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Harness racing’s newest Hall of Famer, David Miller, gave a dramatic first-over drive with McWicked at Dover Downs Sunday in capturing the $301,650 final of the Progress Pace. McWicked was parked out for a good part of the mile but still was able to grind it out and pull away in the stretch to win by one and a half lengths in an eye-popping 1:48.4 clocking. With his victory, McWicked may have all but sewed up the Dan Patch Award as the sport’s top three-year-old pacing colt.  He closes out his 2014 race season with superior numbers including 12 wins in 23 starts. The son of McArdle finish in the money (top three positions) in 21 of his 23 starts with earnings of $1,472,000 and an impressive world record  mile of 1:47.3 at Pocono Downs. He raced nearly the entire season against the best in his class, week in week out for most of the entire stakes season. With the winner’s share of the purse in the Progress Pace Final at $150,825 and 5% of that going to David Miller for his driving commission, that comes out to roughly $7,541 for his time in the sulky. Not a bad payday at all for less than two minutes work. But wait, don’t forget to deduct the $750 first offense fine that the Dover Downs judges have imposed on David Miller for “kicking” McWicked coming around the final turn. Now Miller will be getting only $6,791 for the win plus any added bonus from the SSG Stable for the victory. And it wasn’t a simple touch or nudging of McWicked’s hock to excite the horse and get a little extra out of him. And it wasn’t that David’s foot slipped off the narrow foot rest peg and happen to out there for the horse to hit. This was pretty much blatantly placing his foot so that McWicked’s right hind leg had to strike Miller’s foot. Look at the attached video (both live race speed and slow motion) and see how strong McWicked’s leg comes back and slams into David Miller’s foot. Not once or twice but eight or nine times in a row. After the first time you would think Miller would have achieved his goal and put his foot back on the peg, but he left it there to get hit again and again. You could credit David Miller for doing everything he could to get the most out of McWicked and win the race. That’s what the betting public wants to see. We applaud drivers whose goal it is to win every time they get in the sulky, but at what costs? “I take my foot out of the stirrup and he bumps into my foot,” David Miller explained, “I never kick a horse. People have to understand that. His hock comes back and strikes my boot. There is no way in the world that I am hurting a horse or doing any damage to the horse.” The $750 fine is not just a drop in the bucket, even to someone like David Miller and other top drivers. The judges at Dover Downs said that a second offense fine for kicking would be more and after that the driver becomes a habitual offender and that the fines and possible suspension from racing would increase dramatically for a third or fourth offense. “This is ridiculous,” Miller said about the fine. “I realize that people are really down on this idea of “kicking” but it was worth every bit of the $750 fine for letting his hock hit my foot. I was out there to win and that’s what I did, I won. If that is what it took to win the race then that’s what I did. “I will take a fine any time for sticking my foot out,” Miller said. “I don’t want to have to use my whip. I carry a whip to help remind a horse to keep his mind on racing, to pay attention to what I want them to do and to urge them to go faster. Some horses I know I can never use the whip on because they won’t go any faster.” “I was not able to come up for the race,” Casie Coleman said. “I was in Florida and I did watch it on the computer but did not notice David doing anything to the horse. David would never hurt a horse. The horse won quite easily. He came out of the race just fine and is feeling good this morning.” “When I drove home from Dover last night I was very happy,” Miller said. “The horse raced tremendous. I think a lot of the horse. I think he is the best of all the three-year-olds this season, a top horse. Come this morning I hear from the judges at Dover that I am getting fined $750. “I am so aggravated right now over this whole deal,” Miller explained. “People think I am being cruel to horses. They don’t understand. I am not just a catch driver who shows up to race every night. I get up early every morning. I own horses, train my horses and I treat them like I do any horse I drive. I have never nor will I ever abuse a horse.” What if McWicked said to himself that he did not like this happening to him and stuck his toes in or made a break and took out the field? Of course, McWicked can’t tell us if he minds or doesn’t mind striking David Miller’s boot so many times in a race. “I would never endanger the horse I am driving,” Miller said, “or the other drivers and horses in any race I am in and I most certainly would not endanger myself ever in a race. I have no issues with dropping my foot so his hock comes back and strikes it. I would rather do that anytime then strike a horse with my whip.” This is not a first offense by David Miller for “kicking” McWicked. He was also fined $100 at the Meadows for “kicking” him on August 29. In fact, over his long driving career, David Miller has had many infractions for either “kicking” a horse or taking his foot out of the stirrups that it was hard to keep count of. There were eight offenses in 2014. And the fines he has had to pay over the years could be in the thousands of dollars. “Unless people have gotten in a bike and trained or driven a horse they can’t know what it is like being in my shoes,” Miller explained, “I drive to win and I would never put myself at risk or anyone else in a race, driver or horse. It’s not cruel or inhumane what we do in a race. The people complaining don’t know what they are talking about and most have never sat behind a horse. I was in the barn before I could walk. I have driven in thousands of races and I know what I am doing as do most of the drivers.” Many owners and trainers do not want to see their horses treated or abused when they race. The question is if a driver dropping their foot in a race to “wake up or startle” their horse to get more out of them is that wrong or not? We know excessive use of the whip should be met with the harshest of fines and suspensions. David Miller totally agrees with that, but when it comes to dropping your foot from the stirrup and letting a horse’s hock strike it in a race, David Miller says it is a non-issue and should never be compared to whipping. Usually David Miller is soft spoken and almost shy when asked about his racing career and the many great horses he had driven. He is extremely passionate about the sport that he has made his Hall of Fame career with. But when it comes to this issue of not having his foot in the stirrup, watch out, and don’t ever accuse him of kicking a horse because you will unleash another side of David Miller most of us have never seen. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

DOVER, Del. --- Sunday, Dec. 7 was Miller Time at Dover Downs as harness racing driver  David Miller drove both winners in the six-figure feature races on a chilly and windy early evening in Delaware. The Hall of Famer guided McWicked to a 1:48.4 victory in the track's signature event, the 301,650 Progress Pace after steering Sonofa Sizzle home in 1:52.1 in a mild upset to win the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Two-Year-Old Male pace final. Paying a $25,000 supplemental fee paid off for owner Ed James' SSG Stable as McWicked swept both the $35,000 Progress Pace Prevue and $301,650 final in identical clocking of 1:48.4, but the manner of victories varied. After a wire-to-wire success the prior week, this time Miller drove the Mcardle-Western Sahara colt out of third place approaching the half and then sided-up first-over to race leader JK Endofanera, driven by Yannick Gingras, on the backstretch and battled around the final turn before pulling away early in the stretch for his 12th win of the year raising his seasonal bankroll to $1,472,887 and $1,652,504 for his two seasons of racing. JK Endofanera was a length back in second with Tim Tetrick rallying Somewhere In LA for third money. Bib Boy ?Dreams (Ron Pierce) winner of the recent Matron Final at Dover was fourth in front of million-dollar winner All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley), fifth. After a strong summer campaign, McWicked, who was a strong favorite in the Little Brown Jug, but had to settle for a fifth in the final, tailed off slightly until recently when trainer Casie Coleman got the colt back to top form finishing third in the Matron, then second in a Breeders Crown elimination prior to a 1:49 success in the $531,250 final before coming to Dover Downs. Two races earlier, Mike White's Sonofa Sizzle, bred by Delawareans Charles and Diana Coursey, came on strongly for Miller in the $100,000 DSBF final for a 1:52.1 triumph. Remember Me VK with Montrell Teague in the bike, had carved out a 1:51.4 DSBF all-time fastest mile a week ago in a prelim, and this week led from the start with fast fractions until the field turned down the homestretch. Sonofa Sizzle came from way back on the outside to rush to the front and victory. A 54-1 shot, Roddy's Hot Again (George Dennis) came on Second with Smoking Joey (Corey Callahan) third. A son of Life Sizzles-JK Lady Like, Sonofa Sizzle won for the fourth time this season in 10 starts with three seconds and a third. The Gary Green-trainee has now won $115,516 Joining David Miller with two wins were drivers Allan Davis, Tony Morgan and Ross Wolfenden and trainers Buddy Bright and Wayne Givens. . On Monday, the final $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Two-Year-Old final of the boasts a strong field of filly pacers led by Totally Rusty and Purrfect Bags. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

Horse owner Ed James figures it's best to do a lot of listening and limit his talking. So James listened when he was advised that McWicked was the best horse in the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale's Mixed Sale. And his response was succinct. "I said, OK I'll buy him," James recalled, laughing. "I make it simple." James, who races as S S G Stables, bought McWicked for $210,000. He put the 3-year-old pacer in the care of trainer Casie Coleman and the colt has won 11 of 22 races, hit the board a total of 20 times, and earned $1.32 million. His victories include the Breeders Crown, Max C. Hempt Memorial, Delvin Miller Adios, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. On Sunday, McWicked will start from post four with driver David Miller in the $301,560 Progress Pace at Dover Downs in Delaware. McWicked is the 2-1 second choice on the morning line behind 7-5 favorite JK Endofanera, who drew post two with driver Yannick Gingras. The six-horse Progress Pace field also includes Big Boy Dreams, National Debt, Somewhere In L A, and All Bets Off. McWicked, who was supplemented to the race for $25,000, won this past Sunday's $35,000 Progress Pace Preview by two lengths over JK Endofanera in 1:48.4. The stakes record for the Progress Pace is 1:49, set in 2012 by Heston Blue Chip. "I've been in this business for 58 years and never had a horse this good," the 83-year-old James said about McWicked. "I have no concern at all with him. I trust in the ability he has to be as good as the next best one. I think David gave him a great drive the other night. Hopefully he can do it again." James, who is the president of SSG Gloves, purchased McWicked following a 2-year-old campaign in which the colt won three of 10 starts and $179,617 while in the stable of trainer Julie Miller. He turned over the horse to trainer Jim McDonald, who prepped McWicked for his 3-year-old season, and then to Coleman. "Casie said, 'This is a real good horse. I can make him a great horse.' So she did," James said. "I'm not that smart as far as horses go. But I'm smart as far as people go. And I'm fortunate enough to know good people and I'm fortunate enough that they'll take my horses. I've had very good luck. "I don't say much of anything to my trainers, which they appreciate," he added. "My trainers never hear from me, unless they call me." McWicked leads all 3-year-old pacers in earnings, followed by North America Cup winner JK Endofanera, who has banked $1.02 million. Messenger Stakes winner All Bets Off is third on the list, with $911,425. McWicked's only off-the-board finishes were a fourth in the North America Cup final, after winning his elimination, and a fifth in the Little Brown Jug final. "He had a little bit of road trouble in the North America Cup, but that's OK," James said. "I never did drive, I have no intentions of learning to drive, so I don't tell anybody how to drive." McWicked won seven of eight starts between June 21 and Sept. 7, then was winless in his next seven races before capturing the Breeders Crown on Nov. 22 at the Meadowlands. He has raced on Lasix his three most recent starts, picking up two wins and a second. "The horse came back to where he was and he's doing exactly the same thing he used to," said James, whose other top horses include millionaire Hyperion Hanover. "I thought when we started out the year he'd end up one of the top horses of the year. Now with the slump he had, it may not come out that way. That's up to the judges. "I'll appreciate (divisional honors) if it comes, but mainly for the benefit of the trainers." One more stakes event, the Cleveland Classic on Dec. 12 at Northfield Park, remains on the schedule for the 3-year-old male pacers following the Progress Pace. McWicked is not eligible to the race, but could be supplemented for $15,000. "Casie hasn't decided if he's going to race," James said. "If she wants to race him again after this one, I don't particularly like half-mile tracks, but that doesn't mean she can't race him there if she thinks he's the best." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

This Week: Progress Pace, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will be at Dover Downs this Sunday (Dec. 7) for the $301,560 Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. McWicked, the only supplemental entry, romped to a 1:48.4 victory in the $35,000 Progress Pace Preview, turning back seven rivals for his 11th win of a $1.3 million season, this past Sunday (Nov. 30) at Dover Downs. Complete entries for the race are available at this link. Last time: The Meadowlands hosted a pair of $500,000 TVG FFA Series Championships this past Saturday night (Nov. 29). Sweet Lou was all alone at the wire in the $500,000 TVG final for open pacers. Sweet Lou, in the final race of his career, won the $500,000 TVG final for open pacers at the Meadowlands in 1:48 by 3-3/4 lengths. Sweet Lou and driver Ron Pierce led the field to the 1:21.3 three-quarters and on to the long homestretch. Only 10-year-old Foiled Again parted ways with the pack to muster a challenge for Sweet Lou, but at the wire, it was Sweet Lou first and alone for the last time. Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) was second and Clear Vision (Tim Tetrick) third. The stallion with the distinctive white blaze was soon mobbed by a crowd that included his owners, Phil Collura, Larry Karr, Weaver Bruscemi and Burke Racing. Ron Burke trains the 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future, who is set to stand stud at Diamond Creek Farm in 2015. The win was the 11th in 19 season's starts for Sweet Lou and took his 2014 earnings to $1,361,433. He has banked $3,478,894 lifetime on the strength of 33 victories in 74 starts. Intimidate fanned five wide down the stretch to trot by the field to win the $500,000 TVG final for open trotters at the Meadowlands by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.2. He was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Luc Blais and owners Determination and Judith Farrow. Intimidate was a 1:51.2 winner in the TVG final for open trotters. There were no surprises as the race left the starting gate, with Ake Svanstedt guiding Sebastian K to the lead by the :26.1 first quarter and Maven (Yannick Gingras) right behind him. Creatine (Ron Pierce) trotted up with a rush to get alongside Sebastian K, where he remained through the :54.1 half and on to the 1:23 three-quarters. As the field turned for home, Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick went three wide to press hard on those two leaders and appeared poised to go by before Intimidate emerged five wide to trot by the field for the win. Market Share was second and Creatine third. It was just the fifth win of the year for Intimidate in 14 starts and enough to put him over $1 million lifetime, with career earnings now of $1,224,008. He is a 5-year-old gelding by Justice Hall out of Fabulous Tag. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 2,277; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,177; 3. David Miller - 1,003.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 877.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 647. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 2,480.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,908; 3. Erv Miller - 446.5; 4. Joe Holloway - 411; 5. Julie Miller - 347. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 550.03; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 500.03; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 357; 4. Brittany Farms - 294.45; 5. Robert Key - 272. Looking ahead: The final Grand Circuit race of 2014 will take place next week at Northfield Park as the Ohio track will host the Cleveland Classic for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

DOVER, Del. --- McWicked, the only supplemental entry, romped to a 1:48.4 victory in the $35,000 Progress Pace Prevue turning back seven rivals for his 11th win of a $1.3-million season on Sunday, Nov. 30 at Dover Downs. With Hall of Famer David Miller at the controls, McWicked moved up quickly to take the lead from JK Endofanero and Yannick Gingras just past the opening quarter in :26.3. From there it was all McWicked passing the half-mile pole in :54.3. Big Boy Dreams, upset winner of the recent Matron Stake at Dover Downs, was first to take a shot as Ron Pierce pulled out to challenge after the half heading to the three-quarters in 1:22.1. Miller then poured it on rolling home in :26.3 to stop the clock in 1:48.4, the fastest local time of the season, four-fifth-of-a-second from the track record of 1:48, established last Spring by Bandolino. JK Endofanera, raced second behind McWicked for most of the mile and finished second with Big Boy Dreams, third. All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) was fourth in front of Somewhere In LA (Tim Tetrick). McWicked was fresh from victory in the recent Breeders Crown. The ultra-consistent McArdle-Western Sahara colt trained by Casie Coleman for SSG Stables of North Boston, N.Y. has been 1-2-3 in 20 of his 22 races this year. He has banked $1,322,157 in 2014 and $1,491,774 in his career while winning 13 races, 10 seconds and five thirds in only 32 races. All eight starters return next Sunday (Nov. 7) for the $301,000 Progress Pace Final. Fans at the track will receive the handsome 2014 Progress Pace cap. Also on the strong program were three $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) 2nd leg preliminaries for two-year-old colt pacers. Remember Me VK with a 1:51.4 performance is the fastest ever for a freshman, 1:51.4, with Montrell Teague in the bike for trainer Bobby Wyatt and owners Ron Benton and Sharon Wyatt. Remember Me VK was also winner of last month's $100,000 DSBF Final in Harrington Raceway track record time of 1:52.3. Sonofa Sizzle (Corey Callahan) was an easy second. Seboomook Katahdin (Allan Davis) was third. Corey Callahan teamed with Howard Taylor's Smoking Joey to win the first DSBF prelim fashioning a 1:53.4 score. The Riggins-You Don't Know Me gelding, never out of the money in eight starts, is trained by Doug Lewis. Rigged To Go (Ross Wolfenden) was runner-up with Art Season (Allan Davis) third. Scott Woogen's KJ Ben, handled by Art Stafford Jr. won the third and final $20,000 prelim with a 1:54.1 victory, his fifth in eight lifetime trips. A homebred son of Riggins-Winsmith Karen, Duane Wagner conditions the winner. Dashboard (Trace Tetrick) and Roddy's Hot Again (George Dennis) were second and third respectively. Montrell Teague and Art Stafford Jr. had driving doubles. A pair of $20,000 DSBF Filly paces and an $18,000 Mares Open pace highlight the Monday, Dec. 1 card. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. There is no live racing Friday and Saturday. Sunday racing resumes at 5:30 p.m. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

October 11, 2014. Reverend Hanover, called the mirror image of his sire Sportswriter by his trainer and co-owner, remains unbeaten in his rookie season as he captured tonight’s $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for harness racing two-year-old pacing colts with ease at Mohawk Racetrack to give him four wins in as many starts in his young career. Several of the rookies left hard at the start with Make Some Luck gaining control early and pacing by the opening quarter in :27. His stablemate Sporting The Look tried to pass but Make Some Luck wouldn’t comply and meanwhile three wide came Reverend Hanover who took over control and never looked back. He reached the half in :55, the three-quarters in 1:24.3 and could not be caught down the lane as he hit the wire in 1:52.1. Drachan Hanover made a valiant effort and settled for second while Manny In Sports was third. Casie Coleman trains and co-owns the winner, a son of her former stable star Sportswriter whose first crop has been performing impressively all season. “The whole way training down this colt trained like a real great colt. I did have him staked to everything, the Metro, Breeders Crown and Governor’s Cup. He bucked a shin right when we got home from Florida. That’s a Thoroughbred injury, it’s not very common in Standardbreds but he did it. I didn’t think he’d race much this season but he healed real quick and we got him ready and did a little racing this season,” explained Coleman. “He’s just like his old man, he’s so much like Sportswriter, you go watch Sportswriter’s replays, then watch Reverend Hanover, it looks like you’re watching the same horse. (He has a) great attitude, great gait, everything about him – he’s just a sweetheart to work around. He’s identical to his father. “He’s going to be turned out now and get ready for the next season.” Purchased by West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatham and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, Ontario for $24,000 at the Harrisburg Sale, Reverend Hanover was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. His dam, Razzle My Dazzle, is a sister to Mystical Mike, Cut Throat and Artistry who have all won more than $300,000 in their careers. Coleman actually had five colts entered into tonight’s Super Final but two had to be scratched due to sickness. The other two, Sportskeeper and Bob Ben And John finished fourth and fifth. She noted she was thankful that the three that did race didn’t get sick as well. Christoforou has been the primary driver on many of Coleman’s youngsters this year. “I needed a driver and he wasn’t committed and it’s been very successful,” said Coleman. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News

Harness racing two-year-old pacing colts bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, the undefeated Reverend Hanover and the bargain yearling Drachan Hanover, captured both $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions tonight at Mohawk. The final division saw the lightly raced Reverend Hanover extend his unbeaten record to three with another impressive effort. In that split Mike Saftic and Seaforth were on top by the opening quarter in :26.1 but not for long as Chris Christoforou and Reverend Hanover quickly took over well before the :55.1 half. That colt opened up by the three-quarters in 1:23.4 and could not be caught down the stretch as he won handily in 1:51.4. Manny In Sports (Badlands Hanover) and Bob Ben And John (Sportswriter) were next across. A son of Sportswriter owned by West Wins Stables, Cambridge, Steve Calhoun, Chatham and Anthony Beaton, Waterdown, Ontario, Reverend Hanover has yet to taste defeat in his young career. This was the second OSS Gold win for the $24,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg and upped his earnings to $93,000 in just three starts. His paddock mate from Hanover Shoe Farms, Drachan Hanover, took the other division which saw Fighttothefinish fight for the lead and get on top by the first quarter in :26.3. Steve Condren and Go Daddy Go took over well before the :54.3 half and were at the three-quarters in 1:23. Drachan Hanover, who’d been stalking first up, took over the lead as they headed down the stretch and was at the wire first in 1:51.4 for Rick Zeron. Moonwriter and Sportskeeper, both sons of Sportswriter, were next across. A mere $4,500 yearling purchase at Harrisburg last fall, Drachan Hanover has now earned $95,150 from seven starts this year for owners Lloyd MacLean and Ken Rankin of Nova Scotia and trainer Marcel Barrieau. The colt is from a full sister to Driven To Win ($991,000). Two $105,000 divisions for the rookie pacing fillies were also contested tonight. Capela drove out quickly from post six in the second and quickest division but I Wonder Why had collared her by the opening quarter in :27.1. I Wonder Why continued to lead at the half in :55.4 and the three-quarters in 1:24.4. In mid stretch James MacDonald found clearance from the pocket spot for Capela and that filly managed to haul down the pacesetter and trip the timer in 1:53.1. I Wonder Why (Ponder) was right there for second with Palette Tina (Allamerican Native) taking third. It was the first lifetime victory for Capela who had two seconds and two thirds heading into tonight’s contest. Trained by Tony O’Sullivan for owners Let It Ride Stable of Florida and RBH Ventures of New York, the Sportswriter filly is a half-sister to Machapelo ($593,000) and Resistance Futile ($277,000). The first division saw an upset when Sylvain Filion put Wrangler Magic on top and never looked back through splits of :26.4, :56.2, 1:25.2 and were home in 1:53.3. Aintsheasweetie took second while Solar Sister was third. The top three finishers are all daughters of Mach Three. Heavy favourite and leading point earner Sports Chic mounted a three wide rally in the final turn but tired and finished seventh. It was the second lifetime win in seven tries for Wrangler Magic owned by breeder Dr. Maurice Stewart of Alberta along with Tom Kyron of Toronto and Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms of Quebec. These were the final regular season Gold events for both divisions. The top performers will return for the Super Finals on October 11 back at the Campbellville oval. Results for tonight’s program may be viewed through Mohawk Results - September 30. Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON - Monday (September 29) marks the final live race card of the year at Grand River Raceway, but it's already proven to be a successful year at the track. Despite fewer races and fewer cards, the average bet per race jumped 10.5 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013 and total wagering on Grand River is up 4.8 per cent from just under $6.5 million in 2013 to nearly $6,786,149 this year through Wenesday's card. All this despite a decrease in the number of races per card of nearly 10 per cent. On the track, nothing topped Hall of Fame driver John Campbell and Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh teaming up to win the $217,140 Battle of Waterloo Aug. 4 with McIntosh's two-year-old homebred pacing colt Go Daddy Go. It was the first Battle of Waterloo victory for both men. "I haven't started that many in it, but it feels tremendous," McIntosh said in the winner's circle. "It's a real thrill." Campbell said the victory felt great. "It's been a fun day for me and it's capped off extremely well," he said. This year also marked Campbell's first trip to Grand River and he liked what he saw. "I got a tour before the races started here and it's very efficient and very convenient for fans. It looks like a very nice plant," Campbell said. The Grand River meet also saw rising star James MacDonald win his first premier stakes race at the track when he drove 20-1 longshot Win The Gold to victory in the Battle of the Belles for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. In August, Grand River's general manager Dr. Ted Clarke was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in the builders' category. That same month, Jet Airway set a track record for three-year-old pacing colts when he buzzed the Grand River oval in 1:51.1. Five other horses also set Canadian seasonal records at the track. On the drivers' side, Trevor Henry was again crowned the top Grand River driver for both wins and money. Casie Coleman was Grand River's top money-winning trainer and Richard Moreau led all trainers in wins at the track by a wide margin. And this year, we also learned important information such as what three people driver Scott Coulter would enlist to thwart a zombie apocalypse. "I'm going to take Clint Eastwood," Coulter said, "Superman and throw Sly Stallone in there, too. Why not?" We also discovered what Randy Waples would be doing if he wasn't driving horses for a living -"At one time, being a surfer sounded pretty good. I likead the idea of that." - what music trainer Casie Coleman thinks Satan has playing on repeat in her version of hell - "Anything country, probably." - and what James MacDonald does better than his two famous driving brothers, Anthony and Mark - "Golf, that's for sure, because they're both horrible." To hear our conversation with some of the most prominent drivers and trainers in the game, 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 Final Training Day at Grand River Raceway  Grand River Raceway will remain open for training every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon, with all horses vacated by 1:00 p.m. This schedule will remain in effect until the final training day on October 9. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway  

As the racing career of award-winning pacer Captaintreacherous comes to an end, with a retirement ceremony scheduled for next week at The Red Mile, an heir apparent competes Saturday night at the famed Lexington oval. Artspeak, who like Captaintreacherous is from the stable of trainer Tony Alagna, is 6-for-6 as he heads to The Red Mile for his division of the Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. He is coming off a 3-1/2 length win in 1:50.2 in the Metro Pace on Aug. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. The colt has won all six of his races by a minimum of 1-3/4 lengths. "He's done everything we've asked of him," driver Scott Zeron said. "I don't think we've seen his bottom yet. Tony's done a good job of making sure that every time he gets behind the gate he's fully prepared. "He's got heart. That's something you just have to pray you have in a horse. He's a horse that every time he steps onto the track he wants to beat other horses. He kind of actually wants to demolish them. That speaks for itself. So far he's proven that he's a major player." Captaintreacherous, who will be honored Oct. 2 at The Red Mile, won eight of 10 starts at age 2 and became the first 2-year-old in 25 years to be named Pacer of the Year. Last season at age 3, he won 13 of 16 races and received his second Pacer of the Year award. "A lot of the people have been comparing the two," Zeron said. "Obviously, they were both dominant at this point in their careers when you compare them at 2. Every time I sit behind (Artspeak) he's just a pleasure. He's so nice to handle. Tony has taught him to really know what he's doing out on the racetrack." Artspeak is a son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare The Art Museum. He was purchased for $100,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes 2007 Meadowlands Pace winner Southwind Lynx. Artspeak is owned by co-breeder Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners. He races in the third of four Bluegrass divisions and is the 4-5 morning line favorite. "His being undefeated isn't something that crosses my mind every time we race," Zeron said when asked if there was pressure driving a horse like Artspeak. "I just want to try to drive him to where he can display his abilities. That's my job, to make sure I give him every chance to display what he can do. "We were 1-9 in the Metro Pace; I don't know if people call that pressure or a weight off your shoulders. I'd rather be the 1-9 shot going into those races." The Canadian-born Zeron has 11 drives Saturday night at The Red Mile, with 10 of them behind Alagna-trained horses. The 25-year-old, who is the son of driver Rick Zeron, moved to the U.S. with the hopes of advancing his career. It has worked out better than he imagined. Zeron, who in 2012 became the youngest driver to win the Little Brown Jug behind Casie Coleman-trainee Michael's Power, has earned $4.30 million this year, good for No. 14 among all drivers in North America. "Tony told me if I did make the move he would help me out and try to make me first call on the (young horses), and he's done just that," Zeron said. "So I give him credit for the majority of my (success) this year. "All I ever wanted was to be on the Grand Circuit. Now to be down at The Red Mile and have multiple drives on every card, it's a thrill. I'm happy to be at the point I'm at. This is where every heavy hitter comes and to be racing with them on a nightly basis is amazing." Among Zeron's other drives are It Was Fascination and Beach Gal in divisions of the Bluegrass for 3-year-old female pacers. It Was Fascination is 6-1 on the morning line and Beach Gal is 3-1. Both start from post eight in eight-horse fields. It Was Fascination, trained by Alagna and owned by Riverview Racing, Alagna Racing and The Bay's Stable, has won four of 13 races and earned $246,028. She is coming off a win in the New York Sire Stakes championship. "She's had a phenomenal year," Zeron said. "You'll never have a horse that tries as hard as she does. She always tries to be right in the money - 1, 2, 3 - every week. Coming down to Lexington, Tony said she's been great. We'll hope for a big effort from her. She always seems to deliver. "We didn't draw that well, but she has tactical speed and hopefully we can forwardly place her." Beach Gal is the only non-Alagna horse Zeron will drive Saturday. Trained by Dave Menary, she has won three of 14 races and $227,127 for owners Kenneth Ewen, Hewvilla Farms, Denis Breton and Larry Menary. "I drove her almost her whole 2-year-old year; I know her really well," Zeron said. "She's a trip horse. You wouldn't find a horse that could come off a helmet any faster than she could last year. I'm excited to go behind her. "She's had a very good year. We didn't draw well, but maybe we can hope for some hot fractions or maybe I'll try to get her out of there and hope for a second-over trip." Sunday: Father Patrick, Lifetime Pursuit headline trotters at Red Mile Driver Yannick Gingras is atop the national purse standings with $11.72 million heading into Friday evening, and this Sunday he has engagements with two trotters who have contributed to that total considerably. Father Patrick, who leads all horses in earnings with $1.13 million, and Hambletonian Oaks winner Lifetime Pursuit, who has banked $652,054, are among the horses that have dates with Gingras at The Red Mile on Sunday. Both horses are trained by Jimmy Takter. Lifetime Pursuit, who has won eight of 13 races this year and set multiple world records, has post two in the first of two Bluegrass Stakes divisions for 3-year-old female trotters. She has won six consecutive starts, including the Hambletonian Oaks, divisions of the Casual Breeze and Simcoe stakes, and most recently the Buckette at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Gingras says the Brittany Farms-owned filly is an uncomplicated assignment. Lifetime Pursuit is the 7-5 morning line favorite in her Bluegrass split. "She'll do anything I want her to do," Gingras said. "She's really a sweetheart, very easy on herself, easy for me to drive. Her last two starts before Delaware, I thought she was due for a covered-up trip, but at Delaware, on a half-mile track at (odds of) 1-9, it is what it is, she was much the best. "Going back to a big track down here, I'd like to have her covered up and if she's the best horse in the race, she'll do what she has to do in the stretch." Gingras says the daughter of Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace has matured emotionally over the racing season. "She was one early on that needed an easy trip and needed to get mentally ready," he said. "She wasn't quite ready to cut miles or go first over, nothing like that. But as the year went along, she got better and better with that and now I can do whatever I want. She was the one that early on, I really had to babysit a little bit, whereas Father Patrick, he's just a sweetheart." Father Patrick and Gingras will team up once again in the second of two Bluegrass Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters. Father Patrick, the 3-5 morning line favorite, has post one. The colt, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream, has won nine of 11 races this season and 19 of 22 in his career. His lifetime earnings are $1.88 million. He enters the Bluegrass off a win in the Canadian Trotting Classic on Sept. 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Father Patrick was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. "There's nothing about him not to like, you can do whatever you like," Gingras said. "You can come from the back, be first over or in the front. It doesn't matter to him, he'll get it done. "He's been the same horse, but obviously he's a little stronger now than he was in his first couple starts. But as far as manners and what he can do on the racetrack, he's the same horse, just a perfect horse." The two-week Red Mile meet provides both drivers and trainers with a few more tools to utilize in seeking a top performance from their horses, Gingras says. "The clay is definitely the biggest difference, you can race horses barefoot here, which on most stone dust tracks, you can't," Gingras said. "Trainers can come here and take their (horses') shoes off and sometimes it improves their gait big time. It's something you can't do every week, but you'll see certain horses that step up here versus racing at other tracks because you can make changes here. "The Red Mile is probably the last track left in North America that's not a speed favoring track. You can win races from the front, but it's a track where you can actually come from the back very easily and win races. The other tracks we go to, they're speed favoring, most of them." by Ken Weingartner & Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Harness racing three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits set the fields for their $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series Finals with eight $20,000 Semifinals Saturday (September 20) at Mohawk Racetrack. The top five horses in each Semifinal moved on to next week’s Finals. Pacing Males High Flier (J. Harris) left out fast from his post nine starting spot in the first Semifinal, and he had the lead at the :26.1 opening quarter. Shadow Place (Trevor Henry) was in second at that point, but he moved to the outside and took control before the :55.1 half. Regal Son (Randy Waples) then rolled the dice first-over out of fourth, and he would match strides with Shadow Place at the 1:23.2 three-quarters. Regal Son forged his way around Shadow Place in the lane, but High Flier got a lane up the inside, and he took advantage, getting up to win by a head in 1:52.1. Shadowbriand (Mike Saftic) turned a second-over trip into the runner-up spot and Regal Son finished third. Some Major Beach (Doug McNair) came in fourth, followed by V I P Bayama (Sylvain Filion). Trainer David Taff of Waterdown, Ontario, shares ownership of High Flier, a Shadow Play colt, with Christopher Nicol of West Yorkshire, England. High Flier, who won at the Grassroots level on June 13 at Mohawk, has won five times from 11 attempts in 2014, and he has six career tallies. He has earned $43,436 this year and $47,386 in his life. Atomic Million AM (Rick Zeron) shot through from the pole position to take the field of ten to the :27.1 first quarter in the second Semifinal, but favoured Titus Seelster (Sylvain Filion) vacated the pocket past that marker, and he became the new front-stepper before the :56.3 half. Titus Seelster still had command at the 1:24.4 three-quarters while he felt some first-over pressure from Regal Babe (Doug McNair). Titus Seelster continued to hold Regal Babe off as they raced through the lane, but a number of horses began to close in on the leaders inside the final sixteenth, and it would be 50-1 shot Nirvana Seelster (Phil Hudon) charging up on the far outside to win the race in 1:53.4. Atomic Million AM, who lacked room for much of the stretch drive, was the runner-up and Regal Babe checked in third. Titus Seelster faded to fourth and Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) rallied to get fifth. Nirvana Seelster is a Camluck gelding trained by Bill Budd for owner Bruce Davy of Brockville, Ont. Nirvana Seelster, who was unraced at two, now has a trio of wins from 19 efforts and has put away $52,296. He was bred by Seelster Farms. Trotting Males Warrawee Promesse (Wayne Henry), who was starting from post ten and gunning for his eighth consecutive victory, took the lead away from 80-1 shot Hetties Commander (Paul MacKenzie) just after the :27.4 first quarter in the Semifinal opener for this bunch. Warrawee Promesse would go on to reach the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:27, never facing a serious challenge along the way. At the top of the lane Henry asked Warrawee Promesse to kick away, but inside the final sixteenth he was overhauled by several challengers, including Kremlin (Sylvain Filion), who rallied from next-to-last at three-quarters to the win by a quarter of a length in 1:57.1. Hetties Commander shook loose from the pocket and wound up second with Tyrone Haji (Randy Waples) nabbed third. Warrawee Promesse had to settle for fourth and Massive Pockets (Jody Jamieson) survived a tough outside journey to finish fifth. Richard Moreau trains Kremlin, a Kadabra gelding, for owner Mike Wassilyn of Rockwood, Ontario. Kremlin, a winner in Grassroots competition on June 9 at Mohawk, scored his fifth triumph from 15 efforts this season and his seventh career victory. Bred by Overseas Farms Ltd., Kremlin has put away $45,472 on the campaign and $55,352 lifetime. It looked like Totally Ripped (Steve Byron) was going to the lead in the other Semifinal, but then he went off-stride, leaving Jack Litten (Doug McNair) in first at the :27.3 opening quarter. Justcallmeronald (Jody Jamieson) then popped out of the pocket, and he would take the lead before the 58 second half-mile marker. Justcallmeronald would go on to click off three-quarters in 1:27.4, but McNair angled Jack Litten back out of the two-hole in the lane, and he would out-trot Justcallmeronald late in the mile to prevail by just over a length in 1:57.4. Justcallmeronald, Ramas Last Son (Steve Condren), Crowningcrest (James MacDonald) and Taurus Seelster (Randy Waples) rounded out the top-five finishers. Jack Litten is a Muscle Mass gelding trained by Gregg McNair for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan. Jack Litten, who did not compete as a two-year-old, has three wins from 12 starts in 2014, and he has put away $48,962. Jack Litten, who was bred by Tony Holmes and Walter Zent, also won in Grassroots competition on June 26 and September 2 at Mohawk. Pacing Fillies 70-1 shot Stellllllla (Jody Jamieson) held the lead at the :27.2 first quarter in the Semifinal opener, but Murrayfield (Sylvain Filion) would take over the front prior to the :56.1 half. Murrayfield then came under siege from first-over challenger Regally Ready (Doug McNair), and Murrayfield and Regally Ready were head-and-head at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. In the stretch Regally Ready put away Murrayfield, but then Bet Ya (Paul MacDonell) came from off cover to duel with the new leader. Meanwhile, 3-5 favourite Dana Dearest (Chris Christoforou), who had been fourth-over at three-quarters, began to close in as well. Regally Ready managed to fight off Bet Ya, but Dana Dearest was unrelenting with her brush, and she got up to win by about a neck in 1:53.3. Regally Ready came in second and Bet Ya was third. Mea Lilley Mark (Mike Saftic) checked in fourth and Double Joy (Mario Baillargeon) finished fifth. Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner/breeder Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ontario. Dana Dearest was winless in four starts last year, but she’s turned it around in her sophomore campaign, going eight-for-15. She has season’s earnings of $77,820 and a career bankroll of $82,048. Dana Dearest has only been defeated once in five Grassroots starts in 2014. Her Own Land (James MacDonald), the public’s 4-5 choice, led through fractions of :26.4, :56.1, and 1:24 on her way to a 1:54 decision in the second Semifinal. She beat runner-up Shadows Wonder (Chris Christoforou) by about two lengths with Artful Impulse (Randy Waples) back in third. Fourth went to Born To Dream and Royal Mama (Steve Condren) collected fifth. Dave Menary trains Her Own Land, a filly by Blissfull Hall, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Her Own Land now has five wins in Grassroots company and six wins from 14 starts overall this year. Now a seven-time winner in her career, Her Own Land has earned $77,490 in 2014 and $87,050 lifetime. Trotting Fillies In the first Semifinal for this group it would be Serendipitious (Chris Christoforou) who took the field of ten through fractions of :27.4, :58.3, and 1:28. Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) attacked the pace-setter from first-over on the final bend, and that gave a second-over tow to public choice Mystical Wishes (Doug McNair). Serendiptious put away Flexible Woman turning for home, but Mystical Wishes was sent into three-wide territory for McNair, and she would trot past the pace-setter on her way to a 1:56.4 victory. Serendiptious held second, beaten a length by the winner, and Diamonds For Life (Sylvain Filion) took third. Also securing positions in next week’s final were fourth-place finisher Missys Ga Ga (John Campbell) and fifth-place filly Chelseas Chance (Randy Waples). Tony Alagna trains the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, for co-owner/breeder Mystical Marker Farms LLC. of Dyer and co-owner Peggy Hood of Valparaiso, Indiana. Mystical Wishes is eight-for-13 in the win column this year after going winless in four tries as a rookie. Mystical Wishes has earned $63,990 in 2014 and $67,740 lifetime. This was Mystical Wishes’s fourth OSS win of the year, joining her successes on August 12 at Mohawk, September 2 at Mohawk, and September 11 at Flamboro Downs. Quadrophenia (James MacDonald) blasted out from post ten to take the second Semifinal field to the opening quarter in 28 seconds, but 3-5 favourite and point standings leader Torches Star (Steve Condren) trotted her way to the top before the :57.1 half. Torches Star was still the boss at the 1:27.2 three-quarters, but she didn’t have her best game on this night, and she was overtaken by first-over challenger Doweypuffandhow (Steve Byron) with an eighth of a mile to go. A host of closers were coming after the new leader, though, and trotting fastest of all was Lenny Mac (Randy Waples), who surged from third-over at the top of the lane to win in 1:57.3. Wonderland Snow (Trevor Henry) split horses to get second and Quadrophenia was third. Nickange Two (Mike Saftic) got fourth at 60-1 and Northern Secret (Mario Baillargeon) nailed down the last spot in the final. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, also co-owns Lenny Mac, a filly by Kadabra, with partner Earl Hill Jr. of Ohsweken, Ontario. McIntosh also bred Lenny Mac with C S X Stables and Michael Kohler. Lenny Mac has four triumphs from 14 trips behind the gate this year, and this was her seventh career trip to the winner’s circle. She has banked $57,759 this season and $97,099 in her life. This was Lenny Mac’s third Grassroots win of the season, matching her total from her freshman campaign. Mohawk Racetrack will roll out the red carpet again next Saturday night with eight $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Finals for two- and three-year-olds. For full results of this Saturday night’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0920mohsn.dat. OSS News

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, September 19, 2014 - This Sunday the Quebec Jockey Club that runs the harness racing track Hippodrome 3R, which is half way between Montreal and Quebec City in the town of Trois-Rivieres, is hosting the revival of one of Canada's most prestigious races, the Prix D'Ete. The Grand Circuit race carries a purse of $200,000 and many of the best four-year-old pacers in North America have entered. Eight horses will go a mile on 3R's half mile oval. There is more to just a rich purse and good horses at the Hippodrome 3R. They have initiated a city and province-wide movement to bring back harness racing, which has been raced at this track for nearly 150 years. This past Thursday was the launch of Prix D'Ete Weekend and working with the city, the province tourism board, also with local farms (crops, not horses) to get only fresh locally grown vegetables, even honey, for their menus, the team at 3R have put together a great program that is sure to grow every year. Thursday featured a press conference with the drawing of post positions for the big race on Sunday. A local horse owner (Jean Tourigny) that has a training facility for Standardbreds nearby 3R, has generously offered everyone that is bringing a horse to race in the Prix D'Ete to board them on his farm and stay there for free. "It is so great how our horsemen, the city of Trois-Rivieres and Salon de Jeux Trois-Rivieres, a subsidiary of Loto-Quebec, has come out in support of our Prix D'Ete weekend," said Vincent Trudel, the general manager of 3R. "It shows that harness racing is still a popular sport and industry in Quebec and we look forward to an exciting weekend at 3R." Saturday is Family Day and the Quebec Jockey Club is rolling out the red carpet to the community. From 11 am to 8 pm there will be sulky trips around the racetrack with professional drivers, a BBQ, children's farmyard with more than 25 different animals, pony rides, tours of the race paddock area and workshops with veterinarians, farriers and race judges. The live racing card Saturday night starts at 7:30 pm. Then on Sunday at 10:30 am the track opens up for Prix D'Ete Day. At 11:30 am Saturday there will be a Meet and Greet with many of the great drivers competing in the Prix D'Ete, some of whom are coming to 3R for the first time. Hall of Famer David Miller, this past Thursday's Little Brown Jug winner, native son, Yannick Gingras, along with the return of Trois-Rivieres Daniel Dube, Ontario's top drivers Jody Jamieson, James MacDonald, Scott Zeron and Doug McNair along with 3R's leading driver Denis St Pierre. There is a chance that another Hall of Famer, Jimmy Takter, will also be at the Meet and Greet. It will be a wonderful opportunity for racing fans in Quebec to get to meet these world class horsemen and then at 1:00 pm watch them compete in ten great races culminating with the $200,000 Prix D'Ete. The Prix D'Ete is the richest race of the year in North America for four-year-old pacers and has attracted a super competitive field. Feature are Jimmy Takter's Sunfire Blue Chip who is on a four-race winning streak, Mach It So has won three of his last four starts, Locally owned Sunshine Beach has $940,000 in career earnings, Apprentice Hanover is the highest money earner this year with $350,000 bankrolled for trainer Ben Wallace. The hometown favorite is all-age track record holder at 3R, Duc D'Orleans. His record of 1:52.4 set last year is more than likely going to be rewritten on Sunday with the caliber of horses in the field. Rounding out the competition are early season sensation Captive Audience, Casie Coleman's tough pacer Lucan Hanover and five-time winner this season, Si Semalu. The 3R half mile track has been razor sharp this season and the young Quebec-Bred horses improving every year with 16 track records set or tied this season. It all makes for a superb gala weekend at the Hippodrome 3R and throughout Trois-Riviere. And with a good showing it will be the start of planning for a bigger and better Prix D'Ete Weekend in 2015. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Eight of the top four-year-old harness racing pacers in North America will do battle this Sunday in the $200,000 revival of the Prix D’Ete at the Hippodrome 3R and their connections learned today what post-positions they have. The Prix D’Ete is the richest race in North America this year for four-year-old pacers and many of the nation’s top harness racing drivers will be coming to Quebec province to compete on the race card. “What a great field that has entered our revival of the Prix D’Ete,” said Vincent Trudel, the general manager of the Hippodrome 3R. “We could not have asked for a more competitive field. I am sure that Duc D’Orleans track record of 1:52.4 will be in jeopardy this Sunday and that our racing fans and horsemen are going to see a superb world-class race.” Headlining the field of eight starters will be Apprentice Hanover from the Ben Wallace Stable. The son of Somebeachsomewhere enters the race off of a lifetime mark performance last week at Mohawk Raceway in 1:49.2. Jody Jamieson will do the driving and they drew post 5. World renowned trainer Jimmy Takter has entered his top pacer, Sunfire Blue Chip, who is on a four-race winning streak including a 1:49.2 triumph in the $50,000 Open at Pocono Downs in his last start. Yannick Gingras returns to his home track to drive Sunfire Blue Chip. They did not fare well in the draw and will start from the outside in post 8. The local favorite and all-age track record holder at the Hippodrome 3R is Duc D’Orleans, who starts from post 4. Back in 2013 he became the only horse ever to break the 1:53 mark at 3R, going in 1:52.4. He will be driven by native son Daniel Dube. Captive Audience leaves from post 7  for driver James MacDonald. The son of Art Major was an early season sensation and has recently being going against the best pacers at Mohawk. Lucan Hanover hails from the talented Casie Coleman Stable and starts from post 3. This son of Western Ideal has but one win this year but has been super game all season. Last week he was second by a nose on Yonkers half mile oval in 1:58 going extra distance at 1 1/16th mile and the prior week he won at Yonkers in 1:51.1. He will be driven by David Miller. Mach It So starts from post 6 for trainer P J Fraley and ships to 3R having won three of his last four starts, the fastest a 1:48.2 lifetime mark at Pocono Downs. The Mac Three gelding will be handled by Scott Zeron. Sunshine Beach drew the rail and is the highest money earner in the field at $913,702, so a victory would in the Prix D’Ete would make him a millionaire. He is locally co-owned by the Hudson Standardbred Stable of Montreal and has a record this year of 1:49 at Mohawk Raceway. He will be driven by Doug McNair. Si Semalu comes into the race after two sharp efforts at Mohawk Raceway, finishing second last week and the prior week posting his fifth win on the season for trainer Isaac Waxman in 1:52. He drew well with post two and will be driven by local star Denis St Pierre. Here is the field in post-position order with driver and trainer: Sunshine Beach (Doug McNair) Mark Steacy Si Semalu (Denis St Pierre) Isaac Waxman Lucan Hanover (David Miller) Casie Coleman Duc D’Orleans (Daniel Dube) Jacques Dupont Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) Ben Wallace Mach It So (Scott Zeron) P J Fraley Captive Audience (James MacDonald) Corey Johnson Sunfire Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras) Jimmy Takter There will be no consolation race. Initially known as the Prix d’Automne and won by older horses such as the three-time Horse of the Year Bret Hanover, the marquee event at Blue Bonnets racetrack in Montreal was converted into the Prix D’Ete race for 3-year-old pacers in 1970 and remained one of the major North American stakes in the division until its last running in 1992. Past winners included Cam Fella, Niatross, Albatross, Strike Out, Abercrombie, Matts Scooter and Beach Towel. The Prix D’Ete weekend gets underway Saturday evening with a special live race program beginning at 7:30 pm. Sunday’s Prix D’Ete race card first race post time is 1:00 pm. For additional information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Harness racing trainer Casie Coleman is a new person in many ways. One exception is Casie is still training top flight winners and going for her unprecedented third win in a row at the 69th Jug. Casie lost 74 pounds and she admits there's still more to lose. Funny, normally the word 'lose' is rarely associated with Casie but in this scenario, losing means she's winning. What caused Casie to do a 180 degree change? "I was running three stables; one in Ontario, one in Florida and one in New Jersey. There were a lot of owners and staff." Casie says. Even though Casie was stacking up the win column, so was the pressure and ultimately the stress. "I used to be tired all the time" admits Casie. "I was known to be a b**** and very hard to get along with. I admit I was always real tense and stressed with the amount of big races I had on the go. There was staff, owners and a lot to handle and I would let stuff pile up on me." Casie acknowledges she wasn't so pleasant to work and given that she's a perfectionist, if the smallest thing wasn't right, it could get rough. "I would snap", says Casie. "I was always on edge." After cutting down to 33 horses, where at one time Casie had as many as 120 horses under her care and having fewer owners to handle, she is happier. Much happier! "I got to the point where I didn't even enjoy training the horses anymore. I even thought about getting out a few times." Casie continues, "I had some great horses and some people would die to have the stable I had, yet I wanted to get out and not (train) anymore." "The bigger my stable got, the bigger I got!" laughs Casie. Now, daily gym visits is what Casie uses to let out her frustration. Instead of lashing out, she burns calories. If it's been a rough day, this means Casie will endure a harder workout, benefiting her health. "I much more professional now, calmer in how I handle situations" Casie says. "I am a very happy person now and my owners have said I am a whole lot easier to deal with now." Casie states, "Even my staff has said that. I can't remember the last time I got mad at someone, whereas before it was happening many times throughout the day." In the past Casie was not a morning person and she admits she had a difficult time waking up. Since changing her life around Casie is up bright and early and ready to go. Now Casie jogs all her horses, no longer is she stuck in the office at a desk solely returning calls and entering horses. "Before I was tired all the time, now I have so much energy, it's unbelievable." Casie continues, "In the past I would be eating steak and pasta after the races, I was too dumb to know that was bad for me. I wasn't eating breakfast and I would have my first meal around 2pm." "I hired a personal trainer who taught me how to eat properly and how to count calories." Casie openly admits that stress caused her to gain a lot of weight. "Now I'm a whole lot happier doing my job." People walk past Casie now not realizing who she is. "Some people have a hard time believing it's me." Casie says with a laugh. "I was 205 pounds last year.... Now I'm at the Jug looking at pictures from last year and I'm like 'holy crap, I can't believe that's me. How did I do that to myself?' I was a size 16 before I started working out and now I am a size 2. It's been a big change that's for sure." Casie will keep working with her personal trainer even though she's in better shape, there's more to lose for her to win. She'll continue to jog all her horses and train opposed to being a manager. For the Jug, Casie has McWicked primed to go from the 1 spot and Casie praises one of her employees, Jeffrey Kemp for doing a standout job with McWicked. "He's been awesome" says Casie about Jeffrey's work with McWicked. Throughout the years and all the changes, Casie is grateful to her parents Phil and Linda Coleman as well as her assistant trainers (Andrew Harris, Mike Stewart and Anthony Beaton) who helped run her barns while she was away and for their hard work in all the success. By: Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com          

At this morning's annual meeting of the Little Brown Jug Society, the board elected Casie Coleman of Cambridge, Ontario and Jason Settlemoir of Cream Ridge, NJ to the Little Brown Jug Society filling a pair vacant seats. Coleman is one of the sport's top conditioners, winning two Little Brown Jug and Jugette titles. Settlemoir is the General Manager of the New Meadowlands Racetrack and serves as the Simulcast Director for the Delaware County Fair. The Jug Society also re-elected the slate of officers, Tom Wright (president), Phil Terry (vice president) and William Lowe (secretary). by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug  

Many of the best four-year-old harness racing pacers in North America will do battle this Sunday in the $200,000 revival of the Prix D’Ete at the Hippodrome 3R. The drawing for post positions will take place at a special media function at the Hippodrome 3R on Thursday at 11:00 am. The Prix D’Ete is the richest race in North America this year for four-year-old pacers and many of the nation’s top harness racing drivers will be coming to Quebec province to compete on the race card. Headlining the field of eight starters will be Apprentice Hanover from the Ben Wallace Stable. The son of Somebeachsomewhere enters the race off of a lifetime mark performance last week at Mohawk Raceway in 1:49.2. Jody Jamieson will do the driving. World renowned trainer Jimmy Takter has entered his top pacer, Sunfire Blue Chip, who is on a four-race winning streak including a 1:49.2 triumph in the $50,000 Open at Pocono Downs in his last start. Yannick Gingras returns to his home track to drive Sunfire Blue Chip. Also entered are Captive Audience; local favorite and Hippodrome 3R all-age track record holder, Duc D’Orleans; Casie Coleman’s Lucan Hanover; PJ Fraley’s Mach It So, who has won three of his last four starts; Si Semalu and Sunshine Beach, the richest pacer in the field with career earnings of $971,037. “What a great field that has entered our revival of the Prix D’Ete,” said Vincent Trudel, the general manager of the Hippodrome 3R. “We could not have asked for a more competitive field. I am sure that Duc D’Orleans track record of 1:52.4 will be in jeopardy this Sunday and that our racing fans and horsemen are going to see a superb world-class race.” Here is the field in alphabetical order: Apprentice Hanover Jody Jamieson Benjamin Wallace Captive Audience James MacDonald Corey Johnson Duc Dorleans Daniel Dube Jacques Dupont Lucan Hanover David Miller Casie Coleman Mach It So Scott Zeron Paul Fraley Si Semalu Doug McNair Isaac Waxman Sunfire Blue Chip Yannick Gingras Jimmy Takter Sunshine Beach Chris Christoforou Mark Steacy There will be no consolation race. Initially known as the Prix d’Automne and won by older horses such as the three-time Horse of the Year Bret Hanover, the marquee event at Blue Bonnets racetrack in Montreal was converted into the Prix D’Ete race for 3-year-old pacers in 1970 and remained one of the major North American stakes in the division until its last running in 1992. Past winners included Cam Fella, Niatross, Albatross, Strike Out, Abercrombie, Matts Scooter and Beach Towel. The Prix D’Ete weekend gets underway Saturday evening with a special live race program beginning at 7:30 pm. Sunday’s Prix D’Ete race card first race post time is 1:00 pm. For additional information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

The Little Brown Jug for three-year-old pacing colts and its filly companion race, the Jugette, are highly coveted races to win and this year Guelph, Ontario-based harness racing trainer Gregg McNair has a shot in each. Both of his Ontario-sired horses are regulars on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit. His filly, Lady Shadow, is the favourite in the first of three divisions of the Jugette, worth a total of $298,100, to be raced Wednesday afternoon at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. The daughter of Shadow Play, owned by Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, Michigan, has won five races and finished second in two others in 10 starts so far this year. She comes into Wednesday’s race riding a two race winning streak, both in OSS Gold events. McNair’s son Doug, her regular driver, will once again be at the lines behind the winner of $454,000 so far in her career. The other Ontario-sired filly in the Jugette is the Major In Art daughter Sectionline Aqua who has post eight in the second elimination. She’ll have hometown support as all three of her owners are from Ohio. Sectionline Aqua finished second to Lady Shadow in her last two OSS Gold outings. The Jugette and Little Brown Jug are both heat races. The top three fillies from each elimination on Wednesday will return for a second heat, the winner of which will be crowned Jugette champion. Gregg McNair, the leading trainer in the OSS program so far in 2014, has yet to win either the Jug or Jugette so far in his impressive career, but he has come close. In 2011 his filly Swinging Beauty captured her first heat of the Jugette and finished third to Idyllic in the final. In 2000 he started George Scooter in the Little Brown Jug. The Matts Scooter son was third in the first heat and came back to win the second heat but finished third in the race off to Astreos. McNair’s 2014 Jug hopeful is the Mach Three colt Three Of Clubs. McNair co-owns the colt with Tony Lawrence of Hanover, Ontario, and harness racing legend Keith Waples of Durham, Ontario. One of the most respected harness drivers in history, and a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Waples won the 1972 Little Brown Jug with Strike Out. The horse’s owner, the late John Hayes, famously said prior to the race: “I’d rather win the Little Brown Jug than go to heaven.” That victory was the first time a Canadian-owned horse won the Jug and now the 91 year-old Waples has another chance to capture the famed event with Three Of Clubs on Thursday afternoon, but it will be a big undertaking given the talent of the 16 colts entered. Three Of Clubs has drawn post three in the $103,600 first heat alongside On Golden Ponder trained by Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, who sits second to McNair in the OSS trainers’ standings. There are two colts entered in the second heat which also have Ontario trainers, Casie Coleman’s McWicked (post one) and Dave Menary’s Hes Watching (post six). The first four finishers will advance to the $310,800 second heat. A race-off, if required, will be worth $129,500. Other Ontario-sired performers racing at Delaware Wednesday include the Majestic Son daughter Yanks Ball Girl in the Standardbred Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. The second division finds OSS regular Gee OKeeffe who has two OSS wins to her credit this year. She’s owned by trainer Chris Beaver and Wilbur Lang, both of Ohio. Little Brown Jug day also finds one of the greatest mares to ever race in the OSS, Bee A Magician, competing. The four-year-old daughter of Kadabra, who has drawn post six in the 17th race of the day, the $121,000 Miss Versatility Final. Horse of the Year in both Canada and the US last year, Bee A Magician has earned $2.5 million to date in her career. Starting alongside in post seven is another top OSS graduate, $592,000 winner Charmed Life. For more information on the Little Brown Jug and Jugette, please visit their website Little Brown Jug website. By OSS News

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