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First 2017 WDC Leg Set

Fields are now set for the first leg of the 2017 World Driving Championship, set for Saturday, August 12 at Century Downs in Balzac, Alberta.

Eleven of the top harness racing drivers from around the globe will compete in the first of five legs. Drivers will earn points based on their finishing position and the top point-earner will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money.

The Century Downs leg consists of five races, with the WDC races slated for Races 4-8. Each race will feature 11-horse fields, with Century offering a special seeded $5,000 Pick 5 on the WDC races.

Here are the entries for the World Driving Championship races.

World Driving Championship - Race 1 (Century Downs - Race 4)
Purse: $5,400 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers)

(Post - Horse - Driver - Country)
1. Drawing Dead - Shane Graham (Australia)
2. Tigra Seelster - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway)
3. Dream N Of Mona - James MacDonald (Canada)
4. Freesia - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand)
5. Viola - Mark Purdon (New Zealand)
6. Run And Tell - Gerhard Mayr (Austria)
7. Sacred Valley - Noel Baldacchino (Malta)
8. Whitehouse Secret - Mika Forss (Finland)
9. Janet Rose - Bjorn Goop (Sweden)
10. Ashlynn Grace - Marcus Miller (USA)
11. Triple Action - Rik Depuydt (Belgium)

World Driving Championship - Race 2 (Century Downs - Race 5)
Purse: $9,200 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers)

(Post - Horse - Driver - Country)
1. Emmas Big Girl - Bjorn Goop (Sweden)
2. Mystery Mania - Shane Graham (Australia)
3. You Name It - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway)
4. Brighten Your Life - Mika Forss (Finland)
5. Big Shir - Rik Depuydt (Belgium)
6. Moon Struct - Marcus Miller (USA)
7. Im Gracies Wigwam - Mark Purdon (New Zealand)
8. Lucky Lucka - James MacDonald (Canada)
9. Lissoy - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand)
10. Wild Chic - Noel Baldacchino (Malta)
11. Remember Terror - Gerhard Mayr (Austria)

World Driving Championship - Race 3 (Century Downs - Race 6)
Purse: $6,500 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers)

(Post - Horse - Driver - Country)
1. Debonator - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway)
2. Exclusive - James MacDonald (Canada)
3. Crack The Cognac - Noel Baldacchino (Malta)
4. Kavola - Marcus Miller (USA)
5. Pinkmakesboyswink - Shane Graham (Australia)
6. Miss Bojangles - Bjorn Goop (Sweden)
7. Mods Mystery - Gerhard Mayr (Austria)
8. Alfa Bagel Hanover - Rik Depuydt (Belgium)
9. Rain Delay - Mika Forss (Finland)
10. Wazzup Buttercup - Mark Purdon (New Zealand)
11. Astrid The Axe - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand)

World Driving Championship - Race 4 (Century Downs - Race 7)
Purse: $6,100 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers)

(Post - Horse - Driver - Country)
1. Test Pattern - Rik Depuydt (Belgium)
2. Is Santa Real - Gerhard Mayr (Austria)
3. Sufferin Succotash - Mark Purdon (New Zealand)
4. Starry Eyes - Noel Baldacchino (Malta)
5. Orangevale Gazette - Marcus Miller (USA)
6. Blue Star Eclipse - James MacDonald (Canada)
7. Make Some Smiles - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand)
8. Newport Min - Bjorn Goop (Sweden)
9. Barbarela Rose - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway)
10. Outlawintriguedbyu - Shane Graham (Australia)
11. Wild Flight - Mika Forss (Finland)

World Driving Championship - Race 5 (Century Downs - Race 8)
Purse: $6,500 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers)

(Post - Horse - Driver - Country)
1. Pocket Novel - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand)
2. Coliseum Hanover - Rik Depuydt (Belgium)
3. Vow To Win - Mika Forss (Finland)
4. Sin Machqueen - Gerhard Mayr (Austria)
5. Big Zeus - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway)
6. Charge And Go - Mark Purdon (New Zealand)
7. Gray Zee - Marcus Miller (USA)
8. Amysterytome - Noel Baldacchino (Malta)
9. Chief Saratoga - Shane Graham (Australia)
10. Cenalta Eclipse - Bjorn Goop (Sweden)
11. Barossa Blue Genes - James MacDonald (Canada)

The WDC leg is the culmination of the First Annual Calgary Racing Festival. The week-long event, running through to Saturday, includes an Industry Day, Mid-Summer Classic card, Charity Bowling and Charity Golf tournaments, and a Charity Gala.

Live harness racing starts at 5:10 p.m. MDT (7:10 p.m. EDT) on Saturday. Between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., live music by The Dungarees will greet and entertain fans with Lori Kole performing between races. A parade of champions will take place at 4:30 to introduce the drivers, with a meet & greet scheduled from 5:00 - 5:30 p.m.

The defending champion, New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn, represents the International Trotting Association. The World Driving Championship will also consist of the following top-ranked international competitors: Shane Graham of Australia; Gerhard Mayr of Austria; Rik Depuydt of Belgium; James MacDonald of Canada; Mika Forss of Finland; Noel Baldacchino of Malta; Mark Purdon of New Zealand; Eirik Hoitomt of Norway; Bjorn Goop of Sweden; and Marcus Miller of the United States.

The drivers will then head to Ontario for the next two legs at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville on August 14 and Georgian Downs in Innisfil on August 15. The action then moves to Trois-Rivières, Que. on August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg before the drivers head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week.

The World Driving Championship -- along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown -- are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.

Important Links:

For full entries for Saturday's card, click the following link:
World Driving Championship - Leg 1.

For electronic program pages for the World Driving Championship races, click the following link:
World Driving Championship - Leg 1 Program Pages.

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