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Radical Dreamer, with Marit Valstad in the irons for harness racing trainer/co-owner Ron Oneill and co-owner Doug Millard, took another Ontario monte test Saturday evening on the Canadian Trotting Classic card.  The five year-old mare by Majestic Son-Paidindreams-Royal Strength was victorious by ¾ length to record her fourth monte win this season. Smarty Pants rallied strongly around the last turn and battled to the line for Riina Rekila but could not get to the winner. Twin B Excalibur finished third for Evelyn Harms after racing forwardly placed throughout. The non-wagering event carried a purse of C$15,000. Mohawk 9/13/14-Monte Trot, C$15,000 (after race 3) Non-wagering, 9 starters after one scratch Fractions: :30 - 1:01 - 1:31.3 - 2:02.2 Radical Dreamer (5f Majestic Son-Paidindreams-Royal Strength), Marit Valstad up for trainer/co-owner Ron Oneill and Doug Millard. Smarty Pants (5f Kadabra-Twitty-Conway Hall), Riina Rekila, trainer Richard Moreau and owners Stan Klemencic and ASA Farm. Twin B Excalibur (11g Earl-Senorita Sierra-Sierra Kosmos)m Evelyn Harms for trainer/co-owner Randall Fulmer along with Phillip Katcher. Next up for the monte specialists in Ontario are September 20 at Flamboro and October 1 at Western Fair. Thomas H. Hicks http://www.monteamerica.com/

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 13 - Father Patrick, the 1-5 choice with harness racing driver Yannick Gingras, scored a popular one and three-quarter length victory in the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. Trainer Jimmy Takter held more than a strong hand going into this year's renewal for three-year-old trotters, sending out Hambletonian winner Trixton, a son of 2009 Classic winner Muscle Hill and Father Patrick, last year's divisional champion who had been expected to win the Meadowlands showcase event in August but made an unexpected early break. The toteboard reflected that, as Father Patrick was 1-5, Trixton 9-5 when they went behind the gate, while their five rivals ranged from 18-1 to 80-1. The two favourites, both of whom had won eight of their 10 starts this year, were expected to duke it out but this time it was Trixton, driven by Takter, who went off stride at the start to eliminate himself. It wasn't a walk in the park but the win at least put aside the nightmare of this year's Hambletonian for Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream. Parked in fourth for the first half-mile, as Damfoolrmillionair took the field through a quarter in :26.4 and the half in :55.2, Gingras sent Father Patrick up to challenge the pacesetter, took over before the three-quarters was reached in 1:24, then powered home for the win in 1:52.4. E L Titan came on for second, with Harper Blue Chip third. Owned by the Father Patrick Stable, of which Torontonian John Fielding is a partner, Father Patrick had won 15 straight prior to his gaffe in the Hambletonian. Since then, he'd won two of three and was hammered down to heavy favouritism in the Classic. "It's definitely huge (winning the Canadian Trotting Classic)," said Gingras. "That race (Hambletonian) is one I'd like to forget. He's a great horse. From here on out, I think he'll be the best horse, no doubt. He went a huge trip. He was out the whole way, never saw the rail. When I made my move, it was never in doubt." Added Fielding, "It was just a fantastic effort tonight. We've always thought this colt was the best colt I've ever owned. Jimmy, his wife Christina and myself have owned many, many great horses over the years. But this colt ranks up as probably number one of all of them. It was disappointing at the Hambletonian but tonight he was fantastic. It was just a great thrill. Tonight he showed himself well." With the win, Father Patrick went well over the $1 million in earnings for the season and is now closing in on the $2 million mark in career earnings. Prior to tonight, six of the last 10 winners of the Canadian Trotting Classic, including the last two (Royalty For Life in 2013, Market Share in 2012) had also prevailed in the storied Hambletonian. Takter previously won the Classic on two occasions, but surprisingly it had been awhile. Kadabra took the 2002 edition while Red Xing won in 1997. Father Patrick paid $2.70, $2.10 (no show wagering), combining with E L Titan ($14.60) for a $45.80 (6-1) exactor. A 6-1-2 (Harper Blue Chip) triactor was worth $158.10 while a $1 Superfecta [6-1-2-7 (Damfoolrmillioinair)] came back $282.20. Mark McKelvie

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.

Last weekend I was on a pretty good roll and ended up picking 12 winners out of 14 races and turned a $2 per race win wager into a $16.00 profit for the weekend! This weekend we have so much great racing throughout North America we can’t cover it all. Mohawk’s has the richest purses but Yonkers and Balmoral have their “Super Nights” Sire Stakes finals and in toll there are millions in purse money to be given away Saturday. Good Luck! $225,000 Pace Final NYSS 3YO Fillies Yonkers Raceway 3rd race SATURDAY – I tried a few times to find anyone in this race that can beat Spreester. But I couldn’t. She has been sensational having won six of her last eight starts and the two losses were by a head and neck. She can win from on and off the pace. Use Table Talk and Major Dancer in exotic plays. $385,000 Trot Final Peaceful Way 2YO Fillies Mohawk 3rd race SATURDAY – It is going to be hit or miss with Mission Brief once again. Superb filly is lightning fast but a bit erratic. If she minds her manners she wires the field. If she breaks she is totally out of it. My money is that she stays flat and sets a track record! Use Jolene Jolene and Stubborn Belle in exotic plays. $225,000 Trot Final NYSS 2YO Colts Yonkers Raceway 6th race SATURDAY – With just six career starts, Buen Camino has been outstanding for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer with four wins, last three straight and has found new life on the front end. Can wire the field even from post 6. Use Crazy Wow and Wings Of Royalty in exotic plays. $390,000 Trot Final William Wellwood Memorial Mohawk 5th race SATURDAY – This could end up being a very competitive race. I like Uncle Lassie as he shows awesome front end speed and thus he should be able to go right to the lead and not look back. But some others in here could prevent him from getting away with it. Use Habitat and Alderbaran Eagle in exotic plays. $162,000 Pace Final ISS 2YO Fillies Balmoral Park 4th race SATURDAY – Mr. Leland’s Filly may be on a five-race win streak but I have a feeling that Sportsmuffler could bring an end to that. He has been super sharp in her last two starts including 1 :54.3 triumph that if repeated could make her a lot richer after this race. Use Mr. Leland’s Filly and Lex in exotic plays. $225,000 Pace Final NYSS 2YO Colts Yonkers Raceway 8th race SATURDAY – Just in his last two starts Betting Exchange has shown me enough. He wins from on and off the pace impressively. Can handle a half mile oval and I think for the big bucks in here he can wire the field tonight. Use Southwind Masimo and Cartoon Daddy in exotic plays. $409,000 Trot Final Elegant Image 3YO Fillies Mohawk 7th race SATURDAY – She may have not been right in her only two losses this year so Shake It Cerry is back to her winning ways and should be able to either get the jump on the field early or bide her time, work her way to the front and win once again for the Jimmy Takter Stable. Use Designed To Be and Sweetie Hearts in exotic plays. $225,000 Trot Final NYSS 3YO Colts Yonkers Raceway 9th race SATURDAY – Boy oh boy will this be a great showdown race. Flyhawk El Durado vs Gural Hanover. Both are superb trotters this season and if they finish in a dead heat that would be too cool. I have to give the edge and my vote in here to Gural Hanover as he has now won his last eight starts, wiring the field most times and is part of an entry with Lukas Hall, but it was a coin toss to pick one over the other. Use Flyhawk El Durado and Daley Lovin in exotic plays. $682,000 Trot Canadian Trotting Classic 3YO Colts Mohawk 9th race SATURDAY – I was one of the only ones to say that on a big track that Trixton can beat Father Patrick and I was right on Hambletonian Day and I think I will be right again in here. Two great horses will go at it but right now I like Trixton to beat his stable mate. Use Father Patrick and Harper Blue Chip in exotics. $145,000 Pace Final ISS 3YO Colts Balmoral Park 9th race SATURDAY – Erv Miller’s Unlocked has been super game with his four straight wins, all in stakes events. Grinds his way to the top in most cases by the opening quarter mile and has yet to be caught in a month. Use Fox Valley Deuce and Sleazeburgernfries in exotic plays. $186,000 Pace Final ISS 2YO Colts Balmoral Park 14th race SATURDAY – Very good match up in this Super Night finale. I ended up going with Lucpark and he has the great Hall of Fame driver Dave Magee in the sulky and that can make a difference. He has won last two starts both by a neck after getting perfect trips and Magee can work his magic once again. Use Earndawg and Rockin Cassinova in exotic plays. $220,000 Pace Final Bobby Quillen Memorial Harrington Raceway 8th race MONDAY - We will one day see trainer Ron Burke have every starter in a stakes race from his barn? We nearly did in here as he has five of the eight in the final from his stable. I am going with the class of the field, Foiled Again. He nearly won this last year and off his excellent 1:51.3 score in his elim last week he seems prime with the rail to wire the field once again. Use Clear Vision and Easy Again in exotic plays.

This Week: Kindergarten Series, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y; Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial final, Peaceful Way final and Milton Stake eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Bobby Quillen Memorial final, Harrington Raceway, Harrington, Del. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 11) at The Red Mile with four $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 12) program at Tioga Downs features four divisions in the $91,908 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old colt pacers and three divisions in the $77,309 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old filly pacers.   Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 13) with the C$682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$409,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$390,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old open trotters, the C$385,000 Peaceful Way final for 2-year-old filly trotters, and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Milton Stake for older pacing mares. On Monday (Sept. 15), Harrington Raceway will host the $200,000 (est.) Bobby Quillen Memorial final for older pacing horses. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Mohawk Racetrack had several Grand Circuit races during the past week. Among the most noteworthy were a pair of Simcoe Stakes divisions for 3-year-old open pacers. Dancin Hill and Scott Zeron were 1:50.1 winners in a Simcoe division at Mohawk. In the first Simcoe Stakes division, Dancin Hill and driver Scott Zeron picked up the victory in a career-best clocking of 1:50.1. Dancin Hill powered by Western Vintage in the lane and paced strong to the wire to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Winds Of Change. Carracci Hanover took the show spot. A son of Rocknroll Hanover-Beyonce Blue Chip, Dancin Hill has now won two of his last three starts and improved his seasonal record to three wins in 12 starts. Dancin Hill is owned by Tom Hill of Lancashire, Great Britain and is trained by Tony Alagna. Melmerby Beach and Paul Macdonell scored their second victory in back-to-back weeks to take the second division. In the stretch, Melmerby Beach dug in and held off Play It Again Sam to win by a half-length in 1:50.2. Jet Airway couldn't find his best stride and finished third. A son of Somebeachsomewhere-Db Blue Chip, Melmerby Beach has now won three of his last five starts. Trained by Brent MacGrath for Schooner II Stable, Melmerby Beach has now won six of his 14 starts this year. The eighth annual Bobby Quillen Memorial stakes for older pacers commenced Monday (Sept. 8) at Harrington Raceway with a pair of $20,000 elimination divisions. Two-time Quillen champ Foiled Again was making his record sixth start in the Quillen, while 2013 champion Clear Vision was making his fourth. Those two rivals battled for a memorable finish in the 2013 event that resulted in a narrow win by Clear Vision over his stablemate. After Monday's eliminations, they appeared to be headed for a potential repeat duel as Foiled Again cruised to an effortless 1:51.3 triumph in his division, while Clear Vision was a 1:49.3 victor. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke. They will lead a field of eight into the Monday (Sept. 15) final at Harrington. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, 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 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 966; 2. Tim Tetrick - 551; 3. David Miller - 471.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 423.5; 5. Brett Miller - 266. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,276.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 764; 3. Tony Alagna - 235: 4. Ake Svanstedt - 222; 5. Julie Miller - 210. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 274.05; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 246.55; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 182; 4. Robert Key - 175; 5. Bamond Racing - 156.5. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Balmoral Park, The Red Mile, Mohawk Racetrack, Hoosier Park and Hippodrome 3R. Delaware will be hosting ten Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Balmoral will host American-National events for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; The Red Mile will feature another leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; Mohawk will feature the final of the Milton Stake for pacing mares; Hoosier will host the Kentuckiana Stallion Management for freshman filly pacers and trotters and the Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers; and Hippodrome 3R will feature the Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 9 - The $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic headlines an outstanding harness racing stakes filled card this Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Along with this year's 'Trotting Classic', the $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial and the $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes are also carded for Saturday night. In total, over $2 million in purses are up for grabs on the 13-race card. The Canadian Trotting Classic is annually Canada's richest race for trotters. Established in 1976, the 'Trotting Classic' has been won by some of harness racing's greatest trotters, including Armbro Goal ('88), Yankee Paco ('00), Windsongs Legacy ('04), Donato Hanover ('07), Deweycheatumnhowe ('08) and Muscle Hill ('09). Leading the group of seven for this year's 'Trotting Classic' is the Jimmy Takter trained duo of Father Patrick and Trixton. Father Patrick (PP6), last year's Two-year-old Trotter of the Year on both sides of the border, has won 18 of his 21 career starts and is coming into the 'Trotting Classic' off victories in the $340,000 Zweig Memorial and the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship. A son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream, Father Patrick, who will be driven by Yannick Gingras, won last year's William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk and is undefeated in three starts over the Campbellville oval. Father Patrick enters the $682,000 'Trotting Classic' with career earnings of more than $1.5 million. Trixton (PP5), this year's $1 million Hambletonian winner, is looking to defeat his stablemate once again in a rich stakes event and continue his dominance at Mohawk. Driven by trainer Jimmy Takter, Trixton captured this year's Hambletonian on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but never got the chance to go head-to-head with his stablemate as Father Patrick made a break at the start. A son of Muscle Hill - Emilie Cas El, Trixton has had plenty of success at Mohawk this season. He won the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14 and most recently captured the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes on August 30. He also holds the Mohawk Track Record for a three-year-old trotter of 1:51.3. Trixton has won 12 of 18 career starts and is approaching millionaire status with $961,876 in career earnings. Takter is seeking his third Canadian Trotting Classic title as a trainer and second as a driver. He trained and drove Red Xing to victory in 1997 and conditioned the great Kadabra in 2002. While most of the fanfare will surround the Tatker duo, local standout Harper Blue Chip will be looking to steal the spotlight. Trained by Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip (PP2) has dominated the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit this season and has held his own against Grand Circuit company. Harper Blue Chip finished third in the Hambletonian, won by Trixton, and fourth in the $500,000 Beal Memorial at Pocono, which was won by Father Patrick. Steacy will be looking for his second 'Trotting Classic' crown after he won the 2006 edition with Harper Blue Chip's sire, Majestic Son. Most recently, Harper Blue Chip made a rare appearance off the board when he finished fourth in the Simcoe Stakes, but driver Sylvain Filion was happy with the way his colt raced. "I thought he raced really well. He had a real bad post (post position ten)," said Filion. "He trotted large down the lane and had lots of trot at the wire." The luck of the draw was on Harper Blue Chip's side in the 'Trotting Classic', as he will start from post two and Filion hopes to build off that luck. "There's a lot of good horses in there, but we drew good and with a lucky trip you never know." As for what kind of trip Harper Blue Chip will need, Filion believes in a small field of seven the closer the better. "I think you've got to try and be close, especially in a short field like that. If you stay back there probably won't be a lot of early speed, so you will need to be close to the front." The son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin has won eight of 18 career starts and has a bankroll of $547,749. The other four starters in this year's Canadian Trotting Classic are E L Titan (PP1 - Chris Christoforou), Muscle Matters (PP3 - Mario Baillargeon), Il Sogno Dream (PP4 - Aaron Merriman) and Damfoolrmillionair (PP7 - Randy Waples). The 'Trotting Classic' is carded as Race 9 this Saturday night. The $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, which has normally been contested in June, will be making it's Canadian Trotting Classic night debut. 11 of the sport's best sophomore trotting fillies will contest the rich final. Just like the 'Trotting Classic', Jimmy Takter sends out the favourite in the Elegantimage. Shake It Cerry (PP7) has won 16 of 21 career starts and banked over $1.2 million in career earnings. A daughter of Donato Hanover - Solveig, Shake It Cerry was a Breeders Crown champion as a two-year-old and this year has won events such as the Del Miller Memorial and Zweig Filly Trot. Takter will also send out Scream And Shout (PP6 - Brett Miller) and has already won the Elegantimage three times with Southwind Allaire ('03), Pampered Princess ('07) and Lantern Kronos ('08). Completing the field are Demanding Sam (PP1 - Paul Macdonell), Tosca (PP2 - Per Henriksen), Riveting Rosie (PP3 - Paul Macdonell), Vanity Matters (PP4 - Scott Zeron), Chivaree Hanover (PP5 - Doug McNair), Sweetie Hearts (PP8 - Randy Waples), Heavens Door (PP9 - Ake Svanstedt), Muscle Babe (PP10 - James MacDonald) and Designed To Be (PP11 - Sylvain Filion). The Elegantimage Stakes is carded as Race 7. The top freshman trotters will also be on display Saturday night. The $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes, for two-year-old filly trotters, features a World Champion in the group of ten that will line up behind the gate. Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill, won her elimination last week in a World Record time of 1:52.1. Trained by Ron Burke, Mission Brief had equaled the World Record in the Merrie Annabelle Stakes on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but in her Peaceful Way elimination she took sole possession of the World Record with her 3 ¾ length victory. Following the elimination, driver Yannick Gingras said she could've gone even faster. "She had plenty left, she is scary scary fast," said Gingras. "When she raced in the Merrie Annabelle I told Ronnie (Burke) after the race I still have another second...believe me she could've won in 1:51 and change tonight." Mission Brief's connections selected post position five as her starting spot on Saturday night. The other elimination was won by Jolene Jolene, a daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jonas Czernyson, in a career best equaling 1:55.1. Driven by David Miller, Jolene Jolene has won three consecutive starts and finished second to Mission Brief in the Merrie Annabelle. She will start from post position three on Saturday evening. Completing the field for the Peaceful Way Stakes are Stubborn Belle (PP1 - Paul Macdonell), Danielle Hall (PP2 - Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (PP4 - Roger Mayotte), Southwind Champane (PP6 - Steve Byron), Dynamite Dame (PP7 - Sylvain Filion), Amoureuse Hanover (PP8 - Doug McNair), Juanitas Fury (PP9 - Steve Condren) and Lady Caterina (PP10 - Phil Hudon). The Peaceful Way is carded as Race 3. Two eliminations were contested last Saturday to decide which ten two-year-old colts and geldings would advance to the final of the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Shake It Cerry, won the first elimination in a career best time of 1:54.4. Trained by Takter, Uncle Lasse has won three of six career starts and has never been worse than third. He will start from post position three with driver Ron Pierce. The second elimination went to Lookslikeachpndale, a son of Muscle Hill trained by Luc Blais, in a career best 1:56.2. The 'elim' victory broke the maiden of Lookslikeachpndale and allowed his connections to select their post for the final. Lookslikeachpndale will start from post position two with driver Sylvain Filion. Completing the field for the William Wellwood Memorial are Gifted Way (PP1 - Scott Zeron), Dont Rush (PP4 - Chris Christoforou), Aldebaran Eagle (PP5 - Doug McNair), Habitat (PP6 - Yannick Gingras), Jetpedia (PP7 - Mike Saftic), Southwind Stryker (PP8 - Steve Condren), Wheels Ah Smoking (PP9 - Ake Svanstedt) and Big Rich (PP10 - Steve Condren). The William Wellwood Memorial is carded as Race 5. Also on Saturday, two $35,000 eliminations for the Milton Stakes will be contested. 16 of the sport's finest pacing mares have been split into two eight horse eliminations (Races 6 and 10). The first elimination features millionaire pacing mares Drop The Ball (PP2 - Corey Callahan), Camille (PP4 - Yannick Gingras), Krispy Apple (PP6 - Tim Tetrick) and Monkey On My Wheel (PP7 - Chris Christoforou). Completing the field are Aunt Caroline (PP1 - Scott Zeron), Mattie Terror Girl (PP3 - Scott Zeron), Summertime Lea (PP5 - Yannick Gingras) and Jerseylicious (PP8 - Brett Miller). In the second elimination, Rocklamation (PP8 - Yannick Gingras), last year's Milton Stakes winner, is back to defend her title. Trained by Ron Burke, the six-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover has earned over $2 million in her career. However, Rocklamation is not the richest mare in the field as that honour is held by Anndrovette (PP7 - Tim Tetrick). Trained by PJ Fraley, Anndrovette, who won the Roses Are Red Stakes back in June for the third consecutive year, has career earnings of more than $3 million. The other seven mares in the field are Charisma Hanover (PP1 - Yannick Gingras), Radar Contact (PP2 - Jack Moiseyev), Voelz Hanover (PP3 - Randy Waples), Ferrari Sena (PP4 - Sylvain Filion), Yagonnakissmeornot (PP5 - Jody Jamieson) and Shelliscape (PP6 - Tim Tetrick). The top five finishers from both eliminations will advance to the $286,000 final on Saturday, September 20. This Saturday night, Mohawk will also be holding 'Fan Appreciation Night' The first 1,000 fans on-track will receive a $5 food voucher and prizes will be given away after every race. More details are available at www.MohawkRacetrack.com Post time this Saturday is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Glenn Van Camp says there are similarities between 3-year-old gelding trotter Damfoolrmillionair and his award-winning half-brother San Pail. Whether the two will have similar careers still remains unknown, but Van Camp would be happy even if Damfoolrmillionair is only half as good. Damfoolrmillionair is among seven horses competing in Saturday's C$682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. He will start from post seven with driver Randy Waples at the lines for trainer Brad Maxwell. The field also includes Hambletonian winner Trixton and newly crowned Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Father Patrick, both from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter. Damfoolrmillionair enters the CTC off a second-place finish to Trixton in the Simcoe Stakes on Aug. 30 at Mohawk. For the year, he has won four of nine starts and earned $96,311 for owners Glenn and Paul Van Camp, as the P G Van Camp Stables. Of course, San Pail has won $3.01 million in his career, is a three-time winner of the Maple Leaf Trot, and was 2011 Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada. Glenn Van Camp bred San Pail and co-owns the now 10-year-old gelding, slowed by injury the last several years, with Rod Hughes. "This fella has got four white feet and San Pail doesn't, but he's quite a bit like him," Van Camp said about Damfoolrmillionair. "If you watch a video of him and San Pail, they've got about the same gait. Which isn't a bad gait. I said if he ever were half as good, he'd be a heck of a horse. That would be awful nice. "All we can do is keep our fingers crossed. Randy says he's got a lot of similarities, so that's good. You can't get much better than to be as good as that. We're quite pleased with him so far, so that's the main thing." The Van Camps bought Damfoolrmillionair, then named Bosston Whitesocks, for $33,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale. He is a son of stallion Muscles Yankee out of the mare Village Beauty. Van Camp owned Village Beauty until 2006, when she was purchased by current owner Alvin Beiler. "Brad was down at the sale and said he kind of liked the looks of the colt, so I said buy him," said Van Camp, adding with a laugh. "We changed the name because my father-in-law, who also was in the horse business all his life, said there are only two people that can be in the horse business, either a damn fool or a millionaire." Damfoolrmillionair won one of seven starts last year and finished second to Harper Blue Chip in a division of the Champlain Stakes. He also was third in his elimination for the William Wellwood Memorial, behind Harper Blue Chip and Il Sogno Dream, but finished eighth in the final after drawing post No. 9. He finished the season with a fifth-place finish in a division of the International Stallion Stakes, but was beaten only 1-1/4 lengths by Outburst despite starting from post eight in the eight-horse field. This year, Damfoolrmillionair competed in conditioned races until facing a stakes field in the Simcoe. He was eligible to the Hambletonian, but Van Camp said the horse "just wasn't ready." "He was coming along slowly, but that's what we were planning on doing anyway, bringing him along slowly." Damfoolrmillionair has finished no worse than third in any start this season, and held his own despite starting inside of post seven only twice in his last seven outings. "It's a good thing there isn't 10 horses in the (Canadian Trotting Classic), otherwise we'd have the 10 hole," Van Camp joked. "It's a smaller field, but we drew exactly the way we normally do. "He's a pretty good little horse," he added about Damfoolrmillionair. "He's raced very well all year. He's been in the money every time, but this is another step up for him. When you finish second to Trixton, you're doing alright. That Trixton is a very good horse. We've got our fingers crossed for Saturday night." Following is the Canadian Trotting Classic field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. E L Titan, Chris Christoforou, Riina Rekila; 2. Harper Blue Chip, Sylvain Filion, Mark Steacy; 3. Muscle Matters, Mario Baillargeon, Benoit Baillargeon; 4. Il Sogno Dream, Aaron Merriman, Chris Beaver; 5. Trixton, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 6. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 7. Damfoolrmillionair, Randy Waples, Brad Maxwell. By Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 4 - Mission Brief came to Mohawk Racetrack Thursday night as a co-World Record holder and left the Campbellville oval as the fastest two-year-old trotter in harness racing history on a one mile track. The sport's best freshman trotting fillies were at Mohawk Thursday night to contest two $30,000 eliminations for the Peaceful Way stakes. 16 two-year-old trotting fillies were split into two eliminations with the top five finishers earning a spot in the $385,000 final on September 13. Mission Brief, the Merrie Annabelle winner, went off as the 2/5 favourite in the second elimination and certainly lived up the hype as she won in a World Record clocking of 1:52.1. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Mission Brief left the gate with good speed to grab the front and trotted by the opening quarter in :27.1. After cruising by the half in :55.4 and the three-quarter pole in 1:24, Mission Brief looked dominant as she trotted home in :28.1 under minimal urging from Gingras to win by 3 ¾ lengths. Stubborn Belle turned in an impressive mile to finish second as she followed right behind Mission Brief the entire mile and was the only filly to keep up with the winner. Danielle Hall took the show spot, while Southwind Champane and Dynamite Dame finished fourth and fifth respectively. Trained by Ron Burke, Mission Brief equaled Designed To Be's World Record for a two-year-old trotter when she won the Merrie Annabelle Stakes in 1:52.2 back in early August at the Meadowlands. Mission Brief's 1:52.1 mile destroyed Win Missy B's Track and Canadian Record of 1:53.3 and now stands alone as the fastest mile ever by a two-year-old trotter. "She had plenty left, she is scary scary fast," said Gingras. "When she raced in the Merrie Annabelle I told Ronnie (Burke) after the race I still have another second, I told him that after the elimination and believe me she could've won in 1:51 and change tonight." A daughter of Muscle Hill - Southwind Serena, Mission Brief sold for $150,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, J and T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. Mission Brief has now won five of her seven career starts and the Peaceful Way elimination victory boosts her career earnings to more than $270,000. She paid $2.90 to win. In the first elimination, Jolene Jolene and David Miller did not disappoint as the 3/5 favourite winning in 1:55.1. Spirit To Win, the 8/5 second choice, made a break before the start and was out of contention before the field left the gate. Amoureuse Hall at 60-1 stormed out to the early lead and hung up a speedy opening quarter of :27.2. Jolene Jolene made a brush to the lead in the second quarter and cleared to the front at the half in :58.1. Jolene Jolene led the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:27.2 and trotted her last quarter in :27.4 without much of a challenge from her rivals to win by a length and a half over Juanitas Fury. Elegant Serenity finished third, while Amoureuse Hanover and Lady Caterina finished fourth and fifth to secure a spot in the final. Jolene Jolene has now won three starts in a row for trainer Jonas Czernyson and owner William Joseph Donovan. By winning her elimination, the connections of Jolene Jolene earned the advantage of being able to select their post position for the final. "That's a big edge knowing where you are going to be because there is always that chance of drawing the nine or the ten and that's a big handicap," said Miller following the race. Jolene Jolene has won her last two starts by doing the work on the front end, but Miller said that isn't her best game. "I still think she races better following. She gets the lead and gets a little bit lost. She seems pretty strong and I think she probably (has) got a little more in her." A daughter of Muscle Hill - Celebrity Speedie, Jolene Jolene sold for $87,000 last November at Harrisburg and has now earned more than $166,000 in six career starts. She paid $3.30 to win. The $385,000 final of Peaceful Way Stakes will take place Saturday, September 13 as part of the Canadian Trotting Classic card. Following the eliminations, the draw for the rich final took place in the paddock. Elimination winners earned the right to select their post position for the final. Here is how they will lineup for the $375,000 final on Saturday, September 13. PP/Horse/Driver 1. Stubborn Belle - Paul Macdonell 2. Danielle Hall - Jody Jamieson 3. Jolene Jolene - David Miller 4. Elegant Serenity - Roger Mayotte 5. Mission Brief - Yannick Gingras 6. Southwind Champane - Steve Byron 7. Dynamite Dame - Sylvain Filion 8. Amoureuse Hanover - Doug McNair 9. Juanitas Fury - Paul Macdonell 10. Lady Caterina - Phil Hudon AE: Lock Down Lindy - Scott Zeron by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 3 - It was a fun and entertaining evening of racing at Mohawk on Saturday. Ask any fan.   The Canadian Pacing Derby/Metro Pace card showcased many of the sport's stars and featured a 66-1 longshot winner in the Canadian Pacing Derby, while the Jackpot Hi 5 was paid out on the final race.   Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) also considers the 2014 event a stunning success, in record style.   A total of $5,006,896 was wagered on the 12-race card, the highest handle figure ever recorded for one program at the 51-year-old Campbellville track. The previous mark was $4,648,478 for the 2000 Breeders Crown card.   It was third highest handle ever recorded on the WEG Standardbred circuit, behind only 2002 Breeders Crown card ($5.4 million) and 2001 Breeders Crown program ($5.2 million), both conducted at Woodbine.   "We offered a terrific on-track event and a fantastic card, and we are extremely pleased with the record results," said Jamie Martin, Executive Vice-President of Racing. "Customers enjoyed great music, excellent food and were entertained by the finest horses in the sport, including arguably the best two-year-olds around, Artspeak and JK Shesalady. Modern Legend added a dash of drama with his 66-1 upset in the Canadian Pacing Derby."   The Jackpot Hi 5 continues to prove to be a hit with racing fans. The wager, which offered a carryover of $647,331.71 and a mandatory payout, had a total pool of $2,522,851 after $1,875,520 was bet on Saturday evening. Each winning 20-cent ticket paid $1,347.36 after Resistance Futile romped. The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the first five finishers in exact order.   "The Jackpot Hi 5 certainly helped the card achieve record status, but without it, we were still up 30 per cent over last year's program," said Martin.   The next major card at Mohawk features the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic. It is slated for September 13.   by John Siscos, for WEG  

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  

Stakes-winner E L Titan has been absent from the Grand Circuit this season, but that is soon to change. The 3-year-old male trotter, who won three of five starts last season, including divisions of the International Stallion Stakes and Madison County, made his 2014 debut earlier this month and is getting ready for the Simcoe Stakes and Canadian Trotting Classic, both at Mohawk Racetrack. Riina Rekila, who trains E L Titan for breeder/owner Erkki Laakkonen, qualified E L Titan on July 4 at Mohawk, where he won in 1:57.4, but didn't see the colt make his first start until Aug. 9, when he was victorious by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:54.2 in a conditioned race at Mohawk. "He had little issues, but we decided to start a little bit later with him," Rekila said. "He was staked to the Hambletonian too, but I entered him in a few overnights here and they didn't use the class, so I just came late with him. I can't just go and race (in the Hambletonian) without any normal races. "We hope he's good now until the end of the year." E L Titan is by the stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Courtney Hall, a stakes-winning full sister to millionaire Cameron Hall. E L Titan is Courtney Hall's fourth foal and the previous three -- E L Rock, Appomattox and E L Rocket -- each earned at least $233,000. Appomattox, who finished second in the 2012 Kentucky Futurity, leads the group with $414,548. Last year, E L Titan won his division of the International Stallion Stakes by a neck over Trixton in 1:53.4. The time was fifth fastest among all 2-year-old male trotters last season. He also finished second to Father Patrick in a division of the Champlain Stakes. "I really liked him," Rekila said. "He's lazy training, so you can't tell too much. We were very surprised he raced that well (on Aug. 9) because he had only one qualifier. At home, I just train him under saddle or on my sand track. I don't train him too fast, so I was happy he went (1):54 pretty easy at Mohawk." Rekila drove E L Titan as a 2-year-old, but Chris Christoforou was in the sulky for the colt's first start this season. Rekila hopes By Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications/USTAChristoforou will drive E L Titan again in the Simcoe, which is Aug. 30. "If he doesn't take him, I'll take him," Rekila said with a laugh. "I like Chris. He's nice with the horse and he's one of the best drivers up here. "I like to drive 2-year-olds because maybe they are not so handy to drive," she added in explaining why she gave up her seat behind E L Titan this year. "I know them, so it is easier." Following the Simcoe and Canadian Trotting Classic, E L Titan's stakes schedule includes the American-National, Galt, Yonkers Trot, and Breeders Crown. "I'm racing him lightly because we would like him to race as a 4-year-old as well, maybe when he's a little older," Rekila said. "The owner is the nicest person ever, so we can do whatever we want. He doesn't want me to push the horse. If there are issues we can wait and race the horse whenever he's ready. We just want to have a nice horse. "I like him," she added about E L Titan. "They're all horses, so you never know, but I think he's a very nice horse." By Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

TORONTO, August 14 - It's been over four months since the launch of the Standardbred Alliance in Ontario on April 1 and wagering on Standardbred horse races at these tracks is already seeing a sharp increase compared to the same period last year.   From April 1 through August 9, "all-sources" wagering on Standardbred Alliance racing is $148,227,950, an encouraging 8.92 per cent rise over the $136,083,298 bet through the equivalent period in 2013.   The numbers are promising on a per race basis as well. Last year, an average of $57,347 was bet per race (2373 races). After April 1, in 2014, an average of $60,280 per race (2459 races) was recorded, also a strong 5.11 per cent increase. Number of races is up 3.6 per cent over last year.   "There's plenty of work to do, but so far the alliance concept is proving to accomplish what it had intended," said Jamie Martin, Executive Vice-President of Racing at Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and Chair of the Standardbred Alliance board. "It's helped to create some positive momentum for the industry, plus a platform for the core standardbred tracks to be partners in this new era. Racing fans are responding well at Mohawk and the other Alliance tracks under the new model with wagering up strongly both per race and overall."   Grand River Raceway, in Elora, is seeing double-digit wagering increases both per race and overall.   "We have experienced an increase in wagering of 16.56 per cent per race, leading to a 10.58 per cent rise overall on our live racing product," said Dr. Ted Clarke, General Manager of Grand River Raceway. "Total wagering on our Industry Day on August 4 was the highest since 2005. The positive wagering results and attendance indicate the fan base and interest are solid."   The Standardbred Alliance, led by Woodbine Entertainment Group, is a consortium of eight Ontario racetracks. Launched April 1, the members represent a three-tier racing hierarchy, 'Grass Roots' (Clinton, Hanover), 'Signature' (Flamboro, Georgian, Grand River and Western Fair) and 'Premier' (Mohawk and Woodbine).   The tracks have worked together to implement operational efficiencies, co-ordinate a year-round racing calendar, develop a program of racing that is attractive to foreign and domestic customers, and establish consistent purses.   The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) is buoyed by the wagering rise through the early months of the Standardbred Alliance concept.   "We're glad to see wagering is up," said Sue Leslie, President of OHRIA. "Fans are continuing to embrace this wonderful sport and it's gaining new ones. The next step is to have racing fully integrated into the province's gaming strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of the model."   Highlights of the season so far include State Treasurer's win at the Molson Pace at Western Fair, JK Endofanera's win in the Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk, Shadows Wonder's victory in Clinton's Kin Pace, Go Daddy Go's score in the Battle of Waterloo at Grand River and Warrawee Promesse's tally in the Dream of Glory at Hanover.   The Georgian Downs meet is in full swing, with the Earl Rowe Memorial Cup Trot set for August 23, while the start of the final part of the 2014 Flamboro Downs meet is scheduled for September 2.   Several major stakes are set for the latter half of season on the WEG circuit, including the Metro Pace at Mohawk on August 30, the Canadian Trotting Classic on September 13, while the 'Fall Four' (Goldsmith Maid, Three Diamonds, Governor's Cup and Valley Victory) is set for Woodbine on October 25.   by John Siscos, for WEG  

Harper Blue Chip will make his first Ontario Sires Stakes start of 2014 tomorrow night in the first of three $70,000 Gold divisions for three-year-old trotting colts at Mohawk. It will also be the first start for the colt since the most lucrative outing of his career, in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian on August 2 at the Meadowlands. Driven by Brian Sears, Harper Blue Chip, the only Ontario-sired competitor in the talented field, finished third to earn his thrilled connections $106,247. It was more than many of them expected. "It was quite a decision about whether to go; it's not inexpensive to get in the race. But we agreed that we thought he was fifth best in the field and if he finished there we would make a little money. Some even thought maybe fourth best but when he drew post nine we were hoping for fifth,” explained Howard Pearce who manages a group of people who make up the colt’s co-owner Landmark 6 Racing Stable. "As it turned out we were all wrong and the race turned out great for Harper. There were some pretty happy people." For several years Pearce, who is retired from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, has brought together groups of people to share ownership in colts and fillies trained by Mark Steacy of nearby Gananoque. The Landmark name comes from Steacy and the town where his training stable is located, Lansdowne. Pearce acts as syndicate manager and administrator. The group which co-owns Harper Blue Chip, the sixth iteration of Landmark, includes Joe Loring, Jane Phair, Mike Grace, Conrad Leber, Shaun Finucane, Diane Bertrand, Robert Gilhespy, Barry White, Diane McPerson, Mitche Donoghue, David Reid, Rick Karper, Craig MacKay and Pearce. The other owners on the colt are David McDonald of Cornwall and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. Reid, an accountant from Kingston, also owns an additional share along with his Landmark cut. The Landmark syndicates, which have included owners from just about every province and several states, allow people to share ownership of a horse at a reduced cost, but still enjoy the excitement of owning a harness horse. To have one of their charges reach a coveted race like the Hambletonian, and even better, earn a substantial cheque in such a rich event, is a dream come true for anyone who has ever owned a Standardbred. Harper Blue Chip, who won two OSS events last year at two, is a son of Steacy’s former champion Majestic Son, Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2006. He was bred by noted New York horseman Ray Schnittker and Blue Chip Farms and sold as a yearling for $40,000 the Harrisburg sale. In addition to racing in the OSS this year, he’ll also have an opportunity to compete against the elite of this division in North America in next month’s Canadian Trotting Classic. The richest race for this division in Canada, the final goes September 13 at Mohawk for an estimated $685,000. When he lines up behind the gate tomorrow night at Mohawk Harper will start from post three with Sylvain Filion at the lines. It’s a pattern for the colt – he seems to either draw way outside or post three this year. In eight starts he’s had post 10 once, post nine three times (including the Hambo) and the three spot on three occasions. The three OSS events are featured in races two, six and 10 at the Campbellville oval. The full card may be viewed through this link .      Ontario Sire Stakes

Three trotters from the sophomore class of 2010 have come online with their initial crops this year; Muscle Massive is standing at Hanover, Lucky Chucky at Winbak in New York and Holiday Road in Ontario. Pilgrim’s Taj is a fourth, but he only spent one year in Canada, after which he was relocated to Ohio and ultimately exported to Finland. That being the case, we’ll look at the first three. To this point restricted races have provided the only basis for judging them, but the open portion of the season commences this week with elimination rounds for the Peter Haughton and Merrie Annabelle at the Meadowlands as well as several splits of the Arden at The Meadows. Much of the focus has been on Muscle Massive and Lucky Chucky, beneficiaries of generous state bred programs who finished one-two in the Hambletonion. The former was a $450,000 yearling who was lightly raced at two but managed to win the Hambletonion as well as the Dancer at three, while Chucky was a precocious freshman, showing wins in the Valley Victory, Matron, ISS and Bluegrass. He was the 3/2 favorite in the Hambletonion and appeared on his way to victory when 6/1 Muscle Massive, piloted by Ron Pierce, ruined his day. Regardless, Chucky did win the Canadian Trotting Classic and Colonial at three, and he earned more money than Muscle Massive both years. Both sold close to seventy yearlings last year, with Chucky’s brood averaging quite a bit more. Both have seen their stud fees fluctuate before their first crops hit the track. Muscle Massive started at $10,000, only to have his fee cut to $7,500 and $6,000 in successive years. Cantab Hall, Donato Hanover, Andover Hall and Explosive Matter all command higher fees than their younger stablemate at Hanover. Chucky, on the other hand, started at $7,500 in New York, was dropped to $5,000 during a year spent in Pennsylvania, and came back up to $7,500 when he returned to Winbak, where nineteen-year-old Muscles Yankee stands for $2,500 more. Muscle Massive has benefited from the success of his older brother, Muscle Mass, sire of O’Brien winner Riveting Rosie and the successful OSS colt Muscle Matters. Thus far Muscle Massive has given us some outstanding fillies. Gatka Hanover, a big rugged gal out of the Conway Hall mare Girlie Tough, from the Ron Burke barn, has left many wondering where her ceiling is. Gatka rolled through a couple of baby races and has now chalked up three wins in the PA Sire Stakes, one each at The Meadows, Pocono and Harrah’s. Matt Kakaley steered her to an effortless four length win in 1:57 in her latest. She leaves from the five for Matt K in Friday’s first Merrie Annabelle elimination. Gatka takes on Lucky Chucky’s daughter, Lock Down Lindy, who drew plenty of attention with a very strong first over win in a Merrie Annabelle Prep at the Meadowlands Friday for Scott Zeron and Tony Alagna. Another Muscle Massive star in the making is Jimmy Takter’s Speak To Me, an $80,000 Harness Breeders purchase by Myron Bell. She is also three-for three in the PA Sire Stakes and has trotted in 1:55. Last time out, in a $57,000 sire stakes division at Harrah’s, Speak To Me gapped the field by ten on her way to an easy win at a stingy 1/5 price. Unfortunately this filly was not staked to the Merrie Annabelle and will be missing from the fray on Friday night. Blessings Counted is another talented filly by Muscle Massive. She was second to Speak To Me in a PASS race at The Meadows a couple of weeks ago and won a $57,000 race at Harrah’s in her latest start. She is not eligible to the Merrie Annabelle but is entered in a split of the Arden at The Meadows on Friday. Missive and Youth Gone Wild, both winners in the Stallion Series, will also race in the Arden. Jersey Strong, a talented filly with a win in the PA All Stars and a second in the PASS, isn’t entered at The Meadowlands or The Meadows on Friday. The top colt by Muscle Massive is Ake Svanstedt’s Lima Pride, who beat Jimmy Takter’s 1/9 favorite The Bank in a split of the Hickory Pride when The Bank went on a run at the three-quarters. Lima Pride, a $25,000 yearling purchase, was not nominated to the Peter Haughton. The priciest freshman trotter by any first crop stallion is Mr Lucky Luke, a $450,000 Lucky Chucky half- brother to Muscle Massive, Muscle Mass and 2010 Merrie Annabelle winner, Thatsnotmyname. The Cancelliere brothers, of Detour Hanover fame, purchased him at Lexington in the fall. He has yet to make a pari-mutuel start; let’s hope he generates a better ROI than Detour has. As for the Lucky Chucky colts and fillies that have raced, there is no eye popping Gatka Hanover out there, but there are plenty of good ones. I already mentioned Merrie Annabelle candidate Lock Down Lindy, who possesses the same rugged demeanor as Gatka. She is a half-sister to 2006 HOY in Canada, Majestic Son. He has sired Harper Blue Chip, Murmur Hanover and Charmed Life. Ray Schnittker has Gabe The Bear Dean, a $105,000 Harness Breeders buy, who has an impressive wire-to wire five length win in the NYSS at Buffalo. Jonas Czernyson has a few Lucky Chucky youngsters in his barn and he’s high on all of them. At the end of June Hot Start, a half-sister to Religulous, won a $27,000 NYSS split at Vernon Downs for Corey Callahan. Next time out, at Tioga, she cut most of the mile from the outside post only to lose to paternal sister My Twisted Sister, from the Paul Kelley barn. Hot Start is entered in the second Merrie Annabelle elimination on Friday. Nunkeri is another very promising Lucky Chucky filly from the Czernyson barn. She finished second to the Muscle Hill filly Josie’s Joy at the Meadowlands the other night, race timed in 1:57.2 as the second choice. Nunkeri won her start previous to that one, a $28,000 NYSS division at Tioga. George Ducharme’s sharp looking Conway Hall filly, Concentration, pressured her all the way home in a 1:59.3 mile. On the male side Mal and Janet Burroughs’ Mambo Blue Chip, a $40,000 Harness Breeders buy, won a $28,000 split of the NYSS in 1:57.2 at Tioga last time out. Holiday Road, a $115,000 yearling who is a full brother to Ken Warkentin, was lightly raced, making only ten lifetime stars. While staying on the track was an issue, speed wasn’t; he won the Peter Haughton at two and a split of the Dancer at three. He opened his stallion career for $4,500 at Seelster Farms and now stands for $3,500. This week the Holiday Roads started to turn heads and earn respect at Mohawk as they performed admirably on the various OSS platforms. John Bax’s Hemi Seelster was long and tough winning a Grassroots division in 1:58.4 at 2/1. It was noteworthy that the gelding engaged in a head to head battle the length of the stretch with Pilgrim’s Joy, a son of first crop stallion Pilgrim’s Taj. Tony Alagna’s filly Gee O’Keeffe logged a very strong second in a $53,000 OSS Gold leg at Mohawk for Jody Jamieson, losing a length to the highly regarded Kadabra filly Juanita’s Fury. And Keith Jones’ gelding, It’s Huw You Know, was an upset Grassroots winner in 2:00.3 on Monday at 75/1, paying $159.60. And Ontheroad De Vie made a very impressive brush on the back as he came from the 10 post to finish second for Rick Zeron in a Grassroots leg. The Holiday Roads are looking good. Rock N Roll Heaven and Sportswriter are lighting it up in the freshman pacing division, but it’s expected that the trotters will take a little longer to get their bearings and hit their stride. Muscle Massive, Lucky Chucky and Holiday Road will all be prospering when they do. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

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

Racing Under Saddle is an innovative new concept in harness racing in Canada, and the schedule for the racing under saddle season has been finalized and will be an exciting season for riders, horses, the bettor, and the general public at large. The Ontario Racing Commission has approved wagering with Standardbred Canada setting the standards for equipment and riders. There will be ten scheduled races at seven tracks from July 1 at Mohawk Racetrack to October 1 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The first race will be held at Mohawk Racetrack on July 1 and the invitational trot will be carded as “Trot For The Cure” in conjunction with a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. After a stop in Clinton for a Sunday afternoon tilt on July 13, which will be the first RUS event that bettors will be able to wager on, comes the first signature event of the RUS season. On July 26 there will be the first half of Norway versus Canada as part the eliminations of the Balanced Image at Hanover Raceway with the second half being held at Grand River Raceway on August 1. Three days later, as part of the Battle Of Waterloo, RUS Ontario will hold an international race featuring riders from Norway, Sweden, Finland, the United States and host Canada. This event will strive to be an annual event in Canada growing with world popularity. On July 19, Georgian Downs will play host to RUS, and on August 29 Mohawk will play host to a second RUS invitational trot, as a prelude to the Canadian Trotting Classic card on September 13. The last invitational trot will be hosted at Mohawk Racetrack. Flamboro Downs will play host to RUS on September 20 and The Raceway at Western Fair District will close out the season with a race on its opening night card on October 1. RUS would like to thank the management at all Ontario tracks for the support and cooperation shown to racing under saddle for this inaugural season as an entity of the Ontario racing scene. Please come out and support racing under saddle and enjoy the excitement of Ontario racing. For further information on sponsorships of races or riders, please contact Julie Walker at (519) 379-7244 or by e-mail at walks24dodger@aol.com. For the website click here. From RUS Ontario

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