Take me straight to the Photo Album!
Have you ever experienced the excitement of fast paced action, sleek, powerful horses, vibrant atmosphere, colourful sulkies, wagering and betting on hot picks, various dining options and friendly country folk – all in one place? We found all that and more at the Mohawk Racetrack in southern Ontario, Canada when we went to watch the standardbred horses harness racing!
On sunny Monday afternoon, we were mulling over what to do when our parents recommended we go with them that evening to the horse races. Back to my roots 🙂 They had two standardbred horses racing that night, so we figured it was the perfect opportunity to catch some harness racing! After a short 45 minute scenic country drive, we found ourselves pulling into the ample grounds of the Mohawk Racetrack where an impressive building dominated the property.
Modern and exciting, the building itself houses a Slot Casino (OLG), 3 restaurants, a gift shop, and several bars / lounges as well as the Racing entertainment with betting areas, snacks, grand stand with ample indoor seating, and screen lounges featuring horse races from various venues. Outside boasts more seating as well as a patio serving drinks and food. Things sure changed from when I was a kid!
Our first stop was to visit the stars of the night, Naughty Lady B, daughter of No Pan Intended and Naughty Nettie G and Speedling, by Rambaran and Punkindoodle in the Mohawk paddocks. Just reading the horse names in the race Program can have you laughing out loud, as well as betting on a horse just because you love the name! After meeting the friendly competent trainer, Nathan Harding, and having a quick chat with the horses to remind them we came great distances to see them race, we left feeling assured. Note: Spectators are not allowed in the paddocks for obvious reasons.
Looking for a fantastic viewpoint as well as having a drink and possible snacks, we made our way to an outdoor table at the enticing Terrace Lounge. Just as our party of six was seated, we were told we had to leave due to the fact we would not be eating dinner. As it was a Monday night, and most tables were empty, we were slightly shocked and offended, but respected the request and went to find another seat. I tried to contact the Mohawk Racetrack, but did not receive a reply.
We quickly found a picnic table at track level, placed a few wagers and settled in. The race program promised 11 fast paced, action packed races of standardbred pacers and trotters. Not to be disappointed, Race # 1 for Pacers with it’s daily double featuring both fillies and mares 4 years old and younger, gave us our first winner – Naughty Lady B! We are fairly certain that our boisterous, contagious hollering and cheering had a lot to do with the winning triumph 😉
The standardbred horses evening rushed by as race after race provided hours of entertainment. We had fun picking our own favourite in each competition, placing small bets and seeing who from our group would come out best. Of course cheering our pick on was an obligation; spectators all became cheerleaders during a race!
Raceway lingo could be heard everywhere and the informative program did a fantastic job of teaching newbies like us what some of the terms, symbols and abbreviations meant, as well as how to read a program, professional’s and probable favourites, horse histories, and so much more. We learned how to read past performances of horses,drivers and trainers, how odds work, what a scratch is, different types of bridles used, what a daily double, exactor and triactor is, top drivers and trainers and so much more. Definitely purchase or download a program if you get the chance to go to Mohawk Racetrack or any other raceway.
The tenth race gave us yet another win with Speedling, owned by Stuart and Pat Bolender and again trained by Nathan Harding with Trevor Henry at the reins! We all dashed out to get our picture taken with the group – the photographer did not have to force a smile from anyone!
Alas, our thrilling night of horse racing entertainment at the Mohawk Racetrack came to an end and we bid adieu. Looking forward to returning one day. To see more action and behind the scenes shots, please feel free to visit my photo album.
Information and Interest:
Mohawk Racetrack – Photo Album
Mohawk Racetrack – Short overview video
Race # 1 Mohawk – YouTube
Race # 10 Mohawk – YouTube
Mohawk Racetrack – Woodbine Entertainment
Free Program – Mohawk Racetrack
Restaurants, Bars & Lounges – Mohawk Raceway Info
Live Racing Schedule – Mohawk Raceway Standardbred Racing