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Mohawk Opener Makes Headlines

Published: April 9, 2015 9:12 am ET

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"It will be interesting because the last many, many years we opened at Mohawk around the long weekend in May, so this will be a test and we'll see how we do the next six or seven weeks."

Thursday marks the first night of racing in the 118-date meet at Mohawk Racetrack as Woodbine Entertainment Group shifts its Standardbred product to Campbellville. Both The Guelph Mercury and the Toronto Sun have penned articles in advance of Mohawk's first 2015 harness racing card.

Jamie Martin, Woodbine's senior vice-president of racing, told The Guelph Mercury that visitors to Mohawk will now see a new infield toteboard as part of WEG's multi-million dollar upgrade to a high-definition (HD) broadcast signal.

"We're going through the process of conversion to HD at Mohawk," Martin told Dave Briggs for The Mercury. "We actually won't have our new control room constructed and everything ready to go HD at Mohawk until the end of the meet. We're not going to make it this year, but one of the things we need to do is we need to have a widescreen, 16 x 9 infield board. So, we were able to squeeze that in before the meet started. So it is there.

"I'm hopeful our customers will see that as a, 'Oh, wow,' because a lot of people watch the races from the apron. We need to have a good screen there."

In The Toronto Sun, Bill Lankhof penned his article on the youth movement visible atop the WEG drivers' colony.

“I think it has changed quite a bit,” said driver Doug McNair, who sits second in the driver’s standings behind Sylvain Filion. “Even if you go back just a few years, most guys had to be in their 30s before they could race (on the Woodbine/Mohawk circuit) full-time. Me, Jon Drury, and a couple others, all came in about the same time and I think it’s good for the sport.

“When you have the younger drivers, they tend to hang out with a younger crowd and I think it might get more younger people...a new generation of people coming out to the track.”

The Toronto Sun article also contains comments from Jonathan Drury and James MacDonald. Those three drivers, as well as Chris Christoforou and Anthony MacDonald, comprised a drivers round-table feature aimed at helping today's handicapper. That feature is part of the Horseplayers' Issue of Trot Magazine.

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