Grand Circuit action gets under way in Ontario this week and the province’s Standardbred breeders stand to profit if their Ontario Bred progeny achieve success against the best trotters and pacers in North America.
All breeders who enrolled their broodmares in the 2018 and 2019 Ontario Resident Mare Program (ORMP) will be eligible for the rewards associated with the designated open stake events, and those that bred their mares to Ontario Sires are also eligible for rewards connected to the Ontario Sires Stakes program. In total the 2021 Ontario Bred rewards program is worth upwards of $2.6 million.
“The (ORMP) program is a great program. I believe it’s the best in the business. With our strong sires stakes program, the rewards are excellent,” said Pat Woods, manager of Winbak Farm of Canada, currently the leading breeder in the 2021 Ontario Sires Stakes program. “On some of your yearlings that you may sell at a breakeven point, when they go on and race and do well and you get some breeder’s rewards on it, it actually can be your profit margin.”
Winbak Farm enrolls all of their Ontario-based broodmares in the ORMP program each year, whether they are bred to Ontario or US-based stallions. Each top five finish by the two and three-year-old offspring of those Ontario Resident Mares in Ontario Sires Stakes and/or Grand Circuit stakes action contributes to their breeder’s awards. The rewards the Winbak-bred youngsters accumulate are then funnelled back into the Ontario operation.
“Sometimes they allow us to do some projects that are on the wish list and not the necessity list. Whether it be an upgrade of a tractor, or an upgrade of a truck, or improving our broodmare band,” said Woods. “When we have more successful seasons, those go a long way to helping improve our product.”
Breeders can enroll their broodmares in the program at any point before Sept.1 of each foaling year. Before the mare foals the cost to enrol is $100. After foaling the fee increases to $300 and third party proof of residency and foaling in Ontario are required. Mares must reside in Ontario for a minimum of 180 days surrounding foaling.
“Any of our clients that foal mares out here, we encourage every single one of them to enroll in the program, and to date I think all of them have,” said Woods. “And they do understand the rewards and the benefits behind doing that.”
Among the horses that are contributing to Winbak Farm of Canada’s 2021 rewards are three-year-old pacing colt Desperate Man (Shadow Play), two-year-old pacing colts Camealongway (Sportswriter), and Kolby Two Step (Betterthancheddar), two-year-old trotting colt Mr Fritter (Muscle Mass) and three-year-old pacing fillies Game Of Shadows (Shadow Play) and Shes Got It All (Bettors Delight). The Winbak Farm team will be cheering on each of the youngsters as they test their skills in open stake events over the next four weeks.
Complete details about the 2021 Ontario Resident Mare Program are available on the Ontario Racing website at Ontario Resident Mare Program. Further questions can be directed to program co-ordinator Kathie Wilkinson at email@example.com or 416-477-5529.
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