Standardbred Improvement Program Approved

Published: April 1, 2021 12:19 pm EDT

The 2021 Standardbred Improvement Program (SIP), based upon the recommendations of the industry representative Standardbred Advisory Group, has been approved by the Ontario Racing Board of Directors.

The 2021 program total, which includes participation fees, is projected to be $18.043 million, with projected Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) purses of $14.620 million and total reward incentives totalling $2.630 million. The $18.043 million program includes the $4.5 million that is contributed through the Enhanced Horse Improvement Program (E-HIP).

Of note, OSS Grassroots legs will carry a purse of $19,000 per division. Grassroots semifinals are $20,000 per division and finals are set at $50,000 per division, but the latter number could increase based on certain financial factors over the season. OSS Gold events feature a purse of $190,000, while Gold Super Finals will have a purse of $225,000 per event. The Ontario Racing Prospect Series divisional races will feature a purse of $6,500 per division with finals worth $15,000.

The SIP program, which continues to be one of the most successful of its kind in North America, consistently produces Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred Standardbreds that compete and win against the best in the world.

“Despite several difficult challenges faced by the industry, we are still able to offer a lucrative, world-class program, that provides strong purses for owners and participants, as well as exceptional breeder-based awards,” said John Hayes, Independent Chair, Ontario Racing. “Although OSS purses have been adjusted slightly as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic – and we are subject to further risk if live racing is shut down again as OSS purses are funded through Ontario-based wagering – we look forward to another exciting season of racing across the province, which will once again feature some of the very best Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred horses.”

This year’s OSS season is slated to get underway with a three-year-old colt pace on May 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. For a full schedule of OSS events, as well as important news and updates, visit the OSS website.

2021 Standardbred Improvement Program Details:


Gold Legs
- SIP contribution of $190,000 per leg (divided by the number of divisions) PLUS Starting Fees, which will be added directly to the purse
- The purse for legs with a single division will be announced at a later date

Super Finals
- $225,000 each Age-Sex-Gait class
- The Starting Fee for a Gold Leg is $800
- There is no Starting Fee for Gold Super Finals


Grassroots Divisions
- Purse of $19,000 per division PLUS Starting Fees, which will be added directly to the purse

- $20,000 per Semi-final (two per Age-Sex-Gait class)

- $50,000 each Age-Sex-Gait-class
- The Starting Fee for Grassroots Divisions is $350
- There is no Starting Fee for Grassroots Semi-Finals or Championships


Prospect Series Legs
- Purse of $6,500 per division PLUS Starting Fees, which will be added directly to the purse

Prospect Series Finals
- $15,000 each Age-Sex-Gait class
- The Starting Fee for a Prospect Series Leg is $100
- There is no Starting Fee for Prospect Series Finals

(Ontario Racing)



Adding 4-year-old divisions to OSS would bring a new level to the sport helping bring 3-year-old champions back to the track instead of straight to the breeding shed.

I would have like to have seen a 4-year-old "So Much More" have had a shot at this.

This year the opportunity is passed, but think about it for next year!

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