Harness racing father and son trainer and driver teams combined to win the final two $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies this afternoon at Clinton Raceway. Both duos won their respective events with a daughter of Mach Three, the fastest of which was Wicked Speed. With Scott Young in the sulky for trainer, co-owner and dad Bob Young, the diminutive lass went gate to wire in :30, 1:00, 1:30.2 and stopped the clock in 1:59 over Brilliant Idea and Hurricane Trina. It was the second straight win in as many lifetime starts for Wicked Speed who made her debut in an overnight at Clinton last Sunday where she won by five lengths to earn $2,000. That effort combined with today’s winnings find the filly paid for as she cost $10,000 at last year’s Lexington Select Sale for Bob Young of Guelph, Ontario and partner Marsha Sugarman of Status Stables, Ma. Young noted that the filly’s price was likely as a result of her stature. “She’s grown quite a bit since we got her and I think she’ll grow more by the time she’s three. She has a big, powerful rear end on her. She wears a fairly long hopple, 57 1/2 inches and no boots. “She’s done everything right from day one. She’s got tons of brains and likes her work,” he praised. Doug McNair was at the lines for dad Gregg in the fourth division with Mach Denali who managed to win by more than two lengths despite suffering interference just past the three-quarters when the lead filly made a break. Mach Denali was home in 2:01 over Jinglewriter and Ok Heartbeat. Gregg McNair, also of Guelph, shares ownership of the filly with Tony Lawrence and William Brown of Hanover and Paul Kidd from Guelph. This was the first lifetime win for the filly in three tries. Doug McNair also piloted the fastest winner on this afternoon’s card, Kastie Snoops who tripped the timer in 1:58.4. Tony O’Sullivan trains the Sportswriter filly, a half-sister to $573,000 winner Dalhousie Dave, for owner/breeder John Fielding of Toronto. The other two divisions were captured by Stonebridge Quest (Camluck) and Trevor Henry in 2:00.4 and Chase The Shadows (Shadow Play) with Ryan Holliday up in 1:59. The next Grassroots test for this group will be at Mohawk on August 11. To view the complete results from today’s card, please click Clinton Results - July 20. Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, July 17 - Mister Herbie, a two-time harness racing O'Brien Award winner, will make his third appearance in the Maple Leaf Trot this Saturday night, at Mohawk Racetrack. Owned and trained by Jeff Gillis, the six-year-old millionaire son of Here Comes Herbie is overlooked on the morning line at odds of 15-1 with favoured Sebastian K, a decisive 2/5 mutuel favourite, capturing most of the attention. However, it was only two years ago that Mister Herbie, sent to post at 8-1, upset the heavily-favoured Chapter Seven to win the Maple Leaf Trot with a strong stretch run in a stakes and track record clocking of 1:50.4. "I'd take a repeat of that," grinned Gillis. Stepping up against Sebastian K, the world's fastest trotter (1:49), on Saturday, Gillis knows that Mister Herbie will have to be at his best. In 2012, Chapter Seven was a well-backed favourite, but certainly not as touted as Sebastian K. "It's not to the same extent," agreed Gillis. "Sebastian K looks fairly invincible when you can leave as hard as he can, and then come some pretty wicked back halves. "It's pretty hard to figure out a strategy to beat that. But, that's why we run the race. Favourites go down. Horses are not machines and they can come up with a less than one hundred percent performance. Someone could take a run at him." Mister Herbie is lightly raced this campaign. He made his qualifying debut by trotting home a dominant 15-length winner in 1:55.3 on June 6, his first start since an even effort at Meadowlands Racetrack in late November. He's posted a trio of second-place runs since that qualifier including a runner-up effort to Market Share in last week's elimination, the very rival Mister Herbie chased home in the 2013 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot. Gillis was intent on giving his champion gelding some time off this winter following a year in which Mister Herbie won just once, yet still banked $492,607 in purse earnings thanks to six runner-up finishes in stakes competition. "He spent eight weeks in Kentucky. We deliberately brought him back a little bit slower, in part, because of how late the season ran last year," explained Gillis. "We took our time with him and hopefully we'll finish strong. He's done everything on schedule so far and gotten a little bit better each time. He's heading into the race in good form." Gillis knows his charge will need to drop considerable time off his 1:53.2 elimination clocking on Saturday to win a second Trot final. In fact, Mister Herbie will likely need to equal or better his own Trot final performance of 1:50.4. "If they get a good track on Saturday, I suspect they're going to flirt with the track record, and I'd be just as happy if we held it when it was over too," he grinned. Steve Condren, who won his first and only Maple Leaf Trot in 1988 with Natural Image, will be charged with engineering a winning trip and Gillis has every confidence in the veteran driver. "Steve is a tremendous driver and very accomplished. He has a lot of experience and I think he suits the horse," said Gillis. As for the conditioner's idea of the perfect trip? "Ideally, we'll get away mid pack and someone would soften up Sebastian K and we'd be second over and pounce on tired horses," he offered. "It takes a lot of luck for something like that to unfold, but I think it's going to be an interesting race. I'm not sure everyone will lay back and let him (Sebastian K) get an easy half." And while the Maple Leaf Trot is certainly first and foremost for Gillis and Mister Herbie heading into Saturday's lucrative $603,000 event, the conditioner does have one other key date circled on the calendar later in the season for Canada's reigning champion aged trotter. "The race I'd really like him to win is the Breeders Crown," said Gillis. In 2012, Chapter Seven turned the tables on 'Herbie' to win the Breeders Crown at Woodbine and last year, at Pocono Downs, 'Herbie' dueled with Market Share to a furious finish only to lose by a nose. "I feel he deserved a better fate the last two years and that would be one that would mean a lot to me. It was heartbreaking (losing the photo)," said Gillis. Until then, its eyes on the prize for Gillis and a horse he clearly has a lot of respect for. "He's the perfect horse in every sense of the word. He does everything right, full of personality and I'm extremely fond of him," said Gillis. "We haven't really won a big one in a couple years. Herbie's Maple Leaf Trot was probably our last big win, so I feel like we're due for another." Mark McKelvie WEG Communications - Standardbred
Horse Racing New Brunswick have released the top drivers and trainer numbers so far for the 2014 harness racing season in the province. Of all drivers in New Brunswick, Mark Haig leads the way going into this Saturday's program at E.P,R. Haig has reined a total of ten winners so far this season at tracks in Saint John and Fredericton. Todd Trites is sitting with nine trips to the winners circle and two are tied for third place. Mike Campbell and Mike Downey both have five wins on the year in New Brunswick. In the training category, there are three individuals who have five wins in 2014 as Mike Campbell, Sifroi Melanson and Bob MacNeil. Campbell had a big day on Canada Day as he registered three winners. Racing will continue this coming Saturday, July 12th at 2:00 P.M. By Scott Waddell
CAMPBELLVILLE, July 4 - Major Dancer and driver Chris Christoforou cruised to a 1:51.2 victory in the $49,200 final of the Town Pro Pacing Series for harness racing three-year-old fillies, Friday night at Mohawk. Trained by Casie Coleman, Major Dancer captured the first leg of the Town Pro, but came up half a length short in the second leg despite closing with :26.3 speed. In the final, after getting away fifth, Christoforou didn't wait until the final turn to make his bid for the lead, as he sent Major Dancer first up nearing the half, which went in :55, seizing the command at the three-quarter pole in 1:23. In the stretch, Major Dancer and Christoforou opened up a good lead and sailed to a 3 Â¼ length victory. Palm Beach Hanover followed Major Dancer around the final turn and finish second, while Happily Ever was third. "Tonight I was a little bit worried when I had to go first up again," said Adriano Sorella, co-owner of Major Dancer, following the race. "She was game tonight. She looked good." The series finale victory improved Major Dancer's record to four wins in eight starts this season. Major Dancer was a half length short in the second leg of completing a Town Pro Series sweep, but Sorella said he wasn't too disappointed with the defeat in round two. "You can't be disappointed with her coming home like that. She was a little bit further behind last week, she was throwing her head before the gate, so she kind of missed the gate last week, but she raced real good and I was happy with what we had tonight." A daughter of Art Major-Two Steppin Sally, Major Dancer boosted her career bankroll to over $93,000 with the sixth victory of her career for owners West Wins Stable, Mac Nichol and Sorella. Sorella noted after the race that Major Dancer will now head to New York to compete in Sires Stakes action. Major Dancer paid $3.90 to win as the public choice. Mark McKelvie
While eliminations for the Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk are scheduled for Friday, July 11, The Meadowlands will offer a leg of the TVG Open trot for Saturday, July12. The reason is to provide a race for the trotters that week if the Maple Leaf does not require eliminations. The draw for both races will be on Tuesday, July 8 with The Meadowlands box closing at 9:00am and Mohawk taking entries until 10:30am. If you desire to race in the TVG Open if there are no Maple Leaf elims, you must enter your horse for both races with each Racing Office by the deadline. If the Maple Leaf does have elimination races, the TVG Open trot will be cancelled as the conditions state. No points toward the TVG Final will be awarded if the race is cancelled. The Meadowlands condition sheet may be found here and the Mohawk sheet here. Nick Salvi Standardbred Racing Information | Standardbred Canada View on www.standardbredcanada.ca Preview by Yahoo
Ashburton harness racing trainer Laurence Hanrahan knows just how good Cullen Kefee is. That is why he has sent the Christian Cullen three-year-old to the spelling paddock rather than trying to make the most of his 3YO concessions over the winter. Cullen Keefe, who is owned in Canada, made it two wins from as many starts when easily putting away a C1 field at Oamaru on Sunday. He was also equally impressive when winning his debut at Ashburton a fortnight earlier. “We have got one penalty free win now and that will do us,” said Hanrahan. “I want to look after him so he can have a spell now before coming back to target some nice races in the spring,’ he added. “I think he is the nicest three-year-old I have had for 10 years,” enthused Hanrahan. That’s quite a statement considering in that time Hanrahan has raced talented types such as Marika and Empire Flame. Driver Ricky May shared Hanrahan’s thoughts when questioned about the first foal from the well performed racemare Luckisaladytonight. “I really rate the horse and think he will do a tremendious job,” said May, who drove Cullen Keefe’s dam on multiple occasions. “Laurence is really looking after him and I think that will pay off in the long run,” he added. By Mitchell Robertson
CAMPBELLVILLE, June 4 - They may have set the bar high in 2008 when they teamed up in the Pepsi North America Cup, but harness racing's Paul Macdonell and Brent MacGrath are hoping to recreate magic in 2014. The trainer / driver duo amazed thousands at Mohawk when they captured the 25th edition of the race with Somebeachsomewhere and this year they team up with Melmerby Beach, a son of the great pacer. Melmerby Beach won once in five starts as a two-year-old and resurfaced for his three-year-old campaign in a qualifier on May 2. Off the one trial, the colt was victorious in a conditioned event at Woodbine on May 8 in 1:51.4. However, sickness would prevent Melmerby Beach from making another start in advance of the stakes race raced named for his sire this past Saturday. Despite the slight change of plans, he finished third behind Hes Watching, the fastest winner of the three Somebeachsomewhere divisions. "He really kind of needed the start between his first start and the other night, but I thought he raced pretty good," said MacDonell. "I don't know if he was just at peak condition for that race, but with that start and going into this race (the elimination) he should be getting pretty close to it." Melmerby Beach will leave from post six, in Race 5, on Saturday, the second of three eliminations for the North America Cup. That field includes Somebeachsomewhere division winner Always B Miki and a pair of second place finishers in Mcwicked and Lets Drink On It. "It looks pretty snug, it is a competitive field with Holloway's horse (Always B Miki) in there," said MacDonell. "It will probably set up for a pretty competitive race and if he is back to where we think he can be he will be competitive as they are." Last year was the first appearance for Somebeachsomewhere as a sire in the North America Cup. His most notable son to date, Captaintreacherous, captured the Cup en route to earning over $2 million on the season. MacDonell said he is happy to have another Cup hopeful and for it to be a son of "The Beach" is an added bonus. "It is special and especially with a son of his, until we get there it is a bit stressed, but if we get there it will be a nice feeling," said MacDonell, also noting the parallels between "The Beach" and "Melmerby". "They have a lot of similar qualities, they are both top gaited horses, they both want to race and all those things add up." The 2008 Cup victory for MacDonell was his first North America Cup in his eighth try, since then he has had two attempts to regain Cup glory, finishing third in 2010 behind Piece Of The Rock and seventh in 2011 with Eighteen. Capturing his first North America Cup meant a lot to MacDonell and he would love to do again. "(Winning) it certainly takes that burden off, I don't know how many tries I had at it before I actually won it, and once you get it it's kind of really nice and just makes you crave more." by Mark McKelvie
A slate of eight qualifying races went forward Friday morning at Mohawk Racetrack, and O’Brien Award winner Precocious Beauty was front and centre early on. The multiple stakes-winning daughter of Art Major continued to prep for her three-year-old campaign in Race 3 for trainer Gregg McNair and his son, driver Doug McNair. Precocious Beauty lined up in Post 7 and was parked forth at the quarter-mile pole, which was clicked off by Palm Beach Hanover (driven by Jody Jamieson) in :29.2. Precocious Beauty cleared to the lead in the second panel and went on to stop the half-mile clock in :58.2. She had a one and three-quarter-length lead by the time she breezed past three quarters in 1:26.4. Precocious Beauty was four lengths the best by the time she hit the head of the lane. Completing her mile with a :27.3 final quarter, Precocious Beauty hit the wire first in 1:54.2, six lengths ahead of Palm Beach Hanover. To read the rest of this story click here.
TORONTO, May 19 - As the 2014 Woodbine winter/spring meet came to a close on Monday evening at Woodbine Racetrack, driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Carmen Auciello proved they are a force to be reckoned with. Jamieson and Auciello took top honours on the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit, finishing atop the 2014 driver and trainer standings. Jamieson, a resident of Moffat, currently has 83 WEG victories this season, 20 more than his closest rival, Chris Christoforou. Jamieson also banked $1.2 million in purse earnings during the meet. Auciello has also separated himself from his rivals in the training standings. The Stouffville resident has 47 victories this season, 16 more than nearest rival, Corey Johnson. Auciello's barn earned over $720,000 during the meet. Racing will resume at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, beginning on Thursday, May 22. First race post is scheduled for 7:25. p.m. Greg Gangle
TORONTO, May 17 - On Saturday evening's 12-race programme, Woodbine Entertainment Group offered a mandatory payout on its newest wager, the Jackpot Hi 5. Over the past few months, the wager grew in popularity and resulted in an enormous pool size of which $656,386 was carried over into Saturday evening's programme. Always scheduled as the last dash of the evening, the Jackpot Hi 5 received an additional $1,345,640 wagered into the pool, giving the pool a total of $2,002,026. The result was a payout of $43,795.75 on a $1 wager ($8,759.15 on a $.20 cent wager) after Drain Daddy found the wire first in 1:51 at odds of 4-1. The top five finishers are as follows: 1. Drain Daddy 2. Rock Me Amastreos 3. Junior K 4. Speed Again 5. Real Rocker The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the first five finishers in exact order on the last race of the program. The wager, which offers a 20-cent minimum, also has a takeout of 15 per cent, a continent-equalling low. Woodbine's final winter/spring card is Monday, May 19, before racing shifts to Mohawk Racetrack, beginning on Thursday, May 22. Greg Gangle
Horse Racing New Brunswick are pleased to announce to horsemen and harness racing fans that dates have been set to edge closer to live racing with qualifiers on the following dates. After a harsh winter in New Brunswick, H.R.N.B will offer qualifiers this Saturday on May 10th at 12:00 P.M. They will then offer a date of May 13th in Saint John at 6:00 P.M. In Fredericton, two dates also have been announced on Sunday, May 11th at 12:00 P.M and then on May 14th at 6:30 P.M. Horse Racing New Brunswick have been busy getting ready for the 2014 racing season, and horsemen can contact the two race offices, Saint John and Fredericton to enter. For the latest information, check our new and improved website.
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – Come this Sunday, May 4, track management at the Hippodrome 3R will be more than ready for an exciting new season of harness racing action and the fans and horsemen are in for a great meet. Boasting the revival of the Prix D’Ete stakes race with $250,000 in purses, a 50% increase in total purses over 2013, simulcasting of the entire race meet throughout North America in both French and English, a newly designed and easy access website plus exciting new promotions and special events throughout the race meet all adds up to a great start in 2014. “We have been planning and looking forward to this day since our meet closed last year,” said 3R general manager Vincent Trudel. “It is very exciting and our goal is to make the Hippodrome 3R race season something that everyone will take part in and enjoy. “The renewal of the Prix D’Ete stake on Sunday, September 21 will be the highlight of the new meet.” Trudel explained. “The $200,000 final and $50,000 consolation races make this the richest stakes race in North America for four-year-olds pacers this year. Already we have nine of the top ten money winning horses from last year nominated to the race. We have added a special Saturday afternoon race card so that we will have a Prix D’Ete weekend of special events and top racing action.” For the first time since the Quebec Jockey Club took over Hippodrome 3R, the entire race meet will be simulcast to racetracks, betting parlors and ADW’s (advance deposit wagering online sites). In what is being billed as an industry first, the track will have parallel race calls: one in French and one in English. The French call, by track announcer Guy Lafontaine, will be carried at the track and on its simulcasting network in Québec. The English call will be by veteran announcer Jean Desautels, who pioneered the bilingual race call at Blue Bonnets until it closed in 2008. His call will be carried on the HorsePlayer Interactive website and at simulcast locations outside Québec that will be carrying the Hippodrome 3R races this year. Québec Jockey Club manager Vincent Trudel said he called on Desautels because reaching an English-speaking audience is important to the track`s overall growth plan. To date, 93 simulcast sites across Canada have signed on to take the Hippodrome 3R races this season. “The simulcasting of our race meet is an expensive but needed avenue for Hippodrome 3R,” Trudel said. “In order for us to expand our product, grow revenue and create interest in our superb racing product we must have full card simulcasting of our races. We will be offering players throughout North America a great show with full fields of competitive racing. “Last year our average win price was $10.83 per race,” Trudel explained. “Our average starters per race were 8.01, which is excellent for a half mile track. And our racing surface is one of the best half miles in the sport with well banked turns that the horses will fly around. I know this season the all-age track record of 1:52.4 will be surpassed!” The Quebec Jockey Club recently released its redesigned website, www.quebecjockeyclub.com, which now features everything a patron or horsemen needs to know about the track. “This was quite an undertaking,” Trudel explained, “As we must do everything in both French and English, but our staff outdid themselves with the new website. Everyone should take time to check it out and see the great photograph section too that really tells about what a good time people can have at Hippodrome 3R. We are still working out some of the details with the website as it is a work in progress.” During the season the Quebec-bred Sire Stakes program will be in full swing with rich events for two and three-year-old trotters and pacers throughout the season, culminating with the $500,000 finals on Sunday, September 7. “Since the Quebec Jockey Club took over Hippodrome 3R,” Trudel said, “The breeding program in Quebec has grown and improved. Our Quebecbreds are becoming much more competitive in the racing world and we look for great improvements with our young horses this year.” The Hippodrome 3R meet will take place every Sunday afternoon with a 1:00 pm post. Tuesday evening racing with post time at 7:00 pm gets underway May 27. The only changes in the race schedule is that there will be no racing on Sunday, August 10 or Tuesday, August 12 and there will be a special Saturday afternoon live race program September 20 as part of the Prix D’Ete weekend. “We hope that everyone will come out this season and enjoy our great racing program and Québécois hospitality,” Trudel said. “There are no finer vacation and tourism areas in the Quebec region than Trois-Rivieres, Montreal and Quebec City during the summer and fall months.” From the Quebec Jockey Club
TORONTO, April 30 - He's Watching, last year's Dan Patch Award winner, will make his harness racing debut in 2014 on Friday morning at Mohawk Racetrack in a qualifying session. The son of American Ideal, who remains a top candidate for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on June 14 at the Campbellville oval, went undefeated last season in eight starts and set two world records and six track records for trainer and co-owner David Menary. "We're super excited to start the season," Menary said. "He's had a great winter and come back very strong. We're just hoping for good weather on Friday. We'll qualify him twice and go from there." Just a mere $3,000 yearling purchase, Hes Watching earned $291,722 last year along with a 1:50 speed badge. He is also owned by Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero and Muscara Racing Trust. He's Watching will begin from post four in the sixth qualifier. Menary also confirmed that stable mate Major Trick will also line up behind the gate on Friday morning. A three-year-old son of Art Major amassed a 3-2-1 record from nine starts last season and $122,221 for owner/breeder Brad Gray. Major Trick will begin in the third qualifier from post seven. Jim Morrill, Jr. is listed to drive both pacers. Also scheduled to qualify on Friday morning are a pair of O'Brien Award winners from last year, Flanagan Memory (Race 2) and Riveting Rosie (Race 7), who will qualify for a second straight week. Trainer Casie Coleman has returned to Canada from wintering in Florida and will send out a pair of standouts from last year, Lucan Hanover (Race 5) and Social Scene (Race 1). Tony O'Sullivan will once again send out sophomore pacer Shes Da Bomb behind the starting gate in the eighth qualifier. Nine qualifiers will take place, beginning at 10 a.m. Greg Gangle, for WEG
TORONTO, April 30 - The harness racing connections of 62 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings have kept their charges eligible to the 31st edition of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup by making the April 15 sustaining payment. Eliminations for the NA Cup are scheduled for Saturday, June 7 at Mohawk Racetrack, while the rich final is scheduled to be raced Saturday, June 14 at the Campbellville, Ont. oval. Headlining this year's group of nominees is the Dan Patch Award winner and undefeated Hes Watching, who set two world records last season along with six track records for trainer and co-owner David Menary. The son of American Ideal boasts a 1:50 speed badge along with $291,722 in earnings. According to Menary, the talented pacer is set to make his 2014 debut this Friday or Monday in a qualifying appearance at Mohawk Racetrack. Luck Be Withyou, the 2013 Breeders Crown champion, is also on the list and one of the early favourites for the race. National Debt, who remains undefeated in his career after capturing the lone division of The Diplomat this past weekend at Woodbine, is also on the list of nominees. The list of horses whose connections made the April 15 sustaining payment appears below. ALWAYS B MIKI ARI ALLSTAR AVALANCHE HANOVER BEAT THE DRUM BONDI HANOVER BOOMBOOM BALLYKEEL BRODYS SCRAPPER BUGGER BRUISER CABANA BOY HANOVER CAPITAL ACCOUNT CARRACCI HANOVER CRAFTY MASTER DANCIN HILL DOO WOP HANOVER EWALD HANOVER FOR A BETTOR TIME FORT KNOX GOLD ROCKS HERE COMES WILLIAM HES WATCHING IDEAL COWBOY IDEAL MAGIC IM DRINKIN DOUBLES JACK ATTACK JET AIRWAY JIGGLE IT JK ENDOFANERA JOURNEYMAN LETS DRINK ON IT LIMELIGHT BEACH LUCK BE WITHYOU LUCKY KING LYONSSOMEWHERE MAJOR DEAGAN MAJOR TRICK MCWICKED MELMERBY BEACH MOLIERE HANOVER NAKED CITY NATIONAL DEBT ODDS ON RHODONITE PARNU HANOVER PLAY IT AGAIN SAM SILVERHILL SHADOW SMACK TALK SOME MAJOR BEACH SOMESTARSOMEWHERE SOMETIMES SAID SOMEWHERE FANCY SURPRISE HANOVER SWEET BEACH SWEET TALKIN CLYDE TELLITLIKEITIS THATS MY OPINION THREE OF CLUBS UNLOCKED WACO BRUISER WEATHER HANOVER WELL WRITTEN WESTERN VINTAGE WHISKEY N PIE WINDS OF CHANGE Total Horses after the following payments. Feb. 15 - 77 March 15 - 70 Greg Gangle WEG Communications - Standardbred
Nominees for harness racing top horsemen awards have been announced by the Saint John Harness Horsemen for the upcoming awards gala. Horse person of the Year will be a three way race between Mike Downey, Wayne Hubbard, and Bob MacNeil. Downey was inducted this year into the Fredericton Raceway Wall of Fame and will be looking to build on that momentum. Owner of the year has also attracted three very deserving finalists. This award will be sponsored by Standardbred Canada and will be presented by Darren Crowe at the May 10th ceremonies. Ultimate Stable, Dr. Mitchell Downey, and the Downey Stables will compete for the coveted award. This should be a tough category and the S.J.H.H.A would like to congratulate the nominees. Scott Waddell
TORONTO, April 30 - After winning in her first start of the season last week at 50-1, harness racing trainer and co-owner Frank O'Reilly can only hope Magic Feeling is ready to pull another disappearing trick on the field in Thursday night's Celias Counsel final, at Woodbine. The daughter of Kadabra scored an eye-catching 1:57 victory in last week's second round of the Celias Counsel and now advances to the rich $34,400 final, slated for race six. "We'll take the long bombs along with the short ones," O'Reilly chuckled about the major upset. "Her winning didn't really catch me by surprise because she trotted a :57 back half in her qualifier. The speed was there." O'Reilly first laid eyes on Magic Feeling two years ago at the 2012 Harrisburg Yearling sale where he purchased the bay filly for $30,000. "She was a big, strong, raw boned filly that came from a good family," O'Reilly said. "Her brother is doing quite well right now (Nowucit Nowudont - $215,518) and she was within the price range." After numerous qualifying attempts last season and one start, O'Reilly elected to pull the plug on Magic Feeling's rookie campaign. "She was immature and had some aches and pains, so we had to do what was best by her," he said. "We raced her once and could have continued, but the year was pretty much over. We brought her along far enough to find out that she was well worth keeping. She has a lot of talent to her." Looking ahead to this year's final of the Celias Counsel, O'Reilly remains optimistic about his chances. "I think she has as good of a shot as any of them in there," he said. "She's paid into the Casual Breeze and Elegantimage so I do think enough of her. If she's on her game, she will be just fine." John Fielding and Isidoro Russo also own the bay filly who has stashed away $7,500 in earnings. This year's final of the Celias Counsel will begin in race six on Thursday evening's 10-race programme. The field will line up as follows: 1. Serendipitous 2. Magic Feeling 3. Flexible Woman 4. K D Bella 5. Fashion Goddess 6. Tosca 7. Kadabra Lavictoire 8. Wings Of Ballykeel 9. Miss Everything 10. Just Call Me Lady Greg Gangle WEG Communications