Woodbine Racetrack to reduce some stake-race purses to offset shortfall

The 1.5-mile turf race is scheduled to be run Aug. Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) has reduced the purses in a number of its stakes races this year, including the Woodbine Mile and Canadian International.The purses of the two Grade 1 events has been cut from $1-million to $800,000, leaving the Queen’s Plate as the lone $1-million event.The purse of the Breeders’ Stakes, the third and final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown was cut $100,000 to $400,000. 10. The Canadian Press 20. For the second straight year, the Woodbine Mile will go on a Saturday (Sept. 15. The moves were made to offset a purse account shortfall.“We’re proceeding with an initiative to rebalance our overall Thoroughbred purse program, committing another $1-million to overnight purses, which will substantially benefit our local horse people,” Jamie Martin, Woodbine’s executive vice-president of racing, said in a statement. “This reorganization towards overnight purses and resulting stakes purses reflects WEG’s $68-million overall purse contribution in 2017.“We continue to commit to working with our industry partners, who understand the challenges Woodbine faces in balancing the pressures of offering quality horse-racing product to our loyal fans and the significant expense attached to conducting our business.”A date for the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, at Fort Erie Racetrack hasn’t been announced.The Queen’s Plate will be run July 2 and highlight Woodbine’s 133-day meet, which begins April 15 and runs to Dec. The Plate Trial Stakes is also on the same card but its purse was reduced from $150,000 to $125,000. A total of 98 stakes events will be on this year’s schedule.The Woodbine Oaks’ purse remains at $500,000 and the race will run June 11. 16) rather than a Sunday.The Canadian International is scheduled for Oct.

Another Clarkson Cup up for grabs, women are proud to be part of hockey history

Now the Clarkson Cup is something for all women hockey players to strive for. And which one day may well become, as the namesake of the Clarkson Cup says, a truly professional sport of its own. Afraid the event would slip by unnoticed, I struck on the idea of pink jerseys to ignite the press. The Clarkson Cup, featuring Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the sea and marine animals, is now revered by women players.“When I was growing up,” Jenner says, “the dream was winning the Olympic gold medal. Poulin and Jenner – along with Jess Jones of the Brampton Thunder – were finalists for this season’s most-valuable-player award, which was to be given out at a Friday banquet at Carleton University.Poulin scored the “golden” winning goals at both the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. It’s such an honour to know my name is on that Cup.”“It has become a great reality in the minds of women who play hockey and there’s nothing like a reality made from a dream,” Clarkson said this week. According to Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development at Hockey Canada, total registration in Canadian women’s hockey has exceeded 85,000 now for nearly a decade, with 86,925 official registrants in 2015-16 and uncounted thousands more playing women’s recreational hockey and, in many instances, men’s beer-league hockey as well. “It’s a chance to be part of women’s hockey history.”A growing history that will add another chapter this Sunday in Ottawa. The Canadian women who are on the national team get some funding from Sport Canada and some help from Hockey Canada. He is also completing a book on the 1990 tournament.“The team had no identity and the event didn’t resonate with the media. It was Jenner’s goal in Sochi that launched the Canadian comeback and set the stage for Poulin’s overtime heroics.Les Canadiennes reached the final by a two-game sweep of the Thunder, while the Inferno advanced after winning two out of three games against the Toronto Furies.Sunday’s event – played in an NHL arena and nationally televised – demonstrates not just how far the league has come in its 10-year history but how very far women’s hockey has come since 1990, when the very first World Cup of women’s hockey was played in this same city.Since then, women’s hockey has become an Olympic event and an annual IIHF world championship. It’s our Stanley Cup. If the men weren’t going to play for it, she argued that the women should.That didn’t happen, but the issue led to the inspired idea of a new Governor-General’s sports trophy that could annually be given to the best women’s team in the country. Only 25 years old, and already she is thinking ahead two generations.“It’s so neat to be part of hockey history,” Brianne Jenner says. The suggestion outraged several CAHA executives but then president Murray Costello bought into Reid’s argument.“There were no iconic players’ names to sell the sport when the team assembled,” Reid says from Calgary, where he is completing his PhD in sport management at the University of Alberta on the legitimacy of women’s elite hockey. I was lucky enough to do that. “I’m thrilled that many people refer to the Clarkson Cup as something that has always been and will always be.”Clarkson does feel, however, that much remains to be done in women’s hockey. A year ago, in this same rink, Jenner led the Inferno to their first national championship in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, scoring twice in an 8-3 win over these same Les Canadiennes.For the Montreal team – led by captain and Olympic hero Marie-Philip Poulin – Sunday’s game will mark Les Canadiennes’ sixth appearance in the final over the past eight years, and the third Clarkson Cup final in a row. If men’s hockey can become a multibillion-dollar success at the NHL level, surely there should be money for women’s hockey, given its popularity at the Olympic and grassroots levels.“You have to ask why these women can’t make a living playing hockey,” she says.The CWHL, established in 2007, still does not pay its players, though the players get a per diem and their travel covered. Today, there are more than 2,300 women officiating in the game.Though that first World Cup was played before Brianne Jenner was born, she knows all about it, from Canada’s 5-2 victory over the United States in the final, to the controversial pink uniforms worn by the Canadian women. The U.S.-based National Women’s Hockey League does pay, but very little. One of the pink jerseys today hangs in the Hockey Hall of Fame.Women’s hockey received a second huge boost, ironically, following the 2004-05 NHL lockout, when then Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson led a battle to have women play for the idle Stanley Cup, which had, after all, been given to the people of Canada to honour the championship hockey team of the Dominion. The rest are on their own, forced to juggle work with their hockey commitments.“Everyone does it for the love of the game,” Jenner says. When Jenner played for the under-18 national team, each player was given a small book about the 1990 tournament so that they would appreciate where it all began and how far it has gone.“It’s a great story,” says Jenner, who is taking a master’s degree program in public policy at the University of Calgary.The idea of dressing the Canadian players in pink uniforms was the invention of Pat Reid, then a vice-president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. Some in the media, and even some players, were offended, but the city embraced the idea of “pink power,” packing the Civic Centre with pink-wearing fans. The rest is history.”The pink uniforms certainly “ignited” media coverage. “To be able to tell my grandchildren that my name is on that trophy.”Jenner is captain of the Calgary Inferno, which on Sunday will meet Les Canadiennes de Montreal at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre to determine this year’s winner of the Clarkson Cup.

Hometown favourite Brad Gushue in tough against stacked Brier field

But we get along well. Runner-up finishes in 2007 (at Hamilton) and last year (in Ottawa) were as close as he’s come.So while there will be massive hometown support for Gushue, vice-skip Mark Nichols, second Brett Gallant and lead Geoff Walker from the packed houses, there will be pressure, too, as the host team competes against a stacked field.In addition to Koe and his Team Canada squad from Calgary, the 2017 qualifiers include Ontario’s Glen Howard, a four-time Brier champion; Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs, 2013 winner and 2014 Olympic gold medalist; John Morris of B.C., the 2015 Brier winner; plus the always tough rink of Mike McEwen from Manitoba.Gushue’s opener will be against a young up-and-coming Alberta squad, skipped by Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher, which is coached by four-time Brier champ and 2010 Olympic gold-medalist Kevin Martin. “The nice thing about the Brier is, typically, there is always someone new there. Last year, we played really well and came out on top, but we had our share of breaks along the way too – and you need those to get there. John’s Maple Leafs. Canada’s prime minister was Justin Trudeau’s father. Hopefully, there’ll be [world championships] between the Brier and the trials and then we’ll really start to gear up for them once this season is over.”Koe’s team, which consists of Laing, third Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert, was assembled only three ago, so it is still a work in progress, according to the skip.“Every team, every top curling team, seems to be different,” Koe said. The venue [Mile One Centre] is nice and small so it’s going to be packed. John’s,” predicted Brent Laing, who is part of the defending champion Kevin Koe rink, competing as Team Canada. “Everything we do is partly geared towards that event in December, including this week, at the Brier. For Koe’s team, it’s a chance to compete in the Olympics, an event Gushue won back in 2006, for Canada and his fervently supportive home province over in Turin, Italy.But for as long as Gushue has been competing in the upper echelons of men’s Canadian curling – this is his 14th Brier appearance – he has yet to win the national championship. The Watergate scandal was in full bloom. 1 storyline.Parity came to curling a long time ago, and it means that most top rinks still have a box or two to check to flesh out their career résumés. The last time Newfoundland was host of a Brier, 1972, The Big O – Orest Meleschuk of Manitoba – won the event at Memorial Stadium, the former home of the St. What can you say? This is only our third year as a team, so any big events we can play in help.“We’re not going to lie and say we’re not thinking about the trials because it’s on everybody’s minds. When the teams are so evenly matched, especially at the top level, you play your heart out and see what that gets you.” Just about everybody we thought would be there is – all the big favourites and a few newcomers like Alberta. And while the Brier is the current task at hand, Koe will acknowledge qualifying for the Olympics – now less than a year away – tops their calendar 2017 to-do list.“I mean, it’s been in the back of our minds ever since we won our first trial spot over a year ago at the Canada Cup,” he said. We’ve taken the best of all our old teams and we’re still working on our own style. It’ll be a great atmosphere – and there’ll be a lot of good storylines.”Even though Koe’s team also goes into the event as the reigning world championships, the spotlight will naturally fall on the home team, Brad Gushue’s Newfoundland and Labrador rink, topping the chart as the No. “It used to be kind of a three- or maybe four-team race. It’s a big event on the road to the trials – and big events against top teams are good competition. But now that the wait is finally over – and the main draw of the 2017 Tim Horton’s Brier starts Saturday – pretty much every curler in the field is as gaga over the host city as they are the actual competition.“It’s going to be wild in St. Sometimes, you have more of a collaborative approach. It never gets any easier.”There is an automatic berth in December’s Olympic trials up for grabs here, but that’s not a concern to Koe’s team, which has already qualified twice for the event – by winning last year’s Brier as well as the 2015 Canada Cup of Curling. A lot of people might have it as a four-team race this year, but I think that’s naive. I think we’re more collaborative. “Sometimes, you have a little more of a dictator. Martin’s son Karrick is throwing lead rocks for the Bottcher rink, while his own long-time coach, Jules Owchar, is now working with Gushue’s team.Like others in the deep and talented competition, Koe’s team will try to spoil the party for Gushue, if they can.“That’s the plan for sure,” Koe said. The chemistry is good – and I think we’re still getting better.”As for this week, the defending champs, in the midst of an up-and-down season, say they are taking nothing for granted.“The Brier is harder and harder every year,” Laing said. “The party for the fans is going to be epic. It’s more a six- or seven-team race.“We plan on being there in the end in the playoff mix. But for this week, for sure, it’s the Brier. The Beatles were freshly into their solo careers. It’s a tough field.

Raptors secure season series victory in win against Wizards

Toronto also secured a 2-1 victory in the season series, a potential tiebreaker for playoff seeding, two days after losing to Washington 105-96 in the first game of a home-and-home set.John Wall scored 30 points and Bradley Beal added 27 for Wizards, who have now lost nine consecutive regular season series to the Raptors.Washington shot 37 per cent (34 of 92) from the floor. After their second unit played a key role in a 26-1 second-quarter run on Wednesday night, the Wizards’ bench was outscored 44-14 by the Raptors’ reserves.Beal’s baseline 3-pointer gave Washington its only second-half lead at 72-71, before DeRozan hit a baseline jumper a few possessions later to give Toronto the lead for good, 76-74 late in the third.Washington last got within one possession when Wall’s 3 cut it to 108-105 inside a minute, but DeRozan answered with his own 3-pointer from an almost identical spot with 20.9 seconds left. DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points, including a key 3-pointer late, and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards 114-106 on Friday night despite giving back a 19-point first-half lead.Norman Powell added a season-high 21 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, as the Raptors (37-25) pulled back into a tie with the Wizards (36-24) for third place in the Eastern Conference.

Hellebuyck gets 29-save shutout as Jets defeat Blues

14.Wheeler opened the scoring midway through the first with Blues forward Jori Lehtera off for hooking. Winnipeg now has four games remaining on their longest home stand of the season — six games — as they host Colorado, San Jose, Pittsburgh, and Calgary through next weekend.The Blues, sitting one point out of the wild card, complete their three game road trip with visits to Colorado on Sunday and Minnesota on Tuesday. Blues netminder Carter Hutton made 37 saves to fall to 9-8-2 on the year.Hutton has been superb in 2017, entering Friday with shutouts in his last two starts, while also recording perfect outings in four of his last seven starts dating back to Jan. Bryan Little added an empty-netter for his 18th of the season with 2:16 remaining in regulation

Hellebuyck improved his record to 21-15-3 in his ninth straight start in goal for the Jets. Louis Blues on Friday.Blake Wheeler scored twice, including the winner on a first-period power play, as the Jets (29-30-6) handed the Blues (31-27-5) their fifth-consecutive loss. Winnipeg finished the night 1 for 5 on the power play, while St. Louis went 0 for 3.The Jets victory moves them to within four points of the Los Angeles Kings, who hold the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Connor Hellebuyck turned away all 29 shots he faced to earn his fourth shutout of the season in the Winnipeg Jets’ 3-0 victory over the St. Louis’s one. Wheeler’s 18th of the season came as his point shot travelled down the middle and through traffic, beating Hutton low stick side.In a scoreless second period, the Jets outshot the Blues 19-8 while enjoying two power plays to St.

B.C. appeals court hears Arland Bruce concussion case

at the Court of Appeal.Few applications to Canada’s top court are granted, according to statistics from the Supreme Court of Canada. The time limit for an arbitration claim has expired but Shamie, at the end of Friday’s hearing, said the CFL would not stop Bruce from pursuing arbitration.Outside court, Bruce, now 39, said his health is better. “The appellant has changed its position three times since the commencement of this case,” he told the three justices.He added that the arbitration route was open to Bruce in 2014, when the court action was filed. He suffered personality changes, paranoia, and delusions, among other issues, according to court documents. In the past five years, from the start of 2012 through the end of 2016, the court dismissed 2,226 applications and granted 263 – a success rate of 10.6 per cent for applicants. Reidar Mogerman, presenting the appeal, spoke of “uncharted territory” and “special circumstances.”Mogerman finished his remarks by saying the CFL’s system of arbitration is “not up to the task” of handling a case such as Bruce’s.Stephen Shamie, lawyer for the CFL, said it is an “inescapable conclusion” that the case centres on health and safety – and thus the court decision last year was correct.Shamie also said Bruce’s counsel had been pursuing various legal avenues. He said he would shield his son Arkyis from football. He was out seven weeks and came back for a playoff game and thereafter played one more season for Montreal. Appeal judgments usually take several months and often longer to be issued.Lawyers for Bruce argued that Hinkson had made errors. “I’m not an A-plus guy, like I used to be, but I’m improving.”Bruce believes he has chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Lions against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Court of Appeal in Vancouver on Friday. Factums for both sides had been filed with the court last summer.The justices reserved their judgment. “I suspect the Supreme Court of Canada will want to hear this.” He has regular headaches but not as bad as in the past.“I’m improving every day,” Bruce said. CTE is the degenerative disease that has been found in the brains of numerous athletes, studied after the death of those athletes, who had suffered brain injuries in their playing days.“I feel young and vibrant but the reality is I’m not,” Bruce said.He said the experiences of the past several years have changed his perspective on the sport he was devoted to growing up in the Kansas City area and played professionally in Canada. He is not physically active and unable to work. In 2014, he filed suit against the league, alleging negligence. The CFL argued the case was a health-and-safety issue and should be handled by an arbitrator, as outlined by the league’s collective agreement.In 2016, the CFL won at the B.C. In the conclusion of the reasons for judgment, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson said that the dispute “can only be resolved through the grievance-and-arbitration process” and said the court “lacks the jurisdiction.” He struck Bruce’s civil claim.On Friday, lawyers for the two sides were allotted several hours each to present their case to three justices at the Court of Appeal. Bruce, one of the top receivers in CFL history, suffered a concussion in a game in 2012, playing for the B.C. Supreme Court. Arland Bruce’s concussion case against the CFL and its teams was heard by the B.C. He lives a quiet life, spending time with his four-year-old daughter and two-year-old son at home in a Vancouver suburb. 31, 2016, 84 applications were pending.)“There has never been any case like this,” Wishart said. “I loved the game – don’t get me wrong – but I wouldn’t let my son play.”Robyn Wishart, Bruce’s primary counsel, said outside the court that they will seek to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada if they lose in B.C. (As of Dec.