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TORONTO/MILTON, ON - August 6, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment, in partnership with Kraft-Heinz Canada, today announced the launch of the Heinz Challenge, a six-week series to be contested during Racing Night Live on TSN. The Heinz Challenge pairs a top Woodbine Racetrack jockey with a top Woodbine Mohawk Park driver to create four teams competing for a $5,000 charitable donation from Woodbine. Every time one of the participating jockeys or drivers competes during a race aired on Racing Night Live, they have the opportunity to earn points towards their team's challenge score. All eight participating athletes are ranked among the best in their sport and are well-known personalities at Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park. The four competing jockeys are Rafael Hernandez, Kazushi Kimura, Justin Stein and Emma-Jayne Wilson, while the participating drivers are Jody Jamieson, Bob McClure, Doug McNair and Louis-Philippe Roy. The team with the best 'Points Per Race' average at the end of six-weeks will win the challenge. The point system is as follows: 10 points for a Win, 5 points for a second-place finish and 2 points for a third-place finish. (Example: Team A earns 50 points over 10 races: Team A's Points Per Race is 5) Each member of the winning team will select a charity and Woodbine Entertainment will make a $2,500 donation on their behalf to make up the $5,000 winning prize. Woodbine Mohawk Park driver James MacDonald was originally scheduled to participate in the Heinz Challenge. MacDonald unfortunately suffered an injury in a racing accident on August 1 and will be unable to participate. Louis-Philippe Roy has been selected to replace MacDonald and the two will split the donation should their team win. Here are the teams for the Heinz Challenge: Team E=MC ² Jockey: Emma-Jayne Wilson Driver: Bob McClure #TeamEMC2 Team Club DJ Jockey: Justin Stein Driver: Doug McNair #TeamClubDJ Team Island Boyz Jockey: Rafael Hernandez Driver: James MacDonald (unable to participate due to injury) Driver: Louis-Philippe Roy #TeamIslandBoyz Team Double Double Jockey: Kazushi Kimura Driver: Jody Jamieson #TeamDoubleDouble The Heinz Challenge is the latest feature on the weekly Racing Night Live program on TSN. Racing Night Live, which airs every Thursday at 6 p.m. ET on TSN, showcases the world-class racing from the Thoroughbreds at Woodbine Racetrack and Standardbreds at Woodbine Mohawk Park over an action-packed two-hours. The Heinz Challenge will run from August 6 to September 10. Fans can join the conversation, track the leaderboard and cheer on their favourite team through Social Media by using the hashtag #HeinzChallenge. All eight of the participating athletes can be found on various social media platforms and will be engaging with fans over the course of the six-week event. Who To Follow: Woodbine Racetrack: @WoodbineTB (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) Woodbine Mohawk Park: @WoodbineSB (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) Heinz Canada: @heinz_ca (Instagram) Rafael Hernandez: @hernandezrafii (Twitter) Jody Jamieson: @Jodyjamracing (Twitter) Kazushi Kimura: @kazushi0096 (Twitter), @k.kimura0906 (Instagram) James MacDonald: @jamesomac26 (Twitter) Bob McClure: @BobMcClure2 (Twitter) Louis-Philippe Roy: louisphilippe.roy.12 (Facebook) Justin Stein: @justin_steinjockey (Instagram) Emma-Jayne Wilson: @EJWilson81 (Twitter) by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Three of North America’s best harness racing catch drivers — Dexter Dunn, Andrew McCarthy and Doug McNair — were featured on Wednesday evening’s (April 15) episode of COSA TV. The trio of drivers, who have taken the driving scene by storm in recent years, revisited how they got their starts in the business, family ties, answered questions from fans and relived some memorable moments of their careers while racing continues to take a hiatus due to COVID-19. Early on in the conversation, Australian native Andrew McCarthy discussed how he mapped out his rise to the top and did so in quick fashion. “The last two or three years I have hit more of the Grand Circut scene, it’s always been my plan and I finally made the decision about four or five years ago to make the move over to the Meadowlands and that was the key,” McCarthy told Greg Blanchard. “I’ve had a lot of support along the way…Noel Daley really helped me get going and in the last two or three years things have just snowballed for me. I’ve gotten to do a lot of travelling and it’s been a hell of a lot of fun.” Dexter Dunn made the decision to move from New Zealand to North America on a whim, but also discussed his rise to the top while fulfilling his childhood dreams. “I grew up in horse racing and it was always a dream of mine to come here and race so I finally made the decision to come over here. The year I had last year was a huge surprise, I’ve been very lucky to have had the support that I’ve had and I’ve been lucky to drive some great horses. I really enjoyed last year and got to experience a lot of big thrills. Moving to the USA was something that was always in the back of my head, when I was here in 2011 for the World Driving Championship and I really liked the racing here. I actually just woke up one day on my way to qualifiers and decided it was now or never. I knew that if I didn’t do it while I was still young enough to do it then I would grow old someday and wish I did it. So I did it and here we are.” For Doug McNair, his rise to the top included a more local move from Ontario’s ‘B’ tracks to the WEG Circut. The big break for McNair, who has been heavily involved in the harness racing industry for as long as he can remember, came very close to home in the 2008 Battle Of Waterloo with his father’s trainee, Trail Boss. “My dad trained the horse and it was quite the thrill to win the race that day. At the time, I really didn’t even know how big of a deal it was until it really sunk in for me a couple years later. It’s a race that most people never get to win in their career and I won it in my first year of driving. My Grandmother and Father bred the horse, my dad doesn’t usually say much but I remember him telling me when he was training him down that he really liked him so I figured he would turn out to be a nice horse. I didn’t get the best trip that day but I had the best horse in the race. My dad’s farm is less than 15 kilometres from Grand River and I went to school just down the road and spent a lot of years there as a kid. We had a big party at the farm that night, it was a really big night for my family and it just really doesn’t get much better than that.” While McCarthy is coming off an astonishing 2019 season, one horse he holds close to him would be Tony Alagna trainee, Tall Drink Hanover, winner of the 2018 She’s A Great Lady. “She is such a terrific mare. As a two-year-old she would do anything you asked her to do. You can put her on the front, race her from behind. Tony did a great job prepping her for that race, she had been over the surface four or five times before this race and I think that really helped her a lot. For me and the horse it’s nice to know that the horse has been over the track before a big race. I am a big believer in trying not to use a horse very much in the first eighth of the mile, especially if you think you have the best horse in the race. I’m also a big believer that using a horse too much in that first eighth will catch up to you in the end. Obviously you have to leave a little bit to figure out where everyone is going to land but I try to manage them and then figure it out from there.” McNair holds fond memories of another recent Alagna trainee, pacing colt Stay Hungry. “He’s a horse that’s right up there as the best I’ve ever driven for sure. I won my first and only Breeders Crown with him and I got to race in races and win some that I have ever been in before. It makes your job a lot easier having a nice horse like that to drive in big races.” For Dexter Dunn, the list of great horses he had the pleasure of driving in his career year of 2019 would be long and plentiful. However, one that sticks the most would be Chris Ryder-trained Bettors Wish. “Coming into 2019 I thought to myself that if I just had one stakes horse to follow around all year, it would be pretty cool. I started driving Bettors Wish late in his two-year-old season and had some luck with him. I knew he was good enough to chase around and drive in big races. He didn’t disappoint me last year at all and was very special to drive. I’m really looking forward to driving him again this year. His races last year speak for themselves, he didn’t have a lot of easy races but you can drive him however you want and know he is going to give you 100 percent. He’s not a big horse at all but he’s muscular and takes a big stride, he gave me a very special year and I had a lot of fun with him. I’ve trained him a couple times and he feels bigger, better and stronger.” The elite group of drivers entertained fans with answers to lots of questions while providing a different perspective on harness racing with backgrounds coming from different hemispheres. While the trio reminisced on memorable moments throughout their career, all are ambitious and eager for their 2020 stakes seasons. The feature can be viewed below. Central Ontario Standardbred Association

Harness racing driver Doug McNair remains eternally grateful to still be working, even if it's under somewhat bizarre circumstances. The Guelph, Ont., resident continues to race at Woodbine Mohawk Park despite all other major sports — and even some racetracks — shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But events at the Campbellville, Ont., track are being conducted without fans in the stands. McNair understands why the measure is in place. But he admits looking into the bare grandstands is surreal and emphatically drives home the point that these are indeed unique times. "It's not terrible, but it's definitely different," he said. "You look over (to grandstand) and everything is dark. People might say there's no crowds there, especially in the winter, but even if there's 50 to 100 people at Mohawk, it's a lot different having none ... and the casino is empty as well." And McNair, Canada's top driver in 2018, said it's something he's reminded of daily. "When you go (to Mohawk), it's funny, you don't see any traffic," he said. "It's absurd, definitely, it's different. "We're really lucky just to be racing, but things change day today, hour to hour. I just hope it continues." Some tracks suspend racing Racetracks across North America have reacted differently to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Kentucky Derby organizers announced Tuesday the first jewel of the U.S. Triple Crown was being shifted from May 2 to Sept. 5 due to COVID-19. But the $1-million Grade 2 Louisiana Derby will run Saturday without spectators in the stands. Among the American tracks to suspend racing are Yonkers, Dover Downs, Freehold Raceway, The Meadowlands, The Downs at Mohegan Sun, and Pocono. Facilities in Europe, Denmark and Italy have followed suit. In Canada, Horse Racing Alberta temporarily suspended racing. But Century Downs, in southern Alberta, is holding events without spectators, as are harness tracks in Ontario. Union representing workers at Casino Woodbine calls for its closure amid COVID-19 outbreak All Ontario casinos to close temporarily amid COVID-19 outbreak "We've spoken to government officials about Mohawk regarding what we're doing," said Jim Lawson, the chief executive officer of Woodbine Entertainment Group. "We're changing post times as of Friday night to spread out the races. "We don't want any more than 50 people in the paddock, probably 40 people. We're going to start to use more of the new portion of the paddock to make sure there's more social distancing. "We're (continuing to race) for horse people more than anything. But we won't hesitate to close down if what I'd call the very strict policies and protocols we have in place aren't working and this thing gets beyond us." Wagering continues Empty stands haven't seemed to dampened fan interest. Wagering at Mohawk on Friday and Saturday was up 10 per cent, while Sunday's handle remained steady despite the absence of spectators. "We have the benefit of a robust and sophisticated system, which is good and it does help bring in some revenue," Lawson said. "The wagering revenue, though, is less than the purse money you pay out to do this. "Our only mandate as a corporation is to support horse racing and that's what we're doing as best we can. We're effectively not-for-profit mandate ... anything we earn goes back into horse racing." McNair and fellow driver Jody Jamieson both gave back last week, each donating a night's earnings to the Red Cross. McNair bequeathed $1,350, while Jamieson chipped in with $1,050. "I figured we were fortunate enough to be racing and what could we do to help a little bit," McNair said. "I definitely think little things like that aren't going to hurt." Paddock, announcer booth disinfected Woodbine Entertainment has also implemented temperature screening for all people entering the paddock at both Mohawk Park and Woodbine Racetrack. Although the thoroughbred season doesn't open until April 18, horses are in barns there and, like at Mohawk, require daily attention and care. At Mohawk Park, both the paddock and announcer's booth are disinfected nightly after racing is completed. "It's fundamental for these people to exist, to continue to have commerce and a livelihood," Lawson said. "We're prepared to do it on the basis of respecting government direction and protocols. "But we're not in the business of risks. We moved first and quicker than anyone to shut down our grandstand, to send our employees home, to shut our bars and restaurants immediately off-site. We're closely monitoring this. We have a very strong board that's involved, we're speaking to government officials and trying to help by creating some commerce." Many living paycheque to paycheque A fact not lost upon driver Bob McClure, who drove 15/1 pick Forbidden Trade to an upset win in last year's US$1-Hambletonian. "The biggest fear I have for this whole thing is there's a large majority of this industry that's still living paycheque to paycheque," said the Rockwood, Ont., resident. "And I don't know how they're going to be able to weather this storm if we have to shut down racing. "I think owners, all of a sudden, are expected to pay the bills without any money coming in. That's more than I'd want asked of me. Trainers having to pay grooms when they're not racing either. The money stops at the top and at some point it's the people at the bottom who need it the most. I really worry about that because there are people who simply can't take weeks off work." McClure said he's barely noticed the empty Woodbine Mohawk Park grandstands because once a race begins, he's focused entirely on driving. Ditto for the tarmac traffic. "If this was summer and this was going on, you'd definitely notice," he said. Racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park is scheduled to resume Thursday night. Both McNair and McClure agree that until told differently, drivers are intent on continuing to work. "Obviously one day at a time," McNair said. "But I'm happy with what Woodbine is doing and hopefully no one gets sick." Added McClure: "I think there's going to be a lot of pressure from Health Canada and the government going forward. But obviously we want to race and track officials want to race so long as it's safe." By Dan Ralph  Reprinted with permission of The Canadian Press

MILTON, ON - March 14, 2020 - Harness racing driver  Doug McNair, the leading driver at Woodbine Mohawk Park, has informed track officials that he will be donating all his earnings from tonight's (March 14) card of racing to the Canadian Red Cross in support of COVID-19 response efforts. McNair would like to invite other horsepeople racing tonight to join him in helping. Any individuals racing tonight that would like to donate should visit the Mohawk Park Race Office to inform the Bookkeeper. McNair is listed to drive in eight of this evening's 10-races. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Standardbred Canada (SC) is pleased to announce that a National Driving Championship (NDC) will be hosted in 2020 and the winner will have the opportunity to represent Canada in the 2021 World Driving Championship. The location of the 2021 WDC has yet to be confirmed. James MacDonald, World Driving Champion in 2017, and Doug McNair, winner of the 2018 National Driving Championship, represented Canada in the 2019 World Driving Championship held in Sweden in May of this year. Rick Ebbinge of The Netherlands was the winner, marking the first WDC title for his country, while McNair just missed the podium with a solid fourth place finish and MacDonald finished in ninth. In 2020, a regional driving championship will be hosted in each of Standardbred Canada’s four regions, and the top two drivers from each of those events will have the opportunity to compete in the National event. All championships are one-day events, consisting of eight races with drivers earning points based on their official finishing position. SC has used this Driving Championship format since 2007 to determine Canada’s representatives to the World Driving Championship which takes place every other year in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference. Past winners of the NDC title include Brandon Campbell (2016), Jody Jamieson (2014 & 2011), Brad Forward (2009), and Gilles Barrieau (2007). Canada has won the WDC on five occasions. Herve Filion won the inaugural edition in 1970 and the next winner was his nephew, Sylvain Filion who won the 1999 event. Jody Jamieson is the only Canadian driver to have two titles on his resume, winning in 2001 and 2011. In 2017 Canada hosted the WDC and James MacDonald was crowned the Champion. A Request For Proposals for host tracks has been issued and the selected host tracks will be announced in mid January.

MILTON, ON - SEPT. 26, 2019 - On Saturday night the three-year-olds are headed to Woodbine Mohawk Park for their $160,000 Grassroots Semi-Finals and the harness racing pacing filly Sports Flix is the only freshman champion with a shot at defending her title. The task will be a tough one. Sports Flix drew the outside Post 10 in what trainer Gregg McNair calls the tougher of the two pacing filly Semi-Finals. Among the fillies Sports Flix will face is So Much More, who went undefeated in her two regular season Grassroots starts and will leave the gate from Post 6. "She hooked that one tough mare of Donnie Beatson's (So Much More)," said McNair, who trains the Sportswriter daughter for James Fraleigh of Dresden, ON. "Just hope she gets qualified for the final and then maybe draw a little bit better there." After a somewhat disappointing start to the season - McNair thought she would make the leap to the Gold Series off a strong winter of training, but she finished third and eighth in the first two events - Sports Flix rebounded with wins in the last two Grassroots legs. She recorded a personal best 1:52.2 effort in her Sept. 10 Grassroots division at Woodbine Mohawk Park and McNair said she was sharp in a training mile with stablemates Swift Ally and Kylie Seelster at the Campbellville oval last week. "When we were training them back she laid over them other two, but they've both got better," said the Guelph, ON resident of his pacing filly trio. "We had them into Mohawk there at the end of last week and trained the three of them together, trained them up pretty good and then worked them back again this week. They seem okay." Kylie Seelster will line up at Post 3 in the same division as Sports Flix, the ninth race on the 7:10 pm program, and Doug McNair will steer her, leaving Sports Flix in the hands of the Ontario Sires Stakes' leading driver Trevor Henry. "She's good and sharp right now, Kylie, and we're figuring on racing her a bit," said McNair. "I don't know for how long because she could possibly even be sold, a couple farms have been interested in her." The daughter of Big Jim and Kiddie Cocktail is a half-sister to $865,450 winner Kendall Seelster and McNair's top two-year-old pacing filly Karma Seelster. She could spend next season as a broodmare rather than a racehorse if the trainer and his co-owners Keith Waples of Durham and Chris Robson of London, ON choose to accept an offer from a breeding farm. The third member of McNair's pacing filly trio topped the division standings with a flawless record of four wins in four Grassroots starts. Unraced at two, Swift Ally launched her career in March with four straight victories and is currently on another four-race win streak. The homebred daughter of Big Jim and Claires Apache has not been bested since July 19. "She hasn't got the greatest position, but she should get, if things work out good, she should get qualified for the final," said McNair, who shares ownership of Swift Ally with Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON. "I'd say that's the softer division, but there's a couple nice ones in there too." Swift Ally and Doug McNair will start from Post 8 in the first $20,000 pacing filly Semi-Final, which goes postward as Race 7. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will advance to the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 5. In addition to his pacing filly entry, McNair will also send pacing colt Balder Son after a championship berth from Post 3 in the eleventh race, the last of the eight sophomore Semi-Finals. "Balder Son, he's raced pretty consistent all year. I know he didn't win many, but he hasn't thrown too many bad starts in," said McNair. "We had him in there (Mohawk Park) on Tuesday and trained him up, so he should race good. I imagine, if something doesn't happen there, he'll probably get qualified for the finals." Balder Son wrapped up the Grassroots season ranked 19th in the point standings, finishing second, third, fourth, seventh and ninth in his five appearances. The Betterthancheddar gelding heads into the Semi-Final off a 1:51.1 personal best victory in a Sept. 16 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Roderick Smith of Inverness, NS owns Balder Son and Jody Jamieson will steer the gelding in the Semi-Final. Doug McNair opted for Little Brown Jug elimination winner Fast N First who will start from Post 1. McNair will also start three horses in Friday's two-year-old Semi-Final event and the horseman hopes his seven Grassroots starters come up with strong efforts to keep him ahead of Shawn Steacy and Bob McIntosh in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) leading trainer race. As of Sept. 26, McNair has 186 points, Steacy 182 and McIntosh 179. Steacy will send out a total of 10 Grassroots Semi-Finalists and McIntosh has eight. "You're either chasing them or you can't get away from them," said McNair with a chuckle. In the last 11 years McIntosh has won the Johnston Cup title five times, Steacy's father Mark has three victories and McNair earned the honour the other three years. All three operations focus on developing young horses and each trainer has started 20-plus trotters and pacers in the Grassroots and Gold Series this season. The tight race for top spot will continue in Races 1, 3, 5 through 9, and 11 on Saturday night as the three-year-old trotters and pacers vie for berth in the Grassroots Championships. The sophomore trotting fillies will kick things off at 7:10 pm. Complete entries for Saturday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON -  AUG. 17, 2019 - Harness racing drivers Doug McNair and Bob McClure split the three-year-old pacing colt Grassroots divisions down the middle on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park, McNair taking the first two and McClure the second pair. McNair kicked things off in the first $23,500 split with Fast N First and had the heavy favourite on top before the halfway marker. Fast N First never saw another challenger as he cruised home a one and one-quarter length winner in 1:51.2. Pocket-sitter Carlisimo finished second and HP Napoleon was third. "He was a little lazy in the lead," said McNair of Blake MacIntosh trainee Fast N First. "But it takes a lot to get him tired." It was the first Grassroots win for Fast N First, who started his sophomore campaign at the Gold Series level. In 15 starts this season the Bettors Delight son has tallied six wins, three seconds and two thirds, netting owners Blake MacIntosh of St. George, Ridgeway Racing of Ridgeway and Steve Heimbecker of Conestogo, ON $87,334. Fast N First Guelph resident McNair also guided Cliffhanger to his first Grassroots victory in the second division. Like Fast N First the pair were sent off as the favourites from Post 4, but this time McNair opted to follow pacesetter Priceless Beach through fractions of :27.2, :55.2 and 1:24.2. Cliffhanger then unleashed a :26.4 final quarter to catch the leader and pull away to a two length victory in 1:51.2. Machdavid also closed hard, and he and Priceless Beach finished in a dead heat for second. "Cliffhanger raced good," said McNair, who subbed for regular reinsman Louis-Philippe Roy on Saturday. "He is turning into a nice colt." McNair engineered the win for owner and trainer Tony Alagna of Manalapan, NJ. The win was the fourth of the sophomore campaign for Vintage Master son Cliffhanger and boosted his season earnings to $50,402. Cliffhanger McClure picked up where McNair left off in the third Grassroots division, employing a come-from-behind effort to put Carsons Shadow in the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle for the first time. The pair caught favourite Sugartown in the stretch with a determined effort that saw them stop the clock at 1:51.2. Sugartown was one-half length back in second, just ahead of third-place finisher Better Moonon Over. "He's a nice little colt. He's not big, but he's quick, and he's a tough little bugger," said McClure of the Shadow Play colt. Like both Fast N First and Cliffhanger, Carsons Shadow tested the Gold Series waters before finding success in the Grassroots. In 14 sophomore starts the gelding has amassed a record of six wins, two seconds and earnings of $62,200. Vicki Gregg trains Carsons Shadow for owner-breeder David Carson of Listowel, ON. Carsons Shadow One race later Rockwood resident McClure was back in the winner's circle with fan favourite Dreamfair Moxy, who stalked pacesetter Sportsline through fractions of :26.2, :55.4 and 1:23.3 before circling around the tiring leader in the stretch. Dreamfair Moxy sprinted home to a three and one-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:51.1. The Regulator and Silver Beast finished second and third. "He is a real nice little colt with a nice gait and he's sweet to drive," said McClure, who was in the race bike in place of regular reinsman Travis Cullen. "He always goes ahead when you ask him." The win was Dreamfair Moxy's second straight in Grassroots action. The Bettors Delight son was also a winner in the third leg at Grand River Raceway on Aug. 5. Jodie Cullen trains the winner of $77,322 for John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON. Dreamfair Moxy The three-year-old pacing colts will make their last regular season Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 2. The top 20 point earners will then compete in the Sept. 28 Grassroots Semi-Finals, hoping to land one of 10 spots in the Oct. 5 Grassroots Championship. Click here for complete results from Saturday's program. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday Aug. 19 with a trio of Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts. The colts will raise the curtain on the program at 7:10 pm in Race 1 and will also battle in Races 3 and 7. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA,ON -  Battle Of The Belles champion Karma Seelster returned to Grand River Raceway for Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series action on Wednesday, Aug. 14 and picked up her third straight win at the Elora oval. With Post 4 in the second $72,267 Gold division, driver Doug McNair fired Karma Seelster off the starting gate and led the field of two-year-old pacing fillies to a :28.3 opening quarter. From there the fan favourites rolled along to a :58.1 half and 1:27.2 three-quarters before cruising down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length win in 1:56.3. Temagami Seelster got up for second, edging pocket-sitter Got Power into third. "She was good again. She got a lot easier trip than last week (Aug. 5 Belles Final)," said Guelph resident Doug McNair, who piloted the filly to all three wins. "She's great gaited and she's handy off the wings, so that really helps for this track. She got to pick up some pretty good money the last couple weeks here." The driver's father Gregg McNair, who also calls rural Guelph home, trains Karma Seelster for Hall of Fame horseman Keith Waples, his wife Eileen Waples and their daughter Karen Hauver of Durham, ON. The Waples family purchased the half-sister to $824,150 winner Kendall Seelster for $127,000 from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale and in her first five starts she has banked $155,251. "A bunch of the owners were out there. I'm not sure if it was grandkids, but they were cheering for her and stuff before, so that was a lot of fun," added the driver, who stopped by the rail before the race so Karma Seelster could acknowledge her fans. "They had a fan club there." The fans cheered Karma Seelster on to her first win in Gold Series action which, added to the second and third she recorded in her first two provincial starts, puts her in second spot in the two-year-old pacing filly standings with 87 points. Driver Bob McClure won the other two Gold Series divisions, the first boosting Off The Press into top spot in the standings and the second earning P L Notorious her first Ontario Sires Stakes victory. Starting from the advantageous Post 1 in the first division, McClure allowed fan favourite Sound Idea to take early control and settled Off The Press in second. Sound Idea carried on through fractions of :28, :57.4 and 1:26.1 while Off The Press watched comfortably from the pocket. In the stretch McClure sent Off The Press up the inside and the filly powered home to a one and one-half length victory in 1:55.3. Sound Idea settled for second and Keystone Kalimba was third. "Bobby gave her a great trip," said Paul Reid, who trains Off The Press for owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. "He's a good young driver. It's always good when you can get somebody that's hot, it definitely helps the game. And it's always nice to see one that we had all winter do well. We've had luck in the past couple of years with picking up horses when we got up here that did well for us, but it's nice to have one that's good for Bob Key." Off The Press finished a disappointing seventh in the Battle Of The Belles elimination won by Karma Seelster, but Reid said the Sportswriter daughter came up sick after the race. After a bit of rest and a round of antibiotics the filly rebounded and a training mile over the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval assured Reid that she would be ready for Wednesday's test. "She trained back good there last weekend, I took her into Mohawk and trained her and she trained real well so I was pretty confident coming in that she was back to herself, but you still never know what everybody else is going to be up to," said the horseman, who is based in Florida through the winter. "There's plenty of racing, there's no doubt, so to miss one here and there is not the end of the world," he added. In addition to the remaining regular season Gold events on Aug. 30 and Sept. 30, and the Oct. 12 Super Final, Off The Press is eligible to all of the open stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the coming weeks - the Eternal Camnation on August 24, Champlain Stakes on Sept. 7 and Shes A Great Lady eliminations and final on Sept. 14 and 21. In the last division McClure once again lined up at Post 1 with P L Notorious and the Rockwood resident sent the fan favourite straight to the front. P L Notorious sailed through fractions of :28.3, :58.3 and 1:27 and then held off Rose Run Vantage for a three-quarter length win in 1:55.4. Lady Natasha rounded out the top three. "She is a big, fast filly with a really nice gait," said McClure of the Sunshine Beach daughter. "And she continues to get smarter." Rod Hughes of Dunsford trains P L Notorious for owner-breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON. Wednesday's win was the filly's first in Gold Series action after a fifth and a sixth-place result in the first two legs. She was also a winner in overnight action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 5. Complete results for Wednesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0814grvrn.dat. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Grand River Raceway on Monday, Sept. 4 with the fourth Grassroots Leg for the two-year-old trotting fillies. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON -- Grand River Raceway marked its 29th annual Industry Day celebration on August 5. The afternoon featured 11 races totaling $540,850 in purses, including the track's feature dashes, the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles. It was a homecoming of sorts for two families who have previously dominated these jewel races in the Elora, ON track's marquee event. 22nd annual Battle Of Waterloo Nine rookie two-year-old pacing colts vied for glory in the 22nd edition of the $239,000 Battle Of Waterloo. Trainer Carl Jamieson and his son, driver Jody Jamieson, teamed up to win with Sports Obsession, their 7-1 starter from post five. Jamieson maneuvered traffic trouble past the halfway marker when Bettorbuckleup and Beach Blanket Book hooked wheels and were taken out of contention. Soon after, the winning pair cleared to the lead and remained on top to clinch the win. The 1:54 score was the Sportswriter son's second career win in five starts. Betting favourite Wind Blown with J Harris was second for trainer Teesha Symes. Aneto with Bob McClure rounded out the top three. Carl Jamieson co-owns Sports Obsession with George Harrison. "I told everyone that the horse had a good shot. We just needed a little luck," said Jamieson. Carl Jamieson trained and drove the first-ever Battle Of Waterloo winner Distinctiv Skeeter in 1998. He also piloted and trained CT Rocket in 2000 and went on to win three more editions with son Jody in the bike in 2002, 2004 and 2006. Neither has won the race since. "Dad and I did it again," Jody Jamieson beamed. "I think it was a special omen today, us teaming up again in the Battle of Waterloo after those victories in the past." 11th annual Battle Of The Belles A field of talented two-year-old pacing fillies contested the 11th edition of the $157,500 Battle Of The Belles. Doug McNair and Karma Seelster capitalized on early action to capture the win at 27-1 in 1:54.4, which matches the stake record set by Play The Bell in 2017. Karma Seelster scored her maiden win in her elimination division last week but drew the outside starting post (#8) in the final. She took to the top as heavy-favourite Alicorn (post four) and Louis Philippe Roy made a break at the first quarter. Alicorn matched the divisional track record in her elimination win last week in 1:54.2. She also holds an OSS speed record earned earlier this year. After her miscue, Roy quickly regrouped Alicorn and she came on strong to finish second for trainer Chantal Mitchell. Temagami Seelster and J Harris were third. This was the second Battle Of The Belles title for the father-son duo of driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair, both of Guelph, ON. The pair won the 2013 edition with Lady Shadow. They also paired up to win the Batlle Of Waterloo in 2008, 2013 and 2015. "I haven't been in the winner's circle for a while for one of these races," said Doug McNair. "I remember when I was 18 standing here. Time flies. It feels pretty good to be here today. And nice to get one for Keith (Waples)." Hall Of Fame horseman Keith Waples co-owns the Sportswriter filly with his wife Eileen and their daughter Karen Hauver. Karma Seelster was a $127,000 yearling purchase in 2018 at the London Select Sale. "We had a little trouble with her gait this winter (in Florida) but she has really come along since we've been back in Ontario," said Gregg McNair. "It's great to win at Grand River Raceway. It's our home track and we're here quite a bit in the spring training these horses down and I really like it here," he said. Undercard The Industry Day undercard included five divisions of Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) for three-year-old colt pacers. Division leader Sugartown sweetened his hold on the year-end Grassroots title. The Sportswriter son held off Fast N First (James MacDonald) to win his third sophomore OSS race (and sixth season win) by a neck in 1:53.1 with Louis Philippe Roy for trainer Richard Moreau. That 1:53.1 clocking was the quickest of OSS action on Industry Day and matched the first division of the day when Travis Cullen steered Dreamfair Moxy to his sixth career win for owner John Lamers and trainer Jodie Cullen. The final division featured HP Napoleon in his fourth consecutive win from nine starts this season. Mario Baillargeon drove the Big Jim gelding for brother Ben Baillargeon to a three-quarter-length finish in 1:54.3. The quickest mile of the afternoon went to Ghost Dance in the Preferred pace (Race 9). Bob McClure piloted the Nick Gallucci student to a front-end win by 13 lengths in 1:51.1 for owner Millar Farms. It was the first win of the season for the four-year-old gelding. He has banked $166,000 in career earnings. Record Handle Today's handle of $488,696 is a new Industry Day record, besting the previous record of $481,239 set in 2016. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway   • Video: Battle of Waterloo       • Video: Battle Of Belles           Attached Photos: • Doug McNair winning with Karma Seelster in the $157,500 Battle Of The Belles (Emma Ongman/AG Photography)     • Sports Obsession captures the $239,00 Battle Of Waterloo with Jody Jamieson (Emma Ongman/AG Photography)         FFI: Contact Jenna Knox at (519) 846-5455 ext. 247 or jknox@grandriverraceway.com               --   Kelly Spencer Co-Owner, True Nature Communications Inc.   kelly@truenaturecommunications.com   Cell: 519-465-7908   www.truenaturecommunications.com   >>> Explorers tell the best stories and the best stories win hearts.      

MILTON, JULY 25, 2019 - Father-son harness racing duo Gregg and Doug McNair captured two $23,500 Grassroots divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening with three-year-old pacing fillies Swift Ally and Kylie Seelster. The Guelph, ON residents kicked off the event in the first race, with driver Doug McNair and Swift Ally lining up behind Post 2 in the field of nine. The fan favourites sat mid-pack as Green Point and Manhattan Night battled to a :27 opening quarter and a :54.1 half. Heading for the 1:22.4 three-quarters McNair tipped Swift Ally into the outer lane and the filly sprinted off the final turn and down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length win in 1:51.3. Free Exchange finished second and Green Point held on for third. "Things set up pretty good for her," said trainer Gregg McNair. "She wasn't really running away on them, but she raced good. She got the job done anyways." McNair and Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON bred and own Swift Ally, who is a Big Jim daughter out of $398,464 winner Claires Apache. Unraced at two, the filly started her Ontario Sires Stakes career at the Gold Series level, finishing seventh in the June 1 season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. That result prompted McNair and Fleming to drop the filly down to the Grassroots level, where she is now undefeated through two starts. "She probably won't see, unless she changes around, she probably won't see any more Gold action. They're a tough bunch this year the Golds," said the trainer. "She's better off in the Grassroots." Swift Ally In the fourth division Doug McNair and Kylie Seelster started from Post 7 and were sitting fifth when Cinderella Delight reached the quarter in :26.3. McNair moved the filly to the outside heading for the :55.3 half and rolling into the final turn Kylie Seelster turned on the afterburners, opening up a five length lead by the 1:23 three-quarters. Runner-ups Cinderella Delight and Just My Shadow ate up some of that margin in the stretch, by Kylie Seelster hit the wire a comfortable two length winner in 1:52. "She has a real big kick and was in a good spot to get the job done," said Doug McNair. "She's been good her last few starts against some tough fillies." "She was following something pretty good (Better Be Donna N) there two starts ago (July 8), of course she wasn't going to get to her, but she wanted to go three-wide around the last turn," recalled Gregg McNair. "Doug wouldn't let her, it wouldn't have worked out good for her, but she kind of thought she could. That's where she kind of likes to roll a little, on that turn." The elder McNair shares ownership of Kylie Seelster with Hall of Fame horseman Keith Waples of Durham and Dr. Chris Robson of London, ON. The daughter of Big Jim and Kiddie Cocktail is a half-sister to $813,650 winner Kendall Seelster, who was the first sophomore pacing filly to record a sub-1:50 mile in Ontario Sires Stakes action. Thursday's win was Kylie Seelster's third of the sophomore campaign and her first in Grassroots action. Kylie Seelster The other three Grassroots divisions were captured by Twin B Tipster, Lady Finetune, both first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winners, and Springbridgevision. In the second division Twin B Tipster and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON rocketed down the stretch to nab pacesetter Crisp Mane in 1:51.4. Crisp Mane settled for second behind the fan favourites, with Saulsbrook Jessie rounding out the top three. "She likes to race from off the pace, she could never cut a mile," said trainer Scott McEneny of Puslinch, who shares ownership of the Bettors Delight daughter with Brad Grant of Milton, ON. "We're very happy with the way she is racing right now." Twin B Tipster One race later Lady Finetune slipped out of third coming off the final turn and powered home to a 1:52.2 win for driver Bob McClure of Rockwood, ON. Pacesetter Affluent Seelster finished second and fan favourite Freya Seelster was third. McClure crafted the win, the Badlands Hanover daughter's third straight, for trainer Robert Fellows and owner Alan Bodin of Rockwood, ON Lady Finetune Springbridgevision and driver James MacDonald used a sharp :26.4 last quarter to circle the field and claim a head victory over Be Best and Quebec Blue Chip in the last division. The fillies hit the wire in 1:52.1. Guelph resident MacDonald drove Springbridgevision to her second Grassroots win for trainer Andrew Moore of Russell, who shares ownership of the Shadow Play daughter with Allan Moore of Stratford, Charles Farrell of Spencerville, ON and Tommy Godfrey of Charlottetown, PEI. Springbridgevision The three-year-old pacing fillies will make their fourth Grassroots start at Rideau Carleton Raceway on August 25. Their Gold Series peers are next up on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, competing in two divisions this Saturday, July 27. Saturday's first race goes postward at 7:10 pm and the Gold fillies will be featured in Races 2 and 8. Complete results for Thursday evening's program are available here. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

TROIS RIVIERES QUE - The second annual Coupe Ben Hur, matching talented young harness racing drivers Doug McNair and "hometown hero" Louis Philippe Roy, produced an outstanding contest enjoyed by all concerned on Sunday afternoon at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres, with McNair having a spectacular day but still edging out the tenacious Roy by only three points, 56-53. The Ben Hur tournament format (each driver must start once from each post once in the other races, and then can pick their own horses, plus the 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 pointsystem) helps to ensure close competition, but it's almost hard to believe that McNair could put up a 7-4-2-0-1 scoresheet and go into the last race with the morning line projection saying he should tie for the title. But Roy stayed near him through the competition with a 7-2-2-2-1 tally, and only four points behind "turning for home," but in the final race Roy finished third and McNair fourth, enabling the Ontarian to join Sylvain Filion as a Coupe Ben Hur winner, with Roy second, oh so close, for the second straight year. (Note neither driver finished worse than fourth in the eight-race competition.) McNair's quartet of wins at 3R was almost matched on the card by Roy's three, as LP won a race outside the competition, and neither driver put a hoof wrong the entire day, displaying their sulky craftsmanship and showing why they are two of the young stars of the game. The card also featured second round action in the Quebec-Plus series for province-bred pacers 4-years-old and older, aiming for spots in their $30,000 Championship races on July 14. Mares went in two $6500 sections to open the card, while the males had one $6500 divisions in this second prelim. YS Tallia, divisional Q-bred champion in 2017, recorded her second straight series victory as the heaviest of favorites, this week with Louis Philippe Roy in the sulky for trainer Michel Allard and owner Yves Sarrazin. Last week the Western Ideal mare YS Tallia went 1:54.3 for the fastest local mile of the year; Sunday, after an early move to the top, she lowered that clocking a tick to 1:54.2; still on her horizon, just a further tick away, is the divisional track record of 1:54.1--which is held by YS Tallia's full sister, My Tallia Ideal. In the second cut for the distaffs, the Big Jim mare Lune Bleu, second to YS Tallia in the first leg, took early control from the pole for driver Stephane Gendron, the track's winningest driver this year, then faced an outside challenge to the three-quarters from race favorite Miss Rockadali. That foe continued to press Lune Bleu through the lane, and then pocketsitter All You Can Dream entered the fray up the rail, but Lune Bleu persevered and won by a neck in 1:56.1, a lifetime best, for trainer Maxime Velaye and owner Guy Corbeil. The Q-bred series for older performers was before this year restricted to 2-5YOs; Atomic Million AM won his division in 2014 (3YO), 2015 (4YO), and 2016 (5YO), but his loss (fifth) as a 2YO prevented from being the only "sweeper." This year, with the change in age eligibility, the Million Dollar Cam gelding Atomic Million AM can become the first horse to win four Championships, and his second straight preliminary win came in 1:55.1 Sunday. This was a Coupe race, and Doug McNair blasted out in :26.4 with the winner, putting favored (by $10) McKinney and Roy in behind him. Controlling the pace from there, Atomic Million AM held off first a hard raw challenge by Majo Lou Beka, then a late charge from 2016 Quebec champion HP Patriote by a length for owner/trainer Alain Martin; McKinney (2014) stayed for third and completed a Trifecta of former champions. The big card also featured a $4500 preferred handicap event on each gait, both races counting in the Coupe. The trotting event was taken by the favored Angus Hall mare Talbotcreek Suzie, who went out right to the lead for McNair, then had her task made easier when early challenger Missionoftheheart broke at the start, leaving Rocky Boy and Roy in the pocket. Talbotcreek Suzie moderated the pace, then picked it up when the plucky Ice O Late pressured her the last half, winning in 2:00.1 by a half-length; Rocky Boy, who had a left rear bandage come unwrapped early in the race, was in tight between horses in early stretch and could do no better than third. Yves Tessier conditions the talented mare for owner Francois Morin. The preferred handicap pace was a capturing of the spirit of competition of the day. McNair got Rainbow Palace right to the lead; Roy got away midpack with cover with Hooter Shooter, then went three-wide before the ¼ up to uncovered position and fought with Hooter Shooter from the half onward. There was virtually no separation between the top two from off the third turn, with the rest of the field halfway back to Montreal; in the stretch battle between the two pairs, favored Hooter Shooter, despite the" impossible" trip, got the better of his rival by 1¼ lengths, the Badlands Hanover gelding winning for the third time, and second straight in this class, in 1:56.2 for trainer/owner Marc Andre Simoneau.   Club Jockey du Quebec

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The Hippodrome 3R harness racing track will have a packed house on Sunday as the track hosts the Ben Hur Cup II and three divisions of the Quebec-Bred Series for older pacers. The Ben Hur Cup II will feature world-class drivers Doug McNair from Ontario taking on Louis-Philippe Roy of Quebec in an eight-race competition. Last year Sylvain Filion beat Roy in the final race on the program and the tournament may be that close again Sunday. The morning line gives a slight edge to McNair, but anything can happen on race day. The eight-race competition will be races 3 through 10, which is the last race of the day. Scoring will be 1st - 8 points, 2nd - 7 points, 3rd - 6 points, etc. and an average of the drivers score on the day will be used for a scratched horse. There is a winner-take-all cash prize of $3,000C for the Ben Hur Cup II, a meet and greet session with both drivers starting at 12:00 noon and both drivers will be introduced to the crowd after the second race. "I think it's gonna be really tight," Louis-Philippe Roy said. "If it was hockey, I would say LPR in 7 games. I got beat by Sylvain (Filion) last year in the very last game too, so I have now the experience of a game 7 in the Ben Hur cup, that will make the difference." The Ben Hur Cup II is the main attraction Sunday, and there are three divisions of the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for older pacers, races 1, 2 and 6. The sixth race will be part of the Ben Hur Cup II. The sixth race is the lone division of the Quebec-Bred Series for older pacing horses and featured are both return winners from last week and each will be driven by the Ben Hur Cup drivers. Three-time Quebec-Bred Champion, Atomic Million AM, has the rail and is the 5/2 morning line favorite. He has won his last two starts and will be driven by Doug McNair. Bred, owned and trained by Daniel Martin of Gatineau, the son of Million Dollar Cam does his best racing on the front end and rarely loses when starting from post one. The other return winner is former Quebec-Bred Series Champion, McKinney, who starts from post seven for driver Louis-Philippe Roy. Last week McKinney sat a two-hole trip behind Kinnder Jackson, then shot to the lead and drew off to win by five and three-quarter lengths in 1:54.4. It was his fourth winner of the year for trainer Francis Richard and co-owners Robert Kyle Follows, Daniel Knechtel and Arpad Szabo of Ontario. Other top opponents in the race are Kinnder Jackson (post 4) and HP Patriote (post 5). The mares two divisions get underway in the first race where both of last weeks winners, YS Tallia and Lit De Rose go head and head. YS Tallia, a series champion in 2017, is the class of the field. The five-year-old Western Ideal mare was given a perfect drive by Stephane Gendron last week, scoring by three and three-quarter lengths in 1:54.3, the fastest mile at H3R this season. She is trained by Michel Allard for breeder/owner Yves Sarrazin of Presentation. This week she will be driven on Sunday by Louis-Philippe Roy from post two. Lit De Rose goes from post six and she is another Series champion (2017). Trained by Maxime Velaye, the four-year-old daughter of Leader Bayama came off the pace last week to win with ease in 1:56.1 for breeder/owner Guy Corbeil of Mirabel. She will be driven again by Stephane Gendron. The second race is the second mares division and headlined by Lune Bleu from post one. She is also trained by Velaye and bred and is owned by Corbiel. She was the one that cut the mile last week that YS Tallia scored from in 1:54.3. Also, in the race is Miss Rockadali (post 4). She cut the mile last week that Lit De Rose was able to score from in 1:56.1. Post time for the first race is 1:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

JUNE 20, 2019 - Driver Doug McNair captured a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots harness racing divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening, guiding Swift Ally and Sporty Tori to victory over a rain-soaked oval rated two seconds slower than normal. Both three-year-old pacing fillies were sent off as favourites by Woodbine Mohawk Park fans and McNair opted for come-from-behind tactics in both races. Starting from Post 2 in the third $23,850 Grassroots division, McNair eased Swift Ally off the gate and settled into seventh spot in the outer lane as Manhattan Night rang up fractions of :27.1 and :56. Heading toward the 1:25.3 three-quarters McNair tipped Swift Ally out three-wide and the Big Jim daughter reeled in the leaders, pacing under the wire one and one-quarter lengths on top in 1:54.4. Manhattan Night settled for second and D Gs Fairystars completed the top three. "Swift Ally has been racing good all along. They tried her in the Gold and I think I over raced her early, she didn't like that," said McNair, who finished seventh with the filly in the June 1 Gold Series opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "Last week (June 14) she had a lot of go and just got locked in, so I figured she would be good tonight if we got a decent trip. She's going the right way." McNair engineered the win, the filly's first in provincial stakes action and the fifth of her seven-race career, for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON. The homebred filly is a daughter of McNair and Fleming's former Gold Series competitor Claires Apache, who earned just shy of $400,000 in her career. Two races later McNair lined Sporty Tori up behind the number nine and once again opted to settle in at the back of the pack while Full Moon Fix and Erikas Shadow battled to a :27.1 opening quarter. Eighth at the :56 half, Sporty Tori had advanced to fifth by the 1:25.3 three-quarters, and a smart finishing kick propelled her past the leaders and on to a two and one-half length victory in 1:54.4. Full Moon Fix and Erikas Shadow paced into second and third. London resident Gorden McKnight trains Sporty Tori for owner-breeder M & S Racing Stable Inc. of Rockwood, ON. Thursday's win was the Sportswriter daughter's ninth in 12 starts this season. "Sporty Tori has also been racing good all year. She responded exactly like Gord said she would," said McNair, who was making his first appearance in the filly's race bike. "Looks like he's done a nice job with her and I was just happy to get the call." The Guelph resident also finished third with fan favourite Whitehaven Beach in the second division, getting caught at the wire by Cinderella Delight and Crisp Mane after doing all the hard work up front, and second in the last division to So Much More, who laid down an impressive 1:52.2 effort on the front end "That filly of Beatson's (So Much More) went a serious mile over that track tonight. It drizzled all night," said McNair, who watched So Much More open up six and three-quarter lengths on his mount, fan favourite Kylie Seelster, and third-place finisher Freya Seelster in the stretch. The win was So Much More's second straight in Grassroots action. She was also an impressive winner in the May 31 season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District for trainer Don Beatson of Granton, Ken Beatson of Palgrave and Cole England of Exeter, ON. The trio acquired the Big Jim daughter from owner-breeder Doug MacPhee of New Haven, PEI just 10 days before her Grassroots debut and she has since added three more wins to the three she accumulated before making the move to Ontario. Trevor Henry engineered Thursday's win and admitted that he had passed up the opportunity to steer the filly in her Ontario debut. Tyler Borth filled in for Henry on May 31 and also piloted So Much More to an overnight win at Grand River Raceway on June 10. "She raced great. She's a nice filly. I booked off of her in London and I don't think that will happen again anytime soon," said the Arthur, ON resident. Fan favourites Summer Charm and driver Louis-Philippe Roy won the first division, besting Behavenmyself and Family First by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:55.2. Richard Moreau trains the Bettors Delight daughter, who won the 2018 two-year-old pacing filly Super Final, for Thomas and Scott Dillon of Anson, ME. Cinderella Delight halted the teletimer at 1:54.4 in the second division, getting a head in front of Crisp Mane and Whitehaven Beach. Jody Jamieson piloted the Bettors Delight daughter to her first sophomore win for trainer Bill Budd and owners Bruce Norris of Caledon East, Michael Guerriero of Brampton and Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, ON. The fifth division went to fan favourite Springbridgevision and driver James MacDonald, who battled to a three-quarter length victory over pacesetter Arya Stark in 1:55.2. Saulsbrook Jessie completed the top three. Andrew Moore of Russell trains the Shadow Play daughter for his partners Allan Moore of Stratford, Charles Farrell of Spencerville, ON and Tommy Godfrey of Charlottetown, PEI. The three-year-old pacing fillies will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park for their third Grassroots start on July 25. On Saturday evening (June 22), the Gold Series sophomore pacing fillies will return to Campbellville for the second event of their season. Post time for Saturday's program is 7:10 pm and the fillies will compete in Races 6 and 8. Photo attached: Three-year-old pacing filly Swift Ally earned her first Grassroots victory with a 1:54.4 effort at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, June 20. Guelph resident Doug McNair drove the filly to the win for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON. (New Image Media photo) For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park www.ontarioracing.com

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This Friday evening the Quebec Jockey Club plays host to the second round of the $276,000 Quebec-Bred Series for older harness racing trotters at the Hippodrome 3R. The main event takes place in the eighth race co-feature, where the storyline is "A Tale of two brothers" as Seeyou Men and Wildwild Men, both full brothers, will race against each other. Last week in the opening round of the series, there were enough entrants to have two divisions, so the two brothers did not have to face each. Such is not the case this Friday as only ten horses were entered and thus one division. Both Seeyou Men and Wildwild Men are sired by Muscle Mass from the Angus Hall mare, Seeyouinthecircle. Seeyou Men is age 7 and Wildwild Men is the younger brother at age 6. They were both bred by Chantal Gravel of St-Cryrille-De-Wendover, who co-owns the two with Catheline Pelletier of Mirabel. While as youngsters, both horses were raced from the same stable of Isabelle Darveau and were driven by Robert Shepherd, now they are in different stables yet will race as an overwhelming entry on Friday. Both horses are prior Quebec-Bred Champions and Wildwild Men still holds the track record he set at age two. Seeyou Men has drawn post one and Wildwild Men drew post seven. Last week Seeyou Men was the fastest of the Quebec-Bred Series winners, trotting his mile in 1:59 after getting perfect live cover from Kinnder Dangerous. It was his second win this season for trainer Daniel Martin and driver Stephane Brosseau. Wildwild Men last week was able to leave from post six and never look back, winning with ease for trainer/driver Guy Gagnon by two and one quarter lengths in 2:00.1. That was his third triumph of the season. Other contenders in the race include Kinnder Dangerous (post 5), who two starts back won in 1:58.4, Holiday Party (post 6), Caroluzzo (post 9) and Maximuscle (post 3), who just qualified at H3R with a victory in 2:00. The older mares do battle in the third race where last week's opening round winner, Eau Naturelle and trainer/driver Simon Delisle, drew the far outside and will have to start from post eight. Last week the six-year-old daughter of Windsong Espoir started from post three and led from start to finish in 2:00.2 for her first win on the year for co-owners Chantal Auger-Maxime Dubuc of Portneuf, Raymond Bouffard of Quebec and Anne Delisle of Deschambault. Her main rival will be Lucky Promesses, who drew the rail for driver Steeve Genois and trainer Francis Richard. Last week she was able to get the live cover from Eau Naturelle, but was unable to close the deal in the stretch and finished second. Ben Hur Cup II Sunday: The Ben Hur Cup II takes place Sunday at H3R with Ontario's Doug McNair taking on Quebec's Louis-Philippe Roy. There are 10 races on the program and races 3 to 10 will be the Ben Hur Cup II plus a winner-take-all cash prize of $3,000C. The point system for the competition is (8 for a 1st, 7 for a 2nd, 6 for 3rd, etc.). There will be a special meet and greet with McNair and Roy starting at 12:00 noon and then a welcome presentation after the 2nd race. If you go by the morning line odds, McNair has a slight edge over Roy, but as everyone knows you never know what will happen on the track. Post time Friday is 7:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R harness racing track, the Quebec Jockey Club is hosting the Ben Hur Cup II, featuring world-class drivers Doug McNair from Ontario against Louis-Philippe Roy of Quebec. And who better to comment on the race competition than the inaugural Ben Hur Cup Champion, Sylvain Filion. He won the eight-race competition last year with four wins, but due to prior obligations, could not defend his title this year. "I am sorry not to be able to attend this year," Filion explained. "It is a great competition and I hope to get invited back next year. But you do have two top drivers for this year." It was not a romp until the last of the eight races last year. Filion had the lead going into the last race and sealed it with a big romp. "What I remember most from last year," Filion said. "Were the race fans. There were so many people that came out for the competition, I got to see so many friends, family and faces from the past and they really loved the tournament too. It was fun. "Also, in the last race last year I did not know what kind of filly I was driving," Filion explained. "She had just won her maiden in 2:04.3, her name was All You Can Dream and she was so perfect, we won by 24 lengths over LPR. He needed the win to take the competition but that did not happen." Filion really likes the pairing of Doug McNair and Louis-Philippe Roy for the Ben Hur Cup II. "These are two well-matched drivers," Filion said. "They are excellent drivers. Both are about the same size, same age. They have each won big stakes races and have an aggressive style of driving. It will be a really good competition." And, for the biggest question of the story, who does Sylvain Filion feel will win the Ben Hur Cup II on Sunday? "I think they are both excellent drivers," Filion said. "I would want to see who draws the most power and I will leave it at that. The draw means so much," Filion added. "Last year I had some powerful horses that drew well and made it easy for me to win. Power means everything." Sunday's program will also feature the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for older pacers. Post time on Sunday at H3R is 1:00 pm. For a free race program or additional information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The Quebec Jockey Club has announced that this year's Ben Hur Cup II driver challenge will be Ontario vs Quebec as harness racing driving stars Doug McNair takes on Louis Philippe Roy at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, June 23. Last year, the inaugural Ben Hur Cup featured Sylvain Filion defeating Roy in the very last race of the competition. The tournament takes place in eight races and the drivers get to select which horse they drive in each of the races. They must also select horses by post position so that they have one drive from all eight posts. It's a winner-take-all prize of $3,000C that goes to the champion of the Ben Hur Cup II. Here is the Take of the Tape for the two drivers. TALE OF THE TAPE (as of USTA stats from 6/12/19)                       Doug McNair           Louis Philippe Roy Age                       30                                   30 Weight                155 lbs                         140 lbs Years Driving       12                                   12 Lifetime Drives   18,605                              6,377 Lifetime Wins      3,234                              1,278 Lifetime $$           $46,391,486                   $12,870,262 2019 Wins             59                                   127 2019 Money         $803,016                         $1,424,325 2019 UDRS            .238                               .284 "Since the competition is keeping the same process as last year," Louis Philippe Roy said. "It's hard to try to pick a competitive horse from every post position. That makes this great tournament so challenging!" Roy was quick to fire off the first salvo to McNair. "Dougie can be very sulky when I beat him on the golf course or on the racetrack," laughed Roy. "So, I'll try to keep him in the competition until the very last races. That way he'll be nice to be around for the early part of the race card!" "The only time Louie beats me in golf," Doug McNair said. "Is when we play a foursome and his brings a partner that plays well." Will being at Roy's home track for the Ben Hur Cup II be a big advantage for him over McNair? "I think that if Doug stays focus," Roy said. "The fact that it's my home track won't make a big difference, but that's if and only if he stays focused." "I don't mind coming for competitions like this," McNair added. "I know Louie will be the fan favorite, it's his hometown. But I can tell you that he will not have any of Richard Moreau horses to drive, so he cannot look for any help there. "I know that last year, Sylvain Filion beat him pretty good," McNair said. "He made him look like a rookie at the end of the day." Being back home in Quebec for the Ben Hur Cup II, Roy already has plans for celebrating. "I plan to celebrate my win in the Ben Hur Cup by going to Quebec City over the night as it is Quebec National Day on Monday, June 24th," Roy explained. "And they will have concerts and other special events on Sunday night. I don't know how Doug is going to try to forget his loss." The post position draw for the Sunday, June 23 Ben Hur Cup II races takes place on Wednesday, June 19. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

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