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MAY 19, 2019 - A few raindrops did not put a damper on the 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes season opener Sunday, as the province's top three-year-old colts impressed harness racing fans gathered at Flamboro Downs for the Dundas oval's signature Confederation Cup program. Both the trotting and pacing colts opened their sophomore season Sunday, with the trotters competing in a trio of Gold Series divisions and the pacers duelling in five Grassroots races. Only For Justice set the tempo for the evening in the first race, cruising along on the front end to a 1:56.3 Gold Series victory. Fan favourite, and last year's division champion, Forbidden Trade was three lengths back in second and Archway was well back in third. "That's a big mile here tonight, a real fast back half," said driver Chris Christoforou. "He's very good gaited and good on the turns, he's a nice horse." Campbellville, ON resident Christoforou piloted Only For Justice to the win for trainer Dany Fontaine and owner-breeder Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. The win came in the Justice Hall son's first start of the season and was his second lifetime victory in Gold Series action. The gelding also captured a Gold event on the half-mile track at Grand River Raceway as a two-year-old. "Last year, I'm not sure, but I think he might have had the season record on a half-mile track for a two-year-old gelding," said Christoforou, referring to Only For Justice's 1:57.3 score at Grand River Raceway. "I'd like to see him progress through the year, see what happens. He's got a good gait and he's very easy to manoeuver, he does what you want... so far, so good." The second $72,267 Gold division went to Magical Journey and driver Stephen Byron, who hit the wire one-half length ahead of Northern Cavalier and driver Michiel Vanderkemp, matching Only For Justice's 1:56.3 clocking. Jumpshot and driver Daniel Dube rounded out the top three, all of whom took advantage of an early break by favourite Dream Nation. "He raced great," said Matt Bax, who shares ownership of Magical Journey with his father, trainer John Bax, Gaelic Stable of Sharon, ON and Gordon Wright of Charlotte, MI. "We knew that he was really good in the turns, and he's good off the wings, so Steve was going to probably try to get him closer to the front - half-mile racing, if you have that ability you're going to go for it - and Steve gave him a great drive." The win was the second of the season and the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action for Kadabra son Magical Journey, who made three Gold Series starts and three Grassroots starts at two. "At the end of the year he was really starting to figure it out, when we put him away he was strong, so that's translated into this year," said Campbellville resident Bax. "He's a little taller, a little stronger, a little smarter, a little bit of everything." The third Gold division went to Southwind Avenger, who battled to a one length victory over pacesetter Cool Clifford, hitting the wire in 1:55.4. JMR Pinarello was well behind the leaders in third. Trevor Henry crafted the win, from the outside Post 8, for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. The E L Titan son also won a division of the season opener at two and never finished worse than third in six Gold Series starts during his freshman campaign. Henry also captured the first $22,800 Grassroots division, guiding sophomore pacing colt Sportsline to his fourth straight victory for trainer Jim Watt of Clinton and Harry Parrott of Goderich, ON. The fan favourites cruised along on the front end to a 1:51.4 victory, four lengths ahead of Moonshine Kisses. Gambling Terror was third. The other Grassroots divisions went to Priceless Beach in 1:54.3, Sugartown in 1:52.2, Missile Seelster in 1:55.4 and Better Than Cash in 1:55.2. The Ontario Sires Stakes colts served as the opening act for the $188,500 Confederation Cup Final, featuring nine of the best four-year-old pacers in North America. In the main event, Done Well and driver Dexter Dunn reprised their successful front-end trip from the elimination and claimed the historic Cup with a 1:50.2 clocking for trainer Ron Burke of Fredericktown, PA, Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA, Jandt Silva Purnel and Libb of Delray Beach, FL and Wingfield Brothers LLC of Kenton, OH. Last season's OSS champion Jimmy Freight finished second and the other elimination winner, and Done Well's stablemate, Dorsoduro Hanover was third. The sophomore trotting colts will continue their Ontario Sires Stakes Gold season on June 24 and the pacing colts will compete in their second Grassroots event on June 27, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The provincial program makes two more stops at Flamboro Downs in the fall, with the three-year-old pacing fillies and the two-year-old trotting fillies wrapping up their Gold season on Sept. 22 and Oct. 2, respectively. Complete results for Flamboro Downs' May 19 Confederation Cup program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0519flmdn.dat.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing

MILTON, ON - November 1, 2018 - The Woodbine Mohawk Park Fall-Winter harness racing meet began Thursday with driver Chris Christoforou having a big night at the office. Christoforou posted four-wins, including a victory in the lone Harvest Series division, to start the meet in style. Of his four wins, three came in upset fashion. The evening started with Christoforou sweeping the 'Early-Double' with four-year-old trotting mare Moni Justice ($19.30) and three-year-old trotter Charlie Ona Harley ($44.30). Charlie Ona Harley's victory came in the single Harvest Series division for Ontario Sired sophomore trotting colts and geldings. The $17,000 first leg division saw five of the nine trotters break and some confusion early in the mile that led to Christoforou eventually moving out of fourth at the half with Charlie Ona Harley and going three-wide around rivals to take the top spot at three-quarters. The gelded son of Glidemaster trotted away to a 5 ¼ lengths victory in 2:01.2. Charlie Ona Harley, now a five-time winner in his career, is trained by Jack Moiseyev for Joanne Colville and Nancy MacNevin. The Harvest Series victory improves his numbers to three wins and $24,665 earned in 15 starts this season. Christoforou would score the 'Hat Trick' and 'Grand Slam' in back to back races by winning the seventh-race with three-year-old pacer Barn One ($29.60) and five-year-old trotting mare Alona ($6.30). The four-wins recorded by Christoforou came in just five-drives on the 10-race card. Live racing resumes Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by John Manzi, for NAADA

MILTON, ON - October 11, 2018 - Round one of the Harvest Series came to a close Thursday with Ontario sired two-year-old colts and geldings in action at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 21 pacers were split into three divisions, while 17 trotters were separated into two divisions. Each of Thursday's round one divisions went for $17,000. Sportswriter gelding Mantario and driver Sylvain Filion were able find room in the lane to split rivals for a half-length score in 1:54.1. The Scott McEneny trainee received a two-hole trip and despite being stuck behind a tiring leader at three-quarters, slid off the rail and shot through for his third win of the season. Shadow Tail was second, while Better Than Some was third. Mantario has now earned $22,128 in 10 starts this season for owners M And L Of Delaware LLC. The $60,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase matched his career-best of 1:54.1. He paid $7.90 to win. Sunshine Beach colt Millenium Seelster and driver Chris Christoforou captured the second division in gate to wire fashion. The Charalambos Christoforou trainee stopped the clock in 1:55.2 to break his maiden. Lifetime Delight was second, beat two-lengths, while Better Than Cash was third. Millenium Seelster's maiden-breaking score came in his fifth start and pushes his earnings to $10,418 for owners Charalambos Christoforou and Banjo Farms. The $42,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase paid $15.10 to win. Sunshine Beach colt Carlisimo rallied from third-over to win the third pacing division in 1:55.2. The James 'Friday' Dean trainee left well to get away second, but got shuffled back in the middle-half before sliding off the rail into a third-over spot. Joe Mcdude crossed the wire second, beat half a length, while Rousseau was a close third. Carlisimo now has four wins in 10 starts and has earned $42,148 for owner Reginald MacPherson. The $13,000 Atlantic Classic sale purchase paid $5.30 to win. Archangel gelding All Wrapped Up picked up his second consecutive coast-to-coast victory to take the first split for rookie trotters. The Rob Fellows trainee and driver Trevor Henry won by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:58. Cool Clifford finished second, while Cousin Peter was third. All Wrapped Up is now two for six with $15,250 earned for owners Fellows, Arpad Szabo, Blair Corbeil and Mike McAllister. The $11,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase paid $4.20 to win. Angus Hall gelding Sinful muscled his way to a career-best 1:58.2 victory in the second trotting split. The Jack Moiseyev trainee and driver Chris Christoforou popped out from second nearing three-quarters, taking the lead at the top of the lane and trotting off to a length and a half score. Scarlett Raider finished second, while Jmr Pinarello was third. Sinful's tally improves his rookie numbers to two wins and $20,780 earned in eight starts. The $17,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase is owned by Friends Forever Racing, Emma Christoforou, All You Gotta Know Stable and Pamela Schmidt. The Moiseyev trainee Sinful paid $17.50 to win. Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2018, were eligible for nomination to the Harvest Series. The next leg for colts and geldings goes next Thursday (October 18). Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

AUGUST 26, 2018 - Driver Chris Christoforou swept the three-year-old trotting filly Grassroots event at Grand River Raceway on Monday evening, capturing all three divisions, two for trainer Lyle MacArthur and the other for his father, Chris Christoforou, Sr. The Campbellville resident kicked off his successful evening with MacArthur trainee Zorgwijk Sophia in the second race. Starting from Post 7 the pair fired away from the starting gate and were rolling up on early leader Hay Darlene soon after the :28.3 opening quarter. Once they reached the front, Christoforou and Zorgwijk Sophia cruised through a :58.2 half and 1:29.1 three-quarters before opening up to a three and one-half length victory in 1:59. Hay Darlene followed the fan favourites to a second-place finish and Dalliance Seelster was third. "I was concerned having the seven-hole, but was lucky to float out and find a spot on the rail close to the front," said Christoforou. "Coming to the quarter I decided to remove her and she cleared easily. From there she was basically on cruise control and won handily." The victory was the Majestic Son daughter's first in Grassroots action, but extended a recent win streak to four. She has been on a roll at Woodbine Mohawk Park this month, posting wins on August 2, 13 and 20, including a personal best 1:56.2 in her August 13 victory. "She's actually surprised me a little bit lately, because she's getting a little stronger and she's finishing her miles better," said MacArthur, who trains Zorgwijk Sophia for Linda Wellwood of St. George Brant and Tammy Aspden of Caistor Centre, Ontario. "She win a Gold last year, but she just got lucky, she was in with some good trotting fillies and they all made breaks. I always thought she was probably a Grassrooter, but she didn't start off this year that good. She just didn't seem like she had much pop to her, but the last while she's started to bounce back." With one win, one second, one sixth and one seventh in the first four Grassroots events Zorgwijk Sophia currently has 80 points, putting her in fifth spot in the division standings with one regular season event remaining. Stablemate Ezee Tiguan also got a confident steer from Christoforou in the second $18,800 division. Powering away from Post 7 they rang up fractions of :29.2, 1:00.2, and 1:31.2 on the way to a two and three-quarter length victory in 2:00.4. Pocket-sitter Miller Time was second while fan favourite Stormont Charlotte settled for third after making an early break in stride. "She has great gate speed," said Christoforou. "She can be a bit headstrong and wanted to keep going when she cleared, but thankfully, after some gentle persuasion, she came back to me and rated nicely from there. She loves the half-mile track." Monday's victory was Ezee Tiguan's second in Grassroots action and puts her firmly in control of the division standings with 133 points. Linda Wellwood and Tammy Aspden also own the daughter of Angus Hall, who MacArthur admits has not reached the heights he envisioned for her earlier in the season. "Halfway through the year I thought she was a way better horse than Sophia, but Sophia has kind of caught up and Ezee really didn't step ahead," said the trainer. "I really thought she'd get to be a 1:55 trotter, like over Mohawk, and she just didn't step up that extra." Both Ezee Tiguan and Zorgwijk Sophia may be absent from the fifth and final regular season Grassroots event on September 6 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, as MacArthur is considering taking one run at the Gold Series fillies when they head to the half-mile oval at The Raceway at Western Fair District on October 2. "They both are going to have a shot at making the final I think, for the Grassroots, so I am looking at that for sure, the Semi-Final and then the Final. But I am debating whether to skip the last Grassroots and maybe go in the last Gold at London, which is on a half-mile racetrack," explained MacArthur. "Some of the big trotting mares don't get around the track very good and some of them won't even go there, so I am debating about doing that. Maybe skip the last Grassroots and take a shot in the Gold with the pair of them." Christoforou finished off his Grassroots hat trick with Hopes Solo in the last $19,150 division, going gate-to-wire from Post 1. The heavy favourites cruised home one and one-half lengths ahead of Melanie G in 2:01. Impressively Done was five lengths behind the leader in third. "All the credit for Hopes Solo has to go to my wife Camilla," said the driver. "She is a flighty filly with a few quirks and Camilla worked with her all winter and spring, through to the summer, and the filly has excelled because of her hard work. "She had the rail, left well, got the lead and never looked back," he continued. "It was an uneventful trip and I was grateful for that. She won handily and, more importantly, behaved herself. Hopefully she'll continue to be productive for the rest of the season." The win was Hopes Solo's first in Grassroots action and her second straight; she logged her first lifetime victory in overnight action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 20. Chris Christoforou, Sr. conditions the Cornaro Dasolo daughter for Carolyn Polillo of Brantford. With one win and one second for 75 points, Hopes Solo is also poised to advance to the September 21 Semi-Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The top 20 point earners will advance to the $20,000 Semi-Finals, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final moving on to the $50,000 Final, also at Woodbine Mohawk Park, on September 29. Next on Grand River Raceway's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, who will wrap up their Grassroots regular season over the Elora oval on Wednesday, September 12. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

AUGUST 14, 2018 - Ontario's talented two-year-old pacing colts and geldings put on a show for Georgian Downs fans on Tuesday night, competing in six Grassroots divisions. Classified Material and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr. led off with a sharp 1:52.3 score from Post 9 in the first $19,500 division, missing the track record by one-fifth of a second. Controlling the tempo from start to finish, the Bettors Delight son hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Century Farroh. Fan favourite Machdavid was well back in third. Windsor resident Bob McIntosh trains Classified Material and the Hall of Fame horseman also bred and shares ownership of the gelding with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio. The win was Classified Material's third of the season, but his first in Grassroots action. The second division also saw Maintenance Man and driver Brett MacDonald employ front-end tactics from Post 5. The fan favourites battled down the stretch to a 1:54.2 victory, three-quarters of a length ahead of Face The Challenge and Taragon. Harry Poulton trains the son of Bettors Delight for fractional ownership group Thestable Maintenance Man of Guelph, Ontario. The win was the colt's second straight at Georgian Downs. He also posted a 1:53.1 personal best in an August 5 overnight event. Tuesday's test was the pacer's first appearance in the Grassroots program after starting his season with a win and a ninth in the Gold Series. "He had a decent start to the year in the Gold Series, but came up sick in his July 23 outing," said Anthony MacDonald, who operates TheStable.ca with his wife Amy. "We opted to skip the Battle of Waterloo (Aug. 6) and stay off the half-mile tracks as he's a big colt, so tonight's race was the most logical. He raced well in Georgian last week and we couldn't be happier with how he looked tonight. "With over 20 owners, he was one of our most popular colts training down," added MacDonald, who purchased the colt for $35,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Through five starts Maintenance Man has now earned $22,280. The third division saw Bob McClure steer The First Step to his second straight victory in a personal best 1:55. The Betterthancheddar son hit the wire one length ahead of DA Delightful and favourite Thisishowwedoit. McClure engineered the victory for trainer Timothy Gillespie of Grafton and his partner Jason Churchill of Colborne, Ontario. The partners acquired The First Step from the London Selected Sale and have already recouped his $18,000 purchase price after four starts. Like Maintenance Man, Heisman Player dropped down from the Gold Series for Tuesday night's test and found his way to the winner's circle for the second straight week. The Sportswriter son and trainer-driver Rick Zeron employed a come-from-behind strategy from Post 9, pacing under the wire in 1:53.4. Deception Seelster was one-half length back in second and Silas Seelster was two more lengths back in third. "He was a little bit rammy when I first started out with him this year and we got into some trouble in the first race so we took a few steps back with him, figured everything all out, and then we raced him and he raced really good," said Zeron. "He come back and win last week (Aug. 7) in 1:53.1, and he got home in :26.4, and I was really happy with him. "Instead of taking him over to Grand River, because he's a big, long-gaited colt, I said I think I'll skip the Gold (Aug. 15) and I'll go to the Grassroots with him up in Georgian at a five-eighths and race him in there, keep him brave and get him a little bit more education," the Oakville resident continued. "Of course we drew the nine-hole, which was out nine-wide, so I floated out of there with him, got him spotted and I come third-over with him. At the head of the lane I had some room and I moved him over. He did the rest on his own." Zeron shares ownership of the $30,000 Lexington yearling purchase with Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, James Walker of Port Perry and Noblock Racing Stable of Collingwood, Ontario. The colt has banked $16,750 in his first four starts. The last two divisions were captured by colts making their first-ever appearance in the winner's circle. In the fifth split Scott Young guided Ahi to a 1:55 victory for trainer Mark Steacy and owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. Passionate Prince also closed well to be second and fan favourite Village Champ rounded out the top three. "He's a nice little horse that is improving with every start," noted Steacy. "Like his half-brothers Makasi ($181,276) and Hudson Phil ($210,332), he always gives his best." In his first two Grassroots starts the Sportswriter son finished sixth (July 13) and fifth (July 23). The final Grassroots blanket was awarded to Wager On Me, who sprinted home in :27.2 to catch pacesetter and fan favourite B Stoney. B Stoney and driver Jason Ryan hit the wire one-half length ahead of the favourite in 1:54.1, with Millenium Seelster grabbing the third-place share. Rockwood resident Carl Jamieson owns and trains Wager On Me, who was a $23,000 purchase out of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The Bettors Delight son made one start in the Gold Series before moving to the Grassroots in time for the July 23 event, where he was a narrowly beaten third. The two-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their fourth Grassroots start at Hanover Raceway on August 25. Georgian Downs wraps up its 2018 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule this Sunday, August 19 when the three-year-old pacing fillies will compete in their fourth Gold Leg as part of the Earl Rowe Trot program. In addition to the on-track excitement, which gets under way at 6 pm, the evening will also feature a fun-filled lineup of activities for the whole family. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

JULY 21, 2018 - Georgian Downs hosted both the Gold and Grassroots legs for the thee-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday evening and Illusioneesta took sole control of top spot in the Gold Series standings with her second straight victory in the provincial program. Starting from Post 3 in the second $95,600 Gold division, Illusioneesta and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr. employed their usual come-from-behind tactics, getting away in the middle of the pack and allowing Magical Lady to ring up fractions of :28, :59.1 and 1:28.4 before shifting into high gear and sprinting home to a one length victory in 1:58. Magical Lady settled for second and pocket-sitter Gotta Pay To Play was third. "That's what she do, she don't like to go early, she likes to race at the end of it, and that's where the money is," said trainer Per Henriksen of the fan favourite. She's nice, very nice, and she's made a pile of money so far this year, and quite a few Golds and the Super Final left, if everything goes right." Norwood resident Henriksen conditions Illusioneesta for Harbor Racing Stable LLC of Aurora and Asa Farm of Norwood, Ontario. Through eight sophomore starts the Kadabra daughter has tallied four wins and three thirds for earnings of $191,546. "And you know, she's just such a pleasure to be around and don't have no issues or nothing," added Henriksen. "The only thing we've got to watch with her is that we don't feed her too much, because she'd look like a drum if you'd let her." With two wins and one second through the first three Gold events Illusioneesta has accumulated 125 points, putting her almost 50 points ahead of the competition with two events remaining. In the first Gold division, Collateral Beauty earned her first-ever Ontario Sires Stakes victory with a come-from-behind trip that saw her reel in the leaders through the stretch and trot under the wire in 1:58. Apprentice M finished two and three-quarter lengths back in second and Town Hall Justice was third. "She raced phenomenal for me, I was extremely happy. She's very nice to drive," said reinsman Rick Zeron, who drove the filly to the win for trainer Herb Holland and owner Carolyn MacIsaac of Milton, Ontario. "She seems to be just getting better and better every week, and I was extremely happy for Herb and Carolyn, because they're hard-working people and they love their horses." The win was the Kadabra daughter's first through six starts this season and boosts her lifetime earnings to $79,504. Seventh in the Gold Series season opener, the win also bumped Collateral Beauty up to 52 points, putting her among the top 10 point earners. All three Grassroots divisions were also captured by first-time OSS winners. Fan favourite Stormont Charlotte led off with a 1:57.3 victory in the first $19,150 division for driver Scott Coulter and owner-trainer Alan Fair of Ancaster, Ontario. The Justice Hall daughter bested Hopes Solo and Power And Grace. In the second division Robert Shepherd steered fan favourite Pretty N Well to a 2:00.4 score for trainer Mark Johnson and owner-breeder Denise Ball of Bailieboro, Ontario. Northern Lightning finished second and Gradabra was third, giving Ontario trotting sire Kadabra a sweep of the top three spots. The final Grassroots division saw Sharpes Summer Series winner Superlative retain her hold on the Georgian Downs winner's circle. Making her Ontario Sires Stakes debut, Superlative allowed P L Layla to control the early tempo, leading the field through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27 before kicking into gear in the final quarter and storming home to a three length victory in 1:57.3. P L Layla settled for second and Frick was third. Thornton resident Stephen Byron was in Superlative's race bike for the win, as he has been for all five of her lifetime starts. After a bobble in her May 21 debut the Holiday Road daughter has been flawless, sweeping both legs and the final of the Sharpes Summer Series and Saturday's Grassroots division. Rob Walker, Jr. of Sharon trains Superlative for his partners Brilo Farms of Sharon and A J Cachia Sales Ltd. of Newmarket, Ontario. Superlative and her peers will have an opportunity to add to their Grassroots point tally in the fourth event on August 27 at Grand River Raceway, while the Gold Series fillies will compete in their fourth event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 16. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs next Sunday, July 29 with the second Gold event for the two-year-old trotting colts. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Milton, ON - JUNE 25, 2018 - Driver Chris Christoforou, Jr. had a foolproof map to the Woodbine Mohawk Park winner's circle in Monday night's Gold Series event for three-year-old trotting fillies. Lining up from Post 5 in both $96,400 divisions, the Campbellville resident employed near identical tactics to land Magical Glider and Illusioneesta their first-ever Gold Series harness racing wins in matching 1:55.4 clockings. "Luck. Luck, that's it, that's the only thing I can think of," said Christoforou in the winner's circle. "But it worked out good both trips." In the first division Christoforou and Magical Glider were 11 lengths off the pace when Miss Loo Loo Belle and trainer-driver Per Henriksen reached the opening quarter in :57.4. As Miss Loo Loo Belle carried on to a :57.4 half, Christoforou sent Magical Glider into the outside lane behind fan favourites Alexus Eh and driver Steve Byron. Making steady progress forward, Alexus Eh was less than one length behind Miss Loo Loo Belle at the 1:27 three-quarters and Magical Glider was right on her heels. Seven fillies turned for home in a tight group, but when Christoforou showed Magical Glider open racetrack the daughter of Glidemaster found a whole new gear and powered away to a three and one-quarter length victory over Uvie Hanover and Apprentice M. The 1:55.4 clocking was almost four seconds faster than the 1:59.3 the filly had recorded in a Grassroots victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 7. "When she won the Grassroots she won easy and Chris said there was no sense going any faster," noted Waterdown, Ontario resident Dustin Jones, who trains the long-legged filly for owner-breeder Andrea Lea Racing Stables Inc. of Lakefield Gore, Quebec. "She's had four starts, two wins and two seconds, so she shows up to race anyway." Unraced at two due to a season-ending injury, Magical Glider trained well all winter, but it was not until he qualified her on May 14 that Jones realised he had a serious Ontario Sires Stakes contender on his hands. "Any time we trained her faster, she would do it, but she would have to chase the other filly (stablemate Fly Fly Selena) you know," Jones explained. "And then when I qualified her, the first qualifier, she won her qualifier in 1:59 and I go, Holy Cripes I can't believe she just did that. "We didn't expect her to be doing what she's doing now, I thought she'd just make money in the Grassroots, so it's a pleasant surprise," he added. In the second division Christoforou and Illusioneesta followed an almost identical path to the winner's circle. Getting away fifth from Post 5 they tipped into the outer lane before the half, following fan favourite Sorceress Seelster and Stormont Chef, and were sitting fourth at the three-quarters. Magical Lady did most of the work on the front end, clocking a :27.3 quarter and a :57.2 half before being overtaken by Sorceress Seelster at the 1:26 three-quarters, but neither filly could withstand the late stretch challenge from Illusioneesta, who powered home to a three-quarter length victory. Sorceress Seelster settled for second and Stormont Chef rounded out the top three. "She plugs on and don't give up, and that's her forte you know," said trainer Per Henriksen. "She's up there every time. She can't leave that much, but then she makes it up down the stretch instead." The win was the dainty filly's first in Gold Series action, but Illusioneesta is no stranger to provincial competition. She started in all five regular season Gold events at two, never finishing worse than fourth, and claimed third-place honours in the season ending Super Final. In 10 freshman starts she earned $106,922 for owners Harbor Racing Stable LLC of Aurora and Asa Farm of Norwood, Ontario and through her first six sophomore stars she boasts a record of three wins, including the May 19 Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association Stake, and three seconds for earnings of $143,746. "She didn't grow that much, she's still kind of small-ish, but she is stronger and she can do a little more than she could last year," said Henriksen. "But I mean she made $100,000 last year and we were all happy - never won a race and made $100,000 - and this year she is plugging on and making us a lot of money and we are all happy." Both fillies will make their next Ontario Sires Stakes start in the third Gold Leg at Georgian Downs on July 21, with Jones planning an additional start for Magical Glider in the coming weeks. Henriksen says Illusioneesta is content training at the farm and will go directly to the July 21 event without an extra start. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday, June 26 with two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts. The colts will square off in Races 4 and 6 on the Tuesday evening program, which gets under way at 7:30 pm. From the OSS

MILTON, ON - June 25, 2018 - Captaintreacherous, the two-time US Pacer of the Year and winner of $3.1 million, sired his first pari-mutuel harness racing winner on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Capitano Italiano, a $77,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, delivered as the public's betting choice in 1:54.3 for owner Bruno Comegna, trainer Nicky Comegna and driver Chris Christoforou. The sixth-foal from Pro Bono Best mare On The Catwalk, Capitano Italiano was bred by Riverview Breeding LLC, Steve Stewart and The Bays Stable LLC. He is a half-brother to past New York Sires Stakes champions Social Scene and It Was Fascination. Capitano Italiano left from the rail and got away second in the early stages of Monday's contest. Driver Christoforou circled the Comegna trainee to the front in the second-quarter to lead by the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.2. In the stretch, Capitano Italiano sealed the deal with a final-quarter of :27.1 for the 1:54.3 victory. Monday's start was the first-time Capitano Italiano was paired with driver Christoforou. "Well-bred colt, very quick, very efficient, very professional and he raced great," said Christoforou. "I picked up the program and saw I was driving him and was very happy about that." Capitano Italiano is eligible to Woodbine's Grand Circuit events for rookie pacing colts, including the Metro Pace. A superstar on the racetrack, Captaintreacherous is wasting little time making noise as a sire. As of June 25, 2018, a total of 19 Captaintreacherous two-year-olds have taken a mark in a qualifier or race with eight of the 19 posting a mile of 1:55 or better. De Los Cielos Deo is currently the fastest son or daughter of Captaintreacherous. The Ron Burke trainee posted a 1:52.3 mile on June 18 at Gaitway Farm. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

AUGUST 27, 2016 - Trainer Per Henriksen and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr. had a golden map to the winner's circle at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening, sweeping both $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions for the harness racing three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. First off the gate from the Henriksen stable was Bee In Charge, who was sent to the front from Post 5 by Christoforou. The pair hit the quarter in :29 and then sailed on through a :57.4 half and 1:26.2 three-quarters. Reigning division champion Tony Soprano pressed the pace through the final quarter, but Bee In Charge dug in and trotted under the wire one and one-half lengths on top in 1:54.3 Tony Soprano finished second and fan favourite Sass was third. "Bee In Charge has raced well this season and continued that tonight," said Campbellville, ON resident Christoforou. "He got off the gate well, made the front and was a very strong winner. He's a very smart colt and has a strong pedigree. He has improved quite a bit in the last three months." Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL share ownership of Bee In Charge, who is a Manofmanymissions half-brother to their $3.9 million winning mare Bee A Magician. Saturday's win was the gelding's second in Gold Series action this season, he and Christoforou were also victorious at Mohawk Racetrack in the June 27 season opener. From five wins, two seconds and one third in 10 sophomore starts Bee In Charge has earned $153,940. On the advice of Henriksen, Christoforou employed similar tactics in the second Gold division, sending Muscle Hustle to the front from Post 1. The colt roared through fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:23.3 and stayed game to the wire for a head victory in a track, Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) and Canadian record 1:52.2. Warrawee Roo was a game second and Dia Monde was just one-half length back in third. "I knew I had two good horses and I thought the first one (Bee In Charge), I thought he was going to win, and the second one (Muscle Hustle), I talked to Chris and I said, I think this horse is very good, I said send him to the front and park them, you've got no friends out there," said Henriksen of the front-end effort. "I knew that Muscle Hustle was a very good horse." Muscle Hustle's 1:52.2 mile lowered the 1:53.4 OSS and Canadian record B Strike Three had set at Georgian Downs in a Gold Final in June 2008. "I don't think any horse every trotted faster, any three-year-old, trotted faster on a five-eighths mile track," noted Henriksen. "I got him last year and understood quite early that he had quite a bit of talent." Henriksen conditions Muscle Hustle for Ecurie Bergh Inc. of Norwood, ON. In 10 sophomore starts the Muscle Mass son boasts a record of six wins and two seconds for earnings of $174,850. He was also victorious in Gold Series action at Mohawk Racetrack on July 11. Through the first four Gold Series events Bee In Charge and Muscle Hustle sit atop the three-year-old trotting colt division standings with 133 and 130 points, respectively. The colts will make their last Gold Series start on Oct. 6 at Mohawk Racetrack and the top 10 point earners from the five regular season events will then compete in the $250,000 Super Final at Mohawk on Oct. 15. So long as they remain healthy, Bee In Charge and Muscle Hustle will spend their Gold Series break competing against the best trotters in North America. On Saturday, Sept. 3 Mohawk Racetrack hosts the Simcoe Trot, and eliminations for the Canadian Trotting Classic are slated for Saturday, Sept. 10 with the $700,000 Final going postward on Saturday, Sept. 17. "They were sick when the Hambletonian went so we've just got to look forward and hope they stay healthy, and then they will make pretty good money," said Henriksen. "They are both pretty big size, good looking horses, and with a nice gait to them both, and they don't have very many issues health-wise." Both colts had abbreviated two-year-old seasons due to sickness, two starts for Bee In Charge and three for Muscle Hustle, but Henriksen said their limited number of starts and future schedule are the extent of the similarities between the two trotters. "They're different horses. Bee In Charge you can do anything to. He don't care what you do to him, he's laid back, and the other one is a little more high strung and wants to have it his way, and that's also the reason he is a little ignorant and stubborn sometimes," noted the Norwood, ON resident. "That's the reason he is heading for that opening in the first turn sometimes." Muscle Hustle made a break in the August 10 Gold event at Grand River Raceway, attempting an early return to the paddock on the first turn and making a break when driver Randy Waples disagreed with the plan. Christoforou said the colt was flawless on Saturday and expects big things from the trotter through the last two months of stakes action. "Muscle Hustle was tremendous tonight," said the reinsman. "He does have a tendency to try and pull himself up at times, but was all business tonight. Hopefully he's getting over that now and will finish off the season minding his manners. I think he's going to go some big trips before the year is over and proved tonight he is a top flight colt, and not just in the OSS." In addition to Muscle Hustle's three-year-old trotting colt record, Georgian Downs fans also witnessed an all age track and Canadian record in the Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot. Lookslikeachpndale, in rein to Paul MacDonell, scorched under the wire in 1:51.3 to win the $100,000 contest for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Charmed Life was second and Il Sogno Dream was third. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs on Sunday evening, with five $18,000 Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. The fillies kick off the Aug. 28 program at 6 pm and will also compete in Races 4, 6, 8, and 9. Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 23 - It may have taken a little longer than expected, but State Treasurer scored his first win of 2016 in style Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee captured the $34,000 Preferred Pace in 1:48.4 over six harness racing rivals Saturday. Driven by Chris Christoforou, State Treasurer got away fourth and was sent towards the front in the second-quarter. The Moore trainee was used hard, as he cleared Nickle Bag, who posted an opening-quarter of :26, for the lead at the half in :53.3. Despite the tough second-quarter, State Treasurer continued to power along around the final turn and paced a :27.3 third-quarter to reach the third station in 1:21.1. In the stretch, State Treasurer was asked to dig in and the seven-year-old responded by holding off a late push from the gritty Nickle Bag to win by half a length in 1:48.4. American Virgin finished third, while the other Moore trainee, Rockin In Heaven, was fourth. State Treasurer entered Saturday's contest winless in nine starts this season after winning nine of 19 and almost a $1 million last season en route to being named the Canadian Horse of the Year. The son of Real Desire now has 31 career wins and $2,022,430 earned over the course of his career for owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald. State Treasurer paid $5.80 to win Saturday. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 11 - Returning to Mohawk after a pair of stakes engagements south of the border, Flanagan Memory turned in a stunning harness racing performance Monday night. A field of seven competed in the $34,000 Preferred Trot with Flanagan Memory headlining the field as the heavy 1/5 favourite. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Flanagan Memory made a second-quarter move to the front from third to overtake Whiskey Tax, who cut a big opening-quarter of :26.2. The public's choice grabbed command to post a half-mile clocking of :54.4. After a third-quarter of :29, Flanagan Memory quick separated himself from his rivals at the top of the lane pulled cleared to big advantage. The Rene Dion trainee cruised home confidently in :27.3 to win by nine lengths in 1:51.2. Whiskey Tax finished second, while the lone mare in field, Charmed Life, was third. A six-year-old son of Kadabra, Flanagan Memory was making his Mohawk return Monday after finishing second in the Cutler Memorial at The Meadowlands on June 24 and third in the Hill Memorial at Scioto Downs on June 11. The veteran trotter surpassed $1 million in career earnings for owners Liette Flanagan and Dion with his runner-up finish in the Cutler. Flanagan Memory now has three wins in six starts this season and a 2016 bankroll of $125,200. The Dion trainee had only two wins last season, but banked nearly $300,000 in 15 starts. Flanagan Memory, who now has 16 career victories, established a new career-mark with his 1:51.2 mile on Monday. The clocking also equaled Domitian Hall and Rubber Duck's national season's mark. Live racing continues Tuesday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie  

Columbus, OH --- Harness racing horses are named for many different reasons, such as a connection to their ancestry, a noteworthy event or individual and even for their personality traits. When it comes to Good Will Hanover, however, her official title is the polar opposite of her demeanor. In fact, this young lady, who has bested champions L A Delight and Pure Country in two out of her last three trips to the post, is anything but easy to get along with. In addition to requiring the services of two grooms to soothe her fractious nature, the daughter of Big Jim has provided both of her trainers with very memorable excursions in the infield each man would probably rather forget. "We got her in August of last year," said the filly's conditioner Dr. Ian Moore. "She comes from a very old, classy family but we were not the ones who selected her as a yearling. Actually Danny Romo, who is an outstanding horseman, was training her and just could not figure her out. He had her rigged up with all types of equipment like head poles, cones, blinkers and plugs, but she still ended up putting him upside down when he was driving her. "I've known both Danny and the owners, the Tufts (Karl and Deanna), for years from my veterinary work and the business. Even with all the work Danny put in to her to get her going, he was not getting anywhere, so they asked me to try her out. I was more than forewarned before she arrived in our barn about her antics, but she still managed to turn me upside down in the infield too.Then there was that situation with the ditch and some other interesting occasions behind her. "I have spent my fair share of time with her attempting to settle her down, but her groom, Tami Sepper, has put so much work into her and another one of my grooms, Vicki Paulic, has to help her on race night. We need two people to try and keep 'Hannah,' as we call her, calm." Sepper and Paulic will certainly be put through their paces on Saturday (June 18) as they prepare their charge for her appearance in the C$438,000 Fan Hanover final. Good Will Hanover, an elimination winner, will have the services of Chris Christoforou when she begins her mile from post position three in the evening's ninth race. The 3-year-old filly is 7-2 on the morning line and will once again compete against rivals L A Delight (4-1, post position six) and Pure Country (5-2, post position seven) as well as fellow elimination winner Darlinonthebeach (2-1, post position two). Owned by the Tufts' Glb Stables, Good Will Hanover was purchased for $15,000 at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. The filly is out of the Cambest mare Go For Best, who only collected $3,915 on the racetrack, but has proven to be a goldmine in the breeding shed. Good Will Hanover is a half-sibling to Major General (Western Ideal, $345,378), Rough Sketch (Art Major, $117,226) and Givemybest Hanover (Dragon Again, $133,195). Two other members of her immediate family, Geraint Hanover (Western Hanover) and Gotta Go Hanover (Yankee Cruiser) just missed breaking the $100,000 barrier during their careers. This filly broke her maiden at first asking at Mohawk Racetrack on August 17, 2015, with Paul MacDonell in the bike and followed that up with two more triumphs prior to a second place finish to L A Delight in the $181,035 Champlain Stakes. She was then second in a $78,750 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series contest, before adding another win to her resume under the same conditions and for the same purse the following week. Good Will Hanover's 2-year-old campaign ended after an eighth-place showing in the $192,500 Ontario Sire Stakes Super Final, but the filly, who finished the season with a record of 7-4-2-0 and $122,857 in the bank, had an excuse and for once it was not her temperament. "She came up sick before the final and it's my fault she had nothing," Moore said. "I never should have raced her there because she was not at her best, but because we started later with her and there was nothing else really for her, I went ahead and put her in. That was a mistake." It has definitely required a nearly infinite reserve of patience and many, many hours of his time, but Moore feels he should not make any more errors with this filly now that he has a handle on how to manage her. He certainly wants her to have every opportunity to increase her already established purse earnings of $213,683 and add more wins to the seven she already possesses on her resume. "We thought she was seeing things and that was what was making her so excitable, but with her it is actually hearing things," Moore said. "One time before she was supposed to race at Mohawk she was stabled right by where the train comes through. Needless to say that was it for keeping her settled down the rest of the day. "I have to train her in at least 1:57 several times a week and train her even on days she's racing. It helps take the edge off of her. I have also changed her equipment and opened her up gradually because like we found out, it is not seeing things that bother her, but I had to keep the cones and plugs on her. She also had a driver change with Paul (MacDonell) getting off her and Chris (Christoforou) getting on. "When it comes to getting a horse to settle down Chris is one of the best. She was actually becoming so relaxed, he tried putting her right up on the gate in the sire stakes race before the Fan Hanover elimination. Obviously that did not work out with her breaking and he said he would never do that with her again. She's a horse that really does have to have her own way." Moore and his employees also employ other tactics to stabilize Good Will Hanover's mood, which may very well propel her to the top of her division before her sophomore season draws to a close. "Tami has to walk her constantly when she races and that is one of the things Vicki helps her with," he said. "She is quite something, that is for sure and we always worry she will take her race out of her before she ever gets to the gate. "The thing is she is as quiet as can be in the barn. It's only when she's on the track or getting ready to race that she acts like this and it's not because she doesn't have manners. It really is very rewarding to see all our work with this filly pay off, because she is so fast. She can definitely pace with the best of them as long as it is not consecutive :25 quarters. We just are responsible for keeping her together so she has the opportunity to show her talent. "We do have her quiet enough now where we can get her to stand and when we trailered her with (State) Treasurer she behaved perfectly. It just took us the time to figure her out and it is so very gratifying when she rewards us for those efforts. It is up to us to do our job and she will do the rest." Following is the field for the Fan Hanover in post order. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Lindwood Beachgirl by Somebeachsomewhere - James MacDonald - Mark Steacy - 12-1 2. Darlinonthebeach by Somebeachsomewhere  - David Miller -Nancy Johansson - 2-1 3. Good Will Hanover by Big Jim - Chris Christoforou - Ian Moore - 7-2 4. Newborn Sassy by Western Ideal - Tim Tetrick - Jo Ann Looney-King - 6-1 5. Penpal by American Ideal - Pat Lachance - Pat Lachance - 15-1 6. L A Delight by Bettor's Delight - Randy Waples - Robert McIntosh - 4-1 7. Pure Country by Somebeachsomewhere - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter - 5-2 8. Lay Lady Lay by Up The Credit - Dough McNair - Chris Matthews - 15-1 9. Mayhem Seelster by Mach Three - Jack Moiseyev - Tony O'Sullivan - 15-1 10. Bad As Leader by Badlands Hanover - Trevor Henry - Gerald Lilley - 20-1 by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor  

Ontario sired sophomore fillies were the main attraction Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack and harness racing upsets was the theme of the night. The Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (S.B.O.A) Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies featured award winners in both the pacing and trotting divisions. O'Brien Award winner L A Delight was seeking her 13th consecutive victory in the $173,329 S.B.O.A Filly Pace Final, but Good Will Hanover stole the show. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Good Will Hanover went to the front and never looked back en route to a career-best 1:50 victory. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee posted fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:22.4. L A Delight got away fourth from post-four for driver Randy Waples, but was forced to come first up entering the final turn. The heavy 2/5 favourite never really got close to Good Will Hanover and had to settle for a fourth-place finish. Mayhem Seelster, who blasted out from the nine-hole to get away third, finished three-quarters of a length behind the winner in second, while Lay Lady Lay was third. Good Will Hanover won her elimination last week in 1:51.1, which was over a second faster than L A Delight's 1:52.2 victory last Saturday. The Dr. Moore trainee went off at odds of 6/1. "Our filly had a lot of speed last year and again this year, but she has a little bit of a mental type issue and it takes a lot to calm her down," said Moore, who noted he has two caretakers looking after his filly. "They've done a heck of a job with her keeping her calm, we had to walk her a lot and that of sort of thing, but she did very well and it's certainly worth it." A daughter of Big Jim, Good Will Hanover won four of seven starts last year and now has two wins in three starts as a sophomore. Moore didn't have any instructions for Christoforou, but the race didn't play out the way he envisioned. "When (Christoforou) drives them once, he pretty well gets a feel for them and knows what he wants to do," Moore said. "I thought maybe (L A Delight) might go to the front and we may be in the two-hole is what I was thinking, but it didn't shape up that way." Owned by Glb Stable of Lakeview, Nova Scotia, Good Will Hanover now has career-earnings of $263,759. Dr. Moore noted that the S.B.O.A Stakes champion will be pointed towards the upcoming Fan Hanover stakes. Good Will Hanover paid $14.10 to win. Flowers N Songs trotted up a storm to split the favourites late and win the $174,329 S.B.O.A Filly Trot Final. Most eyes were focused heavily on O'Brien Award winner Caprice Hill, who entered the Filly Trot final off a 1:53.1 elimination victory and was made the heavy 1/5 favourite. The Tony Alagna trainee got away fourth for driver Waples, but was almost 10 lengths behind the leader at the opening-quarter. Major Muscle posted a snappy :26.4 first-quarter, but the lead was short-lived. Celebrity Eventsy, the other elimination winner, trotted up from third to first moving to the half for driver Sylvain Filion. After a :55.3 half, Waples sent Caprice Hill first up to challenge Celebrity Eventsy, who reached the third-marker in 1:24.2. In the stretch, Caprice Hill closed in Celebrity Eventsy searching for the victory, but neither filly had nearly as much trot as Flowers N Songs. The Paul Reid trainee stayed along the pylons in mid-pack until the stretch, when driver Doug McNair found clear room and the 23-1 longshot blasted through to trot a tremendous final-eighth for the victory in 1:53. Caprice Hill finished 2¾ lengths back in second, while Celebrity Eventsy was third. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Flowers N Songs finished second in her elimination, 3½ lengths behind Celebrity Eventsy. The Robert Key homebred has been tremendous this season with six victories and five runner-up finishes from 12 starts. Unraced at two, Flowers N Songs now has career earnings of over $147,000. Her clocking of 1:53 knocked more than three-seconds off her previous career-best. A $2 win ticket on the Reid trainee returned $48.90. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Harness racing trainer Dr. Ian Moore said winning a fourth straight Molson Pace with his pupil State Treasurer would be almost beyond comprehension. “It’s been fun just to win it once. A second was a bonus and the third was just unreal last year,” Moore said. “A fourth time would be unbelievable.” State Treasurer, the 2015 Horse of the Year in Canada owned by Sally and Allan MacDonald of Prince Edward Island and their nephew, Paul MacDonald of Toronto, has drawn the rail for Friday’s $150,000 invitational at The Raceway at The Western Fair District in London, ON. The pacer’s regular driver, Chris Christoforou, will be in the sulky. Moore, a PEI native who is based in Guelph, ON during the summer, acknowledged it won’t be easy for State Treasurer to become the first horse to win four Molson Pace titles in the race’s 44-year history. Race secretary Ian Fleming has assembled a crack field of eight tough older pacers, many coming in from the United States. The field has combined earnings of nearly $9 million. That includes the $1.96 million earned by State Treasurer, who is winless in his three 2016 starts since returning from wintering at Southern Oaks Training Center in Florida. “He hasn’t been quite as good his first few starts, obviously, this year,” Moore said. “It sort of was the same thing last year. It wasn’t until about the third start that he was good at Mohawk and I really think that the first three Saturdays that we’ve been back in Ontario since April 30th the (race nights) have all been very cold. In fact, 37 degrees Fahrenheit and wet snow the last time we raced. I think some of our horses had a little trouble acclimatizing to that.” Moore said State Treasurer had some mild sickness a few weeks ago and was given five days off after his last start — a fifth-place finish in the $34,000 preferred on May 14 at Mohawk Racetrack — but the seven-year-old son of Real Desire—Ideal Treasure seems fine this week and should be raring to go Friday in London. “He seems good in every other way. He’s been sound and everything and he’s steering well this year. We hope he’ll appreciate the return to London and away we go,” Moore said. “He obviously likes that track and has done well there in the past. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to roll for the fourth time.” State Treasurer is currently tied with Jambo Dancer for the most Molson Pace victories. Jambo Dancer also won the race three straight years, taking the title in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Post positions for the Molson Pace field are as follows: 1. State Treasurer – Chris Christoforou 2. Bettor Rock On N – Jody Jamieson 3. Sunfire Blue Chip – Mark MacDonald 4. Evenin Of Pleasure – Sylvain Filion 5. Machtu N – Trevor Henry 6. Mcwicked – Randy Waples 7. P H Supercam – James MacDonald 8. All Bets Off – Matt Kakaley The Molson Pace program will also feature the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers, a quartet of City of London Series finals, a pair of Alliance Claiming Series finals and an added-purse Junior Invitational Pace as part of the undercard. Total purses for the night will be more than $550,000. There will be a number of promotions on the night, including Scratch and Win program prizes, OSS ‘Be A Winner Contest,’ Party on the Patio, a Molson VIP infield event and much more. The wagering menu has been bolstered to include a $5,000 guaranteed early Pick-3, $10,000 guaranteed early Pick-4, $15,000 guaranteed late Pick-4 and the addition of a third Super Hi-5 – all low 15 per cent takeout wagers. For more information, visit molsonpace.com. Greg Blanchard

Canada's reigning Horse of the Year is set to return to the track Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Dr. Ian Moore trainee State Treasurer will look to start his 2016 harness racing campaign off on a winning note in the $34,000 Preferred Handicap. The seven-year-old son of Real Desire has been assigned the outside spot in a field of nine and will reunite with regular driver Chris Christoforou. State Treasurer put together a dream season last year with nine victories in 19 starts and just shy of $1 million in earnings. The Dr. Moore trainee posted victories in the Molson Pace, Mohawk Gold Cup, US Pacing Championship, Roll With Joe and Canadian Pacing Derby en route to being named the top older pacer in both Canada and the United States. State Treasurer enters his seven-year-old season with a milestone in sight. Just a $6,500 yearling purchase, he is just over $51,000 away from $2 million in career earnings for owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald. Although State Treasurer has yet to make a start, the veteran pacing stallion has already made headlines this season. Dr. Moore qualified State Treasurer in an eye-popping 1:49.4 on April 15 at Southern Oaks Training Center in Sorrento, Florida. The recorded fractions over the mile-oval at Southern Oaks were :26, :52.3, 1:19.4 and 1:49.4. State Treasurer's competition in Saturday's Preferred includes a stablemate and a trio of Preferred winners this season. Dr. Moore trainee Arthur Blue Chip is making his sixth start of the season from post-five in the Preferred. The five-year-old son of Shadow Play made all five previous starts at Pompano Park and scored two victories along with three runner-up finishes. Nickle Bag, who has six Preferred victories this season, will start from post-six. Ellis Park and Boomboom Ballykeel, who have each scored a Preferred victory in the last month, start from post-seven and eight, respectively. The Preferred Handicap has been carded as the tenth-race on the 11-race program. State Treasurer will not be the only Dr. Moore trainee to appear at Mohawk Saturday. The veteran conditioner sends out three starters in The Diplomat and former New York Sires Stakes standout Rockin In Heaven in an overnight event. Some Gold starts from post-two in the first Diplomat division for Dr. Moore, while Worthy Art and Sutton Seelster will leave from post position three and five in the second split. Rockin In Heaven will make his second start of the season in the evening's fourth-race. The four-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven scored victories in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and Empire Breeders Classic last season en route to banking over $367,000. The second leg of The Diplomat Series will feature two $20,000 divisions Saturday night. The Diplomat Series is for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, who were non-winners of $100,000 last season. The opening-leg of the series failed to fill, as only four horses were entered, but leg two has attracted 13 pacers. Carmen Auciello trainee War N Munn will headline the first division from the rail. The three-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal has captured both The Count B and Youthful Series finals this season to help him sport a 2016 bankroll of over $66,000. The first division field of six also includes British Columbia star Kokanee Seelster. The Ming Siu trainee made his first four starts this season at Fraser Downs and captured the $75,000 Keith Linton Memorial on April 3. Unlike War N Munn, Kokanee Seelster is eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup. The second Diplomat Series division features a strong field of seven Bill Budd trainee Flaherty has won four of eight starts this season and holds a mark of 1:51.3. The son of Up The Credit will start from post-two and has been made the 9/5 morning line choice. Flaherty is eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup. Richard Moreau trainee Gerries Sport won his season debut last week at Mohawk in 1:52.3 and is the 5/2 second-choice on the morning line from post-seven. An Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots star last season, Gerries Sport appears ready to take a big step forward in 2016 with a pair of solid qualifying efforts before capturing his season debut. The Diplomat Series divisions are carded as the third and ninth-races on Saturday's card. Post time for Saturday's 11-race program is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

OCTOBER 10, 2015 - Chris Christoforou missed almost two months of the Ontario Sires Stakes season with a broken collarbone, but standing in the Woodbine Racetrack winner's circle Saturday following the first of what would be three Super Final victories the harness racing driver wasted no time lamenting his lost opportunities. "I was thinking today I missed two months, pretty well the whole Sires Stakes season, the meat of it anyway, and ended up with seven drives in the Super Finals, so there's no complaints from me, that's for sure," reflected Christoforou. "And I had a bit of luck so far, so hopefully it continues." Christoforou's first victory came with two-year-old pacing colt Betting Line, who was sent off the favourite from Post 5 and controlled the pace from start to finish, reeling off fractions of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:25 on the way to a 1:52 victory. Division point leader Nvestment Bluechip overcame Post 10 to finish second by two and one-half lengths, while Voracity was six lengths back in third. "He's a top notch colt, that's for sure," said Christoforou. "He's not just a Sires Stakes colt; he's a top flight colt that can go with anybody on the right day." In addition to his Super Final victory, Betting Line captured two Gold divisions, his Metro Pace Elimination and a division of the Champlain Stakes for a freshman bank roll of $481,258. Trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge conditions the Bettor's Delight son for her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Christine Calhoun of Chatham and Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON. Betting Line For his second Super Final win Christoforou teamed up with Coleman trainee Reverend Hanover. Also sent off as the heavy favourites, the duo rolled through fractions of :26, :54.2 and 1:22.2 on their way to a 1:50.1 defense of the Super Final title they earned last season. Moonwriter and Physicallyinclined were two and one-quarter lengths back in second and third. "Tonight, that's the best he's been yet," said Coleman of three-year-old pacing colt Reverend Hanover. "Chris (Christoforou) just told me that." Coleman conditions Reverend Hanover for West Wins Stable, Steve Calhoun of Chatham and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, ON. The winner of $496,976 is the son of Coleman and Calhoun's former racehorse Sportswriter and is expected to be among the Ontario Sires Stakes stars taking on North America's best in next weekend's Breeders Crown Eliminations at Woodbine. "I'm pretty sure as long as everything comes out of the race good we're going give him a shot at the Crown," said Coleman. "I didn't talk with Steve (Calhoun) and Ross (Warriner) yet, but I'm thinking that's going to be our game plan, as long as Reverend agrees." Reverend Hanover To cap off his evening, Christoforou guided three-year-old trotting colt Dont Rush to a defense of his 2014 Super Final title. Like Betting Line and Reverend Hanover, Dont Rush was sent off the favourite and took early command of the race, laying down fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:26.1 before hitting the wire one and one-quarter lengths on top in 1:55.1.Rubber Duck and Platoon Seelster completed the top three. Christoforou engineered the win for trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown and Greg Judson of Athens, ON, who share ownership of the Infinitif colt. "He's got a special spot in my heart this little horse, he tries so hard," admitted Christoforou. "He's not the biggest horse and he gives me everything every time, so it was nice for him, and for Dustin, who's been a supporter of mine for the last couple of years, and we've done really well together. "Like I said, missing most of the Sires Stakes season, it was a tough blow, but it ended up good," added the reinsman. "To win three Super Finals and miss most of the year is more than anybody could ever hope for." Dont Rush Driver Randy Waples of Milton, trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON also made multiple trips to the Super Final winner's circle. Waples captured the first two Super Final titles, guiding two-year-old pacing filly L A Delight to victory for McIntosh and his partners C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington. The Bettor's Delight daughter hit the wire in an Ontario Sires Stakes record equalling 1:51.2, besting Twin B Thong and Thisorthat Hanover by four lengths. L A Delight The driver was back in the winner's circle one race later with two-year-old trotting filly Caprice Hill, who romped to a two length win in 1:56.4 over Emoticon Hanover and Silky Flashy Nfast. Manalapan, NJ resident Tony Alagna conditions the daughter of Kadabra for Tom Hill of Hamilton, ON. Caprice Hill Hall of Fame horseman McIntosh scored his second Super Final victory with two-year-old trotting colt Tony Soprano, who delivered an impressive 1:55.1 effort in rein to John Campbell. The son of Kadabra cruised home two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Will Take Charge and Deweylovernleaver. McIntosh shares ownership of Tony Soprano with Mardon Stables of Loretto, Paradox Farm Inc. of Caledon East and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. Tony Soprano Trainer Gregg McNair got his Super Final victories with three-year-old trotting filly Second Sister and three-year-old pacing filly Solar Sister. Second Sister and driver Rick Zeron of Oakville, ON scored a 1:55.3 upset in the trotting filly title bout, reeling in Elegant Serenity at the wire. Amoureuse Hanover was three and one-half lengths back in third. McNair conditions Second Sister for Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, MI, who had never won a Gold Series trophy before the Deweycheatumnhowe daughter captured her division at Mohawk on Sept. 29. The filly's victory capped off a best-ever year in the Ontario Sires Stakes program for Hawks, whose Muscles For Life captured the two-year-old trotting colt Grassroots title at Mohawk on Sept. 26. In rein to Doug McNair of Guelph, Solar Sister also used a late burst of speed to capture the pacing filly title, edging out her stablemate Glamour Seelster and pacesetter Tessa Seelster for the 1:51.1 victory. McNair conditions Solar Sister for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. The victory boosted the Mach Three daughter's earnings to $732,340. Solar Sister Saturday's $2 million Super Final battles wrapped up the 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes season, which saw two provincial speed records lowered, two repeat Super Final champions crowned, and Grassroots and Gold Series battles waged at 12 different racetracks across the province. Ontario Horse Racing

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