The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Ontario Division) unveiled the 2008 Thoroughbred Improvement Program (TIP), following approval of the Ontario Racing Commission. Valued at $9.6 million, the TIP includes increases in breeders award distributions, overnight stakes races, and the introduction of a new OSS stakes award program.
Canadian drug maker Biovail Corp., which was formerly headed by prominent Thoroughbred owner-breeder Eugene Melnyk, agreed March 24 to pay a $10-million fine to resolve federal regulators' charges of civil accounting fraud and deceiving investors and analysts.
Ascot Knight, one of Canada's top stallions for a number of years, was euthanized Feb. 8 due to declining health. He was 24. He had been pensioned from stallion duty in January at the Taylor family's Windfields Farm near Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. In 2007, he covered 13 mares. He is buried in the cemetery with such farm greats as Windfields, Northern Dancer, and Vice Regent.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge, a series of automatic qualifying races for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, will be expanded from 24 races to a minimum of 49 races at 12 of North America's premier racetracks in 2008, Breeders' Cup announced Feb. 14.
Trainer Steve Asmussen will have a division at Woodbine for the first time when the Toronto-area track opens its 167-day meet April 5.
- By Tom LaMarra
The board of directors of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario has unanimously approved the extension of its current contract with Woodbine Entertainment Group for an additional three years, the organization announced Jan. 18.
Tammy Samuel-Balaz, whose family bred and raced champion Dance Smartly and leading sire Smart Strike, among numerous others, under their Sam-Son banner, died Jan. 5 in Canada after battling cancer. She was 47.
Horse Racing Alberta, the TV company that produced the live telecast of the Alberta Derby for CTV affiliate CFCN in Calgary, Alberta, has won the 2007 Media Eclipse Award for best local television, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Dec. 21.
The Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario is the latest horsemen's group to join the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, which was established Dec. 5 to facilitate simulcast activities for horsemen and improve pari-mutuel economics.
Kissin Kris, winner of the 1993 Haskell Invitational (gr. I) and the earner of over $1.6 million in his racing career, has moved from Tommy Town Thoroughbreds in California to Canada's Esquirol Farm.
The catalog for the winter mixed sale conducted by the Ontario division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society has more than 170 horses.
Weather Warning, a stakes winning son of Storm Cat, will stand in 2008 at Windfields Farm near Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. His fee will be $5,000.
Weather Warning, a stakes-winning son of Storm Cat out of a grade I winner, will enter stud in 2008 at Windfields Farm near Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
Five-year-old Monashee, bred in Kentucky but the pride of Western Canada, bade farewell to Hastings Park Oct. 13 with a smooth victory in the $132,597 Ballerina Breeders' Cup Handicap (Can-III) to rack up her 11th consecutive stakes win.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Equibase Company have released the "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for pari-mutuel wagering in the United States and Canada.
Great Canadian Casinos, an entertainment operator with facilities in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Washington State, will add slot machines to Vancouver's Hastings Park Race Course. Hastings is the fifth Thoroughbred or Standardbred race course to obtain slots from Great Canadian Casinos.
Tethra, who once ranked third on the Canadian leading sire's list, will stand in 2008 at John Burness' Colebrook Farms Stallion Station near Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada.
Three-time Canadian champion Eternal Search died late last month at Curraghmore Farm near Waterdown, Ontario, Canada. Owned by Mel Lawson, the 29-year-old mare is by Northern Answer out of the Ruritania mare Bon Debarras.
AmTote, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Magna Entertainment Corp., has entered into a tote service agreement with Woodbine Entertainment Group in Canada.
More than 250 breeders, families, and friends came together to celebrate the outstanding breeders of 2006 at the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's Annual Awards banquet held at the Airport Marriott Hotel in Toronto, Ontario June 15.
Natalma, the dam of Northern Dancer, and Jack McNiven, one of the leading breeders of Standardbreds in Canada, have been nominated for election into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. They were among the 15 nominees put forward by the Thoroughbred and Standardbred Nominating Committees.
- By Esther Marr
Woodbine in Canada will employ a two-step process beginning in May in an attempt to improve the Polytrack surface it installed last summer.
The British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame added three new members during its 2006 Thoroughbred Industry Awards Dinner: trainer Lance Giesbrecht, owner/breeder John Gunther, and l998 British Columbia Horse of the Year and older male, Artic Son.
The Ontario division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society has announced the release of the 2007 Thoroughbred Improvement Program. The program comes after negotiations with Woodbine Entertainment Group, Fort Erie Racetrack, the Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association, and the approval of the Ontario Racing Commission.
Two highly regarded three-time winners, one based in the United States, the other in Canada, are the early favorites for the 2007 Queen's Plate.
Major sire Runaway Groom, who won a memorable Travers Stakes (gr. I), has been pensioned due to the infirmities of old age.
The Jockey Club of Canada has announced the finalists for the 2006 Sovereign Awards. Winners will be announced at the 32nd annual Sovereign Awards ceremonies at the InterContinental Toronto Centre Dec. 16.
Joey Franco, who stood his first two seasons at Harris Farms in California, will stand in Canada in 2007 at Pacific Stud in Langley, British Columbia. His fee will be $3,000.
With the addition of a revolutionary wireless tracking system developed by Trakus, Woodbine Thoroughbred racing fans across North America can now precisely track each horse they are watching and wagering.
The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's annual select sale of Canadian-bred yearlings realized increases in gross and average Tuesday night at the sales pavilion at Woodbine racetrack in Toronto, Ontario.
The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Ontario Division) has partnered with Streamlogics, a provider of web-casting solutions, to off a live webcast of its Canadian-bred yearling sale.
Of the 13 horses entered for Sunday's Queen's Plate at Woodbine, 11 have previously run at the Ontario track. But one of the two that hasn't started at Woodbine was made the morning line favorite, and for good reason.
Mutuel clerks at Woodbine went on strike Wednesday evening after their 600-member union, the independent Canadian Racetrack Workers Union, voted against the latest contract proposal offered by Woodbine Entertainment Group.
- By Tom LaMarra
Out-of-competition testing of racehorses can be problematic, but some jurisdictions are making headway to combat use of performance-enhancing substances that aren't administered on race day.
A Bit O'Gold, Canada's Horse of the Year in 2005, has been retired from racing.
- By Tom LaMarra
With a first-quarter earnings report that shows net income of $2.2 million versus a net loss of $4.1 million for the same period a year earlier, Magna Entertainment Corp. is rebounding from what company officials called a very tough year in 2005, officials said.
Magna Entertainment Corp. reported Feb. 27 a total net loss of $39.7 million for the three-month period ending Dec. 31, and year-end losses of more than $105 million.
Woodbine Entertainment Group has reiterated its views on non-racetrack rebate shops by denying International Racing Group access to Woodbine-hosted pools.
- By Tom LaMarra
Total handle and purses registered gains during the 167-day Woodbine meet that spanned April 16-Dec. 11.
Fair Grounds Race Course will adopt net pool pricing to calculate payouts on winning wagers beginning with Thursday's program at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
Since common pool pari-mutuel wagering with Canada was introduced in the United States earlier this year, racetracks involved have seen significant gains in handle from Canada, according to Sean Pinsonneault, vice president of wagering operations for Woodbine Entertainment Group in Canada.
The finalists for the 2005 Sovereign Awards, Canada's racing honors, were announced today.
Michael C. Byrne, chairman of the Jockey Club of Canada from 1995 to 2005, has been named this year's E.P.Taylor Award of Merit winner.
Susan Jane Anstey, a key figure in Canadian equestrian and racing circles, died Nov. 9 from cancer. She was 59.
Union Place, a graded stakes winning son of Out of Place, has been retired and will stand at owner William Sorokolit Sr.'s Silver Duck Stable in King City, Ontario, Canada.
The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's Ontario division has catalogued 186 lots for its winter mixed sale on Dec. 3 and 4 at Woodbine.
Churchill Downs will adopt net pool pricing to calculate pay-outs on winning wagers during its Oct. 30-Nov. 26 fall meet.
- By Tom LaMarra
Breeders' Cup, faced with a potential decline in handle for this year's World Thoroughbred Championships given the absence of secondary pari-mutuel operators from its pools, is calling for the industry to expedite a policy on rebate shops.
Four years ago, when he was the farm trainer for Frank Stronach at Adena Springs South near Ocala, Fla., Danny Vella had the satisfaction of seeing former pupils Perfect Sting and Macho Uno win Breeders' Cup races. At this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Vella is seeking an even bigger thrill--training a winner of his own.
In the two months since common pool pari-mutuel wagering with Canada was first introduced at Emerald Downs and Arlington Park, both tracks have seen significant increases in handle from Canada.
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