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There are 27 Ontario Sired Breeders Crown finalists racing at Woodbine Saturday night, including homebred elimination winner Solar Sister trained by Gregg McNair and driven by his son, Doug, who are both looking for their first harness racing Breeders Crown victory. Veteran Ontario trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph said he would love nothing more than to win the Breeders Crown with his son, Doug, in the sulky and ultra-talented Ontario Sired three-year-old pacing filly Solar Sister leading them to the winner’s circle Saturday at Woodbine. It would be the first Crown victory for either McNair. “I’ve had a few Breeders Crown starts and it’s awfully good to just have them race well and get money, but with that horse and with Doug driving her, it would be a great thrill to win it,” Gregg said. Solar Sister is one of 27 Ontario Sired horses racing in the 12-race, $7.6 million Breeders Crown at Woodbine and one of the best. No horse, regardless of gait or gender, earned more money in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program in 2015 than Solar Sister, which is only fitting since she’s the product of a royal Ontario family going back to her Ontario Sired graddam Cathedra, one of the greatest mares in the history of harness racing. “You don’t have to be up on the horses too much to know the family,” Gregg said. Solar Sister, a homebred owned by David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Horner of Toronto, earned $317,150 of her seasonal total of $507,494 in the OSS competition, where she won three Gold Series legs and the $250,000 Super Final on Oct. 10 at Woodbine Racetrack. But after a lacklustre fourth-place finish on Oct. 1 in a Gold Series leg at Flamboro Down, Gregg said he knew something was wrong. At first he thought it was the fact the daughter of Mach Three out of the millionaire Cabrini Hanover had not raced in almost a month. Then he discovered a foot injury. “It was quite a mess,” Gregg said. “Either some gravel or maybe she hit it one time in the field or something. I don’t know what it was, but she was really sore on it. You wouldn’t have been able to race her. She wasn’t just a little off, she was a lot off.” Gregg said the injury healed the week before the Super Finals. “Touch wood, she’s been good ever since,” he said. Last Saturday, Solar Sister posted a one-length victory over Frost Damage Blue in 1:52.1 in their Crown elimination. “We didn’t have a lot of work in her before the Super Finals,” Gregg said. “We didn’t have her quite as tight as she should have been, so I’m expecting a pretty good effort Saturday.” Solar Sister will start from post three in the fourth race, going for a Breeders Crown purse of $648,700. She’s the second choice in the morning line at 7-2 behind Joe Holloway’s trainee Divine Caroline (2-1). Solar Sister will not only be trying to win a first Crown for the McNairs, she will also be trying to avenge her mother’s two Breeders Crown defeats. In 2005, Cabrini Hanover, finished second by a neck to Belovedangel in the Breeders Crown three-year-old filly pace at the Meadowlands. The year before, she was leading at the top of the stretch in the Crown final for two-year-old pacing fillies and finished fifth. Cabrini Hanover was originally purchased for $350,000 as a yearling at the 2003 Standardbred Horse Sales Company sale in Harrisburg, PA by Willmot and his close friend Bob Anderson of St. Thomas, ON. When Anderson died in 2010, Horner bought into Cabrini Hanover. Shortly after that, the decision was made to breed Cabrini Hanover to Mach Three. The resulting foal was Solar Sister, named after a clean energy movement for women in Africa. Willmot also has an advanced solar energy project at his Kinghaven Farm. “We were coming off a pretty good season and she was bred in Ontario, so we got the opportunity to train her. It’s sure something to train something out of that family,” said Gregg, who hadn’t trained for Willmot or Horner prior to Solar Sister. “I would say we raced her a few times early as a two-year-old probably thinking she was fairly average. We really didn’t know she was having a tie-up issue. We were part way through her two-year-old season when we figured it out. She finished off really good last year as a two-year-old… She was fairly close to (U.S. and Canadian Horse of the Year) JK Shesalday at the end of the year.” Solar Sister did indeed finish second, one-and-a-half lengths behind JK Shesalady in the $424,000 final of the Three Diamonds on Oct. 25, 2014 at Woodbine. She ended the year with a record of 2-3-4 in 13 starts, earnings of $214,828 and a mark of 1:54. This year, she is 8-2-1 in 15 starts and a mark of 1:50.3 earned at Mohawk on July 2 in a Gold leg. “Obviously David and I are very pleased with her season and in particular her last two starts,” Horner wrote in an email. “She loves Woodbine (two wins this year and her two seconds to JK Shesalady in Three Diamonds last year) and has a great post.” If she does win the Breeders Crown, Solar Sister would enhance her chance to win an O’Brien Award as Canada’s top sophomore pacing filly of 2015. “If she is fortunate enough to win the O'Brien, she would be the third straight generation on the female side to win, which would be very special,” wrote Horner, adding it would be the sixth O’Brien Award in Solar Sister’s talented clan, counting the male side. Dave Briggs Ontario Horse Racing

Solar Sister and harness racing driver Doug McNair came right back from an impressive victory in last week's Ontario Sire Stakes Super final to capture the first of two US$25,000 eliminations for the Breeders Crown sophomore pacing filly division. In a wide-open and competitive event Solar Sister was sent off as the 7-2 second choice and McNair left enough in the early stages to get a three-hole as first The Show Returns blasted to the front and then was passed by Southwind Roulette with driver Yannick Gingras. Southwind Roulette took the field to the quarter in :27 1/5 and virtually walked to the half in :57 flat as the outside flow was slow to materialize. Bettor Be Steppin, the lukewarm favorite in the field of nine pulled but awaited cover and once past the half Solar Sister was taken to the outside by McNair and the race began. Tracking second over cover was the undefeated Frost Damage Blues with Bettor Be Steppin third over. Solar Sister reached even terms with the pacesetting Southwind Roulette as the third quarter was blitzed in :27 3/5. The well-bred daughter of Mach Three hit high gear for McNair in the homestretch and sprinted away from the leaders winning comfortably in 1:52 1/5. Frost Damage Blues lost for the first time in her brief career but was a solid second earning a trip to the final. Southwind Roulette held on for third with The Show Returns finding space between horses to get fourth with Bettor Be Steppin narrowly nosing Wicked Little Minx from a spot in the rich final. McNair, who guided Solar Sister for his dad, trainer Greg McNair, and owners David Wilmot and Clay Horner was quite happy with the way the trip worked out for the filly. "I was able to sit with her for five-eighths of a mile. She's actually very good coming from off the pace," McNair said.   The victory was the eighth of the season in 15 starts for Solar Sister, a homebred.   Solar Sister     Jay Bergman

Ontario's talented two-year-olds put on an impressive show at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening as the top 20 point earners in each division were whittled down to 10 in Grassroots Semi-Final action. Muscles For Life kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes post season, sprinting down the stretch to a 1:57.3 personal best in the first trotting colt Semi-Final. The Muscle Mass son and driver Doug McNair of Guelph, ON bested Money Mission and United BI by two and three-quarter lengths to secure their spot in next weekend's Grassroots Championship. "He was a little late getting started, he made a few mistakes and then we had to put the hopples on him," said trainer Gregg McNair about Muscles For Life, who finished the regular season with one win, one second, one fourth and one eighth in four outings. "He's raced pretty good every time. He's got a lot of trot. "He got a good trip, but he's got fairly good talent," added the Guelph resident, who trains Muscles For Life for Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, MI. Fourth and fifth-place finishers Cool Creek Victory and Muscle Time also advanced to the Sept. 26 Grassroots Championship. Muscles For Life The first trotting filly Semi-Final was the first of three captured by Trevor Henry, who is in a fight for top spot in the Ontario Sires Stakes driver standings with Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion. Henry teamed Myretirementticket to a 1:57.1 personal best ahead of fan favourite and division point leader Magical Steph and Jangone. Myretirementticket hit the wire one-quarter length ahead of her rivals. "She's getting better every week," said Henry. "She does everything right, she's a sweetheart to drive." Henry engineered the win for Eli Wagler of Ingersoll, ON who bred, owns and trains the daughter of Cornaro Dasolo and Shine Again. Very Classy and Dayliner rounded out the qualifiers for the Championship. Myretirementticket Arthur, ON resident Henry faces a tough choice for the Championship, as he also piloted the winner of the second trotting filly division. Traviata cruised home a four and one-half length winner; matching Myretirementticket's 1:57.1 clocking. The fan favourite bested Mariana, Liseberg, Malia and Tough Affair. "She's pretty nice too, it's going to be tough to be pick," said the reinsman, who engineered the Kadabra daughter's fourth straight victory for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman of Allentown, NJ and Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON. Traviata Henry's third win came with pacing filly St Lads Smokin Hot, who powered down the stretch to a 1:53.1 personal best. Noone To Depend On finished one and one-quarter lengths back in second, favourite and division point leader Sports Expert was third, with Selling The Dream and Miss Print completing the top five. Puslinch, ON resident Richard Moreau trains St Lads Smokin Hot for Holland Racing Stable of Niagara-On-The Lake, ON. The No Pan Intended daughter finished the regular season with a pair of wins - both over half-mile ovals - two thirds and one sixth in five starts. St Lads Smokin Hot Gerries Sport captured the first pacing colt Semi-Final with a 1:53 personal best for trainer Robert Robinson and owner-breeder Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, QC. The Mach Three son and driver Rick Zeron of Oakville, ON controlled the tempo for much of the race and cruised home three and one-quarter length winners over Print Media, Blue Zombie, Bingo Ingo, and division point leader St Lads Moonwalk. "He's a nice little colt," said Zeron. "He had a little confusion when we first started going with him so we were pretty conservative with him and let him pace into where he wanted to be to get his form going, and as the summer went on he's gotten smarter and better." Gerries Sport Moffat, ON resident Jack Moiseyev piloted two Semi-Final winners, starting with pacing filly Mayhem Seelster in Race 8. The fan favourites pressed the pace in the outer lane through much of the mile before getting up for a one-half length win in a personal best 1:53. Im In Luv, Buttermilk Hanover, pacesetter Southwind Shania and No Shadows completed the top five. Moiseyev engineered the win for trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Cambridge, ON and owner Domenic Chiaravalle of Hamilton, ON. The Mach Three miss was a two-time winner and one-time runner-up in three regular season Grassroots starts. Mayhem Seelster One race later Moiseyev was back in the winner's circle with the only division point leader to add a Semi-Final win to their resume. Trotting colt Georgies Pockets sprinted from seventh to first through the final quarter, reaching the finish in 1:58.4, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Dynamic Edge and Willyorwonthe. Gonna Fly and Asterix finished fourth and fifth. Mike Vanderkemp of Hillsburgh, ON conditions Georgies Pockets for owner-breeder M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. In five regular season starts the Muscle Mass son posted an impressive record of three wins and two seconds to top the freshman trotting colt division. Georgies Pockets The last of the Grassroots Semi-Final trophies went home with Kokanee Seelster, who prevailed in the second pacing colt split. The Camluck colt and driver Phil Hudon of Guelph controlled the temp from start to finish, reaching the wire one and one-half lengths ahead of Tango Star in 1:53. Favourite King Of Sports was third, just ahead of Azul Pool and Only Half Bad. Anthony Montini of Acton, ON trains Kokanee Seelster for Ming Siu of Richmond, BC and Edmund Lui of Parkhill, ON. The pacer posted two wins and one second in three regular season Grassroots starts. Kokanee Seelster The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will now begin preparations for next Saturday's (Sept. 26) $50,000 Grassroots Championships. They will be joined by their three-year-old peers, who will wage their Semi-Final battles at Mohawk on Friday, Sept. 18. The sophomores are featured in Races 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11 on the program, which gets under way at 7:25 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

SEPT. 15, 2015 - Ontario Sires Stakes post season action gets under way at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening with eight Grassroots Semi-Finals for the harness racing two-year-old trotters and pacers. Trainer Blake MacIntosh won the two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots Championship in 2014 with Star Cover and the Cambridge, ON resident will send out two hopefuls on Thursday, including two-year-old pacing filly division leader Sports Expert. "She's feeling really good. She trained well this morning (Sept. 15) and we're really happy with the way she's going into the race," said MacIntosh of Sports Expert. "She had an easy race Saturday night; she got away last in the Champlain and closed hard and just missed a cheque. I wasn't happy we didn't get a cheque, but I was happy with the way she raced." In her four regular season Grassroots starts Sports Expert posted three wins and one second, clocking a personal best 1:54.2 in the Sept. 1 event at Mohawk. The daughter of Sportswriter and Lyons Mandi has seven starts under her belt and has banked $34,000 for MacIntosh and his partners Touch Stone Farms of Guelph, ON and 30 Plus Stable of Trenton, ON. "They're good people. They're always supportive of whatever I decide to do with the filly and they follow her very closely," said MacIntosh of the ownership group. "Joe Intine (of Touch Stone Farms) and his wife (Barbara) are always at every race, they come to the barn once or twice a week and follow her very closely and are very involved with the horse. The 30 Plus group (Andy, Stan and Tim Klemencic) has come up a couple times, but they live in Trenton so it's harder for them to get up here." MacIntosh expects a solid group of supporters will be on hand when the filly lines up at Post 3 in the first $20,000 two-year-old pacing filly Semi-Final on Thursday. Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair will be in the race bike as the filly aims for a top five finish and a berth in the Sept. 26 Grassroots Championship. McNair and Sports Expert will battle a field of nine challengers in Race 5, with the second two-year-old pacing filly Semi-Final slated for Race 8. In addition to Sports Expert, MacIntosh will also harness a son of Sportswriter, Sporty Mercedes, in the first two-year-old pacing colt and gelding Semi-Final. Sporty Mercedes heads into the race off a fifth-place finish in the Sept. 7 event at Grand River Raceway, but MacIntosh is cautiously hopeful that the gelding is poised to deliver a stronger effort on Thursday. "Sporty Mercedes, he's been a bit of a disappointment this year. After we gelded him he had two good races and we were pleased, we thought we had him on the right track, and then he got loose on the groom trying to load him just before Georgian (Aug. 23) and he banged himself up and he just hasn't been the same since," the trainer explained. "Now, saying that, he trained the best he's trained in a while this morning (Sept. 15). "We were high on him during the winter time and he's sort of been a bit of a disappointment, but hopefully we can get him to the final and things will come around for him," MacIntosh continued. "He's a colt we paid into the Metro, and paid into everything else. He's not a Metro horse, but hopefully he can be a good Grassrooter." In four Grassroots starts Sporty Mercedes garnered one win, one fourth, one fifth and one eighth to finish eighteenth in the point standings. The gelding recorded his personal best 1:55.1 in the Aug. 13 Grassroots test at Rideau Carleton Raceway and has banked $15,740 for MacIntosh and his partners Dan and Kim Sergeant of Straffordville, ON. Sporty Mercedes will make his bid for a top five finish from Post 3 in the sixth race with Iona Station, ON resident Alfie Carroll in the race bike. The second two-year-old pacing colt and gelding Semi-Final will go postward as Race 10, wrapping up the evening's Grassroots action. The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings kick off Mohawk Racetrack's Thursday evening program at 7:25 pm in Race 1 and are also featured in Race 9, while the two-year-old trotting fillies wage their Semi-Final battles in Races 2 and 3. Grassroots post season action continues at the Campbellville oval on Friday with eight Semi-Finals for the three-year-old trotters and pacers. Ontario Horse Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 11 - It was a wet night at Mohawk Racetrack Friday for the eliminations of the Elegantimage Stakes and William Wellwood Memorial. A pair of eliminations were needed for both events with the top five finishers in each division advancing to their respective finals next week. A talented pack of 16 three-year-old trotting fillies, highlighted by superstar Mission Brief, were split into two $35,000 eliminations for the Elegantimage Stakes. World champion Mission Brief scored a dominating 15 length victory over the 'Sloppy' track in the second elimination for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. The daughter of Muscle Hill flashed good early speed to sprint out to the front. Once on the lead, Mission Brief got to call her own shots posting fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26. In the stretch, the superstar filly pulled away from her rivals with ease and left them in another area code. Mission Brief stopped the timer in 1:54.1, three-seconds better than second-place finisher Danielle Hall. Magic Marker, Youre Majestic and Amoureuse Hanover rounded out the top five to advance to next week's final. Following the race, Gingras said Mission Brief was a bit fired up Friday evening and he was trying to stretch her out for her first start in three-weeks. "She was a little bit grabby in the post parade, so when she got off on the right foot I figured I would just let her go," he said. "I just wanted to stretch her out, like I said she was a little bit too sharp and try to get the edge off of her a little bit. "She hasn't raced that many times this year, so it was not like it was going to hurt her. The plugs were still in and she had plenty left and it was just a matter of trying to get her tight for next week." Mission Brief has now won six of eight starts this season, including a heat of the Hambletonian. Burke added trotting hopples to his star filly in July to help her with some issues, but it appears they may not be need for much longer. "She's safe now, she's comfortable and she's confident and she's sound," said Gingras. "After next week the plan is to take them off and then go to Lexington, but we will see how it goes." Mission Brief is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC., Our Horse Cents Stable, J And T Silva Stables LLC., and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Friday night's win was the 15th career victory for the winner of over $1.1 million. Mission Brief paid $2.10 to win. Mission Brief In the first elimination, Muscle Baby Doll stretched her current win streak to seven in a row with a 1:56 victory. Driven by Doug McNair, Muscle Baby Doll left from post eight and took a seat early in sixth. Wild Honey, the even-money favourite, circled around from the two-hole to take command after the half in :57.2. Muscle Baby Doll began making up ground on the outside and was able to catch the cover of Elegant Serenity around the final turn. Wild Honey posted a three-quarter time of 1:27. In the stretch, Muscle Baby Doll flipped off cover and trotted up a storm to overtake the lead and score a length and a quarter victory over Wild Honey. Elegant Serenity finished third, while Bee The Queen and Smokinmombo were fourth and fifth, respectively. Trained by Tony O'Sullivan, Muscle Baby Doll has dominated the Ontario Sires Stakes scene this season and also has a Grand Circuit victory on her resume. The daughter of Muscle Mass now has eight wins from nine starts this season and 12 victories overall. Muscle Baby Doll was purchased by F Bellino And Sons LLC., early in her two-year-old season, as she raced on the Iowa fair circuit. Muscle Baby Doll career earnings now exceed $400,000. She paid $5.20 to win. Muscle Baby Doll A group of 14 two-year-old trotting colts and geldings were separated into two $30,000 eliminations for the William Wellwood Memorial. In the first division, Deep Impact prevailed in a stretch duel over the 4/5 favourite Brooklyn Hill. Deep Impact and driver Steve Condren got away early in third, but quickly came to the outside nearing the opening-quarter to take the lead. Brooklyn Hill sat second on the back off Deep Impact passed the half in :59.1. Around the final turn, Brooklyn Hill came to the outside for driver David Miller to confront the leader. The colts were toe-to-toe at the three-quarter pole in 1:28.1 setting up a stretch battle. In the lane, Deep Impact refused to give up the lead and fought tough at the rail to defeat Brooklyn Hill by half a length in 1:57.4. Tony Soprano and Lean Hanover finished up well to grab third and fourth, while Will Take Charge finished fifth to secure a spot in the final. A son of Donato Hanover, Deep Impact scored his third career victory Friday evening for trainer Brad Maxwell. The rookie trotter was making his fifth start and increased his earnings to over $41,000 with the win. Deep Impact is owned by Maxwell, Van Camp Trotting Corp., Tim Murray and Doug Millard. The Maxwell trainee paid $7 to win. Deep Impact Southwind Frank extended his win streak to six in a row with a 1:56.3 victory in the second split. Sent off as the 1/9 favourite, Southwind Frank and driver Gingras got away in the three-hole. The heavy-favourite sat third until the half-mile when Gingras sent him on the attack. Southwind Frank quickly cleared to the front and trotted by the three-quarter pole in 1:28.1. Marion Marauder and driver John Campbell trotted up with a rush around the final turn to draw within half a length turning for home. In the stretch, Marion Marauder was able to poke a head in front with an eighth of a mile to go, but Southwind Frank showed his talent by battling back under minimal urging from Gingras to retake the lead and score a length and a half victory. Adored By Masses finished almost 14 lengths behind the winner in third, while Im A Mate and Zlatan finished fourth and fifth to advance to the final. A son of Muscle Hill, Southwind Frank now sports a record of seven wins from eight starts to begin his career for trainer Ron Burke. The rookie trotting colt now has earnings of over $327,000. Southwind Frank is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., Our Horse Cents Stable and J And T Silva Stables LLC. The Burke trainee paid $2.10 to win. Southwind Frank Following Friday night's eliminations, the post positions for next week's $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial final and $404,000 Elegantimage Stakes final were drawn. Elimination winners earned the right to select their post positions. Both finals will highlight a spectacular undercard on Maple Leaf Trot and Canadian Trotting Classic night Saturday, September 19. Here are the post positions for next week's final. $404,000 Elegantimage Stakes Final 1. Elegant Serenity by Kadabra 2. Muscle Baby Doll by Muscle Mass 3. Youre Majestic by Majestic Son 4. Mission Brief by Muscle Hill 5. Smokinmombo by Explosive Matter 6. Danielle Hall by Deweycheatumnhowe 7. Wild Honey by Cantab Hall 8. Magic Marker by Andover Hall 9. Bee The Queen by Donato Hanover 10. Amoureuse Hanover by Pilgrims Taj AE: Juanitas Fury by Kadabra $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial Final 1. Zlatan by Muscle Mass 2. Tony Soprano by Kadabra 3. Deep Impact by Donato Hanover 4. Southwind Frank by Muscle Hill 5. Im A Mate by Muscle Mass 6. Will Take Charge by Kadabra 7. Brooklyn Hill by Muscle Hill 8. Lean Hanover by Donato Hanover 9. Marion Marauder by Muscle Hill 10. Adored By Masses by Muscle Mass AE: Deweylovernleaver by Deweycheatumnhowe Mark McKelvie

SEPT. 6, 2015 - Harness racing's father and son team Gregg and Doug McNair sent a pair of two-year-old trotting colts out in the last regular season Grassroots event on Sunday evening and landed both colts in the Flamboro Downs winner's circle and the post season. Heading into the event Dynamic Edge and Muscles For Life were sitting twenty-fifth and thirty-seventh, respectively, and in need of a victory to extend their season through the Sept. 17 Grassroots Semi-finals. "I figured they had to be close, but he never said nothing, so no pressure, no added pressure," said driver Doug McNair about his pre-race conversation with his father Gregg, who trains the colts. First out of the barn for the McNair Stable was Dynamic Edge, who lined up at Post 5 in the fourth Grassroots division. The younger McNair sent the Muscle Mass son directly to the front and Dynamic Edge reached the opening quarter in :29.3 and the half in 1:02.2. Heading for the 1:32.3 three-quarters Weve Had Enough mounted a challenge and it looked as though Dynamic Edge would have to settle for second, but the gelding found another gear late in the stretch and dug in for a neck victory in 2:02.4. Weve Had Enough was second and Northern Bruiser was one and one-quarter lengths back in third. "He's a little green sometimes," explained the driver. "He pulls up once in a while and he did again today a little bit, but then he battled back on in the stretch. "He's just a just a little funny. He trots perfect, he's great gaited, but he just pulls up sometimes," added the Guelph, ON resident. "It would be nice if he could get out of that, he maybe will as a three-year-old." Gregg McNair, also of Guelph, shares ownership of Dynamic Edge with numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Gloucester, ON. A $28,000 acquisition at last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale, the gelding wrapped up the post season with one win, one second, two thirds, one sixth and 102 points in five Grassroots starts, jumping from twenty-fifth to tenth in the standings with Sunday's win. In the last Grassroots division, Doug McNair also opted for a front-end strategy with Muscles For Life. The pair went to the front from Post 4 and controlled the tempo through fractions of :30.2, 1:02.3 and 1:33.2, hitting the wire three-quarters of a length in front of favourite Georgies Pockets in 2:02.1. Muscle Hustle was well behind the leaders in third. With all of his starts coming in the Grassroots program, Muscles For Life now boasts a record of one win, one second, one fifth and one eighth. Sundays win boosted his point total to 81 and moved him from thirty-seventh to seventeenth. "He trots real nice when he trots, sometimes he just gets out of gear, like if you don't have him paying attention he won't trot for you," said Doug McNair of Muscles For Life, also a son of Muscle Mass. "But when he pays attention he can trot; he's one of the better Grassrooters. "Last start (Aug 11) I just wanted to make sure I got him around without him running and he trotted home in 28 seconds, that's a pretty good quarter for a green trotter," the reinsman added. Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, MI owns Muscle For Life, who was a $35,000 purchase from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The other three division winners also secured their position among the top 20 point earners. Romeo and driver Skip Jay De Mull captured the first Grassroots trophy, tipping out of the pocket heading for the three-quarters and trotting by pacesetter Derivative and on to a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:59, the quickest of the five divisions. Fan favourite Money Mission finished second and Magic Missions was third. Kevin St. Charles of Whitmore Lake, MI trains Romeo for E C S Racing LLC of Rockford, MI. In six Grassroots starts the Muscle Mass gelding tallied one win, two thirds, one fifth, one sixth and one eighth for 83 points. Division two went to Cool Creek Victory and Iona Station, ON resident Alfie Carroll, who also popped out of the pocket to reel in the favourite. Cool Creek Victory stopped the Flamboro Downs teletimer at 2:01, one-half length ahead of United Bi and Classical Son. The win was the second in Grassroots action this season for Cool Creek Victory, who also posted two thirds and one seventh, wrapping up with 126 points. The Windsong Espoir son is trained by Mountain, ON resident Victory Puddy for Bill Manes of Rockwood, ON, Limco Inc. of Chateauguay, QC, and Otnevram Inc. of Saint Leonard, QC. After four second-place finishes JLs Bad Moon Risin finally found the winner's circle, going gate-to-wire in 2:04 for driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON. The Muscle Mass colt bested Clone The Tone by one-half length, with Eyeseenow well back in third. Puslinch, ON resident Richard Moreau conditions JLs Bad Moon Risin for Gestion J Y Blais of Montreal, QC. Sunday's win gave the colt 158 points and a share of second-place in the division standings. The top 20 point earners will now battle in a pair of Semi-final races at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 17, with the top five finishers from each Semi-final returning to the Campbellville oval on Sept. 26 for the $50,000 Grassroots Championship. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Flamboro Downs on Sunday, Sept. 27 when the two-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their Gold Series regular season. Ontario Horse Racing

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

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