TORONTO, April 3, 2018 – They say time flies and that’s fairly accurate when discussing the Woodbine Fall/Winter meet.
Just four cards of live harness racing remain at Woodbine Racetrack before the Standardbreds move permanently to Woodbine Mohawk Park in Milton, Ontario. It hasn’t felt like long since racing returned to the Airport Oval back in October, but now the packing begins as we enter the final week.
Just as things wrap up at Woodbine, the racing continues to pick up as Spring brings plenty of anticipation for the big races to come later this season. The last week saw the track leaders cleaning up, a dazzling effort by a Pepsi North America Cup eligible, a Preferred pick-off and much more.
It’s time for “The Weekly Roundup” (Edition #12)
LEADING DRIVER OF THE WEEK – Louis Philippe Roy (10 wins)
A quiet Saturday night (by his standards) didn’t stop Louis Philippe Roy from leading the way over the last week. The Mont-Joli, Quebec native clicked for 10 victories over four cards, including a “Grand-Slam” on Monday to cap off the week in style.
Roy’s most notable victory of the week came with older trotter Big Rich in Monday’s $34,000 Preferred Trot. It was one of four victories for Roy and trainer Richard Moreau.
In total, Roy won 10 of 33 drives over the week for a 30.3% winning percentage.
Roy has now built a 29-win lead atop the Woodbine Driver Standings for 2018.
CLOSE BEHIND: Phil Hudon (4 wins), James MacDonald (4 wins), Bob McClure (4 wins).
NOTE: 14 different drivers won races over the last week (40 races).
DRIVER OF THE WEEK STANDINGS: (After 12 weeks)
Roy – 6.5
McNair – 3
Jamieson – 1.5
Henry – 1
LEADING TRAINER OF THE WEEK – Richard Moreau (8 wins)
It was just another typical week at the office for Richard Moreau, as Canada’s five-time defending Trainer of the Year picked up eight-wins over four-nights of racing.
Moreau sent out just two starters on Thursday and was held off the board, but then his barn got down to business over the night three-nights. The Puslinch, Ontario resident had a Friday “Hat-Trick”, a single Saturday and a “Grand-Slam” on Monday.
Six-year-old gelding Big Rich was the biggest winner of the week for Moreau, as he captured the $34,000 Preferred Trot at odds of 5-1 in a career-best 1:53.1.
Moreau’s barn sent out 27 starters over the week and had a winning percentage of 29.6%.
WORTH NOTING…Ben Baillargeon posted three-wins on Saturday…Outside of Moreau and Baillargeon, seven-different trainers won multiple-races during the week.
NOTE: 24 different trainers won race over the week (40 races).
TRAINER OF THE WEEK STANDINGS: (After 12 weeks)
Moreau – 11
Auciello – 1
SPICY DOUBLE STARTS THE WEEK WITH A BANG – Thursday, March 29
If you cashed on Thursday’s Early-Double at Woodbine, you probably felt pretty good the rest of the week. Back-to-back 20-1+ upsets kicked off the new stretch of racing at the Toronto oval.
Six-year-old trotter Guscrest captured the opener at 27-1 ($57.50) for driver Phil Hudon and trainer Susie Kerwood. The next-race saw three-year-old gelded pacer Dam Lucky strike at 20-1 ($42.60) for driver Doug McNair and trainer William James.
Both upset winners went coast-to-coast and both won by multiple lengths. Guscrest was the biggest upset winner of the week.
Thursday’s $2 Daily Double returned $884.90.
‘BEACHIN’ IN THE RAIN – Thursday, March 29
It certainly wasn’t beach weather on Thursday evening at Woodbine, but that didn’t stop three-year-old pacer Beachin Lindy from turning in another dazzling performance.
The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere entered Thursday’s Non-Winners of Two-Races or $25,000 lifetime off a massive 6+ lengths score on March 15. Beachin Lindy and driver Louis Philippe Roy got away fifth on Thursday and would angle out at the half without cover.
Beachin Lindy paced well on the far turn to pull up along side race-leader Larrys Petrock at three-quarters. In the stretch, Beachin Lindy would hit his best stride and pull away from Larrys Petrock in the final-eighth to win by nearly five-lengths in 1:54 over a ‘Sloppy’ track.
Trained by Steve Charlton, Beachin Lindy is now three for five in 2018 and five for eight overall. The gelded pacer was originally a $120,000 yearling purchase at the 2016 Lexington Select Sale and made his Baby-Race debut last June for Ray Schnittker.
Beachin Lindy’s time in Schnittker’s barn was short and he somehow found his way to Truro, Nova Scotia, where he raced three-times before begin sold to current owner Larocque Racing Stb Inc. of Thornhill, Ontario.
Beachin Lindy and runner-up Larrys Petrock are both eligible to this year’s Pepsi North America Cup.
SATURDAY TRIPLE FOR BEN BAILLARGEON – Saturday, March 31
Trainer Ben Baillargeon finished off the month of March in style with a three-win night on Saturday.
Sending out five-starters on the card, Baillargeon got back-to-back victories in Races 2 and 3 from four-year-old trotting mare Royal Witch (driven by Trevor Henry) and four-year-old pacer Rock This Way (driven by Mario Baillargeon).
Rock This Way, who was a big 69-1 upset winner in a 2016 division of the Nassagaweya Stakes, surprised the betting public on Saturday, as he won at odds of 12-1.
Baillargeon’s “Hat-Trick” victory came in the evening’s ninth-race, as five-year-old pacer Major Legacy (driven by Mario Baillargeon) scored a mild 8-1 upset.
Heading into the final week of the Woodbine meet, Baillargeon has won 14 of 84 starts this year at the Toronto oval and sits fourth in the Trainer Standings.
PEPSI NA CUP HOSTS ANNOUNCED AND TICKETS ON SALE – Monday, April 2
Woodbine Entertainment announced Monday that K. Trevor Wilson and Dylan Playfair from the hit-show Letterkenny will be the hosts of this year’s Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, June 16 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Tickets officially went on sale for this year’s $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on Monday morning. Fans coming to Woodbine Mohawk Park on Opening Weekend will have an opportunity to purchase tickets for 25% off and it was also announced a portion of ticket sales will go towards the Milton District Hospital Foundation.
To find out all the details around this year’s Pepsi North America Cup, click here.
75 MAKE FIRST PEPSI NA CUP SUSTAINING PAYMENT – Monday, April 2
The numbers have been released from the March 15th Woodbine Stakes payment deadline and just four of the 79 three-year-old pacers nominated to this year’s Pepsi North America Cup have dropped out.
A strong group of 75 remain eligible for Canada’s richest harness race, including award-winners Stay Hungry and Lost In Time.
Woodbine has also made available all the eligible horses for each stakes event in 2018. To view the lists and read more about this year’s Pepsi North America Cup eligible horses, click here.
WOODBINE MEMORIES – Monday, April 2
The era of live harness racing at Woodbine Racetrack is almost complete and Mark McKelvie of Woodbine’s Media Department continues to take fans down memory lane.
Check out some of the classic races from over the years at Woodbine Racetrack.
2001 – The late-great rookie sensation Western Shooter muscles by Mach Three at the wire to capture the Breeders Crown 2YO Colt Pace for Campbell & McIntosh. Great race that featured 4-horses who went on to make over $1 million. pic.twitter.com/7BpU2rcsG7
— Mark McKelvie (@MohawkMarkM) March 31, 2018
2003 – The Pacing Mare division around this time was outstanding! Eternal Camnation battles back to defeat Bunny Lake & capture the Breeders Crown! Cam Swifty, Worldly Beauty, Always Cam & Molly Can Do It round out the field. pic.twitter.com/hIFA8gbi0i
— Mark McKelvie (@MohawkMarkM) April 2, 2018
WHO IS THE ALL-TIME LEADING DRIVER & TRAINER AT WOODBINE – Monday, April 2
Just four cards remain at Woodbine Racetrack and buzz is growing around the topic of the “All-Time Leading Driver and Trainer” at the Toronto oval.
Mark McKelvie of Woodbine’s Media Department has been counting down the “All-Time” leaders on Social Media. Currently the countdown has unveiled numbers 10 through 4.
The “All-Time” leaders will be announced on Saturday evening with a special presentation taking place.
Who do you think the “All-Time Leading Driver and Trainer” is?
We've now revealed #10 through #4 on the #BetWoodbine Driver/Trainer All-Time Wins Leaderboard. Who do you think is #1?
We will be recognizing the All-Time Leaders later this week with a special presentation. pic.twitter.com/BVevPxDo2O
— Mark McKelvie (@MohawkMarkM) April 2, 2018
UP NEXT: April 5-9
The final week of live harness racing at Woodbine Racetrack. Only four nights remain at the Toronto oval, so make sure you either join us on track or watch via simulcast as we bid farewell.
Post time Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday is 7:10 p.m.