TORONTO, April 17 - More harness racing stakes action took place Thursday evening at Woodbine Racetrack as sophomore trotting fillies were showcased in a pair of Celias Counsel Trotting Series divisions. Tosca and Just Call Me Lady kicked off the series opener with victories in their respective $15,000 divisions. With heavily-favoured Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) making a miscue in the first division, Tosca and driver/trainer Per Henriksen made the most of her first start of the season. K D Bella (Mike Saftic) was the tempo-setter for most of the mile through panels of :27, :57 and 1:27.4. Around the final turn, Serendipitous (Jody Jamieson) began the first-over attack giving cover to Tosca. Henriksen angled his charge three-wide at three-quarters and wore down K D Bella in deep stretch to win by three quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Wings Of Ballykeel (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Tosca, a daughter of Muscle Mass, is owned by Asa Farm and Steve Organ. The trotting lass increased her bankroll to $35,400 with the win. She paid $16.50 to win. One race later, Just Call Me Lady posted the minor upset in 1:57.2 at odds of 3-1. In doing so, driver Trevor Ritchie enjoyed his first win of the season since arriving back in Ontario after wintering in Florida. Do The Wheelhouse (Jody Jamieson) was the first leader past the opening station in :27.1. As the field of 10 marched towards the half, Chippentail (Paul Macdonell) pulled out from third and marched to the front past the mid-way point in :58.2. Fashion Goddess (Jonathan Drury) was next to pull on the right line heading towards three-quarters with Just Call Me Lady following the speed. As the field trotted past three-quarters in 1:28.1, Just Call Me Lady was well spotted sitting second-over and the talented filly marched past her rivals down the stretch en route to victory. Post time favourite Miss Everything (Sylvain Filion) came from behind to finish second, with Do The Wheelhouse claiming third prize. Trainer Blake Macintosh co-owns the youngster with Anne Campbell and Stephen Waldman. Just Call Me Lady increased her lifetime earnings to $35,549 with the victory The daughter of Angus Hall paid $8.10 to win. Greg Gangle
TORONTO, April 14 - After failing to find the winner's circle in both preliminary legs, Reasonable Force found his best stride when it counted the most as he captured this year's edition of the $36,200 Youthful Series final Monday at Woodbine. In doing so, the Doug McNair-driven sophomore returned $33.00 to his backers. McNair and Reasonable Force were in no hurry off the gate as Account Rollover (Randy Waples) cleared to the lead past the opening station in :27.1. Account Rollover, who found the wire in the first leg of the series, continued to lead his nine rivals past the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:24.4. McNair began the first-over attack around the final turn and was within striking distance of the tempo-setter turning for home. Down the stretch, McNair asked his charge for more pace and the three-time winner responded with a two length win. Post time favourite Andreios Kardia (Steve Byron) finished second, with Dragon Seelster (Paul Macdonell) finishing third. Trained by Tony Montini for owners Doug Dunbar and Steve LeBlanc, Reasonable Force lifted his career earnings to $44,840. The son of Shadow Play now has a 2-2-1 record from eight starts this season. Also on Monday's program, the second round of the Lifetime Dream series continued with two $18,000 divisions. Rose Run Oriana (Randy Waples) kicked-off the 10-race programme with a 1:54.2 score in the first division. The daughter of Trainforthefuture enjoyed a new career best in the debut for trainer Corey Johnson. Waples led gate-to-wire with the 15-time winner through panels of :28, :57 and 1:25.3, before fending off 3/5 favourite Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) in deep stretch to win by one and a half lengths. Samira Hanover (Paul Macdonell) finished third. Owned by Rolling Hills Racing Stables, Rose Run Oriana will look for the series sweep next week as her bankroll increased to $134,717. She paid $4.90 to win. One race later, Her Name Is Lola (Phil Hudon) enjoyed her fifth career score at odds of 3-1. The daughter of Majestic Son laid parked on the outside at the quarter in :28.2, before clearing to the lead before the half in :57.2. From there, the trotting miss led her five rivals past in 1:26.1 before fending off a late challenge from Frisky Magic (Randy Waples) to win by a nose. Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Trained by Russell Bax for Baxmar Holsteins Ltd, Her Name Is Lola increased her bankroll to $85,560. She paid $8.70 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG
TORONTO , April 7 - Sophomore pacing colts and geldings were showcased Monday evening at Woodbine in the second round of the Youthful Series. Andreios Kardia, driven by Steve Byron, captured the first of two divisions in 1:55.4 over a 'Good' track. Byron was in no hurry at the start as Regal Son (Randy Waples) made his way to the front to lead the field of six past the first quarter in :27.2. As the talented pacers headed towards the half, Paul Macdonell elected to send second-choice Dragon Seelster to the front before the half in :58. Kuchar (Jody Jamieson) began the first-over attack around the final turn, giving live cover to 4-5 favourite Andreios Kardia. Kuchar and Dragon Seelster matched strides past three-quarters in 1:27.3, but down the lane Byron showed Andreios Kardia open racetrack and the son of Badlands Hanover exploded in deep stretch to capture his third career victory. Trained by James Madill for owner Ina Madill, Andreios Kardia increased his bankroll to $28,480. With the track down-graded to 'Sloppy,' Highland Tartan and James MacDonald captured the second division as the favourite in 1:56.2. MacDonald elected to sit in the two-hole in the early going as Reasonable Force (Jody Jamieson) made their way to the front past the opening quarter in :27.1. Highland Tartan was then angled to the outside and crossed over to command to lead past the middle-half in :59.1 and 1:29.1. As the field turned for home, Reasonable Force angled out of the pocket, but could only reach the leaders saddle pad as Highland Tartan prevailed in deep stretch to score the narrow win. Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) enjoyed a ground saving trip to finish third. Trained and co-owned by Marty Fine along with Mary Clark, Highland Tartan enjoyed his second career victory as his lifetime earnings now sits at $15,200. The son of Major In Art paid $4.90 to win. The Youthful Series is for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers, who are non-winners of three races of $15,000 in 2013. by Greg Gangle, for WEG
Within in minutes, I learned something special, this harness racing facility has a very unique approach in its desire to attract fans and future fans. There is something for everybody! Social media is very important at Western Fair Raceway, it's a great way for people like track announcer Shannon 'Sugar' Doyle and Racing Manager Greg Blanchard to reach out to new and old fans alike, keeping fans in the loop instantly. "I make myself approachable to everybody" says Sugar Doyle, "whether it is a fan in Chicago, California or Toronto or wherever, if they are letting you know they are playing your track, you got to get back to them and say thanks and wish them luck. Let's make it interesting for them, have them win something through a contest. Let's have fun! We can communicate through twitter and it doesn't cost them a thing." Saying this, Sugar had just finished packaging a prize to be shipped to a lucky contestant in Toronto. Speaking with track announcer Shannon 'Sugar' Doyle was great. Sugar is all passion, and that passion is fueled by harness racing. How come Shannon Doyle is called 'Sugar'? Well, back in his home province of Prince Edward Island, (he's a Summerside chap), Shannon was the coach of a novice A hockey team and all the kids on the team had nicknames. The kids wanted to call him 'Candy man' since he always had a lollipop or some type of candy in his mouth. Well, that name didn't really jive and then one of the hockey mom's coined him 'Sugar' instead and since that day he says "I've been rolling with Sugar ever since." Sugar is extremely stoked for the upcoming Molson Pace (Friday May 30th with a 7:05pm post time), and if Foiled Again were to show up to the Molson Pace, Sugar says "this was worth the move from Edmonton just to call this race." Prior to joining the Western Fair team in the summer of 2013, Sugar was the track announcer at Northlands Park in Edmonton, Alberta for both Standardbred and Thoroughbred races. "I'll admit this is closer for me to get back to PEI in the summer. I can drive there opposed to flying across the country." Sugar notes. In high school yearbooks, when students put down their "last will and testament" as Sugar describes it, his message was "One day I will be involved in horse racing". Truer words have never been written. When Sugar is calling a race he really feeds off the fans, and when he sees fans going wild, yelling and cheering their horses on, Sugar gets amped up even more! In 2002 due to a blood clot in his lungs, Sugar's dad passed away abruptly. "A lot of the reason I'm doing what I am doing, I am living my dream here calling races. I left work at the tax centre in Summerside to call horse races. A big part of that is my father passed away right after retirement, he had some dreams but didn't get to fulfill them." Sugar explains. Two years ago, Sugar had his plans set to co-host the O'Brien awards. The day before Sugar was set to fly out to attend the awards, he passed out on the roof of Northlands Park. "I thought I was a little bit nervous about the flight I was going to take the next day to Toronto to go to the O'Brien awards." Sugar notes. "I chalked it up to a bit of anxiety and I come back from the O'Brien's and I was in emergency about a month later and had a blood clot in my lungs. So I am just lucky to be here." Sugar's dad had to of been looking out for him From Above as a guardian angel. "To suffer one of those, I know how quick it could have been over. I was there the morning my dad dropped to the floor and how quick it was over. To have that happen and be on an airplane the next day, and to survive the flight back with a blood clot... my dad must have been looking out for me. The angels have been with me ever since." It's been a full year since Sugar has been given a clean bill of health and he's is still living his dream, enjoying every race, every day, wire to wire. Meeting with Greg Blanchard, the Racing Manager of Western Fair was a true delight. If you haven't met Greg, he's quite genuine and down to earth. As the night progressed, Greg was pulled aside for various reasons and with each interaction; Greg was always calm and classy. There was no 'show' to put on, the philosophy I observed was all about enjoying what you do, and if anything extra arises, there is a team behind you for support. Fans of horse racing may remember Greg from his on-air days with Woodbine Entertainment. "We are focused on having the best product out on the track... bringing more fans to the stands" Greg says. "You can't ignore technology and advancements, we have embraced that and it is a part of our growth strategy going forward but we are not losing sight of the live race fan and we are going to make coming to the races here in London a fantastic live experience." Greg joined the Western Fair team in the fall of 2010 as assistant racing manager and announcer. This is Greg's first season as Racing Manager and it's easy to understand what a difficult time he must have had with the transition given the outlook of the industry last fall. However Greg doesn't see it that way. Instead Greg sees opportunity for growth and expansion at every turn, asking how we can do more for the fans opposed to remain content with current success. One thing you quickly learn about Greg is he always looks at any approach from a team stand point, even if it means more work for himself. "It was a new role for me at a time where racing in Ontario faced its biggest challenge ever." Greg admits. "Going into next season, I think it will make it easier without all the external forces. Facility upgrades and improvements will help enhance the fan experience going into next season." Greg mentions they are planning on redoing the inner tack including the infield stage followed by improvements to the grandstands. "For the whole family, we make Family day a big event along with boxing day and several other days. We try and make it more fan friendly for the younger kids." Greg caught the 'bug' from an early age spending time at the races with his dad. Greg says, "We can't lose sight of that, I was a kid once and that's how I first got exposed (to harness racing). For me it was hanging out with my father, running around with the other kids just oblivious to racing but enjoying ourselves, having races amongst us." To cover all the amazing people who make up the Western Fair would take a couple of weeks, but what was so warm and welcoming was walking into the paddock and having talented drivers like J Bradley Harris walk up and shake your hand. Drivers, trainers and grooms came and went and everyone was either laughing or joking. If not, they were intensely focused on their horses. The bond horsemen have amongst themselves is unique, refreshing and pure. Truth be told, the only way to understand the experience is to see it for oneself and the team at Western Fair offers that opportunity to fans through open house events on qualifying days. Fans can get up close with the drivers and horses they cheer on, get an autograph or two as well as have their picture taken with one of the horses. Meeting Angie Carroll was a warming interaction, such a sweet person whose brother is Alfie Carroll, one of the leading drivers at Western Fair Raceway. Angie won the award of Caretaker of the year in 2013 as the Best Groom at Western Fair by an overwhelming vote. Every time I saw Angie, she was always beside her horse, the bond between the two being clearly strong and mutual. If Angie had to choose anything other than working with horses for a career, Angie would like to be an interior designer. As Sugar and I progressed through the paddock, we met many wonderful horsemen and women. Trainer John Blancher was kind enough to give us a few minutes of his time while taking care of Sure As Shooting. "I started out in 1973 with my first race horse when the Sired Stakes first started" John says. You wouldn't know it but John is 70 going on 45! "My family had been involved with work horses growing up on the farm and I've done it up til now." John as he says, "laid himself off" or retired from work three months ago. John admits he has much more time to devout to his horses without having to work fulltime. When you hear what some people contend with willingly because they truly love the animals they work with is inspirational. To the horsemen and women it's not work at all. It really makes one think and contemplate what truly matters in the world, work hard play hard and enjoy the fruits of life is the motto I am left with. There's something John told me that I will carry for the rest of my life; "The outside of the horse is good for the inside of a man." As John spoke those words, I happened to be staring into the eyes of Sure As Shooting and I couldn't look away. The soul combined with the energy and power these majestic animals possess has no relation. Western Fair Raceway is a part of the Western Fair District which is comprised of a sporting complex which hosts four ice rinks, three of which are set to NHL size standards and the fourth set to Olympic size standards. A great deal for anyone wanting to have a fun and thrilling night out is to go to the Western Fair Raceway on Friday nights. For an awesome price of $40 per person, you are treated to a buffet dinner at the Top of the Fair restaurant starting at 6pm followed by live harness racing which kicks off at 7:10pm. Aside from the competitive racing, patrons can dine on delicious dishes such as chipotle pork which has just enough kick to the taste buds that will leave you wanting another bite. The jerk chicken is spiced so well, all you need is some reggae music to make you feel you were dining on the beaches of Jamaica. The fajita bar and taco pasta salad are must haves as well, and all the servers are very polite and attentive. You can follow all the live action from any vantage point with TVs at every dining table and larger screens along the top so if you're grabbing another bite or two, you can still take hold of all the action. Truly neat is how the Top of the Fair restaurant lays out the selection of dishes. Instead of the traditional mesh hall line up for selecting food, is the great idea of having selections spread throughout the length of the top floor so if you are coming up for seconds, you are not stuck waiting in the traditional long line seen at most buffets. Once you're a fully satisfied of food and competitive racing, your $40 also includes a 10:30pm comedy show at Yuk Yuk's which is only a short walk away, while remaining indoors. Not to forget Western Fair will also include $15 in casino play. Another facet to the Western Fair District, which was formed in 1867, is its agriculture aspect, hosting Artisan and Farmer markets which are second to none. The true beauty of the Western Fair District is it is a not for profit agriculture association that continuously reinvests revenue into the District and community itself, boasting a proud and proper slogan of 'Our Roots Run Deep'. By: Roderick Balgobin www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova
TORONTO, March 28 - Thirteen sophomore pacing fillies made their way to Woodbine Racetrack on Friday evening to contest in the opening round of the harness racing Blossom Series. Heavily-favoured Rock N Roll Xample and Violet Bayama captured there respective $15,000 splits in races one and two. Sent off at 1/5, Rock N Roll Xample and Randy Waples was much the best in 1:54.1. Waples elected to sit in the pocket past the first quarter as Noble Jilly (Jody Jamieson) led through the :27.4 opening split. Rock N Roll Xample was then quickly on the move and took over command to lead her six rivals past the half in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:26.2. Turning for home, Rock N Roll Xample and Noble Jilly separated themselves from their rivals and battled through the stretch, but Noble Jilly couldn't match strides of the Rock N Roll Xample, who won by three-quarters of a length. Deuces For Charity (Paul Macdonell) finished third. Trained by Shawn Robinson for owner/breeder Robert Hamather, Rock N Roll Xample enjoyed her fifth win from 10 starts in 2014. The daughter of Rocknroll <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /> Hanover now has 58,590 in career earnings. She paid $2.50 to win. One race later, Violet Bayama fended off a late challenge from 1/5 favourite Missevil to win in 1:55.3. The talented daughter of Somebeachsomewhere went gate-to-wire through panels of :28.2, :58.1 and 1:27.1, before putting away Missevil in deep stretch en route to victory. Wildcat Magic (Chris Christoforou) finished third. Trained by Stephane Laroque for owner/breeder Bayama Farms and Jacques Damours, Violet Bayama celebrated her third career victory as her bankroll now sits at $40.280. She paid $7.30 to win as the 5/2 second choice. The Blossom Series is for sophomore pacing fillies, who are non-winners of three races or $15,000 in 2014. Greg Gangle Rock N Roll Xample Violet Bayama
TORONTO, March 26 - Kyle Reibeling's Missevil has certainly made her impact this season while racing at Woodbine Racetrack - and the talented filly could be in for a prosperous payday in the coming weeks. The swift pacer has banked $30,100 this season from five starts, including three wins and a second-place finish for owners Mike Timpano and Frank Cirillo. The daughter of Armbro Deuce-Impudent will begin from post six in the second of two $15,000 Blossom Series divisions, Friday at Woodbine. The rich $30,000 (added) final will take place on Monday, April 11. "We have the six-hole in a six horse race, so that doesn't bother me and we won't be sitting 21-lengths back like last week," Reibeling said. "It's a good series and a nice fit for her. The filly that beat her last week is in there, which makes for another great race." Missevil qualified just once last year as a rookie before calling it a season and Reibeling took over conditioning the bay this past winter. "I got her when she was training back this winter when I returned from Sudbury," he said. "I don't think it was a surprise to anyone that worked with her in the past that she has the speed and desire." So far this season, Missevil has developed an off-the-pace racing style, which is by the design of her veteran conditioner. "She can get real hot," Reibeling said. "When we first schooled her, she was a little erratic so we made some changes to calm her down, but whether she had the speed or not was something I wasn't worried about. "It just seems like the plan is to race her from behind and teach her," Reibeling continued. "We're obviously thinking long term with her and we are going to do right by her." Reibeling, who is approaching $2 million in purse earnings as a conditioner, admires one key attribute about his stable star. "Her will", he said. "She just has that tremendous will to win. She's not the biggest horse and probably not the fastest horse out there, but I don't think there's any other horse around that I've ever worked with - maybe L H Stryker- that has that killer instinct and will to win like she does. She's small but has that little engine that could." Driver James MacDonald has been aboard Missevil in each of her five starts this season and Reibeling sees that as a perfect fit. "James has done an excellent job with her and I couldn't ask for more," he said. "He's listened and done right by the filly and he's drove her with a lot of respect. James deserves a lot of credit." As for the future of the Missevil, Reibeling remains optimistic about a successful summer with his speedy pacer. "We're going to stick to the OSS and just race around here. We're confident that she can be a Gold filly this season and there is enough money in the province for us to tackle. We're going to take it week-by-week, but hopefully we have a lot of fun this summer." The Blossom Series is for three-year-old fillies, who are non-winners of three races or $15,000 in 2013. The pair of divisions will kick off the 11-race programme on Friday in races one and two. They will line up as follows: Race 1 1. Rock N Roll Xample 2. Deuces For Charity 3. Outtathewheelhouse 4. Polk Dot Hanover 5. Noble Jilly 6. An Angel Shes Not 7. Mach Some Noise Race 2 1. Premio Loco 2. Wildcat Magic 3. Somebaysomwhere 4. Gushing Royalty 5. Violet Bayama 6. Missevil By Greg Gangle, for WEG
The 2014 book for first-year stallion A Rocknroll Dance is now full and closed, according to Diamond Creek Farm's Adam Bowden. A Rocknroll Dance p,2,1:49.1; 3,1:48.1f; 4,1:47.2 ($2,429,441), a multiple World Champion and winner of the Meadowlands Pace, stands at Diamond Creek of Pennsylvania for a stud fee of $6,000. I'd like to thank all who booked to him, from the first one to the last one, Bowden said. We believed in him as a racehorse and we believe in him now as he embarks on his next career. His book is filled with quality from top to bottom. "We're breeding 19 of our own top mares to him, including three millionaires and two Dan Patch winners", he added. Included in that group is Diamond Creek's sparkling 2012 acquisition See You At Peelers p,2,1:51.3f; 3,1:49.2f ($1,573,260), a World Champion and two-time Dan Patch award winner. Other top mares in A Rocknroll Dance's initial court include Loyal Opposition, Loving Caroline, Isabella Blue Chip, Tidewaterdragonfly, Blood Diamond and Apple, the latter two from the immediate maternal families of great producers Cathedra and Arterra. "Dance is a gorgeous stallion, and hopefully his foals will have that great Western Hanover look that his inbreeding suggests", Bowden said. "I think they'll be very popular attractions at the select yearling sales." Diamond Creek Farm For further information contact Adam Bowden: (859) 707-5987, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Signature 'Battle' races get a purse bump at Grand River Raceway ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway's 2014 signature races will receive a bump in purse money over 2013 offerings, and the nomination process will return to a three-payment format. The 17th annual Battle Of Waterloo and 6th annual Battle Of The Belles will be raced during the track's annual Industry Day Celebration, on Monday, August 4 at 1:30 p.m. The Battle Of Waterloo final (for ON-sired two-year-old pacing colts) will be contested for an estimated $180,000. In 2013, the race went for $144,500 and was won by Three Of Clubs, for O'Brien Award nominees Gregg McNair and Doug McNair. The local father-son-trainer-driver duo also won the 2013 Battle Of The Belles (for ON-sired two-year-old pacing fillies). Lady Shadow took the lion's share of the $75,400 purse. In 2014, the race will be contested for an estimated $120,000. Both races return to a three-payment eligibility system, beginning with nominations which must be postmarked no later than February 18. While both races (including the eliminations, consolations and finals) will be contested at Grand River Raceway, the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) will handle the stakes administration. As noted on the nomination forms, all payments must be made payable to, and sent to, WEG. To download nomination forms and complete conditions for both races click here.: For stakes administration inquiries, please contact at Kim Neelands at 416-675-7223 ext. 4306. Kelly Spencer
TORONTO, December 28 - Sylvain Filion and Richard Moreau retained their titles as Woodbine Entertainment Group's (WEG) leading harness racing driver and trainer, respectively, after the 2013 Standardbred racing season came to a close Saturday night at Woodbine. Filion finished with 248 wins at Woodbine and Mohawk Racetracks, five in front of Scott Zeron, who had 243 victories, while Jody Jamieson was third with 213, including a pair on the final night. Moreau collected his third WEG training title after winning 126 races. Jeff Gillis had 81 wins, while Carmen Auciello wound up third with 76 victories. Filion, who lives in Milton, had to share his first WEG driver championship with Jody Jamieson in 2012, each with 284 wins. But this year he stands alone. "This past year has been a memorable one for me both on and off the track," said Filion. "I drove many terrific horses and am very thankful for the opportunity. Winning with Boomboom Ballykeel (in the $683,000 Metro Pace for trainer Richard Moreau) was certainly unexpected and that was a great thrill. Off the track, my wife and I adopted a baby and that's something very special." The 44-year-old Filion, who also led all drivers in purse earnings on the WEG circuit with over $5.3 million, is seeking a second consecutive O'Brien Award as Canada's Top Driver, an honour he earned for the first time for his accomplishments last year. The 49-year-old Moreau, who captured his first WEG title in 2010, also led all trainers in purse earnings with over $2.5 million. The Puslinch, Ontario resident is an O'Brien Award finalist for Canada's Trainer of the Year. Live racing returns to Woodbine on Monday, January 6 and continues on a three-day-a-week schedule (Monday, Friday and Saturday). First race post time is 7:25 p.m. Videos of all Saturday night races are attached.
It was six months ago when Twilight Bonfire burst on the scene with a runner-up performance in The Pepsi North America Cup. Since then, it has been a year of ups and downs. In fact, he entered Saturday's Reynolds Stake at the Meadowlands with just 1 win from his last 13 starts. On this night, he asserted his class, making a long move to the lead under pilot Tim Tetrick and scored in a sharp 1:51.4. Twilight Bonfire was joined by a Breeders Crown winner in the field, in Rockin Amadeus, who has re-found his form in his last few starts and was a solid second at the finish. The buzz of the night took place in race 7, where Bolder came from far back at the top of the stretch and rallied to a shocking 92-1 victory to kick off the Late Pick 4 sequence. That resulted in a Late Pick 4 that returned $11,968 for a $1 bet. Yannick Gingras was the star of the driving colony as he won four races on the card, while Ron Pierce, who recently won his 9,000th race bagged three. Compared to the last time the Meadowlands raced on this Saturday in December, which took place in 2010, the total handle reflected an increase of 25-percent. Victory Night Club opened at the conclusion of the live racing card and saw a packed house enjoying the brand-new, state of the art venue. Racing returns on Friday with first post time at 7:15 P.M. For all information regarding Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, head to www.playmeadowlands.com.
TORONTO, November 13 – When Allan Richardson describes his Autumn Series starter, Rock Of Cashel, only a few words came to mind. “He’s the size of a mouse with the heart of a lion.” The young trotter who is “barely fifteen hands” according to his trainer will leave from post-position five in the first of two $15,000 Autumn Series divisions on Friday evening. “He’s coming along very nicely,” Richardson said from his Campbellville home. “He’s had some back luck this season with sickness and allergies, but it seems the worst is behind him now.” The two-time winner has banked $49,808 in his career from just 19 career starts for Richardson, who trains/drives and co-owns with Jeff Ruch of Innisfil. “We only raced him once last season because he was just immature and wasn’t ready,” said the 42-year-old conditioner. “He raced in the Tie Silk back in April and he is still racing so I guess he’s built for longevity. That’s the approach we’re taking.” Rock Of Cashel has been racing at is best in his last four starts with a 2-0-1 record and Richardson attributes that to the addition of lasix. “Since we put him on lasix that has really seemed to help,” he said. “He has allergies and the lasix has seemed to help with that. He’s been a lot more consistent.” Richardson has steered his youngster in all but one career start and says his best driving style is racing from behind. “He really enjoys passing horses,” he said. “He’ll fight all day long to pass that horse he’s following. When he’s on the front he can get a little lost and green.” Richardson was the sole owner of Rock Of Cashel until co-owner Jeff Ruch got involved. “I owned the mother and bred her and I decided to send her to Jeff’s place to be foaled out,” he said. “Once the foal was on the ground, Jeff took an interest in him and wanted to be a partner. We have a Kadabra on the way and Jeff and I have a foal-sharing agreement.” Come Friday evening, the “mouse with the heart of a lion” will look for his third career tally. The Autumn Series is for Ontario-sired three-year-old colt trotters, who are non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2013. The fields will line up as follows: Race 2 1. Cabertoss 2. Random Dynasty 3. Brass Knuckles 4. Sir William 5. Rock Of Cashel 6. Lime Strike 7. Lets Leavem 8. Alexander Lukas Race 3 1. Green Strike 2. Doubledown Gass 3. Pretty Boy 4. J Cs Jake 5. Mo Dhabi 6. Popeda 7. Ozzy Ozzy 8. Muscle On Broadway Also on Friday evening, a trio of $15,000 divisions for Ontario-sired three-year-old colts and geldings pacers. The field will line up as follows: Race 6 1. Clever Thing 2. Tex 3. Grantor Hanover 4. Trys Little Prince 5. Glammit 6. Bad Fox 7. Greystone Moe 8. Excessive Race 8 1. Hes A Sensation 2. Tauranga 3. Get Around Town 4. Chosen Hombre 5. Maple Leaf Matt 6. Alexas Jackpot 7. Lyonsparkhavenlake 8. Stonebridge Adam Race 11 1. Southwins Amazon 2. Ja El Pocketrocket 3. Canbec Kingkazimir 4. Thorn In Your Side 5. J Jetstar 6. Adversary Seelster 7. D Gs Camme 8. Sea Harrier Greg Gangle WEG Communications - Standardbred
Bee A Magician will do her best to keep her unblemished 3-year-old campaign intact tonight, when she goes postward in the American National for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Making her first start tonight since her Oct. 19 victory in the $500,000 Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs, the daughter of Kadabra has a perfect 15-for-15 record this year, with seasonal earnings of $1,359,184. Owned by David McDuffee, Mel Hartman and Herb Liverman, and conditioned by Richard “Nifty” Norman, Bee A Magician was a $10,000 supplement to tonight’s event. “It’s her attitude; she just wants it more than anything else,” said Norman after her 1:52.4 Breeders Crown victory. “She’s amazing. She makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up just when you’re warming her up. She’s special for sure.” Bred by White Birch Farm, Bee A Magician earned $766,652 as a freshman, winning ten of 13 starts while competing on Canadian ovals in nearly all Ontario Sire Stake events. She recorded her 2-year-old record of 1:53.4 while triumphing in the $448,050 Peaceful Way at Mohawk on Sept. 15, and capped off her freshman season by winning the $300,000 OSS Final in 1:53.4 by 9½ lengths at Woodbine. “It’s an honor to drive a filly like her,” admits driver Brian Sears. “Whenever you go behind the gate, you’ve got an awful lot of confidence. She’s awesome, real professional and very handy. She knows what we’re trying to accomplish out there and makes my job pretty easy. She’s been good every time I’ve sat behind her so I’ve got no complaints.” This season Bee A Magician has faced and conquered every challenge posted before her, beginning the season by winning Ontario Standardbred Breeders divisions on May 17 and 24 in 1:53.4 and 1:54.4; the $72,750 Casual Breeze in 1:54.2 on May 31 and her Elegant Image $34,300 elim in 1:53.3 on June 7 and the $356,981 final on June 15 in 1:53. On June 24 she captured a $99,750 Ontario Sire Stake at Mohawk in 1:52.2, then shipped to the Meadowlands on July 13 where she romped in the $265,500 Delvin Miller in a career best 1:51, drawing away by 4½ lengths. That clocking was the fastest mile of the year for a 3-year-old trotting distaff, and Bee A Magician thus joins Peace Corps (1989) and CR Kay Susie (1995) as only the third filly in the past quarter century to be the season’s fastest sophomore trotter. On July 27 she won her $35,000 Hambletonian Oaks elimination in 1:53.3, then returned a week later to capture the $500,000 Final in 1:51.4 by 3¼ lengths at the East Rutherford, NJ one miler. She then returned to Canada, rattling off four victories at Mohawk before shipping to Pocono Downs for her Breeders Crown elim and final. She took the $145,500 ONSS in 1:53.1 on Aug.10; the $205,608 Simcoe Stake on Sept. 9 in 1:52.3; the $101,808 ONSS in 1:52.1 on Sept. 13; and the $194,000 ONSS series final on Sept. 28 in 1:52.2. Bee A Magician’s career earnings now stand at $2,125,836, with 25 wins in 28 lifetime trips postward. The purse monies she’s accumulated have seen her establish a new earnings standard for a combined 2- and 3-year-old season among sophomore filly trotters, pushing her well past Pampered Princess’ 2006-2007 record of $1,648,362. If she wins the American National tonight, Bee A Magician will join Syrinx Hanover—who was never bested during her 2001 season when she went 12 for 12—as the sport’s second, $1 million-winning, undefeated single-season earner. Certainly, an American National victory would put Bee A Magician in serious contention for Horse of the Year honors, although only five of the 66 winners have had unblemished, single-season records. Thirty winners of that title have been trotters, and 13 have been females. If she is crowned Horse of the Year, Bee A Magician would join five other sophomore filly trotters who have been so honored: Stenographer in 1954; Emily’s Pride in 1958; Fancy Crown in 1984; CR Kay Suzie in 1995; and Continentalvictory in 1996. Bee A Magician was a $90,000 yearling purchase at the 2011 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg, and is the first foal out of the Balanced Image mare Beehive 3,Q1:57.3F ($8,791). She has 2-year-old half-sister in Dynamite Honey (by Explosive Matter) 2, 2:00.3F ($17,400), who is also conditioned by Norman and these same owners, and who scored her maiden victory on Oct. 31 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. By Kimberly Rinker…For Balmoral Park Publicity
Toronto, October 23 - Beginning tonight Woodbine Racetrack will be playing host to the Autumn Series featuring two-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters as well as three-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. Each series will consist of two preliminary legs and a final. A quartet of divisions kicked off on Thursday evening. Two divisions for two-year-old filly trotters and a pair for rookie pacing fillies highlighted the 12-race programme. Trainer Ron Parsons and owner/breeder Bob Key took both trotting divisions to sweep the daily double. In the opening dash, Wonderland Snow, driven by Trevor Henry, let gate-to-wire in 2:00.1. The daughter of Angus Hall led through panels of :29, 1:00.1 and 1:31.2, before using a :28.4 final frame to seal the victory. Post time favourite Aphrodity (Rick Zeron) finished second with Andrea Lea (Per Henriksen) finishing third. onderland Snow, a two-time winner from 10 career starts, increased her rookie bankroll to $25,300. She paid $5.20 to win as the second choice. In the next race, Sweetie Hearts came from behind to score the win in 1:57.3. Mario Baillargeon guided the daughter of Angus Hall off the speed through panels of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:28.4, before showing his charge clear racetrack down the stretch to win by half a length. Torches Star (Steve Condren) finished second with Capturethememory (Scott Zeron) third. Sent off as the heavy favourite, Sweetie Hearts also enjoyed her second career victory as her lifetime earnings increased to $13,900. She paid $3 to win. Filly pacers were up next and Witch Dali, driven by Jack Moiseyev, kicked off the Early Pick 4 in the fourth with a 1:53.2 score. The heavily-favoured daughter of Dali cleared to the front past the :27.4 opening quarter and never looked back through the middle-half of :57 and 1:25.1 before sailing to an open length victory. Zenobia Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) finished second with Exhilarated (Sylvain Filion) completing the triactor. Trained and co-owned by Tony Alagna along with Aaron Waxman and Gaetan Hebert, Witch Dali increased her rookie bankroll to $28,320. She paid $3.20 to win. In the final division, Noble Jilly and Jody Jamieson found the wire first in 1:54.1. The daughter of Jeremes Jet came from well off the pace through fractions of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:25, before picking up all the pieces in deep stretch to seal the win. Stellllllla (Scott Zeron) finished second with Artful Impulse (Randy Waples) grabbing third. Trained by Harry Poulton for owner/breeder Banjo Farms, Noble Jilly now has back-to-back wins and $29,854 in career earnings. The pacing miss celebrated a new lifetime best in the process and paid $6.30. The Autumn Stakes returns to Woodbine tomorrow night with six divisions on the 13-race card. Post time is scheduled for 7:25 p.m. Greg Gangle
Multiple World Champion and 2012 Meadowlands Pace winner A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania, according to Diamond Creek owner Adam Bowden. A Rocknroll Dance p,2,1:49.1; 3,1:48.1f; 4,1:47.2-’13, by Rocknroll Hanover and from a half-sister to supersire Western Hanover, won $2,429,441 and was the first horse in history to take three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Pocono (1:47.4f) and then the elim and final of the $651,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four year old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in the invite at Pocono. In addition, he set the pace for World Record miles for Bolt The Duer as a three year old (1:47.4f in the Adios Final) and Pet Rock as a four year old (1:47.2f at Scioto). He would later defeat all three of those horses in his tour de force winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. “I think fans know he was among the fastest of a tremendous group of FFA pacers this year,” Bowden said. “But his speed didn’t develop late… he won the Metro elim and the Governor’s Cup at two in 1:49.1 and 1:51, and at three he won the Meadowlands Pace and Battle of Brandywine in identical times of 1:48.1.” Bowden noted that the horse had evidently suffered an earlier undiagnosed injury, perhaps after his last race in Lexington, which led to a subpar performance in the recent Breeders Crown elim. Bowden said A Rocknroll Dance is now being syndicated, and that his fee will be announced soon. *video attached - A Rocknroll Dance winning the 2012 Meadowlands Pace * * * END * * * Diamond Creek Farm
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Brodie MacPhee knows that Ramblinglily is going to need a little luck to find the winner’s circle Sunday afternoon in the Atlantic Breeder’s Crown final at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at The Charlottetown Driving Park but he’s confident in her chances. First race post time for the 14-dash championship card is 1 pm. “She’s a good filly and she really impressed me last week in Fredericton,” MacPhee said of Ramblinglily 1:57.3 win Saturday in New Brunswick. “She was really strong.” The three-year-old Articulator filly, owned by Normand Leger of Shediac, N.B., and trained by Jean Belliveau, has post 3 in the race 11 $22,000 Atlantic Breeder’s Crown. Her main competition this season, Rose Valley, finished ninth in the Atlantic Sires Stakes points race and doesn’t make the rich final. “It’s good for my team,” MacPhee said. “(Rose Valley) was always there at the finish every week.” The 27-year-old Clyde River native’s main concern now lays in post 5 with Scootin For Joy (Mike Stevenson) but MacPhee isn’t going to make any concrete plans on how to defeat her. “I always try to go into those races with an open mind,” He said. “My filly is quick. If I decide to leave I’ll be going hard enough there will be a hole somewhere.” MacPhee has never won a Breeder’s Crown before. “It’d be nice to win it. It’s a big money event and she deserves it. She travelled all over the Maritimes this summer. She was at every race.” Other entries in that race are Missassy Attitude (Kenny Arsenault), Western Judy (Marc Campbell), Windemere Maggie (Walter Cheverie), Skip The Exam (Darren Crowe), Putnams Kream (Bernard McCallum), and Whistys Paradise (Ernie Laffin). MacPhee also has a live chance in the race 14 $10,700 Island Pacing Series Championship with All Turain off the rail for trainer and co-owner Trevor Hicken of Montague and co-owner Lee Hicken of Charlottetown. The four-year-old pacer is riding a five race win streak with victories in Invitational races in Truro, North Sydney and Fredericton, along with wins in the two preliminary legs of this series. “He raced awesome last week,” MacPhee said. “He wore down Earl Smith’s horse. My horse is on top of his game right now. He’s sharp and (trainer Trevor Hicken) has him really good right now. I think he has a big shot.” The horse who won the other two preliminary legs is Big League (Corey MacPherson), who has post 5. “Big League is a front end horse,” MacPhee said. “My horse is not a big leaver. I’m going to have him fired up to get out of there and he’ll get away third or fourth at best. He’s a plugger and he’ll have to go the long mile I am sure.” Also in that race is Narragansett (Norris Rogers), Wild Dragon (Gilles Barrieau), Cambest Kisser (Jason Hughes), Balanchine (Ron Matheson), Leading Camdidate (Arsenault), Touch Of Lightning (Earl Smith), and Lucky Encounter (Cheverie). Also on the Breeder’s Crown championship card, Race 3 features the $7,000 two-year-old colt trot invitational with Dusty Lane Galaxy (Gary Chappell) looking for his seventh win in a row for trainer Stacey Lund and owners Peter Buchanan and the estate of George Boswall. Other top entries are Glencove Yoshi (Stevenson) and Phantom Beau (Arsenault). Race 5 will see Taliesin search for win number eight on his undefeated season for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owner Buntainwood Farm of Brackley Beach in the $7,000 three-year-old trot invitational. His competition includes Oceanview Kate (Stevenson) and West River Xcel (Clare MacDonald). Race 7 on the card is the $22,000 two-year-old filly pacing final with Canadian and Maritime champion Saulsbrook Alana (Campbell) riding a five-race win streak from post 3. Also in that race is Briannas Angel (Arsenault), Sail Through (John Holmes), Elm Grove Inarush (Mark Bradley), Pictonian Sareta (Stevenson), Lovineveryminute (Barrieau), Sea Anna Win (Earl Smith), and Absolootly Hot (Scott Hubbard). The $22,000 two-year-old colt pacing final lines up in race 9 with a tight knit group of eight horses. They are: Super S Yzerman (MacDonald), Rancousy (Crowe), Touch Of Thunder (Smith), Settlement Request (Romo), JJ Laser (Campbell), Dumas Walker (Heffernan), Tobins Fusion (Barrieau) and Mr Comraderie (Stevenson). Race 13 has the $22,000 three-year-old pacing colt final with Untouchable One (Arsenault) favored off the rail for owner Dooley Boys Racing stable of Halifax. Other entries are Jacobs Jackpot (Barrieau), Watersides Kipper (Hilliard Graves), Beach Paradise (Stevenson), Libertys Art (Hughes), The Rev (Romo), JB Bolt (Redmond Doucet), and Scarlet Chaser (MacDonald). Also on the card, race 8 has the $1,800 Open trot while race 12 sees a field of seven Open pacing mares for a purse of $2,200. SATURDAY Saturday afternoon features a 14-dash card at Red Shores Charlottetown featuring four $5,000 Breeder’s Crown consolation races. The two-year-old pacing fillies line up in race 6, the two-year-old pacing colts in race 8, the three-year-old pacing fillies in race 10 and the three-year-old pacing colts in race 12. By Nicholas Oakes
The greatest show in Maritime harness racing will take centre stage in Prince Edward Island this weekend. The Atlantic Breeders Crown Championship Weekend will feature the best two and three-year old performers of the 2013 Atlantic Sires Stakes racing season. This year's event is being hosted by Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The Atlantic Breeders Crown Weekend of Champions has become a premier event in Maritime harness racing and over $120,000 in purse monies will be handed out to the weekend's top performers. The weekend's events will feature the Atlantic Breeders Crown pacing consolation events on Saturday afternoon and the pacing finals and trot invitational events will take place on Sunday. Other weekend events include the Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale and the Atlantic Breeders Crown banquet honouring a year of harness racing excellence. The banquet will also see four Atlantic Canadian families recognized for their long time contributions to the harness racing industry. First race post time at Red Shores Charlottetown Driving Park on both Saturday and Sunday is 1 pm. Lynne MacLennan