Photo Credit : Captured Moments
DRESDEN (ONT) – Brittany Kennedy has been around harness racing her whole life and today she filed another notch in her racing career as she scored her first win as a driver.
Kennedy was at the controls of WINZEL and took advantage of a text book two-hole trip behind favourite STONEBRIDGE SCORE and Tyler Borth before popping out down the stretch for the win.
“It feels pretty amazing and it feels even better to win with WINZEL, he’s pretty special to me.” Kennedy said about her first win.
WINZEL has been part of the Kennedy family since he was a three-year-old in 2008, trained by her father Todd Kennedy until Brittany took over the conditioning in 2014.
“It’s not just special to win with WINZEL it’s also special to win here at Dresden Raceway, my dad used to live in a trailer where the entrance is to the back stretch so this track is important to our family history too.”
Kennedy who is a Registered Massage Therapist drove with the patience of a veteran driver as she sat second on the pylons in fractions of 30.2, 1:00, 1:30.2 and rolled to the outside to step off a last quarter of 29.4 for the win in 2:00.3.
“The only thing that would have made today a little more special would have been to have my uncle Rick here to celebrate, he drove horses and so did my grandfather Jack Duck.” Kennedy added.
Kennedy is partners with Jack and Nancy Holmes and does the training for the 13-year-old Royal Strength gelding.
Donnie Rankin was on fire again today as he guided GD CRUISE FOR GOLD to his fourth straight win and also drove ON THE TAKE to his fifth win in six starts. Rankin is the owner trainer and driver for GD CRUISE FOR GOLD and ON THE TAKE.
Today’s handle at Dresden Raceway was $26,265 which puts the track up almost $30,000 over last year’s total handle.
DRESDEN (ONT) – Dresden Raceway is looking for another big day on Sunday as they will be hosting “Legion Day” and “Bring A Friend Day”
To honour our troops and those who have served to keep Canada safe, Dresden Raceway will be giving away free special hats to Royal Canadian Legion members. There will also be a race named in honour of the legion members.
Dresden Raceway will also holding bring a friend day. First timers at the track will receive a betting voucher, a free program and a food voucher in hopes they will fall in love with the sport as so many others have.
For the third year in a row Dresden Raceway has seen great success with gains in attendance and handle.
Dresden Raceway’s handle is up almost 15% over last year at this time while attendance is up an estimated average of 150 people per day.
On the track Donnie Rankin will be the man to watch this Sunday as he has two of the hottest horses on the grounds including GD CRUISE FOR GOLD who has reeled off three wins in a row. The four-year-old Allthatglittersisgold gelding is the favourite to win the opening dash.
ON THE TAKE is the other half of Rankin’s dynamic duo, as the three-year-old Mach Three gelding has won three of four at Dresden including a second place finish. ON THE TAKE is the 9-5 morning line favourite in the second race.
81-year-old Ken Gowan will be in the sulky behind BELLAS OASIS in the seventh race. Gowan, one of the oldest driver’s in Canada in a Standardbred race this year will be looking for his first victory since 2011. BELLAS OASIS has drawn the rail and is 7-1 in the morning line.
Post time is 1:30p.m.
DR JOE JOHNSTON HONOURED AT DRESDEN
DRESDEN (ONT) – The impact that Dr. Joe Johnston made on horse people in Southwestern Ontario is immeasurable and many of his family and friends told stories today about the long-time vet who passed away in January of 2016.
“He was a great guy. Joe was always there when you needed him and he would help anybody”, said Dennis Duford. “I was proud to call him a friend but he had so many people who respected him for not just being a great vet but for also being a great guy.”
Family member were in attendance at Dresden Raceway as Johnston was enshrined into the Dresden Raceway Hall of Fame. The Dresden native was valedictorian of his graduating high school class in Dresden and was one of the top of his class at the University of Guelph Veterinary School.
Johnston’s Memorial Race was just after the race named after his top horse, A WORTHY LAD. A WORTHY LAD won 30 out of 30 starts and never lost on Canadian soil before he was sold to Swedish interests for $1.5Million which at the time was the highest amount ever paid for a Standardbred in Camada.
VOCTORYS PEANUT was the winner of the Dr. Joe Johnston Memorial Trot. The 14-year-old Brilliant victory gelding is owned and trained by William Leon of Maidstone and was driven to the Winner’s Circle in 2:03 by Nick Steward.
Veteran horseman Ken Gown sat behind three-year-old filly BELLAS OASIS in today’s 10th race making him one of the oldest people in Canada to drive in a sanctioned race this year at age 81.
Dresden Raceway saw almost 1,000 people roll through the turnstiles and wagered a total handle of $26,725.
DRESDEN (ONT) – Local vet Dr. Joe Johnston will be honoured Sunday at Dresden Raceway and enshrined to the Dresden Raceway Hall of Fame.
The Dresden native is remembered as a top notch veterinarian, trainer, owner and all around great guy.
Sunday will feature the A Worthy Lad Trot and the Dr. Joe Johnston Memorial Race to honour Johnston and his greatest success at the track.
Johnston died suddenly in January of 2016 at age 70 but left behind a large legacy.
The top notch vet made national headlines as the owner of A WORTHY LAD. Johnston’s hall of fame trotter was enshrined into the Canadian Racing Hall of Fame thanks to going undefeated in 30 straight races topping Cam Fella’s mark of 28, as a matter of fact, the Worthy Bowl offspring never lost a race on Canadian soil.
Johnston made the tough decision to sell the trotting phenom to Swedish horseman Bengt Petterson for the highest amount ever paid for a Canadian bred standardbred horse at the time of $1.5 million.
A favourite among horse people because of his easy going style and his friendly attitude, Johnston had a passion for his job and that showed right from the start. The Lambton-Kent Composite School (Dresden) valedictorian graduated from the University of Guelph as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and received several awards including the OVC Proficiency Award, the W J Fowler Prize and the WG Stephenson Memorial Scholarship.
One of the most telling awards that Johnston received was the 2002 Good Guy Award given out by Windsor Raceway for all the good he did behind the scenes at Windsor Raceway.
With all the accolades and success he always referred to himself as “just and average Joe” which accented his humility.
Johnston’s family will be in attendance as well as many friends and fans.
Post Time for Sunday is 1:30pm
DRESDEN – GRAND BAY was the winner of the $12,700 Mark Austin Pacing Series Final on Sunday for her fifth win in a row at the local oval. The three-year-old Badlands Hanover was tested several times but was up to the task.
GRAND BAY took the early lead but MICKEYS CRUISER cleared to the front just past the quarter for Garret Rooney but Tyler Borth pulled GRAND BAY out and regained the lead before the half.
GRAND BAY was no sooner settled when PRESIDENTS WISH and Nick Steward came charging up on the outside but again Borth and the Cathy Gaudreau trained filly held off the charge.
A BIT OF BILLIE and Mark Williams closed to within a head but GRAND BAY held off the challenge for the win.
GRAND BAY set fractions of 28.3, 59.3, 1:29.3 for a mile time of 2:00.2 on a good track.
Austin’s wife Julie and daughters Paige and Paula presented Borth with a watch as the winning driver.
The day also featured the Ken Houston Memorial Pace in honour of the former NHL’er who hailed from Dresden. Several former NHL’ers and current NHL player TJ Brodie were on hand to honour Houston.
Almost $5,000 was raised towards the Ken Houston Memorial Scholarship Fund with a live auction, silent auction and raffle.
Sunday was also the largest crowd of the year with over 1,500 people in attendance and the largest handle of the year of $34,180.
JUNE 20, 2018- (DRESDEN)- Sunday will be a special day at Dresden Raceway that will see two former friends share the track spotlight once again.
Trainer Mark Austin and former NHL’er and owner, Ken Houston will both be honoured on Sunday as the Mark Austin Pacing Series will come to a close with the $12,700 final and the Ken Houston Memorial Pace will hit the track as well.
Austin got his start at Dresden Raceway in the 1980’s and quickly became well liked and respected because of his exceptional talent with horses and his friendly nature. The Chatham native quickly moved up in the ranks and moved his stable to Windsor where he trained his own horses and worked with Jack Darling.
Austin then moved to Fergus when Windsor Raceway declined and was always a solid competitor as he trained top horses such as SPARKY MARK and FOOL ME ONCE before he passed away suddenly in 2014.
Houston was a lifelong lover of horses, growing up in Dresden, and became an owner when he made it to the NHL. He was drafted by the Atlanta Flames in 1973 and played nine seasons with Atlanta, Calgary, Washington and Houston where he had six, 20-goal seasons.
Houston’s friend was also his trainer as Austin was the conditioner for Houston’s horses like multiple OSS winner SPARE TIME WARRIOR as well as FISH MY PAL and HOSIT THE COLORS.
Several of Houston’s former teammates in his NHL days and Alumni days will be at the track to honour their friend. Eric Vale, John Gould, Pat Riggen, Pat Ribble, Tommy Williams, Dave Hutchieson and Ray Markham will join current star TJ Brodie at the track.
Dresden Raceway will be inducting Houston into the Dresden Raceway Hall of Fame where he will join Austin who was inducted last year.
Dresden Raceway has dubbed the day hockey day with all hockey players from minor hockey systems and Junior teams welcomed for the day.
An auction will be held to raise money for The Ken Houston Memorial Scholarship Fund and items will include signed jerseys from Frank Mahovolich, Lanny McDonald, Travis Konecny, Tyson Barrie, Claude Giroux and others.
A set of John Campbell’s autographed colours will also be up for grabs as well as a Suite for a Windsor Spitfires games and tickets to the Sarnia Sting and London Knights.
Other auction and raffle items will include Hambletonian swag , a Matts Sundin Autographed picture and a Wendel Clark autographed puck.
Post time Sunday is 1:30pm.
Grand Bay holds off Mickeys Cruiser and Dali Cat in the second leg of the Mark Austin Pacing Series
HEADS TO AUSTIN FINAL
June 15 2018 (DRESDEN) – GRAND BAY has paced her way into the final of the Mark Austin Pacing Series next Sunday at Dresden Raceway.
The three-year-old Badlands Hanover filly went wire to wire to win the first division of the Mark Austin Series in a new lifetime mark of 1:59.3 beating MICKEYS CRUISER by three and a quarter lengths. GRAND BAY is owned by Jim Napper, trained by Cathy Gaudreau and driven by Tyler Borth.
Longshot PRESIDENTS WISH used a two-hole trip to pop out and beat favourite DYNASTY SEELSTER in the second division in 1:59.1 for driver Nick Steward. The three-year-old Badlands Hanover filly is owned by Joe Elliott, Jackie McManus, Richard Dalby and trainer Larry Fitzsimmons.
Mark Williams guided A BIT OF BILLIE to victory in the third division of the Austin Series for owner/trainer Lenore Prince and co-owner Eric Prince. The six-year-old Stonebridge Regal mare used a two-hole trip, was trailing by five lengths at the half then made the move to step off the back half in 59.3 to win by over 11 lengths.
The $12,700 final of the Mark Austin Pacing Series will go post ward next Sunday afternoon during an action packed day at Dresden Raceway.
The track will not only be hosting the Mark Austin Pacing Series Final but will also be hosting the Ken Houston Memorial Pace in honour for former NHL’er Ken Houston who passed away in March. Houston and Austin are no strangers to sharing a day at the track as Austin was the conditioner for many of Houston’s horses.
Several NHL Jersey’s and items will be for auction at the track and on-line including an autographed Lanny McDonald Jersey, and autographed Claude Giroux Jersey, and autographed Travis Konecny Jersey as well as autographed John Campbell colours.
About 900 people braved the heat and bet a total handle of $22,813.
GRAND BAY ON A ROLL IN DRESDEN’S MAPS
June 15 2018 (DRESDEN) – GRAND BAY is one of the hottest horses on the grounds at Dresden Raceway as he is looking for his fourth win in a row and second in the Mark Austin Pacing series. The three-year-old Badlands Hanover filly is the 7-5 morning line favourite in the first division of young pacers for driver Tyler Borth. GRAND BAY cruised to a win in the first leg for owner Jim Napper and trainer Cathy Gaudreau.
The second division will feature a good battle between MYMUMASCRANKY and DYNASTY SEELSTER.
MYMUMASCRANKY won her first leg of the Austin Series for Borth in 2:02.2. The six-year-old Santana Blue Chip mare is owned by Rick Edwards and trained by Stephen Roberts.
DYNASTY SEELSTER finished second to GRAND BAY in the first leg for driver Andy Moore. Doug Dunbar and Jack Wray are the owners of the three-year-old Shadow Play filly with Wray doing the conditioning.
The third division of the Mark Austin Pacing Series has A BIT OF BILLIE and the morning line favourite. The six-year-old Stonebridge Regal mare broke stride in the first turn last week and finished second but was placed sixth for interference. Veteran reinsman, Mark Williams will be in the bike for owners Eric and Lenore Prince of North Buxton with Lenore Prince as the trainer.
Dresden Raceway will also be holding a “Behind the Scenes Fun Day” this Sunday from 9am until noon featuring a farrier, a mare and a foal and a demonstration of how to harness a horse.
The half mile oval is enjoying a great start to the season with wagering up almost 24 per cent over the same three days last year. Harness racing fans can check out the action from Dresden Raceway on HPI every Sunday afternoon at 1:30.