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Rural Guelph residents Gregg and Doug McNair had another outstanding afternoon during their local oval's annual showcase of harness racing. The father-son duo - the top trainer and driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program in 2014 - took four horses to Grand River Raceway on Monday for the 25th Industry Day program and went home with three wins and one third. Kicking off Team McNair's impressive afternoon was three-year-old pacing filly Solar Sister, who captured the first $105,000 Gold Series division in 1:53.2, just one-fifth of a second off the track record. Starting from Post 1 the Mach Three filly and driver Doug McNair took command of the race just past the :26.3 opening quarter and carried on to a :54.4 half and a 1:24 three-quarters before hitting the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Wrangler Magic. Stonebridge Quest finished two and one-half lengths back of the favourites in third. "She drew good and took advantage of it," said Gregg McNair, who conditions Solar Sister for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. "It was a big mile. We had a lot of rain around here yesterday so the track, it's good now, but it'll likely even get faster by the end of the day." "They done a good job, this morning I was up here and it had a few ruts in it," he added. "They did quite a bit of work." The win was Solar Sister's third in Gold Series action this season, giving her a perfect 150 points and top spot in the division standings. Through nine sophomore starts the filly boasts a record of six wins and one third for earnings of $325,362. In addition to her Gold Series trophies she also captured the SBOA Stake Final at Mohawk Racetrack on May 30 and finished third in the Fan Hanover Final at Mohawk on June 20. Doug and Gregg McNair returned to the Grand River Raceway winner's circle one race later, with two-year-old pacing filly Stonebridge Pearl, who sprinted down the stretch to a 1:57.3 score in the Battle Of The Belles Consolation. Doug McNair and the Mach Three daughter, who is a Gold Series regular, bested Miss Babe Delight and favourite Twin B Virtue by a length. Gregg McNair trains Stonebridge Pearl for his partners Terry and Jake Davidson of Walkerton, ON. Five-year-old trotting gelding Buddy Hally, who was a Grassroots Champion at two and a Gold Series Consolation winner at three, was the next horse out of the McNair barn and he posted a third-place result in the Doug Gamsby Memorial Trot, behind 1:58.2 winner Extracurricular and Stormont Kate. Gregg McNair shares ownership of Buddy Hally with Howmac Farms Ltd. of North Wiltshire, PEI, Reginald MacPherson of Stratford, PEI and Wayne MacRae of Fall River, NS. The McNair's capped off their spectacular afternoon by capturing their third Battle Of Waterloo title with Magnum J, who rocketed away from Post 7 and around the half-mile oval to a 1:55.3 victory. Stonebridge Beach closed hard to finish one-half length back in second and Carolina Hurricane rounded out the top three. From the first crop of Ontario stallion Big Jim, Gold Series regular Magnum J is owned by Gregg McNair and Tony Lawrence and William Brown of Hanover, ON. The other Gold Series division went to Ms Mac N Cheese and driver Sylvain Filion. The fan favourites landed in second spot from Post 4 and stalked pacesetter Sports Chic through fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:26 before sprinting up the inside in the stretch to a 1:55.3 triumph. Sports Chic settled for second, one length behind the winner, and Ride Away Shark completed the top three. "I really thought I could maybe cut it out but I could see that Jody wanted to cut it out," said Filion. "I didn't mind the two-hole, and she just responded great. "She's pretty much a push-button filly," added the Milton, ON resident. "She showed today she was real good." Filion engineered Ms Mac N Cheese's second Gold Series win for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owner David Ratchford of North Sydney, NS. The Badlands Hanover daughter currently sits second in the division standings with 125 points from two wins and one second in three Gold Series starts. Second by a neck to Solar Sister in the SBOA Stake Final, Ms Mac N Cheese boasts a record of five wins, two seconds and one third in eight starts for earnings of $210,805. The three-year-old pacing fillies make their fourth Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 27. Rounding out the stakes action on the 25th anniversary Industry Day program was the Battle Of The Belles, which went home with driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary for the second time since its inception in 2009. Moffat, ON resident Jamieson piloted Badlands Hanover daughter Free Show to an effortless 1:56.3 score over Betty Hill and Golden Idol for Cambridge, ON resident Menary and owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on Friday, Aug. 14 with the fourth Gold Series event for the two-year-old trotting colts. August 14 is Ontario Sires Stakes Fan Celebration night at the Elora oval and fans can dress up in the likeness of one of the freshman trotting colt's names for a shot at $500 in prizes, or receive an OSS t-shirt autographed by some of the province's top sires and racehorses. Ontario Horse Racing

Louisville, KY ---He is not a loaded gun. He is, however, a 2-year-old colt that paced in 1:53.4h in his third lifetime start for a seasonal Canadian record. Therefore, harness racing trainer Tony O’Sullivan is thrilled with the potential that Semi Automatic possesses. Especially since this guy did not stand out training down. “Eric Cherry was responsible for the deal that brought him to us,” said O’Sullivan. “I have trained some horses for him before and he asked if I was willing to take a chance on this one. He was purchased privately because he was a smallish individual and not a horse that was one for the sales. He was sound all winter but had a lot of health problems. He didn’t really come around until February and then he just blossomed the more we trained him.” The son of Badlands Hanover and the D M Dilinger mare Topgun Lady, who is owned by Cherry's Let It Ride Stables, O’Sullivan and J&T Silva Stables, will take aim on his opponents in the C$227,397 Battle of Waterloo final at Grand River Raceway on Monday (Aug. 3) in the 11th and last race on the card. Unfortunately, his triumph in his elimination did not carry enough weight to have his nose on the gate. Semi Automatic will trail the field from post nine with James MacDonald steering him for the mile. “He has only three starts and has improved with each one,” O’Sullivan said. “It was like something changed in him when he qualified. Like he knew what he was supposed to do and enjoyed it.” Although he wasn’t exactly the best looking colt or the most physically gifted, Semi Automatic, with a record of 3-1-1-1 and just under $30,000 in the bank, has the pedigree to be any kind of horse. His dam never made it past a qualifying race, but his granddam, the Albatross mare Keystone Trinidad, earned $181,787 on the racetrack and produced Invitro (by Camluck) p,4,1:50s ($1,983,077) and Bigtime Ball (by Presidential Ball) p,5,1:48.2s ($1,558,519). “He definitely has the pedigree to be a nice horse,” O’Sullivan said. “But he also has such a nice mind. He is so willing. He wears no boots or headpoles and still came home his last quarters in his first two races in :26.2. His second race he even had the nine hole and still raced very well.” Semi Automatic was third and second in his two qualifying races on June 27 and July 4 at Mohawk Racetrack. In his career debut on July 11 over the same surface he was again a bridesmaid in a $55,300 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold contest. His second start, in an $80,850 Sires Stakes Gold engagement on July 18, was a third place finish after an outside trip. In his Battle of Waterloo elimination, which was his third trip to the post, the colt showed he had plenty of ammunition in reserve. O’Sullivan was concerned as he watched the race unfold and was fearful of how his horse would finish. “(A time of) 1:53.4 is a serious mile for any horse on a half-(mile track) let alone a 2-year-old,” he said. “I saw those fractions when he went to the front and was very nervous. He had never shown gate speed. I knew he had it because he is an easy horse and doesn’t show everything, we just had not seen it yet, but he had never been on the front before. I was not sure he was that kind of horse to be able to do it cutting out the mile. James (MacDonald) said after the race was over he did it well within himself. He never even realized he was going that fast.” Despite his obvious prowess during the latter stages of his fledging career, Semi Automatic will only compete in Ontario Sires Stakes contests throughout 2015. “Because he was sick so often and small we did not stake him to anything other than those races,” O’Sullivan said. “It was also a significant amount to make him eligible because payments were not made on him when he was a weanling. There is plenty of money to be made in these events and if we decide we want to supplement him to other races we always can. It depends on him. “I did take note of how he looked after his race last week. He’s not a flashy horse, but he is well put together. All his parts are in the right places and it looks like he could be a really nice horse. Anything in this business is a risk and Eric asked me if I was willing to take a chance on him. This is one occasion where the risk was worth the reward.” Below is the field, with drivers, trainers and morning line, for the Battle of Waterloo final. C$227,397 Battle of Waterloo Horse-Driver-Trainer 1. Think On It by Ponder - John Campbell-Robert McIntosh-9-2 2. Stonebridge Beach by Mach Three - Stephane Pouliot-Stephane Larocque-8-1 3. A Bettors Risk by Bettor's Delight - Jonathan Drury-Casie Coleman-5-1 4. Carolina Hurricane by Sportswriter - Sylvain Filion-Ronald Adams-12-1 5. Continual Hanover by Bettor's Delight - Mike Saftic-Jack Darling-15-1 6. Imsporty by Sportswriter - Jody Jamieson-Carl Jamieson-3-1 7. Magnum J by Big Jim - Doug McNair-Gregg McNair-5-2 8. Chalk Player by Camluck - Bob McClure-Jeffrey Gillis-20-1 9. Semi Automatic by Badlands Hanover - James MacDonald-Tony O’Sullivan-8-5 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Elimination races for Grand River Raceway's 25th annual harness racing Industry Day event (on Monday, August 3) were contested during five elimination rounds this evening, July 27. BATTLE OF THE BELLES Three elimination divisions of the Battle Of The Belles (for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing fillies) were carded as races one, three and six. The top three finishers from each division advance to the $141,246 final of the 7th annual Battle Of The Belles on August 3. Tempus Seelster took home the first win of the elimination card and secured herself a spot in the $141,246 final of the 7th edition of the Battle of the Belles. The 1:56.1 score in the first division marked the Big Jim filly's maiden win. Trainer/driver Travis Henry piloted the filly for owners Benbar Stables, Glen Wark and Craig Wood. Henry and Tempus Seelster will leave from the trailing position in the final. Doug McNair and Sports Expert followed by a half-length to finish second for trainer Blake MacIntosh. Heavenly Bet was third, securing a spot in the final for trainer Des Tackoor. The second Belles elimination was stolen by Jody Jamieson and Free Show. The David Menary trainee challenged Bold Amoretto for the lead after Noone To Depend On and Radar Trap both broke stride around the first turn. Jamieson cut the entire mile for a length victory in 1:55.4 over Paul Mackenzie and Bold Amoretto. Blake Macintosh will have two hopefuls in the Belles final after McNair and Mattjestic Tempo left early and secured a four-length victory in the third and final Belles elimination. McNair and Mattjestic Tempo stopped the clock at 1:55.2 with James MacDonald and Golden Idol finishing second. Im In Luv and Jody Jamieson were third. Golden Idol will leave from the coveted rail position in the final for trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Cambridge, ON. O'Sullivan and MacDonald (of Guelph, ON) teamed up last year with Golden Idol's full sister, Win the Gold, and captured the Battle of the Belles final. BATTLE OF WATERLOO Two elimination divisions of the Battle Of Waterloo (for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing colts) were carded as races two and seven. The top four finishers from each division, plus one of the two fifth-place finishers (as determined by draw) advance to the $207,397 final of the 18th annual Battle Of Waterloo on August 3. O'Sullivan and MacDonald were back in action for the first of two Battle of Waterloo eliminations which saw a Canadian season's record set by Semi Automatic. The Badlands Hanover colt left from the two-hole and put in some work to reach the top after the rail horse, Think On It, broke stride off the gate. MacDonald took two seconds off the current Canadian season record when he stopped the clock at 1:53.4. Semi Automatic will trail the field (post 9) in the $207,397 Battle of Waterloo final. Think On It managed to come back and finish fifth for trainer/co-owner Robert McIntosh. The good fortune continued when the homebred son of Ponder drew the coveted rail position for the final. Imsporty and Carolina Hurricane were second and third respectively. Doug McNair and Magnum J captured the second and final elimination for the Battle of Waterloo. McNair steered the Gregg McNair conditioned colt around the seven horse, Chalk Player, at the first quarter to take the lead. The pair stayed on top for the remainder of the mile and crossed the finish line two lengths ahead of Chalk Player and Bob McClure. The seventh annual Battle of the Belles and 18th annual Battle of Waterloo will be contested during Industry Day's 25th anniversary card at Grand River Raceway on Monday, August 3. Post time for race one is 1:30 p.m. For complete event details, visit www.IndustryDayCelebration.com Post position draws for both stake races were conducted on July 27. The following are the fields for the finals on Industry Day: POST POSITIONS FOR THE $207,397 BATTLE OF WATERLOO HORSE             DRIVER             TRAINER 1. Think On It   John Campbell   Robert McIntosh   2. Stonebridge Beach   Stephane Pouliot   Stephane Larocque   3. A Bettors Risk   Jonathan Drury   Casie Coleman   4. Carolina Hurricane   Sylvain Filion   Ronald Adams   5. Continual Hanover   Michael Saftic  John Darling   6. Imsporty   Jody Jamieson  Carl Jamieson   7. Magnum J   Doug McNair   Gregg McNair   8. Chalk Player Bob McClure   Jeffrey Gillis   9. Semi Automatic   James MacDonald   Tony O'Sullivan     POST POSITIONS FOR THE $141,246 BATTLE OF THE BELLES   HORSE                  DRIVER                 TRAINER 1. Golden Idol   James MacDonald   Tony O'Sullivan   2. Mattjestic Tempo   Doug McNair   Blake MacIntosh   3. Im In Luv   Jody Jamieson   Carl Jamieson   4. Free Show  Jody Jamieson   David Menary   5. Betty Hill   Jonathan Drury   Carmen Auciello   6. Sports Expert   Doug McNaIr   Blake MacIntosh   7. Heavenly Bet   Jody Jamieson   Des Tackoor   8. Bold Amoretto   Paul Mackenzie   Ian Moore   9. Tempus Seelster   Travis Henry   Travis Henry   Kelly Spencer

From humble beginnings to this year’s silver anniversary blowout, Grand River Raceway’s premier event has become one of the great days on the Canadian racing calendar. It began on a meagre budget as a way to help a struggling racetrack build an identity. Twenty-five years later, Industry Day has grown into one of the best events on the Canadian horse-racing calendar. The annual fete that has been instrumental in helping put Grand River Raceway on the map. On Monday, Aug. 3, the Elora, Ont. track will mark the silver anniversary of Industry Day, a celebration of the business of harness racing that began in 1990 at the track’s predecessor, Elmira Raceway. Dr. Ted Clarke, general manager of Grand River Raceway, said Industry Day was the brainchild of the late Ken Middleton, Sr., Elmira Raceway’s former race secretary, who “was instrumental in those early discussions.” At the time, Elmira Raceway was just three years removed from shutting down because it didn’t have enough money to operate. Clarke said Industry Day would never have happened without what was then a controversial decision in January of 1990 to begin taking the simulcast signal for one race program a week from Greenwood Raceway in Toronto. “It was the first time there had been common pool wagering in the province,” Clarke said. “Greenwood sent its signal in January on Saturday afternoons. We only ran one program a week, but it was extremely successful and it changed the menu that was before us, so to speak. We had to opportunity to take some of the revenue gained from that and try to do things that would build the success of that operation. So, one of the things that came up was, ‘We really need a day that identifies Elmira Raceway that can be that signature event.’” Clarke said Industry Day, “started with a cost structure that wasn’t too extravagant but depended, largely, on people who volunteered their activities.” Early Industry Days featured well-attended seminars on a variety of important industry topics. Clarke remembers breeder Jack McNiven of Killean Acres giving a talk on how to prepare yearlings for the auction ring. Trainer Doug Arthur spoke about selecting yearlings at a sale. “At that time many people hadn’t spent a lot of time associating with the best practices of the industry. In some cases, if you had a bit of an advantage in your ability to select a yearling over somebody else, it wasn’t exactly knowledge that you might willingly share, because it was your advantage. So, we sort of went out on a limb a little bit and had, what I thought were pretty good, semi-educational seminars and certainly knowledge sharing,” Clarke said. In 1998, Elmira Raceway launched the Battle of Waterloo, and added it to the Industry Day celebration. The track’s marquee stakes race proved to be an instant hit. It’s estimated 8,000 people were at Industry Day that year to see Distinctiv Seelster and trainer/driver Carl Jamieson win the inaugural Battle. The race for two-year-old Ontario-sired pacing colts will have its 18th edition on Aug. 3, along with a companion race for two-year-old Ontario-sired pacing fillies called the Battle of the Belles that was added to Industry Day in 2009. Clarke said Industry Day even had an influence on the design of Grand River Raceway, which opened in 2003. “As part of the design, there was a lot of topsoil on this site that had to be stripped when we started into the redevelopment. Rather than truck it away, we simply piled it in piles around the track and created the berms on which people now can sit and watch the races. It was, again, making use of what we had and it created a circumstance that at least for that day is the right venue,” said Clarke, who was also a proponent of keeping Grand River a smaller, half-mile oval like Elmira Raceway that is more fan friendly. In time, the seminars faded from the lineup and the Battle of Waterloo and Battle of the Belles became the main attraction to Industry Day, which has always been an afternoon card held on the Civic Holiday Monday in August. Over time, Industry Day became a family friendly day complete with a long list of activities for kids, which has proven especially popular in recent years since the Grand River Agricultural Society that owns and operates the track no longer holds a fall fair. This year, Industry Day will feature the usual face painting, balloon artists, bouncy castles and pony rides for the kids and two backstretch beer tents for the adults. Kelly Spencer, Grand River’s manager of marketing and communications, has a range of fun activities and special giveaways planned to celebrate the 25th anniversary, including $5,000 in prizes such as Callaway Golf Clubs, Kate Spade and Tony Burch purses, a barbecue and a lawn mower. This year will also mark the 11th edition of the popular Bouncy Pony Stakes where trainers and drivers race each other by bouncing down the track on inflatable ponies. Eliminations for the two Battle races, will be held the evening of Monday, July 27, with two eliminations needed to determine the eight finalists for the $207,397 final of the Battle of Waterloo and three required to whittle the field to eight for the $140,246 final of the Battle of the Belles. Post time is 1:30 p.m. for the 12-race Industry Day card that also features Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series legs for three-year-old pacing fillies and a Racing Under Saddle event. Clarke, who was part of the management team in 1990 at Elmira Raceway when Industry Day started, said he can’t believe how much the harness racing industry has changed in a quarter century. Twenty-five years ago, even beaming in one card of racing a week from another track was considered controversial. Today, patrons can easily wager on horse racing from around the world by using their smart phones. “I had a birthday yesterday, so I’m aware of the time that’s passed,” Clarke said last week. “The time has gone very quickly and I’m sure everybody else my age would say the same thing. But, it’s been fun.” For more information on Industry Day, please visit: www.grandriverraceway.com Dave Briggs Standardbred Communications Ontario Horse Racing

On Monday night, 17 colts and 25 fillies will vie for a spot on center stage at the harness racing meeting at Grand River Raceway's marquee event, Industry Day. While the 25th anniversary of the horse racing industry celebration is on August 3, finalists in the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles will be decided on July 27, as the Elora, ON track hosts a total of five elimination rounds. BATTLE OF WATERLOO Two elimination divisions of the Battle Of Waterloo (for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing colts) are carded for races two and seven. The top four finishers from each division, plus one of the two fifth-place finishers (as determined by draw) will advance to the $207,397 final of the 18th annual Battle Of Waterloo on August 3. Trainer Bob McIntosh and driver John Campbell won the 2014 Battle Of Waterloo with Go Daddy Go, and look to double-up with Think On It in the first division. The homebred son of Ponder won an Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Grassroots event at Mohawk in 1:54 on July 10. He was fourth a week later in a Gold Series event at the same locale. This will be his first race on a half-mile track and he'll start from post position one. Sizing him up from post two is the Tony O'Sullivan starter Semi Automatic. While still on the hunt for his maiden-breaking win, the Badlands Hanover son has amassed $30,100 with a runner-up and third-place finish in two OSS Gold Series events. James MacDonald will steer. With $44,870 banked in three starts, Carolina Hurricane is the most accomplished earner of the bunch. He'll start from post six for trainer Ron Adams. The Sportswriter gelding was a speedy runner-up in his last two assignments. In race seven, Cambridge, ON trainer Casie Coleman conditions the 2-1 early favourite, A Bettors Risk. The Bettors Delight son made a costly miscue getting away from the gate in his career debut at Mohawk Racetrack on July 17 but made a massive recovery in that mile to finish second. He'll start from the coveted rail position in Monday's second division. To his right, Stonebridge Beach will be on the hunt for his first win in four starts. Stephane Pouliot will drive the pacer for trainer Stephane Larocque. Stonebridge Beach rallied nicely to finish third in an OSS Gold Series event on July 18. The freshman is a Mach Three brother to the late great Art Colony (a winner of $863,000 in 13 races) and commanded a yearling price of $48,000 at the 2014 Forest City Sale. Jimmy Takter hopeful Cruise Patrol will start from post three. The Bettors Delight colt qualified in 1:56.1 over The Meadowlands and finished a close second in his first start at the New Jersey track a few weeks later. He had a rough trip in last week's Canadian debut in the OSS Gold Series at Mohawk Racetrack, but finished fifth just three lengths behind the winner. Cruise Patrol was a $60,000 yearling purchase in Lexington, KY. BATTLE OF THE BELLES Three elimination divisions of the Battle Of The Belles (for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing fillies) are carded for races one, three and six. The top three finishers from each division will advance to the $140,246 final of the 7th annual Battle Of The Belles on August 3. Heavenly Hill is one of five starters in the Belles elims for Cambridge, ON trainer Dave Menary, who won the final in 2012 with Macharoundtheclock. Jody Jamieson will steer Heavenly Hill from the trailing position (post #9) in the first division. The duo finished second in an OSS Grassroots event last week at Georgian Downs, and won the filly's maiden trip in 1:54.2 on July 9 at Mohawk Racetrack. Menary's others hopefuls are: second division starters Free Show - the early favourite and richest of the field with earnings of $35,000 - and OSS Grassroots winner Twin B Virtue starting from outside post #8; third division starters Vermillion Bird (post #3) and outside starter Maniana which was a lapped-on runner-up in last week's OSS Gold Series event. Twenty Three Red is the early favourite from post seven in the first division. The Mach Three miss let a late lead slip away in her most recent OSS Gold Series start and settled for third. Monday will mark her first start in the barn of Cambridge, ON trainer Joe Pereira. Among her competitors, Boozer Bruiser boasts the quickest mile to date with an impressive 1:54.1 clocking in an OSS Grassroots maiden win at Mohawk Racetrack. She was a runner-up last week for trainer Louis Eftimiadis and driver Mike Saftic, who will send her from post #2 on Monday. Bold Amoretto was the winner of last week's OSS Grassroots event in 1:56.1. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, the Big Jim filly was a $52,000 yearling purchase. Her dam, Armbro Amoretto, was Canada's top two-year-old filly in 2002 and winner of $1.6 million during her own illustrious career. Bold Amoretto will start from post four in Monday's second division. Trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Puslinch, ON and driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON won the 2014 edition of the Battle Of The Belles with Win The Gold. The pair are vying to replicate that victory with Win The Gold's full sister, Golden Idol. She was a solid runner-up in a sharp clocking two starts ago, but finished fifth by eight lengths in last week's OSS Gold Series event. The Sportswriter filly starts from post #1 in Monday's final division. Keystone Paula has earned $40,600 in just two career starts for trainer Ervin Miller. She's the richest of all 25 fillies after a two-length OSS Gold Series win in 1:54.1 at Mohawk Racetrack on July 6. She was fourth in her follow-up two weeks later. The projected early favourite of race six, she'll start from post position five with driver Sylvain Filion. POST POSITION DRAW Starting positions for the finals of the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles will be determined during a post position draw which will be conducted and broadcast live following race eight on July 27. Grand River Raceway's Industry Day Celebration on August 3 features a 12-race card which also includes racing under saddle, consolation races for the Battles, and a Gold Leg for three-year-old pacing fillies in the Ontario Sires Stakes. Festivities and the TV broadcast kick off at 1:00 p.m. Post time for the first race is 1:30 p.m. For complete event details, visit http://industrydaycelebration.com/ Post time for race one of Monday's elimination races is 6:30 p.m. Kelly Spencer

ELORA, ON - Monday (September 29) marks the final live race card of the year at Grand River Raceway, but it's already proven to be a successful year at the track. Despite fewer races and fewer cards, the average bet per race jumped 10.5 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013 and total wagering on Grand River is up 4.8 per cent from just under $6.5 million in 2013 to nearly $6,786,149 this year through Wenesday's card. All this despite a decrease in the number of races per card of nearly 10 per cent. On the track, nothing topped Hall of Fame driver John Campbell and Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh teaming up to win the $217,140 Battle of Waterloo Aug. 4 with McIntosh's two-year-old homebred pacing colt Go Daddy Go. It was the first Battle of Waterloo victory for both men. "I haven't started that many in it, but it feels tremendous," McIntosh said in the winner's circle. "It's a real thrill." Campbell said the victory felt great. "It's been a fun day for me and it's capped off extremely well," he said. This year also marked Campbell's first trip to Grand River and he liked what he saw. "I got a tour before the races started here and it's very efficient and very convenient for fans. It looks like a very nice plant," Campbell said. The Grand River meet also saw rising star James MacDonald win his first premier stakes race at the track when he drove 20-1 longshot Win The Gold to victory in the Battle of the Belles for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. In August, Grand River's general manager Dr. Ted Clarke was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in the builders' category. That same month, Jet Airway set a track record for three-year-old pacing colts when he buzzed the Grand River oval in 1:51.1. Five other horses also set Canadian seasonal records at the track. On the drivers' side, Trevor Henry was again crowned the top Grand River driver for both wins and money. Casie Coleman was Grand River's top money-winning trainer and Richard Moreau led all trainers in wins at the track by a wide margin. And this year, we also learned important information such as what three people driver Scott Coulter would enlist to thwart a zombie apocalypse. "I'm going to take Clint Eastwood," Coulter said, "Superman and throw Sly Stallone in there, too. Why not?" We also discovered what Randy Waples would be doing if he wasn't driving horses for a living -"At one time, being a surfer sounded pretty good. I likead the idea of that." - what music trainer Casie Coleman thinks Satan has playing on repeat in her version of hell - "Anything country, probably." - and what James MacDonald does better than his two famous driving brothers, Anthony and Mark - "Golf, that's for sure, because they're both horrible." To hear our conversation with some of the most prominent drivers and trainers in the game, check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway Final Training Day at Grand River Raceway  Grand River Raceway will remain open for training every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon, with all horses vacated by 1:00 p.m. This schedule will remain in effect until the final training day on October 9. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway  

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 28 - When John Campbell turns Go Daddy Go to the gate in the $667,000 Metro Pace final Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack, he's hoping it will prove to be another successful chapter in a partnership with trainer Bob McIntosh of LaSalle, Ont. that goes back nearly 40 years. A week after winning his Metro elimination by one-and-a-quarter lengths over Lyons Levi Lewis in a career-best 1:52.4, Go Daddy Go will leave from the two hole in an effort to deliver the first Metro title to McIntosh and the fifth for Campbell. The Metro is race 7 on a card that kicks off at 7:25 p.m. "He's a tough guy," McIntosh said of Go Daddy Go. "He doesn't mind being first up. He's versatile that way. He's maybe not the best on the front end, yet. He's a little green. But, coming at horses he's awfully impressive. He reminds me a lot of his dad, Ponder. There wasn't a tougher horse around. He was as game as they came." Go Daddy Go, who is also owned by Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, hasn't been off the board in his seven lifetime starts. He sports a 3-3-1 record, with wins in the $200,000 Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway and a strong second in his $90,000 Nassagaweya test on Aug. 14 at Mohawk that convinced McIntosh to take a shot at the Metro. "He hasn't gone a bad race," Campbell said. "He's figuring it out as he goes. He's got the desire part. You can't teach that... He keeps improving and doing his work. He's just a very solid colt." Campbell, 59, and McIntosh, 62, are both Hall of Famers in Canada and the United States that have teamed up on innumerable champions. "The oldtimers are still at it - him and I," McIntosh said, laughing. "Over the years we've had some good ones. It's been a great run and John's still driving like a young guy. He's still the best. He hasn't lost a beat." Saturday, Campbell will drive all four of the horses McIntosh has entered on the stakes-rich card. He'll pilot Lasting Appeal in the $207,689 Simcoe, Thinking Out Loud in the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and Dapper Dude in the $34,000 Preferred. The first horse Campbell drove for McIntosh was a $5,000 claiming mare named Brilliant Bonnie in 1977 at Windsor Raceway. "She was an orangutan," McIntosh said. "She was no fun to drive. I do remember that," Campbell said. "She was no Go Daddy Go." Go Daddy Go is a homebred colt out of McIntosh's mare San Francine. She has also produced Daddy Mac ($600,000), Change Your Luck ($180,000) and Miss Maverick ($230,000). "She'd made me a lot more money breeding than racing," McIntosh said of San Francine. McIntosh also bred San Francine, a mare sired by Artsplace, who, in 1990, became the first of Campbell's four Metro winners. At the time, Artsplace was trained by Gene Riegle. Later in the colt's career, McIntosh trained Artsplace. In 1999, Campbell won the Metro with The Firepan and denied McIntosh his first Metro victory. The trainer was a close second and third that year with Intrepid Seelster and Richess Hanover. Two years later, Campbell and McIntosh were on the verge of winning the Metro together with Western Shooter when the talented colt made a late break in deep stretch. "That was my fault. That was a whip break," Campbell said. Further tragedy struck when Western Shooter died before he could begin a promising sophomore campaign. "Yeah, we've had a lot of success over the years and some really good horses, but I think the first one that would come to (McIntosh's) mind and mine as well is Western Shooter," Campbell said. "He passed away between his two- and three-year-old year, but that might have been the best horse we had and we never got to prove it. He was just tremendous, just so strong. He just kept getting better all year. We really had high hopes for him." Go Daddy Go might not be in Western Shooter's class just yet, but John Campbell would dearly love to win the Metro for Bob McIntosh. "I know Artspeak will be the huge favourite," McIntosh said. "But there's a reason they hook them up and race them because anything can happen." by Dave Briggs, for WEG

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 23...Heavily-favoured Artspeak, trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Scott Zeron, kept his perfect record intact with another facile triumph, this time in the second Metro Pace elimination Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The victory, his fifth in five outings so far in a monstrous juvenile campaign, stamped the son of Western Ideal as the one to beat in next Saturday's 667,000 final. His smallest margin of victory has been one and three-quarter lengths. Lyons Again set the early fractions of 27 seconds flat and :56.2, before Zeron popped the favourite from fourth to take over approaching the far turn. But Lyons Again wouldn't fade, parking the choice through early stretch after three-quarters in 1:23.3. Despite being out in the middle of the track, Artspeak then pulled away for the easy four and one-half length score in 1:51. Lyons Again held second, with Pierce Hanover third, Amora Beach fourth and Traceur Hanover fifth, all of whom will come back for the final. "He's an absolute freak," said Zeron, about Artspeak. "I knew I wasn't going to clear (before the three-quarters). I needed maybe a fraction of an inch to do it. So I just decided to sit with him and when we came off the top turn I chirped to him once and he was gone. I didn't have to pull the plugs. "He's progressed amazingly. Tony did a great job starting him in New Jersey Sires Stakes so it was a little bit easier competition. We were able to race him off the pace and do it the right way, second-over trips, come 26 on the end. He showed us right off the bat he's the real deal." Along with first elim winner Go Daddy Go, the win by Artspeak, who was coming off a sharp score in a Nassagaweya division last week, provided his connections with the opportunity to select a post position for the final before the balance of the field was drawn. In the last 10 years, the Metro, the richest race on the continent for two-year-olds, has been won by such champions as Captaintreacherous (2012), Sportswriter (2009), Somebeachsomewhere (2007) and Rocknroll Hanover (2004). Alagna, of course, is the trainer of Captaintreacherous, while Zeron will be seeking his first Metro win. Sent postward the 1-9 choice, Artspeak paid $2.20 and $2.10 (no show wagering), combining with Lyons Again ($2.50) for a $5.10 (5-6) exactor. A 5-6-2 (Pierce Hanover) triactor returned $38 while a $1 Superfecta [5-6-2-3 (Amora Beach)] was worth $82.65. Artspeak Go Daddy Go, with Hall of Famer John Campbell, got up in late stretch Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack to win the first $40,000 eliminations for next week's rich Metro Pace final. Go Daddy Go, trained by another Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh, was winning his third race in seven outings in a career best 1:52.4 and has been a gem of consistency, with three seconds and one third as well. The biggest win so far this year for the son of Ponder was the Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway in Elora on August 4. Sent postward a close second choice to favoured Asap Hanover, Go Daddy Go was moved up from fifth by Campbell around the far turn, after Lyons Levi Lewis had led the way through a half in :55.1, before reaching three-quarters in 1:23.4. By mid-stretch, though, Go Daddy Go had collared the leader and went on to post a gritty one and one-quarter length tally. Lyons Levi Lewis held second, with Lone Survivor third, Dudes The Man fourth and Trading Up fifth, to also qualify for the final. Asap Hanover wound up last of seven. "He just doesn't pay attention as much as he does when he's coming at horses," revealed Campbell. "We just kind of fell to the front last week (when finishing second in a Nassagaweya division). This week I made a conscious effort to have him coming at horses and he responded well. "He raced very well (the first time Campbell drove him, July 7), even though he was third. He paced a big back half and was still pacing at the wire. I told Bob (McIntosh) at the time that I thought he had a future. Since then, he's gotten sounder and easier to drive. But you never know when you come out of a Sires Stakes program just how they are going to do at the open level. But we were pretty sure he wasn't going to embarrass himself and would at least be competitive. So far he proved that. But next week will be a bigger test." By winning his elim, Go Daddy Go earned his connections the right to choose a post position for the final before the balance of the field was drawn. In the last decade, the Metro has been won by such champions as Captaintreacherous (2012), Sportswriter (2009), Somebeachsomewhere (2007) and Rocknroll Hanover (2004). Campbell is a four-time winner of the Metro while McIntosh, who also raced sire Ponder with Great Success, earning over $1.6 million, will be looking for his first win. Go Daddy Go paid $6, $3.10 and $2.50, combining with Lyons Levi Lewis ($3.70, $2.90) for a $16.30 (3-1) exactor. A 3-1-4 (Lone Survivor, $3.30) triactor returned $65.30, while a $1 Superfecta [3-1-4-5 (Dudes The Man)] was worth $264.30. Go Daddy Go Following the eliminations, the post postions were drawn for next week's final. Elimination winners earned the right to select their post positions. PP/Horse/Driver 1.Dudes The Man - Ron Pierce 2. Go Daddy Go - John Campbell 3. Artspeak - Scott Zeron 4. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples 5. Trading Up - Scott Zeron 6. Lyons Levi Lewis - Yannick Gingras 7. Pierce Hanover - Paul Macdonell 8. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 9. Lone Survivor - David Miller 10. Amora Beach - Tim Tetrick AE: Sports Bettor - Randy Waples​ by Jeff Timson, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 22 - Randy Waples is heading into this weekend's Metro Pace eliminations in an enviable position. The 49-year-old reinsman is not just in both eliminations, he is sitting behind Nassagaweya Stakes winners. Last Saturday night, Waples guided Traceur Hanover and Sports Bettor to victory lane in their respective Nassagaweya splits, setting him up with two contenders for this Saturday's Metro eliminations. The victory with Traceur Hanover did not come as a surprise to many as the son of Western Ideal - Transference had shown a lot of promise and had won two of his first three starts heading into last Saturday's race. However, Sports Bettor's maiden-breaking victory in the Nassagaweya came as a surprise to the public, as he was 69-1, and a mild surprise to his driver "I didn't really know what to expect," said Waples. "I liked him right from the very beginning, but then it seemed like he didn't really seem to get a whole lot better from when he was baby racing." Sports Bettor is trained by Mark Austin for owner-breeder Frank Gentile and had shown a ton of promise in his two baby races by winning both of them with good final quarter speed. A son of Sportswriter - Shellys Delight, Sports Bettor finished second in his first three races before finishing a disappointing eighth in the Battle of Waterloo final on August 4. In his last start before the Nassagaweya at Georgian Downs in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg he finished off the board, but Waples said he was filled with pace. "At Georgian he got locked in and finished fourth, but he had all kinds of go, so I thought if he got a good trip he could definitely get there." Sports Bettor got a two-hole trip in the Nassagaweya and was able to nail a tiring Lyons Levi Lewis at the wire for the upset victory in a career best 1:53.2. Sports Bettor will start from post seven in the first $40,000 elimination Saturday night. In the second elimination, Waples will sit behind arguably the most consistent two-year-old on the local scene, Traceur Hanover. Trained by Normand Bardier Jr. for owner Richard Berthiaume, Traceur Hanover has shown high end talent since his first baby race on July 8. After baby racing twice, Traceur Hanover won his first two starts at Mohawk July 22 and 29. "He's been great since the time he baby raced," said Waples. "Smart colt, you can do anything you want with him." After suffering his first defeat, a second place effort with a :27 last quarter on August 7 at Mohawk, Traceur Hanover turned in another brilliant effort in the Nassagaweya Stakes. The $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase got a perfect two-hole trip and grinded by Go Daddy Go in the stretch to win in career best 1:53.3. In just four career starts, Traceur Hanover has shown Waples he can be a grinder, but that he does have quick speed. "He's just a perfect all-around nice horse." Traceur Hanover's toughest challenge to date will come this Saturday in his elimination for the Metro Pace and Waples believes he will be up to the task. "He's one of those horses that just does what he has to do, so he's never going to do it flashy or anything like that," said Waples. "He's got a big motor and his desires good, so if he gets the right kind of trip he should be good." Traceur Hanover will start from post seven in a field of eight for his Metro Pace elimination. The duo of Sports Bettor and Traceur Hanover offer Waples a great one-two punch to get to the $667,000 final on Saturday, August 22. If Waples' pair can get through this Saturday, he will be set up for a great shot at capturing his first Metro Pace. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 19 - The spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this Saturday night as two Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations, two Metro Pace eliminations and three She's A Great Lady eliminations will take centre stage. The Canadian Pacing Derby has a rich history as the oldest stakes race in Canada for standardbred racehorses and on Saturday night the sport's top stars will bring their talents north for a pair of six-horse eliminations. 2013 Pepsi North America Winner Captaintreacherous and driver Tim Tetrick will start from post five in the second $40,000 elimination. A two-time Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous has had to make the tough transition from age three to four this season, but has still shown his grit and determination facing the big boys. Last Saturday night, 'The Captain' won the $34,000 Preferred in prep for the Canadian Pacing Derby and trainer Tony Alagna was delighted with his performance. "I was happy with his effort, it was a confidence builder he needed going into this week's elimination," said Alagna. "We drew away from Sweet Lou, but we caught Bettors Edge who has been racing really well, so hopefully the short field helps and he gets a fair shot again." 'The Captain' is a big fan of Mohawk Racetrack as he has never lost in six career starts over the Campbellville oval. "He's always been his best up here," said Alagna. "We've had him up here for major races, so he's always been on his game when he came up here. He likes the atmosphere and he seems happy up here." 'The Captain' has two wins in seven starts this season and has never finished out of the money for seasonal earnings topping $176,000 The top horse this season on the WEG circuit, State Treasurer, will line up two spots inside Captaintreacherous. State Treasurer has won the WEG Preferred six times this season and has won seven of his 12 starts for earnings of over $296,000. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, State Treasurer will be driven by WEG's leading driver Chris Christoforou. The hottest horse in harness racing headlines the first elimination. The Ron Burke trainee, Sweet Lou, enters his elimination on a nine-race win streak and having won his last seven starts in 1:47.4 or better Sweet Lou has drawn post two in his elimination and will have his regular pilot Ron Pierce in the sulky. A five-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser, Sweet Lou has made over $3 million in his career, but joining him in his elimination is the richest standardbred in the history of the sport, Foiled Again. Also trained by Ron Burke, Foiled Again has earned over $6.3 million and continues to compete at the top level at the age of ten. Foiled Again, who will start from post six with driver Yannick Gingras, is also a previous Canadian Pacing Derby winner having won the 2012 edition. The top five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $650,000 final on Saturday, August 30. Elimination winners may choose their post position for the final. 15 of the sport's brightest freshman pacing colts and geldings have been split into a pair of eliminations for the chance to race in the $685,000 Metro Pace Final on Saturday August 30. Leading the group of 15 is the Alagna trainee, Artspeak, who is undefeated in four career starts and enters the Metro elim fresh off a victory in the Nassagaweya Stakes last Saturday night. Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron will start from post position five in the first $40,000 elimination. Alagna said he was happy with how Artspeak came out of the Nassagaweya Stakes. "Artspeak jogged back super, everything checks out good," said Alagna. "We are really happy with the way he drew and hopefully he has another good shot this week and takes another step towards the Metro final." The son of Western Ideal - The Art Museum was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase and is owned by the Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The GYM Partners. One of the top local rookies, Traceur Hanover, will meet up with Artspeak for the first time. Trained by Normand Bardier Jr., Traceur Hanover enters this weekend's elimination with three wins in four starts and is also coming off a victory in his Nassagaweya split. Randy Waples sits behind the son of Western Ideal - Transference for owner Richard Berthiaume, who bought Traceur Hanover for the same price as Artspeak at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The other $40,000 elimination appears to be a wide-open affair, with seven rookie pacers looking to be in the top five to secure a spot in the rich final. Sports Bettor, who will start from post position seven, is coming off a 69-1 upset victory in his division of the Nassagaweya last Saturday night. Trained by Mark Austin for owner-breeder Frank Gentile, Sports Bettor broke his maiden in style with the Nassagaweya upset. Before his breakthrough in the Nassagaweya, Sports Bettor had finished second in three of his five career starts. Randy Waples will drive the son of Sportswriter - Shellys Delight. Also in the field of seven is this year's Battle of Waterloo winner, Go Daddy Go, who will start from post three for the Hall of Fame connections of driver John Campbell and trained Bob McIntosh. The top five finishers from both eliminations will advance to the $685,000 final on August 30, with elimination winners earning the right to select their post position for the final. The She's A Great Lady has attracted 25 rookie pacing fillies that have been split into three eliminations. Shakai Hanover, a division winner of last Saturday' Eternal Camnation Stakes, headlines the first $35,000 elimination. Trained by Carl Jamieson and driven by Jody Jamieson, Shakai Hanover will start from post position three and has won twice in four career starts. The daughter of Well Said - Shes A Fan set a new career mark with her Eternal Camnation victory of 1:52.4 and has earned just under $83,000. The second elimination features undefeated filly Band Of Angels from the Ron Burke barn. A daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven - Time N Again, Band Of Angels has won her first five starts of her career, with all five victories coming in New York Sires Stakes events. She will start from post six with driver Yannick Gingras and ships north with over $133,000 in earnings and a mark of 1:52.3. The final elimination stars another undefeated filly that will have Yannick Gingras in the bike. JK Shesalady won her division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes last Saturday to improve her record to four for four. Trained by Nancy Johansson for owners the 3 Brothers Stable, JK Shesalady has a speed badge of 1:52 and earnings exceeding $68,000. The top three finishers from each elimination and one third place finisher drawn by lot will advance to the $450,000 final on Saturday, August 30. All three rich finals will take place Saturday, August 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. The party will start at 6 p.m. and first race post time is 7:25 p.m. Here are the fields for Saturday night's stakes eliminations. PP/Horse/Driver Race 3 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination One - Purse: $40,000 1. Thinking Out Loud - John Campbell 2. Sweet Lou - Ron Pierce 3. Captive Audience - James MacDonald 4. Domethatagain - Ron Pierce 5. Sunshine Beach - Chris Christoforou 6. Foiled Again - Yannick Gingras Race 8 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000 1. Ellis Park - Steve Condren 2. Bettors Edge - Matt Kakaley 3. State Treasurer - Chris Christoforou 4. Modern Legend - James MacDonald 5. Captaintreacherous - Tim Tetrick 6. Clear Vision - Brett Miller Race 6 - Metro Pace Elimination One - Purse: $40,000 1. Lyons Levi Lewis - Yannick Gingras 2. Trading Up - Scott Zeron 3. Go Daddy Go - John Campbell 4. Lone Survivor - David Miller 5. Dudes The Man - David Miller 6. Asap Hanover - Tim Tetrick 7. Sports Bettor - Randy Waples Race 11 - Metro Pace Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000 1. The Wayfaring Man - Jack Moiseyev 2. Pierce Hanover - Paul Macdonell 3. Amora Beach - Tim Tetrick 4. Some Power - David Miller 5. Artspeak - Scott Zeron 6. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 7. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples 8. Rollin Ring Afire - Matt Kakaley Race 4 - She's A Great Lady Elimination One - Purse: $35,000 1. The Show Returns - Tim Tetrick 2. Bedroomconfessions - Scott Zeron 3. Shakai Hanover - Jody Jamieson 4. Strut My Stuff - John Campbell 5. Palette Tina - Yannick Gingras 6. Aria Hanover - Tim Tetrick 7. Bettor Be Steppin - Corey Callahan 8. Kays Dragon Lady - Matt Kakaley Race 9 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Two - Purse: $35,000 1. Solar Sister - Doug McNair 2. Divine Caroline - Corey Callahan 3. Missy Tap Tina - Tim Tetrick 4. Cashaway - Tim Tetrick 5. Jk Shesalady - Yannick Gingras 6. Well Hello There - Matt Kakaley 7. Southwind Mischief - Chris Christoforou 8. Shesastarreporter - Jonathan Drury 9. Ideal Nuggets - John Campbell Race 10 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Three - Purse: $35,000 1. Float On By - Tim Tetrick 2. Macarena Mama - Chris Christoforou 3. A Plus - Scott Zeron 4. Bin N Heaven - Doug McNair 5. Betty And The Jets - Doug McNair 6. Band Of Angels - Yannick Gingras 7. Happy Becky - David Miller 8. Dancin Caroll - Jack Moiseyev by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications.

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 14 - Sporting The Look is one​ of the top local two-year-old pacers and this Saturday at Mohawk he will meet the sport's top freshman pacer, Artspeak, in a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes. Sporting The Look has won three of six starts and made over $133,000 in his young career, but had a couple races gone a little different, he may have been the richest freshman pacer in the sport heading into this Saturday's $91,425 Nassagaweya Stakes. "He should probably have another $100,000 on his card," admits driver Jody Jamieson. "He made a break there in the second (Ontario Sires Stakes) Gold and was going to win for fun and probably with a different trip would've won the ($217,140) Battle of Waterloo." A son of Sportswriter - Lyons Mandi, Sporting The Look didn't wait long to rebound from the second place finish in the Battle of Waterloo and won a Sires Stakes event last Sunday at Georgian in 1:54.2. "Those races were over with and we pressed forward to Sunday at Georgian and he was the easiest of winners," said Jamieson. Now Sporting The Look, who is trained and co-owned by Jody's father Carl Jamieson, will face his toughest task to date as he jumps into a Grand Circuit event. The competition will be stiff as Sporting The Look will meet the undefeated Artspeak, who won his most recent start in a season's best 1:50.4, but Jody is excited to see what his colt is made of. "I'm really looking forward to racing Artspeak just to see how he shapes up with the best of the best, he's a Sportswriter, so obviously sky is the limit, they have been awesome so far." Sporting The Look was a $70,000 yearling purchase at last November's Harrisburg Sale and is owned by Carl Jamieson, 30 Plus Stable and Thomas Kyron. "He was the only Canadian sired pacer that my dad paid into the Grand Circuit and American races," noted Jody. "So it's obviously fun to be in them, especially right here at home, he's a nice horse, We Will See how nice he is coming up on Saturday." The Jamieson's will also team up in a $76,245 division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies with Shakai Hanover. A daughter of Well Said - Shes A Fan, Shakai Hanover has made her last two starts on the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes circuit and found some success. "She won her second lifetime start in :53 and then got interfered with last week at Pocono and probably would've been closer, although she only got beat a length in 1:51.4," said Jody. "I expect big things from her, she has been a nice filly so far." Along with driving another freshman filly, Yes You Can, for his father in the second of three Eternal Camnation divisions, Jody will also have the chance to drive a pair of freshman pacers for trainer Ake Svandstedt. "I'm driving a couple for Ake Svandstedt that I'm excited about getting to race for him and to see how good those horses are." Jody hopes Saturday will be a successful night to kick off a long stretch of major stakes action at Mohawk. "I'm excited about the weekend, that's one more step towards the Metro and the She's A Great Lady, so it's an exciting time." by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

TORONTO, August 14 - It's been over four months since the launch of the Standardbred Alliance in Ontario on April 1 and wagering on Standardbred horse races at these tracks is already seeing a sharp increase compared to the same period last year.   From April 1 through August 9, "all-sources" wagering on Standardbred Alliance racing is $148,227,950, an encouraging 8.92 per cent rise over the $136,083,298 bet through the equivalent period in 2013.   The numbers are promising on a per race basis as well. Last year, an average of $57,347 was bet per race (2373 races). After April 1, in 2014, an average of $60,280 per race (2459 races) was recorded, also a strong 5.11 per cent increase. Number of races is up 3.6 per cent over last year.   "There's plenty of work to do, but so far the alliance concept is proving to accomplish what it had intended," said Jamie Martin, Executive Vice-President of Racing at Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and Chair of the Standardbred Alliance board. "It's helped to create some positive momentum for the industry, plus a platform for the core standardbred tracks to be partners in this new era. Racing fans are responding well at Mohawk and the other Alliance tracks under the new model with wagering up strongly both per race and overall."   Grand River Raceway, in Elora, is seeing double-digit wagering increases both per race and overall.   "We have experienced an increase in wagering of 16.56 per cent per race, leading to a 10.58 per cent rise overall on our live racing product," said Dr. Ted Clarke, General Manager of Grand River Raceway. "Total wagering on our Industry Day on August 4 was the highest since 2005. The positive wagering results and attendance indicate the fan base and interest are solid."   The Standardbred Alliance, led by Woodbine Entertainment Group, is a consortium of eight Ontario racetracks. Launched April 1, the members represent a three-tier racing hierarchy, 'Grass Roots' (Clinton, Hanover), 'Signature' (Flamboro, Georgian, Grand River and Western Fair) and 'Premier' (Mohawk and Woodbine).   The tracks have worked together to implement operational efficiencies, co-ordinate a year-round racing calendar, develop a program of racing that is attractive to foreign and domestic customers, and establish consistent purses.   The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) is buoyed by the wagering rise through the early months of the Standardbred Alliance concept.   "We're glad to see wagering is up," said Sue Leslie, President of OHRIA. "Fans are continuing to embrace this wonderful sport and it's gaining new ones. The next step is to have racing fully integrated into the province's gaming strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of the model."   Highlights of the season so far include State Treasurer's win at the Molson Pace at Western Fair, JK Endofanera's win in the Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk, Shadows Wonder's victory in Clinton's Kin Pace, Go Daddy Go's score in the Battle of Waterloo at Grand River and Warrawee Promesse's tally in the Dream of Glory at Hanover.   The Georgian Downs meet is in full swing, with the Earl Rowe Memorial Cup Trot set for August 23, while the start of the final part of the 2014 Flamboro Downs meet is scheduled for September 2.   Several major stakes are set for the latter half of season on the WEG circuit, including the Metro Pace at Mohawk on August 30, the Canadian Trotting Classic on September 13, while the 'Fall Four' (Goldsmith Maid, Three Diamonds, Governor's Cup and Valley Victory) is set for Woodbine on October 25.   by John Siscos, for WEG  

On Wednesday night the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inducted its class of 2014 and welcomed its newest members both horses and individuals. Albatross, Dreamfair Eternal and Rocknroll Hanover are the Standardbreds that made up part of the 2014 class. Joining these Standardbreds in the Hall Of Fame are the late Robert Murphy (breeder/owner); Dr. Ted Clarke, in the builder category; trainer/driver Wally Hennessey, and communicator Bill Galvin. Apelia, Cool Mood and Wando are the Thoroughbreds that make up part of the 2014 class. Trainer Horatio Luro, jockey Robert Landry and breeders William ‘Bill’ Graham and Arthur Stollery are also 2014 inductees on the Thoroughbred side. The Induction Ceremony was held at the Mississauga Convention Centre in Ontario. Male Horse Category: Rocknroll Hanover – bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc, Hanover, Pennsylvania. Owned by Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey. RocknRoll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his racing career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey. Career highlights included victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three-year-olds, the Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers and the North America Cup for three-year-olds He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013. To date, the son of Western Ideal, out of Hall of Fame mare Rich N Elegant, has sired winners of $60.7-million, including eight million-dollar-plus winners. "My job was to bring the best out in my horses and he made it easy, said Sarah Lauren Scott, Rocknroll Hanover's caretaker. "He brought out the best in all of his connections. He was a once in a lifetime horse and his legacy will live on." Female Horse Category: Dreamfair Eternal – bred by Mary and John Lamers, and owned by John Lamers, Ingersoll, Ontario. Dreamfair Eternalretired from racing in 2012 after a seven-year career that included 56 victories, and every major stakes event on the older pacing mare schedule, earnings of over $2.5-million and Horse of the Year honours in Canada in 2010. During that year, she racked up wins in the final of the Masters Series, an elimination of the Roses are Red Stakes, elimination and final of the Milton Stakes, the elimination and final of the Forest City Pace and the Breeders Crown. The daughter of Camluck was bred by John and Mary Lamers and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario. Patrick Fletcher trained her for most of her career. "This is certainly a great honour for myself and my family. 'Eternal' is a large part of our family," said owner John Lamers. "‎I want to thank Pat and Karan Fletcher for the amazing job they've done with Dreamfair Eternal over her racing career. ‎ "‎She's an outstanding race mare and she's equally as good a mother," noting that Lamers has a filly sired by fellow Hall Of Famer Somebeachsomewhere on the ground that might have a "bit better conformation" than her Mom. Lamers hoped that the filly has just as good of a career.‎‎ Veteran Horse Category: Albatross – bred by John E Wilcutts, Aberdeen, North Carolina; Charles A Kenney, Lexington, Kentucky; Elizabeth B Peters, Wilmington Delaware; and Mark Lydon, Abington, Massachusetts. Owned by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc, Hanover, Pennsylvania; George Segal, Versailles, Kentucky; Castleton Farm, Lexington, Kentucky; Hal S Jones, Montgomery, New York. A champion on the track and in the breeding shed,  Albatross was a major influence on the Standardbred breed. He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million. Two of his major stakes wins in Canada included the Prix d’Ete and Canadian Pacing Derby. He retired as both the fastest and richest horse in the history of the breed. As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million, including Niatross, who is considered by many to be the greatest pacer of the 20th Century, and Fan Hanover, who is the only filly to ever win the Little Brown Jug. "This is a very distinct honour for me," said Hanover Shoe Farms' Murray Brown, who was around Albatross his entire life‎. Brown considers Albatross "probably the greatest two-year-old of any breed that's ever lived," recalling how he'd have to race against aged horses in his freshman year. "It's unheard of for a two-year-old to race against aged horses. He did it with regularity."‎ Noting that Albatross was the first sire of any breed to sire progeny with more than $100 million in earnings, Brown called Albatross "the perfect horse" and stated that "his name is a fixture in the breed and will continue to be. ‎" Wally Hennessey, 58, born in Prince Edward Island and now a resident of Coconut Grove, Florida, has more than 8,500 victories to his credit and has banked earnings in excess of $57 million. During the early stages of his career, Hennessey re-wrote the record books, setting new standards in both wins and earnings. In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown. Throughout his career, Hennessey has been remarkably consistent, winning at least 200 races in each of the last 25 years, and driving horses to earnings in excess of $1 million for 24 straight years. In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. "To be inducted takes hard work and dedication from many," said Hennessey. "I was blessed to grow up with four great brothers and sisters. They were very supportive and competitive and loving. We were all on each other's team. "Not to point out one person, but my brother Dan has been with me my whole career. Without Dan I definitely would not be standing here. I had a father I was so proud of. I never wanted to let him down. He was so talented. I learned my early lessons from my father. My greatest influence could not be here. My mom, I wish she was here, but she could not travel to be here. Without her love and what she taught me, I would not be here. To my wife Barb and daughter Christie -- you're my greatest supporters and Barb you hung in with me and that was hard to do. And my daughter is my inspiration." "It's been a journey one could only dream about and I'm so glad dreams do come true." Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry. Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth. Prior to Grand River’s opening, Dr. Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network. He was honoured for his innovative thinking and leadership with the Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award in 1999 from the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association. "‎The fact of the matter is, with the industry being in the state it's in, it's important to remember the things that got us to where we are," said Clarke, imploring the industry to pull from the same end of the rope going forward.  The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, was one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, and was known by his popular ‘Red Star’ moniker. First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners. He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009. In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada. Murphy had a great impact on harness racing in BC with both his breeding and training centres, but that impact extended across the continent as his horses raced all over North America. William ‘Bill’ Galvin, a native of Arnprior, Ontario and now a resident of Mississauga, Ontario, made a tremendous impact on horse racing in the country as a Canadian horse racing historian, poet, author, publisher, educator, horseman, humanitarian, publicist and former Thoroughbred racing official. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing. He led a charge to bring harness racing on ice to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans. He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the well-being of horse racing during his career. He was also the executive editor of Trot Magazine and a member of the Advisory board for the School of Equine Studies at Toronto's Humber College of Applied Arts. "What a special and memorable occasion this is tonight," said Galvin. "I congratulate you all and thank each and every one responsible for this tremendous honour. "This evening is especially memorable with the presence of Dr. John Findlay, who presented to me. I received my an introduction to horse racing in the standardbred sport as a very young lad in Arnprior, Ontario. Those early days at Madawaska Farms with Dr. John Findlay would define and shape my career.  "Tonight, my life comes full circle from those unforgettable country fairs in the Ottawa Valley, to the glory day of Canadian harness racing in the 1980s, to the pinnacle of my career tonight at the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, with the man who introduced me to the sport‎ - Dr. John Findlay." By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com with files from the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  

The fillies from Sportswriter’s first crop have earned $133,000 more in the Ontario Sire Stakes program than the freshman daughters of the next 17 OSS sires combined. The results for the colts are similar. The seven-year-old son of Artsplace has hijacked the program, marginalizing last year’s first crop star Shadow Play in the process. While some, like Sportswriter’s former trainer Casie Coleman, have evidenced an unwavering faith in his potential as a stallion—she bought nine of them at the sales—the murky climate for racing in Ontario hasn’t exactly provided a steady wave for Sporty to ride. He stood his first two seasons at Tara Hills for a $6,000 fee. That was reduced to $5,000 in 2013, when the marriage of gaming and racing was put in jeopardy by the Liberal Government. And his fee was reduced once more to $4,000 this year. These cuts were all introduced  prior to his first issue hitting the track. While Sportswriter’s daddy, Artsplace, fought the good fight on the track against Die Laughing, Precious Bunny and numerous others that came down from Meadow Skipper and struggled against Skipper’s multi-pronged breeding machine throughout his siring career, he also benefited in a big way from the mares in that family. Art Major, Steinam’s Place, Astreos, Dream Away, Armbro Amoretto, Modern Art, Artiscape and Armbro Amimate are just a few of the Artsplace sons and daughters out of Meadow Skipper line mares. The same good fortune has come Sportswriter’s way; almost all of his freshman winners result from this cross. Sportswriter sired half the fillies in the Battle of the Belles final and half the colts in the Battle of Waterloo—all ten are out of Skipper’s mares. And when all those SBSW ladies get a little older and are looking for an appropriate partner, Sporty may be their man. Sportswriter took 7 of 8 at two and won his division on both sides of the border. He logged wins in the Metro, Nassagaweya and Champlain, and that propensity for early speed seems to have been passed on to his offspring. Yes, his NA Cup victory tops the list, but he had problems with his feet that year and had to be retired early. So, while he did race in the Meadowlands Pace—under duress due to an inability to cope with the hot weather—he didn’t have much of an opportunity to showcase himself in the States. That left Rock N Roll Heaven with the field pretty much to himself, with the incomplete One More Laugh serving as the opposition. The Cup was Sportswriter’s only win at three; it put him over the million dollar mark in career earnings. However, like fellow Ontario stallion Big Jim, who also had his sophomore season cut short due to injury, Sporty did not have momentum working for him when he embarked on his career as a stallion. Heaven may have lost the Cup and the Pace, but in the fall he won the Jug, Tattersalls Pace, Messenger and Breeders Crown, greasing the skids for a very positive transition into the second phase of his career. Sportswriter’s coming out party was Monday, July 7, when his colts swept the three $70,000 OSS-Gold legs at Mohawk. Bob Ben And John, a $17,000 Lexington purchase by Casie Coleman, won by four; another Coleman colt, Rollwiththepunches, was placed first after a disqualification; and Jody Jamieson won with his dad’s colt, Sporting The Look. All three out of Skipper line mares. Nine days later at Grand River Bob, Ben And John and Rollwiththepunches repeated while The Sporting Life broke on the last turn at 1/5 for JJ. No problem, Casie’s Southwind Indy, a Sportswriter out of the Rocknroll daughter of Armbro Wallflower, It’s Only Rocknroll, stepped in and took the winners share of the $70,000 purse. Six up and six down for the colts in the Gold Series. The fillies got their shot on Tuesday, July 11 at Mohawk, and they swept their three OSS-Gold splits. Southwind Mischief, out of the Western Hanover mare, Mondiane Hanover, won the first for Chris Christoforou and Coleman. And Code One Hanover—another one—was second, followed by her paternal sister, pacesetter Lady Hill.  Jamieson won the second split with the highly regarded Sports Chic, a half-sister to Rainbow Blue, and Coleman’s Sportswriter filly, Business As Usual, was second. Pop Writer took the third division for Doug McNair and Tony Alagna. As was the case with the colts, all of the above are out of Skipper line mares. The following week at Grand River Sports Chic took another Gold split; Code One Hanover, a $75,000 yearling purchase at Lexington by Jack Darling, who was a good second the previous week, won another; and Yves Filion won the third with a $45,000 buy out of the very good Western ideal mare, Casino Nights. So the first twelve Gold splits all went to members of Sporty’s brood. In Monday’s Battle of the Belles, five Sportswriter fillies made it into the final, and Win The Gold took the largest share of the $138,000 purse. She paid a generous $43.60. The top four finishers were all by you know who. And although five Sportswriter colts also made it to the final of the $217,140 Battle of Waterloo, Hall Of Famer John Campbell pulled off an upset with 7/1 Go Daddy Go, a son of Ponder. Sporting The Look was second and Bob Ben And John third. Still, our enthusiasm for Sportswriter’s early domination of the Ontario program must be tempered by the fact that no pacing sire in that region is a player of any consequence on the Grand Circuit. Mach Three may be the sire of SBSW, but his get rarely stray from the OSS during their first two seasons of racing. Twenty-seven-year-old Camluck sired Little Brown Jug winner Michael’s Power, but he was an anomaly. As is the case with Mach Three, he doesn’t produce open stakes types. And the same can be said of new kid on the block, Shadow Play. Sportswriter’s second freshman class will get a taste of what it’s like in the more competitive programs next year when Bettor’s Delight’s only Canadian crop competes in the OSS. Sporty is obviously for real, but we can’t pass over the fact that there’s no equivalency between the OSS and the PASS or the NYSS. Staking will also come into play. As one would expect, most of his better sons were nominated to the Metro, but fewer than half of his performing sons and daughters were staked to the Breeders Crown and few have been nominated to next year’s Meadowlands Pace. Bob Ben And John, who may be the best, was not staked to the Metro, BC or Pace. His early success should trigger a correction. If not, he can’t move beyond regional stallion status. We’ve watched Always B Miki’s futile attempt to expand the playing field for Always A Virgin, but he isn’t staked to much and neither are most of his paternal brothers and sisters. Sports Bettor is staked to the Metro Pace, Breeders Crown and Meadowlands Pace, but it takes lots of those to create a reputation in the open realm. by Joe FitzGerald  for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

ELORA, ON - Upsets stole the show in both of the biggest races of Grand River Raceway's 24th annual Industry Day celebration on August 4. The afternoon card featured 12 races worth $655,640, including the 17th annual Battle Of Waterloo. BATTLE OF WATERLOO Legendary Hall Of Fame driver John Campbell made his Grand River Raceway debut in last week's elimination races for the Battle Of Waterloo. This afternoon, the New Jersey based Ontario native posted a 7-1 win with Go Daddy Go in the $217,140 final. The score also gave fellow Hall Of Famer, trainer Robert McIntosh, his first Battle Of Waterloo victory. McIntosh bred and co-owns the chestnut colt by Ponder with Dave Boyle. Go Daddy Go finished nearly two lengths ahead of race favourite Sporting The Look with Jody Jamieson in the bike for five-time Battle Of Waterloo winning trainer Carl Jamieson. Trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge had four horses in the race, which finished third through sixth. The Battle Of Waterloo is contested by two-year-old Ontario-sired pacing colts. Go Daddy Go BATTLE OF THE BELLES In the fillies' sixth annual Battle Of the Belles, it was Guelph, ON driver James MacDonald at the helm in a 20-1 whopper with Win The Gold for trainer Tony O'Sullivan and owner/breeder Emerald Highlands Farm. Leaving from post two, the Sportswriter daughter moved first-over at the halfway marker and powered home in the stretch to overtake betting favourite Sports Chic and Jody Jamieson, winning by a neck. Capela and John Campbell rounded out the top three. The $138,000 race marked Win The Gold's maiden win in three career starts. Win The Gold ONTARIO SIRES STAKES Jet Airway set a new track record for sophomore pacing colts with a 1:51.1 score in the first of three $70,000 divisions of sophomore pacing colts in a Gold Leg of the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS). Driven by Randy Waples for trainer Tony Alagna, it was the colt's fifth win from 11 starts this year. The former record of 1:52.1 was set by Champagne Phil in August 2013. Play It Again Sam and James MacDonald were the even-money favourites in the second division where the Shadow Play colt led at every step in the mile, holding off to finish a neck over Speckled Door (with Doug McNair) and Falcon Justice (with Paul Macdonell) in 1:53.1. Play It Again Sam is a winner of two races this season for trainer Ian Moore and owners Wayne Eric Whebby and R G McGroup Ltd. Moore was back in the winners circle for the final OSS dash with Silverhill Shadow who cruised gate-to-wire to win by two lengths in 1:53.2. Last year's Battle Of Waterloo champ Three Of Clubs was the runner-up with driver Doug McNair, followed by Victor Bayama and Sylvain Filion. CONSOLATION RACES The Industry Day race card also featured a $30,000 consolation race for the Battle Of Waterloo and the $25,000 consolation for the Battle Of The Belles. In the Battle Of The Belles Consolation, Billy Davis Jr. steered Delightful Hill to her second career win with a half-length margin over Northern Starlet and Akissfromtheart in 1:56.1 for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill. Seaforth made a strong comeback after last week's break in stride in his elimination division for the Battle Of Waterloo. He won the $30,000 Battle Of Waterloo Consolation dash by one-and-three-quarter lengths over Lyons Jimmydean and Jet Settin Mitt. Mike Saftic steered the homebred Eric Adams trainee for Millar Farms. It was the colt's first career win in four starts. RACING UNDER SADDLE The International Trot presented by Racing Under Saddle (RUS) Ontario featured riders from Canada, Sweden, US, Finland, Norway and Belgium. Saara Jalasti of Finland was the champ, scoring her first Canadian win. She rode eight-year-old Tragically Shipp to a four-length win over Angies Lucky Star (Philippe Masschaele of Belgium) and Hetties Honey (Anna Humphris of Canada). The Monte Trot was Tragically Shipp's first win of the season for trainer Lee Watson and owners Lynne and David Magee. BOUNCY PONY STAKES Other Industry Day highlights included the tenth annual Drivers' Edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes. Boldly predicting a huge win during a pre-race interview, James MacDonald won for the fourth consecutive year, finishing a mere nose over his brotherly rival, Anthony Macdonald. Ryan Holliday and RUS rider Sarah Town rounded out the field Bouncy Pony Stakes HALL OF FAME PRESENTATION The Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame made a special presentation to Grand River Raceway General Manager Dr. Ted Clarke, who will be inducted into the Hall Of Fame in the Builders Category on August 6. The congratulatory banner was signed by hundreds of fans and horsepeople and was presented by Linda Rainey of the Hall Of Fame, and Paul Walker, President of the Grand River Agricultural Society. OHHA'S BEST OF SHOW The Ontario Harness Horse Association held their annual Industry Day Best Of Show Competition, awarding $500 in prize money to the top horses and caretakers racing on Industry Day. The winners were: Best Of Show Head-To-Toe: 1st: Maria Flink ($100) | 2nd: Kathy Edwards ($50) | 3rd: Amy Cruise ($25) Horse & Groom: 1st: Linda Coleman ($100) | 2nd: Stacey Reinsma ($50) | 3rd: Amy Turcotte ($25) Harness Shine: Amy McNair: $75 Above & Beyond (bling):  Tiffany Stein: ($75) The Industry Day on-track handle was $102,773 - an increase of 11 percent over 2013. Photos from the afternoon can be viewed on the Grand River Raceway Facebook page: Kelly Spencer

Harness racing owner Adriano Sorella is a happy guy and he admits being in this sport is a bit of a roller coaster ride at times.                 So, how does Adriano handle the ups and downs? Just like everyone else. “My horses won some races I didn’t expect them to win, so yes that has me content and happy.” Adriano says. “I’m a happy camper when I’m winning races and to be able to have these horses.”                 The beginning of the year didn’t blossom quite as Adriano and his connections had expected. “Things started to turn around at the beginning of June. Prior to that it wasn’t all roses, that’s for sure” explains Adriano.                 With Adriano and his connections having already committed a lot of money towards Stake races for their babies, it was time to see if their investment would pay off.                 “The babies aren’t racing yet, Vegas Vacation is on the shelf for 2014 plus I have another horse coming off an injury and some aren’t racing well.” Adriano continues, “There are fourteen mouths to feed, train, stabling bills, vet bills and with Stakes fees on top of that and no money coming in, you’re scratching your head wondering what you are going to do.”                “You know one of the worst things you can do is sit there and bleed (money)”, says Adriano. “It’s a tough decision to make but sometimes you need to invest more money into it. It’s like having three restaurants and two aren’t doing well and the third is making money trying to support the other two. You’re figuring out what you need to change.”        Before June rolled around Adriano was perplexed but his faith never wavered. Adriano would receive text messages informing him the babies were coming along well even though they hadn’t raced to date.                 One thing with Adriano is he’ll ask questions but if you’re teamed with him, it’s for a strong reason.           “All of a sudden June rolls around and the babies come to the plate… I’m so glad I bought these Sportswriter babies!” Adriano exclaims. “I’ll admit I was a little scared at first. I see Casie with the horses and how she checks them out and I said ‘let’s do it’. You haven’t seen my best ones yet because they haven’t raced.”                    “I’m pretty sure you’ll see Sportswriter babies on the grand circuit. Just give it time, watch.” Adriano admits, “I wish I owned that Stud. I’m really happy for Casie and Steve.”                 The summer continues to look bright for Adriano and his connections. “I have my filly set to race in the Empire elims this weekend, Major Dancer. She’s a very nice looking horse. We held on to her even though she had an injury before she was two. She was lightly raced at two and she’s looking really good… she’s definitely one to look for and she has been sharp.”                 Adriano considers Major Dancer to vie for the Jugette this September. (FYI: Tickets are still available for the Jug).       Another horse of Adriano’s is 2-year-old American Legend. Adriano has high expectations for American Legend. “He’s good enough for the Grand Circuit. Hopefully we see him in the Metro elims and hopefully the finals.”                 On August 4th, Adriano has Bob Ben and John set to race in the Battle of Waterloo finals at Grand River Raceway. Bob Ben and John drew the 3 spot and what’s very interesting is 5 of the 9 horses slated to race are Sportswriter babies, including Bob Ben and John.                 “We didn’t pay much for Bob Ben and John” says Adriano. “Ever since he started training over here, he’s been a different horse.”                 There are actually 13 Sportswriter babies scheduled to race throughout Monday’s card at Grand River Raceway plus one Also Eligible.              One thing harness fans should know is Adriano enjoys interacting with fans and having a laugh or two. Even if you need advice on how to stay positive through difficult times in your life, you can count on Adriano for that too.         For all of Adriano’s success, he remembers his roots and where he came from. It wasn’t too long ago Adriano was struggling as a single father. With perseverance and a positive attitude, anything can happen. by Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com

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