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MILTON, ON - Ontario's most talented three-year-old trotting fillies took a star turn on TSN's Racing Night Live at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday and Princesspartypants opened the Gold Series harness racing season with an impressive come-from-behind victory in the first $73,067 division. Starting from Post 8, trainer-driver Roger Mayotte opted to ease Princesspartypants down to the rail in eighth as Shape Shifter sprinted out to an early lead. Heading for the :27.2 opening quarter the dynamics of the race changed when fan favourite Wine Rack Hanover made a break while sitting third, spreading out the fillies in her wake. Mayotte and Princesspartypants had narrowed the gap and were six lengths back when Massive Flirt reached the :56.4 half and they soon caught cover from Susies Lady, following that filly through the 1:26.3 three-quarters. Turning for home Mayotte gave Princesspartypants a clear look at the wire and the Muscle Mass filly shifted into high gear, powering home to a two and one-half length victory in a personal best 1:54.4. Shape Shifter stayed game for second and Yen closed well for third. "From the outside post and first (OSS) start, we just decided to play that route and it worked out. She's very versatile that way," said Mayotte. "I was following her (Susies Lady) there and she was throwing quite a bit of dirt up at my filly and my filly just wasn't real smooth, because the dirt was hitting her and it was obviously bothering her, stinging her. As soon as I tipped off her back she just smoothed right out, just changed gears." Mississauga resident Mayotte trains Princesspartypants for Just In Time Stable of Mississauga, R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington and Big Als Stables Inc. of Woodbridge, ON. Thursday's victory was the filly's first in two sophomore starts and marked her first-ever visit to the Gold Series winner's circle. At two she won a division of the Grassroots season opener before making the leap up to the Gold Series, finishing just shy of the point tally required for a post season berth. The second division saw freshman point leader Warrawee Vicky make her return to the Gold Series winner's circle. Lining up at Post 6, driver Doug McNair sent the fan favourite straight to the front and the duo never had to glance back, cruising through fractions of :28, :57.2 and 1:26.2 on their way to a 1:54.2 victory. Kombucha stalked Warrawee Vicky from start to finish and earned the runner-up's spoils while Mayotte and Modern Mass closed well to be third. "She seems to be good right now, we've got to do a little fine tuning to keep her straight," said trainer Scott McEneny, referring to the filly's middle of the racetrack finish. "But you know, she's got such good gate speed that she gets spotted pretty good." McEneny noted that a combination of mental maturity and newly configured equipment are helping keep the Royalty For Life daughter on an even keel and allowing McNair to better use her tactical speed. "If you'd have rolled her out of there last year, you'd just be a passenger going to the half," said the Puslinch, ON resident. "That's her biggest thing, you've got to be able to manage her." Milton resident Brad Grant owns Warrawee Vicky, who also had one prep race under belt heading into the Gold Series season opener. GP Dreamin wrapped up the Gold Series season opener with the quickest mile of the three divisions. Starting from Post 5 driver Jody Jamieson put the Cornaro Dasolo miss on the front and rang up a :27.4 quarter. With pressure coming from PL Notsonice Jamieson let the fan favourite roll to a :56.1 half and a 1:24 three-quarters and had opened up to a five length lead by the top of the stretch. Although Jamieson took his foot off the gas late, her peers could not catch GP Dreamin and she hit the wire five and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:53.3. PL Notsonice stayed game for second and Magic Cape rounded out the top three. "Jared (Bothwell) has done a great job. She's real mean and cantankerous in the barn and he deals with her and keeps her as happy as he possibly can so she can perform like she did tonight," said Moffat resident Jamieson. "She was monster kid tonight, really." Jared Bothwell trains GP Dreamin for Carolyn Polillo of Brantford, ON. Thursday's start was the filly's third of the season and she boasts a flawless record of consecutively faster wins. As a two-year-old GP Dreamin won a Grassroots leg and made one Gold Series start before her season was cut short by sickness. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Gold Series start on July 26 at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa. Complete results from Thursday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday with the Gold Series debut of the two-year-old pacing colts who will compete in Races 2 and 8 on the 7 pm program. The Milton oval will also host two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts on Saturday, featured as Races 3 and 6. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Unhurried at the start, Glider Man trotted away with the Thursday evening harness racing feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The Thursday evening top trot carried a $2,500 purse with Glider Man and driver Kenny Arsenault settling away fourth at the start while Missionoftheheart (Driven by David Dowling) set the tempo. Missionoftheheart cut out splits of 29.2 and 1:00.2 on the rain soaked oval before Glider Man started his first over attack to grab the lead at the 1:31 three-quarters and cruised home in 29.4 to win by three-lengths in 2:00.4. Hop Up (Corey MacPherson) finished second with Star Photo (Jason Hughes) third. Jennifer Doyle co-owns and trains Glider Man for co-owner and fellow Earnescliffe resident Danny Birt. Jason Hughes hit a career milestone on the evening, winning two races to hit the 1,500 win plateau in the race bike. Hughes scored the career win in race 8 with the Stephen Quinn trained Watch Me Dance in 1:59.1. Ken Murphy had three winners on the card as Killean Finale won the top pace in 2:00.1 from his father Cliff Murphy's stable. Bayside Alexis was a 2:00.2 winner for trainer Scott Dunn of Montague while Sailor Blue supplied the other victory in 2:03.2 for Cindy MacDonald of Montague. For race replays and more go to Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

CLINTON, ON - JULY 2, 2020 - Three-year-old fillies will be the stars of the show this Sunday at Clinton Raceway as the half-mile oval plays host to six $22,800 Grassroots Series divisions for the sophomore trotting fillies and the $64,700 Kin Pace Final for their pacing counterparts. Trainer Marcel Barrieau will start Th Present in the Grassroots season opener and send out elimination winner Preeminence in the Kin Pace Final. Th Present will benefit from Post 1 in the fourth Grassroots split, while Preeminence will have to overcome the outside Post 7 to take home the 2020 Kin Pace title. "Somebody's got to get it, but I wished it would have been somebody else," said Barrieau of the elimination winner's post position draw. "But what can you do." Bob McClure piloted Preeminence to a 1:58 score last Sunday, the quickest of the three eliminations, and will be back in the race bike for the final. The other elimination winners, Marzannk Hanover and High Roller Duke, will start from Posts 4 and 8, respectively. Working in the Sportswriter daughter's favour is her familiarity with the half-mile surface and her experience with outside post positions. At two she only saw the inside half of the starting gate three times in nine starts. "She trains on a half-mile track so she's used to them," said Barrieau, who trains Preeminence for Claude Baril of Mascouche, QC, Gilles Caouette of Sudbury, ON and Michel Daneault of Terrebonne, QC. "She's got a few little quirks, like you know when she tries to get in gear quick you've got to watch her, but she's got a good motor, she can go the distance and she's surely competitive with that bunch." Both Preeminence and Th Present were regulars on the Grassroots circuit last season, winning two legs each and finishing among the top five point earners in their respective divisions, but Barrieau said trotting lass Th Present was much tougher to race. "She was hard to manage. She wanted to go 100, and she wasn't easy on herself, and that's why sometimes she'd go on the run, because you couldn't control her," explained the trainer. "But she seems like this year she's so much better, so I hope - and her too, she's been trained on a half-mile track, she loves the half-mile track - so I think she'll be a good start there." Barrieau said the improvement Th Present has shown through her first two sophomore starts - both flawless, one trotted in 1:57 the other in 1:57.4 - came partly through physical and mental maturity and partly through hard work and repetition. "She grew up physically, she's stronger for sure, and then mentally I worked on her all winter to try to calm her down, and she responded pretty good," said the veteran horseman. "Last year she was a handful going to the gate and everything, now she just puts her nose on the gate and she goes at her business." Bob McClure will also steer Th Present, as he did in her June 16 and 23 starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park, for Cambridge, ON resident Barrieau and his co-owner Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueil, QC. Th Present and her three-year-old trotting filly peers will compete in Races 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 9 while Preeminence and the other seven Kin Pace finalists will wrap up the Sunday afternoon program in Race 10. The first race goes in behind the Clinton Raceway starting gate at 1:30 pm. While fans cannot be on hand to cheer for their favourite fillies, a complete live stream is available on the Clinton Raceway website and fans can download a program to play along. In addition to Sunday's Ontario Sires Stakes event Clinton Raceway will also host the two-year-old pacing fillies in Grassroots action on Sept. 6 and two Prospect Series divisions for Ontario Sired youngsters, the two-year-old trotting fillies on July 12 and the three-year-old pacing colts on July 19. A complete schedule can be found below. Clinton Raceway Race Date Post Time Age/Sex/Gait Race Type           Sunday, July 5 1:30 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Grassroots Series           Sunday, July 12 1:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Trot Prospect Series           Sunday, July 19 1:30 pm 3-year-old Colt Pace Prospect Series           Sunday, Sept. 6 1:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Pace Grassroots Series           From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This past Sunday, 23-year-old Samuel Fillion scored his first victory as a professional harness racing driver and now he is hungry for more. Competing in the last race Sunday, Fillion, who hails from Mont-Joli, led from start to finish with the pacer D J Power, winning in 1:56.2 at the Hippodrome 3R. Fillion was patient. He was able to get to the front with D J Power, then rate the best fractions for his horse, keeping his composure as he did last year on the Quebec Regional Fair Circuit. Driving harness horses the past five years at the fairs has seasoned Fillion in his quest to become a professional driver. Last year he blossomed and earned his license, starting in 87 races with 18 wins, 11 seconds and 14 third place finishes, good enough for a strong Universal Driving Rating (UDR) or batting average of .331. Now comes 2020 and Fillion is off to a great start. In four drives he has one win and two third place finishes and his UDR is an impressive .416. "The racing world is sometimes cruel," Fillion said. "I heard comments that I was not able to win a race at H3R. Now it's done and I'll do my best not to be last again. "On Sunday, Fillion explained. "I thought I was going a long way behind Pascal Berube (Stock), but the opposite happened. I know this horse well, I even jogged him last week and I knew he was good, and on Sunday afternoon he showed it to everyone. I am very happy that this first victory is behind me. I will do my best to justify the confidence of the people who will put my name on their horses." Fillion has earned the respect of owners and trainers that on Friday's program at H3R he has three drives and one drive on Sunday, back aboard D J Power. "My father had racing horses when he was young," Fillion said. "My grandfather was a blacksmith at that time. After several years without horses, my dad bought a gelding, Classic Mondial. I was 14 when I start taking care of this horse. He performed well and that gave us the taste to continue and to buy others. "Now," Fillion added. "I also have the opportunity to learn with my father-in-law, Jean-Marc Roy, and my brothers-in-law Louis-Philippe Roy and Pierre-Luc Roy, and I am very grateful for their expertise they share with me." Fillion has a drive in the fifth race Preferred Trot on Friday. It's aboard Lucky Promesses from the far outside post eight. A tough position for any horse to overcome. Last week Fillion was able to get a third-place finish with Lucky Promesses. From the outside post this week, Fillion will need to find some good live cover to help keep him in the hunt. "The mare raced well last week for her first start of the year," Fillion said. "despite her post 8 this week if she had a good mile in her she can do well. We will see." The race favorite is stablemate Holiday Party (Pascal Berube), who was second in the top trot last week. Isabelle Binet trains both horses. "He is a young man from the same place as me," said driver Pascal Berube of Samuel Fillion. "I lent him Fortune Fella for a final in Trois Rivières two years ago, and he won. There are not many horses to drive in the early days of our career, so I wanted to help him and we needed someone to drive Lucky Promesses." Other contenders in the field include Caroluzzo (post one), who was a 2:02.4 winner last week and is moving up in class, the front-end speedster R Rkadabra (post three) and Voodoo Man (post six). When asked who his favorite driver is in harness racing, Fillion was a little bias. "Louis-Philippe Roy is my favorite driver," Fillion said of his brother-in-law. "He started in fairs like me and now he's one of the best drivers in all of Canada. Also, I like his style and the way he sits on the bike." First race post time on Friday is 4:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

ELORA, ON - JULY 1, 2020 - After sweeping the three-year-old trotting colt Gold Series season opener, trainer Ben Baillargeon turned his attention to the Grassroots Series at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening and delivered two more victories. The Guelph resident kicked off the Canada Day program with a victory as No Time To Play and driver Sylvain Filion rolled through fractions of :28.3, :58.2 and 1:29.1 on their way to a 1:59.1 score in the first $22,800 division. Hetalkstoangels finished three and one-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite in second and Mr Arch rounded out the top three. "He's still very green, very dumb, and you can quote me on that too. I told Sylvain, 'Be careful when you come on the track I don't know if he'll go straight or turn'. The trot is there 100 per cent, the trot is there, he trots nice, but his mind wanders around," said Baillargeon. "I didn't know how to rig him tonight when I came here, and I changed the rigging after I warmed him up. I said, 'Well, if we get through the first turn then we're okay'. I think he's got everything to be a very nice horse down the road you know, like a four-year-old. He's got the speed, he trotted 1:55.4 his second lifetime start." Wednesday's outing was just No Time To Play's third lifetime start. He made his debut in an overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 9, finishing fourth, then delivered a second-place effort on June 16. Baillargeon trains the son of Kadabra for Ecuries Daniel Plouffe Inc. of Bromont, Jean Dessureault of Candiac and Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff, QC. Eight races later Baillargeon and Filion capped off the evening with their second victory. Like his stablemate, Ongoing Royalty controlled the tempo from start to finish, posting fractions of :29.2, 1:00 and 1:29.1 before hitting the wire three lengths the best in 1:59.1. Dart Guy finished second and King Of Hearts was three more lengths back in third. "A friend of mine (Sylvio Ravary) owns him, we were raised together, and he said Ben I have this colt and he might be okay and this and that. They sent him to me about five, six weeks ago. They had him trained on the farm track in Quebec in 2:06," said Baillargeon. "He raced real good tonight. He's still a very green colt, but a good gaited colt and willing to do it, so that's nice." Les Cedres, QC resident Sylvio Ravary shares ownership of the Royalty For Life son with Andre Desrochers of St-Hughes, QC. While No Time To Play and Ongoing Royalty were making their Ontario Sires Stakes debuts on Wednesday, the other three division winners were regulars on the Grassroots circuit last season. The second division winner, Ripped And Ready, was a Grassroots winner at two and qualified for the Semi-finals. Grand River fans sent the colt off as their top choice and driver Guy Gagnon engineered a front-end effort that saw Ripped And Ready hold off a charging Fit Bitt in the stretch to record a 1:58 victory. Franks Angel rounded out the top three. Thierry Vandenplas trains Muscle Mass son Ripped And Ready for owner-breeder Dr. Ruth Irving of Russell, ON. The winner of the third split, Awesomedabra, was a two-time Grassroots winner as a freshman, with one of those wins coming in the Semi-finals. On Wednesday the Kadabra son had to overcome a mid-race miscue and lay down a :28.4 last quarter to get a head in front of Pot Stock at the 1:59 finish. Titans Dream finished one length back in third. "Unfortunately he made a break going to the half on a loose part of the track, luckily he was strong enough to overcome it," said Chris Christoforou, who drove the gelding to the win for owner-trainer Gary Lance of Port Perry, ON. "He got back into contention at the head of the stretch - he got out wide in the lane where the footing was better - and had enough to get his head in front at the wire. He raced very good." Unlike Ripped And Ready and Awesomedabra, Remember Titans never found his way to the winner's circle in his freshman campaign, but the E L Titan son was consistent enough to make it all the way to the Grassroots Championship. On Wednesday, he finally visited the winner's circle with a front-end effort in the fourth $23,150 division. Crossfit Mouse was three lengths back when Remember Titans halted the teletimer at 1:58 and The Reins Of Titan was another length and one-half back in third. "Until tonight he was the best maiden in Canada I think," said trainer Shawn Steacy with a chuckle. "He's just a solid trotter. Until tonight he didn't have a nose for winning, that's all. But ultra-consistent, can get around any size track and kind of will do as much as what any horse around him will do. I'm hoping that he starts to like this winning thing, hopefully it becomes a habit." Steacy trains Remember Titans for Landmark 12 Racing Stable of Lansdowne, A K Malik Stable of Ottawa, ON and Dale Larson of Kent City, MI. James MacDonald piloted the colt to his first lifetime win. The three-year-old trotting colts will make their second Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 16. On Friday, June 17 Grand River Raceway will host its second Ontario Sires Stakes event of the 2020 season, welcoming the two-year-old pacing fillies to Elora for their second Grassroots leg. Complete results for Wednesday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

SUMMERSIDE, PE - A power move to the front in the opening panel sealed the deal for Flash In The Pang as he walked away with the Canada Day Pace on a special Wednesday afternoon card at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. Leaving from post 3 for driver Kenny Murphy in the $2,300 Canada Day feature at the Prince County oval, Flash In The Pang brushed to the lead before the opening quarter and waltzed through splits of 30.1, 59.1 and 1:28.1 before opening up by four-lengths to win in 1:57. Slide Guitar (Driven by David Dowling) was second while Hemingway (Adam Merner) finished third. Molly Murphy trains Flash In The Pang for owner Hughie Murphy of Augustine Cove. Dowling took control of the leader's board for drivers at the Prince County oval with two wins on the card but it was the 'Blue Knight' Jason Hughes who scored a driving grand slam to bring himself to 1,498 lifetime victories in the bike. Hughes opened the card winning with his own Roxy Lund in 2:01.3, followed by Phil Dorleans in 1:59.1 for Donald Milligan of Tyne Valley, Southfield Sandy in 1:57.4 for Glen MacKay of Summerside and closed the card out with Noudidnt Blue Chip in 1:57.1 for trainer Jonah Moase of Warren Grove. Total wager was $31,615. For more information go to Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

The staff at Harnesslink wishes a Happy Canada Day to everyone.

The Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) is pleased to announce an expanded line-up of Facebook Live Shows for 2020 which will showcase 12 major event race days from across the province. The Facebook Live Series will kick off this Sunday afternoon at picturesque Clinton Raceway with coverage of the track's signature event, the $64,700 Kin Pace for three-year-old fillies. The 90-minute broadcast will also feature a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for three-year-old filly trotters. "COSA is pleased to be able to continue our Facebook Live Series with even more shows this season," said the association's President Bill O'Donnell. "We've seen the audience for these shows continuing to grow and this platform allows us the flexibility to broadcast from various tracks throughout Ontario. It gives us a chance to showcase their special event days to a broad audience of race fans and industry stakeholders." CUJO Entertainment will produce the shows and each 90-minute broadcast will feature live races, interviews, features and the ability to engage with viewers in real time through questions, comments and contest giveaways. Greg Blanchard, Mark McKelvie and Jaime MacDonald will serve as the show's hosts. "We are really looking forward to bringing a high quality production to these big race days," said Curtis MacDonald who owns and operates CUJO Entertainment. "When possible, we will incorporate some of our new technology like the drone camera and the cable camera into the broadcasts in order to enhance the viewer's experience. We want the audience to be entertained and engaged." The live stream can be accessed by subscribing to the COSA TV YouTube page which also gives fans access to other feature content. The shows will also be broadcast on COSA TV's Facebook and Twitter channels. A tentative schedule of 12 Facebook Live events is listed below. For complete details, visit www.cosatv.ca. Kin Pace Final - Clinton Raceway (July 5) Battle Of Waterloo - Grand River Raceway (Aug 3) Des Smith/Earl Rowe - Rideau Carleton/(Remote) Georgian (Aug 16) Balanced Image - Hanover Raceway (Aug 22) Canadian Pacing Derby/Maple Leaf Trot - Mohawk (Sept 5) Wellwood Memorial Final - Mohawk (Sept 12) Canadian Trotting Classic - Mohawk (Sept 19) Confederation Cup - Flamboro Downs (T.B.D.) Mohawk Million/Metro Pace - Mohawk (Sept 26) Grassroots Final - Mohawk (Oct 10) OSS Super Finals - Mohawk (Oct 17) SBOA Finals - Mohawk (Nov 14) by Greg Blanchard, for Western Fair

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A Maritime Champion faces off with a grizzled harness racing veteran in the Thursday evening top trot at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 11-dash Thursday card kicks off at 6 P.M. with the $2,500 featured trot lining up in race 7. The fastest Maritime bred trotter ever on the East Coast, Daisy River, will leave from post 2 in the class with Walter Cheverie back in the bike for owner-trainer William Lanigan of Montague. The five-year-old daughter of Nikes Image set the record two starts back winning in 1:58.1, then followed it up with a third place dead-heat finish against the boys the next week. Star Photo has post 5 in the field for trainer-driver Jason Hughes after putting together a string of top three finishes the last three weeks but has so far been unable to knock off 'trotting King' Freddie, who is not entered to race this week. Glider Man gets the respect of morning line favourite from post 4 for driver Kenny Arsenault and conditioner Jennifer Doyle after a front-end mission in his latest to finish second in 1:58.3. Race analyst Les MacIsaac will side with Star Photo for the win column in light of Freddie's absence. "Star Photo has gone three starts this year without a win which is an eternity for one as photogenic as he is," MacIsaac said. "We'll look for him to dispose of that goose egg tonight. "Other entries are Hop Up (To be driven by Corey MacPherson) and Missionoftheheart (David Dowling). The top pace of the evening lines up behind the gate in race 10 for a $2,200 pot with Southwind Ion dropping out of the Open Fillies and Mares class to earn the title of morning line favourite. Driven by Hughes for trainer Doyle, the six-year-old daughter of Sportswriter is owned by Danny Birt of Earnescliffe in partnership with Doyle. Much Adoo has garnered minor shares in all four of her East Coast starts, all at the Open level, and drops down a notch on Thursday for driver Brodie MacPhee and trainer Ron Matheson. Sophist leaves from post 4 in the class as rookie driver Taylor Doyle will look for his first lifetime win in Charlottetown. Go to Redshores.ca for race programs and live video and wager online at HPIBet.com. By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores  

MILTON, ON - JUNE 29, 2020 - Just over eight months since her last appearance at Woodbine Mohawk Park, three-year-old pacing filly Alicorn returned to the Milton oval on Monday evening and marched straight back into the harness racing winner's circle. Making her sophomore debut in the first of three $73,067 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions, Canada's Two-year-old Pacing Filly of the Year eased away from Post 5 as Betalady led the field to a :26.2 opening quarter. After sitting briefly on the rail in third, driver Louis-Philippe Roy sent the fan favourite to the front and Alicorn rolled on to a :55 half and 1:23.3 three-quarters. Lauras Love and Rose Run Victoria mounted an attack in the lane, but Alicorn held them off for a three-quarter length victory in 1:50.4. "To come off of an eight month layoff and have to pace 1:50 and change her first start, that's not easy for any horse," said Chantal Mitchell, who trains Alicorn for Windermere Stable LLC of New York, NY and Robert Muscara of Ivyland, PA. "She did the vast majority of the work in there tonight. I don't know if she could have gone faster if she was pushed, but she did what she had to do and I'm quite happy with her." To watch the race replay click here.  The Bettors Delight daughter came into Monday's Gold Series season opener off a trio of qualifiers on June 4, 11 and 18, with the most recent clocked in 1:52.2. Mitchell was confident that Alicorn was ready, but the Waterdown resident was still happy to get the win in the books. "There's always a lot of expectations. When the stakes schedule came out and she didn't have any races for a month then I scratched her from the (May 29) qualifier, and it was, you know people were losing their minds," Mitchell recalled. "They said, 'What's wrong with her?' It's fine, it's just I don't have anywhere to race her so I'm not going to qualify her this week, we'll qualify next week. I mapped out a plan for her after I had a stakes schedule so then it was - because everybody was questioning what I was doing - it was, hopefully I made the right decision." The winner of $536,907 wintered in North Carolina and Mitchell said, while she did not grow taller, Alicorn did fill out and looks stronger than she did as a two-year-old. "She's a lot thicker. She filled out a lot, and I think she filled out quite a bit just in the last two months. With all this extra time it did her some good. A lot of people were calling her fat tonight. I said it's a good thing she doesn't care what other people think because she would develop a complex," said Mitchell with a laugh. "It's like I said to one of her owners, it'll take a couple more of those 1:50 miles to get her back to her fighting weight, but she's starting in a good spot." Sex Appeal also started her sophomore campaign in a good spot, finding the OSS winner's circle for the first time. The Bettors Delight daughter and driver Trevor Henry caught the pacesetting Rose Run Vantage in the stretch to record the victory in a personal best 1:51. Fan favourite Rose Run Vantage settled for second and Saulsbrook Raven was third. "She's a nice filly, she's just starting to learn how to race. She grew up a lot from last year," said Henry, who drives Sex Appeal for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington. "Hopefully she keeps it up." To watch the race replay, click here. A Grassroots competitor at two, Sex Appeal now has three wins to her credit in four sophomore starts. The final Gold Series division went to All Day Sunshine and driver James MacDonald, who tracked Probert through the mile and then circled the stalled favourite in the stretch. All Day Sunshine sprinted all the way to the wire, getting a nose in front of So Delightful in a 1:52 personal best. Keystone Kalimba completed the top three. To watch the race replay, click here. "I was hoping to find a nice trip with her and get as much as we could, but Dan (Lagace) has the horse great and the trip worked out," said MacDonald. "When I gave her some racetrack, she did the rest." A Gold winner at two, Sunshine Beach daughter All Day Sunshine is owned by trainer Daniel Lagace of Cambridge, Christopher Nicol of Caledonia, ON and Billy Joe Timmins of Birmingham, GB. The three-year-old pacing fillies will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 17 for their second Gold Series Leg. Complete results for Monday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - June 29, 2020 - The speedy five-year-old mare Hev Livvy continued her recent hot-streak by stepping up to capture a loaded harness racing edition of the $36,000 Preferred Trot on Monday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. An accomplished field of 10 lined up for the top-level trot with Ben Baillargeon's duo of Musical Rhythm and P L Jill carrying favourite-status, while Hambletonian winners Forbidden Trade and Marion Marauder were also in the field. Striding to the top from an outside starting spot, P L Jill fronted the field through panels of :27, :55.1 and 1:23.3. Muscial Rhythm followed his stablemate with a two-hole trip. Marion Marauder committed first-up from fifth trotting around the final turn, with rivals angling out to latch onto cover. Hev Livvy and driver Trevor Henry got stacked up in the outside flow, sitting sixth and five-lengths off the lead turning for home. In the stretch, P L Jill looked to step away from rivals and opened up a couple lengths. Hev Livvy delivered a strong stretch-rally, surging by rivals and nailing her fellow-mare P L Jill at the line to win by a head in a career-best 1:51.2. To watch the video race replay, click here.  Mass Fortune K came through to finish third, while Forbidden Trade rallied from ninth with a :26.3 final-quarter to finish fourth in her second start of the season. Trained by Jeff Gillis, Hev Livvy has been known for being streaky over the past couple of years, strining together miscues, but also top results. The five-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover has now won two of her last three starts, mixing a runner-up finish in between. Hev Livvy is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock, Ellen Ott and Trevor Henry. Monday's victory increases her 2020 earnings to $54,640 and career earnings to $199,563. A $2 win ticket on Hev Livvy returned $14.30. Live racing continues Tuesday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment          

ELORA, ON - JUNE 29, 2020 - Chocolate Pie is more than just a harness racing starter in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, July 1. The three-year-old trotting colt is a building block in trainer Kyle Bossence's long-term plan to shift his stable toward developing and racing young horses. "That's the game plan. I kind of grew up around (Gregg) McNair's and that's what I know. I got to train a lot of babies down around there," said Bossence. "That's kind of the goal, but I mean you've got to start somewhere, right. The racehorses help, in the wintertime, help pay for the babies." Currently ranked second in the trainer standings at Grand River, Bossence has sent out 18 starters in the last month and won five races. Chocolate Pie was among the winners, going gate-to-wire in 2:01.4 on June 17. One week earlier the Archangel son finished second in his sophomore debut and Bossence is hoping the trotter is on track for a more consistent season than he delivered at two. In his freshman campaign Chocolate Pie recorded one win, one second and one third in seven starts for earnings of $13,800, qualifying for the Grassroots Semi-final where he made a break and finished tenth. "He won his first Grassroots last year with no trotting hopples or nothing on, but as he progressed he just got a little warmer and needed the hopples just to kind of keep him sensible," said Bossence, who purchased Chocolate Pie from the 2018 London Selected Yearling Sale for $17,000. "And he really started to grow halfway through the year and that kind of hurt his two-year-old season." Chocolate Pie will make his sophomore OSS debut from Post 7 in the fourth $23,150 Grassroots division on Wednesday. Regular reinsman Colin Kelly will steer the colt, facing off against a field of eight that includes 2019 Grassroots finalist Remember Titans from Post 1 and 2019 Gold Leg winner Crossfit Mouse from Post 3. "He's matured a lot and he grew a lot and filled out, so we hope for some luck. I was hoping for a little better post position, but we'll see how he makes out," said Bossence. "He's good on a half, but I mean post position can really help you on a half-mile track." In addition to Chocolate Pie, the Arthur resident has three other sophomores and six two-year-olds in his stable. Bossence has been pleased with the progress of some of his two-year-old pacers and hopes at least one will prove talented enough to compete in Grand River Raceway's signature Battle Of Waterloo eliminations in late July. "We've got a couple two-year-olds I think are all right," said the trainer. "I've got a couple paid into the Battle of Waterloo - that's one race I've always wanted to win so we'll see how that goes - hopefully they're good enough by then to at least make the (Aug. 3) final." Chocolate Pie gave Bossence his first provincial stakes win last July and pacing colt Doc Fanelli added another in September. The trainer will be looking to add to that number this season as he makes progress toward his long-term goal. "The game plan was always to get away from the claimers," said Bossence. "Eventually it would be nice just to have the younger ones, and a few conditioned horses." Chocolate Pie and his peers will battle in Races 2, 4, 6, 9 and 10 on Grand River Raceway's Wednesday evening program, which gets underway at 6:30 pm. While fans cannot cheer the trotting colts on in person, downloadable programs and a live stream are available on the Grand River Raceway website. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

MILTON, ON - June 29, 2020 - Woodbine Mohawk Park's Race Office would like to inform horsepeople that sign-up to train this Wednesday (July 1) at Mohawk Park opens later today (June 29) at 3 p.m. Training at Woodbine Mohawk Park will only be available on Wednesday this week from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Training hours will be allotted by signing up on a first-come, first serve-basis. Sign-ups will start at 3:00 p.m. Trainers are limited to no more than 10 horses per day. A limit of 50 horses are permitted in the paddock during a training time slot. Training time slots will be in 2.5 hour increments (6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.). All paddock COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place for training hours, including the requirement to have all personnel wearing a face mask. Only trainers and essential licensed personnel over the age of 16 will be permitted through the Security check point. The link to sign-up for training is available here: Sign-Up for Training at Mohawk Park. Please contact Dylan Allain with any questions at dallain@woodbine.com. Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

SUMMERSIDE, PE - Slide Guitar will try to play a winning tune in the Wednesday afternoon harness racing feature for a special Canada Day program at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. The 10-dash Wednesday card gets underway at 1 P.M. and the $2,300 featured pace lines up in race 9. Slide Guitar has rail control in the field of seven with David Dowling in the race bike fresh off a three win performance on opening day in Summerside to put him in a tie with Marc Campbell for leading driver. Dowling co-owns Slide Guitar with trainer Brittany Watts of Warren Grove. Best To Hurst has post 2 after knocking on the door at this level in recent weeks but has yet to see the winner's circle for trainer Jonah Moase this year. Jason Hughes will drive Best To Hurst on Wednesday. Hemingway has the far outside in the field fresh off a seasonal debut where he finished second to 1:55.3 winner Tobins Rebel at Charlottetown, pacing his own mile in 1:56. Adam Merner will drive Hemingway for trainer Melissa Rennie. Hemingway may be second choice in the morning line odds but gets the respect of the Backstretch Beat selections in the Red Shores Summerside race program. "Hemingway only has the one start this season but it was a fantastic one tracking along one of the nicest three-year-old colts in the region to finish second," Reads the beat. "Post 7 could complicate things but we think it can be overcome." Also in the featured field are Flash In The Pang (To be driven by Ken Murphy), Souverain (Corey MacPherson), Payback (Brodie MacPhee) and Zack The Men (Dale Spence). The afternoon back-up class hits the track in race 5 with a compact field of five vying for the $2,000 purse. JK Cowboy gets the respect of the morning line favourite from race secretary Gerard Smith. Leaving from post 1 the son of Brandons Cowboy was second in his latest outing for driver Spence and owner-trainer Greg MacInnis of Tyne Valley. Other top entries are Heart And Soul (Walter Cheverie) and Dangle Ona Dime (MacPherson). The program will see the first two-year-olds of the season in pari-mutuel action on P.E.I., with Very Well Done in race 3 for trainer Clair Sweet and Mystifying in race 1 for trainer-driver Darryl MacLean. MacPherson is still searching for win number 1,000 of his career after getting number 999 last Friday in Summerside. The Cornwall driver has six drives on the card. For race programs, live video and more go to Redshores.ca and wager online at HPIbet.com. By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores  

Grady Hachey is one of the youngest racecallers in the game, having started at age 11 and making Canadian news when he called a harness racing non-wagering card in 2017 at age 12. He also assists trainer Charlie Miles at their hometown racetrack when his school schedule allows. This year, with COVID-19 shutting down both schools and harness racing in recent months, Grady has been spending more time helping out around the barn, and was recently named a 2020/21 US Harness Writers Association (USHWA) Youth member. He originally wanted to review the well-known track where he had his first-ever experience of live harness racing, but instead chose to use this platform to promote a track closer to home, where he gained early experience as both racecaller and horseman. While he is not from a family steeped in harness racing history, Grady Hachey is part of the newest generation in a community where the sport has been contested at three different venues since 1820.  Canada’s oldest, through the eyes of its youngest. Sometimes a racetrack is more than just a place where horses run. Sometimes it’s history. For some people, it’s a second home. (I am one of those people). It can even be something people live for. Fredericton Raceway is one of those tracks. USTA records show that Fredericton Raceway opened in 1870, making it arguably Canada’s oldest racetrack. The track surface itself is loaded with history. A great deal of amazing races have taken place at the track, such as one race where the track record was broken: the 2012 Walter Dale Memorial Pace. It was won by Mcapolco (p, 6, 1:51.2s; $345,150) and driver Brodie MacPhee for trainer Jackie Matheson, in the time of 1:54.2! Fredericton Raceway is a place for people young and old to come watch races. With two big open grandstands, little kids can have a great view of the racetrack to watch the horses race, or they can go down to the fence and have the horses go by them, just feet away. I will tell you, there is something special about the racetrack. It is a gathering place at the barn area for older gentlemen who reminisce about “the good old days” and tease each other about who knows what. So many tremendous horses have come out of Fredericton Raceway, such as Flying Cowboy (p, 4, 1:50.3f; $201,937), who was developed by Charlie Miles before being sold to American owners, for whom he went on to take his record south of the border. There was also 2009 Walter Dale Memorial Pace champion All Star Dragon (p, 6, 1:50.3f; $252,835), who was developed by Stacey Gay and Everett Hansen. He went on to race in the United States and took his record there.  Despite the track not racing this year, there are still horses training down to race at fellow New Brunswick racetrack, Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John. (Note: An exhibition card was raced at Fredericton Raceway September 8, 2019, the last date the track has hosted live competition.) No matter what happens to the Fredericton racetrack, the provincial capital will always be known as “Canada’s oldest” harness racing site.  Know a young harness racing fan and/or participant who would like to share their story about the youth-friendly elements of their favourite track? The USHWA Youth Membership Committee welcomes submissions from young people (aged 21 or younger) who would like to let others know about what makes their favourite track a great place to enjoy live racing, whether now or before Coronavirus restrictions (in provinces/states where attendance is currently restricted). Please contact USHWA Youth Membership Committee Chair Melissa Keith (mkeith71@gmail.com) if interested in taking part in this project.  Fredericton Raceway, by Melissa Keith

INNISFIL, JUNE 28, 2020 - They arrived at Georgian Downs off impressive wins, harness racing fans made them the heavy favourites, and three-year-old trotting geldings Hayek and HP Royal Theo delivered the goods, cruising to victory in their respective Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series divisions on Sunday evening. Hayek led off for the Ben Baillargeon stable, starting from Post 3 in the first $105,600 Gold division, and the E L Titan son made it look easy from the moment the wings closed on the starting gate. Driver Sylvain Filion sent the gelding to the lead and Hayek rolled unchallenged through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27.1 before opening up a five and three-quarter length margin on his peers heading for the 1:55.2 finish. Your Still Up was promoted from third to second and Northern Sultan moved up from fourth to third after Port Perry made a late break in the stretch, crossing the wire second but being placed back to fourth. "He was a lot smarter tonight than he was Monday when I won with him," said Baillargeon. "I was a little bit anxious to see how he was going to behave himself, you know. He looks like he's fast enough, but he's still racing against better horses like Port Perry and company, but he was well behaved and Sylvain said, 'Geez, he was well-behaved and he was very good, very nice'. He asked him to go a little bit and he just went." The Guelph-based trainer shares ownership of Hayek with Teresa Davidson of Milton, Santo Vena of Brampton and Nunzio Vena of Bolton, ON. The partners acquired the trotter on June 8 and Hayek has now delivered two wins and $60,300 in earnings to his delighted new owners. In the second $106,400 Gold Series division, HP Royal Theo and driver Louis-Philippe Roy lined up behind Post 5. Roy eased the fan favourite away from the starting gate, allowing Horse Trader and Hot Wheelz to battle to the :28 opening quarter, and then sent HP Royal Theo to the front. Like his stablemate, HP Royal Theo was unchallenged through a :57 half and 1:26.1 three-quarters, and sailed home to a three and one-quarter length win in 1:54.1. "He's a fast horse and he's a lot more mature this year and everything," said Baillargeon. "He's pretty smart, like he could have ducked in in the four-hole, but I told Louis, 'Take your time, but don't duck. You're the best, drive him like you're the best, but take your time at the gate.' And he's getting to be very smart and very good. "I couldn't ask for anything better right now. If I can keep them both like that, with their head on their shoulders, we're going to have a good summer." Breeder Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC share ownership of HP Royal Theo. The Royalty For Life son won a Gold Leg at two and also captured the William Wellwood Memorial Final, earning $286,040. Sunday's victory boosted the gelding's lifetime earnings to $350,240. "You need some of them to pay for the ones we don't see. I have some in the field, so it's nice to get some to pay for them. It's a wheel you know, it's a big wheel. These two will keep the wheel turning for a while anyway, let's put it this way," said Baillargeon with a chuckle. "I have broodmares and I have all kinds of stuff too. Monsieur Hamel is the same thing, and Santo (Vena), he's the same thing. We dabble in about everything there is about the sport, so you need to get a few like that sometimes." The next Gold Series event for the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings takes place July 21 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, so Baillargeon said Hayek and HP Royal Theo will make one overnight start before continuing their Ontario Sires Stakes campaign. Complete results for Sunday's races are available at Georgian Downs Results. Georgian Downs will host its second Ontario Sires Stakes event on Saturday, July 11 when the two-year-old trotting colts will make their Grassroots debut. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

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