at Mohawk Park, featuring a pair of series finals for three-year-old pacers and award presentations to the season's top performers. A field of eight colts and geldings battled in the $34,400 Valedictory final, while a field of seven fillies clashed in the $32,600 Niagara final. Phantom Seelster capped off 2018 as the hottest horse at Woodbine Mohawk Park by running his win streak to six in a row with a 1:51.4 victory in the $34,400 Valedictory Series final. Driven by Bob McClure, Phantom Seelster took his time in the beginning and got away fourth. Legal Power and driver Doug McNair wanted control and claimed the top spot to post opening fractions of :27.3 and :56.3. Phantom Seelster committed first up nearing the half and that gave McNair his cue to try and pace away at the top with Legal Power, who paced a :27.2 third-quarter to create a few lengths of separation turning for home. In the stretch, Phantom Seelster put his work boots on to track down and charge by Legal Power to win by 2 ¾ lengths in a career-best equaling 1:51.4. Legal Power held second, while Larrys Petrock was third and R Bazingga fourth. Trained by Richard Moreau, Phantom Seelster six-race win streak came all in series events by sweeping the Harvest Series in November and the Valedictory in December. The gelded son of Mach Three is now six for 20 this season to bring his career numbers to nine wins and $133,135 for owners Gestion Mastel Inc, Conrad Leber and Marcel Barrieau. A $2 win ticket on Phantom Seelster returned $3.40. Phantom Seelster The $32,600 Niagara Series final was filled with drama, as a thrilling stretch battle led to a length inquiry and disqualification of the winner. Odds On Stephanie and driver Doug McNair shot out to the lead and cut the mile, posting fractions of :29.1, :59.1 and 1:27.3. Lyons Hedgeabet and driver Bob McClure came first up from fourth to challenge the leader turning for home. In the stretch, Lyons Hedgeabet pushed forward to take a narrow lead, but Odds On Stephanie wouldn't go away and battled back. The fillies battled side by side to the line with Lyons Hedgeabet winning by a nose. The AGCO Judges posted the inquiry sign and reviewed the stretch battle, determining that Lyons Hedgeabet interfered with Odds On Stephanie at the rail and reversed the top-two finishers. Odds On Stephanie went off as the second-choice at 7/2 behind Lyons Hedgeabet at 3/5. Owned by Odds On Racing, Odds On Stephanie finished fourth in the series' second leg after finishing second in round one. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere picks up her third win 17 starts this season and increases her career earnings to $66,128 after racing just once as a two-year-old. Odds On Stephanie was sent to the barn of Richard Moreau for Niagara Series from trainer Tony Alagna. A $2 win ticket on Odds On Stephanie returned $9.20. Odds On Stephanie Sophomore pacers, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2018, were eligible for nomination to the Valedictory and Niagara Series. Woodbine Entertainment took time during Wednesday's card to recognize its top owner, trainer and driver for the 2018 racing season. Brad Grant led all owners during the 2018 season in wins and earnings on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit. The Milton, Ontario resident finished the year with 51 wins and $1.2 million in earnings. Grant's top horses in 2018 included Hambletonian champion Atlanta, Preferred star Easy Lover Hanover and multiple-stakes winner Captain Ahab. Richard Moreau captured his fourth consecutive Woodbine Standardbred training title. The Puslinch, Ontario resident sent out more than 1,200 starters in 2018 and led all conditioners with 208 wins and $3.7 million in earnings. Moreau was recently named a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada's Trainer of the Year, an award he has won in each of the last five years. Louis Philippe Roy did not compete on Wednesday's program, but the Mont-Joli, Quebec native did claim his first Woodbine Entertainment driving title. Roy made 288 trips to the winner's circle and drove the winners of more than $5.5 million in 2018. Roy's big year could lead to another accomplishment, as he was recently named a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada's Driver of the Year. Live racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park now takes a short-break over the holidays before resuming on Saturday, January 5 at 7:10 p.m. The 2019 live racing season will feature 221 race dates. Replays available at Mark McKelvie  

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