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Two of the best bred trotters in Australasian harness racing registered impressive wins at Bendigo last night. Gus An Maori scored for talented young horseman Caleb Lewis, while Alex The Great was triumphant for astute trainer Peter Hornsby. In what shapes as sensational news for ‘purists’, the two are set to clash at Melton next week. After dominating the Home Grown Classic heats, the duo will head towards the $50,000 Final on December 20. Driven by Matthew Craven, Gus An Maori enjoyed the perfect one-one trail before accounting for the well-bred Aimforthemoon and Bad Boy Leroy. Covering the last half in 60 seconds, the three-year-old rated 2:00.9 for the 1650 metres, taking his record to two wins from three starts. By Angus Hall, the colt is from Inter Dominion winning mare, Sumthingaboutmaori. A member of the all-conquering ‘Maori’ clan, Sumthingaboutmaori was also successful in the Group Ones Grand Prix and South Australia Trotters’ Cup. Also by Angus Hall, Aimforthemoon is from Group One winning youngster, Right Interest. Alex The Great then captured the following qualifier by rating 2:03.8 with Stacey Towers in the sulky. After racing in the ‘death seat’, the gelding proved too strong for Lively Laughter and Well Deserved. By Great Success, Alex The Great is from arguably the best trotting filly produced on this side of the equator – Zesta. Also bred and owned by Hornsby, Zesta won 13 of her 17 starts, with three placings also to her credit. Unbeaten from nine starts as a three-year-old, Zesta captured the Breeders’ Crown and Victoria Trotters’ Derby against the ‘boys as well as the Victoria Trotters’ Oaks, where the beaten brigade included Sumthingaboutmaori. While Sumthingaboutmaori went on to win the Inter Dominion two years later, sadly Zesta’s career was cut short. Zesta had three starts as a four-year-old – all wins – before being retired as a result of a hole in her superficial flexor tendon. PAUL COURTS

Batavia, NY---After taking the top mares trot just seven days ago, Fiorentina came right back and forced her hand again while winning the $9,000 Batavia Downs harness racing feature on Friday night (Dec. 5). At the start of the race as Fiorentina (Kevin Cummings) was going to the front, Iza Bella (Shawn McDonough) made a break and scattered the field. So when Fiorentina hit the quarter in :28.4, the five horses behind her were spread out 12 lengths apart. As the race progressed with Fiorentina calling the shots, the group tightened up behind her and by the three-quarter pole, the five were double-decked and within three lengths of each other. But they were arguing for minor spoils as Fiorentina was trotting with desire and was not about to be denied. The 5-year-old Angus Hall mare won in 1:59.3 by two and one-half lengths. Dayplanner (Dave McNeight III) was second and Iza Bella recovered from her break to finish third. It was the seventh win in 22 starts this year for Fiorentina ($5.30) and it raised her earnings total to $49,380 for owners Frank Lamacchia and Guy Polillo. John Mungillo trains the winner. Drivers Kevin Cummings, Drew Monti and Dave McNeight III all scored driving doubles on the night. The 2014 Batavia Downs meet has come down to its final 24 races and the action begins on Saturday (Dec. 6) at 12:15 when the first half of a closing day double-header kicks off. The nightcap begins at 6:35 and both cards feature 12 races. The Pick-6 carryover in $9,034 and it will be paid out tomorrow.   Tim Bojarski

Northern Secret (Angus Hall) completed a double for her connections in Thursday's trotting feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The three-year-old filly proved victorious again in her second local start behind a pocket ride for driver Frank Coppola Jr. The win in the $7,000 trotting event was the second of back-to-back scores for owner Bill Donovan and trainer Kyle Spagnola on the night. Curvature Hanover (Andover Hall) went wire-to-wire for Coppola in her local debut as Donovan and Spagnola teamed up for a pair of victories on the card. Curvature Hanover's score came in 2:01.1. Spagnola, last year's Peerless McGrath Award winner for up-and-coming trainers, has followed up his breakout 2013 with another big year in '14 sitting just outside the top ten in the local trainer standings. Live racing continues on Friday evening with first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 23, 2014-The third rendition of Yonkers Raceway's "Matinee Madness" went postward during a downright balmy (mid-50's) pre-Thanksgiving Sunday. The 12-race card again began with five French-centric, overstuffed, mile-and-a-quarter trotting fields. A dozen were behind the gate for the opener (post time 11:12 AM), with favored Itzaziam (Brian Sears, $5.70) winning that event in 2:27.3 for the added distance. Included in the extra-distance extravaganza was the $46,000 Open Handicap, the 10-trotter test won by a backside-busting Dancehall Mistress (Sears. $25.60) in 2:26.1. The Sunday overseas numbers continue strong, with more than 1.2 million Euros (more than 1.5 million US dollars) wagered during the five exported events. The first three matinees have seen a total of more than four million Euros (or more than five million US dollars) wagered for 15 races by the French-hubbed audience (including Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta). Sunday's Pick 5, buoyed by a double carryover of more than $7,000, attracted $16,710 of fresh lettuce. The winning combination of 4/4/4/1/2 paid $3,924.75 for every four bits. The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule continues through Dec. 14, with first post every Monday, Thursday (save for Thanksgiving Night), Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the fourth of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) next weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (including Thanksgiving Day). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

TORONTO, November 14 - Round one action of the Autumn Series for three-year-olds continued Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Three $15,000 divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings and two $15,000 splits for the sophomore pacing colts and geldings were contested. In the first division on the trotting side, Warrawee Prince went gate to wire for a 1:57.1 victory. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Warrawee Prince went straight to the front and posted fractions of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:27 before trotting home in :30.1 and just holding off Sas Warkentin by half a length. Lexus Rocky took the show spot. A son of Angus Hall, Warrawee Prince is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Daniel Plouffe and Jean Dessureault. The leg one victory was his fifth win in 15 starts this season for earnings of over $30,000. Warrawee Prince paid $9.70 to win. Dontcheatonmenow and Phil Hudon delivered as the public's choice in the second division. The son of Deweycheatumnhowe made a first up move from fourth along the backstretch and would eventually clear to the front in the third quarter. In the stretch, Dontcheatonmenow would trot home in :29.4 for a length and three-quarter victory in 1:56.3. Me The Boss finished second, while Valorscross finished third. Trained by Corey Johnson, Dontcheatonmenow now has two victories in 15 starts this season for earnings of over $26,000. The three-year-old trotter is owned by Rolling Hills Racing Stables. He returned $4.90 to win. In the final division, Totally Ripped rallied from far back to win in 1:56.2. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Totally Ripped trotted along near the back of the pack for the majority of the mile and was seventh and almost nine lengths off the lead at three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Totally Ripped flew by his rivals to win by half a length. Headsaregonna Turn, who cut the mile, held on for second over Windsn Cobra. A son of Muscle Mass, Totally Ripped is trained by Jeff Byron for owner Donald Leschied and has now won five times in 16 starts this season for earnings of over $56,000. A $2 win ticket on Totally Ripped retuned $4.30. Kindofabigdeal turned in a big mile to win the first Autumn Series division for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Driven by Filion, the son of No Pan Intended was first up around the final turn and pressing the leader and favourite Eveil Dun Champion. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4, Kindofabigdeal powered by Eveil Dun Champion at the top of the lane and pulled away to a length and a quarter victory in a career best 1:51.4. Bugger Bruiser finished third. Kindofabigdeal has now won three of five career starts and has earned over $23,000 for owner Hudson Standardbrd Stb Inc. He returned $7.00 to win. In the second division for the pacers, Vip Bayama gave Filion his third leg one victory of the night. The son of Mach Three got away second, made a second-quarter move to the lead and never looked back en route to recording his second win of the season. Vip Bayama took the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4 and paced a final quarter of :27.2 to win by a pair of lengths. Rural Art took the place spot, while So Bad Im Good finished third. Vip Bayama is trained by Stephane Larocque for owners Dan Mogridge, Jeffrey O'Borne and Pat Lachance. The three-year-old pacer has now earned over $36,000 in 16 starts this season and lowered his career mark by two fifths of a second. Vip Bayama paid $5.50 to win. The second round of the Autumn Series for the three-year-old colts and geldings will take place next Friday, November 21. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

The outstanding Love You trotting mare Habibti will be missing from all the trotting features over the New Zealand Cup harness racing carnival after sustaining an injury to a suspensory ligament. A scan at trainer David and Catherine Butt's property this morning confirmed their worst fears and Habibti will have six months off now before being rescaned. A winner of 15 races and over $307K to date, Habibti will be given every chance to overcome the problem with her suspensory. Owner Rob Paterson was very phisophical when contacted by Harnesslink this afternoon. " You have to take the good with the bad in this game and we have had a great run with this mare. " We will scan her in six months and take it from there" he said.  Habibti won't be completely idle during that six months as she is due to again have a embryo transfer this season after being served by Majestic Son last year and then having the embryo transfered to a surrogate mare. Rob Paterson is looking to follow the same path this season. "Habibti is going to be served by Angus Hall and then we will look to do another embryo transfer" he said. Habibti became a mum recently when the surrogate mare foaled a Majestic Son filly three weeks ago and then the filly promptly had issues with who her mother was. " The Majestic Son filly swapped mothers again so she has had three mothers and she is only three weeks old", Rob said today. Just when it looked like the open class trotting ranks were overflowing with talent leading into this season, injuries to Habibti and issues with Master Lavros have thrown the feature trots at the New Zealand Cup carnival wide open. Harnesslink Media

Kentucky Futurity Day showcased North America’s monte racing as six harness racing entrants contested the $10,000 exhibition event Sunday. Therese Lindgren piloted In Nomine Patri to victory with a rallying 2:00.3 win, last quarter in a sharp :27.2. The winner, a six year-old gelded son of Credit Winner-Blue Skies Hanover-Donerail, is trained by Liisa Vatanen, co-owner with American Dream Racing Stable. Pacesetter Chinese Cuisine was a solid second for Tina Duer with Flowing James home third for Tara Hynes. In Nomine Patri Ontario monte action also continued with Western Fair’s pari-mutuel test on October 3rd. The $3,000 purse event went to Lexus Hawkeye (5g Amigo Hall-Lexus Lulu-Angus Hall) and N. Elliott. Radical Dreamer (Marit Valstad)  and Twin B Excalibur (E. Harms) trailed the 2:04.3h winner. Next up in Ontario monte action is October 12 at Leamington. monteamerica.com Thomas H. Hicks

The breeding season is here once again and harness racing is in good heart if the number of trotting stallions available this season is any guide. For the last two breeding seasons trotting bred mare numbers have been holding up remarkably well when compared to their pacing counterparts. The number of pacing mares has been slowly dropping for a wee while now Two seasons ago the number of pacing mares served numbered 2582 but last season saw another drop of 185 mares to bring the total served down to 2397 However in the 2012/2013 breeding season 644 trotting mares were served by 31 stallions and in the 2013/2014 breeding season 617 mares were served by 29 stallions. In light of those figures it is somewhat surprising that the number of trotting sires available to breeders has continued to grow, especially via frozen semen.  In the upcoming season the number of trotting stallions available to breeders has risen to 36. In the last breeding season only four stallions served more than 50 mares for the year and between them that four captured 319 of the mares served leaving just 298 mares for the other 25 stallions. It is little wonder the average trotting breeder is getting confused and having trouble sorting out the wheat from the chaff. Some of the trotting sires available via frozen semen are well established such as Andover Hall, Angus Hall, Muscle Hill, Love You and Muscles Yankee but quite a few are new to the stallion game in New Zealand and it is hard to gage where they sit in the overall scheme of things. Of those available via fresh semen last year, the North American owned Majestic Son served 161 mares in New Zealand and with the season his stock had on the track he should serve a large book again this year. Superfast Stuart (54)  Monarchy (51)  The Pres (50) and Monkey Bones (40) were other sires available via fresh semen last season who served reasonable numbers and they all have one thing in common.  These sires are owned in New Zealand and represent a major investment by the studs/owners but with the number of sires available via frozen semen growing to 26 this year they may have a struggle on their hands to attract mares. If the number of European and North American sires available via frozen semen continues to grow, the days of New Zealand studs and owners standing sires they own via fresh semen may be coming to an end. Weather that is in the best long term interests of the New Zealand industry is highly questionable. Harnesslink Media

Imperial Count, one of the fastest and richest harness racing sons of the great Angus Hall, will stand at stud in Victoria this season. At a service fee of $1750, including GST with discounts for multiple bookings, Imperial Count will take up residence at Ross Gange’s Lemon Tree Stud. A top flight trotter, Imperial Count won 17 races while being placed 21 times for $680,392 in stakes. Racing from two to seven years, Imperial Count competed in ‘Town Hall’ company throughout his career. As a two-year-old, he was one of the leading performers in the rich Ontario Sires’ Stakes program, earning $190,174 from 10 starts. They included successes in two eliminations and the $123,500 Final of the OSS Gold series, and placings in two OSS Finals and the Champlain Stakes. At three, Imperial Count won $215,085 racing against top horses such as Market Share ($3.4million), Daylon Magician ($1.7million), Mister Herbie ($1.8million), Sevruga ($1million) and Tamarind. He qualified for six Ontario Sires’ Stake Finals, finishing second three times and was a finalist in the $1million Canadian Trotting Classic, Goodtimes Stakes and Simcoe Stakes. Imperial Count registered his best time of 1:53.4 at four winning at Pocono Downs 1000-metre track - one of nine successes in that year. In his final American start Imperial Count established a track record of 1:54.8 in the $46,000 Open at Yonkers' half-mile oval. He was retired at the height of his career, winning four of his last seven starts. A grand looking, athletic individual, Imperial Count, in the words of his trainer Richard 'Nifty' Norman: “A horse trainer’s dream, never been sick or lame, never made a break, never had a bad day. Very clean gaited, very easy to drive. Never wore a headpole on any size track. Mr Reliable!” On the score of blood, Imperial Count lacks nothing. His sire Angus Hall (1:54.6) was a champion with earnings of $830,654 and has been one of America’s top trotting sires for some time. He figures as the sire of Majestic Son, the leading juvenile sire in Australia and New Zealand last season. Imperial Count’s dam, Miss Imperial (1:53.6) won 12 races as a two and three-year-old. At the stud she has left three inside 1:58 from three foals of racing age. The next dam, Rush Light, left four winners from five foals to race, while the third dam, Starlight Sue, produced four winners from eight starters. Imperial Count is a Noble Victory line horse – which also produced Balanced Image - from the top family of Minnehaha. He should prove an ideal outcross to mares by Sundon, Armbro Invasion and Keystone Salute and mares with Gee Whiz II in their pedigree. PETER WHARTON

LEXINGTON, KY-- Freshmen filly trotters gathered for four divisions of the Kindergarten Classic Series at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 18. The fourth preliminary of the harness racing series attracted 38 contestants for purses totaling to $40,000. Allerage Star, despite galloping at the start, recovered nearly 13 lengths to weave past rivals and get a nose in front of Saturday Mornings and Cocoacabana in 1:56.2.   Cocoacabana was the pacesetter with Sweet Thing and Fly Angel Fly sitting behind. She set fractions of :29.1 and :57.4 (:28.3). Challenged around the far turn by Sweet Thing, Cocoacabana remained in control as the backfield approached. Fanning three wide came Fly Angel Fly, with Lady Winona four wide and Saturday Mornings five wide.   After a 1:27.3 (:29.4) third-quarter, Saturday Mornings rallied down the center of the course, while Allerage Star strolled onto the scene from in-between horses. Cocoacabana battled Allerage Star and Saturday Mornings up to the finish, where Allerage Star got a nose in front, going a mile in 1:56.2 (:28.4).   Returning $3.20 to win, the daughter of Angus Hall-Starry Eyed-Muscles Yankee is owned by Little E LLC, Jason Settlemoir, A. Geiger and D. Stolz, trained by Jessica Okusko and Corey Callahan was aboard.   Lilu Hanover rebounded after failing as the favorite in last week's prelim with a 1:55.3 victory over 24-1 Annaliina.   Scott Zeron piloted Lilu Hanover to the front, while Aarena Hanover gunned for the pocket from post 10. Lilu Hanover set a opening quarter of :27.4. She remained uncontested through a :57.3 (:29.4) half.   Rules Of The Road was flushed first over entering the far turn, with Annaliina drafting 2 ¾ lengths off the lead. Rules Of The Road remained at Lilu Hanover's throat through a 1:27 (:28.2) third-quarter.   Kicking to a 2-length lead into the stretch, Lilu Hanover kept to her task as Annaliina gradually progressed towards the leader. Starting her bid a few yards too late, Lilu Hanover had a neck advantage at the wire over Annaliina, with Waiting Room and Lady Clarabella rounding out the top four respectively.   Owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, the daughter of Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover-Donerail paid $5.00 to win.   Sarcy, upon brushing to the top after the first quarter, led the field to the finish in 1:55.3.   Bright Baby Blues swept across the track to claim command around the first turn, while Josie's Joy sat the pocket and Sarcy trotted third. After a :28.2 quarter, Jimmy Takter pulled Sarcy two wide to claim command before three-eighths. She was uncontested at the half, timed in :57.1 (:28.4).   Sarcy remained unchallenged around the far turn. Bright Baby Blues, stalking from the pocket, tipped first over at three-quarters, with Josie's Joy and Armatrading tracking her move. Timed in 1:26.1 (:29), Sarcy remained in control. Despite bids from Bright Baby Blues, Josie's Joy, Armatrading and Fashion Lover in the late stages of the mile, Sarcy held command and sailed to a 1:55.3 (:29.2) victory; Fashion Lover finished second, Armatrading was third and Josie's Joy was fourth. Sarcy, sent off the second choice, is owned by Christina Takter and John and Jim Fielding and trained by Jimmy Takter. The Donato Hanover-Southwind Allaire-Valley Victory daughter paid $7.20 to win. Bee The Queen, entering off a 30-1 upset in the Kindergarten last week, was victorious at odds of 1/5 in 1:56.1. Catherine's Melody showed early speed, while Bee The Queen floated towards the front, and Bright Eyes sat behind in third. The opening quarter was timed in :29.3. Bee The Queen made her move before the half, trying to sweep around Catherine's Melody as Bright Eyes, Flirting Filly and Shafina Hanover began their bids. Bee The Queen had a head in front through a :58.3 (:29) half. Although Flirting Filly broke traveling first over, Shafina Hanover made her way to Bee The Queen's wheel through a 1:26.1 (:27.3) third-quarter. Corey Callahan pulled the plugs on Bee The Queen and she kicked 3 lengths clear of Shafina Hanover, Bright Eyes and Catherine's Melody, and eventually winning by 3 ½ lengths in 1:56.1 (:30). A daughter of Donato Hanover-Bee Line-Self Possessed, Bee The Queen is owned by Alfred Ross and is trained by George Ducharme. She returned $2.60 to win. Bee The Queen extended her lead on the Kindergarten leaderboard with 158 points, with Allerage Star second with 125 points and Lady Clarabella in third with 111 points. Live racing resumes at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 25, with the Grand Circuit meeting, commencing with the $300,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters. Declaration time is 9:30 A.M. on Monday, September 22. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

The best performers in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots this year, pacers and trotters, colts and fillies, will be on display at Mohawk Racetrack Friday and Saturday night. Two $20,000 Semi-Finals will be raced for each division to determine the starters for next week’s $50,000 Grassroots finals. The horses earned their way into the Semi-Finals through their performances in the Grassroots races in their divisions throughout the course of the OSS season. The top 20 point earners entered into the Semi-Finals are eligible to compete. The two-year-olds are in the spotlight on Friday night with the trotting fillies kicking things off in races one and two. Leading point earner Summers Jewel, who has yet to finish worse than third in her young career, has drawn post two for breeder/owner/trainer Ben Baillargeon of Rockwood, Ontario, whose brother Mario will be in the sulky. The Angus Hall miss has started in all six Grassroots events this year with three wins, a second and two thirds. The rookie pacing colts are next up in the third and fifth races. The top two colts in the division, Thinkofagameplan and Jeb will square off in the third race from posts six and eight respectively. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario and his cousin Al McIntosh of Leamington, Ontario, bred and own Thinkofagameplan, a son of Ponder who has captured four of six Grassroots events this year. A horse to watch in the fifth race is Moonwards Hanover, who comes into the contest riding a three race winning streak, all in Grassroots events. From the red hot first crop of Sportswriter, Moonwards Hanover is owned and trained by Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario, who also trained her dam, Mouse Hanover. He’s drawn post four with Paul MacDonell aboard. MacDonell will also be up behind Call Me Richard, the leading point earner among the rookie trotting colts, in the next race. Trained by Clare Bradshaw for owner Andrea Arthur of Scotland, Ontario, the Muscle Mass son has won his last two races, both OSS events. The two-year-old pacing fillies are featured in races seven and 10 on Friday’s program with top point earner Ms Mac N Cheese departing from post four in the first split. The Badlands Hanover daughter owned by David Ratchford of Nova Scotia has been on a real roll lately with three straight victories on her scorecard. Sylvain Filion will drive from post four. On Saturday’s card it’s the three-year-old trotting fillies getting the Semi-Finals underway. Torches Star tops the point standings in this group and has post five in race five with regular pilot Steve Condren in the race bike for trainer Ben Wallace and owner Brad Grand of Milton, Ontario. The Angus Hall filly is the second foal from former OSS star Torch, a winner of $357,000 in her career. Their colt counterparts get things rolling in race two and come right back in race three for their two Semi-Finals. Aventure, the leader in this bunch, drew post nine in the third race with Trevor Henry up for trainer Bill Budd. Owned by Orville Rursch of Illinois, Aventure is 4-1-0 in five OSS starts this year. The glamour boy division, the three-year-old pacing colts, are featured in races six and nine on Saturday evening. Top point earner Shadow Place has post three in race six with Henry at the lines for trainer Richard Moreau. Regal Babe, who is less than 10 points behind in second in this division, has post five in race nine. The pacing fillies close out the card in races eight and 10. The latter finds Her Own Land in post five with James MacDonald at the helm for trainer Dave Menary. The leading point getter in this category, the Blissfull Hall filly has three wins and a second in her most recent starts, all Grassroots events. Saturday’s card also features the $286,000 Milton final for pacing mares with three Ontario-sired performers, Monkey On My Wheel, Camille and Voelz Hanover, taking part. To view the entries for Friday and Saturday night at Mohawk, please use these links Mohawk Entries - September 19. Mohawk Entries - September 20. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Today's Quinte+, with a special jackpot of E10 million, went to 1.4/1 favored Teatro (7m Ganymede-Josette) with Christian J. Bigeon aboard in 1.13.1kr over 13 rivals in this 2700 meter test named the Prix RMC. The exact order payoff excluding jackpot was €2,570 for a €2 wager. Q+ Prix RMC, European, E58,000 purse, 2700 meters, 14 starters, 1.13.1kr Teatro (7m Ganymede-Josette), Ch.J. Bigeon up at 1.4/1 odds for owner/trainer Christian Bigeon, 10th win in 40 starts for E294,800 earned Noir d'Ete (7m Ganymede-Essenza d'Ete), Eric Raffin aboard, 5.1/1 Tina Jolie (7f Jasmin de Flore-Minea des Picanes), Antonio Wiels up, 7.8/1 Bugsy Malone also won on the Vincennes card, taking the E62,000 Prix de Montelimar for three year-olds over 2700 meters with nine starters. The consistent colt recorded his sixth win in nine starts for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. The victory, by open lengths, raised his career earnings to over E101,000. Prix de Montelimar, purse E62,000, 2700 meters, 9 starters Fractions: 1.16.1kr at 1500; 1.16.2kr at 1000; 1.15.5kr at 500, 1.15.2kr finish Bugsy Malone (3m Ready Cash-Night Captain), Yohan Lebourgeois for trainer/owner Philippe Allaire, 3/5 favorite, sixth win in nine starts for E101,460 earned Berry Felin (3m Nahar de Beval-Krisma des Bois), Franck Ouvrie, 10.8/1 Bajazet (3m Qwerty-Perkine), Jacques Bruneau owner/trainer/driver, 6.2/1 odds V75 action took place today at Farjestad SWE. The Gold Division with 150,000SEK to the winner, over 2140 meters autostart, went to On Track Piraten in 1.13.3kr in an easy score for Johnny Takter. Porthos Amok was second for Bjorn Goop (trained by Stefan Melander) ahead of another Melander trainee, Tidied Accelerator handled by Ulf Ohlsson. The winning six year-old gelded son of Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line took his 13th victory in 58 tries, increasing career earnings to over 5.8SEK million. The Silver Division, over 1640 meters autostart, went to the US bred Magiccarpetride and Jorma Kontio timed in 1.10.9kr. Another US-bred, Mr. Chicago, was second for Carl-Erik Lindblom. The winner earned 125,000SEK and the eight year-old son of Angus Hall-Meadowbranch Magic-Valley Victory now has 13 wins and earnings in excess of 1.6SEK million. The Bronze Division, for 110,000SEK to the winner, contested over 2140 meters autostart, resulted in a 1.11.8kr win for Jeppas Maxi and Torbjorn Jansson. He narrowly defeated Riff Kronos and Viejo Heiskanen with Pedro Bi a distant third. Jeppas Maxi is a five year-old gelded son of Varenne-Absolutely Perfect-Balanced Image that now has nine wins in 11 starts lifetime. This one looks to have a fine future. Thomas H. Hicks

Make plans to attend the Canadian Yearling Sale Preview Day Saturday at Flamboro Downs. All yearlings set for auction on Sunday will be ready for viewing. The sale is set to start at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14. Complete sale information is available on theCanadian Yearling Sale page. Offspring from Ontario’s top stallions will be offered at the Canadian Yearling Sale, such as trotters sired by Angus Hall, Kadabra, Majestic Son and Muscle Mass, and pacers sired by Camluck, Mach Three, Shadow Play and Sportswriter. First crop Ontario-eligible stallions with yearlings available include pacers Big Jim, Bettors Delight, Up The Credit and Vintage Master, and trotter Manofmanymissions. To view the online catalogue, click the following link: Canadian Yearling Sale Online Catalogue From the Canadian Yearling Sales Company

Mohawk Racetrack offers a stakes laden harness racing card Saturday evening anchored by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic which has two top Ontario-sired colts taking on five very talented sophomores. The card also features the $385,000 Peaceful Way final with several OSS fillies in contention, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial with one lone Ontario-sired colt, and the $409,000 Elegantimage final with four OSS girls vying for their turn in the winner’s circle. In addition to those great trotting races, the program will also headline the top pacing mares in North America in two eliminations for the Milton Stakes which feature three OSS graduates including a Breeders Crown winner. In the showcase event Harper Blue Chip will attempt to duplicate his sire, Majestic Son’s, 2006 Canadian Trotting Classic victory. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario, trained Majestic Son, who won the ’06 CTC by more than six lengths over a very talented field, and also conditions Harper Blue Chip. A son of Angus Hall, Majestic Son was a dominant force in the OSS during his sophomore season, winning seven of 10 OSS events. In total, he won $622,000 in the provincial program during his career. Majestic Son now stands at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ontario, and Harper Blue Chip, with $547,000 in earnings, is his second richest performer to date, behind only Charmed Life ($592,000). So far this year Harper Blue Chip has a summary of 4-2-2 in 10 starts and although he’s won two OSS Gold events and swept the Canadian Breeders, he’s best known for finishing third in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian last month at the Meadowlands. The Hambletonian winner, Trixton, is also slated to start in the CTC final, with post five. Trainer Jimmy Takter will drive the colt who has won eight of 10 starts this year. Tatker’s other talented colt in this division, Father Patrick (also eight for 10) is right alongside in post six. It’s a formidable duo facing Harper Blue Chip whose driver Sylvain Filion is cautiously optimistic, especially given that the colt has finally drawn a decent starting position, post two, compared to post 10 in the Goodtimes final and post nine in the Hambletonian. “He’s been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post,” Filion noted earlier this week. “We’ve got a tough bunch of horses to race against, but he’s very good right now. I’m hoping for a good, close to the front trip and hopefully some top horses won’t be on their game, because we’ll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It’s a very high quality group.” The other OSS colt joining Harper in the CTC final is Muscle Matters, a son of Muscle Mass who will start beside Harper Blue Chip in post three. Mario Baillargeon will be at the lines for his brother Ben who handles the colt’s training. Yet to win a race this year, Muscle Matters has been close, with five second place finishes in six starts, three of those to Harper Blue Chip. The CTC final goes as race nine on the card. In the third race, the $385,000 Peaceful Way final, there are six OSS fillies in the mix including a pair trained by John Bax, Stubborn Belle (post one, Paul MacDonell) and Juanitas Fury (post nine, Steve Condren). Both fillies have two OSS wins to their credit this season and both finished second in their respective Peaceful Way elims. Stubborn Belle was aptly named according to Bax. “She’s always been a lot like her name, that’s why she was named Stubborn Belle. She’s been a little hard to get to do it the way we want her to.” Despite that the Taurus Dream daughter, owned by Bax of Peterborough and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ontario, has set two records so far this year – a track record at Rideau Carleton (1:55.4) in an OSS Gold event and a stakes record in a Champlain stake (1:54.2). Bax also starts the Muscle Hill filly Southwind Champagne in the Peaceful Way final. She has post six with Steve Byron at the controls. The other OSS rookies attempting to capture the event named for one of the greatest Ontario-sired trotting mares of all time, $3.2 million winner Peaceful Way, include Daneille Hall (post two, Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (post four, Roger Mayotte), Amoureuse Hanover (post eight, Doug McNair) and Lady Caterina (post 10, Phil Hudon). The dam of Elegant Serenity, Elegantimage, is the namesake for the seventh race on the program. A star of the OSS in the late 1990s, Elegantimage earned just shy of a million dollars during her impressive racing career. A quartet of three-year-old Ontario-sired fillies will attempt to capture the $409,000 event including Bax’s Riveting Rose (post three, Paul MacDonell), Tosca (post two, Per Henriksen), Sweetie Hearts (post eight, Randy Waples) and Muscle Babe (post 10, James MacDonald). The other major trotting stake on the program is named for one of Canada’s most respected horsemen of all time, the late William Wellwood, a member of Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame and a successful participant in the OSS since its inception 40 years ago. The only Ontario-sired rookie colt in contention for this event is a son of Infinitif, Dont Rush who has drawn post four with Chris Christoforou in the bike. The colt captured a division of the first Gold event for this group in early July which surprised his trainer/owner and breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario. “If you had told me in October he was going to win a Gold the first week of July I don’t think I would have believed you,” laughed Jones. “He’s exceeded my expectations since I brought him in the barn.” The OSS graduates competing in the two Milton eliminations are Monkey On My Wheel, a Breeders Crown winner at three and 10-2-6 in 24 starts this year for owner/breeder Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ontario. The winner of $1.5 million to date in her career has post seven in the sixth race which also features the Camluck mare Camille ($1.1 million to date) in post four. Voelz Hanover ($1.5 million lifetime) is the lone Ontario-sired distaffer in the second Milton elim, race 10. In addition to all of the on-track action, Mohawk is also celebrating their fans with Fan Appreciation Night Saturday featuring a first bet on the house, giveaways after each race and a $5 food voucher to the first 1,000 fans. To view the full card please click Mohawk Entries - September 13.

One of the more established races for trotters on the harness racing calendar is the time honoured Ordeal Trotting Cup. Established in 1965 in honour of the great trotter Ordeal 1:59.3 ($83,053) who was an early trailblazer in North America, the race has been won by some champions over the years like Sir Castleton and Take A Moment. This years Ordeal Trotting Cup at Addington tomorrow night has brought together a smart group of open class trotters headed by last weeks stunning winner Habibti. Missing away from the stand last week and settling eight lengths behind the pack should have spelt the end of Habibti's chances but as champions do, she picked herself up and reeled them in late for a stunning win. It was her first run for over eight months and she should have derived a lot of benefit from the outing.  With the Ordeal Trotting Cup being a mobile event Habibti would appear very hard to beat but her draw of eight and a much stronger field than last week means she is no certainty. Sheemon from barrier seven with Dexter Dunn in the bike is a big danger to Habibti. The son of Monarchy was a touch below the best at three but at four stepped up and got better as the season went on with his win in the Jewels a highlight. Only out of the money five times in 36 starts, Sheemon is as reliable as he is talented. The interesting runner in the field is a son of the great Angus Hall in Imperial Count who is having his first race night run in New Zealand after a great career in North America. The winner of $854,903 in North America and with a best time of 1:53.2, Imperial Count was good enough as a three year old to compete in the $1,000,000 Canadian Trotting Derby so at his best he would be very competitive here. He hasn't raced for 15 months and his trials have been ok without being special but there is no doubting that the ability is there and he does have the Butt brothers in his corner. The other six runners are all in good touch for this early in the season but with the class of the field going up a notch from last week it is hard to see any of them rolling Habibti, Sheemon and Imperial Count. Uncas, Clover Don and King Of Strathfield are the three we like to round out the trifectas and first fours. Harnesslink Media

The 2014 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots regular season for two-year trotting fillies came to a close on Tuesday night (September 9) at Mohawk Racetrack as the Campbellville harness racing oval played host to six $18,000 divisions. Sires Kadabra and Deweycheatumnhowe dominated the action with Kadabra picking up a trio of winners and Deweycheatumnhowe grabbing two credits. Magical Lass was the first winner for Kadabra as she took the opener in 1:59.1 for driver Paul MacDonell. She swept from third to first prior to the 1:30.1 three-quarters and then held sway through the lane to prevail by half a length over public choice Mass Rail (Trevor Henry). Lmc Marshmellow (Jack Moiseyev) checked in third. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Magical Lass, who is the first foal out of the Cantab Hall mare Priceless Lass, for co-owner/breeder Mel Hartman of Ottawa and co-owner R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, Ontario. Magical Lass broke her maiden in her fifth attempt, and she has now earned $11,875. The Murmuring Pan then made it a "Kadabra Daily Double" as she won the second race in 1:58.2 with Hall of Famer Steve Condren in the bike. The Murmuring Pan made a first-over move into the lead at the 1:00 half and didn’t look back from there on her way to a five and a quarter length decision. Giona (Wayne MacLean) was the runner-up and Desis Dream (Steve Byron) nabbed third. Paul Reid trains The Murmuring Pan for owner/breeder Peter Pan Stables Inc. of Pepper Pike, Ohio. She is now two-for-four in the win column with earnings of $18,000. Both of her wins have come in Grassroots competition as she also clicked at Mohawk on July 31. The Murmuring Pan is the second foal out of $448,000 earner Epangeline (Conway Hall). The final Kadabra winner was Wing Flash, who got up out of the pocket in the stretch to win the fifth Grassroots flight in 1:57.3 for trainer/driver Wayne Henry. Stay In Touch (Randy Waples), the leader at the head of the lane, had to settle for second and Hape (Riina Rekila) finished third. Henry Stable of Arthur and Daylon Farms Ltd. of Komoka, Ontario, own Wing Flash, who was bred by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm, and Donald Robinson and sold for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Wing Flash has a pair of victories from seven attempts, and she has now put away $30,725. A winner in Grassroots action on August 17 at Clinton Raceway, Wing Flash is the fourth foal out of the Andover Hall mare Armbro Everlasting. The dam is a half-sister to the likes of millionaire Armbro Keepsake. As for Deweycheatumnhowe, his initial siring triumph came with Tymal Illbthere (Chris Christoforou) in the third section. She followed the cover of divisional point standings leader Summers Jewel (Mario Baillargeon) and then got around her late in the mile to win by a neck in 1:57.1. Muscle Kit (Randy Waples) was third, more than 14 lengths behind the top two finishers. Erv Abdulov trains Tymal Illbthere for co-owner/breeder Tymal Farms of Oldcastle, Timothy Varey of London, and Shawn Dixon of London, Ontario. Tymal Illbthere won for the first time from six trips behind the gate, and she has now pocketed $37,660. She’s the first foal out of the Kadabra mare Ill Be There ($398,603), a six-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Solar Sister provided Deweycheatumnhowe with his other tally as she rallied from sixth at three-quarters to take the fourth division by a neck in 1:58.1. Magic Shelley (Trevor Henry) was up for second and Railee Priti (Steve Byron) collected third. Gregg McNair trains Second Sister, who has two triumphs from six starts and a bankroll of $29,160, for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan. Bred by Diamond Creek Farm LLC., Second Sister was purchased for $32,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She’s the seventh foal out of the Yankee Glide mare Sister Sammy, and Second Sister is a half-sister to the likes of $210,000 earner Unshakeable. Second Sister also won in the Grassroots Series on July 15 at Mohawk. The other winner on the night was Bistrobistro Taj (Rick Zeron). Competing in the nightcap, Bistrobistro Taj popped the pocket to take command past the :27.3 opening quarter . She then reached the half in :58.1 and the three-quarters in 1:28.2 before she kicked away to win by three and three-quarters lengths in 1:57.3. Mets Life (Mario Baillargeon) was next, followed by Judy The Beauty (Bob McClure). Zeron also trains Bistrobistro Taj, a filly from the first crop of former Breeders Crown champion Pilgrims Taj, for owner 9215 6447 Quebec Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. Bistrobistro Taj, who was bred by Gestion Belvidere Inc., was successful for the second time from five starts, and she has now banked $58,250. Bistrobistro Taj, who also prevailed in Grassroots action on July 15 at Mohawk before she stepped up to take on Gold foes in her next few attempts, is the second foal out of the Angus Hall mare Freda Hall. The two-year-old trotting fillies of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will be back in action on September 19 at Mohawk Racetrack as they clash in their Semifinal round. Click here for full results Ontario Sire Stakes  

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