Georgian Downs rolled out the red carpet on Saturday night for the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series with five $18,000 dashes going behind the gate. When the dust had cleared, it was Shadios who shined brightest, turning in a career-best 1:50.3 clocking in the fourth Grassroots flight. With Billy Davis Jr. in the bike, Shadios sat in second while Warrawee Phoenix (Scott Coulter) rattled off fast fractions of :26.4, :53.4, and 1:22.2. Davis Jr. already had his charge out of the pocket at three-quarters and he took control entering the far turn. From there, Shadios set sail for the wire, which he reached five lengths to the good over runner-up Regal Babe (Mike Saftic). Twin B Spy (Robert Shepherd) finished in third. Tony Alagna trains Shadios, a Shadow Play gelding, for Great Britain-based owner Tom Hill. Shadios has won three times from six starts this year and he has four career victories. He has earned $26,860 in 2014 and $41,150 in his life. Davis Jr. also won the Grassroots opener with Some Major Beach, the Major In Art half-brother to the great Somebeachsomewhere. Making his first start for trainer Dave Menary, Some Major Beach worked out a second-over trip and then converted it into a 1:52.4 victory. He defeated Major Homer (Travis Henry) by two and three-quarters lengths with Allstar Seelster (Mike Saftic) back in third. Muscara Racing Trust of Ivyland, Pennsylvania, Robert Watson of Ashfield, Australia and Martinez Equine of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania own Some Major Beach. This was his second career win from 17 tries and he has banked $154,226. The other three divisions were all won by driver Scott Coulter. He guided Andreios Kardia to a 1:53.1 decision in the second split; Regal Son to a 1:54.1 tally in the third division; and Lucky King to a 1:53.1 triumph in the Grassroots nightcap. Andreios Kardia, a gelding by Badlands Hanover, is trained by Jeff Madill for owner/breeder Ina Madill of Innisfil, Ont. Unraced as a freshman, Andreios Kardia is four-for-16 this year with $55,350 in the bank. Regal Son, a Stonebridge Regal colt, is trained by Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ont, who also bred Regal Son with long-time partner C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio. Gordon Wright of Charlotte, Michigan is also part of the ownership contingent. Regal Son is a four-time winner in his racing career and he has earned over $55,550. Andrew McCabe sent out Camluck colt Lucky King for owner Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, Ont. This was the first Ontario Sires Stakes win this year for Lucky King, who won last year’s Grassroots Championship for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. He has six career victories and he has stashed away $91,053 for his connections. The next event for the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series is slated for August 3 at Hanover Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, July 12 - A quintet of Canadian Breeders Championship eliminations for the three-year-old pacers were contested Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Lady Shadow turned in the performance of the evening with a sizzling 1:49.2 victory in the third and final $17,477 elimination for the pacing fillies. The Gregg McNair trainee was sent hard to the front by driver Rick Zeron and never looked back. Off a three-quarter time of 1:22.1, Lady Shadow paced home in :27.1 for a 8 ¾ length victory. The 1:49.2 clocking was a new lifetime best for the daughter of Shadow Play - Lady Camella and her third win in six starts this season. Nefertiti Bluechip finished in the place spot, while Justabit Mean was third. The elimination victory boosts Lady Shadow's career earnings to over $320,000 for owners Lindsey and Connie Rankin. She paid $4.40 to win. My Secret Belle and owner/trainer/driver Joe Hudon converted off a pocket trip in the first elimination. The daughter of Mach Three - Kindly Jenna grabbed the lead early and was able to take a seat in the two-hole when Brookedale Shadow cleared to the front as the field hit the backstretch. At the top of the lane, Hudon pulled the pocket and My Secret Belle paced by Brookedale Shadow for a 2 ¾ length victory in 1:51.1. Brookedale Shadow held on for second over Artful Impulse. The win was the fifth in 17 starts this year for My Secret Belle and it pushes her career earnings to more than $110,000. She paid $3.80 to win. In the second split, Sudoku and driver Jody Jamieson turned in a 2 ½ length victory in 1:51.1. The daughter of Badlands Hanover - Mind Boggling was situated third over on the final turn and unleashed a :26.4 last quarter. Performing Art, who was second over in front of Sudoku, finished second, while Badlyinclined rallied for third. The 1:51.1 clocking was a new lifetime best for Sudoku, who is now undefeated in two starts this season for trainer Tony O'Sullivan.The victory boosts her career earnings to over $225,000 for the ownership group of Let It Ride Stable Inc, Mentally Stable Inc, Dana Parham and Howard Taylor. Sudoku returned $3.70 to win. The first $26,149 elimination for the colts and geldings went to 2013 Metro Pace winner Boomboom Ballykeel and driver Jonathan Drury in 1:50.3. The son of Mach Three - Teig N Riley took the lead approaching the half and dug in through the stretch to hold off a late charging Hunch Man by half a length. Victor Bayama finished third. The victory was the third in five starts this season for Boomboom Ballykeel and it equaled his career mark. He is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Ballykeel Racing Inc. Shadowbriand and Roger Mach Em finished fourth and fifth to secure the last two spots for next week's final. Boomboom Ballykeel now has careers earning exceeding $478,000 and he paid $7.80 to win. The second and final elimination went to the Dr. Ian Moore trained Silverhill Shadow and driver Chris Christoforou. The son of Shadow Play - Ruthie Jane made a brush to the lead down the backstretch and paced away from the field in the stretch to Prince Clyde finished second, while Speckled Door was third. The elimination victory was the second win in ten starts this season for Silverhill Shadow and increased his career earnings to over $85,000 for owner Silverhill. Lucky King and Titus Seelster clinched the last two spots in the final with fourth and fifth place finishes. Silverhill Shadow returned $4.30 to win. The finals for both divisions will be held next Saturday night (July 19) at Mohawk as part of the Maple Leaf Trot card. Following the eliminations, the post positions for both finals were drawn in the paddock. Elimination winners were able to select their own post position. Here is how they will lineup for next week's finals. Canadian Breeders Championship - 3 Year Old Pacing Filles - Purse: $122,343 1. Performing Art - Billy Davis Jr. 2. Sudoku - Jody Jamieson 3. My Secret Belle - Joe Hudon Jr. 4. Lady Shadow - Rick Zeron 5. Badlyinclined - Jack Moiseyev 6. Justabit Mean - Jonathan Drury 7. Brookedale Shadow - Chris Christoforou 8. Brescia Seelster - Sylvain Filion 9. Nefertiti Bluechip - Jody Jamieson 10. Artful Impulse - Steve Condren AE: Mea Lilley Mark - Mike Saftic Canadian Breeders Championship - 3 Year Old Pacing Colts and Geldings - Purse: $122,028 1. Shadowbriand - Paul Macdonell 2. Speckled Door - Phil Hudon 3. Silverhill Shadow - Chris Christoforou 4. Boomboom Ballykeel - Jonathan Drury 5. Roger Mach Em - Jack Moiseyev 6. Lucky King - Billy Davis Jr. 7. Prince Clyde - James MacDonald 8. Hunch Man - Mike Saftic 9. Titus Seelster - Sylvain Filion 10. Victor Bayama - Sylvain Filion AE: High Flier - Billy Davis Jr. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
SUMMERSIDE, PE - Carnivore capped off a Marc Campbell harness racing driving triple to propel the Island reinsman to victory in Saturday night's Atlantic Regional Driving Championship at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. Campbell scored a 1:55.1 win with Carnivore in the final race of the competition for trainer Marvyn Webster and owner Valleygrove Farm of Kensington, P.E.I. Campbell finished the competition with 71 points to send him to the National Driving Championship on August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. "I'm feeling really good," Campbell said after the victory. "I had a good line up and the horses raced good. It's always close these kind of things and that's what makes it really exciting." Pictonian Press finished second to put Nova Scotia driver Ryan Ellis into the other spot for the National's with 65 points, while PC Shockwave finished third to give Darren Crowe 55 points, finishing third in the competition. "It started out good and I just had good horses I guess," Ellis said. "After looking at the card I thought I had a shot and the horses came through." Jason Hughes finished fourth in the competition with 50 points, while Gilles Barrieau was fifth with 49 points followed by Todd Trites (41), Brodie MacPhee (31), Ryan Campbell (31) and Kevin Dillon (27). Hughes opened up the competition in race 2 with a 2:01.1 victory aboard Miracleonthehudson to give him the early lead over Silverhill Princess (Todd Trites) and Diagram Hanover (Ellis). Lyndale Royal captured race 3 in a 10-length 1:56.4 score for Ellis over Ok Chivas (Marc Campbell) and Rivervues Legacy (Crowe), giving Ellis the points lead. Ultimate Labamba captured race 4 in 1:58 giving the top spot to Marc Campbell with second going to Just Coastin Along (Hughes) and Whitesand Artist (Gilles Barrieau) third. Rash B Havior delivered as the post time favorite in race 5 to widen the lead for driver Marc Campbell with Bad Date (Crowe) second and The Warden (Brodie MacPhee) third. Dance Hanover captured race 6 to propel Trites into third place with second in that race going to Blu Meadow Willie (MacPhee) and Joachim (Ryan Campbell) third. Race 7 had Darren Crowe bring himself into contention with a 1:57 victory aboard Barrett Jackson ahead of In Cahoots (Barrieau) and Smackwaterjack (Ellis). Its Handsome Hank captured race 8 in 1:59.1 to put Ellis into second place behind Marc Campbell with Roccos Cavallo (Kevin Dillon) second and River Paradise (Hughes) third. Marc Campbell sat out race 10 to see Barrieau score with Keystone Nobility over Tyber Champ (Darren Crowe) with Onehotvett (Ryan Ellis) third. Marc Campbell and Ellis will join Jody Jamieson, Billy Davis Jr., Brandon Campbell, Jim Marino, Guy Gagnon and Sylvain Lacaille in the National Driving Championship. The Summerside card also featured two divisions of the Atlantic Aged Mares Pacing Series with Bunny Mach capturing the first division in 1:56.2 for trainer-driver Hughes and owners Donald and Steven MacRae of Vernon Bridge. Veronicavermillion (Brian MacPhee) was second with Prynne Hanover (Mike McGuigan) third. The second division went to General Luckypercy and Barrieau in 1:56.1 for trainer Jackie Matheson and owners Jack Brown and Jodilynn Matheson of Charlottetown. Andro Madi (Dale Spence) was second with Dirt Track Momma (Marc Campbell) third. By Nicholas Oakes
The field for the 2014 Atlantic Regional Driving Championship, scheduled for Saturday, June 28 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Summerside in PEI, has been confirmed. The participating drivers are: • Gilles Barrieau (N.B.) • Marc Campbell (P.E.I.) • Ryan Campbell (N.S.) • Darren Crowe (N.S.) • Kevin Dillon (Nfld.) • Ryan Ellis (N.S.) • Jason Hughes (P.E.I.) • Brodie MacPhee (P.E.I.) • Todd Trites (N.B.) The top two drivers from the nine-race competition will join Brandon Campbell, Billy Davis Jr., Jody Jamieson, Jim Marino and the top two drivers from the Quebec / Eastern Ontario Regional at the 2014 National Driving Championship scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. To read the rest of the story click here.
Millionaire pacing mare Voelz Hanover prevailed in a stretch duel with Bullet Point to earn her 40th career win in the $30,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred Pace on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Driver Mike Saftic sent Voelz Hanover to the top from post seven through a :26.3 opening panel and continued to lead past the half in :55 and three-quarters in 1:23.3 with pressure mounting in the form of Bullet Point, driven by Chris Christoforou. The top two were stride for stride turning for home, but Voelz Hanover persevered in the stretch duel for the 1:51.4 triumph. Bullet Point was beaten by a quarter of a length. Diving to the inside, Waasmula and Billy Davis Jr. edged out a pocket-pulling D Gs Pesquero, driven by Rick Zeron, less than a length behind in third. To read the rest of the story click here.
TORONTO, May 21 - WEG standardbred racing is set to return to Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville for the 51st season of live racing. The 102-day meet will kick off on Thursday, May 22 and live racing will be held five nights a week on Mondays, Tuesdays (except May 27 and October 7) , Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Each race night will have a 7:25 p.m. first race post time. "It's an exciting time of the year," noted driver Jonathan Drury. "Everyone looks forward to the return of Mohawk because that means it's summer time and a full schedule of great stakes events. Other drivers along with fans and customers are going to have a lot of fun this summer." The most anticipated event on the stakes calendar is the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, featuring the finest three-year-old pacers, set for Saturday, June 14. The evening will offer a special post time of 6:45 p.m. Stakes action begins immediately at Mohawk, with the SBOA Stakes eliminations for three-year-old filly pacer and trotters featured on the initial Saturday card, and continues almost non-stop until fall. Major stakes engagements include the Maple Leaf Trot (Saturday, July 19), the Metro Pace, Canadian Pacing Derby and Shes A Great Lady Stakes (Saturday, August 30) and the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage Stakes, Peaceful Way Stakes and William Wellwood Memorial (Saturday, September 13). Ribs will be prominent throughout Pepsi North America Cup weekend as Crabby's BBQ Shack and Silver Bullet BBQ will play host to fans.The popular 'Your First Bet Is On Us' promotion returns. Every customer can register on site for a free $2 bet. Fans can also visit Labatt's Beerville to play great games and win cool prizes. Mohawk Racetrack will also be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the town of Campbellville. Mohawk will host fireworks on Friday, June 13 with a special post time of 7:05 p.m. Mohawk fans can also follow the action each night on Twitter. Hosts Mike Hamilton, along with track announcer Ken Middleton and Greg Gangle will offer 'tweets' during each live program aimed at giving customers more race related information. You can follow them on Twitter at the following: Hamilton_WOMoh, Middleton_WOMoh, GGangle_WOMoh. Fans should also be sure to check out Mohawks Trackside Bar for its nightly specials throughout the meet. The specials are listed below: Monday - 1/2 Price Wings Tuesday - Bud & Burger Thursday - Steak N Stella Friday - Thank Cod It's Friday Patrons are also encouraged to engage with Mohawk Racetrack through its Facebook page found by clicking the following link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mohawk-Racetrack/164889090219676 Also fans can go to www.Twitter.com to sign on to Twitter and then search for the following harness racing stars. Drivers: Aaron Byron - @ByronAaron Chris Christoforou - @CCAstreos Dan Clements - @DanielWClements Jonathan Drury - @JDruryRacing Billy Davis Jr. - @BillyDavisRacin Phil Hudon – @Whodon99 Jonathan Drury - @JDruryRacing Anthony Haughan - @AHaughan Jody Jamieson - @JodyJamRacing James MacDonald - @JamesOMac26 Anthony MacDonald – @HorseRacingAMac Doug McNair – @DMcNair12 Scott Young – @YoungieAnswers Scott Zeron - @ScottZeron Trainers: Carmen Auciello - @CarmenAuciello Nick Boyd - @Ralphie9 Blair Burgess - @Desibesi Casie Coleman - @FastLane111 Danny Girard - @DannyGirard1 Mark Horner - MarkHorner44 Corey Johnson – @SeaJay09 Blake MacIntosh - @BlakeMacRacing Robert McIntosh - @BobMcIntosh52 Jason McGinnis - @JasonMcGinnis21 Anthony Montini - @MontiniRacing Mike Sinclair - @Sinny51 Shawn Steacy - @S_Steacy by Greg Gangle, for WEG
Jody Jamieson won a wide-open Ontario Regional Driving Championship in a heated battle right down to the finish line on Friday night at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Jamieson and Ontario Regional runner-up Billy Davis Jr. will advance to the 2014 National Driving Championship on August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. Jamieson secured the victory in the final leg of the eight-race Ontario Regional, earning his third challenge win to give him a total of 67 points. Davis Jr. held on for second, finishing with 60 points. Rounding out the leaderboard were Doug McNair (56 points), Trevor Henry (47), Scott Coulter (43), J.R. Plante (36), James MacDonald (32), and Paul MacKenzie (29). To read the rest of the story click here.
Harness racing driver James MacDonald comes from quite the racing family. His mom, Gale is the track photographer in Charlottetown, PEI and his dad, Fred, owns broodmares. His brothers Mark MacDonald races in the USA and Anthony is a Woodbine and Mohawk circuit veteran. There's Curtis who designs simulcasting graphics for various horse tracks throughout North America. "Curtis is a sharp cookie" says James. "Curtis learned a lot of that from my other brother Lloyd." Lloyd is in the same line of work as Curtis and there is Bobby who is a blacksmith in PEI. With his family deeply involved with horses, James 28 didn't take to horses until he came to Ontario to work for his brother Anthony ten years ago. James feels no pressure as the younger brother of successful drivers; instead James will make his own footprints in harness racing one step at a time. "You just need to work hard and respect the horse" says James. "Drive every horse accordingly depending on the race and what the situation is. There are lots to think about and I don't expect big things, I think if you work hard and people like your driving then you can catch on." "When you watch the top drivers in the world, the Tim Tetricks, the John Campbells (and Mark MacDonalds), you have to drive every kind of horse." James adds, "There are three very different styles, there is the front end, first up and off the pace... You need to be good with them all, if you end up in a spot where you are first up you need to be able to keep the horse going. You need to be able to race any horse off the pace and I think that's what all good drivers do very well." "I try to not have a style and drive the horse as the race comes to me" says James. Speaking with James, I get the feel he is the 'visionary' type of person who can anticipate what goes on during a race ahead of time. "It doesn't matter how much you study the program or how much you know the horses, anything can happen when the gates open." James says. Anthony Macdonald considers James a lot like Mark MacDonald when it comes to driving horses. It's very natural and appears effortless. "Horses will let you know what they are comfortable with" says James. "It's getting a feel for the horse and the more you drive competitive horses you can feel out what a horse is like. You might tell someone a horse doesn't like the front and then it will go out and win on the front. So it's not always full proof that's for sure." James doesn't train horses but he does have some babies along with a couple of race horses at the barn. "My wife, (Jenna) and I along with Johnny McKinnon have five babies here right now and some race horses.... We break in the babies, Johnny and Jenna do the brunt of the work and I come in and jog them and help them out." James credits his brother Anthony and Jamie Smith for helping him out when he first arrived in Ontario. "They showed me the ropes and what the do's and don'ts are when training horses" says James. "I actually trained a few for a couple of years. Mark and Anthony are equally helpful, if I do something on the track they think is wrong, they're very helpful. They won't scream or shout, they will show me the right way to do it." "Also a lot of people, who don't know me, will put me down to drive because they have had good luck with Mark or they had good luck with Anthony." James notes. A good point James brings up is there are so many good trainers and drivers in the harness racing industry sports fans never get to hear about. People within the horse industry can attest to countless people who deserve praise for their work as trainers or drivers. Unfortunately because they haven't had that break out horse to add a spotlight to their efforts, they go unseen by the general public and that's disappointing. "This is all I want to do" says James. "I love horses, I love racing horses and I love driving horses. There are so many good drivers... it's a tough game." What's good for the game is promotion of the sport and James agrees that what Jeff Gural at the Meadowlands is doing can only result in positives for the industry. "I think he's great for the sport. Clearly he's helped out the Meadowlands and built a beautiful new facility, whatever he's doing is working and he's trying. He's putting in the effort that is for sure." "I think this is a great sport and it deserves a lot of praise." James says. "Jody Jamieson can walk anywhere in Ontario and people won't have a clue who he is. Any top 20 driver in Ontario walking in Prince Edward Island or the Maritimes and everybody knows who you are because it's huge out there (in the Maritimes). The money isn't great but they love the sport down there." Harness racing offers so much in terms of fan appeal with opportunities to meet drivers and trainers, getting autographs and even going for tours of the paddocks at some race tracks. In what sport does the average fan have the opportunity to go behind the scenes to see how it really is? To date James has driven in some big races such as the Breeders Crown, Maple Leaf Trot and many Super Finals. "The experience has been great driving against guys like Tetrick and Sears. I haven't been able to win a big one yet. They are all intense and that's when you got to shine." James explains. When it comes to being on the track with other top drivers, James is keenly observing everything they're doing with their horse. James doesn't choose to pick their brain as a professional courtesy. "They're here to drive and do a job. I would but it's out of respect." On May 9th at the Raceway at Western Fair, (London, ON) James along with fellow drivers, Alfie Carroll, Jody Jamieson, Scott Coulter, Billy Davis Jr., Trevor Henry, Doug McNair and JR Plante will square off in the 2014 Ontario Regional Driving Championship. The top two drivers of the eight race competition will compete against the top two drivers from the three other regional's taking place in Canada for the National Driving Championship. The National Champion will represent Canada in the World Driving Competition taking place in Australia. "The top eight (drivers) in wins, in Ontario were selected and I actually ended up 11th because I missed a several of months with a broken leg. I was off three months and was set back because I was having a good start to the year." James explains. "There were three drivers that opted out, because it is time consuming" explains James. "It's tough to book off drives and you had to be willing to commit and book off time if you won. Since three guys turned it down I was selected." James broke his leg during a race at Woodbine racetrack. His horse made a break and fell resulting in James' broken leg. Throughout the recovery time James remained positive with the help of his family and friends. "It's such a great industry, I had people pop by the entire time and my friends were always over to see me and my wife was always there." One thing is for sure, horsemen and women always stand firmly behind one another during difficult times, such as coping with various injuries. Whether or not you're related, if you are a part of the harness racing industry, you are considered family. By: Roderick Balgobin www.supernovasportsclub.comTwitter: ScSupernova
Mother Hen and local horseman Mike Sumner held off a late charge from That'll Be Franny for a gate-to-wire score in Tuesday's featured $7,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3 Pace at Western Fair Raceway. Second choice Mother Hen ($7.70) grabbed the lead from post one in the evening's featured fourth race and rebuffed a quarter-pole challenge from the favourites, Insincerity and Scott Coulter, leaving them parked the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Mother Hen pressed on and prevailed by a quarter-length in 1:57.3 over That'll Be Franny, who closed wide from the back of the pack with Nick Steward aboard. Romantic Fever and Billy Davis Jr. followed two lengths behind in third. Longshots Little Brown Mug and Trevor Henry were fourth with Insincerity fading to fifth. The seven-year-old Banner Yankee mare earned her second win in 12 starts this year and ninth lifetime, pushing her bankroll to $119,636. To read the rest of the story click here.
The field for the 2014 Ontario Regional Driving Championship scheduled for Friday, May 9 at The Raceway at Western Fair District in London, Ont. has been confirmed. The participating drivers are: • Alfie Carroll • Scott Coulter • Billy Davis Jr. • Trevor Henry • Jody Jamieson • James MacDonald • Doug McNair • J.R. Plante The top two drivers from the eight-race competition will join six other drivers at the 2014 National Driving Championship scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. Several drivers declined invitations to take part due to other commitments, including Sylvain Filion, Canada’s Driver of the Year for 2013, Randy Waples and Scott Zeron. To read the rest of the story click here.
The final round of Flamboro Downs' Announcer Idol was held on Sunday night with Y108's Scott Penfold taking the mic for the evening's third race. Penfold called the action as Best Risque and Billy Davis Jr. established the lead over the Anthony MacDonald-driven Moment To Cherish and raced by fractions of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:28.2. "It's still Best Risque," said Penfold as the horses entered the home stretch. "But here she comes, getting really, really close, we've got Moment To Cherish coming up to the front spot. It looks like Moment To Cherish just taking it by a hair, literally...And very close for second was Best Risque and Bayamastar." To read rest of story click here.
Apprentice Hanover continued his winter win streak on Saturday evening, earning his sixth straight in the featured $34,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine Racetrack for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Ben Wallace. Thepaninsulahotel (Randy Waples) was the first to the front through a :27-second opening panel, but his lead was short-lived as the pocket-pulling Casimir Jitterbug (Doug McNair) swept by with Apprentice Hanover hot on his heels after getting away third. Apprentice Hanover took over command at the half in :56.3 and proceeded to lead his six rivals past the third quarter station in 1:24. He cruised into the stretch while building up a six length lead to make his 1:51.2 victory look effortless. Sent postward as the heavy 2-5 favourite, Apprentice Hanover paid $2.90 to win. Mckinney (Sylvain Filion), the longest shot on the board at odds of 28-1, closed off cover in :26.4 for the runner-up honours over two lengths behind while early leader Thepaninsulahotel edged out first over Mystician (Billy Davis Jr.) and Frankies Dragon (Chris Christoforou) for third. Apprentice Hanover's win streak began at the end of November at Woodbine and includes a victory in the $126,000 Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park in mid-December. The four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere now boasts 13 wins in 31 career starts with earnings climbing to $546,474 for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Apprentic Hanover made a triumphant four-year-old seasonal debut Saturday at Woodbine, posting his fifth straight victory, this time after a three-week layoff in winning the $34,000 Preferred Pace. After ending his three-year-old season with four consecutive wins, including victories in Northfield Park's Cleveland Classic and a Preferred pace on December 28 at Woodbine, Apprentice Hanover made it five in a row with a 1:52 effort. Driven by Jody Jamieson, the heavy 4-5 favourite left from post one and settled away third as Casimir Jitterbug (Doug McNair) and then outsider Modern Legend (Jack Moiseyev) sprinted by into a :27.1 opening quarter. Modern Legend continued to control the pace past the half in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24 while Mystician (Billy Davis Jr.) moved underway from the backfield and up to apply pressure around the final turn and into the stretch. However, Jamieson tipped Apprentice Hanover wide down the stretch and soared by to steal the spotlight. Mystician edged out Modern Legend for the runner-up honours two lengths behind. The son of Somebeachsomewhere, who was named United States Trotting Association's Horse of the Month in December 2013, is trained by Ben Wallace and owned by Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. The win was his 12th in 30 career starts and boosted his bankroll to $529,474. Apprentice Hanover paid $3.80 to win. Trainers Carmen Auciello and Corey Johnson and driver Randy Waples led all winners on Saturday's 13-race card with three wins each. From WEG publicity department
Stompin Tom Creek didn’t just win Sunday’s $6,500 Preferred 3 at Flamboro Downs, he blew the competition out of the water thanks to his 1:54.2 triumph. With Billy Davis Jr. in the bike, Stompin Tom Creek blasted to the early lead from the rail and set sail through intervals of :28, :57.2 and 1:26.1 before using a :28.1 final frame to seal the deal. The margin of victory in the 1:54.2 decision was 5-3/4 lengths over runner-up Web Cam. Third prize went to Val America. Andrew McCabe conditions the seven-year-old son of Western Terror-Jacks Creek for Glenview Livestock Lt of Guelph and Len Christopher of Acton, Ontario. The gelding, who was sent off as the 2-5 favourite, is 2-for-2 this season after going 9-for-41 last year. The 24-time winner recently surpassed $200,000 in lifetime earnings. To view results for Sunday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Sunday Results – Flamboro Downs. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Thursday night's card of harness racing at Flamboro Downs featured a $10,000 Preferred 2 Trot, a $6,500 Preferred 3 Trot, as well as a moment of silence for one of the track's most popular horsemen. The top class of the night, the $10,000 Preferred 2 Trot, went to Thundering Ovation and driver Billy Davis Jr. -- but it wasn't easy. The five-year-old Thunder Road mare was pressured through the early parts of the mile by a persistent Long Ago (Bruce Richardson), with fractions of :29.2 and :58.1 over the off track. Long Ago failed to sustain that pressure along the backside and none of the other horses could get to within a length of Thundering Ovation, who tripped the timer in 1:59.4 for trainer Gerald Sloan and owners Joanne & Courtney Sloan of Harley, Ont. Pocket-sitter Keystone Orion (Dave Boughton) stayed for second with CIs Buckeye (Alfie Carroll) gobbling up racetrack late to finish third. Euro Classic found a different path than wire-to-wire to capture the $6,500 Preferred 3 Trot. Driver Per Henriksen settled Euro Classic into fourth while favoured Santo Domingo (Luc Ouellette) set out fractions of :28.3, :59.1, and 1:30.2. At the three quarter station, Henriksen was positioned second over but moved Euro Classic three-wide around the stalled cover and followed the backside brush of Holy Molie Maggie (Davis). With the pacesetter fading, Henriksen was able to follow new leader Holy Molie Maggie into the stretch and then trot on past for the 2:01 score. Ann Karin Larsen trains the six-year-old Chocolatier - Donven Fury gelding and co-owns as well along with Tor Jan Larsen of Norwood, Ont. and Odd Larsen of Joakobsli, Norway. Earlier on the card, driver Tony Kerwood took a nasty-looking tumble with pacer Santanna Man in the fifth race. The pacer fell at the half-mile point of the race and Kerwood was unseated. Officials from Flamboro reported that both horse and driver walked away from the mishap. As part of its Thursday night card Flamboro observed a moment of silence for horseman Paul Henry, whopassed away on Tuesday at the age of 48. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Harness racing returned to Woodbine Racetrack on a frigid Monday night in Rexdale, Ont. with four-year-old trotting mare Canbec Kadence winning the track's first race of the new year. Judges rated the track five seconds off in the blustery conditions for Woodbine's season opener with temperatures dropping 15 degrees below zero, but feeling much colder with the windchill. A full field of 10 trotters four years old and younger that were non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime comprised the $17,000 first race. Driver James MacDonald pulled Canbec Kadence from the pocket and sent her to the lead at the half-mile mark en route to a 2:03 triumph. Bop Too The Top (Sylvain Filion) finished one length back in second over George S P (Daniel Potvin) while early leader Ocean Mist Beauty (Chris Christoforou) trailed four lengths behind in fourth. Canbec Kadence paid $9.90 to win as 4-1 fourth choice. Favourite Muscle On Broadway (Paul MacDonell) made a break in stride taking himself out of contention when trying to challenge the winner just past the midway mark. Woodbine's first winner in 2014 is trained by Gerard Demers for owners Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff, Que. and Les Ecuries GLD Inc. of Cambridge, Ont. The homebred Kadabra-Cr Firefly mare earned just her second career win. Demers doubled up during the 12-race card with another trotting mare, Whimzical Britt, scoring a 2:01.2 triumph two races later with Billy Davis Jr. aboard. MacDonald and Davis Jr. also ended the night with two wins each while O'Brien Award nominee Doug McNair and Keith Oliver scored three times to share the early lead in the Woodbine driver standings. Live harness racing returns to Woodbine on Friday, Jan. 10 at 7:25 p.m. To view Monday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Monday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca