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Three divisions of three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will kick off the 2016 Ontario Sires Stakes season Friday, May 27, on what promises to be a spectacular night of harness racing action at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The three $70,000 Gold Series divisions are part of the track's signature Molson Pace program, which features top flight racing, countless opportunities to win great prizes and a variety of ways to get close to the action. "It's a night where we want to make it a lot of fun and a great atmosphere on track, but the program itself, we want that to be the focal point and I think we've put another really strong card together," said Raceway Manager Greg Blanchard of the event, which features total purses of over $550,000. "And the OSS Golds for the colts, it's nice to really kick off the OSS season, especially in that division, on this night. These are great three-year-old colts that we're going to get to watch." One colt hoping to claim a share of the spotlight on Friday is War N Munn, who has dominated the early season stakes action on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit. The Stonebridge Regal son - bred by Arva, ON resident Angie Stiller - will be looking to add a Gold Series trophy to a collection that already includes the Count B, Diplomat and Youthful Series hardware. Jonathan Drury of Guelph, ON will steer War N Munn from Post 2 in the second OSS division for trainer Carmen Auciello of Stouffville, ON and owner George Munniksma of Washington, NJ. Among the colts hoping to keep War N Munn out of the Race 8 winner's circle are Voracity, a two-time Gold Series winner at two, and Semi Automatic, who earned one Gold Series trophy last season. Voracity will start from Post 3 for trainer Tony Alagna of Manalapan, NJ and his partners Brad Grant of Milton, ON and John Fodera of Staten Island, NY. Semi Automatic will be looking for his top gear from Post 5 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. Fans can get in on the OSS winner's circle celebrations by casting their ballot in the "Be A Winner" contest. Finalists will be drawn to represent each colt in the "Be A Winner" contest race and each finalist will receive an OSS t-shirt, ball cap and a $15 win-place-show wager on their chosen colt. Finalists will watch the contest race from the trackside winner's circle area, and the winning colt's finalist will join in the post-race victory celebrations, receiving their own trophy, an OSS jacket and shirt, winner's circle photo and a $50 wagering voucher. An up-close view of the action will also be offered by the Wanna Drive program, which puts fans on the racetrack in a double-seated jog cart, and through the Molson Pace Infield Party contest, which will give a limited number of lucky fans an opportunity to watch the racing from the infield. "We are really working with a lot of our close partners on this night - HPI, OLG, the Alliance tracks, Standardbred Canada, the Ontario Sires Stakes - and of course Molson, our title sponsor, it's great to have that partnership continue," noted Blanchard. "It's nice because they all add a lot to the night. It enhances the whole experience." The first race of the evening will be called to the post at 7:05 pm, but an earlier arrival will allow fans to take in all the trackside activities. "I would say, if you want to sort of beat the crowd, anytime from 5:30 pm on," said Blanchard, adding that there will be a guest horse greeting fans and a special giveaway for early arrivals. The $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes divisions will be featured in Races 5, 8 and 9 and the $150,000 Molson Invitational Pace will bring the evening to a close in Race 12. Further details about Molson Pace Night can be found at OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing  

Harness racing trainer Dr. Ian Moore said winning a fourth straight Molson Pace with his pupil State Treasurer would be almost beyond comprehension. “It’s been fun just to win it once. A second was a bonus and the third was just unreal last year,” Moore said. “A fourth time would be unbelievable.” State Treasurer, the 2015 Horse of the Year in Canada owned by Sally and Allan MacDonald of Prince Edward Island and their nephew, Paul MacDonald of Toronto, has drawn the rail for Friday’s $150,000 invitational at The Raceway at The Western Fair District in London, ON. The pacer’s regular driver, Chris Christoforou, will be in the sulky. Moore, a PEI native who is based in Guelph, ON during the summer, acknowledged it won’t be easy for State Treasurer to become the first horse to win four Molson Pace titles in the race’s 44-year history. Race secretary Ian Fleming has assembled a crack field of eight tough older pacers, many coming in from the United States. The field has combined earnings of nearly $9 million. That includes the $1.96 million earned by State Treasurer, who is winless in his three 2016 starts since returning from wintering at Southern Oaks Training Center in Florida. “He hasn’t been quite as good his first few starts, obviously, this year,” Moore said. “It sort of was the same thing last year. It wasn’t until about the third start that he was good at Mohawk and I really think that the first three Saturdays that we’ve been back in Ontario since April 30th the (race nights) have all been very cold. In fact, 37 degrees Fahrenheit and wet snow the last time we raced. I think some of our horses had a little trouble acclimatizing to that.” Moore said State Treasurer had some mild sickness a few weeks ago and was given five days off after his last start — a fifth-place finish in the $34,000 preferred on May 14 at Mohawk Racetrack — but the seven-year-old son of Real Desire—Ideal Treasure seems fine this week and should be raring to go Friday in London. “He seems good in every other way. He’s been sound and everything and he’s steering well this year. We hope he’ll appreciate the return to London and away we go,” Moore said. “He obviously likes that track and has done well there in the past. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to roll for the fourth time.” State Treasurer is currently tied with Jambo Dancer for the most Molson Pace victories. Jambo Dancer also won the race three straight years, taking the title in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Post positions for the Molson Pace field are as follows: 1. State Treasurer – Chris Christoforou 2. Bettor Rock On N – Jody Jamieson 3. Sunfire Blue Chip – Mark MacDonald 4. Evenin Of Pleasure – Sylvain Filion 5. Machtu N – Trevor Henry 6. Mcwicked – Randy Waples 7. P H Supercam – James MacDonald 8. All Bets Off – Matt Kakaley The Molson Pace program will also feature the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers, a quartet of City of London Series finals, a pair of Alliance Claiming Series finals and an added-purse Junior Invitational Pace as part of the undercard. Total purses for the night will be more than $550,000. There will be a number of promotions on the night, including Scratch and Win program prizes, OSS ‘Be A Winner Contest,’ Party on the Patio, a Molson VIP infield event and much more. The wagering menu has been bolstered to include a $5,000 guaranteed early Pick-3, $10,000 guaranteed early Pick-4, $15,000 guaranteed late Pick-4 and the addition of a third Super Hi-5 – all low 15 per cent takeout wagers. For more information, visit Greg Blanchard

The first of 48 nights of live harness racing kicks off at Grand River Raceway on June 1. The track was awarded the 2016 Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Of Commerce, and the season lineup reflects its award-winning ambitions. During its 13th season, the Elora, ON oval will race Monday and Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. from June 1 through September 28. The track's signature Fun & Frivolity Friday Race Nights are featured from June 3 through September 2 at 6:30 p.m. There are two exceptions to the aforementioned schedule: no racing on Friday, August 26; and post time is 1:30 on Monday, August 1. Full schedule OPENING NIGHT CONTEST Racehorse ownership is in the cards for one contest winner when Grand River Raceway awards a $500 gift certificate to The on June 1. Entries will be considered via social media shares and retweets, emailed entries and on-track entries submitted on June 1. The is a fractional racehorse ownership stable owned by Anthony & Amy MacDonald of Guelph, ON. LOCAL BIZ NIGHT Opening Night also marks the seventh annual Local Biz Night, presented in cooperation with the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce. The event hosts more than 100 local businesspeople paired with a horse in the Local Biz Night Race. Prior to the dash, guests are treated to a cocktail reception hosted by the OLG Slots At Grand River Raceway, followed by dinner and a trip to the paddock to meet their horse. JUNE 1 - BETTING CONTESTS BEGIN Grand Betting Contest - Jackpot Edition The Grand Betting Contest will be offered each Monday and Wednesday race night (34 total) starting June 1. Each nightly contest challenges players to select the winner in five races. Players finishing second and third win $25 apiece. The night's highest point-earner will be featured on the Tarmac Show later that evening where they will choose from three boxes to win $50, $75 or a jackpot minimum of $100. The jackpot builds by $25 or $50 each night the winner selects a box other than the jackpot. Survivor Contest An online Survivor Contest, sponsored by HPIbet, will be offered each Wednesday race night beginning June 1. Entry is free and the winner will receive a $100 HPI account deposit. JUNE 3 - 3RD ANNUAL MEDIA RACE Barry Finn, editor of The Rider magazine, will return to defend his title against newcomers Darryl Law of 107.5 DAVE ROCKS and Lisa Richards of Magic 106.1 FM. Award-winning equine photographer Dave Landry rounds out the field in his driving debut. The media personalities will take to the track in double-seated race bikes, accompanied by a pro driver, to compete in a half-mile dash. Race fans will vote for the winner for a shot at a $50 betting voucher. FUN & FRIVOLITY FRIDAY NIGHTS The crew from 107.5 DAVE ROCKS returns to broadcast live from the tarmac from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every Friday race night all summer long. Kids will enjoy the NEIGHbourhood, a free interactive horse education program held under the Tarmac Tent from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Programming includes horse crafts, a guided barn tour, and photo opportunity in the Winners Circle with the winning horse of The NEIGHbourhood Race. JUNE 24 - ONTARIO REGIONAL DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIP Eight of the province's best drivers compete in an eight-race competition to earn a berth in the 2016 National Driving Championship. JULY 8 - REN'S PET DEPOT WIENER DOG RACES Back by popular demand, one of the biggest events of the season features 30 Dachshunds in a bid for glory. Enjoy 4 dog races and 10 horse races, and an Agility Course provided by Diamonds In The Ruff. There are no losers, only wieners on July 8 at Grand River Raceway. Dog registration opens June 6. INDUSTRY DAY CELEBRATION Grand River Raceway features its 26th anniversary Industry Day Celebration on Monday, August 1 at 1:30 p.m. The popular afternoon card features the 19th annual Battle Of Waterloo and the 8th annual Battle Of The Belles. Other special events at Grand River Raceway this race season include: National Bring A Friend Night (July 15), Great Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Of Commerce Night At The Races (July 20), Racing Under Saddle (August 1), the Horse Name Costume Game (August 19). The final Friday night of the season offers Wanna Drive (the opportunity to drive a racehorse between the races) and a miniature horse race. RACE NIGHT BUFFET Grand River Raceway's popular $17.99 buffet will be featured every race night in the newly renovated Captain's Quarters tiered dining room overlooking the racetrack. Some dates are already sold-out and others filling quickly with group bookings. Reservations are always highly recommended by calling (519) 846-5455 ext. 247. Post time for the season-opener on June 1 is 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit Kelly Spencer

Grand Circuit harness racing trotting mares capped off an eventful May long weekend Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The first leg of the Miss Versatility Series featured two $30,000 divisions. The series for older trotting mares stops at Mohawk twice, The Meadowlands and Tioga Downs before wrapping up with the final on Little Brown Jug Day at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. A scratch in each division left fields of seven to battle in first round splits. Four-year-old Jewels In Hock and driver John Campbell took care of business in the first division with a 1:54.2 victory by 4½ lengths. The Linda Toscano trainee took command of the race on the way to the half with a fourth to first move. After posting fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.2, Jewels In Hock kicked clear from her rivals and trotted home comfortably in :28 to win as the public's choice. White Becomes Her, the leader at the opening-quarter, finished second, while MissysGa Ga crossed the wire third. A daughter of Credit Winner, Jewels In Hock won 9 of 17 starts last season and was the New York Sires Stakes champion. She finished her sophomore season with over $353,000 in earnings. The four-year-old trotting mare picked up her first win in her second start of the season Monday. Owned by KJ Stables LLC, Jewels In Hock now has 12 career victories and over $382,000 in career earnings. The Toscano trainee paid $3.80 to win. Jewels In Hock In the second division, Rockin With Dewey just held off a late surge from Charmed Life to win in 1:53.3. The Ben Baillargeon trainee flashed some early speed for driver Mario Baillargeon and got away in the two-hole behind longshot Second Sister. There was little movement throughout the opening-half with Second Sister posting panels of :28.1 and :56.3. Baillargeon angled Rockin With Dewey out of the pocket nearing the three-quarter pole, while Charmed Life was moving up towards the front on the outside. In the stretch, Rockin With Dewey took the lead and was trotting up a storm. Charmed Life was sitting a few lengths back of the leader, but in the final strides closed in to make it a photo finish. At the wire, Rockin With Dewey came out on top by a narrow margin. Charmed Life now has four runner-up finishes in five starts this season. Elegant Serenity finished third. A six-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Rockin With Dewey now has two wins in five starts this season. She is owned by Ben Baillargeon and Diane Ingham. Rockin With Dewey has had success previously in the Miss Versatility. The Baillargeon trainee won two legs of the series last year. The six-year-old trotting mare now has 16 career victories and earnings of over $523,000. Rockin With Dewey paid $5.70 to win. Rockin With Dewey The next leg of the Miss Versatility Series is set for Canada Day (July 1) at Mohawk. Also on Monday, Flanagan Memory was a repeat winner in the $34,000 Preferred Trot. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Flanagan Memory came first up around the final turn to draw even with the leader Rubber Duck turning for home. The Rene Dion trainee marched by to take the lead in the lane and score a length and a half victory in 1:53.3. Intimidate got up to finish second, while Rubber Duck was third. A six-year-old son of Kadabra, Flanagan Memory now has two wins in three starts this season after winning two of 15 starts last year and banking $299,769. He paid $3.10 to win Monday evening. Flanagan Memory Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

The post-position draw for this year's $150,000 Molson Pace was conducted during this evening's pre-game show at The Raceway in London and it was three-time defending harness racing champion State Treasurer drawing the coveted rail in his quest for an historic fourth consecutive title. The son of Real Desire may not be the intimidating presence he would have been at this time last year from post one. He has gone winless so far in three starts this season and his connections will be hoping that another trip to London will get his season back on track. Last year's runner-up, All Bets Off, drew the trailing post eight and is coming off a sparkling second-place finish behind Wiggle It Jiggle It in this past weekend's Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield Park. Here is a look at the entire field, along with their listed drivers, in post-position order: 1 State Treasurer - Chris Christoforou 2 Bettor Rock On N - Jody Jamieson 3 Sunfire Blue Chip - Mark MacDonald 4 Evenin Of Pleasure - Sylvain Filion 5 Machtu N - Trevor Henry 6 McWicked - Randy Waples 7 P H Super Cam - James MacDonald 8 All Bets Off - Matt Kakaley Friday night's program also includes OSS Gold divisions for three-year-old colt pacers, a quartet of City Of London Series Finals and a pair of Alliance Series Finals. First post for the 12-race card is 7:05 p.m. Greg Blanchard

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - The Hippodrome 3R kicks off night racing at the half mile oval Tuesday and featured on the program will be three opening round divisions of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotting horses and mares. Post time is 7:00 pm. "We have had a good start to the beginning of our season despite some rainy days," said 3R general manager Vincent Trudel. "The forecast is good for Tuesday evening, we have a strong ten-race program and fans can look forward to an improved lighting system for better viewing both live and on simulcasting." Perhaps the best match-up on the program is not even a wagering event. Between the 5th and 6th races on the card will be a non-wagering division of the Quebec-Bred Series with just three horses entered. But considering two of the three trotters entered are series champions and track record holders, the match-up will be of great interest. Featured is the 2016 debut of Maximuscle, who starts from post three for driver Mario Charron. The son of Angus Hall is seeking to become the first four-time Quebec-Bred Series champion, having won that title at age 2, 3 and 4 for the combo of trainer Maxime Velaye and Charron. Bred and owned by Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC, Maximuscle recently qualified at Rideau Carlton in 2:00.1 and last year took his lifetime mark of 1:54.2. Starting on the rail is track record holder, Seeyou Men for driver Robert Shepherd and trainer Isabelle Darveau. This gelded son of Muscle Mass took 3R by storm last year, sweeping the Quebec-Bred Series for three-year-olds and setting a track record in the final with his 1:58.4 lifetime mark. Seeyou Men looks primed for his 2016 3R debut, was raced time in his last start at Flamboro Downs in 1:57.4 and two starts back won at Flamboro in 1:59.1. Rounding out the three-horse field is Promesses Imperial for driver Jerome Lombart. The mares do battle in two divisions, carded as the 3rd and 6th races and featured are two 3R track record holders and series champions in Meganou and Viva Bayama. Meganou starts from post six for driver Jocelyn Gendron. Now age 4, the daughter of Kadabra won the Quebec-Bred Series Championship at age 2 and 3. After refusing to go behind the starting gate in her pari-mutuel debut at 3R, trainer Daniel Martin seems to have the kinks worked out as Meganou recently won her qualifying race at 3R in 2:01.2, by a half-length over rival Viva Bayama. Until her qualifier last week, Viva Bayama had been off to a terrible beginning in 2016, going 0 for 7 so far this season. She will start from post three for trainer/driver Carl Duguay. A four-year-old mare by Muscle Mass, Viva Bayama also won the Quebec-Bred Series at age 2 and 3 and last year set the track record for sophomore trotting fillies at 3R in 1:59.2. The 6th race second division features SOS Harddrive from post five for driver Pascale Berube. This four-year-old daughter of Taurus Dream is off to a strong start in 2016 for trainer Isabelle Binet with two wins in three starts at 3R, the fastest in 1:59.4. After four weeks of preliminary competition in the series, the top eight point earners return on Sunday, June 26 for their respective $30,000 finals. TRACK NOTES: After the first four weeks of the race meet, the Hippodrome 3R is doing very well both on-track and with simulcasting against prior year. Total handle is up 68.71%, on-track handle is up 33.71% and simulcasting is up an astonishing 220.46% against 2015. For a free race program and free live video feed for Tuesday's race card, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club

Summerside, PE - DBS Rosco won the Victoria Day pace in an exciting stretch battle during opening day harness racing action Monday at Red Shores Summerside. The time of the mile was 1:58.2 Kenny Arsenault engineered the winning drive for trainer Wendell Shaw and his co-owners Robbie Shaw and Derek Folland. Arsenault put the pacer on the point and rolled through fractions of 28.1, 57:4 and 1:28. The son of Santanna Blue Chip held off a fast closing Carnivore (Walter Cheverie) down the lane to notch his third win of the year. Motorino was third. It was Arsenault's second winner of the day after guiding Montana Ben to top honours for owner-trainer Mike Ramsay, Summerside, PE. Shady Kowalski, under the command of Terry Gallant, opened up the 2016 campaign at Summerside. The five-year old mare is owned by Eric Johnston, Summerside, PE. Gilles Barrieau and Marc Campbell also recorded driving doubles up to press deadline. For complete results go to Tara Myers

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - The opening round of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers saw one favorite victorious but another a half-length short of victory on Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R. With sunny skies, warm temperatures and a packed house, race fans were treated to an exciting race card highlighted by two divisions of the Quebec-Bred Series. The series features four preliminary rounds with the top eight point earners coming back for their respective $30,000 finals on Sunday, June 26. The horses were first up in the sixth race with track record holder and two-time series champion, Atomic Million AM, the 4/5 race favorite from post seven for driver Sylvain Lacaille. And they did not disappoint the crowd despite getting stung early by Mach On The Beach (Pascal Berube) to the opening quarter mile in :27.4 before taking command for good. After the half mile in :57.1, C L Art Magic and driver/trainer Yves Filion came first over and started to gain ground on the race leader to the three-quarters in 1:26.2. Then, Atomic Million AM and Lacaille felt the pressure and kicked in a :28.3 final quarter mile to hold off both C L Art Magic for second and Mach On The Beach a close third. The margin was victory was just a half-length and the time of the race, the fastest mile on the program in 1:55. It was the second straight win on the year for Atomic Million AM. The five-year-old gelded son of Million Dollar Cam is owned and trained by Alain Martin of Gatineau, QC and paid $3.80 to win. There were ten four and five-year-old mares that went to post in the ninth race Quebec-Bred Series opening round and all eyes were on Bayama Farms Wanada Bayama and trainer/driver Yves Filion. The four-year-old Western Ideal mare came to 3R just for the series off a 1:59 qualifying win at Rideau Carlton. Prior to that, in March, she scored a 1:51.4 triumph at Woodbine Race Course in capturing the $54,400C final of the Series. So rightly so she was the overwhelming 1/9 wagering favorite from post seven. The only trouble with that was that a 13-1 long shot by the name of Chaleurs Fantasy can't read the tote board. Trained and driven by Carl Duguay, Chaleurs Fantasy left from post four and took the early lead away from Big Bertha (Stephane Brosseau) before the opening quarter in :28.4. The five-year-old mare by Omar Khayam then led the field to the half mile marker in :58.4 and that was when Filion, who had been sitting in fifth place, came first-over and started grinding their way towards the race leaders. By the three-quarters in 1:27.3, it looked as if Wanda Bayama would show her class and collar Chaleurs Fantasy before the stretch drive, but that did not happen. Duguay kept his mare in gear and despite Wanda Bayama gaining ground with every stride, could not catch Chaleurs Fantasy by the finish wire as they won by three-quarters of a length in 1:57.3. Hawaiian Drummond (Richard Veilleux) was third. It was the first start of the year for Chaleurs Fantasy, who was bred and is owned by Elvage Daie De Chaleurs of Port-Daniel, QC. She paid $29.20C to win. 3R NOTES: Night live racing gets underway at the Hippodrome 3R this Tuesday with first race post time at 7:00 pm. Featured on the ten race program is the opening round of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters. There are three divisions, one for horses and two for mares. The highlight will be the first-time matchup between track record holders and series champions Maximuscle and Seeyou Men. For more information, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club      

It was a day of greats at Clinton Raceway, as the Huron County oval held it's opening card of the 2016 harness racing season. Great weather, great races and great prizes all lead to a record attendance and record handle. The 10 race card saw a wagering handle of just over $30,000. "This was the biggest opening day that Clinton has seen, almost ever" states Director of Marketing, Jessica Carnochan. "The weather was definitely in our favor, if people were on the fence, that was the deal maker". Super Sunday show fans were treated to new games between the races with lots of fun and prizes. Two lucky winners went home with a pair of tickets to see Carrie Underwood in London next week and a $500 garden package courtesy of Verbeeks Farm and Garden in Clinton. Central Huron Secondary School was able to raise just over $2800 during their trackside fundraiser. "We really appreciate the ability that Clinton Raceway has given us over the last years to fundraise, comments chair, and teacher at C.H.S.S. Leigh Melady. "The fans have continued to support us and we're great full for their generosity." Long time race caller, Frank Salive made his return to the mic for opening day, and will be back again when live racing resumes Sunday May 29 with a post time of 1:30pm. The day will belong to the Saugeen Maitland Women's Hockey Association and their Day at the Races fundraiser. A full calendar of events can be found at Jessica Carnochan  

"From great harness racing action, plus fun and educational activities for both kids and adults, this is what harness racing is all about and should be," said Celebrity Farms Sam Stathis about Mohawk Raceway's Family Fun Night Saturday. "What a great job WEG did on this night." "From the race paddock to the track apron and the clubhouse, it was nothing but big smiles and thousands of people having fun." Stathis said. "It did my heart good to see so many people exposed to harness racing the way it should be and having my horse win her division of the SBOA Stake was icing on the cake!" Stathis's Celebrity Eventsy brought him from South Florida to Ontario to watch his top three-year-old trotting filly win her 2016 debut at Mohawk. She won her $25,000C elimination division of the Ontario SBOA Stakes by three and one-half lengths in 1:54.1, equaling her lifetime mark. "Coming up here to Ontario and seeing my filly win her first start of the year was overwhelming," Stathis said, "But to have witnessed the show that the management and staff at Mohawk Raceway did was even more impressive." It was Family Fun Night at the track and in addition to free parking and admission, there was live music throughout the night, exotic animal demonstrations, a mini carnival and arcade games, children's decorating horse cookies, photo booth, mini horses on the track with children and leading Mohawk drivers, a mare and foal on display, balloon art by clowns, and to conclude the night, a fantastic fireworks show at the end of the races. "And from what I could see," Stathis said, "the betting pools were doing very well and that is important too. "I was in the race paddock and got to meet with some of the kids who were going out on the track with mini horses," Stathis said, "and each child had one of the tracks top drivers with them. This is what we need to have our young kids be able to experience the thrill of sitting behind a horse, whether it be a mini horse or a racehorse. "Seeing them on the track for everyone to check out was tremendous and very emotional for me." Stathis said. "These are experiences these children will never forget and when they go back to school on Tuesday, they will be telling all their friends about it." Stathis with his World Chariot Racing Federation (WCRF) is embarking on the WCRF pre-Olympic road to Rio world tour with the WCRF again this coming week as he is heading over to Sweden for the Elitloppet. Stathis has already been to both Greece and Italy this month, setting the stage to help reintroduce chariot racing back into the Olympics. "It was chariot racing," Stathis said, "that was the founding father of harness racing, and was the main attraction of the first Olympics ever held in Greece. With the WCRF we are working to bring racing back to the Olympics." "We will be bringing our special exotic chariots to Solvalla Racetrack in Sweden," Stathis said. "To not just show them off but educate race fans around the world. We are also raising funds for two major charities, the Special Olympics and Horses Healing Hearts and the WCRF is designing special chariots for the Paralympics too." For more information, visit "It is important for every track in harness racing around the globe to see what they did at Mohawk Raceway Saturday," Stathis added. "If we all can work together on projects like this night and what the WCRF is doing, our sport can come back from being in a declining recession and rebound to where it was 50 years ago as one of the leading sports world-wide." From the World Chariot Racing Federation

A crowd of thousands packed Mohawk Racetrack Saturday night for Fireworks and Family Fun Night and got to enjoy an action-packed ten-race harness racing card. The eliminations for the S.B.O.A Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies highlighted the card and featured the return of a pair of divisional champions. A total of 21 three-year-old pacing fillies were split into two $25,000 eliminations. The second pacing elimination featured the return of O'Brien Award winner L A Delight and she did not disappoint. The Bob McIntosh trained filly left from post-nine and dropped in fifth in the early stages. Driven by Randy Waples, L A Delight came to the outside entering the far turn and eventually was situated second-over at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, L A Delight ripped off cover and marched by her rivals to win by a three-quarters of a length in 1:52.2. Thatsoveryverynice, who was third-over around the final turn, finished second, while Lady Marina battled hard after leading throughout the middle-half to finish third. Free Show and Noone To Depend On finished fourth and fifth to qualify for next week's final. A daughter of Bettor's Delight, L A Delight was making her season debut Saturday after winning 11 of 12 starts as a rookie. The McIntosh trainee won the Shes A Great Lady and OSS Super Final last season and finished with earnings of over $704,000. L A Delight paid $2.40 to win. L A Delight Good Will Hanover delivered an impressive performance to win the first elimination in a career-best 1:51.1. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee left hard to grab the early lead, but was overtaken in the second-quarter by Mayhem Seelster. Good Will Hanover stalked behind the leader and made her move in the stretch to surge by for driver Chris Christoforou to score the victory by a length and a quarter. Mayhem Seelster finished second, while Lay Lady Lay was third. The final two horses to qualify for the final were Tonightimlovingyou and Divas Image. A daughter of Big Jim, Good Will Hanover is trained by Moore for owners GLB Stable. Saturday's victory was her first win in two starts this season and fifth overall. Good Will Hanover pushed her career earnings to over $177,000 with the victory. She paid $12 to win. Good Will Hanover A group of 22 sophomore trotting fillies were split into two $25,000 eliminations. O'Brien Award winner Caprice Hill looked impressive in winning the first elimination in 1:53.1. The Tony Alagna trainee got away fifth from post-nine and was sent first-up by driver Randy Waples heading into the first turn. Danish Darby held a length-advantage over the first-up challenger at the three-quarter pole in 1:25. In the stretch, Caprice Hill cruised home in :28 to overtake the lead and secure the victory by a length and three-quarters in 1:53.1. Danish Darby finished second, while Tymal Tempest was third. P L Jill and Moonlight Cocktail rounded out the top-five to qualify for next week's final. A daughter of Kadabra, Caprice Hill is trained by Alagna for owner Tom Hill. The sophomore trotting filly was making her season debut after a stellar seven wins in ten starts as a rookie. Caprice Hill pushed her career earnings over $600,000 with Saturday's victory. She paid $3 to win. Caprice Hill Celebrity Eventsy was an easy winner in the second elimination. The Staffan Lind trainee took the lead in the second-quarter and never looked back en route to a 1:54.1 victory. Sylvain Filion guided Celebrity Eventsy to the 3½ length victory Saturday. She finished off her mile in :28.2 to secure the victory over runner-up Flowers N Songs. Jangone finished third, while Dottie and Major Muscle rounded out the top-five. A daughter of Manofmanymissions, Celebrity Eventsy was making her season debut Saturday after posting four wins in 10 starts last season. She is trained by Lind for owners Celebrity Farms LLC. Celebrity Eventsy has earned over $239,000 in 11 career starts. She paid $2.80 to win. Celebrity Eventsy Also on Saturday, the popular older pacer Shamballa not only posted his first victory of 2016, but also the nation's fastest mile of the year. The Rick Zeron trainee took the lead on the way to half and posted fractions of :54.1 and 1:21.1 before sizzling home in :27 to win by six-lengths in 1:48.1. Shamballa was making his second start of the season and competing in a $25,000 conditioned event. A six-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, Shamballa has become a popular horse on the WEG circuit due to his signature closing speed. The Zeron trainee opted to do all the work on the front-end Saturday and picked up his 21st career win. Shamballa pushed his career earnings over $500,000 with his first win of 2016. He banked over $358,000 last season. Shamballa Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Miss Versatility first leg ,featuring two divisions, highlight the 11-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TROIS-RIVIVERE, Quebec – The $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers gets underway at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday with divisions for both horses and mares. The series will feature four weeks of preliminary action with the top eight point earners returning on Sunday, June 26 for their respective $30,000 finals. The horses are in the limelight first in the sixth race when two-time series champion and track record holder, Atomic Million AM, takes on six rivals. Last week the five-year-old gelded son of Million Dollar Cam took the goose-egg off his five-race losing streak in his return to 3R, scoring a wire-to-wire triumph in 1:58.2. Add a track labeled good with a  two-second allowance and Atomic Million AM looks to be back in winning form at his home oval. Atomic Million AM will start from post seven for driver Sylvain Lacaille and owner/trainer Alain Martin of Gatineau, QC and rightly is the morning line wagering favorite. It may not be a “walk in the park” for Atomic Million AM, as he faces some strong competition from Rideau Carlton invader, Killer Thriller (post 3) for driver Stephane Brosseau. In his last start, Killer Thriller was able to wire the field in 1:55.2 for trainer Karen Kroeger. Half A Billion ships in from Flamboro Downs where he has three wins already and was second last week in 1:56.1. He starts from post four for driver Louis-Philippe Roy. Other contenders include C L Art Magic (post 1), Bali (post 2) and Mach On The Beach (post 5). The mares do battle in race nine with a full field of ten starters headlined by the return of the top performer, Wanda Bayama. Bred and owned by Bayama Farms and trained and driven by harness racing’s newest Hall of Famer, Yves Filion, Wanda Bayama starts from post seven and after a two-month layoff, recently won a qualifying race at Rideau Carlton in 1:59. That is not as impressive as before the four-year-old daughter of Western Ideal was rested as she was on a two-race win streak at Woodbine Race Course where she won the $54,400 final of series in a lifetime best clocking of 1:51.4, which she first set the prior week in an elimination division. If Wanda Bayama races back to that form during the series, the track and stakes record of 1:54.1 set last year by My Tallia Ideal, could well pass by the wayside. Other contenders in the race include Kinnder Elegance (post 5), Big Bertha (post 2) and Chaleurs Fantasy (post 4). Post time for Sunday’s program is 1:30 pm. Live night racing at the Hippodrome 3R for the 2016 season begins this Tuesday, May 24 at 7:00 pm and to kick-off the night program will be the start of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters. Featured will be the return of two-time series champion, Viva Bayama, also from the Yves FIlion Stable for the mares and a classic match-up between three-time series champion Maximuscle against track record holder last year, Seeyou Men. For free race programs, live video feed and more information, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Back by popular demand, Grand River Raceway will host its eighth annual backstretch Open House on Sunday, May 29. Guests are invited to drop-in any time from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a rare glimpse of harness racing behind-the-scenes. A full tour of the Open House's six main stations will last approximately one hour. The itinerary includes the unique opportunity to drive a racehorse. Standardbred racehorses and double-seated jog carts from the Hands On Horses Program provide the horsepower. Other interactive stations include a tour of the judges' stand and announcer's booth high atop the grandstand with track announcer Gary Guy. Back in the barn, visitors will learn the basics of breeding, owning, training, driving and caring for racehorses in sessions led by industry experts. Dr. Alison Moore's station will explore the high-performance racehorse by comparing it to human athletes. The will be on-hand to discuss their low-risk fractional racehorse ownership group. Machinery enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity to view and learn about the equipment and techniques required to maintain the track surface. The starting car will also be on display, and open for photo opportunities. Riders from Racing Under Saddle (RUS) Ontario will also be on-hand to provide demonstrations of these Trot Monté races - popular in Europe - being showcased at harness tracks throughout the province. No registration is required for the Open House. The event is suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The Open House will run rain or shine. Participants are urged to wear closed-toe shoes and casual, comfortable clothing. Admission is free, but participants are urged to make a $2 donation at the door to support the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. A BBQ lunch and beverages will be available for purchase between 11:30 - 2:00. The Grand River Raceway Open House is presented in cooperation with the Hands On Horse Program and the Ontario Harness Horse Association. Nearly 2,000 people have attended Grand River Raceway's Open House event in the past six years. For more information, visit or call (519) 846-5455 x238 or email Kelly Spencer

Just a week away from the start of the Ontario Sires Stakes season, three-year-old pacing colt Gerries Sport put his harness racing rivals on notice with a sizzling 1:49.2 performance Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Richard Moreau trained colt competed in a non-winners of three-races or $75,000 lifetime event Friday night, which featured three Pepsi North America Cup eligibles, Arsenic, Bettor Memories and Nocturnal Bluechip. Gerries Sport entered Friday's race with two victories in three starts this season. His only defeat was a gritty fourth-place effort in The Diplomat Series final on May 7. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Gerries Sport left from post-five and found a spot in third, while four-year-old Asap Hanover blasted to the front just ahead of Arsenic. There was little movement early on, as Asap Hanover posted solid fractions of :26.3 and :54.2. Approaching the three-quarter pole, Filion pulled on the right line to send Gerries Sport after the leader. The challenger pulled to within less than two-lengths of the lead at the third-marker, as Asap Hanover reached that station in 1:22.1. In the stretch, Gerries Sport powered by Asap Hanover to grab clear command with an eighth of a mile to go. The Moreau trainee cruised home confidently in :26.4 to win by two-lengths in 1:49.2. Asap Hanover finished second, while Arsenic was third in his season debut. Pepsi North America Cup eligibles Bettor Memories and Nocturnal Bluechip finished fifth and seventh, respectively. A son of Mach Three, Gerries Sport competed primarily in the OSS Grassroots as a two-year-old, but appears more than ready to tackle the Gold level this season. Moreau trains the sophomore pacing colt for owner Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, Quebec. Gerries Sport's third win in four starts this season brings his career record to six wins in 16 starts for earnings of $71,453. The son of Mach Three is now North America's fastest three-year-old of 2016. His clocking of 1:49.2 lowered the previous mark of 1:50.2 set by War N Munn in The Diplomat Final on May 7 at Mohawk. Gerries Sport paid $5.90 to win. Live racing continues Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack with a special post time of 6:45 p.m. in place for Fireworks and Family Fun Night. Mark McKelvie

Mohawk Racetrack's annual May long weekend Fireworks and Family Fun Night is set to return this Saturday evening. A fun-filled night of entertainment for all-ages will rock the Campbellville harness racing oval Saturday. Doors open to the Mohawk Grandstand at 5 p.m. and fans will be welcomed to the facility by live music from singer Gillian Nicola. The Brian McIntyre Trio will be performing throughout the evening on the outdoor stage located at the east-end of the Grandstand. Live racing will get underway 45 minutes earlier than usual, as a special Post Time of 6:45 p.m. is scheduled for Saturday evening. Fans will be able to enjoy ten-races of some of the world's finest harness racing. The final-race of the evening is scheduled for around 10 p.m. with the fantastic fireworks show set for approximately 10:30 p.m. An LED show will entertain fans between the final-race and the start of the fireworks. There will be an abundance of entertainment options for families throughout the evening, including an exotic animal demonstration, decorate a Horse Cookie craft station, carnival and arcade games, a photo booth, glitter tattoo station and balloon twisting clowns. The always popular strolling acts will be back and features an Acro-Contortion dancer, illusionist and stilt walker. A special kid's meal will be offered Saturday evening. The $5.99 meal includes a kid's pizza or hot dog, juice, chips and a Glow-In-The-Dark wristband. Racing fans will be able to enjoy live racing and coverage of Saturday's Preakness Stakes. The second-leg of the Triple Crown will be shown on the infield screen just prior to the evening's first race. As always, admission, parking and activities are free. For more information, visit Mark McKelvie

The stage is set for five of the region's top harness racing guns in the evening feature Saturday at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Post time for the 11 dash card is 6pm. First Art Down (Ken Murphy) has drawn the rail in the race 7 showdown which promises to be a triactor mystery with all the competitors capable of hitting the ticket. Big Surf (Marc Campbell) has been established as the morning line favorite (5-2) after that season winning debut last week over a sloppy track. Weather conditions will be perfect at the 7:43pm post time with many expecting to see the Trevor Hicken trainee bust the gate. He'll have company. Forever Paradise (Michael McGugian) can follow the car while Clic K is back in the mix from the Jackie Matheson stable. Gilles Barrieau has the driving assignment. Tempo Seelster(Vince Poulton) starts from post 3. Best Risque is sharp. The nine-year-old mare, trained by Brian Ladner, Charlottetown, has won seven of her last eight starts and is favored to win the open mares class. Regular pilot Corey MacPherson drives his trainee Brodys Leona (pp2) so Ladner was able to get the services of Campbell. Ramblinglily is back in town to compete in the $2,200 event. Walter Cheverie guides her from post 4. Sam (Jason Hughes) and Bettim Jenny (Jeff Lilley) make up the rest of the field. For entries, top picks and live video go to New season underway Monday at Red Shores Summerside; Silverhill Shadow gets top call in afternoon feature The 2016 harness racing season will be launched Monday afternoon at Red Shores Summerside. The legendary Prince County oval celebrates 130 years of racing. Post time is 1pm. Motorino lands on the pylons for trainer-driver Terry Gallant in the race 9 presentation with his stable-mate Silverhill Shadow leaving one slot to the right for catch-driver Gary Chappell. The son of Shadow Play was scratched from his last race but Gallant has him back in to go and shows an impressive 1:56.1 chart-line from May 7th. The roster also includes Cambest Kisser (Jason Hughes), DBS Rosco (Kenny Arsenault) and Carnivore (Walter Cheverie). Veteran campaigner Life Savior leads the post parade in the back-up class in race 12. A winner of $101,376 and closing in on his 60th lifetime victory, the 11 year-old makes his season debut for trainer Duane MacEachern, owner Darla MacEachern and driver Corey MacPherson. He's in tough with Ralph Sweet's Casimir Luciano, Oh To Be Me and Bowyer Hanover listed as triactor candidates. The official countdown to the Governor's Plate starts Monday at 1pm with fan prizes to the first 150 customers starting at Noon. A new Backstretch Beat reporter has been added to the race program this season. The top picks can also be found at Lee Drake

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