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Since returning to the races following a bout of sickness in late October, Milliondollarspree has been on a winning spree for trainer Ross Hardy. The pacing mare has racked up three wins in her last four trips to the track, and that includes her gate-to-wire score in Tuesday’s $7,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Trevor Henry hustled Milliondollarspree to the lead from Post 3, and after parking past the quarter pole in :27.2 she led the group through sensible middle panels of :57.3 and 1:27.4. A :31.2 closing frame is all took for her to win by three-quarters of a length over Angel On The Wing in a time of 1:59.1 over a track rated ‘good’ with a three-second variant. The show dough was earned by Racey Miss. To view the rest of this story click here. Sunfire Blue Chip to Tara Hills Stud It has been announced that the royally bred and supremely talented Sunfire Blue Chip p, 2, 1:52.4f, 3, 1:48.3f will join the stallion roster at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ont. Sunfire Blue Chip, a four-year-old son of American Ideal, retires with $917,374 in earnings and several stakes titles to his credit, including this year’s revitalized Prix d’Ete in Quebec. As a sophomore, the Jimmy Takter-trained horse captured the Adios elimination and final, an elimination of the Messenger (second, by a head, in the final), the Tattersalls, Empire Breeders Classic elimination (second in final), Hempt elim (third, by a half length in final) among other victories. Sunfire Blue Chip hails from one of the sport’s most well-bred families. He is the second foal of the Cams Card Shark mare Shot Togo Bluechip, his full brother is $1.7 million winner Heston Blue Chip p, 3, 1:48f. Their half-sister sold at last month’s Harrisburg sale for $160,000.   To view the rest of this story click here.

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else. All previous reviews can now be viewed at www.stallionsphere.com This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Drop your foot and pay the fine - Last week Harnesslink featured its most controversial article ever. Thousands of views and hundreds of comments, both pro and con, on the David Miller interview about dropping his foot in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Insider Access archive available - Following requests from our readers in relation to previous editions of Insider Access, we are providing a link for those looking to catch up on some news they missed. Simply click here and delve through the archives as Insider Access and Harnesslink continue to lead the way in providing the latest news from around the world. AU: You're only as good as your last win - We have all heard the adage "you are only as good as your last win." Well, it would appear at least one well-known trainer has come to realise this to be true. NZ: 1000 wins and hardly a murmur - One thing that we struggle with in the harness racing game in New Zealand is how we treat our superstars of the sport. In any other sport they shower there stars with awards and public recognition when they achieve something special. Stallion Review – YANKEE CRUISER – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Yankee Cruiser 1:49.3s ($1,457,346). Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else. All previous reviews can now be viewed at www.stallionsphere.com This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Stallion Review – YANKEE CRUISER – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Yankee Cruiser 1:49.3s ($1,457,346). AU: You're only as good as your last win - We have all heard the adage "you are only as good as your last win." Well, it would appear at least one well-known trainer has come to realise this to be true. NZ: 1000 wins and hardly a murmur - One thing that we struggle with in the harness racing game in New Zealand is how we treat our superstars of the sport. In any other sport they shower there stars with awards and public recognition when they achieve something special. Drop your foot and pay the fine - Last week Harnesslink featured its most controversial article ever. Thousands of views and hundreds of comments, both pro and con, on the David Miller interview about dropping his foot in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Insider Access archive available - Following requests from our readers in relation to previous editions of Insider Access, we are providing a link for those looking to catch up on some news they missed. Simply click here and delve through the archives as Insider Access and Harnesslink continue to lead the way in providing the latest news from around the world. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

Fans that backed rookie pacer Weapons Dealer in Race 2 during the Monday evening program at Woodbine Racetrack likely needed a hand - or a wheelbarrow - to help tote home their winnings. The overlooked son of Western Ideal-Scootin Belle turned a two-hole trip into a pari-mutuel explosion for the tandem of driver Trevor Henry and trainer Isaac Waxman. Weapons Dealer got away in the two-hole behind the 1-5 favourite, Sports Warning, and those two held their positions through panels of :28, :58.2 and 1:26.4. Sports Warning rolled into a break coming out of the final turn, however, and that changed the whole complexion of the race. Weapons Dealer inherited the lead in the lane, and he wound up winning by a pair of lengths over His Boy Elroy in 1:54.3. Sports Warning regained his composure and re-rallied to finish third. To view the rest of this story click here. Raceway Preferreds to "Gustav" & "Winzel" A set of Preferred 3 events went postward Monday evening at The Raceway at Western Fair District, with Kendal Gustav and Winzel winning their respective assignments. Kendal Gustav shot to the front from Post 2 and rolled to an easy victory in his $7,400 affair for driver Lorne House. The public’s top choice, who closed at odds of 6-5, carved out splits of :27, :58 and 1:26.4 before sealing the deal with a :29.2 closing panel. He was 2-1/2 lengths better than Pacific Oak in 1:56.1. Lawmen Reign rounded out the top three finishers. Trainer Scott McNiven co-owns the five-year-old son of Life Sign-City Of Dreams with Tom Brodhurst of London and Shirley Griffin of St. Thomas, Ontario. The partnership has watched the gelding go 10-for-37 this season and 27-for-112 in his career. The lion’s share of Monday’s purse lifted his overall cash stash to $177,749. To view the rest of this story click here.

On Monday, December 15, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2014 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 7, 2015, at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel and Conference Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. This will be the 26th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Eight past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Intimidate, Riveting Rosie, Chris Christoforou, Bill Davis, Richard Moreau, Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., & Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. To read the rest of the story click here. 2014 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer JK Shesalady - owned by 3 Brothers Stables, New York, NY Sports Chic – owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Paoli, PA and Blake Macintosh, Waterdown, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Artspeak –owned by Brittany Farms, Versailles, KY, Marvin Katz, Toronto, ON, Joe Sbrocco, Brecksville, OH, In The Gym Partners, Staten Island, NY Go Daddy Go – owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON and Dave Boyle, Bowmanville, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer Lady Shadow - owned by Lindsey and Connie L Rankin, Lexington, MI Major Dancer - owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge, Mac Nichol, Burlington and Adriano Sorella, Milton, ON   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer JK Endofanera - owned by 3 Brothers Stables, New York, NY McWicked – owned by S S G Stables, North Boston, NY   Older Pacing Mare American In Paris – owned by Doug Millard, Woodstock, ON Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ   Older Pacing Horse Modern Legend - owned by Dave Drew Associates Inc., St. Catharines, ON State Treasurer – owned by Sally A MacDonald, Souris, PE and Paul G MacDonald, Regina, SK   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Danielle Hall - owned by Carl R Jamieson, Rockwood, ON and Thomas Kyron, Toronto, ON Stubborn Belle - owned by Al J Libfeld, Pickering, ON and Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Dont Rush - owned by Dustin Jones Stables Inc., Waterdown, ON and Greg L Judson, Athens, ON Habitat - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown, PA, Our Horse Cents Stables, Clifton Park, NY, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Riveting Rosie owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON White Becomes Her - owned by Twilight Stables Inc., Brampton, ON   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Harper Blue Chip - owned by Landmark 6 Racing Stable, Kingston, ON, David R McDonald, Cornwall, ON, David K Reid, Glenburnie, ON, George R Judson, Athens, ON Trixton - owned by Brixton Medical Ab, Matawan, NJ and Christina Takter, East Windsor, NJ   Older Trotting Mare Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON, Herb A Liverman, Miami Beach, FL and David H Mc Duffee, Delray Beach, Fl Classic Martine - owned by Hauser Bros Rcng Ent LLC, Orangeburg, NY – Susan M Oakes, Wilkes-Barre, PA, Conrad E Zurich, Fayetteville, NY, and Edwin J Gold, Phoenixville, PA   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Determination, Westmount, QC and Judith Farrow, Hemmingford, QC Slip Into Glide – owned by Craid I Turner, Ingersoll, ON and Benoit O Baillargeon, Rockwood, ON   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Bill Davis, Langley, BC Dustin Jones, Waterdown, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year William Andrew, Calgary, AB / Meridian Farms, Milton, PE Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON & Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., Leamington, ON   Driver of the Year Chris Christoforou, Campbellville, ON Trevor Henry, Arthur, ON   Trainer of the Year Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Jimmy Takter, East Windsor, NJ   Future Star Award Tyler Borth, Ingersoll, ON Nick Gallucci, Brantford, ON  

TORONTO, December 12 - The Confederation Cup, one of Canadian harness racing's signature events, will return to Flamboro Downs in 2015 after a two-year hiatus. The inaugural Confederation Cup was contested in 1977 and quickly became an annual showcase of the sport's top three-year-old pacers. However, when the 'Cup' returns for its 37th edition in 2015, it will be raced under a new format. Confederation Cup XXXVII, sponsored by Great Canadian Gaming and administrated by the Woodbine Entertainment Group, will be for four-year-old pacers and will take place on the Victoria Day long weekend of Sunday, May 17. $200,000 in added money will go towards the purse of the final. The change in format will give four-year-old pacers an opportunity to race against horses their own age early in the season and for a sizable purse. "We at Great Canadian Gaming and Flamboro Downs are excited to have 'The Cup' returning to Flamboro Downs in 2015," said Bruce Barbour, Executive Director of Racing Operations for Great Canadian Gaming. "Over the years we have hosted some of the greatest three-year-old pacers in the world and after two years of uncertainty we are pleased to have 'The Cup' returning under a new and exciting format. "We look forward to the excitement both on the track and in the stands that comes with the Confederation Cup." Unlike in previous editions of the 'Cup', the event will no longer be contested in heats, but rather through eliminations a week prior to the final. Eliminations will only be necessary if eleven (11) or more pacers enter Confederation Cup XXXVII. If necessary, the eliminations will be contested on Sunday, May 10 for a purse of $20,000. The nomination fee for Confederation Cup XXXVII is $500 CAD or $435 USD and is due February 17. There will be two sustaining fees for Confederation Cup XXXVII for the same amount due on March 16 and April 15. Horses that did not make the nomination fees to Confederation Cup XXXVII may be supplemented for a fee of $20,000. All cheques are payable and should be mailed to the Woodbine Entertainment Group. Fees can also be paid online at www.woodbineentertainment.com/sbpayments. Full event details and the nomination form for Confederation Cup XXXVII will be available in the coming weeks. by Mark McKelvie, for Flamboro Downs  

El Titan 2,1:53.4 ($581,351), the multiple stakes winning son of champion Muscle Hill will stand at stud at Overseas Farm, Campbelville, Ontario, under the management of Southwind Farms.   In addition to serving a limited book of mares, he will continue his racing career later in the season under the tutelage of trainer Riina Rekila.   El Titan took his mark at two, winning the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile, defeating future Hambo winner Trixton.   This year at three in a limited campaign, he won the Erskine Trot at Hoosier, defeating Father Patrick. In addition, he took the Galt Trot at Maywood and was second in the Canadian Trotting Classic.  He finished the year with a strong second to Father Patrick in the Breeders Crown after getting parked the entire mile, timed in 1:51.4.   El Titan hails from one of the strongest trotting pedigrees in the sport. His dam Courtney Hall 3,1:55.4 ($118,986) was a $500,000 yearling purchase and is now a 100% producer. In addition to El Titan, she has produced stakes winners Appomattox 3,1:52.2 ($427,148), El Rock 4,1:53.4f ($295,830), El Rocket 3,1:53.1 ($233,935), etc. She is a full sister to multiple Dan Patch winner Cameron Hall 4,1:53.4 ($1,816,236) and to Canland Hall 3,1:57 ($339,143), the dam of champion sire Cantab Hall 3,1:54 ($1,442,303).   It is the immediate family of Andover Hall 3,1:51.3 ($870,510), Conway Hall 3,1:53.4 ($818,884),  Angus Hall 3,1:54.3 ($830,654), and Trixton 3,1:50.3 ($947,057).   Limited bookings will be available at an initial price of $8,000 (Can), with the resulting foals eligible to  the Ontario Sire Stakes program.  Booking applications are available on the Southwind Farms website, www.southwindfarms.net.     For further information, contact Syndicate Manager , Michael Klau, at (516) 599-2442.

After looking dominant in her elimination assignment one week earlier, Rummys Command returned to Northlands Park and sped to an impressive Saturday night victory in the $70,000 Northlands Filly Pace Final for three-year-old pacers. Trainer/driver Keith Clark wasted no time in hustling Rummys Command to the lead from Post 3, and once they cleared to the top it was game over for the others. The daughter of Cams Card Shark-Streisands Fan threw down splits of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:25.3 before using a :30-second closing quarter to win by 1-1/2 lengths over race favourite Nighttraintovegas in 1:55.3. Charismatic Art tagged along to finish third in the rich tilt. "I wanted her on the front or very close to it," said Clark after the win. "I wanted to try to put (Charismatic Art) in the 2 hole if I could. If I couldn't, I probably would have let (driver Gerry Hudon) go and come back." To view the rest of this story click here. Charmed Life takes Preferred again For the second week in-a-row the $34,000 Preferred Trot at Woodbine Racetrack went to Charmed Life for the tandem of driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary. The hard-closing campaigner utilized her off-the-speed skills to perfection once again en route to capturing her eighth win of the season. Jamieson tucked into an early five hole with Charmed Life while a host of foes took turns on the lead. Fearless Man and Samira Hanover battled to the quarter pole in :27.1 before the latter worked her way to the front, and she came under quick pressure in the backstretch from Slip Into Glide. To view the rest of this story click here. Five winners for Bob McClure at Flamboro Driver Bob McClure had a productive Saturday evening at Flamboro Downs thanks to a five-win performance on the 11-race program. McClure took the opener with Shiningstaratnight (2:03.2) before adding wins with Coco Bino (2:00.4), Warrawee Preferred (1:59.4), Knee Slapper (2:00.2) and Campus Cutie Pie (1:59.4). To view the rest of this story click here.

Charlottetown, PE - Race 11 was declared a no-contest after an accident involving Charlottetown's top drivers Marc Campbell and Jason Hughes Saturday at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park The field was heading to the opening quarter when Sumbodys Fool, in line to Hughes, made a break and went down. Benny Rabbit, driven by Campbell, couldn't avoid the fallen horse and hooked wheels sending Campbell to the track. Both horses ran loose while the race continued but they were captured when the field pulled up. The judge's ruled a no contest. The horses were not hurt in the mishap. Hughes and Campbell resumed their driving duties. Big Surf made his Charlottetown debut a winning one taking the afternoon feature in a snappy 1:58.1. Campbell was in the bike for the win giving him a driving triple on the day. Big Surf is owned and trained by Jim Quinn of Vernon Bridge. Forever Paradise finished second with Carnivore third. Campbell finished the day with four winners when Talk Back crossed the wire first. Hughes recorded a driving double. Zip the Lip captured the open trot for driver Brian MacPhee, trainer Don Sweet and his co-owner Orville Willis of O'Leary. MacPhee, who had two winners on the card, guided the trotter to his third win in a row. Abundaspin won his trotting assignment for driver Steven Shepherd and owner Mikeala Lustic, Cornwall. The veteran will wrap up his career on New Year's Eve. The victory was Abundaspin's 82nd lifetime score. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca by Lee Drake, for Red Shores

Friday’s nine-race card at Northlands Park turned out to be another profitable harness racing evening for Travis Cullen thanks to a training hat trick which included an impressive come-from-behind score in the feature race with Sing Like An Angel. Cullen, who took home the inaugural Future Star Award at last year’s O’Brien Awards, got the ball rolling when he guided Burnt On Top to a 1:57.1 tally in Race 4. The five-year-old son of Blue Burner drew clear to win by 11-1/2 lengths in the $4,200 affair. He also clicked with stablemate Summons just three races later in a $4,300 claiming tilt. The four-year-old son of Ponder was a front-stepping winner in a sharp clocking of 1:55. Sing Like An Angel gave Cullen his third winner of the night, but she was handled by Phil Giesbrecht. He picked up the ‘live’ catch-drive behind the four-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight, and he made the most of the opportunity. To view the rest of this story click here. Gracie Montana has found winning ways After starting the year a dismal 0-for-26, pacing mare Gracie Montana has really found her winning ways late in the season at Fraser Downs for owners Jeff and Debbie Elchuk of Surrey, British Columbia. The seven-year-old daughter of Camluck-Sportstalk recently moved back into the barn of trainer/driver Bill Davis, and it’s been a profitable homecoming for the 37-time winner. Gracie Montana got away sixth in Friday’s $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open – a class that she’s won in three of her last four outings – before making a bold move in the late stages of the mile en route to the impressive victory. When Davis cut her loose in the lane she responded by driving away to the 1:55.4 score over Skade and Just One More. To view the rest of this story click here. Flamboro Preferred To Lexis D J Lexis D J disappointed as the favourite in last week’s $11,000 Preferred 3 for trotters at Flamboro Downs, but he redeemed himself with a come-from-behind tally in Friday’s feature at Canada’s fastest half-mile oval. With Bob McClure barking out orders from the racebike, Lexis D J got away sixth in the early going while Hesgotlegs fired to the front and laid down panels of :28.2, :59 and 1:28.4. The leader’s legs got soft late, however, and opened the door for a host of challengers from the backfield. The 'livest' of those threats was Lexis D J, who made a bold move at the three-quarter pole en route to winning by a head in 1:59.2. Dragin The Wagon was a determined runner-up, with third prize earned by race favourite Can I Say. Shane Arsenault of Freelton, Ontario trains and owns the seven-year-old son of Amigo Hall-Lexus Lulu. It was the fifth win of the year – and the 31st to date – for the career winner of $379,612. To view the rest of this story click here.

TORONTO, December 12 - Three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were in the spotlight Friday night for the first leg of the Valedictory Series at Woodbine Racetrack. 19 sophomore colts and geldings were split into two $15,000 divisions for the opening leg of the three-week series. In the first division, Kindofabigdeal, the heavy favourite, lived up to his billing with a three length victory in 1:52. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Kindofabigdeal was second at the opening quarter, but quickly scooted to the lead in the second quarter and never looked back. The son of No Pan Intended set honest fractions of :55.4 and 1:24, before rolling home in :28 to score the opening leg victory. Mittcent Van Gogh took the place spot, while Ideal Shadow finished third. Kindofabigdeal is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc. The three-year-old has now won four of eight starts in his first season of racing for earnings of over $42,000. He paid $3.60 to win. Kindofabigdeal In the second division, Company Man pulled off an 18-1 upset with James MacDonald in the bike. Rural Art, the even-money favourite, was first up around the final turn pressing at the leader So Bad Im Good. Meanwhile, Company Man was third over following closely behind Ransom Demand. In the stretch, Rural Art could not get by So Bad Im Good, but Ransom Demand and Company Man swept by the top two on the far outside. At the wire, Company Man got the best of Ransom Demand to score a two length victory in 1:52.2. So Bad Im Good held off Rural Art to round out the top three. A son of American Ideal, Company Man is trained by Allen Tomlinson for owner Daniel Mitchell. Company Man, who had been racing south of the border over the last few months, has now won three times from 16 starts this year and now has earnings of over $45,000 in career earnings. The clocking of 1:52.2 is a new career mark for Company Man. He paid $39 to win. Company Man In order to be eligible to the Valedictory Series, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. The second leg of the Valedictory will take place next Friday (December 19). Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie WEG Communications 

We did not fare that well last weekend with my selections but we shall move forward. First time since back in April that there are no stakes races in our handicapping column. Will just make my job a little harder but hopefully financially rewarding. Good Luck! $34,000 Trot Preferred Woodbine Racetrack 2nd race SATURDAY - Thought I had it nailed down last week but Daylon Magician folded late in the stretch. So this week I am going to go with CHARMED LIFE. He made a terrific three-wide move and closed well in the stretch to beat this group and I think he can do it again. Use Daylon Magician and Charlie Is A Joker in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Open Handicap Yonkers Raceway 6th race SATURDAY - Despite burning up a lot of win tickets in his last two starts, I still like BEACH MEMORIES in here. I think with a good inside post and showing good gate speed he can work out a perfect cover trip and with that will win against this field. Use BJ's Guy and P H Supercam in exotic plays. $26,000 Pace WO $25,000 last 6 Yonkers Raceway 8th race SATURDAY - While he may have finished off the board in his last two outings, MICKEY HANOVER drops and should be able to pop from the rail. Something wasn't right last week and hopefully they got him good to go in here at a price. Use Orillia Joe and Santanna One in exotic plays. $12,000 Pace Open Handicap Pompano Park 7th race SATURDAY - Lately it has been PRAIRIE JAGUAR cutting the mile for someone else to win off of. But each week he is game to the wire, losing both in photo finishes. I think that Wrenn can rate him better in here and hold on all the way. Use Cadillac Phil and Duc Dorleans in exotic plays. $27,000 Pace NW $28,000 last 5 Woodbine Racetrack 10th race SATURDAY - Four return winners and three others hit the board last week. Makes for a very competitive race so as long as you can pick the winner you will get a nice return. I am going with CAMAES FELLOW. Won last week with ease and is actually dropping down in class for this race. Loves the front end and has won three of last five starts that way. Use Nickle Bag and Calgary Seelster in exotic plays. $30,000 Pace FFA Handicap The Meadowlands 11th race SATURDAY - Having won and lost here the last two starts by a head and nose, I have to come back with SPEED AGAIN. Shows he can do first-over or on the front end and can work his way up front so outside post should not hinder his efforts. He missed by a head last week from farer out than he is in here. Use Wake Up Peter and Shooter's Dream in exotic plays. $46,000 Trot Open Handicap 1¼ Mile Yonkers Raceway 1st race SUNDAY - Great way to start off the morning with 12-horse extra distance trot. The action is always interesting with a different winner every week. This week I am going with DW's NY YANK. He is the class of the field having won the one mile Open last week and has won in extra distance mile earlier. Tough enough to grind it out if necessary. Use Sevruga and Crazy About Pat in exotic plays. $28,000 Trot NW $25,000 last 6 1¼ Mile Yonkers Raceway 3rd race SUNDAY - Pick the winner in here and you will make money for sure. Tough field going extra distance is tough to handicap. I ended up going with HOORAYFORVACATION. Having the rail is good and with his front end speed he can take a shot at wiring the field or getting great cover. He was no factor from post 11 last week and prior he had won two of his three starts. Use Stir Me Up and Bentley Karan in exotic plays.  

London, December 12, 2014 -- Staff of The Raceway at Western Fair District and some local horse people have teamed up this holiday season to help spread some Christmas cheer and show their support for the Salvation Army's Hamper program which provides food and toys to the less fortunate in the city of London. The group joined a large number of volunteers on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 10th and helped sort toys which will be distributed to families just prior to Christmas. "Western Fair District always strives to make a difference in the communities we serve and with the Salvation Army Hamper Program setting up on our grounds, it made perfect sense for us to give what we could to help out," said Marketing Coordinator Sarah Imrie. "Many of the staff and friends of the Raceway jumped at the chance to donate their time and energy to help this great cause and I'm very proud to work beside them." Another group of Raceway volunteers will be assisting on December 18th, just one day before the Hamper program ends for this year. Customers can donate a new, unwrapped toy in the lobby of the grandstand up until December 16th while horse people can drop their gifts off at the race office. "I was looking forward to this day. I get a lot out of volunteering and we had a great mix of people showing up to support the cause on behalf of The Raceway," said track announcer Shannon 'Sugar' Doyle. "It just gives one a great a feeling knowing that he or she may have played a role in making someone's Christmas just a little bit brighter." The Raceway will once again be a busy place this holiday season with all sorts of live racing scheduled, including special programs on December 26 (Boxing Day) at 1:15 p.m. and December 31 (New Year's Eve) at 8:00 p.m. For full details, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. From the Raceway at Western Fair  

The world's greatest harness racing trotting spectacle is just six weeks away, and this year's edition of the Prix'd'Amerique may feature an actual Amerique - the trotting mare Maven. The daughter of Glidemaster - M Stewart, now trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras for owners Herb Liverman, John Fielding and Joyce McClelland is headed to France to race in the Prix de Bourgogne on Dec. 28, a preliminary event for the Prix d'Amerique. How she fares will determine if Jimmy Taker tries for a second victory in the race that attracts over 40,000 spectators on the last Sunday in January. Takter also trained the 1999 winner, the legendary Moni Maker. If you never been to Paris, consider going to see one of the most beautiful cities in the world, in the best possible setting: framed by the world's best trotters, with a group of like-minded harness racing enthusiasts. International travel company Equitours offers a guided tour that features some of the best attractions Paris has to offer, in value-priced package that offers plenty of time to explore the City of Lights on your own, or simply immerse yourself in the French trotting culture. You can try to win the trip through the Standardbred Retirement Foundation raffle (http://www.adoptahorse.org) or leave nothing to chance and book this fantastic experience today. The tour begins on Thursday, Jan. 22 and ends on Monday, Jan. 26. Options includes a visit to Grosbois training center and the stable of Pierre Vercruysse, who raced several years at The Meadowlands and will be hosting Maven, an auction of trotting horses and an extraordinary equine trade fair where the champagne flows freely, a visit to the Moulin Rouge, a personalized bus tour of Paris, extraordinary meals and international company, and culminates with VIP seat for the Prix d'Amerique at famed Vincennes Racetrack. For complete information, go to www.equitours.se and click on the American flag to take you to a full description of the Paris and Prix d'Amerique tour. Or contact American representatives Dean Hoffman at deanahoffman49@gmail.com or (614) 457-8750 and Moira Fanning at MFanning@hambletonian.org or (732-306-6713) by Moira Fanning for Prix D'Amerique Tour    

The little track that could did it again with over 240 harness racing people showing up at the South Windsor legion hall to enjoy the festivities of the season. Lakeshore Horse Racing Association President Mark Williams hosted the evening and made the night one for family, friends and blessings. The night was electric, with live music playing, children running between tables, a penny auction and an ugly Christmas sweater contest. As is the horseman's way, we enjoy ourselves but never forget those less fortunate. Admission for the turkey-with-all-the-stuffings dinner was $15 and a can of food. The cans were for the food bank, while money raised was for charity. Locals were able to rest easy with a full stomach, and the thought that we were all contributing to others. LHRA Director Don Lescheid presented flowers to the volunteers who helped to make the 13-day meet a mechanically-run success. On the racing side, Williams stated that the horsepeople came to play. There were no accidents, and no objections. The award for top trainer went to Gord MacDonnell (accepted by son Cory) with 11 wins, while the top driver was Rob Sparling Jr., with 22 trips to the winner's circle. Politics were left out of the evening until it was time to wind down over a beverage of choice. The consensus was that although the meet was 'sustainable,' nobody really made any money. The idea of a subsidy for racing is not working. It's not working in the eyes of the industry, and it's not working in the eyes of the public. Horsepeople are not afraid of work. This is a 24-7, 365-days-a-year business, and the idea of charity does not sit well in keeping the industry alive. The partnership of the past must be revisited for the future. Winter is upon us and to think that the participants from southwestern Ontario can survive by travelling up the 401 on cold snowy and blustering evenings, must be reassessed. Six, seven and eight holes and racing every two weeks make for long journeys home when finishing out of the money. The classifications must also be re-assessed as many times horses are entered more to get raced, than to be competitive. It's not fair to horsemen, and it is certainly not fair to the betting public. The night was about camaraderie, smiles, laughter, a good meal, and a bit of conversation. Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night! From the Lakeshore Horse Racing Association

The Ontario Harness Horse Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 OHHA scholarships. For the ninth year in a row, OHHA is awarding scholarships to children of active, participating OHHA members that have entered their first year of full-time undergraduate studies leading to a first post-secondary certificate or diploma. This year’s recipient of the $2,500 university scholarship is Daniel Moffat (Dresden), who is pursuing a B.Sc.N. (Honours) Degree in Nursing at the University of Windsor. Recipients of the $1,500 college scholarships are Joshua Core (Sarnia), who was admitted to the Paramedic Program at Lambton College in Sarnia and Richard Moffat (London), who is attending the General Arts and Science Program at Fanshawe College in London. One of the criteria to be awarded a scholarship is proven academic achievement and these three candidates realized outstanding results during their secondary education. OHHA thanks all students who applied for a scholarship and wishes them the very best of luck with their studies and for the future! From the Ontario Harness Horse Association

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