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Industry Day Celebration Preview

Published: July 31, 2019 7:54 pm ET

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A race card worth over half a million dollars and a forecast of sunny skies will deliver one of the hottest afternoons in Canadian harness racing during Grand River Raceway’s 29th Industry Day celebration on Monday (Aug. 5).

Industry Day kicks off its festivities and broadcast at 12 noon EST with the first race going to post at 12:30 p.m. Parking and admission are free.

Activities will include a free kids’ zone from 12 to 4 p.m., featuring a petting zoo, bouncy castles and face painting. A summer prize pack valued at $2,000 and a $250 betting voucher will also be up for grabs. The Central Ontario Standardbred Association will sponsor a Caretakers That Care Competition, in which $1,500 in prize money will be won by Industry Day caretakers, recognizing their commitment and dedication to the sport’s equine stars.

A 50-50 draw will be offered by the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, and the Drive A Racehorse crew will provide free guided trips around the racetrack in double-seated jog carts, between the races, for a limited number of lucky guests.

The much-loved Drivers’ Edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes will headline the half-time show after race five.

Eleven races will be featured on the Industry Day card with purses amounting to $540,850. The 11-race card includes five divisions of Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

The $157,500 Battle Of The Belles and the $239,000 Battle Of Waterloo each showcase nine of the province’s best Ontario-sired rookie pacing fillies and colts. The finalists earned their berths in elimination races contested on July 29.

Featured in this year’s Battle Of Waterloo is elimination winner Beach Blanket Book, who leaves from post 4. Trainer Blake MacIntosh will look to score his second Battle Of Waterloo victory after winning with another son of Sportswriter, Sports Column, in 2016.

Beach Blanket Book won his elimination with a sweep of the field in a maiden-breaking score in 1:56.4. The colt is owned by Mac and Heim Stables as well as Hutt Racing Stable, who also teamed up with MacIntosh in 2016 with Sports Column.

Second Battle Of Waterloo elimination winner Aneto will leave from the trailing position 9 for trainer Tim Gillespie and owner Synerco Ventures Inc. The Bettors Delight colt also broke his maiden with his elimination win and was a coast-to-coast winner in 1:55.4 with driver Bob McClure.

Aneto and Bob McClure proved fastest in the Battle Of Waterloo eliminations with a 1:55.4 effort.

The 22nd Battle of Waterloo also features trainers of past Battle champions such as Carl Jamieson, who endeavours to score his sixth Battle Of Waterloo title with Sports Obsession (post 5). Local trainers Scott McEneny and Ian Moore are each seeking their second Battle title with Better B Swift (post 7), who was second in his elimination for McEneny, and Denali Seelster (post 3), who finished fourth in his elimination for Moore.

Young teamster Teesha Symes will send out Mach Three colt Wind Blown from the coveted rail position. He was second by a head to Aneto after a gritty first-up journey in his elimination race.

If Wind Blown finds the winners circle for Symes, she would be the first female trainer, and the youngest (at 30) to win the Battle Of Waterloo. The victory would also give J Harris his first Battle Of Waterloo driving title.

Wind Blown would also add his name to the list of Mach Three offspring that have won this race, joining Machapelo, Three Of Clubs and the immortal Somebeachsomewhere.

The 11th annual Battle Of The Belles will feature Alicorn, a daughter of Bettors Delight, from post 4. Alicorn, matched the track record for two-year-old fillies with her elimination win in 1:54.2 and also holds the record for the fastest divisional mile in OSS history with her recent Gold Series win in 1:51 over Woodbine Mohawk Park.

With Louis-Philippe Roy in the bike, Alicorn was missionized early with a bold first-up move before the half-mile marker against Sound Idea (with Sylvain Filion). Alicorn then drew off from the field to a margin of 3-1/4 lengths for owners Windermere Stable LLC and Robert Muscara. Trainer Chantal Mitchell will also seek Battle redemption after finishing second to Bronx Seelster with Bettors Wish in last year’s Battle Of Waterloo.

Alicorn proved a gritty 1:54.2 winner in her Battle Of The Belles elimination.

The Battle Of The Belles will also feature elimination winner Queso Relleno with driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Blake MacIntosh from post 3. Jamieson shoots for his fourth Battle Of The Belles title with Queso Relleno, who broke her maiden in an elimination where she breezed by the field in 1:55.4. MacIntosh co-owns the daughter of Betterthancheddar with Hutt Racing Stable, Sue Vernon Smith and The Flanagan Sisters.

MacIntosh will also send out Betterbeasecret from post 7 in the final.

The local father-and-son duo of Gregg McNair and Doug McNair (both of Guelph, Ont.) will send out Karma Seelster from post 8 in the Battle Of The Belles final. She won the third of three elimination races on Monday night. Karma Seelster, who holds the highest yearling price of any horse in the Battle Of Waterloo or Battle Of The Belles ($127,000), is a sister to Kokanee Seelster, Kendall Seelster and Kylie Seelster, and is one of three daughters of Sportswriter in the field.

Karma Seelster would give sire Sportswriter his fourth Battle Of The Belles winner. For Team McNair, it would be their second Battle Of The Belles title.

Also featured in the field for the Battle Of The Belles is Temagami Seelster, who leaves from post 2 and was second in her elimination to Queso Relleno. Temagami Seelster, driven by J Harris, is trained by 2018 Battle Of Waterloo winning trainer Wayne McGean.

Trainer Amanda Fine, who celebrated her first training win in early July, will send out elimination runner-up Highland Salsa from post 5, who impressively fought a closing Karma Seelster down the stretch.

The five OSS divisions will feature Silas Seelster and Missile Seelster – the winner and runner-up respecitvely in the City Of London Series raced earlier this year at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Both are campaigned by trainer Ian Moore.

Prestige Seelster, Better Moonon Over, Fast N First and Sports Teen – all Battle Of Waterloo finalists in 2018 – will also return to Industry Day for sophomore OSS Grassroots action.

Leading OSS Grassroots starter Sugartown will also race on Industry Day, hunting for his third OSS Grassroots win of the season for trainer Richard Moreau and driver Louis-Philippe Roy.

For those who can’t make it out to the track, the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) will present the $157,000 Battle Of The Belles and $239,000 Battle Of Waterloo on Facebook Live.

The one-hour broadcast produced by CUJO Entertainment will be shown on the Standardbred Canada website as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Greg Blanchard, Mark McKelvie and Jaimi MacDonald will host the action. The show will include a feature on Industry Day, which has become one of the most important dates on the Ontario racing calendar. The Facebook Live broadcast is the last in a series of four shows this season sponsored by COSA, which also included the Confederation Cup, Camluck Classic and Legends Day programs.

To view the entries for the Industry Day card of harness racing at Grand River Raceway, click on one of the following links: Entries ~ Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT)

(with files from Grand River Raceway)

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