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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  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 9, 2015--Wagering choices Luminosity (George Brennan, $4.90) and Michael's Power (Dan Dube, $5.50) both went down the road Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured harness racing $42,000 Open Handicaps. Luminosity, from post position No. 7 in the weekly marquee trot, eschewed an early seat. He drove past Il Mago (Dube) just after a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. From there, a :56.3 intermission, then back-half markers of 1:25.2 and 1:54.1...the latter making it the fastest local trot mile of the season. Season-debuting Obrigado (Mark MacDonald) rallied into second--beaten a length-and-quarter--from an assigned eight-hole (at 37-1), with Il Mago third. Dewycolorintheline (Jordan Stratton) and A Cool Million (Eric Carlson) rounded out the payees. For Luminosity , a 5-year-old Cash Hall gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his fifth win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $117, the triple returned $589 and the superfecta paid $1,858. The week's featured pace Michael's Power, from post No. 8, held off Sapphire City (MacDonald) by a short nostril in a two-speed number (:27, :56.1, 1:24.4, 1:53). Third went a late-arriving The Real One (Pat Lachance), with Duel in the Sun (Brennan) and Big N Bad (Brian Sears) settling for the remainder. The first six finishers were separated by a length-and-a-half. For Michael's Power, a 6-year-old homebred Camluck gelding bred/owned by Jeff Snyder and trained by Mark Silva, it was his sixth win in 13 '15 tries. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $18.20, with the triple returning $47.60. Special Saturday props to Moonliteonthebeach (Bartlett, $7.20), whose 1:51.1 win in the $25,000, 10th-race pace matched Domethatagain's fastest Westchester pacing mile of the season. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM, second round of the Jackpot Next Door Claiming Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Vernon, NY -- Taking advantage of a perfect pocket trip, Kelly Hope's Little Santamonica ($4.10) employed potent closing kick en route to a 1:51.2 victory in the harness racing featured $10,000 Mares Open Pace on Friday (May 8) evening at Vernon Downs.   The seven-year-old Little Steven mare sprinted to the lead early, yielding to even-money favorite Southwind Trini (Greg Merton) just after a :27.3 initial quarter. With clear sailing from the pocket through a :56.4 middle half, Chris Lems started his bid with Little Santamonica in upper stretch, pushing clear immediately upon asking. The pair drew off in a :26.4 final quarter to defeat Southwind Trini by 1-1/2 lengths, while The Filly Princess (Roman Lopez) made a late push to take third.   Jordan Hope trains Little Santamonica, who earned her 33rd career win.   While Chris Lems teamed up with Table Games ($7.50, 1:53.4) later in the card to complete a driving double, John MacDonald earned top driving honors with three wins of the night. He teamed up with Odds On Cygnus ($6.80, 1:54.2), Pancakes ($11.80, 1:52), and My Lucky Word ($3.40, 1:58.1) for his driving hat trick.   Pacing mares likewise took center stage at Tioga Downs, with a pair of $6,800 co-featured conditioned events sharing top billing for the evening. The Perkins Racing Stable's Addys Way ($2.80) did not look back after an early push to the fore, sprinting away through a :27.4 third quarter en route to a 1:52.1 victory over K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart, Jr.). Leading driver Mike Simons handled the driving duties aboard the Camluck mare for trainer Daniel Gill. The other co-featured event saw Elizabeth Bluechip ($11.60) sustain a late push off cover, just collaring Rosie de Vie (Henrik Lundell) in a 1:53.4 mile. Trainer Jeffrey Long was in the bike behind the late-rallying Bettor's Delight mare.   Live racing returns to both Vernon and Tioga on Saturday (May 9) evening. Post time at Tioga is 6:15 p.m., while racing at Vernon kicks off at 6:45 p.m.   by James Witherite, Vernon and Tioga Downs  

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 8, 2015 - The featured harness racing event, a $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino provided an exciting finish as Just A Bee and Montenegro crossed the wire together on Friday, May 8. Unable to be separated after the photo was examined, Just a Bee and Montenegro finished in a dead heat for the win in 1:53. In an abbreviated field of six, Montenegro was sent firing away from the gate by driver Jason Dillander to get the first call in :27.4. Just a Bee and Mike Micallef also left aggressively to grab a pocket seat behind the pacesetter while the rest of the field sorted out early position. Montenegro continued to dictate fractions of :56.2 and 1:24.3 as the field remained in single file line down the backside. Pertty Music and Ed Hensley were the first to commit to the outer flow with Miss Kilo and Trace Tetrick in tow approaching the final turn. As the field turned for home, Montenegro was able to put away Pertty Music but she still had her work cut out for her with Just A Bee sitting on her back in the pocket. Micallef found late racing room up the rail and Just A Bee exploded from the pocket to reach the leader. Now stride for stride, both mares dug in gamely to cross the wire together. Miss Kilo held on for third place honors. For Montenegro, it was the second consecutive victory at Hoosier Park and 30th career win. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, Montenegro has now earned $37,260 for the season for owners Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack. The seven-year-old daughter of Camluck-Cyber Wave now sports a lifetime bankroll of $532, 789. Just A Bee scored her first seasonal victory at Hoosier Park and ninth victory from 14 outings in 2015. Trained by Mike Micallef, Just A Bee has earned $71,625 this season for owners Anita Micallef, John McGoff, and Greg Heath. With the win, the seven year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood-Tawnees Mark notched her 34th lifetime victory from 141 starts. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 9 with a 14-race card. With an adjusted post time of 4:00 p.m., Saturday's live racing card at Hoosier Park will feature a $21,000 Invitational Trot. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After a two race drought, Ugly Betty returned to her winning ways by posting an easy 3-1/2 length victory over V'La Faire in the $9,500 conditioned pace for the harness racing  fillies and mares at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (May 6).   Battling the boys one week and being straddled with a bad post in her next start, Ugly Betty was primed for a big effort against the five other mares. She didn't disappoint.   Sitting sixth and last, Ugly Betty (David McNeight III) got into gear early and was pressing as the field reached the half in 58.2. From there, Ugly Betty ($4.40) remained on the outside and slowly pulled away from the pack, notching a 1:56.0 final time over the fast track. V'La Faire (Drew Monti) placed second while A Cameo In Life (Kevin Cummings) took third.   Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage) is owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone. It was also the first career training victory for Rex Clabaugh.The 7-year-old mare has six wins in 14 appearances this season, winning $33,189 and $207,662 lifetime.   In the $7,900 Open II pace for the ladies, Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight) managed to grind out a neck victory over the pace-setting Kisses N Kicks (McNeight III) in 1:56.3.   After watching Kisses N Kicks put up fractions of 29.0, 59.0 and 1:28.3 from third place, Infrontigo Hanover ($8.70) was the first to make a move in the field of six, tipping out at the three-quarter marker. She eventually wore down Kisses N Kicks midway down the lane to post the victory. Real Joy (Kevin Cummings) took the show position.   Owned by the Summer Wind Stable of New York and trainer Bob Gruber III, it was the second straight victory for Infrontigo Hanover (Western Hanover-Ifyoucouldcwhati C). It moved the 7-year-old mare's bankroll to $19,915 in 2015 and $163,536 lifetime.   Initial Strike got his 'initial' win for his new owners Mike Ohol Jr. and Steven Gross after posting a hard fought half-length victory over Studio City in the $7,900 Open III trot in 2:00.1. It was also the fifth consecutive score for Initial Strike.   Hunter Valley, Leave York Mark and Fiorentina all tussled to the opening panel in a quick 28.4. The trio, however, were nowhere to be found in the end as the race set up perfectly for the closers.   Initial Strike ($7.30) was in the perfect spot in the drive for the wire. Driver Drew Monti went three-wide around the final turn with Initial Strike and had plenty of horse power to smartly trot away for the decision. Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) finished in second and September Hall (Shawn McDonough) took the show spot.   Trained by Courtney Ohol, the 10-year-old Initial Strike (Striking Sahbra-Donaver) now has registered five victories in 14 starts this season, earning $19,540 and $247,975 in his career.   McNeight III finished the evening with a driving triple.   A 12-race card is scheduled for Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a start time of 6:35 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race results and replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

For the second time in two weeks, 7-year-old harness racing pacer Adventure Bound went under the 1:50 mark at Harrah's Philadelphia. The son of Camluck started from post four in the feature on Sunday afternoon (May 3), an event for upper-conditioned level pacers. He was able to secure the pocket seat early on, as Teddy Baker trainee Getitoffyourchest (Brett Miller) was able to cross over from post eight to set the tempo. The 5-year-old gelding by Tell All was coming off of a 1:49.3 effort over this surface in his last outing. Little Bapa LLC's American Venture (Eric Carlson) rushed up to challenge at three-quarters (1:21.4), but began to retreat before the head of the stretch. It was down to the two pacesetters as they battled to the wire. Adventure Bound came home in :27.1 to win by a length, equaling his lifetime best performance of 1:49.2. It was the Eric Ell trainee's 28th career win, putting him just under $500,000 in career earnings. The winner paid $8.20. Drivers Corey Callahan and Brett Miller had four wins on the program, while leading driver George Napolitano Jr. had three. Michael Bozich

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