Ontario’s Standardbred Improvement Program is confirmed for 2015, following the Ontario Racing Commission’s Board of Directors approval of both the 2015 budget and Program elements as developed by the Standardbred Advisory Group.
The successful Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Program is on track to provide an exciting season of racing and will offer close to $16 million in purses and just over $2 million in Ontario Bred and Ontario Sired Rewards.
The structure of the 2015 season will remain as per 2014. The Gold series will feature five Gold Legs ($210,000 split between the required divisions), leading up to the $250,000 Gold Super Finals in October. There will be six Grassroots events ($18,000 per division), followed by the Grassroots Semi-Finals ($20,000 per division) and the year-end $50,000 Grassroots Championships.
Over $700,000 in new purse bonuses for Ontario Sired two-year-olds will be available in 2015 and 2016. This will be distributed as a 20 percent purse bonus for Ontario Sired two-year-olds racing in overnight races in Ontario, plus a 5 percent purse bonus on two-year-old Ontario Sires Stakes earnings.
Starting in 2017, two- and three-year-old Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred horses (foals of 2014 and 2015), will be eligible for a share of a new $2 million Owners’ Bonus. This bonus will replace the $700,000 bonus and will be calculated based on a horse’s earnings in overnight races in Ontario. A double bonus will be paid if the horse is both Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred.
As announced earlier this week, as part of the Ontario government’s Horse Racing Partnership Program, additional breeders’ awards will be paid out at approximately $3 million a year starting in 2015 through 2018, through the SBOA’s four-tier program.
The Administration would like to thank both the Standardbred Working Group and Advisory Group for their hard work and careful consideration in developing a long-range plan for the continued success of the Ontario Program.