Limelight Beach picked the perfect time of year to blossom. The sophomore son of Somebeachsomewhere has done nothing less than win his last three starts with aplomb for trainer Ronnie Burke, and now tackles the daunting job of capturing Saturday's 11th race--the $227,000 American National Pace for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. He's certainly proven he's up to the task, as Burke harnessed the bay gelding to a pair of victories on Sept. 18 in one of harness racing's most prestigious events--the Little Brown Jug--the second leg of pacing's Triple Crown. Contested over Delaware, Ohio's half-mile, county fair oval, Limelight Beach and driver Yannick Gingras captured the 69th edition of the pacing classic in straight heats of 1:51 and 1:50.4. "It was a dream come true--winning the Jug," Gingras said, after he and trainer Burke had both captured their very first Little Brown Jug title. "Hopefully, this is the start of something big for him," Burke noted. "Maybe he's coming into his own now." It would appear that is the case. On Sept. 27, Limelight Beach fittingly scored an impressive, wire-to-wire victory in a $92,600 Somebeachsomewhere Bluegrass Stake division at Lexington's Red Mile in a career best 1:49.1. Limelight Beach had been paired with Delaware-Ohio based trainer Brian Brown until early July, when he made the switch to the Burke Stable. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stable and Wingfield Brothers, Limelight Beach won six of 10 races last year, with victories in Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes divisions as a 2-year-old, earning $210,192. This season he's amassed $515,038 from 15 starts with three wins, seven seconds and one third, pushing his lifetime bankroll to $725,230. Limelight Beach was a $25,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg and is the second foal out of the Badlands Hanover mare Benear p,4,1:49.3f ($319,321). He is a full brother to Benearthebeach p,3,1:53.2f ($66,226) and Momas Got A Gun p,2,1:55f ($13,420). His main rival appears to be stablemate and million dollar earner JK Endofanera--who won the $218,300 Tattersalls at The Red Mile in 1:49.1 on Oct. 4--and Let's Drink On It, who also won a heat of the Jug in 1:51, but then finished a bottled-up second to Limelight Beach in the final. Burke, who has conditioned 5,464 winners to $116,631,100 in career earnings, will also throw the harness on the backs of Somesizesomestyle (post 2) and At Press Time (post 3) in addition to JK Endofanera (post 9) and Limelight Beach (post 8). By Kimberly Rinker
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
The regular harness racing season for the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series concluded on Friday (September 12) night at Mohawk Racetrack with five $18,000 divisions, and Moonwards Hanover and Thinkofagameplan both kept their Grassroots win streaks intact. Competing in the opening event, Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who came into this race off Grassroots successes on August 24 at Georgian Downs and August 31 at Clinton Raceway, circled from third to first before the :56.3 half. He would go on to post three-quarters in 1:26.1 and then kicked home in :28.4 to win by half a length over a closing Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair). There was a dead-heat for third between Big Moment (Randy Waples) and Ballybunion (James MacDonald). Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now three-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $36,000, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples), the points leader in this group, was behind the gate in the second Grassroots split, and he would pull out of the pocket to take command after the 27 second opening quarter. Thinkofagameplan, who was second in a division of the Grand Circuit Champlain Stakes at Mohawk in his last try, would then click off the half in 57 seconds and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 en route to a 1:54.3 score. He defeated runner-up Mybestolxfriendray (Phil Hudon) by a length and three-quarters with Ace Of Clubs (Doug McNair) back in third. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his fourth win (all in Grassroots competition) from eight attempts and pushed his earnings to $76.440, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. While those familiar faces were victorious, the other three Grassroots flights were all won by horses who hadn’t yet tasted a win in the provincial program this season. Mr Carrotts (Phil Hudon) was the first to break through as he won the third section in 1:54.2. He was first at the :27.2 opening quarter and the :56.4 half, but first-over challenger Star Cover (Jody Jamieson) put a head in front at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Mr Carrotts would battle back on the inside in the lane, and he would go on to beat Star Cover by a length at the finish line with Windsong Lord (Chris Christoforou) in third. Murray Brethour trains Mr Carrotts, a colt by Mach Three, for owner-breeder Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Ontario. Mr Carrotts broke his maiden in his fifth trip behind the gate, and he has now put away $10,000. He’s the fourth foal out of the Run The Table mare Cueless ($466,638), who was a three-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Robert Hill (James MacDonald) had been picking up minor shares against Gold Series competition, but a drop to the Grassroots level made him a 1:54.1 winner on this night. He left from post eight in the fourth Grassroots test, and he was up to grab the front after the :27.4 opening quarter. Robert Hill would go on to put the :56.3 half and the 1:25.3 three-quarters on the board before a :28.3 final kicker sealed his two and a quarter length triumph. Halton Hurricane (Rick Zeron) was second and Pace Seelster (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Tony Alagna trains the winner, a Jeremes Jet colt, for owner Thomas Hill of England. Robert Hill, who was bred by Perretti Farms and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, picked up his first win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $19,220. He’s the seventh foal out of the Caprock mare Smooth Latin N ($217,884), which makes him a half-brother to two six-figure earners in McApulco ($365,942) and Mcaracas ($170,579) and to three-year-old Shadios, who has won twice in Grassroots competition this year for the Alagna/Hill combination. In the nightcap it was Supersonic Jet (Trevor Henry) who chopped out the :26.4 first quarter, but he would be overtaken by both Pier Ho Temptation (Chris Christoforou) and Shippen Out (Doug McNair) prior to the :56.2 half. Shippen Out then got to three-quarters first in 1:25, fighting off a first-over test by Jeb (Phil Hudon) in the process. Shippen Out put away Jeb for good early in the stretch drive and then held his pursuers at bay late in the mile to win by a length and a quarter in 1:54. Mystical Jet (Jody Jamieson) came in second and Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) took third. Blair Burgess trains the victorious Badlands Hanover colt for owner Karin Olsson-Burgess of Milton, Ontario. Shippen Out won for the first time in eight starts, and he has now earned $16,150. Winbak Farm bred Shippen Out, who fetched $9,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He’s the first foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Shipps Bikini ($410,500), who won a Grassroots division herself as a two-year-old. The two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will return to Mohawk next Friday (September 19) to compete in their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of this Friday’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0912mohsn.dat.
Whenever the Mark Purdon/ Natalie Rasmussen barn lines up a maiden 3 year old at any harness racing meeting in New Zealand, it usually means the opposition is racing for second money. That's the way the betting public saw it tonight in race two at Addington Raceway (September 12th) with the All Stars runner Alta Ronaldo a prohibitive short priced favourite. The general consensus was that Alta Ronaldo should be a class above this lot having raced against the better 2 year olds last season. But as we all know there is no such thing as a certainty in racing and Margarita proved once again that no race is easy to win. Bred and owned by Cran Dalgety and his wife Chrissie and trained by Cran at West Melton, Margarita had the form on the board heading into tonights race. She won a race at two at Forbury in a 2:00.8 mile rate and resumed at three with a meritorious second to the very talented Bettor Scott in a 1:58.8 mile rate. Dexter Dunn sent Margarita forward from barrier seven and grabbed the lead after 300 meters with Alta Ronaldo sitting parked from the start. Mark Purdon sent Alta Ronaldo up to eyeball Margarita at the 600 meters mark but it was obvious passing the 400 meters mark that Margarita still had plenty to offer. And so it proved in the straight with Margarita holding a three quarters of a length advantage over Alta Ronaldo all the way to the finishing line. A 3 year old daughter of Bettor's Delight, she paced the 1950 meters in 2:25.4, a mile rate of 1:59.9 with the last 800 meters in 56 .4 and the closing 400 meters in a very sharp 26.9 The dam of Margarita is the smart Badlands Hanover mare Holloway 1:56.1 ($56,432) who won six races on the track in New Zealand. Holloway is a half sister to two handy types in Ducks A Flyin 1:55.2 ($93,581) and Simple Saver 1:52 ($84,658) and is closely related to the very smart Telemeconique 1:52.2 ($185,615) Why it is early in the season, Margarita looks the type with natural improvement that could mix it with the elite fillies by the time the classics come around. Harnesslink Media
Mohawk Racetrack had four $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series contests for rookie pacing fillies on their Thursday (September 11) harness racing program, and Sassafras Girl took the fastest time as she won the third flight in 1:53.3. With Phil Hudon handling the driving chores, Sassafras Girl shot to the lead from her post three starting position, and she would click off fractions of :27, :56, and 1:25. The fillies sprinted for home off that 59 second middle half, and Sassafras Girl kicked out a :28.3 final panel to seal the win by two and a quarter lengths over Twin B Honour (Trevor Henry). Little Miss Artist (Doug McNair) was third. Murray Brethour trains Sassafras Girl, a Badlands Hanover filly, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sassafras Girl, who is now four-for-eight overall and has banked $31,280, was bred by Winbak Farm. She’s out of the Die Laughing mare Tug River Della ($219,395) and a half-sister to the likes of Rub N Tug ($433,999). This was Sassafras Girl’s third Grassroots success of the season, joining her wins on July 10 and August 11 at Mohawk. Back in the Grassroots opener public choice Southwind Luna (Billy Davis Jr.) carved out fractions of :27.2, :56.4, and 1:26.2, and at the eighth pole she was clear by over three lengths. However, she began to falter inside the final sixteenth, and pocket-sitter Marachere (Jonathan Drury) took advantage, getting up in the shadow of the wire to prevail by half a length in 1:54.4. Southwind Luna had to settle for second and OK Hallelujah (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Marachere, a filly by Lis Mara, broke her maiden in her third try and pushed her earnings to $15,660. Trainer Carmen Auciello of Stouffville, Ontario, also co-owns Marachere with partners Robert Watson of London, Armando Cappuccitti of Maple and Mike Bartram of Ingersoll, Ontario. Marachere, who was bred by Ervin Miller Stable Inc., is the second foal out of the Cole Muffler mare Cherry Tree Coco, a full sister to Home Bed Advantage ($574,535). Race favourite Ride Away Shark (Jody Jamieson) had her backers smiling after a 1:54.4 triumph in the second Grassroots flight. She was in the lead at the 27 second opening quarter, the :55.3 half, and the 1:24.4 three-quarters on her way to a three-quarter length decision over Dublin Rose (Paul MacDonell). Amazing Control (Mike Saftic) checked in third. Ride Away Shark, another Winbak Farm-bred filly, has a trio of victories from eight attempts and has put away $28,480 for trainer Scott McNiven and owners Kim McNiven of Putnam and Thomas Brodhurst of London, Ontario. Those connections took Ride Away Shark, a daughter of Classic Card Shark, out of last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale for $7,000. She’s the first foal out of the Dream Away mare Freedom Away. This was Ride Away Shark’s second Grassroots win of the year as she was also victorious on August 11 at Mohawk. The Grassroots nightcap was brought to you by the number three as Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion) posted her third consecutive Grassroots win and breeder Winbak Farm won for the third time. Ms Mac N Cheese worked her way around Machin Marley (Billy Davis Jr.) for the lead at the :27.1 opening quarter, and she would go on to post a :56.2 half and a 1:25.4 three-quarters. Ms Mac N Cheese padded her advantage through the stretch and then coasted home late to win by two and a half lengths in 1:54 flat. She was followed across the finish line by Evas Girl (Peter Core) and OK Heavenly (Doug McNair). Richard Moreau trains the victorious Badlands Hanover filly for owner L. David Ratchford of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. She has five wins from seven attempts this season, and she has earned $33,467. The second foal out of the Artiscape mare Mr Delis Filly, Ms Mac N Cheese was sold for $10,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Tonight’s races concluded the Grassroots regular season for two-year-old pacing fillies. They will return to Mohawk on September 19 for their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of Thursday night’s events at Mohawk from the Ontario Sire Stakes
Trevor Henry, consistently one of the leading drivers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, captured three of the four $18,000 Grassroots events for two-year-old trotting fillies on the opening night of Flamboro Downs’ fall meet this evening. All of the fields were reduced by at least one filly with a few having to be scratched due to an accident on the 407 highway which prevented them from making it to the track on time. Just before the first division got underway the field was reduced to seven with the late scratch of Unrelenting and was reduced again when Wicked Speed made a break at the start over the track rated Good due to earlier rains. Bella Santanna and Tyler Moore grabbed control early and hit the opening quarter in :29. She was challenged throughout the next quarter by Lady Jen and that pair hit the half in :57.3. Bella Santanna put that challenger away and was at the three-quarters in 1:27.4. OK Heartbeat gave chase down the stretch but Bella Santanna held on to win in 2:00.1. OK Heartbeat was second with P L Impressive third. Sent off at 50-1 odds, Bella Santanna paid more than $114 for a two dollar win ticket. She was recording her second lifetime win for owner Brydown Farms Inc., of Clinton, Ontario and trainer Heather Toll. A daughter of Santanna Blue Chip, Bella Santanna was making her first OSS appearance of the year. The second division was also reduced by one with the scratch of Marachere. It was Ms Mac N Cheese grabbing the lead early and never relinquishing it in that division, craving out fractions of :29, :59.4 and 1:29.3 and rolling to a nine length win in 1:59.1. OK Heavenly was second followed by Missy Ann. It was the fourth win in six career starts for Ms Mac N Cheese, a daughter of Badlands Hanover owned by David Ratchford of Nova Scotia who developed her and got her started at Northside Downs in the Maritimes before shipping her to Ontario. It was also her second straight Grassroots victory. The third division was minus two starters with the scratches of Sassafras Girl and Katie Snoops. Machin Marley and Fiftyshadesofbay reached the :28 opening quarter together with the latter filly taking over for Trevor Henry and hitting the half in :58.1. OK Hallelujah came up quickly to challenge but Fiftyshadesofbay rallied back and hit the third panel in 1:27.3 and was a three length winner in 1:58.1 over OK Hallelujah and Little Miss Artist. It was the first lifetime victory for Fiftyshadesofbay who had two seconds and three thirds from five starts coming into tonight’s contest. Rick Zeron of Oakville, Ontario trains and co-owns the daughter of Armbro Deuce with breeder Linda Condon of New Jersey. Out from the fourth and final split was Stonebridge Quest. Hello Marylin had the early lead but was passed by Maralika at the :27.3 opening quarter. Twin B Honour paced past the leader at the :57 half and was at the three-quarters in 1:27.2. Down the stretch she had company in the form of Shes A Pansation and that pair drew away from the field with Twin B Honour hitting the wire first in 1:58.1. Blissfulla Cin was third. However, it was deemed that Shes A Pansation caused interference which moved her to third and Blissfulla Cin to second. Trevor Henry was at the lines behind Twin B Honour to give him a driving triple in tonight’s OSS events. Vic Puddy trains the winner, a daughter of Sportswriter, for owner Percy Elkins of Campbellville, Ontario. She is the second foal from a half-sister to $1.4 million winner Our Lucky Killean. The final Grassroots event for this division will take place on September 11 at Mohawk followed by the Semi-Finals on September 19 at the Campbellville oval. Flamboro’s next OSS event will be contested on September 11 when the three-year-old trotting fillies come to town for Grassroots action. To view the results from tonight’s card, please click Flamboro Results - September 2. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
August 31, 2014 - Harness racing driver Donnie Ranking Jr. made four trips to the winner’s circle today at Dresden Raceway. Rankin’s first winner of the day was MUST BE PAIGE in the fifth race. The three year-old BADLANDS HANOVER filly is owned by trainer Joe Santarossa and his wife Bev. MUST BE PAIGE won her third in a row in 2:01.2. Rankin struck again in the seventh race with RAMMATTIC in 2:00. The six-year-old RAMBARAN mare is owned by Tom Jacobs and Dom DeSantis while Greg Price does training. The man in the blue and yellow checkerboard made his way to the winner’s circle in the eighth race while at the controls of PCS WILCARD. The five-year-old SAND CHASER gelding trotted the mile in 2:02 and is co-owned by trainer Pat Sweeney and his partner Jeff Lemmer. Rankin rounded out the day by guiding SAMILLION DOLLARS to victory in 1:58.2 for owner Amber Robinet and trainer Price. The handle for the Kid’s Day card of racing was $14,475. Monday will feature the revival of the Shelly Goodreau Memorial Pace. Goodreau grew up near Dresden and was one of North America’s premier harness drivers but was killed in a racing accident at Hollywood Park in California in 1982. The morning line favourite is LEAFS AND WINGS while the race is expected to be hotly contested by KENDAL GUSTAV and CALGARY SEELSTER. There will also be lots of draws and giveaways on Labour Day. Post time is 1p.m. and admission is free. by Gary Patterson, for Dresden Raceway
Clinton Raceway will end their 2014 harness racing season this Sunday with a jammed packed card which includes Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action for two-year-old pacing colts, the track’s 34th annual Charity Drivers’ Challenge and a fundraiser for Childcan. The eight drivers participating in the drivers’ challenge, Trevor Henry, Bruce Richardson, Ryan Holliday, Chris Christoforou, Jody Jamieson, Doug McNair, Phil Hudon and James MacDonald, have all generously donated their driving fees from the competition to Childcan. “We’ve had a great season in 2014 and I’d like to thank all of our horse people, fans and staff who have contributed to its success. We’re very appreciative of the drivers who have donated their fees from Sunday’s card to our fundraiser. We’re looking forward to another great season next year,” noted Clinton’s General Manager Ian Fleming. In addition to participating in the driving challenge, all of the drivers will also be piloting colts in the six OSS divisions. Jamieson, MacDonald and Henry have drives in all six splits. McNair has five OSS steers, Christoforou is listed on four colts, Hudon has three OSS mounts while Holiday and Richardson will each guide one. The first OSS division, race four, features two colts who won a Grassroots event in their most recent outing. The simply named Jeb was a winner at Georgian on August 24 and will leave from the rail with Hudon driving for trainer James ‘Friday’ Dean and owners Wilma and Jim MacKenzie of Ennismore, Ontario. The Camluck son is looking for his third OSS victory this year having also won the first event for this group at Mohawk in early July. Jeb is tied as the leading point earner in this division with 137 points. Big Moment, who also has 137 points, has drawn post three in the second division, race five. Randy Waples will be at the lines as usual for trainer Bob McIntosh behind the son of Camluck who has won three Grassroots to date and was second in another. Moonwards Hanover will also look for his second straight Grassroots win in the first split. He won at Georgian in a life best 1:54. Paul MacDonell will be up behind the son of Sportswriter owned and trained by Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario. The third division, race six, finds two colts vying for their third straight Grassroots win. Thinkofagameplan, who has won his last two events, will leave from post two with Waples up for trainer McIntosh. The son of Ponder, owned by McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario and his cousin Al McIntosh of Leamington, Ontario, has yet to finish off the board in five starts to date. Pair Of Deuces has also captured his last two Grassroots outings, at Georgian and Mohawk, for trainer Nifty Norman and owner/breeder Pinske Stables. The son of Badlands Hanover will depart from post six with MacDonell at the lines. The two-year-old pacing colts are featured in races four, five, six, nine, 11 and 12 on Sunday’s card. To view the full program, please click Clinton Entries - August 31. Ontario Sire Stakes
Woodstock, Virginia-- The final day of the Shenandoah County Fair harness races were the most exciting races as they normally are on the final day of racing. Betsy Brown proved the hometown favorites were still a force to be reckoned with, while driver Billy Carter cruised to a driving title. During the week Carter won 13 races leaving everyone else in the wake of his wrath. He drove all week for trainer Leon Harris and picked up at least 3 wins a day to secure the driving title. On the final day of racing Carter won 5 races and made most of them look easy. 2 of Carter's wins came aboard Prince of Badlands (Badlands Hanover-Nordic Princess), who defeated the champion Tarver Hanover just a couple days prior. In both heats Prince of Badlands set back off some very hot early contested fractions set by Mr. Express (Roy Dinges). When Prince made his move he just glided to victory without looking back. In other action at the fair Xiao Wang narrowly defeated Sun Chimes in the final strides of heat number 1 (Race 4) in 2:07 3/5. Sun Chimes had the lead and just could not hold off a fast charging Xiao Wang. In the 2nd of the heats (Race 10) Sun Chimes got his revenge going right to the lead for trainer/driver Betsy Brown and really dug in at the top of the stretch. Xiao Wang (Billy Carter) was trying his best to get to him (Sun Chimes) at the line, but just couldn't get there in 2:05 3/5. Terry Kibler, president of the Shenandoah County Fair said "I was very pleased with the racing this year." He (Kibler) went on to say "It's always a ton of fun to listen to the crowd when the field turns for home and the roar from the crowd is just exhilarating." Racing comes back to the Shenandoah oval in May for the Wine and Trotter festival for its 3rd season. When that date is released it will be given out, until then racing continues during the fair next year which is typically held the last week in August. By Michael Carter, for the Shenandoah County Fair
August 24, 2014 - Long-time horseman and former OHHA director Malcolm McPhail was honoured at Dresden Raceway Sunday and became the first person inducted into the Dresden Raceway Hall of Fame. McPhail was humble in accepting the award and was grateful to the track for recognizing him. The 82-year-old Dover Centre farmer has been in the industry for 42 years. Dresden Raceway also hosted Derby Day with over 50 patrons wearing hats emulating the Kentucky Derby. Prizes were doled out to the winning hats as vote don by the fans. Dresden BIA was also part of the race day as several BIA businesses gave out prizes in each race. The handle today was $20,100. Dresden’s total handle this season is $201,211, an average of $22,356. TRACK TIDBITS…Donnie Rankin Jr. and Joe Santarossa combined on a driving/training double Sunday as Rankin drove the Santarossa trained entries Must Be Paige and On Cloud Nine to victory…Must Be Paige is a full sister to On Cloud Nine…both sired by Badlands Hanover and out of the Camluck mare Bev's Raindrop…Goldies Bad Bad Girl is a half brother to Must Be Paige and On Cloud Nine...The two-year-old filly is sired by Badlands Hanover and out of the Camluck mare Goldies Cam...The number one horse won five races today at Dresden Raceway…Eight of 10 winners today at Dresden Raceway went wire-to-wire…The fastest mile of the day was the first race as Keson's Reign paced the mile in 1:58.3 for Scott Wray…The largest payout of the day was the 10th race triactor as the 3-4-1 combination paid $1,745.60. by Gary Patterson for Dresden Raceway
Eight $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots contests for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers were staged on Sunday night (August 24) at Georgian Downs, and the last of those eight splits saw a new track record of 1:52.2 turned in by Seaforth. Driven by Mike Saftic, Seaforth was up to grab the lead away from Pan Street USA (Randy Waples) after the :27.2 opening quarter. From there, Seaforth hit the half in :56 and the three-quarters in 1:23.4 before he paced a final quarter in :28.3 to seal the win and the record. Pan Street USA held second, beaten just over a length by the winner, and Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair) finished third. The clocking lowered the previous rookie gelding pace record of 1:53.1 set earlier this year by Southwind Indy, and also is better than Sportskeeper’s colt record of 1:52.3 by a fifth of a second. Eric Adams trains Seaforth, a No Pan Intended gelding, for owner/breeder Millar Farms of Newmarket, Ont. This was Seaforth’s second win from six starts and he has now earned $38,260. He’s the first foal out of the Western Hanover mare Chocolate Truffle, a half-sister to five six-figure earners, including multi-time Grassroots winner Rare Copy (Grinfromeartoear, $158,213). Driver Paul MacDonell also enjoyed a fine trip to Georgian Downs as he racked up three Grassroots wins, including a pair for trainer Jack Darling. Darling and MacDonell connected for the first time in the sixth flight withMoonwards Hanover (1:54) and then came right back in the next dash with York Seelster (1:54). MacDonell also prevailed in the fifth division with Pair Of Deuces (1:54.1). Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ont. owns both Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter, and York Seelster, a Mach Three gelding. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who broke his maiden in his fourth try and pushed his bankroll to $21,500, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. York Seelster, bred by Seelster Farms Inc. and sold for $55,000 at the 2013 Forest City Yearling Sale, is now one-for-five in the win column to go with earnings of $24,900. The fourth foal out of the Artsplace mare Yankee Athena, York Seelster is a half-brother to Yoselin Seelster (Shadow Play, $109,432), an OSS Gold winner last season for two-year-old pacing fillies. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Pair Of Deuces, MacDonell’s other winner, for owner/breeder Pinske Stables of Plato, Minnesota. The Badlands Hanover colt is now a two-time winner from five trips behind the gate and he has stashed away $19,500. He’s the first foal out of the Pinske’s Dragon Again mare Pacific Dragonette, a sister to horses like Doubleshotascotch ($683,773). In other action Jeb (Phil Hudon, 1:54.3) and Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples, 1:54.2) both posted their second victories in Grassroots competition this season. Jeb, a colt by Camluck, is trained by James “Friday” Dean for owners Wilma and James MacKenzie of Ennismore, Ont. Jeb, who has banked $26,160 to go with his pair of wins, was bred by Seawind Amg Stbs 2005 Inc. and was taken out of the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale for $22,000. He’s the second foal out of the Western Hanover mare Keystone Treasure, a half-sister to a pair of former OSS standouts in Invitro (Camluck, $2,383,597) and Bigtime Ball (Camluck, $1,625,073). Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his second win from five attempts and pushed his bankroll to $27,660, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ont. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. The other Grassroots winners on Sunday night were: --Midnight Play (Shadow Play), a 1:54.2 maiden-breaking winner for driver Jonathan Drury, trainer Bill Cass, and owner John Craig of North York, Ont. Bred by Winbak Farm, he was sold for $72,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Midnight Play’s dam Midnight Art (Artsplace) is a half-sister to the likes of Manchine ($257,361). --Fightmaster (Art Colony, 1:55). He also won for the first time in his career with James MacDonald at the controls for trainer Ben Baillargeon and owners Jack Quinn and Michael McGuigan of Charlottetown, P.E.I. Fightmaster was bred by Charlotte Ranch and Caneast Standards Inc. and fetched $24,000 at the 2013 Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale. His dam is the Bo Knows Jate mare Ardor Chymes ($497,707), a multiple-time OSS winner in her racing career. The two-year-old male pacers of the OSS Grassroots will be back in action next Sunday afternoon (August 31) at Clinton Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
The harness racing driver-trainer combination of Randy Waples and Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh connected for victories in two of the seven $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots events for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers on Friday night (August 15) at Mohawk Racetrack. Their first winner was Big Moment, a colt by Camluck who just got up near the wire after a second-over trip to take the fourth Grassroots split by a neck in 1:55.1. Pan Street USA (Steve Condren) had taken the lead in the lane after a two-hole trip but just fell short at the finish, and heavy favourite Seaforth (Mike Saftic), the leader at the top of the stretch, had to settle for third. Big Moment Big Moment, also a winner in Grassroots competition on July 21 at Grand River Raceway, is now three-for-five in the win column overall with earnings of $26,160 for McIntosh, who also bred the colt with C S X Stables. McIntosh’s stable of Windsor, Ontario, and partner Max Newham of Merlin, Ontario, own Big Moment, the fourth foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Breathtacular. Breathtacular is related to two six-figure earners in Breathdefying and Lucky Encounter. Waples and McIntosh came right back to annex the fifth division with Thinkofagameplan. He moved to the lead before the :56.4 half, put away a first-over try from Supersonic Jet (Paul MacDonell) before the 1:25.2 three-quarters, and then paced a :28.4 final kicker to win by a length and a quarter in 1:54.1, which was the fastest of the seven Grassroots sections. Red Pine (Jody Jamieson) was up for second and Mac Raider (Mike Saftic) finished third. Thinkofagameplan Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his first win in four attempts and pushed his bankroll to $18,660, is a homebred for McIntosh and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. The excellent first season for sire Sportswriter also continued as he picked up two more victories. Sportsmanship was a 1:54.3 winner for driver Jody Jamieson in the third Grassroots flight, and Sports Lightning grabbed top honours in the six split, stopping the clock in 1:55.4 for driver Mike Saftic. Sportsmanship was sent out by trainer Dave Menary for the ownership group of Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Denis Breton of Welland, Tom Kyron of Toronto, and Parkinson Farms of Lucan, Ontario. Parkinson Farms also bred Sportsmanship, who broke his maiden in his fourth trip behind the gate. Now an earner of $12,500, Sportsmanship is the second foal out of the D M Dilinger mare Lady D M ($634,732), a two-time Ontario Sires Stakes Gold final winner. Sportsmanship Sports Lightning posted his second victory from four starts for co-owner/trainer Alvin Bowman of Markdale, Ontario. He shares ownership with Robert Nobes of Stayner, Ontario, Veral Robert Bowman of Deerfield Beach, Florida, and Donald Warden of Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Sports Lightning, who has now put away $19,600 for his connections, is the sixth foal out of the Camluck mare Cohenikova. Sports Lightning Also winning in Grassroots action tonight were: Mybestolxfriendray (Cheyenne Rei-Baywatch-Keystone Raider), a 1:56.1 victor for driver Phil Hudon, trainer Kevin St. Charles, and owner Dr. Andrew Roberts of Lexington, Kentucky. The winner was bred by Bonley Farm Inc. Mybestolxfriendray Pair Of Deuces (Badlands Hanover-Pacific Dragonette-Dragon Again), who halted the clock in 1:55.3 for driver Rick Zeron, trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman, and owner/breeder Pinske Stables of Plato, Minnesota. Pair Of Deuces Twin B Scandal (Mach Three-Twin B Intrigue-McArdle), who tallied in 1:56.1 for co-owner/trainer/driver Joe Hudon of Acton and R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, Ontario. The dam of Twin B Scandal is out of Daylon Magic, who won 18 times in Ontario Sires Stakes competition between her two- and three-year-old seasons. Twin B Scandal was bred by Twinbrook Limited and James Kirk. Twin B Scandal The next Grassroots test for the rookie pacing colts and geldings is on August 24 at Georgian Downs. For full results of Friday night’s events at Mohawk, please click here. Ontario Sire Stakes
Rookie colts, trotters and pacers, will star in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots harness racing action over the next two nights at Mohawk Racetrack and Georgian Downs. On Friday night Mohawk will host the pacing colts and the following night the action shifts for Georgian for the trotting rookies. A total of seven $18,000 divisions for the freshman pacers are slated for Friday night. This is the third Grassroots of the season for this group and two of the starters are looking to remain undefeated in this division as they come in riding two race winning streaks. Single White Sock has been victorious in both previous Grassroots tests, at Mohawk and Grand River, winning his first lifetime OSS outing by more than six lengths in 1:56.2 early last month. He followed that up with a 1:56 two length score in the next event and will attempt the hat trick from post nine in race nine, the sixth OSS test of the night. Barry Treen trains the son of Badlands Hanover for Len Gamble of Etobicoke, Ontario who purchased him for $24,000 at the Canadian Classic Sale. Bred by Tanya Prescott of Southwold, Ontario, the colt is a half-brother to $1.1 million winner Ramegade Bruiser. The only other colt two for two in the OSS thus far entered in Friday’s tilts is Half A Billion who has drawn post three in the seventh and final division, race 11. Mike Saftic will be back at the lines behind the Sportswriter colt trained by Marcel Barrieau for breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable of Quebec. Half A Billion’s only career starts have both come in the OSS and resulted in wins in 1:54.3 at Mohawk and 1:57.3 over Grand River’s half-mile oval. Their contemporaries, the rookie trotting colts, have seen more action so far this season as Saturday’s outing marks their fifth Grassroots event. The colt with the best OSS record to date competing at Georgian is Mandeville who has two wins and a second on his OSS resume thus far. His only off the board finish came on July 20 when he made a break. Trainer Wayne Langille of Harley, Ontario co-owns the son of Majestic Son with Brett Burleigh of Paris, Ontario. Mandeville has drawn post two in race six. Alongside him in post three is Top Dollar, a half-brother to Snow White, a very talented rookie trotter back in 2007 who made $1.4 million from just 19 lifetime starts. Well known New York horseman Ray Schnittker and the Top Dollar Stable co-own the colt who finished third in his Grassroots test on August 8 at Mohawk after starting in the Gold division initially. Mohawk’s Friday night card kicks off at 7:25 p.m. with the pacing colts featured in races one, two, five, seven, eight, nine and 11 while Georgian’s first post is 7:15 p.m. the following evening featuring the OSS boys in races one, two, three, five, six and eight. The full program for each is available through these links Mohawk Entries - August 15. Georgian Entries - August 16.
The weekly ring around of the leading harness racing drivers in New Zealand always throws up the odd rough dividend but few have ever matched the price that Franco Theron paid at Forbury this evening (August 14th). A recent addition to the Jonny Cox and Amber Hoffman barn after a handful of starts for John Hay, Franco Theron was the horse nominated by Jonny Cox as his best chance of a win in this weeks ring around. For whatever reason punters ignored the tip from the trainer/driver and sent Franco Theron out the seventh favourite in an eleven horse field. Away fifth in the 2200 meters standing start, Jonny Cox slotted him into the one out one back position after 600 meters and thats where he stayed until 500 meters from home where he was sent forward to challenge the leader Spencer Gore. These two drew away to fight it out with Franco Theron holding a neck advantage at the line. The $18.50 win dividend and 3.90 place dividend are as good as it gets for ring around selections. Franco Theron paced the 2200 meters from a stand in winter conditions on a slushy track in 2:57.2 with closing sectionals of 60.3 and 29.2. Franco Theron as the name suggests is a Nevele R product being by Badlands Hanover out of the Live Or Die mare Tarania Franco who was a full sister to the outstanding racemare Lady Toddy 1:57.7 ($176,002) A full sister to Lady Toddy in Tellalie is the dam of Courage Tells ($118,221) and the family has had a great last twenty years in Australasia. There was plenty of merit in Franco Theron's win tonight and it certainly won't be his last. Harnesslink Media
Headlining Mohawk Racetrack’s Monday night (August 11) harness racing program were six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series events for two-year-old pacing fillies, and while she wasn’t the swiftest winner, Wicked Speed’s win in the fifth flight pushed her record to a perfect three-for-three with two of those victories coming in Grassroots action. With Scott Young handling the driving assignment for his father, trainer Bob Young, Wicked Speed came first-over in the final half and wore down leader Marachere (Jody Jamieson) late in the mile to win by half a length in 1:57.4. Fiftyshadesofbay (Rick Zeron) finished third in the race, which was conducted over a track rated good and a second off due to rainy conditions. Bob Young of Guelph, Ontario, also co-owns the victorious daughter of Mach Three with partner Status Stables Inc. of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Wicked Speed, who also won in Grassroots action at Clinton Raceway on July 20 and has now earned $20,000, was bred by GBW Breeding Farms Inc. and was purchased for $10,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Wicked Speed’s dam is the Western Hanover mare Pannie Oakley ($106,925). Sassafras Girl (Phil Hudon) also picked up her second win in Grassroots competition after grabbing a 1:57 triumph in the nightcap. She was in front through fractions of :28.1, :58.4, and 1:28 before she splashed home in 29 seconds to win by two and a half lengths over Little Miss Artist (Mike Saftic). OK Hallelujah (Sylvain Filion) claimed third. Murray Brethour trains Sassafras Girl, a Badlands Hanover filly, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sassafras Girl, who is now three-for-six overall and has banked $21,380, was bred by Winbak Farm. She’s out of the Die Laughing mare Tug River Della ($219,395) and a half-sister to the likes of Rub N Tug ($433,999). Before the rain visited Mohawk, Ride Away Shark (Jody Jamieson) was an impressive 1:53 winner in the third Grassroots contest. She moved from fifth to first on the way to the 57 second half and didn’t look back on her way to a three length decision over Solar Sister (Doug McNair). Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion) collected third. Ride Away Shark, another Winbak Farm-bred filly, has a pair of victories from five attempts and has put away $18,280 for trainer Scott McNiven and owners Kim McNiven of Putnam and Thomas Brodhurst of London, Ontario. Those connections took Ride Away Shark, a daughter of Classic Card Shark, out of last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale for $7,000. She’s the first foal out of the Dream Away mare Freedom Away. Double Creme was an OSS winner as a two-year-old filly, and her daughter is now too as OK Heavenly (Doug McNair) won the Grassroots opener by two and a quarter lengths in 1:55. Chase The Shadows (Jody Jamieson) was next in that dash, followed by Maralika (Chris Christoforou). Mark Steacy trains OK Heavenly, a daughter of Sportswriter, for co-owner/breeder Oak Knoll Stables of Campbellcroft, Ontario, Conrad Leber of Montreal, Quebec, Richard Karper of Saint-Laurent, Quebec, and Wheelhouse Racing Stable of Mississauga, Ontario. It was OK Heavenly’s first win from four trips behind the gate, and she has now banked $12,600. Her dam, who earned $415,049 in her career, has already produced multi-time OSS winner OK Boromir (No Pan Intended, $569,884) and OK Commander ($612,304). Also winning in OSS competition on Monday night were: --Lady Jen (Royal Mattjesty-Ladyjack-Cams Card Shark), who tallied in 1:55.4 for driver Sylvain Filion, trainer Scott McEneny, and owner Hutt Racing Stable. She was also the third winner for breeder Winbak Farm. --Southwind Luna (Sportswriter-Lil Presto Hanover-The Panderosa), who clicked in 1:55.3 for driver Billy Davis Jr., trainer Otis Hall, and owner Nasussito Racing Inc. of Ayr, Ontario. Bred by Southwind Farm, Southwind Luna is the first foal out of her dam, who is a half-sister to the likes of $2.6 million earner McArdle. The next Grassroots event for rookie pacing fillies is on August 23 at Georgian Downs. For full results and charts of Monday night’s events Ontario Sire Stakes .
Charlottetown PE- The much anticipated 55th running of the Gold Cup and Saucer will become a little more clear after Saturday night's race card at Red Shores Charlottetown. the 12-dash card gets started at 7 p.m. The Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer trial 1 will go in the evening finale race 12. Five of the six starters in Trial 1 have lifetime records better than 1:50. The connections of the 54th Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer winner are back to defend their title Saturday night. Trainer Ron Burke and driver Marc Campbell will install their hopes in Post 5 starter Aracache Hanover. Listed as the morning line choice, Aracache Hanover comes in showing blistering gate speed that is sure to be a factor in the compact field of six. The seven-year-old son of Dragon Again is owned by William Switala and James Martin. He is the richest starter of this year's Gold Cup entries with over $1.7 million in career earnings. A first time starter for trainer Rene Allard, Bigtown Hero, has drawn post 3. Now owned by Allard Racing and Yves Sarrazin of Quebec the son of American Ideal took his lifetime mark of 1:48.3 in his last start for trainer Trevor Stafford. Gilles Barrieau will handle the driving duties. Allard has two entries in trial 1 with his other entry right next door from post 4, Island Jet. Island native Robert Shepherd will be home to do the driving. Trainer Chris Oakes will make his training debut on red soil from post 2 when he sends out Shock It To Em for owners Hauser Bros Racing, Susan Oakes, Timothy Cable and Charles Oakes. Islander Walter Cheverie has been given the opportunity to drive. Shock It To Em finished fourth in his last start at Yonkers (half-mile) pacing his own mile in 1:52.2. The all important rail position on a half-mile track goes to the only Maritime starter in this year's field Astor. He is owned by one of Red Shores leading owners Foxyhall Racing and trained and driven by Red Shores' Charlottetown's top driver and trainer Jason Hughes. The outside post 6 has gone to the only starter from last year's Gold Cup and Saucer Up The Credit. The winner of over $1.3 million in career earnings will look to overcome the outside post for owners Thomas Kyron, Joanne Morrison and trainer Carl Jamieson. Jamieson is a former Gold Cup and Saucer winner, but will hand the lines over to Truro native Ryan Ellis. The second leg of the Spud Island Classic Series for Open Mares sponsored by the PEI Potato Board, starts in Race 6 with three divisions to line up behind the Metro Building Supplies starting gate. For All We Know will look to get back to her winning ways from post 4. Last week in the first leg she seen her three race win streak come to an end finishing second to Russian Kisses. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover is owned by Bruce Wood. The Lobsterfest champion has paced he last three miles in 1:56 and change for the trainer - driver combo of Jackie Matheson and Barrieau. Last years princess of the Maritimes Ramblinglily will try her luck with the aged mares again. Absent from the first leg the four-year-old daughter of Articulator has picked up back-to-back victories for co-owners Allan Jones and Normand Leger. She'll reunite with her regular pilot Brodie MacPhee. Last season the duo enjoyed a near $60,000 year in earnings. 'Lily' has drawn post 3. Last years Spud Island Classic Champion, Dirt Track Momma has drawn the rail for Campbell and Moase. Ultimate Faith has drawn post 5 after her victory last week, Ryan Ellis will drive as the mare looks to pick up her fifth victory in sicx starts. Keystone Nobility and Bunny Mach round out the field. Last weeks show stealer and newcomer Russian Kisses will line up in the second division, Race 8, making her second start on red soil the daughter of Badlands Hanover will look to make it two-in-a-row after taking her first leg in 1:55. She is owned by Robert Shepherd, Joe Travis and Forrest Richards, Robert has handed the training duties over to his father Harold for her stay on P.E.I. and brother Steven will do the driving again this week. Firstclassflight, Veronicavermillion, There Paid For, Silky Britches, Brodys Leona and Miracleonthehudson complete the field. Stayoutofmyaffair draws the rail in the third and final division in Race 10. A going away winner in her last start by 11 and a half lengths in 1:55.1, trainer - driver Jason Hughes will look for some of that same momentum again this week. Owned by Robi Hughes, the defending Atlantic Aged Mare champion has five victories this season. Scotian Lass, Icandothat, General Luckypercy, J K Special, Dreaming and Andro Madi round out the competition. The race 11 feature will be the Ocean 100 pace. Eagle Jolt has been installed as the morning line favourite for owners Wilbur MacDonald and Marie Macdonald. The seven-year-old has two consecutive miles in 1:56 and change. Campbell, who is sponsored by Ocean 100 in the Drive For Charity will do the driving and the crew from Ocean 100 is sure to be pulling for the win. For each of Campbell's driving victories at Red Shores' properties Ocean 100 will donate $25 to the Olivia Ruth MacLeod memorial award. Bo Ford