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CAMPBELLVILLE, September 3 - With a golden pedigree to back up her nearly perfect record this year, it comes as no surprise that L A Delight has become a contender to be reckoned with in the harness racing two-year-old pacing division. Trainer and owner Bob McIntosh has a better understanding of her impressive maternal line than most. Purchased for $115,000 as a yearling, L A Delight's grand-dam Los Angeles became a fixture on racing's Grand Circuit under McIntosh's tutelage. The Camluck mare was retired after her three-year-old season, hanging up the hopples with a mark of 1:53.4 to her name and taking up residence in the breeding shed. In eleven years since her transition, Los Angeles has produced eight horses with total earnings of over $2.5 million dollars. Among her offspring was the great son of Ponder, Thinking Out Loud. Capturing the US Pacing Derby in a sharp 1:47.2 as a four-year-old, he built up an extensive highlight reel over a career that put nearly $2 million in the bank. Her first foal, however, was a Western Hanover filly named West of L A. "We bought Los Angeles as a yearling and she turned out to be a really solid race mare, and then she turned out to be a great producer," said McIntosh. "She has produced a couple of really great horses, and West of L A was a very good filly. The family worked out really well for me." West of L A bankrolled $257,150 for connections Robert McIntosh, CSX Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., taking a mark at the Red Mile of 1:53.2, but was retired off her fastest mile, 1:50.1 at Dover Downs, at the end of her three-year-old season. She wasted no time in setting a very high standard for her offspring, producing Somewhere in L A, who has posted a record of 12-9-7 in 46 starts with nearly $700,000 in earnings. This season, her Bettor's Delight filly L A Delight has become a dominating presence in Ontario racing. Having spent many years with her family, McIntosh believes they all have the most important thing in common. "All three of them have had really quick speed. They're all good gaited and have quick speed to match." Training down for this season, McIntosh had no way of knowing the hidden potential in his homebred. Quiet and unassuming around the barn, she had yet to stand out in the group. "She was perfect, she was just one of those really easy to get along with fillies. She had no real quirks. In the winter, I thought she was a nice filly, but I never dreamt this. It was a nice surprise. I actually thought I had a couple that were better back then," said McIntosh. "She never did anything wrong but she never stood out. She was always there with the group, just never a show off. But when she started racing that obviously changed. " L A Delight started her freshman campaign with a third place performance, closing hard in 27 seconds to hit the board. Likely not a fan of being denied victory, the filly has since set a seven race win streak and will be looking to make it eight on Saturday night in the $455,000 Shes A Great Lady final. L A Delight set a flashy mark of 1:51.4 in the Eternal Camnation stakes on August 22, the final prep heading into the Shes a Great Lady eliminations. Leaving from the two hole in last Saturday's elimination, she sat third to the quarter, but was not content to wait for long. Gaining the lead by the three quarters, she cruised home easily for driver Randy Waples to win in 1:54.2. "She came out of it perfect, there was no real stress for her last week," said McIntosh. "Randy never had to ask her and it's been a good week since. At this point, she's very tight, so she doesn't need a lot of work. I'll go a couple slow miles with her on Thursday." After earning the right to select post four for Saturday's final, L A Delight will square off against the other elimination winner Thatsoveryverynice, who starts directly to her inside in the three hole. Conditioned by Tony Alagna, she is four for five with an Ontario Sires Stakes record mark of 1:51.2. "I've got a lot of faith in her, she hasn't been to the bottom of the well yet," said McIntosh. "I expect a lot from Alagna's filly, she's been spectacular. Hopefully we have some good racing luck." Staked lightly for her freshman season, L A Delight has remained close to home. Only one start has seen her away from the Campbellville oval, shipping to Georgian Downs for an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event. "She wasn't staked to a lot of events because I didn't think she was that spectacular early on," said McIntosh with a laugh. "If everything goes as planned, she's going to have thirteen starts which I think is funny for a two-year-old. I think she has another Sires Stakes Gold and then the Super Final. She's got plenty of races right here at home, but hindsight is always 20/20." Next year, her full sister will take to the track to contest her own freshman campaign. Way Bettor, bred and owned by the same connections, will be looking to follow in L A Delight's footsteps. Those who may be eyeing the youngster will be sadly disappointed, her name absent from the fall yearling sales. "We're going to retain her; I don't send yearlings to the sale that I raise. I sell off pieces, but there's nothing for sale in that full sister, she's already divided up. I haven't seen her lately but the last time I saw her, she was a really nice, good looking filly." With another convincing victory in the books in last Saturday's eliminations, L A Delight will be the one to watch as she looks to do what her dam and grand-dam could not: capture the Shes a Great Lady stakes final. McIntosh is confident in her ability, three generations in the making. "Hopefully the racing gods are on our side, we'll look to leave the bad luck at home and get a good, clean trip out there. I wouldn't trade fillies with anyone." Hannah Beckett for WEG Communications

Godiva Seelster (Camluck) continued her sensational season on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The harness racing five year old pacing mare recorded her second consecutive victory in the $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open behind a front-running effort covering the mile in 1:52.3. Wally Hennessey powered Godiva Seelster out early and as several leavers settled in, Hennessey drove on making the lead in 27 seconds flat. Just like last week, the Hall of Fame reinsman got the mare a solid second quarter breather before stepping on the gas in the third quarter to the tune of 27.3. Godiva Seelster had to hold off the late challenge from rival So Nice (Austin Siegelman) who she bested in last week's Open. So Nice once again was the bridesmaid in the feature for distaff pacers, settling for second. Longshot Bell On Wheels (Stephane Bouchard) saved ground behind the top two throughout and finished third. For the Dan Hennessey-trained Godiva Seeslter, it was win number ten on the season in nineteen starts. She paid $13.40 to win in the mild upset leading an exacta that returned $43.80 and a triple that came back $454. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella  

Godiva Seelster (Camluck) paced the fastest time of any mare this season at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Friday night. The Dan Hennessey-trainee was the 6-5 public choice in the $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open and worked hard to secure the early lead. Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey got the five year old mare to the front in a quick 27 second opening quarter but after a bit of a breather in the second quarter reached the half in 56.4. Pocket sitter So Nice (Bruce Aldrich Jr) took her shot at the favorite in the stretch but to no avail. Godiva Seelster stopped the timer in 1:52.2, the fastest time for a distaffer this year at the Spa and just a fifth of a second off the track record for aged pacing mares. So Nice was a strong second while Her Own Land (Billy Dobson) closed for third. It was the ninth victory on the season for Godiva Seelster who paid $4.60 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $15 and $40, respectively. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Saturday night with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella  

Grand River Raceway's Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Celebration Night is slated  for the harness racing meeting there this Friday, August 14, with two special promotions on tap. HORSE NAME COSTUME GAME The popular Horse Name Costume Game returns for one night only, offering $500 in cash prizes. Fans dress in the likeness of the name of a horse racing on the August 14 race card. With 97 horses to choose from, there's plenty of opportunity for great names, including: Suckitupbuttercup, Tony Soprano, Polk Dot Hanover, Typhoon Seelster, Bee In Charge, Life On The Links, and Northern Emerald, to name a few. The complete list of horse names for August 14. To finesse their creative inspiration, fans are encouraged to research unique entries from past Horse Name Costume Contests by consulting the following photo galleries: Gallery 1, Gallery 2, Gallery 3, Gallery 4, Gallery 5, Gallery 6. Contestants must register at the OSS Table in the main lobby between 6:00pm - 7:00pm. The costume parade will take place live on the Tarmac Show after race six (approximately 8:30) where three judges will determine the best Horse Name Costumes for both adults and kids (15 and under). HORSE AUTOGRAPHED T-SHIRTS The track will also award 100 OSS t-shirts on August 14. Half of the shirts will be autographed by Camluck and the other half by Big Jim. The shirts are imprinted with the superstars' hoof prints, using fabric paint and their horseshoes. Seelster Farms in Lucan, ON is home to both horses. Sadly, Camluck recently passed away at the age of 28. He left an indelible mark on the Standardbred breed. A millionaire on the racetrack, it was in the breeding shed where Camluck made his greatest impact and stamped himself as one of the greatest pacing stallions in harness racing history. His offspring have earned more than $221 million -more than any other stallion in North America. Camluck was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2008 he was the first Canadian horse inducted into the United States Living Hall of Fame. Big Jim is the sire of Magnum J, winner of Grand River Raceway's 2015 Battle Of Waterloo. This is the stallion's first crop of two-year-olds. As a freshman in his own racing career, Big Jim dominated his competition, setting a world record of 1:49.1 and winning such prestigious events as the Breeders Crown and Governor's Cup. He retired from racing with earnings of $1.5 million and compiled a record of 10-3-4 from 20 starts. The OSS t-shirts autographed by Camluck and Big Jim are available to the first 100 people to redeem their program voucher (found in the August 10 program) to the OSS Table in the main lobby between 6:00pm - 7:00pm (while quantities last). There is a limit of one shirt per person. The 11-race card on August 10 features three divisions of OSS two-year-old trotting colts in the Gold Series. Post time for race one is 6:30 p.m. Kelly Spencer

AUGUST 9, 2015 - Nine divisions of two-year-old pacing fillies invaded Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon and in the eighth Grassroots split Bourbon Seelster rewrote the half-mile oval's harness racing history books. Starting from Post 5, driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON sent Bourbon Seelster straight to the front and rang up evenly-rated early fractions of :30.1 and 1:00.2. Heading for the three-quarters Saftic picked up the tempo, reaching the marker in 1:29.4, but when fan favourite Divas Image mounted a challenge in the stretch Bourbon Seelster really poured it on, sprinting home in :27.2 to reach the wire in a track record 1:57.1. Divas Image settled for second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner, and Where Are We rounded out the top three. The win was the second in Grassroots action for Bourbon Seelster, who posted her first in the July 19 contest at Georgian Downs. Watford, ON resident Robert Manders conditions the daughter of Camluck for Scott and Keith Manders, also of Watford, who purchased her for $14,000 from the Forest City Yearling Sale. Trainer Dave Menary won three of the nine Grassroots divisions, teaming up with driver James MacDonald for two and Kevin Sizer for the third, and also picked up one second and one third with his six starters. "It was pretty lucky," said the Cambridge, ON resident. "It would be nice to have six Gold fillies, but we were the masters of Clinton today." Menary and MacDonald's first victory came in the second division with Twin B Virtue, who battled to a neck victory over Jimmys Little Girl in 1:58.4. Life Book finished two and one-quarter lengths behind the duelling leaders in third. "Her last two starts she's been right on the front and end and I really think this filly's a lot better off a helmet or off a little trip, but when you're racing on a half-mile track you can't always work that out," noted Menary. "She got run at and headed the whole way, and dug in, and I was super happy with the filly." Menary shares ownership of Twin B Virtue with Brad Gray of Dundas, ON and Michael Guerriero of Puslinch, ON. The partners acquired the daughter of Badlands Hanover for $32,000 from the Canadian Yearling Sale last fall and through four starts the filly has returned $20,600. The trainer and driver were back in the winner's circle after the fifth division with Rosy Outlook. Starting from Post 2 Guelph, ON resident MacDonald put the Badlands Hanover daughter on the front end and she led through all stations on the way to her first lifetime victory in 1:59.4. Fan favourite Selling The Dream closed hard, but fell one-quarter length short, while Kyrstal C was well back in third. "Today she raced very greenly," said Menary, who added that MacDonald felt her attention wavered significantly through the final quarter. "I definitely have faith in the filly that she's going to get better." Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. of Wallkill, NY own Rosy Outlook, who was a $10,000 purchase out of the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. After debuting in the Gold Series on July 6, where she finished eighth, Rosy Outlook finished third in the July 19 Grassroots event at Georgian Downs. Menary's third victory came in the last Grassroots division when driver Kevin Sizer of Morriston, ON took Norcross Blue Chip gate-to-wire for her first win. The Bettors Delight daughter finished two lengths ahead of Endless Legacy and favourite State Of Joy in 1:58.1. "This is a filly that I thought was one of my best all winter. She had little problems with the efficiency of her gait, so I spent a lot of time going with this filly, and Kevin Sizer's done a great job with this filly -he works for me - he's done a great job with this filly and he did a great job today," said Menary. "She's been behind all the way, but catching up rapidly." The trainer shares ownership of Norcross Blue Chip with Michael Guerriero, Denis Breton of Welland, ON and Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON. A $30,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, the filly has two starts under her belt, Sunday's win and a fourth in a July 31 conditioned event at Grand River Raceway. The other Grassroots divisions were captured by Trilife, St Lads Smokin Hot, P L Jasmine, My Rhythm Of Rhyme and Miss Babe Delight. Trilife kicked things off in the first division with a 1:58.1 score for driver Anthony MacDonald of Guelph, trainer Larry Ainsworth of Petrolia, ON and owner-breeder William Boden of Vancouver. The Mach Three lass hit the wire two and one-quarter lengths ahead of Menary trainee No Shadows and Northern Prima to record her first Grassroots victory. St Lads Smokin Hot recorded her first lifetime victory in the third division, sailing along on the front end to a 2:00.2 win over Sports Expert and This Day Forward. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry engineered the No Pan Intended daughter's successful effort for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch and Holland Racing Stable of Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON. A gritty first-over trip netted P L Jasmine her second straight victory, and first Grassroots trophy, in the fourth division. The Badlands Hanover daughter and driver Scott Coulter of Brantford, ON cruised home five and one-half lengths ahead of Watt Machs Me Win and Menary trainee Green Light in 1:58.3. Robert McMillan of Beaverton, ON conditions P L Jasmine for owner-breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON. Paul MacDonell and My Rhythm Of Rhyme never faced a challenge on their way to a two and one-quarter length win in the sixth division. The Shadow Play daughter stopped the Clinton teletimer at 1:59.1, besting Dancin In the Nude and favourite Boozer Bruiser. Guelph resident MacDonell shares ownership of first-time winner My Rhythm Of Rhyme with his wife Lynn MacDonell. Miss Babe Delight also made winning look easy, pacing home three lengths ahead of Action Big and Bad Lightning in Race 7. Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion piloted the Bettors Delight filly to her first win in 1:58.2 for trainer Dany Fontaine of Lachenaie, QC and owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. The two-year-old pacing fillies start the second half of their Grassroots season at Mohawk Racetrack on August 24. Ontario Horse Racing

Fair harness racing at it's very best takes place this Friday night at 7:00 P.M at picturesque Connell Park in Woodstock, N.B.   Seven dashes will be on center stage during the Old Home Week festivities at the half-mile oval.   Woodstock Driving Club will play host to a live card of racing on Friday with partnership of Horse Racing New Brunswick presenting a solid field in the prestigious Kelti Burnett Memorial Pace   Connell Park is one of the most exciting race tracks to visit with the support of local horsemen, fans and businesses.   It is grassroots harness racing at its finest.   This year the Kelti Burnett Memorial Pace has attracted a sold field of seven pacers that will compete in the final seventh race on the live card.   This years premier event at the N.B track will carry a purse of $ 3000. Sponsored this season by Corey Ford and McCain Foods.   American Terror and trainer/ driver Ed Harvey will put his win streak on the line on Friday as he has drawn post five in the premier event.   Winner of four in a row, the pacer will have his hands full with his competition.   He comes off an impressive 1:57.2 this past Monday's New Brunswick day program.   Walter Dale Memorial winner Skippy will be looking to get back on track for his owner Harold DeFazio of Saint John.   Mark Haig, eight wins shy of five-hundred in his career, will drive the handsome son of Camluck.   It's an impressive group for the invitational pace. D J Power has drawn the coveted rail position from Quebec and comes in with some solid credentials.   He has been victorious over the half mile track in Quebec in 1:57.   Iron Phil is another solid campaigner from Quebec who sports a 1:57 win on his lines and will look for Louis Roy to make some waves on the Maritime racing circuit.   P.E.I invader Lyndale Royal has won three straight and includes a 1:56.3 clocking at Red Shores.    Meter Leader and Rocknroll Band look to be longshots in the race but both have been on fire as of late with a role of being the spoiler.   Scott Waddell

Following a dominant spring while racing at Pompano Park, Godiva Seelster scored her first local victory of the harness racing season on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The five year old mare competed well at the Spa in 2014 and had been the runner up in three out of her four local tries this season heading into Friday night's $15,000 feature for distaff pacers. Godiva Seelster (Camluck) flashed early speed to help overcome post position seven and got the pocket trip behind Keene Olivia (Billy Dobson). Around the final turn, driver Wally Hennessey popped the pocket and the Dan Hennessey-trained Godiva Seelster rolled by to record the win in 1:54.1. The 6-5 favorite in the betting on Friday, Godiva Seelster recorded victory number eight on the year and has now finished first or second in fourteen of her fifteen seasonal tries. Weekend Getaway (Bruce Aldrich Jr) closed sharply to be the runner up to Godiva Seelster in Friday's feature while Delicisouslynaughty (Stephane Bouchard) earned the show spot. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella  

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 10, 2015 - Montenegro and Jason Dillander turned in a dominant harness racing performance to capture the co-featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 10. Using a sharp, gate to wire effort, Montenegro was able to hold off the rest of the field late in the lane to score in 1:51.4. Leaving from post five, Dillander sent Montenegro away from the gate firing and she reached the front through the opening panel in :27.2. Wild Wanda and Andy Shetler also left aggressively to grab a pocket seat with Native Dream and Peter Wrenn next in line, third. Montenegro rattled off middle fractions of :56.1 and 1:25 before feeling a threat from Wild Wanda who tipped from the pocket approaching the final turn. As the field turned for home, Tyler Smith had the heavy betting favorite, Color's A Virgin, three-wide but she would have her work cut out for her as Montenegro looked game on the front. Using a :26.4 final quarter, Montenegro dug in gamely to hold off Wild Wanda and Color's A Virgin who finished second and third, respectively. As the bettors' second choice, Montenegro returned $4.80 at the windows. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old Camluck mare scored her fifth victory of the season and has now won 32 of 149 lifetime outings. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $87,135 this season. On the trotting side of things, Allie Labrook returned to her home state and turned in an impressive performance to score in 1:52.4 in the featured trot, a $21,000 Invitational Trot. After racing at Mohawk Racetrack for three starts, Allie Labrook returned to Hoosier Park to score her third win of the season with Dan Shetler in the sulky. The 1:52.4 victory was just a few ticks off the overall trotting track record at Hoosier Park, a 1:52 mark she established earlier in the season. Using her customary late-surging tactics, Allie Labrook was rated off the pace through fractions of :27, :56.3 and 1:25.1 before beginning her attack in the final turn. As the field turned for home, Allie Labrook was poised to strike. Shetler asked his mount for more and Allie Labrook found another gear to win under wraps by three lengths. Natural Herbie and Verlin Yoder staged a big rally late in the lane but had too much ground to make up at the end of the mile and had to settle for second place honors. Lady Blitz and James Yoder rounded out the trifecta. Allie Labrook returned $6.60 to her backers. The five-year-old daughter of Here Comes Herbie-Allie Jane is trained by Dan Shetler and has now won three of eight seasonal outings. Owned by Sawgrass Farms, Allie Labrook has amassed $185,932 lifetime. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 11 with a 14-race card featuring the $21,000 Invitational Pace. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin

Jody Jamieson had the winning touch at the harness racing meeting at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening, piloting four sophomore pacing colts to Grassroots victory. Jamieson kicked off his successful evening in the first $18,000 Grassroots division, guiding Dialamara to a three and one-quarter length triumph over Feeling Cam Lucky and Naturescape. The 1:51.1 clocking was the quickest of the seven Grassroots divisions and was a new personal best for Dialamara. "Dialamara was really good," said Moffat, ON resident Jamieson. "He stepped around the leader there in two strides and was strong right to the wire." The Lisa Mara son started his Ontario Sires Stakes season with a third-place result in the Gold Series opener, but trainer Patrick Fletcher of Hagersville, ON moved him down to the Grassroots for the June 21 event at Clinton Raceway and Dialamara finished fifth. Saturday's victory was Dialamara's first on the provincial stakes circuit, although he was the winner of the WEGZ Final at Woodbine Racetrack on March 21, and the runner-up in both the Count B and Youthful Finals at the Toronto oval this spring. John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON owns the winner of $129,032. Jamieson made his second trip to the winner's circle with his own gelding, Make Some Luck, in the third Grassroots division. The pair circled out three-wide at the three-quarters and powered down the stretch to a half-length victory over favourite His Boy Elroy and Legion Of Boom. The 1:52.3 clocking was a personal best for the Camluck gelding. "I have yet to give him a decent drive, but he has overcome it almost every time," said Jamieson, who was forced to regroup at the start when Make Some Luck went off-stride briefly after making contact with the gate. "We couldn't be happier with his effort." Jamieson's father Carl conditions Make Some Luck, who now boasts two wins and one third in Grassroots action and is currently tied for second spot in the three-year-old pacing colt standings with 112 points . Three regular season events remain on the three-year-old pacing colt and gelding calendar. The reinsman's third win came in the fifth division with Antar Phil, who cruised home a five and one-half length victor in 1:53.2. Windsong Lord and fan favourite Artful Way settled for second and third. "He started from a tough spot in the nine-hole but the trip worked out perfect, there was lots of movement," noted Jamieson. "We ended up being second over up the backside and I swung him over and he just sprinted home from there. He was really good." The win was Antar Phil's second straight, but his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. The Sportswriter son is trained by Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. Jamieson completed his driving quartet in the final Grassroots division with his father's horse Sporting The Look. The fan favourites tipped out of the outer lane and sprinted home to a 1:52.1 victory, two and one-quarter lengths ahead of The Fire Within and Bob Ben And John. The fifth-ranked horse in the province last season, Sporting The Look had failed to find the winner's circle in his first four starts this season, so Jamieson was pleased to see the Sportswriter son's luck change. "He's been run into, or I've run into somebody else, in every start this year with him. He's hooked wheels twice, got run into once, that's three starts, so he was due," Jamieson said. "He got a perfect trip too and paced hard to the wire, so it was real good." Rockwood, ON resident Carl Jamieson shares ownership of Sporting The Look with 30 Plus Stable of Trenton, ON and Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON. In addition to his wins, Jamieson's other two Grassroots mounts, Sports Lightning and Win One Soon, finished second and third. "I had some horses that were favoured and it worked out," reflected the driver. "Lots of times it doesn't work out, and tonight it did." The other three divisions went to Mach Code, Western Bayama and Deetzy. Mach Code and driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON were one length winners over Sports Lightning and Regal Sight, stopping the Georgian Downs teletimer at 1:52.4. Jeff and Lori Thomson bred, own and train the Mach Three gelding, who sits tied for second in the division standings with Make Some Luck. Western Bayama battled to a head victory over Sports Bettor and Lancaster Park in the fourth division. The Lis Mara son hit the wire in a personal best 1:53.4 for driver Anthony MacDonald of Guelph, ON, trainer Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON and owner-breeders Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. Deetzy also won a nail-biter, getting a neck in front of Southwind Indy and Win One Soon at the 1:53.2 finish. Thornton, ON resident Stephen Byron engineered the Jeremes Jet son's first lifetime victory for trainer Ken Sucee of Bowmanville, ON and Shelby Novick of Delray Beach, FL. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings make their fourth Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 31. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, July 7 with the Grassroots debut of the two-year-old trotting fillies. Five divisions of novice trotters will be featured, going postward as Races 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 on the 7:15 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing

"The Making Of A Champion" Before they break records, before they stun the world with their speed and grace, and before they even know the game; all foals share the same destiny. All foals are born to become champions, all foals are born to become the best. People spend hours sifting through online pedigree research or perhaps even sire and dam books, trying to find the perfect match to create the next great champion. Eleven months and one week later when that foal is born, everyone is filled with hope, and wonder if this will be the next great champion, if this will be the next record breaker. From the moment a foal first stands up, even if a little wobbly at first, a future star has been born. For the next two years and far beyond that, many people and countless hours of hard work filled with patience and practice will go into making hopeful youngsters into racehorses filled with heart and the will to win. These may be the people who first put the foal’s halters on, the first ones to show them how to walk with a lead, the first ones to pick up their feet, the people who helped wean, or who help break the foal to the harness when they are a yearling. Whatever role they may play, they have just begun the training of a champion and they will forever be a part of who that horse is. I had the opportunity to go and visit two major breeding farms in Ontario, Seelster Farms and Winbak Farms.   When I was at Seelster Farms, I got to see Sydney Seelster’s (Pinky) sire Camluck! I noticed similarities between Pinky and Camluck right away. Camluck has a big appetite; he too loves carrots and apples, and hay and so does Pinky.  His personality and Pinky’s were a lot alike too, both of them are gentle and playful. She looked like him as well! Camluck had white socks on both of his back feet and a little bit on his front right. Pinky got his white on her back right foot. She also got his white star on her forehead. I also got to see the foals up close. The foals all had their own personalities. Some just lay in a pile of straw having a nice nap, and there were some were running around their stalls, pestering their moms and getting in their way. The foals were all so cute, they made my heart melt, even them being mischievous was cute.  After seeing these sweet, cute buddle's of joy each with their own personality I wondered what Pinky was like as a foal.  She was born here, in one of these stalls, I guess I never thought of Pinky once being a wobbly foal and at one point spending a lot of time learning how to become the great racehorse she is.                                                                                                                                                                 Some mares were wearing collars. I inquired as to what they were to Ann; the lady giving us the tour. She explained that the mares wearing the collars belonged to Bob McIntosh.  I had just seen Bob McIntosh’s band of future stars. I got to meet Big Jim at Seelster Farms too! He too was handsome. I was interested to learn that he had just returned to Canada after standing stud in Australia. He is one busy boy when it comes to breeding. I was happy I got see and spend some time with Big Jim, because when Jim Carr was alive he always wanted me to see Big Jim and even though he was not there that day, he was in my heart. The other sires I saw at Seelster Farms were; Sunshine Beach, Justice Hall, Windsong Espoir, and Holiday Road. All of them were amazing to see up close and better looking than I imagined. It was nice to see Sunshine Beach again. I remember him being at First Line Training Centre, and going over and seeing him. I remember sitting at the rail and cheering him on as well. We discovered Pinky has a full brother who races at Grand River and The Raceway at Western Fair, his name is Savage Seelster. I could see Camluck both in Pinky and in Savage. Camluck, Pinky, and Savage all have a nice disposition. I know this because I have been able to watch Savage race and see him in the paddock. Whenever I go and see him the paddock on race night he always snuggles into me and gives me kisses, as did Pinky. It was remarkable to see such striking similarities in brothers and sisters of the same sire or dam. When I visited Winbak Farms I got to see something very unique! I got to see how they collect the semen, the first process of creating a foal. I got to look through the microscope, and see the semen swimming. That was something I never thought I would see!  Seeing that did not compare to anything I had seen in science class! They also showed me all the mathematics that went into breeding. There were lots of numbers, ratios and percentages. I never knew there was so much math involved in breeding. When the studs entered the rectangular room to give their gift, some were excited; others were very professional and calm when they came in, they knew they had a job to do! Some didn’t even have to go near the tease mare! There were a couple of studs who just had to smell the mare’s urine on a sponge, others just walked into the room and were ready to do their job. I watched as the studs mounted a fake mare and as they collected the semen. I watched in curiosity.  In a way I felt like I was invading their privacy but it was too interesting and I could not look away, it was just so intriguing to me. I got to meet Badlands Hanover, Betterthancheddar, Bettor’s Delight, Classic Card Shark, Royal Mattjesty, Shadow Play, Vintage Master, Angus Hall, Archangel, and Glidemaster. They all looked outstanding and they all had nice shiny coats. There were boxes being labeled, packed with semen, and getting ready to be shipped all over. Some were staying local, some going a different part of Canada, and there were others that needed to get to the airport to go somewhere else. This put a new perspective on the breeding industry for me. I never realized how a small amount of semen could bring so much hope to so many people. It would be a lot of work to have a breeding farm, to clean out those stalls that have twice the mess because they are two horses to clean up after in some stalls. But I think it would be a special job, being there when the mares have their foals, seeing the foals running and playing with each other in the afternoon sun, this would make all the late nights when night foaling all worth it. I am now more interested in breeding then I ever was before. We made the decision to breed Pinky! I am looking so forward to having my own foal to watch grow up and race! I am counting down the months until that very special day when Pinky’s foal is born, when Camluck will have another grandchild, Savage will become an uncle. And I too can dream of having the next champion! Sydney Weaver is 15 years old and resides in Acton, Ontario, Canada. She has been involved with harness racing for years, grooms horses, jogs them on the track, owns a racehorse and has already won major youth writing awards. Sydney also has Cerebral Palsy and spends most of her time in a wheelchair, but has never let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals.

Trainer Anthony De Francesco III had four training wins on the Wednesday afternoon (July 1) card at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia. The first of which came when Joseph Laino's ER Room (Yannick Gingras) survived a :26.2 opening quarter to get the job done. The 6-year-old son of Cambest won for the thirteenth time in his career. It was his third win of the season, setting a lifetime's best 1:52 in the process. He paid $4.20. Six races later, Louis A. and Louis M. Di Tullio's Red Carpet Dude (Dave Miller) scored the upset victory ($57.20) The six-year-old son of Camluck tracked live cover up the backstretch, establishing prime position for his final push, which ended in a two length victory, and a 1:53.1 clocking. It was his first win for De Francesco III, who is also part owner. Once again the Di Tullio's reached the winner's circle, this time with six-year-old gelded pacer Special Blend (Eric Abbatiello). The son of The Panderosa drafted in the pocket spot after leading the first quarter-mile. He was able to punch through the passing lane for his eleventh career victory out of ninety-nine career starts. It was his first win of the season, paying $33.00 to win. Just two races later, in the live finale, Dante Scattolini Sr.'s Sonny McDreamee overcame post eight to score the upset win. The ten-year-old trotting gelding by Angus Hall went right to the front and made every call a winning one, stopping the timer in 1:57.4. It was his twenty-second win out of one hundred and sixty lifetime starts, and his first win in the De Francesco barn. He paid $21.40 to win. There was no winner in the pick four. The carryover for Thursday afternoon is $1,935.43. Post time is 12:40 PM, with the pick four getting underway in race seven. Mike Bozich

JUNE 29, 2015 - It was an evening of harness racing upsets at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday as the province's top three-year-old pacing colts and geldings competed in a pair of $105,000 Gold Series divisions. Lightly regarded Big Moment and driver Trevor Henry kicked things off in the first division, sprinting down the stretch to nab pacesetter J Js Delivery in a photo finish. Just a nose separated Big Moment, J Js Delivery and Mr Carrotts, with all three colts hitting the wire in 1:51.2. Fan favourite Go Daddy Go, Big Moment's stablemate in the Bob McIntosh barn, finished one length back in fifth after spending much of the mile in the outer lane. "He's got one real fast brush to him," said Arthur, ON resident Henry after the race. "You can use it in the middle of the mile or late in the mile. Tonight it worked out better late in the mile." Starting from Post 8, Henry and Big Moment sat near the back of the field through much of the race, closing from sixth at the top of the stretch to claim their first Gold Series win. A regular competitor on the Grassroots circuit last season, with two wins and a fourth-place result in the year-end championship, Big Moment made his Gold Series debut in the May 29 season opener at Western Fair Raceway, finishing fourth. "They qualified him, I think it was three times, and he just got better and better," noted Henry, who drives the homebred son of Camluck for Hall of Fame horseman McIntosh of Windsor, ON and his partner Max Newham of Merlin, ON. "He's a nice big horse." Monday's victory boosted Big Moment's sophomore record to two wins, one second and one third in six starts for earnings of $74,760. Big Moment While not an upset of the same magnitude, the other Gold division saw second choice Drachan Hanover reel in heavy favourite Physicallyinclined in the stretch. Starting from Post 6, driver Rick Zeron fired Drachan Hanover to the front before the :26.2 quarter, but allowed Physicallyinclined and driver Paul MacDonell to take over heading for the :55 half. Content to follow the favourite through the 1:23 three-quarters, Zeron waited until the top of the stretch to ask his colt for another gear. Drachan Hanover responded in impressive fashion, sailing home to a 1:50.2 personal best. Physicallyinclined settled for second, one and three-quarter lengths behind the winner, with Robert Hill well back in third. "He got a little excited last week in the consolation of the North America Cup. He had the rail, and I was trying to rate him into the gate, and he threw his head in the air and I lost him, so (trainer) Marcel Barrieau did some changes on him and he said he'd be better tonight," said Zeron after the race. "Marcel did a great job with him and the colt was right on point tonight. "I knew we had a big hill to climb to beat Physicallyinclined, Paul MacDonell's, but I thought if I could stay close to him I'd have a shot at him at the head of the lane, so it was a picture perfect race. He's a great horse, he's a great colt." The win was the first in five starts for Drachan Hanover, who was the number two colt in the freshman pacing division last season with one Gold Leg win and a runner-up result in the Super Final. Barrieau, of Les Cedres, QC, trains the Jeremes Jet son for Lloyd MacLean of Inverness, NS and Kenneth Rankin of Port Morien, NS, who offered up a modest $4,500 to acquire the colt at the 2013 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. "He was a real good horse last year, he just needed to put a few things together," noted Oakville, ON resident Zeron. "He's full of himself this colt. "He's getting better and stronger every week. In the Somebeachsomewhere I told Marcel that I'd like to race him up near the front end and he gave me the green light to go, and he got a little tired coming for home and two horses got by him," Zeron continued. "We drew bad in the NA Cup elimination, lost him in the Consolation, so it's quite rewarding having him bounce back tonight going for $105,000. He's back on track now and hopefully we don't have to have any more bumps in the road." Drachan Hanover Like Big Moment, Drachan Hanover finished fourth in the May 29 season opener and their wins on Monday put the pair at the top of the three-year-old pacing colt standings with 58 points. The duo will have to wait until July 25 to add to their point tally, when the sophomore pacing colts return to Mohawk Racetrack for their third Gold Leg. Next up on the action-packed Mohawk Racetrack Ontario Sires Stakes calendar are the three-year-old trotting colts, who will battle in a pair of Gold Legs on Tuesday, June 30. Ontario Horse Racing

Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, was in full swing this past weekend with races at three different tracks; Friday at Northfield Park, Saturday at Tioga Downs (both results previously reported) and yesterday, Sunday, June 21, at Buffalo Raceway. As he did at Northfield Park last Friday Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford again drove a winner in a Billings split at Buffalo on Sunday when he reined pacer, Lady Jill to a neck victory over Ms Luck and driver "Hot-Handed Hannah" Miller in a 1:59.4 clocking. "Bullet Bob" Davis was third with Delightful Caitlin. "I had the two hole and when Hannah (Miller) left like a rocket I let her go and settled in behind her and we passed the quarter in 29 seconds flat. Hannah's pacer then went another 29 -second quarter and we were at the half in :58.1. So I just bided my time until we turned for home. When we did I urged my mare and she dug in and we caught Hannah just before the wire to win by a neck." The winner, Lady Jill, owned and trained by John Mungillo, paid $6.00 for win. For Lady Jill, a 7 year-old daughter of Camluck, it was her fourth seasonal triumph and for Oldford, it marked his ninth driving victory thus far this season. In the other Billings split, a trot, after confusion on the first turn, "Lightning Larry" Steenbergen got away to a huge lead with Peaceful Prince and they had eight lengths on the field as they passed the first stanza in :29.4. At that point Davis and Stag's Leap were in second place followed by Hannah Miller with Timer. The order remained the same past the half in :59.4 but when they straightened up the backside Miller moved Timer out to challenge and they were second as the three quarter timer flashed 1:32. From there Peaceful Prince and Timer raced head to head through the stretch but neither could stave off Delightful Caitlin who rallied on the inside to score a 1-1/4 length triumph in a time of 2:03.3. "When Hannah was side by side with Larry I thought my only chance to win was to wait for the passing lane." Davis said. "So I sat and waited and when there was room I aimed my horse down the passing lane and the old veteran he did the rest and hustled to victory." Stag's Leap, a 10 year old son of Muscles Yankee, owned and trained by Dan Mullet, scored his second seasonal victory. He paid $11.20 for win. Next Billings action is slated for Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night, July 25. In the afternoon that day there will be races for amateur drivers in the NAADA Trotting Series and the Catskill Amateur Club's pacing series. John Manzi for the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series

Vernon, N.Y. -- Paul and Patricia O'Neil's Godiva Seelster ($2.10) made good on a 1-20 promise, holding off steady pressure from The Filly Princess to prevail in Friday (June 19) evening's harness racing $10,000 Mares Open Pace at Vernon Downs.   The 5-year-old Camluck mare worked clear of Purity (Greg Merton) after dueling through a :26.2 first quarter, continuing up the backstretch to a :54.4 half before bracing for a challenge from 8-1 second choice The Filly Princess (Chris Lems). Godiva Seelster accelerated upon facing the threat, holding a length advantage through a :28.1 third quarter and subsequently edging clear in deep stretch. She ultimately won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:51.2 in rein to John MacDonald.   Dan Hennessey trains Godiva Seelster, who scored her 18th career win.   MacDonald also teamed up with Martinique ($2.90, 1:55.3), Express Jet ($8.20, 1:53.3), and My Lucky Word ($7.00, 1:57.1) for wins on the evening's 13-race card.   Live racing continues at Vernon Downs on Saturday (June 20) evening, with post time at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time. Sunday (June 21) afternoon's card kicks off at 1:15 p.m., and features the Empire Breeders Classic finals for 3-year-old trotters.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs  

The richest ever son of harness racing super sire American Ideal is standing for the first time ever in the Southern Hemisphere at Empire Stallions. Sensational USA 3-Year-Old Pacer of the Year and Breeders Crown Champion Heston Blue Chip 2,1:50.4; 3,1:48 ($1,781,881) has been issued an international passport  and is headed to Empire Stallions in Victoria to stand the upcoming 2015/16 breeding season. Heston Blue Chip defeated the best of his generation while winning 34 times and banking over $1.8 in earnings. He set 9 track and stakes records while competing on the Grand Circuit and in the highly competitive New York Sires Stakes at 2 & 3. As a two-year-old, Heston Blue Chip won 11 of 13 starts with 2 second place finishes while earning $375,650. His most prestigious win at 2 was the $177,275 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs which he won by three-quarters of a length in a brilliant 1:50.4. That time set the stakes record, equaled the track record and was one-fifth of a second off the world record for two-year-old colt pacers on a five-eighths mile track. Other Grand Circuit wins at 2 included the John Simpson Memorial at Vernon Downs and the Tompkins Geers Stakes where he equaled the stakes record with a 1:52 effort. Also at 2, Heston was a standout in the New York Sires Stakes arena winning 7 Sire Stakes events at 6 different tracks including the $175,000 2YO New York Sires Stakes Championship with a track record 1:53.3 performance at Saratoga Raceway. Heston Blue Chip was New York’s 2YO Pacing Colt of the Year. Heston Blue Chip returned at 3 to take the harness racing world by storm. The defining moment of this stellar 3-year-old season was his victory in both the elimination and Final of the $555,000 3YO Breeders Crown. Heston Blue Chip went off as the favourite in both events and did not disappoint winning the 1:50.3 elimination over Sweet Lou and A Rocknroll Dance. In a great stretch run duel in the Final, Heston Blue Chip prevailed over Sweet Lou and Bettors Edge to win in 1:49.2.   It was an absolute romp for Heston Blue Chip in the Progress Pace elimination where he defeated Thinking Out Loud and Sweet Lou by more than 5 metres in 1:49.3. Heston Blue Chip was untouchable in the $270,000 Final reaching the opening quarter in a slick :25.2 – the fastest quarter ever recorded at Dover Downs. He rolled on by the half in :54 and stopped the clock in a Stakes Record 1:49 again over Bettors Edge and Sweet Lou.   In addition, Heston Blue Chip won the Historic Stakes at Tioga in a 1:49.2 track record for 3-year-old colts and swept the $270,000 Empire Breeders Classic with a 1:50.4 win in the elimination and set yet another track record with a sizzling 1:48.4 performance in the Final.   Heston Blue Chip again dominated in the New York Sire Stakes program winning 4 events. These victories were a $113,413 leg at Yonkers, a $66,848 leg also at Yonkers, a leg at Monticello Raceway in 1:52.4 with a :26.3 last quarter and a leg at Tioga Downs when he equaled his own 1:49.2 track standard.   Heston Blue Chips final start at 3 was a memorable win in the Final of the $176,663 Matron Stakes. He demonstrated his great turn of foot when he paced the fastest mile in Dover Downs’ history winning in a sizzling 1:48 over the 5/8ths mile oval. Heston Blue Chip also won eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace and the Jersey Cup.   Heston Blue Chip tallied up 14 wins and 2 placings from 18 starts while earning over $1 Million that season at 3 on his way to being awarded tops honours. Heston Blue Chip was voted the USA 3YO Colt Pacer of the Year in a crop that included Sweet Lou and A Rocknroll Dance.   Heston Blue Chip was a nine-time Open, Preferred, FFA and Invitational Winner at The Meadowlands, Yonkers, Tioga, Saratoga and Harrah’s Philadelphia at 4 & 5. He established a new track record at Tioga Downs for 4-year-old pacing stallions with a 1:49.2 victory. Heston Blue Chip was retired to commence his stallion duties and is standing his first season at Winbak Farms in New York in 2015.   Heston Blue Chip was trained by Linda Toscano, the all-time leading trainer at The Meadowlands and the first woman to ever train a Hambletonian winner. “He was clearly the best New York Sires Stakes colt at two and three setting multiple track records on all sized tracks. In his Breeders Crown win, Heston Blue Chip beat the best of the best including Sweet Lou. If that isn’t enough, he’s one of the kindest, nicest and happiest horses I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. He’s a great-gaited individual who wore no boots and a 63” hobble. "He’s a special horse,” Toscano said. Tim Tetrick who recently visited Australia & New Zealand to compete in the World Driving Championship was Heston Blue Chips regular driver. “I really enjoyed racing Heston Blue Chip”, said Tetrick. “From the first time I raced him in a baby race at 2, I knew he was extremely talented,” Tetrick continued. “He is a beautiful animal, big, strong and athletic on his feet and could leave the gate lightning fast." "He had a great attitude and a will to win and that usually transfers to a stallion’s offspring." "If his offspring have his attitude and desire, they will be great colts and fillies,” Tim said. Heston Blue Chip represents one of the world’s hottest sire lines today – his sire American Ideal is by super sire Western Ideal. From his first 5 North American crops to race, American Ideal is already the sire of 201 in 1:55, 19 in 1:50 or faster, 100 winners of $100,000+ and over $35.4 Million in progeny earnings. With his $1.7 million in race earnings, Heston Blue Chip is his sire’s richest son. In the Southern Hemisphere, American Ideal is the sire of 370 winners with earnings of over $6.5 million from 5 crops to race. His top Australian performers include multiple GR1 Winner & Breeders Crown Champion Bling It On 1:51 ($829,422) and the 2015 GR1 NSW Derby Winner Ideal For Real 1:55.8 ($172,185). Heston Blue Chip hails from one of the sport’s best maternal families. He is the first foal out of the unraced Cams Card Shark mare Shot Togo Bluechip. His full brother is 2013 Adios Winner Sunfire Blue Chip ($917,374) and their half-sister sold at Harrisburg last year for $160,000. His second dam, CC’s Saleofcentury by Real Artist is a full sister to Just Wait Kate 1:54.4 ($387,931), Kiss Me Kate 1:51.3 ($283,839) and the $1.4 million winner Kikikatie 1:50.3, dam of Rockin Image 1:48.2 ($901,756) by Rocknroll Hanover, Time To Roll 1:49.3 ($781,249) by Rocknroll Hanover, Rockin Amadeus 1:48.4 ($728,392) by Rocknroll Hanover and Tellitlikeitis 1:48.4 ($490,695) by Well Said. This is the immediate family of Camluck, North America’s  leading pacing sire for many years. “Heston Blue Chip is a wonderful addition our stallion roster this season” said David James, owner of Empire Stallions. “He is American Ideal’s first and only son to stand at stud in the southern hemisphere and with the current success of the Western Ideal sire line down under, Heston is a great new option for breeders. He is just a magnificent looking dark bay stallion with a fluid gait, outstanding conformation and excellent fertility. "His credentials speak for themselves.” Heston Blue Chip will stand for a very attractive fee of $5,500 including GST and discounts apply. His progeny will be Vicbred eligible as well as eligible to the Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and the NSW Breeders Challenge. Courtesy of Empire Stallions

JUNE 13, 2015 - Last season's harness racing Grassroots champion Stonebridge Quest took a direct route back to the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle in the three-year-old pacing filly season opener at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening. Starting from Post 1 in the second $18,000 Grassroots division, Stonebridge Quest and driver Nick Steward took immediate command and reached the first quarter in :26.4. From there the Camluck daughter rolled to a :57 half, and a 1:25 three-quarters before cruising home to a two and three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:53. Windsun Chanel and fan favourite Cottonwood Creek rounded out the top three. "She started off the season relatively slow, but she seems to have resumed her form," said trainer Andrew McCabe after the race. "It maybe just took a few starts to get her condition back." McCabe conditions Stonebridge Quest for Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, ON and breeder Angie Stiller of Arva, ON. Out of Stiller's prolific mare Glacier Express, Stonebridge Quest is a full-sister to $801,785 winner Stonebridge Tonic, $530,665 winner Stonebridge On Ice, and $122,923 winner Stonebridge Breeze. "She's following in the footsteps of a great family," noted McCabe. "If she can be half as successful as they were/are, we'll be ecstatic." The Rockwood, ON resident added that Stonebridge Quest's victory is a team effort that includes Glenview Livestock manager Shaun McDonald and the filly's caretaker Lacey Lamoureux. Through four starts this season Stonebridge Quest has now tallied one win, one second and one third for earnings of $16,650. Last year's Super Final winner also made her sophomore Ontario Sires Stakes debut at Georgian Downs on Saturday. Code One Hanover and driver Mike Saftic led from start to finish in the third division, holding off Warrawee Qually in the stretch to secure the 1:52.3 victory. Machmeter finished third. Cambridge, ON resident Jack Darling owns and trains Code One Hanover, who had also failed to find the winner's circle in her first four starts this season. The Sportswriter daughter captured one Gold Leg and the Super Final at two, banking $182,325. Saturday's Grassroots victory bumped Code One Hanover's lifetime earnings to $199,975. Promesse Duharas wove through traffic in the stretch to grab the evening's first Grassroots trophy for driver-trainer Stuart Sowerby of Guelph, ON. The Art Colony daughter reeled in Black Queen and Wicked Speed to claim the one length victory in a personal best 1:55.1. Saturday's appearance was Promesse Duharas' first in Ontario Sires Stakes action and her eighth lifetime start. Since her March debut the filly boasts a record of four wins and two seconds, banking $21,175 for owner-breeder Haras De L'Estrie Inc. of Dunham, QC. Twin B Honour captured the fourth division, holding off Amazing Control and OK Heavenly for a neck victory in 1:53.3. Alfie Carroll guided the Sportswriter daughter to her first sophomore victory for trainer Victor Puddy and owner Percy Elkins of Milton, ON. Elkins now has three Grassroots trophies on his mantel courtesy of Twin B Honour, who was a two-time winner last season. OK Heartbeat got a neck in front of pacesetter Southwind Luna to earn her first lifetime victory in the fifth Grassroots division. Clarke Steacy drove the Mach Three daughter to the 1:54 victory for his father, trainer Mark Steacy, and owners Oak Knoll Stables of Campbellcroft, ON, Higgs Boys Stable of Gananoque, ON, Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC and Wheelhouse Racing Stable of Mississauga, ON. Southwind Geisha rounded out the top three. The final Grassroots trophy went home with Southwind Mischief, who stalked pacesetter Franney Love Dat for much of the mile, pulling away in the stretch to a three length victory in 1:54.2. Sassafras Girl closed well to be third. A Gold Leg winner at two, Southwind Mischief was piloted to her first win of 2015 by Robert Shepherd. The Sportswriter daughter is trained by Casie Coleman for her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, ON, breeder Southwind Farms LLC of Pennington, NJ and Adriano Sorella of Milton, ON. The three-year-old pacing fillies make their second Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 24. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Georgian Downs on Saturday, July 4 with the third Grassroots event of the season for the three-year-old pacing colts. Ontario Horse Racing 90 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 200, Toronto, ON M2N 0A4 416-213-1800 www.ontariohorseracing.ca  

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