The card is set for Grand River Raceway’s 30th annual Industry Day event on Monday (Aug. 3). The lineup boasts purses of $669,663 with nine stakes races, featuring the track’s marquee dashes — the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles — and sophomore pacing fillies in the Ontario Sires Stakes.
23rd Annual Battle Of Waterloo
The Battle Of Waterloo is the 10th and final dash of the day. Elimination winner Bettor Sun drew the rail in the $200,964 contest for freshman Ontario-sired pacing colts.
A 35-1 winner in his maiden-breaking effort, Bettor Sun’s 1:54.1 finish with Doug McNair set a Canadian season record for two-year-old pacing geldings over a half-mile oval. Gregg McNair trains the Sunshine Beach colt for breeder-owner Willow Oak Ranch.
The runner-up by a head in that elimination dash was favourite Springbridge Duel. He starts from the second tier (post 9) in the final. Trained by Casie Coleman Herlihy, the son of Big Jim is owned by West Wins Stable, Steve Heimbecker and Mark Kantrowitz and is the richest of the field with $110,150 banked in three starts, including two OSS Gold wins.
The other elimination winner, Candy Trader, starts from post 7. His second consecutive victory for trainer Anthony Beaton came in rein to Sylvain Filion when the pacer popped out from the rail to rush by stretch leader Avion Seelster (post 6 in the final), winning by a neck in 1:55.2. This mile was also a Canadian season record for two-year-old pacing colts over a half-mile track.
Past winners of the Battle Of Waterloo contending in this year’s final include: Blake MacIntosh, trainer of Armor Seelster (post 3) who won the race with Sports Column in 2016; and the McNair father-son duo won with Magnum J in 2017, Three Of Clubs in 2013, and Trail Boss in 2008.
12th Annual Battle Of The Belles
Andra Day was an impressive four-length winner in her elimination, capturing her third consecutive win for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. The in 1:55 clocking set a Canadian season record for rookie pacing fillies over a half-mile track.
She did it all after leaving from post 8, which is where she starts again for the $128,149 final. The Shadow Play filly is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing.
Scarlett Hanover wired the field to capture her maiden win in her elimination. With Ed Hensley in the bike, the pair clocked the mile in 1:55.3. She will start from the second tier (post 9) in Monday’s big dance.
Ashleigh Hensley trains the Bettors Delight daughter, a $45,000 yearling purchase and winner of $37,781 in three career starts for owners Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
Trainer Anthony Beaton was third in the 2018 edition of the Battle Of The Belles with Village Joules and has two fillies in contention this year. Ring Of Kerry (Betterthancheddar) and Turning The Table (Bettors Delight) leave from posts 1 and 2, respectively.
Gregg McNair won last year’s edition of the Battle Of The Belles with Karma Seelster. In 2013, he won this race (with Lady Shadow) and the Battle Of Waterloo (with Three Of Clubs). This year he campaigns Siri Blue Chip, a runner-up in her elimination. She leaves from post 3 in the final.
The day starts with a bang at 12:30 p.m. with the first of two OSS Gold races, this one headlined by current division leader Sex Appeal and last year’s freshman division champion and O’Brien Award winner Alicorn.
Undefeated in both OSS Gold starts this year, Sex Appeal drew the rail for Monday’s $105,600 contest. Trevor Henry will drive for trainer Bob McIntosh, who shares ownership of the homebred daughter of Bettors Delight filly with Al McIntosh. She has finished first or second in all six seasonal starts for earnings of $115,583. Her last OSS victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park established a new career mark and Canadian season record of 1:50.2.
Starting the race to Sex Appeal’s right from post 2, Alicorn is currently tied for third in the OSS standings and jogged in a seven-length qualifying win over the Elora, Ont., track last week in 1:55.2 — a Canadian seasonal record over a half-mile track. Trained by Chantal Mitchell and driven by Louis-Philippe Roy, the Bettors Delight filly is a current track record holder at Grand River Raceway. In 2019, she matched the 1:54.2 clocking for rookie pacing fillies during her elimination win in the Battle Of The Belles.
Alicorn was second in that final, beaten a half length by 27-1 shot Karma Seelster. She too is back in Elora for this 2020 Industry Day opener, leaving from post four with Doug McNair for trainer Gregg McNair.
The second OSS Gold division is carded as race 7 and includes all of the fillies currently holding division standings from second through sixth. Rod Boyd trainee Rose Run Victoria is the most recent OSS Gold winner of the bunch. She set a new career best of 1:51.2 two weeks ago over Woodbine Mohawk Park and leaves from post two with Robert Shepherd in Monday’s outing.
Five divisions of three-year-old pacing fillies in the OSS Grassroots division round out the action-packed card.
Wagering and Broadcast Details
• The 10-race Industry Day card kicks off at 12:30 p.m. EST
• The Early Pick-4 (starts in race 3) and the Late Pick–4 (starts in race 7) both feature guaranteed pools of $7,500 each.
• Race programs and live streaming video in HD are available for all cards at www.grandriverraceway.com and wagering is available through www.hpibet.com.
COSA-TV (managed by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association) will present exclusive Industry Day coverage in a live two-hour special hosted on its social media platforms. The show is hosted by Greg Blanchard, Mark McKelvie and Jaimi MacDonald and will include coverage of the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles, feature stories about the contenders and prizing opportunities for viewers.
Grand River Raceway is currently allowing 100 guests on the tarmac during live races. Attendees are still required to follow strict physical distancing requirements. The grandstand and main building remain closed.
Attendance is restricted to AGCO licensees and pre-registration is required. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.
Tickets for owners of horses racing on Aug. 3 will be made available July 29 at 12 noon, AGCO licensees on July 31 at 12 noon, and general admission (if tickets remain) on Aug. 3 at 9 a.m. Owners and their guests of the finalists in the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles will be given first opportunity to secure tarmac attendance.
To view Monday’s complete entries, click the following link: Monday Entries – Grand River Raceway.
(Grand River Raceway)