Father-son duo Gregg and Doug McNair of Guelph, ON stole the show at Grand River Raceway’s 23rd annual Industry Day event on August 5, winning both of the biggest races on the afternoon card. Gregg McNair trains and his son Doug McNair drove the winners of the $75,400 Battle Of The Belles and the track’s signature race, the $144,500 Battle Of Waterloo. In the fifth annual Battle Of The Belles, Doug McNair and Lady Shadow gained control of the pace by the first quarter and cruised home four lengths the best in 1:55.4. The clocking set a new Canadian season record for two-year-old pacing fillies on a half-mile track. It was Lady Shadow’s fourth win this season and bumped her career earnings to $94,200 for owners Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, MI.
Gregg McNair’s other contender in the race, Momara, was the runner-up with driver Scott McNair. Regil Meg and Jody Jamieson rounded out the top three. Three Of Clubs was the betting favourite in the Battle Of Waterloo, and Doug McNair wasted no time in putting the Mach Three colt at the front of the action. He finished two lengths ahead of Steady Warrior in a new career best, and Canadian season mark of 1:53.4. Gregg McNair co-owns the colt with Tony Lawrence of Hanover, ON and Shady Hill Racing Stable of Durham, ON.
The McNairs won the 2008 edition of the Battle Of Waterloo with Trail Boss. The horse was bred, owned and trained by Gregg and co-owned by his mother Gwendolyn. For Doug
McNair, 18 at the time, it was the race that launched his driving career. Later that year, McNair became the youngest driver in the history of the sport to drive horses to purse earnings of $1 million. Two years later he made history again, becoming the youngest driver to ever hit 1,000 wins.
Steady Warrior finished second to Three Of Clubs with driver Sylvain Filion. Trainer Wayne McGean paid $12,500 to supplement the colt to the Battle Of Waterloo. He recorded his maiden win in last week’s elimination dash. McGean and co-owner Michael Gouthro paid just $5,000 for the Royal Mattjesty colt as a yearling. He’s now banked $103,675.
Arthur Blue Chip and Jody Jamieson finished third for the Shadow One Stable of Guelph, ON and trainer Ian Moore.
The 11-race card also featured a $20,000 consolation race for the Battle Of Waterloo (won by Boomboom Ballykeel and Trevor Henry) and the $15,000 consolation for the Battle Of The Belles (won by Alibi Seelster with Paul MacDonell for owner/trainer Jack Darling).
Doug McNair also piloted the quickest winner in seven divisions of sophomore pacing fillies in the Grassroots series of the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS). Windsong Jacoba kicked off the day with a seven-length domination in 1:54.1 It was her second consecutive win for trainer Barry Treen and owners Leonard Gamble, Relatively Stable, Charalambos Christoforou and William Loyens.
Other Industry Day highlights included the ninth annual Drivers’ Edition Of The Bouncy Pony Stakes, won for the third consecutive year by reinsman James MacDonald.
Trainer Carmen Auciello opened the afternoon with rousing renditions of the Canadian and American anthems.
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame and Grand River Raceway made a special presentation to five-time winning trainer of the Battle Of Waterloo, Carl Jamieson, who will be inducted into the Hall Of Fame on August 15. Jamieson also had a win with Land Of Angels in the third OSS division. The filly is owned by his wife, Debra Jamieson, and was driven by son Jody Jamieson.
The Ontario Harness Horse Association held their annual Industry Day Best Of Show Competition, awarding $500 in prize money to the top horses and caretakers racing on Industry Day. The winners were: Best Of Show Head-To-Toe: 1st: Evelyn Simpson ($100) 2nd: Katie Gangell ($50) 3rd: Erin Watson ($25) Horse & Groom: 1st: Marielle Enberg ($100) 2nd: Jean Jonasson ($50) 3rd: Lindsay Moore ($25) Harness Shine: Gabriella Sasso $75 Above & Beyond (bling): Lori Jennex ($75)
The Industry Day on-track handle was $92,348, down slightly from $104,974 in 2012. Photos from the afternoon can be viewed on the Grand River Raceway Facebook page: