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CAMPBELLVILLE, August 28 - Many of harness racings finest three-year-old trotting fillies took centre-stage at Mohawk Racetrack Friday night for the Casual Breeze Stakes. A total of 15 sophomore trotting fillies were split into two divisions of the Grand Circuit event. In the $91,475 first division, Doug Millard's homebred, Elegant Serenity, went gate to wire for 3½ length victory. Starting from post position six, trainer/driver Roger Mayotte immediately took the filly to the lead, opening up by as much as two lengths by the half. Elegant Serenity controlled the tempo throughout, posting fractions of 27:4, 57:2, and 1.25:4. She opened up her lead down the stretch by up to five lengths, being chased late by Lilu Hanover to close the gap. Smokinmombo, the odds on favourite, stalked the pace to the half, made a brief bid at the top of the stretch and eased out to a sixth place finish. Second place finisher Lilu Hanover trailed the field down the stretch, making a late surge in the final eighth to pass Piscean three wide. Juanitas Fury was fourth by 5¼ lengths. "She had no real races over the last month" said Mayotte, following the race. "We knew she has a big plate ahead of her over the next six weeks, so we thought it was a good chance to give her a freshener". Owner/breeder Doug Millard later added that Elegant Serenity will likely be aimed towards the Elegantimage Stakes, which is fittingly named in honour of her dam. Friday's score was Elegant Serenity's fourth out of her six starts in 2015. She has now bumped her lifetime earnings to over $150,000 after Friday's stakes victory. Elegant Serenity paid $4.90 to win. Elegant Serenity Ontario Sires Stakes star Muscle Baby Doll scored her sixth consecutive victory with another dominating effort in the $92,475 second Casual Breeze split. Muscle Baby Doll, the 2/5 favourite, and driver Doug McNair left from the rail and got situated third, before making a quick second-quarter move to overtake the lead from Danielle Hall. The public's choice posted a half-mile time of :56.3 to take the field into the final turn. Lock Down Lindy, a Hambletonian Oaks elimination winner, picked up cover around the final turn and was placed second-over. After trotting by the three-quarter pole in 1:25.4, Muscle Baby Doll waved goodbye to her rivals and quickly extended her lead. Lock Down Lindy was unable to fire off her cover in the lane, leaving Danielle Hall to chase the favourite and finish second by two-lengths, as Muscle Baby Doll stopped the timer in 1:53.3. Speak To Me trotted up to get third, while Tymal Illbthere was fourth. A daughter of Muscle Mass, Muscle Baby Doll is trained by Tony O'Sullivan for owner F Bellino And Sons Llc. The sophomore trotting filly was making her first start since a 6¾ length victory in the Duenna Stakes at The Meadowlands on August 7. "What she did at The Meadowlands was pretty spectacular and she was good again tonight," said O'Sullivan, following the race. "She's a beautiful filly, she's a professional and she does everything good and she just wants to win." Muscle Baby Doll improved her record to seven wins from eight starts in 2015 with her 11th career victory Friday. The Casual Breeze score increases her earnings to over $390,000. Following the race, O'Sullivan confirmed that Muscle Baby Doll is being pointed towards the Elegantimage eliminations in two weeks. Muscle Baby Doll paid $2.90 to win. Muscle Baby Doll   The sophomore trotting fillies will have a final opportunity to prep for the Elegantimage Stakes next Friday (September 4) in the Simcoe Stakes. Mark McKelvie

AUGUST 27, 2015 - A few strides from the wire in Thursday's ninth race it looked as though Solar Sister's perfect Gold Series season would come to an end at Mohawk Racetrack, but the gritty harness racing three-year-old pacing filly fought to the end and extended her Ontario Sires Stakes win streak to four. "I think he backed her off a little around the last turn, hoping to get some room there, and then next thing he knew Mario (Baillargeon) was gone on him, so he had to gain a fair bit of ground to catch her," said trainer Gregg McNair of the race crafted by son Doug McNair. "She raced good, she's a good mare." Starting from Post 1, Doug McNair and Solar Sister had early command of the race, reaching the opening quarter in :26.3. However, a parked out Mario Baillargeon and Tessa Seelster decided the front end was more appealing than a spot among the followers and McNair chose not to disagree, allowing the challengers to take the lead before the :54.4 half. Fan favourites McNair and Solar Sister watched from the pocket as Baillargeon and Tessa Seelster reached the three-quarters in 1:23 and turning for home they were hemmed in by Maplelea mounting a charge in the outer lane. Once the fillies straightened out in the stretch, McNair was able to maneuver Solar Sister into an open lane, but it took every ounce of stubborn determination the filly possessed to reel in Tessa Seelster. The fillies hit the wire almost as one, with Solar Sister a narrow winner in 1:50.4. Capela was three lengths back in third. The victory was Solar Sister's fourth straight in Gold Series action, giving her a perfect score of 200 points in the sophomore pacing filly standings, a division Gregg McNair predicts will only get more interesting through the final Gold Leg and Super Final. "There's some good mares in there. I'd say there's a couple new ones there that nobody was looking for that much earlier in the year. They're just starting to pop out here now," said the Guelph, ON resident, adding that he was impressed with Tessa Seelster's effort. "The nice thing about her, she was parked around the first turn, so she raced a heck of a trip, then the ones that were one-two in the first division raced big," continued the horseman, whose Glamour Seelster was the runner-up in the first division, in her first Gold Series start. "It's shaping up to be a different looking division than it was two weeks ago." With the next Gold Leg not taking place until Oct. 1 at Flamboro Downs, many of the three-year-old pacing fillies will be battling in open stake events in the coming weeks. Among the races McNair is considering for Solar Sister are the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk on Sept. 5 and the Jugette at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio on Sept. 23. "She's going to the Simcoe, then she'll go to, possibly, the Jugette," said McNair, who conditions the daughter of Mach Three and $1.4 million winner Cabrini Hanover for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. "We'll see how she comes out of tonight and see how she races in the Simcoe. "We'd like to have her good for the Breeders Crown (Oct. 17 and 24) is what we'd like to have her good for, but it's a hard race to have them good for, because it's later on," added the trainer. "It's hard to keep them good all year, and she's been consistent here all year." Through 11 sophomore starts Solar Sister has accumulated seven wins, one second, one third and $384,112, giving her a two-season total just shy of $600,000. In addition to her flawless Gold Series record the filly swept her elimination and the final of the WEG-SBOA Stake in May and finished third in the Fan Hanover Final in June. Solar Sister The first $105,000 Gold division also featured a fierce stretch duel between fan favourite Wrangler Magic, pocket-sitter Cast No Shadow and McNair trainee Glamour Seelster. Wrangler Magic and driver Sylvain Filion took early command of the race, reeling off fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:24.1 with Cast No Shadow and Randy Waples tucked in behind them. Rolling off the final turn Waples tipped Cast No Shadow out and the filly accelerated past Wrangler Magic and held off a late charging Glamour Seelster to secure a one-quarter length victory in 1:51. Glamour Seelster earned the runner-up cheque, with Wrangler Seelster settling for third. The win was the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action for Cast No Shadow, but not her first in stakes competition. The daughter of Shadow Play and $374,152 winner Hypnotize captured two legs of the Blossom Series and the final of the Princess Series in the spring. Through 15 starts she boasts a record of eight wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $185,544. Nick Gallucci of Brantford, ON conditions Cast No Shadow for owner Millard Adams of Carlisle, OH. Cast No Shadow Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, Aug. 31 with five Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts. The freshman pacers will be featured in Races 3, 4, 6, 9, and 10 on the 7:25 pm program. 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

Local father-son harness racing duo Gregg and Doug McNair captured their third Battle Of Waterloo victory during the 25th anniversary edition of Grand River Raceway's Industry Day celebration on August 3. The Guelph, ON residents won the race in 2008 with Trail Boss and again in 2013 with Three Of Clubs. A winner in his elimination division one week ago, Magnum J went off at odds of 3-1 leaving from post seven in the $227,397 final. Doug McNair, 25, guided the two-year-old pacer straight to the front of the nine-horse field and never looked back, maintaining the lead in the stretch against a fast-closing Stonebridge Beach with driver Stephane Pouliot. Magnum J finished a half-length the best in 1:55.3. Gregg McNair purchased Magnum J for $10,000 from last year's Forest City Yearling Sale for co-owners Tony Lawrence and William Brown. The black gelding's share of the 18th annual Battle Of Waterloo brings his career bankroll to $126,799. The McNairs also nailed back-to-back wins in races two and three of the 11-race card. Solar Sister was the betting favourite heading into the first of two $105,000 Gold Series divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS). Doug McNair dominated gate-to-wire, scoring the sophomore pacing filly's sixth win from nine season starts. The victory pushes her career bankroll to $540,190 for owners David Willmot and Clay Harland Horner. The 1:53.2 clocking set a new Canadian season's record and was just one-fifth of a second off the track record. Team McNair was back to the winners circle in the next dash for the Battle Of The Belles Consolation. Stonebridge Pearl was sixth in last week's elimination division but scored handily in today's $15,000 contest. The Mach Three filly's maiden win clocked in at 1:57.3 for Gregg McNair who co-owns with Terry & Jake Davidson. In the Battle Of Belles final, trainer David Menary and driver Jody Jamieson teamed up for their second stakes win. The pair won the 2012 edition with Macharoundtheclock. This year's $141,246 final was all Free Show as she scored her second career win after last week's victory in the eliminations. Jamieson finished a length the best in 1:56.3 for Hutt Racing Stable, who paid just $14,000 for the Badlands Hanover filly as a yearling. She has now earned $110,623 in five career starts. The second OSS Gold Series division of the day was won by Ms Mac N Cheese. Driver Sylvain Filion fired the Badlands Hanover filly up the passing lane to win by a length over Sports Chic in 1:55.3. Richard Moreau trains Ms Mac N Cheese for David Ratchford. This is her fifth win in eight season starts. On the lighter side, driver James MacDonald stole the half-time show with an incredible repeat performance in the Industry Day Drivers' Edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes. The Guelph, ON reinsman has won the event for the past five consecutive years. Fellow drivers Ryan Holliday, Tyler Moore and Travis Henry put up a good fight, but simply could not stack up against the unstoppable MacDonald. "Everyone's got their thing," said MacDonald in a post-race interview. "Gretzky had hockey and I've got the bounce." The Best In Show competition sponsored by the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) awarded $1,500 to the caretakers of horses racing on the Industry Day card. Fifteen prizes of $100 were presented to the top five in each of the following categories: Best Of Show Head-To-Toe; Horse & Groom; Above & Beyond (braids, sparkles, etc.). The winners were: Sharleen MacDonald, Brandy Jamieson, Marylou Gingras, Nancy O'Hagan, Alexis Hebert, Ethan Gagnon, Laura Ireland, Leanne Murphy, Kellie Browne, J. Richards, Rick Welsh, Kelley McNiven, Gabriella Sasso, Jeff Williams, and Patty Drury. A crowd of approximately 5,000 people wagered $93,110 on-track. The total handle was $312,548.  Battle Of The Belles race video Battle Of Waterloo video  Bouncy Pony Stakes race video Kelly Spencer

Rural Guelph residents Gregg and Doug McNair had another outstanding afternoon during their local oval's annual showcase of harness racing. The father-son duo - the top trainer and driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program in 2014 - took four horses to Grand River Raceway on Monday for the 25th Industry Day program and went home with three wins and one third. Kicking off Team McNair's impressive afternoon was three-year-old pacing filly Solar Sister, who captured the first $105,000 Gold Series division in 1:53.2, just one-fifth of a second off the track record. Starting from Post 1 the Mach Three filly and driver Doug McNair took command of the race just past the :26.3 opening quarter and carried on to a :54.4 half and a 1:24 three-quarters before hitting the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Wrangler Magic. Stonebridge Quest finished two and one-half lengths back of the favourites in third. "She drew good and took advantage of it," said Gregg McNair, who conditions Solar Sister for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. "It was a big mile. We had a lot of rain around here yesterday so the track, it's good now, but it'll likely even get faster by the end of the day." "They done a good job, this morning I was up here and it had a few ruts in it," he added. "They did quite a bit of work." The win was Solar Sister's third in Gold Series action this season, giving her a perfect 150 points and top spot in the division standings. Through nine sophomore starts the filly boasts a record of six wins and one third for earnings of $325,362. In addition to her Gold Series trophies she also captured the SBOA Stake Final at Mohawk Racetrack on May 30 and finished third in the Fan Hanover Final at Mohawk on June 20. Doug and Gregg McNair returned to the Grand River Raceway winner's circle one race later, with two-year-old pacing filly Stonebridge Pearl, who sprinted down the stretch to a 1:57.3 score in the Battle Of The Belles Consolation. Doug McNair and the Mach Three daughter, who is a Gold Series regular, bested Miss Babe Delight and favourite Twin B Virtue by a length. Gregg McNair trains Stonebridge Pearl for his partners Terry and Jake Davidson of Walkerton, ON. Five-year-old trotting gelding Buddy Hally, who was a Grassroots Champion at two and a Gold Series Consolation winner at three, was the next horse out of the McNair barn and he posted a third-place result in the Doug Gamsby Memorial Trot, behind 1:58.2 winner Extracurricular and Stormont Kate. Gregg McNair shares ownership of Buddy Hally with Howmac Farms Ltd. of North Wiltshire, PEI, Reginald MacPherson of Stratford, PEI and Wayne MacRae of Fall River, NS. The McNair's capped off their spectacular afternoon by capturing their third Battle Of Waterloo title with Magnum J, who rocketed away from Post 7 and around the half-mile oval to a 1:55.3 victory. Stonebridge Beach closed hard to finish one-half length back in second and Carolina Hurricane rounded out the top three. From the first crop of Ontario stallion Big Jim, Gold Series regular Magnum J is owned by Gregg McNair and Tony Lawrence and William Brown of Hanover, ON. The other Gold Series division went to Ms Mac N Cheese and driver Sylvain Filion. The fan favourites landed in second spot from Post 4 and stalked pacesetter Sports Chic through fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:26 before sprinting up the inside in the stretch to a 1:55.3 triumph. Sports Chic settled for second, one length behind the winner, and Ride Away Shark completed the top three. "I really thought I could maybe cut it out but I could see that Jody wanted to cut it out," said Filion. "I didn't mind the two-hole, and she just responded great. "She's pretty much a push-button filly," added the Milton, ON resident. "She showed today she was real good." Filion engineered Ms Mac N Cheese's second Gold Series win for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owner David Ratchford of North Sydney, NS. The Badlands Hanover daughter currently sits second in the division standings with 125 points from two wins and one second in three Gold Series starts. Second by a neck to Solar Sister in the SBOA Stake Final, Ms Mac N Cheese boasts a record of five wins, two seconds and one third in eight starts for earnings of $210,805. The three-year-old pacing fillies make their fourth Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 27. Rounding out the stakes action on the 25th anniversary Industry Day program was the Battle Of The Belles, which went home with driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary for the second time since its inception in 2009. Moffat, ON resident Jamieson piloted Badlands Hanover daughter Free Show to an effortless 1:56.3 score over Betty Hill and Golden Idol for Cambridge, ON resident Menary and owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on Friday, Aug. 14 with the fourth Gold Series event for the two-year-old trotting colts. August 14 is Ontario Sires Stakes Fan Celebration night at the Elora oval and fans can dress up in the likeness of one of the freshman trotting colt's names for a shot at $500 in prizes, or receive an OSS t-shirt autographed by some of the province's top sires and racehorses. Ontario Horse Racing

JULY 19, 2015 - Reigning Lampman Cup champion Doug McNair earned his first Ontario Sires Stake hat trick of the harness racing season at Georgian Downs on Sunday evening. The 25-year-old made his first trip to the Georgian Downs winner's circle in the third of nine Grassroots divisions, guiding two-year-old pacing filly Mattjestic Tempo to an impressive 1:54.3 score over Bad Lightning and Vermilion Bird. After sitting fourth for much of the mile, McNair tipped Mattjestic Tempo into the outer lane heading by the half and the Royal Mattjesty daughter sprinted home to a two length victory. "She raced in the Gold last week and got a piece of it so I figured she had a big shot at winning," said McNair of the Blake MacIntosh trainee. "That was a big mile tonight. It was really, really windy up here tonight; a big head wind. "It was really windy down the backside, pretty much wore the ones on the front, and the ones first up, out," added the reinsman. "The weather wasn't as good as it looked on TV, that's for sure." Waterdown, ON resident MacIntosh shares ownership of Mattjestic Tempo with Stuart McIntosh of Essex, ON and Brett Authier of Wheatley, ON. The partners anted up $9,000 to acquire the daughter of $448,335 winner Daylon Tempo from last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale. With a runner-up finish in her career debut, her fifth-place result in the July 6 Gold event, and her Grassroots victory the filly has already earned $16,000. One race later McNair was back in the winner's circle, this time with a filly hammered down for $92,000 at the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale to owner-trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON. Starting from Post 7, McNair and Life Book paced by the quarter pole in the outer lane, found a spot on the rail heading by the half and then were three-wide at the three-quarters before accelerating down the stretch to the half-length victory. Life Book stopped the Georgian Downs teletimer at 1:56.4, reeling in pacesetter Active Lady and favourite Miss Print. "She went a pretty good trip too, she was three wide early," said McNair. "I thought she may be third at the head of the stretch, but she mowed them down." The daughter of Shadow Play is out of $133,217 winner Give Me Life, who has already produced three $200,000-plus winners. Life Book made her debut in the July 9 Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack, finishing fifth. McNair completed the driving hat trick with MacIntosh trainee Sports Expert, who captured her first lifetime start in 1:56.1, besting My Rhythm Of Rhyme and No Shadows. Starting from Post 1 Sports Expert landed in third through the early going, and McNair sent her after the leader heading for the halfway marker, reaching the front before the 1:26.4 three-quarters. "I didn't want to drive her like that tonight, but I just got away in a bad spot - being first up and battling the one all the way down the backside - and she won pretty handy," noted the Guelph, ON resident. "She's going to be a pretty nice filly I think." MacIntosh, Touch Stone Farms of Guelph, and 30-Plus Stable of Trenton, ON purchased the Sportswriter filly, a full-sister to last season's multiple Gold Series winner Sporting The Look, from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $20,000. "I'm happy with the ones I'm driving," said McNair. "I've got some nice ones." The other six divisions also featured some well-bred, talented fillies. Bourbon Seelster kicked things off, capturing the first division in 1:58.1 for driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON, trainer Robert Manders and owners Scott and Keith Manders of Watford, ON. The Camluck miss - a $14,000 yearling purchase from the Forest City Yearling Sale - bested Machioda and Icthelight Hanover. Twin B Virtue and driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON captured the second split, with a 1:56.2 effort, over Selling the Dream and Cracklin Rosie. It was the first lifetime start for the Badlands Hanover daughter, a $30,000 purchase out of the Canadian Yearling Sale by trainer Dave Menary of Cambridge, Brad Gray of Dundas and Michael Guerriero of Puslinch, ON. The filly is out of $116,833 winner What An Attitude, who has already produced six $100,000-plus winners. Dr. Ian Moore of Guelph, Sally MacDonald of Souris, PEI, Paul MacDonald of Toronto, ON and Shirley Yeung of Toronto offered $52,000 for Bold Amoretto at the Harrisburg Sale, and the daughter of Big Jim and $1.6 million winner Armbro Amoretto captured her first Grassroots trophy on Sunday. The filly and driver Chris Christoforou of Campbellville hit the wire in 1:56.1, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Boozer Bruiser and Jimmys Little Girl. Milton resident Sylvain Filion steered Mayhem Seelster to a 1:57.2 win over Noone To Depend On and Rosy Outlook in the sixth tilt. Tony O'Sullivan of Cambridge trains the Mach Three daughter for Domenic Chiaravalle of Hamilton, ON, who selected her from the Forest City Yearling Sale for $55,000. Division eight went to Dewar N Soda and Mike Saftic, who went gate-to-wire in 1:56.1 for trainer Marcel Barrieau and owners Joseph Wilkie and Wayne MacRae of Fall River, NS. The daughter of Badlands Hanover and $233,166 winner Hasty Dewar was a $16,000 purchase at Harrisburg. Glorious Delight and Divas Image finished second and third. Tempus Seelster and trainer-driver Travis Henry captured the final Grassroots trophy of the evening with a 1:55.3 effort, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Heavenly Hill and Buttermilk Hanover. Benbar Stables of Oakville, ON Glen Wark of St. Catharines, ON and Craig Wood of Waterdown share ownership of the daughter of Big Jim and The Patriot ($623,324), acquiring her for $10,000 from the Harrisburg Sale. The two-year-old pacing fillies make their third Grassroots start at Clinton Raceway on Aug. 9. Ontario Sires Stakes action keeps rolling at Georgian Downs, with three Gold Series divisions of two-year-old trotting colts slated for Tuesday, July 21. The trotters are featured in Races 1, 4, and 8 on Tuesday's program, which gets under way at 7:15 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

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

Ontario's 2015 two-year-old pacing colt crop kicked off their provincial careers at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday night in the presence of a Canadian harness racing legend. Hall of Fame horseman Keith Waples was on hand to watch the debut of his colt Senior K in the fourth Grassroots division, and when the Bettors Delight son delivered an impressive victory Waples joined the colt in the winner's circle, a spot he visited regularly during a driving career that spanned seven decades. "It's pretty neat driving for the best driver to ever sit behind a horse," said Doug McNair, who steered Senior K to the win. The 25-year-old reinsman sent Senior K to the front from Post 8 and the colt rolled through fractions of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:27.4, fending off a challenge from Sure Fired Bet. Pacing strongly through the stretch, Senior K hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of fan favourite Gerries Sport and Mr Mach Jimmy in a mile time of 1:55.2. The 91-year-old Waples, who crafted the first sub-2:00 mile ever recorded in Canada with Mighty Dudley at Richelieu Park in 1959, joined the young reinsman and his father Gregg McNair in the winner's circle, an event the elder McNair hopes to see repeated on the Grassroots circuit this summer. "He raced real good, he finished good and left hard, so he kind of raced like a decent colt," said the trainer. "We were really pleased with him." McNair and Waples picked Senior K out of the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, with Durham, ON resident Waples offering up $75,000 for the half-brother to $509,845 winner Handsoffmycupcake and $275,666 winner Lola Palooza. "We bid on two, we bid on another one that we didn't get and so we went after him," recalled Guelph, ON resident Gregg McNair. "We were looking for an Ontario-bred pacing colt and we kind of had it narrowed down to a Bettors Delight or a Mach Three; he was available and we liked the way he looked." McNair added that Senior K was a challenging yearling to work with, and continues to be difficult around the barn, but the trainer hopes Friday's victory has started the young pacer down a path that leads to continued Grassroots success. "He tries to get out of things a little bit, but anyhow he raced good tonight, I hope that breaks him loose a little bit," said the trainer. The other five division winners will also be hoping to replicate Friday's success when they return to Mohawk next Friday, July 17 for their second Grassroots event. Currently sharing top billing with Senior K are Writers Kramp, Kokanee Seelster, Macharoni N Cheese, Think On It and Print Media. Writers Kramp opened the evening with an impressive 1:55.1 win from off the pace. Starting from Post 9, driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON allowed the Sportswriter son to float away from the gate and had found room on the rail in fifth by the :27.3 opening quarter. Watching from mid-pack as First Car rolled through fractions of :58 and 1:27.2, Filion found an open lane in the stretch and Writers Cramp responded with a :26.3 finishing kick that propelled him past First Car and Vegas Dream and into the winner's circle. Shaun McDonald of Rockwood, ON trains Writers Cramp for owner-breeder Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, ON. The colt is a half-brother $611,769 winner Dreamlands Art. Fan favourite Kokanee Seelster made winning look easy in the second Grassroots division, sailing along on the front to a 1:53 victory over Derecho and Notetoself Hanover. Campbellville, ON resident Mike Saftic crafted the Camluck colt's two and three-quarter length victory for trainer William Corbett of London, ON and owners Edmund Lui of Parkhill, ON, Yves Blouin of London and Ming Siu of Richmond, BC. Macharoni N Cheese posted a 1:55.4 victory in the fourth division, besting The Big Beast and Shadows Pro. The Mach Three son was driven to the victory by trainer Joe Hudon of Acton, ON who also shares ownership of the colt with his wife Karen Hudon. Think On It got a confident steer from Milton, ON resident Randy Waples in the fifth split, rolling to the front past the half and then carrying on to a one and one-quarter length 1:54 victory over Wild Chance and favourite Blue Zombie. The Ponder son is trained by Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON for his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and James Walker of Port Perry, ON. The final Grassroots trophy of the evening went home with Vintage Master son Print Media, who roared down the stretch to a neck decision over Only Half Bad and St Lads Moonwalk. It was the second Grassroots win of the evening for Sylvain Filion, who engineered the 1:54.2 mile for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owner Saverino Spagnolo of Ottawa, ON. While Mohawk Racetrack await the second Grassroots event for the two-year-old pacing colts next Friday, they can catch the division's Gold Series contenders in action on Saturday. The freshman pacers are featured in Races 2, 3 and 7 on the July 11 program, which gets under way at 7:25 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

 JULY 2, 2015 - Solar Sister took command of the three-year-old pacing filly division with a 1:50.3 victory in her harness racing Ontario Sire Stakes Gold division at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. Starting from Post 2 in the second $105,000 Gold split, fan favourite Solar Sister landed on the rail behind number two choice Ms Mac N Cheese and watched contentedly from the pocket as the pacesetter zipped to fractions of :26.1 and :54.4. Rolling toward the 1:23.2 three-quarters, driver Doug McNair tipped Solar Sister into the outer lane and the filly reeled in her Ontario Sires Stakes rival, earning a half-length victory in a personal best 1:50.3. Ms Mac N Cheese and driver Sylvain Filion settled for a hard fought second, with Capela and driver James MacDonald well behind the duelling leaders in third. "I figured Sylvain (Filion) would be pointing her (Ms Mac N Cheese) out of there and trying to either cut it out or sit on my back," said McNair after the race. "We went out of there pretty fast; his filly was rolling right along to the half. I could have come back around, but I was pretty content to where I was at. It looked to me like a two horse race when the draw came out, so I was happy to be following her. I knew she'd get me to where we had to go." Guelph resident McNair engineered Solar Sister's second Gold Series victory for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and owner-breeders David Willmot of King City and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto. The win bumped the daughter of Mach Three and $1.4 million winner Cabrini Hanover to lifetime earnings of $485,690 and gives her a sophomore record of five wins, one third and one fourth in seven starts. "She's just getting to be a really nice mare. You can race her any way, on the front or from the back or in the middle," added the reinsman. "Them type of mares are horses that make it a lot easier for me, you can kind of judge the speed and make up your mind as you go, and she's happy to race any way. "She's a big filly, good gaited, a nice bred filly, I'm glad we got her." Solar Sister With wins in the first two Gold Legs, Solar Sister sits alone atop the three-year-old pacing filly division standings with 100 points. Ms Mac N Cheese, also a winner in the June 6 season opener at Mohawk Racetrack, falls to second spot which she shares with the winner of the first division, Wrangler Magic. Fan Hanover champions Wrangler Magic and Sylvain Filion went off as the heavy favourites from Post 4 in the first Gold Series contest and, as he would later do with Ms Mac N Cheese, the Milton reinsman opted to take command of the race. Wrangler Magic rolled easily to a :27 quarter, fended off a challenge from Delightful Hill heading by the :55.1 half, and was comfortably in charge at the 1:23.1 three-quarters. Turning for home, however, things got decidedly less comfortable for the pacesetter. Facing pressure from all sides, Wrangler Magic had to battle all the way to the wire, securing a 1:51 victory by a scant nose over Cast No Shadow. Delightful Hill sprinted into third, three-quarters of a length behind the leaders. Owners Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON, Dr. Maurice Stewart of Leduc, AB, Brian Paquet of Quebec, QC and Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC now have a Gold Series trophy to display alongside the Fan Hanover trophy Wrangler Magic earned at Mohawk on June 20. Through six sophomore starts the Mach Three daughter has tallied two wins, two seconds and two thirds and Thursday's win boosted her lifetime earnings to $513,894. Stephane Larocque conditions the talented young pacer, who was also a Gold Series winner at two. Wrangler Magic Solar Sister, Wrangler Magic and their peers will now enjoy a brief break in their provincial stakes schedule before it resumes at Grand River Raceway on August 3. Mohawk Racetrack fans have a much shorter interlude before the next Ontario Sires Stakes event at the Campbellville oval. On Monday, July 6 the two-year-old stakes season gets under way with three Gold Series divisions for the freshman pacing fillies. The fillies will be featured in Races 3, 6 and 9 on the 7:25 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 20...In an ultra-competitive $350,000 Roses Are Red final for harness racing filly and mare pacers on Pepsi North America Cup night at Mohawk Racetrack, it was Lady Shadow, the 2-1 second choice, who prevailed by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:48.3. Driven by Doug McNair for trainer Ron Adams, Lady Shadow had arrived at the final off a blistering front end 1:48.3 elim win last week and was posting her third victory in only five starts so far this year. The four-year-old Ontario-sired daughter of Shadow Play-Lady Camella came from third and took over before the half in :54.1, buzzed to the three-quarters in a red-hot 1:21.1, then held off the stretch closers, slight favourite Yagonnakissmeornot and Sandbetweenurtoes, for the win. The field also included the consecutive three-time Roses Are Red defending champion and $3 million earner Anndrovette, but a fourth crown was not in the cards. The eight-year-old mare came home seventh, after taking the field through a quick opening quarter in :25.3, then following Lady Shadow in second until mid-stretch. "They were probably figuring on her (Lady Shadow) leaving out of there tonight," explained McNair. "I wasn't sure who was going to take a stab (at the front). I figured (driver) Timmy (Tetrick, driving Anndrovette) would be coming out of there. I kind of let her settle then put her in front. She kind of did the rest on her own. "I had a good mare (Colors A Virgin) first up (around the far turn). Never want to let her get too close. I figured I'd just let her rock from the three-quarter pole and she paced away from them. She's come along from two to three, now three to four. She's just getting better every year. It was great to get this win. I think I've been second or third in this race before. It's a big thrill for me to win it." Said trainer Adams, who only took over the training of Lady Shadow from McNair's father Gregg in mid-May, when the mare was sold, "She's a beautiful filly. She's built awesome. It's a great win to do it on the front at her home track. I was confident after we won last week. We got to pick our post (3). Picking the inside gave Dougie the opportunity to make something happen." It was career win number 14 for Lady Shadow in 26 starts, with her bankroll now nearing $700,000, including the $175,000 for the Roses Are Red. Lady Shadow paid $6.80, $3.60 and $2.90, teaming with Yagonnakissmeornot ($3.50, $2.60) for an $18.60 (3-5) exactor. A 3-5-6 (Sandbetweenurtoes, $5.40) triactor returned $135.50 while a $1 Superfecta [3-5-6-4 (Waasmula)] was worth $466.55. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 13 - Lady Shadow and Colors A Virgin were harness racing victors in their respective $35,000 Roses Are Red eliminations, for pacing fillies and mares, on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. With Doug McNair in the bike, Lady Shadow captured the first elimination in front-stepping fashion. As soon as the starting gate's wings closed, Lady Shadow brushed to the lead and that is where she remained, putting up fractions of :25.4, :54 and 121.3 before stopping the clock in a new lifetime mark of 1:48.3. Yagonnakissmeornot rallied for second and the even-money favorite, Weeper, was third. Anndrovette, a three-time Rose Are Red Final winner, was fourth and Waasmula was fifth. "She has made almost $500,000 as a two and three year old," said McNair. "She has always been a nice mare and she'll go a big trip once in a while on the front end. Tonight I was just planning on racing her from off the pace and I had seen a couple that I thought were going to leave, decided they were taking off so I just let her roll and the rest is history." With the victory, the Ron Adams trainee notched her second triumph of the season from four starts. The 13-time career winner lifts her earnings to $517,679 for owners David Kryway, Carl Atley, Edwin Gold and Richard Lombardo. The four-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Lady Camella returned $19.40 to win. Lady Shadow In the second elimination, Colors A Virgin and driver Trace Tetrick finished second but inherited the win after race winner Venus Delight caused interference to Katie Said in the stretch and was placed eighth, according to Ontario Racing Commission judges. Krispy Apple put up fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:22.2, before Venus Delight converted off second-over cover, which was provided by a first-up Colors A Virgin, to get to the wire first in 1:49. Colors A Virgin finished second and was placed first. Sandbetweenurtoes finished third and was placed second and Table Talk was fourth and placed third. The Jeff Bamond Jr. trainee notched her fourth win of the season from seven outings. The 22-time career winner lifts her earnings to $798,572 for owner Emerald Highlands Farm. The four-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color returned $17.50 to win. Krispy Apple The $350,000 Roses Are Red Final, which is set for Saturday, June 20 as part of the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup undercard, will be drawn Tuesday. Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

JUNE 6, 2015 - Solar Sister and Ms Mac N Cheese established themselves as the early stars of the harness racing three-year-old pacing filly division with impressive outings in their respective $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Legs at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening. Ms Mac N Cheese opened the Ontario Sires Stakes action with a commanding front end performance that saw her roll through fractions of :26.3, :56.2, and 1:24 without facing a significant challenge. In rein to Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion, fan favourite Ms Mac N Cheese sailed under the wire one length ahead of Evas Girl and Dublin Rose in a personal best 1:52.1. The win was the third this season for Ms Mac N Cheese, who was also victorious in an overnight event on May 15 and in her elimination for the WEG-SBOA Stake on May 23, both over the Mohawk oval. In her only other sophomore start the Badlands Hanover daughter finished second by a neck to Solar Sister in the WEG-SBOA Final on May 30. Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON conditions Ms Mac N Cheese for David Ratchford of North Sydney, NS, who acquired the filly for $10,000 from the 2013 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. At two Ms Mac N Cheese was a star on the Grassroots circuit, winning three regular season events and her Grassroots Semifinal before being edged out in the Grassroots Final by Stonebridge Quest. The filly's successful Gold Series debut boosted her lifetime earnings to $181,882. Solar Sister also controlled the tempo in the second Gold Series division, but the Mach Three daughter faced heavier pressure on the way to her one length, 1:51.2 victory. Driver Doug McNair of Guelph, ON sent Solar Sister to the front heading for the half way marker, and the fan favourite first turned away a challenge from Tessa Seelster, then held off Wrangler Magic and Delightful Hill to extend her sophomore win streak to four. Gregg McNair conditions the talented youngster, who started her win streak in an overnight event at Mohawk on May 15, then swept her elimination and the final of the WEG-SBOA Stakes before landing her first Ontario Sires Stakes win. The Guelph, ON resident trains Solar Sister for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. The filly is the most successful offspring to date from their $1.4 million winning mare Cabrini Hanover. Although she did not earn an Ontario Sires Stakes trophy last season, Solar Sister did capture an elimination of the Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway and a division of the Eternal Camnation Stake at Mohawk, earning $214,828. Saturday's win bumped the filly's lifetime earnings to $378,658. Solar Sister and Ms Mac N Cheese will attempt to maintain their position atop the three-year-old pacing filly leaderboard when the Gold Series returns to Mohawk Racetrack on July 2. Ontario Sires Stakes

CAMPBELLVILLE, May 30 - Ontario sired sophomore fillies were in the harness racing spotlight Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack for the finals of the WEG-SBOA Stakes. A group of ten fillies lined up on both the trot and the pace to contest the rich finals. The three-year-old filly trot final carried a purse of $179,661, while the pacing fillies battled for a purse of $177,661. The sophomore trotting fillies squared off in the first final of the night and O'Brien Award winner Stubborn Belle added to her trophy collection with a 1:55 victory. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Stubborn Belle, the 4/5 favourite, showed early speed to win the battle to the front ahead of a trio of fillies and posted an opening-quarter of :27.1. Battle Mage, who was parked around the first turn, was able to clear to the front as they began the journey down the backstretch, but MacDonell wasted no time circling back around to put Stubborn Belle once again on the lead at the half in :56.2. Stubborn Belle was then able to turn aside the challenge of Meadow Seelster around the final turn and opened up several lengths on the field. The public's choice trotted home in :29.2 to score a three-length victory. Meadow Seelster finished second, while Tymal Illbethere got up for third. Following the race, MacDonell said his filly showed improvements from her elimination victory a week prior. "She just seems to be getting better every week as we go," said MacDonell. "She's actually come a long way. She had a little incident early in the year (and) got behind a bit, but anyways she's back on schedule now." A daughter of Taurus Dream, Stubborn Belle is trained by John Bax and owned by Bax's Parkhill Stud Farm and Al Libfeld. She is now two for two to start the season and has visited the winner's circle seven-times in her career. Stubborn Belle is staked to several of the major Grand Circuit events this season and MacDonell thinks her conditioning will improve as the season progress to allow her to battle with the best fillies in the sport. "She's got the power and strength, it's just a matter of her conditioning kicking in and mid-season John's (Bax) horses usually get better and better, so I can see her doing that." The WEG-SBOA victory pushes Stubborn Belle's career earnings over $614,000. A $2 win ticket on the Bax trainee returned $3.70. Following the filly trot final, the sky opened up and downpour of rain soaked the Campbellville oval. In the final for three-year-old pacing fillies, Solar Sister prevailed in a stretch duel over Ms Mac N Cheese. Driven by Doug McNair, Solar Sister, who won her elimination last week, was able to get away in fourth, while Code One Hanover grabbed the early lead. In the second-quarter, Ms Mac N Cheese, the other elimination winner, moved from third to first and took the field by the half in :54.2. Solar Sister had to come first up around the final turn and engaged in a battle with the leader by the three-quarter pole in 1:23.1. In the stretch, the two elimination winners went toe-to-toe with Solar Sister edging ahead part way down the lane, but Ms Mac N Cheese battled back on the inside. The fillies slugged it out right to the wire and it was Solar Sister prevailing by a neck in 1:51.2. "I thought I had her (Ms Mac N Cheese) put away half way down the lane and she still came back right down to the wire, so it was a good race," said McNair post-race. "My filly raced tough first over. To win on a night like this she raced good." Wrangler Magic finished third and Delightful Hill finished fourth to round out the Superfecta. A daughter of Mach Three, Solar Sister is trained by Gregg McNair for owners David Willmot and Clay Horner. Saturday's victory improves Solar Sister's record to three for three this season and now gives her five career-victories. Last season, Solar Sister banked over $214,000 and wrapped up her season with a second-place finish in the Three Diamonds Stakes. "She got good at the end of last year and she's got good pedigree on her," said McNair. "She seems obviously a hundred percent, she's three for three and hopefully she keeps getting stronger." Solar Sister now has career earnings of over $326,000 and established a new career best with her 1:51.2 score. A $2 win ticket on the McNair trainee returned $4.20 to win. Mark McKelvie

Clinton -- Two years ago, James MacDonald was winning Clinton Raceways' annual harness racing drivers challenge heading into the final race when Trevor Henry pulled off a last second victory. MacDonald got his revenge a year ago, winning his first title with a decisive victory over Jody Jamieson. Henry was third. On Sunday, May 31, the trio, along with five other top reinsmen, will suit up against each other again as the 35th annual Drivers Challenge hits the track in support of the Clinton branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. "Legions are having a tough time financially across the province. Every cause is a good one, but we think this will be a nice tie-in for us," said Clinton Raceway general manager Ian Fleming. Though it's a fun, relaxed atmosphere in which all proceeds of the day, including the drivers' fees, will go to the Legion, MacDonald said the drivers don't take the competition lightly. "Everyone's really competitive," he said. "You put a bunch of egos in together and one's a winner and you're going to get people trying pretty hard. There's no favours there, that's for sure." Henry, a finalist for the O'Brien Award for Canada's driver of the year in 2014, said pride is on the line. "It's always nice to have the bragging rights," Henry said, "But it's just a lot of fun. It's a good day out." The Drivers Challenge will pit Clinton's top three drivers of 2014 -- Henry, Ryan Holliday and Bruce Richardson-- against MacDonald, Jamieson, Doug McNair and Mike Saftic from the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit and Canada's leading dash winner, Alfie Carroll, who turned 30 in early May, and is leading the nation with nearly 200 wins already in 2015. For the first time in its long history, the Drivers Challenge is being held at the beginning, rather than at the end of the season, to make room for the eighth edition of Clinton Raceway's biannual Legends Day classic that will close out the track's 16-race season on Sept. 6 in support of the Clinton Public Hospital. Henry, long the king of Ontario's smaller tracks and now a regular fixture on the WEG circuit, said he's a big fan of Clinton Raceway. "It's just good to go there and give back to the town of Clinton," Henry said. "They do a lot of good there. It's a good town and a nice track and a good spot." MacDonald said he likes making the trip to Clinton because the Drivers Challenge usually draws a huge crowd and, "the people there seem to appreciate it and they put on a good show." MacDonald currently ranks a close second on Canada's driver earnings list with over $1.35 million made in 2015. McNair is a close third ($1.23 million), following by Henry in fifth ($1.09 million), Jamieson in sixth ($980,000) and Carroll in eighth ($890,000). In the wins department, after Carroll, McNair currently ranks sixth in the nation with 90 wins, followed by MacDonald in seventh (88) and Henry tied for ninth (80). The eight reinsmen participating in the Drivers Challenge have more than 26,300 career wins between them and combined career earnings of around $300 million.     Jessica Carnochan

CAMPBELLVILLE, May 23 - Ontario sired three-year-old fillies were out in full force for the harness racing eliminations of the WEG-SBOA Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A pair of $25,000 eliminations were contested for both pacing and trotting divisions to determine the fields for next Saturday's finals. A group of 22 sophomore trotting fillies were split into two 11-horse divisions. In the first elimination, Stubborn Belle, last year's O'Brien Award winner, made her 2015 debut a winning effort in 1:55.2. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Stubborn Belle made a move from third to first in the second-quarter to take control at the half in :57.1. After posting a third-quarter of :28.2, Stubborn Belle trotted home under minimal urging to win by 2 ¼ lengths. Meadow Seelster, who made a break after the start, made a huge comeback to finish second. Summers Jewel, Battle Mage and Tymal Illbthere rounded out the top-five to secure spots in the final. A daughter of Taurus Dream, Stubborn Belle is trained by John Bax and owned by Al Libfeld and Bax's Parkhill Stud Farm. The sophomore trotting filly won five of 14 starts last season and compiled earnings of over $524,000. Stubborn Belle returned $2.90 to win. Stubborn Belle The second elimination saw Danielle Hall, last year's Ontario Sires Stakes champion, sent-off as the heavy favourite in her season debut, but an early break from the star filly tossed the division up in the air. Second Sister and driver Doug McNair showed early speed to grab the lead. Once on the front, McNair got to call all the shots and set fractions of :29, :58.1 and 1:26.4. In the stretch, Second Sister cruised home in :28.1 to win by three-lengths over first-up challenger Kaddy in 1:55. Yanks Ball Girl, Magic Shelley and Sumthintotalkabout picked up the remaining cheques to earn a spot in the final. Following her break, Danielle Hall caught the field and was able to finish sixth. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Second Sister is trained by Gregg McNair for owner Jarold Hawks. The trotting filly finished third last week in her season debut. Last season, Second Sister won three of eight starts and earned $55,760. Her clocking of 1:55 Saturday night established a new career mark. Second Sister paid $26.70 to win. Second Sister On the pacing side, a total of 20 three-year-old fillies were split evenly into two ten-horse eliminations. In the first elimination, Ms Mac N Cheese was able to overcome post-ten to win in 1:52.4. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Ms Mac N Cheese, the 2/1 favourite, sprinted off the gate and was able to make the front from the far outside. The public's choice set fractions of :26.4 and :55.4 before being challenged around the final turn. Ms Mac N Cheese reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1 with a first-over challenger at her wheel. In the stretch, the favourite turned aside all rivals to create some separation and paced home in :28.3 to win in 1:52.4. Code One Hanover, who got a two-hole trip, was able to close in on the leader in late stretch to finish second and narrow the margin of victory down to a length. Wrangler Magic, Capela and Southwind Ginger finished in the money to earn the final three spots in next week's final. A daughter of Badlands Hanover, Ms Mac N Cheese is trained by Richard Moreau for owner David Ratchford. The sophomore pacing filly is now two for two this season and nine for 12 in her career with over $84,000 in earnings. Ms Mac N Cheese lowered her career-mark by a fifth of a second with Saturday night's victory. She returned $6.10 to win. Ms Mac N Cheese In the second elimination, Solar Sister, the even-money choice, made it a sweep of the pacing eliminations by post-ten starters with a 1:53 victory. Driven by Doug McNair, Solar Sister sprinted to the front from post-ten and was able to reach the pylons at the opening-quarter in :26.2. The public's was then able to call the shots and posted fractions of :56 and 1:24.4. In the stretch, Solar Sister kept her momentum going and held off her rivals with a :28.1 final-quarter to win by a length. Delightful Hill came charging from the back to finish second. Win The Gold, Much Adoo and Twin B Honour rounded out the top-five. A daughter of Mach Three, Solar Sister is trained by Gregg McNair for owners David Willmot and Clay Horner. Her elimination victory improves her 2015 record to a perfect two for two and was the fourth win of her career. Last season, Solar Sister won two of 12 starts and banked over $214,000. Saturday's clocking of 1:53 established a new career mark for the McNair trainee. A $2 win ticket on Solar Sister paid $4.30. Solar Sister The post position draw for both finals was conducted following the eliminations. The elimination winners earned the right to select their posts. The $129,661 WEG-SBOA Stakes final for trotting fillies and the $127,661 WEG-SBOA Stakes final for pacing fillies will take place next Saturday (May 30.) Here is how they will lineup in next week's finals. WEG-SBOA - Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly Final 1. Kaddy - Steve Condren 2. Stubborn Belle - Paul MacDonell 3. Second Sister - Doug McNair 4. Summers Jewel - Mario Baillargeon 5. Battle Mage - Jack Moiseyev 6. Meadow Seelster - Jody Jamieson 7. Sumthintotalkabout - Rick Zeron 8. Yanks Ball Girl - Randy Waples 9. Tymal Illbthere - Trevor Henry 10. Magic Shelley - Chris Christoforou AE: Danielle Hall - Jody Jamieson WEG-SBOA - Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly Final 1. Much Adoo - Paul MacDonell 2. Ms Mac N Cheese - Sylvain Filion 3. Solar Sister - Doug McNair 4. Wrangler Magic - Yves Filion 5. Twin B Honour - Trevor Henry 6. Win The Gold - James MacDonald 7. Code One Hanover - Paul MacDonell 8. Southwind Ginger - Jody Jamieson 9. Delightful Hill - Jody Jamieson 10. Capela - James MacDonald AE: I Wonder Why - Steve Condren Mark McKelvie

ELORA, ON - A local father-son harness racing duo is sponsoring up to 20 children to run in the upcoming Giddy Up and Gallop Kids Fun Run held at Grand River Raceway on June 12, 2015. Trainer Gregg McNair and son driver Doug McNair are generously covering race registration fees for children from the Community Resource Centre of North & South Wellington (CRCNSW). The CRCNSW is a community benefit agency located in nearby Fergus. The efforts of CRCNSW are designed to fill gaps in community service, including transportation, outreach and support programs, childcare and Ontario Early Years. The McNairs are top performers in the sport, each with their own accomplishments. The pair flourished in the prestigious Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) last year, both receiving the stakes' most prestigious awards. Gregg has been the leading trainer in the OSS, receiving the sought-after Johnston cup in 2012, 2013 and 2014 while his son Doug received his first top OSS driving award, the Lampman Cup, in 2014. "Sports have always been important to me and I was glad to offer assistance to these kids when Grand River Raceway approached me with the idea," said driver Doug McNair. "Everyone should have the opportunity to take part in some sort of organized sport," added Doug's father Gregg. In past years, the Giddy Up and Gallop Fun Run has raised funds for the Friends Of We Care, Standardbred Racetrack Chaplaincy, The Children's Wish Foundation, the Chase MacEachern Foundation and The Equestrian Association for the Disabled. Event Details: If you're between the ages of 5 and 14, this is your chance to see if you are the fastest half mile runner in Ontario. Bring your family and friends to cheer you on from the Grandstand and tarmac. The race will be televised on in-house monitors and shown as part of the track's live broadcast, streamed at grandriverraceway.com. Runners will receive a great t-shirt, post-race refreshments and the winners will be awarded unique horseshoe trophies. The running race will be staged as part of Grand River Raceway's popular Fun & Frivolity Friday Race Night. A portion of the funds raised at the run will benefit the CRCNSW. Afterwards, runners and their entourage can enjoy a full night of live horse racing entertainment, which includes plenty of dining options, contests on The Tarmac Show, and free kids' horse education and activities in The NEIGHbourhood under the Tarmac Tent Kit pick-up starts at 5:30 p.m. under the Tarmac Tent. Post time for the first of 12 horse races is 6:30 p.m. Opening ceremonies and the running race kick-off at 6:45 p.m. There will be a warm up and a special Mascot Race at a distance of 50 metres before the race. Following the run, there will be a complimentary snack and awards ceremony for all participants. Click here to register. The cost to participate is $20 if you sign up before May 30. After May 30, the cost increases to $25. Registered runners will receive a free souvenir t-shirt. For race information, contact Kathy Wade Vlaar at kwvlaar@standardbredcanada.ca. For sponsorship information, or to donate a prize to the event, contact Kelly Spencer at kspencer@grandriverraceway.com. For information about the CRCNSW, contact Karen Goodman at kgoodman@communityresourcecentre.org. Kelly Spencer

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