Don’t miss this year’s Ontario Sires Stakes night at the Rideau Carleton Raceway, on August 13th starting at 6:30PM. This racing event will feature the best young Ontario bred horses.  The elite of the OSS circuit will race with the help of the top drivers in the province for the biggest purses of the year. On this special occasion, the Raceway will feature 3 year old trotter races. The Raceway will also offer a ton of giveaways and contests draws for visiting race fans.

What are the Ontario Sires Stakes
The Ontario Sires Stakes are a series of competitive racing events, held every year since 1974 and featured across the province. This initiative builds and promotes Standardbred breeding and ownership in Ontario. It is a development program for two and three-year-old Standardbred racehorses.  To participate, horses must be sired by an Ontario stallion that is registered in the program.  Since the goal is to improve the quality of Standardbreds in the province, the program encourages breeders to seek the best of the best and creates a strong-fast next generation.

OSS races take place from spring to fall at participating Ontario harness tracks and are offered at both the Grassroots and Gold levels.  The Ontario Racing Association administers the Ontario Sires Stakes, as a component of the Standardbred Improvement Program.

Established to improve the quality of the Ontario racehorse, and to support and encourage investment in the province’s important horse racing and breeding sector, the OSS has evolved into one of the leading sires stakes programs in North America.  Ontario-sired horses have won countless major stakes races in North America and Europe including Sweden’s Elitlopp Trot, the Hambletonian, the Little Brown Jug and numerous Breeders Crown events. World renowned OSS graduates include Somebeachsomewhere, San Pail and Bee A Magician.

The making of a race horse
While every horse’s journey to the Ontario Sires Stakes is unique, each path is rooted in choices made by the broodmare owner, three or four years before the start of a season’s racing schedule.  The Breeder selects an OSS registered stallion who’s genetic and physical characteristics best compliment their mare.  Mares are typically bred between February and June and if all goes well, 11 months later the broodmare owner will be rewarded with a healthy foal.  The foal spends the next four to eight months with its mother before being weaned.

After weaning, the foal is carefully fed and cared for by the breeder until the second summer of its life, at which point some youngsters are prepared for fall yearling auctions or remain with their original owner.  Most young horses have been introduced to the harness and training routines by their second birthday (all Standardbreds are considered to have aged one year on January 1).

Once a young horse’s education begins, the trainer gradually increases distance, intensity and speed of each training session until the colt or filly is ready to qualify.  All young horses must qualify at a racetrack before appearing in a pari-mutuel race. They need to prove they have received adequate instruction and can be competitive with a field of their peers.

After the horse meets the required qualifying times, owners and trainers must choose whether to start their hopeful in an Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots or Gold Series event.  The Grassroots program is comparable to hockey’s farm team system and can be an excellent venue for horses to gain experience before moving up to the Gold Series or major league.

Ontario Sires Stakes
Sunday August 13 – Gold & Grassroots Series
Sunday September 10 – Grassroots Series
Post Time 6.30 p.m.