The Little Brown Jug for three-year-old pacing colts and its filly companion race, the Jugette, are highly coveted races to win and this year Guelph, Ontario-based harness racing trainer Gregg McNair has a shot in each. Both of his Ontario-sired horses are regulars on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit. His filly, Lady Shadow, is the favourite in the first of three divisions of the Jugette, worth a total of $298,100, to be raced Wednesday afternoon at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. The daughter of Shadow Play, owned by Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, Michigan, has won five races and finished second in two others in 10 starts so far this year. She comes into Wednesday’s race riding a two race winning streak, both in OSS Gold events. McNair’s son Doug, her regular driver, will once again be at the lines behind the winner of $454,000 so far in her career. The other Ontario-sired filly in the Jugette is the Major In Art daughter Sectionline Aqua who has post eight in the second elimination. She’ll have hometown support as all three of her owners are from Ohio. Sectionline Aqua finished second to Lady Shadow in her last two OSS Gold outings. The Jugette and Little Brown Jug are both heat races. The top three fillies from each elimination on Wednesday will return for a second heat, the winner of which will be crowned Jugette champion. Gregg McNair, the leading trainer in the OSS program so far in 2014, has yet to win either the Jug or Jugette so far in his impressive career, but he has come close. In 2011 his filly Swinging Beauty captured her first heat of the Jugette and finished third to Idyllic in the final. In 2000 he started George Scooter in the Little Brown Jug. The Matts Scooter son was third in the first heat and came back to win the second heat but finished third in the race off to Astreos. McNair’s 2014 Jug hopeful is the Mach Three colt Three Of Clubs. McNair co-owns the colt with Tony Lawrence of Hanover, Ontario, and harness racing legend Keith Waples of Durham, Ontario. One of the most respected harness drivers in history, and a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Waples won the 1972 Little Brown Jug with Strike Out. The horse’s owner, the late John Hayes, famously said prior to the race: “I’d rather win the Little Brown Jug than go to heaven.” That victory was the first time a Canadian-owned horse won the Jug and now the 91 year-old Waples has another chance to capture the famed event with Three Of Clubs on Thursday afternoon, but it will be a big undertaking given the talent of the 16 colts entered. Three Of Clubs has drawn post three in the $103,600 first heat alongside On Golden Ponder trained by Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, who sits second to McNair in the OSS trainers’ standings. There are two colts entered in the second heat which also have Ontario trainers, Casie Coleman’s McWicked (post one) and Dave Menary’s Hes Watching (post six). The first four finishers will advance to the $310,800 second heat. A race-off, if required, will be worth $129,500. Other Ontario-sired performers racing at Delaware Wednesday include the Majestic Son daughter Yanks Ball Girl in the Standardbred Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. The second division finds OSS regular Gee OKeeffe who has two OSS wins to her credit this year. She’s owned by trainer Chris Beaver and Wilbur Lang, both of Ohio. Little Brown Jug day also finds one of the greatest mares to ever race in the OSS, Bee A Magician, competing. The four-year-old daughter of Kadabra, who has drawn post six in the 17th race of the day, the $121,000 Miss Versatility Final. Horse of the Year in both Canada and the US last year, Bee A Magician has earned $2.5 million to date in her career. Starting alongside in post seven is another top OSS graduate, $592,000 winner Charmed Life. For more information on the Little Brown Jug and Jugette, please visit their website Little Brown Jug website. By OSS News
The father-son team of harness racing trainer Carl Jamieson and driver Jody Jamieson won two of the three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series contests for rookie colt and gelding pacers on Tuesday night (September 16) at Mohawk Racetrack. The Jamiesons' first victory came in the second division with Sporting The Look, who now leads the point standings for the group. Sporting The Look shot to the front in the early going and was ahead of a parked-out Sportskeeper (Randy Waples) by a nose at the :27.2 opening quarter. Sportskeeper would clear to the top past that post, and he would go on to reach the half in 57 seconds. Sportskeeper was under attack from a first-over Lancaster Park (Doug McNair) at the half, and those two would continue to slug it out over to the 1:24 three-quarters. In the stretch Sportskeeper put away Lancaster Park’s bid, but the fight to hold the lead took its toll inside the final eighth, and he began to drift off the rail, which gave Sporting The Look clearance to come through. Sporting The Look had plenty of pep to go with the room, and he would go on to win by a length, stopping the clock in 1:53. Seaforth (Mike Saftic) rallied from fifth to second in the final quarter, and Sportskeeper had to settle for third. The elder Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario, also co-owns Sporting The Look, who has been victorious four times from nine starts, with breeder 30 Plus Stable of Trenton and Tom Kyron of Toronto, Ontario. Sporting The Look, the third foal out of The Panderosa mare Lyons Mandi ($162,482), did go through last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he brought $72,000. The victorious Sportswriter colt, who also won Gold Series events on July 7 at Mohawk and on August 10 at Georgian Downs, has now banked $178,594. Jody and Carl also prevailed in the Gold Series nightcap with Make Some Luck. Jody sent him to the point from his post two starting spot, and he was unchallenged through the :27.2 first quarter and the :56.3 half. Public choice Drachan Hanover (Rick Zeron) then rolled the dice first-over out of third on the far turn, but Make Some Luck was able to keep him just over a length behind at the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Drachan Hanover kept trying to get to Make Some Luck through the lane, but it was no avail as Make Some Luck maintained his lead on his way to a one and a quarter length victory in a final clocking of 1:53 flat. Bob Ben And John (Chris Christoforou) was third after a two-hole trip. Carl trains Make Some Luck, a gelded son of Camluck, for owner 1140545 Ontario Ltd. of Moffat, Ontario. Make Some Luck, who won at the Grassroots level on July 8 at Mohawk, has a pair of victories from four trips behind the gate, and he has pocketed $62,700. Make Some Luck was bred by Stan Klemencic and fetched $19,000 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale. Make Some Luck is the fourth foal out of the Western Hanover mare Mustang Kensley, a half-sister to horses such as Shake That Junk (Camluck, $388,610), a six-time OSS winner during her time on the racetrack. If interested, Make Some Luck has a Twitter account, which can be accessed by clicking here. The non-Jamieson winner on the night was Reverend Hanover (Chris Christoforou) in the Gold Series opener. Reverend Hanover, making his first appearance in the OSS, led through fractions of :26.3, :55.2, and 1:23.3 on his way to a one length victory in 1:51.1. Manny In Sports (James MacDonald) tracked the eventual winner the whole way from the pocket and finished second with Moonwriter (Randy Waples) back in third. Casie Coleman trains Reverend Hanover, a colt by Sportswriter, for owners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatam, and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, Ontario. Reverend Hanover, who was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. and was purchased for $24,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale, is a perfect two-for-two in his life with earnings of $41,000. He’s the fifth foal out of the Cams Card Shark mare Razzle My Tazzle, who is a half-sister to the likes of Manvers Short Cut (Astreos, $263,021), a one-time OSS winner in her career. This was the next-to-last regular season event for the two-year-old male pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series. They will head back to Mohawk Racetrack on September 29 to conclude things and set the field for the Super Final. For full results of Tuesday night’s races at Mohawk By OSS News .
The locally owned and homebred, Sectionline Aqua is looking for Jugette glory as she takes on a field of eight in the second of three eliminations for the $298,100 Jugette for three-year-old filly pacers at the Delaware County Fair. The Major In Art - Aquatic Yankee filly is owned by Harold Lee and Harold L Bauder of Delaware, Ohio, and Michael Dixon of Hilliard, Ohio. Steve Bauder, who recently moved back to his hometown of Delaware after residing in Chicago for a few years, trains the filly. Sectionline Aqua has finished on the board in each of her last five starts and has won 6 of 16 seasonal starts. In her last start, she raced in an Ontario Sire Stakes Gold event at Mohawk Raceway finishing second by a length and a quarter and was timed in 1:51. Native Central Ohioan Brett Miller will drive her in the Jugette. Steve Bauder emphasized the filly's easygoing nature and consistency in most of her races. "She's about as nice a horse to work with as you would ask," he noted. "Just really well-mannered and anybody could take of her. She's consistent and has been good all year." The trainer also expressed confidence in his driver, but added the intimidating factor of being in the outside post position. "It's pretty tough. She'll need a trip. It needs to work out for her in the eighth hole," he said, "Any horse--I don't care what it is--from the eighth hole on a half mile track will need a little bit of help. She's game though." Post time for the Jugette Day card will be at 10:50 a.m. at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. by Conor Golden, Little Brown Jug Publicity Intern
Dancin Caroll and Sports Chic, who are both half-sister to famous performers, are making themselves known as well after winning the pair of $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series contests for two-year-old pacing fillies on Monday night (September 15) at Mohawk Racetrack. Both races were conducted over a racetrack rated good and two seconds off due to rainy conditions. In the first division it was Wrangler Magic (Sylvain Filion) in the lead at the :27.4 opening quarter. She would yield the top spot to a parked-out I Wonder Why (Steve Condren) past that marker, and then I Wonder Why gave up command to public choice Win The Gold (James MacDonald) before the :56.3 half. Win The Gold would go to hit three-quarters in 1:26.1, but she was under a first-over attack from Southwind Mischief (Chris Christoforou), who towed Dancin Caroll (Randy Waples) into contention from second-over. In the stretch Southwind Mischief forged her way by Win The Gold, but a host of fillies, including Dancin Caroll began to close in inside the final sixteenth. Dancin Caroll proved best though, as she reached the finish line half a length in front of a re-emerging Wrangler Magic. Akissfromtheart (Jody Jamieson) rushed from seventh to third in the final quarter. The final time of the mile was 1:55.2. Tony Alagna trains Dancin Caroll, a daughter of Sportswriter, for owners Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, Illinois, Greg Gillis of Alliston, Ontario, and George Golemes of Oak Brook, Illinois. This was her second win from eight starts, and she has now earned $75,900. Dancin Caroll was bred by Elizabeth Wagner and was sold for $90,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She is the third foal out of the Cambest mare Dancewiththebest, which makes her a half-sister to world champion Dancin Yankee ($1,060,422). The second OSS Gold test saw Solar Sister (Doug McNair) work her way from post nine to first at the :26.2 opening quarter. She let longshot Palette Tina (Randy Waples) go to the top prior to the :55.3 half, but then McNair had his charge back out of the pocket on the far turn, and she regained the advantage well before the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Business As Usual (Christoforou) tried to challenge the pace-setter from first-over at that time with Northern Starlet (Sylvain Filion) positioned second-over and Sports Chic (Jody Jamieson) third-over. Jamieson fanned Sports Chic out wide for the stretch drive, and she caught Solar Sister at the eighth pole. Sports Chic powered her way past the leader for good past that marker, and she would go on to defeat a closing Little Miss Sporty (Jonathan Drury) by a length and three-quarters in 1:54.4. Cowgirl Tough (Jack Moiseyev), owned in part by 7th grade student Emma Christoforou (story here), came in third. Trainer Blake MacIntosh of Waterdown, Ontario, also co-owns Sports Chic, a daughter of Sportswriter, with partner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sports Chic, who has five wins from eight trips behind the gate overall, is a perfect four-for-four in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series competition and leads the point standings for her group. Sports Chic, now an earner of $221,389, was also second against Grand Circuit company in a Champlain Stakes division at Mohawk. Sports Chic, a Winbak Farm-bred filly who fetched $35,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, is the 15th foal out of the On The Road Again mare Vesta Blue Chip, which means Sports Chic is a half-sister to the great Rainbow Blue ($1,600,012), the 2004 Canadian Horse of the Year. The two-year-old pacing fillies of the OSS Gold Series have one remaining event in their regular season, and it will occur on September 29 at Mohawk Racetrack. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Arrangements have been announced for Mark Austin's funeral this week. Austin, 54, tragically died Sunday night in the race paddock at Flamboro Downs. He will be tremendously missed by his wife, Julie Ann (Davis) and his daughters Paige and Paula and daughter Marcie. He was the son of Thomas E. and Aileen Austin and the brother of Tim (Debbie), Perry and Kelly Klinard (Dan). He is remembered by his mother-in-law Rose Davis, brother-in-law Stephen and his wife Cynthia and was a very special uncle to many nieces and nephews. Friends will be received at the Graham A. Giddy Funeral Home & Chapel, 280 St. David St. South, Fergus, Ontario on Wednesday, September 17 from 3 to 7 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 760 St. David St. North, Fergus on Thursday, September 18 at 11 a.m. Interment at St. Joseph - St. Mary Catholic Church in Elora. Memorial donations can be directed to the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Those wishing to make online condolences can do so by clicking here.
On Monday, September 15, the Ontario Horse Racing Commission announced that Flamboro Downs and The Raceway at Western Fair District – with the support of the Standardbred Alliance – are requesting approval for a race-date variance for the 2014/15 race date schedule of each racetrack. The ORC announced via release that it is circulating the applications for an amendment to the approved race date schedule and will receive comments on the applications from interested industry participants before making its decision on the application. Copies of the applications and business cases to support these changes are accessible via the links which appear below. • Request for Race Date Variance for Flamboro Downs • Request for Race Date Variance for Western Fair • Request for Race Date Variance for The Alliance • Western Fair request to revise Race Date Calendar • Flamboro request to revise Race Date Calendar The application from Western Fair is as follows: WESTERN FAIR – REVISED DATES Delete Wednesday, October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Wednesday, November 5, 12, 19, 26 Wednesday, December 3, 10, 17 (Total – 12 dates) Add Friday, January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Friday, February 6, 13, 20, 27 Friday, March 6, 13, 20, 27 (Total – 13 dates) Post time – 7:05 p.m. The application from Flamboro is as follows: FLAMBORO DOWNS – REVISED DATES Delete Wednesday, October 1 Wednesday, January 7, 14, 21, 28 Wednesday, February 4, 11, 18, 25 Wednesday, March 4, 11, 18, 25 (Total – 13 dates) Add Friday, December 12, 19 Thursday, January 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Thursday, February 5, 12, 19, 26 Thursday, March 5, 12, 19, 26 (Total – 15 dates) Post time – 6:00 p.m. Input, comments or concerns must be received by September 23, 014 o be considered and can be forwarded to the Ontario Racing Commission as follows: Fax 416-13-7827 Email firstname.lastname@example.org From the Ontario Racing Commission
ELORA, ON - The most important job at Grand River Raceway in Elora may just belong to the harness racing track veterinarian Dr. Pat Meyers. "Essentially, you're looking after the welfare of the horse, but in addition to that you're also making sure the betting public is not betting on any lame horses, said Meyers, 59, who has been the track vet at Grand River Raceway since the track opened in 2003. Before that he was the vet at Elmira Raceway and Hanover Raceway going back to 1998. On a wet Wednesday night, Meyers was busy carefully watching a group of three-year-old pacing fillies warm up for an Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Grassroots event that was subsequently postponed due to the monsoon causing unsafe track conditions. The vet said one of his jobs on race nights is to watch every horse warm up. "You're looking for any possible signs of lameness," he said. "Then if you have one that is slightly off, you go and talk to the trainer and make sure that he's not racing a horse that's going to be lame." Meyers is also on hand to help horses injured while racing. "Usually if there is an accident on the track you have to make sure you take care of any horses that are injured at least from a remedial standpoint or from a first aid standpoint," he said. After races, Meyers also helps trainers determine why a horse may not have raced well by inserting a small camera called an endoscope into a horse's air passage to check their lungs. He also helps out, when necessary, to take blood samples of horses for testing. Though Meyers isn't in charge of the testing protocol, racehorses in Ontario undergo some of the strictest pre- and post-race testing in the world for performance enhancing drugs. "The only time I get involved in any of those things is, for instance, if a person has difficulty taking a blood sample from a particular horse, then I would go and assist or at the end of the night if there's no veterinary technician to take blood," Meyers said. "So, I'm not intimately involved in it, but I do on the periphery." Other than the small number of times he's had to deal with a catastrophic injury to a horse in his 26 years as a track vet, Meyers said he enjoys his work and being at Grand River Raceway. "The job is pretty fun because you get to talk to a lot of interesting people at the track and find out what's going on in the industry," he said. Meyers, who runs Emerald Ridge Farm in Rockwood, ON with his wife, Anna, hasn't bred any horses the last two years, but he's been in the breeding business for a long time. He said the horse that changed his life was Emerald Whisper, an Earl mare out of Royal Design he produced with Terry Devos. "She made about $180,000 for us as a two- and three-year-old and she almost won the (OSS) Grassroots Final for two-year-old trotting fillies (in 2007). That was the one that changed it for me personally." To hear our conversation with Dr. Pat Meyers - including his pick for the greatest fictional character in history - check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway
Canadian harness racing trainer Mark Austin of Fergus, Ontario, tragically passed away Sunday night in the race paddock at Flamboro Downs. He was only 54. Austin was at Flamboro Downs Sunday night to race his horse, Brocks Fortune, who ended up racing and finishing second in the eighth race. Prior to that race there was major commotion in the race paddock before the start of the fourth race and an ambulance was called to the scene. No details of what took place have been made available. Austin was primarily a trainer, beginning his career in 1980. He had 837 training victories with the horses he raced and purse earnings of more than $9 million. He also drove horses but stopped in 2000. As a driver he had 139 wins and purse earnings of $315,084. Some of his top horses over the years included the top pacer and winner of more than $681,000, Fool Me Once, Go Get Her, Part Shark, XLB Patrick,HeresToPatrick, Sparky Mark, Machleen and many other stakes and raceway horses. Austin is survived by his wife Julie and two girls, Paige and Paula. More details about the incident and funeral arrangements will be posted when announced. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
Week seventeen is in the books after this past Saturday's race program at Exhibition Park Raceway for the season long handicapping challenge. Leading the way is Adam Saunders who continues to lead the contest and has now totalled $ 284.90. Kayden Buchanan maintains his spot in second place with $ 236.00. Rounding out the top trio is Rose Doyle who checks in this week with $ 232.70. Week eighteen will be featured this coming Saturday as Horse Racing New Brunswick will host the season finale at Fredericton on September 20th at 2:00 P.M. Complete standings are listed below: Adam Saunders 284.90 Kayden Buchanan 236.00 Rose Doyle 232.70 Brad MacPherson 226.40 Jenn Ritchie 180.50 Bruce Smith 114.85 Dale Spence Sr 94.80 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers 31.00 by Scott Waddell, for HRNB
It was strictly a race for place in the Monday night feature at Red Shores Summerside. Eagle Jolt and driver Marc Campbell meant business. Scoring from Post 6, the year-old son of Village Jolt was fired off of the wings by Summerside's leading driver, Campbell, clearing to the lead approaching the quarter, the duo never looked back winning in 1:57. Eagle Jolt laid down fractions of :28, :57.3 and 1:27.1 in picking up his 25th lifetime victory for his owners Wilbur and Marie Macdonald. It was only his second win on Island soil since moving to the Campbell stable earlier this year. He has yet to miss the top three in his last seven outings. Narragansett finished second and Blissful Bro nailed the show. Driver Corey MacPherson enjoyed a rare Monday card at Red Shores Summerside. He picked up a hat-trick on the 13-dash card and he didn't wait long to get it started. In fact it was a MacPherson early double winning the first race with Letgoofmyhalo in 1:59.3, he followed up in the second with Elm Grove Holister. Life Savior completed the hat trick winning in 1:57.1 for owner Darla MacEachern and trainer Duane MacEachern. Jason Hughes continue to put up big numbers this season, he landed a driving and training double on the card. He started things off with Rocks Confession, winning in 2:01. The old veteran Blue Star Outlaw picked up the second win from the stable in 1:58. With the two victories Hughes continued to gain on Bill Davis for seventh in Canada among wins as a trainer. Driver Walter Cheverie picked up a driving double of his own winning with his own trainee Zingers Laugh in 1:59.1. He doubled up in the last race with Astor Shark in 1:57.4 The card was originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon but race officials deemed there were un-safe track conditions due to heavy rainfall. The track was lightning fast on Monday with 10 sub 2:00 miles on the card. by Bo Ford, for Red Shores
Not many 12-year-olds own stakes winning horses, but given Emma Christoforou’s family tree, it would be rather surprising if she didn’t have an interest in horses having been around them from birth. The grade seven student from Moffat, Ontario, owns a number of Standardbreds, including Cowgirl Tough, a starter in Monday night’s Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event for two-year-old pacing fillies at Mohawk. She bred and co-owns the daughter of Ponder with her mother, Joanne Colville, the administrator of the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, owner of High Stakes Farm, director of Standardbred Canada and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association and outrider at the Woodbine Entertainment racetracks. Emma has the luxury of having two of the best drivers in North America available to drive her horses in her father, Chris Christoforou and her step-father Jack Moiseyev. The latter also handles the training for Cowgirl Tough who was victorious in her first OSS contest on August 10 at Georgian Downs, scoring by two lengths in 1:54.1. But Emma notes it was her second place finish in the Eternal Camnation Stake a week later that is her favourite to date. “I was on the sidelines watching the race and I couldn’t find her and then all of a sudden I spotted her pink browband and she was just zooming up to get second. Jack was really pleased with her and everyone was so happy,” recalled Emma who was on hand when Cowgirl Tough was born at their farm in April of 2012. “That was amazing how everything happened so quickly,” noted Emma who added that she sensed early that the filly might be something special. “She was really nice to be around but she had a look in her eye as if to say ‘game on.’ And when she was a yearling she was the biggest one in the paddock and the leader.” When it came time to name the filly with personality to spare, they decided to honour Joanne’s sister, Annemarie. “She’s had cancer a couple of times and she’s been so strong. There’s a group called Cowgirls Kicking Cancer’s Butt and Lope For Hope and that’s gave us the idea for her name. Their motto is ‘tough enough to wear pink.’” Cowgirl Tough demonstrates that sentiment through her equipment. “She wears a lot of pink,” explains Emma. “We’re now trying to find a pink harness for her.” Cowgirl Tough’s pink and Moiseyev’s familiar black, white and yellow colours, will line up behind the gate in post three in the second of two $105,000 OSS Gold divisions Monday night at Mohawk. Emma’s dad Chris is aboard the five horse in the same race, Business As Usual while next door in post six is Sports Chic, the leading point earner in this division to date. That filly will be driven by Jody Jamieson, father of Emma’s good friend, Hailey Jamieson, whose step-dad, Tony O’Sullivan, trains Capela, who has post 10 in the same race. Cowgirl Tough’s dam is Almost A Lady, who was trained throughout her career, during which she won $185,000, by Emma’s grandfather Frank Colville. Almost A Lady is sired by Astreos, the million dollar Little Brown Jug winner who was trained by Emma’s paternal grandfather Charalambos Christoforou. In fact Emma and her brother Niklas Christoforou bred and co-own a two-year-old trotting filly by Holiday Road trained by the senior Christoforou, Emmas Misty Angel who made two starts in the OSS Grassroots. “She’s taking some time to mature now,” Emma notes. In addition going to school, helping with chores and watching her horses race, Emma is also an accomplished equestrienne, competing in numerous horse shows around the province with her horse Kash, noting her favourite event is jumping. Her career aspirations aren’t surprising. “When I’m older I plan on being a vet, having a farm and working with harness horses.” Given her experience to date, she’s certainly well on her way. To view the complete card for Mohawk’s Monday card, please click Mohawk Entries - September 15. From the Ontario Sire Stakes