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On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON   Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY   Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON   Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON   Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON   Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON   Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON

ELORA, ON - Hometown-boy-done-good Doug McNair is off to France to defend Canada's title in the 2013 International Weekend Of The French Trotter. The 23-year-old Guelph resident will be the fourth harness racing driver invited to represent Canada in this international race. Last year, Billy Davis Jr. of Cambridge won the competition. The event kicks off at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes on November 29 and concludes on December 1. McNair is currently second in the Canadian driver standings for earnings, having driven horses to purse earnings in excess of $5.6 million in 2013. He's also fourth in the top dash category with 283 season wins. The talented young reinsman has been a tour-de-force since his career launched in 2008 at the age of 18. Just two years after recording that first career win, he captured the $300,000 Battle Of Waterloo at his hometown track, Grand River Raceway, and later that month won the $547,000 Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs. He capped 2010 with a history-making mile at Western Fair Raceway when he became the youngest driver in the history of the sport to reach 1,000 wins. Earlier this year, he and father Gregg McNair (one of the country's leading Standardbred horse trainers) teamed up to capture their second Battle Of Waterloo victory during Grand River Raceway's biggest event of the season, Industry Day, on August 6. In addition to winning the track's signature dash, they also scooped first-place in the event's sister-race, the Battle Of The Belles, on the same day. Other highlights from McNair's stellar season include piloting world-record holder Precocious Beauty to seven wins in 11 freshman starts for earnings of $468,000. by Kelly Spencer for Grand River Raceway  

ELORA, ON — Less than two weeks after Grand River Raceway fans were treated to a track record performance by Grassroots star Champagne Phil, the Elora oval welcomes back the lightning fast three-year-old pacing colts for a pair of $105,000 Gold Series divisions on Wednesday, Aug. 28. Division leader Mach It So is back in Ontario looking for his fourth straight Gold Series victory from Post 2 in the second division. The Mach Three gelding missed the last Gold Series event while in Pennsylvania for the Aug. 17 Battle of Brandywine where he finished fifth, clocked in 1:48.3, against a field of North America’s best pacing colts. Mach It So will be reunited with regular reinsman Scott Zeron on Wednesday and trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman and owner Bamond Racing LLC of Brick, NJ are hoping the gelding can resume the five race unbeaten streak he was riding before the trip south. While Mach It So was absent Dave Menary trainees Windsong Jack and Tarpon Hanover made the most of the leader’s absence, claiming their respective Gold Series divisions at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 19. Tarpon Hanover will go head-to-head with Mach It So on Wednesday, looking for his third win of the season from Post 6 in Grand River Raceway’s tenth race. Cheltenham resident Menary shares ownership of Tarpon Hanover with Brad Gray of Dundas, Bruce Norris of Caledon East, and Denis Breton of Welland. The winner of last year’s Battle of Waterloo, Tarpon Hanover owns the two-year-old pacing colt track record over the Elora oval and the Badlands Hanover son will be looking for another swift trip around the half-mile surface with Jody Jamieson at the helm. Windsong Jack clocked a personal best 1:49.4 in his Aug. 19 Gold Series win and his connections will be looking for another sharp effort when the Santanna Blue Chip son lines up at Post 7 in the first division Wednesday. Billy Davis Jr. will be back in the race bike behind Windsong Jack, who is owned by Larry Menary of Cheltenham, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Burford and Denis Breton. The three-year-old pacing colts will take aim on the Grand River Raceway track record in Races 4 and 10 on Wednesday, Aug. 28, with the evening’s first race going postward at 7:05 pm. For complete entries please go to by Sandra Snyder      

ELORA, ON - Hometown-boy-done-good Doug McNair kick-started his harness racing career in 2008 with his first major driving win. The occasion was the $300,000 Battle Of Waterloo, and the event was sweeter still when the horse he drove, Trail Boss, was bred, owned and trained by his father, Gregg and co-owned by his grandmother Gwendolyn. Fast-forward five years and the 23-year-old Guelph, ON reinsman has a legitimate shot at winning the Battle Of Waterloo once more, plus the sister dash - the $75,400 Battle Of The Belles. Both races will be contested as part of Grand River Raceway's 23rd annual celebration of the harness racing industry during the afternoon of August 5. McNair says that major victory five years ago was the win that launched his career. "If I hadn't won this race when I was 18, I wouldn't be half as successful as I am today. People started listing me to drive their horses right after that, and I began driving some really nice horses." At the end of his 2008 debut season, McNair became the youngest driver in the history of the sport to drive horses to purse earnings of $1 million. His modest goal of driving 20 winners that year was quickly surpassed and he recorded 110. Two years later he made history again, becoming the youngest driver to ever hit 1,000 wins. He's continued to post impressive numbers since that August afternoon five years ago, adding more than 9,500 starts, 1,700 wins and $20 million in purse earnings. He's a regular driver on Canada's top circuit and has ranked in the top five drivers in Canada for earnings for the past three years. So what else has changed for McNair in the past five years? Favourite musician: In 2008 - Eminem | In 2013 - Luke Bryan Favourite TV show: In 2008 - The Simpsons | In 2013 - The Bachelor Favourite restaurant: In 2008 - McDonalds | In 2013 - The Keg Best horse driven: In 2008 - Trail Boss | In 2013 - Drop The Ball and Aracache Hanover Track furthest from home (where he drove in a race): In 2008 - Western Fair Raceway | In 2013 - Pompano Park (FLA) Vehicle owned: In 2008 - 1998 Dodge Pickup Truck | In 2013 - 2011 Lexus Favourite sports team: In 2008 - Toronto Maple Leafs | In 2013 - Toronto Maple Leafs Biggest celebrity I'd rubbed shoulders with: In 2008 - Jody Jamieson | In 2013 - Don Cherry Favourite shoes: In 2008 - Skateboard shoes | In 2013 - Nike Shox Life goal: In 2008 - To be a successful driver on the Woodbine/Mohawk circuit | In 2013 - Maintain and grow my driving success and to raise a family. McNair will look to make this holiday Monday a memorable one, starting with Lady Shadow in the fifth annual Battle Of The Belles (race nine). Trained by McNair's father Gregg, she's the early favourite in a field of nine in which Gregg has two other hopefuls (Can Art and Momara). Doug will pilot 3-1 shot Three Of Clubs from the rail in the 16th annual $144,500 Battle Of Waterloo (race 11). Gregg McNair's second trainee in the dash, OK Gladiator, is 10-1 from post five with driver Rick Zeron. Gregg co-owns and trains both colts. For complete event details, visit Kelly Spencer Mgr. Marketing & Communications Grand River Raceway  

McNairs Dominate Battle Eliminations at Grand River Raceway ELORA, ON - Elimination races for Grand River Raceway's 23rd annual Industry Day event were contested this evening, July 29. A total of seven elimination dashes were featured for two stake events: the $144,500 Battle Of Waterloo (ON-sired two-year-old pacing colts) and the $75,400 Battle Of The Belles (ON-sired two-year-old pacing fillies). Both stake finals will be featured during the 11-race afternoon card valued at more than $300,000 on Monday, August 5. It was a big night for local trainer Gregg McNair, who secured three hopefuls in the Battle Of The Belles, and two colts in the Battle Of Waterloo. BATTLE OF THE BELLES Father-son, trainer-driver duo Gregg McNair and Doug McNair dominated Battle Of The Belles action with two winners and a runner-up from three divisions. The Guelph, ON residents took the first division with race favourite Lady Shadow. Gregg McNair conditions the Shadow Play filly for Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, MI. A winner of three from four career starts, she has banked $56,500. Arrivista Hanover (Chris Christoforou) and Justabit Mean (Sylvain Flion) rounded out the top three. The McNairs were back in the winners circle in the next division with Momara. Doug McNair took the filly to the top from post eight to clock her third consecutive win. Gregg McNair co-owns the filly with Leonard Gamble, Don MacDonald and David Kryway. Her three-quarter length victory in 1:57.2 was followed by Yoselin Seelster (Rick Zeron) and Slick Rumor (Brad Forward). The quickest clocking of the girls' eliminations went to Catalea Seelster in the final round. The Stonebridge Regal miss recorded her first career win for owner James Boucher and trainer Ron Adams. Brad Forward piloted the filly to a new Canadian season record (for two-year-old fillies on a half-mile track) of 1:56.4. Can Art (Doug McNair) and Regil Meg (Jody Jamieson) rounded out the top three. BATTLE OF WATERLOO The McNairs - who won the 2008 edition of the race with Trail Boss - have two starters in the Battle Of Waterloo courtesy of division winner Three Of Clubs and runner-up OK Gladiator. Three Of Clubs recorded his second career score during race 10 for Gregg McNair and co-owners Tony Lawrence and Shady Hill Racing Stable. The Mach Three son won by a length in 1:55.1. Sword Of the Spirit and Shadowbriand filled out the top three. McNair's OK Gladiator finished second to Arthur Blue Chip in race six. Owned by Shadow One Stable of Guelph, ON, Arthur Blue Chip was driven by Jody Jamieson to a two-length score in 1:55.1. The priciest yearling in the field ($135,000), the Shadow Play colt has banked $116,250 for the Shadow One Stable of Guelph, ON. He's trained by Dr. Ian Moore who won the 2009 edition of the Battle Of Waterloo with Wellthereyougo. Trainer Wayne McGean paid $12,500 to supplement Steady Warrior to the Battle Of Waterloo. He drew the rail in the third division, and took the lead at the first quarter with driver Sylvain Filion to record his maiden win in 1:56.2. McGean and co-owner Michael Gouthro paid just $5,000 for the Royal Mattjesty colt as a yearling. He's now banked $67,550. Cambridge, ON trainer Jack Darling has two prospects as he looks to secure his first Battle Of Waterloo victory. Allstar Seelster was a runner-up to Steady Warrior in elimination division three, and Cluster Hanover won the first division in 1:56. Darling owns the Badlands Hanover colt. The 3-1 shot scored his first lifetime win by a length with Jody Jamieson in 1:56, followed by P L Hellcat and Pop Pop Joe The fifth annual Battle Of The Belles and 16th annual Battle Of Waterloo and will go postward as races nine and 11, respectively, during Industry Day at Grand River Raceway on Monday, August 5. Post time for race one is 1:30 p.m. For complete event details, visit Post position draws for both stake races were conducted on July 29. The following are the fields for the finals on Industry Day: POST POSITIONS FOR THE $144,500 BATTLE OF WATERLOO 1. THREE OF CLUBS tr: Gregg McNair dr: Doug McNair 2. STEADY WARRIOR tr: Wayne McGean dr: Sylvain Flion 3. POP POP JOE tr: Blake Macintosh dr: Brad Forward 4. ALLSTAR SEELSTER tr: Jack Darling dr: Jody Jamieson 5. OK GLADIATOR tr: Gregg McNair dr: Doug McNair 6. CLUSTER HANOVER tr: Jack Darling dr: Jody Jamieson 7. ARTHUR BLUE CHIP tr: Dr. Ian Moore dr: Jody Jamieson 8. SWORD OF THE SPIRIT tr: Martin Lachance dr: Mario Baillargeon 9. P L HELLCAT tr: Dan Clements dr: Chris Christoforou POST POSITIONS FOR THE $75,400 BATTLE OF THE BELLES 1. SLICK RUMOR tr: Blake Macintosh dr: Brad Forward 2. ARRIVISTA HANOVER tr: Rene Laarman dr: Chris Christoforou 3. CATALEA SEELSTER tr: Ron Adams dr: Brad Forward 4. LADY SHADOW tr: Gregg McNair dr: Doug McNair 5. CAN ART tr: Gregg McNair dr: Doug McNair 6. YOSELIN SEELSTER tr: Ben Wallace dr: Rick Zeron 7. REGIL MEG tr: Reg Westgarth dr: Jody Jamieson 8. MOMARA tr: Gregg McNair dr: Doug McNair 9. JUSTABIT MEAN tr: Murray Brethour dr: Sylvain Filion Kelly Spencer  

ELORA, ON — The stage is set for the July 29th elimination rounds of Grand River Raceway’s signature race, the 16th annual Battle Of Waterloo and its sister dash, the fifth annual Battle Of The Belles. The top nine finishers for each of these elimination events for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacers, advance to their respective finals during the track’s 23rd annual harness racing celebration, Industry Day, on August 5 (post time 1:30). Battle Of Waterloo Trainer Wayne McGean paid $12,500 to supplement Steady Warrior into the $125,000 Battle Of Waterloo and drew the rail in the third of four eight-horse divisions. The Royal Mattjesty colt is still on the hunt for his maiden win, but has racked up $61,300 in four starts, including a pair of runner-up finishes and a third in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold Series. McGean and co-owner Michael Gouthro paid just $5,000 for the pacer as a yearling. He finished a half-length behind Arthur Blue Chip in the $150,000 OSS Gold Mid-Summer Challenge at Mohawk Racetrack on July 19.    But Steady Warrior won’t face Arthur Blue Chip on Monday night. The Ian Moore trainee will start from post six in the third division (race six). A winner of two from three starts, Arthur Blue Chip set a personal best of 1:52.4 in the OSS Mid-Summer Challenge. He has banked $110,000 and was a $135,000 yearling for the Shadow One Stable of Guelph, ON. Moore won the 2009 Battle Of Waterloo with Wellthereyougo. National speed leaders Rather Swell, Falcon Justice and Boomboom Ballykeel will also start in race six, from posts three, seven and eight respectively. Falcon Justice (Mister Big) is currently the quickest rookie gelding in the country. The Rod Boyd trainee won his first career start on June 20 at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:53.1. Boomboom Ballykeel holds the distinction on a half-miler after his maiden win at Hanover Raceway in 1:56.4 on July 20. He’s conditioned by Canada’s current leading trainer, Richard Moreau, and driven by the nation’s top dash driver, Trevor Henry. A maiden score of 1:54.4 in an OSS Grassroots division on July 6 at Georgian Downs made Rather Swell the quickest rookie pacing gelding over a five-eighths mile track. The Robert McIntosh homebred is a son of Western Maverick. Lucky King, in the first division, also holds a current Canadian speed record. The Camluck son’s most recent win at Georgian Downs on July 6 in 1:54.1 makes him the quickest rookie colt over a five-eighths surface in 2013. He starts from post seven in race four for trainer Andrew McCabe. Cluster Hanover starts to the right of Lucky King for trainer/owner Jack Darling. Still chasing his maiden win in this fifth start, Cluster Hanover has banked $40,725 and finished third in the OSS Mid-Summer Challenge. Darling purchased the Badlands Hanover gelding as a yearling for $95,000. Three-time Battle Of Waterloo champ Jody Jamieson will steer. Titus Seelster looks to double-up in the final boys’ division (race 10). The pacer captured his first lifetime victory in 1:53.1 with a driving-away win by seven lengths in the $50,000 OSS Mid-Summer Challenge Consolation on July 19. Stephane Larocque trains the Artistic Fella colt, a winner of $38,125 in two starts. Battle Of The Belles Eliminations for the $75,000 Battle Of The Belles will be contested by 24 fillies in three divisions (races 2, 3 and 5). Lady Shadow headlines the first group. She is represented by the Guelph, ON father-son, trainer-driver duo of Gregg and Doug McNair, winners of the 2008 Battle Of Waterloo with Trail Boss. Gregg McNair is also on-point to secure his second consecutive Johnston Cup (for leading trainer in the OSS). He has a stronghold on the standings, thanks to the likes of Lady Shadow. She leads this elimination field for earnings with $51,500 in three starts and a mark of 1:54.4. The McNairs also have Momara — the current leader for OSS Grassroots earnings ($17,356). She enters the second Belles division hoping for a hat-trick. She won by seven and nine lengths respectively in her last two OSS Grassroots outings. Performing Art leads all OSS freshman pacing fillies with $52,500 banked in three OSS starts. She also holds the current season’s record for her division over a five-eighths mile track with a 1:54.2 score at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 11. She starts from post four in the second division for trainer Otis Hall. Alibi Seelster starts from post seven for Jack Darling in race five. The Shadow Play miss was third in the $150,000 OSS Mid-Summer Challenge. A winner of two from four, she was a $27,000 yearling who has already paid her way with $61,000 banked and a mark of 1:53.3. Finalists & Post Position Draw Post positions for the finals will be drawn as follows: • Post Position Draw for the Battle Of The Belles: Drawn live on the Tarmac Show after race 6 on July 29. (Top three finishers from each of the three elimination divisions advance to the final on August 5.) • Post Position Draw for the Battle Of Waterloo: Drawn live on the Tarmac Show after race 11 on July 29. (Top two finishers from each of the four elimination divisions, plus one of the third-place finishers — as drawn by lot — advance to the final on August 5.) Post time for race one on Monday, July 29 is 7:05 p.m. For complete Industry Day details, visit Kelly Spencer

ELORA, ON — With early season division winners Hope For Justice and Aggressive lined up beside him on the starting gate, Grand River Raceway fans gave Tothepointe James very little consideration in the fifth Gold Series division on Monday evening. Trainer-driver Wayne Henry however, ignored the odds and sent the Deweycheatumnhowe son after the lead as soon as the wings folded. Tothepointe James reached the opening quarter in :30 and sailed on to a 1:00.2 half and a 1:31 three-quarters before accelerating away from the field of two-year-old trotting colts to an eight and three-quarter length victory in 2:00.2. Illseeuincourt and Global Reality completed the top three. Fan favourite Hope For Justice made an early break that knocked him out of the action and Aggressive skipped off stride at the three-quarter marker and finished sixth. Arthur resident Henry shares ownership of Tothepointe James with the Estate of Daniel McCann of Parkhill, Jeffrey Thomson of Chesley and Arnold Feldman of Cote Saint-Luc, QC. The half-brother to $485,018 winner Pointe Of Honour, the 2008 freshman trotting colt Super Final champion, was a $25,000 purchase at last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale. Wayne Henry was not the only member of his family to score a Gold Series win at Grand River Raceway on Monday, brother Trevor Henry eked out a nose victory in the sixth race with pacesetter Special Agent Man. The Federal Flex son held off favourite Great White Way and Deweykeepumnwhy to score the 2:01.1 win. Richard Moreau trains Special Agent Man for Ecuries Richelieu Inc. of Venise-en-Quebec, QC. The other Gold Series divisions were captured by See The Wind (1:59.3), Utopia (2:00.1), Mr Lover (2:01.3), and Jitterbug (2:00). The top 20 two-year-old trotting colts make their next start in the Gold Series Mid-Summer Challenge at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, Aug. 5. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement also continues at Grand River Raceway on Monday, Aug. 5, when the three-year-old pacing fillies warm up the enthusiastic Industry Day crowd for the Battle of Waterloo and Battle of the Belles Finals. For complete results please go to by Sandra Snyder  

Despite significant reformatting, the show of support was strong for the 2013 editions of Grand River Raceway's harness racing 'Battle Of Waterloo' and 'Battle Of The Belles'.

A sponsorship of $75,000 from the Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS) has ensured the continuation of the Battle Of Waterloo and the Battle Of The Belles during the 2013 harness racing edition of the annual Industry Day Celebration at Grand River Raceway.

Top Canadian conditioner David Menary predicts 2012 will be his most lucrative year but the fickle state of harness racing in Ontario next year could be a different story. The Cheltenham (Ontario) native has had a boomer season so far winning 64 races, but more importantly the 33-year-old has banked $1,735,573 in purses.

Today (Monday August 6) was a good day to be Cheltenham harness racing trainer Dave Menary. A perfect summer afternoon set the stage for Grand River Raceway's 22nd annual Industry Day event, and it was Menary who triumphed in both of the biggest dashes of the day.

Grand River Raceway will host its annual celebration of the harness racing industry by featuring the province's top two-year-old trotters and pacers on Monday afternoon (August 6) .

Whoosh! Pow! Bam! Each year, Grand River Raceway creates a video tribute to starters in its signature race, the $300,000 Battle Of Waterloo and its companion harness racing dash, the $150,000 Battle Of The Belles. With names like Soevil, Glinda Good Witch and Kamkar Kutie, it's fitting that the 2012 theme is based on a comic book design.

Ontario's two-year-old trotting colts continued to share the wealth as three new faces appeared in the Grand River Raceway winner's circle following Monday's (July 30) Gold Elimination harness racing battles.

Elimination races for Grand River Raceway's Industry Day event were contested this evening, July 30. A total of eight elimination dashes were featured for three harness racing stake events: the $300,000 Battle Of Waterloo (ON-sired two-year-old pacing colts); the $150,000 Battle Of The Belles (ON-sired two-year-old pacing fillies); and the $130,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final for two-year-old trotting colts.

Due to a harness racing race office error, the elimination divisions were redrawn this morning for the Battle Of The Belles and the OSS Gold for two-year-old trotting colts to be raced at Grand River Raceway on July 30.

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