The month of February was a good one for the horse racing industry with much great news emerging about the future and the status of the industry in the current unprecedented conditions. Unfortunately, last year the season was put on hold, and fans of the live harness sport had to wait a few months before they see the end of the season.
Last month horsepeople and supporters of the sport have seen the return of the training exercises at the Woodbine Mohawk Park, this was possible due to the then-lift of some lockdown limitations that allowed the race track to renew its operations. Monday morning of March 1, 2021, saw another set of qualifiers being completed at the venue. According to the horsepeople the conditions of the track were good despite the gloomy weather conditions.
The Monday qualifiers were opened by Menlo Park by registering the impressive 2:00.2 on the pace. The four-year-old Betterthancheddar gelding was jockeyed by Phillipe Roy, who rode on behalf of trainer Jean Tourigny. The following race recorded the fastest trotting mile of 2:01.2 for driver Stephen Byron who jockeyed for the owner and trainer Gino Cicero. The four-year-old Angus Hall headed the standings, followed by The Wheel who fell short at four-and-a-quarter lengths. Pocket-sitter Vinyasa was third.
The final event for the morning saw Sunny Bo make the fastest mile on the pace with a 1:56.4 win and two-lengths advantage, with driver Jody Jamieson for trainer Gregg McNair. Snap Test has come as second, and UF Bettors Hanover fell to third place after his initially great start of the qualifiers. The full qualifier session can also be found on the track’s official YouTube channel.
Horse of The Year
Another event that might interest horse racing fanatics is the gala event which took place at the Saratoga Casino Hotel. This will be yet another edition of the gathering which first took place in 2019, the event’s aim is to determine the horse of the year. The previous winner of the event Cash Me Out trotter went head-to-head with its rivals with Phil Fluet in the sulky in the US$9,100 race for high-steppers.
The horse has already won the competition in 2019 after its excellent performances during the 2019 seasons and had a rather solid 2020 spell. Along with Mr. Fluet at the sulky, the horse took an early lead and registered a 1:58.1 time in his winning race. This was the 58th career victory for the owner of the stallion Mike Traylor from Ballston Spa, NY. Gruden came second, and Carier Volo earned the show spot for the event.
New Dates for Winter Series
Most recently the Ontario race track, which is under Woodbine Entertainment’s jurisdiction announced that several of the upcoming Winter Series races will be rescheduled for a later date. Highly-anticipated events such as The Family Day Trotting Series and Wine & Roses Trotting Series are rescheduled to March 8. Blizzard Pacing is now on March 11, and Snowshoe Pacing a day later on March 12. Niagara Pacing and Valedictory Pacing Series finals’ date should also be imminently announced.
Adding More Events to the Schedule
Additionally, the horse racing leader announced even more events for the Woodbine Mohawk Park. There were four more live harness events added to the calendar of the venue. First, one is being eyed to be on Thursday, March 25. Closely followed by another one on March 26. Then another one on March 27. And the last one was set to be on Monday, 29. All of the beforementioned races should begin at exactly 7:00 p.m. at the property.
Source: “Monday Mohawk Qualifiers Complete”, Standardbred Canada, March 1, 2021