Many ex-racehorses are finding second careers once their racing days are over, thanks to the ever increasing awareness of what these multi-talented athletes can also do off the track. As a result of this growing movement to retrain the racehorse, Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Quarter Horses have successfully been transitioning from the track to a new lifestyle as sport horses, show horses or all-around pleasure mounts. Canadian Olympian Jessica Phoenix is a huge proponent of the "ex-racehorse" breed and has successfully worked with them for years. Two of her well-recognized horses in eventing -Exploring and Exponential - were off-the-track Thoroughbreds (OTTB) that successfully took Phoenix to top international levels of competition in eventing. "Exploring went to the Pam Am Games in 2007, and Exponential went to the Olympics and the Word Equestrian Games in 2010 and 2012," says the Cannington, Ontario resident. "Exponential is such a tough horse. He's 17 now and is still competing at the four-star level." In June of 2014, Phoenix won the CCI3* division at the Jaguar Land Rover Bromont Three-Day Event in Quebec aboard A Little Romance. Owned by Don and Anita Leschied, the nine-year-old Canadian-bred mare is a Thoroughbred-Trakehner cross. "I believe that Thoroughbreds are so appealing to our sport because they love to run, as that's what they're bred to do, and I think that's one of the biggest draws to having a Thoroughbred in our sport," says Phoenix. "They also have such a courageous spirit and a zest for life." Phoenix feels that she would not have been able to get a start in this sport if it hadn't been for her OTTB's, Exploring and Exponential. "They were both inexpensive horses to purchase and they were both extremely talented," she says. "They gave me a real opportunity to get into the sport of eventing, to compete at the highest level and be competitive. Starting out, I certainly wasn't in a position where I could purchase a really expensive horse, so honestly, without having been able to start with Thoroughbreds; I probably wouldn't be where I am today." As a competition coach and eventing specialist, Phoenix operates Phoenix Equestrian in Oshawa, Ontario and notes that of the 35 horses currently in their program, half of them are Thoroughbreds. Phoenix is currently training a LongRun Thoroughbred graduate named Exultation, (aka Down By The Docks) who has been declared for the Pan American Games in 2015. Finding Mr. Right With their versatility and great work ethic, a retired racehorse can be hugely rewarding, but it's important to do your homework in order to find the most suitable mount for you. Each year, the racing industry ensures a steady stream of horses that have found themselves at the end of their racing careers. On average, ages can run from two-year-olds (they usually begin their racing career between the age of two and three), to four-and five-year-olds, while some with steady, lucrative careers retire from the track at six years and upward. Their reasons for retirement vary, but most common is their lack of speed, while others, because of the high cost of training, may have been downsized by the owner for economic reasons. Ex-racehorses are naturally competitive, with a willing- to-please personality. As a result, they can be easily trained to adapt to a new discipline, says Phoenix. But with their abundance of availability, how do you know which one is right for you? "I would definitely recommend that you purchase a horse with a basic vetting done, because nine times out of ten, if the horse is clinically sound, and their heart, eyes and lungs are good, they will last the average rider a long time," says Phoenix. "It doesn't have to be an X-ray of every single joint, but this just gives you a bit of information so that if there is something there, you are aware of it and able to maintain it going forward." Some suitable ex-racehorses come off their racing career in fine health, while others can have lower level issues that can be overcome with rest and rehab. Find out ahead of time what your prospect is capable of achieving and whether or not he would a suitable choice, whether for pleasure or as a show mount. To assist with your search, Phoenix recommends the assistance of a trainer or agent, as some ex-racers come at a bargain price for a reason. Those without access to a trainer or agent can turn to one of the many "Off the Track" rehabilitation organizations readily available across the country that retrain and place ex-racehorses for successful second careers. "When you purchase an ex-racehorse from a reputable and established organization, you get the right history on that horse," says Dr. Oscar Calvete, Farm Manager and Veterinarian at Adena Springs North, based in Aurora, Ontario. Created by the Stronach Family in 2004, the Adena Retirement Program was developed as a rehabilitation and retraining program for former racehorses. "At Adena, we take care of the injuries first before we make the horse available on our website. We keep records of everything and make these records available to the public." Calvete notes that by providing the new adoptive owners with full disclosure of each horse's health history and their current retraining status, they're able to ensure that the horses are matched with the right owner and home. The Right Choice Once you've narrowed it down to a few prospects, Phoenix recommends using one's "horse sense" and good judgment to decide on the right prospect. "When considering a purchase, make sure that you really enjoy the horse. Not that you just like the looks of it, but that you really like the horse's personality," she says. "And sometimes, that means you have to spend some time with it. Horses are just like people. They all have different personalities; and sometimes you get along well with them, and sometimes you don't. I would also say knowing their history is helpful, including if they've had any vet-related incidents." A career in equine sport, for both racehorses and sport horses, can put them at risk for training-related injuries. However, the past decade has seen tremendous advances in the field of equine sports medicine in both identification and treatment of these injuries. "The most common ailments that you will find in retired racehorses are mainly soft tissue issues such as tendons and ligaments, as well as joint problems in the front limbs," Calvete notes. "This would be followed by hind limbs, hocks, stifle, hip and back problems, mostly in that order." Many of the more common ailments, such as soft tissue injuries, can easily be overcome with treatment and rest. A vet check can assist in identifying any possible issues that may affect the horse during its second career, as well as advise if the injury is recoverable to allow him to return to full athletic function. "We recommend a program that goes in a slow and consistent manner, always having in mind the horse's temperament and conformation," adds Calvete. Patience is Key Racehorses are worked differently than the average riding horse, as their training mostly involves fitness and speed work. While the transitioning process from racehorse to retraining can vary depending on the horse, most recommend some type of down time before beginning the retraining process. "When they've just come off the track, they are really fit, as they've been galloping every single day," says Phoenix. "Often times when people give them a break, it's more to just let their fitness down and their bodies relax to allow them to be more like an average horse, instead of a finely tuned athlete. But each horse is different. We've acquired horses straight from the track, and two weeks later they've happily competed in their first show. Others, we've given them two months in order to allow them to relax their bodies after coming off the track. You really have to look at each horse as an individual so that every plan is made different." Because Thoroughbreds are sensitive and have a quick mind, Phoenix says her training techniques involve getting their mind to work for her, to keep it really fun for them, but also to keep them engaged. "We do a lot of ground work with them," says Phoenix. "We apply a lot of games so that they learn how to follow us and look for us, and then read our movements. Often times we do that every day before we even get on them so that they're really thinking about the rider and working with you. Because they're just very playful in their minds, you have to make sure that they're ready to work when you get on them, otherwise you're just going to fight with them." Off-The-Track Feeding Checkup As with any horse, an ex-racehorse's feeding program should be based on its individual needs and level of training. Because of their high-energy needs during their racing careers, they would typically receive three to four feedings a day of a calorie-dense diet made up of energy-rich grains in order to meet their nutritional needs for optimum performance. While in training, most are offered roughage in the form of hay throughout the day, but often times concentrate can make up a very high portion of their diet. Once he's being re-trained as a riding horse, Calvete recommends reducing the level of carbohydrates in his diet to reflect his new workload. "We recommend a feeding program based on roughage, grain and beet pulp, in addition to a lot of turnout." Achieving that correct balance of roughage and nutrients to meet your horse's needs can be easily achieved with the advice of a qualified feed specialist. Most major feed manufacturers have a nutritionist available on staff that would be able to come out to the farm and assess your horse to help you decide which the best product is for him. Many times, this service is offered for free. The Sweet Reward Ownership of an ex-racehorse can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Whether they're purchased directly off the track, through a trainer, or from a retired racehorse organization. There are plenty to choose from and can be quite affordable. Taking the time to assist with his new way of life will make the transition a positive experience for both horse and rider. "I love working with my Thoroughbreds every day," says Phoenix. "I love their attitude, and I love the excitement that they bring. It actually excites me to get up in the morning and see what they're going to do that day. I definitely owe them a lot." Sign up for our free e-newsletter which will deliver monthly welfare tips throughout 2015 and announce tools to aid all horse owners in carrying out their 'Full-Circle-Responsibility' to our beloved horses. In partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Equine Guelph is developing a 'Full-Circle-Responsibility' equine welfare educational initiative which stands to benefit the welfare of horses in both the racing and non- racing sectors. Visit Equine Guelph's Welfare Education page for more information.
Harness racing, like any industry is a business. Bills need to be paid, food needs to be put on the table and we are responsible for our families. An excellent showing of the importance of family took flight on Thursday October 16th when trainer Kyle Reibeling was notified through social media that one of his past horses was set to be put down. "A friend of mine, Jackie Panko alerted me that a friend of hers noticed some Standardbreds in a meat pen in Ottawa, ON waiting to go to slaughter" says Kyle. "One of the tattoo numbers matched a mare I bred and raised." "I raced her for a year before she was purchased by another party" explains Kyle. This didn't sit well for Kyle; it left a sinking feeling within that this would be her demise. "My heart sank." Kyle describes. "I know we can't control what happens to our horses after they leave our care, but when (a situation like this) is presented, you have to do something about." That's exactly what Kyle did. Did Kyle think it was possible to save Pocketfulasunshine? He did not know to be honest, but instead of wondering Kyle took action to save her. His first thought was 'I cannot let this happen'. "This was happening in the Ottawa (Ontario) area" explains Kyle. "I didn't know how to go about, we got the contact information we needed and luckily I have a good friend and a gentleman I train for down in Ottawa who really stepped up to the plate." Enter Bern Lavigne and Rick Sullivan who came through with back to back home runs. "They went down the next day and purchased her for me and took her to their place." Kyle notes, "They picked the burrs out of her and gave her a good bath. She was real skinny." Kyle is proud to say she has a great life now. Pocketfulasunshine is done racing, however Kyle admits he does enjoy taking her out for a jog and Pocketfulasunshine is responding well. And she's eating well; Kyle adds she finishes every meal. His daughters have fallen in love with Pocketfulasunshine too. "This is something we had to do." Kyle continues, "We are not looking for praise and I don't think this is anything out of the ordinary. Nobody wants to see anything bad happen to one of their horses they took care of and loved like family." A few years ago while riding in his tractor Kyle recalls wondering what to name her, "I remember thinking 'what am going to name this foal?' and a Natasha Bedingfield song came on that was full of spunk and Pocketfulasunshine it was." The song: Pocketful of Sunshine 'Take me away, to a secret place...' are the first few words that catch me when I listened to the song that inspired the name. At the time, who would have known how deep this would mean? More powerful were these next set of lyrics written by Natasha which took this story to an entire new level of meaning. 'Take me away to better days... take me away to a sweet escape.... In the darkness there is light and nobody cries.... Take me away to better days... the sun is on my side... I smile up to the sky and know I will be alright.' Roderick Balgobin Supernova Sports Club www.supernovasportsclub.com
If her recent results are any indication, The Show Returns has arrived. But harness racing owner Richard Young says the reason the filly was slow to find the spotlight had more to do with unfortunate luck than lack of performance. The Show Returns heads into Saturday's $424,000 Three Diamonds Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers at Woodbine off a neck win over Band Of Angels in 1:53.1 in their elimination division, giving the Chris Ryder-trainee three victories in a row. She will start the Three Diamonds from post No. 2, with Scott Zeron listed to drive. A daughter of stallion Rocknroll Hanover out of Stienam's Place, The Show Returns is a full sister to previous Young female pacing star Put On A Show, who earned $2.4 million in her career and was the 2010 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old female pacer. The Show Returns, who was purchased for $180,000 under the name Hey There Delilah, at last year's Lexington Selected Sale, has won four of nine races and earned $98,738 for Richard and Joanne Young. "We thought she was quite good from the get-go, so to speak, but she just had unfortunate situations," Richard Young said. "People are saying she kind of tailed off in the middle (of the year) but she didn't really tail off. Some things happened. It wasn't that she got bad; if she had gotten bad, I'd have turned her out." The Show Returns finished second by a half-length to Stacia Hanover in her debut in a preliminary round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, then finished a troubled-trip fifth in the final. She bounced back to win a round of the Whenuwishuponastar Series at Mohawk Racetrack, then finished fifth-placed-fourth in the final. After the race, The Show Returns was diagnosed with synchronous diaphragmatic flutter; spasms of the diaphragm in synchronization with the heartbeat more commonly called "the thumps." The Show Returns was off-the-board in her next two races, but has been unbeaten since. Among her wins were the She's A Great Lady Consolation and a division of the Champlain Stakes, both in 1:52. "She's a nice filly," said Young, who in addition to Put On A Show owned I Luv The Nitelife, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly pacer. "I don't know if she'll ever be as good as the other two; I think that's asking a lot. But she's competitive and she has good speed. "Anytime you have speed, you can get position. And when you get position, something (good) can happen. I like her." The Show Returns is Young's only racehorse at the current time. "If you look at her on the track, she's a peanut," Young said, laughing. "I don't generally buy peanuts, I like the bigger horse. But she was a June foal, so I thought she might grow. I don't think she's grown an inch. But she has speed, she has an ability to get position, and it looks like she will fight. I can always hope." The Show Returns will face - for the first time - undefeated JK She'salady in the Three Diamonds. JK She'salady won her elimination on Saturday by one length over Solar Sister in 1:53.3 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Johansson. The filly, who in August won the She's A Great Lady Stakes by four lengths in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1, is 9-for-9 this year. "I've been touting 'Lady' for Pacer of the Year, and I think if she stays undefeated, she should be," Young said. "I don't know if very many people are going along with me, but the fact is she does have the best record out there. She's undefeated and she's won them all easily. "Of course, I want to beat her and prove me wrong. I wouldn't bet my horse with your money, but that doesn't mean I can't hope that we beat her. I think she's untouchable right now, but I'm hoping that she's not. "I'm a little spoiled. In the last six years or so, I had the horse that was supposed to win. I have to get used to not being the best one. But she could in fact be the second-best one. That's OK, too." The Show Returns in her Three Diamonds Elimination The full field in post order for the Three Diamonds is 1 Happy Becky 2 The Show Returns 3 JK She'salady 4 Float On By 5 Solar Sister 6 Ideal Nuggets 7 Rock Her World 8 Band Of Angels 9 Zip Code Envy 10 Shakai Hanover. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications
After an overpowering win last week in the afternoon's top-class, five-year-old J Rs Hurricane will be looking to repeat in this week's top conditioned harness racing event. Lonny Stokes, no stranger to driving the son of Mach Three will be holding the lines of the pacer from post-four in the five horse top-class. Man In Pink will once again have the advantage of the rail position for driver Mark Haig. Dance Hanover will have post-two for catch-driver Mike Barrieau for the Ultimate Stables of Moncton. American Captain will leave from post-four for veteran driver and trainer Mike Campbell. Wave That Banner from the Eric Wilson stable will have the outside post-five. Starters will face-off for a purse of $ 1500. This Saturday will also feature the final leg of Horse Racing New Brunswick's handicapping contest. Week twenty ( 20 ) will be contested and an overall winner announced next week. Post time for Saturday's matinee card is slated for 2:00 P.M. Scott Waddell
Results are in from week nineteen ( 19 ) for Harness Racing New Brunswick's season long handicapping contest. This week will feature the 20th and FINAL LEG of the contest and the top-three going into this Saturday's final leg at E.P.R all have a legitimate chance to take the top prize. This weeks $ 50.00 prize winner who checked in with $ 53.40 on Saturday was second place competitor Kayden Buchanan. Please see complete standings below. It appears that strategy could play a huge part in the final leg this Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway. Totals After Week 19 Adam Saunders 325.70 Kayden Buchanan 307.40 Rose Doyle 298.20 Brad MacPherson 244.80 Jenn Ritchie 183.20 Bruce Smith 114.85 Dale Spence Sr 94.80 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers 31.00 Scott Waddell
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 25 - Harness racing driver Driver Anthony Macdonald was recognized Thursday evening for recently surpassing $25 million in career earnings. On Sunday evening at Flamboro Downs, MacDonald guided Kate Smith to victory in a $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event to surpass the $25 million mark. On Thursday evening, MacDonald was presented with a sign from Bill McLinchey, Manager of Racing Operations, recognizing his recent accomplishment after guiding pacer Nine Lives Hanover to victory in the evening's eighth race. MacDonald, 37, is a resident of Guelph, Ontario and is in the midst of his tenth consecutive season with over $1 million in earnings and more than 100 victories. This season, MacDonald has 105 victories and earnings of more than $1.3 million. The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to congratulate Anthony on his accomplishment and wish him continued success. Mark McKelvie
Two-year-old trotting colt Caulfield recorded his third straight harness racing victory in the third and final $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division tonight at Flamboro Downs. In that division Wilbur Eden was very quick at the start, hitting the opening marker in :29.3 for Trevor Henry. As they reached the half in 1:00.3 he had company from Holiday My Way and three wide came Alacrity as they reached the third panel in 1:30.1. Holiday My Way broke stride in the final turn and down the stretch Caulfield and Chris Christoforou closed a ton to win in 1:59.3. Wilbur Eden held for second while Winning Wizard was third. A son of Kadabra owned by Synereco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, and trained by Chris Beaver, Caulfield was notching his fourth win in six career starts and third in a row. Bred by Jeff Ruch of Innisfil and Ted MacDonnell of Allenford, Ontario, Caulfield sold for $20,000 at last year’s Harrisburg sale. Christoforou was also victorious in the first division where the two outside horses left quickest. Boli (post six) and Infiniti AS (post seven) got away first and second as the gate left with Boli leading the group by the first quarter in :30.3 and the half in 1:02.1. Luck O The Irish took over well before the 1:31.2 third panel as Boli went offstride. He soon had company in the form of Dont Rush and that pair battled down the lane with Dont Rush narrowly winning in 2:00.3. Luck O The Irish had to be content with the bridesmaid spot while Amityville Lindy survived an inquiry to take third. Christoforou was up behind the winner, a son of Infinitif owned and trained by breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario who recently sold a share in the talented colt to Greg Judson of Athens, Ontario. This was the second lifetime win for Dont Rush who improved his summary to 2-3-1 in nine lifetime starts for $136,000 in earnings. Three colts broke early in the second split which saw Namesmuscle by the first panel in :28.1. Just past the :59.2 half A Little More Love was neck and neck with the leader and managed to get a head in front by the 1:29.1 three-quarters. Three wide came Platoon Seelster and those three were close at the finish with Platoon Seelster prevailing, despite an early break in stride, in 1:59.4 for Ryan Holliday. A Little More Love, the leading point earner in this division coming into tonight’s contest, was a close second with Namesmuscle third. A lightly raced son of Holiday Road, Platoon Seelster was making just his fourth career start for trainer David Holliday and owners Caroline Holliday of Mount Forest and Dennis Hannath of Harriston, Ontario. Bred by Seelster Farms of Lucan, Ontario, the colt has yet to finish worse than second with two wins and two seconds in his young career. This group has one more Gold event to contest before the October 11 Super Final. That will take place one week from tonight, September 30, at Mohawk Racetrack. To view the complete results from tonight’s program, please click Flamboro Results - September 23. OSS News
Three-year-old trotting colt Harper Blue Chip has made three starts in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division this year and has won them all including the second of two $105,000 divisions tonight at Mohawk. Harper Blue Chip was sent off as the heavy favourite and quickly showed why as he flew up from sixth to grab early control and was well settled by the opening quarter in :27.2. He clicked off the half in :56.3 and was at the three-quarters in 1:25.4 and could not be caught down the stretch, winning easily in 1:55.3 for Sylvain Filion. Keystone Trevor closed well to take second while British Steel was third. Trained by Mark Steacy for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald, Cornwall, David Reid, Glenburnie and George Judson, Athens, Ontario, Harper Blue Chip was recording his fifth victory in a dozen starts this year for $481,000 in earnings. Lifetime his bankroll sits at $708,000. His victory tonight puts him squarely atop the point standings in this OSS division. A son of Steacy’s former champion Majestic Son, the colt is from the Muscles Yankee daughter Winning Jonlin and was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock of New York which also bred the winner of the first division which saw Muscle Matters and Mario Baillargeon establish the tempo through fractions of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:26. However, he could not hold off See The Wind and James MacDonald in the stretch as that colt took over to hit the wire first in 1:54.2. Muscle Matters held for second with Sheer Flex taking third. Chris Beaver of Delaware, Ohio, trains and co-owns the winner, a son of Deweycheatumnhowe, with Synerco Ventures of Toronto, Ontario, and Wilbur Lang of Ohio. Tonight’s effort was the second win in 12 attempts for See The Wind, bred by Blue Chip. A $10,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg, See The Wind is from a half-sister to $386,000 winner Bramasole. This was the final regular season Gold event for this group. The top point earners will hook up once more in the season ending OSS Super Final on October 11 back at Mohawk. To view the results from tonight’s program, please click Mohawk Results - September 22. OSS News
Riveting Rosie and Kate Smith captured the two $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies contested over a track rated Good tonight at Flamboro Downs. Riveting Rosie was the dominant performer in the first division, as she never relinquished her pole position and led through splits of :27.4, :58.3 and 1:27.4 and was home by more than six lengths in 1:57 for Paul MacDonell. Sweetie Hearts recovered from an early miscue to finish second while Magic Feeling was third. Trainer John Bax of Peterborough, Ontario, shares ownership of the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, with Don Allensen of Wyoming, J And T Stable, Newmarket and John Hayes, Sharon, Ontario. Last year’s two-year-old trotting filly of the year, Riveting Rosie was recording her second win of her three-year-old campaign and upped her 2014 earnings well over $220,000 and lifetime to $690,000. Bred by Schare Adams of Kentucky, Riveting Rosie was a $17,000 yearling buy in 2012. In the second division it was Margie and Sylvain Filion setting the tempo of :29.2, 1:00.1 and 1:29.4 but she could not hold off Kate Smith in the lane who was to the wire first in 1:59.3 for Anthony MacDonald. Margie was right there for second while Mayberry finished third. Herb Holland trains the winner, a daughter of Cornaro Dasolo owned by breeder Carolyn MacIsaac of Milton, Ontario. This was the fifth win this year for the filly who sent her earnings well over the $100,000 mark with tonight’s effort. This group has one more Gold event before the October 11 Super Finals, on September 30 at Mohawk. To view the full results from tonight’s program, please click Flamboro Results - September 21. OSS News
Harness racing three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits set the fields for their $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series Finals with eight $20,000 Semifinals Saturday (September 20) at Mohawk Racetrack. The top five horses in each Semifinal moved on to next week’s Finals. Pacing Males High Flier (J. Harris) left out fast from his post nine starting spot in the first Semifinal, and he had the lead at the :26.1 opening quarter. Shadow Place (Trevor Henry) was in second at that point, but he moved to the outside and took control before the :55.1 half. Regal Son (Randy Waples) then rolled the dice first-over out of fourth, and he would match strides with Shadow Place at the 1:23.2 three-quarters. Regal Son forged his way around Shadow Place in the lane, but High Flier got a lane up the inside, and he took advantage, getting up to win by a head in 1:52.1. Shadowbriand (Mike Saftic) turned a second-over trip into the runner-up spot and Regal Son finished third. Some Major Beach (Doug McNair) came in fourth, followed by V I P Bayama (Sylvain Filion). Trainer David Taff of Waterdown, Ontario, shares ownership of High Flier, a Shadow Play colt, with Christopher Nicol of West Yorkshire, England. High Flier, who won at the Grassroots level on June 13 at Mohawk, has won five times from 11 attempts in 2014, and he has six career tallies. He has earned $43,436 this year and $47,386 in his life. Atomic Million AM (Rick Zeron) shot through from the pole position to take the field of ten to the :27.1 first quarter in the second Semifinal, but favoured Titus Seelster (Sylvain Filion) vacated the pocket past that marker, and he became the new front-stepper before the :56.3 half. Titus Seelster still had command at the 1:24.4 three-quarters while he felt some first-over pressure from Regal Babe (Doug McNair). Titus Seelster continued to hold Regal Babe off as they raced through the lane, but a number of horses began to close in on the leaders inside the final sixteenth, and it would be 50-1 shot Nirvana Seelster (Phil Hudon) charging up on the far outside to win the race in 1:53.4. Atomic Million AM, who lacked room for much of the stretch drive, was the runner-up and Regal Babe checked in third. Titus Seelster faded to fourth and Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) rallied to get fifth. Nirvana Seelster is a Camluck gelding trained by Bill Budd for owner Bruce Davy of Brockville, Ont. Nirvana Seelster, who was unraced at two, now has a trio of wins from 19 efforts and has put away $52,296. He was bred by Seelster Farms. Trotting Males Warrawee Promesse (Wayne Henry), who was starting from post ten and gunning for his eighth consecutive victory, took the lead away from 80-1 shot Hetties Commander (Paul MacKenzie) just after the :27.4 first quarter in the Semifinal opener for this bunch. Warrawee Promesse would go on to reach the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:27, never facing a serious challenge along the way. At the top of the lane Henry asked Warrawee Promesse to kick away, but inside the final sixteenth he was overhauled by several challengers, including Kremlin (Sylvain Filion), who rallied from next-to-last at three-quarters to the win by a quarter of a length in 1:57.1. Hetties Commander shook loose from the pocket and wound up second with Tyrone Haji (Randy Waples) nabbed third. Warrawee Promesse had to settle for fourth and Massive Pockets (Jody Jamieson) survived a tough outside journey to finish fifth. Richard Moreau trains Kremlin, a Kadabra gelding, for owner Mike Wassilyn of Rockwood, Ontario. Kremlin, a winner in Grassroots competition on June 9 at Mohawk, scored his fifth triumph from 15 efforts this season and his seventh career victory. Bred by Overseas Farms Ltd., Kremlin has put away $45,472 on the campaign and $55,352 lifetime. It looked like Totally Ripped (Steve Byron) was going to the lead in the other Semifinal, but then he went off-stride, leaving Jack Litten (Doug McNair) in first at the :27.3 opening quarter. Justcallmeronald (Jody Jamieson) then popped out of the pocket, and he would take the lead before the 58 second half-mile marker. Justcallmeronald would go on to click off three-quarters in 1:27.4, but McNair angled Jack Litten back out of the two-hole in the lane, and he would out-trot Justcallmeronald late in the mile to prevail by just over a length in 1:57.4. Justcallmeronald, Ramas Last Son (Steve Condren), Crowningcrest (James MacDonald) and Taurus Seelster (Randy Waples) rounded out the top-five finishers. Jack Litten is a Muscle Mass gelding trained by Gregg McNair for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan. Jack Litten, who did not compete as a two-year-old, has three wins from 12 starts in 2014, and he has put away $48,962. Jack Litten, who was bred by Tony Holmes and Walter Zent, also won in Grassroots competition on June 26 and September 2 at Mohawk. Pacing Fillies 70-1 shot Stellllllla (Jody Jamieson) held the lead at the :27.2 first quarter in the Semifinal opener, but Murrayfield (Sylvain Filion) would take over the front prior to the :56.1 half. Murrayfield then came under siege from first-over challenger Regally Ready (Doug McNair), and Murrayfield and Regally Ready were head-and-head at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. In the stretch Regally Ready put away Murrayfield, but then Bet Ya (Paul MacDonell) came from off cover to duel with the new leader. Meanwhile, 3-5 favourite Dana Dearest (Chris Christoforou), who had been fourth-over at three-quarters, began to close in as well. Regally Ready managed to fight off Bet Ya, but Dana Dearest was unrelenting with her brush, and she got up to win by about a neck in 1:53.3. Regally Ready came in second and Bet Ya was third. Mea Lilley Mark (Mike Saftic) checked in fourth and Double Joy (Mario Baillargeon) finished fifth. Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner/breeder Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ontario. Dana Dearest was winless in four starts last year, but she’s turned it around in her sophomore campaign, going eight-for-15. She has season’s earnings of $77,820 and a career bankroll of $82,048. Dana Dearest has only been defeated once in five Grassroots starts in 2014. Her Own Land (James MacDonald), the public’s 4-5 choice, led through fractions of :26.4, :56.1, and 1:24 on her way to a 1:54 decision in the second Semifinal. She beat runner-up Shadows Wonder (Chris Christoforou) by about two lengths with Artful Impulse (Randy Waples) back in third. Fourth went to Born To Dream and Royal Mama (Steve Condren) collected fifth. Dave Menary trains Her Own Land, a filly by Blissfull Hall, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Her Own Land now has five wins in Grassroots company and six wins from 14 starts overall this year. Now a seven-time winner in her career, Her Own Land has earned $77,490 in 2014 and $87,050 lifetime. Trotting Fillies In the first Semifinal for this group it would be Serendipitious (Chris Christoforou) who took the field of ten through fractions of :27.4, :58.3, and 1:28. Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) attacked the pace-setter from first-over on the final bend, and that gave a second-over tow to public choice Mystical Wishes (Doug McNair). Serendiptious put away Flexible Woman turning for home, but Mystical Wishes was sent into three-wide territory for McNair, and she would trot past the pace-setter on her way to a 1:56.4 victory. Serendiptious held second, beaten a length by the winner, and Diamonds For Life (Sylvain Filion) took third. Also securing positions in next week’s final were fourth-place finisher Missys Ga Ga (John Campbell) and fifth-place filly Chelseas Chance (Randy Waples). Tony Alagna trains the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, for co-owner/breeder Mystical Marker Farms LLC. of Dyer and co-owner Peggy Hood of Valparaiso, Indiana. Mystical Wishes is eight-for-13 in the win column this year after going winless in four tries as a rookie. Mystical Wishes has earned $63,990 in 2014 and $67,740 lifetime. This was Mystical Wishes’s fourth OSS win of the year, joining her successes on August 12 at Mohawk, September 2 at Mohawk, and September 11 at Flamboro Downs. Quadrophenia (James MacDonald) blasted out from post ten to take the second Semifinal field to the opening quarter in 28 seconds, but 3-5 favourite and point standings leader Torches Star (Steve Condren) trotted her way to the top before the :57.1 half. Torches Star was still the boss at the 1:27.2 three-quarters, but she didn’t have her best game on this night, and she was overtaken by first-over challenger Doweypuffandhow (Steve Byron) with an eighth of a mile to go. A host of closers were coming after the new leader, though, and trotting fastest of all was Lenny Mac (Randy Waples), who surged from third-over at the top of the lane to win in 1:57.3. Wonderland Snow (Trevor Henry) split horses to get second and Quadrophenia was third. Nickange Two (Mike Saftic) got fourth at 60-1 and Northern Secret (Mario Baillargeon) nailed down the last spot in the final. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, also co-owns Lenny Mac, a filly by Kadabra, with partner Earl Hill Jr. of Ohsweken, Ontario. McIntosh also bred Lenny Mac with C S X Stables and Michael Kohler. Lenny Mac has four triumphs from 14 trips behind the gate this year, and this was her seventh career trip to the winner’s circle. She has banked $57,759 this season and $97,099 in her life. This was Lenny Mac’s third Grassroots win of the season, matching her total from her freshman campaign. Mohawk Racetrack will roll out the red carpet again next Saturday night with eight $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Finals for two- and three-year-olds. For full results of this Saturday night’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0920mohsn.dat. OSS News
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 20 - Voelz Hanover and Randy Waples converted off a two-hole trip to pull off a 30-1 upset in the $286,000 Milton Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk. With a starting spot of post six, Voelz Hanover left hard off the gate against nine of the sport's top older pacing mares, but was out sprinted by Anndrovette, who started from post seven, past an opening quarter of :26. Anndrovette would lead the field to three-quarter pole, hanging up fractions of :54.1 and 1:22.2, to bring the field into the lane. Challenging Anndrovette first up around the final turn was Yagonnakissmeornot, while Voelz Hanover sat in the garden spot waiting for the stretch. In the stretch, Yagonnakissmeornot over took the lead, but once Waples brought Voelz Hanover off the rail she powered past the leader to win by a length and a half in 1:50. Yagonnakissmeornot finished second, while Anndrovette held on for third over Krispy Apple. Following the race, Waples, a resident of Milton, Ontario, said he had a few game plans in his head before the race, but wasn't sure how things were going to play out. "There was just so many good horses in there to follow I was really half thinking about backing her off the gate for a change and following," said Waples. "Nobody was really on the gate on the inside...so off I went." Trained by Corey Johnson for owner Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Quebec, Saturday night's victory was Voelz Hanover's fifth win of the season and the 43rd of her career. The nine-year-old daughter of Astreos has earned over $1.6 million in her career, but the Milton Stakes victory is the biggest triumph of her career, since she won the $300,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final as a three-year-old in 2008 at Woodbine. Waples talked about racing against Voelz Hanover when he was driving the great mare Dreamfair Eternal several years ago. "I can remember having what I consider the best mare around here, Dreamfair Eternal, and Benoit Baillargeon had her (Voelz Hanover) and I was scared of her every week," said Waples. "She could always do damage to me. I think she was second in the (2010) Breeders Crown when Dreamfair Eternal won it and she's kept going and going." Waples, who won this event in 2010 with Dreamfair Eternal, is now a two-time Milton Stakes winner. Voelz Hanover's clocking of 1:50 just missed equaling Rocklamation's stakes record of 1:49.4. Voelz Hanover paid $68.30 to win. Mark McKelvie
Saturday afternoon at Fredericton Raceway is a day that harness racing driver young Kent Beattie will remember for a lifetime. In his fifteenth career drive, the promising rookie captured his first career victory at his hometown track. Provoke Me, owned by Gary Beattie of Fredericton, was making his final start of his career as the nine-year-old veteran did all the work on a front-end winning performance. Time of the mile was 2:02.2 as the pacer drove on to a two and a half-length win to best Royal Putnam and OK Elegant. Fastest mile of the day was turned in by Joseph Michael who despite less than ideal conditions on the blustery Saturday afternoon, scored in 1:56.3. Todd Trites drove the local owned pacer as one of his two wins on the program. Racing wrapped up for 2014 racing season at the capital city track and Horse Racing New Brunswick extends thanks to all who made the year a success despite many challenges. Next card of racing will be contested on Saturday, September 27th at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John. Scott Waddell
A trio of the best free-for-all pacers the Maritimes have to offer will do battle on Saturday night at Red Shores Charlottetown. Post-time for the 13-dash harness racing card is 6 p.m. A winner of the Governor's Plate in a track record 1:53, The Premiers Pace in 1:52.2 and a runner up to Wazzup Wazzup in the Founders Cup, D Gs Camme returns to his hometown oval from Post 5 on Saturday. After not recieving an invite to the invitational race at Northside Downs on Saturday, trainer Jackie Matheson elected to find a start in the Perferred ranks in his own back yard. A dominat force on this year's invitational circuit he will pick up the driving services of Ron Matheson for the first time since early July when the dup teamed up for Matheson's 1, 000 lifetime victory. He co-owns with Hal and Quentin Bevan along with Tom Clark. D Gs Camme will have to do battle with a pair of Jason Hughes trainees. One of the leading trainers among wins in Canada, Hughes will send out the duo of Astor, from Post 6 for Foxyhall Racing and Red Rock from Post 8 for Donald, Bryan, Steven and Melissa MacRae. Hughes has elected to drive Astor, while Gary Chappell gets the call on Red Rock in the Race 12 feature. The Open Trot is also on tap Saturday night with the early headlines going to Zip The Lip and driver Brian MacPhee. A front end winner in the Open last week for owners Orville Willis and Donald Sweet in 2:01, the six-year-old son of Ken Warkentin will have to do battle from Post 3 against rail horse Frill Seeker amd the outside charge Pleaure Girls. The older pacing mares will line up in the Open in Race 7 with top-end mares For All We Know, Stayoutofmyaffiar and General Luckypercy set to do battle. Race 13 features the Hurrah 4 Island Charities, Hurrah has drawn Post 4 and is listed as the morning line choice as he tries to raise as much funds for this month's recipent, the Toys For Tots campaign. Colt looks to continue winning ways A mainland invader will look to invade Red Shores Summerside on Sunday to keep his winning streak alive. Post-time is 1 p.m. American Island has been perfect since making his way back to the maritimes and he will look to extend his streak to three when he scores from Post 2 in the Race 11 feature. New Brunswick based trainer, driver Gilles Barrieau will make the trek from Saint John to try and keep his streak alive for owners Wayne MacRae and Ian Smith. Fresh off an impressive 1:56.3 score in his last outting, American Island will have his hands full on Sunday. He will go up against former Maritime stakes champion Forever Paradise, who looks to get back to his winning ways. Taken out of the race by the stopped leader last start, Forever Paradise seen his back-to-back victories erased. He gets Summerside's leading driver Marc Campbell in the bike from Post 3. The event also includes the ultra conaistant, iron tough, Blu Meadow Willie from Post 5 for driver Walter Cheverie. The card at Red Shores Summerside will also feature the P.E.I Matinee Finals. Four classes will duke it out for top honours in their respective divisions. The Matinee finals will be contested after Races 2, 4 and 6. Bo Ford
This weekend may not be as exciting as the last one for Peterborough, Ontario, trainer John Bax who enjoyed a huge night at Mohawk this past Saturday when his two-year-old trotting fillies finished one-two-three in the $380,000 Peaceful Way final and his champion from last year, Riveting Rosie, was an impressive second in the $409,000 Elegantimage final. Rosie, who captured the Peaceful Way final last year at two, was dominant among the freshman trotting fillies last season and was named Canada’s Two Year Old Trotting Filly of the Year at the conclusion of the season. This year she’s had her share of issues but she’s still be able to compile a summary of 1-2-2 in 11 starts for $171,000 in earnings, $640,000 lifetime from just 19 career starts. Bax’s Parkhill Stud shares ownership of the daughter of Muscle Mass with Don Allensen, Wyoming, J And T Stable, Newmarket and John Hayes of Sharon, Ontario. “It’s just been one thing after another with her this year. Every time you think you’ve got everything straightened out something else happens to her,” noted Bax following the Elegantimage where Rosie finished nine lengths behind winner Shake It Cerry. “I was really happy with her. If she could have gotten out earlier, she wouldn’t have been nine lengths behind. It was the first race where she put it all together, she left hard and finished well. “I think she’s better on the front or first up because then she can get her stride going. She doesn’t trot as pretty when she’s doubled up, in a hole. Having said that, she got away with that at two (intimidating her opposition) and usually you find out at three you’ve got to race. It’s a learning process and I like it when they learn when we’re going for $400,000,” he laughed. Riveting Rosie won’t have much time to rest on her most recent accomplishment as she’s back in to race this Sunday at Flamboro in the first of two $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions. She’s drawn post one in the first split, race three with her usual pilot Paul MacDonell in the sulky. Right alongside in post two is this division’s leading point earner, White Becomes Her with Mario Baillargeon at the lines for brother Ben who trains for owner Twilight Stables of Brampton, Ontario. The filly with the second highest number of points in this division, Muscle Babe, has post five in the second division which goes postward as the 10th race on the program. James MacDonald will guide the Muscle Mass daughter for owner Kjell Andersen of Norway and trainer Dave Menary. Riveting Rosie currently sits in third in the point standings, but that all may change after her performance on Sunday. What will also change within the next few months is the time it takes for her trainer to truck to race at many of Ontario’s tracks. “I’m in the process of buying the main farm at Glengate Farm (just outside of Campbellville, about five minutes from Mohawk). Every time I drive by it I think, ‘gee, in five minutes I’d be home instead of two hours. The wear and tear of going up and down the road, it wears on you that’s for sure. Hopefully it will be settled this fall and we’d like to move in next spring.” This is the next to last OSS Gold event for this group who will meet once more, on September 30 at Mohawk, before the October 11 Super Final. To view the complete card for Flamboro on Sunday, which starts at 6 p.m., please click the link Flamboro Entries - September 21. OSS News
The Little Brown Jug for three-year-old pacing colts and its filly companion race, the Jugette, are highly coveted races to win and this year Guelph, Ontario-based harness racing trainer Gregg McNair has a shot in each. Both of his Ontario-sired horses are regulars on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit. His filly, Lady Shadow, is the favourite in the first of three divisions of the Jugette, worth a total of $298,100, to be raced Wednesday afternoon at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. The daughter of Shadow Play, owned by Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, Michigan, has won five races and finished second in two others in 10 starts so far this year. She comes into Wednesday’s race riding a two race winning streak, both in OSS Gold events. McNair’s son Doug, her regular driver, will once again be at the lines behind the winner of $454,000 so far in her career. The other Ontario-sired filly in the Jugette is the Major In Art daughter Sectionline Aqua who has post eight in the second elimination. She’ll have hometown support as all three of her owners are from Ohio. Sectionline Aqua finished second to Lady Shadow in her last two OSS Gold outings. The Jugette and Little Brown Jug are both heat races. The top three fillies from each elimination on Wednesday will return for a second heat, the winner of which will be crowned Jugette champion. Gregg McNair, the leading trainer in the OSS program so far in 2014, has yet to win either the Jug or Jugette so far in his impressive career, but he has come close. In 2011 his filly Swinging Beauty captured her first heat of the Jugette and finished third to Idyllic in the final. In 2000 he started George Scooter in the Little Brown Jug. The Matts Scooter son was third in the first heat and came back to win the second heat but finished third in the race off to Astreos. McNair’s 2014 Jug hopeful is the Mach Three colt Three Of Clubs. McNair co-owns the colt with Tony Lawrence of Hanover, Ontario, and harness racing legend Keith Waples of Durham, Ontario. One of the most respected harness drivers in history, and a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Waples won the 1972 Little Brown Jug with Strike Out. The horse’s owner, the late John Hayes, famously said prior to the race: “I’d rather win the Little Brown Jug than go to heaven.” That victory was the first time a Canadian-owned horse won the Jug and now the 91 year-old Waples has another chance to capture the famed event with Three Of Clubs on Thursday afternoon, but it will be a big undertaking given the talent of the 16 colts entered. Three Of Clubs has drawn post three in the $103,600 first heat alongside On Golden Ponder trained by Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, who sits second to McNair in the OSS trainers’ standings. There are two colts entered in the second heat which also have Ontario trainers, Casie Coleman’s McWicked (post one) and Dave Menary’s Hes Watching (post six). The first four finishers will advance to the $310,800 second heat. A race-off, if required, will be worth $129,500. Other Ontario-sired performers racing at Delaware Wednesday include the Majestic Son daughter Yanks Ball Girl in the Standardbred Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. The second division finds OSS regular Gee OKeeffe who has two OSS wins to her credit this year. She’s owned by trainer Chris Beaver and Wilbur Lang, both of Ohio. Little Brown Jug day also finds one of the greatest mares to ever race in the OSS, Bee A Magician, competing. The four-year-old daughter of Kadabra, who has drawn post six in the 17th race of the day, the $121,000 Miss Versatility Final. Horse of the Year in both Canada and the US last year, Bee A Magician has earned $2.5 million to date in her career. Starting alongside in post seven is another top OSS graduate, $592,000 winner Charmed Life. For more information on the Little Brown Jug and Jugette, please visit their website Little Brown Jug website. By OSS News
The father-son team of harness racing trainer Carl Jamieson and driver Jody Jamieson won two of the three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series contests for rookie colt and gelding pacers on Tuesday night (September 16) at Mohawk Racetrack. The Jamiesons' first victory came in the second division with Sporting The Look, who now leads the point standings for the group. Sporting The Look shot to the front in the early going and was ahead of a parked-out Sportskeeper (Randy Waples) by a nose at the :27.2 opening quarter. Sportskeeper would clear to the top past that post, and he would go on to reach the half in 57 seconds. Sportskeeper was under attack from a first-over Lancaster Park (Doug McNair) at the half, and those two would continue to slug it out over to the 1:24 three-quarters. In the stretch Sportskeeper put away Lancaster Park’s bid, but the fight to hold the lead took its toll inside the final eighth, and he began to drift off the rail, which gave Sporting The Look clearance to come through. Sporting The Look had plenty of pep to go with the room, and he would go on to win by a length, stopping the clock in 1:53. Seaforth (Mike Saftic) rallied from fifth to second in the final quarter, and Sportskeeper had to settle for third. The elder Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario, also co-owns Sporting The Look, who has been victorious four times from nine starts, with breeder 30 Plus Stable of Trenton and Tom Kyron of Toronto, Ontario. Sporting The Look, the third foal out of The Panderosa mare Lyons Mandi ($162,482), did go through last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he brought $72,000. The victorious Sportswriter colt, who also won Gold Series events on July 7 at Mohawk and on August 10 at Georgian Downs, has now banked $178,594. Jody and Carl also prevailed in the Gold Series nightcap with Make Some Luck. Jody sent him to the point from his post two starting spot, and he was unchallenged through the :27.2 first quarter and the :56.3 half. Public choice Drachan Hanover (Rick Zeron) then rolled the dice first-over out of third on the far turn, but Make Some Luck was able to keep him just over a length behind at the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Drachan Hanover kept trying to get to Make Some Luck through the lane, but it was no avail as Make Some Luck maintained his lead on his way to a one and a quarter length victory in a final clocking of 1:53 flat. Bob Ben And John (Chris Christoforou) was third after a two-hole trip. Carl trains Make Some Luck, a gelded son of Camluck, for owner 1140545 Ontario Ltd. of Moffat, Ontario. Make Some Luck, who won at the Grassroots level on July 8 at Mohawk, has a pair of victories from four trips behind the gate, and he has pocketed $62,700. Make Some Luck was bred by Stan Klemencic and fetched $19,000 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale. Make Some Luck is the fourth foal out of the Western Hanover mare Mustang Kensley, a half-sister to horses such as Shake That Junk (Camluck, $388,610), a six-time OSS winner during her time on the racetrack. If interested, Make Some Luck has a Twitter account, which can be accessed by clicking here. The non-Jamieson winner on the night was Reverend Hanover (Chris Christoforou) in the Gold Series opener. Reverend Hanover, making his first appearance in the OSS, led through fractions of :26.3, :55.2, and 1:23.3 on his way to a one length victory in 1:51.1. Manny In Sports (James MacDonald) tracked the eventual winner the whole way from the pocket and finished second with Moonwriter (Randy Waples) back in third. Casie Coleman trains Reverend Hanover, a colt by Sportswriter, for owners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatam, and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, Ontario. Reverend Hanover, who was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. and was purchased for $24,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale, is a perfect two-for-two in his life with earnings of $41,000. He’s the fifth foal out of the Cams Card Shark mare Razzle My Tazzle, who is a half-sister to the likes of Manvers Short Cut (Astreos, $263,021), a one-time OSS winner in her career. This was the next-to-last regular season event for the two-year-old male pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series. They will head back to Mohawk Racetrack on September 29 to conclude things and set the field for the Super Final. For full results of Tuesday night’s races at Mohawk By OSS News .