Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 89
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Run Director, a three-year trotter owned by Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, is in the running for one of the top honours in Canadian harness racing. After placing ninth in his only start as a two-year-old, the Kadabra colt hit his stride the following year under trainer Ben Baillargeon, winning six races in 17 starts and more than $400,000. Run Director finished second to Hambletonian runner-up Mets Hall in the $169,183 Simcoe Stakes, won the $225,000 Ontario Sire Stakes (OSS) Super Final and placed fourth in the $500,000 Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Rankin, who is returning to the O'Brien Awards for the second year in a row after winning with rookie trotter Alarm Director in 2018, ranked the OSS Super Final as the highlight of Run Director's racing career so far. "Leaving from post eight, he was parked every step of the race," Rankin said. "When he couldn't pass Stormont Ventnor in the stretch, (Sylvain) Filion tucked him in and I conceded to myself that we would not win the race. "But he pulled him in a few seconds, and he dug in to pull out the victory. This horse would not be denied." In addition to praising Filion, his driver, Rankin singled out Baillargeon, the trainer, for Run Director's outstanding season. "I owe my horse's success unquestionably to my trainer's mastery of taking horses and developing them so they can reach their highest echelon," he said. Established in 1989 and named for hall of fame horseman Joe O'Brien, the O'Brien Awards are presently annually by Standardbred Canada to honour the premier horses in harness racing. This year's O'Brien Awards take place Saturday in Mississauga. The St. Catharines Standard Reprinted with permission of the Weekend Tribune

MILTON, January 7, 2018 - Muscial Rhythm pulled off a 12-1 upset in Monday's $34,000 Preferred Trot at Woodbine Mohawk Park to complete a 'Grand Slam' for harness racing trainer Ben Baillargeon. Freezing rain had no impact on Baillargeon trainees, as four of his five starters on Monday's 10-race card visited the winner's circle. Those that supported the veteran trainer's horses at the windows had a large night, with three of the four going off at odds of 9-1 or higher. Musical Rhythm captured Monday's feature contest by tracking race-favourite Dunbar Hall second-over around the far turn and out battling the previous top-class winner in the lane for a victory of half a length in 1:54.1. The victory gives the gritty seven-year-old 30 for his career and pushes his career earnings to $698,928 for owners Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon. Musical Rhythm returned $26.10 to win. Musical Rhythm Four-year-old trotter Bautista ($21.60) got the night rolling for Baillargeon in the second-race by picking up his first win in his third start for the barn. Six-year-old pacer Major Legacy ($39.10) collected the second win for Baillargeon by narrowly holding on in the evening's fifth-race. The 'Hat-Trick' for Baillargeon came in the evening's sixth-race with six-year-old trotting mare P L Jill ($4.50) taking care of business as the public's top choice. Sylvain Filion steered Bautista and P L Jill to victory, while Mario Baillargeon drove Major Legacy and Musical Rhythm. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. To view Monday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Monday Results - Mohawk Park. Replays available at www.YouTube.com/WoodbineReplays Mark McKelvie    

MILTON, November 26, 2018 - Musical Rhythm made a triumphant harness racing return to the Preferred on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The six-year-old Ben Baillargeon trainee pulled off a 9-1 upset over six-rivals in the $34,000 top-class. A rainy Monday led to 'Sloppy' conditions for the evening's card of racing. Dunbar Hall was the talk of the field, as he entered on a two-race win streak in the Preferred. Dancer Hall, who finished second in the last two editions of the Preferred, powered to the early-lead and posted a :28.3 opener before catching a :30 breather in the second-quarter. B Yoyo moved out from fourth and came first-up, which allowed Musical Rhythm and driver Mario Baillargeon to follow from fifth and sit second-over on the far turn. Dancer Hall maintained the lead to three-quarters in 1:27.4, with B Yoyo pressuring first-up and Musical Rhythm in a perfect second-over spot. Dunbar Hall got away third and rather than coming first-up stayed in and was buried fourth turning for home. In the stretch, B Yoyo immediately trotted by Dancer Hall and took the lead, but it was short-lived, as Musical Rhythm powered by for a three-lengths score in 1:57.1. Free Willy Hanover finished second, while B Yoyo was third and Dunbar Hall fourth. A six-year-old son of Cantab Hall, Musical Rhythm was returning to the Preferred after dropping down and gaining confidence at lower-levels. The Baillargeon trainee registered his ninth career Preferred victory and first since last October. Muscial Rhythm now has two wins and $43,780 earned in eight starts this season for owners Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon. Monday's victory increases his career numbers to 29 wins and $680,228 earned. A $2 win ticket on Musical Rhythm paid $20.50. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie          

Run Director wrapped up the three-year-old harness racing colt trot regular season with his third Gold Series victory on Thursday evening, circling the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval in 1:54.1. Starting from Post 8 driver Sylvain Filion eased the heavy favourite away from the starting gate and trotted along in the outer lane waiting for a wind break. Just past the :27.4 quarter rung up by Joeys Bats, driver Phil Hudon obliged by tipping second choice Stormont Ventnor out of the four-hole. Heading by the :56.3 half Winning American edged out in front of Stormont Ventnor, who skipped off stride as the colts advanced toward the 1:25.3 three-quarters. After powering out three-wide around a stalled Winning American, Run Director swung off the final turn in lock-step with pocket-sitter Jula Downtown. The colts waged a fierce battle all the way down the stretch with Run Director prevailing by a head in 1:54.1. Perfetto finished four and one-half lengths back in third. "I thought tonight he had to work, especially after the two run in the last turn, I thought it would have been a little easier. He won the race, but he had to work hard tonight," said trainer Ben Baillargeon. "I have to say that I was a little surprised. I thought it would have been easier, but they made us earn our money tonight. He raced tough." Guelph resident Baillargeon conditions Run Director for owner-breeders Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, Ontario. Thursday's win boosted the colt's sophomore record to five wins, four seconds and one third in 14 starts for earnings of $282,455. In five regular season appearances, the son of Kadabra and Keep The Spirit won three Gold events and finished second in the other two, giving him a division leading 200 points. In addition to his Ontario Sires Stakes appearances, Run Director also tackled the best sophomore trotting colts in North America on four occasions this season. Following his August 26 Gold Series win at Rideau Carleton Raceway Baillargeon sent the trotter out against open company in the Simcoe Stakes and Run Director finished a hard-closing second. While it had not originally been part of the trainer's plan, Run Director's Simcoe result earned the colt a shot in the Sept. 15 Canadian Trotting Classic where he finished sixth. "He raced so good in the Simcoe we gave him a shot in the Canadian Trotting Classic," explained Baillargeon. "He raced good, but bad posts, he always gets bad posts." In his four open stake appearances Run Director has drawn Posts 6, 7, 8 and 9, a trend Baillargeon hopes will not extend to the Oct. 13 Super Final. The top 10 point earners from the five regular season Gold events will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park for the $225,000 Super Final. With just over two weeks until the lucrative season finale, Baillargeon says Run Director will likely make one more start before he wraps up his Ontario Sires Stakes career. "I'll probably have to do something with him. He likes to race," said the trainer. "I cannot leave him off two and a half weeks, I'll have to get him in a race somewhere." Woodbine Mohawk Park continues to showcase the Ontario Sires Stakes program this week, hosting the fourth Gold Series event for the two-year-old pacing colts and fillies on Friday, Sept. 28 and the $400,000 Grassroots Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29. Post time for both programs is 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MIILTON, ON - September 25, 2018 - Hambletonian champion Atlanta battled heavy rain and older rivals to finish second in Tuesday's $34,000 Preferred at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Four-year-old trotting mare Royal Witch delivered a top-notch effort in the rain to pull off a 12-1 upset victory in 1:56.1 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ben Baillargeon. Dunbar Hall fronted the field of six into the backstretch after being parked through a :28.4 opening-quarter, leading to the half in :58.4. Royal Witch came first-up from third for Gingras on the far turn and trotted around Dunbar Hall, who made a break strides before the three-quarter pole. Atlanta and trainer/driver Rick Zeron got away fourth and stayed inside on the far turn to sit fifth and just over three-lengths from the lead. After reaching three-quarters in 1:27.2, Royal Witch was able to seal the deal with a :28.4 final-quarter for her eighth win of the season. Atlanta and Zeron finished up well, making up ground in the lane and splitting late to edge B Yoyo for second. The margin of victory was a length and a quarter. A daughter of Kadabra, Royal Witch has now earned $109,300 in 17 starts this season and her 11th career victory pushes her to $224,793 in lifetime earnings for owners Tom and Elizabeth Rankin. Royal Witch's first-career Preferred victory saw her return $27.80 for a $2 win ticket. Hambletonian champion Atlanta was making her first start since finishing third in the $340,000 Elegantimage on September 15. The Zeron trained daughter of Chapter Seven is being towards the Kentucky Filly Futurity on October 7 at The Red Mile for her next start. Atlanta, who has won six of 10 starts this season, increased her seasonal earnings to $784,902 with her 10th 'on the board' finish of the season. Her career earnings currently sit at $919,977 for owners Zeron, Crawford Farms, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Brad Grant. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Six Pack has a tendency to keep Ake Svanstedt guessing. The colt, who is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the second of Saturday's two Hambletonian eliminations at The Meadowlands Racetrack, tends to get lazy when in the lead, waiting for other horses to join him. And that can lead to anxious moments for Svanstedt, who trains and drives the horse. "You never know if he's tired, or if he's lazy," Svanstedt said. "Sometimes he feels tired, but he's not tired. He's just waiting for someone and you get afraid. I always have that feeling in the stretch with him. Then someone comes and he picks it up again. But how should I know that? You don't know until it happens." Six Pack heads to the Hambletonian, the sport's premier event for 3-year-old trotters, with eight wins in his past nine races dating to last September. His only setback was a second-place finish to Crystal Fashion in the final of the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, which was only the third time in his career he was passed in the stretch when holding the lead. For his career, Six Pack has won nine of 14 races and earned $557,840 for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, Tomas Olofsson's Stall Kalmar FF, and Lars Berg. The colt enters the Hambletonian off a 1:50 win in his division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial on July 14 at the Meadowlands. The time is the fastest ever by a 3-year-old male trotter. He will start his Hambletonian elimination from post No. 9 in a nine-horse field. "He has raced better and better for every race this year," Svanstedt said. "He is going up the whole time. He's an all-around horse. The good horses are all around. He's nice to handle and nice gaited and can leave fast. I think he can go faster (than 1:50). He was not tired the last time. He was just lazy, so I must push him." The stakes-filled Hambletonian Day card begins at 12 noon. The Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks will be featured on a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT). Wolfgang, from the stable of four-time Hambletonian-winning trainer Jimmy Takter, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the first Hambletonian elimination, which also includes the lone female in the race, Atlanta. The filly, trained by Rick Zeron, is 3-1. She is attempting to become the first filly to win the Hambletonian since Continentalvictory in 1996. The top-five finishers from each $100,000 elimination return for the $1 million final later Saturday afternoon. Starting from post nine with Six Pack is similar to Svanstedt's situation in 2017 when Perfect Spirit left from post 10 in his elimination. Svanstedt got away fourth after a three-wide push on the first turn. He made a first-over move at the half, took the lead briefly in the stretch and finished third to advance to the final. His drive was inspired by a conversation with Hall of Fame driver John Campbell. "I left fast with (Perfect Spirit)," Svanstedt said. "John Campbell said one thing. He said they don't race the Hambletonian tomorrow, and not next week, the Hambletonian is today. You have to leave and give him a chance. I did that." Six Pack is a son of Muscle Mass out of Pleasing Lady. He was purchased for $30,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale. Svanstedt's familiarity with Six Pack's family goes back to Merger Blue Chip, who was out of Six Pack's third dam, Caviar Please, and was raced by former Svanstedt assistant Bjorn "Bernie" Noren before being sent to Europe. Svanstedt raced Six Pack's half-brother Limerence. "We have a very good mare in Sweden, Merger Blue Chip," Svanstedt said. "We bought her here and she raced here for Bernie. Then we took her to Sweden and she was one of the best mares when she was a 5-year-old. Then we bought Limerence. I looked at the pedigree and saw it was the same family as Merger Blue Chip. Limerence was an OK horse. "That's how I found Six Pack because he was a half-brother to Limerence. And Six Pack was a good-looking horse. He is a good-looking horse. He has very good conformation." Svanstedt won the 2017 Hambletonian with Perfect Spirit, who was elevated from second to first when What The Hill was disqualified for interference in the stretch. He is not thinking of winning a second trophy. "It's a big thing, of course, but you can never say something before (the race)," Svanstedt said. "You must race and see what happens. But I have a good horse and I'm happy that I have such a good horse. That is the first step. I don't think the heat racing will bother him. He is big and strong so he should be OK." * * * * * * * Alarm Detector, the 2017 O'Brien Award winner for Canada's best 2-year-old male trotter, is in the same elimination as Six Pack, where he will start from post No. 4 with driver Trevor Henry. Trainer Ben Baillargeon, who is making his Hambletonian debut, hoped his colt would have five starts this year heading into the race, but will enter with four because Alarm Detector made an uncharacteristic break in his elimination of the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial and failed to advance to the final. Since then, Alarm Detector finished third in his division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, which was Six Pack's world-record mile, and won a qualifier in 1:54 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Earlier this year, in June, he finished third in the Goodtimes Stakes, but after the race was discovered to be sick. "I thought he raced tremendous (in the Dancer)," Baillargeon said. "It was a very costly first quarter (:26.2) for a trotter at the Meadowlands. He was parked three deep and two deep the first quarter (before getting the lead). They went very big fractions and he raced real good. I have no complaints about the horse. "I just qualified him in (1):54 on Friday. We had a very big headwind down the lane and Trevor just let him roll the third quarter in :26.4. He did it pretty much under wraps. He's going into the race in great shape. He's as best as he's been all year. He's trotting perfect. All we need is a little luck. That day everything has to be perfect. If everything is perfect for us, we'll be right there at the wire. If not, well, some other time." As for the break at Pocono, the trainer said, "For some reason he got on the right line in the second turn and just dove right in, tried to cut the corner too quick. Trevor had to grab him or he was going to knock somebody down. They all have their bad days at one time or another. We have to forget about it and move on." Alarm Detector won all but one of his seven races last year, capping his abbreviated campaign with a victory in the William Wellwood Memorial. He did not race again in 2017 because of a bruise on the right hind cannon bone. He was given four months to recover. The colt is a son of Chapter Seven out of Final Countdown. His family includes Dan Patch and O'Brien awards-winner Ken Warkentin, who was named in honor of the Meadowlands Racetrack announcer and voice of the Hambletonian, as well as stakes-winner Holiday Road. Alarm Detector was purchased for $110,000 and is owned by Thomas Rankin, Elizabeth Rankin, Claude Hamel, and Santo Vena. "I was in Harrisburg (for the Standardbred Horse Sale) with Santo Vena," Baillargeon said. "(Agent) Brian Montgomery said I should take a look at this horse. We took a look at him and we just fell in love. He was strong and built for the hard work. I liked the breeding page, you can't ask for anything better. There is enough pedigree in him. I said I have to bring him home. He's turned out to be a nice horse." * * * * * * * Expect trainer Dewayne Minor to be watching the weather reports leading up to Saturday's Hambletonian. Why? His Shoshie Deo, the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion, is fond of dry conditions. His most recent two races were on a sloppy track and he finished no better than fourth in either. "The last two performances, you really can't tell much because he raced in the rain and he really doesn't like the rain," Minor said. "So that didn't give us a real true indication of going in here, but with his attitude, he's got such a positive attitude, we'll give it a try. We're just hoping for a good track and that it doesn't rain on us and maybe we can do some good here." Shoshie Deo is a son of Wishing Stone out of Fortune Dream. Minor also trained Wishing Stone, who finished third in the 2010 Hambletonian with George Brennan in the sulky. Brennan will drive Shoshie Deo, who has won seven of 17 career races and earned $151,040 for owner Annemette Minor. "He's got a big sweeping gait like a French horse," Minor said. "He's out of a French mare and he's got the gait like them. If he can use his gait the right way and get good live cover in here he'll be close. We're just hoping for the best. "He's paid his way. He's made enough to go in, win, lose or draw." Following are the fields for the Hambletonian eliminations. Hambletonian Elimination One PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Shoshie Deo-George Brennan-Dewayne Minor-10/1 2-Evaluate-Orjan Kihlstrom-Marcus Melander-15/1 3-Met's Hall-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1 4-Lawmaker-David Miller-Andrew Harris-8/1 5-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/2 6-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-7/2 7-Atlanta-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron-3/1 8-Hat Trick Habit-Andy Miller-Scott DiDomenico-12/1 9-Zephyr Kronos-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-10/1 Hambletonian Elimination Two PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Fashionwoodchopper-David Miller-Jim Campbell-10/1 2-Patent Leather-David Miller-Jim Campbell-15/1 3-Classichap-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-6/1 4-Alarm Detector-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon-10/1 5-Fourth Dimension-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-10/1 6-Southwind Chrome-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-5/1 7-Tactical Landing-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-4/1 8-You Know You Do-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-8/1 9-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-2/1  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

Milton, ON - JUNE 26, 2018 - When the harness racing trotter Run Director crossed the finish line at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday evening, the three-year-old colt did more than just collect an Ontario Sires Stakes blanket and a share of the $97,200 Gold division purse. "I named him after this lady, Mary Ann Edwards, she is our run director. We have a run for cancer and we've made $8.5 million in the last 13 years - we made $1.05 million this year - and she's the dynamic person behind it," explained owner-breeder Tom Rankin. "So I'm very happy for her, I named the horse after her." The Rankin Cancer Run, which was founded by Edwards and supported from the start by Rankin Construction, is held annually in St. Catharines and is unique in that all of the money raised remains in the community. With his first stakes win Run Director paid a fitting tribute to Edwards and the impact that the run has had on cancer care in the Niagara Region. Run Director's victory was also meaningful for the Rankins because he is a fourth generation product of their breeding program. Tom and his wife Elizabeth acquired the colt's great-grandmother Armbro Mink in 1992 and the mare and her offspring have given the St. Catharine's residents nine $100,000-plus winners over the last 26 years. "We've had some good horses out of the family, but this guy might be the best," stated Rankin, adding that he was a little nervous before the race after watching his US-bred colt Alarm Detector make a costly break in a stake race in Pennsylvania on Saturday. "Tonight I'm on pins and needles after one horse makes a break - and he went off as the second favourite. You never know in horse racing." Fortunately heavy favourite Run Director was easy on Rankin's nerves as he took command of the race before the halfway marker and never faced a challenge, cruising home a four and one-quarter length winner in a personal best 1:55. May 28 Gold Leg winner Tinas Majesty finished second and early pacesetter Henderson Seelster was third. Milton resident Sylvain Filion drives Run Director and Ben Baillargeon of Guelph conditions the son of Kadabra and Keep The Spirit. The win was the second lifetime for the colt and boosted his career earnings to $86,160. Run Director's next start will come in the third Gold Leg at Grand River Raceway on July 18, but after finishing third in his elimination and sixth in the final of the Goodtimes Stakes in just his sixth and seventh lifetime starts the colt will have a few more opportunities to pit his skills against North America's best. "I didn't stake him to the Hambletonian. Ben said, 'Do you want to race against Alarm Detector?' and I said, 'No'," recalled Rankin with a chuckle. "But I've got him in the Canadian Trotting Classic and I think he's in the Breeders Crown, so I do have him staked, because I had (Super Final winner) R First Class last year and I didn't have him staked to anything, and I said I'm not making the same mistake." Unlike Run Director, Stormont Ventnor will have to settle for competing against his Ontario Sires Stakes peers for the remainder of the season. Coming off a fifth in his elimination and a second in the final of the $266,000 Goodtimes, last year's two-year-old Grassroots champion laid down a sharp 1:54.2 effort in the second Gold division on Tuesday, but does not have any other open stakes engagements on his schedule this summer. "He just has pretty much the Sires Stakes now. We paid him into the Goodtimes just in case he stepped up to be a Goodtimes horse, which he did," said trainer Kevin Benn with a chuckle. "But we didn't pay him into anything else." Caught in the outer lane after starting from Post 7, Stormont Ventnor powered to the lead heading for the :57.3 half and never relinquished control on his way to the 1:54.2 victory. Perfetto closed hard to be second, one and one-half lengths behind the fan favourite, and early pacesetter Mister Magic was third. Guelph resident Phil Hudon drives Stormont Ventnor for Napanee-based Benn and owner-breeder Eric Baker of Long Sault, Ontario. Tuesday's win was a satisfying result for the son of Justice Hall and Lady Grenville, who made an early and uncharacteristic break in the Gold Series season opener and finished eighth. "He got too hot on the gate. He was on it too long and he just got mad," said Benn of the May 28 miscue. "So we just brought him in a little bit later, he should be no problem, I hope." Never worse than second in six Grassroots starts at two, Stormont Ventnor will be looking to replicate that record in the three remaining Gold Series events and the season-ending Super Final. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday, June 29 with four Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts, slated as Races 3, 5, 7, and 10 on the 7:30 pm program. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 24 - Chapter Seven colt Alarm Detector improved his harness racing undefeated streak to four with a series record 1:56 victory in Thursday's Define The World final at Mohawk Racetrack. Scratched down to a field of five rookie trotting colts, Alarm Detector was sent off as the 1/9 favourite in the $34,800 event for the team of driver Trevor Henry and trainer Ben Baillargeon. Cantabernet left from the centre and grabbed the early lead, while Alarm Detector sat just to the outside of the leader passed the opening-quarter in :28.2. Henry was cautious with the heavy-favourite and eventually was able to get Alarm Detector around Cantabernet once the field straightened out into the backstretch. Alarm Detector led by the half in :58.1, before ramping up the tempo :28.3 to lead by a length and half at three-quarters in 1:26.4. In the stretch, Cantabernet angled off the pylons to try and take a shot, but Alarm Detector cruised home in :29.1 to secure the victory by 2 ¼ lengths. Will Can Go finished third. Following the race, Henry talked about securing the lead around three-eighths. "We had a little trouble (clearing), they make it a little tougher when you're going for some more money," Henry said. "But I was just trying to be safe with him and take my time and hopefully get there without making a mistake and he did." Alarm Detector is a perfect four for four with his victories adding up to a combined 18 lengths. "He's good gaited and he's willing. He wants to do it and he likes to do it," said Henry, who added "there is more there" when asked if he's yet to let the rookie loose. Although there was a couple anxious moments early, trainer Baillargeon noted Thursday's race was a good learning experience. "It got a little bumpy at the quarter when we were still three-deep and :28.2, he hasn't done that (before)," Baillargeon said. "Trevor told me that he hit the bike after the first turn, so it got him rattled up a little bit, but he came out of it and survived and it's part of the learning." A $110,000 purchase at last November's Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Alarm Detector has now earned $38,400 for owners Thomas & Elizabeth Rankin, Claude Hamel and Santo Vena heading towards Grand Circuit events. Baillargeon plans to race Alarm Detector in next week's Champlain Stakes, followed up the William Wellwood Memorial. Live racing continues Friday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 27 - A return to his local track turned into yet another convincing harness racing victory for Musical Rhythm Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Ben Baillargeon trainee was a four-length winner in Monday's eight-horse $34,000 Preferred Trot. Musical Rhythm is now six for six at Mohawk this season and a perfect 11 for 11 on the WEG Circuit in 2016. The four-year-old son of Cantab Hall was making his first start Monday since finishing sixth in a leg of the Graduate Series at Tioga Downs on June 12. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Musical Rhythm trotted along in mid-pack until getting his cue to march on first up around the final turn. Fearless Man, who had made a second-quarter move to the lead, led the field around the far turn and held a narrow advantage over the first over challenger at the three-quarter pole in 1:24. In the stretch, Musical Rhythm powered right on by Fearless Man and pulled away from his rivals with ease. The Baillargeon trainee trotted home in :28.2 for the comfortable victory. Whiskey Tax, who led at the opening-quarter, finished second, while Olympic Son was third. Musical Rhythm now has 11 wins from 13 starts this season for earnings of just under $200,000. He is owned by Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon. Monday's victory is the 20th career score for Musical Rhythm and pushes his career earnings over $295,000. He paid $3.20 to win. Musical Rhythm Top trotters were the main attraction Monday evening, but it was a pair of overnight performances that caught the attention of many. Five-year-old gelding Domitian Hall won the evening's fifth-race, a $20,000 overnight event, by just over 10 lengths in a stunning 1:51.2. The clocking was a new career-best for the son of Justice Hall and became the nation's fastest trotting mile of the season by an older male trotter. However, the same class was split into two races and four-year-old Rubber Duck would match Domitian Hall's mark with his own 1:51.2 mile later in the evening. The son of Muscle Mass knocked more than three-seconds off his previous career-best with the national season's record-equaling mile. In the fifth race, Domitian Hall and Jonathan Drury got away seventh and marched their way towards the front in the middle-half, ultimately grabbing command at the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3. The five-year-old finished off his mile with a :26.4 final-quarter for the blow out victory. In the ninth race, Rubber Duck sat in the three-hole until making a move to the front around the final turn for driver Jack Moiseyev. The five-year-old had to deal with Cash For Gold pressing him throughout the lane, but the Julie Walker trainee was game and held him off with a :28 final-quarter. Domitian Hall was making his debut for new trainer Carmen Auciello Monday night. He now has five wins in 21 starts this season and 14 throughout the course of his career. Rubber Duck picked up his second win in six starts this season Monday. His impressive mile gives him six career victories. Musical Rhythm held the previous season's mark for an older male trotter of 1:52, taken on March 7th at Woodbine. The fastest trotting mile overall this season in Canada is 1:51, posted by Hannelore Hanover in the Armbro Flight Final on June 18th at Mohawk. Monday's card also featured three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for sophomore trotting colts and geldings. Bee In Charge took advantage of a stretch break by the leader to win the first division in a career-best 1:54.3. The gelded son of Manofmanymissions is a half-brother to the great Bee A Magician. Chris Christoforou guided the Per Henriksen trainee to his third win of the season. Zagster was able to convert off a second over trip from driver Trevor Henry to win the second split in 1:55.2. The gelded son of Muscle Mass is trained by Shannon Henry and now has two wins on the season. The final division featured a trio of horses (Will Take Charge, Dia Monde and Tony Soprano) coming out of the Goodtimes Final. Will Take Charge, who finished second in the Goodtimes, grabbed command in the second-quarter and never looked back en route to a career-best 1:53 score. The gelded son of Kadabra was driven to his third win of the season by Paul MacDonell for trainer John Bax. Live racing continues Tuesday night at Mohawk with another 10-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Grand Circuit harness racing trotting mares capped off an eventful May long weekend Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The first leg of the Miss Versatility Series featured two $30,000 divisions. The series for older trotting mares stops at Mohawk twice, The Meadowlands and Tioga Downs before wrapping up with the final on Little Brown Jug Day at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. A scratch in each division left fields of seven to battle in first round splits. Four-year-old Jewels In Hock and driver John Campbell took care of business in the first division with a 1:54.2 victory by 4½ lengths. The Linda Toscano trainee took command of the race on the way to the half with a fourth to first move. After posting fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.2, Jewels In Hock kicked clear from her rivals and trotted home comfortably in :28 to win as the public's choice. White Becomes Her, the leader at the opening-quarter, finished second, while MissysGa Ga crossed the wire third. A daughter of Credit Winner, Jewels In Hock won 9 of 17 starts last season and was the New York Sires Stakes champion. She finished her sophomore season with over $353,000 in earnings. The four-year-old trotting mare picked up her first win in her second start of the season Monday. Owned by KJ Stables LLC, Jewels In Hock now has 12 career victories and over $382,000 in career earnings. The Toscano trainee paid $3.80 to win. Jewels In Hock In the second division, Rockin With Dewey just held off a late surge from Charmed Life to win in 1:53.3. The Ben Baillargeon trainee flashed some early speed for driver Mario Baillargeon and got away in the two-hole behind longshot Second Sister. There was little movement throughout the opening-half with Second Sister posting panels of :28.1 and :56.3. Baillargeon angled Rockin With Dewey out of the pocket nearing the three-quarter pole, while Charmed Life was moving up towards the front on the outside. In the stretch, Rockin With Dewey took the lead and was trotting up a storm. Charmed Life was sitting a few lengths back of the leader, but in the final strides closed in to make it a photo finish. At the wire, Rockin With Dewey came out on top by a narrow margin. Charmed Life now has four runner-up finishes in five starts this season. Elegant Serenity finished third. A six-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Rockin With Dewey now has two wins in five starts this season. She is owned by Ben Baillargeon and Diane Ingham. Rockin With Dewey has had success previously in the Miss Versatility. The Baillargeon trainee won two legs of the series last year. The six-year-old trotting mare now has 16 career victories and earnings of over $523,000. Rockin With Dewey paid $5.70 to win. Rockin With Dewey The next leg of the Miss Versatility Series is set for Canada Day (July 1) at Mohawk. Also on Monday, Flanagan Memory was a repeat winner in the $34,000 Preferred Trot. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Flanagan Memory came first up around the final turn to draw even with the leader Rubber Duck turning for home. The Rene Dion trainee marched by to take the lead in the lane and score a length and a half victory in 1:53.3. Intimidate got up to finish second, while Rubber Duck was third. A six-year-old son of Kadabra, Flanagan Memory now has two wins in three starts this season after winning two of 15 starts last year and banking $299,769. He paid $3.10 to win Monday evening. Flanagan Memory Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

The streak and buzz surrounding Musical Rhythm continued to grow after another dominating harness racing victory Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Ben Baillargeon trainee squared off with eight rivals in the $34,000 Preferred Trot and once again was a no doubt about it winner. Musical Rhythm left from post-four and quickly crossed over to the pylons to get away fourth for driver Mario Baillargeon, while Fearless Man cut a quarter of :27. The tempo slowed down in the second-quarter and that was Baillargeon's cue to fire the heavy-favourite to the front. Musical Rhythm trotted by the half in :56.4 and raised the tempo around the final turn to reach to the three-quarter pole in 1:25.2. In the stretch, Musical Rhythm bid farewell to his opponents and quickly opened up a six-length lead with an eighth of a mile to go. Under no urging from Baillargeon, the four-year-old son of Cantab Hall cruised by the wire in 1:53.2 for a 6¾ lengths victory. O Narutac Perfetto finished second, while Windsun Revenge was third. Musical Rhythm extended his current win streak to 11 with Monday's victory. The Baillargeon trainee was making his first start since winning the Don Mills Series final on April 23. The four-year-old standout has now won 13 of 14 starts since being purchased for $33,000 last November by Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon. Musical Rhythm has been a great investment for his connections, as he has earned them $169,300 in 14 starts. Monday's Preferred victory was the Baillargeon trainee's second win in two cracks at the WEG Circuit top trot. His previous Preferred win was a career-best 1:52 performance on March 7 at Woodbine. Musical Rhythm is expected to make his next start against Grand Circuit four-year-olds in The Graduate Series opening leg on May 21 at The Meadowlands. A $2 win ticket on Musical Rhythm Monday evening returned $2.70. Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Trotters were in the spotlight Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack with the Tie Silk Series Final headlining the 10-race harness racing card. A field of ten three-year-old trotting colts and geldings clashed in the $32,200 Tie Silk Series Final. The sophomore trotters not only had to deal with each other, but also rainy and windy conditions. Eddie Green trainee Donicus, 6-5 favourite, was aiming for a series sweep from post-five, but right to his inside was Per Henriksen trainee Muscle Hustle, the 8-5 second choice. Henriksen opted to skip the second leg with Muscle Hustle after the son of Muscle Mass won a leg one division. Donicus and Muscle Hustle trotted out quickly at the start with the Green trainee grabbing the lead and posting an opening-quarter of :27.2. Muscle Hustle and driver Randy Waples sat patiently in the two-hole, as the favourite posted fractions of :58.2 and 1:28.2. Waples pulled on the right line to set up a stretch duel at the top of the lane. Muscle Hustle found top gear quickly and surged by to record a two-length victory in 1:56.2. Donicus' bid at a series sweep was denied, as he finished second. Greg Peck trainee Merchandiser, who won a leg two division, finished third from post-ten. Muscle Hustle was making just his second start of 2016 and fifth overall Monday. The Henriksen trainee now has three career victories and over $33,000 earned for owners Ecurie Bergh Inc. The clocking of 1:56.2 shaved nearly a second off Muscle Hustle's previous career-best. He paid $5.30 to win. Muscle Hustle Three-year-old trotters, who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2015, were eligible to the Tie Silk. The weekly $34,000 Preferred Trot saw yet another older trotter find the winner's circle Monday. Charlie Is A Joker benefited from breaks by the two favourties, Fearless Man and Flanagan Memory, to win in 1:55.3 for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Ben Baillargeon. The eight-year-old gelded son of Angus Hall grabbed the early lead, before surrendering the front to Zeus Lightning in the second-quarter. Charlie Is A Joker sat in the two-hole until the top of the lane and surged by in the stretch to win by a length at odds of 9-1. Zeus Lightning held on for second, while Hldontghttoyurdrms finished third. Charlie Is A Joker now has back-to-back victories to improve his season's record to four wins in 13 starts. The veteran trotter has banked $71,000 this season for owners Thomas & Elizabeth Rankin. Monday's victory was the 32nd career score for Charlie Is A Joker and pushes his career earnings over $443,000. He paid $20.50 to win. Charlie Is A Joker While the older male trotters battled early in the card, the Late-Double started with a $24,000 Mares Trot. Many familiar older trotters, including Charmed Life, Rockin With Dewey and Bax Of Life, headlined the field, but a daughter of Muscle Mass making her four-year-old debut stole the show. Muscle Baby Doll shot through late for driver Sylvain Filion with great final-quarter speed to win in 1:54.4 at odds of 10-1. The Tony O'Sullivan trainee was making her debut against older rivals after winning eight of 15 as a three-year-old and banking over $451,000 in her first two seasons on the track. Charmed Life, who took command in the second-quarter, surrendered the lead late and had to settle for second, while Rockin With Dewey finished third. Muscle Baby Doll trotted along fourth for the majority of the mile and used a :27.1 final-quarter to win by a length and a quarter. The daughter of Muscle Mass is owned by F Bellino And Sons LLC and now has 13 career victories. Muscle Baby Doll returned $23.60 to win. Muscle Baby Doll Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Musical Rhythm scored his 10th consecutive victory Saturday night in the harness racing $42,600 Don Mills Trotting Series final at Mohawk Racetrack. The Ben Baillargeon trainee crushed his five rivals with a five and a half lengths victory in 1:52.4 to easily sweep the three-week Don Mills Series. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Musical Rhythm got away third before brushing to the front in the second-quarter. The 1-9 favourite posted fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.3 before trotting home confidently in :27.1 for his eighth victory of the season. Hillsonator finished second, while Musical Rhythm's stablemate Grana Padanno was third. Musical Rhythm was purchased for $33,000 last November at the Harrisburg Mixed Sale and has since won 11 of 12 starts and earned $152,300 for owners Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon. A four-year-old son of Cantab Hall, Musical Rhythm improved his career totals to 17 wins and over $200,000 earned with his Don Mills Series final victory. Following Saturday's race, Ben Baillargeon explained what his initial expectations were for Musical Rhythm. "I liked about him that he fit the non-winners of three or $75,000 and the General Brock Series," said Baillargeon. "I thought he was a nice horse, a fast horse and he showed a quarter in :26.4 as a two-year-old, so that's what I look for at the sale, I like when they have speed. "For some reason this year he has put it together and he has been nothing but good for me. The hopple broke the one time he ran at the gate or else he would be perfect." While Musical Rhythm has exceeded expectations, his connections are enjoying the pleasant surprise and have staked him heavily to top events this season. "We put him in the Graduate Series starting in a month at The Meadowlands, so he will probably race one time before we go there," noted Baillargeon. "But this week he is going to hit the field." Musical Rhythm's victory gives Baillargeon his second consecutive Don Mills Series final win. Last year, Etruscan Hanover won the series finale in a record 1:52.2. Musical Rhythm has quickly made a name for himself in 2016 and Baillargeon noted he isn't sure just how good the four-year-old can be. "I know he's a better horse off a helmet because he wants to go when you pull on the right line, but time will tell." Four and five-year-old trotters, who were non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2015, were eligible to the Don Mills Trotting Series. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Blossom Series final will highlight the 10-race program. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, ONT - April 16 - The buzz surrounding four-year-old trotter Musical Rhythm got even louder Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Ben Baillargeon trainee scored his ninth consecutive victory Saturday against six rivals in the $20,000 Don Mills Trotting Series second leg. A son of Cantab Hall, Musical Rhythm trotted out strong at the start for driver Mario Baillargeon and got away second. Olympic Son, who was returning to the local circuit following a stint south of the border, sprinted to the lead and posted a snappy opening-quarter of :26.2. Baillargeon wasted little time circling Musical Rhythm to the lead in the second-quarter and posted a half-mile clocking of :56. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:25.1, Musical Rhythm charged home effortlessly in :27.2 to win by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:52.4. Mystery Bet rallied from sixth to finish second, while Grana Padanno, a stablemate of Musical Rhythm, finished third. A $33,000 purchase at last November's Harrisburg Sale, Musical Rhythm has won 10 of 11 starts for owners Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon. The son of Cantab Hall is seven for seven this season for $91,000 in earnings. Musical Rhythm has earned $131,000 since being purchased in November. A $2 win ticket Saturday on the four-year-old returned $2.20. The Baillargeon trainee will now go for the series sweep in next Saturday's $42,600 final. In order to be eligible to the Don Mills, the four and five-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2015. Also on Saturday, Nickle Bag picked up his eighth win of the season in the $34,000 Preferred Pace. A field of seven squared off in the weekly feature event and it was a wide open contest, as three different horses (Boomboom Ballykeel, Ellis Park, Nirvana Seelster) had captured the Preferred over the previous three weeks. Nickle Bag entered Saturday winless in his last three starts after a six-race win streak. The Bill Robinson trainee found his way back to the winner's circle thanks to a second-over trip from driver Trevor Henry. Nirvana Seelster cut out fractions of :27.3, :55.3 and 1:23 to lead the field into the lane, while Nickle Bag sat second-over on the back of Ellis Park. In the stretch, Nickle Bag ripped off cover and surged by in deep stretch for the 1:50 victory. Ellis Park edged out Nirvana Seelster to finish second. A six-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover, Nickle Bag now has eight wins in 13 starts this season. Saturday's victory was his 27th career score and pushes his career earnings over $600,000 for owners Linda and Harry Loyens. Nickle Bag paid $5.90 to win. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

Musical Rhythm has been the hottest trotter around over the last few months and Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack he continued his harness racing dominance. The Ben Baillargeon trainee stepped up to tackle Preferred trotters Monday. Musical Rhythm entered the Preferred on a six-race win streak, including a sweep of the General Brock Series. Mild temperatures and a 'Fast' track set the stage for the six-horse $34,000 Preferred. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Musical Rhythm, the 3/5 favourtie, used his tremendous gate speed and sprinted to an early lead. After an opening-quarter of :27.1, Fearless Man circled around from second to grab command for Rick Zeron entering the backstretch. Zeus Lightning was parked around the first turn and came charging up looking for the lead heading to the half, but Zeron refused to surrender the front. The two trotters waged war throughout the middle-half and set solid fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.2. Meanwhile, Baillargeon and Musical Rhythm waited patiently in behind the lead pair. In the stretch, Musical Rhythm was angled wide and powered by the leaders. The Baillargeon trainee trotted strongly through the wire for a four-length victory in an eye-catching 1:52. Zeus Lightning battled hard to finish second, while Burnin Money got up for third. Musical Rhythm has now won seven in a row and nine of 10 starts since joining the Baillargeon barn. The four-year-old son of Cantab Hall was purchased in November by owners Baillargeon, Santo & Nunzio Vena and Claude Hamel. Musical Rhythm's clocking of 1:52 was not only a new career mark, but also North America's fastest trotting mile this season. The Baillargeon trainee has banked $61,000 in five starts this year. Monday's victory was the 14th career score for Musical Rhythm and pushes his career earnings over $167,000. A $2 win ticket on Musical Rhythm returned $3.30. Musical Rhythm Mark McKelvie

Musical Rhythm continued his win streak with his most impressive harness racing victory to date in Monday's $50,000 General Brock Series Final at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of ten four-year-old trotters met up for the final of the General Brock, but all the focus surrounded Ben Baillargeon trainee Musical Rhythm. The son of Cantab Hall entered the series final on a four-race win streak, while also winning eight of his last nine starts. The public sent the Baillargeon trainee off at odds of 3/5 from post nine. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Musical Rhythm sprinted off the wings of the gate searching for the front. Hillsonator, who won a leg one division, also left hard from post two, but the public's choice had the most trot and grabbed the front to post an opening-quarter of :26.4. Musical Rhythm caught a breather in the second-quarter of :30.1, before stepping it up to trot by the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2. At the top of the stretch, Baillargeon let his charge loose and the son of Cantab Hall responded by quickly leaving his rivals far behind. Musical Rhythm stormed home in :27.2 to score an 8½ length blowout victory in a series record time of 1:53.4. Hillsonator finished second, while Five Below grabbed third. The clocking of 1:53.4 erased the previous series record of 1:54.2 set by E W Fisher in 2011. Owned by Santo and Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Baillargeon, Musical Rhythm's series sweeping victory improves him to four for four in 2016. He has also now won eight of nine starts since joining the Baillargeon barn in November. Musical Rhythm's career record now sits at 13 wins from 27 starts, while his career bankroll has exceeded $150,000. A $2 win ticket on the Baillargeon trainee returned $3.20 In order to be eligible to the General Brock, the three and four-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Mark McKelvie

1 to 16 of 89
1 2 3 4 5 Next »