CAMPBELLVILLE, August 27 - Harness racing's finest is taking over Mohawk Racetrack. The annual Grand Circuit week begins tomorrow evening (August 28) with the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies and wraps up next Saturday (September 6). The Champlain Stakes for two-year-olds and Simcoe Stakes for three-year-olds are staples on the Grand Circuit schedule every year. "Having North America's top two and three-year-olds come to Mohawk is exciting and something we all look forward to," said Scott McKelvie, WEG's Racing Secretary and Director of Racing. "The Grand Circuit's annual visit is always a highlight of the racing season." Thursday night three Champlain divisions for more than $83,000 will take place for the freshman trotting fillies. Spirit To Win (PP3), the winner of this year's Pure Ivory Series, leads the group of eight in the first division. A daughter of Cantab Hall - Celebrity Spirit, Spirit To Win has won three times in four career starts for trainer Dustin Jones. The second division features Ontario Sires Stakes standout Danielle Hall (PP6) for the trainer/driver duo of Carl and Jody Jamieson. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe - Debbie Hall, Danielle Hall has won four of her five career starts for earnings of over $137,000. Jolene Jolene (PP1) is the 4-5 morning line favourite in the third and final division. Trained by Jonas Czernyson, Jolene Jolene is a daughter of Muscle Hill - Celebrity Speedie and has one win in four career starts. She was the runner-up in the $352,050 Merrie Annabelle at the Meadowlands on August 2. The stakes action will continue on Friday night with two divisions of more than $103,000 of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies and two $124,621 divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters. World champion Lifetime Pursuit, the winner of this year's Hambletonian Oaks, headlines the group of 13 three-year-old trotting fillies. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Lifetime Pursuit will start from post six in the second Simcoe Stakes division (Race 9) with driver Brett Miller. She is coming off a stakes record victory of 1:52.1 in the Casual Breeze Stakes last Friday at Mohawk. Miller and Takter will also team up in the second Champlain Stakes division with freshmen trotting colt French Laundry. A son of Muscles Yankee - Creamy Mimi, French Laundry has won three of his five career starts and will start from post three. On Saturday evening, the $207,689 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies and the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotters will take place as part of the massive Canadian Pacing Derby card. Precocious Beauty leads a group of nine three-year-old pacing fillies in the Simcoe Stakes. Last year's She's A Great Lady Stakes winner, Precocious Beauty will start from post four for the trainer/driver team of Gregg and Doug McNair. A large field of 12 three-year-old trotters starring this year's Hambletonian winner Trixton will meet in their Simcoe Stakes division. Trixton, who has drawn post eleven in the second tier, will be making his first start since capturing the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on August 2. Trixton will also be making his first start at Mohawk since he set the track record of 1:51.3 in the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14. Trainer Jimmy Takter will take his usual position in the bike behind Trixton on Saturday evening. After a busy weekend, the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes action will resume next Saturday (September 6) with the $260,000 Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacers, the $240,000 Champlain Stakes for the two-year-old pacing fillies and the $240,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers. Racing fans can stay up to date with the Grand Circuit by visiting their Facebook page www.Facebook.com/TheGrandCircuit and all of Mohawk's racing action at www.MohawkRacetrack.com by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
There’s little doubt there could be a sub-1:50 speed sighting Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack considering the star power that will be on display, but who would have guessed a pair of sub-1:50 performances would have popped up over the oval on a Tuesday night? Emerald Lexus was the first to do the deed thanks to his three-length triumph against claiming foes in Race 7. Doug McNair rallied the Victory Puddy pupil to the 1:49.3 score over Shipps Xpectancy and Hopetobefirst. Racing for a price tag of $8,000, Emerald Lexus won for the fourth time this season and for the 15th time in his career. The career winner of $123,385 is owned by Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, Ontario. To view the rest of this story click here.
Four $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots tests for three-year-old pacing fillies were held on Monday night (August 25) at Mohawk Racetrack, and Dana Dearest remained hot as she picked up her third consecutive Grassroots victory. Driven by Chris Christoforou, it looked like Dana Dearest was up against it inside the final sixteenth as Mea Lilley Mark (Mike Saftic) had cleared to the lead out of the pocket and opened up a clear advantage. However, Dana Dearest kicked it into another gear nearing the finish line, and she would get up to win by a head over Mea Lilley Mark in 1:52.1. Double Joy (Mario Baillargeon) finished third. Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner/breeder Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ontario. Dana Dearest was winless in four starts last year, but she’s turned it around in her sophomore campaign, going seven-for-13. She has season’s earnings of $62,820 and a career bankroll of $67,048. Division points leader Her Own Land (James MacDonald) was also gunning for her third straight Grassroots triumph in the night’s third division, but she fell short. Her Own Land was in the lead through fractions of :27, :55, and 1:23.4, but in deep stretch Born To Dream (Doug McNair) forged her way by after a pocket trip, and it would be Born To Dream who won by a length a career-best 1:51.3. Her Own Land had to settle for second on this night and Shadows Wonder (Christoforou) bagged third. A winner in Grassroots competition on August 3 at Clinton Raceway, Born To Dream now has three total victories this season and four career triumphs. The daughter of Camluck, trained by Tony O’Sullivan for owner/breeder Lomangino Standardbreds of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, has banked $39,930 on the campaign and $49,726 lifetime. Monday night’s other two winners posted their first wins in Grassroots action this year. In the opener Artful Impulse (Randy Waples) took the lead past the :27.2 opening quarter and didn’t look back en route to a 1:52.3 score, and in the nightcap Regil Meg (Anthony MacDonald) worked out a three-hole trip and then paced by the leaders in the lane to prevail in 1:53. Artful Impulse is trained by Bob McIntosh, whose stable of Windsor, Ontario, bred and now co-owns the daughter of Artistic Fella with partners Dwight Stacey of Mitchell and James Walker of Port Perry, Ontario. This was win number three from 16 starts this year for Artful Impulse, and it was her fourth career victory. She has put away $73,480 in 2014 and $94,385 in her life. Carmen Auciello trains Regil Meg, another filly by Artistic Fella, for owners Denarben Stables of Thornhill and Rocco Auciello of Stouffville, Ontario. She now has a pair of triumphs from 15 attempts in 2014, and this was the third win of her career. She has pocketed $26,240 this season and $101,988 lifetime. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Clinton -- Ryan Holliday of Mount Forest, Ont. said he has extra incentive to win the 34th Annual Drivers Challenge Aug. 31 at Clinton Raceway that extends beyond trying to prove himself against a group of top drivers from Toronto. Holliday's cousin, Lindsay Foulon, has a two-year-old daughter with leukemia. While Hayden Foulon is being treated at Children's Hospital in London, her family has received support from Childcan (www.childcan.com), the charitable recipient of Clinton's Drivers Challenge for the fourth consecutive year. When Holliday, 26, was recovering from a broken elbow and wrist suffered in an accident in January at The Raceway at The Western Fair District in London, he spent a few days in the same hospital where Heyden was having some tests. "We were talking there one day and my cousin told me about how Childcan helps them. I said, 'Childcan? I'm pretty sure I drive for them in the charity event.' It makes you realize a little more about the good they do. I actually saw firsthand what the money does." The Drivers Challenge will pit Clinton's top three drivers -- Trevor Henry, Bruce Richardson and Holliday -- against Chris Christoforou, Jody Jamieson, Doug McNair, Sylvain Filion and James MacDonald from the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit. "That day there's a great crowd and there's a lot of good drivers there and it makes for a good day," McNair said. "It's definitely a fun event, but we race pretty tough out there, especially that day. No one does anybody any favours out there, that's for sure. Everybody wants to win and obviously it's for a good cause." All driver fees and proceeds from the day will be donated to Childcan. The charity has already received more than $40,000 from the Clinton Raceway event. The Drivers Challenge has raised more than $275,000 for various charities since its inception in 1981. Renee Simmons is in charge of Family Support for Childcan. She said the charity helps families with simple, daily expenses while they have a child being treated for cancer. "We offer every family a (hospital) parking pass and that is theirs until their child has completed treatment," Simmons said. "When they're in-patient, we set families up with two cafeteria vouchers per day. So, they have two $10 vouchers to spend on meals. "Then, we have an emergency financial assistance fund that our families can access, especially for our families that travel... Our mission is to make sure that the parents can focus on their child's care." Simmons, along with Hayden and Lindsay Foulon are expected to be at Clinton Raceway Aug. 31 for the Drivers Challenge. The program will also feature an Ontario Sires Stakes grassroots event for two-year-old pacing colts, as well as a charity barbeque, loom bracelet sale, 50/50 draw, bake sale, various auctions and a petting zoo, bouncy castle and face painting for the kids. The card starts at 1:30 p.m. "I'm looking forward to the pig roast, I'll be honest with you," Simmons said, laughing. "I always eat very well when I'm in Clinton." Holliday said Hayden's treatment is going well. "They're monitoring her counts all the time. As long as everything's good, she'll be out for the event," he said. As for the racing, Holliday said he's looking forward to testing his mettle against the big city boys, particularly at a track he calls home. "Clinton's a great place to race," he said. "They do a really good job there. They make sure there's a good show every week for everybody. The Drivers Challenge will be no different. They seem to go the extra mile there." Holliday said he might even have a little home track edge. "I know the horses there really well," he said. "I drive them week in and week out. So, maybe I have an advantage. Even to be recognized driving against those guys is pretty cool to me in general. I'm just glad I'm at that stage." by Jessica Carnochan, for Clinton Raceway
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 23 - Three $35,000 eliminations for the She's A Great Lady Stakes were held Saturday night at Mohawk. 25 two-year-old pacing fillies were split into three eliminations to determine the field for next week's $480,000 final. The top three finishers, plus one fourth place finisher drawn by lot, advanced to next Saturday's final. In the first elimination, Bedroomconfessions and driver Scott Zeron had to work to make the front in the second quarter, but once on the lead never looked back to win in a career best 1:52. Bedroomconfessions got away fifth in the first turn, but when Shakai Hanover and driver Jody Jamieson made a second-quarter brush to the lead, Zeron immediately followed to clear at the half in :55.4. In the stretch, Bedroomconfessions turned aside the first up bid of Aria Hanover and paced hard through the wire for a quarter length victory, with a last quarter of :27.2. Bettor Be Steppin, who made a late charge up the rail, finished second and Shakai Hanover, who sat in the two-hole behind the winner, took the show spot. Kays Dragon Lady finished fourth, but was placed fifth because a breaking violation. The placing bumped Palette Tina from fifth to fourth. "Scott (Zeron) he didn't want to have to use her that hard up the backside, but he had to go when Jody (Jamieson) went," said trainer Tony Alagna following the race. "He said that was the strongest she has been and he was really really happy with her tonight." Alagna co-owns the daughter of American Ideal - Turnoffthelights with Riverview Racing LLC. Bedroomconfessions was a homebred and has now won twice in six career starts for earnings over $52,000. She paid $6.60 to win. Bedroomconfessions The undefeated Jk Shesalady kept her streak alive with a dominating 7 Â½ length victory in the second elimination. Trained by Nancy Johansson, Jk Shesalady got away comfortably in fourth as Well Hello There cut the mile setting fractions of :26.4, :56. and 1:24.1. As the field made their way to the three quarter pole, Gingras fired up Jk Shesalady and she made a strong first over move to take the lead at the top of the lane. In the stretch, the daughter of Art Major - Presidential Lady left her rivals far behind as she opened up with every stride and strolled past the wire in a career best 1:51.1. Divine Caroline finished second, while Solar Sister just nosed out Cashaway to finish third and secure a spot in the final. Following the race, Johansson talked about what a pleasure it is to train Jk Shesalady. "She just goes out there and does her work," said Johansson. "She has tremendous determination, which you can obviously see on the track and I mean she just loves what she does." Owned and bred by the 3 Brothers Stable of New York, New York, Jk Shesalady is now a perfect five-for-five in her young career and has earnings of over $85,000. She returned $2.40 to win. Jk Shesalady In the final elimination, Gingras teamed up with another undefeated filly for an impressive victory. Band Of Angels and Gingras got away in third as Macarena Mama took the field past the opening quarter in :26.3. On the way down the backstretch, Band Of Angels made a quick brush to the lead to reach the half in :55.4 and carry the field around the final turn. Band Of Angels hit the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4 and began to open up a good sized lead on the field as they turned for home. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven - Time N Again cruised home in :26.4 for a five length victory in a career best 1:51.3. "She has always been really good, all along in New York she has done nothing wrong," said Gingras following the race. "She proved it tonight, she a top class filly." Happy Becky came from off the pace to finish second, while A Plus was third and Dancin Caroll finished fourth. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Band Of Angels is owned by William J. Donovan of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The elimination victory improves her record to a perfect six for six, with career earnings of over $150,000. Band Of Angels Following the eliminations, Palette Tina was the fourth place finisher to draw into the final. The post position draw also took place, with the elimination winner's selecting their posts for next Saturday's $480,000 final. PP/Horse/Driver 1. Divine Caroline - Corey Callahan 2. Band Of Angels - TBA 3. Jk Shesalady - Yannick Gingras 4. Bedroomconfessions - Scott Zeron 5. Solar Sister - Doug McNair 6. Happy Becky - David Miller 7. Bettor Be Steppin - Corey Callahan 8. Palette Tina - Randy Waples 9. Shakai Hanover - Jody Jamieson 10. A Plus - Scott Zeron AE: Dancin Caroll - Randy Waples by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
“He impreses me every time I sit behind him, I can’t ask any more than what he does. He’s very efficient. I love this horse; he’s very easy to drive and that makes my job a lot easier.” That was driver Sylvain Filion praising Harper Blue Chip moments after their victory in the second of three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old trotting colts tonight at Rideau Carleton Raceway Thursday, the home track for Harper’s ownership group and trainer Mark Steacy. In fact it was at Rideau where Harper Blue Chip made his first start in June of last year. The colt earned his victory this night, over a track rated sloppy from heavy rains during the afternoon at the Ottawa oval. He was parked until after the opening quarter, reached in :27.4 by Ole Jack Magic, and took over command before the :58 half. Down the backside Muscle Matters came up to challenge and that pair reached the three-quarters in 1:26.3. Harper Blue Chip repelled that challenger and opened up down the lane to win by more than four lengths in 1:56.1. Muscle Matters took second while Sheer Flex was third. It was the fourth win in nine starts, and second straight Gold victory, for the son of Majestic Son owned by Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. The first Gold test also found Filion posing in the winner’s circle. It was Verdi and Steve Byron first off the gate and they hit the opening quarter in :29.3 and the half in a sedate 1:02.2. Entranced passed the leader before the three-quarters in 1:31.1 but he was quickly passed by Mr Lover and Filion who pulled away in the stretch to win in 2:00.1. Lucky Mass closed well to get second while Verdi held for third. Filion’s father, Yves, trains the winner, a son of Deweycheatumnhowe for owner/breeder Ecuries Belanger of Laval, Quebec. It was Mr Lover’s first win in four tries this year. Yves had also trained Mr Lover’s dam, Norway No Day, a winner of $337,000 in her career. The third and final Gold division saw heavy favourite Maximuscle make a break leaving. Meanwhile Jack Litten and Doug McNair hit the quarter in :28.3 and the half in :58.4 where he had company in the form of Warrawee Promesse on the outside. That colt had a slight lead past the 1:27 three-quarters and held off Massive Talent to win in 1:57.1. Jack Litten was right there for third. Trainer Wayne Henry was up behind the winner, a son of Windsong Espoir he co-owns with Fred Brayford of Alliston, Ontario. Warrawee Promesse now has five wins in nine attempts. Tonight’s effort was his fifth consecutive win. The first of three $18,000 Grassroots events for three-year-old trotting colts saw Tyrone Haji control the tempo for Trevor Henry through splits of :28.3, :59.3, 1:29.3 and hold on to win in 1:59.3 over Massacaia and American Superman. Bob McIntosh trains and co-owns the winner with breeder Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Ontario. A gelded son of Kadabra, Tyrone Haji was recording his third win in a dozen starts this year. “He’s been a lot of first up trips, if I could get to the front earlier he’d be one of the best,” noted Henry afterwards. The second Grassroots test saw favourite Totally Ripped gain control well before the :57.3 half. Jody Jamieson had Justcallmeronald on the move before the 1:26.3 three-quarters and that colt and Totally Ripped raced as a team through the stretch with Justcallmeronald getting up for the win in 1:57.2. Windsun Cobra took third. Tony O’Sullivan trains the winner, a son of Muscle Mass owned by Patrick Ryan of London, Ontario. “He was a little tired at the wire. His former trainer was here telling me how to drive him so that helped,” said Jamieson of the colt’s former conditioner and Rideau regular Robert Robinson. Jamieson also captured the final Grassroots event of the evening, using a three wide move on the final turn with Massive Pockets to win by open lengths in 1:57.3 and defeat Stonebridge Rich and Kremlin. Owned by breeder MT Pockets Stables of Florida and trained by Chantal Mitchell, the son of Muscle Mass was recording his second win in 11 tries. This was Rideau Carleton’s turn to celebrate the OSS’s 40th anniversary and the trotting colts put on a good display of the talent in the Program for the fans. The next Gold event for this group goes postward on September 22 while the Grassroots boys will hook up on September 1. Both events are at Mohawk. To view the full results from tonight, please clickRideau Results - August 21. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Regal Babe earned the top spot in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots point standings for harness racing three-year-old pacing colts with his victory in the first of four $18,000 divisions tonight at Mohawk Racetrack. Chattanooga Jim was the early leader in the first division, hitting the first marker in :26.2. Littlebitaclass took over the lead just past that point and was at the half in :56. Moving up to challenge was favourite Regal Babe who was neck and neck with the leader at the 1:25.1 three-quarters. Regal Babe, a son of Stonebridge Regal, took over through the lane for Doug McNair and held on to win in 1:52.3 over Shadowbriand and Recharge. An ultra consistent performer, Regal Babe has three wins and nine seconds in 13 starts this year for trainer Gregg McNair and owner/breeder Robert Chapple of Chatham, Ontario. With leading point earner Regal Son, another Stonebridge Regal son, not competing tonight after three Grassroots victories, Regal Babe earns the top spot for point earnings in this group. Titus Seelster was first to the top in the second split, hitting the quarter in :26.1 for Sylvain Filion, the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.2. He had several lengths on his rivals heading down the stretch and could not be caught, hitting the wire first in 1:51. Atomic Million AM closed well to take second while Waterside Light earned show. It was the second straight Grassroots victory for Titus Seelster, a son of Artistic Fella owned by Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms of Quebec and trained by Stephane Larocque. The Optimist led the way to the :26.2 first quarter in the third division for Paul MacDonell. Some Major Beach was alongside at the :54.2 half and that pair raced as a team towards the third panel but were passed by a three wide Shadow Place who hit the three-quarters in 1:23 and opened up down the lane to win comfortably in 1:51.1 for catch driver Jonathan Drury. Waco Bruiser got up for second while The Optimist held for third. Shadow Place, a son of Shadow Play, was recording his third win in eight starts this year for trainer Richard Moreau and owners Henri Hebert Jr., Les Ecuries Bruce and a numbered company all from Quebec. The fourth and final test had Hope For Hopelands leading the group through a :26.1 opener but Cluster Hanover quickly took over and he was then passed by VIP Bayama before the :54.4 half. VIP Bayama hit the three-quarters in 1:23.1 but was hauled down in the late going by Hall Bro and Luc Ouellette who hit the wire first in 1:52.1. In the blanket finish it was OK Galahad second and Andreios Kardia third. Owned by breeder Ferme Brodeur of Terrebonne, Quebec, Hall Bro was notching his sixth win in 13 trips behind the starting gate this year. This group will meet up again at Rideau Carleton Raceway on September 7. To view the complete results from tonight’s card at Mohawk, please click Mohawk Results - August 19. Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 19 - The spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this Saturday night as two Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations, two Metro Pace eliminations and three She's A Great Lady eliminations will take centre stage. The Canadian Pacing Derby has a rich history as the oldest stakes race in Canada for standardbred racehorses and on Saturday night the sport's top stars will bring their talents north for a pair of six-horse eliminations. 2013 Pepsi North America Winner Captaintreacherous and driver Tim Tetrick will start from post five in the second $40,000 elimination. A two-time Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous has had to make the tough transition from age three to four this season, but has still shown his grit and determination facing the big boys. Last Saturday night, 'The Captain' won the $34,000 Preferred in prep for the Canadian Pacing Derby and trainer Tony Alagna was delighted with his performance. "I was happy with his effort, it was a confidence builder he needed going into this week's elimination," said Alagna. "We drew away from Sweet Lou, but we caught Bettors Edge who has been racing really well, so hopefully the short field helps and he gets a fair shot again." 'The Captain' is a big fan of Mohawk Racetrack as he has never lost in six career starts over the Campbellville oval. "He's always been his best up here," said Alagna. "We've had him up here for major races, so he's always been on his game when he came up here. He likes the atmosphere and he seems happy up here." 'The Captain' has two wins in seven starts this season and has never finished out of the money for seasonal earnings topping $176,000 The top horse this season on the WEG circuit, State Treasurer, will line up two spots inside Captaintreacherous. State Treasurer has won the WEG Preferred six times this season and has won seven of his 12 starts for earnings of over $296,000. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, State Treasurer will be driven by WEG's leading driver Chris Christoforou. The hottest horse in harness racing headlines the first elimination. The Ron Burke trainee, Sweet Lou, enters his elimination on a nine-race win streak and having won his last seven starts in 1:47.4 or better Sweet Lou has drawn post two in his elimination and will have his regular pilot Ron Pierce in the sulky. A five-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser, Sweet Lou has made over $3 million in his career, but joining him in his elimination is the richest standardbred in the history of the sport, Foiled Again. Also trained by Ron Burke, Foiled Again has earned over $6.3 million and continues to compete at the top level at the age of ten. Foiled Again, who will start from post six with driver Yannick Gingras, is also a previous Canadian Pacing Derby winner having won the 2012 edition. The top five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $650,000 final on Saturday, August 30. Elimination winners may choose their post position for the final. 15 of the sport's brightest freshman pacing colts and geldings have been split into a pair of eliminations for the chance to race in the $685,000 Metro Pace Final on Saturday August 30. Leading the group of 15 is the Alagna trainee, Artspeak, who is undefeated in four career starts and enters the Metro elim fresh off a victory in the Nassagaweya Stakes last Saturday night. Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron will start from post position five in the first $40,000 elimination. Alagna said he was happy with how Artspeak came out of the Nassagaweya Stakes. "Artspeak jogged back super, everything checks out good," said Alagna. "We are really happy with the way he drew and hopefully he has another good shot this week and takes another step towards the Metro final." The son of Western Ideal - The Art Museum was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase and is owned by the Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The GYM Partners. One of the top local rookies, Traceur Hanover, will meet up with Artspeak for the first time. Trained by Normand Bardier Jr., Traceur Hanover enters this weekend's elimination with three wins in four starts and is also coming off a victory in his Nassagaweya split. Randy Waples sits behind the son of Western Ideal - Transference for owner Richard Berthiaume, who bought Traceur Hanover for the same price as Artspeak at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The other $40,000 elimination appears to be a wide-open affair, with seven rookie pacers looking to be in the top five to secure a spot in the rich final. Sports Bettor, who will start from post position seven, is coming off a 69-1 upset victory in his division of the Nassagaweya last Saturday night. Trained by Mark Austin for owner-breeder Frank Gentile, Sports Bettor broke his maiden in style with the Nassagaweya upset. Before his breakthrough in the Nassagaweya, Sports Bettor had finished second in three of his five career starts. Randy Waples will drive the son of Sportswriter - Shellys Delight. Also in the field of seven is this year's Battle of Waterloo winner, Go Daddy Go, who will start from post three for the Hall of Fame connections of driver John Campbell and trained Bob McIntosh. The top five finishers from both eliminations will advance to the $685,000 final on August 30, with elimination winners earning the right to select their post position for the final. The She's A Great Lady has attracted 25 rookie pacing fillies that have been split into three eliminations. Shakai Hanover, a division winner of last Saturday' Eternal Camnation Stakes, headlines the first $35,000 elimination. Trained by Carl Jamieson and driven by Jody Jamieson, Shakai Hanover will start from post position three and has won twice in four career starts. The daughter of Well Said - Shes A Fan set a new career mark with her Eternal Camnation victory of 1:52.4 and has earned just under $83,000. The second elimination features undefeated filly Band Of Angels from the Ron Burke barn. A daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven - Time N Again, Band Of Angels has won her first five starts of her career, with all five victories coming in New York Sires Stakes events. She will start from post six with driver Yannick Gingras and ships north with over $133,000 in earnings and a mark of 1:52.3. The final elimination stars another undefeated filly that will have Yannick Gingras in the bike. JK Shesalady won her division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes last Saturday to improve her record to four for four. Trained by Nancy Johansson for owners the 3 Brothers Stable, JK Shesalady has a speed badge of 1:52 and earnings exceeding $68,000. The top three finishers from each elimination and one third place finisher drawn by lot will advance to the $450,000 final on Saturday, August 30. All three rich finals will take place Saturday, August 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. The party will start at 6 p.m. and first race post time is 7:25 p.m. Here are the fields for Saturday night's stakes eliminations. PP/Horse/Driver Race 3 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination One - Purse: $40,000 1. Thinking Out Loud - John Campbell 2. Sweet Lou - Ron Pierce 3. Captive Audience - James MacDonald 4. Domethatagain - Ron Pierce 5. Sunshine Beach - Chris Christoforou 6. Foiled Again - Yannick Gingras Race 8 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000 1. Ellis Park - Steve Condren 2. Bettors Edge - Matt Kakaley 3. State Treasurer - Chris Christoforou 4. Modern Legend - James MacDonald 5. Captaintreacherous - Tim Tetrick 6. Clear Vision - Brett Miller Race 6 - Metro Pace Elimination One - Purse: $40,000 1. Lyons Levi Lewis - Yannick Gingras 2. Trading Up - Scott Zeron 3. Go Daddy Go - John Campbell 4. Lone Survivor - David Miller 5. Dudes The Man - David Miller 6. Asap Hanover - Tim Tetrick 7. Sports Bettor - Randy Waples Race 11 - Metro Pace Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000 1. The Wayfaring Man - Jack Moiseyev 2. Pierce Hanover - Paul Macdonell 3. Amora Beach - Tim Tetrick 4. Some Power - David Miller 5. Artspeak - Scott Zeron 6. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 7. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples 8. Rollin Ring Afire - Matt Kakaley Race 4 - She's A Great Lady Elimination One - Purse: $35,000 1. The Show Returns - Tim Tetrick 2. Bedroomconfessions - Scott Zeron 3. Shakai Hanover - Jody Jamieson 4. Strut My Stuff - John Campbell 5. Palette Tina - Yannick Gingras 6. Aria Hanover - Tim Tetrick 7. Bettor Be Steppin - Corey Callahan 8. Kays Dragon Lady - Matt Kakaley Race 9 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Two - Purse: $35,000 1. Solar Sister - Doug McNair 2. Divine Caroline - Corey Callahan 3. Missy Tap Tina - Tim Tetrick 4. Cashaway - Tim Tetrick 5. Jk Shesalady - Yannick Gingras 6. Well Hello There - Matt Kakaley 7. Southwind Mischief - Chris Christoforou 8. Shesastarreporter - Jonathan Drury 9. Ideal Nuggets - John Campbell Race 10 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Three - Purse: $35,000 1. Float On By - Tim Tetrick 2. Macarena Mama - Chris Christoforou 3. A Plus - Scott Zeron 4. Bin N Heaven - Doug McNair 5. Betty And The Jets - Doug McNair 6. Band Of Angels - Yannick Gingras 7. Happy Becky - David Miller 8. Dancin Caroll - Jack Moiseyev by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications.
Youre Majestic, Danielle Hall and Juanitas Fury were victorious in the three $70,000 Gold divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies tonight at Mohawk. Youre Majestic was sent off as the favourite in the first division and she didn’t disappoint her backers, winning in 1:57.1. The daughter of Majestic Son, driven by Doug McNair, got away in fourth as Sheguindah hit the opening quarter in :28.2. Just past that point Amoureuse Hanover took over the lead but that didn’t last long as McNair had Youre Majestic moving quickly to take command before the :59.3 half. She remained on top by the 1:28.2 three-quarters and opened up down the stretch to win comfortably over Amoureuse Hanover (Pilgrims Taj) and Railee Priti (Muscle Mass). Owned by Frank Bellino and Sons LLC of New York and trained by Tony Sullivan, Youre Majestic has yet to finish off the board in her young career. Her summary now is 3-1-1 in five lifetime starts for $92,000 in earnings. This marked her second Gold victory. In the second division it was The Grand Filly showing the girls the way and hitting the opening quarter in:27.4. She was quickly covered up by Muscle Baby Doll but Danielle Hall and Jody Jamieson took over before the :57 half. At that point favourite Stubborn Belle made a break. At the three-quarters it was Danielle Hall in 1:26.2 and she could not be caught down the stretch, winning in 1:56 over The Grand Filly and Muscle Baby Doll, both by Muscle Mass. Stubborn Belle recovered from her miscue to take fourth. It was the fourth win in five lifetime starts, and third Gold win, for Danielle Hall (she was second in the other start), a daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe owned by trainer Carl Jamieson and Winnipeg Racing of Concord, Ontario. Juanitas Fury was back in the Gold winner’s circle following the third division. Paul MacDonell was up behind the daughter of Kadabra who got away third in the early going as Mystical Brat took the field by the quarter pole in :28.1. MacDonell then right lined Juanitas Fury who was on top by the half in :58.1. She passed the three-quarters in 1:28 and held off several rivals to hit the wire in 1:57.1. Tymal Illbethere (Deweycheatumnhowe) was right there for second with Nordic Holiday (Holiday Road) a close third. It was the third win, and second OSS Gold victory, in five starts this year for Juanitas Fury co-owned by trainer John Bax with Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Don Allensn of Wyoming and Gaelic Stable of Sharon, Ontario. The next Gold test for this division is set for September 25 back at Mohawk. To view the complete results from tonight’s card please click Mohawk Results - August 18. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 18 - On Monday evening, harness racing driver Doug McNair recorded his 2,000 career driving victory at Mohawk Racetrack with the three-year-old pacer Eastender. McNair, a resident of Guelph, Ontario, entered the evening two wins away from reaching the 2,000 win plateau. In the evening's third race, McNair picked up his 1,999th victory with Youre Majestic in a $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event for two-year-old trotting fillies. McNair would then reach the milestone in the final race of the night with the three-year-old gelding, Eastender, who is trained by his father Gregg. Over the last few years, McNair has been consistently among the top drivers on the WEG circuit and has quickly become one of the top young reinsman in the entire sport. At the age of 18, Doug became the youngest driver in the history of harness racing to reach $1 million in career earnings In December of 2010, McNair became the youngest driver to reach 1,000 wins, reaching the milestone at Western Fair Raceway just weeks before his 21st birthday. This season, Doug is sixth in the WEG driver's standings with 90 wins and over $1.6 million in earnings. In total this season, McNair has made 129 trips to the winner's circle and has earnings exceeding $2.4 million. In his young career, Doug has competed in and won many of the sport's top events. Races such as the Battle of Waterloo, Confederation Cup and She's A Great Lady are just some of the major stakes victories on McNair's resume. Just this past Saturday night, McNair recorded a Grand Circuit driving victory at Mohawk by steering Solar Sister to victory in the $77,745 Eternal Camnation Stakes. McNair is currently in his seventh full season of driving and in that time period has career earnings of just less than $27 million. Doug reaches the 2,000 win mark at the age of 24. The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to congratulate Doug on the accomplishment and wish him continued success on his journey to 3,000 wins. Mark McKelvie
With her closest competition, Shadows Wonder, opting to race in the Gold Series, Her Own Land boosted her advantage in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots point standings with a 1:52.3 tally in one of five $18,000 divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday evening at Georgian Downs. Driver James MacDonald had Her Own Land up to grab the front at the :27.3 opening quarter in the fourth Grassroots split. Her Own Land then went on to hit the half in :55.2 and the three-quarters in 1:24 on her way to the victory. She defeated runner-up Bet Ya (Jack Moiseyev) by two and a half lengths with Badlyinclined (Chris Christoforou) back in third. Dave Menary trains Her Own Land, a filly by Blissfull Hall, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Her Own Land has three wins in Grassroots company and four wins from 11 starts overall this year. Now a five-time winner in her career, Her Own Land has earned $53,990 in 2014 and $63,550 lifetime. Menary also sent out Stellllllla, the winner of the Grassroots opener in 1:54 with Chris Christoforou in the bike. She took the lead from first-over before the 1:25 three-quarters and then drew away from the competition from there, eventually winning by seven lengths. Exhilarated (Sylvain Filion) finished second and Shes A Hotmama (Scott Coulter) grabbed third. The victorious daughter of Mister Big is a homebred for Daryl Sherman of Elmore, Ohio. She won for the first time from nine efforts this season and she now has four career triumphs. Stellllllla has put away $15,640 on the campaign and $52,486 in her life. Christoforou picked up another victory in the next Grassroots event as Dana Dearest turned a second-over trip into a 1:54.3 tally. Missevil (James MacDonald) came in second and Double Joy (Sylvain Filion), the leader through splits of :27.3, :56.2, and 1:25.1, held third. Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner/breeder Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ont. Dana Dearest was winless in four starts last year, but she’s turned it around in her sophomore campaign, going six-for-12. She has season’s earnings of $53,820 and a career bankroll of $58,048. The remaining two Grassroots flights went to the father/son team of driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair. Their first victory came courtesy of Regally Ready (1:53.4) in the third section and then Momara (1:55) took the nightcap. Regally Ready is a Royal Mattjesty filly owned by Hutt Racing Stable. She has four victories from 12 attempts this year and she now has six career wins. The filly has pocketed $41,060 in 2014 and $82,398 in her life. Gregg McNair, who hails from Guelph, Ont., also bred and co-owns Momara, a daughter of Lis Mara, with partners Len Gamble of Etobicoke, Ont., Don MacDonald of Amherstburg, Ont. and David Kryway of Amherstburg, Ont. Momara scored her initial 2014 win in her eighth try and she now has seven career triumphs. She has put $22,639 in the bank for her connections this year and she has earned $94,273 lifetime. The three-year-old pacing fillies of the Grassroots Series will be back in action on August 25 at Mohawk Racetrack. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
While North America Cup winner JK Endofanera ($2.50) coasted home in 1:50.1 to win his $54,072 Geers Stake division on Sunday (August 17) at Tioga Downs, the top story of the afternoon saw Father Patrick gamely outkicked by Datsyuk ($52.00) in their $36,036 division of the Arthur Tompkins Memorial. After an uneventful start, Yannick Gingras sent Father Patrick to the fore, floating clear of Hillustrious (David Miller) with little effort involved through a :57 half mile. The 16-time winner accelerated up the backstretch through a :27.4 third quarter, but Hillustrious was able to keep with him from the pocket. Meanwhile Datsyuk, waiting in the wings thus far, commenced a two-wide rally on the far turn, taking a narrow lead in the final 100 yards en route to a hard-fought 1:53.1 victory. Father Patrick, whose next appearance is slated to be the Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs, was a narrowly beaten second, and Hillustrious held even for third off his pocket trip. Trainer-driver Charlie Norris co-owns Datsyuk with Leonard Buckner. The Explosive Matter gelding's 1:53.1 mile was the fastest ever at Tioga Downs trotted by a three-year-old gelding. The earlier Tompkins division for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings saw Nancy Johansson trainee Resolve ($4.40, Corey Callahan) elevated to a win after just missing Sumatra (Brett Miller) in a 1:54.1 mile, as Sumatra was found guilty of a pylon violation upon exiting the final turn. The Tompkins Memorial for three-year-old trotting fillies saw a field of three contest their $46,572 division off the pari-mutuel card, with Stephen Farrell's Mistresswithmuscle pulling clear for an 11-length win in 1:56.1. Yannick Gingras handled the driving duties for trainer George Ducharme. Additionally, Tompkins divisions were held for two-year-old trotters of each sex, with Jolene Jolene ($2.10, David Miller) taking her $28,571 split in a track record-equaling 1:55.2 mile. The Jonas Czernyson-trained daughter of Muscle Hill angled wide on the approach to the far turn, pulling clear of Crunchess Finale (Dan Rawlings) for a 4-1/2 length victory. Other two-year-old Tompkins winners included fillies Allerage Star (1:55.4, Corey Callahan) and Dynamite Dame (2:00, David Miller) while trotting colts Muscle Diamond (1:56.2, John Campbell) and Habitat (1:56.4, Yannick Gingras) prevailed in their splits as well. The Geers Stake for three-year-olds drew a lone division for each sex, with JK Endofanera posting a solid 1:50.1 win in the $54,072 colt division. The son of Art Major controlled the terms throughout, parrying a challenge from the first-over Doo Wop Hanover (Scorr Zeron) before holding off pocket rival Bushwacker (David Miller) by 1-1/2 lengths. Yannick Gingras handled the driving duties for trainer Ron Burke. The $50,572 filly division went to Katie Said ($6.70), who was sent three-wide on the far turn by Marcus Miller to pass the dueling Uffizi Hanover (David Miller) and 4-5 favorite Precocious Beauty (Doug McNair) for a 1:52.1 victory. Rockingcam Park (John Campbell) chased off cover to take second, while Empire Breeders Classic winner Precocious Beauty faded late to third. Julie Miller trains Katie Said, a three-year-old daughter of Well Said. Live racing resumes at Tioga with a special Monday (August 18) evening card. First post for the 12-race program is set for 6:15 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 16 - Undefeated two-year-old pacing colt Artspeak was victorious in a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack Saturday night. Twenty-six two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into three divisions for the Nassagaweya Stakes. One of the most talked about freshmen in the sport, Artspeak, turned in another easy-looking victory in his Canadian debut to take the $91,425 final division. A son of Western Ideal - The Art Museum, Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron left from post position eight and cleared to the lead just after the opening quarter of :28. Once on the lead, Artspeak controlled right to the finish line posting fractions of :56.2, 1:25. and cruising home in :27.4 to win the fastest division of the night in 1:52.4. Lyons Again, who grabbed the early lead and got a two-hole trip, finished 2 Â¼ lengths back in second, while Some Power closed up well to take third. Trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The GYM Partners, Artspeak is a perfect four for four and now has earnings of more than $115,000. Artspeak was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase. He returned $2.90 to win. The first division for a purse of $89,924 went to Sports Bettor, who pulled off a huge 60-1 to upset. A son of Sporswriter - Shellys Delight, Sports Bettor and driver Randy Waples left from post eight and got away in the two-hole. Lyons Levi Lewis cut the mile and after a half of :57.1, hung up a third-quarter of :27. to carry a four length lead over Sports Bettor into the stretch. In the stretch, Lyons Levi Lewis continued to lead deep into the lane, but Sports Bettor grinded him down and got up in the shadow of the wire to win in 1:53.2. Rollin Ring Afire finished third, while The Wayfaring Man rounded out the Superfecta. Sports Bettor is trained by Mark Austin for owner/breeder Frank Gentile and the Nassagaweya Stakes victory was a maiden breaking score. Sports Bettor now has earnings of over $76,000 in six career starts. He paid $141.50 to win. The $91,425 second division saw Waples return to the winner's circle, this time with Traceur Hanover. Traceur Hanover left from post three and allowed Go Daddy Go to clear to the front just after the opening quarter to take a two-hole trip. Go Daddy Go led the field into the stretch off a three-quarter time of 1:24. In the stretch, Traceur Hanover came off the rail to take his best shot at Go Daddy Go and was able to power past the leader in deep stretch to win in 1:53.3. Trading Up made a late rally to finish third, while Lyons Geoffjnr was fourth. A son of Western Ideal - Transference, Traceur Hanover has now won three times in four career starts and has career earnings of over $60,000. A $100,000 yearling purchase at last November's Harrisburg Sale, Traceur Hanover is trained by Normand Bardier Jr. for owner Richard Berthiaume. He returned $9.80 to win. Trio of Eternal Camnation divisions contested Twenty-five freshman pacing fillies were on display in three divisions of the Eternal Camnation stakes. Shakai Hanover and driver Jody Jamieson took the first $76,245 division in a career best 1:52.4. A daughter of Well Said - Shes A Fan, Shakai Hanover showed the most early speed leading the field past the opening quarter of :28. Bedroomconfessions made a brush to the lead in the second-quarter and controlled the tempo in the middle-half posting fractions of :56.2 and 1:24.1. In the stretch, Jamieson brought Shakai Hanover out of the two-hole to battle Bedroomconfessions, separating themselves from the rest of field. Shakai Hanover just got her nose in front of Bedroomconfessions at the wire to win a tight photo finish, with a last quarter of :28.1. Happy Becky, the 3/5 favourite, was fifth at the three-quarter pole and finished up her mile with a :27.2 final panel to take third. Shakai Hanover is trained by Carl Jamieson, who shares ownership with Winnipeg Racing and Vira Hope Johnson. The stakes victory was the second win in four starts for Shakai Hanover and it boosted her career earnings to over $82,000. She paid $9.70 to win. In the second $76,245 division, the photo finish camera was not needed as Jk Shesalady won by seven lengths in 1:53.4. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Jk Shesalady was seventh at the half and was brought to the outside behind cover that was failing to keep up. Gingras sent the daughter of Art Major - Presidential Lady three-wide on the way to three-quarter pole and Jk Shesalady responded by pacing around the field and taking the lead at the top of the lane. Jk Shesalady paced away from her rivals with a last-quarter of :27.3 to remain undefeated in four starts. Trained by Nancy Johansson for owners the 3 Brothers Stable, Jk Shesalady increased her bankroll to more than $68,000 in her young career. Cowgirl Tough finished second, while Cashaway took the show spot. Jk Shesalady returned $2.90 to win. The final division for a purse of $77,745 was captured by Solar Sister and driver Doug McNair in 1:54. A daughter of Mach Three - Cabrini Hanover, Solar Sister was fourth at the half and came first up to challenge Palette Tina, getting to within half a length at three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Solar Sister took a slight lead half-way down the lane and dug in to hold off a trio of fillies that were within a length and a quarter at the wire, pacing her final quarter in :29.1. Palette Tina, who finished second beat a neck, was placed back to fourth for gaining an unfair advantage by going inside a pylon in the stretch. After the placing, Ideal Nuggets became the second place finisher, while Float On By was bumped up to third. Solar Sister is a homebred filly trained by Gregg McNair for owners David Willmot and Clay Horner. She paid $27.50 to win. For many of the freshman pacers, the Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation Stakes served as preps for next week's eliminations for the Metro Pace and the She's A Great Lady Stakes. Saturday's undercard also saw 2013 U.S. Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous ($3.50) return to the Campbellville, Ont. oval where he remains undefeated. A winner of the Nassagaweya, Metro Pace and North America Cup at Mohawk, Captaintreacherous added a victory in the $34,000 Preferred to his $3 million resume, scoring in 1:50.1 for team Tetrick and Alagna. The 3-5 favourite took over command from early leaver Fool Me Once and Gingras down the backstretch, and after giving way to Sunshine Beach and Chris Christoforou, he came through along the pylons to prevail by one and a quarter lengths. Ellis Park and Steve Condren rallied off cover to edge out Sunshine Beach for second. The victory was Captaintreacherous' first since winning his season's debut in the Meadowlands Maturity. The four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere and Worldly Treasure is owned by Captaintreacherous Racing of Versailles, Kentucky. Springing a 30-1 surprise, Swan In A Million ($63) and trainer/driver Dustin Jones went from last to first in the matching Preferred Trot, named in honour of Kerry Davies, winning by three-quarters of a length over Charmed Life and Jamieson in 1:53.2. Pennsylvania's Diamond Creek Racing owns the six-year-old son of Andover Hall. Flanagan Memory rounded out the top three finishers over two lengths behind for Christoforou. The $685,000 Metro Pace Final and the $450,000 She's A Great Lady Stakes Final will take place along with the $650,000 Canadian Pacing Derby on Saturday, August 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Many top three-year-olds have pointed to Sunday (August 17) afternoon's Tompkins-Geers Stakes at Tioga Downs as part of their summer campaigns, including top trotter Father Patrick and North America Cup winner JK Endofanera. Jimmy Takter trainee Father Patrick looks to rebound from the break he made as the 2-5 Hambletonian favorite, and has every chance to do so as the 3-5 morning line favorite in Sunday's $36,036 ninth race. The son of Cantab Hall won all six of his other races on the season, including a 1:50.2 triumph in the Beal Memorial at Pocono and a 1:51.3 score in the Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands. The 16-time winner, looking ahead to the Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs to propel him into the sport's fall championship season, will be joined by usual driver Yannick Gingras from post 4. Fellow Hambletonian contender Datsyuk drew into the same division, and has been installed as the 5-1 second choice from post 3. Unraced at two, the Explosive Matter gelding earned wins in the first three of his eight races, finishing in the money in all save the Hambletonian. Trainer Charlie Norris will handle the driving duties once again. A third Hambletonian starter, Resolve, drew into the first division, starting from post 6 in the $36,536 sixth race as the 7-2 morning line second choice. Corey Callahan remains in the bike behind this Muscle Hill colt for trainer Nancy Johansson after a fifth-place finish in the Hambletonian. While two divisions were necessary for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings in the Arthur Tompkins Memorial, three-year-old pacers will contest the Geers Stake in a lone division for each sex. JK Endofanera headlines the $54,072 seventh race for pacing colts and geldings as the 8-5 morning line favorite, teaming up with Yannick Gingras from post 7. The North America Cup winner enters off a strong second-place effort behind He's Watching in last week's Empire Breeders Classic for trainer Ron Burke. The top filly in last week's Empire Breeders Classic, Precocious Beauty, has been installed the even-money morning line favorite in the $50,572 fifth race, which could shape up to be a duel with Fan Hanover winner Uffizi Hanover. Precocious Beauty, the Gregg McNair-trained daughter of Art Major, took the Empire Breeders Classic last week in 1:51.1, drawing clear in the final yards after sustaining an uncovered bid. Usual driver Doug McNair is back in the bike after last week's triumph, and the pair will start from post 2. Uffizi Hanover, a Jimmy Takter-trained Well Said filly, has been installed the 9-5 second choice on the morning line, and will retain the driving services of David Miller from post 1. Sunday's 11-race pari-mutuel card carries a 1:30 p.m. EDT first post, with a non-wagering $46,572 Tompkins event for three-year-old trotting fillies slated for twenty minutes earlier. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs
Harper Blue Chip made a triumphant return to the Ontario Sires Stakes tonight at Mohawk as he won the first of three $70,000 Gold divisions handily for Sylvain Filion. It marked the three-year-old trotting colt’s first 2014 harness racing appearance in the OSS and his first start since finishing third in the prestigious Hambletonian on August 2. In that race Moonlight Espoir hit the opening quarter first in :28.1 but was covered up by heavy favourite Harper Blue Chip, who was parked from the start, well before the :57 half. Up to challenge at the 1:26.4 three-quarters was Keystone Trevor but that colt couldn’t catch the leader who cruised to the finish line in 1:56.1. Ole Jack Magic, last in the early going, closed well to edge out Keystone Trevor for second. Mark Steacy trains the winner, a son of his former champion Majestic Son, for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. It marked the third win in eight tries this year for Harper Blue Chip and upped his 2014 bankroll to $298,000. Lifetime he’s just shy of the half million mark in earnings. The second division saw Mr Lover on top early to hit the opening marker in :28.1. P L Hercules took over and was settled on top by the :57 half. Filion popped out of the pocket briefly with Mr Lover but P L Hercules wasn’t going to let him go by so he tucked back in. P L Hercules, with Doug McNair catch driving, hit the three-quarters in 1:26.2 and drifted out quite a bit down the lane but managed to hold off a late charging Windsun Revenge to narrowly win in 1:56. In the blanket finish for third it was a dead heat between Verdi and Jitterbug. Another son of Majestic Son, P L Hercules was recording his third straight win for owner/ breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, Ontario and trainer Matt Dupuis. P L Hercules is the first foal from a daughter of $543,000 winner Corinas Mission, a winner of the OSS Super Final as a three-year-old in 2002. In the third, final and fastest division three colts miscued behind the gate leaving the remaining five colts on their own early. Maximuscle hit the first quarter in :28 and the half in a sedate :58 for Jody Jamieson. Mario Baillargeon then pulled favourite Muscle Matters out from second and was neck to neck with the leader at the 1:26 third panel. That pair battled through a thrilling stretch drive with a determined Maximuscle holding on in 1:54.3. Muscle Matters had to be content with second once again – he’s finished in that spot in all four of his starts to date this year. See The Wind was third. It marked the first start in Ontario this year for Maximuscle, a son of Angus Hall bred and owned by Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, Quebec and trained by Eric Valiquette. The colt, a half-brother to $379,000 winner Puissant, has yet to finish off the board this year with six wins and one second and one third in eight starts. The next Gold event scheduled for this group is slated for September 22 back at Mohawk. The complete results from tonight’s races may be viewed through this link Mohawk Results - August 14. Ontario Sire Stakes
A sloppy harness racing surface did not deter Lady Shadow and My Secret Belle from recording convincing victories in the two $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies tonight at Georigan Downs. Lady Shadow overcame the less than perfect racing conditions and pressure for almost a half mile to win the first division in impressive fashion. Sectionline Aqua was the early leader in the race and hit the first quarter in :27.3 for Mike Saftic. Doug McNair and Lady Shadow took over just past that point and had pressure from a first up Skippin By as they reached the half in :55.1. That filly continued to stalk the leader and was at her saddle pad by the 1:23.1 third panel but tired at that point allowing Lady Shadow to draw away and win in 1:51.4. Sectionline Aqua took place with Justabit Mean winning the show photo over A Filly Affair. Gregg McNair trais the daughter of Shadow Play owned by Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Michigan. The filly was recording her fourth win in nine tries this year to up her earnings to $247,000. Bred by Winbak Farm, Lady Shadow was a $19,000 yearling at the Forest City Sale. She is the ninth foal from the $200,000 winning Camluck mare Lady Camella and a half-sister to Lady Meghan O ($465,000). A patient steer by Joe Hudon paid off handsomely in the second division. He sat back with My Secret Belle as three of the fillies, Alibi Seelster, Jakardez and Brescia Seelster fought for the early lead. Alilbi prevailed for Jody Jamieson and set the tempo of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23.4 but broke as the field came out of the final turn. Hudon meanwhile sat second to last during most of the race before unleashing his filly as the field entered the final turn. My Secret Belle gobbled up the racetrack four wide and was an open length winner in 1:53.1 over Shadows Wonder and Jakardez. Hudon bred, owns and trains the winner, a daughter of Mach Three who is now 7-4-3 in 20 starts this year for $214,000 in earnings. The filly is the fourth foal from the Jennas Beach Boy mare Kindly Jenna, and a half-sister to $411,000 winner This Is Wyatt. These fillies will meet again for Gold action on September 8 at Mohawk. To view the complete results from tonight’s card at Georgian. Ontario Sire Stakes