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It's not easy to write this letter but I believe I am compelled to, especially at a time where harness racing is in the middle of the unknown in B.C. I believe it is a critical time for the City of Surrey and the Honourable Minister of Finance De Jong to step in and work with Harness Racing BC and the track operators at Fraser Downs. This year, horse racing celebrates its 250th year in Canada. It has contributed to communities, industry, business, and the culture of our communities across Canada. It's the sport of the people. I am writing this letter because I feel disheartened that a wonderful sport like harness racing, horse racing in general, is in peril. It's clear the Horsemen at Fraser Downs truly want their careers, livelihood, and passion to continue and grow within the current partnership with Great Canadian. However, there have been numerous challenges that have hindered this reality for a while. I believe that if you truly want to sell a product that you must reinvest in that product strongly, market it, create conditions where it can thrive, and the responsibility to do lies solely on the shoulders of the track operator. If the circumstances were optimal for horse racing to thrive, I truly believe it would. The success of harness racing depends on how much the track operator will invest and has the will to invest. As a current owner and trainer of horses, I found the article to speak to issues that have long been of concern. From track and backstretch maintenance to the countless potholes and depreciating structures that are very dangerous to the horses and horsemen. Each summer a promise is made to fix the holes, or track, or barns, and each summer they fall drastically short. As cited in the Feb. 22 article, Harness Racing BC Executive Director Carla Robin said, “discussions with Great Canadian regarding the deterioration of the backstretch have been ongoing for years, with little result. Yet, as per the lease agreement with the City of Surrey, Great Canadian “has to maintain a first-class racetrack facility, which has been neglected.” In my experience, the response by the track operator to address safety concerns on the backstretch, or track, have been marginal at best. One could conclude that it's a conscious effort to do as little as possible, as slowly as possible, until trainers like myself ship their horses out of the province to race under better conditions, giving Great Canadian leverage to use the decreasing horse population as an excuse not to work harder for the horse industry. As mentioned in the article, they are responsible for maintaining the track in a safe manner. This would apply to backstretch conditions as well. How can someone sit in their office, knowing that a work place is unsafe for both workers and animals? The efforts have been one of taking notes, nodding of heads, saying things will get done, followed by one small action at a time, often a year apart and because of relentless meetings and requests by the Horsemen. I raced at Fraser Downs in the late 70’s and early 80’s. My family had a breeding operation and a racing stable. A time when I could not recall when track maintenance was a main factor in cancelled races. Fog or power outages were the issues. The track was maintained by qualified and trained individuals, with proper equipment and work hours to do the job. Not to mention the excitement generated by the track operator/owner that was welcoming to horse enthusiasts from the local and surrounding communities. I have witnessed the many challenges with track and backstretch maintenance, to the point where I have personally lost more than $25,000 worth of horses to injury due to track conditions, and I am not the only one. I do not want to be in a situation where I’m racing a horse and fearful that they may not make it through the race, to see any more horses suffer, or Horsemen struggle to make a living at a career they live for and are passionate about. I understand the changing times, and recognize fully that it is a different sport in 2017 then it was in 1980. From a business perspective, it's more of a challenge, I agree. However, that does not mean we should allow it to die and disappear. I believe in 2017 there are more resources available to help, including financial supports. This is proven by the success of other racinos across Canada. I would like to see the City of Surrey speak up in support of the racing industry. My understanding is Fraser Downs was given the OK for slots under the commitment to reinvest into the horse racing industry. Then the track was sold to the current operators. Now I witness the casino disconnecting from horse racing. I understand there are many variables involved, however, I can’t accept the state harness racing is in at this point. There would be no casino without the racetrack. Further, this is an industry that is an essential part of the fabric of our community, the agriculture and sport sectors, and it contributes to the economy and provides many jobs within the surrounding region. It’s an industry that is home to many and one that we want to see thrive and succeed. What is abundantly clear to me is that the working relationship between the track operator and Harness Racing BC is at a tipping point. It’s been a slow-moving process through the mud at a pace that has impacted livelihoods, the safety of horses and Horsemen, and the future of the racing industry. It’s time to climb out of the mud and onto the pavement. I feel that it’s time to take a different approach. A couple questions to ask; when you drive by Fraser Downs, do you see any indication through signage, posters, or marketing efforts that there even is harness racing there? How much money was invested in renovating the Casino compared to money spent on the backstretch and track maintenance? Reiterating, given the state of negotiations on numerous critical areas, I believe it is clearly time for Finance Minister De Jong to step in and assist Harness Racing BC and the track operator in finding an equitable solution that secures an industry in need. A show of good faith would be to start with granting Harness Racing BC’s request to extend the current Fraser meet to make up for several race dates that have been cancelled due to weather. I believe the current government is “all about job creation.” I fear that if the City of Surrey and the Minister of Finance do not step in at this point, we could be witnessing the loss, not only of jobs and careers, but a way of life … a culture. Dear Minister De Jong and the City of Surrey, I implore you to take the time to meet with Harness Racing BC and Great Canadian for the future of horse racing in BC. It is the 250th anniversary of horse racing in Canada. A pastime for soldiers, horse racing was born and developed into a massive industry by passionate individuals. I ask you, in memory of those soldiers, and those who have grown the industry over the last 250 years, to please take an active role in the current efforts to continue horse racing in BC. With respect, a concerned owner and trainer. Jerome Bouvier, Cloverdale Reprinted with permission of The Cloverdale Reporter

CLOVERDALE — Roy Johnson’s next birthday will be his 80th. He doesn’t look it, and he doesn’t sound it. Maybe that’s what a life surrounded by horses and harness racing does for you. On Monday (Oct. 3), as rain pounded on the roof above, Johnson worked busily on a horse in one of the six large red barns that have for so long identified the facility now known as Fraser Downs Racetrack at Elements Casino. Johnson was here when it was simply “Fraser Downs,” and before that when it was called Cloverdale Raceway. Indeed, Johnson has been part of the track’s fabric since the very first day, on Jan. 1, 1976. “It was just a field before that I think,” he recalled, “but yes, I was here from the beginning, when racing first started.” It all began very early for one of the track’s most iconic figures. “I’ve been doing this since I was five years old,” he said. “My parents had horses...they had standardbred and thoroughbreds, in Saskatchewan. We lived on a farm there. I’ve been involved with them ever since. “I’ve raced in Regina, Saskatoon, Sandown Park (on Vancouver Island), Sportsman’s Park (in Illinois), Hollywood Park (in California). In the States, I worked for a big stable, and we toured the country. “I’m like Hank Snow – I’ve been everywhere,” he said, laughing. Johnson, who’s called Surrey home since 1965, remembers well the many years he spent as a trainer and a driver, but is quite content now to leave the driving to others. “I was in an accident. A racing accident, here at this track, I would say five or six years ago. And my daughter said, ‘That’s it. We’re not going through this again.’ “I can go out and train my own horses now, but I don’t care to go out and race anymore. I have two horses here, but I get someone else to drive them. For me, rather than sitting at home watching television, I’m moving around every day. You can’t beat it.” On Thursday (Oct. 6), Johnson and his compatriots will begin a new season of harness racing at Fraser Downs. But not just any old season. This is the 40th anniversary of the storied Cloverdale track. And Johnson isn’t the only one who’s psyched. Carla Robin, the executive director of Harness Racing BC, is looking forward to the party. On opening night, she promises giveaways to the first 100 people through the gate, a memorial celebration for longtime star driver Bill Davis and an appearance by Ray Gemmill, the first driver to ever win a race at the facility. On Monday, Robin took me on a behind-the scenes tour. She showed me her office, directly across the hall from that of the BC Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch. She explained that Harness Racing BC provides the horses for harness racing throughout the province, which these days is limited to just a single track: Fraser Downs. The GPEB, literally within arm’s reach, makes sure everything is kosher. She took me to the barns, a beehive of activity where upwards of 200 people were scooting this way and that, training the horses and readying them for the season at hand. She told me the Fraser Down barns can house up to 500 horses, and explained that once the season gets underway, the entire area is “closed off and restricted.” And that’s what happens in a wagering atmosphere. According to Robin, “on some nights we have more than $300,000 being bet on the horses.” Here, everyone I see is down-home friendly. Over there is Mark Abbott, son of another Fraser Downs veteran, trainer Gord Abbott. At 27 years of age, Mark is one of the younger folks I met during my visit. But he’s no rookie. “I’ve been shoeing for 10 years,” he said as he worked on a “new horse we just got from Alberta.” The horse will compete in a “stakes race” Thursday, where the winner trots away with $10,000. And Mark’s removing its shoes, inspecting them for wear, making reparations to both shoe and hoof, and re-shoeing. Mark’s also a driver, and his enthusiasm for the sport is obvious. The guy’s a natural. No wonder. His dad’s been a Fraser Downs fixture for three and a half decades, and is also a member of the board of directors. “I was raised in the business in Ontario,” the elder Abbott said. “I came out here in 1981. I’ve been training the entire time.” They just returned from Alberta, where they “race all summer,” and that they’re “racing eight horses (at Fraser Downs) now.” “The horses jog every day. Some days we work them out harder than others. We keep them fit and keep them sound and we look after whatever ailments they have. They’re athletes.” Standing trackside, I noticed some horses travelled clockwise, while others moved counter-clockwise, like they do during a race. Some are confined to the smaller inner circuit, and one trainer handled two horses simultaneously. At least the horses and the drivers know what they’re doing, even if I don’t. Robin suggests arriving a bit early for Thursday's season kickoff. Racing begins at 6 p.m., but arriving just after 5 should get you a good seat and first crack at the buffet. For more info, call 604-576-9141 or visit by  Gord Goble - Surrey Now Reprinted with permission of site    

Stephane Lareau's first five wins of the season all came in one night as he dominated Rideau Carleton Raceway's 2015 opening card on Sunday. Lareau bookended the 14-race card with victories aboard Angel Land ($3.70) for trainer James Lamacchia and Stonebridge Regent ($14.20) for Daniel Laflamme. He was also victorious in the eighth race with Kathy McBride's three-race streaker Ill Bea Star Too ($3.70) and went right back out to win with trotter Undercover Bro ($7.60) in the ninth and then Wildsville ($10.50) in the 12th race to help Richard Lareau complete a training double. Stephane Lareau was one of Rideau's top 10 drivers last year earning 45 of his 61 wins at the Ottawa oval. Announcer Idol returns to Flamboro Downs Flamboro Downs' popular Announcer Idol contest returned at the Dundas, Ontario track on Sunday night for the second edition, with Giant FM's Mike Tyler the first to give a call. Every Sunday night through March 22, a different, local broadcast media personality will step into the booth alongside track announcer Gary Guy and call the evening’s third race. At the end of March, Flamboro’s fans and patrons will have their say by visiting the track's website to vote for their favourite race call. The winning announcer will receive a donation to the local charity of their choice, compliments of Flamboro Downs and Great Canadian Gaming. Last year's inaugural edition of Announcer Idol was won by Y10's Brian West, who donated his winnings to Y108 Children's Fund. To view the rest of this story click here.  Cowboy Caper returns quick dividens  Fresh off the claim, Cowboy Caper debuted from the Justin Currie stable with a winning performance in Sunday's $10,500 Open Pace at Fraser Downs. Cowboy Caper sat third for most of the mile in the 10th race feature before kicking home to earn his first win of the year with Travis Bowman aboard. Even-money favourite Sterling Cooper (John Chappell) worked his way to the lead through a :26.3 opening quarter and overtook inside starter Gable Blue Chip (J.F. Gagne) in front of the grandstand with Cowboy Caper following in third. Sterling Cooper led the field past the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:24.2 while Lizard King (David Hudon) tipped out from fourth, but was unable to improve his position. Heading down the stretch, Sterling Cooper was swarmed from both sides by Gable Blue Chip, who took to the passing lane, and the rallying Cowboy Caper, who prevailed on the outside by one and a half lengths in 1:54 over the "good" track. Rock Allstar (Brandon Campbell) closed late from the backfield to steal second-place over Gable Blue Chip and Sterling Cooper. To view the rest of this story click here.   

Prairie Illusion and driver Scott Knight benefited from an early speed duel and rallied home off cover to win the $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open Pace at Fraser Downs on Friday night. The first quarter was an aggressive :26.2 speed duel over the off track as outsider Millbanks Ariel (Allan Molloy) overtook insider Real Pretty (Travis Bowman). The former caused interference to the latter when crossing to command and the eventual outcome was a judges placing involving those two at the conclusion of the race. However, Real Pretty moved back out for the re-take in front of the grandstand, and as she passed the half-mile mark in :56.2, Northlands Filly Pace champion Rummys Command (John Chappell) advanced first up from third with Prairie Illusion following her cover from fourth. To view the rest of this story click here. Sing Like An Angel has merry tune Scratched sick from Northlands Park's first Fillies & Mares Open of the New Year last weekend, Sing Like An Angel returned to action a winner on Friday night in the weekly $10,000 distaff feature. Travis Cullen opted to drive the five-year-old mare this time out while Philip Giesbrecht took the reins on stablemate Emmasphere. Leaving from post three, Sing Like An Angel fronted the compact field of five through a :29-second first quarter. After the soft opening panel, Blue Star Beauty (Kelly Hoerdt) swept up from third to take over command and made her way to the half in :59. Meanwhile, Emmasphere advanced from the back of the pack to apply first over pressure, but she couldn't past the leader. As Emmasphere stalled, 4-5 favourite American Passion (Gerry Hudon) moved three-wide from behind her near the 1:27.4 third quarter mark, but Cullen was quick to pull Sing Like An Angel from the pocket and charged up alongside Blue Star Beauty around the final turn. Down the stretch, Sing Like An Angel drew clear for the 1:57.2 triumph over the frozen track, with American Passion closing for second. Blue Star Beauty finished third while Emmasphere was fourth and Crackers Hot Shot a distanced fifth. To view the rest of this story click here. Wittup leaving HRBC for new Century Downs Harness Racing BC Executive Director Jackson Wittup has announced that he will be leaving his post, as he has accepted the position of racing secretary at the new Century Downs racetrack in Balzac, Alberta, which is scheduled to open in March. Wittup’s announcement has come via Tom Wolski’s ‘Hoss Talk’ column in The Province. In speaking of leaving his position in BC, Wittup said he’s “enjoyed working with the horsemen.” He added that “being involved in the sport all my life, I understand their perspective. I also learned what a tough industry it is for them.” To view the rest of this story click here.

Pacer Topcornerterror and trotter Spartan Victory were both wire-to-wire winners in a pair of $7,000 Preferred 3 events co-featured on Sunday night's harness racing card at Flamboro Downs. Topcornerterror ($4.40) romped to a 10 length victory in the $7,000 Preferred 3 Pace for horses and geldings, stopping the clock in 1:56.1 over the "good" track. Jonathan Drury drove the nine-year-old Western Terror gelding for trainer Des Tackoor and his partners Don Lee and Tony Valentini. Justa Camilion (J.R. Plante) and Get Around Town (Bob McClure) rounded out the top three finishers. To view the rest of this story click here. Sterling Cooper romps at Fraser Downs Sterling Cooper made his first start from the Bill Davis barn a winning one as he drew away from the competition by four lengths over a sloppy track in Sunday afternoon's $10,500 Open Pace at Fraser Downs. Sterling Cooper made a quarter-pole move sweeping up from fourth to take the lead after the :26.3 opening panel. The 1-2 favourite began to separate himself from the rest of the field through middle panels of :57.3 and 1:26.1 and cruised home for the 1:57.1 triumph with Gable Blue Chip (J.F. Gagne) and Lizard King (David Hudon) following in second and third, respectively. To view the rest of this story click here.

Driver Brandon Campbell celebrated a career milestone on Friday night at Fraser Downs as his first victory of the New Year was also his 1,000th lifetime. In the evening's fifth race, Campbell catch-drove Valerie Emerson and trainer Richard Remillard's four-year-old pacer Elska Min ($19.30) to a mild 8-1 upset victory in 1:59.4 over the sloppy track. Leaving from the inside post, Campbell got away second behind Whiteliesnpromises off the gate, but was shuffled back as the parked Make Mine Five took over command and then Lisplaced moved up to apply first over pressure. Campbell sent Elska Min, who was racing along the pylons in fourth place, to the outside near the third quarter mark then swept three-wide around the duelling leaders and pulled ahead in deep stretch to win by one and a quarter lengths. Lisplaced finished second with Make Mine Five taking third over Whiteliesnpromises. To view the rest of this story click here.

Trotting mare Out Of The Hat ($3.00) notched her 15th win of the year and kicked off a training triple for Stephane Pouliot on Sunday night in the co-featured $6,500 Winners Over Handicap Trot at Rideau Carleton Raceway. The 1-2 favourite retook the lead from early challenger and eventual runner-up Four Starz Speed after the :28.2 opening quarter and cruised through middle splits of :58.3 and 1:27.2 en route to the three length triumph in 1:57.2. The win was her second in a row and fourth in her last five starts. Michelangelo finished third. Out Of The Hat was the top trotter for wins in North America last year with 18 victories and the daughter of Kadabra and has followed that season up with another impressive campaign this year racing for Meadowgem Farm and 9096 9205 Quebec Inc. Rose Run Nash currently tops the trotting leaderboard with 19 wins in 2014. To view the rest of this story click here. Wire-to-wire for Brocks Fortune at Flamboro Brocks Fortune led from start to finish while delivering on his pari-mutuel promise in the featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Pace for horses and geldings on Sunday night at Flamboro Downs. Driver James MacDonald sent 6-5 favourite Brocks Fortune ($4.40) to the lead off the gate and never looked back, carving out fractions of :27, :56.4 and 1:25, then holding off the pocket-pulling Mach Pride down the stretch to win by half a length in 1:54. Goldstar Badlands came from last to show, just over one length behind. John Cecchin trains the four-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal, who has won eight races and $80,000 in purses this season, for Mark Austin Stables Inc., Noblock Racing Stable and breeder Robert Chapple. To view the rest of this story click here. Accident but no major inuries at Fraser Serious injuries were avoided in an accident that took place during the sixth race at Fraser Downs on Sunday. Wild About Eagle (Travis Bowman) broke stride while racing in sixth place around the first turn and fell near the head of the stretch, causing interference to the trailing horses, including Judges Acenthehole (Jim Marino), Wishful Luck (David McKellar) and Kim Chee (Brandon Campbell). Bowman and Campbell were unseated during the incident, but returned to action and fulfilled their driving duties later on the card. Early reports from Fraser Downs indicate the drivers and horses involved in the accident suffered only superficial injuries. To view the rest of this story click here.

A newcomer to Western Canada this year, Drawing Dead scored her first victory against Open competition on Friday night at Fraser Downs. Drawing Dead took a new lifetime mark of 1:54.2 over a "good" track in Friday's featured $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open Pace for trainer Sean Lancaster. The five-year-old Power Of Art mare is owned by Chris Lancaster of Port Coquitlam, B.C. To view the rest of this story click here. Sing Like An Angel prevails at Northlands Stablemates Sing Like An Angel and Emmasphere traded turns on the lead in $8,800 Fillies & Mares Open Pace with the former ultimately prevailing for the second straight week on Friday night at Northlands Park. Driven by Philip Giesbrecht, Sing Like An Angel cleared inside starter Emmasphere and trainer Travis Cullen off the gate, but even-money Emmasphere quickly swept around her barn buddy and reached the first quarter in :28.2. Emmasphere continued to lead the compact field of five through middle splits of :58 and 1:26.3 before Sing Like An Angel came through along the rail to win in 1:55.4. Blue Star Beauty (Jamie Gray) rallied off cover to place while first over American Passion (Gerry Hudon) edged out Crackers Hot Shot (Bill Tainsh Jr.) for third, with Emmasphere ending up just over two lengths behind in fifth. To view the rest of this story click here. Can I Say delivers at Flamboro Favourite Can I Say delivered on her pari-mutuel promise with a front-stepping score in Friday night's featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Trot at Flamboro Downs. Garrett Whelan sent the five-year-old daughter of Fourth And One to the lead early on and fronted the field through fractions of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:28.1 en route to the 1:57.2 triumph with inside assignee Winkys Pride (Scott Coulter) following three-quarters of a length behind. Finishing two and a half lengths back, Smarty Pants (J.R. Plante) edged out Tornado Tim (Daniel O'Brian) for show. Trainer Jim Whelan shares ownership of Can I Say with Terry and Clarence Devos of Langton, Ont. She has now won four of her seven races in the Preferred 2 class at Flamboro Downs this year and has never missed a cheque for seasonal earnings of $26,620. Lifetime, the homebred mare has won 18 times in 50 starts and sports a bankroll of $273,215. To view the rest of this story click here.

Friday’s nine-race card at Northlands Park turned out to be another profitable harness racing evening for Travis Cullen thanks to a training hat trick which included an impressive come-from-behind score in the feature race with Sing Like An Angel. Cullen, who took home the inaugural Future Star Award at last year’s O’Brien Awards, got the ball rolling when he guided Burnt On Top to a 1:57.1 tally in Race 4. The five-year-old son of Blue Burner drew clear to win by 11-1/2 lengths in the $4,200 affair. He also clicked with stablemate Summons just three races later in a $4,300 claiming tilt. The four-year-old son of Ponder was a front-stepping winner in a sharp clocking of 1:55. Sing Like An Angel gave Cullen his third winner of the night, but she was handled by Phil Giesbrecht. He picked up the ‘live’ catch-drive behind the four-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight, and he made the most of the opportunity. To view the rest of this story click here. Gracie Montana has found winning ways After starting the year a dismal 0-for-26, pacing mare Gracie Montana has really found her winning ways late in the season at Fraser Downs for owners Jeff and Debbie Elchuk of Surrey, British Columbia. The seven-year-old daughter of Camluck-Sportstalk recently moved back into the barn of trainer/driver Bill Davis, and it’s been a profitable homecoming for the 37-time winner. Gracie Montana got away sixth in Friday’s $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open – a class that she’s won in three of her last four outings – before making a bold move in the late stages of the mile en route to the impressive victory. When Davis cut her loose in the lane she responded by driving away to the 1:55.4 score over Skade and Just One More. To view the rest of this story click here. Flamboro Preferred To Lexis D J Lexis D J disappointed as the favourite in last week’s $11,000 Preferred 3 for trotters at Flamboro Downs, but he redeemed himself with a come-from-behind tally in Friday’s feature at Canada’s fastest half-mile oval. With Bob McClure barking out orders from the racebike, Lexis D J got away sixth in the early going while Hesgotlegs fired to the front and laid down panels of :28.2, :59 and 1:28.4. The leader’s legs got soft late, however, and opened the door for a host of challengers from the backfield. The 'livest' of those threats was Lexis D J, who made a bold move at the three-quarter pole en route to winning by a head in 1:59.2. Dragin The Wagon was a determined runner-up, with third prize earned by race favourite Can I Say. Shane Arsenault of Freelton, Ontario trains and owns the seven-year-old son of Amigo Hall-Lexus Lulu. It was the fifth win of the year – and the 31st to date – for the career winner of $379,612. To view the rest of this story click here.

Officials with Harness Racing BC have announced that Fraser Downs' scheduled card of live racing for tonight (Friday, December 5) has been cancelled. The cancellation has come due to unsafe track conditions. Jackson Wittup, HRBC’s executive director, has told Standardbred Canada's Trot Insiderthat “after a week of cold and frost and warmer temperatures today the frost is now coming out of the track.” Wittup also stated that a decision will be made Sunday morning in regard to the card of live racing which is scheduled to go forward this Sunday afternoon.  

Out Of The Hat took advantage of the passing lane to prevail in the featured $6,500 Winners Over Handicap Trot at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday evening. Fresh off a front-end victory at the Ottawa oval last Sunday, Out Of The Hat settled for a pocket trip tonight as Four Starz Speed took over command past the first quarter mark and battled on top with the challenging Euro Classic. Trainer/driver Stephane Pouliot then sent Out Of The Hat up the passing lane to prevail over the duelling leaders by three-quarters of a length in 1:58.2. The track was rated "good" with a one second variant. The leading trotter for wins last year with 18, the Kadabra mare has added 13 more victories to her record during her five-year-old campaign in 2014. To view the rest of this story click here. Mach Pride rebounds at Flamboro After some front-end friction took him out of contention last Sunday night, Mach Pride rebounded in the $7,000 Preferred 3 Pace for horses and geldings this evening at Flamboro Downs. The favourite in last week's Preferred 3, Mach Pride was advancing up alongside the leading Get Around Town when they hooked up and backed through the field as a result of the interference. This week, he had things all his own way, leading wire-to-wire in 1:55.4. Mach Pride was the favourite again in Sunday's Preferred event and paid $2.60 to win. Major Homer finished over three lengths behind and Get Around Town was third. Mach Pride has won two of his last three starts for trainer Louie Eftimiadis. The four-year-old son of Mach Three was driven by J.R. Plante and is owned by Michael Virdiramo, Sheldon Rose, Randy Zhok and Lou Green. To view the rest of this story click here. Repeat win at Fraser for Beren Hanover Beren Hanover was first up and first home to make it two wins in a row in Fraser Downs' $10,500 Open Pace on Sunday. Trainer/driver Allan Molloy sent Dal Reo Farms' four-year-old pacer first over from fifth down the backstretch and swept by his rivals to score the 1:54 triumph over the frozen track. Gable Blue Chip (Serge Masse), who had led through panels of :26.1, :56.1 and 1:25.2, finished third as Rock Allstar (Brandon Campbell) came through in the passing lane to snatch the runner-up honours. To view the rest of this story click here. Truro feature goes to Watersides Kipper Former Maritime stakes competitor Watersides Kipper converted off a pocket trip to score his first victory of the year in the top pacing class at Truro Raceway on Sunday. Making his second start this year at Truro after racing in New York and Ontario, Watersides Kipper pulled the pocket and overtook the pacesetting Schooner into the stretch before drawing away by three and a quarter lengths for the 1:58.1 victory. Last week's winner in the $1,275 feature pace, Dreams Matter, followed in third. To view the rest of this story click here.  

There were some new sophomores in the winner's circle during the second round of the Autumn Series on Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The first of three $15,000 trotting divisions went to 7-1 fourth choice Tequila Haze ($16.40), who converted off a pocket trip to prevail in 1:57.2 by two and a half lengths over first over challenger Oaklea Wyatt (Daniel Potvin), with Theresademoninme (Chris Christoforou) taking third prize ahead of pacesetter Class Me Nice (Sylvain Filion). Sitting behind the Muscle Mass gelding for the first time, Bob McClure drove the winner of five races in 23 starts and $44,142 for trainer Keith Jones and owner Douglas McCarthy of Holland Landing, Ont. To view the rest of this story click here.  Fraser Downs feature to Call Me Up Driver Brandon Campbell worked out a perfect second over trip aboard Call Me Up in the $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open Pace at Fraser Downs and the six-year-old mare kicked home off cover to prevail over the sloppy track on Friday night as the longest shot on the board. Just One More (Jim Marino) took control of the nine-horse field during a :27-second opener and continued to lead the way around the Surrey oval through a half in :57.1 and three-quarters in 1:26.1. However, Call Me Uprallied home off Prairie Illusion's (Scott Knight) cover in the stretch and defeated that rival by one length in 1:56.2 to post a 19-1 upset. Another 19-1 longshot, Skade (Keith Clark), closed from the back of the pack in the final quarter to edge out Just One More for third. The favoured entrymates, Cheyenne J (Travis Bowman) and Real Pretty (Serge Masse), finished less than two lengths behind in fifth and sixth. To view the rest of this story click here.  Travis Cullen trainees win at Northlands Park Travis Cullen trainees Emmasphere and Sing Like An Angel took the top two spots in Northlands Park's $8,800 Fillies & Mares Open featured on Friday night. Leaving from post four with her trainer in the sulky, Emmasphere carved out panels of :28.3, :59.4 and 1:28.2 en route to a 1:58.2 triumph over the "good" racing surface. Sing Like An Angel and Philip Giesbrecht finished over two lengths behind off a three-hole trip, edging out first over American Passion and pocket-sitter Blue Star Beauty in a photo finish for the runner-up honours. To view the rest of the story click here.

Trainer John Cecchin and the Mark Austin Stables swept the Preferred 2 events featured on Sunday night's harness racing card at Flamboro Downs with Brocks Fortune and Machleen. Both pacers are owned by the Mark Austin Stables while Brocks Fortune is also co-owned by Noblock Racing Stable and breeder Robert Chapple. In the $11,000 Preferred 2 for male pacers, the Jonathan Drury-driven Brocks Fortune ($8.90) was a wire-to-wire winner over the track rated "good" in 1:54.4 with Intrigued Intended and Goldstar Badlands rounding out the top three finishers. In the $10,000 distaff division, Machleen ($10.20) closed up the passing lane off a pocket trip to defeat pacesetter After Alimony and the popular first over challenger, Russian Kisses, by half a length in 1:56.4 with James MacDonald at the lines. To view the rest of this story click here. Fraser Open to Beren Hanover Beren Hanover made a backstretch brush from third to first and scooted away from his Open rivals to win Fraser Downs' $10,500 afternoon feature race on Sunday. Beren Hanover watched the early action from third as Cowboy Caper and heavy favourite Thunder Noise traded turns on the front end. He then swept around the top two down the backstretch and drew away to win by nearly five lengths in 1:55 flat. Rock Allstar came on for second and Cowboy Caper finished third. Thunder Noise faded to seventh in the seven-horse field. To view the rest of this story click here.  

Continuing her newfound winning momentum, Gracie Montana was sent wide for the stretch drive and delivered on her pari-mutuel promise in Friday night's featured $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open Pace at Fraser Downs. Gracie Montana followed along in fourth while Call Me Up led the six-horse field through fractions of :26.4, :57 and 1:25.2. Keep The Dream went first up down the backstretch, but failed to gain ground prompting even-money favourite Gracie Montana to fan three-high off her cover. She then out-sprinted her rivals down the lane to prevail by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.3. Cheyenne J finished second off a pocket trip as the longest shot on the board while Just One More came on for third. Making her fifth start from the Bill Davis stable, Gracie Montana earned her third straight victory (using the same off-the-pace tactics) and second at the Open level. The seven-year-old Camluck mare had gone winless in her previous 26 starts this year. To view the rest of this story click here. Gerry Hudon has four bagger at Northlands Live harness racing returned to Northlands Park on Friday night and trainer/driver Gerry Hudon got off to a perfect start at the meet as he won with all four of his starters in consecutive races during the eight-dash card. The Sturgeon County, Alberta horseman won races four through seven with American Passion completing the grand slam in the feature event, the $8,800 Mares Open Pace. American Passion romped to a five and a quarter length victory in 1:56.4 over the frozen track with temperatures dropping 14 degrees below zero. She paid $23.10 for the 10-1 upset win. Sing Like An Angel and Blue Star Beauty rounded out the top three finishers. To view the rest of this story click here. First training victory for Justin Darling Justin Darling sent out his first winner as a trainer on Friday night at The Raceway at the Western Fair District. Darling's first victory came courtesy of his own three-year-old pacer Keystone Dalton, who pulled off a 13-1 upset in the fifth race for $10,000 claimers. The Mach Three gelding took over the lead just past the half and drew away to win by nearly seven lengths in 1:57.1 over the "good" track. Darling, 33, is the son of respected horseman Jack Darling. The resident of Cambridge, Ont. works for his father's stable and was making just his second start with his own trainee. To view the rest of this story click here.

The biggest day of harness racing on British Columbia's calendar, B.C. Breeders Classic Day is in the books at Fraser Downs, and it was a day dominated by a pair of Ontario-based reinsman. Millbanks Writer was sent off as the favourite in the $50,000 Betty Millbank Memorial Breeders Stake Final for two-year-old pacing fillies, and she got everything her way on the front end. With Serge Masse at the controls, Millbanks Writer forged her way to the lead off the gate with a swift :27 opener. Kevin Anderson settled second choice Fast Lane Elektra on her back, with longshots Fast Lane Firebolt (Clint Warrington, Jr.) and Kootenay Mystic (Bill Davis) comprising the top four. Those fillies remained unchanged and unhurried through a wind-stiffened 1:00.3 half and wind-aided 1:30.4 third panel. To view the rest of this story click here.

With Trevor Henry catch-driving, Nickle Bag pulled off an 18-1 shocker as he claimed his first Preferred victory on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit on Saturday night. The popular stakes competitor Thinking Out Loud was the 8-5 favourite in Woodbine Racetrack's featured $34,000 Preferred Pace and driver Randy Waples fired him across the track from the outside post seven to establish the lead into the first turn. The millionaire pacer led the way through fractions of :26.3, :55.1 and 1:22.2 before Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) advanced from third up alongside him down the stretch. To view the rest of the story click here. Junebugs Baby doing fine in November Junebugs Baby is off to a perfect start to November as he picked up his second straight victory this month in the top pacing class at Northside Downs on Saturday afternoon. The pocket-pulling Junebugs Baby poked a head in front of race leader Imbadimnationwide at the third quarter mark in the $1,200 feature race and drew off to score a wide-open win in 1:58.4 for trainer, driver and co-owner Fraser Turnbull. Imbadimnationwide stayed for second while Great Luck finished third over six lengths behind the winner. To view the rest of the story click here.  Breeder's Classic Day coming at Fraser Downs With $250,000 in stakes purses up for grabs, the top two and three-year-old pacers in British Columbia will face off on Breeders Classic Day this coming Tuesday, Nov. 11 at Fraser Downs. The two-year-old fillies will kick off the stakes action in the $50,000 Betty Millbank Memorial Breeders Stakes, scheduled as race two. Winner of three of the first four preliminary legs, Millbanks Writer will start from post five in the final with Serge Masse driving for trainer and co-owner Rod Therres. Fast Lane Elektra, who edged out Millbanks Writer in the last Oct. 30 leg, has the outside post six with Kevin Anderson listed to drive for trainer/owner Darren Lupul, who also sends out maiden Fast Lane Firebolt in the event from post four. Fresh off two preliminary wins, two-year-old pacing colt Mister Hat will be looking to continue his win streak in the eighth race final for trainer Marjorie Dumont and her husband J.F. Gagne, who is part of the Westerners Stable. Jim Marino is listed to drive the colt from post two. To view the rest of the story click here.  

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