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July 17, 2014 (DRESDEN) – The stage is set for the $11,600 Final of Mark Austin Pacing Series at Dresden Raceway this Sunday.

The top money winners of the first two legs are eligible for Sunday’s final.

STEP IN MY GROOVE, ACTION TOWN and PULL THE SHADE were the top money winners as each banked $5,000 after winning both legs.

ABITOFALRIGHT is the fourth leading money earner with $3,750 thanks to a win and a second. BIGBADCARLY pocketed $2,500 with a win and a sixth place finish while GOT IT MADE scored purses of $2,500 thanks to two second place finishes.

ALYSSA MARIE, MY GREEK PRINCESS and YOU SAID IT round out the top nine with $1,850 in purse money as they all poached a second and a third.

According to the rules a trainer is only allowed to send two horses behind the gate for the final which means that Bill Kirkpatrick has a decision to make as to which two horses he will enter as he is the conditioner for STEP IN MY GROOVE, ABITOFALRIGHT and GOT IT MADE.

CRT HOTTIE and SENIOR PLAYER will round out the also eligible ranks.

All trainers must enter their horses by Thursday at 10am to be eligible for Sunday’s final.

The series’ namesake Mark Austin was a prominent trainer in Ontario before his sudden death in 2014. Austin got his start at Dresden Raceway in the 1980’s. He trained stars such as FOOL ME ONCE and SPARKY MARK and was credited with breaking all-star trotter A WORTHY LAD for Joe Johnston.



PULL THE SHADE win    FIRST LEG OF AUSTIN SERIES IN THE BOOKS AT DRESDEN July 9, 2017 – (DRESDEN) – The first leg of the Mark Austin Pacing series is in the books at Dresden Raceway. STEP IN MY GROOVE and Nick Steward went wire-to wire to capture the first division of NW of One Race or $5,000 Lifetime (FM $6,000) series. The four year-old Rambaran gelding stepped off fractions of 29.1, 1:00, 1:30.2 for a time of 2:00.4 for owner-trainer Leon Mansfield of Strathroy and partner Antonia Smith. MY GREEK PRINCESS finished second for Tyler Borth while YOU SAID IT and Lorne House finished third. The second division of the series saw BIG BAD CARLY and Tyler Borth hit the winner’s circle in 2:03 after chasing down CRJ HOTTIE and Donnie Rankin. BIG BAD CARLY is a three-year old Big Bad John Filly, owned and trained by Tom Bain of Woodslee and co-owned by Nathan Bain. House guided GMC TROOPER to a third place finish. ACTION TOWN, a three-year-old Mister Big gelding, and Rankin went to the front and never looked back in the third division for owner Ken Sommer of Sheffield, Ohio in 2:02.4. Mark Williams guided GOT IT MADE to a second place finish while THRILLER NIGHT and Garrett Rooney paid on the show ticket. Rooney and PULL THE SHADE took top prize in the fourth division of the Mark Austin series after cutting the mile and holding on for the win by a head over ABITOFALRIGHT and Williams. The three-year-old Dragon Again filly paced the mile in 2:00.4 for owner Sheri Abbot of Windsor and trainer Steve Roberts. ALYSSA MARIE and Alex Lilley were third. The second leg of the series goes next week with the $10,000 final is set for July 23. The handle at Dresden was $26,225.



July 7, 2017 – (DRESDEN) – Four division are set to kick off for the Mark Austin Pacing Series this Sunday at Dresden Raceway.

The series for Non-winners of a race or $5,000 lifetime (Fillies and Mares $6,000) will honour former Dresden horseman Mark Austin who passed away in 2014. Austin broke trotting legend A WORTHY LAD and trained such stars as SPARKY MARK and FOOL ME ONCE.

There will be two legs to the series as each division will go for $5,000 and the final will be July 25 for a purse of $10,000.

Four-year-old Rambaran gelding, STEP IN MY GROOVE, is the 9-5 morning line favourite in the first division of the series. STEP IN MY GROOVE will score from post two for driver Nick Steward while 5-2 shot and second favourite, YOU SAID IT, has drawn the rail with Lorne House at the controls.

Donnie Rankin will be in the race bike for the 2-1 favourite of the second division, CRJ HOTTIE. The three-year-old Major Hottie colt will score from post four. SENIOR PLAYER is the 5-2 second favourite for driver Garrett Rooney and will score from post one.

Mark Williams will be between the shafts behind GOT IT MADE, the favourite of the third division. The four-year-old Rambarran horse will score form post six. Rankin will be driving 7-2 second favourite ACTION TOWN from post three.

Rooney will be the teamster for the favourite of the fourth division, PULL THE SHADE. The three-year-old Dragon Again filly is listed at 9-5 and will score from the rail. The second favourite is the elder statesmen of the 25 horses entered. ABITOFALRIGHT will score from post five and is a seven-year-old Blissful Hall gelding and will be driven by Williams.

Sunday is also Derby Day at Dresden Raceway as all patrons are asked to wear their best hats for the day for great prizes provided by the Dresden B.I.A. and hot dogs are half price.

Post time for Sunday`s card of racing is 1:30pm.



JULY 1, 2017 (DRESDEN) – Driver James MacDonald and trainer Mark Steacy combined to dominate the Ontario Sire Stakes Three-Year-Old Trotting Fillies Divisions at Dresden Raceway by winning three of the four dashes and picking up a third prize in the fourth.

In the first division of OSS Trotters DELCREST MAGICSTAR stepped off a final quarter in 28.2 to chase down another Steacy student in STRITCH and Johnathan Drury for the win in 2:01.3. DELCREST MAGICSTAR is by Majestic Son and is owned by MacDonald, Peter Porter and Johnathan McKinnon.

MAGIC MADDY and MacDonald rallied from 6 ¼ at three quarters tow in the second division for trainer Steacy and owners Clarke Steacy, David McDonald, David Reid and Malik Stable. The Majestic Son filly trotted the mile in 2:03.1.

The dynamic duo of MacDonald and Steacy struck again in the third division to score the hat trick with a wire-to-wire win with TICKET TO SEATTLE. The Majestic Son offspring set fractions of 30.1, 1:01.2, 1:31.1 for a mile time of 2:01.1 for owners Landmark 9 racing Stable, Hudson Standardbred Stable and David Reid.

ANGORA SEELSTER and Bob McClure won the fourth division of OSS Fillies as she opened up down the lane for a four length victory in 2:00.4. The Holiday Road filly is owned by Alot Of Sense Stable, Lyons Brothers Stable and Jessica Breese Karn and trained by Chris Matthews.

Driving legend Dave Wall opened the card of racing with a training mile to celebrate 250 Years of Horse Racing in Canada. Wall has won over 7,200 races lifetime and over $60 Million in purses and was a dominant fixture at Dresden Raceway in the early 80’s with Pro Fighter and drove other greats like Staff Director, Odies Fame and Goodtimes.

Dresden Raceway celebrated Canada Day by giving out small Canadian flags, T-shirts, hats and having an 8ft Cake decorated like a Canadian flag.

Over 1,000 people were in attendance today and they bet a total handle of $29,103.



June 27 – (DRESDEN) – Dresden Raceway will not be racing Sunday this week but will be holding a special card of racing on Saturday afternoon, July 1st to celebrate Canada Day.

 Canada is celebrating its 150th Birthday this Saturday but compared to horse racing Canada is just a young foal.

We all learned in elementary school history class that The Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 gave way to British rule in Canada.

The Plains of Abraham was home to another historic footnote in Canadian History as the first recorded horse race occurred there in 1767.

The Quebec City Gazette’s record of the race was as follows: ““The horse race for a purse of forty dollars was held on Wednesday, first of the month, on the Hill of Abraham.  It was easily won by Captain Prescott’s mare Modesty, much to the discomfiture of those who, purporting to know about such things, had wagered against her and were thereby parted from their money.”  

From that day forward horse racing has been part of the fabric of our country.  From coast to coast, generation after generation, people from all walks of life have participated in and enjoyed the sport, whether on grass-root tracks, at agricultural fairs, on frozen rivers dotting the countryside, or in today’s modern facilities.  

Dresden Raceway will be no exception as Ontario Sire Stakes Three-Year-Old Trotting Fillies will be in town as well as a Racing Under Saddle Race. Off the track fans can celebrate by taking a piece of an 8ft cake that will be decorated like a Canadian Flag as well as dozens of free giveaways that will include Canada Day T-shirts and other prizes.

Saturday’s Post time is the usual 1:30pm.




June 25, 2017 – (DRESDEN) – LOVIN FEELIN held off a late charge by TIZ to win the 2017 installment of The Little Green Jug at Dresden Raceway.

The four-year-old Jailhouse gelding is owned by Randy Fulmer of Windsor and Phil Katcher of Sun City Centre, Florida and conditioned by Fulmer. Dresden’s leading dash winner Garrett Rooney was in the sulky for the win in 2:03.3.

“The Little Green Jug is Dresden’s working equine’s version of The Little Brown Jug” said Dresden Raceway Announcer and Public Relations coordinator, Gary Patterson.

“TIZ and Mark MacQuarrie almost caught LOVIN FEELLIN and Garrett Rooney, it was a thrilling finish.’ He added.

It was also Hockey Day at Dresden Raceway as several local hockey teams were represented including a Dresden LumberKings reunion and the Dresden Jr Kings honouring Dillon Liberty who was awarded the OHA JR C Player of The Year Award by the league this year.

The LumberKings played at the Intermediate C and Sr. B Level in the 1970’s 80’s and 90’s and won three OHA Championships in 1980, 1983 and 1985.

Rooney, MacQuarrie and Alex Lilley all scored two winners on the day at Dresden raceway as Rooney padded his lead at the top of the dash standings with 12 wins on the season while Tyler Borth is second with nine and Lorne House is third with seven wins.

The total handle today at Dresden Raceway was $23,483.




June 18, 2017 (DRESDEN) – Former trainer Mark Austin was honoured today at Dresden Raceway and enshrined into Dresden Raceway’s Hall of Fame.

Austin started his career in Dresden in the 1980’s and that is where he broke one of the best trotters of all time in Canada, A WORTHY LAD for Joe Johnston. Austin then moved to Windsor where he worked with Jack Darling and had a hand with champions such as GOTHIC DREAM and NORTHERN LUCK.

He then moved his stable to Fergus where he was the conditioner for many top horses in Canada such as GO GET HER, PART SHARK, XLB PATRICK, SPARKY MARK and FOOL ME ONCE.

Mark was more than just a trainer as friendships he kindled at Dresden lasted with him his entire life.

Lucille and Julie

Mark’s widow Julie was in attendance today to receive the plaque and say a few words about the honour of being bestowed into Dresden Raceway’s Hall of Fame. Austin’s parents, family and daughters Paige and Paula were also on hand for the awards ceremony.

On the track Garrett Rooney was the big gun on the day as he scored four winners. Rooney visited the winner’s circle with BURNING MEMORIES, CAMPASSION, BEER AND A HAIRCUT and SINGHAMPTON KENNY.

Rooney now has 10 wins on the year and is the leading dash winner.

GD CRUISE FOR GOLD stayed hot at Dresden winning his fourth in a row for owner, trainer and driver Donnie Rankin. The three-year-old Althatgltrsisgold gelding went wire to wire in 2:01.1.


About 700 people bet a total handle of $23,591 which included the first week of having off track wagering which accounted for almost $2,000 into the live pool.





June 11, 2017 (DRESDEN) – GD CRUISE FOR GOLD won his third in a row a Dresden Raceway at a great time and in great fashion.

The three-year-old Allthatglitrsisgold gelding stepped off a last quarter in 28.3 for Donnie Rankin and made up three and a half lengths in the stretch to win the “Little Saratoga Cup” in 2:00 flat.

SWEET QUEEN COLE and Mark Williams set the fractions of 30, 1:00.4 and 1:30.2 while CD GRUISE FOR GOLD bided his time sitting along the pylons. When the field turned for home a hole opened up and GD CUISE FOR GOLD slipped out to chase Williams and SWEET QUEEN COLE down for the win.

GD CRUISE FOR GOLD is owned and trained by Rankin and how now reeled off three straight wins at Dresden Raceway and has banked over $12,350 in 2017.

The Little Saratoga Cup was started last year as a “working horse’s race” to honour those horses that carve out a living in regular overnight cards of racing.

Things ended in great fashion at Dresden Raceway today as the last race ended a nose away from a triple dead heat. RIGHTINTHEKISSER with Andy Moore and FIRST ART DOWN with Dennis Spitzig hit the wire together in a dead heat while LAST LECTURE and Jeff Mayhew were a nose away in third.

RIGHTINTHEKISSER held top spot most of the mile except when NJS TRICK PISTOL tried to get by at three quarters but couldn’t clear.

FIRST ART DOWN and LAST LECTURE closed hard for the great finish in 1:59.4.

In another story for the day,  EVIL CAM EVIL reeled off his fourth win in a row for driver Lorne House as he cut fractions of 29.1, 59.1, 1:29.4 for a winning mile of 2:01.4. The Camluck gelding is owned and trained by Dennis Belan while Doug Belan and Brian Fitzgerald are co-owners. Seventy Four-year-old Gerald Pedden was in the sulky behind TODAYS SPORTS for a second place finish behind EVIL CAM EVIL.

The on track handle was $18,309 for day.

Dresden Raceway June 11 Pic 2Dresden Raceway June 11 Pic 11




JUNE 9, 2017 (DRESDEN) – SWEET QUEEN COLE is the morning line favourite in Sunday’s Little Saratoga Cup.

The five-year-old Art Colony mare is co-owned, trained and driven by Mark Williams and is looking for her first win of 2017 for Williams and partners Marjay Desjarlais and Lenore Prince.

SWEET QUEEN COLE, who is scoring from post three,  stepped off her back half in 57.3 two starts ago in London to finish third in 1:56.2 for Williams.

Two to one shot, GD CRUISE FOR GOLD, and owner, trainer, driver Donnie Rankin will be looking for his third win in a row at Dresden and will score from post eight. The three-year-old Allthatglitrsisgold gelding picked up winner’s cheques with times of 1:58.2 and 2:00 flat respectively.

Sunday’s card of racing will feature 10 live races that will can be seen world-wide at with the hope that next week people with an HPI account will be able to wager on Dresden world wide!

Sunday will also feature many draws and giveaways and as usual admission is always free with a 1:30pm post time.



June 5, 2017 (DRESDEN) – Dresden Raceway is proud to announce the MARK AUSTIN PACING SERIES to its 2017 schedule.

The series will be a late closer for Maiden Pacers who are Non-Winners of 1 Pari-mutual Race or $5,000.00 lifetime (fillies $6,000.00 lifetime) Canadian funds as of May 27, 2017 with no allowances.

Each division will race for a $5,000 purse in the eliminations July 9 and July 16 with the final set to go on July 23 for $10,000.

Mark Austin was a trainer who hailed from Chatham and got his start at Dresden Raceway in early 1980’s training for owners such as Graham Chambers. In 1988 his reputation of being great with young horses came caught up with him as he was asked to break a yearling trotter named A Worthy Lad for Joe Johnston. A Worthy Lad never lost a race in North America.

Austin then moved his stable closer to Windsor and worked with Jack Darling during the 90’s when Darling Stables produced champions like Northern Luck and Gothic Dream.

When Windsor Raceway started to stumble Austin moved his operation to Fergus where horses like Spark Mark and Fool Me Once headlined his stable.

Austin died suddenly in 2014 and had a career average of .345 and over $9 Million in earned purses thanks to 837 wins.

Austin wasn’t only a top notch trainer he was also favourite around the track as he was described as a true gentleman and was one of the nicest guys in the business.

Austin was married to Julie, with two daughters, Paige and Paula.