Industry Day celebrates Hall Of Fame anniversary with guest commentators

ELORA, ON — Greg Blanchard returns as the lead TV commentator for the Industry Day broadcast on August 1 at Grand River Raceway, as the Elora, ON track stages its 26th annual Industry Day Celebration. Throughout the afternoon, he’ll be joined by a rotation of distinguished guests.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame, Grand River Raceway is delighted to include a handful of Hall Of Fame inductees as Guest Commentators on the Industry Day broadcast.

Randy Waples – RACE 1 – driver of 2016 Hall Of Fame Inductee San Pail

Randy Waples drove San Pail in all but 3 of his 52 career victories, piloting him to a record a mark of 1:50.4 and earnings of $3.1 million in purse money. San Pail won O’Brien Awards and Dan Patch Awards as Canada’s Horse of the Year and Older Trotting Horse of the Year in 2011; he was also Dan Patch Award as Trotter of the Year in 2011. The Rod Hughes trainee won the  O’Brien Award as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse of the Year  (2009, 2010), and was inducted into the Scugog Sports Hall of Fame (2012) and was named Equine Canada’s Canadian Bred Horse of the Year  in 2011.

Randy Waples is the winningest driver in Battle of Waterloo history, with victories in 1999, 2001, 2009 and 2010.

 Linda Rainey – RACE 2 – Managing Director, Horse Racing Hall of Fame

Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame was founded in 1976 and in 1997 the Ontario Jockey Club provided a permanent site without cost at Woodbine Racetrack. New inductees are added annually to build upon an ever-growing honour roll of Builders, Communicators, Drivers/Trainers, Jockeys, Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds and Trainers.

 Bill Galvin – RACE 3 – Hall of Fame Inductee, 2014 – Standardbred Communicator

Bill Galvin is a Canadian horse racing historian, poet, author, publisher, educator, horseman, humanitarian, publicist, former thoroughbred racing official and executive editor of Trot Magazine. He was the director of special promotions (harness and thoroughbred) for the Ontario Jockey Club and publicity chairman for the Greenwood Centennial Program. He is the engine behind the fundraising initiative, The Stable God Loves, generating donations for the Standardbred Chaplaincy of Canada.

Jack McNiven – RACE 4 – Hall of Fame Inductee, 2007 – Builder

Jack McNiven and his late brother Don have owned and operated the esteemed breeding farm Killean Acres in Ingersoll, Ontario, for over 40 years. The farm’s stallion roster included three of the leading stallions in the province, Frisco Byrd, Dallas Almahurst and 2006 Hall inductee Run The Table, who has sired winners of over $95 million. McNiven, is highly respected as an industry leader for his innovative approach in the art of preparing yearlings for Standardbred sales. He’s also a motivational figure in harness racing and has been recognized for all his contributions to the industry.

 Carl Jamieson – RACE 5 – Hall of Fame Inductee, 2013 – Standardbred Trainer

A five-time winner of Grand River Raceway’s Battle Of Waterloo, Jamieson has won more than 1000 races and purses of more than $25 million. His biggest stars included Breeders Crown winner and stallion Santanna Blue Chip, North America Cup champion Up The Credit, all-time fastest OSS performer Warrawee Needy. Carl’s horses have won multiple O’Brien awards and Jamieson himself was awarded the O’Brien award for Horsemanship in 2006.

 John Lamers, Standardbred Breeder/Owner – RACE 7
John and his wife Mary have two inductees in the Hall Of Fame:

 Dreamfair Eternal, Hall of Fame Inductee 2014: Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010, won 56 races and over $2.5 million in her racing career. 2010 marked the second consecutive year she was voted Canada’s Older Pacing Mare of the Year following one of the best seasons ever for a Canadian-based pacing mare.

J C’s Nathalie, Hall of Fame Inductee 2015: She was a solid pacing mare but has excelled as a broodmare. Lamers bought her in 2009. She has produced two millionaires as a broodmare, past Battle Of Waterloo champ Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal.

Bill O’Donnell – RACES 9-11 – Hall of Fame Inductee, 1986 – Standardbred Driver

Nicknamed “Magic” for his innate ability to get the most from his horses, O’Donnell’s talent was in constant demand. To attest to this, U.S. Hall of Fame driving great, Bill Haughton, took himself off world champion Nihilator so that he could have the “Magic Man” drive the precocious freshman pacer.

He was named Harness Tracks of America’s “Driver of the Year” in 1984 with record setting season’s earnings of $9 million. The following year he became the sport’s first $10 million man while driving both Nihilator and three-year-old champion colt trotter Prakas to single-season money-winning records. Prakas won The Hambletonian. Nihilator was Horse of the Year. O’Donnell has driven almost 5,700 winners with earnings of more than $99 million. He is also a member of the U.S. Hall of Fame at Goshen, N.Y. He’s currently the President of the Central Ontario Standardbred Association.

Post time is 1:30 p.m. for the 26th annual Industry Day Celebration on August 1. Festivities and the broadcast kick-off at 1:00 p.m. Complete event details are available on the Grand River Raceway website.

The broadcast is available via live streaming video starting at 1:00 p.m.

The Industry Day 26 program is available here.

Event hashtag: #industryday26

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Kelly Spencer

Mgr. Marketing & Communications
Grand River Raceway

Office: (519) 846-5455 ext. 238

kspencer@grandriverraceway.com