Nvestment Bluechip, harness racing

Dave Menary trainee looks for big return in Metro

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 28 - When making an "Nvestment", every dollar counts. Trainer Dave Menary expects to see it pay off as he sends out Nvestment Bluechip in the Metro Pace eliminations on Saturday night. "He was a very handsome colt at the sale, he was Ontario Sired and I really liked his pedigree," said Menary. "He stood out, really handsome and we got him at a good price." A $40,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, owners Menary Racing Inc., Michael Guerriero, Denis Breton and Thomas Kyron have seen their colt bankroll nearly $100,000 so far. The first foal out of Hazes Zure Bet, he has picked up where she left off in the speed department. Getting off to a rocky start in her two-year-old season, she turned a corner late in the year to set up a successful sophomore campaign. Picking up a mark of 1:54.4 at Saratoga, she went on to show speed of 1:52 over Vernon Downs in New York Sires Stakes action. Bred to Shadow Play by breeders Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., she dropped a foal in early January 2013 who would grow up to become Menary's next pacing star. Having campaigned Hes Watching, the small but mighty son of American Ideal who set an all-age world record of 1:46.4 in the Meadowlands Pace last year, he has large shoes to fill. "This winter, breaking them and starting to train, he's been my favourite. He's been a real professional from day one. He trained down excellent, started to go real fast and now he takes care of himself. He used to be a flashy trainer, now he's not so much of a flashy trainer anymore. Now he waits for the big dance to show his speed." With four starts so far in his freshman campaign, Nvestment Bluechip has posted two wins, both in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events. Setting a mark of 1:53.1 in his pari-mutuel debut, he has shown consistent speed with fast early fractions. Though Menary chose to bypass the Nassagaweya Stakes, which acted as a final prep for many of the horses entered, his trainee will head into Saturday off a victory at Rideau Carleton Raceway on August 13. "I'd like to see more speed out of him, but so far everything has been moving in the right direction. He has more in the tank; it's just a matter of time. A driver can do pretty much whatever they want with him on the track, he's versatile." With twenty-three rookie pacers set to go in the Metro Pace eliminations, Nvestment Bluechip will start from post position eight in the first of three 'Metro' events. He will be looking to finish on the board, the top three securing a spot in the final next week. The field will be rounded out with one fourth place finisher, drawn by lot. "I would have like to be inside, it's an uphill battle starting from way out there, but hopefully we're good enough this week to come back again next week. You have to be in it to win it, I was on the fence about entering him in the Metro and he's proven that he deserves the opportunity." For now, Menary hopes the next stake engagement for Nvestment Bluechip will be the final on September 5. He is looking ahead to the Champlain, the Ontario Sires Stakes Superfinal and the Breeders Crown which returns to Canadian soil this year. "He's one of the Sires Stakes point leaders with two Gold wins, so we'll have the Superfinal and a few other options outside of Sires Stakes as the year goes on. We're playing it by ear as he progresses." The most coveted 'Crown' of all, the Breeders Crown races act as the grand finale to each stake season. Set to take place at Woodbine Racetrack in October, every trainer, owner and driver hopes to be there with the horse to beat. "We need to finish the Sires Stakes and see how he makes it through all of that before the Breeders Crown. It's a nice option to have and a nice horse to have it with." Saturday is set to be a pacing affair at Mohawk Racetrack, with two Shes A Great Lady eliminations for two-year-old fillies on the card in addition to the Metro Pace. There will also be two eliminations for the highly anticipated Canadian Pacing Derby. The first race goes to post at 7:25 p.m. Hannah Beckett, for WEG Communications

St John's Raceway

Milton Downey Memorial set for St. John's

Racing returns to Saint John on Saturday afternoon with a number of events including the prestigious Milton Downey Memorial which carries a $ 2500 purse.   Slated for race seven on the eight-dash program, the field includes Walter Dale Memorial winner, Skippy from post-one.   Facing five other rivals, Skippy has drawn the inside post-one for driver Mark Haig and owner Harold DeFazio.   Gilles Barrieau, at time of this writing was just five-wins shy of his 4000th career driving victory. He will sit in the bike on the number two entry American Terror, a winner of seven races this year from the powerful Ed Harvey stable.   Young Michael Folkins will send out the veteran pacer Rocknroll Band from post-three for catch-driver Todd Trites. Post-four belongs to the iron sided pacer J Rs Hurricane for Jean Charles Belliveau of Scouduc, New Brunswick.   He has been a tough competitor over the past couple of years on the New Brunswick circuit and has drawn the services of the capable Lonny Stokes. Ed Harvey's second entry in the field leaves from five as Ed will handle the driving chores of the steady pacer Darth Bader.   Rounding out the Downey Memorial is Coral Snake for co-owner Luke Armstrong. Luke captured his first-ever victory with the pacer during Old Home Week and makes his first top-class drive. He shares the ownership with his father Rick.   Saturday also will feature the Maritimer stake that will race in two divisions for three-year-old fillies and a final all raced in the same day. Over $ 21,000 in purse money is available for the ten entrants that are set to go.   Post time is Saturday at 1:00 P.M.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB    

Solar Sister still flawless in Gold Series

AUGUST 27, 2015 - A few strides from the wire in Thursday's ninth race it looked as though Solar Sister's perfect Gold Series season would come to an end at Mohawk Racetrack, but the gritty harness racing three-year-old pacing filly fought to the end and extended her Ontario Sires Stakes win streak to four. "I think he backed her off a little around the last turn, hoping to get some room there, and then next thing he knew Mario (Baillargeon) was gone on him, so he had to gain a fair bit of ground to catch her," said trainer Gregg McNair of the race crafted by son Doug McNair. "She raced good, she's a good mare." Starting from Post 1, Doug McNair and Solar Sister had early command of the race, reaching the opening quarter in :26.3. However, a parked out Mario Baillargeon and Tessa Seelster decided the front end was more appealing than a spot among the followers and McNair chose not to disagree, allowing the challengers to take the lead before the :54.4 half. Fan favourites McNair and Solar Sister watched from the pocket as Baillargeon and Tessa Seelster reached the three-quarters in 1:23 and turning for home they were hemmed in by Maplelea mounting a charge in the outer lane. Once the fillies straightened out in the stretch, McNair was able to maneuver Solar Sister into an open lane, but it took every ounce of stubborn determination the filly possessed to reel in Tessa Seelster. The fillies hit the wire almost as one, with Solar Sister a narrow winner in 1:50.4. Capela was three lengths back in third. The victory was Solar Sister's fourth straight in Gold Series action, giving her a perfect score of 200 points in the sophomore pacing filly standings, a division Gregg McNair predicts will only get more interesting through the final Gold Leg and Super Final. "There's some good mares in there. I'd say there's a couple new ones there that nobody was looking for that much earlier in the year. They're just starting to pop out here now," said the Guelph, ON resident, adding that he was impressed with Tessa Seelster's effort. "The nice thing about her, she was parked around the first turn, so she raced a heck of a trip, then the ones that were one-two in the first division raced big," continued the horseman, whose Glamour Seelster was the runner-up in the first division, in her first Gold Series start. "It's shaping up to be a different looking division than it was two weeks ago." With the next Gold Leg not taking place until Oct. 1 at Flamboro Downs, many of the three-year-old pacing fillies will be battling in open stake events in the coming weeks. Among the races McNair is considering for Solar Sister are the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk on Sept. 5 and the Jugette at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio on Sept. 23. "She's going to the Simcoe, then she'll go to, possibly, the Jugette," said McNair, who conditions the daughter of Mach Three and $1.4 million winner Cabrini Hanover for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. "We'll see how she comes out of tonight and see how she races in the Simcoe. "We'd like to have her good for the Breeders Crown (Oct. 17 and 24) is what we'd like to have her good for, but it's a hard race to have them good for, because it's later on," added the trainer. "It's hard to keep them good all year, and she's been consistent here all year." Through 11 sophomore starts Solar Sister has accumulated seven wins, one second, one third and $384,112, giving her a two-season total just shy of $600,000. In addition to her flawless Gold Series record the filly swept her elimination and the final of the WEG-SBOA Stake in May and finished third in the Fan Hanover Final in June. Solar Sister The first $105,000 Gold division also featured a fierce stretch duel between fan favourite Wrangler Magic, pocket-sitter Cast No Shadow and McNair trainee Glamour Seelster. Wrangler Magic and driver Sylvain Filion took early command of the race, reeling off fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:24.1 with Cast No Shadow and Randy Waples tucked in behind them. Rolling off the final turn Waples tipped Cast No Shadow out and the filly accelerated past Wrangler Magic and held off a late charging Glamour Seelster to secure a one-quarter length victory in 1:51. Glamour Seelster earned the runner-up cheque, with Wrangler Seelster settling for third. The win was the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action for Cast No Shadow, but not her first in stakes competition. The daughter of Shadow Play and $374,152 winner Hypnotize captured two legs of the Blossom Series and the final of the Princess Series in the spring. Through 15 starts she boasts a record of eight wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $185,544. Nick Gallucci of Brantford, ON conditions Cast No Shadow for owner Millard Adams of Carlisle, OH. Cast No Shadow Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, Aug. 31 with five Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts. The freshman pacers will be featured in Races 3, 4, 6, 9, and 10 on the 7:25 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing

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Preview of the Maritimer two divisions

Two opening-heat divisions of The Maritimer for three-year-old pacing fillies have been drawn for this Saturday’s (August 29) program of live racing at Exhibition Park Raceway. Each of the five-filly divisions will be raced for a purse of $6,501, and the top four fillies from each division will advance to the $8,668 second heat, which will be contested later on the program. The opening-heat divisions have been carded as Race 4 and Race 5, while the second-heat finale has been carded as the last dash on the program (Race 8). The card will kick off with a 1 p.m. first-race post time. Woodmere Dancenart has drawn Post 3 for the first of the opening-heat divisions and has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favourite. She is owned by Morah Kerr of Greenfield, Nova Scotia and Phonsie MacEachern of Port Hood, Nova Scotia. The brown Articulator filly is trained and driven by Clare MacDonald. Woodmere Dancenart heads into The Maritimer on a two-race win streak that includes victories in a $12,980 Atlantic Sires Stakes event and the $12,000 Lady Slipper, both of which took place at Red Shores’ Charlottetown Driving Park. Jann Down (PP4, Gilles Barrieau, 3-1) and Miss Oromocto (PP1, Mark Haig, 7-2) are the other two fillies in the first opening-heat division that have caught the eye of the morning line oddsmaker. Party Rockin has drawn the outside Post 5 in the second of the opening-leg divisions for trainer/driver Danny Romo, although the Ameripan Gigolo filly has still secured the status of morning line favourite (5-2) for the dash. The filly has yet to visit the winner’s circle this season and has tasted victory in just one of her 14 career starts. Owners Ian Banks of Truro, Nova Scotia and Susan Karrel of Great Village, Nova Scotia hope that their filly upends the rest of the field on Saturday. The morning line oddsmaker has also established Invader M (PP4, Gilles Barrieau, 3-1) and Casa Miasa (PP1, Bernard McCallum, 7-2) as the other top selections in the early odds. Opening Heat Division 1 Post – Horse – Driver – Morning Line 1 – Miss Oromocto – M. Haig – 7-2 2 – The Good Wife – T. Trites – 6-1 3 – Woodmere Dancenart – M. Macdonald – 5-2 4 – Jann Down – G. Barrieau – 3-1 5 – Woodmere Articblue – D. Romo – 4-1 Opening Heat Division 2 Post – Horse – Driver – Morning Line 1 – Casa Miasa – B. Mccallum – 7-2 2 – J J Dazzler – T. Trites – 4-1 3 – Imastandout – S. Hubbard – 6-1 4 – Invader M – G. Barrieau – 3-1 5 – Party Rockin – D. Romo – 5-2 Scott Waddell

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 27 - The virtue of consistency is not easily attained in the world of harness racing. Week by week, horses are put to the test seeking to improve upon their previous efforts. Like any professional athlete, horses thrive when they get into a rhythm. This, too, is no simple task. Communication between the front and back of the sulky is pivotal. When talent, communication, and tempo all mesh together, they generate a consistency that can seem nearly invincible. This has been the case of veteran horseman Rick Zeron and his Mohawk Racetrack-based five-year-old pacing standout, Shamballa. Since the duo first teamed up in June of 2014, they have made it to the winners' circle an eye-opening 15 times in 23 starts. With Zeron accounting for 12 of the bay's lifetime wins, it's needless to say that the two have settled into quite a groove. It is accurate to describe Shamballa as a late bloomer, falling under the cliche of "humble beginnings." He made his career debut in May of 2013, breaking his maiden after two tries at the Pennsylvania-based Pocono Downs. Following that first career score, the five-year-old gelding found mild success in the northeast U.S. circuit, making the majority of his starts at Pocono with a few trips to Harrah's Philadelphia. His three-year-old campaign wrapped up after totaling four wins in 11 starts. It was five races into his four-year-old season when Shamballa was introduced to trainer/driver Zeron. Shipping north to Mohawk for the first time, the son of Somebeachsomewhere placed third in his Canadian debut. The newly acquainted Zeron returned Shamballa to the track two weeks later, guiding the explosive pacer to a dominating five-length win in a career best 1.49:2. A start on July 14was a game changer. The two kicked off what would be a four-race winning streak that lasted through the month. Making his way up through the ranks, Shamballa has been racing at the Preferred level since last October. Since then, he has been simply dominant. The bay has won seven of 13 Preferred races, posting sub-1:50 final times in the majority of those starts. What makes this star a fan favourite is his racing style. He is the epitome of a closer and has even been referred to as the Zenyatta of harness racing. This gelding saves his energy for a last minute surge. More times than not, racing fans will see him trailing the field, making it seem nearly impossible to get up in time at the wire. Time and time again, the betting public holds its breath as the heavily favoured closer decides when it's time to go. To no surprise, his timing is usually precise, nearly perfect, and nail biting to those in attendance. His speed down the stretch is exceptional, as he has continuously posted final quarter fractions of under 26 seconds throughout the summer. It is evident that this exciting pacer has found his rhythm. This weekend, Shamballa is taking his talents to the next level. Making his career stakes debut, the five-year-old pacer is aiming towards a bid in the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby final on September 5. He has drawn the rail in Saturday's 2nd elimination (Race 7). With no stakes starts to his name, the gelding has already racked up 20 career victories, with earnings in excess of $260,000. Zeron will once again take the reins, as he attempts to become the first trainer to drive his own horse to a Canadian Pacing Derby win since Pat Lachance in 2004 with Casimir Camotion. "He's coming into the race really well," said Zeron, "I'm quite happy with the week he had off and he's coming in to the race just as good as I think he's going to be. I'm looking forward to letting Shamballa get a chance to race with the best horses in North America. He's a real nice horse and has worked quite well with the program that I have set up for him. Fans will get to see a lot of Shamballa on Saturday night." A son of legendary pacer Somebeachsomewhere, out of a stakes winning mare, Bolero Takara, Zeron shares ownership of Shamballa with Tao Racing LLC of Pompano Beach, Florida. Here is the field for Canadian Pacing Derby 2nd elimination PP. Horse - Driver -Trainer 1. Shamballa - Rick Zeron - Rick Zeron 2. Mach It So - Corey Callahan - Jeffrey Bamond Jr. 3. Evenin Of Pleasure - Sylvain Filion - Richard Moreau 4. Melmerby Beach - Paul MacDonell - Paul MacDonell 5. Foiled Again - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke 6. Nirvana Seelster - Doug McNair - Bill Budd 7. JK Endofanera - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter 8. Limelight Beach - John Campbell - Ron Burke 9. Clear Vision - Andrew McCarthy - Ron Burke Tim Lawson for WEG Communications

The top local horseman for Wednesday night at Grand River Raceway was harness racing driver Ryan Holliday. Ryan was the winning driver of the 6th race aboard What Can I Say. It was Ryan's 74th win of the season and What Can I Say's first career win. Ryan and his wife, Caroline, who is also involved in the local harness racing industry, live in Mount Forest. Grand River Raceway features live harness racing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights all summer. Complete schedule info at www.grandriverraceway.com . Kelly Spencer

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - Two-year-old trotter Wildwild Men rewrote a 22-year-old harness racing track record at the Hippodrome 3R Wednesday in capturing the first of two elimination divisions of the $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series. Driven by Robert Shepherd, Wildwild Men traded control of the early lead with Panamas Boy (Stephane Brosseau) and they sped to a quick opening quarter mile in :28.2. Once settled on the lead and in control, Shepherd and Wildwild Men backed down the pace as they led the field past the half mile marker in 1:00. Then in the backstretch, Sass and driver Clarke Steacy came first-over to try and mount a challenge, but Wildwild Men would have nothing to do with that and he kicked in another gear after the three-quarters in 1:31.2. By the top of the stretch, Wildwild Men was leading by four and one-half lengths and then poured it on with a :29.1 last quarter mile to win in a romp by six and one-half open lengths in 2:00.3. The prior track record for two-year-old trotters was 2:01.3 set by Jobie Tempest (Claude St-Jacques) in 1993. Trained by Isabelle D'Darveau and co-owned by Catheline Pelletier with breeder Chantal Gravel, it was the third straight win for Wildwild Men. The gelded son of Muscle Mass now has four wins in seven starts this year. He paid just $2.30 to win. In the fourth race, second division, KFB Amigo Cool and driver Guy Gagnon were able to stay on stride and wire the field, scoring an upset over the 1/5 race favorite, Tuscans Memory (Pascal Berube). KFB Amigo Cool went right out to the early lead, stuffing a determined SOS Chico (Jocelyn Gendron) into the pocket seat to the opening quarter mile in :29. KFB Amigo Cool then led to the half mile in 1:01.2 when Berube came first-over with Tuscans Memory. Past the three-quarters in 1:32.3, KFB Amigo Cool would not give ground to Tuscans Memory around the final turn as they battled head and head for the lead. Tuscans Memory then went wide as they started down the stretch and could not catch KFB Amigo Cool, who won by one and one-quarter lengths in 2:03. Defi Normand (Pierre Bovay) was third. Sent off at odds of 6-1, KFB Amigo Cool paid $14.00 to win. It was his maiden victory after four lifetime starts for the ridgling son of Amigo Hall, who is trained by Dany Fontane for owner/breeder Investissement K F B of Sorel-Tracy, QC. This was the third and final preliminary round of the series. Now the top eight point earners from the filly and colt divisions, return on Sunday, September 6 for their respective $65,000 finals. On Sunday the two-year-old pacing colts and fillies compete in their third round of the series. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Summerside, PE - Red Shores Summerside hosted two divisions of the Maple Leaf trot Wednesday night. Tyne Valley, under the command of Kenny Arsenault, held off a fast closing Paymenowpaymelater to claim the first event in 2:02. The filly is trained by Bill Roloson for his co-owners Scott Roloson and Krista Pickering. Sweetwater Rayne was third. Suicide Shift and driver Steven Shepherd won the colt division of the Maple Leaf trot in 2:02.4. The colt is owned by Margo Fisher, Fredericton, NB and trainer Harold Shepherd, Charlottetown, PE. BJ Matador was second with Windemere Ty third. The first ever Mayor's Challenge was also held on the program. Mayor Bill Martin of Summerside and driver Tyler Desroches won the race with Windemere Eric in 2:12 over a rain soaked track. Cool One was second with Mayor Clifford Lee of Charlottetown on board with driver Jody Hennessey while Woodmere No Fool finished third for Garth Cole and the deputy Mayor of Kensingston Rodney Mann. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca By Lee Drake

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Post-position could mean everything as a tight knit group of half-a-dozen meet Thursday night in the feature harness racing event at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 7 pm for the 12-dash card. The race 11 feature lines up for a purse of $2,200 as Waterside Light will attempt to use rail control to his advantage for trainer-driver Kenny Arsenault and owners Larry and Kathy Chappell of Marshfield. The four-year-old son of Lis Mara has not seen the winner's circle since July 2 but that was the last time he faced this class of horses, before climbing to the preferred ranks plus racing in a Governor's Plate elimination at Red Shores Summerside. Waterside Light is back down in class this week but has to knock off a horse formerly dominant in this class with Forever Paradise leaving from post 5 for driver Gilles Barrieau and trainer Kevin MacLean. McJestic is fresh off a 1:55.4 victory during Old Home Week racing from post 6 with Marc Campbell in the bike while the race's other three rivals drop out of preferred company to face off in this field of six. They are The Big Bite (Walter Cheverie), Perfect Escape (Ron Matheson) and Cambest Kisser (Jason Hughes). Race analyst Les MacIsaac will put his faith in Waterside Light with the favourable starting post. "He's been keeping company with the best around all year and as his record indicates, more than holding his own," MacIsaac said. "The bit of class relief coupled with rail control could see him get it all." A pair of trot classes also populates the race card in races 3 and 5. Howmacs Pride is favoured in the eight-horse field in race 3 with trainer-driver Arsenault from post 7 for owners Wade Peconi of Stanchel and Howmac Farms of North Wiltshire. JK Queen is the morning line choice in race 5 for driver Walter Cheverie, co-owner and trainer Joe Smallwood of Stratford and co-owner Norman Clarey of Charlottetown. The tough field also includes Majian Dillon from post 2 and a father-daughter battler as Tymal Tyme leaves from post 7 with Brian MacPhee catch driving and his daughter, Ambyr Campbell, steering post 8 entry Parkhill Juggernaut. By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores

Hiding pain is one of the top survival skills of the horse. An important part of horse ownership is learning to recognize the signs a horse may be in discomfort rather than dismissing certain subtle cues as just bad behaviour. Dr. Brianne Henderson recently gave a well-received lecture to a room full of horse owners in Hillsburgh, ON. The attendees were interested in ensuring the welfare of their equine companions by honing their skills for detecting pain. There has been increased awareness of pain recognition and management in small animals and this science is also gaining more acknowledgement in the world of horses as well. The Facial Grimaces Score used originally to identify pain in rodents and rabbits has been incorporated into a “grimace scale” for equines as well. It uses ear position and tightening of the muscles around the eyes and mouth to come up with a score (0 – no pain, 1 – moderate, 2 – obvious). Everyone wants to be greeted by a bright-eyed, soft and relaxed face. The horse is telling you something hurts when they avoid looking at you, appear despondent, clench their jaw, flatten ears back and/or squint their eyes. Dr. Henderson went on to briefly explain pain scales used by veterinarians that focus on physiological parameters and behavior patterns. One included the Composite Pain Scale (CPS) which looks at the change in frequency of normal behavior patterns such as eating, the presence of pain-related behaviours such as kicking at the abdomen and physiological parameters such as elevated vitals. There is a long list of signs that are scored from 0 – 3. Some of these indicators, including vitals, can also be assessed using a quick 16-point health check poster developed by Equine Guelph. The poster or handy new Horse Health Tracker app are invaluable tools for horse owners to provide important health data to their veterinarian. The choir was obviously present and little preaching was required as Henderson rolled through a barrage of images asking the audience to denote which ones depicted animals in pain. By stance, facial cues and action the savvy auditors were hitting the mark and also picked up on the fact that circumstance plays a role. How many people have had the phone call of alarm when a passerby sees a horse flat out in the field when it was actually just napping in the sun? Flehmen is another response that can be circumstantial. It can occur due to an interesting smell or taste sensation but it can also be a moderate pain response displaying nostril and mouth tension. The stallion curling his upper lip testing for pheromones when a mare passes by is a different context than the horse who didn’t finish his feed, is stretched out with his poll low and is showing the flehmen response. Subtle changes require your attention such as a horse at the back of its stall with a half-eaten breakfast when it is normally standing at the door waiting to go out after licking the feed tub clean. Catching a potential colic at this early stage could result in a huge cost savings as well as avoid what could turn into a very painful experience for the horse. The performance horse who suddenly starts refusing to accomplish tasks that it used to find easy requires a careful evaluation as early signs of lameness rather than misbehaving could be the culprit. As the owner of a stoic animal, accustomed to hiding pain, horse people need to be on the lookout for atypical behavior such as a horse who begins to segregate itself from the herd or suddenly displays a less tolerant behavior with its paddock mates. When variations in behavior occur, a step back may be required to figure out if it is you or the horse that has changed. “If I have had a bad day at the office and not taken the time to decompress – my horse will not come to the gate for me,” Henderson explains. “Similarly, I know if he doesn’t come to the gate under normal circumstances, there is something wrong because he typically loves his job.” Grooming is the next interaction where paying close attention will tell you much about your horse’s health. Rather than quickly dusting off the saddle area and jumping on to ride, take the time to run your hands over their whole body, especially the back and legs, before and after work, checking for any heat, swelling or reactions that can be early indicators something is not quite right. Obvious pain requires a veterinary examination. When a horse comes in from the paddock hopping lame, it can often be hard to tell if it is an abscess requiring a simple poultice or a fracture requiring much more intensive treatment and stabilization. When acute pain is obvious; don’t guess or delay – call the veterinarian. For less obvious lameness, your veterinarian has been trained to assess the severity on a scale from one to five. Early intervention increases the chances of a good outcome and can prevent matters from escalating into a much worse injury. The veterinarian will check the horse in both walk and trot, on straight lines and turns.“A lameness that is visible at the walk is automatically going to be at least a three if not higher,” comments Henderson. After a thorough exam, a rehabilitation plan can be made. Chronic pain will impact the horse’s ability to heal and their quality of life. “It is an old way of thinking to want a horse to be a bit sore in the healing process to prevent it from box-walking,” explains Henderson. “Our ability to control pain both every day and certainly in the medical environment is becoming more and more recognized as mandatory.” Once the horse is controlled in its pain, they can move better and heal faster and therefore do not lose as much muscle quality during the healing period. Modern treatment methods can also help avoid the knock on effects of stomach ulcers and sourness that often accompany chronic pain. Choosing the right pain control method or treatment is another conversation to have with your veterinarian as there are many option available and extended use of Phenylbutazone can have negative effects on a horse’s stomach. In addition to being on the look-out for signs of pain, a dutiful horse owner is always employing prevention practices. They apply poultice and wrap horse’s legs to stem swelling after a hard work out and give them time to recover. Similarly, we take care of ourselves with rest after a work-out, a hearty meal to replace nutrients and perhaps a hot bath. Our horses count on us, their primary care-takers to be diligent and attentive in both prevention and early detection of pain. Equine Guelph is the horse owners’ and care givers’ Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government – for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information visit: EquineGuelph.ca.   Jackie Bellamy-Zions Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada

The field for the 11th annual Balanced Image final includes new track record holder Smoke Monkey who won his elimination last week in 1:59.2.   However, the 2 year old colt has seven other contenders that will be looking to take the crown including a horse with local connections.  Major Muscle is owned by Mark Etsell formerly of Walkerton as well as Bob Newton of Walkerton and Chuan Tan of Cambridge. This 2 year old Filly won her elimination in 2:00.2 which was the second fastest winner on the program and will start from post position 8 in the final.  The Balanced Image final will go as Race 10 in the program for a record purse of $77,800. Saturday night also includes some special guests. Hanover Raceway welcomes Susies Garage and the staff from 92.3 The Dock. Susies Garage is a local band from Port Elgin who will play some rock and country classics for us in between the races.  The staff from the Dock have a great prize for someone as they will give away a $1,000 dollar Travel Voucher from Hanover Travel. We’ll pick a name from the Ballot bin so make sure you enter your name on one of our ballots for a shot at that great prize. Next week, we host our second and final OSS night as 3 year old Filly Trotters hit the track.   Hopefully we’ll have some of our local Dream of Glory horses back, and the Ontario Sires Stakes have left with us 100 free T-shirts and a number of OSS hats that we will give away with the purchase of a program at our information Kiosk starting at 6:00pm. The shirts and or hats will be FREE with the purchase of a program. It’s also CKNX Night at the races, which means another great prize for one of our lucky fans from our ballot box.   Post time is 7:15pm. Hanover Raceway    

AUGUST 25, 2015 - After coming close in each of his previous Gold Series starts, three-year-old pacing gelding Mr Carrotts scored a narrow victory in front of a hometown crowd at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening. Owned and bred by Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Mr Carrotts trailed fan favourite Go Daddy Go in the outer lane for much of the mile and then sprinted down the stretch to get a whisker in front of Sportsmanship for his first Gold Series win. It was also a close contest for third, with pacesetter Star Cover holding off Robert Hill. Mr Carrotts and driver Paul MacKenzie of Puslinch, ON stopped the Georgian Downs teletimer at 1:53.2 over a "Good" track rated one second slower than normal. "He always showed talent, but he's lazy," said Murray Brethour, who conditions the Mach Three gelding for Thornton resident Melvyn Varcoe and actually sold the horse's dam, Cueless, to Varcoe's father Clarence in 2001. "I bought the mother as a yearling and then I got out of racing and I sold her," explained the Sunderland resident. "She was a good mare." Cueless earned $466,638 in her racing career and produced $240,028 winner Card Hustler in her first mating. Mr Carrotts is her fourth foal and to date he has banked $116,318, with all but $10,000 coming this season. Through 13 sophomore starts the gelding has tallied two wins, three seconds, five thirds and three fifths. With a five and one-half week break before the fifth and final Gold Leg, Brethour says Mr Carrotts will likely enjoy a mini-vacation before beginning preparations for the regular season finale and, hopefully, the Super Final. The top 10 point earners from the regular season advance to the Super Final and Tuesday's victory boosted the gelding up the point standings from thirteenth to fifth. "We'll give him a couple of weeks off, freshen him up," said Brethour. "He's very laid back. It takes a little while to jog him, he don't get too excited, you're out there for half an hour. "Only bad thing about him - I don't own him," concluded Brethour, with a chuckle. In addition to Mr Carrotts' hometown win, Tuesday's Gold Series contest also featured the return of 2014 freshman pacing colt champion Reverend Hanover. Sidelined by an injury in May, the son of Sportswriter missed the first three Gold Legs and was looking to make up for lost time from Post 2 in the second $105,000 division. With Hall of Famer Steve Condren in the race bike, Reverend Hanover controlled the race from start to finish, sailing home two and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:51.4. Pocket-sitter Drachan Hanover earned the second-place share and early challenger J Js Delivery was third. Milton, ON resident Condren crafted the win for trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, ON and owners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatham, ON and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, ON. With Tuesday's victory under his belt, Coleman said the winner of $224,500 has a number of open stakes engagements on his calendar before the next Gold Leg. "He is fully staked up, and there are still enough dances on his plate to rack up some money," said the trainer. "The next big one would be Sept. 12 at Mohawk, the Simcoe, and I wouldn't mind a three-year-old open next Saturday (at Mohawk) if they can fill one." Through three starts in his two-year-old campaign and Tuesday's triumph, Reverend Hanover remains undefeated in Gold Series action. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings make their final regular season Gold Series start at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 2 and the $250,000 Super Final will also be contested at Woodbine on Oct. 10. Georgian Downs wraps up its 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Saturday, Aug. 29 with the fifth Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

Local filly Hape earned her second Grassroots trophy at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening, making up for the aggravation she caused trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev prior to the race. "She's not fun to be around all week and warming up - she kicks and pulls and grabs on - but you get in a race, she's pretty nice to drive in a race," said the Moffat resident. "Once you get her warmed up she forgets about kicking and thinks about racing." Starting from the outside Post 8 in the fifth $18,000 division, Moiseyev eased Hape away from the starting gate and the pair was sitting in the outer lane in sixth when Pointe Of Inquiry reached the :28.2 opening quarter. Fan favourite Renegade Magic took command before the :57.1 half while Moiseyev and Hape continued to watch from sixth, but heading by the 1:26.3 three-quarters Moiseyev sent the filly out three-wide and started to reel in the leaders. At the top of the stretch Hape had advanced to within two lengths of Renegade Magic, but when she straightened out Moiseyev was able to find an even bigger gear and the filly rocketed down the stretch to a two and one-half length win in 1:56.4. Division point leader Renegade Magic had to settle for second, with Pointe Of Inquiry third. "She raced real good last week too. She's very finicky, you've got to let her do what she wants and at the end she knows what to do, she takes off at the end there," said Moiseyev, who conditions the Pilgrims Taj daughter for Joanne Colville of Moffat and Nancy MacNevin of Essex, ON. "Once she straightens up she kind of takes off." In an overnight event at Mohawk on Aug. 18, the top three fillies from Tuesday's fifth Grassroots division finished in reverse order, with Pointe Of Inquiry getting the win, Renegade Magic second and Hape third. Through 14 starts this season Hape has tallied five wins, two seconds, one third and $55,750. Tuesday's win bumped the filly's Grassroots point tally to 126, virtually assuring her of a berth in the Sept. 18 Semi-final. Hape The top 20 point earners after six regular season events qualify for the Semi-final, with the top five finishers from each Semi-final returning to Mohawk to compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 26. The other four division winners also made considerable leaps up the point standings. Meadow Seelster captured the first division with a gate-to-wire effort that saw her cruise home one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Mass Rail and Oh My Magic in 1:56.2. Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON engineered the win for trainer Bill Budd of Waterdown, ON and owner William Dixon of Caledon, ON. The Holiday Road daughter was also a Grassroots winner at Georgian Downs on July 14 and currently has 112 points in the race toward a Semi-final berth. Giona scored her first Grassroots win in the second division, also controlling the tempo from start to finish. The Angus Hall miss and trainer-driver Wayne MacLean of Chelmsford, ON crossed the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of favourite Railee Priti and Roses In The Rain in 1:57.2 Jocelyne Menard of Chelmsford owns Giona, who jumped from 50 to 100 points with the win. In the third division, Allerage Star earned her first win of the season with a front-end effort that saw her sail under the wire three and one-half lengths ahead of Desis Dream and Summers Jewel in 1:56.1. The Angus Hall daughter was driven to the win by Guelph, ON resident Paul MacDonell. Howard Okukso Jr. of Vernon, NY conditions Allerage Star for Little E LLC of New York, NY, Arthur Geiger of Livingston, NJ, David Stolz of Columbus, OH and Jason Settlemoir of Cream Ridge, NJ. World Class Izzy and Mario Baillargeon of Milton, ON claimed the remaining Grassroots trophy with a come-from-behind effort that saw them sweep home to a three length win in 1:56.2 Flexceptional and Hope Rises completed the top three. The win was the first ever for World Class Izzy, who is trained by Rockwood, ON resident Benoit Baillargeon for owner-breeders Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin. The victory boosted the Muscle Mass daughter's Grassroots point total to 86. The three-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their regular season at Hanover Raceway on Sept. 5. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday with a pair of $105,000 Gold divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 25 - The present and future of harness racing's pacing ranks will be on display Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack for the eliminations of the Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady. An All-Star group of 18 older pacers have been split into two $40,000 eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby. The Metro Pace for two-year-old pacing colts has attracted 23 rookies separated into three $40,000 eliminations, while 12 two-year-old pacing fillies will contest a pair of $35,000 eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady Stakes. The Canadian Pacing Derby is Canada's oldest harness race and annually serves as one of the premier events in the sport. This year's 'Pacing Derby' once again has attracted the finest older pacers in the sport. The first elimination Saturday is highlighted by the red-hot State Treasurer (PP4, David Miller). The Dr. Ian Moore trainee enters his Derby elimination off back-to-back victories in the U.S. Pacing Championship and the Roll With Joe Stakes. State Treasurer has won six of 12 starts this season and earned over $500,000 to bring his career bankroll to north of $1.4 million. The Ron Burke trainee All Bets Off (PP7, Matt Kakaley) also enters the first elimination with plenty of confidence. The four-year-old pacer captured the Prix D'Ete last Sunday in Quebec and has hit the board in four of his last five starts. All Bets Off has banked over $400,000 this season to bring his career total to over $1.5 million. The second elimination features the richest Standardbred of all-time Foiled Again (PP5, Yannick Gingras). A winner of over $7.1 million, Foiled Again won the 2012 edition of the Canadian Pacing Derby and a top-five finish in this Saturday's elimination will secure the 11-year-old his fifth appearance in the 'Pacing Derby' final. The Burke trainee finished second in last year's Derby and has finished no worse than third in his four Derby appearances. The second split will also feature the hottest horse on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit Shamballa (PP1, Rick Zeron). The Rick Zeron trainee has been dominating the Preferred level at Mohawk and enters his elimination on a five-race win streak. Known for his wicked closing speed, Shamballa will be making his first career Grand Circuit start. The five-year-old gelding has eight wins in 11 starts this season for $138,000 in earnings. Another notable in the second elimination is four-year-old JK Endofanera (PP7, Brett Miller), who will be making his first start at Mohawk since capturing the 2014 Pepsi North America Cup. The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby final on Saturday, September 5. The eliminations have been carded as races five and seven on Saturday. The Metro Pace has annually been the top race for two-year-old pacers and has severed as a launching pad to impressive careers for many greats. The first elimination Saturday will feature Ontario Sires Stakes standout Voracity (PP5, Randy Waples). The son of Sportswriter is fresh off a victory in a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes and has three wins from four starts this season. Voracity is trained by Tony Alagna, who captured last year's Metro Pace with Artspeak. Alagna also sends out American Passport (PP6, Scott Zeron) in the first elimination and three other rookies (Highlandbeachycove, Racing Hill, Mindtrip) in the final two eliminations. The undefeated colt Control The Moment (PP6, Randy Waples) highlights the second elimination. A son of Well Said, Control The Moment captured his Nassagaweya split last Saturday with ease to improve to five for five. The Brad Maxwell trainee is the only undefeated rookie of the 23 entered in this year's Metro eliminations. The third and final Metro elimination will feature a field of seven rookies. The Catamount Kid (PP6, Jody Jamieson) will look to carry the momentum from his victory in last Saturday's Nassagaweya into his preliminary. The son of Well Said comes into the Metro on a two-race win streak for trainer Carl Jamieson. Casie Coleman trainee Betting Line (PP3, Tim Tetrick), a two-time OSS Gold series winner, will look to rebound from a break in his most recent start in the final elimination. The son of Sportswriter has won three of five starts to begin his career. The top-three finishers from each elimination and a fourth-place finisher drawn by a lot will advance to the $685,000 Metro Pace final on Saturday, September 5. Two-year-old pacing fillies will also share the spotlight Saturday in a pair of eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady Stakes. Thatsoveryverynice (PP5, Jody Jamieson), an Eternal Camnation division winner, will highlight the first elimination. The daughter of Vintage Master has won three of four starts for trainer and co-owner Tony Alagna. The second split features Bob McIntosh trainee L A Delight (PP2, Randy Waples). The daughter of Bettor's Delight won her division of the Eternal Camnation Saturday to extend her current win streak to six starts in a row. The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $455,000 Shes A Great Lady final on Saturday, September 5. The winners of each elimination Saturday will earn the right to select their post position for the final of their respective race. Post time for Saturday's star-studded 12-race card is 7:25 p.m. The full fields for all the stakes eliminations can be found below. PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer Canadian Pacing Derby - Elimination 1 - Race 5 1. Ellis Park - Randy Waples - Brad Maxwell 2. Piston Broke - Tim Tetrick - Rob Fellows 3. Bettorever - Corey Callahan - Jeffrey Bamond Jr. 4. State Treasurer - David Miller - Dr. Ian Moore 5. Mcwicked - David Miller - Casie Coleman 6. Captive Audience - Andrew McCarthy - Colin Johnson 7. All Bets Off - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke 8. Luck Be Withyou - Luc Ouellette - Bill Cass 9. Bettors Edge - TBA - Ron Burke Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination 2 - Race 7 1. Shamballa - Rick Zeron - Rick Zeron 2. Mach It So - Corey Callahan - Jeffrey Bamond Jr. 3. Evenin Of Pleasure - Sylvain Filion - Richard Moreau 4. MelmerbyBeach - Paul MacDonell - Paul MacDonell 5. Foiled Again - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke 6. Nirvana Seelster - Sylvain Filion - Bill Budd 7. JK Endofanera - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter 8. LimelightBeach - TBA - Ron Burke 9. Clear Vision - Brett Miller - Ron Burke Metro Pace - Elimination 1 - Race 6 1. Bank Shot Hanover - Mark MacDonald - Daniel Renaud 2. Blayde Hanover - Sylvain Filion - Tony O'Sullivan 3. StonebridgeBeach - Stephane Pouliot - Stephane Larocque 4. Check Six - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke 5. Voracity - Randy Waples - Tony Alagna 6. American Passport - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna 7. Cruise Patrol - Sylvain Filion - Jimmy Takter 8. Nvestment Bluechip - Jody Jamieson - Dave Menary Metro Pace - Elimination 2 - Race 8 1. Carter Beach - Jody Jamieson - Carl Jamieson 2. Highlandbeachycove - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna 3. Sossys King Kong - Doug McNair - Richard Norman 4. Ideal Rocky - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen 5. Manny - Corey Callahan - Howard Okusko Jr. 6. Control The Moment - Randy Waples - Brad Maxwell 7. Racing Hill - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna 8. Manhattan Beach - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke Metro Pace - Elimination 3 - Race 10 1. Mindtrip - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna 2. Talk Show - John Campbell - Steve Elliott 3. Betting Line - Tim Tetrick - Casie Coleman 4. Pretty Boy Hill - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke 5. Rodeo Rock - Randy Waples - Don Swick 6. The Catamount Kid - Jody Jamieson - Carl Jamieson 7. Real Kid - Doug McNair - Larry Ainsworth Shes A Great Lady - Elimination 1 - Race 2 1. JK Fannie - Matt Kakaley - Nancy Johansson 2. Upside Surprise - Andrew McCarthy - Tony O'Sullivan 3. Albany Girl - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter 4. Thisorthat Hanover - Tim Tetrick - James Dean 5. Thatsoveryverynice - Jody Jamieson - Tony Alagna 6. Highland Rocksolid - TBA - Marty Fine Shes A Great Lady - Elimination 2 - Race 3 1. Ivy League - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter 2. L A Delight - Randy Waples - Bob McIntosh 3. Show Time Hill - Andrew McCarthy - Tony Alagna 4. Three Dreams - James MacDonald - Jeffrey Bamond Jr. 5. Darlinonthebeach - David Miller - Nancy Johansson 6. Blue Moon Stride - Andrew McCarthy - Mark Harder Mark McKelvie

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CAMPBELLVILLE, August 28 - When making an "Nvestment", every dollar counts. Trainer Dave Menary expects to see it pay off as he sends out Nvestment Bluechip in the Metro Pace eliminations on Saturday night. "He was a very handsome colt at the sale, he was Ontario Sired and I really liked his pedigree," said Menary. "He stood out, really handsome and we got him at a good price." A $40,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, owners Menary Racing Inc., Michael Guerriero, Denis Breton and Thomas Kyron have seen their colt bankroll nearly $100,000 so far. The first foal out of Hazes Zure Bet, he has picked up where she left off in the speed department. Getting off to a rocky start in her two-year-old season, she turned a corner late in the year to set up a successful sophomore campaign. Picking up a mark of 1:54.4 at Saratoga, she went on to show speed of 1:52 over Vernon Downs in New York Sires Stakes action. Bred to Shadow Play by breeders Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., she dropped a foal in early January 2013 who would grow up to become Menary's next pacing star. Having campaigned Hes Watching, the small but mighty son of American Ideal who set an all-age world record of 1:46.4 in the Meadowlands Pace last year, he has large shoes to fill. "This winter, breaking them and starting to train, he's been my favourite. He's been a real professional from day one. He trained down excellent, started to go real fast and now he takes care of himself. He used to be a flashy trainer, now he's not so much of a flashy trainer anymore. Now he waits for the big dance to show his speed." With four starts so far in his freshman campaign, Nvestment Bluechip has posted two wins, both in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events. Setting a mark of 1:53.1 in his pari-mutuel debut, he has shown consistent speed with fast early fractions. Though Menary chose to bypass the Nassagaweya Stakes, which acted as a final prep for many of the horses entered, his trainee will head into Saturday off a victory at Rideau Carleton Raceway on August 13. "I'd like to see more speed out of him, but so far everything has been moving in the right direction. He has more in the tank; it's just a matter of time. A driver can do pretty much whatever they want with him on the track, he's versatile." With twenty-three rookie pacers set to go in the Metro Pace eliminations, Nvestment Bluechip will start from post position eight in the first of three 'Metro' events. He will be looking to finish on the board, the top three securing a spot in the final next week. The field will be rounded out with one fourth place finisher, drawn by lot. "I would have like to be inside, it's an uphill battle starting from way out there, but hopefully we're good enough this week to come back again next week. You have to be in it to win it, I was on the fence about entering him in the Metro and he's proven that he deserves the opportunity." For now, Menary hopes the next stake engagement for Nvestment Bluechip will be the final on September 5. He is looking ahead to the Champlain, the Ontario Sires Stakes Superfinal and the Breeders Crown which returns to Canadian soil this year. "He's one of the Sires Stakes point leaders with two Gold wins, so we'll have the Superfinal and a few other options outside of Sires Stakes as the year goes on. We're playing it by ear as he progresses." The most coveted 'Crown' of all, the Breeders Crown races act as the grand finale to each stake season. Set to take place at Woodbine Racetrack in October, every trainer, owner and driver hopes to be there with the horse to beat. "We need to finish the Sires Stakes and see how he makes it through all of that before the Breeders Crown. It's a nice option to have and a nice horse to have it with." Saturday is set to be a pacing affair at Mohawk Racetrack, with two Shes A Great Lady eliminations for two-year-old fillies on the card in addition to the Metro Pace. There will also be two eliminations for the highly anticipated Canadian Pacing Derby. The first race goes to post at 7:25 p.m. Hannah Beckett, for WEG Communications
Racing returns to Saint John on Saturday afternoon with a number of events including the prestigious Milton Downey Memorial which carries a $ 2500 purse.   Slated for race seven on the eight-dash program, the field includes Walter Dale Memorial winner, Skippy from post-one.   Facing five other rivals, Skippy has drawn the inside post-one for driver Mark Haig and owner Harold DeFazio.   Gilles Barrieau, at time of this writing was just five-wins shy of his 4000th career driving victory. He will sit in the bike on the number two entry American Terror, a winner of seven races this year from the powerful Ed Harvey stable.   Young Michael Folkins will send out the veteran pacer Rocknroll Band from post-three for catch-driver Todd Trites. Post-four belongs to the iron sided pacer J Rs Hurricane for Jean Charles Belliveau of Scouduc, New Brunswick.   He has been a tough competitor over the past couple of years on the New Brunswick circuit and has drawn the services of the capable Lonny Stokes. Ed Harvey's second entry in the field leaves from five as Ed will handle the driving chores of the steady pacer Darth Bader.   Rounding out the Downey Memorial is Coral Snake for co-owner Luke Armstrong. Luke captured his first-ever victory with the pacer during Old Home Week and makes his first top-class drive. He shares the ownership with his father Rick.   Saturday also will feature the Maritimer stake that will race in two divisions for three-year-old fillies and a final all raced in the same day. Over $ 21,000 in purse money is available for the ten entrants that are set to go.   Post time is Saturday at 1:00 P.M.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB    
AUGUST 27, 2015 - A few strides from the wire in Thursday's ninth race it looked as though Solar Sister's perfect Gold Series season would come to an end at Mohawk Racetrack, but the gritty harness racing three-year-old pacing filly fought to the end and extended her Ontario Sires Stakes win streak to four. "I think he backed her off a little around the last turn, hoping to get some room there, and then next thing he knew Mario (Baillargeon) was gone on him, so he had to gain a fair bit of ground to catch her," said trainer Gregg McNair of the race crafted by son Doug McNair. "She raced good, she's a good mare." Starting from Post 1, Doug McNair and Solar Sister had early command of the race, reaching the opening quarter in :26.3. However, a parked out Mario Baillargeon and Tessa Seelster decided the front end was more appealing than a spot among the followers and McNair chose not to disagree, allowing the challengers to take the lead before the :54.4 half. Fan favourites McNair and Solar Sister watched from the pocket as Baillargeon and Tessa Seelster reached the three-quarters in 1:23 and turning for home they were hemmed in by Maplelea mounting a charge in the outer lane. Once the fillies straightened out in the stretch, McNair was able to maneuver Solar Sister into an open lane, but it took every ounce of stubborn determination the filly possessed to reel in Tessa Seelster. The fillies hit the wire almost as one, with Solar Sister a narrow winner in 1:50.4. Capela was three lengths back in third. The victory was Solar Sister's fourth straight in Gold Series action, giving her a perfect score of 200 points in the sophomore pacing filly standings, a division Gregg McNair predicts will only get more interesting through the final Gold Leg and Super Final. "There's some good mares in there. I'd say there's a couple new ones there that nobody was looking for that much earlier in the year. They're just starting to pop out here now," said the Guelph, ON resident, adding that he was impressed with Tessa Seelster's effort. "The nice thing about her, she was parked around the first turn, so she raced a heck of a trip, then the ones that were one-two in the first division raced big," continued the horseman, whose Glamour Seelster was the runner-up in the first division, in her first Gold Series start. "It's shaping up to be a different looking division than it was two weeks ago." With the next Gold Leg not taking place until Oct. 1 at Flamboro Downs, many of the three-year-old pacing fillies will be battling in open stake events in the coming weeks. Among the races McNair is considering for Solar Sister are the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk on Sept. 5 and the Jugette at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio on Sept. 23. "She's going to the Simcoe, then she'll go to, possibly, the Jugette," said McNair, who conditions the daughter of Mach Three and $1.4 million winner Cabrini Hanover for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. "We'll see how she comes out of tonight and see how she races in the Simcoe. "We'd like to have her good for the Breeders Crown (Oct. 17 and 24) is what we'd like to have her good for, but it's a hard race to have them good for, because it's later on," added the trainer. "It's hard to keep them good all year, and she's been consistent here all year." Through 11 sophomore starts Solar Sister has accumulated seven wins, one second, one third and $384,112, giving her a two-season total just shy of $600,000. In addition to her flawless Gold Series record the filly swept her elimination and the final of the WEG-SBOA Stake in May and finished third in the Fan Hanover Final in June. Solar Sister The first $105,000 Gold division also featured a fierce stretch duel between fan favourite Wrangler Magic, pocket-sitter Cast No Shadow and McNair trainee Glamour Seelster. Wrangler Magic and driver Sylvain Filion took early command of the race, reeling off fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:24.1 with Cast No Shadow and Randy Waples tucked in behind them. Rolling off the final turn Waples tipped Cast No Shadow out and the filly accelerated past Wrangler Magic and held off a late charging Glamour Seelster to secure a one-quarter length victory in 1:51. Glamour Seelster earned the runner-up cheque, with Wrangler Seelster settling for third. The win was the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action for Cast No Shadow, but not her first in stakes competition. The daughter of Shadow Play and $374,152 winner Hypnotize captured two legs of the Blossom Series and the final of the Princess Series in the spring. Through 15 starts she boasts a record of eight wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $185,544. Nick Gallucci of Brantford, ON conditions Cast No Shadow for owner Millard Adams of Carlisle, OH. Cast No Shadow Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, Aug. 31 with five Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts. The freshman pacers will be featured in Races 3, 4, 6, 9, and 10 on the 7:25 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing
Two opening-heat divisions of The Maritimer for three-year-old pacing fillies have been drawn for this Saturday’s (August 29) program of live racing at Exhibition Park Raceway. Each of the five-filly divisions will be raced for a purse of $6,501, and the top four fillies from each division will advance to the $8,668 second heat, which will be contested later on the program. The opening-heat divisions have been carded as Race 4 and Race 5, while the second-heat finale has been carded as the last dash on the program (Race 8). The card will kick off with a 1 p.m. first-race post time. Woodmere Dancenart has drawn Post 3 for the first of the opening-heat divisions and has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favourite. She is owned by Morah Kerr of Greenfield, Nova Scotia and Phonsie MacEachern of Port Hood, Nova Scotia. The brown Articulator filly is trained and driven by Clare MacDonald. Woodmere Dancenart heads into The Maritimer on a two-race win streak that includes victories in a $12,980 Atlantic Sires Stakes event and the $12,000 Lady Slipper, both of which took place at Red Shores’ Charlottetown Driving Park. Jann Down (PP4, Gilles Barrieau, 3-1) and Miss Oromocto (PP1, Mark Haig, 7-2) are the other two fillies in the first opening-heat division that have caught the eye of the morning line oddsmaker. Party Rockin has drawn the outside Post 5 in the second of the opening-leg divisions for trainer/driver Danny Romo, although the Ameripan Gigolo filly has still secured the status of morning line favourite (5-2) for the dash. The filly has yet to visit the winner’s circle this season and has tasted victory in just one of her 14 career starts. Owners Ian Banks of Truro, Nova Scotia and Susan Karrel of Great Village, Nova Scotia hope that their filly upends the rest of the field on Saturday. The morning line oddsmaker has also established Invader M (PP4, Gilles Barrieau, 3-1) and Casa Miasa (PP1, Bernard McCallum, 7-2) as the other top selections in the early odds. Opening Heat Division 1 Post – Horse – Driver – Morning Line 1 – Miss Oromocto – M. Haig – 7-2 2 – The Good Wife – T. Trites – 6-1 3 – Woodmere Dancenart – M. Macdonald – 5-2 4 – Jann Down – G. Barrieau – 3-1 5 – Woodmere Articblue – D. Romo – 4-1 Opening Heat Division 2 Post – Horse – Driver – Morning Line 1 – Casa Miasa – B. Mccallum – 7-2 2 – J J Dazzler – T. Trites – 4-1 3 – Imastandout – S. Hubbard – 6-1 4 – Invader M – G. Barrieau – 3-1 5 – Party Rockin – D. Romo – 5-2 Scott Waddell
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