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Huge Handle For Western Fair

Published: December 23, 2014 10:27 pm ET

Last Comment: December 26, 2014 12:36 pm ET | 5 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The final program prior to the Christmas break at the Raceway at Western Fair District proved to be a lucrative one as the London oval recorded what is believed to be a record single-night handle.

Fuelled by a favourable schedule, a strong program and a pair of $7,500 guaranteed Pick-4 pools, fans responded in a big way as they looked to take home some last minute holiday cash by wagering $700,685 on the card.

“It was a huge night for us and a great way to wrap things up before our Christmas break,” said Racing Manager Greg Blanchard in regards to the 14-race program. “For tracks like ours it’s big when we can capitalize on our opportunities and it’s terrific to see customers respond to our product on night’s like this. We’ve still got plenty of racing planned for the rest of this month, so hopefully we can maintain the strong numbers.”

A set of $7,400 Preferred 3 events highlighted Tuesday’s 14-race program at The Raceway at Western Fair District, with Thundering Ovation and Stoney Durkin coming out on top in their respective assignments.

Thundering Ovation went wire-to-wire in the $7,400 Preferred 3 for trotters, and that put a smile on the favourite players that sent her off as the 3-2 favourite.

With Paul MacKenzie at the controls, Thundering Ovation shot to the top from Post 1 and supplied the field with fractions of :28.3, :59.4 and 1:30. A :31.3 closing quarter was more than enough for the mare to win by four lengths in 2:01.3 over a track rated ‘good’ with a two-second variant. Cimeronken rallied for the runner-up award, while Winzel took home the show dough.

Gerry Sloan trains the five-year-old daughter of Thunder Road-Shesintuff for Joanne & Courtney Sloan of Harley, Ontario. The homebred improved her 2014 record to 11-2-3 from 30 starts with the win, and the lion’s share of the purse lifted her lifetime earnings to $226,413.

Stoney Durkin also used ‘catch me if you can’ tactics to take home top prize in the $7,400 Horses & Geldings Preferred 3. Ryan Holliday rolled the 7-5 favourite through fractions of :28.2, 1:00 and 1:29.2 before using a :30.2 kicker to win by a nose over Lawmen Reign in 1:59.4. Justalittleluck rounded out the top three finishers.

Trainer Larry Fitzsimmons of London co-owns the five-year-old son of Whosurboy-Stonebridge Flores with William Durkin of Sparta, Ontario. The win was the fourth of the season – and the 12th to date – for the career winner of $118,631.

Somethinincredible used off-the-pace tactics to capture the $7,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3 for the tandem of driver Alfie Carroll and trainer Bob McIntosh. The three-year-old daughter of Ponder-Breathdefying watched Mother Hen throw down fractions of :29.4, 1:01.1 and 1:30.4 before rolling off cover and sprinting to the lead. Her :28.3 closing quarter propelled her to the win by 4-1/2 lengths in a time of 2:00.1. Mother Hen was second, with Shellace grabbing third prize.

Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, C S X Stables and Dave Boyle share ownership on the six-time winner, who won for just the second time this season. The $3,500 payday bumped her bankroll to $326,182.

The next program at The Raceway comes up this Friday (Boxing Day), with a pair of 14-race programs scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday and then the annual New Year’s Eve program on December 31st. Fans are reminded that special post times of 1:15 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. will be in effect for Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve respectively.

To view results for Tuesday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Tuesday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District.

December 26, 2014 - 12:36 pmFor sure congratulations to

Georg Leber SAID...

For sure congratulations to Greg, Sugar and the gang. They put on a good show.

So let's also look at contributing factors. Western was the only track operating that day.

There were 14 races that day. It is not only good for the handle, it helps the horseman to get multiple horses racing on the same day, cutting travelling costs.

There was a nice mix of claiming and condition races.

I'm sure they are already analyzing the results to find out exactly what does and doesn't work. It is essential for the success of the sport

December 25, 2014 - 10:49 pmWith you on this Will. Put up

ron francis SAID...

With you on this Will. Put up the numbers, get the bonus. Unfortunately, there were too many that just took the slot $$ and let the core business run into the ground.

December 25, 2014 - 11:00 amIve always stated..... if you

Will Yamakva SAID...

Ive always stated..... if you can pull your own weight, you deserve the slot money.

Only a handful of tracks do this and WFR is leading the charge. Easily turning into the best B track in North America, I hope continued success and remaining one of the few B tracks that is fair to the fans in terms of wagering. These pools are great

December 24, 2014 - 5:13 pmBravo Greg and the people at

ron francis SAID...

Bravo Greg and the people at WF. I have faith, that if you work at it, and provide a good product, you will be rewarded.
Keep it up. Records are made to be broken.

December 24, 2014 - 5:11 pmAlways a fav of mine Western

brad snel SAID...

Always a fav of mine Western Fair and hats off to Racing Manager Greg Blanchard and staff of Western Fair to a lucrative night and hope they get the racing dates for 2015!


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