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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  

ANDERSON, Ind.-June 12, 2015 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino hosted a 14-race card on Friday, June 12 that was highlighted by the $21,000 Invitational Trot and $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares. Both of the featured harness racing events saw familiar faces in the winner's circle as Penn and Montenegro scored decisively in their respective divisions. Penn, with Darrell Wright in the bike, rebounded from a second place finish in his last outing at Hoosier Park to score his fourth win of the season in the top trot with a final time of 1:54.2 over a track rated good. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Penn used his quick gate speed to fire from the wings from post eight. The Bobby Brower trainee dictated fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:25.4 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Rose Run Parker and Ricky Macomber Jr. made a strong bid at the leader late in the lane but Penn was too strong on the front. Using a :28.3 final quarter, Penn held off a late charge by Lady Blitz and Verlin Yoder to win by a length. Rose Run Parker rounded out the trifecta. Penn returned $4.20 to his backers at the window. With the victory, Penn scored his fourth seasonal victory from seven starts. The five-year-old gelded son of Master Glide-Photo Queen scored his 23rd career victory and has now earned $165,934 for owner, Barkley Counts. In the featured pace for fillies and mares, it was Montenegro and Jason Dillander who came out on top scoring their fourth victory of the season at Hoosier Park, this time in 1:53.2. Montenegro, who also finished second in her last outing at Hoosier Park, rallied late in the lane to get up in the final strides of the mile. Lease Ness Monster and Peter Wrenn fired away from the gate through the opening quarter in :27.1 but their lead was short lived as Just A Bee and Mike Micallef were on a mission to the front. Just A Bee continued to call the shots through splits of :55.4 and 1:24.1 before Tyler Smith and Miss Kilo would apply pressure first-over. As the field turned for home the race appeared to be wide open with horses fanning out across the track. Dillander tipped Montenegro off tiring cover and she responded with a :28.2 final quarter to get the win over Wild Wanda and Andy Shetler. Miss Kilo finished third. As the bettors' choice, Montenegro returned $5.60 at the betting windows. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old Camluck mare has now won 31 of 146 lifetime outings. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $71,385 this season and sports a lifetime bankroll of $566,914. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 30 with a 14-race card. Saturday's program will feature the $21,000 Invitational Pace and two divisions of the "Tubby Trimble Series". With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 29, 2015 - Allie Labrook and harness racing driver, trainer Dan Shetler found the winner's circle for the second consecutive time at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino after turning in a sharp effort to capture the $21,000 Invitational Trot on Friday, May 29. Using her customary late-surging tactics, Allie Labrook rallied gamely in the stretch to stop the timer in 1:52.3. The 1:52.3 clocking was just a few ticks off the overall trotting track record at Hoosier Park, a 1:52 mark she established in her last outing. Leaving from post seven, Allie Labrook was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in seventh while Darrell Wright sent last week's winner, Penn, away from the gate firing. Penn reached the front through a brisk opening quarter in :27.3 but was quickly joined on the outside by Natural Herbie and Verlin Yoder who were unable to find a spot along the rail. The vigorous pace continued as Penn reluctantly yielded the lead to Natural Herbie at the second station in :55.3. Unable to wait any longer, Shetler tipped Allie Labrook to the outside to begin their first-over journey approaching the final turn. Natural Herbie continued to call the shots through the three-quarter clocking in 1:24 and looked strong on the front as the field turned for home. Natural Herbie was able to fend off the pocket-sitting Penn but Allie Labrook was looming large in the background. Using a :28 final quarter, Allie Labrook dug in gamely to track down the leaders and finish two lengths in front of Penn. Natural Herbie held on for the third place finish. Sent off as the public's third choice, Allie Labrook returned $6.60 at the betting window. "She gives 100% every time she's on the track," Shetler noted after the victory. "She's getting better with every start and I still think there is some room for improvement with her. She's staked all over the country and we'll take it race by race to decide her schedule. She's just the nicest mare to drive and to be around." The five-year-old daughter of Here Comes Herbie-Allie Jane was making just her fourth start of the season after a stellar campaign in 2014 where she bankrolled $119, 157 and won 13 of 17 starts. Owned by Sawgrass Farms, Allie Labrook has now won 18 of 28 outings while amassing $165,984 lifetime. Allie Labrook has been staked outside of Indiana for her five-year-old campaign and will be pointed to the Miss Versatility Series for her next stakes engagement. On the pacing side of things, Montenegro and Jason Dillander used a front-running effort to score a decisive 1:51.2 victory in the Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace. Montenegro was able to hold off the heavy betting favorite, Color's A Virgin and Trace Tetrick, late in the lane to score her third win of the season. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old Camluck mare has now won 31 of 146 lifetime outings and established a new seasonal mark with the win. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $55,635 this season and sports a lifetime bankroll of $551,164. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 30 with a stakes filled 14-race card. Saturday's program will feature the first round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the three-year-old competitors. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin

Pompano Beach, FL...May 27, 2015...Hall of Fame Driver Wally Hennessey had a Hall of Fame Night at the harness racing meeting at Pompano Park on Wednesday night, winning five of the nine races, including a sweep of the two feature events.   Hennessey kicked off the program with a handy win back of the amazing mare Godiva Seelster in the $8,500 co-featured "Winners Over" pace for mares.   In winning, Godiva Seelster extended her streak of paychecks to 55 covering her every start as a three year-old, four year-old and, thus far, five year-old seasons.   Taking the lead as the gate's wings folded, this daughter of Camluck clocked panels of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:25.3 before an eye-popping :26.3 sprint home left her 5 1/4 lengths clear of Artful Impulse, driven by Andy Santeramo.   Real Nice Girl and Joe Sanzeri teamed up to be third, almost 10 lengths away, with Keystone Christa and Goldstar Rockette next in the quintet.   In a post race interview, Hennessey said, "You can pretty much just copy what I said about her last week.   The fractions were just about the same and she just keeps on doing this all on her own.   It seems like I never ever have to ask her for anything. She might not win every start....but she sure tries hard every start. She's just amazing that she has been so good so long."   Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, " Lady Godiva" now sports a 6-3-0 scorecard in nine starts this year, good for $37,500. She's now banked $146,332 lifetime to go along with her 1:51.1 mark.   Off at 1 to 20 in the betting, Godiva Seelster paid $2.10 to win.   After capping off the early daily double with The Muscler ($5.60) , Hennessey came back in the third race to capture the other co-feature, the $8,500 "Winners Over" trot with Count Speed, also trained by Dan Hennessey for the O'Neil's, in 1:55.4.   Count Speed, a six year-old gelding by Majestic Son, also had an easy time of it, taking the lead at the word "go" and then proceeding through sensible fractions of :28.2, :57.2 and 1:26.4 before using a :29 finale to score an unscathed win measuring 1 1/2 lengths over My Revenuer and Tom Sells.   Gold Savage, handled by Mickey Mc Nichol, finished third followed by On The Tab and Verdi (Count Speed's stablemate), the latter making a rare miscue just past the opening station.   In winning, Count Speed stretched his winning streak to six--he's now 6 for 8 this year--good for 2015 bounty of $25,720 and $224,120 career-wise.   Count Speed was 2 to 5 on the board and paid $2.80 to win.   Win number four for Hennessey came in the conditioned trot with Legend Field ($8.80), this chestnut five year-old son of SJ's Caviar just up in the final stride to win in 1:57.   Hennessey capped off his "Hall of Fame" night by guiding the claiming pacer American Gold to his fourth straight win--this one in 1:54.1 as the 7 to 5 favorite.   Hennessey now has 8,755 lifetime wins.   Racing continues on Saturday night at Pompano Park with a carryover in the Super Hi-5 of $1,783.71.   John Berry for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...May 20, 2015...Maybe driver Wally Hennessey had an inkling that the Super Hi-5 mandatory payout event, held Wednesday night at Pompano Park, might just get the headlines over the duet of co-feature "Winners Over" events. Not taking any chances, Wally swept all three! With the "must go" Super Hi-5 jackpot swelling over the past 40 programs going into the mid-week program, an astounding amount well over $1,000,000 pushed the total pool to $1,247,507, sending the Wednesday handle at the track to $1,381,817, an all-time record covering the 51 year history of the track. After Hennessey guided Brianna Bennett's American Gold to victory in that finale, 2,114 astute handicappers were in line to cash in to the tune of $501.86 for each 20 cent investment covering the 6-5-8-9-11 combo featuring the two co-favorites finishing one-two and two of the three other "single digit" performers finishing three-four. It was quite a night for the Hennessey's--driver Wally and trainer Dan--and owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil as the Hennessey-O'Neil connection captured both featured "Winner's Over" events at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (May 20). First, in the $8,500 "Winner's Over" pace for mares, Godiva Seelster, back in action after a week's vacation, stretched her amazing streak of "in the money" starts to 54 with a handy 1:52.2 win measuring 2 3/4 lengths over Senorita Santanna (Kevin Wallis) with Winbak Heavenly (Matt Romano) next. Just Fine and Cheap N Easy picked up minor awards in the sextet. Godiva Seelster has not missed a single purse check covering all of her starts as a three year-old, four year-old and, now, as a five year-old. The daughter of Camluck engaged in a brief early battle lasting all of an eighth of a mile before taking command from Senorita Santanna and then strolling through panels of :27, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before sealing the deal with a :27.1 finale for her fifth win of the year in eight starts. She has been second in her other trio of trips back of the gate. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "I know I have said this before, but, it's true. This mare knows how to take care of herself in the stable area or on the racetrack. She's just such a handy thing. She is amazing the way she has remained this sharp for so long...very rare, especially among mares. I asked her early for some speed and she made the lead around the turn and, when we turned for home, I didn't have to asked her for anything. She just knew what to do on her own!" Trained by Dan Hennessey for the aforementioned owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Godiva Seelster sent her seasonal bounty to $33,250 and $141,092 lifetime. Even money on the tote-board, Godiva Seelster paid $4.20 to her many followers. In the companion, $8,500 "Winner's Over" handicap trot, Verdi, also trained by Dan and driven by brother Wally for the O'Neil's, scored a handy win measuring 2 1/2 lengths in a lifetime best 1:54.3. Gold Savage (Mickey Mc Nichol) finished second with My Revenuer (Robbie Hoffman) next. Dream Lake finished fourth while On The Tab picked up the nickel in the septet. Verdi, a four year-old son of Kadabra, left alertly--but cautiously--from his outside seven post, grinding forward and reaching the lead 3/8s into the mile after a :27.4 opener by Gold Savage. Once on top, Verdi clipped off subsequent fractions of :57 and 1:25.2 and never had an anxious moment thereafter, striding home in :29.1 for his new mark. After that event, Hennessey grinned, "It's been quite a night, especially for the O'Neil's. I'm very happy for them! This horse has really come into his own this season. He can leave...he can brush...he's handy...he's solid...and I love the fact that he digs in every step of the mile. I hope he can keep going!" Verdi now is officially seven-for-nine this year, good for $26,205 in seasonal earnings. He's banked $130,804 lifetime. As the 3 to 5 "chalk," Verdi paid $3.20 to win. Racing continues on Saturday night with a fresh start to the Super Hi-5. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

It wasn't easy but Justgottogetthere managed to narrowly 'get to' the finish line before anyone else and take the $9,500 conditioned trot at the harness racing meeting at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (May 13th) in 1:59.1 over the fast track.   In the co-featured $9,500 fillies and mares conditioned pace, Ugly Betty continued to dominate the division with another impressive victory.   This week, she cruised to a 3-1/4 length score over A Cameo In Life in 1:56.3.   The opener saw Justgottogetthere and driver Jim McNeight use their typical tactics, racing to the top and set the fractions.   After posting panels of 29.2, 1:00.0 and 1:29.4, the duo was prepared to take on challengers in the final quarter mile.   The pocket-sitting Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) gobbled up ground down the passing lane but finished in second place just a head behind the leg-weary but game Justgottogetthere ($5.10).   Northern Bullet (Jack Flanigen) had a great chance as well but drifted out badly in the stretch and settled for third.   It was the sixth victory in 11 appearances this season for Justgottogetthere (Valley Victor-Mara's Theme), who has missed the board just once in 2015.   The 6-year-old gelding is co-owned by Antonietta Landi and the North Creek Racing Stable LLC. The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $35,387 and $173,869 lifetime.   Ugly Betty (David McNeight III) proved to be the best once again in the co-featured pace for the ladies.   She was assigned the outside seven post, was parked the first quarter mile and that made no difference.   Once driver Kevin Cummings got Ugly Betty to the lead, it was a battle for second place.   After being given a parking ticket by A Cameo In Life (Kevin Cummings) to the quarter marker, Ugly Betty ($6.20) cleared and registered times of 28.4, 58.0 and 1:27.3.   She enjoyed a three-length edge at the top of the stretch and never looked back.   A Cameo In Life managed to take the place position while V'La Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) finished third. It was the first pari-mutuel start for Tomaszewski.   Owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone, Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage) has won seven times in 15 tries in 2015.   The 7-year-old mare has now won $39,439 this season and $210,912 in her career. Rex Clabaugh handled the training duties.   The racing will resume on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program scheduled for 6:35 p.m.   For more information including race replays, results, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   Brian Mazurek

London, May 12, 2015 -- Camluck left an indelible mark on the standardbred breed, but the impact the super harness racing sire had on Seelster Farms is immeasurable. "Camluck made Seelster Farms. Without a hesitation I say that. Without him we wouldn't be where we are today. He put us on the map," said Ann Straatman, the reproduction manager at the Lucan, Ont. farm where the 28-year-old stallion stood for 25 years before being retired from active duty in October of 2014. Friday night, Camluck will become the first horse and 35th inductee overall to the Wall of Fame at The Raceway at The Western Fair District in London, Ont. "Being the first horse ever is quite an honour. It caught me off guard, but he had a big impact on Western Fair," said trainer Bob McIntosh, the man who trained Camluck and was one of the owners of the pacer that spring-boarded from a million-dollar racing career to become the number one stallion in harness racing history in North America by total progeny earnings. Camluck's progeny have earned just shy of $220 million in total. The late, great Western Hanover is second on the list. His offspring have earned approximately $211 million combined. Camluck was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2003. Straatman said Camluck not only was the most fertile stallion Seelster has ever stood, he also consistently passed on his "drive and intelligence" to his progeny. "He is, by far, the smartest horse we've ever had, and that's a lot of horses," Straatman said. "There isn't a smarter horse than he is. He's that smart. He puts that attitude into his foals. We notice it with his yearlings when we go to video them. They video terribly... They won't be chased. They're too smart to be chased. They'll turn around and look at you and wonder, 'What are you chasing me for?' It is absolutely an intelligence that comes right from (Camluck)." McIntosh said he trained a lot of horses sired by Camluck and a common trait was their ability to race tough. "I think most of them, even when they aren't 100 per cent, suck it up and give 110 per cent. That's rare amongst sires," McIntosh said. "Another thing, too, I noticed about them. When you breed to some sires, if you don't get a stakes horse, you don't even have a horse. Camluck sired horses of any class. You could get a good hard-hitting racehorse or you could get a stakes horse. You didn't have to worry about getting a filly or getting a colt, because they were both good." Camluck will join Seelster Farms' late owner Chris Van Bussel on The Raceway's Wall of Fame. Van Bussel was inducted in 2004. "I was glad that Chris Van Bussel had (Camluck)," McIntosh said. "I can remember having a meeting to send (Camluck to Seelster) and Chris was just a real gentleman. His handshake was as good as a contract. He was one of the nicest, most honourable men I've ever met." Friday's Wall of Fame Night card begins at 7:15 p.m. and will also feature the first race in this year's Racing Under Saddle (RUS) series in Ontario. Fans will have a chance to watch and wager on the event as well as meet and greet the riders. The RUS series is in its second full season in Ontario and has been growing in popularity. Visit rusontario.com for more details. There will also be a number of fan promotions throughout the night and a pair of mini races scheduled as part of the fun. Though, honouring Camluck will be the main event. "It is such an honour to be recognized," Straatman said, "especially at our home track." Straatman said Camluck's "nose is a little out of joint" that he doesn't get to breed anymore, but otherwise, the senior equine is "fantastic", "in good health" and is enjoying living out his days in his private paddock with special lawn as pristine as one might find on a golf course. "Whatever Camluck wants, Camluck gets," Straatman said. By Dave Briggs for The Raceway  

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