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Mohawk Racetrack offers a stakes laden harness racing card Saturday evening anchored by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic which has two top Ontario-sired colts taking on five very talented sophomores. The card also features the $385,000 Peaceful Way final with several OSS fillies in contention, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial with one lone Ontario-sired colt, and the $409,000 Elegantimage final with four OSS girls vying for their turn in the winner’s circle. In addition to those great trotting races, the program will also headline the top pacing mares in North America in two eliminations for the Milton Stakes which feature three OSS graduates including a Breeders Crown winner. In the showcase event Harper Blue Chip will attempt to duplicate his sire, Majestic Son’s, 2006 Canadian Trotting Classic victory. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario, trained Majestic Son, who won the ’06 CTC by more than six lengths over a very talented field, and also conditions Harper Blue Chip. A son of Angus Hall, Majestic Son was a dominant force in the OSS during his sophomore season, winning seven of 10 OSS events. In total, he won $622,000 in the provincial program during his career. Majestic Son now stands at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ontario, and Harper Blue Chip, with $547,000 in earnings, is his second richest performer to date, behind only Charmed Life ($592,000). So far this year Harper Blue Chip has a summary of 4-2-2 in 10 starts and although he’s won two OSS Gold events and swept the Canadian Breeders, he’s best known for finishing third in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian last month at the Meadowlands. The Hambletonian winner, Trixton, is also slated to start in the CTC final, with post five. Trainer Jimmy Takter will drive the colt who has won eight of 10 starts this year. Tatker’s other talented colt in this division, Father Patrick (also eight for 10) is right alongside in post six. It’s a formidable duo facing Harper Blue Chip whose driver Sylvain Filion is cautiously optimistic, especially given that the colt has finally drawn a decent starting position, post two, compared to post 10 in the Goodtimes final and post nine in the Hambletonian. “He’s been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post,” Filion noted earlier this week. “We’ve got a tough bunch of horses to race against, but he’s very good right now. I’m hoping for a good, close to the front trip and hopefully some top horses won’t be on their game, because we’ll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It’s a very high quality group.” The other OSS colt joining Harper in the CTC final is Muscle Matters, a son of Muscle Mass who will start beside Harper Blue Chip in post three. Mario Baillargeon will be at the lines for his brother Ben who handles the colt’s training. Yet to win a race this year, Muscle Matters has been close, with five second place finishes in six starts, three of those to Harper Blue Chip. The CTC final goes as race nine on the card. In the third race, the $385,000 Peaceful Way final, there are six OSS fillies in the mix including a pair trained by John Bax, Stubborn Belle (post one, Paul MacDonell) and Juanitas Fury (post nine, Steve Condren). Both fillies have two OSS wins to their credit this season and both finished second in their respective Peaceful Way elims. Stubborn Belle was aptly named according to Bax. “She’s always been a lot like her name, that’s why she was named Stubborn Belle. She’s been a little hard to get to do it the way we want her to.” Despite that the Taurus Dream daughter, owned by Bax of Peterborough and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ontario, has set two records so far this year – a track record at Rideau Carleton (1:55.4) in an OSS Gold event and a stakes record in a Champlain stake (1:54.2). Bax also starts the Muscle Hill filly Southwind Champagne in the Peaceful Way final. She has post six with Steve Byron at the controls. The other OSS rookies attempting to capture the event named for one of the greatest Ontario-sired trotting mares of all time, $3.2 million winner Peaceful Way, include Daneille Hall (post two, Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (post four, Roger Mayotte), Amoureuse Hanover (post eight, Doug McNair) and Lady Caterina (post 10, Phil Hudon). The dam of Elegant Serenity, Elegantimage, is the namesake for the seventh race on the program. A star of the OSS in the late 1990s, Elegantimage earned just shy of a million dollars during her impressive racing career. A quartet of three-year-old Ontario-sired fillies will attempt to capture the $409,000 event including Bax’s Riveting Rose (post three, Paul MacDonell), Tosca (post two, Per Henriksen), Sweetie Hearts (post eight, Randy Waples) and Muscle Babe (post 10, James MacDonald). The other major trotting stake on the program is named for one of Canada’s most respected horsemen of all time, the late William Wellwood, a member of Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame and a successful participant in the OSS since its inception 40 years ago. The only Ontario-sired rookie colt in contention for this event is a son of Infinitif, Dont Rush who has drawn post four with Chris Christoforou in the bike. The colt captured a division of the first Gold event for this group in early July which surprised his trainer/owner and breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario. “If you had told me in October he was going to win a Gold the first week of July I don’t think I would have believed you,” laughed Jones. “He’s exceeded my expectations since I brought him in the barn.” The OSS graduates competing in the two Milton eliminations are Monkey On My Wheel, a Breeders Crown winner at three and 10-2-6 in 24 starts this year for owner/breeder Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ontario. The winner of $1.5 million to date in her career has post seven in the sixth race which also features the Camluck mare Camille ($1.1 million to date) in post four. Voelz Hanover ($1.5 million lifetime) is the lone Ontario-sired distaffer in the second Milton elim, race 10. In addition to all of the on-track action, Mohawk is also celebrating their fans with Fan Appreciation Night Saturday featuring a first bet on the house, giveaways after each race and a $5 food voucher to the first 1,000 fans. To view the full card please click Mohawk Entries - September 13.

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 2 - Seven three-year-old trotters were entered Tuesday morning for the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic on Saturday, September 13. With only seven horses entered, eliminations are not required for this year's edition of the 'Trotting Classic.' Headlining the group of seven is the Jimmy Takter trained duo of Father Patrick and Trixton. Father Patrick is coming into the Canadian Trotting Classic off a victory last Friday night in the $340,000 Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs. A son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream, Father Patrick has won 17 of his 20 career starts, including capturing last year's William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk in a Track and Canadian record time of 1:53.4. Father Patrick was named last year's Two-year-old Trotting Colt of the Year on both sides of the border and has earned $1,452,396 in his career. The other half of the Takter duo, Trixton, most recently won the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes last Saturday night at Mohawk. A son of Muscle Hill - Emilie Cas El, Trixton won this year's $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on August 2. He also found success earlier this season at Mohawk when he won the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14 in a Track and Canadian record clocking of 1:51.3. Trixton has 12 victories in 18 career starts for earnings of more than $960,000. Also joining the Takter duo in the rich final is Ontario Sires Stakes star Harper Blue Chip. Trained by Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip won this year's Canadian Breeders Championship and finished third in the Hambletonian. A son of Canadian Trotting Classic winner Majestic Son, Harper Blue Chip has visited the winner's circle eight times in his career for earnings of more than $547,000. The other four horses in this year's Canadian Trotting Classic field are Damfoolrmillionair, E L Titan, Il Sogno Dream and Muscle Matters. Established in 1976, the Canadian Trotting Classic has been won by many great trotters including, Joie de Vie, Giant Victory, Yankee Paco, Kadabra, Mr Muscleman, Windsongs Legacy, Donato Hanover, Deweycheatumnhowe and Muscle Hill. Also on Tuesday morning, 11 three-year-old trotting fillies were entered for this year's Elegantimage Stakes. Those 11 fillies will go directly to the $409,000 final on Canadian Trotting Classic night (September 13). Leading the group of fillies is Shake It Cerry, a winner of more than $1.2 million, from the Jimmy Takter barn. A daughter of Donato Hanover - Solveig, Shake It Cerry is coming off a victory in the $150,000 filly edition of the Zweig Memorial last Friday at Vernon Downs. Shake It Cerry has won 16 of 21 career starts and has won many notable stakes events, including the Del Miller Memorial back in July and last year's two-year-old filly trot Breeders Crown. Also highlighting the group of 11 is the Julie Miller trained Designed To Be. The daughter of Donato Hanover - Sheer Soul won a division of the $103,845 Simcoe Stakes last Friday night at Mohawk. Designed To Be has won three times and has never been worst than third in seven starts this season. She has seven career victories for earnings of more than $593,000 and has only missed board once in 15 career starts. Muscle Babe and Riveting Rosie are two of four Ontario sired fillies in the field. Trained by Dave Menary, Muscle Babe has won four times in 10 starts this season, including the $178,287 SBOA Stakes on May 31 at Mohawk. She has six wins in 18 career starts and career earnings exceeding $248,000. Riveting Rosie was last year's Two-year-old Filly Trotter of the Year in Canada. She only lost twice last season in eight starts and captured $374,000 Peaceful Way Stakes at Mohawk. Trained by John Bax, Riveting Rosie has not had nearly as much success this season, but recently picked up her first win of 2014 in a $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event at Grand River Raceway on August 13. Riveting Rosie has won seven times in 18 career starts for earnings of more than $550,000. Here is the full field for the $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes on Saturday, September 13. Chivaree Hanover Demanding Sam Designed To Be Heavens Door Muscle Babe Riveting Rosie Scream And Shout Shake It Cerry Sweetie Hearts Tosca Vanity Matters Along with the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage Stakes finals on September 13, Mohawk will also have the finals for the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial and the $385,000 Peaceful Way. Also on that evening, Mohawk will be hosting customer appreciation night. Visit www.MohawkRacetrack.com for more details in the coming days. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 1 - All eyes in harness racing will be on the Meadowlands this Saturday for the Hambletonian and local standout Harper Blue Chip will be one of eleven trotters vying for harness racing's highest profile trotting title. Trained by local conditioner Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip will start from post position nine with driver Brian Sears in the $1,006,125 Hambletonaian, which is carded as Race 13 on Saturday afternoon. Harper Blue Chip races for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. The son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin is coming off a 3 ¾ length victory in the Canadian Breeders Championship at Mohawk on July 19. In six starts this season, Harper Blue Chip has visited the winner's circle twice and has only missed the board once when he finished fourth to the Father Patrick in the $500,000 Earl Beal Memorial at Pocono Downs on June 28. Just like the Beal Memorial, Harper Blue Chip and the rest of the field will be gunning for Father Patrick, who enters the Hambletonian on a 15 race win streak. Father Patrick is just one of three starters (Nuncio and Trixton) sent out by trainer Jimmy Takter. Takter's trio are the top three choices on the morning line. Harper Blue Chip is the fourth choice in the early odds of 12-1. Steacy admits that it will be a tough task defeating Takter's trio, but that his horse is on top of his game. "We've got our work cut out for us," said Steacy. "I was quite disappointed drawing the nine, it kind of made things a lot more difficult, but our horse is going into the race really good and healthy, so I expect a good effort from him as long as we have some race luck." Since the fourth place effort in the Beal, Harper Blue Chip has dominated locally and Steacy believes Harper Blue Chip is a better horse than the last time he faced the continent's very best. "I think with the trio of Jimmy Takter's it's a big step up, but he's raced against these horses before, never been able to beat them, but he's gone against them and he's been respectable," said Steacy. "I think my horse is better than the last time he raced against these horses and I think he's improved with every start and again a lot of racing luck and you never what might happen." Steacy has an idea of the trip he would like for his charge, but will leave the strategy up to defending and two-time Hambletonian winning driver Brian Sears. "It's going to be up to Brian Sears, but I'm hoping he will try to charge off the gate...obviously you want to be as close to Father Patrick or Trixton or one of those horses that you can be." Defeating Takter's trio will be a tough task for the Mark Steacy trainee, but Steacy knows what it takes to win a million dollar race with a three-year-old trotter. In 2006, Steacy captured the million dollar Canadian Trotting Classic with Majestic Son, the sire of Harper Blue Chip, overcoming favourites Chocolatier and Trotting Triple Crown winner Glidemaster. On Saturday afternoon, Steacy will be looking to recreate that million dollar magic with Harper Blue Chip. No horse has been hotter on the WEG circuit this season than State Treasurer and the Dr. Ian Moore trainee will take his talents south to the Meadowlands to battle with the sport's top free-for-all pacers on Saturday. State Treasurer will start from post two with driver David Miller in a field of nine for the $257,700 US Pacing Championship. The five-year-old son of Real Desire - Ideal Tresurer has won seven times in ten starts this season, including a victory last Saturday night in the Preferred at Mohawk in 1:48.3. State Treasurer has started in the WEG Preferred seven times this season and is currently riding a six race win streak in the circuit's top class. All six of those wins have been sub-1:50 miles. His biggest victory of the season was on May 30 in the $150,000 Molson Pace at Western Fair. State Treasurer's rivals on Saturday include Sweet Lou, who is currently on a seven race win streak, and Captaintreacherous, the 2013 Pepsi North America Cup winner. Two starts back, State Treasurer tackled this group in the $463,000 William Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands and finished fourth, while only beaten 2 ½ lengths. This Saturday, State Treasurer will need to bring his top game and the speed he has been putting on display. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 19 - A quartet of Canadian Breeders Championships for the nation's finest three-year-old pacers and trotters highlighted the undercard for Maple Leaf Trot night at Mohawk. Harper Blue Chip, with Sylvain Filion at the controls, turned in another top notch performance to win the $121,958 Canadian Breeders Championship for three-year-old colts and geldings trotters. After getting away in third, the son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin was sent to the lead approaching the half and never looked back winning by 3 ¾ lengths in 1:55.2. Muscle Matters, the early leader, finished second, while Jitterbug finished third by a nose over Entranced. Harper Blue Chip is trained by Mark Steacy for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable, David McDonald, David Reid and George Judson. Following the race, Howard Pearce, a member of the Landmark 6 Racing Sable, said it was a sweet victory. "It's a tough year to have a really nice horse like 'Harper' because of those three nice horses down south," said Pearce. "But he's proven that he is one of the best in Canada, so that's wonderful." Pearce also mentioned that it appears Harper Blue Chip will now head south to the Meadowlands to compete in the Hambletonian. The Breeders Championship victory was the second win in five starts this season for Harper Blue Chip and the fifth win of his career. His career earnings now jump more than $350,000. He paid $2.70 to win. White Becomes Her extended her win streak to four in winning the $118,090 Canadian Breeders Championship for the three-year-old filly trotters. Mario Baillargeon moved the daughter of Angus Hall - Pursuing Keagan from the two-hole to the lead in the second quarter. After posting a three-quarter time of 1:28.1, White Becomes Her trotted away from her rivals with a :28.3 last quarter to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:56.4. Margie finished in the place spot, while Mayberry trotted into third. White Becomes Her is trained by Ben Baillargeon for owner Vince Mastrangelon. The Breeders Championship was the fifth win in eight starts this season for White Becomes Her. Following the race, Mario Baillargeon said we haven't seen the best of her yet. "I don't think so, I can't wait to race her with the American fillies and get a trip," said Baillargeon. "She loves to follow a lot more than racing on the front, so I would like to get her on a helmet behind Shake It Cerry and see what happens in the lane." White Becomes Her now has six wins and earnings of over $210,000 in her career. She returned $3.30. Silverhill Shadow repelled all comers with a smart front-end pace to win the $122,028 Canadian Breeders Championship for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Chris Christoforou blasted off the gate to demand the lead from pocket-sitting Shadowbriand marking a quarter in :27 and a half in :56.2 through a persistent drizzle over a sloppy track. Sylain Filion made a menacing move first over into the turn with Victor Bayama, but Silverhill Shadow had another gear and stepped away to a dominant win in 1:51.2. A ground saving Shadowbriand, efficiently steered by Paul MacDonnell, stayed on determinedly to earn the place photo over Victory Bayama. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, the Shadow Play colt earned his fourth win of the campaign from six starts. The conditioner noted a very important similarity to his champion sire. "Heart and desire for sure," said Moore. "He's a big strong colt and he gives you all he's got every time out." A front-end trip was always in the cards for the quick Silverhill Shadow. "Chris was asking him to get the front going the first quarter, and I thought I had him warmed up pretty good, but he was great the last half-mile and that's where it counted," said Moore. He paid $5.80 to win. Brescia Seelster pulled off a 60-1 upset in the $122,343 Canadian Breeders Championship final for three-year-old pacing fillies. Sudoku brushed to the lead under urging from Jody Jamieson down the backstretch in :56.1, but it was an amped up My Secret Belle, piloted by Joe Hudon, who took over into the turn. My Secret Belle and Sudoku battled to mid-stretch before a closing cavalry of filly pacers converged with the outside rally of Brescia Seelster the winning move for Mario Baillargeon. Performing Art, a 40-1 long shot, stormed up the rail to earn place money keying boxcar payoffs. It was the fourth win in eight starts this season for Brescia Seelster, improving on a 1-4-1 record from 10 starts a year ago. "She was a little slow in maturing and Mario has been telling us all along as this horse gets older it'll be better," said co-owner Norman Keyes. Co-owned and trained by David Keyes, Brescia Seelster paid $138.70 to win. by Mark McKelvie and Keith McCalmont, for WEG

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 15 - A stellar 13-race card featuring the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot has been assembled for Saturday night (July 19) at Mohawk Racetrack. Sebastian K, the world's fastest trotter (1:49), highlights the field of ten for the 63rd edition of Canada's most storied trotting event, the Maple Leaf Trot (Race 9). The eight-year-old "Scandinavian Powerhouse" won his elimination last Friday (July 11) for trainer-driver Ake Svandstedt in 1:52.2. Upon earning the right to select his post position for the final, Svandstedt selected the rail as the starting spot for his prized trotter. Svandstedt, a top horseman in his native Sweden for many years, relocated his stable to North America this season and is in the midst of a successful campaign, thanks in large part to Sebastian K who is a perfect five for five on North American soil. The high point of the season thus far for Sebastian K was a seven-length victory in the Sun Invitational at Pocono Downs on June 28, in which he became the fastest trotter in the history of harness racing with a jaw-dropping mile time of 1:49. Before coming to North America, Sebastian K had victories in top events such as the 2013 Oslo Grand Prix, a heat of the 2013 Elitlopp and the 2012 UET Trotting Masters. The nine rivals who will look to knock Sebastian K off the top of the mountain, include the last two Maple Leaf Trot winners, Mister Herbie ('12) and Market Share ('13). Market Share won the second elimination last week in 1:53 with a last quarter of :26.4 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano. His connections selected post position two for the final. The five-year-son of Revenue - Classical Flirt is the richest horse in the field with over $3.2 million in career earnings. Market Share followed up his Maple Leaf Trot victory last year with a triumph in the Breeders Crown. His career highlights also include two million-dollar race victories in 2012 in the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands and the Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk. Leading the charge for the local horses will be Mister Herbie, who finished runner-up to Market Share in not only his elimination last week, but also in last year's final. The Jeff Gillis trainee won the 2012 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot in a stakes and track record clocking of 1:50.4 and was last year's O'Brien Award winner as top older trotter in Canada. Mister Herbie will start from post six and will be driven by Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren who won his first and only Maple Leaf Trot in 1988 with Natural Image. The seven other challengers in the field are a group of well accomplished standardbreds. Intimidate, a past Breeders Crown and O'Brien Award winner, will start from post three for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Luc Blais. Ron Burke, North America's leading trainer, will send out two starters. Archangel, post four, was the 2012 Yonkers Trot champion, while Wishing Stone, post five, has had success in both North America and Europe with victories in the 2012 Copenhagen Cup in Denmark and the 2013 Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah's Philadelphia. Creatine, last year's Kentucky Futurity winner, will start from post seven for the duo of Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance and trotting conditioner Bob Stewart. Undercover Strike will leave from post eight and is a Preferred winner at both Mohawk and the Meadows. He is sent out by trainer Tony O'Sullivan and will be driven by Doug McNair. Flanagan Memory, who won last year's Goodtimes, Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final and an O'Brien Award, starts from post nine for trainer Rene Dion and Woodbine/Mohawk's leading driver Chris Christoforou. Modern Family, a multiple stakes winner, will start from post ten for trainer Daryl Bier and will have Ron Pierce, a two-time Maple Leaf Trot winner, in the sulky. The field of ten for the Maple Leaf Trot has combined for 188 career victories and career earnings of $13,837,506. The Maple Leaf Trot undercard will feature four Canadian Breeders Championships (Races 2,3,7,10) for three-year-olds. Trevor Ritchie, a three-time Maple Leaf Trot winning driver ('03 Rotation, '06 Peaceful Way, '07 Equinox Bi), recently announced his retirement from driving. Ritchie will be on hand Saturday night to present the trophy to this year's winner and will be a special guest on Mohawk Racing Live's pre-game show beginning at 6:45 p.m. Post time for Saturday's Maple Leaf Trot card is 7:25 p.m, with the Maple Leaf Trot expected to go behind the gate at 10:05 p.m. Here is the field for the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Race 9 - Maple Leaf Trot - Purse: $603,000 PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer/Morning Line 1. Sebastian K - Ake Svandstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 2/5 2. Market Share - Tim Tetrick - Linda Toscano - 6-1 3. Intimidate - Sylvain Filion - Luc Blais - 12-1 4. Archangel - Jody Jamieson - Ron Burke - 10-1 5. Wishing Stone - Randall Waples - Ron Burke - 20-1 6. Mister Herbie - Steve Condren - Jeff Gillis - 15-1 7. Creatine - Mike Lachance - Bob Stewart - 15-1 8. Undercover Strike - Doug McNair - Tony O'Sullivan - 25-1 9. Flanagan Memory - Chris Christoforou - Rene Dion - 25-1 10. Modern Family - Ron Pierce - Daryl Bier - 20-1 AE: Wheeling N Dealin - Jody Jamieson - Luc Blais - N/A by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

The Canadian Breeders Championship eliminations for the three-year-old trotters are currently underway at Mohawk Racetrack. Fresh off a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold victories, White Becomes Her ($3.50) kicked off the CBC eliminations for filly trotters with a 1:54.2 triumph as the 3-5 favourite for the driver and trainer team of Mario and Ben Baillargeon. O'Brien Award winner Riveting Rosie was scratched. After getting away third through a :27-second opening panel, Baillargeon made his move with White Becomes Her as they neared the half-mile mark in :57. White Becomes Her swept past early leavers Tosca (Chris Christoforou) and Muscle Babe (James MacDonald) down the backstretch and led the way to three-quarters in 1:25. Miss Aultsville (Jack Moiseyev) attempted a first over bid from fourth, but broke stride as she began to advance. Down the stretch, White Becomes Her drew away from her rivals to win by four lengths. Tosca followed in second with Chelseas Chance (Steve Condren) coming on for third. Muscle Babe finished fourth and Belgravia (Ake Svanstedt) was fifth. To view the rest of the story click here.

The first crop of Sportswriter has exploded onto the Ontario Sires Stakes scene as the two-year-old pacers start their racing season. On Monday night colts by that stallion captured all three of the Gold divisions for rookie pacing colts at Mohawk and when the fillies debut in Grassroots and Gold divisions later this week there are a multitude his offspring entered. The Grassroots gals will headline Mohawk’s Thursday night card in five $18,000 divisions with 11 Sportswriter fillies among them. The following night the Gold fillies will commence their 2014 schedule in three $70,000 splits at Mohawk on a card that also includes Canadian Breeders Championship eliminations for three-year-old trotting colts and fillies, featuring several OSS winners to date. Friday’s card is also highlighted by two $40,000 Maple Leaf Trot eliminations which will offer Ontario race fans their first close up glimpse of Swedish superstar Sebastian K who became the fastest trotter ever in his most recent start at Pocono with a 1:49 victory. He’s drawn post six in the third race where his rivals include last year’s OSS champion Flanagan Memory from post five. To view the rest of this story click here.

On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 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 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th 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. Nine 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, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON   Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY   Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON   Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON   Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON   Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON   Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON

TORONTO, November 6 – It’s best known as “Harrisburg” in Harness racing. But to many others, it’s the Standardbred Horse Sales Company Annual Sale and the 2103 edition is underway with more than 2,100 racehorses offered at public auction. The ‘Black Book’ will feature a Select Yearling Sale held Monday through Thursday, followed by the Mixed Sale on Friday and Saturday at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Some of the sport’s brightest starts, including those who are currently racing at Woodbine, will be offered on Saturday during the Mixed Sale. Atop the list is the four-year-old Knows Nothing, who is fresh off an open-length victory in the $34,000 Preferred Trot at the Rexdale oval. Hillsborough conditioner Jeff Gillis will auction the top sales prospect. The trotting star has a terrific 5-4-2 record from 17 starts this season, along with his 1:51.4 career best. The talented son of Kadabra competed in the Grand Circuit this season when he contested in the Maple Leaf Trot, Arthur Cutler Memorial,and TVG Free-For-All Series. The Ontario Sires Stakes graduate has $729,356 in career earnings and will sell as hip number 1970. Click here to see Knows Nothing’s latest victory. Another Gillis-trainee that will sell at the Mixed Sale is Continual Velocity. The classy five-year-old has found the winner circle in 21 of 85 career starts along with $344,166 in career earnings. A regular overnight campaigner on the WEG Circuit, Continual Velocity has a 1:50.3 career best and has raced in the Fillies and Mares Preferred Pace. She will sell as hip number 1797. Cheltenham conditioner, Dave Menary will offer four top campaigners in Tarpon Hanover, Windsong Jack and Tea Party Princess and Macharoundtheclock. Tarpon Hanover, who captured the $300,000 Battle of Waterloo last season as a rookie, will sell as hip number 1947. The pacing son of Badlands Hanover has banked $503,854 in his two season of racing. Fresh off a second place finish in the $200,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final, Tarpon Hanover recently qualified at Mohawk on October 30 in 1:55.3. The brown colt has a 5-3-8 record from 24 career starts. His stablemate is another top OSS campaigner in Windsong Jack. A son of Santanna Blue Chip, Windsong Jack has banked $438,486 in his career for Menary. The brown gelding has amassed an impressive 6-7-2 record from 21 career starts along with a 1:49.4 career best. He recently qualified at Mohawk on October 30, winning gate-to-wire in 1:54. He will sell as hip number 1953. Macharoundtheclock, a daughter of Mach Three, has banked $239,837 in her young career. From 21 career starts, the bay filly has a 3-5-1 record and a 1:51.1 lifetime best. She talented filly competed in the Jugette, Shes A Great Lady, Canadian Breeders along with the OSS. She will sell as hip 1825. The richest of Menary’s offerings is Tea Party Princess, who has banked $666,934 in her career. The daughter of Art Major has found the winner circle in 18 of 73 career starts. A regular overnight competitor on the WEG Circuit, Tea Party Princess has competed in the Breeders Crown, Fan Hanover and Milton Stakes, just to name a few. The $40,000 yearling purchase will sell as hip 1836. Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh will sell top OSS graduate Pan Luis Obispo as hip 1832. The daughter of No Pan Intended enjoyed a terrific three-year-old season in 2013 with $240,833 banked from 16 starts and five wins. The pacing miss has a 1:51.4 lifetime best and was a top competitor in the Ontario Sires Stakes program this season. She was primarily driven by Randy Waples. WEG’s top conditioner Richard Moreau will sell top trotting mare Smarty Pants as hip 1807. The daughter of Kadabra banked $305,836 last season while racing primarily in the provincial program. She classy mare recently finished third in the $34,000 Preferred Trot as she took on aged pacing horses of both sexes. With career earnings of $389,017, Smarty Pants has a 1:54.3 lifetime best. She competed in the Miss Versatility, Armbro Flight, Elegantimage and Casual Breeze in her career. Greg Gangle

ELORA, ON - Fans may not have sent Thankyoukessel off as their top choice in the second Gold Series division at Grand River Raceway on Friday night, but driver Mike Saftic was confident in his mount's abilities. Starting from Post 6, Saftic put Thankyoukessel on the rail in fourth while last year's Grassroots champ Buddy Hally rolled through fractions of :29.2, :58.4 and 1:27.2. Heading for the three-quarter marker Saftic tipped Thankyoukessel out behind fan favourite Gotta Secret and waited until the stretch to shift the gelding into top gear. Once he hit his stride Canadian Breeders champ Thankyoukessel reeled in the leaders and hit the wire one-quarter length on top in a track record 1:57.1. Buddy Hally settled for second and Gotta Secret was relegated to third. The win was the second in Gold Series action this season for Thankyoukessel, who is trained by Joe MacIsaac for owner-breeder Carolyn Williston of Moffat. The win vaulted the Ken Warkentin son to the top of the three-year-old trotting colt point standings with 112. After starting his season at the Grassroots level, last year's Super Final champion Creampuff Macdaddy made a successful leap up to the top tier with a gate-to-wire 1:59.1 score in the first $105,000 division. Another son of Ken Warkentin, Creampuff Macdaddy is trained by Brad Maxwell for Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA, Theodore Gewertz of New York, NY, Edwin Gold of Phoenixville, PA and Judith Taylor of Bala Cynwyd, PA. Randy Waples crafted the colt's third sophomore victory. The three-year-old trotting colts make their last regular season Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 20. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Grand River Raceway on Monday, Aug. 26 with the fourth Gold Series leg for the three-year-old pacing fillies. For complete results For up to date point standings, race replays, and more. Sandra Snyder  

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway hosts a pair of $105,000 Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts on Friday, Aug. 23 and the second division features a showdown between the top two colts in the division. Buddy Hally and Thankyoukessel share top spot in the point standings, having accumulated one win and one third-place result through the first two Gold Series legs for a total of 62 points. Both colts also competed in the Aug. 10 Mid-Summer Challenge at Mohawk Racetrack, with Buddy Hally finishing a narrowly beaten second and Thankyoukessel crossing the wire fifth. Gregg McNair trainee Buddy Hally capped off his freshman season with a Grassroots Championship victory over the Grand River Raceway oval and the Angus Hall colt will be looking to replicate that effort from Post 4 in Friday's sixth race. Through 10 starts this season the colt has posted one win, two seconds and two thirds for $89,460 in earnings. Guelph resident McNair shares ownership of the colt with Howmac Farms of North Wiltshire, PE, Reginald MacPherson of Stratford, PE and Wayne MacRae of Fall River, NS. In addition to his Gold Series victory, Thankyoukessel has posted two other wins this season, including the final of the Canadian Breeders Championship at Mohawk Racetrack on July 20. Through nine starts the Ken Warkentin gelding has three wins and one third for earnings of $114,955. Joe MacIsaac conditions Thankyoukessel for owner-breeder Carolyn Williston of Moffat. The gelding will make his bid for a fourth win from Post 7 in Race 6. Also making his bid for a Gold Series triumph in the second division is fifth-ranked Gotta Secret, who will benefit from Post 2. The Muscle Mass colt, trained by Richard Moreau for Gestion Jean Yves Blais of Montreal, QC, set a track record over the Grand River Raceway oval last fall in his Grassroots Semifinal. The three-year-old trotting colts will duel in Races 2 and 6 on Friday, with Grand River Raceway's first race going postward at 7:05 pm. For complete entries.      For up to date point standings, race replays, and more.            Sandra Snyder  

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Trainer David Menary is hoping Saturday night’s Mid-Summer Challenge at Mohawk Racetrack marks a change in fortunes for his sophomore pacers. Last season pacing fillies OK Feisty and Macharoundtheclock and pacing colt Windsong Jack earned a combined $510,000, racing primarily in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Through the first half of 2013 the trio has barely managed to eke out $100,000. “They really need to turn the corner,” says Menary emphatically. “I really hope the three-year-olds turn the corner.” OK Feisty and Macharoundtheclock will compete in the $150,000 pacing filly Challenge on Saturday, starting from Posts 2 and 5. Guelph resident James MacDonald will be aboard OK Feisty in her thirteenth start, while Moffat resident Jody Jamieson steers Macharoundtheclock from Post 5 in her fifth outing. “OK Feisty had a long season last year and she started early this year, so she’s maybe a little tired,” notes Menary, who shares ownership of the Modern Art daughter with Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Denis Breton of Welland and breeder Oak Knoll Stables of Campbellcroft. While she trailed her stablemates in earnings last season, OK Feisty boasts the biggest bankroll of the three to date with $41,673, much of it earned in May when she finished second in a leg of the Gold Series season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District, fourth in the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association Stake Final and third in the Princess Series Final, both at Mohawk Racetrack. While OK Feisty kicked off her sophomore season in March, Macharoundtheclock did not make her 2013 debut until June. Through her first three starts she scored a fifth, a second and a victory, but in the Canadian Breeders Championship Final at Mohawk on July 20 the Mach Three daughter faded to sixth in the stretch and came up sick following the race. “In her last start she went to the three-quarters in 1:22 as easy as a horse can go in 1:22, and then she hit a brick wall,” says Menary. “After the race her scope looked like a science experiment.” The filly has not raced since, but Menary says she trained well in preparation for Saturday’s outing and the Cheltenham resident is expecting a big mile from the youngster. “I’ve been high on Macharoundtheclock her whole life and I don’t think I’ve ever raced her when she was 100 per cent,” notes the trainer, who co-owns the filly with his father Larry Menary of Cheltenham, Kenneth Ewen and Denis Breton. “I hope it starts this week, but I am looking for really big things from her.” Larry Menary, Kenneth Ewen and Denis Breton also own Windsong Jack, along with Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Burford. Like Macharoundtheclock, the Santanna Blue Chip gelding has had his struggles with sickness this season and has only earned $34,986 from two seconds and one third in five starts. “It’s been one step forward and one step back, but if it was easy everybody would do it,” says Menary ruefully. Guelph resident Billy Davis Jr. will steer Windsong Jack from Post 2 in Saturday’s $150,000 pacing colt Challenge, and the gelding’s owners would love to see him find the winner’s circle for the first time this season. Mohawk Racetrack sends its first race into the starter’s hands at 7:25 pm on Saturday night and fans will be treated to six Mid-Summer Challenge events for the three-year-old trotters and pacers. The $50,000 trotting filly and pacing filly Consolations go postward as Races 1 and 3, while the $150,000 Challenges for the trotting fillies, trotting colts, pacing fillies and pacing colts are slated as Races 2, 5, 6, and 9. For complete entries.       Sandra Snyder

OTTAWA, ON - Mach It So took sole ownership of top spot in the three-year-old pacing colt division standings with a victory in the second of two $105,000 Gold Series legs at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, July 28. The Mach Three son and driver Scott Zeron sat fourth through the bulk of the mile before rolling up the outside in the final quarter. After reeling in pacesetter Brocks Fortune and Mach Pride the heavy favourites sailed down the stretch to a one length victory in 1:52. The win was the fourth straight for Mach It So, who also captured a division of the Gold Series season opener on June 24 and his elimination and the final of the Canadian Breeders Championship on July 13 and 20, all at Mohawk Racetrack. Richard "Nifty" Norman conditions the winner of $218,837 for Bamond Racing LLC of Brick, NJ. The other Gold Series division was captured by Gallant Seelster and driver Doug McNair, who also left the early pacesetting to others. McNair and Gallant Seelster watched from fifth as Closing Credits rolled to a :26.2 opening quarter and then caught a ride up the outside behind favourite Tarpon Hanover heading for the :55.2 half. Tarpon Hanover was on top at the 1:23.1 three-quarters, but Gallant Seelster circled the leaders and cruised down the stretch to a four length triumph in 1:52.2. Gregg McNair, last season's leading trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, conditions Gallant Seelster for Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, MI. Through eight starts the Stonebridge Regal son has tallied three wins, two seconds and one third. The gelding finished second to Mach It So in the June 24 Gold Series event and currently sits second to him in the point standings. The top 20 point earners from the first two events will now compete in the Mid-Summer Challenge at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 10.  Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Thursday, Aug. 15 with the third Gold Series leg for the two-year-old trotting fillies. For complete results For up to date point standings, race replays, and more. Sandra Snyder  

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 16 – Burnin Money is considered a longshot for Saturday’s $543,000 Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk, but conditioner Carmen Auciello doesn’t mind being an outsider. Burnin Money, a five-year-old son of Cash Hall, has banked $124,760 this season and will face the toughest task of his career against seven of the finest trotters in North America in the 61st edition. “I know we're considered a longshot, but I also know what my horse is capable of,” Auciello said. “It’s a great group of horses this year and it’s going to be a great race. With the right trip, I think we can hopefully get a piece of it.” Last time out, on July 8 at Mohawk, the 15-time winner put in an uncharacteristic break at the gate, which spotted the field 18-lengths. The speedy trotter then caught the field, using a :27.1 final quarter to finish eighth, defeated just 5 1/4-lengths. “The start before we wanted to leave with him and Anthony (MacDonald) got him down to the quarter on top in :26.3 and we wanted to do that again," explained Auciello. "But, I think he just got too hot on us at the gate. He trotted his last three-quarters in 1:23 or close to it, so he was still impressive and couldn’t be faulted for his effort.” Rockwood native, Jonathan Drury, who has been racing in Pennsylvania this summer, will return home this weekend to team up with Auciello in hopes of guiding Burnin Money to a thrilling victory. The $543,000 purse will be the richest prize ever contested for both Auciello and Drury. “He will have to come up with the biggest mile of his career on Saturday,” Drury said. “He’s facing off against the best trotters in North America and it’s going to be a great race with honest fractions. Burnin Money has been racing well all year, we have the inside post and all we can do is hope for the best trip possible.” Drury, just 24-years-old, is well aware of the rich history of the Maple Leaf Trot. “This race has been around for years and I’ve seen it live many times since I was a kid,” he said. “You get the best horses, drivers and trainers. To be a part of it is such a great feeling.” Owned by Wheelhouse Racing, Burnin Money has banked $205,136 with a mark of 1:52.4. The race will line up as follows: 1) Burnin Money – Jonathan Drury 2) Mister Herbie – Jody Jamieson 3) Arch Madness – Scott Zeron 4) Knows Nothing – Jody Jamieson 5) Uncle Peter –Jim Takter 6) Wishing Stone – Jody Jamieson 7) Guccio – Jim Takter 8) Market Share – Tim Tetrick Also on the programme, North America’s top pacing mares will contest the $391,000 Roses Are Red final. The field will line up as follows: 1) Monkey On My Wheel – Keith Oliver 2) Bettor B Lucky – David Miller 3) Drop The Ball – Doug McNair 4) Anndrovette – Tim Tetrick 5) Economy Terror – Ron Pierce 6) Camille – Sylvain Filion 7) Rocklamation – Yannick Gingras 8) Shelliscape – Randy Waples 9) Greystone Ladylike – Scott Zeron 10) Krispy Apple – Billy Davis, Jr. A lucrative night of racing also includes four Canadian Breeders Championship finals featuring the province’s finest three-year-olds. First race post time is 7:25 p.m. Greg Gangle

Three-year-olds pacers and trotters will be showcased at Mohawk on Friday and Saturday evening as the Campbellville oval will host the eliminations for this year's Canadian Breeders Championships.

A top Canadian harness racing trainer, who won a $500,000 Breeders Crown Pace nine months ago says he will walk away from the sport if Ontario politicians discontinue the slots-at-racetracks program next March.

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