November 24, 2015 - The final opportunity for major movement in the standings occurred last week in the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge presented by the Bellino Stables, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, Hambletonian Society, Isle of Capri Pompano Park, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. The team was tasked with four races from The New Meadowlands on Friday and six on Saturday. Friday evening saw three favorites and a single winner at 4-1 in Double Exposure. That meant another low scoring night and little movement. Anne Stepien and Gordon Waterstone each tabbed three of four races for 93 points each. Neither had a tie breaker in the money so Friday night was declared a dead heat. Four handicappers were able to come up with Double Exposure. They were Earl Paulson, JoniJosi Verlingieri, Derick Giwner and Mark Dezii. Derick Giwner had the best tiebreaker and finished the night with 64 points while Mark Dezii had 62. There were some longshots that got close. Bobby Zanakis had both Haughty and Blue Moon Stride who both finished second at big prices. It could have been an exciting night had the chalk not been so strong again. Saturday night was the last time the handicappers had an opportunity to land a big multiplier as there were six races on tap. Four races again featured low price winners. A dead took away a nice opportunity when the favorite chopped at 7-1 price down to 2-1. Two players were able to string together five winners. Mark Dezii has been red hot lately and simply crushed the field when he landed Bettor's Edge at $40. With four of the other five other winners he totaled an impressive 496 points for the night! Contest leader Sally Hinckley landed the first five winners for a total of 213 points. For the week Mark Dezii earned top honors with 524 total points. Sally Hinckley put a virtual lock on the win by scoring 262 points. Most of the team went in search of prices and were disappointed. Completing our weekly pentafecta were Earl Paulson (134), Anne Stepien (130) and Gordon Waterstone (123). Sally Hinckley padded her lead by more than 200 points extending it to an unprecedented 567. The real competition next week will be for some of the smaller prizes for our very deserving horse rescues. Dennis O'Hara leads in the race for "Best of the Rest" by 137 points over Anne Stepien, 242 over Gordon Waterstone and 252 over Mark McKelvie. Pos Handicapper Total Points Prior Week Points Earned This Week Overall Total Points Position Last Week Points Back 1st Sally Hinckley 4,785.80 262.80 5,048.60 1st - 2nd Dennis O'Hara 4,431.80 49.20 4,481.00 2nd 567.60 3rd Anne Stepien 4,212.70 130.60 4,343.30 4th 705.30 4th Gordon Waterstone 4,115.70 123.00 4,238.70 6th 809.90 5th Mark McKelvie 4,179.80 49.00 4,228.80 5th 819.80 6th Josi Verlingieri 4,045.50 62.00 4,107.50 3rd 941.10 7th Rusty Nash 3,865.70 8.80 3,874.50 7th 1,174.10 8th Derick Giwner 3,672.20 97.80 3,770.00 9th 1,278.60 9th Bob Zanakis 3,673.10 80.00 3,753.10 8th 1,295.50 10th Earl Paulson 3,524.00 134.20 3,658.20 11th 1,390.40 11th Bryan Owen 3,542.00 11.20 3,553.20 10th 1,495.40 12th Mark Dezii 2,884.70 524.20 3,408.90 14th 1,639.70 13th Jay Hochstetler 3,300.20 90.20 3,390.40 12th 1,658.20 14th Ray Garnett 3,178.30 36.60 3,214.90 13th 1,833.70 15th Garnet Barnsdale 2,690.50 0.00 2,690.50 15th 2,358.10 16th Michael Carter 2,676.90 0.00 2,676.90 16th 2,371.70 17th Ray Cotolo 2,128.70 0.00 2,128.70 17th 2,919.90 18th Brandon Valvo 1,886.20 49.80 1,936.00 19th 3,112.60 19th Mark Deutsch 1,197.10 0.00 1,197.10 18th 3,851.50 The HANA handicappers will be back in action for the final time this year with The Courageous Lady and The Progress Pace. We will formally crown our champion and runners up and the winning horse rescues. For everyone here at HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge we wish you all a great Thanksgiving holiday. by Rusty Nash for HANA Harness
Charlottetown, PE - All Turain, under the command of Corey MacPherson, won the Sunday afternoon feature in 1:57.3 at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. MacPherson sent the Trevor Hicken trainee to the front from post 5 but he was roughed up to the opening quarter by Forever Paradise (Marc Campbell) in a speed duel of 28 seconds flat before taking control of the pace on route to the half in 58.3. The duo marched by the three quarter pole in 1:27.4 and rolled to a two length victory over Clic K (Ron Matheson) and Waterside Light (Kenny Arsenault). The score was the second win in a row at this level. All Turain is owned by Lee Hicken, Charlottetown, PE. MacPherson recorded a driving triple while Hicken enjoyed a training hat-trick on the 13 dash program with stable stars Spectacular Future and Painted Desert also taking top honors. The Jason Hughes stable remains sharp with Blue Star Outlaw and Beckenbauer winning their respective assignments. The Hughes operation capped off the weekend with five winners. Mike McGuigan, Mark Bradley and Gary Chappell also posted driving doubles on the card. Racing returns Saturday November 28th with Horseperson's Day presented by the PEI Standardbred Horse Owners Association. The afternoon will also feature the annual driver's championship with the top driver from the competition being presented with the Paul MacDonald memorial trophy. By Lee Drake
TORONTO, November 21 – Ontario three-year-old harness racing colts and geldings kicked off their Autumn Series with four divisions Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A total of 18 pacers and 20 trotters made up four $18,000 round one divisions. Mach On The Beach kicked off the night with a 1:52.2 victory in the first pacing division. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Mach On The Beach flashed early speed aiming for the front, while Twin B Sportsman was pacing hard early looking for the lead. Mach On The Beach got to the pylons first and Filion opted to stretch Twin B Sportsman out by the opening-quarter in :26.2. Filion eventually released the challenger at the top of the backstretch. After a half of :55.1, Mach On The Beach came to the outside and surged by Twin B Sportsman to take the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1. In the stretch, Mach On The Beach left his rivals in his dust and paced away to an easy-looking four-length victory. The Rock finished up with a strong final-quarter to come from eighth to finish second. Sports Lightning finished third, while Windsong Lightning was fourth. A son of Mach Three, Mach On The Beach is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. The sophomore gelding now has seven wins from 24 starts in his first season of racing. Mach On The Beach pushed his earnings to over $60,000 with the victory Saturday, while also lowering his career-mark by more than two-seconds. The Moreau trainee paid $3.90 to win. Mach On The Beach In the second division, Cajon Lightning came first up to win in 1:52.4. Driven by Mike Saftic, Cajon Lightning got away fifth in the early stages, while Doctor Royal and Major Dan took turns on the lead through panels of :26.1 and :56.1. Saftic sent Cajon Lightning first up around the final turn and the even-money favourite was second and less than two-lengths from the front at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Cajon Lightning powered by Doctor Royal and paced home strong in :27.2 for a length and a half victory. Jack Reacher finished second, while Naturescape finished third just ahead of Doctor Royal. Another son of Mach Three, Cajon Lightning is trained by Scott Bell for owner John Taylor. Saturday’s victory was the third from 16 starts this season for the gelding. Cajon Lightning has now earned over $48,000 in his first season of racing. The clocking of 1:52.4 matched his career-mark taken October 12 at Woodbine. Cajon Lightning paid $4.10 to win. Cajon Lightning On the trotting side, Stormont Wizard took the first division in 1:56.1 at odds of 3/5. Driven by James MacDonald, Stormont Wizard trotted out strongly to grab command at the opening-quarter in :28. Down the backstretch, Win The Day came first up from fifth at the half to challenge the leader. MacDonald kept his trotter moving well and turned aside the first-over challenger to lead the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:26.1. In the stretch, Stormont Wizard sealed the deal with a :30 final-quarter to score a two and a quarter length victory. P L Icabod finished second, while Lmc Mass Oak was third. Win The Day rounded out the Superfecta in fourth. A son of Kadabra, Stormont Wizard is trained by Kevin Benn for Stormont Meadows. The sophomore gelding now has two wins in 12 starts this season. Last year, Stormont Wizard scored a single victory in seven starts, while hitting the board five-times. The Benn trainee has banked over $48,000 this season and $74,000 lifetime. Stormont Wizard paid $3.40 to win. Stormont Wizard Love Hunter turned a two-hole trip into a victory in the second trotting division. The Nick Gallucci trainee left quickly for driver Trevor Henry to challenge for the lead, however Gronk, the even-money favourite, pushed forward for the lead and forced Henry into the pocket. After setting fractions of :26.4, :57.3 and 1:27.1, Gronk carried the lead into the lane with Love Hunter on his back. In the stretch, Love Hunter came to the outside and waged war with Gronk, eventually edging by in deep stretch to win by half a length in 1:57. Freddie closed with good speed for third, while Thoughtful Leader was fourth. A son of Holiday Road, Love Hunter entered Saturday’s contest with one win in 10 starts this season. The Autumn Series division victory pushes the gelding’s earnings in 2015 to over $34,000. Love Hunter paid $12.20 to win. Love Hunter In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired three-year-olds had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2015 as of September 30, 2015. The second round of the Autumn Series for the colts and geldings will take place next Saturday (November 28).
Thestable.ca is reporting a surge in new owners in its fractional ownership site over the past two weeks. "We had spent a lot of money on advertising leading up to both Lexington and Harrisburg.(said Amy and Anthony MacDonald, the founders of thestable.ca) We had a tremendous amount of help from both the USTA and Standardbredcanada, but surprisingly most of our feedback and truly fractional interest has come from social media." "We have sold shares in yearlings to people from the United Kingdom, Ireland, New York, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, Wyoming, Alberta, and of course Ontario." Most of the interested parties have purchased smaller shares, as low as 1% in some cases. But what's very surprising is their involvement in the industry prior to their purchases from the stable. Eight of the investors had never owner a horse before. One gentleman and his partner haven't owned a horse since 2005, and two investors from Ontario worked within the industry but have never entered a Paddock or winners circle. "Out goal was always to make fractional investment easy while giving our customers the ability to budget precisely with our flat rate billing. We believe the no hidden costs and no strings attatched business model resonates well with everyone in todays society. Whether it be your cell phone, cable or investments, people don't want to be surprised." "For us it's all about bringing new people to a game we know is exciting. We all know harness racing needs to be more fan friendly, here at the stable we are trying to make it investor friendly also." Many people in Ontario have focused on missed opportunities or lost investment or the short comings of the horse racing industry. Thestable is focusing on not just survival but growth. Following the information session on Tuesday the 24th at Eloras Grand River Raceway, thestable plans on holding more information sessions at both Mohawk and woodbine. "The Meadowlands has been playing our commercial frequently, and social media has really helped. With woodbine getting on board, we may run out of yearlings to sell before we run out of investors to buy them." This isn't only good for thestable.ca it's good for the whole industry. "Who in this day and age can say they brought 8 investors into harness racing? These people will come to the races now. Although at the moment they only own a fraction of a horse; they won't drink a fraction of a beer at the track, or bring a fraction of their friends and family to watch their horse and they will have much more than a fraction of a smile on their face if their horse wins." This game is not dead, investment is out there. Amy and Anthony MacDonald say they will prove it to you in 2016. (The Stable)
Charlottetown, PE – Bazillion, a new addition to the Trevor Hicken stable, made his second start on Island soil a winning one taking the Saturday afternoon feature in a dazzling performance at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Driver Brian MacPhee, who celebrated his 1,800th career victory earlier on the card with Woodmere No Fool, put the newcomer on the point and rolled through fractions of 28.4, 59.3 and 1:29.3 stopping the timer on the line at 1:58.4. The track was rated sloppy with a three second variant. Bazzillion, who came in from Yonkers Raceway in New York, is owned by Kent Livingston, Cornwall, PE. Motorino (Terry Gallant) and Nogreatmischief (Walter Cheverie) completed the triactor. Sam, owned by Foxyhall Racing, Summerside, PE, pushed her winning streak to seven in a row claiming the open mares handicap in line to trainer-driver Jason Hughes. The mare remains perfect since relocating from Ontario. Hughes enjoyed a productive day in the bike with a driving-training triple on the card. His other victories included Lucksgottachange and St Lads Foxy. Both horses are owned by his brother Robi Hughes, Stratford, PE. Majian Chester (James Ripley) and I Aint No Lady (MacPherson) won their respective trot assignments on the program. MacPhee, Walter Cheverie and Corey MacPherson earned driving doubles. The total handle was $34,807. For complete results and payouts go to www.redshores.ca By Lee Drake, for Red Shores
TORONTO, November 20 - Just one night after a pair of two-year-old series finals, the Autumn Series action continued with first leg divisions for the harness racing three-year-old fillies. A total of four $18,000 divisions were contested at Woodbine on Friday, as 19 sophomore pacing fillies and 13 sophomore trotting fillies competed in round one action. Aniston Seelster lived up to her 1/2 billing to win the first pacing division in 1:53.2. The Gregg McNair trainee was sent directly to the front by driver Doug McNair and posted an opening-quarter of :27.2. After a :30.2 second-quarter, Aniston Seelster cruised by the third-station in 1:25.4, before pacing home comfortably in :27.3 for a length and three-quarters victory. Amazing Control finished second, while Show Some Leg was third. A daughter of Mach Three, Aniston Seelster has now won six of 19 starts this season for earnings of over $83,000. She is owned by Lindsey and Connie Rankin. Aniston Seelster paid $3.10 to win. Aniston Seelster In the second division, Much Adoo scored a 1:54.4 victory in her debut for new trainer Issac Waxman. Several fillies flashed early speed looking for the front, but Mach Magic from the far outside was the quickest away and posted an opening-quarter of :26.4. St Lads Gidget was parked around the first turn, but cleared to the lead entering the backside. Mach Magic quickly circled back to the lead at the half in :55.4. Around the final turn, Much Adoo came out from fourth for driver McNair to challenge first up, while Dontbruisecarrie followed second-over and Pinky Tuscadero sat to their outside three-wide. Much Adoo overtook the lead turning for home and paced away in the lane. Pinky Tuscadero finished a length and a quarter back in second, while Windsong Lindsey was third. Mach Magic and several horses were interfered with at the top of the stretch and taken out of contention after Dontbruisecarrie made a break. A daughter of Classic Card Shark, Much Adoo was making her debut Friday for new owners Aaron Waxman and Alan Alber. She has now won four of 23 starts this season after making just two starts as a rookie. Much Adoo's earnings now exceed $50,000. She paid $5.50 to win. Much Adoo On the trotting side, The Murmuring Pan scored an easy 1:57.2 victory in the first division. Sent off at odds of 1/9, The Murmuring Pan got away third for driver Trevor Henry, while Stormont Contessa trotted out to the lead. After an opening-quarter of :29.4, Henry pulled on the right line and quickly moved to the front. The second-quarter move would seal the deal, as The Murmuring Pan posted panels of :59.4 and 1:28.4, before trotting home under a hand drive in :28.3 to win by 4½ lengths. Aspen California showed good closing speed to come from fifth to grab second, while Elegant Holiday finished third. A daughter of Kadabra, The Murmuring Pan is owned and trained by Paul Reid. The sophomore trotter now has victories in four of seven attempts this season and six of 13 career starts. Friday's victory pushed The Murmuring Pan's seasonal earnings to $43,500, while her career bankroll now sits at over $66,000. The Reid trainee paid $2.30 to win. The Murmuring Pan In the second split, Ill Stay Here scored a 1:57 victory at odds of 5/2. Driven by Randy Waples, Ill Stay Here grabbed an early spot in fourth, while Tymal Fireitup, the 4/5 favourite, trotted out to the lead. Brinkers Dream made a second-quarter move to the front from third and touched down on the lead at the half in :57.4. Ill Stay Here sat fourth along the rail around the final turn and was close to six-lengths off the lead turning for home, as Brinkers Dream reached the third-station in 1:26.4. In the stretch, Tymal Fireitup came out of the two-hole to retake the lead, but Waples was able to get Ill Stay Here off the rail to the far outside with clear racetrack. Tymal Fireitup tried to go all the way, but Ill Stay Here tracked her down and edged by late to win by a neck. Strikinglyimpressive finished third. A daughter of Pilgrims Taj, Ill Stay Here is trained by Colin Johnson for owners Thomas Kyron and Debbie Element. The sophomore trotting filly now has wins in seven of 20 starts in 2015. Ill Stay Here made three visits to the winner's circle as a rookie. The Johnson trainee now has career earnings of over $65,000 with $56,000 earned this season. The clocking of 1:57 established a new career mark for Ill Stay Here. She paid $7.80 to win. Ill Stay Here In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired three-year-olds had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2015 as of September 30, 2015. The second leg for the fillies will take place next Friday (November 27), while Autumn Series action continues Saturday night with round one for the sophomore colts and geldings. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie
ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway is pleased to announce its nomination for the Hospitality/Tourism Award presented by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Of Commerce (GKWCC). This honour is awarded to an outstanding business or organization that has achieved excellence in the past year through: increasing awareness of the area as a destination and promoting tourism; exceeding customer expectations in the hospitality/tourism industry; demonstrated measurable success and ensured sustainability moving forward in the hospitality/tourism industry; and exceptional contributions by promoting community betterment. Grand River Raceway's fellow nominees are the Block Three Brewing Company, City of Kitchener Special Events, Impact Events Group Inc., Janet Lynn's Bistro and Manulife LPGA Classic. The sponsor of the award is the Waterloo Tourism Marketing Corporation. The winners of the 12 award categories will be announced at the GKWCC's Annual Business Excellence Awards Gala on February 18/16 at Bingeman's in Kitchener. Some 900 members attend annually to celebrate the businesses and organizations that have helped shape Waterloo Region as one of the strongest business communities in Canada. Grand River Raceway is a dynamic horse racing, gaming, dining and entertainment destination located in the beautiful village of Elora. The award-winning site offers seasonal live harness racing from June through September, daily simulcast horse racing from across the globe, 242 slot machines operated by the OLG Slots At Grand River Raceway, three restaurants, special events, and complete Meetings & Events services including space rentals and catering. The site opened in 2003 and welcomes more than 665,000 people each year - an average of 1,800 people per day. The track's live horse races are beamed via satellite to thousands of viewers at hundreds of racetracks and off-track betting sites throughout North America, and via web streaming at www.GrandRiverRaceway.com. Grand River Raceway is owned and operated by the Grand River Agricultural Society, a not-for-profit corporation incorporated under the Agricultural Societies Act of Ontario and operated by a volunteer board of directors. For further information about the GKWCC's Annual Business Excellence Awards Gala, visit their site. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – A pair of high priced claimers will go toe-to-toe in the Saturday afternoon feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 13-dash card gets underway at 12:30 PM with the featured pacers lining up in race 12 for a $2,100 purse. Motorino gets the nod of classifier Gerard Smith as the 5-2 early morning favourite for trainer-driver Terry Gallant and owner Eric Johnston of Summerside. The four-year-old son of Brian P races finished fourth in his latest outing, against the top pacers on the grounds, and will carry an $11,250 price tag on his head for Saturday’s contest. His Saturday rivals include newcomer Bazillion, who carries a $12,000 tag from post 3 and will get the services of Brian MacPhee in the bike for trainer Trevor Hicken and owner Kent Livingston of Cornwall. Race analyst Les MacIsaac is going another way, selecting Nogreatmischief to land in the winner’s circle from the outside post 6 for driver Walter Cheverie. “He’s fairly tardy off the gate but in a compact field like this it’s not a big deal,” MacIsaac said. “Some live flow and a cover trip to bring him into it late increases his chances big time.” Other entries include First Art Down (Ken Murphy), Spirit Of America (Jason Hughes) and Perfect Escape (Marc Campbell). A field of six top-notch pacing mares will contest the race 7 Open Mares class with an undefeated four-year-old putting a wrench into what we can expect. Ramblinglily was dominant in the class most of the season but is not entered to race this week after Best Risque (Campbell) has won the last three Open Mares events. Best Risque has been handicapped to post 6 in the field of half-a-dozen and faces Sam, who has been undefeated on the East Coast since relocating six starts ago. Sam, a four-year-old daughter of Dragon Again, will have Jason Hughes in the bike from post 5 for owner Foxyhall Racing of Wallace, N.S. Also in the field is Brodys Leona (Corey MacPherson), Stayoutofmyaffair (Mark Bradley), General Luckypercy (Ron Matheson) and Sendmeasign (Kenny Arsenault). Top aged pacers do battle on Sunday The bearcats are set to go at it again Sunday afternoon at Red Shores Charlottetown with the 13-dash program starting up at 12:30 PM. Race 12 has the preferred pacers lining up for a $2,4000 pot with a field including All Turain, who is fresh off a blistering 1:56.3 victory over a track rated three seconds off. He will retain the services of Corey MacPherson at the lines from post 5 for trainer Trevor Hicken and owner Lee Hicken of Charlottetown. Forever Paradise has been stamped as a major threat from post 2 with Campbell in the bike for trainer Kevin MacLean and owners Reg MacPherson and David MacKenzie of Stratford and Aaron MacKenzie of Winsloe. Race analyst MacIsaac has All Turain pegged to win. “He acquired Corey’s services last week and look at the result,” MacIsaac said. “We don’t see it being quite that easy today but off that performance he’s clearly the one to beat.” Also in the field is Waterside Light (Kenny Arsenault), J Rs Hurricane (Ken Murphy), Prince Sharka (Travis Wilkie) and Clic K (Ron Matheson). The Open trotters go to battle in race 4 for a $1,950 purse with Holy Molie Maggie sporting a three-race-win-streak from post 6. Gary Chappell will drive for owner-trainer Jeff Holmes of Orwell. Caliban Hanover (Walter Cheverie) and Osprey Impact (Paul Larrabee) are cited are her major threats. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores
TORONTO, November 19 - The Autumn Series for two-year-olds wrapped up Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack with the finals for the colts and geldings. The $30,000 two-year-old trot and $31,400 two-year-old pace both featured a field of ten. In the trotting final, Gonna Fly was able to knock off the heavy favourite Matza Man in 1:59.3. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Gonna Fly got away far back in ninth position, while Matza Man, at odds of 1/5, got away fourth. The public's choice was sent first up just after the half, which allowed Gonna Fly to get into the outside flow. Matza Man poked a neck in front at the three-quarter pole in 1:28.3, while MacDonell sent Gonna Fly three-wide from fourth-over turning for home. Matza Man appeared to be poised for the series sweep, but Gonna Fly tracked him down and reached up in the final strides to win by a neck. Jls Bad Moon Risin finished third, while Pukka was fourth. A son of Kadabra, Gonna Fly is trained by Bob McIntosh for the ownership group of McIntosh Stables Inc. and Earl Hill Jr. Gonna Fly finished second in the opening round and fourth in last week's second leg. Thursday's victory was the third in 14 starts for the rookie and pushed his earnings over $43,000. The clocking of 1:59.3 set a new mark for the McIntosh trainee. Gonna Fly paid $9.60 to win. Continual Hanover prevailed as the 1/2 favourite in the pacing colts and geldings final. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Continual Hanover got away sixth in the early stages. Big Bang Boom, who was looking for the series sweep, sprinted to lead for Jonathan Drury and posted an opening-quarter of :26.2. Big Bang Boom had company in the second-quarter from Gotti, but Drury kept the tempo hot and left the challenger parked out by the half in :55. After putting away the challenger, Big Bang Boom rolled by the three-quarter pole in 1:23.1. Continual Hanover was brought to the outside in the third-quarter and was three-wide and only three-lengths off the lead turning for home. Continual Hanover cruised by Big Bang Boom in the stretch and pulled away for a four-length victory in 1:53.2. B Fast Eddie got up for second, while Print Media was third. Big Bang Boom finished fourth. A son of Bettors Delight, Continual Hanover is owned and trained by Jack Darling. The rookie pacing colt won last week's second leg after finishing second the week prior. Continual Hanover surpassed the $100,000 mark with the victory. He now has five wins from 12 starts. Continual Hanover paid $3.10 to win. In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired two-year-olds had to be non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2015. Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications
ELORA, ON - On November 24, Grand River Raceway will host an information night for TheStable.ca, a new horse ownership venture launched by Anthony and Amy MacDonald. The Guelph couple own and train several Standardbred racehorses near Mohawk Racetrack. Anthony is also a prominent driver and a well-known industry advocate. The information session will focus on the benefits of The Stable for new horse owners - people who would find comfort in the decreased risk and diversity of fractional racehorse ownership. The MacDonalds will also highlight the operation's transparency, access, and availability of information. Via the website, owners of horses in The Stable are updated on their horses' progress through weekly video commentaries from the trainer, vets and blacksmiths, and 360-degree video views of the horses training. The cost to purchase the horse, and also the flat-rate monthly training fee of $2,000 are shared by the fractional ownership group, where someone could purchase as little as one percent, and as much as 100 percent. At least one of the horses in The Stable will be at the information night. â€¢ Video message from MacDonald The event will be held in the Lighthouse Restaurant at Grand River Raceway on November 24 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Admission is free, but an RSVP is required by November 20 by contacting Kelly at (519) 846-5455 ext. 238 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Complimentary beverages and snacks will be available. For more information about the info session, visit thestable.ca or call Anthony at (519) 400-4263. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway
Some of the races for divisional honors are done deals at this point. Wiggle It Jiggleit, who has earned more than $2 million; set world records for his class on half and 5/8 tracks; won the Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug; and come out on top in 20 of 24 starts that stretch through almost the entire calendar year, will win his division and be voted Horse Of The Year. He has one more start scheduled, in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs on November 29. Pinkman, with wins in the Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity and Canadian Trotting Classic, will win the Dan Patch for sophomore trotting colts. The gelded son of Explosive Matter has won 11 of 17 starts and earned more than $1.8 million for Jimmy Takter. Pinkman will give the latter consecutive wins in this division. Southwind Frank will top the freshman trotting colts. He won 15 of 17 starts, including the Breeders Crown and the Peter Haughton. He earned almost $800,000 and set a world record of 1:52.2 in a split of the ISS at The Red Mile. That’s almost two seconds slower than his paternal sister Mission Brief went last year, but that’s OK. Speaking of Mission Brief, she’ll win the three-year-old trotting filly division on brilliance alone. The three classic stakes for a sophomore trotting filly are the Oaks, Kentucky Filly Futurity and Breeders Crown. Wild Honey took all of them, and she has a bigger 2015 bankroll than the Muscle Hill Amazon, so on the basis of her resume she should be on equal footing with Mission Brief, at the very least. But life isn’t always fair, and brilliance sometimes trumps a season of stellar accomplishments. Last Thursday’s eye popping world record 1:50.2 win in the Matron by Mission Brief put her over the top. She also finished second in the Hambletonian, and won the Elegantimage, Zweig Filly, and a split of the Bluegrass. The public loves her and she will win the division, regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s Continentalvictory. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year in the US and Canada, will be back on the podium after an off year—for her—in 2014. She beat the boys in the Maple Leaf Classic, Charlie Hill, Cutler and Centaur. She also triumphed over the mares in the Armbro Flight. BAM is entered in the TVG Mare Trot on Friday. Regardless of the outcome, she will be hoisting a Dan Patch. Jimmy Takter’s SBSW two-year-old filly, Pure Country, should win a competitive contest for the Dan Patch with the Canadian based Bettor’s Delight filly, L A Delight. The former is a perfect 10 for 10 while Bob McIntosh’s L A Delight has experienced one loss in a dozen starts. Pure Country is almost $157,000 richer. This one came down to the Breeders Crown, which the SBSW filly won handily. L A Delight was not staked to it. Pure Country also won splits of the Bluegrass and ISS at The Red Mile and the Pennsylvania Championship. L A Delight won the Eternal Camnation, Great Lady and Champlain, as well as the OSS Super Final. Figuring out which freshman colt will take home a Dan Patch is much more difficult. If Control The Moment (Well Said), who won the Metro and Nassagaweya, had taken the Breeders Crown he would have ended the discussion, but he didn’t, and he hasn’t come to the States for the Matron or the Governor’s Cup. The Rocknroll colt Boston Red Rocks took the BC, but that’s about it. He is entered in Saturday’s Governor’s Cup. Ron Burke’s Western Ideal colt Big Top Hanover won the Matron, in addition to an ISS split in Lexington. A win on Saturday would make him a strong candidate. If neither Big Top Hanover nor Boston Red Rocks win the Governor’s Cup it may go by default to Control The Moment. If the Donato filly Broadway Donna had won the BC, the division would be hers. She entered her elimination a perfect 9 for 9 with wins in the Doherty, Bluegrass and PA Championship. But she failed to make the final, and is now at the mercy of Jimmy Takter’s Muscle Hill filly, All The Time, who starts from the rail in the upcoming Goldsmith Maid. She won the BC and will have $125,000 more on her card than Donna if she wins on Friday. All The Time has won seven times and she dominated in her recent starts. No sophomore pacing filly got even a single point in this week’s Top Ten Poll. The division will probably be settled in the 1 1/8 mile Tarport Hap at The Meadowlands. Divine Caroline, who starts from the seven for David Miller and Joe Holloway, won the Breeders Crown, Garnsey and a split of the Bluegrass. She’s the richest and fastest filly in that division. A win on Saturday should secure a Dan Patch for her. Ron Burke’s Sassa Hanover, the winner of the Jugette and Adioo Volo, is also entered in that race. Wrangler Magic won the Fan Hanover and Simcoe, and Purrfect Bags took the Lady Maud and Lismore, but both checked out of the division battle early. Also, the Courageous Lady is a week from Friday. The aged trotters are another difficult group in which to crown a leader: There is no Sebastian K this year. Bee A Magician won several of the trotting stakes that generally go to males. Papagayo E took the Yonkers International, while Creatine, who only made a couple of NA starts, won the Breeders Crown. Il Sogno Dream won the Allerage and the Dayton Trotting Derby. Is he the champ? JL Cruze was an early season sensation, winning sixteen times. However, once the four-year-old restricted races ended, he fell apart. His last win was four months ago in the Hambletonian Maturity. None of the TVG Final winners would become prime candidates with a win. No idea. Anndrovette won’t be winning the Dan Patch for aged pacing mares for a fifth consecutive year. At least I don’t think she will. She has only three wins, with the Golden Girls and Lady Liberty being two of them. But the latter was her last win and that was more than three months ago. She scratched out of the BC. Venus Delight, who won the Matchmaker, Artiscape and Milton, should take the division with a win in Friday’s TVG Mare for Tim Tetrick. On the other hand, last year’s three-year-old champ, Color’s A Virgin, has come alive at the right time with wins in the Allerage Mare and Breeders Crown. A win in the TVG for David Miller will secure another Dan Patch for her. The race for the Dan Patch in the older pacing division presents the voters with an interesting dilemma. Throughout most of the season it was assumed that six-year-old State Treasurer, who has nine wins and dominated that division for most of the 2014 season, would win in a walk. But then along came Miki. By the time Always B Miki made his first start, in an Indiana Sire Stakes elimination on October 3, State Treasure had already racked up wins in the Molson, Mohawk Gold Cup, William Haughton, the US Pacing Championship, Roll With Joe, Canadian Pacing Derby and Dayton Pacing Derby. All that before the four-year-old son of Always A Virgin made a single start. That’s a very impressive seasonal resume. Subsequent to that, State Treasurer was a disappointing seventh in the Allerage Open, after leading most of the mile. He then faced Miki in a Breeders Crown elimination, won easily by the latter, with State Treasurer finishing third, three lengths back. And the following week Miki took the final in handy fashion in 1:49.3, with State Treasurer finishing sixth. State Treasurer called it a year after his Breeders Crown loss, while Miki went on to win the American-National in 1:49.1 at Balmoral. Since he was not staked to the TVG, that’s it for him in 2015. This week’s Breeders Crown Poll shows Always B Miki in sixth place with 147 points, while State Treasurer is in twelfth with only 29 points. While some of the folks who vote in this poll will also vote for the division champions, not all will. Still, we must choose between five months of domination at the highest ranks of the aged pacing tree and one month of brilliance at the tail end of the season. Does that old saw “What have you done for me lately” rule the day? As unfair as it might be, I believe Always B Miki will take home the Dan Patch. by Joe FitzGerald for Harnesslink Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/. Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.