by Garnet Barnsdale
On a glorious sunny morning at Mohawk Racetrack yesterday morning, 10 baby races were contested, with several promising performances paced and trotted on the track witnessed by possibly the biggest crowd ever gathered at morning qualifiers.
While the observers were out to watch their babies go through their motions – most qualifying for the first time – they were treated to a full buffet breakfast on the apron by the Woodbine Entertainment Group, with even drivers and trainers partaking in the bountiful spread laid out in the area that is known as the BBQ pit situated halfway down the stretch.
Guests enjoyed a full breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, pancakes and French Toast accompanied by coffee, water and a variety of juices. WEG certainly didn’t skimp out and the event was advertised and promoted well, to the point where it caused quite a buzz which translated into a healthy turnout.
The Stable.ca was well represented as the fractional ownership group qualified 10 rookie trotters and pacers. A noticeable cheer from the crowd erupted as The Stable’s Donato Hanover—Celebrity Nike colt Canale Hanover trotted down the lane to a 12 3/4-length 1:59 win.
Macdonald said the free breakfast was great and it helped contribute to a healthy turnout. “We appreciate Mohawk putting on the free breakfast,” he said. “Obviously, not all of our 264 clients could make it in person Saturday, but you can be sure the vast majority were tuning in on HPI. It was certainly nice to see such a great turnout.”
Trainer Jack Darling provided these comments on an announcement about the breakfast on Standardbred Canada: “Thank you to WEG for this. It’s a very nice gesture to the owners. The owners and their friends are also our best customers. It should be a nice crowd and a great way to start off the most exciting time of the year for harness racing.”
Prominent owner Adriano Sorella praised organizer Megan Walker, who was hired earlier in the year as Standardbred Concierge and Owner Development Associate.
“If there was anything positive I have seen in the last couple of years at WEG,” he began, “it was the hiring of Megan Walker. I’ve never had any issues getting tables, seating, reservations, etc. I would actually pay a membership fee to have the type of service she provides. She actually even went out of her way to make sure I had close parking when I had my hip surgery. I didn’t even ask for it, she just remembered I was having the surgery.”
On a beautiful Saturday morning with hope springing eternal with a large crowd of owners watching their babies race, Macdonald, Darling and Sorella weren’t the only ones singing WEG’s praises. The gesture and effort put forth providing the free breakfast seemed as appreciated as the food itself.