CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The battle for top harness racing driver continues into Thursday's program at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The capital oval has a 13-dash card slated for a 7 pm start Thursday evening. Jason Hughes continues to lead the driver's colony in Charlottetown with 76 victories while Marc Campbell sits in second place with 75 wins. That one win margin can disappear at any moment as Campbell has 10 drives on the program while Hughes is programmed to sit behind seven starters. Gilles Barrieau sits third in the Charlottetown driver's standins, as North America's leading percentage driver has 64 wins in 2015 from just shy of 200 starts at Red Shores Charlottetown, while Hughes has over 400 drives this year in Charlottetown. One of Barrieau's drives is in the Thursday night feature with post 4 starter Outside The Wire in the $2,100 event. Perfect Escape is the favourite with the outside post 6 in the field of half-a-dozen with Campbell in the bike for trainer Jackie Matheson and owners Jack Keenan of Stratford and Joseph Dahl of Ontario. Other entries include Oh To Be Me (Gary Chappell), Tempo Seelster (Vincent Poulton), American Captain (Kenny Arsenault) and Superbo Hanover (Gordie Hennessey). The back-up pace of the evening has Likely To Win as the morning line choice in race 12. Likely To Win has post 7 in the $1,900 contest for driver Barrieau, trainer Adam Merner and owners Blenise Young and Lester Campbell of Nova Scotia and Jeffrey Campbell of Alberta. The five-year-old son of Western Terror was a winner in this class his last two starts back in 1:56.4 with Barrieau aboard. His main competition will come from Cambest Kisser from post 2 with Hughes in the bike and Van Zant with post 4 for driver Ron Matheson. Other entries are Oakrock Almighty (Hennessey), Painted Desert (Mark Bradley), Lucky Encounter (Arsenault), Eagle Jolt (Campbell) and The Big Bite (Mike Stevenson). The evening trot class lines up in race 4 with Neal favoured for trainer-driver Brian Andrew, who shares in the ownership with William Andrew of Calgary. The seven-year-old Credit Winner stallion is dropping out of the Open ranks and draws post 6. By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores
DATE, 2015 - Harness racing trainer Dave Menary will arrive at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday evening with eight Super Final contenders, including two division point leaders, but the Cambridge, ON resident says his starters have their work cut out for them in the Ontario Sires Stakes program's $2 million season finale. "When the sheet came out, you know Free Show drawing the 10-hole, and Nvestment drawing the 10-hole, it was just a heart-breaker," said Menary of the post position results for his top two-year-old pacing filly Free Show and two-year-old pacing colt division leader Nvestment Bluechip. "Nvestment he's just risen to the occasion. He's been my favourite colt since November and he's kind of lived up to it," said the trainer, whose Ontario Sires Stakes starters have earned a program leading $802,700 this season. "His last start -- to take a lifetime mark and beat Betting Line fair and square -- we raced the whole way, we were out there to race, and we're going to be out there to race again Saturday night. We're just going to have to overcome our post." In four regular season Gold Series starts Nvestment Bluechip posted three wins and one fourth to finish with 158 points. The son of Shadow Play and Hazes Zure Bet also won his Champlain Stakes division at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 12 and has earned $219,283 for owners Menary Racing Inc. of Rockton, Michael Guerriero of Brampton, Denis Breton of Welland and Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON. The colt, a $40,000 purchase from the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, heads into Saturday's fifth race off a 1:51.1 personal best in the last Gold Leg of the season. His rivals in the two-year-old pacing colt division will line up in the order they finished in the point standings with Semi Automatic at Post 3, Voracity at Post 4, and Betting Line at Post 5. "I think the horse is as good right now as he's been all year, but I think it's the worst post he's ever had, so we'll see how those two factors together work out," said Menary, who will entrust the colt to regular reinsman Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON. "We're going out there to win, so he's going to have to work pretty hard from the 10-hole, and we'll see how that pans out." In addition to Free Show, Menary will harness two other hopefuls in the freshman pacing filly season finale, which will be the first $250,000 Super Final to go postward on Saturday. Heavenly Hill and New Jersey-based driver Tim Tetrick landed Post 4, Maniana and Guelph, ON resident James MacDonald will start from Post 9, while Free Show and Jamieson will be handicapped by the outside Post 10. Bred and owned by Tom Hill of Hamilton, ON, Heavenly Hill was a winner in the Aug. 15 Gold Leg at Georgian Downs and the Art Colony daughter heads into Saturday's test off a runner-up effort at Mohawk on Sept. 28. Unlike her stablemates, Maniana did not win a regular season Gold division, but Menary says the Sportswriter filly has been in the picture in most of her starts. William Donovan of Ft. Lauderdale, FL owns Maniana, who was a $12,000 acquisition from last November's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Free Show led her stablemates in the division standings, finishing third with one win, one second and three thirds for a total of 137 points, and the Badlands Hanover daughter was also victorious in her elimination and the final of the Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway. Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA acquired the winner of $205,773 from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $14,000 and Menary says she may be the fastest two-year-old in Ontario in a sprint away from the starting gate. "I don't think there's any two-year-old colt or filly that can out leave her," attested the horseman. "I didn't want to have to try to prove it from the 10-hole, but she can absolutely follow the car, and we've done that all year, she's been so handy. You can follow the car out of there, and leave any kind of quarter you want to leave with her, and she'll just come right back to you." Division heavyweights Thatsoveryverynice, L A Delight and Twin B Thong will make their bid for the Super Final crown from Posts 5, 6, and 8, respectively, in the second race. Two-year-old trotting filly One Too Many makes her first start out of the Menary barn in Saturday's Super Final and the trainer says he and his staff have been tinkering with the young trotter's equipment in an effort to maximize her raw speed. "She's a filly that's made a good impression on me so far. Anthony MacDonald did a very good job with her all year," said the trainer. "The filly is maybe just a step behind the best fillies, but she has a very quick turn of foot. I think I've made changes that have helped her, and hopefully they don't backfire." Guelph, ON resident Anthony MacDonald will steer One Too Many from Post 2 in Saturday's third race on behalf of Rene Allard of Milford, PA, who purchased the Manofmanymissions daughter from the 2014 Canadian Yearling Sale for $14,000. Aside from Devils Advocate, who will start from Post 3, the big names in the freshman trotting filly division will be loaded on the outside of the starting gate. Division leader Caprice Hill gets Post 7, Emoticon Hanover will start from Post 8 and Could It Be Magic has Post 9. Menary's final group of starters will go postward in the seventh race, when the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will wage the last Ontario Sires Stakes battle of their careers. Last season's Super Final champion Reverend Hanover and North America Cup Consolation winner Physicallyinclined are expected to give fans another epic battle from Posts 7 and 4, respectively, but Menary is hoping his trio can earn their share of the $250,000. "I think every colt in the race is a step behind the best two colts, so the three that I have in there, I would like to see them all get a piece of the pie, and the bigger the better," said the trainer. "This is supposed to be the glamour boy division for Ontario so they're all going to be going, they're all going to be racing, hopefully things happen and my three can all pick up good pieces." Sportsmanship will start from Post 2 for Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Denis Breton of Welland, Thomas Kyron of Toronto and Parkinson Farms of Lucan, ON, getting the driving services of Jody Jamieson. The Sportswriter gelding finished the season in ninth spot in the standings and Menary expects an off-the-pace effort from the winner of $109,890. Robert Hill and Tim Tetrick will start from Post 3 and Menary expects another solid effort from the game pacer. Hamilton resident Tom Hill owns the Jeremes Jet gelding, who has banked $172,790. The final member of Menary's three-year-old pacing trio is division point leader J Js Delivery, who posted one win, one second, two thirds and one fifth in the regular season to tally 104 points. The Jeremes Jet gelding battled hard all season and the trainer does not expect things to change in the season finale. "It's just been ultra-tough all year. He's gone a lot of hard trips and he's been going a long time," said Menary, who trains the winner of $222,031 for owner-breeder Robert Hamather of Exeter, ON and will entrust the lines to James MacDonald. "I think from the eight-hole we're going to be going for it. We've given him a lot of hard trips; I don't think we're going to stop now." In addition to being treated to eight outstanding Super Final battles on Saturday evening, Woodbine Racetrack fans will also receive an Ontario Sires Stakes ball cap with their program purchase. The evening's first race goes postward at 7:25 pm, with the eight $250,000 Super Finals featured in Races 2, 3, and 5 through 10. For the full program click here. Ontario Horse Racing
Monticello, NY --- For the third time this season North America’s greatest harness racing traveling roadshow, the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series, has ventured to Canada, this time for races at Flamboro Downs on Sunday (Oct. 4) and at Woodbine Racetrack on Monday (Oct. 5). At Flamboro Downs, Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford visited the winner's circle again when he guided Grandprix Seelster to a front-end victory in a time of 2:01.3 and at Woodbine “Racin’ Jason” Sgrignuoli won with E L Rock in a swift 1:56.1. In his trot over Flamboro Downs’ double oval, Oldford hustled his trotter away from post four with hopes of finding a hole down along the pylons but when nothing materialized he kept Grandprix Seelster going forward. “When I couldn’t find a hole on the first turn I sent my horse to the lead and after we made the front he was on cruise control the rest of the mile,” Oldford related by telephone after the race. A soft early fraction of :31.1 helped Oldford on his quest for victory. Once on top his horse trotted nearly :30-second quarters the rest of the journey and cruised home an easy four length winner in 2:01.3 over Tymal Fireitup, driven by Jason Sgrignuoli. Despite making a break behind the starting gate, “Howie the Horse” Gelfand garnered the show dough with Winem. The race winner, an altered son of Federal Flex, owned by Glengate Farms, Goldfinger Stables and his trainer, Patrick Hunt, paid $11.60 for win. And for Oldford, an automobile manufacturers rep from Croswell, Mich., it was his 12th seasonal driving victory and the 109th of his amateur career. After a second place finish at Flamboro Downs “Racin’ Jason” emerged victorious at Woodbine, winning with E L Rock, which made the second time -- in just two chances -- that he won with the 7-year-old Yankee Glide gelding in Billings competition. He reined E L Rock to a Billings victory at Mohawk Racetrack in mid-September. After a soft start where he got away in fourth position, Sgrignuoli moved for the lead but he was rebuffed by “Bullet Bob” Davis who was up behind Blush And Crush. “I fell in fourth place in the early going and sat there until we passed the half. At that point I pulled my trotter and was looking for the front but Bob Davis wouldn’t let me go, so I tucked in behind him and in the stretch my horse out-trotted his and we won it by a length,” Sgrignuoli said via telephone. Blush And Crush finished second and Strong Hope was third for Howie Gelfand. E L Rock is owned by Mark Herlihy and Robert Lovett and trained by Herlihy. He returned a $5.90 win mutuel. For Sgrignuoli, an electrician by trade from Dorval, Quebec, it was only his eighth drive this year but his second victory and seventh in his career, which includes just 66 amateur drives since 2007. John Manzi
The Breeders Crown, harness racing's 12-race US $5.8 million divisional championship series, rolls into Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada on Sat., Oct. 24. Even as the final Grand Circuit week at Lexington's Red Mile gets underway, there are still several divisional titles up for grabs among harness racing's elite. It's decision week for foreign invitees to the $500,000 Breeders Crown Trot, supplements and eligible entries for the Crown races. Any invited foreign trotter must enter in advance of supplements and regular entries, on Monday, Oct. 12, by 10:30 a.m. at the Mohawk race office. Supplements are due and payable by noon on the same day, and are only accepted for the 3-Year-Old and Open Events. There is no supplemental provision for two-year-olds. Regular entries for all other horses kept eligible by the required sustaining payments in 2015 are due Tuesday, October 13, by 10:30 a.m. at the WEG race office at Mohawk Raceway. Eliminations, if necessary, will be raced on Friday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 17. For supplemental amounts and all conditions and details of the race, please call Moira Fanning at 609-371-2211 or Scott McKelvie at (905) 854-7805, or visit www.Hambletonian.org.
London, October 5, 2015 -- The newly-created Oktoberfest Classic Invitational Pace will go this Friday night at The Raceway in London, Ontario as part of the first ever Oktoberfest harness racing celebration which is happening at the Western Fair District over the course of the next two weekends. Six starters have been confirmed so far for the $50,000 event, including a pair of Molson Pace starters from this past May - Evenin Of Pleasure and Lets Drink On It. The latter is coming off a strong third-place finish behind State Treasure in this past weekend's $180,000 Dayton Derby. Joining the pair will be recent Little Brown Jug finalist Rockin In Heaven and this year's Wall Of Fame Pace winner at The Raceway Champagne Phil. Also confirmed are Push Back, a regular in the WEG Preferred ranks and local pacer Buckeroo who has twice been a winner in 1:50.2 this season at Mohawk. The race office will finalize the final two spots prior to Tuesday morning's draw. The Oktoberfest Classic is part of a fun-filled night that will include 850 Scratch N Win prize giveaways, The 'Dachshund Dash' weiner dog races, German food offerings and First Bet Is On Us and Wanna Drive teams both on hand. Each program purchase will also entitle customers to reduced admission into the Oktoberfest Beer Hall next door at the Western Fair District's Metroland Media Agriplex. For full event details, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard
London, Ontario, October 1, 2015 -- Trainer Mark Horner of St Marys, ON said he and other horsepeople are hoping The Raceway at The Western Fair District’s 2015-16 live harness racing meet can build on momentum achieved last season when overall and per race wagering were up nearly 20 per cent. “They’re really pushing the handle and getting the bet in the right place,” Horner said. Tuesday night (Oct. 6), racing will return to the London, ON half-miler and Horner said he couldn’t be happier his home track is re-opening. “It’s good for horseman in the western end (of Ontario),” Horner said of The Raceway, which is the signature track that covers that region. “The proximity is good and they treat everyone as fair as they can and the management works really hard… They try. I think they’re really interested in racing horses and that’s first and foremost for us.” The Raceway will feature live racing three days a week through 2015 with cards on Mondays and Tuesdays with a 6:15 p.m. first race post and Fridays with a 7:15 p.m. starting time. The plan currently calls for racing to be held four-days-a-week at The Raceway in 2016. Tuesday’s Opening Night card will feature customer appreciation draws, the track’s popular Survivor Handicapping Challenge and the opening of the Annex to preview some of the new food items that will be available for Monday night cards being dubbed Pub Night. The Friday, Oct. 9 card will feature the inaugural $50,000 Oktoberfest Classic Invitational Pace for the best local aged pacers and a long list of promotions, including German food offerings at the Top Of The Fair and Homestretch Grill, a special keg tapping ceremony with selected fans, a Dachshund Dash wiener dog race and 850 ‘scratch and win’ prizes with the purchase of a race program. As well, the First Bet Is On Us team will be site and the Wanna Ride team will give fans a chance to tour the oval in a two-seated jog cart. The Oktoberfest Classic is part of a larger Oktoberfest celebration being held at The Western Fair District for the first time. Raceway Manager Greg Blanchard said a new state-of-the-art video board should be placed and operational before the end of October. It’s part of some $1 million in renovation upgrades that will be made at The Raceway this year. Horner said The Raceway made big gains last meet by writing “quality cards and putting the best out there they can. It got the handle going in the right direction.” The trainer said he likes just about everything about The Raceway, including the convenience of the paddock and the talent of race caller Shannon “Sugar” Doyle, who spent the summer calling thoroughbreds at Fort Erie. “We missed Sugar in the summer,” Horner said. “He has really caught on there as a top-notch race-caller and I think he’s really helping the product. It shows and now people are following the races. It makes you feel good. Horner said he’s excited about Tuesday’s Opening Night for more reasons than a 30-minute proximity to his farm. “You’re busting around all summer to places that don’t seem to have the same following,” he said, adding there is a positive vibe at The Raceway these days. “Everything’s working in the right direction, everything’s going well. Important Dates this Fall at The Raceway: October 6 – Opening Night for Live Racing October 9 – Oktoberfest Classic October 12 – Thanksgiving Day Racing October 23 – Forest City Preview October 25 – Forest City Yearling Sale December 26 – Boxing Day Racing December 31 – New Years Eve Racing Greg Blanchard Racing Manager 519-428-7203 (ext. 239) firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlottetown, PE - The Atlantic Breeders Crown host committee today announced a panel session has been added to the Atlantic Breeders Crown weekend which will be held October 9th to 11th weekend. At the Atlantic Breeders Crown Banquet, Saturday, October 10, at the Rodd Royalty, Charlottetown, four of the most successful stakes competitors in Atlantic history will share their stories of involvement in racing, and their views on the growth and development of the Atlantic harness racing and breeding industry. Panel members are Kenny Arsenault, Gilles Barrieau, Clare MacDonald, and Earl Smith. The ABC Banquet will also again recognize four Atlantic Families for their lifetime of success in racing, as well as the participants in the ABC Finals. Tickets are $30.00 and are available from the Red Shores Rewards Desk and the Charlottetown Vet Clinic.
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec – With patiences at the start of the race and then getting cover live outside cover, Maximuscle and driver Mario Charron returned to their winning ways Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R, winning the feature trot. Having made breaks in three of his last four starts when getting behind the starting gate, driver Mario Charron took his time with Maximuscle at the start of the sixth race feature. He kept the champion four-year-old son of Angus Hall off the starting gate by 20 yards and once the gate pulled away from the field, Maximuscle closed the gap and got away in fifth place. The race action was fierce from the start as R Rkadabra (Steeven Genois) went to the lead but would not allow Beer Maggs (Kevin Maguire) get to the front and the two sped in a dogfight to the opening quarter mile in a blistering :27.4 before Maguire took Beer Maggs into the second spot on the rail. There was no rest on the front end for R Rkadabra as Caroluzzo (Stephane Gendron) came first-over heading to the half mile with Charron following their live cover second-over with Maximuscle. Caroluzzo pushed R Rkadabra to the half mile in :57.3 and once in the backstretch, the pressure was too much as R Rkadabra began to fade and Caroluzzo took command with Maximuscle challenging on the outside. By the three-quarters in 1:27.2, the two horses were neck and neck around the final turn and then in a dramatic stretch drive, Maximuscle was able to wear down Caroluzzo to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:58.2. Somoli E (Jrome Lombart) closed to be third. It was the eighth win in fourteen starts this year for Maximuscle. He is trained by Maxime Velaye for owner/breeder Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC and paid $3.60 to win as the wagering favorite. Just as exciting as the feature trot was the eighth race pace at a distance of one and one-quarter mile with eleven starters in the field. From the start in the backstretch the fight for control of the lead was a war as Fortune Fever (Steeven Genois) has the rail but was pressured immediately by Charlie Drummond (Daniel Mondou) and from the outside eight post was the 6/5 race favorite, OK Diablo (Denis St Pierre). They went to the first quarter in :28.3 as Pierre settled OK Diablo second over, but after the half mile in :59, Pierre came back with OK Diable three-wide again, clearing Charlie Drummond, but unable to get past race leader Fortune Fever to the three-quarters in 1:28.4. Then the action headed up even more as Kesons Reign and driver/trainer Andre Champagne, who had started from post nine in the second tier and had plenty of road traffic, was able to get to the outside and they came three-wide in the backstretch as they pasted the mile marker in 2:00.2. Kesons Reign was able to clear to the lead by the final turn and then in stretch was still the strong horse, winning by one and three-quarter lengths in 2:31.1. O Diablo was second with Shesbadtothebone (Pascal Berube) third. It was the fifth win this year for the seven-year-old son of Royal Mattjesty. He is locally owned by Jean Cote and Paul Lacoursiere of Trois-Rivieres, QC and paid $10.60 to win. By Steven Wolf, for the Quebec Jockey Club
It was Super Sunday at the harness racing meeting at Red Shores Summerside featuring a stakes filled day honoring the Joe O'Brien memorial, Lady Slipper and the Atlantic Aged Mares Final. The big showdown of the afternoon went to Dixieland Band and driver Gilles Barrieau after they teamed up to fend off a fast closing Proven Desire in their respective gold division of the O'Brien. Proven Desire, under the command of Marc Campbell, took his shot when Campbell angled him out on route to the three-quarter pole with the big colts going toe to toe through the stretch but it wasn't quite enough. Dixieland Band has 11 wins from 16 starts for owners David and Aaron MacKenzie and Reg MacPherson. The colt, who toured the Prince County oval in 1:56.1, is trained by Kevin MacLean. The victory was Barrieau's fourth trip to the winner's circle. Woodmere Fullalife (Paul Langille) completed the triactor. JJ Romeo, in line to Mike Stevenson, captured O'Brien gold for owner Daniel Ross, Belfast, PE. The runner up was Bngs Express (Danny Romo) The three-year-old fillies were in action with the Lady Slipper stakes with Campbell taking both gold splits aboard Three Pink Bows and Dustylane Msvickie. This year's Gold Cup & Saucer winning pilot recorded a driving triple which included a score with trotter Paymenowpaymelater for trainer Earl Watts and owner Wade Peconi, Stanchel, PE. The stage was also set for the nine finalists in the Atlantic Aged Mares Final for $16,517 presented by Standardbred Canada. Rail sitter For All We Know knocked off race favorite Ramblinglily in 1:57.1. Gary Chappell engineered the winning drive for trainer Jackie Matheson and owner Bruce Wood, Marshfield, PE. Ramblinglily (Walter Cheverie) was second with Brodys Leona (Ken Murphy) third. For a complete list of the stakes winners go to www.redshores.ca Lee Drake
The latest edition of Harnesslink's email feature, Insider Access is out. In this edition, we ask: Is there another stallion in the world of any breed that has left the winners of close on $200,000,000? Plus we look at the format of official statistics provided by some of the associations around the world, and find some have severe flaws. We also give a hat tip to some good news coming out of Australia in the last few weeks. And if that's not all we have a brand new in-depth Stallion review of He's watching, plus massive updates to older analysis of Bettor's Delight. If you are not yet subscribed to Insider Access you can do so by filling in the below form. Sign up to "Insider Access" Full Name Email Subscribe
Charlottetown, PE - Beaus Cowboy stole the harness racing headlines after winning the $11,000 Joe O'Brien memorial gold division Saturday at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park. He was the longest shot on the board, paid $54.60 to win and had to do it from post 8. Walter Cheverie mapped out the winning trip for trainer Ron Gass and owner Alex MacPhee, Clyde River, PE by tracking sixth in the early going as the boys played hard ball up front when KD Overdrive (Gilles Barrieau) and Howmacsblackjack (Earl Smith) fired off the gate to beat favorite Heart and Soul (Clare MacDonald) through opening splits of 27.3, 58.2 with the three quarters reached in 1:29. Beaus Cowboy was fifth at the head of the stretch and picked off the leaders to win in dramatic fashion in 1:59 flat over Heart and Soul and KD Overdrive. The 8-1-5 triactor paid $790.70. Jackson K Down wired the field to take top spot in the next O'Brien gold for the Downey Stable of NB and driver Gilles Barrieau. The colt, trained by Stephen Mason, notched his eighth win from nine starts. The Lady Slipper gold splits were won by Howmacfiesty (Danny Romo) and Dixie Lullaby (Todd Trites). In other action, Mileysgotthepower (Gary Chappell), Pictonian Rachel (Mike Stevenson) won their assignments on the grassroots of the Lady Slipper Stakes. The O'Brien grassroots were captured by Dees Boy (Kenny Arsenault), JJ Jodster (Marc Campbell) and JK Cowboy (Ryan Perrot). Forever Paradise doubled up Barrieau with a victory in the Preferred Pace while Shellys Man was involved in Marc Campbell's two scores in the Martin MacDougall memorial. Majian Chester won the open trot for driver Ken Murphy, trainer James Ripley and owner Marylea Ripley, Amherst, NS. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca Lee Drake
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, October 3, 2015 - The trotters own the limelight at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday with eight going to post in the sixth race feature. While the "hit or miss" antics of Maximuscle behind the starting gate will be the main focal point of the race, there are others in the race that will be ready to pounce on any mistake he makes. Over the past two month the great Maximuscle has come upon hard times for driver Mario Charron, trainer Maxime Velaye and owner/breeder Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC. It seems that the four-year-old son of Angus Hall, who won the Quebec-Bred Series Championship at ages 2, 3 and 4 (this year) and is a career winner of $192,000 with a record of 1:54.2 this year, can't stay on stride before the start of a pari-mutuel race. Yet, he goes perfectly fine in a qualifying race. Both trainer and driver are mystified by their top trotter's strange bad habits and are hopeful Maximuscle will behave on Sunday. Despite his antics as of late, he is the 5/2 morning line favorite. Caroluzzo, the 3-1 second choice in the race from post four for driver Stephane Gendron, will be ready to pick up the slack if Maximuscle miss cues again. The six-year-old chestnut stallion by Musclesextrodier has been on a roll as of late, finishing first, second and third in his last six starts for trainer Daniel Martin. Other contenders include Beer Mags (post five), Meganou (post one) and return winner Somoli E (post six). Drivers Tournament October 11 The fourth annual Hippodrome 3R Drivers Tournament finalists will be determined on Sunday's race card. The tournament takes place next Sunday, October 11 with nine of the best drivers in the contest. Special guest invitees are Simon Allard and Robert Shepherd. They will take on the top seven drivers this season at the Hippodrome 3R. Prior winners of the tournament were Jody Jamieson (2014), Yannick Gingras (2013) and Daniel Dube (2012). Post time Sunday is 1:30 pm. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. by Steven Wolf, for the Quebec Jockey Club
OCT. 2, 2015 - Woodbine Racetrack fans got a preview of next week's Super Final as the three-year-old pacing colts delivered a pair of impressive performances on Friday evening in the last regular season event on the Gold Series calendar. Six of the top 10 point earners lined up on the starting gate in the second $105,000 Gold division and six of the nine starters had their accelerators down early. Physicallyinclined and driver Paul MacDonell won the first battle, reaching the opening quarter in a snappy :25.3. The pair looked under threat from Go Daddy Go and fan favourite Reverend Hanover in the outer lane, but Go Daddy Go made a break that pushed Reverend Hanover into the middle of the racetrack and allowed MacDonell to sneak in a quick breather for his colt. Reverend Hanover caught Physicallyinclined just before the :54.1 half and led the field to a 1:22.3 three-quarters. As the colts squared up for the stretch drive, Guelph, ON resident MacDonell fired Physicallyinclined out of the pocket and the Mach Three son rocketed down the stretch to a one-half length win in 1:50.2. Reverend Hanover settled for second after his interrupted tour of the racetrack and Drachan Hanover was three lengths back in third. "He's a tough horse," said Dr. Ian Moore of Physicallyinclined. "We got him ready in a hurry, we had no choice really, he has nothing left after these two races." After posting a record of four wins and two seconds in his first seven starts this season, Physicallyinclined suffered an injury in mid-July that saw him miss two months of action on the Gold Series circuit. The colt requalified on Sept. 18 at Mohawk Racetrack and made his first start since the injury in a Sept. 25 overnight event at Mohawk, posting a 1:51.2 win. Tied for ninth in the division standings heading into the regular season finale, Physicallyinclined secured a berth in the Oct. 10 Super Final with Friday's win, his first in Gold Series action. "All the owners were up, so they were very pleased," said Dr. Moore, who conditions the North America Cup Consolation winner for Bruce McGean of Stewiacke, NS and Sterling Feener of Sydney, NS. "We're looking forward to next week." The Guelph, ON resident noted that Physicallyinclined had an easier tour around the Woodbine oval than a number of his peers and said he will have to be back at the top of his form for next Saturday's $250,000 Super Final test. "He should be fairly fresh, but Reverend Hanover is going to be fresh too. There are several good colts in that division, it's not going to be a cakewalk for anybody," said the trainer. "It will be a tough race, that's for sure." The sophomore pacing colts also delivered a thrilling finish in the first $105,000 division, with His Boy Elroy prevailing by one-half length over Mr Carrotts and Moonwriter in 1:52. Starting from Post 5, driver Mike Saftic settled His Boy Elroy into the fourth spot and watched as Sportsmanship rang up a :26.3 quarter and :55.3 half. Just after the halfway marker Saftic sent His Boy Elroy up the outside and the Jeremes Jet son was leading the charge up the outer lane at the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Shifting into high gear in the stretch, His Boy Elroy powered by the leaders to claim his first Gold Series trophy, adding it to the Grassroots hardware he won at Mohawk on July 31. Third in the Grassroots Championship at Mohawk on Sept. 26, His Boy Elroy is not eligible to the Super Final, but runner-up Mr Carrotts and pacesetter Sportsmanship both qualified for the lucrative post season. Campbellville, ON resident Saftic engineered His Boy Elroy's fifth win in 23 starts for trainer Jean Guy Belliveau of Cambridge, ON and owner Dan MacRae of Baddeck, NS. His Boy Elroy The top 10 point earners from all eight trotting and pacing divisions will spend the next eight days preparing for the $2 million Super Finals at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 10, and if Friday's regular season finale was any indication, fans are in for a night of outstanding racing. Ontario Horse Racing
Red Shores Summerside will host a big harness racing card with 13 races and over $123,000 in purse money on the line. The historic Prince County oval is no stranger to headlines and Sunday will put some of the region’s heavy hitters on the page. First race post time is 1pm with Time Warp leading the charge in the Lady Slipper stake opener for two-year-old trotters. Danny MacDonald will handle the daughter of Neal from post 2 for owners Boyd MacDonald Produce Ltd, Daniel Ross, breeder William Andrew, Calgary, Alberta and Brian Andrew who runs the Meridian Farms East operation from Milton Station, PE. Time Warp makes her ninth start of the season and will need to keep a close eye on Da Master (Terry Gallant) from post 5. The big match-up of the afternoon comes up in race 12 when the three-old colts, dubbed the glamour boys, line up behind the starting gate in a division of the Joe O’Brien gold. Dixieland Band, with Gilles Barrieau in the bike, has drawn the rail with Proven Desire firing from post 5 for Marc Campbell. The son of Proven Lover is owned by Blair Hansen, Meghan MacDonald, John Thomas, NS. These two have been trading punches all season with Proven Desire taking top honours in their last test in the Turner at Truro in 1:57 flat while Dixieland Band, owned by Reg MacPherson, David and Aaron MacKenzie, took first place in Charlottetown at the PEI Colt stakes for trainer Kevin MacLean. The other O’Brien gold has BNGS Express (Danny Romo), Camco Titan (Campbell) and JJ Romeo (Mike Stevenson) vying for the biggest pay day. Arnold Dick, trained by track announcer Vance Cameron, lines up from post 5. The Atlantic Aged Pacing Series, presented by Standardbred Canada, has nine finalists going for $16,517. Ramblinglily goes into the event as the favorite but has to maneuver from post in the back tier for Walter Cheverie. Cheverie could opt to follow rail sitter For All We Know as they blast off the gate for position. The Jackie Matheson trainee will have Summerside’s winningest driver Gary Chappell at the controls while stable-mate General Luckypercy, who put an end to Lily’s streak last week, comes out of post 5 for Barrieau. The power-packed line up also has Romance in Camelot (Campbell), Bettim Jenny (Jeff Lilley), Best Risque (Clare MacDonald), Brodys Leona (Ken Murphy), Stayoutofmyaffair (Jason Hughes) and Rose Valley (Kenny Arsenault). I’m predicting an upset in the final. Don’t miss any of the action Sunday with nine Lady Slipper stakes, three Joe O’Brien stakes and one Atlantic Aged Pacing series final. Lee Drake
Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park and Red Shores Summerside will play host to some of the biggest stakes stars in the region Saturday in Charlottetown at 6pm and Sunday afternoon in Summerside with a 1pm post time. The Saturday program features two-year-old colt sensation Heart and Soul in a division of the Joe O'Brien memorial gold for a purse of $11,000. The Clare MacDonald trainee has won five straight which includes a track record breaking performance of 1:55.3 over the city oval on September 19th in the PEI Colt stakes. MacDonald will be in the bike in race 11 leaving off the rail for owners George and Earith Riley of Kensington, PE. The son of Western Paradise-Mighty Sassy goes into the event with $25,206 earned with six wins, a second and third from eight starts. KD Overdrive puts his four race win streak on the line from post 5 for Gilles Barrieau, trainer Stephen Mason and the Downey Stables of New Brunswick. Keen Edge (Danny Romo), Rosewood (Kenny Arsenault) JK Cowboy (Ryan Perrot) and Jackson K Down (Barrieau) listed as morning line favorites in their respective O'Brien memorial assignments. The two-year-old fillies strut their stuff in four divisions of the Lady Slipper stakes. The charm of Reserve Mines, NS, Dixie Lullaby, is the one to beat in the Lady Slipper gold. Trainer-owner Johnny Heffernan has listed Todd Trites to drive the filly who has only missed the winner's circle twice in her career. Riverboat Dancer (Mike Stevenson) and Camtizzy (Barrieau) are also listed as triactor candidates. Race analysts Gerard Smith and Les MacIsaac are split in the other gold between Shalara and Amirightorwrong. Future Edgebank and Pictonian Rachel get the top call in the Lady Slipper grassroots which carries a purse of $7,100. In other action, the Martin MacDougall memorial gets the action underway in race 1 with Celebrate Your Bet listed as race favorite for driver Jason Hughes. Hughes, who is closing in on career win 1,000, will be in the bike for trainer Nicholas Oakes and owner Douglas Matheson, Mt Albion, PE. For the complete list of entries, Les' Picks and live broadcast go to www.redshores.ca Lee Drake
OCT. 1, 2015 - Harness racing trainer Ben Baillargeon says Tessa Seelster may not be the prettiest filly to watch on the racetrack, but when it comes to grit and heart the three-year-old pacing filly has no equal. "She's a very gutsy mare, because she almost died as a two-year-old," explained Rockwood, ON resident Baillargeon. "She was on the operating table for colic surgery and the small bowel ruptured so they had to sew it by hand, and the chance of her surviving was about slim and none." Not only did Tessa Seelster survive the surgery, she went on to race as two-year-old, posting two victories in seven starts, and on Thursday evening she captured her first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy in Gold Series action at Flamboro Downs. Starting from Post 3 in the first $105,000 division, driver Mario Baillargeon of Milton, ON settled Tessa Seelster into fourth as fan favourite Solar Sister fired off the starting gate to a :27.1 opening quarter. The resinman kept Tessa Seelster in fourth through the :56.1 half and then sent the daughter of Shadow Play up the outside, reaching the 1:24.4 three-quarters with a narrow lead. Tessa Seelster stayed game down the stretch, holding off Maplelea for a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.1. Capela was well behind the leaders in third. "The half-mile is not her best asset, and she still made it today, so I am very pleased with the result," said Baillargeon, who conditions the filly for Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, QC. "Very pleased with the result and looking forward to next week." Tessa Seelster and the other nine leading point earners from the five regular season Gold events will make their next start in the $250,000 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 10. "She will try her heart out anyway, because she's a very gutsy mare," noted Baillargeon. Among the fillies joining Tessa Seelster on the starting gate at Woodbine will be Thursday's other division winner, Glamour Seelster. With Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair in the race bike Glamour Seelster fired off the starting gate from Post 2 and landed third on the rail as fan favourite Wrangler Magic led the field to a :28.1 opening quarter. The pair continued to sit third as Wrangler Magic paced by the half in :57, then circled around the leaders to take command before the 1:25 three-quarters. From there Glamour Seelster cruised home a one and one-half length winner in 1:53, with Ms Mac N Cheese and Wrangler Magic crossing the finish line in her wake. "She's a high speed filly, she can pace as fast as any horse I've driven for a piece," said McNair. "She's getting better every week." The driver's father, Gregg McNair of Guelph, conditions Glamour Seelster for Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, MI. The win, her first in Gold Series action, improved the Jeremes Jet daughter's record to seven wins, one second and one third in 11 starts and boosted her earnings to $155,033. In addition to the sophomore pacing fillies' last regular season Gold event, Flamboro Downs also hosted the regular season finale for the two-year-old pacing colts on Thursday. Two-time Grassroots winner Continual Hanover made the move to the Gold Series level look easy, reeling in pacesetter Arsenic in the stretch to post a three-quarter length victory in 1:55.1. Fan favourite Nocturnal Bluechip was hot on Arsenic's heels in third. "He's always been right on the cusp of the Gold, but it was a bit easier to stay with the Grassroots," said driver Jody Jamieson of Continual Hanover. "Tonight he was real good, and dodged (division leaders) Voracity, Betting Line and Nvestment Bluechip, which is always good." Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON owns and trains Continual Hanover, who qualified for the freshman pacing colt Super Final with Thursday's victory. The Bettor's Delight colt will require a new driver for the Oct. 10 test as Jamieson is already committed to division point leader Nvestment Bluechip, but the Moffat, ON resident says the colt is a legitimate player in the season finale. "I think he's got a good chance with the right trip," said Jamieson of Continual Hanover's prospects. "He's peaking at the right time." In the second pacing colt division, Semi Automatic earned his second Gold trophy with an effortless six and one-half length score over New Talent and Cruise Patrol. The fan favourite and driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON hit the wire in 1:55. "Semi was great tonight. He has had a great year," said MacDonald of the Badlands Hanover son. "Tonight he was pacing great, drew well (Post 2), so I moved him to the front and he controlled the race and won pretty handy." MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Puslinch, ON and his partners Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL and J and T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY. The win bumped Semi Automatic into second spot in the division standings with 142 points from two wins, one second, one third and one fifth in the five regular season Gold events. The Gold Series regular season wraps up at Woodbine Racetrack on Friday, Oct. 2 with two $105,000 divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, and then the Toronto oval will welcome the best horses from each division for the $2 million Super Final Night on Oct. 10. Ontario Horse Racing