Author: Bill Galvin







Go to the Challenge Page to vote





AT 11:59 PM



For information:  Ken Middleton:
bill galvin:



Three of the fastest, most talented and durable pacers to grace the North American racing scene in this decade will tonight (Saturday) head postward in elimination heats of the Benjamin Franklin Free-for-All Pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono to help bolster the winnings of The Stable That God Loves.
McWicked, Luck Be Withyou and Sunfire Blue Chip,  all star performers of The Stable That God Loves with career purse earnings of $4,544,376,  have  race records, important stakes victories and career purse earnings that would make any horseperson jealous.
They have much in common, all taking their lifetime marks over Pocono’s  five-eighths mile track, all with distinguished sophomore seasons, and the pair of McWicked and Sunfire Blue Chip both spending time in the breeding shed.
Ed James’ McWicked, who concluded his award- winning sophomore year with $1.48 million in purses and was voted three-year-old colt pacer of the year  in both Canada and the U.S. over Always B Miki, toured  the Pocono oval in 1:47.3. During  his  brilliant three-year-old campaign, the handsome six-year-old bay son of McArdle captured the Hempt (in world record time), the Adios, the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Final, the Breeders Crown and Progress Pace. With $1,928,866 in career earnings heading into the Benjamin Franklin, the Casie Coleman-trained speedster is poised to attain the $2 million plateau in 2017.
McWicked is fresh off an impressive victory  in the Mohawk Gold Cup and  sports a 12  5-2-0  season’s record. He is the 5/2 morning line favourite and will leave from the rail position with Dave Miller in the sulky in the $35,000  second elimination heat with a field of seven.
John Craig’s Luck Be Withyou, who races out of the Chris Oakes Stable for his U.S. appearances,  practically owns the Pocono racing strip. The six-year-old son of Western Ideal  has recorded his seasonal best there in each of his five years of racing, winning 15 of 22 times with two of those victories recorded in his two trips to the winner’s circle this year. His two key victories at the mountain oval were the Breeders Crown at two and the Franklin Final at four.
Luck Be Withyou last year established his lifetime mark of 1:47.4 in the $75,000 Franklin consolation, demolishing a field of eight. He will leave from the outside post 7 with George Napolitano, Jr. in the bike in the $35,000 elimination heat, scheduled as race 11. He sports a 6 2-1-1 season’s record and is 3-1 on Pocono’s morning line.

Sunfire Blue Chip, owner of a $1,215,939 career bankroll, is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical and R A W Equine. The seven-year-old son of American Ideal bred 37 mares in 2015. He sat out more than a year because of his work at stud, but returned to the races in 2016, posting a respectable 25 5-5-4 record. He enjoyed an excellent three-year-old campaign, winning the Adios and eliminations of the Messenger, Tattersalls, Hempt and the Empire Breeders Classic. He fashioned his career mark of 1:48.3 as a three-year-old at Pocono. Sunfire Blue Chip is listed at 6-1 on the morning line and will score from post 6, alongside Luck Be Withyou, in the third  Franklin elimination with Dave Miller at the reins.
The first three finishers in each of the three elimination heats of the Franklin will clash in the $500,000 Final on Saturday, July 1st.
A percentage of the 2017 purse earnings of The Stable That God Loves, including McWicked, Luck Be Withyou and Sunfire Blue Chip will be donated to support the important work of the Standardbred Racetrack Chaplaincy of Canada.
Since humble beginnings in 2015, The Stable That God Loves has grown in stature and popularity and been a potent force for good raising much needed funds to provide for the human needs of the horseracing workforce in southwestern Ontario .
Stalls are always available in The Stable That God Loves. Each and every pacer or trotter, regardless of ability, is welcome and guaranteed a stall.
Please send requests for stall space to Ken Middleton:, or Norm Clements:
For regular up to date postings on The Stable That God Loves, follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @StableGodLoves.
For additional information: Bill Galvin:


Grand River Raceway hosting trivia fundraiser for The Stable…

ELORA, ON — A top purse of $250 is awaiting harness racing quiz wizards in Grand River Raceway’s Grand Trivia Night to benefit The Stable That God Loves.

The April 19th event features $200 in prize money for the top trivia team. Sixty trivia questions will be played in three rounds. The questions will be 70 percent harness racing trivia and 30 percent general knowledge.

A $50 bonus goes to the winning team if their score tops the hypothetical tally of the Pro Team, which includes: two-time World Driving Champ Jody Jamieson, Anthony MacDonald of The Stable, and Brian Tropea of the Ontario Harness Horse Association. Assisting the Pro Team is race announcer Ken Middleton and Hall Of Famer Bill Galvin — two of the driving forces behind The Stable That God Loves.

The cost is $32 per person and participants can register in teams of two or four. The ticket price includes a $10 slots voucher (19+), snacks, Mashed Potato Bar and tax.

The Stable That God Loves benefits $5 from each ticket. The not-for-profit group is a fundraising initiative for the Standardbred Racetrack Chaplaincy of Canada. Participating racehorse owners pledge one percent of their horses’ annual earnings to the Chaplaincy, which is dedicated to providing for the emotional, physical, spiritual and human needs of the horse racing work force in southwestern Ontario.

Grand Trivia Night is held in the Lighthouse Restaurant at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, April 19. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., trivia begins at 7:00 p.m. and concludes at 9:15 p.m. A cash bar is available 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Tickets are available by advance sale only, and can be purchased online.



Thirty eight years ago today, February 4, 1979, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, then just seven years old, and his father, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and brothers Michel and Alexandre (Sacha), were among some 40,000 hardy souls who lined the banks of Ottawa’s Rideau Canal in sub-zero weather to witness the first major ice racing in Ottawa since trotting races were staged on the frozen Ottawa River in the shadows of the parliament buildings in 1898.
Remembered as an iconic day in Canadian horse racing history, the event was a blockbuster promotion for the sport with live national television, radio and print media exposure, including generous coverage in prestigious Sports Illustrated with readership reaching the 10 million mark, and in Air Canada’s Enroute Magazine, that was carried in all of their planes around the world.
Tourism Ottawa reported that 96 journalists covered the event  that drew spectators from across the country and the eastern U.S. states. It also noted the event brought over a million tourism dollars to the Ottawa economy.  A significant number at the time.
Legendary Hall of Famer Stan Bergstein described the event as a “major promotional coup and ice racing extravaganza on the frozen canals of downtown Ottawa that made full use of the history, drama and colour of harness racing, and staged with full civic and governmental cooperation.”
The ice races were the feature attraction of the inaugural of the now famous Winterlude festival staged each year by the National Capital Commission  in Canada’s capital.
The National Capital Commission, who manage all activities on the canal granted special permission to stage the event. It was the first time that horse racing was allowed on the canal, a National Historic landmark and World Heritage site, and the longest skating rink in the world.
Environment Canada records indicate the temperature on that frosty day was minus 11 celsius with 2.4 cm of snow falling during the afternoon. The total snow already on the ground measured 39 cm.

A Who’s Who of North American horse racing, along with the thousands who lined the canal banks, attended this unique re-creation of a century-old tradition of early Canadian horse racing. Joining the Trudeau family on the slick, smooth  ice of the canal, were, provincial premiers, a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, show business personalities, hockey legend Bobby Hull, and some of Canada’s leading reinsmen, including  Herve Filion, John Chapman, Yves Filion and Ron Waples, who are presently enshrined in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of  Fame.
As it turned out, the day also featured a rare appearance from a Prime Minister, and a future Prime Minister.
February 4, 1979, truly a gargantuan day to remember in the 250-year storied history of Canadian horse racing.

For additional information: Bill Galvin:



The final chapter in harness racing’s season-long good news story was written into the record book at season’s end on a lofty note.
Buoyed by the tremendous support of 50 generous owners and the magnificent efforts of their equine warriors on the track,  The Stable That God Loves, chalked up impressive numbers  campaigning and winning at 32 North American  racetracks. Its 81 stable members, including a dozen  talented  stakes winners and six millionaires, reeled off  a record 164 trips down victory lane (39 more than 2015),  with 141  2nds, 111 3rds , $5,027,977 in purses  and a handsome 317 UTRS.
In 2015 The Stable’s 75 horses notched a 125-104-95 record with $5,000,028 in purses and a  .285 UTRS.
Led by  world champion  three-year-old pacing  phenom, Betting Line, and  stablemates from the Maritimes,  Ontario and  the U.S,   Stable members  kept  bombarding the winners circles with win after win,  hiking the Stable’s  purse account  with each hard fought victory.
Since humble beginnings in 2015, The Stable That God Loves has grown in stature and popularity and  been a potent force for good, raising much needed funds to support the important work of the homeless Standardbred Chaplaincy of Canada  while attracting major mainstream media attention  and  putting a good face on harness racing and its participants.
One percent of the Stable’s purse earning  is donated to the Chaplaincy, that is dedicated to providing for  the  human needs of the horseracing workforce in southwestern Ontario.
The largest  contributors to The Stable were Uxbridge horseman and philanthropist, Norm Clements,  and Brampton owner  Michael Guerriero. Clements pledged 22 horses, that posted a 38-36-22  record and $430,469 in purse earnings, and Guerriero’s six co-owned campaigners tallied $593,217 from 14 wins, 14  2nds and 11 3rds.
Stable Star, Betting Line, led dash winners with 14 victories, and topped the Stable’s  Dollar Derby with  $1,698,069 for  Christine Calhoun, Ross Warriner, Mac Nichol and Casie Coleman.

Betting Line              14
PL Jackson                  8
Sintra                           8
Its  Payday Friday      7
Newborn Sassy          7
Nashurallability          7

Betting Line                  $1,698,096
Newborn Sassy             $   354, 451
Sintra                              $   294,500
Luck Be Withyou          $   203,210
Sunfire  Blue Chip        $   202,065

For additional information contact Bill Galvin: