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CAMPBELLVILLE, July 17 - Mister Herbie, a two-time harness racing O'Brien Award winner, will make his third appearance in the Maple Leaf Trot this Saturday night, at Mohawk Racetrack. Owned and trained by Jeff Gillis, the six-year-old millionaire son of Here Comes Herbie is overlooked on the morning line at odds of 15-1 with favoured Sebastian K, a decisive 2/5 mutuel favourite, capturing most of the attention. However, it was only two years ago that Mister Herbie, sent to post at 8-1, upset the heavily-favoured Chapter Seven to win the Maple Leaf Trot with a strong stretch run in a stakes and track record clocking of 1:50.4. "I'd take a repeat of that," grinned Gillis. Stepping up against Sebastian K, the world's fastest trotter (1:49), on Saturday, Gillis knows that Mister Herbie will have to be at his best. In 2012, Chapter Seven was a well-backed favourite, but certainly not as touted as Sebastian K. "It's not to the same extent," agreed Gillis. "Sebastian K looks fairly invincible when you can leave as hard as he can, and then come some pretty wicked back halves. "It's pretty hard to figure out a strategy to beat that. But, that's why we run the race. Favourites go down. Horses are not machines and they can come up with a less than one hundred percent performance. Someone could take a run at him." Mister Herbie is lightly raced this campaign. He made his qualifying debut by trotting home a dominant 15-length winner in 1:55.3 on June 6, his first start since an even effort at Meadowlands Racetrack in late November. He's posted a trio of second-place runs since that qualifier including a runner-up effort to Market Share in last week's elimination, the very rival Mister Herbie chased home in the 2013 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot. Gillis was intent on giving his champion gelding some time off this winter following a year in which Mister Herbie won just once, yet still banked $492,607 in purse earnings thanks to six runner-up finishes in stakes competition. "He spent eight weeks in Kentucky. We deliberately brought him back a little bit slower, in part, because of how late the season ran last year," explained Gillis. "We took our time with him and hopefully we'll finish strong. He's done everything on schedule so far and gotten a little bit better each time. He's heading into the race in good form." Gillis knows his charge will need to drop considerable time off his 1:53.2 elimination clocking on Saturday to win a second Trot final. In fact, Mister Herbie will likely need to equal or better his own Trot final performance of 1:50.4. "If they get a good track on Saturday, I suspect they're going to flirt with the track record, and I'd be just as happy if we held it when it was over too," he grinned. Steve Condren, who won his first and only Maple Leaf Trot in 1988 with Natural Image, will be charged with engineering a winning trip and Gillis has every confidence in the veteran driver. "Steve is a tremendous driver and very accomplished. He has a lot of experience and I think he suits the horse," said Gillis. As for the conditioner's idea of the perfect trip? "Ideally, we'll get away mid pack and someone would soften up Sebastian K and we'd be second over and pounce on tired horses," he offered. "It takes a lot of luck for something like that to unfold, but I think it's going to be an interesting race. I'm not sure everyone will lay back and let him (Sebastian K) get an easy half." And while the Maple Leaf Trot is certainly first and foremost for Gillis and Mister Herbie heading into Saturday's lucrative $603,000 event, the conditioner does have one other key date circled on the calendar later in the season for Canada's reigning champion aged trotter. "The race I'd really like him to win is the Breeders Crown," said Gillis. In 2012, Chapter Seven turned the tables on 'Herbie' to win the Breeders Crown at Woodbine and last year, at Pocono Downs, 'Herbie' dueled with Market Share to a furious finish only to lose by a nose. "I feel he deserved a better fate the last two years and that would be one that would mean a lot to me. It was heartbreaking (losing the photo)," said Gillis. Until then, its eyes on the prize for Gillis and a horse he clearly has a lot of respect for. "He's the perfect horse in every sense of the word. He does everything right, full of personality and I'm extremely fond of him," said Gillis. "We haven't really won a big one in a couple years. Herbie's Maple Leaf Trot was probably our last big win, so I feel like we're due for another." Mark McKelvie WEG Communications - Standardbred

East Rutherford, NJ - No fewer than seven major Grand Circuit stakes will populate the Saturday night card at The Meadowlands, led by the track's signature race, The Meadowlands Pace.   The all-star lineup begins with a pair of high-stakes preps for trotting's top prizes, the August 2 Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks.   Race four is the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial three-year-old colt trot which will be the stage for last year's top freshman Father Patrick to battle Trixton who has emerged as a worthy adversary this season. It is the first time these two have met, the occasion made even more intriguing by the fact that both are trained in the Jimmy Takter stable.   Oddsmaker Darin Zoccali has Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) listed as a strong morning line favorite at 4/5 from post nine, while Trixton is at 3/1 from post twelve in the second tier with trainer Takter aboard.   The $213,500 Delvin Miller Memorial for sophomore trotting fillies also pits last year's finest against emerging talent. Shake It Cerry was clearly the best of a very talented crop last season, easily winning year end awards for the Takter stable and regular driver Ron Pierce. She has transitioned successfully to sophomore status winning four of five starts this season and is the 9/5 choice from post seven.   Her only loss required the world record 1:51.3 effort by Designed To Be at Pocono last month. It was the second time Designed To Be has assaulted the record books, having taken the two-year-old title with her 1:52.2 mile last fall in Lexington. She will have Brian Sears aboard for trainer Julie Miller on Saturday.   The remarkably fast Cooler Schooner is the fastest freshman trotter ever, regardless of sex by virtue of her amazing 1:51.3 win last summer at Pocono. She is sometimes guilty of self-sabotage but can never be dismissed. The Campbell brothers, John and Jim will conspire to manage that wicked speed toward its best use.   The new shooter in this division is Heaven's Door another who demonstrated great talent at two for Ross Croghan but it took until this year for her mind to catch up to her speed. She was sold over the winter and moved into the Ake Svanstedt barn where she has flourished. She won last month's NJSS final in a stakes record 1:52 with great ease and is facing the division's best now for her new connections and adds another element of suspense.   Next up (race six) will be the $212,500 Mistletoe Shalee for sophomore pacing fillies, another contentious contest. Sandbetweenurtoes raced but once at two for Tony Alagna but showed such promise in her first few starts at three that the brothers Remmen, Ray and Larry, bought her for John Grant and she hasn't lost since. She was the winner of last week's elimination in 1:49.1 with Brett Miller aboard and will likely be the post time fave off a 5/2 morning line.   Precocious Beauty was the divisional leader last year for the McNair barn and has yet to find that form thus far at three, though last week's race was encouraging. Takter's Uffizi Hanover won the 2013 Breeders Crown and the Fan Hanover this year for her regular pilot, newly minted Hall of Famer David Miller.   The older dames race on the pace for $178,450 in the cleverly named Golden Girls stake in the seventh race. Joe Holloway has always had a way with the ladies, training several distaff champions over the years and has a formidable pair in this one. Somwherovarainbow has well over a million in career earnings and has been in deadly form for Joe since early spring with six wins from ten starts, among those the Bluechip Matchmaker final. Brian Sears drives.   Her stable mate Shebestingin is the fastest female Standardbred ever, having seared The Red Mile clay in an eye-popping 1:47 flat last fall. She has yet to beat the best of this division since graduating into the open ranks but her speed make her a danger for David Miller.   The race favorite at 2/1 is the iron-tough race mare Androvette. Her story has been told many times but never gets old, particularly for her connections. She vaults over $3million lifetime with a win in this stake for trainer PJ Fraley and her constant racing companion Tim Tetrick.   Just when you think, "Well, this just can't get any better," you come to the meat of the card. Race 8 contains the finest Free For All pacers in the land racing for $463,300 in the WR Haughton Memorial, one of the biggest events of their season. The lifetime earnings for these ten horses are just north of the $20 million mark.   Captaintreacherous is the two time defending Pacer of the Year and a winner of over $3million in his racing career for trainer Tony Alagna. He's developed into a fan favorite with his gritty, never give up style and he'll need every bit of that heart, a large dose of speed and another clever steer from Tetrick on Saturday. He's drawn a favorable post starting just inside the 8/5 favorite, Sweet Lou.   Sweet Lou has flashed brilliance from the start for his connections and still holds the freshman pacing world speed record. Now five year of age, he's in the best form of his career and has been invincible since paired with driver Ron Pierce in May. Together they are five for five, all in 1:48.3 or faster culminating with a world record 1:47 the hard way at Pocono in the Franklin, the fastest mile on a five-eighths track in history.   Sweet Lou is one of a formidable four horse armada sent out in the Haughton by Meadowlands and national leading trainer Ron Burke. The four Burke horses alone have amassed a staggering $12million in career earnings led by the richest pacer in history, ageless wonder Foiled Again at $6.3 million. Foiled will have to overcome the extreme outside post for his regular driver Yannick Gingras in this battle.   The $776,000 Meadowlands Pace is race nine on the star studded extravaganza and has been well covered in many arenas, so for our purposes let's just say it shapes up to be a very exciting and contentious race, as is usually the case in the absence of a clear division leader.   Among the deepest and most contentious divisions this season is the older trotting mares. The returning Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, last year's division leader Maven and pair of four year old mares that have blossomed into trotting divas, Perfect Alliance and Classic Martine will all meet among a field of eight in the $40,000 Miss Versatility in race ten.   It's one for the ages this Saturday night at The Meadowlands with over $2.5 million in purses offered over the 13 race card, including four $100,000 finals for state bred freshmen. Post time is 6:30pm and it's going to be well attended, so if you're thinking of coming out make your reservations now. If not, the Haughton and Pace will be carried live on the CBS Sports Network and the TVG Racing network.   From the Meadowlands Media Relations Office

It was a triumphant return for harness racing driver Trevor Henry at Hanover Raceway Saturday night. Racing in sires stakes events at Mohawk and elsewhere this summer, the multiple driver of the year at Hanover won 4 of the 6 OSS 3 year old Colt Trotting races Saturday. Henry started off winning both ends of the Daily Double taking race 1 with Passed Da Point for owners Benoit Gendron and Roland Rocco of Quebec, in 1:59.1, and won race 2 with Massacaia for owner Gestion Jean Yves Blais of Montreal, Que in 2:00.2. Henry said he expects to spend more time at Hanover once the Sires Stakes season slows down but he’s got several of his own horses competing at other tracks.   The third OSS leg was won by Steve Byron who drove Totally Ripped for owner Don Leisheid of Windsor in 1:59.4. The fourth OSS event was won by TothePointJames in 2:02 for driver, trainer and part owner Wayne Henry of Arthur along with Jeff Thomson of Chelsey, the estate of Daniel Mccann, and Arnold Feldman of Quebec. Leg 5 was won by Tyrone Haji in 2:01.1 for trainer Bob Mcintosh of Windsor and accounted for Trevor Henrys 3rd win on the night, and Henry capped off the evening with the fastest mile of the night when Aventure won the 9th race in 1:58 for trainer Bill Budd of Waterdown.  Budd said afterwards that if his horse was able to clear the lead before the quarter pole, he thinks he may have had a chance to break the 3 year old track record held by first Dream of Glory winner Abbey Road C back in 2002.  Budd says Aventure who is Dream of Glory eligible will be back on July 26th for the eliminations, and he expects another great performance from the son of muscle mass.  The colt is owned by Orville Rursch of Illinois. Fans at Hanover enjoyed 300 cupcakes and 300 tshirts in a t-shirt toss to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Sires Stakes program.  Hanover also held its first Survivor handicapping qualifier.  Despite over 150 entries none of the fans in attendance qualified for the August 9th final.  The good news is fans have 3 more chances to qualify for a chance to win a high definition television courtesy of Country 93 radio.  Hanover Raceway features 10 live race’s and another chance to qualify for the Survivor handicapping contest on July 12th.  Post time is 7:15pm Gord Dougan  

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 4 - Major Dancer and driver Chris Christoforou cruised to a 1:51.2 victory in the $49,200 final of the Town Pro Pacing Series for harness racing three-year-old fillies, Friday night at Mohawk. Trained by Casie Coleman, Major Dancer captured the first leg of the Town Pro, but came up half a length short in the second leg despite closing with :26.3 speed. In the final, after getting away fifth, Christoforou didn't wait until the final turn to make his bid for the lead, as he sent Major Dancer first up nearing the half, which went in :55, seizing the command at the three-quarter pole in 1:23. In the stretch, Major Dancer and Christoforou opened up a good lead and sailed to a 3 ¼ length victory. Palm Beach Hanover followed Major Dancer around the final turn and finish second, while Happily Ever was third. "Tonight I was a little bit worried when I had to go first up again," said Adriano Sorella, co-owner of Major Dancer, following the race. "She was game tonight. She looked good." The series finale victory improved Major Dancer's record to four wins in eight starts this season. Major Dancer was a half length short in the second leg of completing a Town Pro Series sweep, but Sorella said he wasn't too disappointed with the defeat in round two. "You can't be disappointed with her coming home like that. She was a little bit further behind last week, she was throwing her head before the gate, so she kind of missed the gate last week, but she raced real good and I was happy with what we had tonight." A daughter of Art Major-Two Steppin Sally, Major Dancer boosted her career bankroll to over $93,000 with the sixth victory of her career for owners West Wins Stable, Mac Nichol and Sorella. Sorella noted after the race that Major Dancer will now head to New York to compete in Sires Stakes action. Major Dancer paid $3.90 to win as the public choice. Mark McKelvie  

Due to impending weather and potentially unsafe track conditions, the card of racing scheduled for Northside Downs on Saturday has been cancelled. The afternoon race card included several divisions of the Atlantic Sires Stakes 3 year-old pacing colts and fillies. The Atlantic Sires Stakes events at Northside Downs have been re-scheduled to Saturday, July 12. The entries for the cancelled card of racing will be discarded and trainers are advised to re-enter their horses for the July 12 events. The entry box for the Atlantic Sires Stakes events will close on Wednesday at 10 and a new card will subsequently be drawn. Lynne MacLennan Executive Director Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association PO Box 65 Port Hood NS B0E 2W0 Phone: 902.787.2869 Fax: 902.787.2214 www.atlanticsiresstakes.ca

While eliminations for the Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk are scheduled for Friday, July 11, The Meadowlands will offer a leg of the TVG Open trot for Saturday, July12. The reason is to provide a race for the trotters that week if the Maple Leaf does not require eliminations. The draw for both races will be on Tuesday, July 8 with The Meadowlands box closing at 9:00am and Mohawk taking entries until 10:30am. If you desire to race in the TVG Open if there are no Maple Leaf elims, you must enter your horse for both races with each Racing Office by the deadline. If the Maple Leaf does have elimination races, the TVG Open trot will be cancelled as the conditions state. No points toward the TVG Final will be awarded if the race is cancelled. The Meadowlands condition sheet may be found here and the Mohawk sheet here. Nick Salvi                   Standardbred Racing Information | Standardbred Canada View on www.standardbredcanada.ca Preview by Yahoo      

After a stint in the breeding shed, 7-year-old trotter Wishing Stone is ready to make his 2014 harness racing debut in a conditioned handicap Friday at the Meadowlands. Wishing Stone received post 10 in the race and is 9-2 on the morning line. He enters the race off one qualifier, a 1:55.2 effort on June 20 with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke. Undercover Strike is the 3-1 favorite, followed by Mistery Woman at 7-2 and Spider Blue Chip at 4-1. Wishing Stone stood as a stallion at Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey. He fulfilled contracts for 331 doses of frozen semen overseas as well as being bred to some 30 mares in North America. Although it is common for trotters overseas to breed and race in the same season, that is not the case in North America. Some well-known successes abroad include Ready Cash, who is France's richest trotter in history in addition to being a popular sire, and Coktail Jet and Mack Lobell, who both won the prestigious Elitloppet after performing stud duties. "It's a fun experiment and I think it's going to work," said Mike Gulotta, the CEO of Deo Volente Farms and head of the Wishing Stone Syndicate ownership group. "Actually, the first part of it has worked. We're excited." Gulotta hopes to see Wishing Stone get a boost as a stallion thanks to a new bonus program at the Meadowlands for New Jersey-sired horses. "I think now that people see that things will be changing in New Jersey, there will be a lot more interest in him and other Jersey stallions next year," Gulotta said. "Sometimes people need to see that something is actually happening in order to commit." Wishing Stone is well known in Europe, having competed there at ages 4 and 5. In 2011, he won the French trotting race Grand Prix du Sud Ouest at 1-5/16 mile and also the King's Trophy in Sweden. He was second in the Gran Premio Continentale in Italy. A year later, he captured the Copenhagen Cup in Denmark at a distance of 1-1/4 mile. He finished his European campaign with a second-place finish in the Jubilee Trophy for 5-year-old trotters in Sweden. He returned to the U.S. in August 2012 to continue his career in North America. Lifetime, Wishing Stone has won 21 of 69 races and earned $2.23 million, making him the richest offspring of sire Conway Hall. He has won multiple stakes in the U.S., including the 2010 Kentucky Futurity in straight heats at Lexington's Red Mile. "We'll see now how he races," Gulotta said. "He looks good. I think he's gained weight and grown up a little, actually, which may be helpful to him. We're happy." To read a Hoof Beats magazine story about Wishing Stone's double duty, click here. * * * JK Endofanera, the No. 1-ranked horse on the Road to the Meadowlands Pace, is entered in Friday's qualifiers at the Meadowlands. The colt, which captured the North America Cup on June 21, has won eight of 12 career races and never finished worse than third. The Ron Burke-trainee has earned $913,517 for owner 3 Brothers Stable. He is not the only Meadowlands Pace eligible in the qualifier. He is joined by Jimmy Takter-trained Lyonssomewhere, who was fifth in the North America Cup, as well as Joe Holloway's Always B Miki, Tracy Brainard's Big Boy Dreams, and Ron Coyne Jr.'s National Debt. Lyonssomewhere is No. 4 and Always B Miki is No. 7 in the Meadowlands Pace rankings. Big Boy Dreams, who was second to He's Watching in last year's New York Sire Stakes championship, has not raced in 2014. Eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace will be held July 5 and the $650,000 final is July 12. Elsewhere, Boomboom Ballykeel, who won last year's Metro Pace, is in the first of three divisions of the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday. Boomboom Ballykeel has one win, which came in the sire stakes in May, in three starts this season. He is trained by Richard Moreau. The second division includes Meadowlands Pace eligibles Bugger Bruiser, trained by Carmen Auciello, and Erv Miller's Jet Airway while the third division has Ian Moore's Play It Again Sam. Three horses eligible to the Meadowlands Pace are competing in the same New York Sire Stakes division Friday at Buffalo Raceway - Patrick Lachance's Sir Sam's Z Tam, Mark Ford's Twin B Speedo, and P.J. Fraley's Ideal Cowboy. * * * In addition to the previously mentioned horses qualifying Friday at the Meadowlands, Bee A Magician, Royalty For Life, Shebestingin, and Cee Bee Yes will be among others in action. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, is winless in three starts this season and coming off a ninth-place finish in the Armbro Flight Stakes on June 14 at Mohawk. Trainer Nifty Norman told Trot Insider the mare scoped sick following the Armbro Flight and would start next against her male counterparts in the $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters on July 5 at the Meadowlands. Last year, Bee A Magician's wins included the Hambletonian Oaks. Also being pointed to the Hambletonian Maturity is 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life. * * Levy Memorial Series champion P H Supercam will look to snap a four-race losing streak in Saturday's open handicap at Yonkers Raceway. The race also includes Heston Blue Chip and last week's winner Digital Z Tam. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications U.S. Trotting Association

Three-year-old pacing colts from across the Maritimes will meet for some serious racing competition at Inverness Raceway on Sunday afternoon. Three 'A' divisions of the pacing colts will each go for a purse pool of over $7000 and two 'B' divisions going for $2500 will round out the afternoon race card. This is Inverness Raceway's first opportunity this season to host an Atlantic Sires Stakes event and the lineup of colts slated to go behind the starting gate is guaranteed to offer exciting racing action. First race post time on Sunday is 1:30 pm. Lynne MacLennan  

ELORA, ON - What's it like to be going crazy fast behind a 1,000-pound animal, with no seat belt, just two strips of leather as your steering wheel and only millimeters separating you and eight other thundering horses? Veteran driver Randy Waples says there's no feeling anything like it. "It's the greatest high in the world when you get to line up behind the gate. I've never lost it. It's been 31 years of driving horses now. Every time I go behind the gate I get that same kind of a rush, that adrenaline rush. It's just fantastic," Waples said. "You want to feel what it's like to be in a horse race? Get on a motorbike and do 100 miles an hour down the 401." Randy Waples went to high school in Fergus. When he was young, he used to play in a field in Elora that became the site of Grand River Raceway. Today, he's one of Canada's leading harness drivers and a four-time winner of Grand River Raceway's signature race, the Battle of Waterloo. At the age of 49, even after more than 6,000 wins and over $100 million in purse earnings, Waples said he still gets pumped when he takes the reins. "It's got that dangerous sort of aspect. You know they're close to you. You know how powerful the animals are. But you really don't put that into your mind because, basically, the whole time you're thinking, 'What should I be doing? Where should I be? Is this one live? Is that one stopping? Can I get out? Do I want to pull now?' There's a lot of things that go through your mind where you kind of push the dangerous part in the back of your mind." Waples said there's no better place for fans to get a taste of that adrenaline rush than at Grand River Raceway. "First of all, you're up close to the horses. To me, that's more important than anything," Waples said. "The other thing is, I think Grand River Raceway has gone out of their way to treat people the way they should be treated. It's customer first. "It's just such a friendly kind of an experience. That's Elora. Fantastic people." Waples is one of the most personable drivers in the game. He invited fans to say hello at Grand River. "I hope I see you there and if I do, come over to the fence, lean over and say, 'Hi' unless you're an ex-school teacher, then stay away," he said, laughing. Waples said horses are simply the greatest animals on earth. "We've been so lucky that God put these animals on the earth... They're so accommodating," he said. "Horses went to war with us, they carried the guns... Years ago, when there was no cars, the doctor went to the houses in a horse and a buggy. If that doctor couldn't get around in that horse and a buggy, a lot of people wouldn't be here today. We've got a horse to thank for it. "A lot of people don't know horses have blue eyes. You get up close to them, every one of them have the prettiest blue eyes you've ever seen in your life." As for the horse that changed his life, Waples didn't even think for half-a-second before answering. "San Pail. Absolutely San Pail," he said of the Breeders Crown and three-time Maple Leaf Trot winner. "People looked at me differently. I was able to compete at the highest level with a very good horse and he made me look good and people just, all of a sudden, looked at me in a different light. "He's meant everything to me." To hear more of our conversation with Randy Waples - including which three people, living or dead, he'd pick to have dinner with - check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway by Kelly Spencer for Grand River Raceway

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 18 - JK Endofanera's victory in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup was a popular one for many fans attending Mohawk's showcase evening.  ‚ÄčThe Ron Burke trainee returned $26.30 for a $2 win wager in the 31st renewal of the race. Woodbine Entertainment Group was also pleased with the business results of the event billed as Ribs, Racing and Rivalries on Saturday. Fans and horseplayers wagered $3,437,037 on the 14-race card, up 14.5% compared to the $3,001,036 figure recorded in the 2013 edition of the race.  The overall handle was the highest since the race moved to Mohawk in 2007. A figure of $474,023 was wagered on the Pepsi North America Cup race itself. "It was a good evening," said WEG's Executive Vice-President of Racing, Jamie Martin. "There was a definite positive vibe at Mohawk on Pepsi North America Cup night, felt by both the casual fan and the core horseplayer. We're determined to continue our mission of offering a high quality horse racing experience for fans while growing wagering across the province. That was seen by many on Saturday." Many fans showed up three hours before the first race to get their "First Bet on Us", a commemorative Pepsi North America Cup hat and to secure a great spot to enjoy the evening.  They enjoyed award winning ribs from Silver Bullet BBQ and Blazin BBQ and unique brands of beer at "Beerville." Fans were also entertained between races all night with live music from the River Junction Band and Amy Rose. This Friday, June 20, Mohawk will offer a Fireworks Show following the races to celebrate the 100th birthday of Campbellville. A special first-race post time of 7:05 p.m. is slated. by John Siscos, for WEG 

June 15, 2014 - Thanks to a $100 exacta box wager on the Meadowlands Maturity, 2012 Pen vs. Chip Handicapping Champion, Mark McKelvie, surged to the lead in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest. The $100 exacta box of Captaintreacherous and Odds On Equuleus gave McKelvie a $1,200 profit for Friday evening on the way to a net profit of $1,065 for the weekend. As a result, McKelvie through 13 legs has a net profit of $1,518, leading former leader Brandon Valvo by $214.50. Of course, McKelvie was not the only handicapper to have a profitable weekend. With Dennis O'Hara's profit of $813.60, he moves from 14th place to 11th. Three other handicappers ended up in the black for the weekend. In addition to McKelvie's $1,400 (gross) hit on Friday night, there were other key wagers made on Friday evening. Ray Garnett had a $10 exacta ($90 in total exacta wagers) which paid $140; Derick Giwner's $200 win wager on Captaintreacherous paid $380; Dennis O'Hara's $2 trifecta box ($120) paid $253.60, $5 trifecta ($80) paid $634, $10 exacta part wheel ($40) paid $140. Saturday's big wagers were Ray Garnett's $1 trifecta box ($60) in the North America Cup which paid $328.75; Derick Giwner's $40 exacta in the Goodtimes paid $204; Sally Hinckley's $20 exacta box ($40) paid $160 and $2 trifecta box ($48) paid $255 in the Roses Are Red; Mark McKelvie's $100 win wager in the Fan Hanover paid $265; Josi Verlingieri's $50 win/pace wager in the Armbro Flight paid $387.50; Gordon Waterstone's $10 trifecta key ($60) in the Goodtimes paid $197.50. As of June 14, 2014 - Leg 13 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Mark McKelvie $1,065.00 $1,518.00   2nd Brandon Valvo ($430.00) $1,303.50 $214.50 3rd Derick Giwner $11.20 $735.00 $783.00 4th Earl Paulson ($171.00) $69.50 $1,448.50 5th Bob Zanakis ($420.00) ($59.50) $1,577.50 6th Brian McEvoy ($145.00) ($315.00) $1,833.00 7th Josi Verlingieri ($201.50) ($433.45) $1,951.45 8th Sally Hinckley $11.50 ($489.80) $2,007.80 9th Ray Garnett ($86.75) ($608.45) $2,126.45 10th Gordon Waterstone $6.30 ($853.20) $2,371.20 11th Dennis O'Hara $813.60 ($937.60) $2,455.60 12th Garnet Barnsdale ($650.00) ($1,288.00) $2,806.00 13th Ann Stepien ($263.00) ($1,328.10) $2,846.10 14th Rusty Nash ($639.20) ($1,642.40) $3,160.40 15th Ray Cotolo ($490.00) ($2,472.00) $3,990.00 This week, the handicapping Shoot-Out has one race on tab; Friday night at the Meadowlands is the second round of TVG FFA Trot.  Results and handicapper selections may be found on the contest websitehttp://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. by Allan Schott, for HAHA

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 4 - They may have set the bar high in 2008 when they teamed up in the Pepsi North America Cup, but harness racing's Paul Macdonell and Brent MacGrath are hoping to recreate magic in 2014.   The trainer / driver duo amazed thousands at Mohawk when they captured the 25th edition of the race with Somebeachsomewhere and this year they team up with Melmerby Beach, a son of the great pacer.   Melmerby Beach won once in five starts as a two-year-old and resurfaced for his three-year-old campaign in a qualifier on May 2.   Off the one trial, the colt was victorious in a conditioned event at Woodbine on May 8 in 1:51.4.   However, sickness would prevent Melmerby Beach from making another start in advance of the stakes race raced named for his sire this past Saturday.   Despite the slight change of plans, he finished third behind Hes Watching, the fastest winner of the three Somebeachsomewhere divisions.   "He really kind of needed the start between his first start and the other night, but I thought he raced pretty good," said MacDonell. "I don't know if he was just at peak condition for that race, but with that start and going into this race (the elimination) he should be getting pretty close to it."   Melmerby Beach will leave from post six, in Race 5, on Saturday, the second of three eliminations for the North America Cup.   That field includes Somebeachsomewhere division winner Always B Miki and a pair of second place finishers in Mcwicked and Lets Drink On It.   "It looks pretty snug, it is a competitive field with Holloway's horse (Always B Miki) in there," said MacDonell. "It will probably set up for a pretty competitive race and if he is back to where we think he can be he will be competitive as they are."   Last year was the first appearance for Somebeachsomewhere as a sire in the North America Cup.   His most notable son to date, Captaintreacherous, captured the Cup en route to earning over $2 million on the season.   MacDonell said he is happy to have another Cup hopeful and for it to be a son of "The Beach" is an added bonus.   "It is special and especially with a son of his, until we get there it is a bit stressed, but if we get there it will be a nice feeling," said MacDonell, also noting the parallels between "The Beach" and "Melmerby". "They have a lot of similar qualities, they are both top gaited horses, they both want to race and all those things add up."   The 2008 Cup victory for MacDonell was his first North America Cup in his eighth try, since then he has had two attempts to regain Cup glory, finishing third in 2010 behind Piece Of The Rock and seventh in 2011 with Eighteen.   Capturing his first North America Cup meant a lot to MacDonell and he would love to do again.   "(Winning) it certainly takes that burden off, I don't know how many tries I had at it before I actually won it, and once you get it it's kind of really nice and just makes you crave more."   by Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, May 31 - North America's top sophomore pacing colts contested in the final preliminary race before the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup as Mohawk played host to a trio of $75,000 division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes. In the first split, Pepsi North America Cup eligible JK Endofanera and Brian Sears clicked in 1:50. Sears and the son of Art Major sat third in the early stages as Luck Be Withyou (Ron Pierce) was first to the quarter in :26.3. As the field of seven headed towards the half, JK Endofanera angled out of third and marched to the front before the mid-way point in :55. JK Endofanera would continue to lead past three-quarters in 1:23.1 as pocket-sitter Luck Be Withyou angled to the outside. The pair of sophomores separated themselves from the field with JK Endofanera prevailing in deep stretch to win by one length. Marco De Vie (Randy Waples) finished third. Trained by Ron Burke for owner 3 Brothers Stables, JK Endofanera celebrated his sixth career tally as his bankroll now sits at $451,057. JK Endofanera captured last year's Governors Cup en route to $363,402 in seasonal earnings. The talented pacer remains a perfect three-for-three to start the season. His 1:49.4 lifetime best was taken place just two starts ago at Pocono Downs. He paid $2.20 to win. Heavily-favoured Always B Miki didn't disappoint his backers as the son of Always A Virgin prevailed in 1:50 for driver Corey Callaghan. Callaghan and Always B Miki laid parked on the outside past the opening station in :27.1, before marching to command. From there, the five-time winner carved out fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.3, before fending off a light challenge from second-choice Mcwicked (David Miller) to score the win. Silverhill Shadow (Jody Jamieson) finished third. Trained by Joe Holloway for owners Bluewood Stable, Val Dor Farms and Roll The Dice Stable, Always B Miki increased her career earnings to $206,891. The talented sophomore has a 3-1-0 record from five starts this season. He also remains eligible to this year's Pepsi North America Cup. After tasting defeat for the first time in his career, He's Watching redeemed himself with a 1:49.3 lifetime best. The talented son of American Ideal led from start-to-finish through panels of 27.2, :55.3 and 1:23, before fending off a challenge from first-over attacker and race favourite Lets Drink On It to win. Melmerby Beach (Paul Macdonell) finished third. Trained and co-owned by David Menary along with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Muscara Racing Trust, He's Watching increased his bankroll to $329,222. He paid $7.70 to win. The Pepsi North America Cup eliminations take place next Saturday evening with the $1 million rich final on Saturday, June 14 at Mohawk. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

Can you imagine taking slapshots in your backyard with Sidney Crosby or catching perfect spirals in the schoolyard from Tom Brady? How cool would it be to practice free throws with Lebron James or hit a bucket of balls at the driving range with Tiger Woods?   It would be a whole bunch of awesome - almost as awesome as the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity one fan will be treated to thanks to the Burke Racing Stable, Hands On Horses Program and The Raceway at Western Fair District.   One lucky patron will have the chance to ride along in a double-seated jog cart with Foiled Again - the sport's richest pacer of all-time - during his warm-up prior to facing the starting gate in Friday's $150,000 Molson Pace Invitational at the London, Ontario half-miler.   Foiled Again, a two-time Molson Pace winner (2011-12) who enjoyed a multiple award-winning campaign in 2013 for trainer Ron Burke, is scheduled to make an unprecedented sixth appearance in The Raceway's marquee event.   The nine-year-old son of Dragon Again-In A Safe Place is an 80-time winner who boasts career earnings totalling $6,219,750. He'll look to add to that staggering stash of cash Friday evening, but it won't be easy considering he's drawn Post 7.   Fans attending Friday evening's program at The Raceway will be given a ballot for their chance to win the ride of a lifetime with the undisputed king of toughness. First race post time for Friday's 12-race card is 7:05 p.m.   For more information about the Hands On Horse Program visit www.handsonhorsesprogram.com.   by Stacey Reinsma, for Hands On Horses Program

Trainer Joe Holloway's top two female pacers will be in action Sunday in Pennsylvania, but at different tracks. Shebestingin is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the $250,000 Betsy Ross Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon and Somwherovrarainbow is the 5-2 choice in the $25,000 Mares Preferred at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sunday night. Holloway would have preferred to see both 4-year-old mares in the Betsy Ross, but was limited to one starter. Shebestingin and driver John Campbell will start from post eight in the eight-horse Betsy Ross field. The remainder of the field, in post order, is Drop The Ball, Rocklamation, Jerseylicious, Monkey On My Wheel, Anndrovette, JK Letitgo, and Yagonnakissmeornot. "I have the eight hole, but I don't know what would be a good post position with the way the race might unfold," Holloway said. "John will work out a trip. To me, I know she's the best in the race. As long as we get a trip we'll be fine." Shebestingin has won 17 of 25 career races and $724,102. This year, she has won twice in three starts, including a track-record 1:50.4 triumph in the Chip Noble Memorial at Miami Valley Raceway on May 4. Last week, she finished second to Jerseylicious in the fillies and mares free-for-all handicap at the Meadowlands. The winning time was 1:50.1 over a sloppy track. "She's the kind of horse that needs to train a bit more, needs to get a little tight," said Holloway, who trains Shebestingin for Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, and L&L DeVisser. "She's finally getting there. She didn't race as well last week but it was teeming down rain. She is a bit of a diva, she has her quirks, and she didn't really like the heavy rain at the time. She was pacing along just fine. There was nothing really wrong." Somwherovrarainbow, who has won five of seven races this year and earned $266,750 for owners Ted Gewertz and Diamond Creek Racing, will start from post seven in a seven-horse field at Pocono Downs. Tim Tetrick will drive. The remainder of the field, in post order, is American In Paris, Scandalous Hanover, Continual Velocity, Krispy Apple, Show Runner, and Feeling You. Somwherovrarainbow is coming off a win in the fillies and mares free-for-all handicap at the Meadowlands on May 9. Both of Holloway's mares are scheduled to head to the Roses Are Red Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack following Sunday's action. The Roses Are Red eliminations are June 7 and the final is June 14. "I think I have two of the best fillies in the country and only one of them will get to race (in the Betsy Ross)," Holloway said. "I wanted to find a start for (Somwherovrarainbow) between now and next Friday because we can't go a month without racing before the Roses Are Red." .................................................. Two $40,000 eliminations for the Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old pacers are on Saturday's card at Yonkers Raceway, with Dan Patch Award-winner He's Watching leading the list of hopefuls. He's Watching, who was voted the best 2-year-old male pacer of 2013, is undefeated in eight career races. His Rooney elim, the first of the two divisions, will be his seasonal debut. He has three wins at Yonkers, including the New York Sire Stakes championship in his 2013 finale. The 3-5 favorite in his elim, He's Watching and driver Jim Morrill Jr. will start from post two. The rest of the field is Unlocked, Forty Five Red, Gold Rocks, Bondi Hanover, and Stevensville. "He's right where I want him to be," trainer Dave Menary told Yonkers' Frank Drucker earlier this week. "We're looking forward to coming back (Yonkers). He loves the track and we're anxious to have him start the season. "He's muscular, with heart and stamina. I've never seen a horse dig through the ground the way he does." Menary owns He's Watching with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. The second Rooney elimination features 4-5 favorite All Bets Off from the stable of trainer Ron Burke. The rest of the field is Ideal Fashion, Some Playa, Thereisapaceforus, and Maxi Bon. Also on Saturday's card are two $20,000 eliminations for the Lismore Pace for 3-year-old fillies. Burke's Southwind Silence is the 3-5 favorite in the first division, which also includes It Was Fascination, Bettor Business, A Little Starstruk, and Palm Beach. Casie Coleman's Also Encouraging is the 3-5 favorite in the second split, which also has Tyra, JK Molly, Gentlemens Delight, and Rusty's Bliss. The top four finishers from all the eliminations advance to their respective finals. The $300,000 Art Rooney Pace final and $124,744 Lismore Pace final are May 31. ............................................... He's Watching is the early favorite to win the Meadowlands Pace, according to Big M morning line oddsmaker Darin Zoccali, who has the colt at 3-1. Several other horses in the Top 15 also will be in action this weekend. Ron Burke-trained JK Endofanera, who is No. 2 in the Meadowlands Pace odds at 4-1, is the favorite in his division of the Historic-Pocono Cup on Saturday at Pocono Downs. His Pocono Cup division also includes John Butenschoen's Allstar Partner, who is No. 14 in the Pace ratings. Capital Account, trained by Jimmy Takter, is the favorite in the other Pocono Cup division. On Saturday night at the Meadowlands, Steve Elliott's Doo Wop Hanover, No. 15 on the Road to the Meadowlands Pace, is the favorite in his division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes. Jim Campbell's Sometimes Said, who is No. 12, is the favorite in a conditioned race at the Big M. North of the border one night earlier, Carmen Auciello's Bugger Bruiser (No. 11) is the second favorite in a division of the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold at Western Fair. Richard Moreau's Boomboom Ballykeel (No. 13) races in a Gold division earlier on the card. The Meadowlands Pace is July 12. ............................. Top Hambletonian contender Father Patrick, who received the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter, won his seasonal debut Wednesday night in 1:53.3 over a "good" track in a division of the Historic-Dickerson Cup at Pocono Downs. "He had plenty of trot left," said driver Yannick Gingras, who sits behind the colt for trainer Jimmy Takter. "I knew he was ready to go and he proved me right." Several other Hambletonian hopefuls are in action this weekend. Flyhawk El Durado, trained by Mark Ford, is the favorite in his division of the New York Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs on Friday. The colt won the New York Sire Stakes championship last season. John Grasso's Expressive Action and Dan Daley's Daley Lovin are the top picks in the other sire stakes split at Tioga. New Jersey Sire Stakes action for 3-year-old trotters Friday night at the Meadowlands finds Hambletonian eligibles Dave Briggs, Hillustrious, King City, Lightning Force, Martiniwithmuscle, Odds On Amethyst, Resolve, Royal Ice, Skates N Plates, Southwind Poseidon, Speak The Truth, Sumatra, and Well Built all going behind the gate. Elsewhere, Harper Blue Chip, who was second to Father Patrick in last year's Wellwood Memorial, makes his first qualifying effort for trainer Mark Steacy on Friday morning at Mohawk. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications U.S. Trotting Association

Race fans were treated to another fantastic opening day at Clinton Raceway! The weather was great, and the crowds were out in full force for the first of the 15 Sunday's in the 2014 live harness season. The winning was hot both on and off the track. Race fans had the chance to win a 55" Samsung TV, courtesy of Groves TV & Appliance in Clinton. The lucky winner, Ilene Scott, of Port Elgin, chose her horse (Fit For Will) because her husbands name is Will - it worked! Illene took home the grand prize. Central Huron Secondary School was on site, raising funds for their 2014 challenge day fundraiser in the fall of 2014. A great success, raising over $1000 for the event in November. "We've made some significant changes to the grandstand" states Ian Fleming, track General Manager. "It's become even fan friendlier". New paint, new TV's, opening up the food and bar area, new stairs to the grandstand and a new customer service area are just a few of the changes made this spring. There are more to come in the next month, new pavement in the parking lot and the addition of bucket seats in the grandstand are on the agenda. The Super Sunday Show was back on track-side, with the addition of some new games, and lots of fun between the races to keep fans entertained. Live harness racing returns to the Huron County Oval Sunday May 24 with the Standardbred Canada Appreciation day, the chance to win three great prizes to the Molson Pace in London, The Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk and the 34th Annual Charity Driver's Challenge at Clinton Raceway. The event includes a pork bbq, program and betting voucher for only $10 (Standardbred Canada/I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club Members). Register in advance for this great event by calling 519.955.6820. Live race post time is 1:30pm All Summer Long by Jessica Carnochan, for Clinton Raceway  

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