June 5, 2018
Holiday Road Fillies Sweep Golds
Daughters of Holiday Road did their daddy proud Monday evening as Alexus Eh and Sorceress Seelster hauled home the hardware in their respective OSS Gold Series divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Alexus Eh captured her $94,800 division, winning as she pleased in 1:57.4 for Team Byron. Steve Byron got away fourth with the three-year-old daughter of Holiday Road-Pine Tar while Miss Loo Loo Belle shot to the lead and served up the opening quarter in :28.1.
Alexus Eh tipped off the rail in the backstretch and worked her way to the front while racing parked past the mid-way point in :57.4. She trotted to the three-quarter pole in 1:27.4 before cruising home in a :30-second clip to win by a length over Miss Loo Loo Belle in 1:57.4. Smoke And Mirrors was third.
Sent off as the 6-5 favourite, Alexus Eh improved her 2018 record to 4-1-0 from seven tries for trainer/co-owner Dave Byron and partners Craig Wallwin, James Cantelon and David Cantelon. The lion’s share of the loot lifted the filly’s bankroll to $75,250.
Sorceress Seelster was locked in tight in her latest outing, but she had nothing but open road in front of her on Monday night for Team Wray.
The daughter of Holiday Road-Self Desire got away third before brushing to the lead in the backstretch for driver Scott Wray. After watching Dalliance Seelster put up the first quarter in :27.3, Sorceress Seelster slid through middle panels of :56.4 and 1:26.1 before scooting home in a :30-second clip to win by four lengths in a career-best clocking of 1:56.1. Illusioneesta came on strong to finish second, while even-money favourite Kadabra Queen was third.
Trainer Jack Wray co-owns the trotting lass with Thomas Wray of Schomberg, Ont. The partners watched the sophomore improve her career record to 2-2-1 from nine trips to the track. She boosted her overall cash stash over $150,000 in the process.
It was a productive Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the trainer/driver duo of Carmen Auciello and Jonathan Drury. They joined forces to win three races on the 10-race card.
They took the opener with Great Tune (1:53.3) and returned to victory lane in Race 3 with Reiki (1:52.4). They completed the triple when Avalanche Hanover (1:51.4) rolled to an impressive victory in Race 7.
Since making the full-time move to Woodbine Mohawk Park trainer Auciello has led all conditioners with 26 trips to the winner’s circle. Drury has racked up 29 wins, which ranks him third behind teamsters Doug McNair (37) and Sylvain Filion (31).
To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park.
February 1, 2018
Molson Pace Renamed Camluck Classic
After a successful 25-year run as The Raceway at Western Fair District’s signature race, the Molson Pace will have a new name in 2018.
On Thursday (February 1), The Raceway at Western Fair District introduced the Camluck Classic, a $150,000 Invitational Pace that features the best older horses in North America. It will make its debut on a new date this year – Saturday, May 26 at the London half-mile oval.
The new race name is a tribute to the late world champion pacer who went on to become the most prolific stallion in Canadian harness racing history. The Raceway is very excited to announce its new title sponsor for the biggest night of racing in London – Seelster Farms of Lucan, Ontario.
“We thank Molson for what has been a wonderful partnership for a quarter century,” said director of racing Greg Blanchard. “But change is inevitable and this marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for this race and for racing in this part of the province. Camluck helped put this area on the harness racing map and we think it’s fitting that the race be renamed in his honour.”
Camluck hit the race track in the early 1990s under the tutelage of trainer Bob McIntosh and compiled an excellent record at ages two and three for McIntosh, who was part of the New Destiny Stable that co-owned the pacer along with Al McIntosh.
At age four, he competed as one third of the powerful McIntosh-trained trio that also included triple millionaire Artsplace and the $1.4 million winner Odds Against. Camluck concluded his career on the racetrack with 26 wins from 69 starts and just over $1 million in purse winnings. However, it was in the breeding shed where the handsome son of Cam Fella would truly make his mark, and, in the process, he raised the bar for the Standardbred breeding industry in Canada.
Camluck sired close to 2,400 foals with more than 2,000 of those making it to the races.
“When he first went to stud I was cautiously optimistic,” recalls McIntosh. “He was a tough racehorse and had great conformation, but sons of Cam Fella hadn’t really hit as sires to that point. I took a shot and bred about 18 mares that first year and it all turned out pretty well. I’d have to say he’s one of the greatest pacing stallions ever.”
His offspring combined for earnings in excess of $235 million and included 635 $100,000 winners and 28 winners of $1 million or more.
“To have this race named after him is very special to myself and the entire group associated with the horse. As a kid, London was the track I came to most with my dad and I have a lot of fond memories over the years. I’ve watched this race grow and was even fortunate enough to win it so this is definitely a big deal,” said McIntosh.
Ann Straatman of Seelster Farms in Lucan, home of Camluck for more than 20 years, shares the sentiment of the entire group. “We are delighted to have him immortalized in the prestigious Camluck Classic at The Raceway at Western Fair District, which is our home track and thrilled to be the Presenting Sponsor,” she said. “Camluck’s legacy will live on for generations through his sons and daughters and having this race named in his honour will now add to that legacy.”
The Raceway’s signature night of racing got its start in 1972 and was sponsored by Labatt until 1992 when Molson took over sponsorship.
“This race is almost 50 years old now and it’s amazing to look back to watch its evolution,’ said Blanchard. “It has become more than a race; it is also a terrific event we look forward to enhancing in the future.
“We are very proud to host a race of this stature and are fortunate to have attracted some of very best in the sport who have produced some of the most memorable and exciting races in recent years”
Additional Event details will be available in the coming weeks at westernfairdistrict.com.