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MILTON, ON - August 31, 2019 - Courtly Choice and driver James MacDonald stormed by harness racing rivals in the stretch for a 30-1 upset victory in Saturday's $525,000C Canadian Pacing Derby at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Blake MacIntosh trained four-year-old rallied from sixth with a :25.3 final-quarter to nail heavy-favourite Lather Up at the wire for a 1:48.4 victory. "It was amazing, I can't even put it into words I'm so happy," said MacDonald. "I've been trying to get a crack at one of these big ones in Canada and I just haven't had a lot of luck and tonight the race set up great and the horse was just unbelievable." Lather Up and driver Montrell Teague brushed from fourth to first entering the backstretch to overtake This Is The Plan, who cut a :25.4 opening-quarter. Courtly Choice and MacDonald got away seventh in the field and were following defending champion McWicked. After a :54.1 half, Lather Up was confronted by first-up challenger Done Well heading to three-quarters. The racing action got tight going to three-quarters, as This Is The Plan was climbing over the back of Teague with Lather Up. The 1/5 favourite has previously had issues with turns and gave up a short-advantage to Done Well at three-quarters in 1:22.1. Courtly Choice and MacDonald were set up to follow McWicked around the final-turn, but the defending champion moved back down to the rail. Courtly Choice ultimately was placed a couple lengths behind the second-over challenger Western Fame turning for home. In the stretch, Lather Up embraced the straightaway and tried to pull away from rivals. Victory appeared to be within reach for Lather Up, until all eyes focused on Courtly Choice flying on the far outside, powering by rivals to reach up for a half length victory. Lather Up settled for second, while Western Fame was third and This Is The Plan finished fourth. "I can't even explain the feeling he was pacing so hard," said MacDonald of Courtly Choice. "I knew I had a lot of pace, but he was just trying to get into gear, and then everyone was kind of just fanning out and I didn't know what Lather Up would do because he always comes back on and he's just such a great horse. "Lather Up has just been unbeatable, and just special to watch. Even just to be on the track is an honour and then to get to beat him in front of my home crowd... it was amazing." A four-year-old son of Art Major, Courtly Choice picks up his fourth win in 12 outings this season and 16th of his career. Last year's Little Brown Jug champion has now earned over $1.3 million for owners Hutt Racing Stable, Mac And Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe and Touchstone Farms Inc. The Canadian Pacing Derby victory is the first for driver MacDonald and trainer MacIntosh, who noted the victory ranks near the top for him personally. "Right up there because winning at your home track and we were an underdog coming in," said MacIntosh, noting that Courtly Choice was starting to return to top form in recent weeks. "I knew that James was taking care of him there the last couple weeks, and he looked like he was back to his old self, (I'm) just ecstatic about this." Courtly Choice paid $71.30, $9.20, $4.60. The $2 Exacta with Lather Up returned $205.90, while the $2 Trifecta with Western Fame paid $1,946.20. The Superfecta completed by This Is The Plan paid $6,524.75 for a $1 ticket. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON - August 27, 2019 - McWicked, the richest pacing stallion in harness racing history with over $4.5 million earned, returns to Woodbine Mohawk Park this Saturday's (August 31) to defend his title in the $525,000 Canadian Pacing Derby Owned by Ed James' S S G Stables, McWicked sat atop the free-for-all pacing ranks last season with a campaign consisting of 12 wins from 19 starts and earnings of over $1.6 million. The son of McArdle also overcame a season-long challenge by besting the down-under wonder Lazarus N in progress to a horse of the year title--making him the oldest recipient of the honour in the sport's history. While Mcwicked won in his seasonal debut this year, he has since mostly only collected cheques in his division's top events--losing thrice to Canadian Pacing Derby favourite Lather Up. However, Coleman has only seen improvement from her stable's star. "He's always been a great horse, but I think the competition this year is the toughest it's ever been yet," Coleman said. "Lazarus was a good horse no doubt, but I was never one that lived up to how much they hyped that horse up--he was a very good horse but I always thought I was better than him. "Basically, I don't think Lather Up and Lazarus are in the same league," Coleman also said. "I think Lather Up is a complete freak and I am scared of him--I think on a smaller track I have a better chance to beat him if he doesn't pace the turns so well, but on a big track that horse is a beast. Whereas I never went to the gate thinking I couldn't beat Lazarus; I always thought I could beat Lazarus. And with Lather Up I realize that I need a lot of things to go my way and a lot of things to not go his way in order to beat him." Mcwicked, who Coleman said is training as good as he has ever trained, faces a field composed mostly of four-year-olds. He will rematch others who have beaten him this year, including This Is The Plan (PP1) and Jimmy Freight (PP4). Mcwicked starts from the outermost post in the field of nine with David Miller in the bike. "I wanted to get sick when I saw the draw," Coleman said. "The nine hole in that field... he's got his work cut out for him. That's going to be a tough race. If he had an inside post, I'd feel a whole lot more confident, but the nine hole is going to be tough, especially since Wicked doesn't normally leave a whole lot. He'll definitely be giving it all he's got. It's just that in this class of horses, everybody can come home in :25-and-a-piece and :26. So we need to hope he's not spotted too far off coming down the lane. "But saying that, the horse is in great shape," Coleman also said. "He's healthy, sound, feeling great, couldn't have trained any better this morning. Everything seems very, very good with the horse. I just really wish we could've drawn a little better but now we need a little bit of racing luck to work that way." While Mcwicked faces a challenge Saturday night, the aged dynamo could have a chance to claim stakes glory as a nine-year-old. "He's sound, healthy, sharp, you would never know the horse is eight-years-old," Coleman said. "As I've always said, if he was my horse, I would be taking one of these offers to go to stud because I just know how much money these horses make when they go to stud. "But his owner is bound and determined; if [McWicked's] racing top level and he's healthy, he wants to keep racing. It's great for harness racing that a horse like him can stay on the track this long." The Canadian Pacing Derby is carded as Race 8 on Saturday's $1.6 million card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The $525,000 Maple Leaf Trot joins the 'Pacing Derby' as a co-main event. Post time is 7:10 p.m. No Training Saturday at Mohawk Park Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform all horsepeople of a trio of Saturdays when training will not be available at the track. The track and paddock will be closed on August 31, September 14 and 21. Only horses in retention for that evening’s stakes races will be allowed to use the track on those dates. By Ray Cotolo for Woodbine Entertainment

This Week: Yonkers Trot, Messenger Stakes, Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Pacing Derby, Simcoe Stakes, and Champlain Stakes, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: A busy holiday weekend of Grand Circuit action is led by a pair of Triple Crown events at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Aug. 31). The Hilltop oval will host the $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-old trotters and the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers. These races will be the second legs in the Triple Crown for their respective gaits. Also on the Saturday program will be the $124,334 Hudson Filly Trot for 3-year-olds and the $122,224 Lady Maud for 3-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk commences on Thursday (Aug. 29) with two divisions in the C$195,597 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Aug. 30) program is highlighted by a single division in the C$128,876 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Saturday (Aug. 31) program features the C$600,000 Maple Leat Trot for older trotters and the C$525,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers. Also on the program will be a single division in the C$171,503 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers. Complete entries for the races at Yonkers are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: It was a 'non-Bettor's Wish' Saturday night (Aug. 24) during Yonkers Raceway's eliminations for the 64th Messenger Stakes. Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn), the lone $30,000 supplemental entrant into the second jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown, summarily disposed of his five rivals in a non-wagering elimination. A pole-sitting second early in the $40,000 off-the-card elimination, Bettor's Wish took over from American Mercury (Tyler Buter) before a :28 opening quarter-mile. After a pedestrian :58 intermission, Escapetothebeach (Corey Callahan) tried it first-up from fourth. Bettor's Wish led through a 1:26.1 three-quarters, eventually holding off American Mercury by a half-length in 1:53.2. Escapetothebeach backed away but held third, with Branquinho (Jason Bartlett) fourth. That quartet goes into this Saturday night's (Aug. 31) $500,000 finale of the Messenger. Bettor's Wish, a Bettor's Delight colt, has hit the board in 22-of-23 career tries (13 wins, seven seconds, two thirds, $1,131,600). He now has eight wins and three seconds in 11 '19 tries ($859,544). Chris Ryder co-owns (with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners) and trains. "He was just so great, so easy to drive," Dunn said. "I can't wait for next week." The on-the-card, $40,000 elimination saw Aflame Hanover (Callahan, $6) finish what he started. From post position three, he never had an issue (:27.4, :56.3, 1:24, 1:52), beating pocketed pole-sitter U S Captain (Bartlett) by 1-1/2 lengths. Waterway (Joe Bongiorno), paired with the runner-up as the 17-10 wagering choice, was a closing third, while 37-1 rank outsider Reigning Deo (George Brennan) was a ground-saving fourth to advance. For second choice Aflame Hanover, a Russell Hanover gelding co-owned by trainer Linda and Tony Schadel, it was his fourth win in 16 seasonal starts. "He was super," Callahan said. "He did everything I asked. His hobble hanger broke, but that didn't bother him." Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 776; 2. Yannick Gingras - 581; 3. David Miller - 486; 4. Dexter Dunn - 419; 5. Brian Sears - 374. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 713; 2. Tony Alagna - 366; 3. Jim King Jr. - 299; 4. Marcus Melander - 279; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 233. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 192; 2. Brad Grant - 137.5; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 134.6; 4. Courant Inc. - 122.5; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 122.1. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Scioto Downs, and Tioga Downs. Woodbine Mohawk will feature eliminations of the Peaceful Way and William Wellwood Memorial, Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-olds (filly pacers, filly trotters and colt trotters) and Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old pacers; Scioto will host the Jim Ewart Memorial for older pacers and the Charlie Hill for older trotters; and Tioga Downs will feature a leg of the Miss Versatility Series for older trotting mares. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

MILTON, ON - August 27, 2019 - Harness racing's heavyweights will clash this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot and $525,000 Canadian Pacing Derby. Over $1.6 million in purses will be up for grabs on a stakes-filled program, including the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers and Ontario Sires Stakes Gold for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings joining the co-main events. The Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters has been carded as Race 5, while the Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers will go as Race 8. The Canadian Pacing Derby is the oldest stakes race in Canadian harness racing and this year's edition will feature a field of nine with $14.2 million in combined career earnings, including the defending champion and the co-fastest Standardbred of all-time. Casie Coleman trainee McWicked is returning to defend his 'Pacing Derby' title. The eight-year-old captured last year's edition in convincing fashion en route to being named the Horse of the Year in both Canada and the US. McWicked continues to add to incredible legacy with over $500,000 earned this season to bring his career earnings to $4.5 million for owner Ed James' S S G Stables. The superstar pacer led all Standardbreds in earnings last season, becoming the oldest horse in 43 years to top the money standings. He is also the oldest horse in harness racing history to receive Horse of the Year honours. David Miller, who steered McWicked to victory in last year's race, will sit behind the Coleman trainee for the first-time this season. The duo will start from the outside post-nine. Lather Up, the co-fastest Standardbred of all-time, will return to the site of his richest victory and attempt to add another lucrative victory to his dream season. The four-year-old captured last year's $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Park and earlier this season matched Always B Miki's world record of 1:46 at The Meadowlands. Trained by Clyde Francis, Lather Up is undefeated in six career starts at Mohawk Park. The son of Im Gorgeous is currently riding a four-race win streak, which includes victories in the Dan Patch, Sam McKee Memorial, Haughton Memorial and Graduate Series, to bring his season record to eight wins in 11 starts and career record to 23 wins in 36 starts. Montrell Teague will team up with the career-earner of $1.7 million to start from post-five. The Canadian Pacing Derby field also includes This Is The Plan (PP1, Yannick Gingras), Done Well (PP2, Andrew McCarthy), Western Fame (PP3, Louis Philippe Roy), Jimmy Freight (PP4, Scott Zeron), Courtly Choice (PP6, James MacDonald), Filibuster Hanover (PP7, Gingras) and Casimir Richie P (PP8, Sylvain Filion). The Maple Leaf Trot will feature an 'All-Star' field of ten older trotters, including four mares, competing for a purse of $600,000. Eliminations winners Crystal Fashion and Guardian Angel As carry the momentum into Saturday's final. Jim Campbell trainee Crystal Fashion will be looking to pull off the Canadian Trotting Classic-Maple Leaf Trot back-to-back. The four-year-old captured last year's marquee event for sophomore trotters and returned to Mohawk Park to win his elimination last Saturday by a pair of lengths in 1:52. Crystal Fashion is currently on a three-race win streak to bring his four-year-old record to five wins and $450,775 earned in nine starts. His career numbers sit at 18 wins and $1.7 million earned for owner Fashion Farms. David Miller will guide the Campbell trainee from post-two. Anette Lorentzon trainee Guardian Angel As has been putting together a fantastic five-year-old season and enters the Maple Leaf Trot final off a game 1:51.4 elimination score. The five-year-old has won six of nine starts and earned just shy of $400,000 this season. Guatdian Angel As has competed in many marquee events over his career. A victory in the Maple Leaf Trot would mark his first classic victory and push him over $1 million in career earnings for owners Acl Stuteri and Kjell Johansson. Driver Tim Tetrick has the assignment behind Guardian Angel As and the duo will start from post-three. A quartet of accomplished mares will compete in Saturday's Maple Leaf Trot. World champion Atlanta was just short to Guardian Angel As in last Saturday's elimination and will now have to overcome post-ten. The Ron Burke trainee captured the Armbro Flight earlier this year at Mohawk in Track Record fashion. Luc Blais trainee Emoticon Hanover will compete in her second Maple Leaf Trot final. The two-time Breeders Crown champion is the second-richest horse in the field with over $1.7 million earned. She will start from post-nine. Blais will also send out mare Dream Together, a career-earner of $835,250, from post-six. Manchego completes the mare quartet and will start from post-seven. The Nancy Johansson trained four-year-old has a pair of victories this season and will be looking to add to her career-earnings of $1.7 million. The richest horse in the Maple Leaf Trot field is six-year-old Marion Marauder at $3.3 million. The Mike Keeling trainee is winless in five starts this season but rallied in his elimination to finish second. The Maple Leaf Trot field is completed by millionaire Six Pack (PP1, Ake Svanstedt), Speeding Spur N (PP4, Jody Jamieson) and Dancer Hall (PP5, Bob McClure). Saturday's program also includes the return of Pepsi North America Cup winner Captain Crunch to Mohawk Park for the $171,503 Simcoe Stakes. Captain Crunch will tackle Meadowlands Pace winner Best In Show and five other rivals in the Grand Circuit contest. Trained by Nancy Johansson, Captain Crunch will be making his first start since winning the Cane Pace on August 3. The son of Captaintreacherous has won five of seven starts this season and earned $777,027 for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. The Simcoe Stakes is carded as Race 9. A trio of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings will also take place on Saturday's program. The second division will see the undefeated Johansson trained colt Tall Dark Stranger search for his fourth consecutive victory. The OSS Gold divisions are carded as Races 2, 3 and 6. Post time for Saturday evening's $1.6 million card is 7:10 p.m. Visit www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com for full event details. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON - August 20, 2019 - World champion Lather Up and defending champion McWicked headline a group of nine entrants for this year's $525,000 Canadian Pacing Derby. The entry box for Canada's oldest harness stakes race closed Tuesday morning with nine older pacers entered. Eliminations will not be required for this year's edition of the Canadian Pacing Derby and all nine will compete in the $525,000 final on Saturday, August 31 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Lather Up, the co-fastest Standardbred of all-time, will return to the site of his richest victory and attempt to add another lucrative victory to his dream season. The four-year-old captured last year's $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Park and earlier this season matched Always B Miki's world record of 1:46 at The Meadowlands. Trained by Clyde Francis, Lather Up is undefeated in six career starts at Mohawk Park. The son of Im Gorgeous is currently riding a four-race win streak, which includes victories in the Dan Patch, Sam McKee Memorial, Haughton Memorial and Graduate Series, to bring his season record to eight wins in 11 starts and career record to 23 wins in 36 starts. A 50 per cent interest in Lather Up was recently purchased by Taylor Made Sales and Stallions, who owned last year's 'Pacing Derby' runner-up Lazarus N. The ownership group of Lather Up consists of his breeders Gary & Barbara Iles, George Teague and Taylor Made Stallions. The four-year-old currently sits at $1.7 million in career earnings. Casie Coleman trainee McWicked is returning to defend his 'Pacing Derby' title. The eight-year-old captured last year's edition in convincing fashion en route to being named the Horse of the Year in both Canada and the US. McWicked continues to add to incredible legacy with over $500,000 earned this season to bring his career earnings to $4.5 million for owner Ed James' S S G Stables. The superstar pacer led all Standardbreds in earnings last season, becoming the oldest horse in 43 years to top the money standings. He is also the oldest horse in harness racing history to receive Horse of the Year honours. The Coleman trained McWicked most recently captured the Roll With Joe last Sunday afternoon at Tioga. Lather Up and McWicked have competed against each other five-times this season. The season-series currently favours Lather Up, who has scored victories in four of those five meetings. Ron Burke trainee This Is The Plan heads towards the Canadian Pacing Derby with plenty of momentum on his side. The four-year-old gelding captured last Sunday's Prix D'Ete at Hippodrome 3R in a Canadian record of 1:49.1. This Is The Plan's only other victory this season came against four of his 'Pacing Derby' rivals in the $500,000 Ben Franklin at Pocono. He sports the second highest seasonal earnings in the field with $651,868 collected in 13 starts. Done Well and Filibuster Hanover join This Is The Plan to make up a trio of competitors in this year's edition from the Burke barn. There are plenty of local hopefuls joining McWicked in this year's 'Pacing Derby. Dr. Ian Moore trainee Casimir Richie P, Blake MacIntosh trainee Courtly Choice, Richard Moreau trainee Jimmy Freight and Carmen Auciello trainee Western Fame will all compete in the $525,000 contest. Courtly Choice captured last year's Little Brown Jug and tuned up last Saturday for the 'Pacing Derby' with a 1:49 victory in the Preferred at Mohawk Park. He's won three of 10 stars to this point in his four-year-old campaign. Casimir Richie P has quietly risen to the Preferred ranks during his four-year-old season, posting six wins in 15 starts. Despite just one win this season, Jimmy Freight has banked more than $250,000 in 11 starts. The four-year-old's lone victory came in the Mohawk Gold Cup and he's also finished second in the Confederation Cup and Battle of Lake Erie. Levy Series winner Western Fame ranks third among the nine entrants in seasonal earnings with $551,400 earned in 13 starts this season. The six-year-old joined the barn of Auciello for his most recent effort, a second-place finish to Courtly Choice in last Saturday's Preferred. The nine entrants in this year's Canadian Pacing Derby have combined career earnings of $14.2 million. The draw for the $525,000 Canadian Pacing Derby final will take place Saturday evening (August 24). The $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot joins the 'Pacing Derby' to headline an huge stakes program on August 31 at Mohawk Park. The entrants for this year's Canadian Pacing Derby are listed in alphabetical order: Casimir Richie P Courtly Choice Done Well Filibuster Hanover Jimmy Freight Lather Up McWicked This Is The Plan Western Fame by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON -  February 15, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to issue a final reminder of today's (February 15) deadline for nominations to its 2019 stakes program at Mohawk Park. Nominations are due for all major stakes, including the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers, Canada's richest Standardbred race. Below is the full list of events with nominations closing today (February 15): Pepsi North America Cup (3-year-old pace) Armbro Flight (3-year-olds & older, fillies & mares trot) Canadian Pacing Derby (3-year-olds & older pace) Canadian Trotting Classic (3-year-old trot) Casual Breeze (3-year-old filly trot) Elegantimage (3-year-old filly trot) Eternal Camnation (2-year-old filly pace) Fan Hanover (3-year-old filly pace) Goodtimes (3-year-old trot) Maple Leaf Trot (3-year-olds & older trot) Metro Pace (2-year-old pace) Milton (3-year-olds & older, fillies & mares pace) Nassagaweya (2-year-old pace) Peaceful Way (2-year-old filly trot) Roses Are Red (3-year-olds & older, fillies & mares pace) Shes A Great Lady (2-year-old filly pace) Somebeachsomewhere (3-year-old pace) William Wellwood Memorial (2-year-old trot) Woodbine also handles the administration of stakes events contested at various tracks across Ontario. Nominations are due today for the following events: Grand River Raceway: Battle of Waterloo (Ontario Sired 2-year-old pace) Battle of the Belles (Ontario Sired 2-year-old filly pace) Flamboro Downs: Confederation Cup (4-year-old pace) Hanover Raceway: Balanced Image (Ontario Sired 2-year-old trot) Dream Of Glory (Ontario Sired 3-year-old trot, non-winners of $75,000, fillies $100,000, in 2018) Clinton Raceway: Kin Pace (Ontario Sired 3-year-old filly pace, non-winners of $50,000 in 2018) The 2019 Woodbine Stakes Booklet can be viewed by clicking here. To view the nomination form for today's closing, click here. Stakes payments can be made online by clicking here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than February 15, 2019 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

This Week: Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial, and Peaceful Way finals; and Milton Stakes, Metro and She's A Great Lady eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Kindergarten Series, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off at Tioga Downs on Friday (Sept. 14) with two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and single $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters, 2-year-old colt pacers and 2-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park also begins on Friday with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Milton for older pacing mares. A big Saturday card will feature the C$665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$340,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$400,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old trotting colts, the C$385,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old trotting fillies, two C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Complete entries for the Tioga races are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: On Saturday evening (Sept. 8) at Eldorado Scioto Downs, Split The House (Aaron Merriman) demonstrated why he is the defending Breeders Crown champion with a 1:49.1 triumph over Nuclear Dragon (Dan Noble) in the $250,000 Jim Ewart Memorial. Split The House was a neck winner over Nuclear Dragon in 1:49.1 on a sloppy track. Filibuster Hanover (Tony Hall) was third, with Western Fame (Tyler Smith) and favored McWicked (David Miller) dead-heating for fourth on the sloppy track. Merriman and his charge stated their case when leaving with conviction from post position six. Nuclear Dragon, however, snatched the front to lead the field through a sharp :26.2 first quarter-mile. Noble continued to sulky-sit as Nuclear Dragon paced his splits in :53.2 and 1:20.4. It appeared the 6-year-old gelding was on his way to his first Grand Circuit victory. That is until a resurgent Split The House rallied on the rail to win by a neck and collect his second victory of the season in nine starts and 14th in 39 career efforts. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Split The House is trained by Chris Oakes. He has now earned $306,846 in 2018 and $913,179 lifetime. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 843.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 820.5; 3. David Miller - 539.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 402; 5. Jordan Stratton - 288. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 697.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 629; 3. Tony Alagna - 440; 4. Jim Campbell - 256; 5. Erv Miller - 245. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 169; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 154.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 149.3; 4. Brittany Farms - 147.4; 5. Robert Key - 122. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Woodbine Mohawk Park and Hoosier Park. Delaware will be hosting nine Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the third and final leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Woodbine Mohawk will feature the finals of the Milton for older pacing mares and Metro and She's A Great Lady for freshman pacers; Hoosier will host seven Grand Circuit races, including the Caesars Trotting Classic for open trotters and the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit    

MILTON, ON - August 30, 2018 - Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter has done everything and more during his career in harness racing. The 58-year-old has trained and managed some of the sport's greatest champions for more than two decades and every year continues to add names to his list of 'All-Stars'. With $130 million in career earnings and too many award winners to list, it's fair to ask what keeps Jimmy Takter motivated and excited for his work? Enter Lazarus. 'The Wonder from Down Under' is Takter's latest project and exactly the kind of challenge he seeks at this stage in his career. "When you've had as many top horses as I've had over the last 20 years, that's what I crave, that's my excitement," said Takter of training Lazarus. "When they send me a horse they paid big money for, it's a great challenge. "There are a lot of things that can go wrong, it's a million things that can go wrong. You can question am I too tough on him. That's why you've got to have a feeling for it." Takter is a king of his craft and taken horses to the top in every way. His ranking among the greatest trainers of all-time is backed by his ability to get horses to the top, whether they started with him, like Ariana G, or arrived in his barn with more to accomplish, like Always B Miki. "I've been dealing with great horses and I think at my age I've developed into maybe one of the best in the world to manage a great horse," Takter said. "It's one thing to get a great horse there and then another thing to keep it there and keep it going. "I still have my Great Vintage and Sunfire Blue Chip winning races. Great Vintage winning the Open at Yonkers at 10-years-old. That's what I'm good at. They are great horses, but they start getting a little older, so you've got to manage them right, put them in the right races, race them when you know they are ready." Taylor Made Stallions, the leading consignor of Thoroughbreds, purchased Down Under champion Lazarus earlier this year to bring the six-year-old to North America with hopes to conquer the best older pacers in Canada and the U.S. It was no shock to fans and industry participants that Takter was the trainer selected by the Thoroughbred breeding powerhouse to prepare and manage 'The Wonder from Down Under'. "Taylor Made, they are new customers in my operation, they've given me 100 per cent free hands how to manage this horse," Takter said. "They are absolutely first-class owners, they love this." The addition of Taylor Made into the Standardbred game made headlines throughout the sport and has been a breath of fresh air. Duncan Taylor, CEO of Taylor Made Sales and Stallions, leads the team that has been bold in promoting their star and working with racetracks. "They're not regular owners," Takter noted. "Taylor Made is the biggest Thoroughbred seller in the business. They've sold yearlings over $2 billion in sales and another additional $1 billion privately. "I wouldn't be surprised if they have someone land with a parachute with Lazarus on it. They are great people. They give away things. They are givers not takers." Lazarus has just one star under his belt in North America, but the son of Bettors Delight has been the talk of the sport in both Canada and the U.S. He arrived in North America with 35 wins and more than $2.6 million earned in 45 starts Down Under. 'The Wonder from Down Under' arrived in Takter's barn with a lengthy list of accomplishments, but with the look of a horse that had just traveled across the world. "He's a good-looking horse, but not 'wow'," Takter said. "He came up and he had about two and a half days of flying, it's like a horror trip to get here." Lazarus adjusted to his new environment and entered Takter's training routine, growing stronger with each week. "He adapted to it very fast and I started feeling this horse is ready." Lazarus took to the track at The Meadowlands on July 28 and more than proved his trainer's judgement, qualifying in 1:48.3. Next step was a race and the six-year-old made an even bigger statement defeating many of the division's best in the Dan Patch at Hoosier Park on August 10. Viewed as an equine Rockstar Down Under, Lazarus has impressed Takter with his attitude. "Every day I see him he gets more personality coming out of him and he talks a lot this horse," Takter said. "It's so funny when you're training him he talks the entire mile. "I've never seen a horse that talks as much as he does." The Hall of Fame trainer is no stranger to media requests, but the following Lazarus receives is unlike anything seen in North America. "Every time he races I have to do something," Takter noted. "When he won in Indiana he made the headline news (in New Zealand) on national tv, not just the sports." The hype surrounding Lazarus continues to grow and the six-year-old is by far the star of the show at Mohawk Park on Saturday evening for the Canadian Pacing Derby. Fans attending Saturday's card will receive a special poster and rally towel to commemorate Lazarus' Canadian debut. Takter believes Lazarus is the boost North American harness racing needs. "We need this in harness racing, we really do need a horse that is special and people want to come out and it's a great horse for racetracks to promote," Takter said. "People will say 'I need to go out and see this horse from New Zealand'." The Canadian Pacing Derby is the next stop for Project: Lazarus. As expected, Takter is confident heading into the $600,000 race and enjoying the journey managing another champion. "I know this horse is very special." by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

MILTON, ON - August 28, 2018 - The $651,000 Maple Leaf Trot and $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby will be the co-main events for this Saturday's $1.7 million card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The rich events are joined by the $191,200 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings and the $169,183 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotters to make up the stakes portion of a 13-race card. The $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby will feature the Canadian debut of Lazarus. 'The Wonder from Down Under' has drawn post-two in the 10-horse field and enters off a stunning victory in his North American debut on August 10 at Hoosier Park. Lazarus was driven aggressively by Yannick Gingras from an outside post in his U.S. debut, powering on the front to a 1:48.4 victory. The inside starting spot allows Gingras to have more options and he is considering them all heading into the Canadian Pacing Derby. "I think (Lazarus) loves to chase horses down," said Gingras to Sky Sports Radio earlier this week. "I don't have nothing against maybe somehow work a second-over or even come first-over with him if the fractions are hot at the front, I'm not against that. "This is a new race and there will be a different strategy." Lazarus is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter for Taylor Made Stallions, who purchased the Down Under champion earlier this year. The son of Bettors Delight has won 36 of 46 starts and accumulated $2.8 million in earnings. The Canadian Pacing Derby did not require eliminations with 10 horses entering, forcing Takter to change his plans and train Lazarus at his farm in New Jersey. "I stretched him out a little bit 1:51.3 mile here at my farm last Wednesday (August 22)," said Takter on Tuesday. "He felt really nice and I was very happy with how he felt and couldn't be happier." Seven-year-old McWicked is pegged as Lazarus' biggest challenger and will start one spot over in post-three for driver David Miller and trainer Casie Coleman. A triple-millionaire, McWicked finished a hard-closing third on August 10 at Hoosier and joins Lazarus as the horses off the longest going into the Pacing Derby. The Coleman trainee has won six of 10 starts this season and is a 28-time winner during his career. The Canadian Pacing Derby field also includes Split The House (PP1, Brett Miller), last year's Breeders Crown champion, Sintra (PP8, Jody Jamieson), last year's Pacing Derby champion, and three starterss from the Ron Burke barn. Rockin Ron (PP4, Louis Philippe Roy), Filibuster Hanover (PP5, Tim Tetrick) and All Bets Off (PP6, Matt Kakaley) make up the three-headed monster for harness racing's leading trainer. The $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby has been carded as Race 8 and is set for a 9:45 p.m. post time. A special half-hour broadcast of the Canadian Pacing Derby will air on TSN GO from 9:30-10 p.m. The $651,000 Maple Leaf Trot features one of the deepest fields in recent history. The 10-horse field for the Maple Leaf Trot consists of five-winners of more than $2 million in career earnings and six-winners of more than $1 million. Defending champion Hannelore Hanover (PP7, Gingras) will be looking to bounce back from a third-place finish in her elimination to try and retain her crowd. The Burke trained six-year-old mare is on a three-race losing streak heading into the final. Ariana G (PP4, David Miller) offers trainer Takter a legit chance at a sweep of Saturday's co-main events, as the four-year-old mare teamed up with driver David Miller for the first-time last weekend to win her elimination in 1:52.4. A World Champion at three, Ariana G has earned $2.3 million during her career and has won seven of eight career starts at Mohawk Park. Marion Marauder (PP3, Scott Zeron), the 2016 Trotting Triple Crown champion, is riding plenty of momentum into the final. The five-year-old won his elimination in 1:53.1 and surpassed $3 million in career earnings with the winner's share of the $40,000 purse. Trained by Mike Keeling and Paula Wellwood, Marion Marauder has won five of eight starts this season and will enter Saturday's contest having won four of his last five. ""He's just fun to race and fun to watch," said Keeling following last Saturday's elimination. "He doesn't have particular style...You just kind of watch and go 'how does he get this done' but him and Scott (Zeron) just get along so well. It's been a great ride and I hope we get to keep going." The Maple Leaf Trot has been carded as Race 10 and is set for a 10:35 p.m. post time. Saturday's card also features the $169,183 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotters. The Grand Circuit event has attracted a field of 11 and all starters are eligible to the Canadian Trotting Classic eliminations on September 8. The Simcoe Stakes is carded as Race 5. The $191,200 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will feature two divisionx Saturday, which have been carded as Races 3 and 9. Post time for Saturday's $1.7 million card is 7:10 p.m. To view the entries and an early-program for Saturday's card, click here. Fans attending Saturday's races will receive a special Lazarus poster to commemorate his visit to Woodbine Mohawk Park. Several of the posters will have a special marking for the lucky poster-holders to have it signed by the connections of 'The Wonder from Down Under'. Lazarus rally towels will also be distributed during the evening. The great entertainment for fans on Saturday will not be limited to the 13-races contested. The Canadian Cowgirls drill team, consisting of 28 women and 28 horses, will perform following the third-race in front of the grandstand. Canadian country recording artist Elyse Saunders will sing the Canadian national anthem prior to the first-race. She will also be performing for fans in between races until 11 p.m. For more information about Saturday's Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot, visit www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

LAZARUS’ dominant debut US win certainly didn’t surprise former world champion driver James MacDonald. In fact, MacDonald is already strongly tipping a repeat dose in the $600,000 Canadian Derby at Woodbine Mohawk on Sunday morning NZ time. “This race is no harder than last time. I’d expect the same result. He’s drawn better and should be fitter. McWicked would be the danger again if he can get the right trip,” he said. “Lazarus earnt so much respect last start the way he won. If Yannick wants to press for the front or gets headed and wants to re-take, he’s got that respect now.” So where will another win this week sit Lazarus on the scale of North America’s best pacers, which is essentially the world’s best? “These are the best of the best he’s facing this week. There might be a few others here and there, but it won’t get harder than this,” MacDonald said. “If he keeps going the way he is, he will be the best over here. “The sky is the limit for him knowing Yannick (Gingras, driver) told me he should keep getting better as he gets fitter and adapts more to the style of racing.” MacDonald’s opinion of Lazarus was in high demand at home given he had the opportunity to watch the megastar win the Perth Inter Dominion in the flesh while he contested some invitational driver races at Gloucester Park last December. “I told everyone I’d never seen a horse do what he did in that final, sit parked and run past them like he did,” he said. “I think he was a bit under-estimated when he got here, but not anymore. Not after that first win. “My only query was how would acclimatise to the shorter speed racing and how fast he could get off the gate, but he answered both those things in that first win.” Adam Hamilton

Lazarus has a rare chance to complete a historic full set of major race wins after securing a perfect draw for Sunday's C$615,000 Canadian Pacing Derby. The champion Kiwi pacer has drawn barrier two in his second North American start, which is scheduled for 1.50pm (NZ time) on Sunday and after his bullying win in the Dan Patch in Indiana two weeks ago he has opened a $1.45 favourite with the NZ TAB. The Dan Patch was Lazarus' first start for his new United States owners after being sold for $4 million in the hopes he can win some of North America's biggest races and become a dual-hemisphere stallion prospect. The Dan Patch victory, in which Lazarus overcame barrier nine to lead for most of the race, saw the hype around the six-year-old go sky high and with Sunday's field not much stronger, Lazarus will only need to maintain that performance level to probably win again. Although trotting races are held in many parts of the world, the pacing gait is the focal point of the harness racing industry in only four countries - New Zealand, Australia, United States and Canada. If Lazarus wins on Sunday, he will have won a group one race or equivalent level race in all four of those countries inside 10 months. So while Kiwi pacing heroes such as Cardigan Bay and Young Quinn have tasted serious success in North America before, Lazarus' effort might be the first clean-sweep in such a short-time frame. Such is the interest in the superstar, Trackside television plan to have 20 minutes of lead-in from the Woodbine track before the race. Closer to home, Dream About Me looks set to start favourite in Friday night's Maurice Holmes Vase at Addington as the countdown to the New Zealand Trotting Cup starts to get serious. Thefixer downed Dream About Me in the first open class race of the season last Thursday but that was under handicap conditions with Dream About Me off 30m. On Friday, they meet under free-for-all conditions and with Dream About Me expected to derive enormous benefit from last Thursday she could well head the market. Both Thefixer and Dream About Me have been touted as possible Victoria Cup raiders in mid-October as that Melton classic is unlikely to have the depth of previous years and could be a lucrative target for the stablemates before they return to Addington for the New Zealand Cup in November. Michael Guerin

MILTON, ON - August 27, 2018 – Woodbine Mohawk Park has unveiled a special Instagram contest that will send one lucky fan and a friend to this Saturday’s (September 1) $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for a Lazarus experience. ‘The Wonder from Down Under’ will be making his Canadian debut in the Pacing Derby and the Instagram contest winner will be able to enjoy the race from his owners’ point of view, including a potential trip to the winner’s circle. The contest winner will receive the opportunity to join Taylor Made Farm, the owner of Lazarus, for dinner in the Terrace Trackside Buffet and to watch all of Saturday’s stakes action from the best seats in the house. To enter the contest, go to @WoodbineSB on Instagram, ‘Like’ the Canadian Pacing Derby contest post and tag a friend in the comment section. The contest is open until Noon on Thursday, August 30. A single winner will be drawn immediately following the closing of the contest and contacted via Instagram. The winner must be able to attend the Canadian Pacing Derby on Saturday and transportation is not provided. The $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and $651,000 Maple Leaf Trot are the co-main events on Saturday’s rich card. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - August 21, 2018 - The Canadian debut of Lazarus N will have to wait until Saturday, September 1 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The entry box for this year's Canadian Pacing Derby closed Tuesday morning with 10 older pacers entered, meaning eliminations will not be necessary this weekend. The star-studded group of 10 advance directly to the $600,000 final on September 1. 'The Wonder from Down Under' Lazarus N headlines the field for this year's Pacing Derby. The New Zealand-bred superstar will be making his second start on North American soil in Canada's oldest harness racing event. A six-year-old, Lazarus N was purchased earlier this year by Taylor Made Stallions and brought to North America to race for trainer Jimmy Takter. The son of Bettors Delight exited the Down Under racing scene with 35 wins in 45 starts, over $2.6 million in earnings and numerous awards. Lazarus N won his North American debut on August 10 at Hoosier Park in the Dan Patch. While all eyes will be locked on Lazarus N in the Canadian Pacing Derby, the other nine pacers are well-accomplished and will be looking to spoil the party. Casie Coleman trainee McWicked has been cleaning up in the older pacer division and enters the Pacing Derby with six wins and over $672,000 earned in 10 starts. The seven-year-old champion recently surpassed $3 million in career earnings for owner S S G Stables. McWicked will be competing in his third Canadian Pacing Derby final. His best finish was a third in last year's event. Dave Menary trainee Sintra is back to defend his Pacing Derby title. The five-year-old gelding is just one for eight this season, but his lone victory did come in the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup on Pepsi North America Cup night. Sintra is currently $964 shy of $1 million in career earnings for owners Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc. His win in last year's Pacing Derby is currently the richest victory of his career. Always loaded with talent, trainer Ron Burke, harness racing's all-time leading trainer, will send out a trio of starters in the Canadian Pacing Derby. Burke's triple-threat for the $600,000 event consists of All Bets Off (29 wins, $3.1 million), Filibuster Hanover (12 wins, $1.2 million) and Rockin Ron (33 wins, $1.5 million). All Bets Off will be racing in his fourth-consecutive Canadian Pacing Derby. The seven-year-old has finished fourth in each of the past two editions. Rockin Ron will be seeking redemption in this year's Pacing Derby. The five-year-old won his elimination last year before surrounding the lead in deep stretch and finishing second in the final. This year's Canadian Pacing Derby also includes Dr J Hanover, the fastest horse in Canadian harness racing history. The Tony Alagna trained five-year-old set the Canadian record of 1:46.4 last June at Mohawk Park. Dr J Hanover has enjoyed recent success at the Milton oval, having posted two Preferred victories since July 28. Mohawk Park fan-favourite Nirvana Seelster is entered to race in his fourth-consecutive Canadian Pacing Derby. The Bill Budd trained seven-year-old finished fourth in last year's final and enters this year's edition just over $6,000 away from millionaire status. Split The House, last year's Breeders Crown champion, will be making his Pacing Derby debut. The Chris Oakes trained six-year-old is a 13-time winner with more than $760,000 in career earnings. The field of 10 is completed by Western Fame, the second entrant from the Takter barn. The winner of more than $925,000 lifetime comes into the Pacing Derby off a 1:48.4 upset victory in last Sunday's Roll With Joe Stakes at Tioga Downs. Western Fame may not receive the bright lights like stablemate Lazarus, but the five-year-old has quietly scored five victories and earned nearly $200,000 this season. The field of 10 for this year's Canadian Pacing Derby has combined for 241 wins and $16,277,077 in earnings. The $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby joins the $651,000 Maple Leaf Trot for a stacked card on Saturday, September 1. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Here is the full field for the Canadian Pacing Derby in alphabetical order. All Bets Off Dr J Hanover Filibuster Hanover Lazarus N McWicked Nirvana Seelster Rockin Ron Sintra Split The House Western Fame by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - August 20, 2018 - The deadline for supplements to this year's Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot was Monday morning and the Woodbine Race Office received payments from the connections of Lazarus N and Dancer Hall. A $40,000 payment was required to supplement to the Canadian Pacing Derby or Maple Leaf Trot. "The Wonder from Down Under" Lazarus N will be making his second start on North American soil in the Canadian Pacing Derby. The six-year-old stallion won his U.S. debut on August 10 at Hoosier Park in the $325,000 Dan Patch. Earlier this year, Lazarus N was purchased by Taylor Made Stallion and brought to North America with eyes on the top races for older pacers and a potential World Record. The son of Bettors Delight, out of Christian Cullen mare Bethany, dominated the racing scene Down Under, winning 35 of 45 starts and earning $2.6 million prior to being purchased. Lazarus N races for Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. Dancer Hall has been a breakout star this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park and now the four-year-old will get the opportunity to take on the sport's best in the Maple Leaf Trot. A son of Deweycheatumnhowe, Dancer Hall has won seven of his last 10 starts heading into the Maple Leaf Trot. His most recent victory was 4 3/4 lengths score in the $75,000 Earl Rowe Invitational on Sunday evening at Georgian Downs. The Paul Reid trainee has been starring in the Woodbine Preferred this summer, having posted four wins and three runner-up finishes in seven Preferred starts. Dancer Hall is eight for 13 this season with $173,500 earned for owners 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa. His career numbers currently sit at 16 wins and $273,150 earned. Entries for this year's Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot are due Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. If necessary, eliminations for both events will be contested this Saturday (August 25) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 2 - Four-year-old gelding Sintra and harness racing driver Jody Jamieson rallied up the pylons to capture the $615,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at odds of 12-1 Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. The Dave Menary stable star unleashed a furious stretch rally to charge up the inside and nail Rockin Ron at the wire in 1:48.1 for driver Jamieson and trainer Gaetan Hebert. "It's pretty awesome," said co-owner Menary following the victory. "He's a special horse that I thought was a half-mile track horse at the start of the year, but that hasn't worked out well this year. "He likes the big track and he likes to flaunt his speed and I'm happy to be here." Sintra and Jamieson left from post-nine and were able to drop in fourth heading into the first turn. Nirvana Seelster claimed the front and posted an opening-quarter of :26. Elimination winner Rockin Ron and driver Louis Philippe Roy would circle around to the lead from second heading up the backside and led by the half in :54. Similar to his elimination, Roy allowed Rockin Ron to roll in the third-quarter and open up a 2½ length lead at three-quarters in 1:21. Sintra and Jamieson stayed in on the far turn and sat fifth, buried along the pylons turning for home. In the stretch, Rockin Ron continued to pace strongly and had a sizeable lead with less than an eighth of a mile to go. Staying along the rail proved to be the winning move by Jamieson, as room was available and Sintra took dead aim at the leader. The four-year-old used every inch of a racetrack to track down and surpass Rockin Ron by a neck. McWicked rallied from seventh to finish third, while All Bets Off and Nirvana Seelster finished in a dead-heat for fourth. Keystone Velocity, the even-money favourite, finished sixth. A gelded son of Mach Three, Sintra came into the 'Pacing Derby' off a second-place finish to Rockin Ron in his elimination. "I wasn't sure what I was going to do off the gate," said Jamieson following the race. "Dave didn't want me to get away tenth and I didn't want to be blasting out to the lead. "As it worked out, I got away fourth and (Keystone Velocity) moved quickly to get his position and I wasn't sure it was going to work out, even at the head of the stretch. (All Bets Off) was on a left line and (Rockin Ron) run out a bit, (Nirvana Seelster) was on the left line and it opened up and Sintra with any kind of a trip at all...he just explodes through." The 'Pacing Derby' victory is the first for Jamieson, who was very honest with his emotions following the race. "The last couple years, just the positions I've put myself in to not be overly successful, I got to tell you this one feels really good. It feels as good as any of the big wins I've ever had." Rockin Ron, who was the 2/1 second-choice, almost pulled off another front-end mission for the team of Roy and trainer Ron Burke. "It was what I wanted to do," said Roy following the race. "I had (Nirvana Seelster) leaving out so I couldn't keep him there, I just wanted to take him on and pace up front. "He wasn't steering as good as he was last week. Last week he was perfectly straight, but he was a little bit on the line today. Ron will correct that and he'll come back as good as he was last week." Sintra is owned by Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc. The four-year-old is now eight for 13 with $578,735 banked this season, while his career totals now sit at 16 wins and $882,385 earned. A $2 win ticket on Sintra returned $27.40. The $2 Exacta (Sintra-Rockin Ron) paid $184.90, while the $1 Trifecta (Sintra-Rockin Ron-McWicked) checked in at $476.45. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 31 - Back in the care of harness racing trainer Casie Coleman, six-year-old McWicked could surpass $2 million in career earnings with a strong performance in Saturday's $615,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk Racetrack. Following his four-year-old campaign, Mcwicked departed from Coleman's barn and was moved to trainer Steve Elliott, who conditioned the son of Mcardle for his five-year-old season and the first part of his current six-year-old season. "He didn't win a race at four with me and the owners just decided to try him with somebody else," Coleman said. "He went away for a little while, but then they asked me to take him back and I did." Mcwicked's five-year-old season was cut short after sustaining an injury in the June 2016 Roll With Joe Pace, where he flipped his palate and underwent corrective surgery. "I thought he could go with [Always B] Miki and [Wiggle It Jiggleit], I really did," Mcwicked's former trainer Steve Elliot said in an interview last year. "He's a fast, fast horse and he's handy. He doesn't ever grab a line. Sitting in the two-hole, drivers want to get him off the fence. Pull the right line and he takes off. You don't know how much horse you've got until you pull and then you have to watch you don't catch a wheel. He's just that kind of horse. He's a very good horse and circumstances didn't dictate that." Mcwicked, a 21-time winner with $1,992,206 earned for owner S S G Stables, made his 2017 seasonal debut on February 12 at Pompano Park, where he won the $12,500 Open Handicap in 1:50.4 devoid of breathing issues from which he had suffered in the past. "I didn't have any issues with him as a three-year-old with his breathing, but as a four-year-old we started having some issues with that," Coleman said. "Like I'll use the laser machine and laser his palette and take the tongue tie out and stuff along those lines. It's a constant thing you've got to work on because once they have a breathing issue you never know when it's going to come up." After racing ten times this season for Elliott, Mcwicked returned to Coleman's barn and proceeded to win the Preferred at Mohawk on June 3, followed by the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup in 1:48.2 on June 17. "I just put him back to the way I had [trained] him," Coleman said. "I don't really know what they were doing with him--I wasn't really concerned with how they rigged him up and trained him because I knew my way worked with him as a three-year-old and he's been seeming to respond." Prior to last Saturday's Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations, Mcwicked had finished fourth in three consecutive starts, including in the $325,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park as the 2-1 favourite. "He didn't race badly at Hoosier, but I was expecting more out of him," Coleman said. "He came up with an abscess in his foot, which we've actually been working on for a little while. He's actually been racing in an A-bar shoe right now just because he has some problems with his foot." Finishing third in his 'Pacing Derby' elimination, Mcwicked paced a 1:48.3 mile with a :25.4 final quarter, coming in six-lengths off of elimination winner Rockin Ron. "Everything seems great [heading into the Pacing Derby]," Coleman said. "I wish he was a little bit better on that foot--he trained yesterday (Tuesday); he trained really good. He's sharp and feeling good, but we still have a little bit of an issue with his foot but I think that will be fine by the time we get to Saturday." McWicked will start from the rail in Saturday's big race and will have the driving services of David Miller. "The rail isn't necessarily the best place to be--I mean, I'll take it over the nine or ten any day. Like it's hard for a horse to race on the front-end and get off the rail, so I'm hoping he gets away mid pack, follows some cover and hopefully works out from that spot." Update on Summer Travel After winning the Dream Maker Final in a stakes-record 1:50.3 on August 7, Coleman trained two-year-old Summer Travel was scheduled to race in last Saturday's Nassagaweya Stakes, but was scratched due to sickness. The Western Ideal colt was not the only Coleman rookie to be scratched, as filly Play The Bell, the winner of this year's Battle of The Belles, was also pulled from the Eternal Camnation. "They trained early (last) week and they were awesome--couldn't have been better," Coleman said. "But then on Thursday, the both of them started to snot but were eating good and feeling good. On Friday they were a lot more snotty and started to cough, still seeming to feel fine until Saturday morning we came in and saw Summer Travel had a temperature of 104 [Fahrenheit] and Play The Bell had a temperature of 102, so obviously we had to scratch them." "We've been treating them; they're on antibiotics. They seem to both be responding quite well--their snot pretty much cleared up and their temperatures are fine. Still, they both do have a little bit of a cough, but it is much, much better." The signs of improvement gave Coleman enough confidence to enter both rookies in this Saturday's Grand Circuit events at Mohawk. Summer Travel will compete in a $96,880 Champlain division, while Play The Bell will start in the $169,381 Champlain Filly Stakes. "They're both going to be a touch-bit short because I can't train them as much as I'd like to," Coleman said. "We've got to let them get over the sickness. Obviously, if at all they are not ready by Saturday, we're not going to take a chance and race them, but I think we'll be okay." Saturday's Canadian Pacing Derby card at Mohawk features 12-races and over $1.4 million in purses. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Ray Cotolo

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