Out Of The Hat, harness racing

Canadian Round-Up: Rideau, Flamboro & more

Trotting mare Out Of The Hat ($3.00) notched her 15th win of the year and kicked off a training triple for Stephane Pouliot on Sunday night in the co-featured $6,500 Winners Over Handicap Trot at Rideau Carleton Raceway. The 1-2 favourite retook the lead from early challenger and eventual runner-up Four Starz Speed after the :28.2 opening quarter and cruised through middle splits of :58.3 and 1:27.2 en route to the three length triumph in 1:57.2. The win was her second in a row and fourth in her last five starts. Michelangelo finished third. Out Of The Hat was the top trotter for wins in North America last year with 18 victories and the daughter of Kadabra and has followed that season up with another impressive campaign this year racing for Meadowgem Farm and 9096 9205 Quebec Inc. Rose Run Nash currently tops the trotting leaderboard with 19 wins in 2014. To view the rest of this story click here. Wire-to-wire for Brocks Fortune at Flamboro Brocks Fortune led from start to finish while delivering on his pari-mutuel promise in the featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Pace for horses and geldings on Sunday night at Flamboro Downs. Driver James MacDonald sent 6-5 favourite Brocks Fortune ($4.40) to the lead off the gate and never looked back, carving out fractions of :27, :56.4 and 1:25, then holding off the pocket-pulling Mach Pride down the stretch to win by half a length in 1:54. Goldstar Badlands came from last to show, just over one length behind. John Cecchin trains the four-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal, who has won eight races and $80,000 in purses this season, for Mark Austin Stables Inc., Noblock Racing Stable and breeder Robert Chapple. To view the rest of this story click here. Accident but no major inuries at Fraser Serious injuries were avoided in an accident that took place during the sixth race at Fraser Downs on Sunday. Wild About Eagle (Travis Bowman) broke stride while racing in sixth place around the first turn and fell near the head of the stretch, causing interference to the trailing horses, including Judges Acenthehole (Jim Marino), Wishful Luck (David McKellar) and Kim Chee (Brandon Campbell). Bowman and Campbell were unseated during the incident, but returned to action and fulfilled their driving duties later on the card. Early reports from Fraser Downs indicate the drivers and horses involved in the accident suffered only superficial injuries. To view the rest of this story click here.

Robert Shepherd, harness racing

Canadian Round-Up: Northlands, Flamboro & more

After watching his horses compete from the sidelines for three long months with an ankle injury sustained in a racing accident, driver Kelly Hoerdt returned to the sulky this weekend and was back in the winner's circle on Saturday night at Northlands Park. Hoerdt, who had four drives on Friday night and another five on Saturday, made his return appearance to the winner's circle with Burstin Bubbles, a four-year-old pacing mare he claimed for $9,000 in her last start on Nov. 21 with Blair Corbeil. The Beaumont, Alberta horseman rallied home off cover with the daughter of Badlands Hanover to win the sixth race for claiming mares in 1:58.1. Hoerdt last drove on September 13 at Alberta Downs when he was injured during an accident in the ASHA Filly Stakes with Blue Star Escape, who recovered from her scrapes within the first two weeks of the incident. To view the rest of this story click here. Shepherd scores five wins at Flamboro Flamboro Downs' leading driver Robert Shepherd dominated Saturday night's 11-race card with five winners, including one streaking three-year-old pacing filly and a double-gaited mare. T R Lexus Cam ($5.30) ran her win streak up to eight with a career-best 1:58.2 effort in the sixth race for $6,000 claiming fillies and mares. Owned by Gregory Mason of Mulmur, Ont., the sophomore daughter of Cams Memory has been perfect since joining the stable of James Stewart. She prevailed by a neck over pacesetter Twin B Amour. Shepherd also drove the five-year-old streaking mare, Pureform Olympia ($2.40), to a 2:00 triumph in the ninth race conditioned trot for owner Shelley Nyuli of Abbotsford, B.C. The daughter of Valet Victory is four-for-four for trainer Gord Remmen since switching to the trot and racing at Flamboro. To view the rest of this story click here. $1,000 donation to NB Equine Rescue Fund The New Brunswick Equine Rescue Fund, administered by the New Brunswick SPCA, received a special donation from the province's Standardbred racing community on Saturday. Brent Briggs presented a cheque for $1,000 this morning to Steve Turner, President of NB SPCA, and Hilary Howes, Executive Director of NB SPCA. The funds will be used as needed for any horses that may find themselves in distress in the province. The cheque was donated in memory of legendary New Brunswick horseman Earl Avery and was the combined effort of the standardbred community, including Horse Racing New Brunswick and the Horsemen's Associations in Fredericton, Woodstock, Saint John and Moncton.

Nickel Bag storms home in Woodbine Preferred

Four-year-old pacer Nickle Bag has not missed the board in the past three months racing on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit and on Saturday night he stormed home from the backfield to add another victory to his impressive 2014 campaign against a full field of Preferred competitors, including Canadian Pacing Derby champion Modern Legend. Closing from third and fourth over, Sing For Me George and Nickle Bag pulled ahead of the field down the stretch and battled to the wire in a photo finish. Nickle Bag and driver Trevor Henry ultimately prevailed in Woodbine Racetrack's $34,000 Preferred Handicap Pace by a nose in 1:50 flat for trainer Shawn Robinson and owners Linda Loyens of Denfield, Ont. and Harry Loyens of Ilderton, Ont. Leaving from post eight, Camaes Fellow (Jonathan Drury) charged to the lead over Avatartist (Mike Saftic) while the 4-5 favoured outside assignee, Modern Legend (James MacDonald), sprinted up into contention through a sizzling :25.4 first quarter. Modern Legend worked his way to the top as the pacers headed into the backstretch, but Camaes Fellow refused to sit a pocket trip and quickly retook command. To view the rest of the story click here.

Hughes cuts into Campbell's lead at Charlottetown

The close battle atop the Charlottetown Driving Park leaderboard resumed on Saturday afternoon with drivers Jason Hughes and Marc Campbell finishing one-two in the feature race. Campbell ended the day with a four-win lead over Hughes for the driving title. Astor provided Hughes with his third win of the day in the $2,200 top class, named in honour of the late Charles MacDonald. Machinthesand and Campbell advanced first over from fifth through fractions of :28.4, 1:00.1 and 1:30.1 over a sloppy track with favourite Astor and trainer/driver Hughes looming in the pocket. Machinthesand eventually pushed past the pacesetting Cheyenne Ford and Kenny Arsenault down the stretch, but Astor had shot through up the passing lane to prevail in 1:59.4 by one and a half lengths. To view the rest of this story click here.

A newcomer to Western Canada this year, Drawing Dead scored her first victory against Open competition on Friday night at Fraser Downs. Drawing Dead took a new lifetime mark of 1:54.2 over a "good" track in Friday's featured $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open Pace for trainer Sean Lancaster. The five-year-old Power Of Art mare is owned by Chris Lancaster of Port Coquitlam, B.C. To view the rest of this story click here. Sing Like An Angel prevails at Northlands Stablemates Sing Like An Angel and Emmasphere traded turns on the lead in $8,800 Fillies & Mares Open Pace with the former ultimately prevailing for the second straight week on Friday night at Northlands Park. Driven by Philip Giesbrecht, Sing Like An Angel cleared inside starter Emmasphere and trainer Travis Cullen off the gate, but even-money Emmasphere quickly swept around her barn buddy and reached the first quarter in :28.2. Emmasphere continued to lead the compact field of five through middle splits of :58 and 1:26.3 before Sing Like An Angel came through along the rail to win in 1:55.4. Blue Star Beauty (Jamie Gray) rallied off cover to place while first over American Passion (Gerry Hudon) edged out Crackers Hot Shot (Bill Tainsh Jr.) for third, with Emmasphere ending up just over two lengths behind in fifth. To view the rest of this story click here. Can I Say delivers at Flamboro Favourite Can I Say delivered on her pari-mutuel promise with a front-stepping score in Friday night's featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Trot at Flamboro Downs. Garrett Whelan sent the five-year-old daughter of Fourth And One to the lead early on and fronted the field through fractions of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:28.1 en route to the 1:57.2 triumph with inside assignee Winkys Pride (Scott Coulter) following three-quarters of a length behind. Finishing two and a half lengths back, Smarty Pants (J.R. Plante) edged out Tornado Tim (Daniel O'Brian) for show. Trainer Jim Whelan shares ownership of Can I Say with Terry and Clarence Devos of Langton, Ont. She has now won four of her seven races in the Preferred 2 class at Flamboro Downs this year and has never missed a cheque for seasonal earnings of $26,620. Lifetime, the homebred mare has won 18 times in 50 starts and sports a bankroll of $273,215. To view the rest of this story click here.

Last weekend ended up on a winning note with a $1 profit on the nine races selected. It's never a bad weekend when you can show a profit. We will try to do it again this Saturday night. Good Luck! $14,000 Pace Open Handicap Pompano Park 1st race SATURDAY - The Peter Pellegrino entry of LYONS JOHNNY/E Z NOAH looms too tough against this short field. Poor Prairie Jaguar keeps cutting mean miles for someone else to win from, losing last three starts by a nose and neck. Both Lyons Johnny and E Z Noah have won their last starts and one of them is likely to get the dream trip behind Prairie Jaguar to win off of. Use Prairie Jaguar and Cadillac Phil in exotic plays. $10,000 Pace NW last 5 Pompano Park 3rd race SATURDAY - With a drop in class from the Open Pace, RAJI'S BLUE LINE may just be able to make the most of once again drawing a good inside post. Last week he could do nothing from the rail and gets a driver change to Ed Hensley, who has been the hottest driver at Pompano this meet. Prior lines show he should be able to win in here. Use Rage N Ryan and That'll Be The Rei in exotic plays. $30,000 Pace FFA Handicap The Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY - This is going to be a great race. Top performers going head and head for a good purse. I am taking a shot in here that ODDS ON EQUULEUS, despite being off for two months is ready to pop in first starts back. He was decent in qualifying race and was very sharp when given a good rest but faces some formidable foes in here. Use Wake Up Peter and Handsome Henry K in exotic plays. $27,000 Trot NW $27,000 last 5 starts Woodbine 6th race SATURDAY - Whomever this marewins this close match-up will pay a good price, even the favorite. I am going with INTENSE AMERICA as this mare, one of only two taking on male rivals, is on a roll with two straight wins and thus I feel she can handle the hike in class. She has shown in her last two starts that she can win from either on or off the pace and get a slim call. Use Nowucit Nowudon't and Zeus Lightning in exotic plays. $20,000 Pace B-1 Horses & Geldings The Meadowlands 7th race SATURDAY - Another well matched group in here. I like return winners and thus am going with ROCKIN WIZARD. He has won his last two starts with impressive scores at both the Meadowlands and Yonkers, coming from off the pace and also wiring the field. And with him drawing the rail he should be game right to the finish wire again. Use Tye Seelster and Dedi's Dragon in exotic plays. $34,000 Pace Preferred Handicap Woodbine 7th race SATURDAY - I kept reviewing this race, trying to find a reason to not pick MODERN LEGEND. Despite being the class of the field and having drawn the far outside post ten I am worried about his time off from racing and if he could be sharp enough in here to overcome outside post. Looking at the rest of the field I really could not find someone who would beat Modern Legend provided he is back in shape and sharp from his last outing, which was not great. But I couldn't find anyone I felt can beat him. Use Machal Jordan and Nickle Bad in exotic plays. $20,000 Pace 3YO Handicap The Meadowlands 8th race SATURDAY - With a two month rest and some strong qualifying wins coming into this race I really like WINDS OF CHANGE. Hails from the Linda Toscano Stable and looks to be ready for a strong effort despite going against some strong competition. This horse is fresh and should be strong to the wire. Use National Debt and Gold Rocks in exotic plays.

TORONTO, December 19 - A long shot and a repeat winner prevailed in round two action of the Valedictory Series Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Two $15,000 divisions of eight starters were contested in the second leg of the three-week series for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. In the first division, Verbalize and Roger Mayotte pulled off a 66-1 shocker in 1:53.1. American Island sprinted to the lead, but a parked out Major Deagan would over take him for the front at the opening quarter in :26.3. American Island wasted no time going right back to the lead in the second quarter and would carry the lead into the stretch after posting fractions of :54.3 and 1:23.1. In the stretch, the outer flow around the final turn would close in on American Island and Verbalize, who was seventh and third over at the three-quarter pole, had the most speed to sprint by them all to score a two length victory. Ransom Demand took the place spot, while Mittcent Van Gogh finished third. A son of Tell All, Verbalize is trained by Edward Galinski for owner Ronald Dale Randall of Berlin Center, Ohio. Verbalize now has four career victories and four wins in 21 starts this season. The winner's share of the purse boosts his career earnings to over $23,000. Sent off as the longest shot on the board, Verbalize returned $134.40 to win. The second division featured a matchup between the two leg one winners Kindofabigdeal and Company Man. A showdown between the two never materialized, as Kindofabigdeal went straight to the front and never looked back. A son of No Pan Intended, Kindofabigdeal was put on the front by driver Sylvain Filion, while Company Man got away last and over 14 lengths from the lead. Kindofabigdeal posted fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24, before sprinting home in :28.2 to score a two length victory over Rural Art in 1:52.2. Company Man got into the outer flow down the backstretch and was third over around the final turn. The son of American Ideal paced a strong last quarter of :27.2 to finish third. Kindofabigdeal is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. The three-year-old has now won five of nine starts this year in his first season racing. His bankroll currently sits at just under $50,000. Kindofabigdeal paid $4.50 to win. The top ten money earners from the first two legs to enter the final will contest the $35,000 Valedictory Series finale next Friday afternoon (December 26) at Woodbine. Post time for the Boxing Day card is 1 p.m. Live racing continues Saturday night with an 11-race card beginning at 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

Charlottetown, PE - The field is set and the morning line favorites have been established in the feature event Saturday at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Post time for the 15 dash program is 1pm. The feature race is in honor of Charles MacDonald who was born and raised in Orwell, PEI and passed away October 8, 2011. MacDonald's grandson, Marc Campbell, has a shot of winning this race when he drives Machinthesand from post three for Noonan Holdings Ltd- Russell and Karen Noonan, Middleton, PE. The son of Mach Three, listed as the second choice (3-1 odds) behind morning line favorite Carnivore (5-2 odds), won his last start in 1:59.3. It won't be an easy task against Carnivore (Walter Cheverie) who charted his last assignment in 1:58.4 for trainer Marvyn Webster with top guns Astor (Jason Hughes) and Cheyenne Ford (Kenny Arsenault) also in the mix. Campbell will try to work out a trip against the other contenders which include rail sitter Tempo Seelster (Vince Poulton) and Perfect Escape (Ron Matheson). The feature is carded as race 7 on the afternoon. Hurrah, with trainer-driver Mark Bradley in the bike, has drawn the rail in race 14. The colt, leased to ownership group Hurrah 4 Island Charities by Meridian Farms, has raised $10,562 for charities such as Autism Society, PEI 4H, PEI Special Olympics, Prince County Hospital Foundation, Ocean 100's Toys for Tots and CBC Turkey Drive throughout his 2014 season. The son of Shadow Play makes his 26th start of the season where this month his cheques will go to the Upper Room food bank. He's in tough as he takes on Jackie Matheson's stable stars Balanchine and Van Zant. Forever Paradise is entered and will need to rally from post 8. Pleasure Girls takes the spotlight in the trot class. The mare, owned by Shelly Gass, Cornwall, got roughed up a bit in her last outing but managed a well-earned third place finish for Ron Gass. Race analyst Les MacIsaac is on board with Pleasure Girls (2), I Ain't No Lady(7) and JK Hustler (4) as his triactor choices. Don't miss the Boxing Day card Friday December 26th at 1pm with the New Year's Eve presentation featuring a 7pm post time. The 2015 live race schedule is outlined at www.redshores.ca with Saturdays in January running post times at 12:30pm. by Lee Drake, for Red Shores  

The Director of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has approved applications to amend 2015 race date calendars. In accordance with Policy Directive 3 - 2007, the racetracks submitted applications to vary their pre-approved 2015 race date calendar as part of the 2015 racetrack licensing process. To view all the race dates click here. From the Ontario Racing Commission

TORONTO, December 18 - Witch Dali continued her hot streak Thursday night in the second leg of the Niagara Series at Woodbine Racetrack. Just one $15,000 division was needed for the second round of the three-week series, as ten three-year-old pacing fillies were entered in the box. However, two race-day scratches, including leg one winner Mach Some Noise, left the door wide-open for the other leg one winner, Witch Dali, to score another impressive victory. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Witch Dali, the 2/5 favourite, was sent straight to the front and got to call the shots from start to finish. The daughter of Dali set fractions of :27.2, 56.2 and 1:24.3, before cruising home in :28.1 to score a 4 ¼ length victory in 1:52.4. Saucy B, who got a two-hole trip, finished second, while Double Joy and Artistic Fusion finished third and fourth respectively. Witch Dali is trained by Tony Alagna, who shares ownership with Brad Grant, and has now won her first three starts of the season. The three-year-old filly now has six career victories and has banked over $56,000 in 13 career starts. The clocking of 1:52.4 is a new season's mark for Witch Dali and just missed her career mark by a fifth of a second. She paid $2.90 to win. After scoring victories in the first two legs, Witch Dali can now go for the series sweep in the Niagara Series final on Boxing Day (Friday, December 26). Series action continues tomorrow night at Woodbine with two divisions in the second leg of the Valedictory for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The final of the Valedictory Series will join the Niagara Series finale on the Boxing Day card. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else. All previous reviews can now be viewed at www.stallionsphere.com This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Stallion Review – YANKEE CRUISER – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Yankee Cruiser 1:49.3s ($1,457,346). AU: You're only as good as your last win - We have all heard the adage "you are only as good as your last win." Well, it would appear at least one well-known trainer has come to realise this to be true. NZ: 1000 wins and hardly a murmur - One thing that we struggle with in the harness racing game in New Zealand is how we treat our superstars of the sport. In any other sport they shower there stars with awards and public recognition when they achieve something special. Drop your foot and pay the fine - Last week Harnesslink featured its most controversial article ever. Thousands of views and hundreds of comments, both pro and con, on the David Miller interview about dropping his foot in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Insider Access archive available - Following requests from our readers in relation to previous editions of Insider Access, we are providing a link for those looking to catch up on some news they missed. Simply click here and delve through the archives as Insider Access and Harnesslink continue to lead the way in providing the latest news from around the world. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

Since returning to the races following a bout of sickness in late October, Milliondollarspree has been on a winning spree for trainer Ross Hardy. The pacing mare has racked up three wins in her last four trips to the track, and that includes her gate-to-wire score in Tuesday’s $7,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Trevor Henry hustled Milliondollarspree to the lead from Post 3, and after parking past the quarter pole in :27.2 she led the group through sensible middle panels of :57.3 and 1:27.4. A :31.2 closing frame is all took for her to win by three-quarters of a length over Angel On The Wing in a time of 1:59.1 over a track rated ‘good’ with a three-second variant. The show dough was earned by Racey Miss. To view the rest of this story click here. Sunfire Blue Chip to Tara Hills Stud It has been announced that the royally bred and supremely talented Sunfire Blue Chip p, 2, 1:52.4f, 3, 1:48.3f will join the stallion roster at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ont. Sunfire Blue Chip, a four-year-old son of American Ideal, retires with $917,374 in earnings and several stakes titles to his credit, including this year’s revitalized Prix d’Ete in Quebec. As a sophomore, the Jimmy Takter-trained horse captured the Adios elimination and final, an elimination of the Messenger (second, by a head, in the final), the Tattersalls, Empire Breeders Classic elimination (second in final), Hempt elim (third, by a half length in final) among other victories. Sunfire Blue Chip hails from one of the sport’s most well-bred families. He is the second foal of the Cams Card Shark mare Shot Togo Bluechip, his full brother is $1.7 million winner Heston Blue Chip p, 3, 1:48f. Their half-sister sold at last month’s Harrisburg sale for $160,000.   To view the rest of this story click here.

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else. All previous reviews can now be viewed at www.stallionsphere.com This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Drop your foot and pay the fine - Last week Harnesslink featured its most controversial article ever. Thousands of views and hundreds of comments, both pro and con, on the David Miller interview about dropping his foot in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Insider Access archive available - Following requests from our readers in relation to previous editions of Insider Access, we are providing a link for those looking to catch up on some news they missed. Simply click here and delve through the archives as Insider Access and Harnesslink continue to lead the way in providing the latest news from around the world. AU: You're only as good as your last win - We have all heard the adage "you are only as good as your last win." Well, it would appear at least one well-known trainer has come to realise this to be true. NZ: 1000 wins and hardly a murmur - One thing that we struggle with in the harness racing game in New Zealand is how we treat our superstars of the sport. In any other sport they shower there stars with awards and public recognition when they achieve something special. Stallion Review – YANKEE CRUISER – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Yankee Cruiser 1:49.3s ($1,457,346). Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

Fans that backed rookie pacer Weapons Dealer in Race 2 during the Monday evening program at Woodbine Racetrack likely needed a hand - or a wheelbarrow - to help tote home their winnings. The overlooked son of Western Ideal-Scootin Belle turned a two-hole trip into a pari-mutuel explosion for the tandem of driver Trevor Henry and trainer Isaac Waxman. Weapons Dealer got away in the two-hole behind the 1-5 favourite, Sports Warning, and those two held their positions through panels of :28, :58.2 and 1:26.4. Sports Warning rolled into a break coming out of the final turn, however, and that changed the whole complexion of the race. Weapons Dealer inherited the lead in the lane, and he wound up winning by a pair of lengths over His Boy Elroy in 1:54.3. Sports Warning regained his composure and re-rallied to finish third. To view the rest of this story click here. Raceway Preferreds to "Gustav" & "Winzel" A set of Preferred 3 events went postward Monday evening at The Raceway at Western Fair District, with Kendal Gustav and Winzel winning their respective assignments. Kendal Gustav shot to the front from Post 2 and rolled to an easy victory in his $7,400 affair for driver Lorne House. The public’s top choice, who closed at odds of 6-5, carved out splits of :27, :58 and 1:26.4 before sealing the deal with a :29.2 closing panel. He was 2-1/2 lengths better than Pacific Oak in 1:56.1. Lawmen Reign rounded out the top three finishers. Trainer Scott McNiven co-owns the five-year-old son of Life Sign-City Of Dreams with Tom Brodhurst of London and Shirley Griffin of St. Thomas, Ontario. The partnership has watched the gelding go 10-for-37 this season and 27-for-112 in his career. The lion’s share of Monday’s purse lifted his overall cash stash to $177,749. To view the rest of this story click here.

On Monday, December 15, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2014 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 7, 2015, at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel and Conference Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. This will be the 26th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Eight past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Intimidate, Riveting Rosie, Chris Christoforou, Bill Davis, Richard Moreau, Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., & Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. To read the rest of the story click here. 2014 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer JK Shesalady - owned by 3 Brothers Stables, New York, NY Sports Chic – owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Paoli, PA and Blake Macintosh, Waterdown, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Artspeak –owned by Brittany Farms, Versailles, KY, Marvin Katz, Toronto, ON, Joe Sbrocco, Brecksville, OH, In The Gym Partners, Staten Island, NY Go Daddy Go – owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON and Dave Boyle, Bowmanville, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer Lady Shadow - owned by Lindsey and Connie L Rankin, Lexington, MI Major Dancer - owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge, Mac Nichol, Burlington and Adriano Sorella, Milton, ON   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer JK Endofanera - owned by 3 Brothers Stables, New York, NY McWicked – owned by S S G Stables, North Boston, NY   Older Pacing Mare American In Paris – owned by Doug Millard, Woodstock, ON Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ   Older Pacing Horse Modern Legend - owned by Dave Drew Associates Inc., St. Catharines, ON State Treasurer – owned by Sally A MacDonald, Souris, PE and Paul G MacDonald, Regina, SK   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Danielle Hall - owned by Carl R Jamieson, Rockwood, ON and Thomas Kyron, Toronto, ON Stubborn Belle - owned by Al J Libfeld, Pickering, ON and Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Dont Rush - owned by Dustin Jones Stables Inc., Waterdown, ON and Greg L Judson, Athens, ON Habitat - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown, PA, Our Horse Cents Stables, Clifton Park, NY, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Riveting Rosie owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON White Becomes Her - owned by Twilight Stables Inc., Brampton, ON   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Harper Blue Chip - owned by Landmark 6 Racing Stable, Kingston, ON, David R McDonald, Cornwall, ON, David K Reid, Glenburnie, ON, George R Judson, Athens, ON Trixton - owned by Brixton Medical Ab, Matawan, NJ and Christina Takter, East Windsor, NJ   Older Trotting Mare Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON, Herb A Liverman, Miami Beach, FL and David H Mc Duffee, Delray Beach, Fl Classic Martine - owned by Hauser Bros Rcng Ent LLC, Orangeburg, NY – Susan M Oakes, Wilkes-Barre, PA, Conrad E Zurich, Fayetteville, NY, and Edwin J Gold, Phoenixville, PA   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Determination, Westmount, QC and Judith Farrow, Hemmingford, QC Slip Into Glide – owned by Craid I Turner, Ingersoll, ON and Benoit O Baillargeon, Rockwood, ON   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Bill Davis, Langley, BC Dustin Jones, Waterdown, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year William Andrew, Calgary, AB / Meridian Farms, Milton, PE Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON & Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., Leamington, ON   Driver of the Year Chris Christoforou, Campbellville, ON Trevor Henry, Arthur, ON   Trainer of the Year Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Jimmy Takter, East Windsor, NJ   Future Star Award Tyler Borth, Ingersoll, ON Nick Gallucci, Brantford, ON  

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Trotting mare Out Of The Hat ($3.00) notched her 15th win of the year and kicked off a training triple for Stephane Pouliot on Sunday night in the co-featured $6,500 Winners Over Handicap Trot at Rideau Carleton Raceway. The 1-2 favourite retook the lead from early challenger and eventual runner-up Four Starz Speed after the :28.2 opening quarter and cruised through middle splits of :58.3 and 1:27.2 en route to the three length triumph in 1:57.2. The win was her second in a row and fourth in her last five starts. Michelangelo finished third. Out Of The Hat was the top trotter for wins in North America last year with 18 victories and the daughter of Kadabra and has followed that season up with another impressive campaign this year racing for Meadowgem Farm and 9096 9205 Quebec Inc. Rose Run Nash currently tops the trotting leaderboard with 19 wins in 2014. To view the rest of this story click here. Wire-to-wire for Brocks Fortune at Flamboro Brocks Fortune led from start to finish while delivering on his pari-mutuel promise in the featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Pace for horses and geldings on Sunday night at Flamboro Downs. Driver James MacDonald sent 6-5 favourite Brocks Fortune ($4.40) to the lead off the gate and never looked back, carving out fractions of :27, :56.4 and 1:25, then holding off the pocket-pulling Mach Pride down the stretch to win by half a length in 1:54. Goldstar Badlands came from last to show, just over one length behind. John Cecchin trains the four-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal, who has won eight races and $80,000 in purses this season, for Mark Austin Stables Inc., Noblock Racing Stable and breeder Robert Chapple. To view the rest of this story click here. Accident but no major inuries at Fraser Serious injuries were avoided in an accident that took place during the sixth race at Fraser Downs on Sunday. Wild About Eagle (Travis Bowman) broke stride while racing in sixth place around the first turn and fell near the head of the stretch, causing interference to the trailing horses, including Judges Acenthehole (Jim Marino), Wishful Luck (David McKellar) and Kim Chee (Brandon Campbell). Bowman and Campbell were unseated during the incident, but returned to action and fulfilled their driving duties later on the card. Early reports from Fraser Downs indicate the drivers and horses involved in the accident suffered only superficial injuries. To view the rest of this story click here.
After watching his horses compete from the sidelines for three long months with an ankle injury sustained in a racing accident, driver Kelly Hoerdt returned to the sulky this weekend and was back in the winner's circle on Saturday night at Northlands Park. Hoerdt, who had four drives on Friday night and another five on Saturday, made his return appearance to the winner's circle with Burstin Bubbles, a four-year-old pacing mare he claimed for $9,000 in her last start on Nov. 21 with Blair Corbeil. The Beaumont, Alberta horseman rallied home off cover with the daughter of Badlands Hanover to win the sixth race for claiming mares in 1:58.1. Hoerdt last drove on September 13 at Alberta Downs when he was injured during an accident in the ASHA Filly Stakes with Blue Star Escape, who recovered from her scrapes within the first two weeks of the incident. To view the rest of this story click here. Shepherd scores five wins at Flamboro Flamboro Downs' leading driver Robert Shepherd dominated Saturday night's 11-race card with five winners, including one streaking three-year-old pacing filly and a double-gaited mare. T R Lexus Cam ($5.30) ran her win streak up to eight with a career-best 1:58.2 effort in the sixth race for $6,000 claiming fillies and mares. Owned by Gregory Mason of Mulmur, Ont., the sophomore daughter of Cams Memory has been perfect since joining the stable of James Stewart. She prevailed by a neck over pacesetter Twin B Amour. Shepherd also drove the five-year-old streaking mare, Pureform Olympia ($2.40), to a 2:00 triumph in the ninth race conditioned trot for owner Shelley Nyuli of Abbotsford, B.C. The daughter of Valet Victory is four-for-four for trainer Gord Remmen since switching to the trot and racing at Flamboro. To view the rest of this story click here. $1,000 donation to NB Equine Rescue Fund The New Brunswick Equine Rescue Fund, administered by the New Brunswick SPCA, received a special donation from the province's Standardbred racing community on Saturday. Brent Briggs presented a cheque for $1,000 this morning to Steve Turner, President of NB SPCA, and Hilary Howes, Executive Director of NB SPCA. The funds will be used as needed for any horses that may find themselves in distress in the province. The cheque was donated in memory of legendary New Brunswick horseman Earl Avery and was the combined effort of the standardbred community, including Horse Racing New Brunswick and the Horsemen's Associations in Fredericton, Woodstock, Saint John and Moncton.
Four-year-old pacer Nickle Bag has not missed the board in the past three months racing on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit and on Saturday night he stormed home from the backfield to add another victory to his impressive 2014 campaign against a full field of Preferred competitors, including Canadian Pacing Derby champion Modern Legend. Closing from third and fourth over, Sing For Me George and Nickle Bag pulled ahead of the field down the stretch and battled to the wire in a photo finish. Nickle Bag and driver Trevor Henry ultimately prevailed in Woodbine Racetrack's $34,000 Preferred Handicap Pace by a nose in 1:50 flat for trainer Shawn Robinson and owners Linda Loyens of Denfield, Ont. and Harry Loyens of Ilderton, Ont. Leaving from post eight, Camaes Fellow (Jonathan Drury) charged to the lead over Avatartist (Mike Saftic) while the 4-5 favoured outside assignee, Modern Legend (James MacDonald), sprinted up into contention through a sizzling :25.4 first quarter. Modern Legend worked his way to the top as the pacers headed into the backstretch, but Camaes Fellow refused to sit a pocket trip and quickly retook command. To view the rest of the story click here.
The close battle atop the Charlottetown Driving Park leaderboard resumed on Saturday afternoon with drivers Jason Hughes and Marc Campbell finishing one-two in the feature race. Campbell ended the day with a four-win lead over Hughes for the driving title. Astor provided Hughes with his third win of the day in the $2,200 top class, named in honour of the late Charles MacDonald. Machinthesand and Campbell advanced first over from fifth through fractions of :28.4, 1:00.1 and 1:30.1 over a sloppy track with favourite Astor and trainer/driver Hughes looming in the pocket. Machinthesand eventually pushed past the pacesetting Cheyenne Ford and Kenny Arsenault down the stretch, but Astor had shot through up the passing lane to prevail in 1:59.4 by one and a half lengths. To view the rest of this story click here.
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