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MILTON, June 4, 2019 - The 36th Pepsi North America Cup has attracted 18 entrants to compete in this Saturday's harness racing eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The group of 18 three-year-old pacers have been split into a pair of $50,000 eliminations. The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $1 million final on June 15. The elimination winners will earn the right to select their post position for the final. Captain Crunch is the top contender heading into the eliminations. The Dan Patch Award winner will start from post-four in a stacked first division. Trained by Nancy Johansson, Captain Crunch sent a statement to his competition with a pair of stunning victories to start his sophomore campaign. The son of Captaintreacherous posted a 1:49.1 victory in his season debut over a sloppy track at Pocono on May 19 and followed it up with a 1:49.2 open-lengths score on May 26 at Philadelphia. His dominate start is no surprise after finishing his rookie season (six wins in 10 starts) with victories in the Breeders Crown and Governor's Cup. Captain Crunch                                    --Curtis Salonick photo Captain Crunch is from the first-crop of 2013 North America Cup winner Captaintreacherous, who was from the first-crop of 2008 winner Somebeachsomewhere when he captured Canada's richest race. Trainer Johansson is the daughter of now-retired Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. The Pepsi North America Cup is one of few signature races that Takter never won during his career. Regular driver Scott Zeron will be at the controls of Captain Crunch. Based in the United States the last several years, Zeron is a former leading driver at Woodbine and is searching for his first Pepsi North America Cup. The depth of the first Pepsi North America Cup elimination will likely mean a top contender will be on the outside looking in to the final. Dr. Ian Moore trainee Century Farroh (PP9, Sylvain Filion) is undefeated in four starts this season and will face his toughest challenge to date. The son of Mach Three was last season's Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots champion and most recently won his Grand Circuit debut in a Somebeachsomewhere division Century Farroh                       --New Image Media The first elimination also features Art Rooney winner Bettors Wish (PP1, Dexter Dunn), who is three for three this season. Regally-bred Best In Show (PP2, Bob McClure) has won two of his last three starts. New Jersey and Kentucky Sires Stakes champion Hurrikane Emperor (PP3, Daniel Dube) has won 10 of 12 career starts. De Los Cielos Deo (PP5, David Miller) recently posted a 1:48.4 qualifying victory. The field is completed by Air Force Hanover (PP6, Miller), Shake That House (PP7, Tim Tetrick) and Fixed Idea (PP8, Randy Waples). The first elimination has been carded as Race 3 (7:50 p.m. EDT) The second elimination will see former Cup winning trainer Brian Brown send out the almost-perfect Workin Ona Mystery. The Ohio-based trainer won the 2016 event with Fear The Dragon. A son of Captaintreacherous, Workin Ona Mystery is two for two this season to bring his career record to seven wins in eight starts. The Brown trainee posted easy victories in two Pennsylvania Sires Stakes events before most recently tuning up for the Cup with a 1:52.3 qualifier on May 29 at Hoosier Park. Tim Tetrick, who is a two-time North America Cup winner, will drive Workin Ona Mystery. The pair will start from the outside post-nine. O'Brien Award winner Stag Party will line up from post-five with driver David Miller in the second split. The Casie Coleman trainee has been off to a slow start by his standards this season, posting a pair of third-place finishes in two starts. A son of 2001 North America Cup winner Bettors Delight, Stag Party won six of nine starts as a rookie, including the Metro Pace. Reinsman Miller has won two of last three editions of the North America Cup, while trainer Coleman is seeking her third victory in the $1 million event. Local trainees Bronx Seelster (PP6, Trevor Henry) and Tyga Hanover (PP8, Sylvain Filion) will look to make the final for their Canadian connections. Wayne McGean trainee Bronx Seelster was an Ontario Sires Stakes standout as a rookie, winning seven of 12 starts. The son of Big Jim has a runner-up and fourth-place finish in two starts this season. Tyga Hanover surprised some with a victory in last Saturday's Somebeachsomewhere for trainer Ben Baillargeon. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere has won three of four starts this season after going winless in six as a two-year-old. The field for the second split is completed by Captain Victorious (PP1, Yannick Gingras), Lyons Night Hawk (PP2, Tetrick), Semi Tough (PP3, Matt Kakaley), Caviart Rockland (PP4, Scott Zeron) and Aflame Hanover (PP7, Tetrick). The second elimination is carded as Race 8 (9:30 p.m. EDT). The final for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup will take place on Saturday, June 15. The post-position draw is scheduled for next Tuesday (June 11) during a special luncheon at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 2019 Pepsi North America Cup event on June 15 will feature over $2 million in live racing, live music, food trucks and a beer garden. The first 1,500 fans to arrive on Pepsi North America Cup night will receive a free commemorative hat. Tickets are now on sale at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Full details for the Pepsi North America Cup can be found on the official event page. Post time for this Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup eliminations card is 7:10 p.m. To download the early program pages for Saturday's card, click here.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications  

MAY 25, 2019 – There are developmental milestones in every young horse’s career and Saturday night’s Gold Series season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park was a significant one for the province’s best harness racing three-year-old pacing colts. Over the next three weeks the top colts in North America will gather at the Campbellville, ON oval for the Somebeachsomewhere stake and the Pepsi North America Cup. An impressive effort in the Gold Series opener will often launch a local colt into those prestigious open stake events, and on Saturday the winners of both $108,800 Gold divisions proved to their connections that they have the talent to battle the best. In the first division driver Bob McClure sent Best In Show to the front from Post 6 and the colt cruised through fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:23.2 on his way to a three-quarter length victory in 1:50.3. Bronx Seelster made a valiant late charge but could not reel in the pacesetter, settling for second, and fan favourite Stag Party was three lengths back in third. “I was very happy (to be asked to drive), and have been watching him for a few weeks,” said Elora, ON resident McClure, who had some time on his hands to watch Best In Show while recovering from a broken pelvis suffered in a qualifying race at Woodbine Mohawk Park on April 25. “He’s a very strong, powerful horse and will only get better with experience.” It was the second straight win for Best In Show, who is trained by Linda Toscano for owner-breeders Richard Young of Boca Raton, FL and Joanne Young of Coconut Creek, FL. The Bettors Delight son now has three starts under his belt this season to go along with three freshman starts. Toscano said the plan is to send the lightly raced colt to the June 1 Somebeachsomewhere and then re-evaluate before the June 8 Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. Trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge, ON is taking the same approach with Century Farroh, who delivered an uncontested 1:50.2 effort in the second Gold division Saturday. “He’s really pleased us so far, that’s for sure,” said Dr. Moore, who trains the colt for Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS. “He’s super, so they’re hopeful for a good season. They hope he can compete with the big boys next week. That’s what our plan is for now.” Also starting from Post 6, driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON put Century Farroh on the front just after the :26.2 opening quarter and the colt simply paced away from the field, sailing through a :54.2 half and 1:23 three-quarters on his way to an eight length victory. Better Up and No Ordinary Man battled through the wire for second and third. Century Farroh has not been bested in a race since last August. The Mach Three son finished his freshman season with four straight victories, including his Grassroots Semi-final and the Championship, and then kicked off his sophomore campaign with a pair of wins earlier this month. “He finished his year very well last year. He wasn’t raced real hard, reasonably lightly, and he grew and filled out and matured quite a bit over the winter,” said Dr. Moore. “He grew a lot. I let his hopples out three inches and his head out five holes. A lot of the gear that he had on last year, he doesn’t wear it anymore, I took it all off. All he’s got is a head pole now on the inside, that’s it.” Dr. Moore expects Best In Show and Century Farroh will be joined in the Somebeachsomewhere by a number of their peers, including Bronx Seelster and Stag Party, who both made their first start of the season in the first Gold division. Following the open stake events in the coming weeks, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will return to Ontario Sires Stakes action, competing in their second Gold Series Leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 29. Complete results from Saturday’s Gold Series event are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0525wbsbsn.dat.   Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

MILTON, April 25, 2019 - Drivers Phil Hudon, Anthony MacDonald and Bob McClure were all taken to hospital following an accident during Thursday morning's fourth-qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The harness racing accident occurred in the second-quarter of the race when pacer Excaliber Seelster and driver Louis Philippe Roy stepped on the wheel of driver Paul MacDonell, who was sitting in the two-hole with Prestige Seelster. Excaliber Seelster broke stride from stepping on the wheel, which caused a chain-reaction. American Risk and McClure were trailing Excaliber Seelster and fell to the track. Hudon, driving The First Step, and MacDonald, driving Sunshines Finest, couldn't avoid the fallen horse and were both tossed from their sulkies to the track. Paramedics were quickly on the scene and transported McClure and MacDonald by ambulance to a local hospital. Hudon also went to hospital to be examined. All three drivers took to social media Thursday afternoon to provide updates on their injuries. MacDonald posted on Facebook that he suffered a broken wrist, broken elbow, broken ribs and a small collapsed lung. McClure also posted on Facebook, noting he broke his pelvis in the accident, but will not require surgery. Bob McClure     -New Image Media Hudon shared on Twitter that he suffered a broken left foot. Phil Hudon      - New Image Media All three horses were caught following the incident after being loose on the track. Sunshines Finest, who is trained by Harry Poulton, was transported to the University of Guelph for examination. TheStable.ca posted that the three-year-old pacer did not suffer any fractures or breaks and will make a full recovery. American Risk and The First Step came out of the incident without serious injuries. Woodbine Entertainment extends its best wishes to Hudon, MacDonald, McClure and the connections of Sunshines Finest for a speedy and healthy recovery.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

MILTON, January 10, 2019 - Reinsman Bob McClure put on a show Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park by driving six-winners on the 10-race harness racing card. The Elora, Ontario resident had a drive in all 10 of Thursday's races and made a statement early by sweeping the opening three-races on the card before earning his next three victories in the sixth-race and the 'Late-Double'. Adding to the impressive evening, McClure teamed up with six different trainers for his six-win performance. McClure's first win came with Barry Bird trained three-year-old gelding R U Talkin ($3.20). He then completed his sweep of the evening's first 'Pick-3' with four-year-old gelded trotter P L Louigi ($13.60) for Matt Dupuis and five-year-old pacing mare Sauble Bonnie ($3.30) for trainer Otis Hall. The combination of McClure and Marty Fine has had success over the last few months and the duo connected in the sixth-race with sophomore pacing colt Just Wave Goodbye ($4.90). McClure wrapped up his huge night by sweeping the 'Late-Double' with four-year-old gelded pacer Arukidinme Cabbie ($7.90) for trainer Tony O'Sullivan and eight-year-old gelded pacer Avalanche Hanover ($7.10) for conditioner Richard Moreau. Poised for a huge 2019, McClure is a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada's Driver of the Year in 2018 after winning 328-races and posting a career-high $5.3 million in earnings. McClure will look to carry the momentum gained from Thursday's dominance into Friday evening's card. He is scheduled to drive in nine of the evening's 10-races. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Replays available at www.YouTube.com/WoodbineReplays   Mark McKelvie

MILTON, November 30, 2018 - Grand Circuit harness racing star Darlinonthebeach shipped north and took the top spot in Friday's $30,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The top-class for pacing fillies and mares had seen three different winners (Request For Parole, Exhilarated, Kendall Seelster) in the last three weeks and all three were back to battle in Friday's feature contest. Richard 'Nifty' Norman trainee Darlinonthebeach was the lone newcomer in the field of eight. Sandbetweenurtoes and driver Louis Philippe Roy shot off the gate to the lead and posted opening-fractions of :27.2 and :56. Darlinonthebeach and driver Bob McClure took their time in the early-stages and got away sixth, eventually catching cover entering the far turn when Request For Parole committed first-up from fourth. The third-quarter saw Sandbetweenurtoes ramp up the tempo for a :27.3 split, while keeping distance away from Request For Parole and Exhilarated. Darlinonthebeach was sitting third-over and tipped three-wide coming off the final-turn. In the stretch, Darlinonthebeach tracked down her rivals with powerful strides to take the lead in the final-eighth and score the victory by a length in 1:52. Exhilarated battled tough to finish second, while Sandbetweenurtoes held third over Kendall Seelster. A five-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Darlinonthebeach was making just her second start since May. Her return to the races was a fifth-place finish in the Mares Preferred at The Meadowlands on November 16. Owned and bred by White Birch Farms, Darlinonthebeach earned $1 million over the past three-seasons racing for trainer Nancy Johansson. Now in the care of 'Nifty' Norman, the multiple-stakes winner is two for six with $42,100 earned this season. Friday's victory was the 19th career win for Darlinonthebeach. She paid $7 to win. Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Driver Bob McClure and trainer Luc Blais have forged a strong relationship this year, winning 28 percent of their starts together. The partnership has helped McClure make a successful transition from Canada's "B" tracks to the main stage of Woodbine Mohawk Park, not to mention the harness racing Grand Circuit, and aided Blais' bid for career highs for wins and purses. The two will look to add to their accomplishments Saturday (Nov. 17) at the Meadowlands, where Ontario Sire Stakes champion Forbidden Trade takes on seven rivals in the second of two eliminations for the Valley Victory Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters. The top-five finishers from each elim advance to the $435,900 final on Nov. 24 at the Big M. Elimination winners will draw for posts one thorough six. Forbidden Trade, who has won seven of nine races, is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line. He will start from post seven. Seven Hills is the 3-1 favorite, with Corey Callahan driving for trainer John Butenschoen. "He's been top notch all year," McClure said about Forbidden Trade. "He's pretty incredible for a 2-year-old. He looks like a 3-year-old and has the maturity of a 4-year-old. He's never given me any trouble. He's perfect to drive, a complete professional, no matter what kind of trip you give him. He's got the attitude of a good one. "The two races he lost were probably his two best races. One race (a preliminary leg of the sire stakes) he had a lot of bad racing luck and still raced huge. The other time (in a division of the Champlain Stakes) he had some traffic trouble. I didn't have him in good position and he got out of gear a little bit. He still came home :27.1, but he was in no position to win. He could have come home in :26.4 and he still wasn't going to win." Forbidden Trade, by Kadabra out of O'Brien Award-winner Pure Ivory, has earned $213,139 for owner Serge Godin's Determination stable. He brings a four-race win streak to his Valley Victory elimination. "I think the sky is the limit for him," McClure said. "He's been a professional from day one. He's made my job easy. If he's in any position to win he usually gets the job done. He's been fun to drive all year. I think he has the potential to be a top Grand Circuit horse." The 28-year-old McClure led Canada in wins in 2017 and 2016, topping 500 both years, and was third in 2015. This season, with his focus on Woodbine Mohawk, he has won 285 races and a career-best $3.74 million (U.S.) in purses. He ranks third in Canada in both wins and purses. "I'm very happy," McClure said. "I have a lot of people to thank for that. I was really happy where I was (at the smaller tracks) and I was having a lot of fun. But I decided to commit to (Woodbine Mohawk). I wanted to be home with family more. I didn't anticipate picking up the stakes stables I did. I didn't anticipate having as good a year that I've had right off the bat. It's worked out significantly better than I thought it would." Among those on McClure's thank-you list is trainer Dean Nixon, who backed the driver from the earliest days of his transition. "I've driven for him for a long time and he's somebody I've had a really good working relationship with," McClure said. "He's happy with the work I do, and I respect the good job he does. We've always done really well together. It gave me the freedom of being able to make some mistakes during the transition and not worry about him being upset about it. He's always going to be in your corner. "When I picked up Luc Blais, that was the icing on the cake." Blais, who trains exclusively for Determination, is in the midst of his third consecutive million-dollar-season. His 66 wins this year are the third most of his career (his best came in 2000 with 77) and his $1.56 million in purses is also third (his best came last year with $1.85 million). In addition to winning the Ontario Sire Stakes championship with Forbidden Trade, Blais and McClure have captured the Steele Memorial and Joie De Vie with Dream Together. They finished second in the Armbro Flight Stakes with Emoticon Hanover and second in the Ontario Sire Stakes championship with Champagne Jane. "They asked if I wanted to be the driver for Determination stables and I jumped at the opportunity," said McClure, who has driven 163 of Blais' 236 starters. "Serge Godin and Luc Blais are very good people to work for. "I think everyone is real happy with the year we've had." For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

MILTON,ON -  November 12, 2018 - Sophomore fillies Lyons Hedgeabet and Shotgun Sally captured finals of the Ontario sired Harvest Series on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A field of six clashed in the $43,000 final for trotting fillies, while a full field of 10 battled in the $49,900 final for pacing fillies. Mach Three filly Lyons Hedgeabet picked the perfect time to break her maiden by winning the $49,900 final for pacing fillies in 1:52.3. Driven by Bob McClure, Lyons Hedgeabet got away eighth from post position four. Race favourite Miss Rockadali, seeking a series sweep, shot out to the lead and posted a :26.4 opening-quarter. D Gs Shadowsbell, also going for the sweep, was parked second and had to grind things out the entire mile on the outside. Miss Rockadali rolled the field to the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.2. McClure moved Lyons Hedgeabet ahead of the half into the outer-flow and sat third-over sixth, just four lengths from the lead turning for home. In the stretch, Lyons Hedgeabet stormed by rivals to the top and paced a :27.2 final-quarter to score a convincing 4 ¼ lengths victory. D Gs Shadowsbell showed plenty of grit to finish second, while I Shadow U was third and Oxford Comma fourth. Trained by Jeff Gillis, Lyons Hedgeabet finished third in last week's second leg after a runner-up finish in a first leg division. The Mach Three filly was making her seventh career start Monday and entered with a trio of runner-up finishes and trio of third-place finishes. Owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound, Lyons Hedgeabet increased her earnings to $39,800 with the maiden-breaking score. She paid $12 to win. Johnny William filly Shotgun Sally and driver Paul MacKenzie showed plenty of patience in capturing Monday's $43,000 Harvest Series final for trotting fillies in a career-best 1:56.4. Power And Grace hustled off the wings of the gate to grab the top spot with last week's second leg winner Miss Adam T getting away second before circling to the top early in the second-quarter. Shotgun Sally got away fifth and sat in that same spot when Miss Adam T led the field by a half of :57.1. McKenzie gave Shotgun Sally her cue to go entering the far turn and the 6/5 favourite trotted up into third, just over two lengths from Miss Adam T at the third-marker. In the stretch, Shotgun Sally immediately powered by Miss Adam T and pulled away to a 5 ¼ lengths victory in 1:56.4. Miss Adam T finished second, while Gradabra rallied for third. Trained by Todd Clements, Shotgun Sally won the opening leg of the series before being scratched from last week's second leg due to transportation issues. She now has four wins in 26 starts this season. Owned by Trisha Barsby, Shotgun Sally, who made just two starts as a rookie, has now earned $52,588 in her career. She paid $4.60 to win. The Harvest Series was open to Ontario sired three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2018 as of September 30, 2018. Dunbar Hall and driver Jody Jamieson got things their own way in Monday's $34,000 Preferred Handicap trot and turned it into a second consecutive victory at the top-level. A group of six battled in the weekly feature with star trotting mare Dream Together having issues before the start and never joining her rivals in the contest. The removal of a key contender allowed Dunbar Hall and Jamieson to claim the top spot in the early stages. Dunbar Hall posted a :27.2 opening-quarter before stealing away with a :59.3 middle-half, while 6/5 favourite Dancer Hall sat in the two-hole. In the stretch, Dunbar Hall sprinted home in :27 to win by two-lengths in 1:54, the same clocking as his victory last week. Dancer Hall had to settle for second, while Big Rich was third and Catch The Dream fourth. A four-year-old gelding, Dunbar Hall picked up his eighth win in 23 starts this season. He has now earned $217,930 in 2018 to bring his career numbers to 13 wins and $331,184 earned for owners Carl Jamieson and George Harrison. A $2 win ticket on Dunbar Hall returned $4.80. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - November 2, 2018 - Sophomore pacing filly Kendall Seelster stole the show Friday at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a stunning victory in the $30,000 Mares Preferred. The daughter of Shadow Play defeated eight older rivals by charging home from a third-over seventh to track down Sandebetweenurtoes with a :27.1 final-quarter for a 1:52 victory. Sylvain Filion steered Kendall Seelster to victory for trainer Rod Boyd, who has now taken over the training of the standout three-year-old. Her first-career Preferred score improves her sophomore numbers to six wins and $226,165 earned in 17 starts. Kendall Seelster now has 10 wins and $680,150 in career earnings for owner 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario. Sandbetweenurtoes finished second after cutting the mile and holding a sizable advantage off a 1:23.1 three-quarter clocking. Windsongmagnifique crossed the wire third, while Exhilarated for fourth. Kendall Seelster paid $16.60 to win. Friday's card also saw the start of the Harvest Series for Ontario Sired three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Mach Three gelding Phantom Seelster was a convincing winner in the evening's first of two $17,000 divisions. Bob McClure steered the sophomore to victory for trainer Richard Moreau. Phantom Seelster and McClure got away second and would stay inside while P H Hippie made a second-quarter move from third to take the lead from Hes Got Swagger. The initial leader made a move back to the top going into the far turn, which gave McClure his cue to make his move and swept to the lead at three-quarters in 1:24.4. The stretch drive saw Phantom Seelster wave goodnight to his rivals and pull away to win by five lengths. Dismissal Slip finished second, while Shadow Moon was third. Phantom Seelster entered the Harvest Series winless in 14 starts this season. The three-year-old gelding has now earned $23,020 this season to bring his career numbers to four wins and $66,685 earned for owners Gestion Mastel Inc., Conrad Leber and Marcel Barrieau. A $2 win ticket on Phantom Seelster returned $6.80. Camluck gelding Westslucky Terror turned in a strong performance to win the second split for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Frank Baker Jr. Westslucky Terror got away second before circling to the lead at the half. Bit Of Luck came charging first-up to battle with the leader on the far turn and the sophomores were on even-terms at three-quarters. In the stretch, Westslucky Terror turned aside his rival to win by a length in 1:55. Bit Of Luck had to settle for second, while Stratosphere was third. The Harvest Series first-leg victory improves Westslucky Terror to six wins and $48,375 earned in 19 starts this season for owners Baker Jr. and Paul Chapman. The Camluck gelding was unraced at age two. Westslucky Terror paid $7.50 to win. The Harvest Series was open to Ontario Sired three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2018. Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

George Napolitano Jr. has won more races than any driver in the history of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but it was a second-place finish at his home oval that proved to be a winner in terms of punching Napolitano's ticket to his first Breeders Crown final. Napolitano guided Stella Jane to a runner-up finish behind undefeated Woodside Charm in their Breeders Crown elimination last week to advance to Saturday's $600,000 championship for 2-year-old filly trotters at Pocono. Napolitano, who has won 11 driving titles at Pocono, drove Stella Jane for owner Crawford Farms Racing and trainer John Butenschoen. Crawford Farms also bred the filly, a daughter of Crazed out of Naughty Nana. The 52-year-old Napolitano, a New York native who splits his time between Pennsylvania and Florida, has won 9,360 races in his career, ranking 21st in North American harness racing history, and was the North American dash champion in 2010 when he won 748 times. All 12 Breeders Crown championships, with $6.4 million in total purses, will be raced Saturday at Pocono. Post time is 5:30 p.m. (EDT) for the first race. "It's going to be exciting," Napolitano said. "I thought (Stella Jane's elimination) was amazing. I was totally satisfied. She's an awesome little horse to drive and she's got a great trainer and great owners." Stella Jane has won two of 11 races and hit the board in eight of her most recent nine starts. Napolitano has driven the filly twice, winning a division of the Simpson Stakes on Sept. 27 at Harrah's Philadelphia. "The Crawfords have had luck with the horses that they own with George," Butenschoen said. "He won with Stella Jane at (Philly) so I said let's put him up. It's his home track and maybe we can get some karma going. I guess it worked." Napolitano has won more than 500 races in nine consecutive years, including this year. He is on his way to another driving title at Pocono, which would be his seventh in a row, and is battling with Tim Tetrick for his fifth consecutive title at Harrah's Philadelphia. "I kind of stayed local," Napolitano said. "I made an agreement with myself years ago and I'm happy with doing it this way, with this place, (Philly) and Pompano. That's good enough for me. "I think it's a pretty big accomplishment doing the two tracks, here and (Philly). It's a tough grind, but we're getting it done. It's a matter of having great people around you. Trainers that it would take forever to mention keep on consistently putting me back on horses. That is the difference right there. I have a lot of great owners that love me and I love them. It's an awesome journey." So will Napolitano have a home-track advantage in the Breeders Crown? "I think you've got to have a good horse," he said with a smile. "That's the biggest advantage." * * * * * Napolitano won't be the only Breeders Crown newcomer driving in the 2-year-old filly trot. Bob McClure, Verlin Yoder, and Simon Allard also will be appearing on championship night for the first time. All three drove elimination winners. McClure, a 28-year-old Canadian, piloted Champagne Jane to victory in her elimination. Champaign Jane is owned by Serge Godin's Determination stable and trained by Luc Blais. McClure is third in wins and purses in Canada this year. He led Canada in wins in 2017 and 2016 and was third in 2015. "For the last four or five years I just drove the small tracks in Ontario," McClure said. "I moved to Woodbine Entertainment Group last December and it snowballed from there. A lot of good stables have picked me up. That makes all the difference in the world." Champagne Jane, by Holiday Road out of Dicent No, broke her maiden with her elimination win. She has hit the board a total of seven times and entered the Breeders Crown off a second-place finish in the Ontario Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old filly trotters. "She's been getting better every week," McClure said. "She's been battling some health issues, so the colder weather helps and Luc's got her healthy. She's always showed ability, she just lacked that last step. She seems to have found it at the right time." McClure, who has 2,207 career wins, also won a Breeders Crown elimination with Paula Wellwood-trained 2-year-old male trotter Smart As Hill. "It's been a lot of fun," McClure said. "Hopefully it stays fun." Yoder is the owner-trainer-driver of Woodside Charm, who is a perfect 6-for-6 heading into the Breeders Crown final and won her elimination by 12-1/2 lengths over Stella Jane. "We did what we had to do," Yoder said. "She's an absolute professional. We don't know how or why, but we're enjoying the moment. "It's pretty cool," he added about appearing in the final. "It probably won't sink in until we get there. It's going to be a pretty neat experience." Allard drove When Dovescry, by Muscle Hill out of Cedar Dove, to a win in her elimination. She has won four of six races and never been worse than third. She is owned by Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh, and Lawrence Dumain. Rene Allard is the trainer. She won her elimination in gate-to-wire fashion after coming from off the pace in all but one other race. "We were very patient with her, trying to teach her the right things, to come from the back," Simon Allard said. "We didn't really want to teach her to leave because we knew that she would have done that very easily. "We were very confident she had explosive speed and knew all along she was a great filly." Following is the draw for the $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old filly trotters. Elimination winners drew for post one through five in an order determined by lot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-When Dovescry-Simon Allard-Rene Allard 2-Woodside Charm-Verlin Yoder-Verlin Yoder 3-Champagne Jane-Bob McClure-Luc Blais 4-Cloud Nine Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell 5-Special Honor-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 6-Whispering Oaks-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 7-Miss You Kelly-Tim Tetrick-Bruce Lauer 8-The Ice Dutchess-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 9-Stella Jane-George Napolitano Jr.-John Butenschoen by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown

WILKES-BARRE, PA -  Captain Trevor, with Andrew MacCarthy at the reins for trainer Tony Alagna, won the third of three Breeders Crown eliminations for two-year-old colt pacers at Pocono Downs on Oct. 19. The time for the mile was 1:52.3. Captain Trevor left with two others off the gate and settled behind Sugar Factory as that one captured the top. From the outside, race-favorite Workin Ona Mystery roared first over to challenge the leader with a half of :57.  Sugar Factory struggled but kept the lead until Captain Trevor came out of the pocket to replace Workin Ona Mystery as that one tired and faded by three-quarters in 1:24.1. Captain Trevor was all out in the stretch, passing the rest and keeping ahead of a fast-closing Blood Money, who paced enough to get second ahead of Lyons Johnny JNR, who passed Sugar Factory to get third. Stag Party scratched from the race. Captaintreacherous is the sire of Captain Trevor, who is owned by Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz, J. Grant and Captain Trevor Racing and was bred by Bay’s Stable and Riverview Breeding. Trainer Tony Alagna said the colt is “tactical, a handy horse, really laid back and easy to drive,” calling Captain Trevor’s last few efforts “phenomenal.” The winner paid $9.80 to win. Before the Breeders Crown eliminations at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono started Friday night, Ontario driver Bob McClure had never participated in the prestigious championship series. Now he’s won two Crown races – Champagne Jane in the filly trot and then the Muscle Hill – Smarty Pants colt Smart As Hill in the colt trot. Both horses rallied from far back, and both horses were lightly-regarded, with Smart As Hill returning $36.80. McClure kept the winner of $105,491 along the inside behind fractions of 27.1, 56.1, and 1:24.2 set by Green Manilishi S, then swung wide at headstretch and generated tremendous speed in the last sixteenth, getting past the pacesetter in the last 100 feet to take a new mark of 1:53.4. Green Manilishi S, Super Schissel, and Trix And Stones were next in line behind the three-time winner, who is trained by Paula Wellwood of Marion Marauder fame and owned by Dreamville Stable and Steve Organ. Proof, driven by David Miller, was a 1:52.1 winner of the second of three Breeders Crown eliminations for two-year-old colt pacers at Pocono Downs on Oct. 19. The A Rocknroll Dance homebred let the field fly early as race-favorite Captain Crunch left with three others and took the lead to a :26 first quarter. Moving early to get involved with the leader, Shake That House took to the outside, followed by Yacht Week and Semi Tough.  The half was reached in :55.4 as Shake That House took over the lead, aiming forcefully to three-quarters in 1:23.2. He was challenged in the speedy route by Semi Tough, who led the second tier and rolled side by side with Shake That House as the stretch approached. Those two were burning out on top as Proof picked off pacers on the outside with ease and flew to the finish first. Captain Crunch was tough on the outside in the stretch and kept the second spot while passing tired ones to finish third was Love Me Some Lou. Those three go to the final. Brian Brown trains Proof, owned by Diamond Creek Racing and bred by Diamond Creek Farm.  Proof paid $7.80 to win. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono’s leading trainer, Rene Allard, and his brother and Pocono’s second-leading driver, Simon, combined with the impressive Muscle Hill – Cedar Dove filly When Dovescry to post an impressive 1:54 victory in the third $20,000 elimination for the Breeders Crown two-year-old distaff trot, paying $9.40 for the win. Simon had When Dovescry, named after a song by the late artist Prince, on top almost immediately and had a big lead by the fast 26.4 initial marker. The filly went on to the half in 56.3 and ¾ in 1:24.3, with favored The Ice Dutchess on the move to challenge down the back. But When Dovescry was not to be caught on this evening, with The Ice Dutchess holding for second, 2 ¼ lengths back, and Cloud Nine Fashion photoing out Fate Smiled for third. In talking about the $205,000 yearling purchase, who has now won four races in a row, Simon Allard said, “She is a great horse, and we knew she would be a great horse. We brought her along slowly, as we are looking to race her on at three and four – but obviously she was very good tonight.” The ownership combine of the Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh, and Lawrence Dumain are undoubtedly focusing on the short-term outlook – next Saturday’s $600,000 Championship event. Tall Drink Hanover, with Andrew McCarthy steering, worked to get to the top early and went all the way to win the second of two Breeders Crown eliminations for two-year-old filly pacers at Pocono Downs on Oct. 19. The opening quarter hosted a shuffle between Money Shot Hanover, Zero Tolerance and Tall Drink Hanover before McCarthy gained the lead with the daughter of Captaintreacherous. The first quarter went in :26.4. As Tall Drink Hanover led the field to a half in :56.2, race-favorite Warrawee Ubeat brushed strongly to challenge on the outside, looking at first as if she could take over the lead. However, Tall Drink Hanover was steady and stubborn and best as the two were dueling into three-quarters at 1:22.4. Zero Tolerance stepped lively into the stretch but Warrawee Ubeat could not hustle to stay with Tall Drink Hanover and began to fade and stray a bit. Another threat surfaced when from the inside Zero Tolerance hooked up with the leader for a minor duel but Tall Drink Hanover won that, too, and finished in 1:51.3. Beautyonthebeach got third, Warrawee Ubeat held on for fourth and Renaissance Lady K finished fifth to also make the final. Tony Alagna trains Tall Drink Hanover who won her fourth-straight. Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing LLC own Tall Drink Hanover, who was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. Tall Drink Hanover paid $7.80 to win. Yannick Gingras drove St Somewhere to a 1:52.2 win in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for two-year-old filly pacers at Pocono Downs on Oct. 19.  St Somewhere watched Queen Of The Pride and Annie Hill leave quickly but Queen Of The Pride took a few bad steps and could not get the lead. Annie Hill couldn’t hold on too long racing smoothly as St Somewhere brushed first over and took over the lead at a first quarter in :27.1. Once on top, St Somewhere, the race favorite for trainer Ron Burke, cut the half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:24.2 as Queen Of The Pride led the second tier and tried to rally with Treacherous Reign looking to go three wide for a charge. None of the action behind St Somewhere mattered much as the daughter of American Ideal floated past the finish line to win in 1:52.2. She paid $5.20 to win. Annie Hill got the best inside trip and finished second, while Queen Of The Pride managed to finish third after making more bad steps that cost her ground. Also making the final was fourth-place finisher Prescient Beauty. Burke Racing Stable, P. Colllura, J & T Silva and Pumel & Libby own St Somewhere, who was bred by Crawford Farms.     New York Sire Stakes harness racingchampion Gimpanzee ($4.00) remained undefeated in eight career starts, overcoming a four-week absence and the tough tuck-then-first-over trip to post a 1:54.4 victory in one of two $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for two-year-old trotting males Friday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The son of Chapter Seven, who also sired the earlier filly winner Woodside Charm, out of the mare Steamy Windows left from post eight outside a host of horses and tucked fifth, with Union Forces emerging from the early scramble with the lead before the 27.3 quarter. He got a 57.3 breather to the half, but driver Brian Sears had Gimpanzee grinding forward down the backstretch, to the 1:26.4 3/4s, and around the turn to emerge with the lead headstretch. Despite the arduous trip, Gimpanzee was able to draw away in the lane by 1 1/2 lengths, with Chin Chin Hall, Hudson River, and Prospect Hill next in line at the wire and advancing to the Championship. Trainer Marcus Melander thought early in the season that this horse was of Grand Circuit caliber, and wasn’t especially concerned about either the layoff or the tough trip. Melander thinks the horse will acquit himself well next week, into which he will bring earnings of $291,358. No Mas Amor, with Matt Kakaley in the bike, rolled swiftly on the inside through the stretch to win the first elimination of the Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt Pace in 1:50.3. No Mas Amor , a son of Sweet Lou, stayed in the back early as Air Force Hanover passed De Los Celos Deo when the gate launched the small field of five (American Mercury was a scratch) into action.  Air Force Hanover stayed afloat to a :26.4 quarter with De Los Celos Deo tracking him in second and race-favorite Lyons Night Hawk following in third. Air Force Hanover kept the pace going through a half in :55.3 and began to open up on the field. Lyons Night Hawk came to the outside as three-quarters clocked in 1:22.4 with Mangogh picking up his cover. Still, Air Force Hanover rolled on easily into the stretch and seemed to be coasting to the win.  From the inside, though, No Mas Amor soared down the lane and picked off Air Force Hanover to win in 1:50.3. Air Force Hanover held the place and Mangogh took the show spot, the first three qualifying for the final. “The last two week his trips worked out perfectly,” said driver Matt Kakeley in the winner’s circle. “I took my chances staying on the inside and it worked out good.” Linda Toscano trains No Mas Amor for owner Kenneth E. Jacobs. Sherri K. Meirs and David A. Meirs bred the colt who paid $21.80 to win. Bob McClure, a top Canadian driver who has shown an ability to coax the most out of harness racing trotting females (Dream Together), worked his magic again in the first of Friday’s three $20,000 eliminations of the Breeders Crown for two-year-old trotting fillies, guiding Champagne Jane to her maiden victory in 1:55.4 with a strong stretch burst at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Special Honor and Andy Miller went to the lead late on the first turn, passing the ¼ in 27.4 and then keeping Conway Kellyanne outside to and past the 56.2 half. Favored Whispering Oaks circled wide to challenge near the 1:26.1 ¾ pole, with McClure slipping outside with Champagne Jane. Special Honor looked like she was on her way to victory in midstretch, but Champagne Jane was closing with high speed and picked up the leader handily in deep stretch, with Whispering Oaks holding on for third and advancement to the Championship. McClure, who was making his Breeders Crown debut, said that the filly had had health issues in the summer, but that trainer Luc Blais had brought her back to top form, sharpness that was evident in the lane as she closed with determination for the ownership group named Determination, from Quebec. She paid $17.40 to win. Woodside Charm further established her credentials as a superstar in the making when she won her $20,000 elimination of the Breeders Crown for two-year-old trotting fillies Friday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a startling 1:53 - almost a second faster than any divisional Crown final has gone on a 5/8-mile track. Owner/trainer/driver Verlin Yoder made the lead on the first turn, and when second choice Sonnet Grace made a break in the pocket late on that bend, the daughter of Chapter Seven - Fireworks Hanover controlled her own destiny. Yoder guided his star filly to early fractions of 27.2 and 57.2, then asked his horse for more speed down the back, and she reached the 3/4s in 1:25. The winner trotted home in 28 as her lead increased to double digits, and she crossed the wirer 12 ½ lengths to the good, with 50-1 shots Stella Jane second and Miss You Kelly third to advance to the final. Woodside Charm is now undefeated in six lifetime starts, with earnings of $219,158 - and another $300,000 looming in a week's time. She paid $2.40 to win. Here is the draw for the $600,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly Championship, to be held next Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono (* - elimination winner), followed by trainer and the driver in the elimination (a choice will have to be made): 1 – *When Doves Cry – Rene Allard – Simon Allard 2 – *Woodside Charm – trainer/driver Verlin Yoder 3 – *Champagne Jane – Luc Blais – Bob McClure 4 – Cloud Nine Fashion – Jim Campbell – Tim Tetrick 5 – Special Honor – Julie Miller – Andy Miller 6 – Whispering Oaks – Jimmy Takter – Yannick Gingras 7 – Miss You Kelly – Bruce Lauer – Tim Tetrick 8 – The Ice Dutchess – Jimmy Takter – Yannick Gingras 9 – Stella Jane – John Butenschoen – George Napolitano Jr. Here is the draw for the $600,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly Championship, to be held next Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono (* - elimination winner), followed by trainer and the driver in the elimination (a choice will have to be made): 1 - Beautyonthebeach - Gregg McNair - Doug McNair 2 -- *St Somewhere - Ron Burke - Yannick Gingras 3 - *Tall Drink Hanover - Tony Alagna - Andrew McCarthy 4 - Warrawee Ubeaut - Ron Burke - Yannick Gingras 5 - Queen Of The Pride - Kevin Lare - Tony Hall 6 - Treacherous Reign - Tony Alagna - Scott Zeron 7 - Zero Tolerance - Joe Holloway - David Miller 8 - Prescient Beauty - Gregg McNair - Doug McNair 9 - Annie Hill - Chris Oakes - Brian Sears Here is the draw for the $600,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt Championship, to be held next Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono (* - elimination winner), followed by trainer and the driver in the elimination (a choice will have to be made): 1 – Hudson River – Jimmy Takter - Yannick Gingras 2 – Chin Chin Hall - Melanie Wrenn - Peter Wrenn 3 – Prospect Hill – Julie Miller – Andy Miller 4 – *Smart As Hill – Paula Wellwood – Bob McClure 5 – *Gimpanzee – Marcus Melander – Brian Sears 6 – Super Schissel – Jimmy Takter – Yannick Gingras 7 – Trix And Stones – Carl Jamieson – Scott Zeron 8 – Green Manilishi S – Marcus Melander – Tim Tetrick 9 – Kings County – Domenico Cecere – Brian Sears Here is the draw for the $600,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt Championship, to be held next Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono (* - elimination winner), followed by trainer and the driver in the elimination (a choice will have to be made): 1 – *Proof – Brian Brown – David Miller 2 -- *No Mas Amor – Linda Toscano – Matt Kakaley 3 – Lyons Johnnyjnr – Jeff Gillis – Brian Sears 4 – Captain Crunch – Nancy Johansson – Scott Zeron 5 – *Captain Trevor – Tony Alagna – Andrew McCarthy 6 – Air Force Hanover – Brian Brown – David Miller 7 – Love Me Some Lou – Tom Cancelliere – Corey Callahan 8 – Mangogh—Bruce Saunders – Andrew McCarthy 9 – Blood Money – Jimmy Takter – Yannick Gingras From the Breeders Crown (USA)

MILTON, ON - The Royalty For Life filly P L Molly broke her maiden with a 1:59 victory in Tuesday's second leg of the Harvest Series at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A field of eight rookie harness racing trotting fillies clashed in the $17,000 second-round of the three-week Harvest Series. P L Molly and driver Bob McClure made a strong third-quarter move from fifth to second and after dropping in behind leader Nifty Trick at the top of the lane, proceeded to power by in the final-eighth for a 1:59 score. Nifty Trick, who lost by three-quarters of a length, finished second for the fourth-consecutive start. Order Mattie crossed the line third, while Briarwood Belle was fourth. Eramosa Magic, who went off as the 2-1 favourite, made a break well-before the start. She finished eighth, but with broken equipment. Trained by Matt Dupuis, P L Molly came into the Harvest Series second-leg off a fifth-place finish in the first-leg and was winless in seven starts. She has now earned $21,297 for owner-breeder Prince Lee Acres. A $2 win ticket on P L Molly returned $12.70. Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, were eligible for nomination to the Harvest Series. All four Harvest Series finals for two-year-olds will take place on Thursday, October 25. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications      

There was very little movement in the point standings as the two-year-old trotting colts and fillies gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening for their last regular season Gold event. Three of the four Gold Series divisions were captured by the favourites and the fourth went to the fans' second choice, Presto Change O. Starting from Post 3 driver Sylvain Filion eased the often fractious Presto Change O away from the starting gate and settled in third behind Cambridge Kate, who led the field of trotting fillies to a :28.4 opening quarter. Filion continued to sit third with Presto Change O as Cambridge Kate carried on to a :58.3 half, but heading toward the 1:28.1 three-quarters the veteran reinsman tipped his charge into the outer lane. Presto Change O stayed focussed on the wire and sailed home to a three and one-quarter length victory in 1:57.1. Pocket-sitter Mercedes Talma was second and Tommi Canu Hearme completed the top three. "Sometimes she loses her focus and she just jumps it off. She's learning, but she's a slow learner," said Filion. "She's full of potential though. If she stays at it and she keeps her focus she's probably the best in there, but it's always a question if she behaves you know. She keeps me on my toes." The Milton resident drives Presto Change O for trainer Paul Reid and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The pair was also victorious in the July 27 Gold event at Woodbine Mohawk Park and picked up a third in the Aug. 10 event at the Campbellville oval. As a result the Kadabra daughter heads into the Oct. 13 Super Final ranked third in the division with 115 points. "Paul Reid did a heck of a job to have her still going," said Filion. "I wouldn't think at the beginning of the year she'd be still going at this time, she was so big and immature, but he worked hard with her and it paid off." Driver Louis Philippe Roy captured the other $96,400 trotting filly division with fan favourite HP Titania Runner. Like Filion, Roy eased his filly away from Post 2 and settled in the middle of the pack as Petro Hall recorded a :28.1 quarter and :58.3 half. Roy send HP Titania Runner up the outside behind Teddys Littleangel and the challengers had overtaken the pacesetter by the 1:27.1 three-quarters. A strong finishing kick propelled HP Titania Runner to a narrow 1:56.4 victory over Teddys Littleangel, with Petro Hall five lengths back in third. "She's got as much talent as Dream Nation, for example, but she's always had something that happened to her that meant she couldn't show that talent," said Roy of the E L Titan daughter. "She win her two first Gold and then she got some breaking issues so Rene (Bourassa) finally decided to go with the trotting hopples, so I think that's what makes her a little bit safer." After the filly made breaks in three of her last four starts trainer Rene Bourassa added hopples to HP Titania Runner's equipment bag and qualified her on Sept. 27. The filly was flawless in the qualifier and Thursday's effort lowered her personal best by almost one second. Bourassa conditions HP Titania Runner for owner-breeders Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, Quebec. The filly will lead her peers into the $225,000 Super Final with 151 points. Roy also piloted two-year-old trotting gelding Dream Nation to a 1:55.3 personal best in the first $98,800 Gold division for the gents. As he did with HP Titania Runner, Roy settled the gelding in mid-pack from Post 5 and then made his way up the outer lane as Southwind Avenger and Only For Justice traded blows through the :27.2 quarter and :56.2 half. By the 1:26 three-quarters Dream Nation had drawn level with Only For Justice and he trotted down the stretch to a three-quarter length win in 1:55.3. Southwind Avenger finished second and Okeanos closed hard to be third. "From Day 1, from the first time I was at Jacques Dupont's farm training him, he never did anything wrong," said Roy. "He's actually I think as good, or probably the best he's been so far over the year, so he's not tired yet." Thursday's victory was Dream Nation's third in Gold Series action and puts him in second in the standings with 187 points. In nine starts the son of Archangel has finished no worse than third, scoring six wins and banking $187,290 for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy, Gestion C. Levesque 2005Inc. of St-Hyacinthe and Marc Camirand of Montreal, QC. The last trotting colt Gold division went to Forbidden Trade, who also travelled up the outer lane and reeled in the pacesetters to record his fourth Gold Series win in 1:58.2. Fingals Wave and CT Conabra were two and one-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite in second and third. Bob McClure piloted Forbidden Trade to his sixth win in eight starts for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec. The Kadabra son sits atop the division standings with 208 points and McClure is looking forward to taking on the best-of-the-best in the Oct. 13 Super Final "I couldn't feel better," said the driver. "He's in tip-top form and is a real professional." The top 10 point earners from both the trotting colt and trotting filly divisions will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park for their lucrative Super Finals on Oct. 13. Joining the trotters in the season finale will be the two-year-old pacing colts and fillies, who wrap up their regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, Oct. 6. The colts will compete in Races 2 and 8, while the fillies battle in Races 3 and 6. Post time is 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Canadian harness racing history was rewritten at Grand River Raceway for the second time this season as Ontario's top two-year-old trotting colts and geldings gathered at the Elora oval for Gold Series action on Monday evening. Five of the six top-ranked trotters in the division squared off in the second $64,800 Gold division and delivered a performance worthy of the pre-race hype. Fan favourite Dream Nation went straight to the front from Post 1 and led the field of six to a :28.3 opening quarter. Coming off the second turn driver Bob McClure moved Forbidden Trade into the outer lane from fourth and the pair pressed Dream Nation through a :59.1 half and a 1:27.3 three-quarters. Matching strides turning for home, Dream Nation and Forbidden Trade battled all the way to the wire with Forbidden Trade getting a neck in front in 1:56.4. Southwind Avenger finished third. The 1:56.4 mile was a track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record for Forbidden Trade. The previous OSS and Canadian record for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on a half-mile track was 1:57.4, set by Daylon Magician at Flamboro Downs in 2010. In August two-year-old pacing colt Stag Party also lowered the track, OSS and Canadian record in a Gold Series event at Grand River. "I was very impressed tonight, the way he did that, you know, first over. He never quit," said trainer Luc Blais. "He trained good this week, and I had a good feeling for tonight, but I knew we had a big division, there were lots of good horses in that race." Bob McClure piloted the son of Kadabra and former OSS star Pure Ivory to the win for Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec. In seven lifetime starts Forbidden Trade, a $110,000 yearling purchase, now has five wins, three of them in Gold Series action, and sits atop the division standings with 158 points. "He's been that good all year," said McClure. "I thought he was one of the best colts, if not the best, all year. He hasn't done much wrong this year. Every week he's coming late, coming late, coming late, and I don't think I've seen him get tired yet." Elora resident McClure was back in the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle after the third $65,600 division with Only For Justice, who went straight to the front from Post 4 and never relinquished the lead on the way to a 1:57.3 personal best. Fan favourite Fingals Wave and Gold Edition were seven lengths back in second and third. Dany Fontaine trains Only For Justice for owner-breeder Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. The win was the Justice Hall son's third straight, coming on the heels of a pair of victories in the second leg and final of the Quebec Breeders Cup at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres. With breaks in two of his three previous Gold Series starts, Only For Justice has accumulated 58 points and currently sits ninth in the point race. The top 10 point earners will advance to the $225,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 13. "He wants to race. He gets around a half so handy and he can leave the gate so fast, this place is his bread and butter," said McClure. "He's a very fast horse though. He deserves to be in the Super Final for sure." The trotting colts set the speed bar high right from the start Monday as Knight Angel and driver Sylvain Filion equalled the previous two-year-old trotting colt and gelding record with a 1:58.1 effort in the first $65600 division. Fan favourite Royal Rob took early command and led the field to a :29.2 quarter and 1:00 half before feeling the pressure from Knight Angel. The colts duelled through a 1:29.1 three-quarters before Knight Angel dug in to catch the leader by a neck in the stretch. While Your Up was four lengths back in third. Freelton resident Shane Arsenault trains Knight Angel for his partners Justin Fisher of Cambridge, Gary Leeming of Simcoe and Guiseppe Mascia of Mississauga, Ontario. The win was the first in six starts for the son of Archangel and Dream Taker, who struggled with breaks throughout the early stages of his career. With one win and two seconds in Gold action, Knight Angel moved into fourth spot in the standings with one regular season event remaining. The two-year-old trotting colts will make their fifth and final regular season Gold Series appearance at Woodbine Mohawk Park on October 4. Grand River Raceway wraps up its 2018 season this Wednesday, Sept. 26 with the National Driving Championship. Post time for Wednesday's program is 6:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

MILTON, ON - August 18, 2018 - Continual Hanover's wicked final-quarter speed landed him in the winner's circle for the first time at the Preferred level on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A field of seven older harness racing pacers squared off in the $34,000 feature with a pair of competitors seeking millionaire status. Nirvana Seelster needed a victory to surpass $1 million in career earnings on Saturday, while Sintra would hit that same mark with a top-four finish. Easy Lover Hanover charged off the wings of the gate and battled by a fired up Always A Hotshot to claim the lead and post opening-fractions of :26 and :54. Nirvana Seelster pulled from third entering the far turn and rushed up to poke a length in front of Easy Lover Hanover at three-quarters in 1:21.4. In the stretch, Nirvana Seelster continued to power along and appeared to have a victory and milestone in sight. However, Continual Hanover had other plans and flew home in :26 to come from a fourth-over sixth at three-quarters to win by half a length in a career-best 1:49. Nirvana Seelster had to settle for second, while Physicallyinclined and Always A Hotshot finished third and fourth, respectively. Sintra, who got away sixth and was on the outside sitting fourth at three-quarters, crossed the wire fifth and now sits just $964 shy of $1 million in career earnings. The second-place finish by Nirvana Seelster second-place pushes his career earnings to $993,684. Easy Lover Hanover faded to finish seventh after leading for nearly three-quarters of the mile. The five-year-old is one of three horses (Nirvana Seelster, Sintra) from Saturday's Preferred eligible to the upcoming Canadian Pacing Derby. Continual Hanover's victory Saturday was his first in four attempts at the Woodbine Preferred. The five-year-old gelding was driven by Bob McClure for trainer Jeff Gillis. Owned by Vogel And Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Pine Hill Racing Limited, Continual Hanover now has eight wins and $95,030 earned in 23 starts this season. The former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor sports career numbers of 24 wins and $372,190 earned. Continual Hanover paced his final-quarter Saturday in :26 to extend his current streak of :27 or better kickers to seven-consecutive races. He paid $10.70 to win. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

AUGUST 6, 2018 - Ontario's talented three-year-old pacing fillies were part of Grand River Raceway's annual Industry Day celebrations on Monday and Neon Moon set the tone for the afternoon's festivities with a track record effort in the first $18,800 Grassroots division. From Post 5 driver Jody Jamieson sent Neon Moon straight to the lead and the fan favourite reeled off fractions of :26.4, 55.4 and 1:24.1 before opening up to a five length victory in 1:52.4. Hello Love and Askmysecretary finished second and third. The mile took two-fifths of a second off the former sophomore pacing filly track record, first set by Seaside Rory in 2012 and equalled by L A Delight in 2016. "She was really sharp going into the race, but you just, on a half-mile track you just kind of hold your breath a bit," said trainer Jack Darling, who also owns the daughter of Sportswriter. Monday's victory was Neon Moon's second straight, but her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action this season. In her first two Grassroots starts she finished third. A four-time Grassroots winner at two, Neon Moon may have earned herself a shot at the Gold Series fillies with the track record performance. "She's been racing Grassroots, but she's just kind of borderline Gold, so we might give her a shot," noted Cambridge, Ontario resident Darling. In the second division fan favourite Katniss S BG overcame the outside Post 8 to earn her second straight Grassroots victory. In rein to Louis Philippe Roy, Katniss S BG left sharply and was able to settle in behind the fans' second choice Falls Creek as she rolled through fractions of :27.2, 58.2 and 1:27.1. In the stretch Roy asked the Mach Three daughter for another gear and Katniss S BG sprinted by the pacesetter to record a half-length victory in 1:55.4. Falls Creek settled for second and Princess Abie W was third. "I wanted to leave, not to be too far away with her, and then I see Robert was on the lead. I thought he was going to try and have my cover and follow me, but I knew he was also the second best, like the one to beat, so I was even more happy just to get in behind him, following him," said Roy. "So Post 8 before the race was a little bit of a concern, but it ended up having the perfect trip. "I thought maybe he could have stretched me a little bit then sit behind me, and he might have a shot at beating me, but the way it turned out was perfect for me," the driver added. Roy piloted Katniss S BG to the win for trainer Richard Moreau and owner-breeders Sylvain Descheneaux and Gaston Bibeau of Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. It was the filly's third straight victory and her fourth in 10 starts this season. Lifelong Dream earned her first-ever Grassroots victory in the third division with a come-from-behind effort from Post 5. After leading the charge on pacesetter Cardiff in the outer lane, Lifelong Dream dug in down the stretch to score a head victory in 1:54.1. Machnhope was second and Sharks Summrshandy was third. Dean Nixon trains Lifelong Dream for owner-breeder Greg Merlo of Glencoe, Ontario and the horseman was delighted to see the filly record her first Grassroots win after a pair of runner-up finishes. "She's kind like of a little dream come true for him. He's always just had his own horses that have raced on the B tracks and this is the first time he's had a horse that was capable of racing in stakes competition," Nixon explained. "When we first got her, she's very small and I didn't think much of her. I wasn't overly optimistic and she's just been a pleasant surprise. "We give her time between starts, we don't over race her, and he doesn't mind that, he wants what is in her best interests all the time," the horseman continued. "I'm really happy that these people have been so fortunate, that this little horse has produced so well. It's a little dream come true for them and it's nice to be a part of that." Bob McClure piloted Lifelong Dream to the win, the filly's second in 13 sophomore starts. In the last Grassroots division driver Trevor Henry copied McClure's come-from-behind tactics with Cabowabocuttie, easing away from Post 7, powering up the outer lane and battling hard in the stretch for a one-half length victory in 1:56.2. Pacesetter and fan favourite Sunday Afternoon settled for second and I Shadow U was third. "When I seen we had the seven-hole I thought oh dear, but she overcome it," said owner Bill Manes of Rockwood, Ontario. "She tries; small but mighty." Gerald Lilley conditions Big Jim daughter Cabowabocuttie, who started her season at the Gold Series level, logging one third and one ninth. Monday's victory was her second straight, and her third on the season. The fillies served as the opening act for the $163,840 Battle of the Belles and the $262,315 Battle of Waterloo finals. Quebec Blue Chip delivered a commanding front-end effort to capture the two-year-old pacing filly event, stopping the teletimer at 1:55.1 for driver Jody Jamieson, trainer Dave Menary and owners Menary Racing Inc. of Rockton, Michael Guerriero of Brampton, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown and Bruce Norris of Caledon East, Ontario. The filly's stablemate Ideation Hanover was second and Village Joules was third. Two-year-old pacing colt Bronx Seelster captured the Battle of Waterloo with a gritty effort that saw him fight back in the stretch when rival Bettors Wish got a head in front. The fan favourite hit the wire a neck in front of Bettors Wish in 1:53.1 with Sports Teen third. Arthur, Ontario resident Trevor Henry piloted the Big Jim son to his fourth straight win for trainer Wayne McGean and owners Capers 3 Stable of Sydney, Nova Scotia. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- Shartin N won Saturday's $197,400 Lady Liberty for pacing mares, taking the lead on the backstretch and holding off Pure Country and Blue Moon Stride in 2:04.1 in the 1-1/8 miles race at the Meadowlands. The margin of victory was a half-length. Caviart Ally was the early leader, hitting the first quarter in :26.4, followed by Apple Bottom Jeans, Call Me Queen Be, Shartin N. Call Me Queen Be took a brief lead, but was overtaken by Shartin N by the time the group reached the half in :54.3. Shartin N controlled the fractions from there, getting to three-quarters in 1:22 and the mile in 1:50. Pure Country was third over at three-quarters and made a late rally, but was unable to get to the front. "We kind of got messed up leaving out of there," winning driver Tim Tetrick said. "My mare has made a break or two off the gate, so I was trying to be a little careful. I got lucky to get out there. She's done nothing but be great, and she did it again today. She doesn't always win by a lot, but she gets it done." Shartin N is a 5-year-old daughter of TinTin In America out of Bagdarin. She has won 13 of 17 races this year and 20 of 30 lifetime for earnings of $764,857. She is owned by Richard Poilluci and Jo Ann Looney-King. Sent off as the 3-5 favorite, Shartin N paid $3.20, $2.20, $2.10. Pure Country paid $3.40 and $2.60. Blue Moon Stride paid $6.20. Shartin N 91-1 DREAM TOGETHER UPETS IN TROT East Rutherford, NJ - Dream Together (Bob McClure) was the winner by a neck of the $154,800 Dr. John Steele Memorial Trot for older mares on August 4 at The Meadowlands. The four year-old mare is trained by Luc Blais and owned by Determination Stable of Montreal.    Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) was first to the lead at the :27 first quarter and held that lead through the :55 half and the 1:23.3 three quarters.  When the field hit the trop of the stretch, Ariana G was still on the lead, but Dream Together was on the move from fourth place and overtook the leaders for the win in 1:51 3/5, her first win since mid May. Ariana G faded to fifth and Broadway Donna (David Miller) closed strongly to be second, Caprice Hill (Doug McNair) was third.  Dream Together returned $105.60, $49.60 and $25.20 and topped a $1,031 exacta with second place finisher Broadway Donna ($6.20, $6.40).  The trifecta was $2,883.40 with third-place finisher Caprice Hill ($9.00). From the Meadowlands Publicity Department

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