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MILTON, ON - September 22, 2018 - Stag Party and driver David Miller put on a show to win the $890,000 Metro Pace on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Casie Coleman trained two-year-old harness racing pacing colt came first-up on the final turn from fourth and proceeded to turn the Metro final into a laugher by drawing away with ease in the lane for a 4¼ lengths victory in 1:50.4. "My horse was full of pace the whole way and around the last turn I had a pretty good feeling that he was going to go all the way," said Miller, who had never won the Metro before during his Hall of Fame career. "It's a great feeling, I can't explain it. I had been wanting to win this race a long time too." De Los Cielos Deo blasted from post-ten to claim the early-lead, posting a :27.1 opener. Race-favourite Captain Ahab and driver Andrew McCarthy angled out from sixth heading towards the half, flushing out Stag Party and Miller from fourth. After reaching the half in :55.4, De Los Cielos Deo faced final-turn pressure from Stag Party, while Captain Ahab was situated second-over. De Los Cielos Deo held a length advantage at three-quarters in 1:23.3. In the stretch, Stag Party powered by De Los Cielos Deo and stormed away to the blowout victory. Captain Ahab, who came into the Metro final undefeated, came up empty in the lane after getting the perfect trip and faded to finish ninth. Semi Tough finished second after a two-hole trip, while Shake That House and Lyons Night Hawk finished third and fourth, respectively. "My plan all along was to try and get Andy (McCarthy) in front of me," said Miller about his trip with Stag Party. "He wouldn't take the bait and he ended up following me second-over, which I wasn't happy about." A son of Bettors Delight, Stag Party's dominating effort gives trainer Coleman her second Metro title to go with Sportswriter record performance in 2009. "From day one he's been real special," said Coleman of Stag Party. "He stressed me out a little bit the last couple of weeks. I don't think I've ever had a race where I honestly text the owners and said we might be scratching tonight and go on to win the final the next week." "His issues were all just colt soreness. I literally x-rayed this horse top to bottom two or three weeks in a row...I was ready to tell them we're shutting him down for the season and bringing him back as a three-year-old." A $125,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Stag Party has now earned $642,489 for owners John Fielding, Mac Nichol, McKinlay & Fielding and West Wins Stable. "We've had a lot of luck in this business and we've had a ton of fun and this one is really special because my thoroughbred partner Fred Hertrich actually bred the horse so it makes it extra special," said John Fielding after capturing his first Metro. "I've had horses with Casie for a couple years now and been absolutely thrilled with the job she does. Her and her team have done an amazing job and this colt is really special." Coleman is currently undecided on when Stag Party's next start will be but did note the Metro winner will be pointed towards the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final and Breeders Crown. Stag Party paid $5.30 to win. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - September 22, 2018 - Tall Drink Hanover converted off a perfect second-over steer from driver Andrew McCarthy to win the $590,000 Shes A Great Lady on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Tony Alagna trained two-year-old pacing filly got away fifth and was able to pick up cover at half, which led to her powering by rivals in the lane for a career-best 1:51.1 victory. "I wasn't even too concerned if I had to come third-over, I knew that her kick in the stretch would probably be good enough," said McCarthy. "It worked out great that I got a second-over trip and I couldn't ask for any better." Longshot Art Lecture blasted from the outside to the top and battled with a parked out Queen Of The Pride to a :27 opening-quarter. The outside challenger cleared to the top entering the backstretch and reached the half in a sensible :55.4. Sylph Hanover committed first-up from fourth going into the final turn, which allowed Tall Drink Hanover to get towed towards the lead. Queen Of The Pride maintained a lead of just over a length at three-quarters in 1:23.3. In the stretch, Tall Drink Hanover shot off cover and powered home in :27 to win by 2 ¼ lengths. Treacherous Reign, who is also trained by Alagna, and Prescient Beauty rallied from third and fourth-over, respectively, to finish in a Dead-Heat for second. Queen Of The Pride crossed the line fourth, while elimination winner Ideation Hanover was fifth. A daughter of Captaintreacherous, Tall Drink Hanover swept the elimination and final of the Shes A Great Lady to improve her record to five wins in eight starts. The $35,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase has now earned $406,392 for owners Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing LLC. "One of the rare occasions when normally it's $350,000 not $35,000 for us," said Katz of purchasing Tall Drink Hanover as a yearling. "There she was in the ring and nothing was going on for whatever reason. She was four or five from the end of the day at Harrisburg. We liked her and were able to buy her for $35,000 and it was a surprise to us." Tall Drink Hanover's victory gives McCarthy and Alagna there first Shes A Great Lady titles. A $2 win ticket on the Captaintreacherous filly returned $4.20. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

MILTON, ON - September 22, 2018 - Cavairt Ally delivered another dominating performance to win the $255,000 Milton Stakes on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The four-year-old pacing mare and driver Andrew McCarthy made a backstretch move to the lead from fourth and pulled away in the stretch for a three-length victory in 1:51.2. "I really had to leave hard to get away third and then I worked her pretty hard down the backside get the front," said McCarthy. "I chased her on the last turn a little bit to get the engines revving and she did respond, she perked right up and responded." Trained by Noel Daley, Caviart Ally entered the Milton final off a stunning career-best 1:48.3 victory in her elimination and made no mistakes Saturday to best a deep field of older pacing mares. Twinkle charged from the rail to grab the first-lead, posting a sharp :26 opening-quarter. Caviart Ally came to the outside before three-eighths and didn't clear to the top until strides before the half, which was reached in :54.3. Caviart Ally faced no pressure in the third-quarter, as first-up challenger Tequila Monday only advanced a single spot after angling out from fourth. The three-quarter pole was reached in 1:22.4. In the stretch, Caviart Ally said goodbye to her rivals and cruised home in :28.3 for the victory. Bettors Up finished second in a tight place-photo with Pure Country. A daughter of Bettors Delight, Caviart Ally's sixth win of the season and 15th overall pushed her over $1 million in career earnings for owners Caviart Farms of Vienna, Virginia. "We are so super proud, she's just a great mare," said Clarence Chaffee, who owns Caviart Farms with his wife, Judy. "She was really good last fall winning the Jugette and then this spring she got sick and it took a while to get her going and back on track, but boy she has really come on now." A $2 win ticket on Caviart Ally returned $2.90. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This Sunday, management of the Quebec Jockey Club that runs the harness races at the Hippodrome 3R, is playing host for the first time at the track, the Quebec Regional Fair Circuit Finals. It was in 1983 that the beginnings of what would later become the "Regional Circuit of Quebec Horse Racing" was first formed. At that time, a dozen amateur race tracks were operating in Quebec, but independently. The goal of grouping these tracks and having an organized Fair Circuit race season came from Paul-Andre Lavigne, Francois Parr and Wilfrid Flora, who founded the "Provincial Association of Amateur Racing Clubs Inc.". The finals of the Regional Circuit, a culmination of a successful season in 2018 that saw fifteen events this summer, will feature categories of racing not familiar at the Hippodrome 3R, but exciting non-the-less.  Many of the races on the Regional Circuit feature amateur and young drivers of all-ages, where they get their schooling and apprentice work towards their professional licenses. Thus, it will be a different show on Sunday as these provisional drivers get to compete on a professional level, many for the first time. Also, horses in the finals do not necessarily need to meet the normal qualifying standards at H3R. It was on the Quebec Regional Fair Racing Circuit that many young Quebec residents learned to become top drivers including Sylvain Filion and Louis Philippe Roy. Some of the finals and challenges on Sunday are as follows: Open Pace Final Open Trot Final 2YO Pace Final 3YO Pace Final Young Drivers Challenge Mares Pace Final 1.5 Mile Challenge Female Drivers Challenge Owner of Horses Challenge There is also one division of the new Quebec-Plus Series for two-year-old trotters in the sixth race. Post time is 12:50 pm. For a free race program for Sunday, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

As reported by Standardbred Canada, Doug McNair, Canada’s Driver of the Year in 2017, will take the spot of Louis-Philippe Roy in the National Driving Championship on Wednesday, September 26 at Grand River Raceway. McNair, who finished third in the Ontario Regional Driving Championship on May 16 at The Raceway at Western Fair District, was automatically offered the spot when Roy, who finished second, withdrew from the event on Friday afternoon. Upon receiving the offer, McNair immediately jumped at the opportunity. “It’s my first National Championship,” said McNair. “It is a tough way to earn the spot, and I do feel for Louis. I haven’t seen the horses I’ll be driving yet but I’m excited and pretty sure I’ve got a good shot. “It’s a good rebound of my bad day yesterday,” McNair said, referring to the placing (from first to fourth) of Stay Hungry in the second elimination of yesterday’s Little Brown Jug. Stay Hungry was ultimately scratched from the final. Roy’s withdrawal was the result of racing commitments he felt he had to fulfill on Tuesday, September 25. In addition to other drives, he will drive Shower Play in the $125,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Drivers are required to participate in all promotional, charitable and media events related to the National Driving Championship, on both Tuesday and Wednesday. “Unfortunately I’ll have to give up my chance to represent Canada in Sweden,” said Roy. “It’s not an easy decision, but I think it’s the best thing to do for my career and my business.” Roy’s withdrawal came shortly after the draft took place for National Driving Championship horses. Because of that, McNair has agreed to drive the horses originally selected by Roy. In addition to being the O’Brien Award winner as Canada’s top driver last year, McNair currently has 242 wins and $4,384,381 in earnings this season. He will join the seven other drivers competing in Wednesday’s NDC, including Trevor Henry who won this year’s Ontario Regional Driving Championship. From Standardbred Canada

Reigning Grassroots champion Pretty Handsome delivered an emphatic statement at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday night, laying down a :27.4 final quarter in his 1:51.3 Semi-Final victory on a night when the wind slammed into each field as they turned for home. "It's about a three second wind really," said driver Jody Jamieson, who won two of the eight Semi-Finals, including the other three-year-old colt event. "So the trip (Jonathan) Drury's horse went was monstrous." Drury and Pretty Handsome left smartly from Post 5 in the second $20,000 pacing colt Semi-Final and were comfortably in control by the :28 quarter. Unchallenged through a :56.3 half and 1:23.4 three-quarters, Pretty Handsome seemed completely unfazed by the wind that took the steam out of many of the evening's pacesetters. Rather than slowing, the Mach Three gelding powered down the stretch to a nine and one-quarter length victory. Luka Shenko and Shadow Moon completed the top three, with Phantom Seelster and Gideon Seelster also advancing to next week's championship. "Actually, he didn't surprise me tonight," said Andrew McCabe, who trains Pretty Handsome for owner Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein. "A lot of horses that were leaving out into the wind and then finishing into the wind as well were getting tired, but he just seemed to accelerate in the stretch." The win was Pretty Handsome's third straight and makes him a perfect four-for-four in Grassroots action this season. A two-time Grassroots winner at two, Pretty Handsome was not the favourite in last year's final and was awarded the title when Phantom Seelster was placed from first to ninth for causing interference. Second across the line, Pretty Handsome was elevated to first. With the other two-year-old title holders failing to advance to this year's finals, the gelding is the only horse with an opportunity to repeat as champion. Hoping to prevent Pretty Handsome from repeating will be the other Semi-Final winner, When You Dance, who used a late sprint to score his 1:54.2 victory. Pocket-sitter Yacht Seelster was second while pacesetter and fan favourite Casimir Richie P settled for third. JM Jack Of Hearts and Stock also advanced. Moffat resident Jody Jamieson piloted When You Dance to the win for trainer Ben Wallace of Puslinch and his partners Daniel Plouffe of Bromont, Quebec and Birnam Wood Farms of Boca Raton, Florida. Like Pretty Handsome When You Dance is undefeated in Grassroots action this season, winning two regular season events prior to his Semi-Final victory. "He's just been a nice horse all year for us," said Wallace of the long-legged pacer. "He's had a great summer and we're looking forward to next week." Jamieson's other victory came in the pacing filly division with favourite Neon Moon, who turned for home so far ahead of her peers she was able to ease up in the stretch and still hit the wire six and one-quarter lengths the best in 1:54.4. Sunday Afternoon finished second, Lady Bubbles was third, Mittany Nicole fourth and Enchanted Eva rounded out the finalists in fifth. "She's a beast," said Jamieson, who drives the Sportswriter filly for owner-trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario. "She's likely a Gold contender, but that division is so tough she's taking the road less travelled. With no bad luck, she should win the Grassroots Final." Guelph resident Jonathan Drury earned his second Semi-Final win in the other pacing filly contest, guiding Machnhope to a 1:54.2 victory over Princess Abie W and Azure Seelster. Sharks Summrshandy and I Shadow U rounded out the top five. Bill Robinson trains the Mach Three daughter for CMR Farms of Hagersville, David Serwatuk of Hamilton and BC Reichheld Stables of Caledonia, Ontario. In the sophomore trotting colt Semi-Finals, Say You Do was also untroubled by the wind, pulling away from the field in the stretch to record a 12 length victory in 1:58. T Barrr finished second in spite of broken equipment, Legend Within was third, Daylon Phantom fourth and Sicario fifth. "He's a big strong colt that wasn't bothered by the windy conditions tonight," said driver Paul MacDonell. "He'll be a factor in the final next week." Guelph resident MacDonell crafted the Kadabra gelding's third lifetime win for trainer Stephen Oldford, Oldford Racing LLC of Port Huron and Gene Oldford Farms LLC of St. Clair, Michigan. The other trotting colt Semi-Final went to favourite Jammin Jack and driver James MacDonald in 1:59.2. Mister Magic was second, Delcrest Holiday third, Takter fourth and Northern Ruler finished fifth. Mark Steacy trains Angus Hall son Jammin Jack for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. The trotting filly Semi-Finals went to Stormont Charlotte and Zorgwijk Sophia. Stormont Charlotte trotted to a personal best 1:57.2, finishing four lengths ahead of favourite Hopes Solo and pacesetter Ezee Tiguan. Magics Lucky Charm and Gradabra also advanced to the final. Sylvain Filion piloted the Justice Hall daughter to the win for trainer John Gouveia and owner Alan Fair of Ancaster, Ontario. Favourite Zorgwijk Sophia sailed to a 1:59 victory, five and one-half lengths ahead of Melanie G and Shotgun Sally. Stormont Chef and Gotta Pay To Play were well back in fourth and fifth. Doug McNair drove both Zorgwijk Sophia and Ezee Tiguan for trainer Lyle MacArthur and owners Linda Wellwood of St. George Brant and Tammy Aspden of Caistor Centre and will have to choose between the two for the final. "Sophia is a nice little filly to drive," McNair said. "The other filly is different. Once you start her up she's tricky to get relaxed." McNair has until Tuesday to make his decision, when the top five finishers from all of the two and three-year-old Semi-Finals will be entered in the post-position draw for the finals. The eight Grassroots champions will be crowned Saturday, Sept. 29 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - September 21, 2018 - The $890,000 Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers headlines a $1.9 million harness racing card this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The $590,000 Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies and the $255,000 Milton Stakes for pacing mares will also take place on Saturday's stakes card. This year's Metro Pace purse of $890,000 will be the third-highest purse for a horse race in Canada during 2018, trailing only the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup and $1 million Queen's Plate. The undefeated Captain Ahab (PP4) will be looking to repeat history for his trainer Tony Alagna and sire Captaintreacherous. The $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase is seven for seven and the looking to mimic his sire, who won the 2012 Metro Pace in a stakes-record equaling 1:49.2. Driver Andrew McCarthy will sit behind Captain Ahab, the 9/5 morning-line choice, searching for the biggest win of his career. The 32-year-old driver from Down Under has 2,092 wins and $35 million in career earnings. Captain Ahab captured his elimination last Saturday in 1:50.4 by rushing to the top in the second-quarter from fourth and pacing a :55.4 back-half (:28 final-quarter) to secure the victory. The Metro Pace has been the target for trainer Alagna with Captain Ahab, who arrived at Mohawk Park in late-July for the Dream Maker and will be making his sixth start at the Campbellville oval on Saturday. Trainer Casie Coleman will be searching for her second Metro title on Saturday with Bettors Delight colt Stag Party (PP3). A $125,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Stag Party came first-up in his elimination and powered to a career-best 1:51 victory. The Ontario sired standout has won five of seven starts heading into the Metro. Coleman's first Metro victory came back in 2009 with Sportswriter, who established a new event record of 1:49.2. Driver David Miller, who earlier this week captured his fifth Little Brown Jug, will sit behind Stag Party and is seeking his first Metro title. Stag Party, a winner of $197,489, is owned by John Fielding, Mac Nichol, McKinlay & Fielding and West Wins Stable. The $890,000 Metro Pace has been carded as Race 9. Saturday night could be a big night for the duo of McCarthy and Alagna, who also team up with 3-1 morning-line choice Tall Drink Hanover (PP4) in the $590,000 Shes A Great Lady. A daughter of Captaintreacherous, Tall Drink Hanover paced home in :26.3 to win her elimination in a career-best 1:51.2. The $35,000 Harrisburg yearling buy has won four of seven starts, including a division of the Eternal Camnation and final of the Whenuwishuponastar Series. Alagna will send a power trio in the Shes A Great Lady, as Tall Drink Hanover joins Treacherous Reign (PP1, Yannick Gingras) and Odds On St Lucie (PP8, Brett Miller). Ideation Hanover is the other elimination winner in Saturday's final and will start from post-two for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary. A daughter of Bettors Delight, Ideation Hanover converted off a two-hole trip for a 10-1 upset in 1:51.2. The $50,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase has never missed the board in eight starts, reaching the winner's circle three-times. The Shes A Great Lady, featuring a field of nine, is carded as Race 5. Rookie pacers won't be the only stars Saturday, as a deep field of 10 pacing mares will duel in the $255,000 Milton Stakes. Sticking with the trend from the rookie events, McCarthy will drive another morning-line favourite in the Milton, sitting behind dominating elimination winner Caviart Ally (PP5). Trained by Noel Daley, Caviart Ally went coast-to-coast in her elimination for a career-best 1:48.3 victory. The daughter of Bettors Delight is five for 13 this season and is inching towards $1 million in career earnings. The Milton final doesn't expect to be a walk in the park for Caviart Ally, as the field also includes stars Tequila Monday (PP2, B. Miller), Nike Franco N (PP3, Matt Kakaley), L A Delight (PP4, Randy Waples), Bettors Up (PP6, Doug McNair) and Pure Country (PP10, Gingras). The Milton Stakes has been carded as Race 7. To download a free program for Saturday's $1.9 million card, click here. Post time for the Metro Pace card is 7:10 p.m. Track Suface and paddock closed Saturday Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform all horsepeople that the track surface and paddock will not be open for training on Saturday morning (September 22). Only horses in retention for Saturday evening's stakes races will be permitted to use the track from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.  by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

The 2018 Fall race season at The Raceway at Western Fair District is set to kick off with the first harness racing program slated for Monday, October 1st at 6:15 p.m. Live racing will take place each Monday and Tuesday (6:15 p.m.) and Friday (6:55 p.m.) through December 31st. The month of October will be a busy one at the London oval and the celebration will continue all month long with a fantastic promotion at the Top Of The Fair restaurant. Every Friday in October two can dine for the price of one - just $39.99 - while enjoying the Fall Harvest menu created by executive chef Neil Mackay. Grand Opening festivities will take place on Friday, October 5th, highlighted by the Dachshund Dash weiner dog races, sponsored by Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. Three heats, featuring 10 weiner dogs in each, will be contested at 6:30 p.m. prior to that evening's race card and then the top three finishers from each heat will come back for the finale after race two. There will also be special draws and giveaways throughout the night, food specials at the Homestretch Grill and the Hands On Horses program giving fans a chance to ride behind a horse between races that night. The caretakers - the people who look after the magnificent horses that race night in and night out - will also be recognized as part of the National Caretakers initiative that has been happening at racetracks across the country this season. "We are looking forward to another great season of racing and entertainment at The Raceway," said Director of Racing Greg Blanchard. "October has become a really busy month for us and we're pleased to offer this excellent promotion at the Top Of The Fair. When you combine this deal with exciting live horse racing you have one of the most unique and affordable dining experiences in the city." The month of October also features the second annual Veteran's Classic on Friday, October 19 - a night that honours our military veterans past and present in a fun and celebratory way. The 13th edition of Harness The Hope, in support of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada, will take place on Friday, October 26. The second annual London Selected Yearling Sale will once again take place at the Western Fair District Agriplex the weekend of October 12-14. Following last year's successful merger of the former Forest City and Standardbred Canada yearling sales, organizers are planning even bigger and better things for this year. Ontario Racing's newly-announced Autumn Series will kick off the opening-night program at The Raceway. The track will host events for two and three-year-old colt trotters and filly pacers with the $20,000 added finals taking place on October 15th. The last Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event of the season for three-year-old filly trotters is slated for Tuesday, October 2nd. Condition sheets for the first week of the season are now posted on Standardbred Canada. To find out more, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. by Greg Blanchard, for The Western Fair

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Euchred will have some foes trying to settle the score Saturday evening as the top aged harness racing pacers in Atlantic Canada face off at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The action kicks off at 6 P.M., with 12-dashes scheduled at the capital oval. The $3,500 Invitational Pace is carded as race 12 of the program with a compact field of five and Euchred being saddled with the outside. Jason Hughes picks up the steer on Euchred for trainer Terry Gallant and owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S. The six-year-old son of Shadow Play rides a two-race win streak into the event. Those victories came defeating the same top pacers in 1:53.2 for driver Gilles Barrieau and 1:54 for driver David Dowling. Czar Seelster has post 3 with Kenny Arsenault back in the bike for trainer Todd Weatherbee and fellow top end pacer Rose Run Quest gets Gary Chappell in the bike in the absence of trainer Marc Campbell. Keep Coming (Driven by Corey MacPherson) also won his last two races including a 1:55.1 win in the $4,000 Johnny Conroy Memorial at Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia. Completing the field is Machinthesand (Ken Murphy) with rail control. Race analyst Les MacIsaac thinks Euchred's burst off the gate will be enough to overcome his outside starting post. "Euchred is right back to where he was earlier in the season, dominating every race from start to finish," MacIsaac said. "He'll look to exploit that gate speed and set up shop on the front end again and once there he can be very tough to catch." Also on the program, a field of six will contest the $2,350 Fillies and Mares Open pace in race 7. Ramblinglily draws post 6 in the race as the morning line favorite and trainer Alan Jones in the race bike. Other top entries include Collective Wisdom (Ron Matheson) and Prettyndangerous (Hughes). For live video, race programs and promotional information go to www.Redshores.ca. Mando Fun Favoured In Sunday Red Shores Feature SUMMERSIDE, PE - After prevailing as the popular favourite in his latest outing, Mando Fun will try to replicate that result Sunday afternoon at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. The 13-dash program gets underway at 1 P.M., at the half-mile Prince County oval with the $2,200 feature hitting the track in race 12. Mando Fun will retain the services of driver David Dowling on Sunday as he leaves from post 5 as the morning line favourite for co-owner and trainer Paul Biggar of Tyne Valley, and co-owner Donald Callbeck of Kensington, P.E.I. The five-year-old son of Badlands Hanover has put together a solid season with six wins from 18 tries and has shown some of his best work from the front end. His inside foes may have something to say about him making the front easily Sunday afternoon. Weekend Atnannies drops out of stakes competition to leave from post 2 in the event for the father-son team of trainer Leonard McGuigan and driver Mike McGuigan. The Western Paradise sophomore has banked over $22,000 this season and was a 1:56.1 winner in his last non-stakes race. Heart And Soul was also a winner in his last start with a 1:57.3 victory for trainer-driver Walter Cheverie. Also in the field is Pictonian Storm (Driven by Austin Sorrie), Salmonier Storm (Ambyr Campbell) and Revenant (Adam Merner). Nogreatmischief gets top billing in the $1,900 back-up class in race 10 with trainer-driver Cheverie from post 4. Slide Guitar (Dowling) has rail control in the event while Confident Fella (Marc Campbell) is third choice in the morning line from post 6. Catch the action live at the track or go to www.Redshores.ca for live video and more. By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

The results are in and the finalists announced for the 2018 Youth Literary Derby.   The province-wide juried, horse-themed writing contest designed to encourage writing and literacy skills of Ontario students grades 5 to 8, reached into the classrooms of schools,   Standardbred breeding farms and mainstream media, and attracted submissions from 46 towns, cities, villages and the Amish community. Poetry Derby Finalists: Maria Achilleos, St. John French Immersion School, London, Ontario Kyla Civiero, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Carlisle, Ontario Marilyn Schmidt, Amish Parochial School, Elmwood, Ontario Essay Derby Finalists: Avery Kirkpatrick, St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School, Bowmanville, Ontario Andrew Kuepfer, Amish Parochial School, Elmwood, Ontario Allie Kucman, Peace Bridge Public School, Fort Erie, Ontario The winners (1st,2nd and 3rd) of the Youth Literary Derby's poetry and essay categories will be announced and the recipients honoured in a special ceremony at Woodbine Mohawk Park on October 6th. The scope of the Youth Literary Derby was huge. It swept across the Ontario landscape from Blind River and Manotick to Bright's Grove, Sudbury, Dobbinton, St.Catharines and beyond, reaching out to horse-loving kids with a literary flair who competed for $2,000 in prizes donated by St. Catharines horseman and construction magnate, Tom Rankin, sponsor of the competition. "The contest is great for education in terms of encouraging literacy and the arts" Rankin states. "Giving kids the chance to be creative and who knows, there might be a budding poet or writer". As for the harness racing industry, Rankin thinks the Youth Literary Derby is an ideal way for introducing the sport to a wider audience. The winners will also receive free donated tuition for youth courses from Equine Guelph (Ontario Veterinary College) for Horse Behaviour and Safety. The Ontario Veterinary College is one of North America's foremost leaders in equine research and equine education. The Youth Literary Derby offered categories for both poems and essays, with prizes divided among the top three finishers in each category. The same amounts are donated to the entrant's school, or library if the student is home schooled. The Youth Literary Derby challenged students' abilities to capture in prose or verse their impressions and perceptions of their up-close encounters with some of the 1400 young Standardbred foals born in Ontario in 2018. Twenty Ontario Standardbred breeding farms opened their gates wide during the foaling season in April, May and June, welcoming these aspiring young wordsmiths into the world of nature and beyond the hi-tech world of computers. The Youth Literary Derby concept was introduced into the education curriculum of some classrooms. It attracted entries from French Immersion schools and gained wide acceptance and participation in the Amish community. The principals at many schools spoke in favour of the Youth Literary Derby and invited horsemen to speak about the program at their literary fairs. School boards contacted were unanimous in their support of the program, stating their appreciation for the community spirit generated by the program, and happily distributed Derby promotional literature to the schools in their jurisdictions. Libraries, too, requested promotional posters to distribute to their branches to publicize the event.   The mayors of St. Catharines, Mississauga and Caledon, Ontario weighed on the value of the Youth Literary Derby, issuing strong support and endorsement of the program. The Youth Literary Derby attracted mainstream media coverage with front page coverage in daily newspapers, and extensive exposure in major industry websites, along with talk radio, community television and wide-ranging social media. The program attained international recognition when the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State, the United States Harness Writers Association and Standardbred Breeders Association of Pennsylvania penned their praise and support of the program. "The Harness Horse Breeders Association of New York State are so impressed with the idea they are looking to implement a similar program", said Betty Holt, executive director of Harness Horse Breeders of New York State.   Overall Derby statistics showed 30 per cent of submissions were poems, with 70 per cent essays. Interestingly, 63 per cent of the total submissions were penned by girls and 45 per cent of those who submitted entries heard of the Derby from their schools and their teachers. Twelve per cent of students learned of the program from their libraries. Key partners in the support and promotion of the Derby include Equine Guelph (Ontario Veterinary College), Mississauga Arts Council, Standardbred Canada, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Standardbred breeders of Ontario, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, and Woodbine. The Youth Literary Derby was organized and implemented by a team of ten dedicated industry volunteers. For additional information: Bill Galvin, billgalvin2000@rogers.com.   by Bill Galvin, for the Youth Literary Derby        

Woodbine Mohawk Park hosted the two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finals on Thursday and the youngsters put on a tremendous show for fans, with five of the eight races decided by less than one length. The two-year-old trotting colts set the tone in the first $20,000 contest as the division's point leaders A Royal Line and Royale Elite battled tooth and nail down the stretch. A Royal Line had controlled the tempo for much of the race and Royale Elite appeared to have him beat at the top of the stretch, but A Royal Line fought back and put a head in front as the trotters reached the wire in 1:59. Favourite LA Magic was three lengths behind the leaders in third and Northern Tailwind and Fitzgibbons also advanced to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship. "I thought A Royal Line fought hard, he was beat and he come back," said trainer Bob McIntosh. "I was pretty proud of him." The Windsor resident bred and owns the son of Royalty For Life and Direct Dial with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario and Paul MacDonell piloted the gelding to his fourth lifetime win. McIntosh, who watched the Semi-Finals from his vehicle on the way home from the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio, had reason to celebrate again following the second trotting colt Semi-Final. With Phil Hudon filling in for the scheduled Bob McClure, Judge Ken got away sharply from Post 7 and rang up fractions of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:27.3 on the way to a 1:57.4 score. Priceless Ruler finished one-half length back in second and favourite Cousin Peter was hot on his heels in third. LMC Picasso and Lariat Seelster also advanced to next weekend's final. "Pretty proud of both colts, they were gritty, they were good," said McIntosh, who bred and owns the son of Justice Hall and Barbie And Ken in partnership with Boyle and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio. "It's been a good year. Hopefully we can finish it off with a bang." McIntosh's trotting fillies Splurge On Me and Nifty Trick also advanced to the Championship. Splurge On Me made an early break leaving from Post 10, but recovered to finish fifth behind heavy favourite At Will, who stopped the teletimer at 1:58.1. Eramosa Magic was three and three-quarter lengths back in second, Galaxy Seelster was third and P L Molly fourth. Sylvain Filion piloted the Kadabra daughter At Will to the win for trainer Julie Walker of Carlisle and her partners, breeder Layhoon Chan Brunner of Etobicoke and Ronald Piers of Georgetown, Ontario. Nifty Trick finished second to Rebellious Lady, who sprinted down the stretch to a three and three-quarter length victory in 1:59.1. Royaltys Pearl was third and Pyrrha and Luckyjohanna completed the top five. Scott Young crafted the win for his father, trainer Bob Young, and owner Hugh Fitzpatrick of Guelph, Ontario. "She's always a complete pro," said the driver, who was making his first-ever appearance in the post-season winner's circle. "She always shows up and does her job. For a two-year-old Angus Hall filly, she's a pleasure to drive." The pacing filly divisions went to Freya Seelster and Jessicas Legacy, who both started from Post 1 with James MacDonald in the race bike. Freya Seelster took command before the :56.3 half and opened up a gap on the field heading by the 1:25.2 three-quarters that runner-up Free Exchange was unable to close. The fan favourite hit the wire three-quarters of a length the best in 1:53.1. Sports Flix was third, Whitehaven Beach fourth and Saulsbrook Jessie fifth. Mark Steacy trains Sunshine Beach daughter Freya Seelster for Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell of Guelph, Ontario and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. Of the six freshmen Steacy started in Thursday's Semi-Finals, Freya Seelster was one of four that qualified for the Championships. Jessicas Legacy enjoyed a pocket trip behind Lady Driver, stepping out in the stretch to claim the one and one-quarter length victory in 1:53.3. Favourite Shadow Sparks was second, Twin B Friendly third, Lady Driver settled for fourth and Buckingham was fifth. MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Anthony Beaton and owner-breeder Robert Hamather of Exeter, Ontario. Chanting Hanover mounted a late charge to win the first $20,000 pacing colt and gelding Semi-Final, which saw less than two lengths separate the top six horses. The Sportswriter son and driver Louis Philippe Roy hit the wire in 1:54.1, one half length ahead of The First Step and B Stoney. Mo Bettor was third and Ahi and Sports Hero finished in a dead heat for fifth. Repentigny, Quebec resident Colin Johnson trains Chanting Hanover for Paul Johnson of Durham, England, and William Greenhorn and Andrew Dick of Stirling, Scotland. The final honour of the evening went to fan favourites Century Farroh and driver Sylvain Filion, who powered to the front early and held on for a three-quarter length victory over Wager On Me. JMs Delight was third, Boys Turn fourth and Maintenance Man fifth. Dr. Ian Moore trains the pacing colt for Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, Nova Scotia and says the Ratchfords may not recognise the son of Mach Three when they arrive for next weekend's Championship. "He's grown a lot. He (Dave Ratchford) won't even know him when he sees him. He was just an average-sized colt when he came and now he's a nice, good-sized muscular colt, really solid, so we like him pretty good," said Moore of Century Farroh. "So hopefully he stays good for at least one more week." The top five finishers from each two-year-old Semi-Final will be back at Woodbine Mohawk Park next Saturday, Sept. 29 for the Grassroots Championships. They will be joined by the three-year-olds, who compete in their Semi-Finals at the Campbellville oval on Friday evening. The three-year-olds will battle in Races 2 through 7, 9 and 10 on the Friday evening program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Tobinator teamed up with Corey MacPherson to slice Three Truths’ win streak short at three races Thursday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Tobinator went to front in the $2,350 Thursday night feature preferred 2 class and cut out fractions of 28.1, 57.1 and 1:26.1 before closing the mile out in 1:54.4. Corey MacPherson engineered the winning trip for trainer Trevor Hicken and owner William Hicken of Vernon Bridge, P.E.I. Rockin Indy (Driven by Jason Hughes) was second while Three Truths (Kenny Arsenault) had his win streak cut short at three while finishing third and completing the $164.70 triactor. Frill Seeker captured the $1,950 Open Trot at 8-1 odds with Arsenault at the lines for the 2:00.2 victory for owner Ebbsfleet Stable of Stratford, Ont. Second went to Majian Tango (Jim Ripley) while Glencove Carter (Steven Shepherd) was third. For race replays and more go to www.redshores.ca. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

The final events of the Atlantic Sires Stakes regular season will take place on Saturday at Northside Downs. The North Sydney oval will host both the two-year-old pacing colts and the two-year-old pacing fillies in this last opportunity to earn points for entry into the Atlantic Breeders Crown Weekend of Championships. Over $17,000 will be on the line as eight fillies battle it out in one 'A' division event. The top two point earners on the filly leader board will be in attendance. Magical Mistress and Therealdeal are tied with 24 points each and are leaving from post position two and three. The top eight declared point earners in each division will go in the championship finals on Thanksgiving Weekend at Red Shores Charlottetown Driving Park., while the next eight go in the consolations. The two-year-old pacing colts will also have the chance to shine on Saturday in two 'A' division events, each with a purse pool of $9,320. Woodmere Bolt, the current point leader, will be on hand to defend his lead. First race post time on Saturday at Northside Downs is 1 pm. by Lynne MacLennan, for the Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association

With a 26 point lead in the standings, Mark Steacy has all but locked up his third straight Johnston Cup title as the leading trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Among the horses propelling Steacy toward his third honour are the 13 Grassroots competitors set to battle in this week's Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park, six in the two-year-old event on Thursday and seven in Friday's three-year-old event. Three of those hopefuls lead their division after the five regular season events - two-year-old trotting colt Royale Elite, three-year-old pacing colt Hudson Phil and three-year-old pacing filly Hello Love. "(Thursday) my best chance, I think, is Freya Seelster," said the trainer of his two-year-old entries. "She's been pretty good and really hasn't done anything wrong up until now, and she drew a good post and all, so I think that she's probably my best chance." Two-year-old pacing filly Freya Seelster will start from Post 1 in the eighth race on Thursday, the first of the two $20,000 pacing filly Semi-Finals. The daughter of former Steacy trainee Sunshine Beach is a perfect two-for-two in Grassroots action and has not missed the top three in five starts. James MacDonald will steer the filly for Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell of Guelph, Ontario and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. Division point leader Royale Elite will also start from Post 1 in the first freshman trotting colt Semi-Final, while Rap Royalty gets Post 1 in the second trotting colt showdown. MacDonald will pilot both youngsters, along with trotting filly Pyrrha from Post 9 in the ninth race and pacing colts Ahi from Post 2 in the tenth race and Moonshine Kisses from Post 10 in Race 12. On Friday, Steacy believes the stable has serious contenders in every division they have entrants - pacing colt, pacing filly and trotting colt. "I think in the three-year-olds (Friday) we've got a couple chances," noted the Lansdowne resident. "Hello Love, and if the trotters Jammin Jack and Majestic Fire behave themselves they look pretty good too." The horseman is also not counting out three-year-old pacing colt point leader Hudson Phil, who will be hampered by Post 9 in the tenth race. "He drew bad. I was thinking that he had a real decent shot too, and maybe still does," said Steacy. "Or maybe get fifth or fourth and make it to the final and redraw again, because he deserves better." Hudson Phil went three-for-three in Grassroots action for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. The Shanghai Phil son also captured the Quebec Breeders Cup Series Final at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres on Sept. 9. Stablemate Jonathan Quick will start from Post 7 in the other three-year-old pacing colt Semi-Final, which goes postward in Race 4. A total of three trotting colts from the Steacy barn will be looking to advance to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship. Northern Ruler and Jammin Jack will make their bids from Posts 4 and 5 in the first Semi-Final and Majestic Prince will take his shot from Post 4 in the second split. Jonathan Drury will steer Northern Ruler, while MacDonald handles the driving assignment on all the other Steacy trainees. While Steacy is optimistic about the trotters' chances now that the entries are complete, he was far less confident last week. All three colts were required to qualify after making breaks in the last regular season Grassroots event, contested over a heavy, rain-soaked Woodbine Mohawk Park oval on Sept. 10. Northern Ruler and Jammin Jack accomplished the task in one shot, touring the Grand River Raceway half-mile in 2:04 and 2:04.1, respectively, on Sept. 12, but Majestic Fire made another error on Sept. 12 and had to try again at Woodbine Mohawk Park the following day. Fortunately the second time was the charm and MacDonald teamed the trotter to a flawless 1:58.4 clocking. "Since the last qualifier we've just been quite easy on them, and hopefully they've got it down pat now," said Steacy ruefully. "Jammin Jack's always been a little tricky, but Majestic Fire has been pretty good. He's been pretty safe all along, and all of a sudden he just got out of whack there for two or three starts, right when he needed to be good. "I think they should fine, and I think they're just as fast as anything in the division as long as they behave," the trainer added. Sophomore pacing fillies Hello Love and stablemate Lady Bubbles sit one-two in the point standings and will start from Posts 5 and 3 in their respective Semi-Finals. "(Lady Bubbles) is a real trier, she just gives 100 per cent all the time and she seems to always be right there in all these Grassroots," noted Steacy. "And Hello Love, right now I think she's as good as she's been." Division leader Hello Love heads into Friday's Semi-Final on a two-race win streak and has not been worse than second since late July. The Shadow Play daughter is owned by Landmark 10 Racing Stable of Kingston, Ontario, J and T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta and Conrad Leber of Montreal, Quebec. Steacy said getting each of the 13 trotters and pacers to the Grassroots Semi-Finals has required countless hours of hard work and attention to detail from his first-class staff, along with a healthy dose of racing luck. As the post-season gets under way, the horseman is simply hoping the hard work pays off and there is a bit more luck to be found. Post time for both the Thursday, Sept. 20 and Friday, Sept. 21 programs at Woodbine Mohawk Park is 7:10 pm. The two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finalists will compete in Races 2, 3 and 7 through 12 on Thursday while the three-year-olds wage their Friday evening battles in Races 2 through 7, 9 and 10. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will return to the Campbellville oval for the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championships. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Trainer Bob McIntosh will start a quartet of custom-made harness racing trotters in Thursday's two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park, qualifying A Royal Line and Judge Ken in the trotting colt division and Splurge On Me and Nifty Trick in the trotting filly category. A Royal Line finished the regular season with a record of three wins in four Grassroots starts, good enough for second in the point standings, with Judge Ken not far behind in fourth. Splurge On Me leads the trotting fillies into the Semi-Final with a record of two wins in five starts for 133 points, and Nifty Trick comes in tied for fourteenth. In addition to being trained by the Hall of Fame horseman, all four youngsters were also bred by McIntosh and his partners. "I don't know, it's just, it happened," said McIntosh of this year's success in the freshman trotting ranks. "When I breed them all and they come out of the field, that's what you get, you've got to deal with them. I don't get to go to the sale and pick out the best ones. Whatever comes out of the field is it. "But I'm still open for business if somebody wants to send me some store-bought ones," he added with a laugh. In rein to Guelph resident Paul MacDonell, A Royal Line will kick off Thursday's Semi-Final action in the second race, lining up at Post 2, alongside division point leader Royale Elite who will start from Post 1. "I like my colt," said McIntosh, who shares ownership of A Royal Line with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. "He's got a great personality and a great attitude and a great gait. I'm not saying we can beat the other horse, but he'll make a good account of himself. I think it will be a good match up." Both sons of Royalty For Life, A Royal Line and Royale Elite head into Thursday's test from the Sept. 12 Grassroots event at Grand River Raceway. Royale Elite was an easy 2:02.4 winner in his division, while A Royal Line finished third to LA Magic in a 2:01.2 mile. Ninth-ranked LA Magic will challenge the point leaders from Post 4 in the first $20,000 trotting colt Semi-Final. Judge Ken will start from Post 7 in the second trotting colt Semi-Final, slated as Race 7, and McIntosh is hoping the son of Justice Hall and Barbie And Ken can mind his manners and advance to the Sept. 29 Championship. The youngster made an early break in the Grand River event and finished third behind Royale Elite. "A couple of starts ago (July 31) they left with him out of the 10-hole and after that he got a little bit wound-up, so it's just a matter of getting him relaxed again. As far as his gait and his soundness it's good, so I wouldn't rule him out," noted the trainer. "He's his own worst enemy, he gets a little bit hyper, but there's nothing wrong with his ability." McIntosh, Boyle and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio bred and own Judge Ken, who will be driven by Elora resident Bob McClure. Trotting filly Splurge On Me will be hampered by the outside Post 10 in the third race, but McIntosh is optimistic that the division leader can still advance to the $50,000 final. "I think the 10-hole is a big handicap," admitted McIntosh. "But she's good; she trained good the other day. So I don't know if we can win it, but hopefully we will make it into the final and draw a little better, because she's a sweetheart of a filly." Louis Philippe Roy will steer Splurge On Me, who heads into the Semi-Final off an effortless three and one-half length victory in the Sept. 11 regular season finale at Woodbine Mohawk Park, clocked in a personal best 1:58.4. McIntosh and C S X Stables bred and own the daughter of Kadabra and Urge To Splurge. Nifty Trick finished up the regular season with four thirds in five Grassroots appearances and will start from Post 7 in the second trotting filly Semi-Final with Louis Philippe Roy in the race bike. "You know what, she's kind of coming around," says the trainer. "She was a little wound up training too, but she seems to have settled down, so she could be anything." McIntosh and Boyle bred and own the daughter of Kadabra and Cash Is Best. Whether his full trotting contingent advances to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship or not, McIntosh expects all four to continue their development through the winter and return to Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) action as three-year-olds. "There's no doubt about it, when you've got good two-year-olds you look for good three-year-olds. The last couple years I haven't had those, but this is a good bunch of two-year-olds," said the eight-time winner of the Johnston Cup as the top trainer in the OSS program. "I've got 27 yearlings coming in this year, homebreds, so if they show some promise it's going to make it good for the next couple years." The two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finals, worth a total of $160,000, will take place in Races 2, 3 and 7 through 12 on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Thursday, Sept. 20 program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will advance to next week's Grassroots Championships at the Campbellville oval. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A red hot Three Truths will face off against seasoned company in the Thursday night feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 6:30 P.M. for the 11-dash program with a power packed field of seven contesting the race 10 featured pace for a $2,350 purse. Three Truths rides a three-race win streak into the event and will draw post 5 for driver Kenny Arsenault, trainer Paul Doyle and owners Jason Rice of Kensington and Darren Doyle of York, P.E.I. The five-year-old son of Shadow Play defeated the same preferred 2 class in his latest start while taking a new lifetime mark of 1:55.1. Three Truths defeated three of the horses racing against him this week but will also have to contend with a pair of class droppers and a front-end specialist with an improved post. Perfect Escape (Driven by Gilles Barrieau) jumps up in class for this race but draws post 1 this week and proves deadly when he acquires the front end. The outside duo of Winter Blast (Jason Hughes) and Red Magician (Adam Merner) drop out of the preferred 1 class to try and cut Three Truths' win streak short. Also in the field is Rockin Indy (David Dowling), Elm Grove Kaboom (Marc Campbell) and Tobinator (Corey MacPherson). The $1,950 Open trot lines up in race 8 of the program with Majian Tango the favourite from post 6 for trainer-driver Jim Ripley and owner Marylea Ripley of Amherst, N.S. His stablemate Majian Chester (Ken Murphy) is installed at 7-2 odds from the rail, while Dusty Lane Jacob (MacPherson) was an impressive winner last week and gets post 2. Sophomore stakes trotter Buckaroo will leave from post 7 as he faces off with aged company for trainer-driver Campbell. For race programs, live video and more check out www.Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

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