17.01 The Association shall specify the time for closing of declarations, but in any event the declaration box shall not close more than three clear days, omitting Sundays, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, before the date of the race. The time must be published on condition sheets.
17.02 A declaration received after the specified time of closing shall not be accepted, except those omitted due to error or negligence by an official or employee of the Association.
17.03 The Association shall provide a locked box with an aperture through which declarations shall be deposited. Participants shall deposit their declarations in the declaration box, except as provided in Rule 17.06.
17.04 The submitting of declarations for one horse to races scheduled for the same day at different tracks is prohibited.
17.05 The submitting of a declaration for a horse that is ineligible to race because it has been placed on the Judges’ List or Veterinarians’ List, and not removed therefrom, is prohibited.
17.06 Declarations submitted by mail, telephone, electronically, or other method approved by the Registrar are acceptable and shall be subject to the same terms and conditions as written declarations, providing evidence of same is deposited in the declaration box before the time specified for declarations to close and provided that adequate program information is furnished by the declarer. The race secretary or licensed delegate is responsible for depositing such declarations. A declaration must state the name of the horse, the event it is to be declared to, and be signed or made by the person who received and deposited it. It is the responsibility of the trainer to ensure that the person declaring a horse which had its last start outside Canada, advises the race secretary of where and when the horse last raced.
17.07 Prior to the opening of the box for the draw, the race secretary or licensed delegate shall be in charge of the declaration box. The box may be opened prior to the time of closing to provide an opportunity to process declarations. Information as to the names of horses declared shall not be given by any person to any person until after the time for closing of declarations has passed.
17.08 Although the trainer has primary responsibility for the eligibility of each of his/her horses declared to race, the race secretary shall verify the eligibility of each horse and confirm its eligibility to the Judges.
17.09 When the draw is available to be viewed, a licensed participant may witness the draw.
17.10 Starters and also eligibles for overnight events shall be drawn by lot from horses properly declared to start, except as follows:
- First preference shall be given to a horse that is stabled in Canada the day of the draw and remains in Canada until the race is contested; and
- Second preference shall be given according to a Horse’s last scheduled start in a purse race, other than races designated as schooling races, at the gait for which it is declared.
In addition preference shall be governed by the following:
- If more than the required number of horses are declared in with the same preference date, the previous two preference dates shall apply. A race secretary may draw by lot if more than two previous preference dates are identical. These procedures are to be carried out at the time of the draw in the presence of licensed participants;
- When a horse is racing for the first time at the gait declared, it shall have preference over other horses regardless of their preference dates;
- If a declaration is made for a horse that has already been drawn in to start in a race that has not yet been contested, the date of that uncontested race shall be its preference date;
- The declarer shall be responsible for providing acceptable evidence of exact preference dates governed by eligible declarations or starts in uncontested races made at other tracks;
- When a race has been reopened for additional declarations, preference shall be given those horses eligible and declared at the time declarations closed originally;
- If conditions so specify, preference can be given two-year-olds, regardless of preference date;
- If a horse was scratched due to error or negligence by an official or employee of the Association;
- When otherwise determined by the Judges;
- Notwithstanding Rule 22.33.
17.10.01 Notwithstanding the requirements under 17.10 (i), Ontario Sires Stakes eligible horses will be exempt from the requirement to meet first preference for the period of May 1 to November 1 of the current year inclusive.
17.11 Not more than two horses may be drawn as also eligibles, except for races on which triactor and superfecta wagering is conducted, in which case more than two also eligibles are permitted, in accordance with the following provisions:
- Notwithstanding Rule 17.10, also eligibles shall be drawn from horses having the best preference, except priority may be given to horses stabled on the grounds;
- No horse shall be added to the race as an also eligible unless it was drawn as such at the time declarations closed or omitted in error by an official, provided that its inclusion does not exceed the maximum allowable number of also eligibles;
- No horse shall be drawn as an also eligible if the required program information cannot be published in the official program;
- No horse may be barred from another race to which it is eligible and had preference, due to the fact that it has been drawn as an also eligible;
- Also eligible horses moved into races shall be posted in the office of the race secretary and their owners or trainers shall be so notified at once;
- Also eligible horses not moved in by program time or scratch time as set by the Association may be released;
- If an also eligible horse is moved into a race it shall be scratched from any subsequent race it has been drawn into, unless preference allows it in;
- Also eligible horses shall be carried on the program in added money events.
17.12.01 A trainer or owner may not enter and start more than two horses of the same or separate ownership in a purse race or overnight event as separate betting interests, except under the following conditions:
- Stake races; or
- All overnight races. In these races a trainer may not enter more than two horses. The second entry may not exclude a single entry.
17.14 If a race is split into divisions or elimination heats, horses shall be seeded in separate divisions or elimination heats insofar as possible; first by owners, then by trainers, then by stables; but the divisions or elimination heats in which they are to compete and their post positions shall be determined by lot.
17.15 The drawings of post positions shall be final, except:
- When there is conclusive evidence that a horse was properly declared but omitted due to error or negligence by an official or employee of the Association; then:
- If the horse omitted by error was declared to an overnight event, it may be added to the race and given the last post position, providing its addition does not exceed the maximum number of starters allowed in a single field and provided the error;
- Is discovered prior to the printing of the program. Otherwise, such horse shall not be permitted to start;
- If the horse was omitted by an error in calculating preference date and the horse is carded as an also eligible it may move in and the programmed horse with the most recent date shall be scratched. In the event that two or more horses programmed have identical dates more recent than the also eligible, the horse to be scratched shall be determined in accordance with Rule 17.10 (a). The post position of the horse moving in shall be determined in accordance with Rule 17.16; or
- If the horse omitted by error was declared to a stake, futurity, early closing event or late closing event, the race shall be re-drawn provided the error is discovered prior to the printing of the program.
- When it is found that horses have not been seeded in accordance with Rule 17.14, with the permission of the Registrar, time permitting, the event shall be redrawn. If time does not permit the redrawing, the event shall go as drawn.
17.16 In the event one or more horses are excused by the Judges, the also eligible horse or horses shall race and take the post position drawn by the horse that it replaces, except in handicap races. In handicap races the also eligible horse shall take the place of the horse that it replaces in the event that the handicap is the same. In the event the handicap is different, the also eligible horse shall take the position on the outside of horses with a similar handicap, except when the horse that is scratched is a trailing horse, in which case the also eligible horse shall take the trailing position, regardless of its handicap. In handicap claiming races, in the event of an also eligible horse moving into the race, the also eligible horse shall take the place of the horse that it replaces in the event that the handicap is the same. In the event the handicap is different, the also eligible horse shall take the position on the outside of horses with similar handicap, except when the horse that is scratched is a trailing horse, in which case the also eligible horse shall take the trailing position, regardless of its handicap.
17.17 A horse properly declared and drawn in to start, or as an also eligible, shall not be withdrawn or scratched from the race without the permission of the Judges. A monetary penalty or suspension may be imposed when this requirement is violated, and the horse may be suspended.
17.18 After having been drawn in to start in any race, or as an also eligible, a horse shall not be sold or leased nor shall any interest in the horse be sold or leased prior to the racing of that particular race, unless the horse is sold at a public horse auction and the horse remains under the care, custody and responsibility of the trainer who entered the horse into the race.
17.19 It is responsibility of trainers to name the drivers of horses declared to race and it is the trainer’s further responsibility to ensure that the drivers are available and willing to drive the horses. Drivers shall be named not later than the time to permit this information to be published in the official program. The deadline for naming of drivers will be set by the Association, and no driver may be changed thereafter without permission of the Judges. When a programmed driver fails to appear the Judges may impose a monetary penalty or suspend the trainer and/ or the driver.
17.20 When post positions are handicapped or when post positions are assigned the trailing position shall be determined as the 4th best post position. No horse shall be permitted to start in more than one race on any one racing day except that at non-extended meetings a horse may be declared to race in no more than two single dashes in any one racing day. Races decided by more than one heat are considered a single race.