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Vernon, N.Y. -- Making steady progress from just worse than midfield, Fleetwood Hall ($5.30) pushed clear of pacesetter Yankee Manny in mid-stretch to capture the featured $7,000 top-level conditioned trot on Saturday (August 29) evening at Vernon Downs.   Fleetwood Hall settled well off the pace in the initial stages, posing no threat until the middle stages of the race, when a first-over bid placed the 5-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding within 3-3/4 lengths of pacesetter Yankee Manny (Chris Lems) after a soft :58.4 half mile. Roman Lopez and Fleetwood Hall intensified the pressure on Yankee Manny coming off the far turn, forcing a :28.2 third quarter before ultimately pushing clear in mid-stretch. Fleetwood Hall drew off to a two-length victory over Yankee Manny, while Frisky Joe (Claude Huckabone, III) rallied late to take third from a tiring Ulster (Brian Russo).   Deedra Johnson trains Fleetwood Hall for the M T Stables, Inc.   Chris Lems led all drivers with four wins on the 10-race program.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (August 30) afternoon, with post time at 1:15 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Trotters and distaff pacers shared the spotlight at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 22) evening, and both $7,000 upper-level co-featured events saw decisive winners. The distaff pacing feature went to Pancakes ($3.00), a Heidi Rohr trainee who brushed to the lead after The Filly Princess (Frank Davis) clicked off a :27.4 initial quarter. After sweeping to the fore from third, the 4-year-old Sand Shooter mare drew clear of her five rivals, opening up a four-length lead through three-quarters in 1:23.1. Pancakes held clear to the end of her 1:51.4 triumph, maintaining 3-1/4 lengths clearance over a mild late rally from runner-up Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore). Truman Gale drove Pancakes for owner Dolores Smiel. While an odds-on favourite prevailed in the distaff feature, Fleetwood Hall ($21.40) scored a minor upset in the trotting feature, commencing his bid from worse than midfield once 3-5 favourite Verdi broke stride on the first turn. Roman Lopez moved the 5-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding off the pegs with well over a half mile to go, sustaining a bold first-over bid through the far turn before pushing clear of pacesetter Ulster (Brian Russo) after passing three-quarters in 1:26. Once he passed Ulster, Fleetwood Hall opened up in the final yards, ultimately putting 4-3/4 lengths on Ulster for a 1:54.4 score. Painite (Truman Gale) sustained a mild bid to take third. Deedra Johnson trains Fleetwood Hall for the M T Stables. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (August 23) afternoon. Post time is 1:15 p.m. Eastern. James Witherite

After a two and a half month absence, three-year-old trotting filly Stubborn Belle returned to the winner's circle on Wednesday evening, capturing her $105,000 Gold Series division at the harness racing meeting at Grand River Raceway and causing trainer John Bax to hope history is about to repeat itself. "If she can stay healthy I'm hoping that she can kind of do what Riveting Rosie did last year, come on good at the end of the year," said Bax, who watched Riveting Rosie bank $409,180 in the last four months of her sophomore season. "I'm hoping this is deja vu because last year I had a lot of trouble with Riveting Rosie and she turned it around at Grand River, that was her first good race back, so I'm hoping the path is mapped out for her and she follows that." Stubborn Belle and driver Paul MacDonell followed a come-from-behind path on their way to Wednesday's victory. Starting from Post 6, Guelph, ON resident MacDonell eased the filly off the gate and had her settled on the rail in seventh when fan favourite All That Sparkles trotted by the opening quarter in :28. The pair remained at the rear of the main pack through the :57.3 half and then moved into the outer lane behind Amoureuse Hanover and Aspen California heading around the paddock turn. After following along in the outer lane through the 1:27.4 three-quarters, MacDonell sent Stubborn Belle out three wide and took aim on the leaders. The filly advanced steadily around the final turn and in the stretch she reeled in All That Sparkles, posting a neck victory in 1:58. All That Sparkles settled for second and Second Sister completed the top three. The win was Stubborn Belle's first since she swept the elimination and final of the WEG-SBOA Stake at Mohawk Racetrack in late May and Bax says the main obstacle in the Taurus Dream daughter's path back to the winner's circle has been her temperament, which matches her name. "If we turn her out with another horse she'll kick through the fence or get in a fight." "We try to be nice to her and pair her up with a horse, but if the mood strikes, the other horse has to watch out," explained the trainer. "She's always the one that kicks through the fence or kicks a board, kicks another horse." "My son Marshall named her." "We changed her name, and that's the name he figured she needed, and she's lived up to it," added the Campbellville resident. "It's a good thing she's a very good filly." Wednesday's victory improved Stubborn Belle's 2015 record to three wins and one third in seven starts and boosted her earnings to $167,430. At two, Stubborn Belle captured one Grassroots division and two Gold Series divisions, the Peaceful Way Final, and a division of the Champlain Stakes for earnings of $524,686. Bax, through his Parkhill Stud Farm, shares ownership of the filly with Al Libfeld of Pickering, ON. "Touch wood, she doesn't damage herself anymore this year, and it's onward and upward," said Bax, who is hoping the filly stays healthy for the Casual Breeze and Elegantimage Stakes at Mohawk in the coming weeks. The other division saw Tymal Illbthere earn her first Gold Series trophy with driver Mario Baillargeon opting for a strategy similar to the one used by MacDonell. Starting from Post 5, the Milton, ON resident settled Tymal Illbethere into seventh spot, watching as Gee Okeefe rang up a :28.2 opening quarter. Heading by the :59.1 half Baillargeon shifted Tymal Illbethere into the outer lane and soon after the 1:29.1 three-quarters he moved her three-wide. Once she hit open racetrack Tymal Illbethere accelerated away to a four length victory in 1:58.3, besting Bax trainee Juanitas Fury and pacesetter Gee Okeefe. The win was Tymal Illbethere's first in Gold Series competition and her third of the season, boosting her sophomore earnings to $92,309. At two the Deweycheatumnhowe daughter was a Grassroots winner, earning $86,968 for breeder Tymal Farms of Oldcastle, ON and Shawn Dixon of London, ON. Ervin Abdulov of London, ON conditions the filly. Their victories moved both Stubborn Belle and Tymal Illbethere into the top 10 in the Gold Series point standings, putting them into contention for a Super Final berth with one regular season event remaining, on Sept. 29 at Mohawk Racetrack. The $250,000 Super Final goes postward Oct. 10 at Woodbine Racetrack. Next up on Grand River Raceway's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule is the last regular season Grassroots contest for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Wednesday, Sept. 2. Photo attached: Three-year-old trotting filly Stubborn Belle (6) edges out All That Sparkles (2) to earn her first Gold Series win of 2015 for driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON. (Iron Horse Photo) Ontario Horse Racing

AUGUST 14, 2015 - Grand River Raceway hosted Ontario Sires Stakes Fan Celebration Night on Friday and fans that placed their trust in harness racing driver Trevor Henry did a whole lot of celebrating. The Arthur, ON resident won a pair of two-year-old trotting colt Gold Series divisions, finished second in the other Gold division, and won three overnight races on the 11 race program. "I haven't driven there in a while, so it was nice to have a good night," said Henry, who switched his focus from driving at the province's smaller ovals to driving at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks in 2014. Henry kicked off his evening with a runner-up finish in the first $70,000 Gold division, ringing up fractions of :28.3, :59 and 1:29.1 with Smoke Monkey before being caught in the stretch by Dunvegan Don. Fan favourite Adored By Masses finished third. "He's a nice colt. They had a lot of problems with him steering, he would always run in on the turns and he wasn't easy to drive, but Chris has got him figured out now," said Henry, who piloted Smoke Monkey for trainer Chris Beaver of Delaware, OH and Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON. "Tonight was the best he ever drove so he'll probably only get better from now on." Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair piloted Dunvegan Don to his first victory, halting the Grand River teletimer at 1:58.2. Herbert Holland of Milton, ON owns and trains the Cornaro Dasolo colt, who finished third in the Aug. 7 Gold Leg at Mohawk Racetrack after a pair of disappointing outings in the first two Legs. "That horse has been quick since the start of the year, but was a little choppy gaited," explained McNair. "The last two starts he's been almost perfect. Herb has done a good job on him." The Trevor Henry show got under way in earnest in the second race when he piloted Ground Shaker to a win in a claiming event and then went back to the paddock to climb into the race bike behind two-time Gold Series winner Deweylovernleaver. Starting from Post 2 Henry fired the colt to the front and controlled the tempo through a :29.3 quarter, 1:00 half and 1:30.1 three-quarters. Henry then hit the accelerator and Deweylovernleaver accelerated down the stretch to a one and one-quarter length victory in a track record equalling 1:58.1. Fan favourite Tony Soprano settled for second and Unitaliano BI completed the top three. "He didn't have to work too hard, he kind of got everything his own way, but he trotted home a last quarter in :28," said the reinsman, adding that he feels the colt has not yet tapped his full potential. "He's a nice horse to drive and he doesn't do anything wrong." Chris Beaver trains Deweylovernleaver for his partners Synerco Ventures Inc. and Leo Fleming of Campbellville, ON. The Deweycheatumnhowe son boasts a record of three wins and one fourth in Gold Series action and currently sits atop the two-year-old trotting colt division standings with 158 points. In the final Gold Series division Henry also lined up behind Post 2 with Mass Balance and opted for the same strategy. Taking early command, Henry and Mass Balance got away with a :30 quarter, 1:01.1 half and 1:32 three-quarters on their way to a 2:01.2 victory. Nofear Blue Chip was one and one-quarter lengths back in second, and favourite Will Take Charge was two lengths to the rear in third. Synerco Ventures Inc. also owns Mass Balance, who is trained by Rob Fellows of Rockwood. The Muscle Mass son started his season in the Grassroots program where he was a winner in the July 11 season opener at Georgian Downs. Moving up to the Gold Series level Mass Balance finished third at Georgian Downs on July 21 and fifth at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 7. "He's a nice colt," said Henry, adding that he appreciates the investment Synerco Ventures has made in the Ontario Sires Stakes program in recent years. "I drive a lot for Synerco Ventures, Costa (Athanassoulias), I've got to know him over the last couple years and I've driven quite a few horses for him." The reinsman completed his five-win evening in the seventh and eighth races, both claiming events, with Tomei Seelster and Delcrest Flexyhall. In addition to the Gold Series divisions and the driving clinic put on by Henry, 100 fans were treated to Ontario Sires Stakes t-shirts autographed by first-crop sire Big Jim and Hall of Fame stallion Camluck, who passed away recently at the age of 28, and all fans enjoyed the creativity on display in the Horse Name Costume Game. After some difficult deliberations judges Gayle O'Brien from DAVE-FM, Jenna Knox from Grand River Raceway's Booking Department and driver Ryan Holliday selected one adult and one 15 and under winner. In the adult category Becky Koeslag got the nod for her representation of Gold Series competitor Bee In Charge and Paula Turnbull was the judge's choice in the youth category for her Coal Black Shadow costume. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Grand River Raceway next Wednesday, Aug. 19 with two $105,000 Gold divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

The beautiful evening at Ocean Downs opened with four early non-wagering events starting with the harness racing 2 YO filly trotters.   Bold Dresser (Explosive Matter-Pretty In Plaid) made it to the winners circle for the second time this summer in MD Standardbred Fund events for driver-trainer Oyvind Hegdal and owner Glat Kosher Racing trotting her mile in 2:01.1. Frederick Hertrich III is the breeder. Frank Milby driving Tiara (RC Royalty-Panarail) was on the move at the ¾ pole but was unable to catch Bold Dresser in time.   The colt/gelding trot was up next, with most of the freshmen acting up, Kent County (Deweycheatumnhowe-Duchess Of Kent) made a very strong showing on the track winning by almost 24 lengths in 2:01.2. Frank Milby got the driving assignment from trainer and co-owners Robert Shahan and Donald Marine. The breeder was Frederick Hertrich III. After an early break Roger Hammer was able to get High Octane (Donato Hanover-Gaytanes) back on stride to finish second.   In the first division of filly pacers, Breadcrumb Income (Nuclear Breeze-Rose Royce) charged down the stretch for reinsman Roger Plante Jr. to nip Use Your Noodle (Artzina-Lo Gophobia) at the wire in 2:00. Richard Hans is the breeder, owner and trainer of Breadcrumb Income.   The second division of filly pacers produced a stakes and track record when Corey Callahan pulled Freeze Out (American Ideal-Mr Deli's Filly) going up the backside to take the lead and hold off a strong challenge by Miss Read (Shadow Play-Yahoos) with Vic Kirby in the bike. Time for the mile was 1:55.3. Erv Miller trains for owners Paymaq Racing and Leland Mathias, Winbak Farm was the breeder.   The wagering card opened with the first division of colt/gelding pacers. Not content to sit third, driver Corey Callahan shot Power To Perform (Artzina-Shake Rattle Run) to the front before the half and never looked back stopping the clock in 1:57.4 over Canthelpbutwin (Artzina-Native Canadian). Kyle Morre trains for owner Donald Marine. The breeder was Winbak Farm.   The Erv Miller-Corey Callahan connection proved successful once again in the final stake of the night the second division of colt/gelding pacers. Redneck Rally (American Ideal-Ms Harrington) took the lead from Lissilas (Rocknroll Hanover-Lismorebella) at the head of the stretch wining by two and a half lengths in 1:56.2 for owners Anthony Lombardi , Paymaq Racing and Louis Willinger and breeder Winbak Farm. Corey Callahan picked up 4 wins for the night, 3 stakes and one overnight.   Maryland Standardbred Fund stakes continue Thursday night with 8 divisions of 3 year olds starting with non-wagering events at 6 pm. The Maryland Horse Industry Board will be in attendance making some winner circle presentations.   By Cheri Stambaugh

Georgian Downs celebrates the Ontario Sires Stakes on the harness racing program on Saturday evening with seven divisions of Grassroots action for the two-year-old trotting fillies, the "Be A Winner" contest and "Wanna Drive" program. The freshman trotting fillies kick things off at 7:15 pm and compete in the first seven races on the program. Among the hopefuls is Darling Diva, co-owned by Beeton, ON resident Warren Casely, who makes her fourth Grassroots start from Post 7 in the third $18,000 division. "She's my first trotter, we've got a number of pacers, but she is the first trotter," said Casely, who shares ownership of the filly with trainer Rene Laarman of Guelph, ON. "And we like her. I mean she's just been a lot of fun so far." "Right now she's holding her own, she's not wining, but that's okay, winning's not everything," he added. In her first three Grassroots starts Darling Diva has recorded one third, one fourth and one sixth-place result, banking $3,600. In each start the young trotter has minded her manners and lowered her finishing time, giving her connections hope that she will eventually find her way to the winner's circle. "We just, we keep getting in the wrong division; we keep getting the fast division." "I'm trying to get the slower divisions please," said Casely with a chuckle. "But you know what, it's the luck of the draw and for her it's experience, and it's good experience." An $8,000 purchase out of last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale, the Deweycheatumnhowe daughter makes her second appearance of the season at Georgian Downs on Saturday and Casely is looking forward to catching this outing in person. "Her first lifetime (start) was at Georgian as a matter of fact, and sadly her first lifetime was the one that I wasn't at," admitted the owner. " We had another horse running at Mohawk - we try to get to all the races - so I went to Mohawk with her and my wife went to Georgian to watch Diva race." Paul Mackenzie will steer Darling Diva from Post 7 in the third race, lining up alongside two-time Grassroots winner Magical Steph, who gets Post 8 for driver Steve Byron of Thornton, ON and trainer Gary Lance of Port Perry, ON. In the seventh race one lucky fan will have an opportunity to join in the winner's circle celebrations as part of the Ontario Sires Stakes "Be A Winner" contest. Through the earlier races fans will have an opportunity to place "Be A Winner" ballots in the box belonging to the horse they believe will win the final Ontario Sires Stakes division. One ballot will be selected for each horse competing in the seventh race and those semi-finalists will be invited down trackside where they will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes golf shirt and ball cap and a $10 win wager on their chosen horse. The semi-finalist whose horse is victorious in Race 7 will join the winner's circle celebrations and add an Ontario Sires Stakes jacket, a photograph with the winning horse, and a $50 wagering voucher to their collection of prizes. Fans who want to get even closer to the action can participate in the "Wanna Drive" program. In a two-seated jog cart alongside an experienced driver fans can experience first-hand the thrill of driving a retired Standardbred racehorse. "We look forward to a great evening of OSS Grassroots racing, coupled with the ever popular Wanna Drive," said Bruce Barbour, Executive Director of Ontario Racing Operations for Georgian Downs parent company Great Canadian Gaming. Finally, fans can top off their evening by catching some OSS-wear during the trackside t-shirt and ball cap toss. T The Ontario Sires Stakes celebration gets under way at 7:15 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

AUGUST 7, 2015 - Deweylovernleaver eked out a second straight Gold Series harness racing victory by less than a length at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening. The two-year-old trotting colt and driver Trevor Henry hit the wire one-quarter length ahead of Dewey Dont Cheat and Zlatan in the second of three $70,000 Gold Series divisions. The fan favourites controlled the tempo for much of the mile and halted the Mohawk teletimer at 1:57.1, a new personal best for the young trotter. "I think he is a little bit lazy," said trainer Chris Beaver of the trotter's narrow margin of victory. "He can grab onto the bit pretty good, but once he gets into the mile he does seem like he only gives you what he needs to." Deweylovernleaver earned his first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy in the second Gold Leg at Georgian Downs on July 21, reaching the wire just a head in front of Will Take Charge in 1:57.4. In the Gold Series season opener at Mohawk on July 13 the Deweycheatumnhowe son was a hard-closing fourth, and in his only other outing he finished third in a two-year-old conditioned event at Mohawk on July 2. A $12,000 purchase out of the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, the colt has already accumulated $80,080 in earnings. "He's always been real good, he's been a pretty easy horse to train, and he's always shown a lot of talent," said Beaver, who shares ownership of Deweylovernleaver with Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON and Leo Fleming of Campbellville, ON. "I thought back in February that he was the best colt I had." Based on the colt's performance in early season training miles, Beaver and his partners left the door open for Deweylovernleaver to tackle the best in North America this fall. "He's well staked," said the Delaware, Ohio-based trainer. "I guess we'll take that as we go, but he's staked to the Wellwood, and the Breeders Crown, and I believe even the Matron, so he's got lots. I thought he was good all along, we staked him well." Before he gets takes a run at any open stake events, Deweylovernleaver - and his two-year-old trotting colt peers - will make his fourth Gold Series start at Grand River Raceway on Aug. 14. Deweylovernleaver All three colts that captured Gold Series trophies at Mohawk on Friday had already enjoyed success in the Ontario Sires Stakes this season. A winner in the season opener, Adored By Masses returned to the Mohawk winner's circle with a late sprint that powered him past pacesetters Smoke Monkey and V For Victory. In rein to Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion, Adored By Masses hit the wire two and one-half lengths on top in 1:57.4. Erv Miller conditions Adored By Masses for Anthony Lombardi of Morris, IL, Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, IL and Mystical Marker Farms LLC of Dyer, IN. In addition to his July 13 victory, the son of Muscle Mass and Armbro Adored posted a runner-up result in the July 21 Gold event and won two conditioned events, the first at Pocono Downs on June 21 and the second at Georgian Downs on July 4. Adored By Masses With two wins and a second in Gold Series action, Adored By Masses leads the two-year-old trotting colt division with 125 points. He is followed by Tony Soprano, the winner of the third division on Friday, with 112 points, and Deweylovernleaver with 108 points. Tony Soprano posted the quickest mile of the three Gold Series divisions on Friday, sailing along on the front end to a one and one-quarter length victory over Will Take Charge and Dunvegan Don in a personal best 1:56.4. Milton resident Randy Waples engineered the Kadabra son's second straight Gold victory for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Mardon Stables of Loretto, ON, Paradox Farm Inc. of Caledon East, ON and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. In his only other start, the July 13 Gold opener at Mohawk, Tony Soprano finished third. Tony Soprano The talented two-year-old trotting colts have two events remaining on their regular season calendar, August 14 at Grand River Raceway and Sept. 29 at Mohawk. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, Aug. 10 with five Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

Caroline "Kitty" Gerry remembers the thrills she enjoyed watching Bruschette compete on the racetrack and she hopes to rekindle those feelings with a daughter of the stakes-winning trotting mare. Legal Lady, a daughter of Bruschette who Gerry bred and owns, is entered in Friday's second of three eliminations for the Jim Doherty Memorial Stakes (formerly Merrie Annabelle) for 2-year-old female trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. The top three finishers from each elimination plus a fourth-place finisher drawn by lot will advance to the $389,450 final on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 8, at the Big M. Trained by Jan Johnson, who also conditioned Bruschette, Legal Lady will start her elimination from post two with Corey Callahan in the sulky. She is 15-1 on the morning line. Julie Miller-trained Womans Will, who will leave from post three with driver Andy Miller, is the 2-1 choice. Broadway Donna, from the stable of trainer Jim Campbell, is undefeated in four career races and the 4-5 favorite in the first elimination. Jimmy Takter's Kathy Parker, named in honor of the longtime editor and general manager of The Horseman And Fair World magazine, is the 5-2 favorite in the third division. Friday's card also features two eliminations for the Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters. Ron Burke's Southwind Frank is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the first division and Takter-trained Bar Hopping is the 3-1 pick in the second. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the $349,850 final on Hambletonian Day. Legal Lady, by stallion Deweycheatumnhowe, heads to the Doherty Memorial off a second-place finish in her career debut in a maiden race on July 17 at the Meadowlands. Legal Lady, who qualified four times prior to making her first purse start, finished a neck behind Jazebel De Vie in 1:58.3. "We haven't rushed her," said Gerry, a New York resident who is the wife of Harness Racing Hall of Fame member Ebby Gerry Jr. "I'm against that and Jan is more that way also. He doesn't like to rush them, especially at (age) 2. "She keeps bringing down her times, which is good. (Success) just depends on a lot of things. We'll hope. I'm not going to be disappointed as long as she races well." Gerry owned Bruschette during her racing career, which ended with nine wins in 48 races and earnings of $302,383. Her top victory came in the 2008 Allerage Farms Mare Trot at Lexington's Red Mile. Bruschette rallied from seventh place in the final quarter-mile to win by 1-1/2 lengths over Brigham Dream in a career-best 1:53.1. "She was great," Gerry said. "I went down to the winner's circle and there was a mother and child there. The child gave me the flowers and I was crying. The little girl said to her mother, why is she crying? I got so emotional. That was a big day for me. That was the most thrilling moment." Gerry hopes for more thrills with Legal Lady, who is all lady in the barn and all business on the track. "I can pet her, I can rub her nose, I can give her carrots, and the minute she comes out of the stall and you start putting the harness on her she is ready to go," Gerry said, adding with a laugh, "Then you don't want to be petting her or anywhere near her. "I'm excited," she added. "My husband keeps saying that you can't get attached. Well, I'm already attached. I can't help it. I rode as a kid all the time and I love animals." Gerry, who is an accomplished artist, hopes Legal Lady can paint a winning picture on Friday night, but knows it is a difficult assignment. She also knows the filly could have a lengthy career ahead of her. "If she qualifies for the final it would be very exciting," Gerry said. "I don't want to get my hopes too high and get disappointed. But even if she doesn't qualify, there will be other races. She's only 2. I just hope she stays trotting and stays healthy and we'll see what happens." Following are the elimination fields in post order for the Doherty Memorial with drivers, trainers and morning line: Elimination 1 1. Broadway Donna, David Miller, Jim Campbell, 4-5 2. I'm Outstanding, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 3. Worldclass Hanover, Pat Lachance, Pat Lachance, 12-1 4. Hollywood Hill, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 7-2 5. Celebrity Eventsy, Brett Miller, Staffan Lind, 8-1 6. Southwind Adele, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 10-1 7. Everything N More, Tim Tetrick, Nancy Johansson, 20-1 8. Do I, Corey Callahan, Ron Burke, 20-1 Elimination 2 1. Candle In The Wind, Jim Marohn Jr., Janice Connor, 20-1 2. Legal Lady, Corey Callahan, Jan Johnson, 15-1 3. Womans Will, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 2-1 4. Sharon's Luck, Brett Miller, Staffan Lind, 30-1 5. Gifted Lady, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 9-2 6. Miss Tezsla, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 6-1 7. Twice Is Right, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2 8. Hot Curry, David Miller, Ron Burke, 8-1 9. Silent Blessings, Tim Tetrick, Nancy Johansson, 8-1 Elimination 3 1. New Leaf, Jim Marohn Jr., Tom Haughton, 20-1 2. Thankful Reward, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 5-1 3. Unau S, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson, 20-1 4. Kathy Parker, Johnny Takter, Jimmy Takter, 5-2 5. Jazebel De Vie, Scott Zeron, Chris Ryder, 12-1 6. Silvia, David Miller, Ron Burke, 6-1 7. Sunset Glider, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 3-1 8. Encore Gold, John Campbell, Charlie Norris, 4-1 9. Lindy's On Fire, Marcus Melander, Marcus Melander, 20-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA      

JULY 22, 2015 - Guelph resident Anthony MacDonald took his brother's advice about an equipment change on two-year-old trotting filly Onatopp, and it paid off with a harness racing Grassroots victory at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening. "I was stubborn; I didn't want to put the hopples on her. I felt that, the few times that I put them on her, I didn't feel that she was as strong or as fast with them on, and I felt that I could keep her trotting, at least on the bigger track, without them," said MacDonald, who co-owns, trains and drives Onatopp. "And James had schooled her for me when I was away and he said, you know, I think she needs the hopples. And, you know, he was right. I put them on her and she was really, really good." Making her debut with trotting hopples from Post 9 in Wednesday's sixth Grassroots division, Onatopp was able to secure a spot on the rail in fourth as favourite Ballykeel Rocket led the field to a :31.4 opening quarter. MacDonald was content to sit fourth through the 1:04.3 half, but when Favourite Tweet stepped into the outer lane from third, he followed suit. Rolling by the 1:36 three-quarters MacDonald tipped Onatopp out three-wide and she sailed effortlessly past the leaders to the front, pulling away to a two and one-half length lead in the stretch and stopping the clock at 2:05.1. Ballykeel Rocket settled for second and pocket sitter Sweet With Heat was third. "I know she only went in 2:05.1 tonight, but she can go as fast as any Grassroots filly out there, there's no end to her speed," said MacDonald. "I mean she come a last half in :59 or something tonight and I never pulled the ear plugs, never even asked her, I just moved her out in position where she could do her work, and she was more than happy to do it." MacDonald and his partner Rene Allard of Milford, PA purchased Onatopp out of the Canadian Yearling Sale for $11,000. The filly is a Manofmanymissions half-sister to $529,825 winner Sim Brown, and the partners had high hopes for her all winter. Onatopp made her Ontario Sires Stakes debut in the July 12 Gold Series opener at Georgian Downs, but made a break and finished eighth, a result that prompted MacDonald to take his brother, James MacDonald's, advice. In addition to his brother, the horseman said a great deal of credit for Onatopp's victory falls to his wife Amy who works alongside him in their 11-horse stable. "She works really, really hard on them and she deserves a lot of the credit, a lot of the credit," he emphasized. In addition to Onatopp, six other fillies went home from Grand River Raceway with Grassroots trophies on Wednesday, with four of them also stepping down from the Gold Series for their second Ontario Sires Stakes start. Mariana and trainer-driver Riina Rekila kicked things off in the first race with a 2:04 clocking, reeling in pacesetter Shezastrikin Loral and pocket sitter Tala Seelster in the stretch. Rekila and Esa Lahtinen bred and own Mariana through their Overseas Farms Ltd. of Campbellville, ON. Rekila piloted the daughter of Manofmanymissions to a runner-up result in the Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs on July 7. Trainer-driver Eddie Green piloted Malia to a 2:03 win in the second $18,000 division. The Cornaro Dasolo daughter bested Tymal Tempest and Early Decision by one-half length. Green conditions Malia for Kristine Green of Ohsweken and, like MacDonald, sent her to the Gold Series for her first provincial appearance, where she finished sixth. Guelph resident Phil Hudon crafted a gate-to-wire victory for Toss It Back in the third division. The Majestic Son filly cruised across the wire four lengths ahead of Chapel Hall and Talbotcreek Jetta. Trainer Pat Hunt of Cambridge, ON shares ownership of Toss It Back with Leo Fleming of Campbellville, ON. The win gives the filly one victory and one fourth-place result through the first two Grassroots events. Magical Steph was the second filly of the evening to step down from the Gold Series and find success, capturing the fourth Grassroots division with a late sprint past pacesetter and favourite Shes In Gear. Major Muscle rounded out the top three in the 2:02.1 mile. Steve Byron engineered the Kadabra filly's first victory for trainer Gary Lance and owner GL Racing Inc. of Port Perry, ON. In the fifth division, Deweycheatumnhowe daughter Dewdle All Day hit the wire three and one-half lengths up on Windsongmusclelady and Herbe A Loral in 2:03.3. Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON drives, trains and co-owns Dewdle All Day with partners 9177 8720 Quebec Inc. of Saint-Sauveur, QC and Greg Judson of Athens, ON. Dewdle All Day came into the test off a sixth-place result in the July 12 Gold Series event. The final Grassroots trophy of the evening went home with Myretirementticket, the fifth competitor shifting from Gold to Grassroots competition. The Cornaro Dasolo daughter and owner-trainer-driver Eli Wagler of Ingersoll, ON cruised along on the front end to a 2:01.1 victory, crossing the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Very Classy and Cadillac Sally. The two-year-old trotting fillies make their third Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 30. Grand River Raceway's next Ontario Sires Stakes event will come during the highly anticipated Industry Day program on Monday, Aug. 3. The Elora oval will host the third Gold Leg for the three-year-old pacing fillies in addition to the finals for its signature races, the Battle of the Belles for two-year-old pacing fillies and Battle of Waterloo for two-year-old pacing colts. Ontario Horse Racing

Hall of Fame driver John Campbell made his first appearance at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, making the trip up from his New Jersey home to partner two-year-old trotting colt Tony Soprano in Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action. "I got to Grand River last year, and this is my first trip to Georgian Downs," said Campbell, who is considered one of the leading reinsmen of all time. "Very impressed with the plant, it's really a nice paddock and a nice grandstand and everything, just very impressed with that and glad to be here for the first time to see it." Making the trip even more enjoyable was its successful outcome. Lining up at Post 2 in the second $70,000 Gold division, Campbell guided Tony Soprano to a 1:57.3 victory. The pair bested fan favourite Adored By Masses by one-quarter length, with Im A Mate well back in third. Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh trains Tony Soprano for his partners Mardon Stables of Loretto, ON, Paradox Farm Inc. of Caledon East, ON and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON, and it was at his request that Campbell made the trip to Georgian Downs. "He had told me early in the spring that he had a trotting colt that he really liked and that he'd keep me posted on his progress," explained Campbell. "Once he got qualified he asked me to come up last week and we both were happy with the horse, he did all he could in the situation, so I think he's off to a good start." In the Gold Series season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on July 13 Campbell and Tony Soprano tried to squeeze up the rail in the stretch and found themselves short of room before the wire. The colt finished third, one-half length behind the leaders in the 1:57.4 mile. "I didn't get him in a very good spot," Campbell admitted. "I had him in a bad spot, drove him bad, but the colt was good." On Tuesday Campbell and Tony Soprano sat fourth through the early going then started to press pacesetter and fan favourite Adored By Masses going by the three-quarter pole. The colts battled all the way to the wire, with Tony Soprano digging in through the final strides for the win. "He went a really professional race, very happy with him. I got him in a better spot this week," said Campbell with a chuckle. The son of Kadabra and $1.2 million winner Windsong Soprano was a $90,000 purchase by Windsor, ON resident McIntosh and his partners at last fall's Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale. Tuesday's victory put his earnings, after two races, at $47,600. Campbell also piloted Nofear Blue Chip in the season opener, and was back behind the gelding in the first division on Tuesday for trainer Paul Reid and owner Norah Parks of New Lowell, ON Although he did not guide Nofear Blue Chip to the winner's circle, finishing third behind Deweylovernleaver and Will Take Charge, Campbell was pleased with the progress the youngster had made since July 13. "Paul didn't get to work him as much last week as he would have liked going into the race and he really improved off of that race in Mohawk, because he trotted more here than he did in Mohawk," noted the reinsman.  "So I was very happy, and he was stronger his last quarter than he was last week." Deweylovernleaver circled out from the back field turning for home and sprinted down the stretch to a head victory in 1:57.4 for driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON, trainer Chris Beaver of Delaware, OH and his partners Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON and Leo Fleming of Camp Bellville, ON. The Deweycheatumnhowe son was a $12,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, and finished fourth, just behind Tony Soprano, in the season opener. The final division was captured by Unitaliano BI and trainer-driver Dustin Jones, who went gate-to-wire in 1:58.3 Pukka and Mass Balance finished four and one-quarter lengths back in second and third. "It would be nice to be able to race him out of a hole, but that's the way he wants to race, so it's better than fighting with him," said Jones, ruefully. "He actually trained great all winter. I thought he was a top colt all winter, but then as we got closer to race we were having a hard time to control him," the Waterdown, ON resident continued. "He wouldn't sit in a hole, he'd get mad. If you put anything on him to hold him, he'd get mad and he'd fight you. And he's such an intelligent horse in the barn; he's like a little kitten in the barn." Jones shares ownership of the stubborn youngster - who made an early break and finished fifth in the season opener - with Noblock Racing Stable of Collingwood, ON and William Jones of Lexington, KY. The trio acquired the Manofmanymissions son from the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale for $20,000. The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings make their third Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 7, while their Grassroots counterparts journey to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, August 4. Ontario Horse Racing

July 18, 2015 - On July 17 at Axevella, Gematrix (3f Explosive Matter-Ginevre-SJ’s Caviar) took the Bjertorps Traveamps (2140 meters autostart, 100,000SEK to the winner, three year-olds). Torbjorn Jansson drive the winner for trainer Frode Hamre, this one a 2015 US import. She has a 3-2-3 slate in nine career appearances after this 1.14.7kr victory. On the same card the Venernkotts Femarinpspris (2140 meters autostart, 100,000SEK to winner, five year-olds) went to Boys Going In (5m Going Kronos-Namore-Buvetier d’Aunou) with Johan Untersteiner aboard, timed in 1.12.1kr. Boys Going In now has a 9-4-3 slate in 31 starts for 1,703,150SEK earned. Call Me Keeper (5m Pine Chip-Eliza Keeper-Credit Winner) was second in a photo for Bjorn Goop and trainer Daniel Reden. At Bergsaker on July 16 Trading (3f Deweycheatumnhowe-Hostage-Express Ride) took the Norrlands Elit Final over 2140 meters autostart. The winner earned 200,000SEK for the 1.13.1kr win in this three year-old event with Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Svante Bath. She has a 4-1-1 slate in eight career starts. Hostage is the dam of Quid Pro Quo, a Yankee Glide winner of over US$810,000. The Norrlands Grand Prix Final for four year-olds (2140 meters autostart, 250,000SEK first prize) went to Daley Lovin (4m Conway Hall-Dreamsmadeofthis-Dream Vacation) in 1.11.6kr for Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. He scored by five lengths and now sports a 10-4-7 slate in 35 career outings. Another US import, Scacco Matto, finished eighth in this race. The same day at Karlshamn, a 1680 meters autostart event, worth 22,000SEK to the winner, went to Celebrity Hall (6g Tom Ridge-Canne Angus-Magna Force) with Peter Ingves driving. He stopped the teletimer in 1.15.8kr for his sixth career win in 41 starts. Canne Angus is dam of Canland Hall (US$2,687.000), Cameron Hall (US$1,816,000) and Courtney Hall (US$114,000). The top race of the July 15 day was held at Solanget where the Silver Division (100,000SEK to the winner, 1646 meters autostart) was won by Knows Nothing (6m Kadabra-Savvy Yankee-Balanced Image) with Ulf Ohlsson driving. Knows Nothing recorded his 16th career victory in 44 outings, now for over 5.2SEK million earned. In addition to Knows Nothing, his dam Savvy Yankee produced Rocky Balboa (US$435,000) and Muscles To Spare (US$257,000). International fast-class winner Ed You (8g Love You-Lancia Brick-Super Arnie) was second for Robert Bergh and owner Stall Sedin AM. Third was Shaq Is Back (8m Credit Winner-Vivica Hall-Victory Dream) trained by Daniel Reden and reined by Orjan Kihlstrom. Ed You has 25 wins for 5.8SEK million won; Shaq Is Back has 21 wins for almost 4.6SEK million earned. Thomas H. Hicks

Current Ontario Sires Stakes trotting queen Muscle Baby Doll captured her third straight Gold Series trophy with a 1:53.1 victory at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. Starting from Post 2 the Muscle Mass daughter took control of the race heading for the halfway marker and driver Doug McNair simply sat back and enjoyed the ride, which resulted in a personal best 1:53.1 clocking. "She's been really good all year. She hasn't been beat in the Sires Stakes yet," said Guelph, ON resident McNair. "Tonight I just chirped her a little bit and she did the rest on her own. She sure felt like she had a second left, I don't know if she did or not, but she felt like it." Muscle Baby Doll cruised under the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of former Gold division winners Elegant Serenity and Amoureuse Hanover. The three fillies are currently sitting atop the division standings in the same order of their finish with 150, 80 and 67 points, respectively. Tony O'Sullivan conditions Muscle Baby Doll for F. Bellino and Sons LLC of Bronxville, NY and the Cambridge, ON resident is thoroughly enjoying training and racing the talented filly. "I'm pretty happy, pretty proud of her. It's pretty exciting to have such a nice filly," said O'Sullivan. "She's pretty fun to train and pretty fun to watch." With a record of five wins and one second in six starts since her May 9 debut, O'Sullivan said Muscle Baby Doll will get a vacation from the racetrack over the next few weeks, returning to action for the fourth Gold Series event at Grand River Raceway on August 19. "I'd like to just use the time to let her freshen up a little bit and give her a break," said the trainer. "After Grand River she doesn't have a week off, so it works out pretty well now there's a month and she can freshen up." O'Sullivan also started Youre Majestic in the second Gold division, but the Majestic Son daughter settled for fourth spot behind first-time winner All That Sparkles. With James MacDonald of Guelph, ON in the race bike, All That Sparkles accelerated away from Post 3 and was able to lay claim to the coveted pocket spot behind heavy favourite Stubborn Belle. Stalking the pacesetter through fractions of :26.2, :56 and 1:25.3, MacDonald bided his time until the final turn and then gave All That Sparkles a clear view of the finish line. The filly shifted into another gear and accelerated away from the field to a four length victory in 1:54.2. After being forced out three-wide to find racing room, Second Sister and LMC Marshmellow settled for second and third. Jonas Czernyson of Allentown, NJ trains All That Sparkles, and shares ownership and breeding credit on the daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe and Chocolate Tiara with his wife Christine. All That Sparkles is the first horse the Czernyson's have raced in the Ontario Sires Stakes program and they were pleasantly surprised with her victory. "She'd been getting sharper and sharper, I didn't know that she was going to do it like that, that I have to say," admitted Jonas Czernyson. "She don't really have that quick burst of speed." "She has the speed, but she can't pop out of a hole halfway down the stretch and do it, she has to have a little longer time to get up to speed." Raced just four times last season, All That Sparkles had eight starts to her credit prior to Thursday's test, and had posted one second and three thirds. Czernyson said she was an awkward, growth filly at two and has only just begun to grow into her lanky frame. "She's grown into herself some, but she still has some more growing to do, she's pretty long-legged," said the trainer. If All That Sparkles is happy and healthy following Thursday's victory and the return trip to her New Jersey home, Czernyson said her next start will likely come in the August 7 Duenna Stake at The Meadowlands, followed by the fourth Gold at Grand River Raceway on August 19. Next up on Mohawk Racetrack's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are six Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts on Friday night. The colts will be featured in Races 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 10 on the 7:25 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing

No matter where Deweycheatumnhowe raced, harness racing drivers everywhere improved their effort with a miniscule chance to snap his undefeated streak. The Montgomery native’s successful reputation spread. But “Dewey” received an honor around home Sunday with induction into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Dewey won 22 of 25 career races, including 17 straight. He and driver Ray Schnittker won the 2008 Hambletonian. That made him the first horse in Orange County history to take the race, said Ellen Harvey, who works harness-racing communications with the U.S. Trotters Association. The following were inducted with Dewey — breeder Joe M. Thomson (Living Hall of Fame), racehorse Somebeachsomewhere (Living Horse Hall of Fame), driver James W. “Jimmy” Jordan (Immortal Hall of Fame), racehorse Garland Lobell (Immortal Horse Hall of Fame), Bob Marks (Communicators Hall of Fame) and Kathy Parker (Communicators Hall of Fame). Dewey (Living Horse Hall of Fame) became the first North American trotter to earn $3,000,000. Only Nihilator and Presidential Ball accomplished the feat as pacers. Naturally, the competition wanted to snap that streak. For a string of races, it didn’t matter. “When he’s making a move in a race and he’s trying to challenge and go to the front, they can’t keep him from doing that because they don’t have enough,” said Historic Track president Steve Jones, who bred Dewey at Cameo Hills Farm. He ended 2008 by far the leading money winner at $2,218,987. He earned Trotter of the Year and Three-Year-Old Trotter Colt of the Year that year. Thomson’s horses, meanwhile, generated at least $289,322,932 — Harvey provided a conservative total since Thomson co-owns some horses. The 71-year-old remains humble. “We’ve been, is lucky a good word?” Thomson said. “I’ve always said that you can’t hit the ball unless you get up to bat.” Thomson started Winbak Farm with his wife, JoAnn, in 1991. They bred consecutive Horse of the Year winners. First was 2003 winner No Pan Intended, the last horse to win the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for pacers. Then came Hall of Fame racing Rainbow Blue, one of three filly pacers to win the award. But Thomson listed Bettor’s Delight as his favorite horse he bred. He sold Bettor’s Delight for $65,000, and he won $3.4 million, Thomson said. Although Thomson attributes luck to some of his success, he also prioritized diversifying his product. “It’s kind of like picking individual stocks versus a mutual fund,” Thomson said. “You try not to overload on anything, and you try to diversify through choosing a bunch of different stallions.” Something worked. Winbak Farms produced 28,000 winners since the USTA began keeping more detailed records in 1998, he said. Jordan was one of the first members of the USTA’s 1,000-race winners club. By the end of the 1960s, he was one of only 27 drivers to win more than $3 million. Garland Lobell is the 12th highest-earning trotting sire of all time, with winnings of nearly $51 million. Marks wrote about harness racing for six decades. His work includes writing and editing for Trotter Weekly, as well as being a harness handicapper and pedigree analyst. Parker served as longtime editor and general manager of The Horseman and Fair World magazine. Josh Bakan Reprinted with permission of the  Times Herald Record - Check site here    

Goshen, NY--- Joe Thomson, founder and co-owner of the expansive Winbak Farms breeding operation, was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame Sunday night (July 5). Also receiving honors on the night were Living Horse Hall of Fame inductees Somebeachsomewhere and Deweycheatumnhowe; Communicators Hall of Fame inductees Bob Marks and Kathy Parker; Immortals Jimmy Jordan and Garland Lobell; Hall of Fame broodmares Art’s Vintage and Presidential Lady; amateur driving champion Steve Oldford; and 2014 Horse of the Year JK She’salady. Thomson and his wife, JoAnn, started Winbak Farm in 1991. Headquartered on nearly 3,000 acres in Chesapeake City, Md., Winbak Farm has been ranked the leading breeder more than 20 times in three different states or provinces and was U.S. Harness Writers Association Breeder of the Year three times in a single decade. In light of his success, Thomson was quick to point out that he has a crack staff at his operations in four states and Ontario. “I often think to myself, ‘What would you do without that staff?’” he said. “Well, you wouldn’t be able to do a lot of business. I would make an analogy to be like a guy in a canoe, in the middle of a lake, without a paddle. [He’s got] lots of ideas, but a failure to execute.” Thomson was introduced by fellow Hall of Famer Jim Simpson, president of Hanover Shoe Farms, making him a rival on the breeder leaderboard and an ally when the duo travel to Harrisburg, Pa., to remind state legislators of the benefits of alternative gaming revenue to the horse racing industry. “He built an outstanding broodmare band, well over 350 mares,” said Simpson before adding, tongue-in-cheek, “I’ve asked him how many mares he has. He won’t tell me.” Somebeachsomewhere and Dewewycheatumnhowe were 2008 Pacer of the Year and Trotter of the Year, respectively, with “The Beach” taking Horse of the Year. Brent MacGrath, who trained and co-owned Somebeachsomewhere with James Bagnell, Pamela Dean, Reg Petitpas, Garry Pye and Stuart Rath, marveled at how consistent the horse was during a two-year career in which he won 20 of 21 races, $3,221,299 in purses, and took a mark of 1:46.4 at The Red Mile at 3. “It really made me feel good that in his last race he appeared to be as good as he was the first day he stepped on the track,” he said. Local boy Deweycheatumnhowe was trained, driven and co-owned by Ray Schnittker, who kept the horse at his barn a stone’s throw from the Museum at Historic Track. He noted that the winner of $3,155,178 in purses, who he co-owned with Charles Iannazzo, Ted Gewertz and Frank Baldassare, was a favorite among his connections and even his competitors. “When ‘Dewey’ won the Hambo, Kelvin Harrison said that the roar from the grooms and second trainers in the paddock at the Meadowlands, he’d never heard that before,” he said. “It was a great honor that everybody was rooting for the horse.” Marks is a longtime writer, pedigree analyst and yearling marketer, and was introduced by fellow Communicators Hall of Famer, Murray Brown, of Hanover Shoe Farms. Parker, editor and general manager of The Horseman and Fair World magazine, was introduced by fellow Communicators Hall of Famer Moira Fanning of the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown. Immortal inductee Jordan was a leading driver at Roosevelt Raceway in the 1940s and '50s. Horse Immortal inductee, Garland Lobell, was best known for siring the "Trotting Triumvirate" of Andover Hall, Conway Hall and Angus Hall. Broodmare inductees to the Hall of Fame were Art's Vintage, dam of world champion Vintage Master, Great Vintage and Ideal Vintage; and Presidential Lady, dam of 2014 Horse of the Year, JK She'salady, and North America Cup winner JK Endofanera. Oldford was honored as 2014 Amateur Driver of the Year, his fifth such award. The connections of JK She’salady were presented with the 2014 Delvin and Mary Lib Miller Horse of the Year award. by T.J. Burkett, Executive Editor, Hoof Beats

JUNE 24, 2015 - Lets Be Honest battled in the Gold Series as a two-year-old, but Rockwood, ON resident Benoit Baillargeon decided to start the trotter in the Grassroots this season and the decision proved a wise one as the harness racing gelding captured his first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday. Lets Be Honest and driver Mario Baillargeon of Milton, ON benefitted from Post 1 in the fifth Grassroots division and were able to sit behind pacesetter A Little More Love through fractions of :29.3, :59.4 and 1:29.4 before sneaking up the passing lane to a narrow victory. A Little More Love settled for second in the 2:00.2 mile, with Jayport All Muscle completing the top three. "He's coming along real nice," said trainer Baillargeon after the race. "He's got a little bit of talent, let's put it that way. I don't know if he'll be able to step back up to the Gold, we'll see as we go." The horseman conditions Lets Be Honest for Claude Gendreau Stb. Inc. of Buffalo Grove, IL. Through eight starts this year Lets Be Honest has tallied two wins, two seconds and two thirds for earnings of $20,318. Since finishing sixth in the Grassroots season opener on June 4, the Deweycheatumnhowe son has two wins and a third, all over Mohawk Racetrack. "So far he's done what we ask him to do," noted Baillargeon. "He's getting better every start." Baillargeon also picked up a runner-up cheque with Numbers Game in the fourth $18,000 division, while Century Behemoth made a break and finished sixth in the sixth heat. "I've got three or four (3-year-old trotting colts), they're mostly all Grassroots right now," added the trainer. "Hopefully one will step up to the Gold, but right now it's still too early." Unlike Lets Be Honest, Its Huw You Know was a regular on the Grassroots scene last year and the Holiday Road gelding picked up his second ever Grassroots trophy in the first division on Wednesday. Fan favourites Its Huw You Know and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON led from start to finish, sailing under the wire three and three-quarter lengths ahead of P L Intimidator and Mandeville. The 2:00.2 clocking shaved one-fifth of a second off the gelding's personal best. Conditioned by Keith Jones of Midland, ON for Douglas McCarthy of Holland Landing, ON, Its Huw You Know had been winless through eight starts prior to Wednesday's outing. The second Grassroots division also featured a tight finish as favourite Call Me Richard stuck a neck in front of pacesetter New Muscle AS at the wire. South Star finished third in the 1:58.2 mile. Guelph, ON resident Paul MacDonell engineered Call Me Richard's first sophomore victory for trainer Clare Bradshaw of Simcoe, ON and owner Andrea Arthur of Scotland, ON. At two the Muscle Mass colt was a three-time winner in the Grassroots program. Buzz scored his first ever victory in the third division, trotting home three and one-quarter lengths ahead of Easton Road and Innkeeper in 2:01.3. Sylvain Filion made his second appearance in the Grassroots winner's circle, guiding the Kadabra gelding home for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Top Dollar earned his second straight Grassroots victory with an impressive come-from-behind effort in the fourth split. Another son of Deweycheatumnhowe, Top Dollar sprinted from fifth at the top of the stretch to a three length victory over Baillargeon starter Numbers Game and Molon Lave, halting the teletimer at 2:00.1. Guelph, ON reinsman James MacDonald piloted Top Dollar to his third lifetime victory for trainer Ann Karin Larsen of Norwood, ON and her partners Steve Organ of Aurora, ON and Stig Westrum and Tor Jan Larsen of Norwood. Arthur, ON horseman Trevor Henry captured the sixth Grassroots trophy with lightly rated Delcrest Massy. The pair powered down the stretch to a 1:58.2 win over Tswalu and Irish Scotch. Henry was in the race bike on behalf of trainer Victor Puddy of Mountain, ON and owner Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, ON. The evening's final trophy went home with Windsor, ON resident Bob McIntosh, who will add it to the hardware Kadabrasnewrecruit earned in the Grassroots season opener. Driver Randy Waples of Milton, ON fired the Kadabra gelding straight to the front and the heavy favourites led through all stations on their way to a 1:59 victory. Ontheroad De Vie and Rebel Rebel rounded out the top three. McIntosh owns and trains Kadabrasnewrecruit, who boasts a record of two wins and two seconds in four sophomore starts for earnings of $27,250. After their second Grassroots victories, Top Dollar and Kadabrasnewrecruit share top spot in the standings with 100 points and will have an opportunity to add to their tally at Mohawk Racetrack on July 3. Rather than head to Mohawk, some of the three-year-old trotting colts may choose to return to Grand River Raceway when the Elora oval hosts the third Gold Series leg for the division on Wednesday, July 15. Ontario Horse Racing

HARRINGTON, Del. - Bob Shahan and Don Marine's Six Gun Hall ($5, Allan Davis) broke the track record for harness racing aged trotting horses Wednesday at Harrington Raceway with a 1:54.4 triumph in the $12,500 Open II. Sired by Deweycheatumnhowe, Six Gun Hall wore down pacesetter I'm So Striking in the stretch and held off a late charge from Pittstop Kip, who was second, for the win. Trained by co-owner Shahan, it was the fifth win of the season for Six Gun Hall. Three non-wagering pony races at a half-mile distance for Harness Horse Youth Foundation's (HHYF) 11 campers were conducted after each of the first three races with the campers being assisted by licensed drivers in a double-seated jog cart. The camp participants were capping a week long day-to-day harness racing experience. Cd's Miss M (Jessica Beauchamp/Montrell Teague) was a dominant winner in the first division, timed in 1:15.4. In the second HHYF event, Royal Attire (Charline Engerran/Allan Davis) prevailed in 1:24. The third division saw CD's Miss M (Hayley Halloran/Ross Wolfenden) triumph again in 1:15.1. Each of the 11 campers was recognized in the winner's circle for their participation by the Executive Director of the Delaware Harness Commission, Mark Davis. HHYF Executive Director Ellen Taylor and her team of volunteers, including HHYF board member Karen Craft of Harrington Raceway were also on hand. There's a deviation from the normal schedule at Harrington with no live racing on Thursday June 25, however, the Monday through Thursday schedule will resume on June 29. Matthew Sparacino  

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