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TROIS RIVIERES, QUEBEC – James MacDonald, the representative of host country Canada in the 2017 World Driving Championship, added his sixth win of the tournament at Hippodrome 3R in Quebec Wednesday night to widen his lead in the contest, and the trip to the fifth and final venue, Red Shores Charlottetown Driving Park on Prince Edward Island for racing Friday, looks more and more like a triumphant “home stretch” for the 31-year-old, for he is a native of the Island province, and he may be well receiving the driving crown at the place where it all started for him. Hippodrome 3R is appreciative of having the honor of hosting eleven of the world’s best drivers in their fourth stop on their five-stop West-to-East journey across Canada in the World Driving Championship, which is held every two years in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference; Canada was selected as host in honor of the country’s 250th anniversary of being a home for horse racing. The standings going into the card: James MacDonald                                            Canada                 144 points           (five wins) Mika Forss                                                          Finland                 130 points           (three wins) Marcus Miller                                                    United States     123.5 points       (three wins) Shane Graham                                                  Australia              97 points            (one win) Dexter Dunn (defending champion)                   New Zealand      93 points Noel Baldacchino                                                 Malta                    90 points Eirik Hoitomt                                                      Norway                89.5 points          (one win) Bjorn Goop                                                         Sweden                86 points             (one win) Gerhard Mayr                                                    Austria                  83 points Mark Purdon                                                     New Zealand      69 points Rik Depuydt                                                       Belgium                68 points Here is a description of the four races at the Quebec half-mile oval, all contested at 1 1/16 miles: RACE ONE ($4000 pace): Dexter Dunn, James MacDonald, and Marcus Miller were all 2-1 in the betting, and those three drivers and their horses – respectively, Imagine Speed, Ninoscredit, and Maracasso --were 1-2-3 at the quarter, though Dunn and Imagine Speed had to pay a 27 price to get to the front. The field stayed in that order until a half-mile remained, when Gerhard Mayr moved Eataam Whosurboy first-over to challenge the leader, and with a strong move with 3/8 remaining Eataam Whosurboy got in gear and started a move that carried him to the lead nearing the far turn. The key to the race was the horse with the cover behind Eataam Whosurboy – who was nobody, which allowed Miller and Maracasso to get out behind him and then move after the new leader, with MacDonald and Ninoscredit pinned in as the two horses went by. Ninoscredit came on well in the stretch, but Maracasso had the jump on him and sustained to the wire, winning by a length in 2:06.1 over the 1 1/16 miles to give Marcus Miller his fourth win of the tournament. “I wasn’t sure if I’d get that kind of trip when we left the gate,” Miller noted after the race. “But I was able to get out behind the horse who went to the lead and could keep James (MacDonald) in. I was able to keep going and win, but MacDonald got out and finished second – he’s tough, driving very well now.” DRIVERS’ ORDER OF FINISH: Miller, MacDonald, Mayr, Dunn, Depuydt, Baldacchino, Goop, Graham, Purdon, Forss, Hoitomt. LEADER BOARD AFTER FIRST 3R RACE: MacDonald 157, Miller 141.5, Forss 132, Graham and Dunn 101. RACE TWO ($4600 trot): When you work out a second-over trip from post eleven – the third trailer – on a half-mile track, you know things are going your way – and you are making things go your way. Native son James MacDonald managed to work out a second-over trip with Federal Strike in this event, following Abundasass and driver Bjorn Goop. Both were out much of the 1 1/16-mile distance, but worked their way to the front spots down the backstretch the final time. It looked for a moment as if MacDonald might not get clearance – that pesky Marcus Miller again – but this time Miller’s horse backed off, and Federal Strike moved out and took it from there, going by Abundasass as the slight favorite and winning by 1 ¼ lengths, with the added-distance time of 2:08.1 declared a 3R track record, since the books and Standardbred Canada had no record of a race over the distance listed. “I can’t believe I worked out a trip like that,” a disbelieving/euphoric MacDonald said after the contest. “But I know the respect that Bjorn Goop has earned and is given in Sweden and Europe, and when I found a way I could follow him, I figured – I hoped that would be able to carry me up. He did and then my horse got his chance, and we won.” Asked if he felt in a commanding position by now, MacDonald put his game face back on and said, “Still have to grind it out – lots of great drivers out there.” DRIVERS ORDER OF FINISH: MacDonald, Goop, Forss, Miller, Mayr, Graham, Hoitomt, Dunn, Baldacchino, Purdon, Depuydt. LEADER BOARD AFTER 3R RACE TWO: MacDonald 175, Miller 149.5, Forss 142, Graham 107, Dunn 105. RACE THREE ($4200 pace): “The Finnish Lion,” Mika Forss, looked like everything was going his way. His pacer Shanghai B G, the slight 2-1 favorite, got away in the pocket behind a strong pacesetter in Jolt’s Prayer (Dexter Dunn), saw waves of challenger fell back, then looked to move his move on the far turn. “And my horse felt good.” And then his sulky broke. “My sulky seat started to break on me, and I had to hold on (to the sulky),” Forss noted after the race. Despite being driven literally one-handed (and perhaps accounting for his bearing out in the stretch), Shanghai B G was able to rally, and he was just up at the – well, finish line for the Finnish Lion, the 1 1/16 miles in 2:06.1. “That’s never happened to me in all of my career,” the veteran Forss noticed after the race, which provided his fourth victory of the tournament. It also boosted him back into second, a half-point ahead of Marcus Miller, who was on Forss’s back throughout but could do no more than keep his 24-1 shot going for third. MacDonald was in the parked tier and rallied for fifth. DRIVERS ORDER OF FINISH: Forss, Dunn, Miller, Mayr, MacDonald, Purdon, Hoitomt, Graham, Baldacchino, Goop, Depuydt. LEADER BOARD AFTER 3R RACE THREE: MacDonald 182, Forss 160, Miller 159.5, Dunn 118 (no wins but five seconds in the tournament), Graham 111. RACE FOUR ($4400 pace): Nobody wanted to leave anything anywhere but on the track for the last local race, and the field was stacked two- (or more-) deep the entire way. But Noel Baldacchino, from the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta, used the physics to his advantage: he and Tidewater Tomahawk drafted behind the pacesetting Danzig Moon in the pocket, then moved out,  was already past the former leader when he made a stretch break, and drew off, winning by 3¼ lengths over the favored Hard Rock, closing well to give defending champ Dexter Dunn his sixth second of a winless tournament, with that MacDonald guy from Canada working his way through with 23-1 shot Winoc Jimmy for third. It was the first win of the tournament for Baldacchino, and oddly Tidewater Tomahawk, who was the program choice, returned $16.30 to win. DRIVERS ORDER OF FINISH: Baldacchino, Dunn, MacDonald, Depuydt, Hoitomt, Forss, Goop, Purdon, Miller, Graham, Mayr. AFTER THE FOURTH ROUND OF THE TOURNAMENT: James MacDonald                                            Canada                 192 points           (six wins) Mika Forss                                                          Finland                 166 points           (four wins) Marcus Miller                                                    United States     162.5 points       (four wins) Dexter Dunn (defending champion)                  New Zealand      131 points Noel Baldacchino                                              Malta                    120 points           (one win) Shane Graham                                                  Australia              113 points           (one win) Bjorn Goop                                                         Sweden                111 points           (one win) Gerhard Mayr                                                    Austria                  109 points Eirik Hoitomt                                                      Norway                108 points           (one win) Rik Depuydt                                                       Belgium                85 points Mark Purdon                                                     New Zealand      83.5 points FINISHING LINES – Also featured during the card was the draw for Sunday’s $200,000 Prix d’Ete, for the leading four-year-old pacers in North America. The entrants, with their post positions and listed drivers: 1, Sintra (Jody Jamieson); 2, Lyons Snyder (Daniel Dube); 3, Awesomeness (driver TBA); 4, Roll Away Joe (Louis Philippe Roy); 5, Western Fame (Trevor Henry); 6, Stonebridge Beach (Stephane Pouliot); 7, Sports Authority (Pierre Luc Roy); 8, Dr J Hanover (Doug McNair). Bali went one of the fastest miles in Hippodrome 3R history when he won a $3800 pace in 1:53.1 for Team Auger, sprinting home in 56.1 under the guidance of the track’s leading driver, Stephane Brosseau … In a $4200 trot, the mare Lucky Promesses won her seventh straight start, here in 2:01.2 for breeder/trainer/driver Jerome Lombart. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Canadian harness racing driver James MacDonald propelled himself back to the top of the 2017 World Driving Championship standings, overtaking Finland's Mika Forss after winning two of Tuesday night's (August 15) five tournament races at Georgian Downs in Innisfil, Ont. MacDonald, who entered the third leg of the Championship in second place behind Forss, drew first blood in the evening’s first tournament event, reaching from the pocket with Shemars Lulu ($7.60) in 1:59 after stalking duelling leaders through the middle stages of the race.  He also teamed up with Walk The Plank ($5.20) in the night’s third Championship race, clearing, yielding, and pulling from a clear pocket on approach to the far turn before powering to a decisive 1:55.1 victory. In addition to his pair of wins, MacDonald notched a pair of minor placings, finishing second with Art Of The Deal behind James And Morgan in the night’s penultimate event, and saving third with Im The Man in the evening’s last race as Hetties Honey circled up from behind a contested pace to win. James And Morgan ($40.80) gave Norwegian Eirik Høitomt his first win of the Championship, drafting in the pocket behind MacDonald and 25-1 pacesetter Art Of The Deal before reaching up the pegs in 1:57. Hetties Honey ($15.90) took advantage of sustained pace pressure afore in the finale, circling three-wide up the far side to overtake a stalled Ken Kan Win and wear down co-favourite Waikiki Hanover (Marcus Miller, USA) for a 1:57.2 victory under Australian Shane Graham. Forss, who slipped from first to second in the standings, was first past the post with A Boy Named Suuzz in the evening’s second tournament race, but was disqualified behind Jansen Hanover ($28.20, Miller, USA) after committing a pylon violation on the second turn. MacDonald reclaimed command and opened up a 144-130 lead on Forss through the third leg of the five-city Championship, while American Miller closed the gap behind the top pair, with 123.5 points heading out of Ontario.  Graham (97) gained into fourth spot over defending champion Dexter Dunn (93) of New Zealand, followed by Noel Baldacchino (Malta), Høitomt, Björn Goop (Sweden), Gerhard Mayr (Austria), Mark Purdon (New Zealand), and Rik Depuydt (Belgium). The action shifts to Trois-Rivières, Que. on Wednesday, August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg. After that, the drivers will head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on Friday, August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. The top point-earner at the end of the five legs will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. The World Driving Championship – along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown – are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations. 2017 World Driving Championship Leaderboard (after three of five legs) Rank - Driver (Country) - Points 1. James MacDonald (Canada) - 144 2. Mika Forss (Finland) - 130 3. Marcus Miller (United States) - 123.5 4. Shane Graham (Australia) - 97 5. Dexter Dunn (ITA/New Zealand) - 93 6. Noel Baldacchino (Malta) - 90 7. Eirik Høitomt (Norway) - 89.5 8. Björn Goop (Sweden) - 86 9. Gerhard Mayr (Austria) - 83 10. Mark Purdon (New Zealand) - 69 11. Rik Depuydt (Belgium) - 68   Jeff Porchak World Driving Championship Media Liaison standardbredcanada.ca

Fields are now set for the fifth leg of the harness racing 2017 World Driving Championship, which will take place on Friday, August 18 at Red Shores' Charlottetown Driving Park, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Eleven of the top harness racing drivers from around the globe will compete Friday during what is the fifth and final leg of the competition. Drivers will earn points based on their finishing position and the top point-earner will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. The WDC kicked off with its first leg this past Saturday (August 12) at Century Downs in Balzac, Alberta. The United States' Marcus Miller had secured the early lead in the WDC standings after having driven a pair of opening-leg winners. The second leg of the WDC took place on Monday (August 14) at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario, where Finland's Mika Forss took over the lead in the standings courtesy of three straight victories. The third leg of the WDC will take place on Tuesday (August 15) at Georgian Downs in Innisfil, Ontario. The fourth leg of the WDC is scheduled for Wednesday (August 16) at Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. The Charlottetown Driving Park leg consists of four races, with the WDC races slated for Races 3, 5, 7 and 10. Each race will feature 11-horse fields. Here are the entries for the World Driving Championship races. World Driving Championship - Race 1 (Charlottetown Driving Park - Race 3) Purse: $1,000 - one and one-sixteenth miles (eight horses on the gate and three trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 - Libbybeans - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 2 - Bignprecious - Mika Forss (Finland) 3 - R Es Nancy - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 4 - Ameriquel - James MacDonald (Canada) 5 - Jinglewriter - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 6 - Onehotvett - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 7 - Formidable - Shane Graham (Australia) 8 - Maudail Mac - Marcus Miller (USA) 9 - Johannahs Jet - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 10 - Whitesand Artist - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 11 - Jays Little Spark - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) World Driving Championship - Race 2 (Charlottetown Driving Park - Race 5) Purse: $1,000 - one and one-sixteenth miles (eight horses on the gate and three trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 - Saftic Seelster - Marcus Miller (USA) 2 - Elm Grove Kaptain - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 3 - Keep A Secret - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 4 - Dilans Mustang - Shane Graham (Australia) 5 - Go With It - James MacDonald (Canada) 6 - Grimsby - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 7 - Mr Pogge - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 8 - Putnams Force - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 9 - Choco Du Ruisseau - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 10 - Caughtfoolinaround - Mika Forss (Finland) 11 - Bo Butler - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) World Driving Championship - Race 3 (Charlottetown Driving Park - Race 7) Purse: $1,200 - one and one-sixteenth miles (eight horses on the gate and three trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 - Pick N Scoop - James MacDonald (Canada) 2 - Royal Putnam - Marcus Miller (USA) 3 - Mybrothergeorge - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 4 - C J Bluefin - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 5 - Celebrate Your Bet - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 6 - Kennairn Fame - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 7 - Rising Fella - Mika Forss (Finland) 8 - Miramonttogo - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 9 - Electric Syl - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 10 - Toad River - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 11 - Quick Mad - Shane Graham (Australia) World Driving Championship - Race 4 (Charlottetown Driving Park - Race 10) Purse: $1,600 - one and one-sixteenth miles (eight horses on the gate and three trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 - Bowyer Hanover - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 2 - Bonnys Mac - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 3 - Twin B Shadow - Marcus Miller (USA) 4 - All Turain - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 5 - Fly With Max - Mika Forss (Finland) 6 - Beach Fighter A - Shane Graham (Australia) 7 - Artners In Crime - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 8 - Painted Pony - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 9 - Instant Shadow - James MacDonald (Canada) 10 - P J Camdex - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 11 - Saulsbrook Quick - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) The Charlottetown Driving Park will be showcasing two cards (both afternoon and evening programs) of live racing on Friday. The WDC races will take place during the evening program, which carries a first-race post time of 7:00 p.m. (Atlantic). Friday night also features Lady Slipper Grassroots and Gold Divisions for three-year-old fillies, along with the James "Roach" MacGregor Gold Cup & Saucer Consolation. The defending champion, New Zealand's Dexter Dunn, represents the International Trotting Association. The World Driving Championship will also consist of the following top-ranked international competitors: Shane Graham of Australia; Gerhard Mayr of Austria; Rik Depuydt of Belgium; James MacDonald of Canada; Mika Forss of Finland; Noel Baldacchino of Malta; Mark Purdon of New Zealand; Eirik Hoitomt of Norway; Bjorn Goop of Sweden; and Marcus Miller of the United States. The World Driving Championship and the World Trotting Conference are both held every two years. The 2017 editions of the events coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations. Jeff Porchak World Driving Championship Media Liaison standardbredcanada.ca

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - On Wednesday night the Hippodrome 3R is hosting the fourth leg of the World Driving Championship with four events, but after the fourth race on the program there will be some live excitement as the draw for this Sunday's C$200,000 Prix D'Ete will take place in the winner's circle. The Prix D'Ete, one of the richest races in North America for four-year-old pacers, is expecting an all-star cast of performers. The names of the eight highest money winners this season will be announced Wednesday afternoon and the post-position draw will take place after the fourth race that evening. "We wanted to add a little extra excitement to our World Driving Championship Night Wednesday," said Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club that hosts the Prix D'Ete. "The Prix D'Ete is our showcase racing event of the 2017 season." This year, post time has been changed this Sunday, Prix D'Ete Day. The first race post time is 2:30 pm and the Hippodrome 3R will feature a special 15-race live program. The Prix D'Ete is scheduled to go off at 7:00 pm. In addition to the Prix D'Ete this Sunday, the track also is featuring the third and final preliminary round of the C$220,000 Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies. They will be vying for points to be eligible for the $55,000 finals on September 3. First race post time Wednesday evening is 7:15 pm for the World Driving Championship fourth leg at H3R. There will be a meet and greet for race fans with all eleven drivers in the Grandstand starting at 6:15 pm and the opening night ceremonies and introduction of the drivers from around the world gets underway at 6:50 pm. The four WDC events are races 5 thru 8 on the program. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Finland's Mika Forss took the lead in the 2017 World Driving Championship standings with three straight victories in the second leg of the competition on Monday evening (August 14) at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ont. Canada's James MacDonald kicked off the second leg of the five-city World Driving Championship, hosted by Standardbred Canada, at his home track with a victory in the first trotting contest of the series aboard the late-closing Mystery Bet ($7.40). MacDonald, who entered the second leg sitting second in the standings with 50 points behind The United States' Marcus Miller (57 points), took the lead briefly on his home turf with the win, which was his third of the tournament that began in Alberta on Saturday at Century Downs. However, Finland's Mika Forss was a force to be reckoned with in the remainder of the second leg. He arrived at Mohawk sitting sixth in the point standings, but climbed to the top of the leaderboard by the end of the night. Forss sent pacer Dialamara ($3.60), the 2-1 second choice on the toteboard, to the lead from post six before the first turn and never looked back en route to a two-length victory in 1:53.3. It was a rare drive and just his second win on the pace for the European trotting specialist. The Finnish representative then fanned 6-5 favourite Lights Go Out ($4.70) three-wide off cover approaching the third quarter mark in the next race and took over command in the stretch with the pacing mare drawing off by three lengths to stop the clock in 1:54.3. Overcoming the outside post 10, Forss won the fourth and final race of the Mohawk leg with Mego Moss ($81.40), who swept off cover turning for home and trotted away for the 39-1 upset in 1:54.2. "I have to say, I love Mohawk!" laughed Forss, who celebrated his third victory by performing a dab in the sulky as he crossed the finish line. Forss now leads with 95 points heading into the third leg of the WDC, which will be held tomorrow evening (August 15) at Georgian Downs in Innisfil, Ont. "No [pressure] because it's a different day, different horses," said Forss. "We'll see, I'll do my best in all the races and we'll find out." The competition featuring 11 top international harness drivers remains fierce. MacDonald ranks second, only eight points behind Forss, while first leg leader Marcus Miller is third with 74.5 points just ahead of defending WDC champion Dexter Dunn of New Zealand, who climbed three spots with a solid performance that included three runner-up finishes in the Mohawk races. Shane Graham (Australia) and Bjorn Goop (Sweden) are tied for fifth with 62 points each, followed by Gerhard Mayr (Austria), Mark Purdon (New Zealand), Noel Baldacchino (Malta), Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) and Rik Depuydt (Belgium). Following Tuesday's Georgian Downs leg, the action will move to Trois-Rivières, Que. on Wednesday, August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg. After that, the drivers will head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on Friday, August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. The top point-earner at the end of the five legs will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. The World Driving Championship – along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown – are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations. 2017 WORLD DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERBOARD Rank - Driver (Country) - Points 1. Mika Forss (Finland) - 95 2. James MacDonald (Canada) - 83 3. Marcus Miller (United States) - 74.5 4. Dexter Dunn (ITA/New Zealand) - 71 5. Shane Graham (Australia) - 62 5. Bjorn Goop (Sweden) - 62 7. Gerhard Mayr (Austria) - 57 8. Mark Purdon (New Zealand) - 52 9. Noel Baldacchino (Malta) - 49 10. Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) - 44.5 11. Rik Depuydt (Belgium) - 43   Jeff Porchak World Driving Championship Media Liaison standardbredcanada.ca

TROIS RIVIERES, Quebec - The Hippodrome 3R will host leg four of the five-stop World Driving Championship this Wednesday, August 16, and an evaluation of the drivers' likely performance in the four races through an evaluation of the track's knowledgeable morning line reveals some interesting patterns - ones that could help reshape or shape the standings before the final leg at Charlottetown two days afterwards. The World Driving Championship is held every two years in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference, which in 2017 is being staged in Canada, as the country celebrates its 250th anniversary of horse racing. The two drivers to watch in the H3R harness competition figure to be James MacDonald, representing host country Canada, and Noel Baldacchino, from the tiny (316 square kilometers) Mediterranean island of Malta. The races to be used for the competition at H3R are races 5 through 8 - with, unusually, MacDonald drawing the favorite in the first two races and Baldacchino in the latter two in the random draw matching drivers and horses. In just as strange a coincidence, two other drivers have drawn the second choices in consecutive races. Dexter Dunn, a New Zealander and the defending World Driving Champion, was evaluated as second behind Baldacchino's horses in races 7 and 8, and Marcus Miller, of the United States, is second choice to MacDonald's sulky assignments in races 5 and 6. The full projection, understandably, finds Baldachino and MacDonald rated as the top two, with the former having a one-point edge based on their other two mounts. Dunn is rated third and Miller fourth - but Miller would do well to get as many points as he can from his first two drives, as his horses in the final two races are both evaluated to be - last, eleventh! Then again, Miller already is in the lead after the first leg of the series, and morning lines have been known on occasion to not always reflect how the racing takes place. Plus, we have yet to find a racehorse that could read the morning line in a program to see how they might do! Post time at the Hippodrome 3R on Wednesday is 7:15 pm. The entire race card will be simulcast, not only throughout North America, but also to Australia and New Zealand. H3R is also holding a meet and greet for the race fans with all eleven drivers starting at 6:15 pm and the opening ceremonies for the night will start on the racetrack at 7:00 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com or www.standardbredcanada.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

The United States' Marcus Miller emerged with the early lead in the harness racing standings after driving a pair of winners during the 2017 World Driving Championship opener on Saturday, August 12 at Century Downs Racetrack & Casino in Calgary, Alta. while Canada's James MacDonald also doubled up to finish the five-race leg in second-place.   The North American reinsmen dominated the first of five WDC legs hosted by Standardbred Canada, with Miller accumulating 57 points and MacDonald earning 50 points while Australia's Shane Graham put forth a consistent showing hitting the board in three of the races to secure third position in the standings, trailing MacDonald by just two points. Sweden's Bjorn Goop was the other first leg winner and finished in fourth-place with 43 points.   "I'm very happy," said Miller early on in the competition featuring 11 top international drivers. "There's a lot of races to go yet so I'm just going to try to hang in there and keeping doing the same thing."   Miller opened the 2017 World Driving Championship with a victory in the first race aboard 2-1 second choice Ashlynn Grace ($6.20) to take the early lead in the point standings. He secured a pocket trip with Ashlynn Grace, who started from the trailing tier in post 10, behind the inside leaver and found room between horses in the final turn to come through for the two-length victory, timed in 2:05.3 over the extended 1-1/16 mile distance.   The United States reinsman then sent 9-5 favourite Kavola ($5.60) three-wide from the outer flow approaching the third quarter mark to take over command in the third race and held off a wall of closers to win by one and a quarter lengths in 2:07.3.   "It's unbelievable. I know everybody at home is watching," said Miller of representing his country. "It's something else, this is one of the most exciting times in my life as far as harness racing goes."   MacDonald was victorious in the second and fifth races. In his first win, he cleared to command from post eight after the first quarter and held off the competition for the victory in 2:03.1 aboard Lucky Lucka ($19.70). His second victory came aboard Barossa Blue Genes ($6.70), tipping three-wide off cover approaching the third quarter mark and drawing clear in the stretch to win by two and a half lengths in 2:03.3.   "It's a whole different ball game and I've never been involved in anything like this," said MacDonald of the international tournament. "I'm really excited to be doing it and thankfully having a little bit of success."   The drivers will head to MacDonald's home track at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ont. for the second WDC leg on Monday, August 14.   "At Mohawk, I'll know all 11 horses in the race and I'll know their tendencies, not to say that's what they're going to do that given night, but I'll have a little bit of information," said MacDonald. "Every little bit you have ahead of someone else helps."   Goop's victory in the fourth race was his first in Canada as he made a power move in front of the grandstand sending Newport Min ($40.90) three-wide to the lead and then prevailed in a three-way photo finish in 2:07.1.    The opening WDC leg at Century Downs was the culmination of the First Annual Calgary Racing Festival. The week-long event, running through to Saturday, included an Industry Day, Mid-Summer Classic card, Charity Bowling and Charity Golf tournaments, and a Charity Gala.   After the next leg at Mohawk, the drivers will head to Georgian Downs in Innisfil, Ont. on August 15. The action then moves to Trois-Rivières, Que. on August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg before the drivers head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week.   The reinsmen will earn points based on their finishing position in each race and the top point-earner at the end of the five-day competition will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money.   The World Driving Championship -- along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown -- are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.    WORLD DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIP LEG #1 LEADERBOARD   Rank - Driver (Country) - Points 1. Marcus Miller (United States) - 57 2. James MacDonald (Canada) - 50 3. Shane Graham (Australia) - 48 4. Bjorn Goop (Sweden) - 43 5. Gerhard Mayr (Austria) - 38 6. Mika Forss (Finland) - 34 7. Dexter Dunn (ITA/New Zealand) - 29 8. Rik Depuydt (Belgium) - 25 9. Noel Baldacchino (Malta) - 24 10. Mark Purdon (New Zealand) - 21 11. Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) - 16   Jeff Porchak World Driving Championship Media Liaison standardbredcanada.ca

Fields are now set for the fourth leg of the harness racing 2017 World Driving Championship, set for Wednesday, August 16 at Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. The WDC will kick off with its first leg on Saturday, August 12 at Century Downs in Balzac, Alberta. To view the draw and complete information for the first leg, click here. The Championship will then continue on Monday, August 14 with the second leg, which will take place at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario. To view the draw and complete information for the second leg, click here. The third leg will take place on Tuesday, August 15 at Georgian Downs in Innisfill, Ontario. To view the draw and the complete information for the third leg, click here.  Eleven of the top harness racing drivers from around the globe will compete in the fourth of five legs.  Drivers will earn points based on their finishing position and the top point-earner will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. The Hippodrome 3R leg consists of four races, with the WDC races slated for Races 5-8. Each race will feature 11-horse fields. Here are the entries for the World Driving Championship races.   World Driving Championship - Race 1 (3R - Race 5) Purse: $4,000 – 1 mile, Pace (Eight horses on the gate; three trailers) Approx. Post time: 8:54 P.M.   (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Loves A Challenge - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 2. Eataam Whosurboy - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 3. Negligent Hanover - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 4. Lacaille Gabe - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 5. Maracasso - Marcus Miller (USA) 6. Ninoscredit - James MacDonald (Canada)  7. Imagine Speed - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 8. Taylor B Swift - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 9. First Shot - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 10. Cabernet Seelster - Shane Graham (Australia) 11. Fire Luck - Mika Forss (Finland)   World Driving Championship - Race 2 (3R - Race 6) Purse: $4,000 – 1 mile, Trot (Eight horses on the gate; three trailers) Approx. Post time: 9:24 P.M.   (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. (PP5) Holiday Spirit - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 1A. (PP7) Tymal Recap - Marcus Miller (USA) 2. (PP1) SOS Justice - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 3. (PP2) Kim Sorel - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 4. (PP3) Chinnys Wings - Mika Forss (Finland) 5. (PP4) Crown Point - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 6. (PP6) Echos Funky Claude - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 7. (PP8) Tuscans Memory - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 8. (PP9) Y S Suzanne - Shane Graham (Australia) 9. (PP10) Abundasass - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 10. (PP11) Federal Strike - James MacDonald (Canada)    World Driving Championship - Race 3 (3R - Race 7) Purse: $4,200 – 1-1/16 miles, Pace (Eight horses on the gate; three trailers) Approx. Post time: 9:54 P.M.   (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Shanghai B G - Mika Forss (Finland) 2. Iron Phil - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 3. Noloseblues - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 4. Terror Suspect - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 5. Jolts Prayer - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 6. Orator - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 7. Now What Hanover - James MacDonald (Canada)  8. Dont Tell Mom  - Shane Graham (Australia) 9. Davinci Seelster - Marcus Miller (USA) 10. Tickle My Fantasy - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 11. Old Fashioned Gal - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway)   World Driving Championship - Race 4 (3R - Race 8) Purse: $4,400 – 1-1/16 miles, Pace (Eight horses on the gate; three trailers) Approx. Post time: 10:24 P.M.   (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Wine After Five - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 2. Hard Rock - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 3. Jds Caleb Man - Shane Graham (Australia) 4. Danzig Moon - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 5. Tidewater Tomahawk  - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 6. Wild River Swan - Mika Forss (Finland) 7. Appleby Hanover - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 8. Astreos Boy - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 9. P L Gyro - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 10. Winoc Jimmy - James MacDonald (Canada) 11. Road Warrior - Marcus Miller (USA)   Post time for the first race on the card is set for 7:18 p.m EDT. The action off the track includes a meet and greet autograph session for race fans with the WDC drivers starting in the Grandstand at 5:45 pm, Participation 150, a presentation by the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame as well as a miniature horse and face painting for kids. After the fourth race, 3R officials will conduct the post position draw for the 2017 Prix d'Ete.   The defending champion, New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn, represents the International Trotting Association. The World Driving Championship will also consist of the following top-ranked international competitors: Shane Graham of Australia; Gerhard Mayr of Austria; Rik Depuydt of Belgium; James MacDonald of Canada; Mika Forss of Finland; Noel Baldacchino of Malta; Mark Purdon of New Zealand; Eirik Hoitomt of Norway; Bjorn Goop of Sweden; and Marcus Miller of the United States. After the Hippodrome 3R leg, the drivers will head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship, which will take place on Friday, August 18 and will be one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. The World Driving Championship – along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown – are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.   Important Links:   Full entries for Wednesday's card (morning line odds to be added when available http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e0816trrvsn.dat   Electronic program pages for the World Driving Championship races: https://goo.gl/jbFP2B   For more information about the 2017 World Driving Championship, visit www.worlddrivingchamps.com

Harness racing fields are now set for the second leg of the 2017 World Driving Championship, set for Monday, August 14 at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario. The WDC will kick off with its first leg on Saturday, August 12 at Century Downs in Balzac, Alberta.   To view the draw and complete information for the first leg, click here. Eleven of the top harness racing drivers from around the globe will compete in the second of five legs. Drivers will earn points based on their finishing position and the top point-earner will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. The Mohawk Racetrack leg consists of four races, with the WDC races slated for Races 2, 3, 5 and 6. Each race will feature 11-horse fields. Here are the entries for the World Driving Championship races. World Driving Championship - Race 1 (Mohawk Racetrack - Race 2) Purse: $15,000 – one mile (ten on the gate, one trailer) (Post – Horse – Driver – Country) 1 – Smoke Monkey – Mika Forss (Finland) 2 – Vics Royal Lady – Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 3 – Justasmalltowngirl – Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 4 – Marty De Vie – Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 5 – Windsong Magic – Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 6 – Burnin Money – Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 7 – Mystery Bet – James MacDonald (Canada) 8 – Avuncular – Shane Graham (Australia) 9 – Nightontheroad – Marcus Miller (USA) 10 – Harper Blue Chip – Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 11 – Musical Spell – Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) World Driving Championship - Race 2 (Mohawk Racetrack - Race 3) Purse: $15,000 – one mile (ten on the gate, one trailer) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 – On Golden Ponder – Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 2 – Bugger Bruiser – Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 3 – Grand Seelster – Shane Graham (Australia) 4 – Ourea Nourrir – Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 5 – Kingsley B – Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 6 – Dialamara – Mika Forss (Finland) 7 – Machapelo – Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 8 – Harttattack – Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 9 – Shock N Rock – Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 10 – Oldfriendskentucky – James MacDonald (Canada) 11 – Big Petes Style – Marcus Miller (USA) World Driving Championship - Race 3 (Mohawk Racetrack - Race 5) Purse: $15,000 – one mile (ten on the gate, one trailer) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 – Mischieviousgirls – Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 2 – Lights Go Out – Mika Forss (Finland) 3 – Life Is A Lady – Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 4 – Double T Grrr – James MacDonald (Canada) 5 – Legal Process – Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 6 – Pretty Hot – Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 7 – Justabit Mean – Shane Graham (Australia) 8 – Maxim Seelster – Marcus Miller (USA) 9 – Duncs Diamond – Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 10 – Artiawitchtoyou – Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 11 – Miss Coco Luck – Mark Purdon (New Zealand) World Driving Championship - Race 4 (Mohawk Racetrack - Race 6) Purse: $15,000 – one mile (ten on the gate, one trailer) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 – St James Gate – Marcus Miller (USA) 2 – Sky Lav – Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 3 – Presquille – Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 4 – Willyorwonthe – Shane Graham (Australia) 5 – Holiday Party – James MacDonald (Canada) 6 – Grana Padanno – Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 7 – Domitian Hall – Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 8 – Lmc Mass Oak – Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 9 – Neils Golden Girl – Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 10 – Mego Moss – Mika Forss (Finland) 11 – Deweykeepumnwhy – Noel Baldacchino (Malta) Post time for Mohawk’s Monday card is 7:30 p.m. (EDT). The wagering program will feature a $50,000 Guaranteed Pick-5 (starts in Race 1) and Early Pick-4 (starts in Race 4). An autograph session with the World Driving Championship participants will take place from 6:30 – 7 p.m. The Terrace Dining Room will be open with a special $22.95 buffet with reservation (for more info, call 1-888-675-7223). Additionally, Monday will be Wing Night in the Trackside Bar (wings will be 75 cents apiece and buckets of Bud will be $25). The defending WDC champion, New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn, represents the International Trotting Association. The World Driving Championship will also consist of the following top-ranked international competitors: Shane Graham of Australia; Gerhard Mayr of Austria; Rik Depuydt of Belgium; James MacDonald of Canada; Mika Forss of Finland; Noel Baldacchino of Malta; Mark Purdon of New Zealand; Eirik Hoitomt of Norway; Bjorn Goop of Sweden; and Marcus Miller of the United States. After the Mohawk leg, the drivers will then head to Georgian Downs in Innisfil on Tuesday, August 15. The action will then move to Trois-Rivières, Que. on Wednesday, August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg. After that, the drivers will then head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on Friday, August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. The World Driving Championship – along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown – are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.   Important Links:   Full entries for Monday's card (morning line odds to be added when available) http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e0814mohsn.dat   Electronic program pages for the World Driving Championship races: https://goo.gl/wzPL6C   For more information about the 2017 World Driving Championship, visit www.worlddrivingchamps.com   Draw Complete for Third Leg of 2017 World Driving Championship Fields are now set for the third leg of the 2017 World Driving Championship, set for Tuesday, August 15 at Georgian Downs in Innisfil, Ontario. The WDC will kick off with its first leg on Saturday, August 12 at Century Downs in Balzac, Alberta. To view the draw and complete information for the first leg, click here. The Championship will then continue on Monday, August 14 with the second leg, which will take place at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario. To view the draw and complete information for the second leg, click here. Eleven of the top harness racing drivers from around the globe will compete in the third of five legs. Drivers will earn points based on their finishing position and the top point-earner will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. The Georgian Downs leg consists of five races, with the WDC races slated for Races 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Each race will feature 11-horse fields. Here are the entries for the World Driving Championship races. World Driving Championship - Race 1 (Georgian Downs - Race 6) Purse: $10,000 - one mile (nine on the gate, two trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 - Shemars Lulu - James MacDonald (Canada) 2 - Scarlet Saphire - Marcus Miller (USA) 3 - Lilys Penelope - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 4 - Mega Sportsstar - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 5 - No Teasing Me - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 6 - Hoosier Lucky Lady - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 7 - Action Royal Grin - Mika Forss (Finland) 8 - Jeremeyes Jewel - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 9 - Acefourtyfouramber - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 10 - I C Anastro - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 11 - Romance In Camelot - Shane Graham (Australia) World Driving Championship - Race 2 (Georgian Downs - Race 7) Purse: $10,000 - one mile (nine on the gate, two trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 - Chief Talkalot - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 2 - Adamncam - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 3 - Jansen Hanover - Marcus Miller (USA) 4 - Capitol Trip - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 5 - A Boy Named Suuzz - Mika Forss (Finland) 6 - Docs Hoss - Shane Graham (Australia) 7 - Cyrax - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 8 - Dont Tell Terry - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 9 - Western Rocker - James MacDonald (Canada) 10 - Idole Duharas - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 11 - American Paradise - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) World Driving Championship - Race 3 (Georgian Downs - Race 8) Purse: $10,200 - one mile (nine on the gate, two trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 - Gliding Senorita - Shane Graham (Australia) 2 - Federal Army - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 3 - Walk The Plank - James MacDonald (Canada) 4 - Cheeky Monkey - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 5 - Chestnut Schofield - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 6 - Whosgoingtocatchus - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 7 - Labatt Hanover - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 8 - Igocrazy Without U - Mika Forss (Finland) 9 - Mandeville - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 10 - Angels Kid - Marcus Miller (USA) 11 - Daytrooper - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) World Driving Championship - Race 4 (Georgian Downs - Race 9) Purse: $10,000 - one mile (nine on the gate, two trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 - Mighty Mouse - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 2 - Santannas Gal - Shane Graham (Australia) 3 - James And Morgan - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 4 - Windsun Ready - Mika Forss (Finland) 5 - Nomatterwhen - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 6 - Michelles Deuce - Marcus Miller (USA) 7 - Sportsillustrator - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 8 - Art Of The Deal - James MacDonald (Canada) 9 - Holiday Romance - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 10 - Miss Dragonfire - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 11 - Strong Alibi - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) World Driving Championship - Race 5 (Georgian Downs - Race 10) Purse: $10,400 - one mile (nine on the gate, two trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1 - Hetties Commander - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 2 - Im The Man - James MacDonald (Canada) 3 - Allies Gift - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 4 - Waikiki Hanover - Marcus Miller (USA) 5 - Hetties Honey - Shane Graham (Australia) 6 - Excellence - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 7 - Ill Stay Here - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 8 - Little Stuie - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 9 - Ken Kan Win - Mika Forss (Finland) 10 - Oaklea Uptown - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 11 - Air Glider - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) Post time for Georgian's Tuesday card is 7:15 p.m. (ET). There will be a meet-and-greet autograph session with all of the WDC drivers so fans can get to know them. There will also be a t-shirt giveaway with the purchase of a live program (while supplies last). Additionally, there will also be an online survivor handicapping contest where the winner will take home $250 (visit georgiandowns.com for more info). The defending WDC champion, New Zealand's Dexter Dunn, represents the International Trotting Association. The World Driving Championship will also consist of the following top-ranked international competitors: Shane Graham of Australia; Gerhard Mayr of Austria; Rik Depuydt of Belgium; James MacDonald of Canada; Mika Forss of Finland; Noel Baldacchino of Malta; Mark Purdon of New Zealand; Eirik Hoitomt of Norway; Bjorn Goop of Sweden; and Marcus Miller of the United States. After the Georgian leg, the drivers will then go to Trois-Rivières, Que. on Wednesday, August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg. After that, the drivers will then head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on Friday, August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. The World Driving Championship - along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown - are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.   Important Links:   Full entries for Tuesday's card (morning line odds to be added when available)   Electronic program pages for the World Driving Championship races.   For more information about the 2017 World Driving Championship, visit www.worlddrivingchamps.com    

Fields are now set for the first leg of the harness racing 2017 World Driving Championship, set for Saturday, August 12 at Century Downs in Balzac, Alberta. Eleven of the top harness racing drivers from around the globe will compete in the first of five legs.  Drivers will earn points based on their finishing position and the top point-earner will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money.   The Century Downs leg consists of five races, with the WDC races slated for Races 4-8. Each race will feature 11-horse fields, with Century offering a special seeded $5,000 Pick 5 on the WDC races.   Here are the entries for the World Driving Championship races.   World Driving Championship - Race 1 (Century Downs - Race 4) Purse: $5,400 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers)   (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Drawing Dead - Shane Graham (Australia) 2. Tigra Seelster - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 3. Dream N Of Mona - James MacDonald (Canada) 4. Freesia - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 5. Viola - Mark Purdon (New Zealand)             6. Run And Tell - Gerhard Mayr (Austria)  7. Sacred Valley - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 8. Whitehouse Secret - Mika Forss (Finland) 9. Janet Rose - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 10. Ashlynn Grace - Marcus Miller (USA)           11. Triple Action - Rik Depuydt (Belgium)   World Driving Championship - Race 2  (Century Downs - Race 5)  Purse: $9,200 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers)   (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Emmas Big Girl - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 2. Mystery Mania - Shane Graham (Australia) 3. You Name It - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 4. Brighten Your Life - Mika Forss (Finland)  5. Big Shir - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 6. Moon Struct - Marcus Miller (USA) 7. Im Gracies Wigwam - Mark Purdon (New Zealand)   8. Lucky Lucka - James MacDonald (Canada)           9. Lissoy - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 10. Wild Chic - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 11. Remember Terror - Gerhard Mayr (Austria)    World Driving Championship - Race 3 (Century Downs - Race 6)  Purse: $6,500 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers)   (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Debonator - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 2. Exclusive - James MacDonald (Canada)  3. Crack The Cognac - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 4. Kavola - Marcus Miller (USA) 5. Pinkmakesboyswink - Shane Graham (Australia) 6. Miss Bojangles - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 7. Mods Mystery - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 8. Alfa Bagel Hanover - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 9. Rain Delay - Mika Forss (Finland) 10. Wazzup Buttercup - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 11. Astrid The Axe - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand)   World Driving Championship - Race 4 (Century Downs - Race 7)  Purse: $6,100 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers)   (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Test Pattern - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 2. Is Santa Real - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 3. Sufferin Succotash - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 4. Starry Eyes - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 5. Orangevale Gazette - Marcus Miller (USA) 6. Blue Star Eclipse - James MacDonald (Canada)  7. Make Some Smiles - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 8. Newport Min - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 9. Barbarela Rose - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 10. Outlawintriguedbyu - Shane Graham (Australia) 11. Wild Flight - Mika Forss (Finland)               World Driving Championship - Race 5 (Century Downs - Race 8)  Purse: $6,500 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers)   (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Pocket Novel - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 2. Coliseum Hanover - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 3. Vow To Win - Mika Forss (Finland) 4. Sin Machqueen - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 5. Big Zeus - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 6. Charge And Go - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 7. Gray Zee - Marcus Miller (USA) 8. Amysterytome - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 9. Chief Saratoga - Shane Graham (Australia) 10. Cenalta Eclipse - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 11. Barossa Blue Genes - James MacDonald (Canada)   The WDC leg is the culmination of the First Annual Calgary Racing Festival. The week-long event, running through to Saturday, includes an Industry Day, Mid-Summer Classic card, Charity Bowling and Charity Golf tournaments, and a Charity Gala.   Live harness racing starts at 5:10 p.m MDT (7:10 EDT) on Saturday. Between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., live music by The Dungarees will greet and entertain fans with Lori Kole performing between races. A parade of champions will take place at 4:30 to introduce the drivers, with a meet & greet scheduled from 5:00 - 5:30 p.m. The defending champion, New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn, represents the International Trotting Association. The World Driving Championship will also consist of the following top-ranked international competitors: Shane Graham of Australia; Gerhard Mayr of Austria; Ric Depuydt of Belgium; James MacDonald of Canada; Mika Forss of Finland; Noel Baldacchino of Malta; Mark Purdon of New Zealand; Eirik Hoitomt of Norway; Bjorn Goop of Sweden; and Marcus Miller of the United States. The drivers will then head to Ontario for the next two legs at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville on August 14 and Georgian Downs in Innisfil on August 15. The action then moves to Trois-Rivières, Que. on August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg before the drivers head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week.   The World Driving Championship -- along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown --  are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.   Important Links:   Full entries for Saturday's card (morning line odds to be added when available) http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e0812cnden.dat   Electronic program pages for the World Driving Championship races: https://goo.gl/AystvB   For more information about the 2017 World Driving Championship, visit www.worlddrivingchamps.com

On Saturday, August 12, eleven of the top harness racing drivers from around the globe will assemble at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, near Calgary, Alta., to kick off the 2017 World Driving Championship (WDC). The World Driving Championship, hosted by Standardbred Canada, will take place at five different racetracks in four provinces, with 11 drivers from around the world competing. Drivers will earn points based on their finishing position and the top point-earner will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. The defending champion, New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn, represents the International Trotting Association. The World Driving Championship will also consist of the following top-ranked international competitors: Shane Graham of Australia; Gerhard Mayr of Austria; Ric Depuydt of Belgium; James MacDonald of Canada; Mika Forss of Finland; Noel Baldacchino of Malta; Mark Purdon of New Zealand; Eirik Hoitomt of Norway; Bjorn Goop of Sweden; and Marcus Miller of the United States. Century Downs hosts the first leg on Saturday, August 12. The WDC leg is the culmination of the First Annual Calgary Racing Festival. The week-long event, running through to Saturday, includes an Industry Day, Mid-Summer Classic card, Charity Bowling and Charity Golf tournaments, and a Charity Gala. The drivers will then head to Ontario for the next two legs at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville on August 14 and Georgian Downs in Innisfil on August 15. The action then moves to Trois-Rivières, Que. on August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg before the drivers head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. The World Driving Championship -- along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown --  are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.   For more information about the 2017 World Driving Championship, visit www.worlddrivingchamps.com

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - The management of the Hippodrome 3R and the Quebec Jockey Club have announced that there will be post time changes for the World Driving Championship (WDC) night on Wednesday, August 16 and for the Prix D'Ete Day on Sunday, August 20. For the special Wednesday program on WDC Night, the first race post time will be 7:15 pm (normally 7:00 pm). The H3R is hosting the fourth leg of the WDC with 11 drivers competing in four championship races. All four of the WDC races, which are the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th races on the program, will be held at an extra distance of 1 1/16th mile (1,710 meters) due to the large number of starters on a half mile track. The entire nine-race card is also being simulcasting throughout Australia and New Zealand. As a special part of the WDC evening, after the 4th race the drawing of post positions for the Prix D'Ete race on Sunday will be drawn live from the winner's circle. The Prix D'Ete is H3R's premier event and one of the richest races (C$200,000) just for four-year-old pacers, in North America. Post time for the race card at H3R on Prix D'Ete Day has been moved to 2:30 pm, two hours later than normal. H3R and the Quebec Jockey Club will feature 15 live races that day, with the C$200,000 Prix D'Ete to be the 14th race on the program, with a post time of 7:00 pm. Also on the program will be the third preliminary round of the C$220,000 Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies. "We have made these changes in post time to better present our premier race day, the Prix D'Ete, and for the World Driving Championship program, which is being simulcast to Australia and New Zealand." said Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club. "We are very excited in Quebec to be hosting a division of the World Driving Championship," Levesque said. "What a super week of racing we will have in Trois-Rivieres with these world-renowned drivers from around the globe coming to our track and then on Sunday our Prix D'Ete premier race day." Horsemen and women are reminded that the entry box for Wednesday's World Driving Championship program closes on Friday, August 11 at 11:00 am. Also, that the horses for the Prix D'Ete race itself, must be declared by 11:00 am Wednesday, August 16. The entry box for the remainder of the Sunday program will stay open until 11:00 am Thursday, August 17. It should be noted that Lasix is not allowed for horses in the province of Quebec. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

August 2, 2017 - Standardbred Canada today announced that harness racing driver James MacDonald will represent Canada in the upcoming 2017 World Driving Championship, taking place from August 12 to August 18 at racetracks across the country. MacDonald, 31, was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and currently resides in Guelph, Ontario. He stands among the top five drivers in Canada with $1.79 million earned, and has 95 wins this season. Last October, MacDonald finished second in the National Driving Championship held at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The National Driving Championship has been used since 2007 to determine Canada's representative for the World Driving Championship. "It means a lot, obviously," said MacDonald. "I would've liked if it had happened on different terms but I'm really excited, I can't wait to wear the red and white and to compete all across Canada. I'm just happy to be here, especially with the last leg being in PEI. It's a big deal for me. I haven't been home in three years. I get to see some friends and family and I'm sure there will be a big turnout rooting for me." Over his career, MacDonald has won 1,677 races and earned $22.4 million, primarily racing on the prestigious Woodbine Entertainment circuit. He has won the Milton Stakes twice at Mohawk Racetrack, and won the Battle of the Belles Stakes at Grand River Raceway twice. The World Driving Championship, hosted by Standardbred Canada, will take place at five different racetracks in four provinces, with 11 drivers from around the world competing. The first leg kicks off at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino near Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, August 12, followed by Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario on Monday, August 14, and Georgian Downs, in Innisfil, Ontario on Tuesday, August 15. The event then moves to Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivières, Quebec on Wednesday, August 16, and finally to Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park, on Prince Edward Island, for the fifth leg on Friday, August 18. MacDonald hopes his familiarity with the tracks will offer him a hometown advantage. "I've won a race at all the tracks we're racing at," he says. "I won two races in Calgary last year when we were out there for a charity event, Mohawk and Georgian I've raced at lots, and I won one at Three Rivers when I was there a few years back. I got my first lifetime win in Charlottetown. I know the styles that work, so I think I got that, but if I don't, I know a couple people I can talk to." Each WDC leg is scheduled to have four or five races. Drivers earn points based on their finishing position, and the top point earner at the end of the event will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion, and win $25,000 in prize money. MacDonald replaces Brandon Campbell in the WDC. On Tuesday, August 1, Standardbred Canada announced that Brandon Campbell was removed as Canada's representative for the 2017 World Driving Championship.   Kathy Wade Vlaar  

On Tuesday, August 1, at 12 noon, Standardbred Canada issued a statement that harness racing driver Brandon Campbell was removed as Canada's representative at the 2017 World Driving Championship taking place this month, citing that further details would be provided when available. On July 29, Standardbred Canada was notified that the following ruling was issued by Horse Racing Alberta. "Going into an international competition that Canada is hosting in less than two weeks time with a driver that received a major fine and suspension due to a positive test is not indicative to what we want our association to be promoting and supporting to fellow Canadians or the international community," said Dan Gall, President and CEO. "Standardbred Canada made a decision based on the conditions of participation and what we believe is best for the sport and the industry." "There are many stakeholders and sponsors that have been impacted by this decision," said Gall. "This is an unfortunate situation that we have had to manage and it did not come without its sensitivities and consideration. "Standardbred Canada has worked quickly to secure a replacement to ensure that Canada will have representation at this international event." The replacement will be officially announced today (August 2) on the Standardbred Canada website at 4:00 pm EDT. We wish to thank our stakeholders, sponsors and race fans for their patience and understanding.  

This morning, President and CEO of Standardbred Canada Dan Gall announced that, “effective immediately, Standardbred Canada has removed harness racing driver Brandon Campbell as Canada’s representative for the 2017 World Driving Championship.” The decision comes following Campbell’s suspension from competing after his horse Ima Dude failed the routine test for performance-enhancing drugs at a race in Calgary in early July. On July 9, during race five at Century Downs racetrack, Ima Dude tested positive for ephedrine and its metabolite phenylpropanolamine, and pyrilamine and its metabolite o-desmethylphrilamine. The violation incurred a $4,000 fine and a full suspension from racing until January 31, 2018, which means that Campbell will be unable to compete in the competition set for this August. Campbell would have been the first driver from western Canada to represent the country in the World Driving Championships 25-year history. Since Campbell started his career in harness racing in 2003, he has driven more than 1,300 winners and earned more than $8 million for them. Campbell is a familiar face at Fraser Downs – he was the leading dash driver on the track in 2015. His official Canadian driving colours and helmet were presented at the winner’s circle at Fraser Downs on April 21. Gall and Harness Racing BC Executive Director Carla Robin presented the colours to him in a special ceremony. Campbell qualified for the World Championships by winning the 2016 National Driving Championships in October 2016, and he was expected to compete in the 2017 World Driving Championships across the country from August 12 to 18. It was Campbell’s third time competing in nationals, and his first victory. “It’s just a dream come true to do this,” Campbell told the Reporter in April. “I’m just very excited.” Standardbred Canada has not yet released information on whether Campbell will be replaced in the World Championships set for this August. By Samantha Anderson Reprinted with permission of The Surrey Now-Leader

Harness racing driver Brandon Campbell was presented with the official Canadian driving colours and helmet for the upcoming 2017 World Driving Championship (WDC) in the winner's circle at Fraser Downs on Friday, April 21. The 33-year-old Calgary resident will represent Canada in this year’s WDC, presented by Standardbred Canada from August 12–18. Dan Gall, President and CEO of Standardbred Canada, along with Donna Scrannage, President of Harness Racing BC,  Carla Robin, Executive Director of Harness Racing B.C., and Darren MacDonald, Director of Racing for Great Canadian Gaming, made the presentation prior to the evening's first race. Campbell is the first Western-based harness driver to represent Canada in the WDC and was named the Canadian rep after winning the National Driving Championship last October at The Raceway at the Western Fair District in London, Ont. The road to the Nationals started in May last year when he was invited to represent Fraser Downs in the Western Regional Driving Championship, which was hosted in June at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Calgary, Alta. He won that event for the second consecutive time, leading to a coveted spot in the Nationals. "We saw you out in London, Ontario win the Nationals and you did an incredible job," said Gall during the presentation. "On behalf of Harness Racing B.C., Great Canadian Gaming and Standardbred Canada, we'll be out there with you. We're expecting that cup and we know we'll get it from you...no pressure! But have fun and thank you very much. You're an awesome representation for Canada." John Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale-Langley City, also offered Campbell congratulations and best wishes for the upcoming competition. "Brandon, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I'm pleased and proud to extend congratulations on your success to win the Western Regional Driving Championship and going on to win the National Driving Championship, which earned you the right to represent Canada at the World Driving Championship this summer, where you'll represent Canada in harness racing against the best in the world," said Aldag. "We know that you'll be an outstanding ambassador for our country and will wear our colours proudly. We wish you further success and to be first past the post throughout the 22-race series to bring the World Championship to Canada. Again, congratulations and all the best!" The WDC will showcase drivers from 11 countries and consist of 22 races spanning five different racetracks in four provinces. Drivers will earn points based on their finishing position and the top point-earner will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. "I've had a lot of thoughts about it, but I try not to think about it too much because I get pretty excited and worked up, and it's a long ways away yet," said Campbell, who has driven over 1,300 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $8 million during his career, which started in 2003. "There's been a lot of thoughts and a lot of dreams as I go to bed at night. It's just a dream come true to do this and I'm just very excited." The first leg will kick off at Century Downs on Saturday, August 12. The drivers will then head to Ontario for the next two legs at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville on August 14 and Georgian Downs in Innisfil on August 15. The action then moves to Trois-Rivières, Que. on August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg before the drivers head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. "I think I've got a huge advantage," said Campbell of the 2017 WDC being contested on his home turf. "I've driven on all the tracks other than Quebec, and Quebec is built the same as CDP. Our racing style is different, our rules are different, everything's a little different. It's going to be a little bit to adjust to the way these guys drive, but like I said, I think I really do have a big advantage, and I'm going to take the red and the white all the way." The WDC, along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown, are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.   Kathy Wade Vlaar Manager of Industry Marketing

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