The 6-year-old State Treasurer, purchased for a mere $6,500 at the 2010 Standardbred Horse Sale, is a multiple-stakes-winner with more than $1 million in earnings for harness racing owners Sally and Allan MacDonald and Paul and Sophie MacDonald. Earlier this year he won an unprecedented third Molson Pace and last season he captured the Allerage Farms Open Pace at Lexington's Red Mile. He also missed by only a neck in last year's Breeders Crown Open Pace, finishing third. Last weekend, State Treasurer won his elimination for Saturday's $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers from post nine by a neck over Dynamic Youth in 1:50.3 over a sloppy track at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. He will start the final from post four with David Miller driving for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. "We refer to him as our once-in-a-lifetime horse," said Sally MacDonald, who lives on Prince Edward Island. "When we stop and think about all the people we've met and the traveling we've done, it's basically all because of him. It's been just such an enjoyable time with him." Luck Be Withyou, who won the first of the two Franklin eliminations last weekend, drew post nine for the final. George Napolitano Jr. will drive for trainer Chris Oakes. Saturday's card at Pocono also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers, $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and $75,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. State Treasurer has won four of seven races this year. The four victories have come in his most recent five outings - despite starting from inside of post seven only once - and include the Molson Pace and Gold Cup Invitational. His setback came in the Battle of Lake Erie, where he was fifth by 1-3/4 lengths from post seven at half-mile Northfield Park. "We're very happy with the way he's been racing of late, that's for sure," said Paul MacDonald, who lives in Toronto and is Allan MacDonald's nephew. "We've been drawing poorly it seems quite a bit lately, but that's horse racing. It's certainly tough with such a strong group of older pacers when you're drawing on the outside. I don't think we'll continue to get the breaks we've been getting in some of these races. You just can't do that all the time against such a good group of horses." State Treasurer is a son of stallion Real Desire out of the mare Ideal Treasure, who is a full sister to stakes-winner Ideal Matters. His third dam is world champion stakes-winner Hit Parade. Allan MacDonald selected State Treasurer as a yearling. It was the first horse ever owned by Sally, Paul and Sophie. "My husband had been involved (with horses previously) but we decided to put this horse in my name," Sally MacDonald said. "He thinks I'm his good-luck charm." Said Paul, with a laugh, "Some people say I'm probably ruined now with him as the first horse. "It's been fantastic. Just to be there and participate against an incredible group of horses has been the highlight. Dr. Moore has said he's never had a bad race and I think what he means by that is the horse always gives 110 percent. He may get a bad trip, or the draw may be terrible, or the flow doesn't work out the way that you hope, but the horse is always giving it his best. "We've just had such a great time with this guy. We owe a lot of it to Dr. Moore. He's been just super with him." State Treasurer, who has been trained by Moore throughout his career, has won 25 of 78 career races and earned $1.08 million. He banked a career-best $464,311 last season. "He's an awesome horse to be around," Sally MacDonald said. "He's got a terrific personality. Everybody that sees him likes him. "It's just been such a good-news story with him." Following is the Ben Franklin field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Domethatagain by Bettor's Delight - Tim Tetrick, Rene Allard 2. Foiled Again by Dragon Again - Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 3. Clear Vision by Western Hanover - Brett Miller, Ron Burke 4. State Treasurer by Real Desire - David Miller, Ian Moore 5. Dynamic Youth by Bettor's Delight - Andrew McCarthy, Aaron Lambert 6. Mach It So by Mach Three - Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr. 7. Captive Audience by Art Major - Jim Morrill Jr., Doug Berkeley 8. Vegas Vacation by Bettor's Delight - Brian Sears, Casie Coleman 9. Luck Be Withyou by Western Ideal - George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes Following is the Hempt Memorial field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Pierce Hanover by Cams Card Shark - Brett Miller, Ken Sucee 2. Betting Exchange by Bettor's Delight - Jim Morrill Jr., Tom Fanning 3. Lost For Words by Well Said - David Miller, Brian Brown 4. Artspeak by Western Ideal - Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna 5. Wiggle It Jiggleit by Mr Wiggles - Montrell Teague, Clyde Francis 6. In The Arsenal by American Ideal - Brian Sears, Kelvin Harrison 7. Wakizashi Hanover by Dragon Again - Tim Tetrick, Joann Looney-King 8. A Bettor Hat by Bettor's Delight - Yannick Gingras, Gilbert Garcia-Herrera 9. National Seelster by Bettor's Delight - Andy Miller, Chris Ryder Following is the Beal Memorial field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Pinkman by Ezplosive Matter - Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter 2. Cruzado Dela Noche by Muscle Massive - David Miller, Nancy Johansson 3. Centurion ATM by Sjs Caviar - Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt 4. Uncle Lasse by Donato Hanover - Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter 5. Crazy Wow by Crazed - Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 6. Wicker Hanover by Explosive Matter - Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley 7. Shoot The Thrill by Explosive Matter - Tim Tetrick, Dirk Simpson 8. Boots N Chains by Yankee Glide - Andy Miller, John Butenschoen 9. Southwind Mozart by Muscle Hill - John Campbell, Ake Svanstedt Following is the Lynch Memorial field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Bettor Be Steppin by Bettor's Delight - Corey Callahan, Joe Holloway 2. Deli Beach by Somebeachsomewhere - John Campbell, Brett Bittle 3. Stacia Hanover by Western Ideal - Scott Zeron, Steve Elliott 4. Sassa Hanover by Rock N Roll Heaven - Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 5. Divine Caroline by Rock N Roll Heaven - David Miller, Joe Holloway 6. Momas Got A Gun by Somebeachsomewhere - Brett Miller, Virgil Morgan Jr. 7. Single Me by Bettor's Delight - Brian Sears, Ross Croghan 8. Wicked Little Minx by Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller, Nancy Johansson 9. The Show Returns by Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder Following is the Sun Invitational field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. My Love Bi by Donato Hanover - George Napolitano Jr., Gilbert Garcia-Herrera 2. Hot Shot Blue Chip by Revenue S - Joe Pavia Jr., Jonas Czernyson 3. Sebastian K by Korean - Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt 4. Daylon Miracle by Pegasus Spur - Simon Allard, Rene Allard 5. JL Cruze by Crazed - John Campbell, Eric Ell 6. Gural Hanover by Crazed - Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 7. Classic Martine by Classic Photo - Tim Tetrick, Chris Oakes by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA
CAMPBELLVILLE, June 27 - Rockin In Heaven received the majority of the hype heading into the first leg of the Summertime Saturday night at Mohawk, but he needed every inch of determination to pull out the harness racing victory. A field of ten three-year-old pacing colts and geldings contested the $18,000 opening leg of the Summertime Series under rainy and windy conditions. Rockin In Heaven was returning to Mohawk for the first time since winning a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes on June 6. In between "The Beach" and Saturday's contest, the Dr. Ian Moore trainee went south of the border and finished second in a New York Sires Stakes leg at Vernon Downs. Sent off as the heavy 1/5 favourite, Rockin In Heaven got away in fourth and made a second-quarter brush to the front for driver Trevor Henry. Battling a strong headwind down the backstretch, Rockin In Heaven got the field down to the three-quarter pole in 1:27. Poisonous and driver Sylvain Filion came first up around the final turn and got on even terms with the favourite as they entered the stretch. After pacing by the eighth-pole side-by-side, Poisonous took a slight lead over Rockin In Heaven and appeared to be charging home to victory, but the public's choice dug deep to battle back in the final strides and win by a neck in 1:53.3. Rustys Overload finished third, while Official Prince rounded out the top-four. A son of Rock N Roll Heaven, Rockin In Heaven now has five wins from seven starts this season for owners Moore, Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte and Gordon McComb. Saturday's victory was the eighth overall for Rockin In Heaven and increased his career earnings to $93,977. A $2 win ticket on the favourite returned a profit of $0.60. The second leg of the Summertime Series will take place next Saturday (July 4). Mark McKelvie
CAMPBELLVILLE, June 6 - Dudes The Man and Rockin In Heaven scored victories in their respective $78,767 divisions of the harness racing Somebeachsomewhere Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 19 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into two divisions of "The Beach." For many of the sophomores, they were using the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes as a final prep for next week's Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. In the first division, Dudes The Man and Corey Callahan were first to the line in 1:50.2 to win at 6-1 odds. A son of American Ideal, Dudes The Man was able to get situated in fifth early, while 60-1 shot Penji Hanover cut out an opening-quarter of :26. Oneisalonelynumber circled around Penji Hanover to take the lead in the second-quarter, but was quickly confronted first up by Maxdaddy Blue Chip. However, Maxdaddy Blue Chip made a break at the half-mile pole just as Dudes The Man was moved to the outside, which left Callahan and his charge first up around the final turn. Dudes The Man and Oneisalonelynumber went toe-to-toe around the final turn and posted a three-quarter time of 1:23. In the stretch, Dudes The Man was filled with pace and quickly separated himself from his rivals en route to a length and three-quarter victory in 1:50.3. Penji Hanover came back on late to finish second, while Trading Up finished third. Following the race, trainer Howard Okusko talked about the equipment change he made with Dudes The Man going into the Somebeachsomewhere. "Paul MacDonell drove him last week and he thought around the last turn he lost a couple lengths, he thought maybe slipping or touching a knee," said Okusko. "We put a pair of aluminum (shoes) on him, opened him up a little bit and he's a fast colt he just has to get a little luck." Dudes The Man is owned by M and L of Delaware LLC and Victoria Dickinson. The son of American Ideal now has two wins from three starts this season and four victories in his career. The Somebeachsomewhere victory pushes his career bankroll to $89,934. Dudes The Man, who is eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup, returned $14.30 to win. Dudes The Man In the second division, Rockin In Heaven powered by in the final-eighth to win in 1:50.3 at odds of 11-1. Driven by Trevor Henry, Rockin In Heaven showed early speed and was able to touch down on the front at the opening-quarter in :26.4. Henry allowed Go Daddy Go to clear in the second-quarter and was quickly shuffled back to third when Drachan Hanover overtook the lead at the half in :54.1. After Drachan Hanover reached the three-quarter pole in 1:22.1, Go Daddy Go and Rockin In Heaven edged to the outside to take a shot at the leader in the stretch. Rockin In Heaven had the most pace in the lane and charged by his rivals to win by a length and a quarter in 1:50.3. Go Daddy Go finished second, while Drachan Hanover fought to the wire to finish third. A son of Rock N Roll Heaven, Rockin In Heaven was one of six starters in the Somebeachsomewhere that was not made eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup. "He finished his season off very well last year as a two-year-old and we staked him kind of heavily," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore following the race. "He trained down very well this spring until he got near racing speed and he just sort of bottomed out and I took him out of the last payment of the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace." Rockin In Heaven is owned by Moore, Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte and Gordan McComb. He now has four wins from five starts this season and seven triumphs in his career. "I don't like being proven wrong," said Moore. "But I guess I'm proven wrong tonight and I'm liking it maybe too." Rockin In Heaven now has career earnings of $77,215 and paid $24.30 to win. Rockin In Heaven Many of the Somebeachsomewhere starters will return next Saturday (June 13) for the eliminations of the Pepsi North America Cup. The $1 million NA Cup final will take place on Saturday, June 20. Mark McKelvie
LONDON, Ontario . . . State Treasurer became the first three peat winner of the signature race at The Raceway at Western Fair District, the $150,000 Molson Pace, and became the harness racing sport’s latest millionaire, in front of a huge crowd tonight at the London half-mile oval. Favourite All Bets Off, fresh off his Confederation Cup victory, was the most fleet of foot early to led the talented field by the :26.2 opening marker for Matt Kakaley. Just past that point Chris Christoforou pulled the right line on reigning champ State Treasurer and he was at the leader’s wheel at the :55.3 half and was neck and neck with All Bets Off at the three quarters in 1:23.1. Down the lane it became a three horse battle with Evenin Of Pleasure and Sylvain Filion added to the mix but at the wire reached in 1:51 it was State Treasurer with the narrow victory over All Bets Off and Evenin Of Pleasure. PH Supercam and Lets Drink On It collected the final two cheques. The winner’s share of the purse puts State Treasurer over the one million dollar mark in life earnings for owners Sally MacDonald of PEI and Paul MacDonald of Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Ian Moore trains the six-year-old son of Real Desire who was a mere $6,500 purchase as a yearling. “It’s fantastic, I was lucky enough to sit behind him for two of those (Molson Pace victories),” said Christoforou. “He just proved how great a horse he is. The trip he went, first up like that, to go to war with that horse (All Best Off), it was unbelievable, it was spectacular.” With respect to the trip tonight, Christoforou, Canada’s reigning driver of the year, noted: “My biggest concern was I didn’t want to get pinned in with him, because he can be a real handful at times. At the Meadowlands he was almost in an accident when he tried to run over horses in front of him. If he gets boxed in he doesn’t like it so I just wanted to make sure I had some clearance at some point around that first turn and it worked out. After that I let him do the rest. “I know him, you have to drive him a certain way, he doesn’t like to be argued with. He likes to do things his own way but you can reason with him a little bit if you take a little bit of a hold on him but not too much. It’s all in small measures. You never see me make a big, huge move with him because it usually does not work out well.” Not only did the race work out well for State Treasurer, the Molson Pace winner now for three straight years, but also for The Raceway which now takes a hiatus from racing until October. It was an overall record handle for Molson Pace night, $610,000, up from $404,000 last year. The Pace race itself produced a record single-race handle of $196,000 and the live on-site handle was $125,000, up from $100,000 last year. Undercard The Molson Pace undercard was absolutely jam packed with very competitive stakes events with four City Of London Finals and three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old pacing colts. City Of London – Trotting Mares The evening kicked off with the $41,000 City Of London final for mare trotters. Favourite Magic Dancing grabbed the early lead for the track’s leading driver Alfie Carroll and that filly hit the opening quarter in :28. Brinkers Dream came up to challenge at that point but she was repelled by the leader who hit the half in :57.2. Magic Dancing continued on top by the three-quarters in 1:27.4 and could not be caught down the lane to win in 1:59.4. Brinkers Dream was second followed by Tyrone Zoey. It was the eighth win in nine starts this year for the three-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Vic Puddy for owner Percy Elkins of Milton, Ontario. City Of London – Pacing Males The $44,400 COL Final for the male pacers saw heavy favourite Naturescape hit the opening quarter in :28 for Billy Davis Jr. He went on by the half in a sedate :58.2 and sped up to reach the third quarter in 1:26.1. No one could touch him down the stretch as he opened up to win by open lengths in 1:54.3. Alexas Prayer and St Lads Flirt collected the next two cheques. Gregg McNair trains the winner, a sophomore son of Art Colony owned by Wayne MacRae of Nova Scotia and Bloomingwood Farms of Harriston, Ontario. Tonight’s effort was his second victory in four tries in 2015 and a new lifetime best. City Of London – Trotting Males Rory made full use of leaving from the rail, getting the early advantage for Paul MacKenzie in the $40,400 COL finale for male trotters. They trotted past the :29.3 first quarter but were passed before the half by Ja El Storm who was comfortably on top by that marker in :59.4 and hit the three-quarters in 1:29.2 with favourite Muscle Mack and Ryan Holliday coming to call. Those two three-year-olds pulled away from the rest of the field and Muscle Mack trotted away to win in 1:58.3. Ja El Storm had to settle for second while Chuck In Charge was third. The winner, a gelding by Muscle Mass, is owned by Ronald Corbett of St. Jacobs, Ontario, and trained by David Holliday. It was Muscle Mack’s fifth win in six starts this year. City Of London – Pacing Mares The $44,600 COL final for the distaff pacers provided the closest finish. Bad Mood took over the lead by the :28.1 first marker but she was covered up by Pinky Tuscadero well before the :57.4 half. That sophomore hit the three-quarters in 1:27 for Bruce Richardson and was caught at the wire by longshot Bad Mood in a very close 1:57.2. Pinky Tuscardero had to be content with second and Southwind Geisha was third. Bad Mood is owned by breeders Jeff and Lori Thomson of Chesley, Ontario and Jeff handles the training. A three-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover, the filly now has two wins and two seconds in four starts this year and paid $61.30 to win. Ontario Sires Stakes Robert Hill flew off the wings from post seven to grab early control in the first division but he was passed before the :27.4 opening quarter by Go Daddy Go and John Campbell. A striking chestnut colt, Go Daddy Go hit the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:25.4. Sportsmanship attempted to challenge but went offstride before the final turn allowing Go Daddy Go open road and he was a down the road winner in 1:53.1. Moonwriter took second with Dialamara third. It was the first start this year for the Ponder colt, a winner of $398,000 last year, owned by trainer/breeder Bob McIntosh along with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Ontario, and new partner Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania which stands his sire, a former champion for McIntosh. In the second division it was Windsong Leo taking over the lead by the :28 opening panel. He hit the half in :58 for Jody Jamieson. The speed picked up through the 1:26.3 third quarter and Windsong Leo was still on top by the 1:54.1 finish. Bob Ben And John took second while Win One Soon was third. It was the seventh straight win for the Jeremes Jet colt trained by Daniel O’Brian for Everette Hanson of New Brunswick. The colt was unraced last year at two. In the third and final split Sportskeeper and Chris Christoforou led their rivals by the first quarter in :27.2. They continued on top by the :57 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters. In the drive to the wire Physicallyinclined was closing hard on the leader but Sportskeeper managed to hold him off in the very tight 1:53 finish. J Js Delivery was third. The time represented a new track record for three-year-old pacing geldings. A homebred son of Sportswriter for trainer Casie Coleman and longtime partner Merlin Howse of Langton, Ontario, Sportskeeper was notching his first win in two attempts this year. Greg Blanchard
Her Own Land concluded the regular season Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots season atop the leader board in points with a convincing seven-length victory this afternoon at Grand River Raceway in the first of four $18,000 divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies. These races were slated to be raced last Wednesday evening but when the card of racing was cancelled due to poor track conditions they were rescheduled to today. In the first split, James MacDonald sent Her Own Land directly to the top and she never looked back through fractions of :28.2, :57.3, 1:26.2 and widened her margin to more than seven lengths by the time she hit the wire in 1:54.2. Kyles Secret was second followed by Always Sunday. A daughter of Blissfull Hall trained by Dave Menary for owner Hutt Racing Stable, Pa., Her Own Land now has four OSS victories from six tries this year. Born To Dream also went gate to wire in her division for Doug McNair to win by a head over a fast-closing Nefertiti Blue Chip. Medowland Lindeylou was third. Lomangino Standardbreds of New Jersey bred and own the winner, a daughter of Camluck, who was recording her third OSS win of the season. Trevor Henry guided Shadows Wonder to a front-end effort in the third division to win by more than five lengths in 1:56.4 over Double Joy and Can Art. Trainer Dr. Ian Moore co-owns the winner, a daughter of Shadow Play, with R G McGroup Ltd., New Brunswick and Serge Savard of Quebec. The final division also saw the front-end hold up, as Jack Moiseyev drove the Royal Mattjesty filly Royal Mamato a gate-to-wire 1:57 score. Murrayfield battled the winner down the stretch and was a nose short at the wire. Momara was third. Also owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Royal Mama is trained by John Kopas. This was the final regular season Grassroots event for this group of the 2014 season. The top point earners will face off in the Semi-Finals on September 20 at Mohawk. To view the harness racing results for Friday at Grand River, click the following link: Friday Results – Grand River Raceway. From the 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.
Charlottetown, PE - Old Home Week 2014 is sure to be filled with tons a power packed racing action and memories that will last a life time. Every OHW is filled with memories, last year, Marc Campbell and Escape The News winning the Gold Cup and Saucer in track record fashion. Dubbed one of the greatest Gold Cup and Saucers of all-time, the special Sunday afternoon mile in 2008, when Island native Earl Smith and Pownal Bay Matt crossed the wire first, and only four lengths separated the whole field. The 1988 Gold Cup and Saucer when Dr. Ian Moore worked his way up the inside of the entire field from fourth to win in the mud. How about August 20, 2005 when Flaming Moe and Gilles Barrieau set the track record of 1:54.3 for three-year-old pacing colts, winning by 10 lengths. August 18, 2001 when they needed to grade the track because of the mud and Firms Phantom picked up his 22nd straight victory in 1:54.4 just four races later. These memories are what makes Old Home Week and racing in the Maritimes special. As part of making memories last, Red Shores is proud to announce that the Memory Lane segment sponsored by Metro Building Supplies will be back again this year. The Race Day broadcast will highlight some of those Old Home Week memories from years past. Memory Lane 2014 will feature the three horse match race between Winner's Accolade, Angel's Shadow and Waveore dubbed the Battle of Champions, the 1984 Gold Cup and Saucer with Pearl's Falcon and Mike MacDonald, trot record mile by Colgan's Comet in 1983 and the Royal Pace. By Bo Ford
ANDERSON, Ind.—August 5, 2014—A field of nine will be sent post-ward in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 8. In what may be the most accomplished field ever assembled, the 21st installment of Hoosier Park’s signature event will highlight the 14-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m. The race will be part of a special weekend tagged as “Dan Patch Festival Weekend” and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The evening will also be complimented by Indiana Sires Stakes finals, sending the purse money to be distributed throughout the evening over the $500,000 mark. The 2014 Dan Patch field boasts combined career purse earnings over $10 million and includes four millionaires, three previous Dan Patch winning drivers, two Hall of Fame drivers, and one Hall of Fame trainer. Bettor’s Edge, Heston Blue Chip, Sweet Lou, and Thinking Out Loud will make their way to Indiana boasting career earnings over the $1 million mark. Ricky Macomber Jr., who visited the Dan Patch winner’s circle in 2000 and 2002, will drive Bettor’s Edge from post seven while Peter Wrenn, who won the 2012 installment of the Dan Patch, will start from post three behind Night Pro. Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce, who was victorious in the 2005 Dan Patch Invitational with Maltese Artist, has been enlisted to drive the 4-5 morning line favorite, Sweet Lou from post five for North America’s leading money-winning trainer, Ron Burke. With over $2.9 million in career earnings, the five-year-old horse is the richest horse in the field and is currently riding an eight race win streak, most recently victorious in 1:47.2 in the US Pacing Championship at the Meadowlands. Harness racings’ all time leading money winning driver and Hall of Famer, John Campbell, will make his way to Hoosier Park to compete in his second Dan Patch Invitational and has been enlisted to drive Thinking Out Loud for Hall of Fame trainer, Robert McIntosh from post two. Throughout his career, Thinking Out Loud has amassed more than $1.5 million with a record of 44-14-7-10. Also joining the stellar cast of entrants as a main contender for the 2014 Dan Patch title is State Treasurer, with Jody Jamieson at the lines from post eight. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee has been tabbed as the 4-1 morning line second choice. A winner of over $750,000 lifetime, the five-year-old horse recently set a 1:48.1 Canadian seasons record at Mohawk and is the 2014 Molson Pace Champion. Night Pro will play the role of local favorite from three for trainer Dale Decker. Night Pro, a former Indiana Sires Stakes champion, enters Saturday’s race after posting seven consecutive wins in the Invitational pace at Hoosier Park. The four-year-old gelding has won 22 of 30 career starts and has amassed over $350,000 in career earnings. The 2014 Dan Patch field, in post-position order with named driver and trainer includes: 1. Dancin Yankee Tr: Amber Buter Dr: Tyler Buter 8-1 2. Thinking Out Loud Tr: Robert McIntosh Dr: John Campbell 6-1 3. Night Pro Tr: Dale Decker Dr: Peter Wrenn 20-1 4. Carol’s Comet Tr: Ron Potter Dr: Aaron Merriman 15-1 5. Sweet Lou Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Ron Pierce 4-5 6. Heston Blue Chip Tr: Linda Toscano Dr: Corey Callahan 15-1 7. Bettor’s Edge Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Ricky Macomber Jr. 10-1 8. State Treasurer Tr: Ian Moore Dr: Jody Jamieson 4-1 9. Our Lucky Chip Tr: Jason Miller Dr: Trace Tetrick 30-1 Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagers offered for the Dan Patch Invitational card. A $25,000 Guaranteed Dan Patch Superfecta pool will be available as part of the Strategic Wagering Program. The wager will have a minimum bet of 10 cents and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association. Slated as the twelfth race on the card, estimated post time for Hoosier Park’s signature event is 9:30 p.m. A $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 will also be made available to racing fans in races seven through nine as part of the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge. The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East driving for “Team East”. In what is being called the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”, Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park’s summer concert series line-up. Emily Gaskin Racing Commentator, Publicist and Marketing Specialist
Driver Doug McNair captured two of the four $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for three-year-old filly pacers Sunday afternoon at Clinton Raceway. One of his victories was for his father Gregg, the other for trainer Tony O’Sullivan. McNair started off the afternoon winning the first division. He sent Born To Dream directly to the top from post seven and she was never headed through fractions of :29.2, :59.4 and 1:28.2, where she fought off a challenge from Milliondollar Babe to win by three lengths in 1:56.4. Always Sunday took second while Milliondollar Babe held for third. The win was the second this year, both at Clinton, for Born To Dream, a daughter of Camluck trained by O’Sullivan for owner/breeders Lomangino Standardbreds of New Jersey. She is the first foal of $665,000 winner Happy Dreamer. McNair’s other OSS score was in the final division where he and Can Art cut the tempo of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.3 and managed to hold off a determined Murrayfield to win by a head in 1:56. Goldies Mach was third. Gregg McNair trains the winner, a daughter of Artistic Fella owned by breeder Rob Chapple of Chatham, Ont. This was Can Art’s third win in 10 attempts this year. Another father/son, trainer/driver combo was successful on the afternoon as Tyler Moore guided his dad’s Shadows Wonder to a come-from-behind victory in 1:55.3, the fastest of the four splits. She wore down pacesetter Shes A Hotmama, who held for second, while Medoland Lindeylou was third. Dr. Ian Moore trains the winner he co-owns with R G McGroup Ltd. of New Brunswick and Serge Savard of Quebec, who also co-owned the filly’s sire Shadow Play. Shadows Wonder, who was victorious in her last start at Clinton in the Kin Pace on July 6, was recording her fourth win in 12 trips behind the gate this year. Divisional track record holder Her Own Land also deployed gate-to-wire tactics for James MacDonald. The Blissfull Hall lass breezed through splits of :29.1, :59.2 and 1:27.4 to win in 1:56.3 over Momara and Miss Brandi K. The win was the third in 10 tries for Her Own Land, who is trained by Dave Menary for Hutt Racing Stable of Pennsylvania. The next Grassroots test for this group comes on August 17 at Georgian Downs. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 1 - All eyes in harness racing will be on the Meadowlands this Saturday for the Hambletonian and local standout Harper Blue Chip will be one of eleven trotters vying for harness racing's highest profile trotting title. Trained by local conditioner Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip will start from post position nine with driver Brian Sears in the $1,006,125 Hambletonaian, which is carded as Race 13 on Saturday afternoon. Harper Blue Chip races for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. The son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin is coming off a 3 ¾ length victory in the Canadian Breeders Championship at Mohawk on July 19. In six starts this season, Harper Blue Chip has visited the winner's circle twice and has only missed the board once when he finished fourth to the Father Patrick in the $500,000 Earl Beal Memorial at Pocono Downs on June 28. Just like the Beal Memorial, Harper Blue Chip and the rest of the field will be gunning for Father Patrick, who enters the Hambletonian on a 15 race win streak. Father Patrick is just one of three starters (Nuncio and Trixton) sent out by trainer Jimmy Takter. Takter's trio are the top three choices on the morning line. Harper Blue Chip is the fourth choice in the early odds of 12-1. Steacy admits that it will be a tough task defeating Takter's trio, but that his horse is on top of his game. "We've got our work cut out for us," said Steacy. "I was quite disappointed drawing the nine, it kind of made things a lot more difficult, but our horse is going into the race really good and healthy, so I expect a good effort from him as long as we have some race luck." Since the fourth place effort in the Beal, Harper Blue Chip has dominated locally and Steacy believes Harper Blue Chip is a better horse than the last time he faced the continent's very best. "I think with the trio of Jimmy Takter's it's a big step up, but he's raced against these horses before, never been able to beat them, but he's gone against them and he's been respectable," said Steacy. "I think my horse is better than the last time he raced against these horses and I think he's improved with every start and again a lot of racing luck and you never what might happen." Steacy has an idea of the trip he would like for his charge, but will leave the strategy up to defending and two-time Hambletonian winning driver Brian Sears. "It's going to be up to Brian Sears, but I'm hoping he will try to charge off the gate...obviously you want to be as close to Father Patrick or Trixton or one of those horses that you can be." Defeating Takter's trio will be a tough task for the Mark Steacy trainee, but Steacy knows what it takes to win a million dollar race with a three-year-old trotter. In 2006, Steacy captured the million dollar Canadian Trotting Classic with Majestic Son, the sire of Harper Blue Chip, overcoming favourites Chocolatier and Trotting Triple Crown winner Glidemaster. On Saturday afternoon, Steacy will be looking to recreate that million dollar magic with Harper Blue Chip. No horse has been hotter on the WEG circuit this season than State Treasurer and the Dr. Ian Moore trainee will take his talents south to the Meadowlands to battle with the sport's top free-for-all pacers on Saturday. State Treasurer will start from post two with driver David Miller in a field of nine for the $257,700 US Pacing Championship. The five-year-old son of Real Desire - Ideal Tresurer has won seven times in ten starts this season, including a victory last Saturday night in the Preferred at Mohawk in 1:48.3. State Treasurer has started in the WEG Preferred seven times this season and is currently riding a six race win streak in the circuit's top class. All six of those wins have been sub-1:50 miles. His biggest victory of the season was on May 30 in the $150,000 Molson Pace at Western Fair. State Treasurer's rivals on Saturday include Sweet Lou, who is currently on a seven race win streak, and Captaintreacherous, the 2013 Pepsi North America Cup winner. Two starts back, State Treasurer tackled this group in the $463,000 William Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands and finished fourth, while only beaten 2 Â½ lengths. This Saturday, State Treasurer will need to bring his top game and the speed he has been putting on display. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Prepping for Hambletonian Day's U.S. Pacing Championship, State Treasurer turned in a 1:48.3 triumph in the $34,000 Preferred Pace at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night. The 4-5 favourite overcame an outside post eight start for the eighth sub-1:50 victory of his career for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. Chris Christoforou drove the five-year-old son of Real Desire, who is owned by Sally MacDonald of Souris, P.E.I. and Paul MacDonald of Regina, Sask. Evenin Of Pleasure (Sylvain Filion) and Fool Me Once (Paul MacDonell) fired off the gate together with the later eventually clearing the former into a scorching :25.3 first quarter. Meanwhile, State Treasurer found a spot along the pylons in fifth and launched his attack down the backstretch, chasing Fool Me Once by the half in :53.2 and then edging a head in front by the 1:21.1 three-quarters mark. State Treasurer then drew clear of Fool Me Once into the stretch and held off the late-rallying Ellis Park (Steve Condren), who won the Preferred last week. Captive Audience (James MacDonald) closed for third over Fool Me Once. To view the rest of this story click here.
Three-year-old pacing fillies lined up in five $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series divisions on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack, and it was a host of fillies who had yet to taste Ontario Sires Stakes success in 2014 emerging with victories. Mea Lilley Mark (Mike Saftic), who hadn’t been to the winner’s circle since last November, was the fastest winner, turning in a 1:52 spin of the seven-eighths mile oval in the Grassroots finale. After a first-over trip in the final three-eighths of the mile, Mea Lilley Mark wore down leader and favourite Artful Impulse (Steve Condren) to post the victory by half a length. An Angel Shes Not (Paul MacDonell) finished third. Sue Marie Gangell trains the victorious Whosurboy filly for owner/breeder Kimberly Mark of Simcoe, Ont. Mea Lilley Mark is a two-time winner from 21 career starts and she has earned $39,368. Driver Chris Christoforou scored a pair of off-the-pace wins, guiding Dana Dearest to a 1:53 triumph in the first Grassroots test and then overcoming post 10 to get a 1:54.4 tally with Shadows Wonder in the fourth split. Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, was making her first start in the Casie Coleman stable 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 five-for-nine. She has a career bankroll of $48,148. Trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Guelph, Ont. also bred and co-owns Shadows Wonder, a filly by Shadow Play, with partners R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, N.B. and Hockey Hall of Famer Serge Savard of Saint-Bruno, Que. Shadows Wonder, who won last year’s Grassroots Championship for two-year-old pacing fillies and this year’s Kin Pace at Clinton Raceway, picked up her sixth career win and she has now put away $107,020. Murrayfield (James MacDonald) and Badlyinclined (Jack Moiseyev) were the other winners, and both of them stopped the clock in 1:53. Murrayfield, who was positioned eighth at the half and sixth at three-quarters, rallied through the lane and got up in the final stride to nail leader Alibi Seelster (MacDonell) to win by a neck while Badlyinclined led through panels of :27, :55.3, and 1:24 on her way to a half-length decision over Nefertiti Bluechip (Jody Jamieson). Ben Wallace trains Murrayfield, a Jeremes Jet filly, for owner Holland Racing Stable of Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont. She has seven wins from 15 career tries and she has now pocketed $78,964. John Kopas handles the training of Badlyinclined, a daughter of Badlands Hanover, for co-owner/breeder Big Als Stables Inc. of Woodbridge, Ont., Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Ont., and LLK Stable of Mississauga, Ont. She has won four times from 19 attempts in her racing career and she has banked $98,994. Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series action for three-year-old pacing fillies will take place next on August 3 at Clinton Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, July 19 - A quartet of Canadian Breeders Championships for the nation's finest three-year-old pacers and trotters highlighted the undercard for Maple Leaf Trot night at Mohawk. Harper Blue Chip, with Sylvain Filion at the controls, turned in another top notch performance to win the $121,958 Canadian Breeders Championship for three-year-old colts and geldings trotters. After getting away in third, the son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin was sent to the lead approaching the half and never looked back winning by 3 Â¾ lengths in 1:55.2. Muscle Matters, the early leader, finished second, while Jitterbug finished third by a nose over Entranced. Harper Blue Chip is trained by Mark Steacy for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable, David McDonald, David Reid and George Judson. Following the race, Howard Pearce, a member of the Landmark 6 Racing Sable, said it was a sweet victory. "It's a tough year to have a really nice horse like 'Harper' because of those three nice horses down south," said Pearce. "But he's proven that he is one of the best in Canada, so that's wonderful." Pearce also mentioned that it appears Harper Blue Chip will now head south to the Meadowlands to compete in the Hambletonian. The Breeders Championship victory was the second win in five starts this season for Harper Blue Chip and the fifth win of his career. His career earnings now jump more than $350,000. He paid $2.70 to win. White Becomes Her extended her win streak to four in winning the $118,090 Canadian Breeders Championship for the three-year-old filly trotters. Mario Baillargeon moved the daughter of Angus Hall - Pursuing Keagan from the two-hole to the lead in the second quarter. After posting a three-quarter time of 1:28.1, White Becomes Her trotted away from her rivals with a :28.3 last quarter to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:56.4. Margie finished in the place spot, while Mayberry trotted into third. White Becomes Her is trained by Ben Baillargeon for owner Vince Mastrangelon. The Breeders Championship was the fifth win in eight starts this season for White Becomes Her. Following the race, Mario Baillargeon said we haven't seen the best of her yet. "I don't think so, I can't wait to race her with the American fillies and get a trip," said Baillargeon. "She loves to follow a lot more than racing on the front, so I would like to get her on a helmet behind Shake It Cerry and see what happens in the lane." White Becomes Her now has six wins and earnings of over $210,000 in her career. She returned $3.30. Silverhill Shadow repelled all comers with a smart front-end pace to win the $122,028 Canadian Breeders Championship for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Chris Christoforou blasted off the gate to demand the lead from pocket-sitting Shadowbriand marking a quarter in :27 and a half in :56.2 through a persistent drizzle over a sloppy track. Sylain Filion made a menacing move first over into the turn with Victor Bayama, but Silverhill Shadow had another gear and stepped away to a dominant win in 1:51.2. A ground saving Shadowbriand, efficiently steered by Paul MacDonnell, stayed on determinedly to earn the place photo over Victory Bayama. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, the Shadow Play colt earned his fourth win of the campaign from six starts. The conditioner noted a very important similarity to his champion sire. "Heart and desire for sure," said Moore. "He's a big strong colt and he gives you all he's got every time out." A front-end trip was always in the cards for the quick Silverhill Shadow. "Chris was asking him to get the front going the first quarter, and I thought I had him warmed up pretty good, but he was great the last half-mile and that's where it counted," said Moore. He paid $5.80 to win. Brescia Seelster pulled off a 60-1 upset in the $122,343 Canadian Breeders Championship final for three-year-old pacing fillies. Sudoku brushed to the lead under urging from Jody Jamieson down the backstretch in :56.1, but it was an amped up My Secret Belle, piloted by Joe Hudon, who took over into the turn. My Secret Belle and Sudoku battled to mid-stretch before a closing cavalry of filly pacers converged with the outside rally of Brescia Seelster the winning move for Mario Baillargeon. Performing Art, a 40-1 long shot, stormed up the rail to earn place money keying boxcar payoffs. It was the fourth win in eight starts this season for Brescia Seelster, improving on a 1-4-1 record from 10 starts a year ago. "She was a little slow in maturing and Mario has been telling us all along as this horse gets older it'll be better," said co-owner Norman Keyes. Co-owned and trained by David Keyes, Brescia Seelster paid $138.70 to win. by Mark McKelvie and Keith McCalmont, for WEG
Summerside, PE- It was June 11, 2008 at Summerside Raceway, Outlawpositivcharg was making his first start on Maritime soil. The lower-end claimer had shipped in from Edmonton to the Terry Gallant Stable. He picked up a going away victory in his first start, and what he would do over the next six years would grab the heart of every Maritime racing fan around. The 'Outlaw' would go on to win his next five races including the biggest win of Gallant's driving and training career. His first ever Governor's Plate. "There were memorable moments all the way around," as Gallant recalled his first plate win. "From my mother, to the first time winning my hometown race and it was the first time owner Fred Lamont had a horse in the Governor's Plate." That night was the last night Gallant's mother ever walked. Outlawpositivcharg landed on P.E.I. after Gallant made a call to the former Island native Lamont. Gallant was curious to see if he may have an open mare out in Alberta that would do in P.E.I, Lamont did and her name was K G Affair. "I had no idea this horse was coming when Fred put him on the truck in Edmonton, he called me two days later and said, ' I hope you have two stalls, because I sent you another horse (with K G Affair)." Gallant made some shoeing adjustments and it was straight forward from there. "In his first start I had K G Affair's hopples on him and the wrong set of harness on him, because I didn't know which harness was whose. Fred came home the next week and told me I had the wrong rigging on him." It was after his very first start Gallant knew he had a special horse on his hands. "After his first start I told Fred that I have a real horse here," he said. "The next day Dr. Ian Moore came up and he was working on another horse for me. Ian had Astronomical at the time, and I pointed at Outlaw and said, 'I'm coming for you with that horse." Four starts later, Gallant was right, Outlawpositivcharg beat Astronomical on the way to his first Governor's Plate. "Without a doubt that was my biggest win with him. There's nothing that will ever compare to that win for me, not even winning the Little Brown Jug." When Lamont purchased the horse as a three-year-old he didn't know what he had on his hands. "It never ever crossed my mind that he was that type of horse, before that race," Lamont said. The 10-year-old gelded son of Blissfull Hall - Electromagnetic is owned by Lamont of Calgary, AB. He finished his career with 155 starts, returning back to the winner circle 47 times, a lifetime mark of 1:54 over Charlottetown and banked $ 168, 818 in earnings. Although he grabbed the heart of people around the Maritime scene, it was in the winter of 2008 when he grabbed the heart of his long time groom Ashley Gamester. "I knew right from the start that he was a special horse, he had already done a lot in the Maritimes when I started to look after him," she said. "I fall in love pretty easy, but after he won his first few races in 2009, I fell for him pretty hard." Gamester said 'Outlaw' was always the boss of the barn and he knew it. "He was always first in line, whether it be the first to be fed, or the first to get out in the paddock. He loved to bunt people with his head." Outlaw was the type of horse that you couldn't take your eyes off of, she explained. "He would always have his back feet going, pretending he was going to kick you, although he never would. He always loved to chew the cords off of my radios too, I think he chewed four or five cords off the first summer I looked after him." Gamester said she didn't mind having to go buy a new radio every so often. "Being as good of a horse as he was, he got away with pretty much everything. He may have been a little spoiled." Gamester's work with Outlawpositvcharg didn't go unnoticed. "You're only as good as your help. Everyone that took care of him always done what was asked, some of them went out on a limb and done a lot more, especially Ashley," said Gallant. " She was the one that knew him the best, she'd let him do whatever he wanted." The 22-year-old Gamester credits Outlaw for teaching her some valuable lessons, not only in life but the game of harness racing too. "It was pretty special to be able to look after a horse like Outlaw. I learned so much from looking after him," she said. "I'm very thankful to Terry and Fred for giving me the opportunity to look after him. It was just an awesome feeling to walk him out of the paddock knowing he was going to give you all he had every time he went behind the gate." Gallant is proud of what Outlaw has done for six consecutive seasons, but he is very thankful that Lamont allowed him to be part of such a special horse. Lamont said the ride was one filled with many thrills. "Six years of major, major thrills. Every time you went and watched him he tried his best, most times he was the best, which made life so much more enjoyable being in the horse business." Dubbed the "East Coast Warrior" by track announcer Vance Cameron, Outlawpositivcharg's numbers while in the Maritimes, speak for themselves. He will retire as one of the toughest horses to ever race in the free-for-all ranks. While racing under the care of Gallant in the Maritimes, he picked up 42 of his 47 lifetime victories. He had over 10 invitational victories including the Exhibition Cup, Breeders Crown Invitational, Cecil Ladner and the JA Ferguson Memorial in North Sydney where he set a new track record of 1:55. He competed in the Gold Cup and Saucer in 2008 finishing fifth, the next year he was third in the James 'Roach' MacGregor, Gold Cup consolation. His last victory came on May 16, 2013 at Charlottetown in 1:56.2. "The day that horse retired, I haven't been the same horseman since the horse left the barn," said Gallant. The "East Coast Warrior" has been the driving force behind many of Cameron's 'Boom Just Like That!' race calls and he is also the only horse to ever win back-to-back Governor's Plates. "It was big because he made history, becoming the first horse to win it two years in a row. It doesn't compare to the first one. We were happy to win it don't get me wrong, we were happy to win any race with him." He tried his luck at the Plate six times and made an appearance in the final of the Governor's Plate an incredible four times, after his back-to-back victories he picked up a 3rd in 2010 and a 2nd in 2011. On Saturday July 19, 2014 the Outlaw will take one last tour around the Summerside oval that he called home. He will parade the consolation for the Governor's Plate. Outlaw will then enjoy retirement on P.E.I., which is more than deserving for the horse that grabbed every Maritime race fans heart over his six years of racing under the duo of Lamont and Gallant. Just how much did he mean to Gallant, who seen Outlaw for the first time since last August on Thursday. "When I went to pick him up there were tears in my eyes, that's what kind of a ride I was on," he said. "I don't have a son, but I'll tell you, If I had one I wish it'd be just like him." by Bo Ford, for Red Shores
CAMPBELLVILLE, July 12 - A quintet of Canadian Breeders Championship eliminations for the three-year-old pacers were contested Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Lady Shadow turned in the performance of the evening with a sizzling 1:49.2 victory in the third and final $17,477 elimination for the pacing fillies. The Gregg McNair trainee was sent hard to the front by driver Rick Zeron and never looked back. Off a three-quarter time of 1:22.1, Lady Shadow paced home in :27.1 for a 8 ¾ length victory. The 1:49.2 clocking was a new lifetime best for the daughter of Shadow Play - Lady Camella and her third win in six starts this season. Nefertiti Bluechip finished in the place spot, while Justabit Mean was third. The elimination victory boosts Lady Shadow's career earnings to over $320,000 for owners Lindsey and Connie Rankin. She paid $4.40 to win. My Secret Belle and owner/trainer/driver Joe Hudon converted off a pocket trip in the first elimination. The daughter of Mach Three - Kindly Jenna grabbed the lead early and was able to take a seat in the two-hole when Brookedale Shadow cleared to the front as the field hit the backstretch. At the top of the lane, Hudon pulled the pocket and My Secret Belle paced by Brookedale Shadow for a 2 ¾ length victory in 1:51.1. Brookedale Shadow held on for second over Artful Impulse. The win was the fifth in 17 starts this year for My Secret Belle and it pushes her career earnings to more than $110,000. She paid $3.80 to win. In the second split, Sudoku and driver Jody Jamieson turned in a 2 ½ length victory in 1:51.1. The daughter of Badlands Hanover - Mind Boggling was situated third over on the final turn and unleashed a :26.4 last quarter. Performing Art, who was second over in front of Sudoku, finished second, while Badlyinclined rallied for third. The 1:51.1 clocking was a new lifetime best for Sudoku, who is now undefeated in two starts this season for trainer Tony O'Sullivan.The victory boosts her career earnings to over $225,000 for the ownership group of Let It Ride Stable Inc, Mentally Stable Inc, Dana Parham and Howard Taylor. Sudoku returned $3.70 to win. The first $26,149 elimination for the colts and geldings went to 2013 Metro Pace winner Boomboom Ballykeel and driver Jonathan Drury in 1:50.3. The son of Mach Three - Teig N Riley took the lead approaching the half and dug in through the stretch to hold off a late charging Hunch Man by half a length. Victor Bayama finished third. The victory was the third in five starts this season for Boomboom Ballykeel and it equaled his career mark. He is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Ballykeel Racing Inc. Shadowbriand and Roger Mach Em finished fourth and fifth to secure the last two spots for next week's final. Boomboom Ballykeel now has careers earning exceeding $478,000 and he paid $7.80 to win. The second and final elimination went to the Dr. Ian Moore trained Silverhill Shadow and driver Chris Christoforou. The son of Shadow Play - Ruthie Jane made a brush to the lead down the backstretch and paced away from the field in the stretch to Prince Clyde finished second, while Speckled Door was third. The elimination victory was the second win in ten starts this season for Silverhill Shadow and increased his career earnings to over $85,000 for owner Silverhill. Lucky King and Titus Seelster clinched the last two spots in the final with fourth and fifth place finishes. Silverhill Shadow returned $4.30 to win. The finals for both divisions will be held next Saturday night (July 19) at Mohawk as part of the Maple Leaf Trot card. Following the eliminations, the post positions for both finals were drawn in the paddock. Elimination winners were able to select their own post position. Here is how they will lineup for next week's finals. Canadian Breeders Championship - 3 Year Old Pacing Filles - Purse: $122,343 1. Performing Art - Billy Davis Jr. 2. Sudoku - Jody Jamieson 3. My Secret Belle - Joe Hudon Jr. 4. Lady Shadow - Rick Zeron 5. Badlyinclined - Jack Moiseyev 6. Justabit Mean - Jonathan Drury 7. Brookedale Shadow - Chris Christoforou 8. Brescia Seelster - Sylvain Filion 9. Nefertiti Bluechip - Jody Jamieson 10. Artful Impulse - Steve Condren AE: Mea Lilley Mark - Mike Saftic Canadian Breeders Championship - 3 Year Old Pacing Colts and Geldings - Purse: $122,028 1. Shadowbriand - Paul Macdonell 2. Speckled Door - Phil Hudon 3. Silverhill Shadow - Chris Christoforou 4. Boomboom Ballykeel - Jonathan Drury 5. Roger Mach Em - Jack Moiseyev 6. Lucky King - Billy Davis Jr. 7. Prince Clyde - James MacDonald 8. Hunch Man - Mike Saftic 9. Titus Seelster - Sylvain Filion 10. Victor Bayama - Sylvain Filion AE: High Flier - Billy Davis Jr. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Springhill, N.S. native Teesha Symes has been around race horses her whole life. Now 25, she finds herself looking after the top aged pacer, in Canada, for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. “Three days after I was born we made a stop at the local track - on the way home from the hospital - and ever since then I’ve been around the horses,“ said Symes. The daughter of Charles (Chuck) and Shirley has been all over the continent working with horses and she’s had her hands on some good ones over the years. “I spent about six months working with Shadow Play back in 2008,” she says. “I’ve also looked after Royal Becquet (2009 Gold Cup and Saucer starter), Mr Perseverance (2013 Paul Bunyan Invitational winner in Bangor) and now I’m enjoying my time with State Treasurer (two-time winner of the Molson Pace in London).” State Treasurer, owned by Sally MacDonald of Souris, PE and Paul MacDonald of Regina, SK, has got to be the number one-ranked aged pacer in Canada, right now, with his four straight wins - including his latest victory - a stunning last-to-first swoop, of the field, after making a bobble at the start of the $150,000 Molson Pace. “After he made that break at the start - I found it hard to even watch the race... Especially at the half when he was still sitting last,” Symes explains. “Then he began to pick them off and I made my way closer to the TV to get a better look. For him to get up to win that race was just awesome and to do it beating Foiled Again was just mind-blowing!” Teesha recalls the second-place finish by Shadow Play to Somebeachsomewhere, in The 2008 Messenger at Yonkers, as one of her most favourite moments in racing. “That race was just so exciting... It was so close and it was a real thrill for me to be a part of that. ” It’s a horse by the name of Anybunny that will forever hold a special place in Teesha’s heart. “He was my favourite,” she says proudly. “I used to kill for the ‘BOOM’ call (Vance Cameron’s Boom! Just like that...) when racing on P.E.I... Sadly we had to put him down last season. He was sixteen then and he just wasn’t going to make it another winter.” Symes spent last summer working with her Dad in Bangor before heading to Dr. Ian Moore’s Florida operation in late October. Now in Ontario, working full-time for Moore, a normal day for Teesha consists of getting up around 5:30 am and heading to the barn - where the work normally finishes up around noon. “We’ve got an awesome team here and Ian is great to work for.” Working as a groom Symes likes to play it day by day. “It’s a lot of hoping for the best and living for the moment,” she says. “I’ve been lucky to have been mentored by my Dad,” she continued. “Guys like Mark Ford, Heath Campbell and Ian have been very good to me along the way too... Ian asked me the other day where he could get two of me, so it’s a nice feeling to get a compliment like that.” So what’s it like to look after the best aged pacer in Canada? “That question makes me nervous,” she replies. “I do my best to look after him like the other horses, but maybe he does get an extra piece of licorice or a few extra carrots now and then.” Another special horse out of the Moore camp this season is the P.E.I.-owned pacing colt Silverhill Shadow. And he’s special for Symes in a unique way too. “My Dad bought his mom (Ruthie Jane) from the Amish back in 2009. We raced her a few times in Charlottetown, PE and then sold her to Casey Gavin - who then bred her to Shadow Play. And from that came Silverhill Shadow.” Teesha likes her basketball, softball and hockey and had once worked with correctional services and the jail in Amhert, N.S., but her heart is and always has been with the horses. ”Growing up working next to Dad... Working with the horses is what I know and it’s what I love. It’s not even work for me...” So any advice to pass along to an aspiring groom? “I’d say work hard and always do your best,” she says. “Sure there are going to be some long days, but this job is so worth it.” by Shannon "Sugar" Doyle, for Western Fair District